Abner Mares joins the Fight for Humane Treatment of Immigrant Families
By Eric Lunger
Abner Mares, a former three-division world champion, might be best known for his two excellent bouts with rival Leo Santa Cruz. Mares lost both fights, first by majority and then by unanimous decision. But this week, Mares posted a win in moral courage.
An immigrant himself from Guadalajara, Mexico, Mares now resides in California and is on track to become a United States citizen in 2019. He released a statement last week that read in part:
I came to the United States from Mexico at age 7. I came here without the proper papers and didn’t speak English. Like so many women before her, my mother brought my brother, sister, and myself here for a better life. Life wasn’t easy, and we watched her work three jobs… Now as an American resident who will become an American citizen in 2019, as a father, a son, and a brother, it breaks my heart to see and hear of the forced separation of parents from their children at the borders.
Immigration is a complex issue, to be sure, and there are no simple solutions. But it is equally true that the one thing all people want, ultimately, is a chance to provide a better future for their children. That part is simple. People come to the United States because it is a land of opportunity, where hard work and a dream can be the foundation of a better future. Mares continued:
What is happening at the borders of this country, of MY country, is simply inhuman. I am an example of the American and Mexican dreams combined, the North American dream. I have a successful career in boxing and a successful business in the United States and Mexico that employs both American and Mexican citizens. I am lucky enough to have a loving family that is happy, heathy, and together.
Normally I find political symbolism in sport to be trite or superficial as, for example in the smarmy and overblown emotional “patriotism” that the NFL markets. I also think it is unfair for society to demand that athletes stand for some idea or that they are held to some simplistic, one dimensional standard. I loved when Charles Barkley said, many years ago, “I’m a basketball player — your role model should be your dad,” or something to that effect.
But there are rare times when sports, politics, and culture come together to encapsulate the Zeitgeist in a way that ordinary politics or polemics cannot: Jesse Owen in 1936 defying the absurd racist doctrines of the Nazi party; Muhammed Ali refusing induction into the army to protest American conduct in the Vietnam war; and Colin Kaepernick making a principled demonstration against continued police violence against African-Americans.
It takes courage to step through the ropes into a professional boxing ring; it takes another type of courage to speak out against injustice. For a man who makes his living with his fists, Abner Mares found a voice that all Americans can be proud of.
PBC Results: Santa Cruz and Charlo Entertain and Win
By: Ken Hissner
TG Promotions and Ringstar Sports with Showtime, promoted two world championship fights at the Staples Center in L.A., CA, Saturday.
In a rematch in the Main Event WBA Super World Featherweight Champion Mexico’s Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz, 35-1-1 (19), of Rosemead, CA, won a majority decision over WBA World Featherweight champion Abner Mares, 31-3-1 (15), of Montebello, CA, over 12 rounds of action!
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
In the first round both fighters opened up on one another. The taller Santa Cruz is using a jab setting up Mares. The jab of Mares mostly falls short. Cruz landed a triple jab but got countered by a right uppercut to the chin from Mares. It was a close round. In the second round both fighters continue to throw punches yet show respect for one another by touching gloves when a infraction happens. Mares in close seemed to have an advantage being the shorter of the two.
In the third round Mares landed a chopping right to the head causing Santa Cruz to come right back at him. Santa Cruz landed a left hook to the chin of Mares midway through the round. Santa Cruz landed a solid right to the head of Mares. Mares twice countered a Santa Cruz miss with an overhand right to the chin.
In the fourth round Santa Cruz keeping his hands high blocks most of the punches from Mares. Santa Cruz landed a good right to the head but was countered with a combination to the head from Mares. Both fighters were throwing punches up to the bell.
In the fifth round Santa Cruz continues to use his longer reach landing with a right to the chin of Mares. Santa Cruz landed a double jab followed by a right to the chin of Mares. In the sixth round Santa Cruz lands and soon as he stops throwing Mares comes back countering Santa Cruz. At the bell both fighters were throwing punches as Referee Thomas Taylor stepped in.
In the seventh round Santa Cruz landed an overhand right to the head of Mares. Just over a minute left in the round both fighters landed right hands to the head of one another. Mares countered with three punches to the body. Once again both were throwing punches right up to the bell. In the eighth round Mares landed a good left hook to the chin of Santa Cruz. Mares kept backing Santa Cruz up. Santa Cruz was cut over the left eye due to a clash of heads. At the bell Mares landed a left hook to the head of Santa Cruz.
In the ninth round Mares came inside landing a flurry of punches. Santa Cruz landed a looping right to the head of Mares. Mares was warned about hitting behind the head. Mares seemed to be the busier of the two inside. In the tenth round Mares attacked the body of Santa Cruz well. Both throwing punches at the bell with the last one a left hook from Mares on the back of the head of Santa Cruz. Referee Taylor warned Mares about the late hit.
In the eleventh round Mares went to the body but got countered by a right uppercut from Santa Cruz. With just over a minute left in the round both were landing punches. Both were throwing punches at the bell. In the twelfth and final round they embraced one another then opened up on each other. Mares was warned for hitting behind the head. Both were landing a flurry of body punches. The crowd was on their feet in appreciation of these two warriors who gave everything they had.
Judge Danesco 115-113, Weisfeld 116-112 and Young 117-111 while this writer has it 116-112.
“We may have not thrown as many punches as in the first fight but thank God I did my best. I like to please the crowd and that is who I fight for. I want Gary Russell or whoever to unify the titles,” said Santa Cruz. Mares said “I fight for you guy’s (the crowd). Leo is a great fighter and I do not want to question the judges. Santa Cruz is No. 1, I take my hat off to him and let’s do it again,” said Mares.
WBC World Super Welterweight champion, Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo, 31-0 (15), of Houston, TX, defended his title with a majority decision over the former IBF World Super Welterweight champion southpaw Austin “No Doubt” Trout, 31-5 (17), of Las Cruces, NM, over 12 rounds.
In the first round the southpaw Trout used his jab effectively. Charlo finally landed a solid right hand to the chin one minute into the fight. Charlo hurt Trout. In the second round Trout countered with a combination to the head of Charlo. With a minute left in the round Charlo landed a lead straight right to the head of Trout. Charlo dropped Trout or was it a slip? Referee Jack Reis called it a knockdown.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account
In the third and fourth rounds Charlo kept the pressure on Trout who was doing his best to counter him. In the fifth round there was a clash of heads. Charlo continued staying ahead of Trout. In the sixth round Trout hit Charlo with a right hook off his shoulder onto the back of his head following with a left spinning him completely around. Trout landed a right hook to the head of Charlo who complained to the referee it was on the back of his head.
In the seventh round Trout landed a right uppercut to the chin of Charlo and came back with another right hook followed by a short left to the chin of Charlo. Under a minute left in the round Trout landed a combination to the head of Charlo having him in a neutral corner. In the eighth round Trout used his jab keeping Charlo at bay and followed at times with a counter left to the chin of Charlo.
In the ninth round Charlo landed a left hook to the head of Trout dropping him. Trout complained of the punch hitting him on the back of the head. Referee Reis disagreed giving him the 8 count. Under a minute Charlo hurt Trout with a right to the chin. Trout would come back with a 3-punch combination to the head and body of Charlo. In the tenth round Trout landed a solid left to the head of Charlo. Trout had Charlo on the defense with half a dozen punches. Charlo hit Trout with a left hook causing his head to go outside the ropes while Charlo hit him with a right to the head. Referee Reis warned Charlo about hitting him while his head was outside the ropes.
In the eleventh round Trout landed a lead left uppercut to the chin of Charlo. Trout realizing with the two knockdowns he needed a knockout. He did his best but his best was not enough. In the twelfth and final round Trout landed a 3-punch combination to the head of Charlo. Trout is keeping the fight in the middle of the ring. Charlo missed with a right while Trout countered with a left to the head of Charlo. Charlo just under a minute left in the fight landed a lead straight right to the chin of Trout. Trout landed a short left uppercut while inside with half a minute left in the bout. Charlo’s knockout streak was stopped by going the distance in this fight.
Judge’s scores were 113-113, 115-111, 118-108 while this writer had it 114-112 due to the two knockdowns. “If Hurd stands in front of me I will be the unified champion. Trout fought to survive,” said Charlo. “Both Charlo’s (being whom he fought both) were helluva fighters. I lost tonight due to the knockdowns but I am not done yet,” said Trout.
Showtime Boxing Preview: Cruz vs. Mares, Charlo vs. Trout
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares will rematch from a 2015 fight that featured more than 2000 total punches thrown. This rematch will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be televised live on Showtime. Santa Cruz and Mares will be fighting for Santa Cruz’s WBA “Super” Featherweight Title.
The co-main event of the night will be an intriguing bout between the rising Jermell Charlo and Austin Trout, who is best known for defeating Miguel Cotto. This bout will be for Charlo’s WBC Junior Middleweight Title.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
The undercard is packed with fights such as Karlos Balderas and Pedo Lopez in the junior lightweight division, Arnold Alejandro and Elliot Brown in the Featherweight Division, Jose Balderas and Luis Montellano in the Junior Featherweight division, and Ivan Redkach and Brian Jones in the welterweight division.
The following is a preview of both planned televised bouts.
Jermell Charlo (30-0) vs. Austin Trout (31-4); WBC Junior Middleweight Title
The opening bout will be for the WBC Junior Middleweight Title between Jermell Charlo and Austin Trout.
Trout had previously faced Jermell’s twin brother, Jermall Charlo, and came up short. Charlo is four years younger than Trout and will have about an inch and a half height advantage and a one inch reach advantage.
They both have decent power, Charlo has stopped fifteen of his opponents while Trout has stopped seventeen. Trout has only fought once in 2016, 2017, and 2018 while Charlo fought twice in 2017, once in 2016. Trout has struggled recently and went 2-2 the past four fights, Charlo has been on a tear and has never tasted defeated and is currently riding a four fight win streak.
