Boxing Insider Notebook: Groves, Eubank, Barrios, Garcia, Stevenson, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of February 6th to February 13th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Undefeated Light Contender Mario Barrios Steps Up Elite Training with SNAC System
Undefeated 140-pound contender, Mario “Nino de Oro” Barrios (20-0, 12 KOs) takes his strength and conditioning to an elite level with Victor Conte’s SNAC System. Barrios will face Eudy Bernardo in a 10-round bout on SHOWTIME BOXING on SHO EXTREME Saturday, March 10 from Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio.
In preparation for his homecoming fight, Barrios has begun training with SNAC track coach and living legend Remi Korchemny, one of the world’s best elite performance trainers. Barrios is entering his third week with Korchemny, who’s worked with Andre Ward, Demetrius Andrade and Nonito Donaire to name a few. Korchemny sees significant improvement with Barrios’ speed and explosiveness.
“Barrios is a world class athlete with a tremendous work ethic and I see him getting stronger as we continue our rigorous training methods.” said Victor Conte, CEO/Founder of SNAC Nutrition supplements. “Barrios has really taken the next step to becoming a more explosive fighter. Remi and Mario are working great together.”
“Remi is having me do workouts that I have never done before, and our focus is on speed and explosiveness,” said Mario Barrios. “I am grateful to Victor Conte and Remi Korchemny for providing such top-level training prior to my big fight on Showtime.”
“Remi Korchemny is a world-renowned trainer who helps elite boxers develop more power in their punches.” Victor Conte concluded. “This is next level preparation. Only a select few are able to work with Remi and Barrios is definitely worthy.”
TMB and PRB Entertainment Sponsored by MIkey Garcia Promotions Presents Friday Night Fights
TMB & PRB Entertainment, sponsored by Mikey Garcia Promotions, present “Friday Night Fights”, live professional boxing Friday, March 9, 2018, from the Mi Mercado Event Center in San Antonio, TX. The card will showcase ten fights, all featuring hot prospects in 4-round bouts.
Undefeated featherweight sensation and San Antonio native, Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez (4-0, 2 KOs) vs. Jose Casiano (0-1) will serve as the main-event. In the co-feature, Arnold Alejandro (5-0, 4 KOs) battles Christian Santibanez (5-7, 3 KOs).
“We are very excited to be working with TMB & PRB Entertainment,’ said Robert Garcia, who runs and operates Mikey Garcia Promotions. “Mikey and I want to build a great boxing series here with my good friends Rick Morones and Greg Hannley of Prince Ranch Boxing. I know with hard work we can bring a lot of big fights to San Antonio.”
“Mikey and Robert Garcia bring great name recognition to the boxing community here in San Antonio,” said Rick Morones of TMB & PRB Entertainment. “Our local fans are asking for more boxing events and we are delivering. We are thrilled to be working with the Garcia family and March 9th is going to be a great night of boxing.”
Rounding out the card will be super bantamweight’s Angel Alejandro (1-0, 1 KO) vs Jose Elizondo (2-4-1), super middleweights Eddie Hunter Ortiz (5-0-2, 3 KOs) vs. Edward Tigs (4-7-3), lightweight’s Frank “Bloodhound” Brown (3-1-1, 1 KO) vs. Joe Sombrano (2-11-1, 2 KOs), super middleweight’s Tommy Kamara (0-1) vs. Patrick Clarke (Pro Debut), bantamweights Aaron Morales (Pro Debut) vs. Carlos Lopez (Pro Debut), and Featherweight Louie “King” Coria (6-1, 4 KOs) vs. TBA. More bouts to be added on a later date.
Multiple division world champion Mikey Garcia, former world champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios, 3-time world champion Abner Mares, and world title contender Josesito Lopez, will all be special guests at the event.
Ringside tickets priced at $100, and general admission $30, are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (210) 449-5599 or (210) 322-9974. The Mi Mercardo Event Center is located at 227 New Laredo Hwy, San Antonio, TX. Doors open at 6:30 PM, first bell at 8:00 PM.
Super Middleweight World Champions George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr. World Boxing Super Series Semifinals Airing on Super Channel in Canada
World champions “Sir” George Groves and Chris “Next Gen” Eubank Jr., both fighting out of the United Kingdom, will open World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) semifinals-round action in the super middleweight division, this Saturday at Manchester Arena in Manchester United Kingdom.
The Groves vs. Eubank Jr card, starting at 2 p.m. ET, will air live in Canada, exclusively on Super Channel.
The Groves-Eubank Jr. winner will advance to the WBSS championship final against the winner of the other WBSS super middleweight semifinals bout, Feb. 24 in Germany, between Juergen Braehmer (49-3, 35 KOs) and Callum “Mundo” Smith (23-0, 17 KOs). The two semifinals victors will battle for the coveted Muhammad Ali Trophy.
Super Channel acquired the exclusive rights in Canada to broadcast the World Boxing Super Series from MP & Silva, a leading international media company that provides media rights, digital, technology and sponsorship services.
Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) knocked out defending champion Fedor Chudinov in the sixth round to capture the World Boxing Association (WBA) super middleweight title last May. In the WBSS quarterfinals, Groves stopped previously undefeated Jaime Cox in the fourth round. All three of Groves’ pro losses have been to world champions, twice to his fellow countryman Carl Froch and Badao Jack.
