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Boxing Insider Notebook: Machado, Conlan, Kelly, Robinson, Saunders, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 7th to May 14th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Rio Revenge? Michael Conlan to Face Olympic Nemesis Vladimir Nikitin August 3rd in Belfast

Michael “Mick” Conlan’s amateur career ended in controversy and a pair of middle fingers. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Conlan appeared to have bested Russian standout Vladimir Nikitin in the 56-kilogram quarterfinals. The judges disagreed, and Conlan responded with a memorable double middle-finger salute.

Almost three years to the day since Conlan flashed those digits, the Olympic rivals will run it back in the paid ranks, this time on Irish soil.

Conlan will face Nikitin in a 10-round featherweight bout Saturday, Aug. 3 in a massive outdoor fight at Falls Park in his home city of Belfast. Conlan-Nikitin will take place as part of the annual Féile an Phobail, Europe’s largest community festival.

Conlan-Nikitin will stream live in the United States beginning at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT on ESPN+, the leading multi-sport streaming service, on a special international edition of Top Rank on ESPN.

“This is the opportunity for Mick Conlan to right what most observers felt was an injustice,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “That being said, Nikitin is a real aggressive fighter, and he believes that a victory over Conlan in August would cement the one he was given in the Rio Olympics.”

“I am delighted that I will be fighting Vladimir Nikitin in front of 10,000 fans,” Conlan said. “This is literally home turf for me and it is absolutely huge. I am West Belfast and Falls Road born and bred so this means everything to me. Vladimir Nikitin and I have unfinished business from the 2016 Olympics, and I can’t wait to set the record straight.”

“When I turned professional last year, the man I wanted to fight most was Michael Conlan,” Nikitin said. “Michael has said a lot of things since the Olympics about how he was robbed of a medal. Well, I am coming to his hometown during their biggest festival to show everyone my Olympic victory was not a fluke. This is going to be repeat, not revenge. Conlan will regret pushing for this fight. I beat him twice in the amateurs and will do the same as a pro. It will feel even sweeter to beat him in his hometown. Belfast, here I come!”

“The fight with Vladimir Nikitin has been talked about for a long time now, and MTK Global and Top Rank have worked extremely hard along with Féile an Phobail to make it happen,” said Jamie Conlan, Professional Development Manager, MTK Global. “Michael Conlan is coming home for one of the biggest fight nights Belfast will have ever seen.”

Conlan (11-0, 6 KOs) entered the pro ranks as one of Ireland’s most beloved sporting figures, having earned an Olympic bronze medal in 2012 and gold medals at both the European and World Championships in 2015. He was favored to win Olympic gold in 2016, but Nikitin and the judges thwarted those plans. “The Conlan Revolution” turned pro in front of a sold-out Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden crowd on St. Patrick’s Day in 2017. He won the vacant WBO Intercontinental featherweight belt last December in Manchester, England, besting Jason Cunningham via unanimous decision. In his last bout, in front of a raucous St. Patrick’s Day crowd at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Conlan defeated Ruben Garcia Hernandez over 10 rounds.

Nikitin (3-0, 0 KOs) did not turn pro immediately following the 2016 Olympics, electing to fight as an amateur throughout 2017. He signed a professional contract in 2018 with Top Rank, in large part because he wanted to face Conlan as a pro. Nikitin’s come-forward style has translated to the pro ranks, as he’s won a trio of clear-cut unanimous decisions. He has fought on the same card as Conlan twice as a professional. The message was clear: Conlan and Nikitin were destined to meet again.

It will finally happen, in front of more than 10,000 of Conlan’s rowdiest supporters. Will it be Rio Revenge or another shining moment for Nikitin?
Josh Kelly to Face Ray Robinson on June 1st
Josh Kelly will make his US debut against Philadelphia’s Ray Robinson on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s Heavyweight World title clash with Andy Ruiz Jr. at Madison Square Garden in New York on June 1, live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.

Sunderland star Kelly (9-0, 6 KOs) outclassed the previously undefeated Pole Przemyslaw Runowski on his big ring return at The O2 in London last month, flooring the gutsy challenger three times to defend his WBA International title with a classy unanimous verdict after winning all ten rounds.