Both boxers had a pretty good amateur career. Charlo was a Junior Olympics Bronze Medalist and Trout was a US Amateur Gold Medalist.
Charlo has defeated the likes of Erickson Lubin, Charles Hatley, John Jackson, Vanes Martirosyan, and Gabriel Rosado. Trout has defeated the likes of Joey Hernandez, Daniel Dawson, Miguel Cotto, and Delvin Rodriguez. He has losses to Canelo Alvarez, Erislandy Lara, Jermall Charlo, and Jarrett Hurd.
Unfortunately for Trout the Charlo brothers are very close and will likely be talking about how to defeat Austin Trout. Trout’s biggest victory of his career was against Miguel Cotto and a win against Charlo might be considered an even bigger upset, but his lack of activity the past three years plus his recent struggles against high level competition makes those prospects unlikely.
Leo Santa Cruz (34-1-1) vs. Abner Mares (31-2-1); WBA “Super” Featherweight Title
The first bout between Santa Cruz and Mares was an action packed bout with an abnormally high number of punches. Santa Cruz won a close decision when they first fought and Mares has been itching for a rematch ever since.
Santa Cruz is three years younger than Mares. He also has a three inch height and a three inch reach advantage. He will be the obvious bigger man inside the ring.
Both boxers are known for their ability to throw a high volume of punches and swarm their opponents. But Santa Cruz has been the more active boxer. He fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016, while Mares only fought once in 2016 and once in 2017.
Both boxers come from a successful amateur career. Santa Cruz won a gold medal in the Junior Olympics and Mares competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Santa Cruz has a slight edge in power. He has nineteen stoppage victories while Mares only has fifteen.
Mares has two losses, but was stopped in one of those losses, a mild upset to Jhonny Gonzalez.
Santa Cruz has defeated the likes of Chris Avalos, Carl Frampton, Kiko Martinez, Abner Mares, Cesar Seda, Eric Morel, and Cristian Mijares. His lone loss was to Carl Frampton, and it was a loss he later avenged.
Mares has defeated the likes of Andres Gutierrez, Jesus Cuellar, Jonathan Oquendo, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Anselmo Moreno, Eric Morel, Joseph Agbeko, and Vic Darchinyan. His losses were to Jhonny Gonzalez and Leo Santa Cruz, and he hopes to avenge his loss to Santa Cruz on Saturday.
Unfortuntely for Mares he’s still fighting a bigger man who’s in the middle of his athletic prime, while Mares is hitting the age that boxers tend to show signs of slipping.
It seems likely that Santa Cruz will get a more convincing victory on Saturday night.
Abner Mares: “It’s Just A Matter Of The Best Facing The Best”
By: Sean Crose
“Making weight sucks,” Abner Mares tells me. “But you’ve got to have professionalism.” Professionalism will certainly be in order when the California based fighter has a rematch of his terrific 2015 bout against Leo Santa Cruz (airing live on Showtime June 9th from the Staples Center in Los Angeles). Mares lost on the cards the first time around, but has had two impressive wins since that time, against Jesus Cuellar and Andres Gutierrez respectively. Mares makes it clear that a fighter can lose support when he loses a fight. “The only way to really get them back,” he says, “is by impressing.” Mares has certainly impressed the right people over the past few years. The Santa Cruz rematch will be for the WBA super world featherweight title.
“I would hope so,” he says when I ask if he’s going to change his game plan for Santa Cruz this time around. “Of course, going in, I have to make a lot of changes.” Still, the 32-2-1Californain knows that a fight between he and Santa Cruz certainly isn’t going to be a boring affair. “We both have that style that’s unbreakable,” Mares says of he and his foe. “It’s difficult not to make it exciting.” As for Santa Cruz himself, Mares is generous. “He seems like a great person,” he says of his opponent, adding that the fight is “nothing personnel…it’s just a matter of the best facing the best.” As for the rumor that the winner of Santa Cruz-Mares II will move on to face Carl Frampton, Mares makes it clear that such things aren’t on his mind. “I’m not thinking of that,” he says.
As fight date nears, Mares is confident. “I have half the fight won already,” he says, “because I have a great corner.” And that corner comes courtesy of one Robert Garcia, former titlist turned esteemed trainer. A Garcia camp has a family feel to it, something Mares appreciates. “There’s always that respect,” he says of the way Garcia does things. “When there’s no respect, you don’t learn anything.” To Mares, boxing is something that regularly calls for growth, even when one has reached the heights he himself has. “It’s been tremendous,” he says. “You never stop learning with him (Garcia).”
Still, boxing can also be a struggle. “We’re at that state right now where we’re just cutting weight,” he states. Yet Mares also makes it clear that the struggle is worth it. “Walking into that ring…” he says thoughtfully, clearly still impacted by the rush it gives him after so many professional fights. “Boxing is my life,” he states, “and boxing is all I know what to do.” That doesn’t mean the man doesn’t have side projects, though. Promoting a fight of the magnitude of Santa Cruz-Mares II can be a job in its own right. There’s throwing the opening pitch at a Dodgers’ game, after all. “It was great,” he says of the experience. “I hadn’t thrown a baseball in years.” Indeed, Mares admits he’s “amazed” at how well he was able to throw a burner.
The fighter has also been spending time doing charitable work with young people. “I do that a lot,” he says. Mares recently hosted “Champions Day” for the LA Sheriff’s Department. “I’ve been part of this youth program for four years or more already,” he tells me. “A lot of people forget where they came from. I don’t.” Conversely, Mares isn’t forgetting where he wants to go. He’ll be the toast of boxing if bests Santa Cruz in their second go round, something he’s clearly confident of doing. The man is riding high right now (he admits to being “really pleased” with the work he did the last time he was in the ring). He’ll be riding even higher if his hand is raised in victory June 9th at LA’s Staple Center.
PBC on Fox Results: Santa Cruz and Mares Win by Stoppage, DeMarco Upsets Ramirez
By: William Holmes
The Stub Hub Center in Carson, California hosted tonight’s Premier Boxing Champions telecast live on the Fox Network.
Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares, two of the best featherweights in the sport, previously met in a closely contested bout that saw Santa Cruz emerge the victor.
Photo Credit: Erick Ramirez/Ringstar Sports
Both were angling for a possible rematch provided they were able to win tonight.
The first fight of the night was between Antonio DeMarco (32-6-1) and Eddie Ramirez (17-0) in the super lightweight division.
DeMarco, a southpaw, was a big step up in competition for Ramirez. Ramirez landed some good body shots early in the first round but DeMarco landed a right uppercut/left hook combination that hurt Ramirez zand had him back pedaling.
DeMarco stalked Ramirez around the ring and landed several hard blows on Ramirez by the corner. A right hook left uppercut combination by DeMarco on a badly hurt Ramirez by the ropes forced the referee to end the fight.
Antonio DeMarco wins by TKO at 1:56 of the first round.
Abner Mares (30-2-1) and Andres Gutierrez (25-1-1) met next for the WBA “Regular” Featherweight Title.
Mares started the fight off fast and landed several good combinations in the first round on a plodding Gutierrez. Gutierrez continued to come forward in the second round, but Mares was able to open up a cut by his left eye and aim at it for most of the round.
Mares’ continued to pummel Gutierrez in the third and fourth rounds, but Gutierrez displayed a granite chin and never appeared to be hurt. Mares was blinking a lot after some of Gutierrez’s jabs landed in the fifth round, but he was back to showing his dominance in the sixth and seventh rounds.
Gutierrez’s left eye was gushing blood in the eighth round and by the start of the ninth round Mares had already thrown 659 punches.
Gutierrez showed some signs of life at the end of the ninth round, but Mares stepped on the gas pedal n the tenth and had blood gushing from the eye of Gutierrez and even his left ear which forced the referee to stop the fight.
The referee ruled earlier that the cut was due to a clash of heads, so they went to the cards. Abner Mares wins by decision with scores of 100-90, 99-91, and 99-91.
The main event was between Leo Santa Cruz (33-1-1) and Chris Avalos (27-5) for the WBA “Super” Featherweight Title.
Santa Cruz connected early in the first round with a good overhand right and Avalos responded with some steam-less punches to the body of Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz was throwing and landing the better punches in the second round and mixed up his attacks to the body in the third. He stayed true to his pressure style of fighting.
The fourth round was violent, as Santa Cruz had Avalos badly hurt with his high volume punches in the middle of the ring but somehow still managed to throw back. He looked like he was about to go down, but never did.
Avalos was able to counter a little better in the fifth round, but Santa Cruz’s pressure firmly established control in the sixth. Santa Cruz showed no signs of slowing down in the seventh as he began to focus on the body of Avalos.
The end came in the eighth round was Santa Cruz was again tagging the iron chinned Avalos from corner to corner, before the referee jumped in to stop it.
Avalos bitterly complained to the referee, but he was getting soundly beaten.
Leo Santa Cruz wins by TKO at 1:34 of the eighth round.
PBC on Fox Preview: Santa Cruz vs. Avalos, Mares vs. Gutierrez
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) returns to Fox to telecast two bouts in the Fox network in the featherweight division.
The Stub Hub Center in Carson, California has been major venue for boxing on the west coast and will be the host site for Saturday’s card. The PBC actually has two televised cards this weekend as they will be showing three junior middleweight title bouts from New York on Showtime after the Fox telecast.
Photo Credit: Erick Ramirez/Ringstar Sports
The following is a preview of the two planned televised bouts on Fox.
Leo Santa Cruz (33-1-1) vs. Chris Avalos (27-5); WBA “Super” Featherweight Title
Leo Santa Cruz’s only professional loss was a close decision to Carl Frampton, but he was later able to avenge that loss in another close decision.