“The hype behind this fight is huge,” Groves said. “I hope the fight justifies it. On paper, this is billed as a 50-50 fight with Eubank Jr. maybe even or being made the favorite. I don’t really understand that. I think the form, the history, the experience, the ability all lie in my favor and I’m looking forward to a big night. It’s a semifinal in a tournament I expect to win, so it’s a stepping stone, another step on the way for me.
“Chris Eubank Jr. puts on a façade that he’s able to do everything himself, that’s he’s a one-man band. But it’s very difficult doing stuff on your own, so we’ll see if he starts to make changes and adapts. He’ll have to. Obviously, this is his first really big fight, definitely at super middleweight, and I believe that he is going to fall short in a lot of categories.”
The son of two-time, two-division world champion Chris Eubank, Eubank Jr. was crowned International Boxing Organization (IBO) super middleweight world champion a year ago, when he knocked out Renold Quinlan in the 10th round. He successfully defended his belt last June, taking a 12-round unanimous decision over three-time, two-division world champion Arthur Abraham (46-5). In the WBSS quarterfinal round, Eubank Jr. stopped Avni Yildirim (16-0) in the third round.
“I’ve had many big fights, but this is probably the biggest in terms of profile, the tournament and hype,” Eubank Jr. commented. “But at the end of the day, I always rise to the occasion. The bigger the fight, the better I perform.
George seems to be hung up on what I’ll do. He needs to worry about himself. Thinking about me isn’t going to get him anywhere. I’m a man of my word and George, you will not see the end of the 12th round. He doesn’t have speed, his defense is poor, and his stamina is average, at best. The fact that he’s lacking in those things means he won’t be able to compete with me. I’m not a stepping stone, I’m Mount Everest, and you’re not going to climb me.”
Four potentially explosive fights, including three title matches, are on the “Groves vs. Eubank, Jr.” card, presented by Sauerland Event, airing exclusively in Canada on Super Channel.
The 10-round WBSS Super Middleweight Substitute Fight features undefeated Brit Zach Parker (14-10, 10 KOs) vs. Adasat “Toro” Rodriguez (16-6-2, 10 KOs), of Spain. British middleweight titlist Tommy Langford (19-1, 6 KOs) defends his title against challenger Jack Arnfield (25-2, 6 Kos) in a 10-round bout, and British featherweight champion Ryan Walsh (22-2-1, 11 KOs) takes on unbeaten challenger Isaac Lowe (14-0-2, 5 KOs) in a 12-rounder. Two “swing bouts” could air pending results of the televised bouts: four-round light heavyweight match between pro-debuting Sebastian Eubank and Poland’s Kamil Kulczyk (2-8, 1 KO) and a six-round bout between a pair of British welterweights, Danny Craven (3-1, 1 KO) and Luther Clay (6-1, 3 KOs).
Sullivan Barrera “After Ward, Bivol is My Toughest Challenge
Top light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera is working hard in the second half of his training camp for his March 3rd HBO televised clash against WBA light heavyweight champoin Dmitry Bivol.
The 35-year-old former Cuban amateur standout has been on quite a run. After losing a unanimous decision to the now retired former pound-for-pound king Andre Ward, Barrera has put together a four fight win streak against the likes of Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, Paul “Pay Per View” Parker, Joe Smith Jr. and the hard hitting Felix Valera.
While that is an impressive list, Barrera knows that none of those opponents are as formidable as the challenge that lies ahead of him on March 3rd at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden.
“Bivol is a great fighter. He will be the second best fighter I have faced and second only to Andre Ward,” said Barrera. “He has a great amateur pedigree and has been knocking out the majority of his opponents. I know I need to bring my ‘A’ game to beat him.”
Bivol has stopped his previous four opponents and only 2 of his 12 victims have made it to the final bell. Barrera has a lot of respect for his opponent and believes his power is legitimate.
“He has knocked guys out with one punch. I know I have to be careful in there. He is a very confident fighter. He knows he has power and knows how to get in position to use it. That is why I am taking him very seriously,” Barrera explained.
Barrera knows that a victory over Bivol will open a lot of doors as fights against champions like Sergey Kovalev, the Adonis Stevenson-Badou Jack winner and Artur Beterbiev could be available to him but the Cuban refuses to look ahead.
“March 3rd is all that matters. God willing I get the win and then we can talk about future plans but right now I am focused on Bivol. I know I have to concentrate on him and give him all of my attention,” said Barrera.
Olympic Silver Medalist Shakur Stevenson Set to Open 2018 in Impressive Fashion in Reno
From 2013 through 2015, 2016 Olympic silver medalist and featherweight prospect Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.) (4-0, 2 KOs) opened his competitive year in Reno, Nev. He will return to that tradition in 2018, kicking off the year in an eight-round featherweight contest versus Juan Tapia (Brownsville, Texas) (8-1, 3 KOs) on Friday, February 16 at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino’s Grand Theater.
Competing in Reno has always been a good luck charm of sorts for Stevenson with his run to both Junior and Youth World titles, a Youth Olympic Games gold medal and even his berth in the 2016 Olympic Games all beginning with domestic competitions in the “Biggest Little City in the World.” The Grand Sierra will also be a familiar venue for Stevenson who earned three straight Junior and Youth Open titles in the hotel as a teenager.