Kelly was due to face former World Champion David Avanesyan on the undercard of Kell Brook vs. Michael Zerafa in Sheffield, but an illness scuppered a December dust-up between the pair. A showdown with the now European Champion is at the top of Kelly’s wish list should he come through his test against Robinson.

Robinson (24-3-1, 12 KOs) has lost only three times in his 28-fight career, one of those losses coming to current WBC Welterweight World Champion Shawn Porter in 2010, and the 33-year-old southpaw earned an impressive draw in his last outing in March against the undefeated and World rated Egidijus Kavaliauskas.

“To be boxing at the Mecca of boxing Madison Square Garden is pretty serious isn’t it,” said Kelly. “I’ve never been there before so I’m going to enjoy the experience and put a performance on. To be fighting at a venue like that so early on in my career is another box ticked on my journey.

“Things change and titles switch hands but the majority of World titles are held in the US at the moment so I could end up boxing there a lot more in the future. I just take things fight by fight and I never overlook anyone because I’d be doing myself and my opponent an injustice.

“Robinson is a very good opponent. He’s a good boxer with an awkward southpaw style so it’s another good test for me. It’s going to be a great fight and a night to enjoy. I get a lot of support from people in the US so it’s nice to have an opportunity to put on a performance in front of them.

“What happened with the Avanesyan fight was unfortunate but it’s a fight that’s still 100% on my radar. Adam has got a plan for it and I’ll just go with what he says. It’s definitely more than likely going to take place. June 1 is going to be the start of something big.”

“This is a great fight and a huge step-up for Josh on the biggest stage possible,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Robinson clearly won last time out and is an accomplished fighter that will test him in every department. This is the stage for him to shine, in front of a sold out MSG broadcast all over the World – June 1 we will really find out what PBK is all about.”

Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing, said: “Josh Kelly is one of the hottest talents in Britain – and Madison Square Garden is a perfect venue for him to showcase his skills.

“We’ve covered Kelly’s exciting career from the very start. ‘PBK’ can now show American fans why he’s a name to watch in that red-hot Welterweight division.

“It will be a bumper evening of boxing as Katie Taylor bids to become the undisputed World Lightweight champion, and then AJ can mark his US debut with a bang against Andy Ruiz Jr!”

Kelly and Robinson clash on a huge night of action at Madison Square Garden where Joshua’s World title defense against Ruiz is supported by Irish sensation Katie Taylor clashing with Delfine Persoon for the undisputed Women’s World Lightweight championship and Chris Algieri and Tommy Coyle meeting in a crossroads Lightweight fight – with more undercard fights to be announced shortly.

Tickets for the huge night of World title action in New York are on sale now via Madison Square Garden and StubHub (www.stubhub.com)

Billy Joe Saunders and Ryan Burnett to Headline ESPN+ Cards this Weekend
Champions Weekend is coming to ESPN+, as two of the United Kingdom’s most dynamic fighters — former WBO middleweight world champion Billy Joe Saunders and former unified bantamweight world champion Ryan Burnett — are set to headline separate shows.

Burnett will battle Jelbirt Gomera for the vacant WBC International super bantamweight title Friday at Ulster Hall in his hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Burnett-Gomera live stream will begin at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT exclusively on ESPN+ and will also feature a compelling vacant IBF European junior lightweight title fight between Declan Geraghty and Marco McCullough. Geraghty and McCullough were roommates in the Irish amateur ranks and will renew acquaintances with a world ranking on the line.

Saunders will take center stage Saturday, as he battles Shefat Isufi for the vacant WBO super middleweight title from Lamex Stadium in Stevenage, England. The Saunders-Isufi live stream will start at 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT on ESPN+ and will also include the highly anticipated heavyweight showdown between 2016 Olympic super heavyweight silver medalist Joe Joyce (8-0, 8 KOs) and former world title challenger Alexander Ustinov (34-3, 25 KOs).

ESPN+ is the leading direct-to-consumer sports streaming service. Fans can sign up for ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) at www.espnplus.com.

Saunders (27-0, 13 KOs) made three successful defenses of the title he won from Andy Lee on Dec. 19, 2015, punctuating his middleweight title run with a dominant decision over David Lemieux in December 2017. A 2008 Olympian, Saunders captured British, Commonwealth and European middleweight titles, defeating the likes of Chris Eubank Jr., John Ryder and Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan. Isufi (27-3-2, 20 KOs) has won 10 consecutive fights, most recently defending his WBO Intercontinental super middleweight belt with a unanimous decision over Mohamed El Achi in his adopted hometown of Munich, Germany.