Santa Cruz will be facing an opponent on Saturday in which he should be a heavy favorite and win convincingly.
He’ll have a slight half an inch height advantage and about an inch in reach. He’s two years older than Avalos, but is still in his athletic prime since he’s only twenty nine years old.
Santa Cruz has been slightly more active than Avalos. He fought once in 2017, twice in 2017, and three times in 2015. Avalos fought once in 2017, once in 2017, and three times in 2015.
Santa Cruz also has a more distinguished amateur background than Avalos. He won the gold medal in the International Junior Olympics and the silver medal in the US National Championships.
Avalos does appear to have a slight edge in power. He has twenty stoppage victories while Santa Curz has eighteen. However, Avalos has gone 2-3 in his past five fights and three of his career losses have been by TKO/KO. His losses were to Mark Magsayo, Oscar Valdez, Carl Frampton, Jhonatan Romero, and Christopher Martin. Avalos has defeated the likes of Jose Nieves, Khabir Suleymanov, Yenifel Vicente, Drian Francisco, and Miguel Flores.
Santa Cruz’s lone defeat was the Carl Frampton, who he defeated in a rematch. He has also defeated the likes of Kiko Martinez, Abner Marez, Cesar Ceda, Vitor Terrazas, and eric Morel.
All of the physicals and all of the intangibles favor Santa Cruz. It’s difficult to imagine him losing this bout.
Abner Mares (30-2-1) v. Andres Gutierrez (25-1-1); WBA “Regular” Featherweight Title
Abner Mares fought Leo Santa Cruz in 2015 and lost to him. If he’s able to beat Gutierrez on Saturday he’ll likely get a rematch against Santa Cruz.
Mares is thirty one years old and seven years older than Gutierrez. Gutierrez will have about an inch and a half in height and about an inch in reach on Mares. Gutierrez will also have the power advantage. He has stopped 68% of his opponents with 25 KO/TKOs. Mares has stopped 45% of his opponents with 15 KO/TKOs.
Mares has the edge in amateur experience. He was a silver medalist in the World Junior Championships and competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics for Mexico. Gutierrez has no notable amateur accomplishments.
Mares losses were to Jhonny Gonzalez and Leo Santa Cruz. He has defeated the likes of Jesus Cuellar, Jonathan Oquendo, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Eric More, Joseph Agbeko, Anselmo Moreno, and Vic Darchinyan.
Gutierrez professional resume pales in comparison to Mares. Gutierrez has competed mainly in Mexico and lost to a past his prime Cristian Mijares. Gutierrez’s notable wins have come against Wallington Orobio, Daniel Diaz, and Salvador Sanchez.
Gutierrez age and power could give Mares problems, as Mares power has not followed him as he has moved up weight classes. But Mares technical boxing superiority and experience fighting on national television should give him an overall edge to emerge victorious on Saturday.
Showtime Championship Boxing Preview: Anthony Joshua vs. Eric Molina, Cuellar vs. Mares, Charlo vs. Williams
Showtime Championship Boxing Preview: Anthony Joshua vs. Eric Molina, Cuellar vs. Mares, Charlo vs. Williams
By: William Holmes
Showtime will be televising three world title fights on Saturday from two separate locations. The first bout they will be showing is an IBF Heavyweight Title Bout between Anthony Joshua and Eric Molina in Manchester, England. Coincidentally, HBO will also be showing a heavyweight title bout around the same time.
The other two bouts they will be showing is a WBA Featherweight Title bout between Jesus Cuellar and Abner Mares, as well as a very intriguing IBF Junior Middleweight Title bout between Jermall Charlo and Julian Williams.
Two of the three bouts should be very competitive and intriguing bouts, with only the heavyweight bout having a clear and hands down favorite.
The following is a preview of all three world title bouts.
Anthony Joshua (17-0) vs. Eric Molina (25-3); IBF Heavyweight Title
Of the three world title fights that Showtime is televising, this is by far, the biggest mismatch.
Eric Molina is thirty four years old and seven years older than his opponent. He will be giving up three inches in reach and two inches in height. He also has three knockout losses and will be facing an opponent that has defeated every single boxer he’s faced as a professional by stoppage.
Molina does have nineteen knockouts, but he was unable to stop nine of his opponents.
Anthony Joshua has been very active in the past two years. He has already fought twice in 2016 and fought five times in 2015. Molina fought once in 2016 and three times in 2015.
Joshua has the edge in amateur experience. He won the gold medal in the Super Heavyweight division in 2012. Joshua will also be fighting in front of a friendly crowd in Manchester, England.
The only reason Molina is fighting Joshua is because he scored a huge upset over the veteran Tomasz Adamek in his last fight in Adamek’s home country of Poland. However, his list of notable victories is short. His biggest wins have come against Adamek, DaVarryl Williamson, and Tony Grano. He has lost, by stoppage, to Deontay Wilder, Chris Arreola, and Ashanti Jordan.
Joshua has defeated the likes of Dominic Breazeale, Charles Martin, Dillian Whyte, Gary Cornish, and Kevin Johnson.
Every single victory that Joshua has earned has come by way of stoppage. Every single loss that Molina has suffered has come by way of stoppage.
The expectations are that those trends will continue.
Jesus Cuellar (28-1) vs. Abner Mares (29-2-1); WBA Featherweight Title
Abner Mares has had recent issues with his eyes and it has been questioned if he should ever fight again.
Mares is a good boxer, but he’s a former bantamweight world champion and is likely fighting in a higher weight class than he should be.
Mares will be giving up an inch and a half in height to Jesus Cuellar and will be giving up two inches in reach. Cuellar also has the edge in power. He has twenty one stoppage victories, all at a higher weight class than what Mares is used to competing in. Mares’ power hasn’t followed him as he’s gone up in weight classes but he still has fifteen stoppage victories.
Mares is two years older than Cuellar, but has been in the ring with some of the best bantamweights the sport of boxing has to offer. His losses were to Leo Santa Cruz and Jhonny Gonzlaez. He has defeated the likes of Daniel Ponce De Leon, Jonathan Oquendo, Anselmo Moreno, Eric Morel, Joseph Agbeko, and Vic Darchinyan.
Cuellar hasn’t fought the same level of competition that Mares has fought as a professional, but he still has an impressive resume. He has defeated Jonathan Oquendo, Vic Darchinyan, Ruben Tamayo, Juan Manuel Lopez, and Rico Ramos. His lone loss was in 2011 to Oscar Escandon.
The biggest question mark about Cuellar on Saturday will be ring rust. He had no fights in 2016 and will be in the ring with an experienced opponent.
Mares does have the edge in amateur experience. Cuellar experienced some success in regional tournaments as an amateur, but Mares represented Mexico in the 2004 Olympics.
Mares career appears to be on the downside of his career. He’s good enough to make the fight competitive and close with Cuellar, but Cuellar is the naturally bigger boxer and should be considered the favorite.
Jermall Charlo (24-0) vs. Julian Williams (22-0-1); IBF Junior Middleweight Title
If you talk to anyone involved in the Philadelphia boxing scene, they will tell you that Julian “J-Rock” Williams is one of Philadelphia’s best boxers and has the potential to be a world champion.
That reputation may have hurt Williams’ chances at securing a title shot as he has been avoided by many the past two years, but he’ll get his first chance at a world title against a very dangerous champion.
Jermall Charlo, one half of the Charlo twins, is the same age as Williams but will have a one inch height and a one inch reach advantage over Williams. He also has more knockout victories. He has stopped eighteen of the boxers he’s faced while Williams has only stopped fourteen.
They both had good amateur careers, but neither can claim any international amateur success.
Charlo has the more impressive professional resume. He has defeated the likes of Austin Trout, Wilky Campfort, Cornelius Bundrage, and Antwone Smith. Two of Charlo’s past four fights were stoppage victories.
Williams has had trouble attracting a top name opponent into the ring with him, but he has beaten fighters such as Marcello Matano, Luciano Leonel Cuello, Joey Hernandez, Freddy Hernandez, and Joachim Alcine. However, William’s power appears to be improving as he has stop four of his past five opponents.
Everything on paper appears to suggest that Charlo should be the favorite on Saturday, but Williams has been avoided for a reason, and this writer believes Williams will win the IBF Junior Middleweight Title on Saturday.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Cuellar, Mares, Lopez, Webster, Crawford, Beltran, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Cuellar, Mares, Lopez, Webster, Crawford, Beltran, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 29th to December 6th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Cuellar, Mares, and Lopez Media Workout Quotes
Featherweight world champion Jesus Cuellar and former three-division world champion Abner Mares participated in a media workout in Los Angeles Tuesday in advance of their long awaited showdown taking place Saturday, December 10 from Galen Center in USC in Los Angeles and live on SHOWTIME.
Also in attendance Tuesday at City of Angels Boxing was former title challenger and local fan favorite Josesito Lopez, who competes in a welterweight bout on the undercard. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and features junior middleweight world champion Jermall Charlo taking on top-rated challenger Julian Williams in a battle of undefeated rising stars in their prime.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and are priced at $35, $50, $75, $150 and $200. To purchase tickets go to www.galentix.com.
Here is what the participants had to say Tuesday:
“The fight is here and I’m ready to step in the ring. I have defended my title six times already and I want to be the best in the division. He’s one of the best and I’m willing to challenge him.
“This is an important fight that I’ve wanted for a long time. It’s an important fight for my career and to prove to everyone how good I am.
“Abner Mares is a high level fighter. I have to beat him to reach the next level of this sport. That’s what I’m preparing to do.
“You’re going to see everything I’ve learned on December 10. I love to train hard and I’ve improved greatly as a fighter. I’m going to put it all together in the ring.
“There’s no pressure for me coming into this fight. I know that I’m in his backyard but I have the people of Argentina behind me. This is going to be a really good fight.