It’s only fitting that he prepares for his return to Reno and first eight-round bout at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., where the new USA Boxing training facility now showcases an action shot of the 20-year-old proudly on the gym wall.
Stevenson is training for his fifth professional fight with coach Kay Koroma and alongside the USA Boxing National Team, which includes three teammates from his home gym, the Alexandria Boxing Club in Alexandria, Va. He even enjoyed a special visit from Olympic gold medalists Andre Ward and Claressa Shields earlier in his training camp and Ward, Stevenson’s co-manager, will be ringside for Stevenson’s bout on February 16.
He looks forward to kicking off 2018 in impressive fashion after scoring four professional wins in 2017, including two TKO victories in New York, near his hometown of Newark. He hopes to be even busier in 2018 as he works toward his goal of becoming a World Champion.
Stevenson and his team will conclude training camp this weekend and travel to Reno on Monday in preparation for his February 16 bout. His fight will take place on the undercard of the Ray Beltran – Paulus Moses World Championship fight which will be televised on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Derrick Webster Earns Win Number 25
Derrick “Take it to the Bank” Webster (25-1, 13 KOs) was back in action on Saturday night at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, battling gritty opposition in power-puncher Francisco Cordero (38-10, 29 KOs). All but one ringside judge scored it a complete shutout for Webster, who earned the win via counts of 80-72 twice and 79-73.
“He was a tough opponent,” Webster said of Cordero. “He definitely wasn’t as fast as me and couldn’t move with me. I knew he didn’t like the body shots, so I probably should have gone to the body a little more. I was also landing left hooks on him, but he had a strong base. After not fighting since August, I was knocking a lot of ring rust off, but I ultimately came out and did what I needed to come away successfully with another victory.”
Webster was working the jab early in this contest, establishing his range and keeping his hands busy. In the second frame, he began tossing some throwaway jabs that he followed-up with a straight right hand down the middle, something that would be successful for him throughout the evening. He continued to do a nice job of keeping Cordero on the edge of his attack, and he looked to be in complete control by the time the middle rounds arrived.
Cordero had trouble getting inside the 6-foot-4 frame of Webster, as his offense quickly became restricted to a two-punch combination of an attempted jab to the body and a wild overhand right. Throughout the bout, Webster was able to continually read Cordero correctly, and he repeatedly missed with those shots.
In the latter rounds, Webster mixed in flurries while keeping Cordero distanced on the perimeter of his range, which prevented his opponent him from being able to get much offense going. Webster eventually put the exclamation point on the bout with a fast start to the eighth and final frame before finishing off a strategic win that never allowed Cordero to bring his power into play.
The victory stands as the 25th win for the Glassboro, N.J. native, a prestigious mark that was clearly significant to him.
“It means everything,” Webster said of reaching 25 victories. “I’m a student of the game, and I will remain a student of the game so I can keep on growing.”
With his first fight of the year now under his belt, Webster looks to springboard this win into a busy 2018. He hopes to step back into the ring as early as March.
PBC on FS1 Results: Mario “Golden Boy” Barrios Halts Naim Nelson on Injured Shoulder
By: Ken Hissner
King’s Promotions returned to the Sands Casino Event Center in Bethlehem, PA, Tuesday night over FS-1 with an 8 bout card.
Photo Credit: Kenyon Sessoms/Premier Boxing Champions
In the Main Event super lightweight Mario “Golden Boy” Barrios, 20-0 (12), of San Antonio, TX, won over Naim Nelson, 13-4 (1), of Philly, due to an injured left shoulder of Nelson’s.
In the first round Nelson was moving well and countering Barrios who seems content to let Nelson take the lead. At the 10 second mark Barrios and Nelson exchanged punches. Good round for Nelson. In the second round a double jab from Barrios was countered by a right to the chin from Nelson. A counter right from Nelson to the head of Barrios got his attention. In the third round Barrios landed a good right hand body shot on Nelson. Nelson landed a left hook and went to the canvas. The ring physician came in to examine Nelson’s left shoulder that may have been injured earlier when his left looked like it got caught onto the ropes. In between rounds the ring physician examined Nelson’s left shoulder.
In the fourth round a lead right hand from Barrios was right on the money to the chin of Nelson. It was a big round for Barrios as Nelson was on the defense for the most part. In the fifth round Nelson landed a nice lead right to the chin of Barrios. Both fighters landed right hands to the chins with Nelson going back several steps. It was a competitive round with Barrios edging out Nelson. In the sixth round while Barrios continued to be the aggressor Nelson countered him well. It was a very competitive and close round.
In the seventh round Barrios missed twice but landed his third try to the chin of Nelson. A right hand from Barrios landed on the left shoulder of Nelson’s causing him to take a knee. Referee Gary Rosato immediately called in the ring physician who halted the fight due to an injury.
“I don’t know what happened to my shoulder but I’m getting an MRI as soon as we leave here,” said Nelson. Barrios can thank his blessings because Nelson started winning the first two rounds while Barrios took the next three with Nelson taking the sixth on this writer’s scorecard making it even going into the seventh. It would be hard to find another boxer as nice and humble as Nelson in the game today.
Light heavyweight Earl Newman, 10-0-1 (7), of Brooklyn, NY, and Paul “Pay for View” Parker, 8-2-1 (4), of Toledo, OH, fought to a draw over 8 rounds.