Burnett (19-1, 9 KOs) recently signed a long-term promotional contract with Top Rank and will be competing at super bantamweight after a sterling run at bantamweight. He defeated Lee Haskins via unanimous decision in June 2017 to win the IBF world title, and four months later, he bested Zhanat Zhakiyanov to unify the IBF and WBA super world titles. Burnett suffered his first pro defeat last November when he tore his oblique while throwing a punch versus Nonito Donaire and was forced to retire on his stool following the fourth round.

Gomera (14-5, 7 KOs) is a Filipino southpaw who will be fighting for the first time outside of Asia. He is a former Filipino super bantamweight and featherweight champion and is coming off an eight-round unanimous decision win over Lloyd Jardeliza.
Caleb Plan to Make First Title Defense Against Unbeaten Mike Lee
In the biggest night of boxing this year, boxing’s only eight-division world champion, Senator Manny “Pac Man” Pacquaio, will take on undefeated WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman on Saturday, July 20 in a blockbuster showdown that headlines a Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event.

Adding to the excitement of the evening, PBC will present 2-hours of boxing action with undefeated IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant making his first title defense against unbeaten contender Mike Lee in the main event of PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes show taking place in the same ring where Pacquiao and Thurman will later battle for welterweight supremacy.

Further details will be announced soon.
Jermall Charlo to Make Hometown Return Against Brandon Adams on June 29th
Unbeaten WBC Interim Middleweight Championand Houston-native Jermall Charlo will return to his hometown to defend against middleweight contender Brandon Adams Saturday, June 29 live on SHOWTIME from NRG Arena in Houston and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features hard-hitting super welterweight Erickson “Hammer” Lubin taking on French contender Zakaria Attou in a 12-round WBC title elimination bout in the co-main event. Opening the telecast is a WBA featherweight title eliminator between slick Mexican southpaw Eduardo Ramirez and power-punching Dominican Claudio Marrero.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Lions Only Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale Monday, May 13 at 12 p.m. CT and can be purchased through Ticketmaster. Charlo vs. Adams is promoted in association with Banner Promotions and The Tournament of Contenders.

“Jermall Charlo is already a star and on June 29 he gets to bring the excitement that follows him into every fight back to his hometown of Houston,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “We can’t wait to see the fans embrace their champion and push him to another electric performance at NRG Arena and live on SHOWTIME. He’s going to have tricky opposition in middleweight contender Brandon Adams, who’s highly motivated to upset Jermall’s homecoming. It’s going to be a great atmosphere in Houston and I’m sure that will propel each man to be at their very best.”

“I am very happy for Brandon to have this great opportunity,” said Artie Pelullo, President of Banner Promotions. “This is the right fight at the right time in Brandon’s career. I want to thank SHOWTIME for giving Brandon this chance to prove he belongs here.”

“Brandon Adams is out to prove once again that The Contender creates world champions and contenders,” said Jeff Wald of The Tournament of Contenders.

The 28-year-old Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) won a world title at 154-pounds when he scored a devastating third-round knockout of Cornelius Bundrage to win the IBF Junior Middleweight Title in 2015. Born in Richmond, Texas and growing up in Houston, Jermall still trains in Houston with renowned coach Ronnie Shields. He successfully defended his 154-pound title three times, including a devastating knockout of top contender Julian Williams, before moving up in weight to campaign at middleweight.

Jermall proved to be just as dominant at 160 pounds as he was at 154 pounds when he made his middleweight debut by stopping Jorge Sebastian Heiland in the fourth round of their July 2017 bout. He became the interim WBC middleweight champion with a second round knockout victory over Hugo Centeno, Jr. Jermall is one-minute older than his identical twin brother, former champion Jermell Charlo, and most recently defeated Matt Korobov to retain his interim title in December.