“I’m ready to go to war. I know Abner is ready and he has a goal in his mind. I’m ready to do what I have to do in the ring.
“It’s been almost a year. We came here in January to fight Mares and now the time is almost here to accomplish our goal.
“I have to go out there and do my job. I’m going to show Abner a lot of different things. I have a lot more skills than people give me credit for. It will all be on display in the ring.
“I know that I’m going to be at 100 percent. I’m more confident now than I’ve ever been that I’m prepared for this fight and I’m going to win.
“Freddie Roach is getting the best out of me. He knows what I like to do and he knows how to correct my mistakes. He’s doing a really good job in training camp.
“I’m working to go 12 rounds and end the night with a victory for Argentina. I came here to achieve a great victory for my country.”
“I’m so happy and excited to be fighting in Los Angeles and in my backyard again. SHOWTIME is the reason I’m famous.
“On paper I thought that Cuellar is probably going to be toughest, strongest fighter I’ve been in with. I can’t say for sure because we haven’t fought yet. But I know that he is a strong, powerful champion who is coming in to keep his title.
“There’s always a reason behind something bad that happens. In this case, me not being able to fight twice (due to postponements), it just gave me the opportunity to get to know Robert even better. I’ve had a whole year leading up to this fight. You will see a difference in me. I’m very eager and excited to fight.
“It’s going to be a tremendous fight. I think Cuellar only has one style, and that’s to rely on his power punches. He’s a come forward type of fighter that seems to always be looking for the knockout. But I’ve been known to give a fight too and make for great fights.
“My plan is to make the fight as easy for myself as possible. I feel I have the tools to give him different looks that maybe he hasn’t seen before against a fighter of my talents. For me to win another world title would mean the world to me. It would be an early Christmas present for me, my family and my friends.
“Coach Robert Garcia brings the discipline and the demanding voice of a trainer. We have to do things his way and I like that. It’s bringing the best out of me. I’m really excited for this fight.
“Fighting in my hometown of LA, I feel like I have the home field advantage. I don’t feel any pressure at all. I feel like I’m in as good of shape as I can be and there will be no ring rust. I’ve actually had three training camps for this fight, after postponements in March and June.
“If you look at Cuellar he looks much naturally bigger. But we’re both going to weigh just about the same at the weigh-in. He has to make the same weight as I do. I felt a little bit of pressure before the Leo Santa Cruz fight, but none this time.
“Bringing in Robert Garcia has been a great thing for me. He’s brought a lot of experience and he’s one of the best coaches out there. I can’t wait to show the fans what I’ve learned from Robert.”
“I’ve been anxious to get in there but I’m ready now and excited to get back to doing what I love. I healed up from some injuries that I suffered. Now that I’m fully healed I have felt the power returning and it’s time to go.
“The most important thing is that I’m 100 percent ready mentally and physically. I’ll be right there in the ring on December 10.
“This is my first quiz in going back to school and working my way toward a world title. I’m back in the gym and putting everything together so that I can use it in the ring.
“I am going to be smart and work hard in the ring. I know I have to make the key adjustments during a fight that will make the difference when I meet the elite fighters.
“Just a few months ago when I sparred for the first time in a while, I realized I missed getting hit. Why? Because I love the chance to hit back. Even just having the Vaseline back on my face was something I missed. I’ve probably watched more boxing than I had in my entire life since I’ve been gone.”
“This absence has brought back the fire in me. There are several titles that are accessible to many guys in my division. I know I’m right there and I just need to take the right steps to get to that point.
“I have undivided attention in training camp with Robert Garcia and I’ve worked very hard to get myself ready. I feel like I’m still improving and getting better.
“I’m really excited to get back in the ring. I can hardly wait. There’s nothing I love more than performing for my fans. I’m going to do what I always do, which is make sure the fans see a great fight when I’m in the ring.”
Split-T Management Signs Antonio Vargas
Split-T Management is pleased to announce the signing of another member of the 2016 United States Olympic Team, Antonio Vargas to a managerial contract..
Vargas of Kissimmee, Florida was the Flyweight representative for the 2016 U.S. Team.
“I have known Split-T Management’s David McWater for several years. The people I know told me a lot of positive things about him. He showed me he was a good person and the man who can manage my career the way it should be,” said Vargas.
Said Split-T Management’s David McWater, “Antonio is just a special kid. Of course he has all the talent and physical tools, but he is so much more than that. He’s got incredible focus and determination. Not to mention, he is always very classy. I wanted to represent him since the first time that I saw him at the National Golden Gloves, and I know he will be a world champion.”
He was considered one of the best pound for pound fighters on the squad, and the most successful amateur of the team heading into the games. He was a U.S. Youth Open champion, U.S. National Elite champion, two-time National Golden Gloves champion and won the Gold Medal at the Pan American Games at the age of 18. Those accomplishments led him to be named the 2015 USA Boxing Male Athlete of the Year.
In the 2016 Olympics, Vargas lost to eventual Gold medal winner Shakhobibdin Zoirov of Uzbekistan.
Vargas will turn professional at either 115 or 118 pounds and his handlers believe that he will fight up to junior lightweight before his career is complete.
Vargas has a very exciting style, and he has taken traits from some of the best fighters in the world that he feels makes him a complete fighter.
“I would compare my style to Manny Pacquiao, Vasyl Lomachenko, and going back a bit, Orlando Canizales because all three had fast hands and feet with the ability to stop on a dime and unleash powerful shots to the head and body that can get you out of there.”
Vargas began boxing at age nine.
“I had ADHD, and was a very hyper kid that was always fighting and getting into trouble,” said Vargas. “One of my teachers actually told my parents to put me on medication. My father instead brought me to the boxing in gym in hopes it would help me burn a lot of energy and tire me out.”
“I told my teacher that I was on medication but it was actually boxing that helped calm me down so I could focus on my studies and stay out of trouble.”
As Vargas grew older, boxing became more of a future then just an activity.
“I won a lot of state tournaments, but when I won the US Youth Open Tournament at age 16, I realized I could make boxing my career. I was undefeated for 4 years, which I won several gold medals at the National Golden Gloves, U.S National Championships and Pan American Games.”
Vargas believes that all of his international experience will help him in the pros because he was exposed to the many different styles of boxing, and now he is extremely motivated due to his Olympic experience.
“The Olympics did not go as I wanted. I lost to the eventual gold medal winner. The loss made me real hungry and now I train harder than I ever did before because I want to be the best.”
“I plan on turning professional as either a junior bantamweight or bantamweight and win world championships in four different weight divisions. I am going to achieve greatness while glorifying Jesus Christ and to spread his word.
Derrick Webster to Return on Zab Judah Card
Fresh off a dominant TKO victory of Zoltan Sera last month in Philadelphia, Derrick “Take it to the Bank” Webster (21-1, 11 KOs) will make a return to the ring on Jan. 21st at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, N.J. Standing opposite him that night will be Thomas Awimbono (25-5-1, 21 KOs), with the IBO Super Middleweight Championship on the line.
“I am extremely excited because it has been a few years since the last time I fought in New Jersey,” the Glassboro native stated. “Just being able to fight back in New Jersey feels good. I really have to take my hat off to the amount of supporters who have already committed to coming out to this fight.”
With the IBO Super Middleweight Championship on the line, Webster says that the intensity surrounding this camp is already at an extreme level.
“My trainers and I have really kicked it into high gear,” he remarked. “(Head trainer) Denny Brown and (assistant) Robert Rossi are already pushing me to my limits. In order to be a champion, you have to train like a champion. I am so hungry for this right now, and all I can think about is the amount of sacrifices that I have made to get to this point. This shot here, I am taking it by the horns, and we are going to ride it all night long. This boy is going to have hell to pay. It might be a 10-round fight, but I really don’t know if it is going to make it the distance.”
A newly married man, Webster quickly put to rest any concerns regarding his mental focus in his last fight, where he knocked down Sera three times before a referee stoppage in the 5th round.
“With me getting married in September, so many people questioned whether or not I would be the same guy,” he said. “I found out about my last fight at the wedding. We were supposed to go on a month-long honeymoon, and I shut my honeymoon down to start preparing for the fight. If that’s not sacrifice and determination, I don’t know what is. I wanted to make a statement that in 2017 I am going to be a problem, period. I don’t want any .500 fighters or guys with bad records. I never wanted any fighters like that, but I just fought who they put in front of me. With this last guy, it had to start with him in terms of what I am trying to accomplish in 2017.”
The card on Jan. 21st is being promoted by Renee Aiken, someone who has been a consistent ally of Webster throughout his career.
“Going into the last fight, I had every intention of staying busy afterwards,” Webster confirmed. “Right after we took care of business with our last opponent, I immediately started looking for another card. I reached out to Renee Aiken about a spot on one of her future cards, and she helped us get this fight locked up. I just really wanted to stay busy after the last fight to keep the momentum going.”
Webster vs. Awimbono will be the co-feature bout on the Jan. 21st card, with former four-time world champion Zab Judah making his return to boxing in the main event.
“I met Zab Judah when I was in camp with Jean Pascal a few years ago,” Webster recollected. “Above all things, he is a great person. He is a four-time world champion, and that is such a huge accomplishment. I always said I was the main event, even when I have not been fighting in the main event. I always wanted to be the most exciting fighter on the card. But for me to get to share the stage with a guy of his stature, that means a whole lot to me. I’m a southpaw, he’s a southpaw. In my book, I’m calling this night the southpaw showdown. I am excited to see Zab once again, and I am going to bring him to the ring in unbelievable fashion. I am going to handle my business, and then I am going to sit back and watch Zab do his thing.”