In the first round it was a round of jabs with the exception of Newman getting in a right to the head of Parker. In the second round Newman countered a miss from Parker with a right to the chin. At the midway point a left hook from Parker to the chin rocked Newman forcing him to clinch. A right hand from Parker was countered by a left hook by Newman with both punches to the head. In the third round an overhand right from Parker to the head rocked Newman whose jab had been dominant. Both boxers landed right hands to the chin at the same time. It has been an evenly matched bout through 3 rounds.
In the fourth round a solid right from Parker to the chin of Newman had his knees buckled. Newman came right back rocking Parker with a right to the chin.
In the fifth round both boxers mixed it up well. Newman due to his jab seemed to have a slight edge. In the sixth round Newman countered with a nice right cross to the head of Parker. In the seventh round Newman landed a solid left hook to the chin of Parker making him clinch. A solid right from Newman to the chest of Parker could be heard throughout the arena. In the eighth and final round Newman chased and Parker countered well with his jab through most of the round. Benjy Esteves, Jr. did his usual fine job as the referee.
Judge Kevin Morgan had it 77-75 for Parker, judge James Kinney 79-73 for Newman and John McKay 76-76. This writer had it 77-75 Newman.
Lightweight Thomas “TJ” Velasquez, 9-0-1 (5), of Philly, and southpaw Tyrome Jones 4-2-1 (1), of South Bend, IND, battled to a 6 round draw.
In the first round Velasquez led with a right to the chin of Jones who countered with a right hook of his own to the chin.
It was a close round with Velasquez being the aggressor. In the second round Velasquez landed four unanswered punches to the head of Jones. Velasquez looked stronger while Jones seemed to take the round off. In the third round Velasquez continued to outwork Jones in a good close round.
In the fourth round Jones countered with a solid left uppercut to the chin of Velasquez. Shortly afterward Jones landed a solid left to the chin of Velasquez. As Velasquez came in low Jones was waiting with a solid lead left to the chin. In the fifth round Jones landed a lead left to the head of Velasquez who came back with several combinations to the head of Jones. A left hook from Velasquez to the chin drove Jones back several steps. In the sixth and final round it started with all Velasquez landing at will. A straight left from Jones knocked the head of Velasquez back. Just prior to the bell Jones landed a solid right uppercut on the chin of Velasquez.
Judge John McKay had it 59-55 for Jones, judge John Portujal had it 59-55 for Velasquez while judge James Kinney had it 57-57. This writer had it 58-56 for Velasquez. Gary Rosato was the referee.
Bantamweight southpaw Antonio Russell, 9-0 (7), of Wash, DC, stopped southpaw Cristian Renteria, 7-6 (6), of Tijuana, MEX, at 1:26 of the third round.
In the first round Renteria landed the first punch in a bout of southpaws.
Shortly afterwards Russell hurt Renteria with a solid right hook to the head making him clinch. Renteria was able to survive to the end of the round tying up Russell the rest of the round. In the second round Russell landed numerous vicious uppercuts to the mid-section of Renteria who hung in there the best he could. Referee Esteves, Jr. warned Renteria several times about holding.
In the third round Renteria opened up with his own left uppercut to the mid-section of Russell. A right hook from Russell to the head of Renteria rocked him. Shortly later in the round Russell landed a right cross to the chin of Renteria dropping him. Referee Esteves, Jr. halted the bout which didn’t please Renteria who wanted to continue.
Super lightweight southpaw Gary Antuanne Russell, 2-0 (2), of Wash. DC, stopped game Jesus Lule, 11-24-1 (2), of Ft. Myers, FL, at 2:38 of the first round.
In the first round it was all Russell though Lule as always showed the determination of a lion. Referee Esteves, Jr. saw enough as Russell was out landing Lule 5-1. Lule had no quit in him. Russell was a member of the USA Olympic team in 2016 after having his third fight and second win over Philly’s Jaron “Boots” Ennis, now 14-0, to earn that spot.
Middleweight Ryan Wiczak, 5-0 (3), of Scranton, PA, stopped Devin “Bearded Assassin” McMaster, 1-3 (0), of Allentown, PA, at 1:35 of the first round.
In the first round both fighters let it all hang out until the mid point when a right hand from Wiczak dropped McMaster on the canvas. Beating the count of referee Rosato McMaster was quickly jumped on and went down from another right hand forcing referee Rosato to wisely call a halt without a count.
In the opening bout Lightweight Jeffrey Torres, 4-0 (2), of Hartford, CT, stopped Latorie Woodberry, 1-5-1 (0), at 1:59 of the first round.
In the first round a double left hook from Torres to the ribs of Woodberry dropped him. Torres jumped on Woodberry landing a left hook to the head dropping him for a second time. Torres went right after Woodberry landing a right hand to the side of the head dropping him for a third time forcing referee Rosato to halt the fight. Torres is with DSG who is former 2-division champion Danny “Swift” Garcia and his father Angel.
Featherweight Juan Sanchez, 3-0 (1), of Allentown, PA, looked terrific scoring a knockdown in defeating Gorwar Karyah, 1-1 (1), of Philly, PA, over 4 rounds.
