Jaime Munguia Successful in Middleweight Debut and Stops Gary O’Sullivan in the 11th Round
By: Rich Lopez
It was a shootout at the Alamodome in San Antonio Texas. It was a night of fun filled action in the main event and the co-main event. The undercard also featured rising undefeated prospects and quick knockouts. The card was streamed on DAZN to kick off the New Year.
In the main event, former junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia (35-0, 28 KO’s) was successful in his middleweight debut by stopping Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (34-4, 21 KO’s) in the 11th round. It was expected for Munguia to win this fight but O’Sullivan tested Munguia in the early going. In the opening round, both fighters started jabbing each other. Munguia startedto go to the body of O’Sullivan with hard left hooks. Towards the end of the round, Munguia threw a flurry of punches and stunned O’Sullivan with a left hook at the end. In the secondround, O’Sullivan was the aggressor but Munguia was still landing good left hooks to the body. Munguia threw nothing but power shots. The same intensity continued from Munguia in the third round. Munguia was looking for a quick knockout. At the end of the round, Munguia got caught with a hard right hand bythe Irishman that stunned him. O’Sullivan put the pressure in rounds four and five. Even though Munguia still did some good body work in the rounds, O’Sullivan was getting the better of the exchanges in the inside. O’Sullivan also had a decent 5thround as both men exchanged furiously. As the fight was close after five rounds, Munguia took over after this. Instead of just throwing power shots, he decided to use his jab which was effective. As O’Sullivan kept the pressure in round six, Munguia’s jab was landing as will. Munguia was deducted one point for a low blow in the round. In the seventh round, Munguia landed an unintentional low blow that sent O’Sullivan to the canvas. In rounds eight and nine, the young Mexican was mixing his punches by landing straight jabs to the head and body of O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan was getting battered and was more fatigued. In round ten, O’Sullivan was hurt towards the end of the round as Munguia swarmed O’Sullivan with a barrage of punches. In the eleventh round, Munguia went for the finish. Munguia landed power shots on O’Sullivan which prompted the corner of O’Sullivan to throw the towel in. The official time of the stoppage was at 2:17 of the eleventh round.
It was quite a debut for Munguia at middleweight and O’Sullivan was as tough as they come. After a rough start for Munguia, he finally used his jab in the latter part of the fight to have success. At the post fight interview, Munguia called out all the top middleweights in the division like Canelo Alvarez and Jermall Charlo. Based on tonight’s performance, Munguia still needs some work on defense and not just rely on power shots. However, he won the fight as expected and provided thrills for the fans in attendance.
In the co-feature, former female heavyweight champion Alejandra “El Tigre” Jimenez (13-0-1, 9 KO’s) won the WBC and WBO Female Super Middleweight Titles by split decision over Franchon Crews-Dezrun (6-2, 2 KO’s) in a slug fest. The ladies wasted no time and came out firing punches in the 1stround. Crews got the better of the exchanges as Jimenez walked into some heavy punches coming in. As round two got underway, it was apparent that Crews was already gassed out. Jimenez caught Crews with a right hand that stunned her. Jimenez picked up the pace in rounds three and four. Jimenez was backing up Crews with right hands and hook shots. Crews would land punches in spots but Jimenez’s work rate was winning the rounds. Round five was a good round for Crews as she was able to land some good counter punches on Jimenez. With a little spurt of energy, Crews started round six well but Jimenez finished the round strong. Jimenez mixed her attack with body punches in rounds seven and eight while Crews was still gassed. Crews got herself together and had a good round nine. Jimenez got caught with a hard right hand by Crews that snapped her head back. Jimenez took the shot well. Both women slugged it out in the final round both having their moments. At the end, Jimenez won the fight by split decision with two judges scoring it 98-92 and 97-93 in her favor while one judge score it 97-93 for Crews.
It was an action packed fight between both women and a rematch would be fun to watch again. The difference in the fight was the size of Jimenez as she was coming down from the heavyweight division. The punches of Crews had no effect on Jimenez. At the post fight interview, Jimenez called out ClaressaShields. With the win, Jimenez is now a player in the super middleweight division.
The undercard featured local prospects that kept their winning ways.
Hector “El Finito” Tanajara Jr (19-0, 5 KO’s) scored aunanimous decision over former world featherweight and super featherweight challenger Juan Carlos Burgos (33-4-2, 21 KO’s)for the USNBC World Lightweight Title. The 1st round was a feel out for both fighters. Once the second round started, Tanajara started to box well. His used side to side movement and he established his jab. Burgos made a good effort but he was missing a lot of punches. The smooth boxing would continue for Tanajara throughout rounds 3-5. The action picked up in round six as Burgos opened up with a furious body attack. This forced Tanajara to exchange with Burgos in the inside. Burgos continued to focus on the body in the seventh round and was having some success. Tanajara put the pressure in round eightand backed Burgos to the ropes. Burgos fought well off the ropes but Tanajara was the busier of the two. Both fighters had good exchanges in the round. In rounds nine and ten, both fighters traded blows and provided good exchanges. Tanajarawon by a ten round unanimous decision with scores of 99-91 and 97-92 (twice).
Joshua “El Profesor” Franco (16-1-2, 7 KO’s) scored a 9th round TKO over Jose Alejandro Burgos (17-3, 14 KO’s) in a super flyweight bout. Burgos started the fight well in the opening round by throwing a lot of punches to the head and body of Franco. As Burgos kept a good work rate, Franco closed the distance and started to land his jabs and straight right hands. This continued in rounds two and three. Burgos continued to come forward in rounds four and five but was not effective. Franco was landing almost every counter shot he threw. There was a shift in the fight in round six as Franco was starting to push back Burgos now. Burgos got off to a good start in round seven but Franco landed a right hand followed by a left jab that snapped the head back of Burgos. In round eight, Franco wasstill landing good combinations on the charging Burgos. In round nine, Franco landed a clean left hook that snapped the head of Burgos. Finally the legs of Burgos gave out and Franco went for the finish. Franco landed a series of punches on the head of Burgos that prompted the ref to stop the fight. The end came at 2:13.
Two tall light heavyweights competed in a four round contest.Tristan Kalkreuth (4-0, 3 KO’s) blasted Blake LaCaze (4-8-2, 2 KO’s) in the 1st round. In the opening round, the 6’4” Kalkreuthdropped the 6’8” LaCaze with a left hook. LaCaze got up but it was apparent he was not in the same class of Kalkreuth. Sensing his opponent was ready to go, Kalkreuth finished the fight with a crushing right hand followed by a left hook that floored LaCazeagain. LaCaze was down and out and the ref waved the fight off. The stoppage came at 1:50 of the 1st round.
Hector “El Travieso” Valdez (12-0, 8 KO’s) knocked out Luis Rios (25-6-1, 17 KO’s) in the 3rd round of a super bantamweight bout. Valdez who just fought last month was making a quick return to the ring. The 1st round was a feel out round for both fighters. Valdez landed the most significant punch of the round which was a right hand that backed up Rios to the ropes. Valdez opened up more in the 2nd round. He started to land nice combinations to the head and the body of Rios. In round three, Valdez continued the onslaught and kept the pressure on Rios. Valdez continued to go to the body of Rios which paid off. Towards the end of the round, Valdez landed a left hook to the body that dropped and finished Rios. The fight ended at 2:59 of the 3rd round.
In a ten round super welterweight bout, Travell Mazion (17-0, 13 KO’s) demolished Fernando Castaneda (26-14-1, 17 KO’s) in the 1st round. Mazion took it to Castaneda right away. Mazionthrew a flurry of punches which ended with a left hook to the liver of Castaneda that immediately dropped him. Castaneda tried to get up but he was in pain and could not continue. The knockout occurred at: 58 of the 1st round.
In the opening bout of the telecast was a six rounder in the super lightweight division. George Rincon (10-0, 6 KO’s) blasted Diego Perez (13-10-1, 11 KO’s) in the 1st round. Rincon wasted no time and came after Perez. The southpaw Rincon landed a right hook followed by a straight left hand that dropped Perez. Perez got up and Rincon came after Perez and dropped him again with another straight left hand. Perez went down again but got up. Rincon went after Perez and finished him off with a few body shots and Perez went down again. This prompted the ref to step in and wave the fight off. In a scary moment, the winner Rincon fainted in the ring but was able to regain consciousness. The knockout was at 2:53 in the 1st round.
Fan Favorite Jaime Munguia to Start the Year Off Against Gary O’Sullivan in His Middleweight Debut
By: Rich Lopez
After a superb 2019 in boxing, we get back into it this weekend with tons of boxing action to begin the New Year. Boxing is back on DAZN this Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, with a stacked card presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The main event will feature Jaime Munguia who will be making his return to Texas. The co-feature will showcase WBC and WBO World Female Super Middleweight Champion Franchon Crews-Dezrun.
The main event will be a 12 rounder in the middleweight division between Jaime Munguia and Gary O’ Sullivan.