“It’s time for me to put up for my city of Houston,” said Charlo. “George Foreman is back and he’s in the middleweight division. That’s the way I feel about fighting in my hometown. You know how hot it gets down here in the summer and no one is going to be able to take this heat that I’m about to deliver. I’ve been working hard with Ronnie Shields and making some adjustments and now you’re going to see me back with the knockout power. I know Brandon Adams is looking at this as a big opportunity, but it’s a big step up for him. The pressure isn’t on him. It’s on me, because I’m fighting in my hometown and I’m going to deliver what the fans have come to expect from me.”

The Los Angeles-native Adams (21-2, 13 KOs) shot up the middleweight rankings by winning the 2018 reboot of The Contender. He is currently ranked fifth by the WBO and seventh by the WBA after beating Ievgen Khytrov, Tyrone Brunson, Eric Walker to make the series’ final, where he defeated Shane Mosley Jr. by unanimous decision in a 10-round fight.

The 28-year-old’s current run came after a three-year absence from the ring following a loss to John Thompson in 2015. He was 17-1 in his first 18 pro fights after turning pro in 2011, with his only loss coming to Willie Monroe Jr.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity and ready to prove that I belong in the conversation as one of the top fighters in the middleweight division,” said Adams. “This is an opportunity that I couldn’t turn down. They must feel that I am beatable, and want to use my name that I built up on The Contender, so now I need to show why I won The Contender and continue my winning ways. Charlo is a solid fighter and he’s a champion for a reason.I look forward to matching skills with him and showcasing my ability.”

Lubin (20-1, 15 KOs) is coming off an impressive TKO victory of Ishe Smith in which Lubin became the first to ever stop the durable former champion. The 23-year-old from Orlando, Florida is looking to get back into world title contention and a victory over Attou will do just that. The only loss of Lubin’s career came in a world title fight against former champion Jermell Charlo in October 2017.

Born in Paris, France Attou (29-6-3, 7 KOs) will be making his U.S debut, having campaigned primarily in his home country. He is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Stefano Castellucci on March 16. Attou is currently riding a seven-fight win streak after having fought to a draw against Emanuele Della Rosa in 2016.

Ramirez (22-1-3, 9 KOs) has strung together two TKO victories since suffering the only loss of his career, in which he dropped a unanimous decision to Lee Selby in a world title match in 2017. The 26-year-old southpaw from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico bounced back from the loss with a stoppage victory over Carlos Jacobo in 2018 and stopped Bryan De Gracia in his last fight on March 2 on SHOWTIME.

Marrero (23-3, 17 KOs) is keen to get back into the championship ranks and wants to remove the sting of losing a unanimous decision to Tugstsogt Nyambayar in his last fight in January. The 30-year-old southpaw from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic won the interim WBA featherweight title with a knockout victory over Carlos Zambrano in 2017. Five months later he lost the title to Jesus Rojas, but he bounced back from that loss with an impressive knockout of then unbeaten Jorge Lara in April 2018.
Andrew Cancio to Face Alberto Machado in Rematch for Super Featherweight Title
Andrew “El Chango” Cancio (20-4-2, 15 KOs) and Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (21-1, 17 KOs) will meet again to erase all doubts in a 12-round rematch for the WBA Super Featherweight World Title at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. The event will take place Friday, June 21, 2019 and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.

“Andrew Cancio surprised the world when dominated Alberto Machado in their first fight,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “This was his toughest fight on paper, and he never looked better. This fight is a rematch, and Cancio is going to prove to himself that he can do it again. This will be an even better fight than the first, so make sure to catch it live at Fantasy Springs or from home on DAZN.”

Cancio is a 30-year-old world champion who recently gave new life to his career after re-signing with Golden Boy. The native of Blythe, Calif. has scored victories against the likes of Rocky Juarez, Jerry “The Corpus Christi Kid” Belmontes and Rene “Gemelo” Alvarado, and he’s also been in tough fights against Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. and Ronny Rios in a professional career that started over 12 years ago. Cancio is coming off his most important victory yet, a fourth-round stoppage victory against Machado, and he’ll look to put all doubts about his win to rest by repeating his performance.

“I’m very excited to be defending my world title against Alberto Machado in the rematch from my knockout victory on February 9,” said Andrew Cancio. “This is my 11th time fighting at Fantasy Springs Casino, and I look forward to defeating Machado again in convincing fashion in front of another huge crowd of my fans.”