In the first round after both fighters mixed up Sanchez landed a left hook to the chin and down went Karyah. He beat the count from referee Esteves, Jr. and got up and mixed it up but got hurt by left hook to the chin of Sanchez. In the second round Karyah came out orthodox but it didn’t change what Sanchez had for him being the much faster of the two. Halfway through the round Karyah landed a lead right to the chin of Sanchez with little effect. Sanchez started showboating to the delight of his local followers.
In the third round Sanchez came out southpaw for about 10 seconds before switching back to orthodox. A minute into the round and Karyah landed a lead right to the chin of Sanchez. Sanchez started showboating again to the delight of his fans dropping his hands to his side and switching back and forth. By the end of the round Karyah went southpaw. In the fourth and final round with Sanchez backed into Karyah’s corner both fighters let it all hang out until a right to the head of Karyah’s turned his head. It turned into a brawl with Sanchez getting the better of it. Sanchez is a crowd pleaser and a prospect to keep your eye on.
Judges scores were 40-35 twice and 39-36 while this writer had it 40-35.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Guerrero, McGregor, Smith, Shields, Montgomery Brothers, and more
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of July 11th to July 18th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Mario Serrano
Robert Guerrero Announces Retirement
After giving fans some of the most thrilling fights in boxing, which spanned over sixteen hard fought years, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero is announcing his retirement.
“First, I want to thank God for allowing me to have a wonderful career. I’m a kid from a small town in Gilroy, California, who made it to the mountain top of the boxing world. When I was a young kid growing up, I always believed in myself, but never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined a small-town kid like myself, would be fighting in front of millions of fans.”
“I was blessed to win multiple world titles in four-divisions. A boxer’s career is a long and tough road. Many tears were shed, lots of blood, and tons of sweat. Many miles were traveled, thousands of rounds sparred, none were easy and nothing was ever given to me. I earned everything I got the old fashion way. I never ducked anyone and fought the best fighters in the world. I fought my way through every obstacle to make sure my fans enjoyed every second, of every round, of my fights.”
“I competed at super-bantamweight (122 lbs.) and won world titles across multiple weight classes, closing my career at welterweight (147 lbs.), fighting the big guys 25 pounds heavier. A good friend always told me I was God’s warrior, born to fight. I enjoyed every minute of every war. I represented my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with the bible verse Acts 2:38 on my trunks. If I reached one person and brought that person closer to Christ, then it was all worth it.”
“I want to thank some very important people in my career starting with the most important person, my wife Casey, who has been with me every step of the way, my soul mate, my sweetheart, the one and only love of my life. My father/trainer Ruben Guerrero Sr. He’s the one who started it all and made me the man I am today, and the champion I was in the ring. He’s one of the best trainers in the world and I hope to be working side by side with him in the future. My mother Marcy Guerrero for being a great mother and supporter. My co-manager Bob Santos for all the sacrifices he made to get me to the top…I will always remember the early days when we made the most with very liitle. He always had my back and looked out for me like I was his brother. His wife Diane Santos who did a lot of secretarial work for me during my whole career. Both my grandparents on Martinez and Guerrero sides for believing in me. My brother’s Sammy, Ruben Jr., Victor, Randy and especially Eric, who has been with me my whole career, my shadow every step of the way, my right-hand man. My mother and father in-law, Shelly and Cary O’neal.
My cutman Ruben Gomez. My good friends, Pastor Mark Wilson, Dave Castro, Pastor Chris Avila, John Mersho, and Albert Guarado. My uncle Russel Sr., Russel Jr., Uncle Ricky, Hector Catano and Greg Amundson. I want to thank my co-manager Luis Decubas Jr. for taking my career to the next level. Santos and Decubas Jr. are more than managers, they are family to me. My publicist Mario Serrano, who has also been with me the whole ride, he is also family to me. All the fans and the community who stuck by my side when my wife was battling cancer…I will never forget the love you showed. There are so many people who have helped me, if I leave anyone off, thank you for everything.”
“In closing, I want to thank the most special man I’ve ever met in my boxing career, and possibly lifetime, a man who always does what’s best for the fighter, a man who has changed the sport of boxing, a man who has helped bless me and my family with a great life, and that person is my advisor Al Haymon. Not only is Al Haymon a spectacular advisor, he is a wonderful human being as well, a great man, and someone who cares. In a sport where most managers, promoters, and trainers turn their back on a fighter, when they no longer can perform, or are no longer beneficial to their interest, Haymon stands tall. Love and loyalty is tough to find in the boxing game, but for any boxer looking for it, you don’t have to look far, reach out to Al Haymon. I want to thank everyone, the fans included. I hope you guys appreciated the guts and glory I left in the ring. God bless you all.” ~ Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero
Claressa Shields Named 2017 ‘Biggest Powerhouse’ in Sports by Nickelodeon’s Kid’s Choice Sports Awards
Budding women’s boxing superstar, community activist, role model and two-time Olympic gold medalist, Claressa Shields has been bestowed with another honor, as she has been announced as the winner of the 2017 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Award for “Biggest Powerhouse.”
In winning the prestigious award, which honors the heaviest hitters, strongest sluggers and unstoppable players in sports each year, Shields beat out a field of such well-known stars as Demarcus Cousins (New Orleans Pelicans), Von Miller (Denver Broncos), David Ortiz (Boston Red Sox) and Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels).