Jaime Munguia (34-0, 27 KO’s) of Mexico, is back and he will be making his middleweight debut. Munguia made his pro debut at the young age of 16 years old and worked his way to a top prospect within four years. Munguia was even named Prospect of the Year in 2017 by Ring Magazine. It was in 2018, where the young Mexican made a statement. Munguia was brought in as a late replacement to challenge Sadam Ali for the WBO World Super Welterweight Title after Liam Smith pulled out of the fight due to an illness. Munguia made the most of this opportunity and blasted out Ali in four rounds to become a world champion at only 21 years old. Most fans got their first glimpse of Munguia that night. He immediately became a fan favorite due to his aggressive style and his willingness to exchange punches. Munguia wasted no time and came back to fight in two months. Munguia was matched against the tough Liam Smith for his first defense of his title and he proved again he was a force to be reckoned with. Munguia defeated Smith by a 12 round unanimous decision in a good scrap. Munguia came back in two months again and stopped Brandon Cook in the 3rdround. Munguia also had another busy 2019, but there has been some criticism on him. Some observers have questioned if he is really that good? To start 2019, he had a slugfest against the undefeated Takeshi Inoue of Japan and it went all 12 roundswith Munguia winning a 12 round unanimous decision. The next fight would be a bad night for Munguia. He was once again forced to go all 12 rounds in another battle against Irishman Dennis Hogan. Munguia won a majority decision but some observers felt he lost that fight. Munguia ended the year by stopping the over matched Patrick Allotey. Even though Munguia went from top prospect to world champion, he has flaws. He lacks defense and is a one dimensional fighter but he is still very young. We will have to wait and see if he can improve his technique but one thing is for sure, he brings excitement and he likes to brawl. That is what brings fans to theseats.
Coming into Saturday, Munguia will be making his middleweight debut and now has Hall of Fame boxer Erik Morales as his trainer. Munguia is tall and should adapt to the new weight class but it remains to be seen how well he would doat this new weight. There is a lot of great competition in theweight class with names like Canelo Alvarez, DemetruisAndrade, Jermall Charlo, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and SergiyDerevyanchenko. Munguia will need another statement for his debut and his challenger to welcome him is Gary O’ Sullivan.
Gary “Spike” O’ Sullivan (30-3, 21 KO’s) of Ireland, is the prefect opponent for Munguia. Sullivan will be heading into his eleven year as a professional. He started his career mainly fighting in Ireland and more recently has been fighting in the New York and Boston area. He has had his ups and downs in his career. He also made his way through the rankings as being a top prospect and eventually landing a WBA Middleweight Title Eliminator bout in 2015. However, he lost that fight by stoppage against Chris Eubank Jr. Since that loss, Sullivan climbed up the rankings again and earned another WBA Middleweight Title Eliminator bout against knockout artist David Lemieux in 2018. Once again, Sullivan was stopped in the fight and this time in the 1st round. There was still no quit in Sullivan and he has won two fights since the Lemieux fight. Now he will get another big fight against Munguia and he would need to make the most of it as this can be his last big shot. Sullivan also brings a crowd pleasing style and likes to come forward which should make the fight a barn burner as long as it lasts.
In the co-feature, WBC and WBO World Female Super Middleweight Champion Franchon Crews-Dezrun (6-1, 2 KO’s) of Baltimore, Maryland, will square off against Alejandra “El Tigre” Jimenez (12-0-1. 9 KO’s) of Mexico. Crews started her professional career in 2016 with a loss to Claressa Shields. Both women were making their professional debuts and Crews lost by a four round unanimous decision. Since then, Crews has gotten better. For Crews, 2018 was her coming out party when she defeated Maricela Cornejo by a 10 round majority decision for the vacant WBC title. To prove the win was no fluke, Crews defeated Cornejo in a rematch last year with a more decisive victory by 10 round unanimous decision. That victory earned her the WBO title. Crews would like a rematch with Shields but first would need to get by Jimenez. Jimenez, who is already a five year pro, started her career at heavyweight and was the former WBC World Female Heavyweight Champion. Jimenez has made a transformation and lost a lot weight. She is currently now campaigning at the super middleweight division at 168 lbs. There has been some bad blood between these ladies since last year and they will settle the score in the ring on Saturday.
Jaime Munguia: “Anyone Who’s A World Champion, I’d Like To Face Him”
By: Sean Crose
It’s common for fighters, even high level fighters, to listen to a trainer’s advice. When that trainer is none other than the iconic Erik Morales, however, it’s quite difficult to say no. Former junior middleweight titlist Jaime Munguia has the advantage of having Morales in his corner. When the Hall of Famer made it clear he wanted the hard hitting, 34-0 Munguia to train for his middleweight debut at Mexico’s high altitude Otomí Ceremonial Center, the 23 year old made sure to adhere to his trainer’s wishes. “It was a decision of Eric’s,” Munguia told me over the phone. “I told him I would go where he wanted.”
Morales, along with Munguia’s team – which includes Munguia’s father, Jamime Sr – has subsequently been working on making the exciting six foot tall junior middleweight into a full fledged middleweight. The immediate goal? For Munguia to impress when he meets the colorful and exciting Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan on January 11th at San Antonio’s Alamodome. It will be the first bout in what team Munguia hopes will be a fiery run at middleweight. “We’re dong well,” Munguia tells me. “It’s been a great camp. We’re learning a lot.” Holed up in his camp, Munguia has been able to learn from Morales, his father, and others.
“Yeah,” he says when I ask if the relationship between his father and Morales is a smooth one, “they get along very well.” Such things are important, especially for a fighter hoping to up his game. “We’re working for all kind of situations,” Munguia says of preparations for O’Sullivan, “but also looking for openings.” With 27 knockouts under his belt already, Munguia is hoping to put his power on display at the Alamodome. But how is Muguia going to make sure his weight carries over into middlweight? “I’m going to do the same thing as always,” he tells me, “train hard (while) making sure I’m getting good nutrition.” Confidence, and a belief in the basics, has led Munguia quite far, especially when one considers his young age.
Yet Munguia is already planning for the future. For he plans on fighting for one of the middleweight titles in 2020. “Anyone whose a world champion,” he says, “I’d like to face him.” First, though, there’s the experienced, fun to watch O’Sullivan to deal with. “We’re thinking about the people, too” he says when I ask if O’Sullivan was chosen for his entertainment value, as well as his skill set. In other words, the young man from Tijuana wants to impress more than just himself. “On January 11th,” he says, “we’re going to deliver a great fight.”
Jamie Munguia Vacates Title To Face Gary O’Sullivan in Middleweight Debut
By: Hans Themistode
If you take a look at the frame of former WBO Jr Middleweight title holder Jamie Munguia (34-0, 27 KOs) you would have a hard time believing that he can somehow squeeze down to the 154 pound division.
Not only does he stand at 6 feet tall, but he is also just 23 years of age. It’s safe to say that the Mexican born boxer isn’t done growing quite yet.
After winning the WBO title in 2018, Munguia had a lackluster title reign to say the least. He defeated Sadam Ali, a natural Welterweight, to win the belt. Outside of Liam Smith, Munguia has fought no one of note in the division. In his contest against Dennis Hogan earlier this year, Munguia was on the edge of defeat but somehow managed to slip away with the victory.
After a quick stoppage win over Patrick Allotey in his last ring appearance, it appears that Munguia is done killing his body just to hold on to his title.
It’ll be only eleven days into the 2020 calendar year before Munguia makes his debut at the Middleweight division. Forgoing his WBO Jr Middleweight title in the process.
The first man to introduce Munguia to his new division will be the shop worn Gary O’Sullivan (30-3, 21 KOs). The now 35 year old O’Sullivan has long been a serviceable fighter in a career that has spanned over a decade, but he has always fallen short when he has stepped up his level of opposition.
Losses to Billy Joe Saunders, Chris Eubank Jr and David Lemieux are nothing to be ashamed of. However, in two of those three losses, O’Sullivan was brutally knocked out. Still, with that being said, it is unknown whether or not Munguia is on the same level as those previously mentioned fighters.
His abilities as a fighter might still be in question, but his excitement for this contest is not. A move to a new division will allow him to capture gold in yet another weight class in the near future. Assuming he makes it past O’Sullivan.
“I feel very happy to be starting the year 2020 with a great fight at a great place like San Antonio, Texas,” said Munguia. “I have fought in Houston, Texas, before, where the people there treated me very well. I think that San Antonio won’t be any different. We’re going to deliver a great fight against a tough fighter in Gary O’Sullivan. He’s great, and he’s strong, but we’re going to come very well prepared. We plan to do an excellent job and make it very clear who is the best in the ring”
Following his brutal one punch knockout loss at the hands of David Lemieux in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2018, O’Sullivan has bounced back with two straight stoppage wins. Including a huge knockout victory over Khiary Gray earlier this year. With one more victory, especially over a well known name in Jamie Munguia, it could lead O’Sullivan to his first title shot.
“For me, it’s a dream come true to fight the undefeated champion of the world, and the number one ranked fighter in the world,” O’Sullivan said. “It makes it even better that he’s Mexican. I grew up watching the great Mexican champions, and to get the opportunity to fight Jaime is an honor. I will leave no stone unturned in my preparation for this fight. I can’t recall feeling more motivated by any other fight in my career thus far. I believe this fight will be a war that the fans will talk about for many years to come.”
Neither man can afford to lose this contest. Munguia can make a huge splash in his new division with a stoppage win while O’Sullivan simply can’t afford another high profile loss under his belt.
Munguia’s move to the Middleweight division was an abrupt one, but will be a sagacious decision? We’ll get our answer on January 11th, 2020.
Andrade vs. Mungia On Tap for 2020?
By: Shane Willoughby
Since Demetrius Andrade has signed with Matchroom he has been extremely active. He has already fought twice this year and was expected to return to the ring at the back end of 2019.
There were talks of Andrade fighting Gennady Golovkin or Canelo but with both fighters having fight dates it appears that the American might be running out of opponents.
Another fight fans have spoken about for Andrade is against Jermall Charlo, but with Andrade being WBO champion and Charlo not ranked in the WBO top 15 that fight is unlikely. However, Charlo is WBC ‘regular’ champion so it will be interesting to see how that works out fo him
Regardless, the chance of Andrade having a big fight this year is slim to none. However, a fight that is extremely likely if not inevitable is between him and Jaime Mungia. this bout hasn’t really been spoken about but could be on the cards sooner than you think as Mungia’s days at light-middleweight are numbered.