Menard Ready for Beltran on Crawford vs. Molina Card
Rayne, Louisiana’s “Rock Hard Mighty” Mason Menard (32-1, 24 KOs) knows he’s in for a tough challenge when he makes the first defense of his WBO NABO Lightweight Championship against fellow top-10 contender Ray Beltran (31-7-1, 19 KOs) of Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday, December 10, at CenturyLink Center Omaha in Omaha, Neb.
The 10-round Menard vs. Beltran lightweight showdown will serve as the middle bout of an HBO World Championship Boxing tripleheader (9:35 p.m. ET/PT) that will open with the same-day delay telecast of the Joseph Parker vs. Andy Ruiz, Jr. WBO heavyweight championship in New Zealand.
Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with TGB Promotions, the exciting event will be headlined by undefeated World Junior Welterweight Champion and top-rated pound-for-pound fighter TERENCE “Bud” CRAWFORD (29-0, 20 KOs), of Omaha, Neb., making the first defense of his unified World Boxing Organization (WBO) / World Boxing Council (WBC) /Ring magazine 140-pound world titles against one-time world title challenger and current No. 1 contender JOHN MOLINA JR. (29-6, 23 KOs), from Covina, Calif.
Remaining reserved seat tickets to the Crawford – Molina world championship event, priced at $27, $52, $77 and $127, can be purchased at the CenturyLink Center Omaha box office and all Ticketmaster outlets.
To charge-by-phone call (800) 745-3000. To order online, visit ticketmaster.com.
“I know Beltran has been around a long time and he’s fought at the top level many times. He is very tough and I know he will bring it,” said Menard.
The 28-year-old Menard punched his way into world contention this year with a pair of high-profile knockouts. In April of this year, he scored one for the highlight reels by starching formerly undefeated Eudy Bernardo with one punch in round three.
Then in August, he returned with another KO, this time against well-regarded Uzbekistani Bahodir Mamadjonov in the ninth round.
“2016 has been a great year for me,” he continued. “I’ve had two consecutive KO’s on national television and one is a candidate for ‘Knockout of the Year.’ I also won an award from the WBO in Puerto Rico. Now this fight has fallen into my lap and I will make the best of this opportunity.”
Another impressive victory for Menard would land him in world title contention… a fact not lost on the excited slugger. “Landing this fight is big for me and my career. A win here should put me in position to fight for a world title next. It should open doors me and make me a serious contender in the lightweight division.”
Menard is taking this tough challenge on relatively short notice, but says he’s in great shape and will be fully prepared for battle on December 10. “Yes, I am ready. I was already training to fight December 15. It’s now or never. I believe God has blessed me with this fight because I’ve been praying for a big one to get me to the next level.”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Ward, Pacquiao, Mares, Cuellar, Farmer, Joshua, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Ward, Pacquiao, Mares, Cuellar, Farmer, Joshua, and more….
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 25th to November 1st, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Squint Photo/Roc Nation Sports
Andre Ward Workout Quotes
“I feel that this fight with Kovalev is 50-50. That’s how I approach all of my big fights. I don’t go into the fight thinking, ‘I’ve got a clear-cut advantage here’ or ‘I’ve got to run through this guy.’ Personally, for me, I can’t roll like that. I’ve got to keep myself honest, stay on my grind, keep my head down and force myself to keep working. I truly believe Kovalev is everything they say he is, and I’m everything that I’ve shown over the years.
“There are always different game plans, nuances, different things you’re working on but I respect every fight that I fight. I don’t get caught up in the whole puncher thing, anybody can get you out of there if you get hit right. I don’t think I’d be sitting here in this position right now if I hadn’t had these highs and lows. We’ve got to find a way to get it done, and we’re going to find a way to get it done. I don’t care what he’s got in his gloves, who he’s knocked out or what he’s done. My job is to get my hand raised, and that’s what we’re focused on.
“I have days where I do some type of cardio in the morning – sprints, distant running – then go back to training camp to get some rest and eat. Then we come to the gym and spar and hit the heavy bag. It’s a monotonous process when you’re in training camp, and that’s pretty much every day. Of course we take days off to rest the body and be smart, but it’s really the same thing every day. As you get closer, you start to pull back a little bit so you don’t over train. That’s normally the week of the fight, so up until the Saturday before the fight, you’re full steam ahead. 100 miles an hour.
“Typically, Virgil and I will go through our process together. He watches a lot more film than I do. He’s up until 3:00 a.m. or 4:00 a.m. watching film. As I’ve gotten older, I watch less film. I don’t need to see 10 fights to see tendencies and certain things. I know what I need to see. I may go back and watch a round here and there, but I try and leave room for my instincts. I’m very instinctual. You’ve got to be able to think on the fly thinking on the highest level. I leave room for that. It’s not a checklist you go down. You can’t get into a ring thinking like that. I just believe that who I am and what I have is enough, and that’s what I’m standing on.
“Having young guys like Shakur Stevenson around, it starts to make me feel old because I used to be that guy at Roy Jones’s camp, Floyd Mayweather’s camp, hanging around Bernard Hopkins. You see yourself in them. It’s a little weird, because you’re like, ‘man, now I’m the OG.’ But it’s also a beautiful thing because we need more of that. We need champions and top contenders and just fighters in general to open up the door and allow the young guys on the way to be shown how it’s done.
“I’m honored for Claressa Shields to say that I am her idol. I admire her story, what she’s come from, and think that she’s amazing in the ring. She’s the real deal. I watch her, I pick up things from her. For her to have two Gold medals is amazing. For her to make her pro debut on this fight card is a beautiful, beautiful thing. I think it’s a perfect situation.
“It’s a beautiful thing to be fighting in Vegas. I’m excited. What better time than now in this stage in my career. I’m just excited to continue to prepare so I can do my part to give the fans their money’s worth, those that pay to be there and those paying to watch it. That’s what I’m focused on, and I’m extremely happy to be a part of it. T-Mobile is a new arena, and a new chapter, and to be a part of it is a beautiful thing.”
Manny Pacquiao Workout Quotes
Boxing’s only eight division world champion and the reigning Fighter of the Decade Senator MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO, held a media workout on Wednesday at Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif.
Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs), from General Santos City, Philippines, is in the final week of training for his world championship collision with World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight world champion JESSIE VARGAS (27-1, 10 KOs), of Las Vegas. In just nine days they will go mano a mano and toe-to-toe in a high-stakes welterweight showdown. While Pacquiao will be looking to become a three-time WBO welterweight champion as well as the first senator to win a world title, Vargas will be resolute in enforcing a term limit on the future Hall of Famer’s boxing career.
Here is what Manny had to say:
“It took discipline to manage my time effectively … to balance my training camp and my Senatorial duties. I feel good. Every day I was able to get in all my training. I ran every morning and did my strength and conditioning with Justin Fortune. I worked with Freddie every evening at the gym after work. There were some days where I would have to come in later if my work in the Senate demanded I stay longer. Between the two “jobs,” I was averaging 14-hour workdays. Luckily the gym was very close to the Senate so I didn’t have to deal with traffic. I had no real free time to be with friends.
“I am now well-rested. I arrived in U.S. on Saturday evening and today I feel I have recovered from my jetlag. I sparred six rounds yesterday [Tuesday with Ray Beltran]. I will spar Thursday, Saturday and Monday before driving to Las Vegas.
“We have three different plans for Jessie Vargas. My first concern is for the fans; that the people who are going to watch the fight will be happy and satisfied. I want this to be a fight for fans to remember
“I am fighting for history. I was the first sitting congressman to win a world title. For this one, it is not enough to be the first sitting senator to fight for a world title, I want to be the first senator to become world champion. For me, that would be quite an accomplishment.
“I want to prove that I am still one of the best pound-for-pound fighters. I feel I still have a lot to prove. I am not done with boxing. I will continue to keep fighting as long as I love boxing and boxing still loves me. I do not feel old. I feel like I am still 27.
“I do not underestimate Jessie Vargas. He is a good strong champion. You cannot fight at this level and be successful by underestimating your opponent. Every opponent gets my full attention and respect. I respect Jessie and that is why I trained hard. This is the most important fight because it will determine the direction of my boxing career. I need to win convincingly.
“In boxing the fight is in the ring is for the enjoyment of the fans. In the Senate, the fight is for improving the quality of life of the Philippine citizens. Being a senator is inspiring work.
“I have spent more than 100 million [pesos] on building houses for the less fortunate [over 1,000 houses…Manny purchased the lots and built and gave away the homes and lots]
“Winning world titles in eight divisions is not that easy. I am so blessed to be a part of boxing history by winning them. That is not me boasting. I am just happy to be a part of the history of boxing.
“I enjoy politics because I do not have a hidden agenda. I serve honestly. That’s a good thing for me because I’m not ashamed to tell the truth. I’m not ashamed to rebuke someone if they are doing wrong. Government is for serving the people, not for serving oneself.”
Anthony Joshua to Defend Title Against Molina on December 10th
Anthony Joshua MBE is set to defend his IBF World Heavyweight title against Eric Molina at the Manchester Arena on December 10, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on Showtime in the U.S.
Joshua puts his crown on the line for the second time and fights his third American in a row having destroyed Charles Martin inside two rounds to rip the title from the St. Louis man in April at The O2 in London and then stopping Dominic Breazeale in the seventh round at the same venue in June, extending his unbeaten run in the paid ranks to 17 wins, all inside the distance.
Molina becomes the latest man to attempt to derail the Olympic Gold medal hero, the Texan is looking to get his hands on the top prize in his second World title tilt after challenging Deontay Wilder for the WBC crown in June 2015. The 34-year-old enters the bout full of confidence after travelling to Poland and knocking out Tomasz Adamek in the tenth round of their clash for the IBF Inter-Continental strap in April.
“I am pleased that everything is now set for December 10 and I can concentrate on getting the business done in the ring,” said Joshua. “There has been plenty of talk about who I may face but all I’m doing is concentrating on finishing Molina in style and putting on a great show.