“It is a tremendous honor and great thrill to win the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Award because it comes from the kids,” said Claressa Shields. “I work hard every day to show all children that nothing in life is impossible if you believe in yourself. If this kid from Flint can win Olympic gold medals, boxing world championships, and succeed in life, then you can do it too!”
Shields’ promoter, Dmitriy Salita, says she deserves all the incredible accolades and honors she’s received.
“Claressa is a true champion of the people with her incredible story of overcoming adversity through her own self-belief and determination. Her accomplishments, inside and outside the ring, make Claressa a real-life American hero and an inspiration to every young person.”
22-year-old Shields (3-0, 1 KO), from Flint, Michigan, is currently in training for her first world-title shot on August 4 against German star and WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Nikki Adler (16-0, 9 KOs). The 10-round super-middleweight match-up, will be televised live on ShoBox: The New Generation (10 pm ET/PT), and held at MGM Grand Detroit.
The Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards are the only kid-oriented award show focusing on the world’s best athletes and each year’s greatest sports moments. Held at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, this year’s broadcast was once again hosted by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
The winners were chosen predominantly by children’s online voting.
Witness Sports Management Signs Montgomery Brothers
Boxing veterans, Greg Hannely, founder of the Prince Ranch Boxing facility, and Jared Shaw have joined forces, as they are happy to announce the birth of Witness Sports Management (WSM), a boxing management company that will guide the careers of some of the best young fighters in the sport.
The Montgomery Brothers, Maliek, Mikhail, and Michael Jr., out of Macon, Georgia, are WSM’s first signees. The highly touted trio, who were all decorated amateur standouts, are trained by their dad, Michael Montgomery Sr.
“I want to make sure it’s known how excited we are to be signing with Jared and Greg,” said Michael Montgomery Sr. “I’m happy that my boys are going to be represented by some folks that have been involved in boxing for many years. Greg and Jared have been wonderful to work with. My boys and I are very grateful and we are ready to take the boxing world by storm.”
Greg Hannely, is a well-known figure in the sport as he guided the careers of former world champions, Clarence “Bones” Adams and Steven Luevano, back in the 90’s and early 2000’s. His passion for boxing has brought him back to the sport he loves, and he wants nothing more than to build a stable of world champions.
“I’m very thrilled to be back in boxing, especially after signing the Montgomery Brothers.” Greg Hannely said, “Their father, Michael Sr., has been grooming all three boys to fight like professionals. They all have very exciting styles and I believe they will be well received to everyone who witnesses them fight. The Prince Ranch Boxing gym in Las Vegas will be available for the entire Montgomery family. These are good kids with strong family values. Their future is bright.”
Jared Shaw, son of world renowned boxing promoter Gary Shaw, has been around the sport since he was a young child. After spending many years learning from his father, Jared, developed a knack for spotting talent.
“If you like pressure fighters with knockout power, then you’ll love the Montgomery Brothers.” stated Jared Shaw. “Maliek, Mikhail, and Michael Jr., were all great amateurs with over 400 fights combined, but their styles are suited for the pros. All three of them have heavy hands and the ring intelligence to make adjustments on the fly. Greg and I are ecstatic to be working with the entire Montgomery family. This is a fantastic start to our new management company.”
“As co-managers, Greg and I started WSM with the idea of cultivating our fighters,” Shaw continued. “We want to be looked at as more than just a financial asset. We will provide are stable with the needed resources that will help them become better fighters. We will house are guys at “The Prince Ranch” in Las Vegas, getting them the best sparring in boxing. Our goal is to make sure they have no distractions that will hinder their development.”
About Mikhail Montgomery
Nickname – 50Khail
Height – 5’7
Weight – 122 (Super-Bantamweight)
DOB: – December 24, 1996 (Age 20)
Hometown – Macon, Georgia
Amateur Record – (120-12)
Pro Record – TBA
“Jared came to us a few years back and told us he was interested in signing us. The bond started back then and now that we are older, it’s good to look back and see that he’s still with us. He’s a man of his word and kept his promise. I’m excited that WSM is going to take me and my brothers under their wing.”
About Maliek Montgomery
Nickname – Mayhem
Height – 5’8
Weight – 130 (Super-Featherweight)
DOB: – September 17, 1995 (Age 22)
Hometown – Macon, Georgia
Amateur Record – (149-12)
Pro Record – (1-0, 1 KO)
“Signing with WSM has been a blessing to me and my family. Jared has been around for a few years now and we trust that he and Greg will take us to the top. My dad talked about this day for many years, signing with a good management team. Now that it’s here, I’m ready to start knocking out folks.”
About Michael Jr. Montgomery
Nickname – NA
Height – 5’11
Weight – 147 (Welterweight)
DOB: – March 11, 1994 (Age 23)
Hometown – Macon, Georgia
Amateur Record – (150-20)
Pro Record – (1-0, 1 KO)
“I believe everything is going to work out great with Jared and Greg. Fighting in the pros is new to me but I think I’m going to make an immediate impact. I got my first knockout in my pro debut earlier this year and I can’t wait to get back in the ring.”
Petition Demands Budweiser Drop Conor McGregor Over Bigoted Remarks
A Care2 petition is asking Budweiser to drop professional mixed martial artist and boxer Conor McGregor over his history of bigoted comments ahead of his August match against Floyd Mayweather. The petition has gathered over 6,700 signatures.