Jamie Mungia has been WBO champion at 154lbs for just over a year when he defeated the former champion, Sadam Ali. However, it is no secret that the 22-year-old is too big for the weight.
In his last two fights against Patrick Allotey and Dennis Hogan he just about made weight. In fact against Allotey, he had to strip naked. And with all the biggest fighters at 154lbs being with PBC the chances of a big fight in this division is limited.
The most obvious scenario is him moving up. Once Mungia decides to make that jump to Middleweight, he will become mandatory for Demetrius Andrade’s WBO Middleweight title.
The chances of this happening in 2020 are extremely likely as they both are void of big fights, and with them both being signed to DAZN the fight shouldn’t be that difficult to make. Andrade won’t be due to make a mandatory defence for at least a year but maybe by the back end of 2020, Mungia could be next in line.
Munguia Dominates Allotey In Hard Hitting Fashion
By: Sean Crose
Up and coming prospect Ryan Garcia was supposed to fight on Saturday’s DAZN card from California. Unfortunately for Garcia, his opponent – and fellow fighter on the rise – Avery Sparrow was arrested and was unable to make the fight. An opponent was said to be looked for, but no opponent was agreed to, and Garcia ended up bitterly disappointed, as he had to sit the weekend out. The co-main event of the evening subsequently went to a women’s contest for the WBC and vacant WBO titles.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Boxing Twitter Account
Titlist Franchon Crews-Dezurn, 5-1, slipped in between the ropes to face the 13-3 Marcielo Cornejo. Crews-Dezurn was supposed to fight another opponent, but Alejandra Jiminez was unable to fight, and Cornejo got the call. Crews-Dezurn looked as if she might barrel through her opponent at first, but Cornejo showed that sharp, accurate punching could be effective against the defending champion. Still, Crews-Dezurn’s telling and steady agression ended up telling the tale throughout the majority of the bout. Cornejo was even wobbled in the 9th. The decision ended up going to Crews-Dezurn, the clear winner.
It was time for the main event. Jaime Munguia’s previous fight saw the WBO junior middleweight champion come close to losing his title belt to Denis Hogan. With something to prove, Munguia entered the ring on Saturday to face the largely unknown Patrick Allotey. The challenger moved and landed well throughout the first. The second round was much closer than the first had been. Allotey still fought well, but Munguia began to land to the body. Munguia went to work well in the third, and took his man down with a body shot. Allotey got to his feet, but the champion sent him to the mat again at the bell.
Getting up before the ten count, Allotey made it to the fourth round. Still, Munguia was able to land so hard that Allotey had to take a knee. Allotey’s corner then stopped the bout. Munguia was simply too big and strong for his fast, effective foe. With that in mind, Munguia will now move up to middleweight where the world will see if he’s able to keep punching so effectively in a bigger division. Having done what he was supposed to with Allotey, Munguia will now find himself fighting on the same streaming service as fellow middleweights Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, and Demetrius Andrade. The future will most certainly be interesting for the game hard hitting Mexican fighter.
Munguia Set To Face Allotey, Garcia to Face Sparrow
By: Sean Crose
The DAZN streaming service will host a live fight card from the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California Saturday night featuring the 33-0 WBO world junior middleweight champ, Jaime Munguia. The 40-3 Patrick Allotey will be Munguia’s opponent. Although he’s won six straight fights since 2016, Allotey, a largely unknown commodity, is being regarded as stay busy opponent for the hard hitting Munguia. While his last two fights have ended in his favor via decision, the Tijuana, Mexico native has an impressive twenty knockouts on his resume. Having won the belt by stopping Saddam Ali in 2018, Munguia has had five successful title defenses.
Despite his record being impressive, Munguia’s last opponent, Denis Hogan, gave the defending champion a very hard time when the two men met in Monterray, Mexico last April. Hogan boxed well, then engaged effectively with the defending champion. Munguia walked away with the decision win, but the victory didn’t come without a question mark. In other words, the man arguably should have lost the fight. With that being said, Munguia showed an intense level of heart during the Hogan bout. What’s more, it’s said Munguia is looking to move up to middleweight after Saturday’s match against Allotey.
The Munguia-Allotey super lightweight title matchup is scheduled for 12 rounds.
The popular Ryan Garcia will also appear on Saturday’s card. The 18-0 Californian will be stepping inside the ring to face 10-1 Philly native Avery Sparrow. Garcia is clearly being marketed as a rising superstar, yet the 21 year old won’t be facing any slouch. Sparrow has only lost one fight – and that was by disqualification seven fights and nearly four years ago. Also, despite the fact that he only has a handful of knockouts on his resume, Sparrow was able to drop the respected veteran Hank Lundy when the two battled last March in Philly.
Still, it’s worth keeping in mind when it comes to the sport of boxing that popularity can count in a big way after the final bell rings. And Garcia is nothing if not popular. He’s been groomed for success for a while now. Add that to the fact that he’s a legitimate social media star, and it’s clear that people are invested in Garcia. Having not stopped an opponent in his last six bouts, Sparrow may have quite the mountain to climb if he wants to walk away with the win on Saturday night.
Not that Sparrow only has to worry about the judges. Garcia may be well liked, but he’s also a talented rising star with very impressive power. No one, after all, has handed him the fifteen knockout wins he’s earned so far. It takes more than good looks and a huge Instagram following to truly make it in boxing, a fact Garcia is clearly aware of, as he’s taken what may be a dangerous fight for him this weekend.
The Garcia-Sparrow fight is scheduled for 12 rounds in the lightweight division.
Can Jaime Munguia Become a Star?
By: Hans Themistode
Becoming a great boxer isn’t easy but it also isn’t exactly hard. Let me explain.
Fighters put in hours upon hours in the gym. It takes days, weeks, months and yes even years before a fighter can become a great one. There’s a reason why Vasiliy Lomachenko is considered one of the best fighters anyone has ever seen. He has spent countless hours in the gym working on his craft. The same goes for Terence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr and many others. The dedication that these world championship level boxers have is immense.
These aforementioned fighters might be stars in the ring but they aren’t quite stars outside of it. There are very few fighters in the sport today that have true star power. Former unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua would qualify as a star both inside and outside of the ring, but even his star power fails in comparison to Middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
Alvarez routinely sells out venues, and before he moved away from the pay per view module, his fights brung in millions of viewers. Alvarez can’t do what many of us enjoy in privacy. Getting a cup of coffee, walking your dog or even going outside to check the mail results in Alvarez getting mobbed by dozens of fans.
His stardom has afforded him two of the biggest and most popular dates on the boxing calendar. Cinco De Mayo in May and Mexican Independence Day in September. Now that he has forged his September date this year because of his difficulties in finding a suitable opponent, the date was given to another Mexican champion, WBO Jr Middleweight belt holder Jaime Munguia.
At just 22 years of age, Munguia has shown incredible promise but can he follow in the footsteps of Alvarez? That seems doubtful.
Munguia has yet to fight a single meaningful fight in his division. His resume is littered with below average fighters. That isn’t to say that Munguia is not deserving of his championship because he is, but his level of opposition needs to be raised considerably in order to raise his profile. Just who is his September 14th opponent Patrick Allotey? Or his previous opponent Dennis Hogan? These aren’t the sort of fights that will get Munguia noticed to the casual fans.
Alvarez isn’t just a great fighter but he also fights the toughest opposition available to him. In his next contest he is reportedly moving up two weight divisions to take on Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. Both casuals and hardcore fans will be intrigued to see how that contest plays out.
The blueprint for Munguia is simple. He needs to fight better competition. He also needs to take risk. Sitting back and taking on fighters that everyone expects him to beat will assure that he remains a champion but he will have a hard time making the leap to becoming a superstar.
Munguia does have youth on his side but if he wants to effectively cross over into the eyes of the mainstream then he must act now. The Jr Middleweight division is filled with talent. Julian Williams, Erislandy Lara and Jermell Charlo all reside in his division. If he can defeat them then a life of stardom awaits him.
DAZN Boxing Results: Munguia Wins Decision Over Hogan
By: Sean Crose
WBO super welterweight champion Jaime Munguia, (32-0) defended his title against Denis Hogan (28-1-1) in a scheduled 12 round affair in Monterray, Mexico on Saturday evening. First up, Patrick Teixiera (29-1) battled Mario Lozano (33-8) in a scheduled 12 round match. Texieria, in his energetic, circular style, appeared to cruise through the first three rounds. By the midpoint, Texieria was dominating, but not thrilling. It was shaping up to be a clean, one sided, and less than thrilling fight. In the second half of the bout, the crowd became restless, as things had slipped into a routine. In the eighth, however, the underdog Lozano started to coming on strong. Lozano came on strong again the ninth. Teixiera looked a bit gassed by the tenth and final round, but he had done enough by that point to win the fight by majority decision.
Next up, the 21-0 Diego De La Hoya stepped into the ring to face the 24-12 Enrique Bernache in a scheduled 10 round featherweight match. The first round was close, though De La Hoya may have edged it. The second round was punctuated by two headbutts, the second one quite severe, which led to Bernache bleeding profusely from the center of his forehead. The fight was subsequently stopped by the ring doctor and a no contest decision rendered.
It was time for the main event. Hogan’s awkwardness told the tale in the first. Hogan continued to look sharper than the champion in the second. The third saw Munguia starting to find his mark a bit. The fourth became action oriented, and – surprisingly – Hogan was able to go toe to toe with Munguia. By the sixth, Munguia was able to assert himself more, but it was a real fight. The seventh saw Munguia essentially in control, but it also saw Hogan land effectively. Hogan took the eighth, landing hard and clean. Hogan then arguably took the ninth. What’s more, Hogan actually seemed to hurt Hogan in the 10th. By the end of the twelfth it looked like there just might be an upset in the air.