Machado, a 28-year-old of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a big man for his division and boasts explosive 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 had retained his title against the likes of Rafael “Sweet Pea” Mensah and Yuandale “Money Shot” Evans, but in his last fight, he suffered a tough title loss against Cancio.

“June 21 is a great opportunity for me,” said Alberto Machado. “Besides recovering my place as a world champion, a victory will have a special meaning for me, and that makes me very motivated. I hope that Cancio is enjoying his time as a champion because I’m going with bad intentions to bring that championship belt back to Puerto Rico.”

“We are excited to have Alberto Machado back for his world title rematch against Andrew Cancio,” said Hector Soto, Vice President of Miguel Cotto Promotions. “This is an exciting fight that fans can’t miss on DAZN. It will be a classic war of unfinished business. In the first fight, Cancio went toe-to-toe with Machado and took him out. But on June 21, the story will be different. Machado will definitely be ready for war and to put everything on the line in the ring.”

Angel “Tito” Acosta (19-1, 19 KOs) of San Juan, Puerto Rico will make the fourth defense of his WBO Light Flyweight World Title in a 12-round bout. Acosta is a knockout artist who has won all of his victories by knockout.

Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares (45-5, 28 KOs) of Barinas, Venezuela will look to bounce back from his fifth career loss in a 10-round super lightweight fight.

Local favorite Rommel “The Legacy” Caballero (5-0, 4 KOs) of Coachella, Calif. will battle in a four-round super featherweight fight against a soon-to-be-announced opponent.

Aaron “Silencer” McKenna (7-0, 4 KOs) will fight in a six-round welterweight clash.

Anthony Garnica (1-0, 1 KO) of Oakland, Calif. will return in a four-round super bantamweight battle.

Emilio Rodriguez (3-1, 2 KOs) of Van Nuys, Calif. will participate in a four-round middleweight bout.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Harrison, Charlo, Golovkin, Ali, Foreman, Algieri, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 30th to May 7th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Chris Algieri to Clash with Tommy Coyle at the Garden on June 1st

Chris Algieri and Tommy Coyle will clash in a crossroads showdown on Saturday June 1 at Madison Square Garden, New York, live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports Box Office.

Algieri (23-3 8 KOs) puts the WBO International Junior Welterweight title on the line that he landed in January with a hard fought win over Daniel Gonzalez at the Theater at MSG. The former WBO World Champion made his return to the ring at the Paramount in his Huntington, NY home town in November following two and a half years out of the ring, beating Angel Hernandez over ten rounds before moving on to land the strap he defends.

Coyle (25-4 12 KOs) is fresh from his exciting US debut in Boston in October, sharing ten now trademark back-and-forth rounds with Ryan Kielczweski to win on points over ten. ‘Boom Boom’ moves up from Lightweight where he was Commonwealth king in April 2018 after stopping Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd in Liverpool inside six.

Algieri and Coyle lock horns on the undercard of Heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua’s USA debut against Andy Ruiz knowing that the winner will be in the frame for a potential World title shot against WBO champion and Matchroom Boxing USA and DAZN star Maurice Hooker – and both men know that the stakes are high for their respective careers.

“I’m very excited to be fighting once again at The Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden on June 1,” said Algieri. “I know that Tommy Coyle is another tough test for me and that a victory will bring me one step closer to another World title fight.

“I’d like to thank my entire team for making this possible and for their total support of my quest to once again become a World champion.”

“I’m absolutely delighted to be boxing on such a huge event at Madison Square Garden,” said Coyle. “It’s a dream come true. Fighting in America is one thing, but fighting at the mecca of boxing against a former World Champion in Chris Algieri is just unbelievable and I’m so up for it.

“I’m expecting a Gatti vs. Ward style fight, I really am. I know how tough Chris is, you’ve only got to watch him in the Provodnikov fight, I’m not sure if he broke his eye socket or not but he just gritted his teeth and battled on. I think we’re both cut from the same cloth. It can only go one way and I think that’s a war.

“I honestly believe that this fight has come at the perfect time for me. It’s like I’m having a rebirth in my career and I’m probably performing the best I’ve ever performed in the gym. If I come through this fight successfully there could be a World title shot on the horizon for me.”