VIEW THE CARE2 PETITION HERE: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/391/537/851/
McGregor is projected to make $100 million in a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather in August, in what could be the most viewed, highest grossing pay-per-view fight of all time.
But Care2 members are calling him out for his bigoted comments.
Leading up to his 2015 match against Brazilian fighter Jose Aldo, McGregor said:
“If this was a different time, I would invade his favela on horseback and kill anyone that was not fit to work.”
“What I really want to do is turn his favela into a Reebok sweatshop.”
“I think I’m going to have him come and clean up my airplane.”
“These remarks should have caused major brands to drop any association with McGregor long ago. Now that he’s gearing up to cash in on his history of bigoted comments, the time has come,” the Care2 petition reads. “Please sign this petition to ask Budweiser to drop Conor McGregor over his history of bigoted remarks!”
Last week, during a four-day promotional tour for the Mayweather-McGregor match, which takes place in Las Vegas on August 26, Mayweather made a quip using stereotypes about Black men: “A lot of media are saying I’m racist against black people. That’s absolutely f****** ridiculous. Do they not know I’m half-black? Yeeeeeah. I’m half-black from the belly button down.”
McGregor is reportedly worth $35 million.
Joe Smith Jr. Fights Nine Rounds with a Broken Jaw
Popular Long Island light heavyweight contender JOE SMITH JR. (23-2-0, 19 KO’S), gritted his way through Saturday’s ten round battle with SULLIVAN BARRERA (20-1-0, 14 KO’s), after suffering a broken jaw early in the 2nd round. Even with a broken jaw, Smith Jr. dug deep to fire away at the skilled Barrera until the final bell, in which he ultimately fell short by scores of 96-93 and 97-92 twice.
In a fight that had the cheering crowd on their feet throughout, Smith and Barrera went to war from the opening bell. Prior to breaking his jaw, Smith wasted no time showing his sheer power as he drilled Barrera with a hard left hook to the forehead in the opening round sending Barrera sprawling to the canvas. Barrera, hurt from the knockdown, showed his proven grit and determination by rising and finishing the round.
Although having his jaw broken in the second round, Smith continued to fight hard throughout the fight which featured excellent two-way action. Smith showed a great chin and tons of heart as he tried his best to fight through a debilitating injury. Smith landed some heavy blows stunning Barrera on occasion but Sullivan outworked him to grab the decision on the judges scorecards.
“Joe knocked down Barrera hard in the first round but in the second round he sustained a broken jaw,” said JOE DEGUARDIA, CEO and President of STAR BOXING. “It’s a similar injury to the one he suffered five years ago and frankly it’s amazing that he continued to valiantly fight over the next eight rounds and finish the fight.”
In his only other previous loss, Smith also suffered a broken jaw against Eddie Caminero five years ago.
Continued DeGuardia, “After spending part of Saturday night at the UCLA Medical Center, Joe will have surgery later this week in New York and we’ll know more then about a time frame for his full recovery. We congratulate Sullivan Barrera on his victory.”
We at Star Boxing are extremely proud of Joe for fighting this fight under such extreme conditions as are all his fans who came to the fight last night from Long Island and those who watched on HBO. Joe Smith is a true warrior and epitomizes what a real fighter is supposed to be.
PBC on ESPN Preview: Barrios vs. Boschiero, Ramirez vs. Roman
PBC on ESPN Preview: Barrios vs. Boschiero, Ramirez vs. Roman
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series will be televised live on ESPN from the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, New Jersey.
UFC 200 is also being broadcast on Saturday, but the loss of Jon Jones may lead to more viewers for the free PBC card. It features two prospects with future world title aspirations. Mario Barrios will be competing against Devis Boschiero in an IBF Junior Lightweight eliminator and Eddie Ramirez will face Jessie Roman in the junior welterweight division.
Photo Credit: Jordan Hardy/Premier Boxing Champions
The following is a preview of both televised bouts.
Eddie Ramirez (13-0) vs. Jessie Roman (20-2); Junior Welterweights
Eddie Ramirez has been extremely busy and fought five times in 2015 and once already in 2016. He’s a former Chicago Golden Gloves Champion and was a runner up in the National Golden Gloves Tournament the same year.
His opponent, Jessie Roman, does not have the amateur accomplishments of Ramirez. He fought three times in 2015 and twice in 2014.
Ramirez, at the age of twenty four, is one year younger than Roman. He will also be giving up two inches in height and two inches in reach to his opponent. However, Ramirez has nine stoppage victories in only thirteen bouts while Roman has only nine stoppage victories in twenty two professional bouts.
Neither boxer has faced any serious contenders in their primes. Ramirez has defeated the likes of Osumanu Akaba, Bilal Mahasin, and former world title challenger Cristobal Cruz. Roman’s only notable victory was over Hector Serrano.
Roman does not have many notable wins on his resume, but he does have two glaring losses. His two losses were to Joaquin Chavez, who had a record of 8-13-3 at the time they fought, and to Carlos Mario Sanchez, who had a record of 20-10 at the time they fought.
This is a bout that Eddie Ramirez should win, easily. It will be noteworthy to see if Ramirez can stop Roman, who has never been stopped in his career.
Mario Barrios (15-0) vs. Devis Boschiero (29-4-1); IBF Junior Lightweight Eliminator
Mario Barrios has fought eight times since the start of 2015 and is one of Al Haymon’s most intriguing prospects.