It was not to be. Munguia got the majority decision nod. A prohibitive underdog, Hogan proved to be a true challenge for the champion. He was slick, accurate, and at times even appeared powerful in his punching. Munguia, on the other hand, occasionally looked over his head and frustrated in the ring. Munguia also, however, showed heart, and the ability to not let an awkward foe run away with his title.
Jaime Munguia Set to Return Against Takeshi Inoue
By: Hector Franco
The return of one of 2018’s breakout stars will take place this weekend when Mexico’s Jaime Munguia (31-0, 26 KOs) attempts to make the third successful title defense of his WBO super welterweight championship against Japan’s Takeshi Inoue (13-0, 7 KOs).
Munguia was first heard of by a majority of boxing fans last year as a potential opponent for former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Golovkin ended up facing Vanes Martirosyan instead when the Nevada Athletic Commission did not approve Munguia due to his young age and lack of experience of fighting in the middleweight division.
It may have been a blessing in disguise for the 22-year old Munguia as he instead went on to face Brooklyn’s Sadam Ali for the WBO super welterweight title. The Brooklyn, New York native, was coming off of the most significant victory of his career in defeating future Hall-of-Famer Miguel Cotto by decision in Madison Square Garden. Munguia was not intimidated by Ali and made quick work of him scoring two knockdowns in the first round and two more in rounds two and four en route to a dominating fourth-round stoppage.
After the bout with Ali, Munguia made a quick return in July 2018 when he faced former super welterweight champion, Liam Smith. Once again Munguia dominated his opponent dropping him in the sixth round to win a clear unanimous decision victory. Against Smith, the young Mexican showed that not only does he pack a punch, but has the ability to go a full twelve rounds.
Following the fight with Smith, Munguia faced Brandon Cook on the undercard of Golovkin’s rematch with Saul Alvarez in September 2018. The fight only lasted three rounds with Munguia proving his superiority from the sound of the first bell.
Munguia’s opponent on Saturday is undefeated and seven years his senior. Inoue will be fighting for the first time in the United States and only his second fight outside of his native Japan. He is relatively unknown outside of Japan making him a mystery for many boxing fans. The odds are heavily against Inoue to defeat Munguia; however, bigger upsets have taken place in the sport. Japan has seen a recent influx of great fighters such as bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue, flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka and super featherweight champion Masayuki Ito. Against Munguia, Inoue will look to place himself on the list of the latest set of Japanese world champions.
Munguia will look to add another title defense to his ledger. Unfortunately for Munguia, he may be on the wrong side of the fence in his division with the majority of the champions falling under the Premier Boxing banner. The young Mexican’s goal is to one day step in the ring with Canelo Alvarez. Should he continue winning, it is a possibility that the fight can take place in the near future. The two men are both promoted by Golden Boy Promotions.
The broadcast’s co-main event will feature “regular” WBA featherweight champion Jesus Rojas (26-2-2, 19 KOs) taking on China’s Can “Monster” Xu (15-2, 2 KOs). Rojas is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Joseph Diaz. Rojas was able to keep his title per WBA rules due to Diaz not making the featherweight weight limit of 126 pounds.
The Puerto Rican won the title against the Dominican Republic’s Claudio Marrero scoring a seventh-round knockout in Las Vegas the day before the first encounter between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
Rojas’ opponent is also unknown in the United States having fought a vast majority of his fights in China. Xu will be making his second appearance in the U.S. and holds some physical advantages over Rojas. Xu is 24 years of age making him eight years younger than the Puerto Rican (32). The Chinese fighter also has the edge in height and reach. It has been shown that Rojas can be outboxed. With just two knockouts in 17 professional bouts, it is likely going to be the game plan for Xu to use lateral movement to offset any of Rojas’ oncoming attacks.
On paper, the card in Houston looks to be one to showcase two world champions who will go on to bigger and better things. However, boxing matches are not fought on paper they are fought in the ring.
The card will begin at 5 pm ET on Saturday, January 26, 2019, on the DAZN streaming app.
Jamie Munguia-Takeshi Inoue Title Tilt To Headline January 26 DAZN Show in Houston
By Jake Donovan
Ahead of its first show on a new platform, the Golden Boy Promotions staff is fully prepared to hit the ground running for the 2019 boxing season.
Currently in the hopper is a planned January 26 show at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, which will air live on sports streaming service DAZN. Headlining the show, unbeaten super welterweight titlist Jaime Munguia will attempt his fourth defense in facing undefeated challenger Takeshi Inoue.
Golden Boy makes its DAZN debut this Saturday, with its biggest star Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez moving up in weight to challenge secondary super middleweight titlist Rocky Fielding. Alvarez signed a record-breaking contract with the streaming service this past October, a move that was shortly followed by Golden Boy securing a long-term deal to bring its entire stable over after having previously been spread out on HBO, ESPN and Facebook.
The first DAZN show of 2019 under such deal is expected to be formally announced shortly, with the red-hot Munguia (31-0, 26KOs) getting the honor of serving as the star attraction.
The red-hot unbeaten titlist from Tijuana, Mexico is currently promoted by Zanfer Promotions, but entered a co-promotional agreement with Golden Boy beginning with his one-sided knockout win over Sadam Ali in May. The feat was part of an active 2018 in-ring campaign, where he scored four wins in as many bouts but whose rise to stardom actually began with a fight that never materialized.
Munguia was named as an alternate opponent for Gennady Golovkin once plans for a May 5 rematch with Alvarez were put on hold due to Alvarez twice testing positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol. Best efforts to preserve the fight date in Las Vegas were ultimately thwarted after Bob Bennett, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission deemed Munguia as too green a challenge for a boxer of Golovkin’s superstar ilk.
It was a fair assessment, as Munguia—while 28-0 at the time—would have been moving up in weight in addition to taking a massive leap in competition. Golovkin wound up taking the show to Southern California, where he annihilated Vanes Martirosyan in two rounds.
Meanwhile, Munguia went on to become a major breakout star of 2018. Shortly after knocking out Ali to win the title in their HBO-televised headliner in May, the 6’0” super welterweight made two high-profile defenses.
First was his decision win over former titlist Liam Smith in his second straight HBO headliner in July, less than eight weeks after winning the belt. Less than two months later came a 3rd round knockout of Brandon Cook in Las Vegas, as the chief support to the reschedule Alvarez-Golovkin rematch, in which Alvarez won a 12 round decision atop an HBO Pay-Per-View which sold more than 1.1 million units.
Efforts to squeeze in a 5th fight on the year would’ve had Munguia back on HBO, as there were talks of his headlining the network’s final-ever card. His handlers instead decided that it was too ambitious a move, with the preference of starting fresh in a 2019 campaign they hope to be equally as active while growing even more as an emerging boxing superstar.
Awaiting him will be Japan’s Inoue (13-0-1, 7KOs), who makes his stateside debut ahead of his first title challenge. The bout will also represent his first outside of Asia and just the second time away from his home country, the lone exception coming in a Sept. ’16 stay-busy win on a club show in Thailand.
Inoue has fought just once in 2018, scoring a 12-round decision over countryman Yuki Nonaka in their title elimination bout this past April in Tokyo, Japan.
Mexico’s Munguia fights for the sixth time in the United States, all coming in his past seven starts. His upcoming title defense will mark his first trip to Texas, with his previous stateside appearances coming in Las Vegas and upstate New York.
HBO PPV Preview: Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin Rematch, Plus Full Undercard
By: William Holmes
Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin PPV
HBO PPV: $84.95
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Start time: 8PM ET/ 5PM PT
TV Undercard: Jaime Munguia vs Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook
David Lemieux vs Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez vs Moises “Moi” Fuentes
On Saturday, September 15th the long awaited rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez will finally occur for Golovkin’s WBA and WBC Middleweight Titles.
They were originally to fight on May 5th, but a positive test for clenbuterol scuttled those plans. Canelo claimed the trace levels detected were due to contaminated meat, which was met with some skepticism by Golovkin and his team.
Jaime Mungui and Brandon Cook will meet in the co-main event of the night for Munguia’s WBO Junior Middleweight World Title. David Lemieux and Gary O’Sullivan will also meet in a middleweight bout with possible future title implications.
Other boxers such as Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, Moises Fuentes, Vergil Ortiz Jr., Alexis Rocha, and Brian Ceballo will also be featured on the undercard.
The following is a preview of the three top fights for Saturday’s HBO PPV offering.
David Lemieux (39-4) vs. Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (28-2); Middleweights
David Lemieux is only twenty nine years old, and will be five years older than Gary O’Sullivan come fight night, but in ring years he’s significantly older. He’s been in some tough fights with some tough competition and already has thirteen more professional fights than O’Sullivan.
They’re about the same size, O’Sullivan will have a slight ½ inch height advantage. They both have decent power. Lemieux has stopped thirty three of his opponents while O’Sullivan has stopped twenty. However, Lemieux only has one stoppage victory in his past five fights while O’Sullivan has five victories in a row by stoppage.
They also have both been stopped. Lemieux has two stoppage losses while O’Sullivan has one stoppage loss on his record.
They both have been fairly active. He fought once in 2018, three times in 2017, and twice in 2016. O’Sullivan fought once in 2018, four times in 2017, and once in 2016.
Lemieux does have an edge in amateur experience. He won the Canadian National Junior Championships in 2006 while O’Sullivan does not have any notable amateur accomplishments.