Algieri and Coyle clash, promoted by Eddie Hearn for Matchroom Boxing in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, on a huge night of action at Madison Square Garden where Joshua’s World title defense against Ruiz is supported by Irish sensation Katie Taylor clashing with Delfine Persoon for the undisputed Women’s World Lightweight championship – with more undercard fights to be announced shortly.

Hana Ali on George Foreman vs. Muhammad Ali and the Rumble in the Jungle

Muhammad Ali’s Daughter Hana Ali was recently on the Murder Master Music Show to speak about her new book At Home With Muhammad Ali. During the interview she recalls how her Dad felt about the Rumble in the Jungle memerabale fight with George Foreman and goes onto to document the friendship that the two Heavyweuights had beginng a couple years after the legendare bout in Zaire. During the interview she told a shocking moment of when George foreman had a bad vision and warned Ali not to fight Holmes.

Rumble in the Jungle was Ali’s most important fight.

“The Rumble in the Jungle was the most important fight to himbecause he had never lost his title because the government had stripped it. He was never thinking that he would go back to the ring and then he fought Frazier and would lose only to have George Foreman. Now he has to go through Foreman and nobody in the world but himself believed he could do it. That was always the most important fight to him.”

Foreman and Ali find friendship while discussion religion in rare conversation on the streets.

“George is like a second Father. He is always helpful and supportive and he has a huge heart. They had a conversation and Dad recorded it for about an hour about religion. My Dad was trying to convince George to come back in the ring because at the time he sold all his possessions and started preaching in the street literally. Dad told him he could still box and he did later on. I kneew sports fans would be shocked that they were friends. George was trying to get my Fasther to come back to Christianity and my Father was trying to explain that people who kill in the name of Islam are not real Muslims.”

Foreman had bad vision about Ali being lured out to fight Homes and warned him not to do it.

George Foreman was trying to warn my Dad that he had a vision about him being lured out to fight Hoilmes and not to do it. My Father didn’t plan on going back into the ring and did ended up being lured into the fight a year later.

Troy Isley Coming Off Biggest Win, Preparing for 2020 Olympics

USA Boxing middleweight Troy Isley is coming off the most significant victory of his young career, when he defeated the 2016 Olympic gold medalist, Cuba’s Arlen Lopez, at the recent Pan American Games Qualifier in Managua, Nicaragua.

Lopez served as a positive barometer for Isley in terms of his potential 2020 Olympic run. “Beating Lopez is my biggest win so far,” Isley admitted. “He won a gold medal at the last Olympics. I avenged my loss to him in 2017. We almost fought in The Continentals, but he lost in the quarterfinals, and I lost in the semifinals. We could face each other again in July at the Pan American Games.”

In 2017, Isley captured a bronze medal at the Elite World Championships, which marked a first for an American elite boxer in six years. He’s progressed year-by-year, taking top honors at the 2012 & 2013 National PAL Championships, 2014 National Junior Olympics, 2016 & 2017 Elite National Championships. So far this year, in addition to winning at the Pan American Games Qualifier, he also took bronze at the Strandja Tournament in Bulgaria.

Not too shabby accomplishments for a kid who really didn’t like boxing, especially compared to football, which was his favorite sport growing up.

“When I returned to the gym I trained at, Alexandria (VA) Boxing Club,” USA National Team assistant coach Kay Koromba remembered,” they needed help with a young kid, Troy Isley. I had a simple conversation with him. He said he’d come back to the gym if I was there coaching. I didn’t go back for a little while and he didn’t return. I eventually took over the gym when the coach left, and Troy returned.

“Troy is friends with Keyshawn Davis (USA Boxing’s No. 1-rated lightweight). They both live in Virginia (Troy in Alexandria, Keyshawn in Newport) and train with me at the Alexandria Boxing Club, when we aren’t living and training in Colorado Springs. They fought as kids and became good friends. All of the other boxers here look up to them.”

“I was only 8 and at first I really didn’t like boxing,” the now 20-year-old Isley spoke about his introduction to amateur boxing. “I was more interested in team sports like football, but I gave up boxing when I chose to compete in the Box-Offs. I just wanted to be a kid and you can’t play boxing. I went back to the gym and beat up everybody. Coach Kay told my father that he could make me into a national champion, and that gave me a lot of self-esteem.”