“Every fight is dangerous in this division and this is no exception. I saw Molina have a great fight with Wilder and he is now coming off a strong KO win against Adamek in Poland.
“I’m expecting this to be the toughest fight of my career so far and I will be ready for an all-out war.”
“There is no Heavyweight in the world that has bounced back like I have,” said Molina. “That’s the man that Joshua faces on December 10 and that man is a very dangerous one.
“He’ll fight the toughest Molina that anybody has ever seen, just like Adamek fought the toughest Molina.
“I’m confident. These type of fights don’t shake me up, I’m a very strong mental fighter. I know exactly what I’ve got to do to prepare myself in the amount of time. I know exactly what I’ve got to do, mentally, physically, to go there and perform.
“When you walk out into the atmosphere, half the battle is the mental battle, and if you can stay in the moment mentally you have a shot in any fight.”
There’s a huge card in support of the main event as Dillian Whyte defends his British Heavyweight title against bitter London rival Dereck Chisora in an official eliminator for the WBC title. Whyte makes the second defence of his strap after seeing off fellow Brixton man Ian Lewison in Glasgow last month, while former World title challenger Chisora can get his hands on the Lord Lonsdale belt for the second time.
Scott Quigg returns to action after treatment on his broken jaw following his unification blockbuster with Carl Frampton, and the Bury star moves up to Featherweight as he looks to regain his status as a World champion.
Kal Yafai can become Birmingham’s first World champion but the unbeaten 27 year old faces a tough task to rip the WBA Super-Flyweight title against Luis Concepcion, the two-weight World champion that will enter the ring in his 11th World title outing.
Irish amateur sensation Katie Taylor boxes for the second time in the paid ranks after making her pro debut at The SSE Arena, Wembley on November 26, Heavyweight wrecking ball ‘King Kong’ Luis Ortiz fights in Europe for the second time after clashing with Malik Scott in Monte-Carlo on November 12 and Hosea Burton will defend his British Light-Heavyweight title against Frank Buglioni.
“The Heavyweight division has been turned on its head in the last few months and while many are standing still waiting, I’m delighted to get this huge card up and running in Manchester,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.
Tevon Farmer to Defend NABF Title on December 2nd
Junior lightweight Tevin Farmer, considered by many to be among the best in the world at 130 pounds, makes the first defense of his North American Boxing Federation (NABF) title when he faces Dardan Zenunaj on Friday evening, Dec. 2, at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.
The Farmer-Zenunaj 10-rounder tops another Philly Fight Night eight-bout card which begins at 7pm.
Farmer, 26, of North Philadelphia, is unbeaten in his last 16 fights and looking to get a shot at a world title in 2017. He is ranked as high as No. 5 by the World Boxing Council (WBC) and he is fresh off an eight-round decision against Orlando Rizo, of Managua, Nicaragua, last month in the same ring.
Earlier this year, Farmer (left) captured the vacant NABF 130-pound title with a 10-round decision over Mexico’s Gamaliel Diaz. He followed that this summer with the biggest win of his six-year career when he thoroughly trounced Ivan Redkach, of Los Angeles, CA, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, registering a near shutout over 10 rounds.
“This is another fight to put me closer to a world title shot,” Farmer said. “A win should set me up for a title opportunity early in 2017. After December 2, I’m looking to face even bigger names. I don’t care who they put in front of me, but first I have to get past my opponent at the 2300 Arena.”
“Tevin Farmer has rebuilt himself into a legit world title contender and is on the verge of a major fight in 2017,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “However, on December 2, he will have his hands full against the aggressive brawler Dardan Zenunaj in a bout that promises to deliver fireworks. I’m happy to be co-promoting this terrific bout with my old friend, Hall-of-Famer and promotional mentor J Russell Peltz.”
Zenunaj (right), 29, is originally from Albania. He turned pro in Belgium and now fights out of Oxnard, CA. A pro for five years, he has a 12-2 record (9 KOs) since turning pro in 2011. Zenunaj won the Belgian featherweight title in his seventh fight and two years ago he captured the World Boxing Association (WBA) International junior lightweight title when he knocked out Karim Chakim, of France, in nine rounds.
The seven-bout undercard includes a terrific pair of six-round fights.
Former cruiserweight world-title challenger Garrett Wilson, of South Philadelphia, goes against stylish Lamont Capers, of Hawley, PA, in one six-rounder. The other features a pair of rising Philadelphia lightweight prospects—Avery Sparrow and Steven Ortiz–in the kind of old-fashioned early career showdowns that made Philly a great fight town.
Also returning are junior middleweight Isaiah Wise, welterweight Hasan Young and the local debut of Russian flyweight Basyzbek Barartov.
Taras Shelestyuk Quotes Before ShoBox Main Event
What are your thoughts going into the fight?
“I’m very excited. It’s been six months since my last fight. It’s my first headline fight and hopefully not my last one.
“I’ve been putting in a lot of work in my training camp with my trainer Eric Brown, and with my physical conditioning coach. My opponent is a tough fighter. He’s had some good fights with guys like Mike Jones, Egidijus Kavaliauskas and a couple of other big guys. He likes to fight and I think it will be a good fight and a good matchup for our styles.”
You’re now a ranked fighter; are you happy with the pace of your progression?
“I’m happy with my progression but of course I want to fight bigger names in championship fights and all of that. I know it’s coming soon. I enjoy my way of training and developing my skills, but if you see your dream you do anything to reach it and don’t let anything get in your way.”
What do you think of the welterweight division?
“It’s a very good division because there are a lot of fighters, but some don’t want to fight each other (very often). There are some very good championship fights to be made and hopefully I will be one of them.”
Why did you chose to move to Southern California?
“Well, [laughs] mainly because if the great weather, but this is also a good area with a lot of good fighters and a lot of good trainers as well. When I first moved here my manager invited me out and showed me around and I got in the gym right away. I was training with Ruslan Provodnikov and got some sparring in with him before a fight that he had and next thing you know, two weeks later I had my pro debut and now three-and-a-half years later here I am.”
Is there pressure on you when you fight?
“I wouldn’t say I feel pressure because everyone around me is supporting me, they believe in me and I believe in them. My team believes in me and I trust them. I just want to do what I do in the ring, better. I want to do better for me, for my family and for my friends.”
Do you follow your Olympic teammates?
“I watch fights of the Ukrainian Olympic Team, and I enjoy when the other guys win. We support each other and we call each other. It is good for there to be more Ukraine fighters who are champions now. Next year, I hope to be one of them.”
How did it feel going 10 rounds for the first time?
“Last year in November I had my first 10-round fight on ShoBox, I fought with a strong guy and he gave me a very good fight. I went the 10 rounds and I felt like I could still go two more. I am ready for 10, for 12, it doesn’t matter. I feel much better, much more powerful. I have more speed than I had in my last fight, too.”
How did you end up training with Eric?
“I trained with Freddie Roach for about two and a half years when I met Eric at Wild Card West Gym. I started sparring with some of his guys there. After my fight with Rodriguez on ESPN in 2015 I asked Eric to train me and we started working. Now that I’ve fought two fights with him as my trainer, I feel my boxing skills are better, I feel more powerful and I enjoy training in his gym.
“All of the trainers help us and they give us advice. On the days I spar with Shane Mosley he stops and gives me some advice. I learn a lot from him, being the fighting legend that he is. I grew up watching him fight as a kid and respect what he’s able to teach me. Then the next time I try what he has taught me and it works.”
Boxing is in your blood; your dad and brother boxed. When you were younger, did you think you were going to become a fighter?
“No, but my father pushed me in a lot of sports. I did gymnastics, soccer for five years, and played chess. I fought as a kid but it was always friendly. I always enjoyed the training aspect. To train for soccer sometimes my father and I would run barefoot in the snow and I enjoyed it. So, as a kid, when I first stepped into the boxing gym, it was just so much fun.”
Your ShoBox fight falls on your father’s birthday; do you have a special present in mind for him?
“It makes me want to get the victory for him. On his day, he will be sitting and watching my fight so I want to get that victory for him, for my family and for the Ukraine.”
Mares vs. Cuellar Press Conference Quotes
“I’ve been wanting to fight Mares for about two years. It’s finally going to happen. This is what I want. I’m going to make a statement.
“I’m very happy that this fight is finally here. I can’t wait to get in the ring on December 10. I’m thankful for the opportunity. I know Mares is popular in Los Angeles, but I have a following as well and they will be there to support me.
“I’m training very hard and feeling physically strong. We never stopped training for this fight. Mares will come prepared for a war and I hope that’s what the fight is like. It’s going to prove who has the bigger heart.
“I’ve been training with Freddie Roach for about four months. It’s been a great partnership and he will make me even better than I’ve been. We’ve been practicing really hard. Freddie is handing me the tools to go to work. You will see all my experience come together on fight night.
“Mares is a great fighter. He’s been a champion for many years. He’s never faced an opponent like me. This will be his hardest challenge.
“I’m sure Mares will give it his all, just like I will. I’ve been dreaming about this fight for years. This will be a great battle, but I am prepared to take my belt back to Argentina.
“This is the most important fight of my career. I’m planning on knocking him out. I know that big things are going to come my way after I beat Mares.”
“This is going to be a smarter Abner Mares. I’ve been learning a lot with Robert Garcia. They gave us a year to train and learn together. He’s a knowledgeable coach. He’s not just a guy who works mitts. This is the real deal. He gets you better and I’m really happy with him.
“I want to thank Cuellar and his team for waiting for this fight to come to fruition. I really appreciate that as a person. It’s finally here.
“I was actually commentating the Stiverne vs. Arreola fight at Galen Center and it was a great atmosphere. The environment there is incredible and I was just imagining being up in the ring as the main event.
“I want the winner of the Frampton vs. Santa Cruz rematch. I want to continue to fight the best. I want to be known as a guy who fights the best.