Lemieux’s losses were to Billy Joe Saunders, Gennady Golovkin, and earlier in his career to Joachim Alcine and Marco Antonio Rubion. He has beaten the likes of Elvin Ayala, Hector Camacho Jr., Fernando Guerrero, Gabriel Rosado, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Glen Tapia, Curtis Stevens, and Karim Achour.
O’Sullivan’s losses were to Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr. He has defeated the likes of Berlin Abreu, Antoine Douglas, Nick Quigley, Melvin Bentancourt, and Matthew Hall.
If this fight happened three years ago Lemieux would be considered the favorite. But he looked slow and old in his loss to Billy Joe Saunders and he is starting to show signs of ring wear. O’Sullivan on the other hand, has been riding a good win streak and looked sensational against a solid young prospect in Antoine Douglas.
This writer has to pick O’Sullivan in a minor upset.
Jaime Munguia (30-0) vs. Brandon Cook (20-1); WBO Junior Middleweight Title
Jaime Munguia is one of Golden Boy Promotions’ best young fighters and at the age of twenty one is already a legitimate world champion.
He has exceptional power. He has twenty five stoppage wins and has stopped six of his past seven opponents. He’s also eleven years younger than his opponent Brandon Cook, who only has thirteen stoppage wins, and already has one stoppage loss.
Munguia has been incredibly active. He already fought four times in 2018 and fought seven times in 2017. Cook has also been active and fought once in 2018 and three times in 2017.
Munguia has the better amateur pedigree. He was a Gold Medalist in the Mexican National Championships and turned pro at the age of 16.
Cook’s lone loss was to Kanat Islam by TKO in 2017. He doesn’t have any big victories of note, he has defeated the likes of Miguel Suarez, Steven Butler, and Hector Santana.
Munguia has defeated the likes of Liam Smith, Sadam Ali, Jose Paz, Paul Valenzuela Jr., and Johnny Navarrete.
On paper, it’s hard to find anything that Bradon Cook does better than Jaime Munguia. It’s likely we will see that in the ring too.
Gennady Golovkin (38-0-1) vs. Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2); WBA/WBC Middleweight Title
Gennady Golovkin has to be considered one of, if not the best middleweight boxers in the 21st century. However, he doesn’t have that big signature win over an exceptional opponent on his resume.
Many thought he did enough to beat Canelo last year, but Canelo came on strong in the later rounds and was able to make the fight a draw.
Both boxers have good power. Golovkin has stopped thirty four of his opponents, though his power seems to be slipping recently. Canelo also has thirty four stoppage wins. Neither boxer has ever been stopped in their career.
Canelo will have a slight ½ inch reach advantage, but will also be giving up about two inches in height. Canelo will be eight years younger than Golovkin on Saturday, and Golovkin may be showing some signs of rust in his armor with his advancing age.
Golovkin has the better amateur career of the two. He was a silver medalist in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Canelo turned professional at a young age, but did win the 2005 Junior Mexican National Championships.
Golovkin has beaten the likes of Vanes Martirosyan, Daniel Jacobs, Kell Brook, Dominic Wade, David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr., Marco Antonio Rubio, Daniel Geale, Curtis Stevens, Matthew Macklin, and Gabriel Rosado. He has fought twice a year in 2018, 2017 and 2016.
Canelo has beaten the likes of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Liam Smith, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Josesito Lopez, Shane Mosley, and Kermit Cintron. His lone loss was the Floyd Mayweather Jr., and he had a draw very early in his career to a Jorge Juarez.
Both boxers seem motivated and have a genuine dislike of each other since Canelo’s positive steroid test in the spring. In their last fight they appeared to be very respectful towards each other, almost too much.
Golovkin’s age is a big concern and his best days are likely behind him. Canelo also appeared to have figured out Golovkin by the end of the fight and was coming on strong. The fight fans in attendance will also likely be in favor of Canelo over Golovkin.
The intangibles favor Canelo,but it’s hard to pick against a man that has never lost and looked absolutely dominating at times.
This is basically an even fight, but this writer has to give the slightest of edges to Golovkin, only because it appeared that Golovkin should have received the decision last time.
HBO Boxing Preview: Machado vs. Mensah, Munguia vs. Smith
By: William Holmes
On Saturday Night the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada will host a two world title fights to be televised on HBO.
Golden Boy Promotions is the lead promoter for this card which will feature a WBO Junior Middleweight Title Fight between Jaime Munguia and Liam Smith. The co-feature of the night will be between Alberto Macahdo and Rafael Mensah for the WBA Regular Junior Lightweight Title.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan – Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Munguia has gained some prominence with his resounding victory over Sadam Ali to capture his first world title and was mentioned as a possible replacement opponent for Gennady Golovkin when the rematch between him and Canelo had to be rescheduled.
The following is a preview of both world title fights.
Alberto Machado (19-0) vs. Rafael Mensah (31-0); WBA Regular Junior Lightweight Title
Alberto Machado is a champion who just won his title with a mild upset over Jezreel Corrales by knockout in his last fight. He’s 27 years old and has a very large reach of 72” for his weight class.
His opponent, Rafael Mensah, fights out of Ghana and not much is known about him except for his record. He’s never fought outside of Ghana but is the number one contender for the WBA Title.
Macahdo has been very active recently and fought three times in 2017 and four times in 2016. Mensah has also been active and fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016, but his last two opponents that he beat had losing records.
Win two fights against below .500 opponents gets you a title shot in the WBA.
Machado had moderate success as an amateur and was a National Champion at the Junior Olympics. Mensah has no notable amateur accomplishments.
Machado has defeated the likes of Carlos Morales, Jezreel Corrales, Juan Jose Martinez, and Miguel Mendoza.
Mensah has defeated nobody of note, but opponents with good records that he has defeated include Fatiou Fassinou and Abdul Jabir.
Macahdo hasn’t been taking Mensah lightly. He stated at a recent press conference,” Rafael is the Number 1 contender for a reason. I’ve got great training at the Wild Card Boxing Club where everyone is very strong. I thank Freddie Roach for focusing on me for the past several weeks. I’m going back to Puerto Rico a world champion.”
Machado probably could probably take the unproven Mensah lightly and still be a heavy favorite.
Jaime Munguia (29-0) vs. Liam Smith (26-1-1); WBO Junior Middleweight Title
Liam Smith was originally scheduled to face Sadam Ali for the WBO Junior Middleweight Title, but had to pull out and was replaced by Jaime Munguia, who won the title with a dominating TKO victory.
On Saturday they will face each other for that WBO Title.
Munguia has twenty five stoppage wins on his record and will have about a two and a half inch height advantage over Smith. Smith has fourteen stoppage wins on his record.
However, Munguia has six stoppage wins in a row. He is also only twenty one years old and eight years younger than Smith.
Even though Munguia has advantages in power and height, he is not taking Smith lightly. He recently stated, “Liam Smith is a tough fighter. We know what kind of style he has. He’s the type of fighter who will come forward and throw a lot of punches. He has an advantage because he’s been in big fights before. But I have a lot of experience as well. I’ve had over a hundred amateur fights and I have fought all over Mexico. We also know what style he will bring. Smith is the kind of fighter who will stand in front of you with a high guard and then suddenly throw a lot of punches. We both come forward and we both throw a lot of punches, so there is a high possibility that this fight will end in a knockout. If we don’t get the knockout, I’m prepared to go the 12 rounds. This has been the best camp of life. I am very prepared. My sparring has gone well. I feel great and I will show that on Saturday. Don’t miss this big fight!”
Smith looks ready for the challenge. He stated,” I was kept in the mandatory position and now I’ve got my shot against a good champion. It should be an exciting fight. He’s an exciting combatant who comes to fight. He’s young and he’s hungry. But you know me. I’m not going to come here and lie down. It’s not the Jaime Munguia show for me. I’m here to do my job. I’m here to do what I set out to do and get my title back.”
Munguia has defeated the likes of Sadam Ali, Johnny Navarrete, Uriel Gonzalez, and Juan Macias Montiel. He has fought three times in 2018 already and fought seven times in 2017!!
Munguia was a national gold medalist as an amateur and turned pro at the age of 16.
Smith fought three times in 2017 and his lone loss was to Saul Alvarez. He has defeated the likes of Liam Williams, Predgrag Radosevic, Jimmy Kelly, and John Thompson. He was an English ABA National Champion as an amateur.
Smith’s stoppage loss to Canelo should be concerning for his fans, as Munguia is also known for being a strong puncher. Munguia activity as a boxer is rare in today’s age and that should be helpful for him on Saturday.
The hype of Munguia has slowly been gaining steam, and this writer expects it to pick up more steam with a resounding win on Saturday.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Conwell, Bare Knuckle Fighting, Usyk, Gassiev, Munguia, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of July 10th to July 17th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Usyk and Gassiev Touch Down in Moscow for Historic Final
Murat Gassiev and Aleksandr Usyk arrived Monday evening in Moscow ahead of the Cruiserweight Ali Trophy Final on July 21 at the Olympic Sports Complex.
“I am looking forward to the final. A final that will bring out the best in boxing. I can’t wait to see my fans in Moscow,” said Usyk.
Gassiev: “I’m in Russia one week before the fight. I’ve never had problems with the acclimatization. Jet-lag is also not a problem. A good nap during the flight and I’m ready to box at the airport. As always I expect a tough fight. I have to be ready for everything and adjust.”
Tickets are still available through official channels for one of the most anticipated fights of the decade, one of the most exciting boxing events in history, with 10.000 being sold up to now and 20.000 spectators expected.
“The exciting build-up for the first Ali Trophy Final ever is entering its most exciting phase,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer. “This is the moment we have been waiting for.”
“True history and legacy making are at stake and the ‘Winner takes it all’ frase has never been more fitting. On Saturday in Moscow boxing and the world of sport will have a new, true superstar!”