A self-described boxer puncher, Isley is an intelligent, well-spoken boxer with eyes on the future, outside of boxing, taking on-line business courses through DeVry University. “I can do it all,” he offered about his boxing style. “I’m working on using more jabs to be a better all-around boxer. The jab sets the offense up. I’m working on my jab because you can win fights with a jab.”

Promoters are lining up to pitch their companies to sign Isley, who has a definitive plan that involves making the 2020 USA Olympic Boxing Team, medal in Japan, and then turn professional.

“The Olympics is only a year away,” Isley noted. “I’m close with Keyshawn and Shakur (Stevenson, 2016 Olympic silver-medalist and an 11-0 pro prospect). Training with them makes things easier for all of us. We drive each other and train against different styles. I’m always picking up new stuff. We help each other training, sparring, and just talking. We’re always together, either in Alexandria or Colorado Springs. Shakur still goes there for good sparring.

“Shakur tells us a lot about his experiences in the Olympics and now as a pro. Me and Keyshawn have always talked about being together on the USA Boxing Olympic Team. We keep working hard and staying focused. It’s been our dream.”

Dreams do come true but, first, Isley is preparing for the Pan-Am Games
UFC Fight Pass and Murhpys Boxing Reach Multi Year Live Streaming Agreement

UFC FIGHT PASS®, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports, today announced a new multi-year partnership with popular Boston-based promotion Murphys Boxing. The promotion will make its FIGHT PASS debut on Friday, May 10th, from Springfield, Massachusetts at the MGM Springfield at 9:30 p.m. E.T. / 6:30 p.m. P.T. and will feature a ten-round main event, headlined by undefeated NABA Super Featherweight Champion Abraham Nova vs. Mario Ezequiel Sayal Lozano.

“Murphys Boxing is one of the top promotions in New England, and I am excited to have them on FIGHT PASS,” UFC President Dana White said. “In just five years, Ken Casey has done incredible things with this promotion. I am looking forward to showcasing these exciting fighters to our subscribers.”

“We’re incredibly excited to join forces with FIGHT PASS,” said Ken Casey, founder of Murphys Boxing. “UFC is providing a platform for us to highlight New England’s thriving boxing scene to combat sports fans. We will introduce the world to our incredible roster that includes future champions, such as Nova.”

Recently entering the WBA’s Top 10 Rankings, undefeated Abraham Nova (14-0, 10 KOs) will make his highly anticipated 2019 debut under the Murphys Boxing banner. Nova’s opponent is Argentinian prospect Mario Ezequiel Sayal Lozano (18-2-1, 9 KOs), marking Nova’s 12th fight in the past two years.

Entering the ring for the second time this year, Junior NABF Super Featherweight Champion William Foster III (9-0, 6 KOs) will face off against Ramon Esperanza (22-15-1, 11 KOs) in an eight-round bout. Foster’s rare ability to combine both power and speed has led him to become one of New England’s most talked about prospects.

In an eight-round middleweight bout, power punching prospect Carlos Gongora (15-0, 12 KOs) will take on Argentina’s Damien Ezequiel Bonelli (23-6, 20 KOs). Gongora, a former Olympian from Ecuador, won the WBC South American Middleweight Title this past February after defeating Jesus Aviles.

Luis Arcon Diaz (6-0, 6 KOs), an undefeated Olympian from Venezuela, and a recent signing, will return to action against Argentina’s Jose Aubel (8-3, 7 KOs).

Representing the Boston area, James Perella (2-0, 2 KOs) will look for his third consecutive knockout in a four-round welterweight bout. His opponent will be named in the coming days.

Ray Jay Bermudez (6-0, 4 KOs) will make a quick return to the ring after a KO victory last month when he takes on an opponent to be named in a six-round welterweight contest.

Rounding out the card will be two of Springfield’s own – power punching welterweight Anthony Velazquez (5-0, 5 KOs), who will take on an opponent to be named, and welterweight DJ Whitley (4-1-1), who will take on the always dangerous Bryan Goldsby (5-10) in separate four-round contests.