“Being on the big stage like this has made me what I am. Being on the bantamweight tournament on SHOWTIME really started to show people what my style is like. To be back for another world opportunity, it means everything to me. I’m hoping to give them another exciting fight.
“I never talk down about a fighter. We all deserve our respect. We all have the same desire to strive to be the best. Cuellar is a beast. He hits hard. The record speaks for itself and that’s what has me so excited. This is the kind of fight I want to be in. It brings the best out of me.
“If I have to make it into a brawl, I will do that. I have the boxing abilities to be the smarter fighter and win by out boxing him. I learn from all of my fights, especially the losses. From the Santa Cruz fight I learned that I really need to listen to my corner. I let the crowd get to me and fought the wrong fight. I’m going to be ready for everything.
“This title coming home is going to be a nice Christmas present. It means the world to me. I’m going to add something to my trophy case.
“I’m a new man. I’m a grown man. I have two beautiful daughters. I like to learn something new every day. You will see a different Abner on December 10. This is going to end the year with the ‘Fight of the Year.'”
PBC on CBS Preview: Thurman vs. Porter, Hurd vs. Molina
PBC on CBS Preview: Thurman vs. Porter, Hurd vs. Molina
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions will put on one of their best cards on network television of the year as Keith Thurman defends his WBA Welterweight Title against Shawn Porter in the main event of the evening.
Abner Mares was originally scheduled to face Jesus Cuellar in the co-main event of the evening, but an injury to Abner Mares forced him to withdraw. Instead, fight fans will be get to see two prospects battle it out in the junior middleweight division when Jarret Hurd takes on Oscar Molina.
The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York has been a boxing hotspot since the Barclays Center inception and it will be the host site for Saturday’s fight card.
Jarrett Hurd (17-0) vs. Oscar Molina (13-0-1); Junior Middleweights
Jarrett “Swift” Hurd first burst into the national spotlight when he scored an upset stoppage victory over Frank Galarza, and win over Molina could lead to a big fight in the junior middleweight division.
His opponent, Oscar Molina, will be the third straight undefeated opponent he has faced in a row and is also known for his power. Hurd has stopped eleven of his opponents and four of his past five fights failed to go the distance. Molina has ten stoppage wins, and three of his past five fights failed to go the distance.
Hurd is twenty five years old and Molina is twenty six, but Hurd will have a four inch height advantage and a six and a half inch reach advantage. They both have been very active the past two years. Hurd fought three times in 2015 and four times in 2014 while Molina fought twice in 2014 and four times in 2015.
Hurd has the better professional record so far. He has beaten the likes of Jeff Lentz, Frank Galarza, and Eric Mitchell. He’s also never been knocked down during his professional career. Molina has not beaten many names of note, but has defeated the likes of Adrien Torres and drew with Domonique Dolton.
The only noteworthy advantage Molina has over Hurd is that he fought in the 2012 Olympics for Mexico. However, Hurd is in the middle of an impressive winning streak and his height, reach, and power will be too much for Molina to handle over the course of ten rounds.
Keith Thurman (26-0) vs. Shawn Porter (26-1-1); WBA Welterweight Title
The main event of the evening is the best fight the PBC can put on in the welterweight division.
Keith Thurman, the current WBA Welterweight Champion, is considered by many to be the best boxer in the welterweight division now that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have retired. However, Shawn Porter recently beat Adrien Broner, the man many people felt would replace Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Porter is twenty nine years old and two years older than Thurman. Thurman will have a slight half an inch height advantage on Porter and Porter will have a slight half an inch reach advantage on Thurman.
They both fought twice in 2015 and in 2014. Thurman has the heavier hands, as he has stopped twenty two of his opponents while Porter has only stopped sixteen. However, as the level of competition that Thurman faces continues to get better his knockouts seems to be happening less often. Two of the past three opponents that Thurman has faced went the distance.
Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter both experienced success as an amateur. Porter was a US National Golden Gloves Champion and Thurman was an Olympic Trials Runner Up.
They both have an impressive resume as a professional. Thurman has defeated the likes of Luiz Collazo, Robert Guerrero, Leonard Bundu, Jesus Soto Karass, Diego Chavez, and Jan Zaveck. Porter has defeated Adrien Broner, Paul Malignaggi, Devon Alexander, Phil Lo Greco, and Alfonso Gomez. Porter’s lone loss was to Kell Brook.
This should be an excellent fight and could go either way. Thurman has to be considered the favorite based on his undefeated record and power. Porter is a physical and in your face type of boxer, but he can get sloppy at times and Thurman is the type of boxer that will eat up your mistakes.
Boxing Insider Interview With Jesus Cuellar
Boxing Insider Interview With Jesus Cuellar
By: Francisco Martinez
Plot thickens heading into Jesus Cuellar vs Abner Mares as not too long ago 2012 trainer of the year Robert Garcia was in Cuellar’s corner. Now, things have changed and along the way Robert Garcia has been extremely outspoken about the way things ended with Jesus Cuellar. BoxingInsider had the opportunity to ask Robert Garcia if things where personal and Robert stated “No, nothing personal. I have nothing against Team Cuellar. Donald is apart of it, Henry, I’ve known him since we where kids. It’s just business, you know, it just happened. It’s not like I went out looking for revenge or looking for Cuellar. Mares and his people are the ones that approached me. At that time I was free you know, not working with Cuellar anymore so I took advantage of it. First we where suppose to fight (Fernando) Montiel. It’s not like I went out looking for the fight against Cuellar. This just happened to be a good fight that Abner wanted. If I’m not mistaken Al Haymon asked him and he preferred that fight so he took it”
BoxingInsider managed to get in a few questions with Jesus Cuellar and get his side of the story and how he feels about facing his former trainer Robert Garcia in his upcoming bout versus Abner Mares for his WBA world featherweight title.
BoxingInsider: I’ve gotten the chance to ask Robert if he’s taking the fight with you personal being the way that you guys left things. How do you feel about this fight? Robert says it’s not personal but how are you taking this fight?
Jesus Cuellar: The same, it’s business. Me and Mares are both professionals and we’re going to demonstrate our best in the fight.
As Abner Mares took his turn on the podium to speak his mind he opened up by saying “I’m a level fighter and I’m going to show him there’s a deferences…” Mares went on to say “I’m working with Robert Garcia now and we’re taking this fight really serious. It’s a fight that we’re going to gain so much (from) and Robert to as he once worked with Jesus Cuellar. We’re just going to show, with me, as in example, it was a big mistake leaving him”
Jesus Cuellar took exception to those remarks and said “If I’m a lower level fighter than why are they throwing me in there with him? Why did he take the fight? (Laughs) He wants to be champion (I’m the champion)”
BoxingInsider: Is there any pressure there to have success being that Sergio Martinez is long retired. (Marcos) Maidana looks like he’s not coming back anytime soon. Is there any pressure to carry the torch for the Argentinian boxing scene?
Jesus Cuellar: No, no, for me there’s no pressure. I train in the gym with my team and the flag is always risen. In the ring or in the gym.
BoxingInsider: Just as he’s facing Abner Mares, (Leo) Santa Cruz is facing (Carl) Frampton. It’s kind of a tournament to see who’s the best 126lbs. How does he feel about that fight, Santa Cruz vs Frampton?
Jesus Cuellar: It’s a great fight and Leo (Santa Cruz) is a great fighter. He’s going to be victorious but I will show to each and everyone of them who’s the best fighter in the division.
BoxingInsider: Not looking past Mares but in the future if, Santa Cruz beats Frampton would you like a showdown with Santa Cruz to prove who’s the real WBA champion?
Jesus Cuellar: Yes but first we have our fights and if I get past Mares than yes, I would love a fight against Santa Cruz.
Jesus Cuellar vs Abner Mares is apart of the Keith Thurman vs Shawn Porter card a “hybrid” broadcast dubbed Showtime championship boxing on CBS. Basically brings Showtime programmed boxing to “free” television around the world. Feeding off the “free boxing 4 all” vision Premier Boxing Champions has brought to millions of fans all over the world since its inception.
With a win Jesus Cuellar looks to set up a mega showdown with Current WBA Super World featherweight champion in Leo Santa Cruz who he, himself has the heavy task of vanquishing Carl Frampton who’s making the move up in weight from 122lbs (Super Bantamweight) to 126lbs (Featherweight) in the process giving up his WBA & IBF 122lbs titles for the lucrative opportunity to face Santa Cruz.
As for Abner Mares, he’s aiming to become a 4 time world champion and avoiding what many critics feels could be his last opportunity to prove he’s still a “A level” fighter, his words, not ours. Abner Mares also used the same punchline when he fought Leo Santa Cruz at the Staples Center in front of 13k fans, stating, “Leo Santa Cruz is a fighter who has fought nothing but C-level fighters. Now he’s fighting an A-level fighter…” In his fight against Santa Cruz Mares didn’t stick to the game plan but feels with Robert Garcia in his corner things will play out much more different. If Abner Mares wants the opportunity to make things right with Santa Cruz he has to get past Cuellar, the “mini Marcos Maidana” according to Showtime executive vice president Stephen Espinoza.
So tune in this June 25th for an action packed card at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. make sure to use hashtags #PBCONCBS #CUELLARMARES on social media to follow all coverage on fight.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather vs. Pacquiao II, Jacobs, Holmes, Lara, Khan, Canelo, Ortiz, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather vs. Pacquiao II, Jacobs, Holmes, Lara, Khan, Canelo, Ortiz, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 12th to April 19th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Bob Arum Tells TMZ Sports: Floyd vs. Manny Rematch More Likely Than Not
Bob Arum recently told TMZ Sports that a rematch with Floyd Mayweather is “more likely than not” but says that there are serious obstacles to overcome.