The winner of Usyk-Gassiev will be the first boxer ever to win the Muhammad Ali Trophy and unify the cruiserweight titles in the four belt era.
The belts on the line will be the WBO, WBC, IBF and WBA Super and RING Magazine’s vacant cruiserweight championship strap.
The mouthwatering final will be a key event during a weekend of boxing activities in the Russian capital in celebration of International Boxing Day after Comosa were invited to bring and supervise the first final of The Greatest Prize in Boxing – The Ali Trophy – to the festival of pugilism.
Jaime Munguia and Alberto Macahdo Los Angeles Media Workout Quotes
Jaime Munguia (29-0, 25 KOs), the newly-crowned WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, hosted a media workout today at the Westside Boxing Club ahead of the first defense of his title against former world champion Liam “Beefy” Smith (26-1-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round main event Saturday, July 21 at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas. The fight will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (19-0, 16 KOs), who will put his WBA Super Featherweight World Title on the line as he faces undefeated No. 1 Contender Rafael “Sweet Pea” Mensah (31-0, 23 KOs) in the 12-round co-main event, also participated in the workout.
Here’s what Munguia and Machado had to say during today’s media workout:
JAIME MUNGUIA, WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion:
“We had a sensational training camp. We have a great team, so I feel very good. The potential fight against Gennady Golovkin really got my name out there. It allowed me to get the opportunity to fight for a world title. I’m grateful for that. I’m also grateful that the NSAC didn’t allow me to fight against Golovkin because it lead to this world title.
I’m always 100% ready. I got the call to fight Sadam Ali with only two weeks notice. The only struggle was to lose the weight, but other than that I was ready. I knew my advantage was my reach and my power. I knew that he was a smaller fighter. Those were the keys to my victory.
I feel very motivated now that I am a world champion. Everyone is going to talk about to me after this fight. This will open up more opportunities, and people will mention my name with the likes of Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
I think that the only advantage that Liam Smith has is that he’s fought in big events before. But I have many fights under my belt. I have a lot of experience. I had over 100 fights as an amateur. All this experience gives me a lot of confidence when I step into the ring. Also, Smith might say that he’s a natural 154-pounder, but I want to tell him that I’m a natural 160-pounder who drops down. I’m very happy with the training camp we had and very confident about this fight.”
ALBERTO “EXPLOSIVO” MACHADO, WBA Super Featherweight World Champion:
“It’s been about 10 months since my last fight. But it served me well. It allowed me to get some rest and to work on some technical details I needed to work on. I had been boxing for 15 years straight, so it was a necessary rest.
Fighting on HBO for the first time was a dream come true. I used to gather with my friends to watch Miguel Cotto, Ivan Calderon and Felix Trinidad on HBO, so this was definitely a dream come true. The fight against Jezreel Corrales was very tough. At first, he didn’t event make weight. I knew he had a lot more experience than I did too. But I brought out the spirit that characterizes us a boxers to walk away with the victory.
For this camp, I worked on strategy and technique. I had more time to travel to Los Angeles and work with Freddie Roach. During this camp, I really got to see why he is a Hall of Fame trainer. I got to see why he’s had so many world champions. On July 21, you will definitely see a new and improved Alberto Machado.”
Mykquan Williams Headlines Broadway Boxing on July 21st
Following a successful weekend that saw DiBella Entertainment (DBE) spanning the globe with four impressive victories between junior welterweight star Regis Prograis and US Olympian Charles Conwell in New Orleans, female boxing sensation Raquel Miller in San Francisco and lightweight contender George Kambosos Jr. in Kuala Lumpur, DBE is on the road again bringing the Broadway Boxing series back to its home away from home at the beautiful Foxwoods Resort Casino, in Mashantucket, CT, this Saturday. Headlining the event will be East Hartford, CT’s “Marvelous” Mykquan Williams (11-0, 7 KOs) facing Matt “The Mantis” Doherty (8-4-1, 4 KOs), of Salem, MA, in an eight-round junior welterweight bout.
Only 20 years old, the all-action Williams has become a featured fighter at Foxwoods Resort Casino, with nine previous starts on-site. Managed by Jackie Kallen and trained by Paul Cichon, Williams has started his 2018 campaign in destructive fashion with two first-round knockouts, most recently stopping Orlando Felix on May 5, at Foxwoods. The 29-year-old Doherty looks for a return to victory after his four-bout winning streak was stopped in a six-round clash against highly regarded undefeated prospect Ray Moylette on March 31, in Quincy, MA.
Tickets for the stacked card, presented by Nissan of Queens, Azad Watches, OPTYX, Christos Steak House and Gagliardi Insurance, are priced at $125, $75 and $45, and can be purchased online at Foxwoods.com, Ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-200-2882, or visiting the Foxwoods box office. Foxwoods Resort Casino is located at 350 Trolley Line Boulevard, Mashantucket, Connecticut 06338. Doors will open to the Fox Theater at 6:30 p.m., with the first fight scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
The show will be broadcast on LIVE.DBE1.COM, part of the SportsLive OTT service as part of a partnership with CBS Sports Digital. Fans can subscribe to the event for $6.95 now by visiting LIVE.DBE1.COM.
Featured in an eight-round women’s featherweight contest, Providence, RI, fan favorite Shelly “Shelito’s Way” Vincent (22-1, 1 KO) battles hard-hitting Colombian Calixta Silgado (16-9-3, 11 KOs), in a rematch of their memorable clash last year, won by Vincent over eight rounds. Including the win versus Silgado, Vincent is currently riding a four-bout winning streak, started after her history-making nationally televised battle with world ranked Heather Hardy on August 21, 2016, the only loss on her ledger.
Popular fast-rising welterweight prospect Adrian Sosa (7-0, 5 KOs), of Lawrence, MA, will compete in a scheduled six-rounder. The 23-year-old Sosa returns to action following his best win in the paid ranks, a six-round decision against fellow undefeated prospect Khiry Todd on May 5, at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Sosa was a 2014 New England Golden Gloves champion and turned pro in July 2016 following an 18-2 amateur career.
Newcomer Lamont Powell (1-0), of Pawtucket, RI, will compete in a four-round middleweight bout against Charles Carroll (0-1), of The Bronx, NY. The 25-year-old Powell made his triumphant pro debut on May 5, with a shutout four-round decision against Amadeu Cristiano.
Brooklyn, NY’s Hurshidbek Normatov (6-0, 2 KOs) will square off in a six-round junior middleweight fight against fellow unbeaten prospect Alexis Gaytan (4-0, 2 KOs), of Mission, TX. A former amateur standout representing Uzbekistan, the 26-year-old Normatov won a six-round decision versus Ronald Montes on May 5, at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Promoted by DiBella Entertainment and managed by David McWater’s Split-T Management, Normatov was an experienced amateur competing in 324 bouts and winning the 2014 European National Championships. The 23-year-old Gaytan returns following a six-round decision win versus then undefeated Kendrick Ball Jr. (9-0-2), on June 2, at Foxwoods Resort Casino.
Undefeated super middleweight contender Lennox “2 Sharpe” Allen (20-0-1, 13 KOs), of Brooklyn, NY, will see action, after a three-year layoff, in a scheduled six-rounder against Willis Lockett (16-23-6, 5 KOs), of Takoma Park, MD. Allen is a former WBC CABOFE, New York State and Guyanese champion.
Co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc., Uzbek heavyweight Bakhodir Jalolov (1-0, 1 KO) will return to the scene of his pro debut in a six-round bout. Born in Sariosiyo, Uzbekistan, Jalolov was a highly accomplished amateur, compiling a record of 84-13. A four-time National champion from 2013 to 2016, Jalolov represented his homeland at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, and had the distinguished honor of being the country’s flagbearer at the Opening Ceremonies. As an amateur, Jalolov won gold medals at the Asian Amateur Boxing Championships in 2017, World Cup Tournament, Liventsev Memorial Tournament, Great Silk Way Tournament, and Duisenkul Shopokov Memorial Tournament in 2015, and at the World Cup of Petroleum Countries Tournament in 2014. During his amateur career, Jalolov also focused on his education, earning a Master’s Degree in Sports Science. He now trains in Miami, FL, with the renowned Pedro Diaz and Ravshan Khodjaev.
Bridgeport, CT, native Oscar Bonilla (4-3-2) will challenge Philadelphia, PA’s Seifullah Jihad Wise (3-4, 1 KO) in a six-round junior welterweight bout.
2016 United States Olympian Charles Conwell Scores 2nd Round Stoppage
2016 U.S. Olympian Charles Conwell was impressive by stopping Travis Scott in the 2nd round of their junior middleweight bout.
Conwell came out in round by hurting Scott with a flurry of punches on the ropes. Conwell ended things with a perfect left hook to the body that sent Scott to a knee for the ten count at 1:34.
Conwell, of Cleveland, OH raises his record to 8-0 with 6 knockouts. Scott, of Baton Rouge, LA falls to 19-4.
“This win means a lot as it shows that I can not only beat good fighters with experience, but get them out of there,” said Conwell. “It also shows that I am on a whole other level then guys out there in my weight, and that I am a force to be reckoned with.”
“Charles has remarkable power for somebody his age, and he really has no ceiling. This was supposed to be his step up fight,” said Split-T Management CEO, David McWater.
Conwell is co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Holden Productions
World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation Up and Running
Combat sports’ newest organization, World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (WBKFF), officially announced today that it is fully operational and targeting this October to promote its inaugural professional event, to air worldwide on independent pay per view.
WBKFF principals include CEO Tom Stankiewicz, COO & Director of Operations JC and matchmaker Paul Tyler.
The exact date of this historical event, venue, complete PPV details, and bouts will be announced during this summer.