His activity is almost unheard of. He’s a tall fighter for the junior lightweight division and will have a six and a half inch height advantage over Boschiero. He also has a 74” reach, which is large for his division, and will have a six inch reach advantage over Boschiero.
Barrios, at the age of twenty one, is also thirteen years younger than Boschiero.
Barrios has eight stoppage victories on his resume, but he will have to be careful of Boschiero’s power. Boschiero has stopped twenty one of his opponents and won his last two fights by stoppage.
Barrios, at this point in his career, has yet to be seriously tested. His biggest wins have come against the likes of Manuel Vides, Enrique Tinoco, and Eduardo Rivera. A lot of his wins have come against opponents with losing records.
Boschiero previously fought for a world title against Takahiro Ao and lost. His other losses were to Stephen Smith and Romain Jacob, twice. He has defeated the likes of Guillaume Frenois and Ermano Fegatilli. He’s also been very active and fought four times in 2015 and once in 2016.
It should be noted that Boschiero has only fought outside of Europe once, and he lost in that bout to Takahiro Ao. Boschiero has never fought in the United States.
Boschiero is a good, tough veteran for Barrios at this point in his career. Barrios seems to be aware that Boschiero represents a tough fight for him and stated, “All I know about Boschiero is that he’s got a lot of fights and he’s a top contender. I know he’s hungry so I’m not taking him lightly. I’ve seen some tape on him and I know he likes to come forward. Everyone can expect to see a lot of had punches being thrown by both of us. I’m expecting a war.”
However, Barrios’ skill level and his reach and height will be too great for Boschiero to overcome and pull off an upset victory. Barrios should get some rounds in and win a decision victory.
The Fine Line of Trash Talk
The Fine Line of Trash Talk
By: Brandon Bernica
TV personality and boxing aficionado Mario Lopez took to Twitter this past week to call out boxing videographer Elie Seckbach to a sparring session. Seckbach enticed Lopez to call him out after Lopez caught wind of him revealing that he doesn’t like to be hit to the body. Both sides have jousted through social media, matching bravado with bravado, insult with juicier insult.
While promoters won’t be running to advertise this fight between media members, the feud stands as a microcosm for one of boxing’s long-standing traditions: trash talk. Our sport relishes the anticipation of two warriors throwing down like spectators in the old Roman Coliseum. From Ali to Mayweather and every fighter in between, good ol’ fashioned beef has exploded the hype to unforeseen levels.
Any fight between two high-caliber combatants is hard to turn away from. When the two strongest kids on the playground want to trade knuckles, everyone gathers around to witness. Usually, however, there’s a reason behind the face-off. Maybe one of the kids stole money from the other. Maybe they’re fighting over the same girl (or guy). Typically anger leads to careless trash talk, people get amped, and soon you have a can’t-miss event on your hands.
Perhaps equating an elementary school recess beef to the cutthroat business of boxing isn’t perfect. Yet the same human instinct drives both dynamics: we want to see who really means what they say. Verbal jabbing gives fights storylines and seasoning. Floyd Mayweather made millions of dollars not because of his fighting style, but because of how high he could drive (many times flawed) expectations for his bouts. We’d hear him discredit Victor Ortiz’s abilities to his face or tell other fighters how exactly he plans to beat them. This polarizes us into two camps: those who admire an athlete going against the grain, and those who want nothing more than to see the smack talker flat on the canvas. Regardless of reason, both sides are equally pumped to see fights.
If you stick around the sport long enough, you’ll realize that most “beef” is code for promotion. On the surface, it’s easy to believe every diss and threat. If one boxer questions the standing of another, he’s likely to run into a defensive wall of pride. Soon, it slowly escalates. Past embarrassments are brought into the mix, and us fans eat up every second of it.
That is, until they actually fight..
Exchanging grimacing blows for 12 rounds will do something to you. Fighters operate in the shallow halls of pain management whenever they’re in the ring. They often lash out emotionally in training camp because they feel misunderstood. So when another fighter shoulders the same degree of self-doubt and anguish as his opponent in a fight, it makes it much easier to respect that man. It’s why, after fights, neither guy usually holds a grudge. The drama beforehand spoils into nothing more than a petty footnote. Newfound appreciation prevails.
Simply put, most boxing beef is harmless. Even if words grow vile, fighting (and winning) remedies these arguments. Promotions rinse and repeat. But are there standards to denote trash talk as too extreme? Is there such a thing as going too far in boxing?
The obvious answer is yes. Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito come to mind. Before their rematch in 2011, Cotto accused Margarito of illegally loading his gloves for their initial match in 2008. That hit a very personal chord with Margarito, causing the two to despise each other in the lead-up to the bout. After Cotto knocked Margarito out the second time around, he didn’t meet him with a warm embrace or congratulations. Instead, he stared him down from across the ring, venting years of frustration with one chilling glaze.
Boxing’s biggest challenge is to not become a conduit for fractured relationships while maintaining the edge that defines the sport. While most beef remains more marketing and less vitriol, occasionally true hatred manifests and grows in the current promotional formula. As a community, we need to check fighters if they go too far. It isn’t in good conscience to enjoy the smack if we allow the standards of fighter etiquette to dip.
So, the next time you hear a controversial quote building a fight, ask yourself whether it’s mere comedy or if that narrative is doing justice for our sport.