Arum stated, “It’s close to 50/50 but probably leaning more towards the fight happening than not.” Arum also stated, “If the match was available, I believe [Manny] would come back for that match.”
Arum also stated he knows Showtime has serious interest in Mayweather vs. Pacquiao II.
You can read more at http://www.tmz.com/2016/04/13/manny-pacquiao-floyd-mayweather-rematch/
Senator McCain to Join Larry Holmes, Daniel Jacobs, and MMA Fighters to Show Support of Professional Fighter Study for Brain health
Senator John McCain is set to join famous boxers and mma fighters such as Larry Holmes, Daniel Jacobs, and MMA fighters from Bellator MMA to show support of professional fighters study at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Braind Health. This is to occur on Tuesday, April 26th at 12:15pm at the Armed Services Hearing Room at the US Senate in Washington D.C.
Dr. Charles Bernick, an associate medical director of Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, will also be in attendance.
Three Super Welterweight Title Fights to Take Stage May 21st; Lara, Martirosyan, Charlo, Trout, and Jackson
The 154-pound division will take center stage on Saturday, May 21 in a stacked triple-header featuring three world title fights in the same division. Five of the division’s top-six fighters* will square off live on SHOWTIME from The Chelsea, a one-of-a-kind 40,000-square-foot venue, inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
In the main event, Cuban sensation Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara will defend his WBA Super Welterweight World Championship against U.S. Olympian and top contender, Vanes “The Nightmare” Martirosyan, in a rematch of their 2012 bout that ended in a technical draw.
Brothers Jermall and Jermell Charlo will look to make history in co-featured bouts as the first twins to hold world titles in the same division. Unbeaten IBF Super Welterweight World Champion Jermall faces his toughest test to date when he makes the second defense of his belt against former world champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout. Jermell will take on exciting contender John Jackson in a bout for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight World Championship.
“Erislandy Lara and I have unfinished business from our first fight,” said Martirosyan. “I had him beat that night and I’ll beat him on May 21. My time is now and I know I will be the new champion of the world on May 21.”
The 25-year-old Charlos’ aim to make history against stiff opposition from a former champion in Trout, and the Olympian from the Virgin Islands in Jackson.
“This will be a history-making, record-breaking night for the Charlo twins,” said Jermall Charlo. “It means everything to us to be able to fight in two championship fights on the same card. This is everything we’ve ever dreamed of. This is going to be a great night of boxing and I’m preparing myself for war. Austin Trout is a seasoned vet. He’s fought world champions and has beaten future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto. This is one of my biggest fights to date, but I’m preparing the same way I always do. I’m going to be on my ‘A’ game. I’m ready to make history.”
“I’m extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to fight for the world title on May 21,” said Trout. “It’s a twice-in-a-lifetime chance for a second world title and I’m going to take full advantage of it. I’m working hard and have already been in training camp in D.C. and ready to take full advantage of the moment. I’ve sat at the champions’ table before and am ready to go back again and eat from it again. Destiny brought me here not to lose, but to win. I’m going to show up and show out and this world title.”
“This is a huge fight for me,” said Jermell Charlo. “It’s my first opportunity to fight for a title and my brother is on the same card defending his belt. There has never been identical twin brothers that are both world champions in the same weight class. We’re going to go out there and make history, and send a message to the whole division. I’m excited to get in the ring and I know John Jackson is too. This is an important time in my career and I will be well prepared. Let the best man win.”
“I’m very grateful for this opportunity to become a world champion,” said Jackson. “I’ve been training very hard for the last two months for this fight and come May 21 I will be victorious over Jermell Charlo and realize my lifelong dream of becoming a world champion, like my dad, the great Julian Jackson.”
BoxNation Holding a Canelo vs. Khan Las Vegas Trip Competition
One of the biggest fights of the year is scheduled to take place on May 7th live from Las Vegas, and BoxNation is partnering with icelolly.com to give a lucky winner a chance to attend Amir Khan’s big fight against Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas. The contest will be for a four night stay to take in the big fight week to the famous strip.
The competition ends on Saturday, April 23rd at 9pm. More information on this competition can be found online at http://www.boxnation.com/promotions/win-a-trip-for-two-to-las-vegas-for-khan-v-canelo/
Mario Barrios Dominated in 2016 Debut
IBF #15 super-featherweight ranked contender, Mario Barrios, remained undefeated with a dominating unanimous decision victory over Edgar Gabejan (26-33-6, 9 KOs) a veteran of over 500 ronds, improving his record to (15-0, 8 KOs).
Barrios, who hails from San Antonio, TX, came out guns blazing, dropping Gabejan in round one. Towering over his opponent, Barrios, who stands over six feet tall, used his height and reach to perfection as he landed precise punches throughout the remainder of the fight. Gabejan made it to the final bell but was severely beaten up. Scorecards read 80-71 across the board, all in favor of Barrios.
This marks the first fight for Barrios in 2016. With the win, Barrios hope to get back in the ring as soon as possible. A world title fight by the end of the year is what Barrios has is mind set on.
“I’m happy with my performance tonight,” said Mario Barrios. “My opponent showed a lot of heart making it to the final bell. Going the full eight rounds was great experience for me. I feel I’m improving with each fight and I’m hoping by the end of the year I’ll be ready to challenge any of the champions in my division.”
Keith Thurman to Defend Welterweight Title Against Shawn Porter on June 25th
Keith “One Time” Thurman is scheduled to defend his welterweight championship against “Showtime” Shawn Porter at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday, June 25th.
This bout will be broadcast by Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) and will be a Showtime Championship Boxing broadcast on CBS. The broadcast will begin with a co-main event featherweight battle between Jesus Cuellar against former three division world champion Abner Mares.
Tickets, which start at $25, will be available online at www.ticketmaster.com
“Keith Thurman against Shawn Porter is one of the best matchups that can be made in the welterweight division right now,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Fans in attendance at Barclays Center and those watching on CBS will witness a passing of the torch as the hard-punching world titleholder Thurman and the highly skilled former champion Porter vie to prove who will be the next heir to the throne in the post-Mayweather era of the 147-pound division. The explosive co-main event between Jesus Cuellar and Abner Mares will give fans a fight to remember.”
Victor Ortiz Media Workout Quotes
Victor Ortiz is scheduled to face Andre Berto for a second time on Saturday, April 30th live on the Fox Network. This bout will take place at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Ortiz recently held a media workout and below are a few select quotes from that workout.
On his first bout against Berto:
“I made a lot of mistakes that night but I did enough to get the victory. I always said if I ever got the rematch, I would end him and now I have the chance.
“Berto had an off night. I wasn’t at my best either, but I destroyed him regardless. This time we’ll both be at our best.
“Berto just talks and talks. When you have to hype yourself up just to think you have a chance, that’s on you. I don’t need to talk myself into thinking I’m going to win. I just know I’m going to win.
“We’ve both had some wars since our first fight, but if you can’t back it up, you should just stop.
“I had injuries heading into the last fight, but now you have two guys who are 100 percent. That is going to make for an even better fight this time around.”
On the rematch with Berto:
“Berto comes to fight. He comes for war and won’t give up ever, but that makes two of us.
“We have been through a lot in the last five years. He hates me. I have no hate in my heart, but I know it’s a sport. I’m not leaving that ring without a victory.
“Berto wants to hurt me just as bad as I want to hurt him. I’m ready to go again. This is going to be a Fight of the Year for sure.
“Anytime you have to convince yourself that you’re going to beat me. That you actually had a chance the first time, there’s a lot wrong with you.
“It’s a sport. It’s not personal. Two guys going back and forth. I want to rip his head off and he wants to rip my head off. Its nothing personal. We can go get a burger after the fight.
“He’s a heck of a fighter and a boxer and I am too. He’s had his fair share of wars. He’s had his fair share of injuries and I’ve had mine.
“I would hate someone that took my undefeated record. So maybe he hates me, but I don’t hate him. Whatever his mindset is, April 30 is right around the corner and I’m ready.”
On working with Coach Joseph “Hoss” Janik & David Rodela:
“Coach Hoss has always been there 100 percent. He has been in my corner about a decade and he knows the game better than a lot of the people I’ve worked with. Every fighter needs to find a ‘zen’ with their coach and I have that with Coach Hoss.
“I feel like this is the best fit for me. Hoss has been with me through it all, from being dropped, to the hospital and everything. He always says that this is just another way to make you stronger.
“I also have coach David Rodela in my corner. We were once upon a time rivals and now we are closest of friends. It is a true ‘Grudge Match’ right there. Now he just tortures me in training.
On his acting career:
“At this point I have one focus. For the next three or four years I am going to be 100 percent focused on boxing.
“I’ve had big celebrities and actors come up to me and say ‘you’re Victor Ortiz, can we take a picture?’ It’s mutual respect, but it’s also kind of crazy. I don’t overstep my boundaries.
“I don’t watch the movie I’ve been in. That is too much. Some people like to see themselves on the screen, I’m not one of those people.
On his positive attitude:
“I believe that if you’re a bad person, bad things happen. I’m a hard worker. I used to work construction and out in the fields. I never complained. Always smiled.
“I wake up in the morning with a smile on my face. People take some things too seriously. Of course there are haters out there, but I don’t pay attention to any of that. I’ve found that a good positive attitude goes a long way.
“It doesn’t matter what people say. What matters what I want, what I’m going to do. April 30 is going to be the rebirth of me.”
On what’s next after April 30:
“I’m ready to fight for a world title. Especially after this victory that’s coming. This is for personal satisfaction. Berto has been talking for five years and I’m ready to go.
“I took a different route, a different approach. Why? Because I wanted to try other things. Do I have to be here? No. I turned down two movies to be here. Boxing is my first and true love.
“I’m ready to conquer the 147 and 154 pound divisions and Andre Berto is standing in my way right now.”