“WBKFF will soon become the biggest, most popular in combat sports,” JC predicted. “This all started from our passion for hand-to-hand combat and to give fans what they deserve. WBKFF and fan-friendly will be synonymous. We’re going to give combat sports fans what they want and deserve: integrity, passion and fairness.”
Newly adopted rules including holding and striking, spinning backfists and hammer fists will be used in all WBKFF fights, which will be contested in a traditional boxing ring for optimum viewing and safety. All men’s and women’s matches will feature five (two-minute) rounds.
WBKFF has actively scouted and recruited battle-tested veterans and promising prospects alike from boxing, mixed martial arts, kickboxing, Muay Thai, wrestling and other combat sports disciplines.
Members of the WBKFF stable of fighters range from legendary MMA veteran and undefeated kickboxer Phil “New York Bad Ass” Baroni to Street Beats Internet and YouTube MMA sensation Chris “Mighty Mouse” Yarborough, pro-debuting Team USA national boxing champion Tika “Ice Cold” Hemingway and former University of South Alabama football star Desmond LaVelle, former UFC fighters Seth “Polish Pistola” Baczynski, Tom “Da Tank” Gallicchio and Christina Marks, former Bellator fighters Virgil “Rezdog” Zwicker and Dakota Cochrane, and former world boxing title challenger Jasmine Clarkson, among the more notables to date.
Additional signings, including some with major names in MMA and boxing, are in negotiation stages.
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Munguia, Smith, Pacquiao, Ennis, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 19th to June 26th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Jaime Munguia vs. Liam Smith Set for July 21st on HBO
Jaime Munguia (29-0, 25 KOs), the newly-crowned WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, will make the first defense of his title against former world champion Liam “Beefy” Smith (26-1-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round main event Saturday, July 21 at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas. The fight will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Munguia is a dangerous 21-year-old puncher who has ended 25 of his fights by stunning knockout. Munguia has only fought twice in the United States, the second of which was for a last-minute title opportunity against Sadam “World Kid” Ali in May. Munguia used his enormous height and reach advantages to drop Ali several times before a thunderous left hook ended matters in the fourth round. The newly-crowned champion is excited to defend his new belt.
“I’m very excited and thankful with everyone that made this possible,” said Jaime Munguia. “I invite the fans to go and see me live or to tune in on HBO. I will defend my WBO title with pride and honor. See you in Vegas!”
Smith, the first of an impressive stable of brothers to win a world title, is a 29-year-old native of Liverpool, England. After scoring 20 impressive victories as a professional, Smith defeated John “Apollo Kidd” Thompson via seventh-round technical knockout to capture the WBO 154-pound title. Smith then lost the title against Canelo Alvarez in front of over 50,000 fans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in an impressive show of heart. Smith has had three victories since, and after pulling out of his May 12 fight against Sadam Ali due to an illness, he is more than ready to regain the title that was once his.
“To go to Vegas and fight for a world title is every fighter’s dream,” said Liam Smith. “But it’s only an extra incentive to my main motivation – getting that WBO world junior middleweight title back around my waist. Munguia is obviously a dangerous puncher and I’ll have to be wary of him early on, but he’s never fought someone as good as me and a fully-fledged 154lb fighter. I can’t afford to look an inch past Munguia though. He’s world champion for a reason and with such a high knockout percentage, I’m going to have to be my best ever. Unfortunately for Munguia, that’s what I’ll be.”
In the co-main event, Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (19-0, 16 KOs) will put his WBA Super Featherweight World Title on the line as he faces undefeated No. 1 Contender Rafael “Sweet Pea” Mensah (31-0, 23 KOs) in a 12-round battle.
Machado, a 27-year-old of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a big man for his division and boasts power in both hands. After unifying two regional titles with a dominant unanimous decision victory against Carlos “The Solution” Morales, Machado defeated Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales by way of eighth-round knockout to capture WBA Super Featherweight Title in Oct. 2017. The hard-hitting southpaw promises to retain his title on July 21.
“One as a fighter knows the sacrifices that are made to become world champion,” said Alberto Machado. “Because of that, I will defend my title with blood and honor this July 21. Rafael Mensah is the mandatory challenger, and he possess great credentials, including an impressive record. That’s why I’m preparing more than ever to walk away with my hand raise in my first defense.”
Mensah is a 27-year-old contender of Accra, Ghana who made his professional debut in 2010.
Since then he has steadily climbed up 130-pound rankings, earning his spot at the top of the WBA rankings and a shot at the title. Mensah is confident that he has the skills to outclass Machado.
“I know Machado and there is no doubt I can beat him,” said Rafael Mensah. “When I saw Machado, I said ‘Yes, I can beat you. You are not somebody that can beat me. You cannot beat Rafael Mensah. I will come and maybe not knock you out, but I will beat you in boxing and teach you a good boxing lesson.’”
“We’re excited to bring two world title fights to Las Vegas on July 21,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Jaime Munguia exploded onto the championship scene last year in devastating fashion, and we’re delighted to showcase him once again on another HBO main event. The co-main event will also bring fireworks as Alberto Machado makes the first defense of what will be a very long reign.”
“I’m proud and excited that this Mexican Kid from Tijuana [Munguia], who’s the hottest fighter in boxing today, will once again fight on July 21 against the tough Liam Smith,” said Fernando Beltran, CEO of Zanfer Promotions. “I know he will prevail again in spectacular fashion like he always does.”
“Liam Smith was very confident of beating Sadam Ali, but unfortunately the allergic reaction he suffered temporarily sidelined his plans,” said Frank Warren. “Munguia looked impressive beating the former champion, but Liam actually feels he is a better stylistic match up for him than Ali would have been. I’m very confident Liam will be recapturing the WBO Junior Middleweight Title and bringing it back to the UK.”
“When Jaime Munguia made his HBO debut this past May, he put the division on notice with a spectacular knockout and captured a 154-pound title”, said Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President, HBO Sports. “He looks to keep the momentum going on July 21 as he takes on his mandatory challenger Liam Smith, who hopes to take the title back to his native UK.”
George Kambosos Jr. to Fight on Pacquiao-Matthysse Undercard
Undefeated world-ranked lightweight contender
“Ferocious” George Kambosos Jr. (14-0, 8 KOs), of Sydney, Australia, will return to battle in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Sunday, July 15 (Sat. July 14 in the United States) in a 10-round clash against JR “Star Boy” Magboo (17-1-2, 8 KOs), of Batangas, Philippines, it was announced today by DiBella Entertainment.
“I’m thrilled and very excited to get back in the ring on Manny Pacquiao’s undercard,” said the 25-year-old Kambosos. “Manny and I have had some excellent training sessions for this camp and I can’t wait to fight in Kuala Lumpur. I know that Magboo has lost only once, but I’ll be well prepared after training with Manny to be victorious.”
“I would like to thank Manny Pacquiao for giving George Kambosos this great opportunity to fight on his undercard in Malaysia,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “All of us at DiBella Entertainment believe that Kambosos is a star with the potential to become a champion. This is a great opportunity for him to showcase his talent on the undercard of a future hall-of-famer and a legend.”
Kambosos vs. Magboo will take place at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on the undercard of the WBA welterweight world title bout between boxing legend and challenger Manny Pacquiao and champion Lucas Matthysse.
Currently ranked #11 by the World Boxing Organization and #14 by the International Boxing Federation, the all-action Kambosos made his triumphant United States debut on May 5, with a stunning first-round knockout of Jose Forero at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT.
For the last few weeks, Kambosos has trained and sparred alongside Pacquiao as he prepares to win another welterweight world title. Trained by former heavyweight contender Justin Fortune, Kambosos also worked with Pacquiao in Los Angeles last summer in preparation for the Filipino’s clash with Jeff Horn.
A sports star in his native Australia, Kambosos stopped Krai Setthaphone in the ninth round on October 13, 2017, in front of a huge crowd headlining at the Melbourne Pavilion in Victoria, Australia.
Most recently, Magboo stopped Prell Tupas in the first round on May 13, in Marilao, Philippines.
Kali Reis Quotes from Media Workout
In advance of her fight this Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena, three-time world champion Kali “KO Mequinonoag” Reis held an open media workout today at Big Six Academy in Providence, Rhode Island.
Fighting out of nearby Cranston, RI, Reis (13-7-1, 4 KOs) will face former world title challenger Patty “La Elegante” Ramirez (11-5, 5 KOs), of Mexico, in an eight-round welterweight bout.
Reis vs. Ramirez is the co-featured bout on the “SLUGFEST AT THE SUN” card, presented by JOE DEGUARDIA’S STAR BOXING, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Reis is coming off a historic fight last month versus undisputed women’s world welterweight champion and pound-4-pound Queen, 33-0 Cecilia Braekhus, in the first female bout ever featured on HBO. Reis dropped Braekhus for the first time in her professional career, however the judges scored the fight in favor of Braekhus, over ruckus boo’s from the crowd.
QUOTES FROM TODAY’S MEDIA WORKOUT:
“I’m so excited to be back fighting at home, especially after our history making fight on HBO. I fought Cecilia Braekhus. We were the first women to ever fight on HBO and there were more than a million viewers. If I knew that many people would be watching, I would have been a lot more nervous.”
“On paper, it was a loss, but it was really a win-win for me, and women’s boxing. It’s already opened a lot of doors for me. There’s been so much growth for me and women’s boxing. It’s going to open the door for other women to fight on networks. It was a step up for women’s boxing, not just for one event, but forever.”
“I’m the first female Native American to fight in New England.”
“I’ve been fighting 18 years. I played basketball and volleyball in high school, but I love boxing.”
“I showed in my last fight that I belong to be with the elite. I want to get a rematch (with Braekhus).”
“Being a road warrior, I’m familiar fighting away or at home, but it’s more comfortable fighting here at home. My hometown crowd is always very supportive.”
“(Saturday) I am going to come out with a victory. My opponent’s taller, but I just need to follow the game plan and execute.”
Juan Carlos Abreu and Any Vences-Frank De Alba Headline Ramirez-O’Connor Undercard
The Mean Machine, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, is looking to cement his name as a welterweight to watch when he defends the NABF title against Juan Carlos Abreu, July 7 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno as the ESPN-televised co-feature to Jose Ramirez’s WBC super lightweight title defense against Danny O’Connor.
The undercard will also feature heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz Jr. against veteran Kevin Johnson in a 10- round bout, 18-year-old wunderkind Gabe Flores Jr. versus James De Herrera in a six-round lightweight bout, and Andy Vences defending the WBC Continental Americas super featherweight title against Frank De Alba.
Ramirez vs. O’Connor and Kavaliauskas vs. Abreu will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET.
The entire undercard, including Vences-DeAlba, Ruiz-Johnson and Flores-De Herrera will be streamed on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Star Boxing and Murphys Boxing, tickets to this world championship event, priced at $150 (floor), 90, $60, $35, $20, and $10, plus applicable fees, are ON SALE NOW and can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000, or at the Save Mart Center box office. For more information and box office hours, visit www.savemartcenter.com.
“This is a great opportunity to show everyone watching on ESPN what the ‘Mean Machine’ is made of,” Kavaliauskas said. “I want a title shot soon, but I have to take care of business against Abreu to make my dreams a reality. It’s going to be a toe-to-toe battle, and I know I will be victorious.”
“I am excited to show what I’m capable of doing. I’m more anxious than anything to show everyone the improvements I’ve made,” Vences said. “I am fighting another southpaw, so I feel like I’m picking up where I left off. I have a lot of family and friends coming out to support me, which gives me extra motivation.”
“This is my first fight in California as a pro, and I can’t wait to entertain my people,” Flores said.
Kavaliauskas (19-0, 16 KOs), ranked in the top 10 by three of the four major sanctioning organizations, is on the precipice of a world title shot. A native of Lithuania who trains out of the Boxing Laboratory in Oxnard, California, Kavaliauskas has won four consecutive fights by stoppage. He won the NABF title last September with a seventh-round TKO over Mahonri Montes and defended the title in February with a sixth-round TKO over former WBA welterweight world champion David Avanesyan. Abreu (21-3-1, 19 KOs) has won two in a row since a split decision loss to then-unbeaten Alex Martin in June 2016.
Ruiz (30-1, 20 KOs) is on the comeback trail after dropping a majority decision to Joseph Parker on Dec. 10, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. He took 15 months off after the Parker loss, but came back March 10 in Carson, California, knocking out Devin Vargas in the opening round. Johnson (32-9-1, 16 KOs) is a 15-year pro who challenged Vitali Klitschko for the WBC heavyweight title in 2009, losing a unanimous decision.
Flores (8-0, 5 KOs), an 18-year-old recent high school graduate from Stockton, California, signed with Top Rank in November 2016 at 16 years old, becoming the youngest fighter ever to sign with the promotional company. He is seeking his fourth win of 2018, most recently scoring a four-round unanimous decision June 9 in Las Vegas on the Terence Crawford-Jeff Horn undercard.
In his last bout, Vences (20-0-1, 12 KOs) fought to spirited draw against Erick De Leon as the ESPN-televised co-feature to the Oscar Valdez-Scott Quigg bout March 10 in Carson, California. De Alba (22-3-2, 9 KOs) is looking to get back into the win column following an eight-round majority decision defeat to O’Shaquie Foster on April 13 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Jaron Ennis and Armando Alvarez to Face off in July 20th ShoBox Main Event
A battle of unbeaten welterweight prospects will headline a ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader on Friday, July 20 live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT when Jaron Ennis squares off against Armando Alvarez in the 10-round main event from WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa.
Philadelphia’s Ennis (20-0, 18 KOs) has knocked out 10 consecutive opponents and was the 2015 National Golden Gloves Champion before turning professional in 2016. The 20-year-old former amateur standout will face his first undefeated opponent in Alvarez (18-0, 12 KOs), a native of the Florida Keys who has knocked out six of his last seven opponents.
The three-fight telecast features six prospects with a combined record of 82-1, with all six fighters facing what is likely the toughest tests of their careers.
In the co-feature, undefeated lightweight Thomas Mattice (12-0, 10 KOs) returns to Iowa for his second ShoBox appearance of the year when he clashes with former Armenian amateur standout Zhora Hamazaryan (9-0, 6 KOs) in a 10-round bout.
Also on the card, undefeated super lightweight prospect Montana Love (11-0, 5 KOs) will take on former national amateur champion Kenneth Sims Jr. (12-1, 4 KOs) in an eight-round super lightweight bout.
Tickets for the show, which is promoted by GH3 Promotions, Victory Promotions, Ringside Ticket Inc., Banner Promotions & Thompson Boxing are priced from $10-$60 and can be purchased at winnavegas.com.
JARON ENNIS vs. ARMANDO ALVAREZ – 10-Round Welterweight Bout
Ennis will debut on ShoBox following a statement second round knockout of former junior welterweight contender Mike Arnaoutis earlier this month, his 10th consecutive KO victory. The Philadelphia native had a standout amateur career, notching an impressive record of 58-3 and winning the 2015 National Golden Gloves tournament. Ennis, who was ranked No. 1 as an amateur at 141 pounds, narrowly missed the opportunity to represent the U.S. in the 2016 Olympics after losing a box-off to Gary Antuanne Russell at the Olympic Trials.
“This is the opportunity I have been waiting for,” Ennis said. “I can’t wait to show the world my talent.”
Just 20 years old, Ennis currently trains under his father Derek “Bozy” Ennis Sr., who also trained his other sons Derek Jr. and Farah. The 5-foot-10 Ennis will be the third brother to appear on ShoBox; Derek Jr. appeared on the series in 2007, and Farah faced Badou Jack on the series in 2013.
“A win on this platform would mean everything,” Ennis continued. “From here on out, I want to fight only the big names in the division. I feel grateful for this opportunity to show the world my talents and skills. It’s great to follow in my brother’s footsteps, and I am ready to take the Ennis last name to the next level.”
The 28-year-old Alvarez turned professional in 2014 and has gradually increased his level of opposition. Alvarez, who now lives in Key West, compiled a 26-4 amateur record and won the Florida State Championship in 2013. His headlining fight with Ennis will be his second fight of 2018 and by far his toughest test to date.
“This is the biggest opportunity I have ever received,” Alvarez said. “This is it. It’s on. Ennis is a great young fighter, but I think he has stepped out of his league. He is just a kid. The world will find out who Armando Alvarez is on July 20.”
THOMAS MATTICE vs. ZHORA HAMAZARYAN – Eight-Round Lightweight Bout
A 27-year-old from Cleveland, Mattice turned pro in 2014 and had an amateur record of 72-18. He was a three-time Ohio State Golden Gloves Champion and bronze medal winner in the USA National Tournament in 2014.
Mattice will be making his second ShoBox appearance following a strong debut Feb. 2, when the undefeated lightweight rallied from behind to score a seventh round TKO of ShoBox veteran Rolando Chinea. Mattice has recorded five straight KOs and nine overall in 11 professional fights.
“I am excited for the opportunity to showcase my talent again on ShoBox,” Mattice said. “I’m going to go out there and do what I did before. I’m going to get a win, hopefully in knockout fashion. This guy (Hamazaryan) doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into.”
Undefeated lightweight prospect Hamazaryan, who signed with Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing in February, is originally from Armenia but fights out of Los Angeles. Part of a long line of Armenian fighters who have fought in the U.S., Hamazaryan won his U.S. debut on Feb. 16, when he scored a unanimous decision win over the previously unbeaten Sergio Ramirez. Prior to his win against Ramirez, all of Hamazaryan’s victories were earned in Russia.
The 22-year-old was considered the No. 1 fighter in Armenia after an amateur career that spanned over 200 fights. Hamazaryan turned professional in 2015, turning down an opportunity to fight for the Armenian Olympic Team in 2016.
“This fight is very important for me, and I am very excited to be fighting on national television in America,” Hamazaryan said. “I know [Mattice] is undefeated but I normally don’t look at my opponent. I’m just looking to put on a great performance and make a statement for fans in the U.S.”
MONTANA LOVE vs. KENNETH SIMS JR. – Eight-Round Super Lightweight Bout
Cleveland native Love was an accomplished amateur who compiled a 174-13 record and won a bronze medal at the 2012 National Golden Gloves Championships. The 22-year-old recently sparred with Adrien Broner, and served as head sparring partner for Robert Easter Jr. before his lightweight title defense against Javier Fortuna on Jan. 20.
Love has won two consecutive bouts against lesser opposition since defeating Samuel Teah in his ShoBox debut on Feb. 2.
“I am excited and happy to be back,” Love said. “I want to put on another great performance. Sims and I grew up as amateurs together. He’s a good fighter, but I am hungry and want to keep rolling. I can’t let anything get in my way.”
Chicago native Sims makes his return to ShoBox just over a year after suffering the first loss of his career against Rolando Chinea via close majority decision in what was his toughest test to date. The 24-year-old Sims, who has sparred with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, was a 2013 U.S. National Amateur Champion and a 2012 Olympic Trials semifinalist.
“I am happy to be back fighting after having surgery on my elbow that had been bothering me for the last year and a half,” Sims said. “This is my chance to prove that I’m back and the loss onShoBox was a fluke. I remember Love from the amateurs and I know I have what it takes to beat him.”