Gennday Golovkin Selects Johnathon Banks as His New Trainer

Boxing’s pound-for-pound superstar attraction Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin announced that he has selected Johnathon Banks to be his new trainer. Banks, who is no stranger to the pressure of working on boxing’s biggest stages, has worked the corners of unified heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko and undisputed welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus, just to name a few. The announcement was made today at a press conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs), from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, will be bringing his Big Drama Show back to the “Mecca of Boxing” — Madison Square Garden — on Saturday, June 8. He will be taking on undefeated top-10 contender Steve Rolls (19-0, 10 KOs), of Toronto, in a 12-round rumble that will be contested at a maximum weight of 164 lbs. The fight will be streamed live on DAZN. Golovkin vs. Rolls kicks off the exclusive six-fight, three-year global partnership between GGG Promotions and DAZN, the world’s fastest-growing sports streaming platform.

“I want to build on what I have already achieved and continue to improve as a boxer. Johnathon is teaching me new skills that will help me reach those goals. I believe in Johnathon’s teaching methods. We are working hard and I look forward to showing the world something special when I bring the Big Drama Show to Madison Square Garden on June 8,” said Golovkin.

“I have always been a fan of Triple G since I began watching him as an amateur. I remember him at the Olympics and thought he was a tremendous talent,” said Banks. “When I got the call, of course I was excited to be working with him. We have one goal and that is to officially return Gennadiy to the world championship throne that he deserves. The two fights Gennadiy had with Canelo reminded me of the two battles between Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns. Those fights had the same caliber of high level competition. I can’t wait for Gennaidy to get another shot at him.”

Banks, a former IBO cruiserweight champion and a heavyweight contender, is a disciple of the legendary Emanuel Steward. Upon Steward’s death in 2012, Banks, who was 30, was personally selected by heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko to be his new trainer, despite Banks being six years his junior. It was a boxing Baptism of fire but a challenge Banks was prepared for thanks to the many years he studied under Steward’s tutelage at the Kronk Gym, first as a fighter and then as an assistant trainer. Banks and Klitschko traveled the world together, successfully defending the heavyweight world titles six times, with five of those defenses against undefeated contenders. Banks has steadily built on his success with Klitschko, earning a reputation as trainer with great insight who instills confidence and success into the fighters he teaches. Another star pupil of Banks is undisputed world welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus, long considered the best pound for pound female fighter. The undefeated Braekhus is in the 10th year of her world championship reign.

Boasting a resume that includes a record 20 consecutive middleweight title defenses (18 by way of knockout), Golovkin has consistently drawn packed houses to the five previous events he has headlined at The Garden, dating back to 2013. Rolls, who has stopped four of his last seven opponents, has vowed to ice the middleweight legend with his version of a Canadian cold front.

Super Welterweight Champion Tony Harrison and Former Champion Jermell Charlo Set to Rematch on June 23

WBC Super Welterweight Champion Tony “Superbad” Harrison and former super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo will step into the ring for a highly anticipated rematch live in primetime Sunday, June 23 in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

Televised coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features former world champion Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux taking on exciting Mexican contender Julio Ceja in a WBC Super Bantamweight world title eliminator.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Lions Only Promotions, TGB Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.

Harrison and Charlo’s first encounter took place live on FOX in December as Harrison earned the decision and upset Charlo to earn the title. The close nature of the bout helped warrant an immediate rematch that promises to be just as highly charged and dramatic.

“Tony Harrison and Jermell Charlo showed off their elite talent to the world in their first bout and I anticipate an even more explosive showdown in the rematch on June 23,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Harrison will no doubt be at his very best again as he looks to establish himself in the championship ranks. Jermell Charlo is certainly more motivated than ever to reclaim his spot atop the 154-pound division. Fans tuning in on FOX and FOX Deportes in primetime and in attendance at Mandalay Bay Events Center are in for an action-packed Sunday night.”

Harrison (28-2, 21 KOs) has proven to be “Detroit tough” during a boxing career inspired by early years trained and managed by the late Emanuel Steward. He had to climb back into title contention twice before reaching the top with his unanimous decision victory over Charlo last December.

Harrison was on track for a title shot before suffering the first loss of his career in 2015 to Willie Nelson. After three-straight wins, he earned a shot at the vacant 154-pound title against Jarrett Hurd. Although Harrison had strong moments in the fight, he eventually lost to Hurd and was forced to again climb to the top. After another three victories, including a win over former champion Ishe Smith, Harrison took advantage of his second world title opportunity against Charlo.

“Being a world champion now, I’m excited to defend my title for the first time in this rematch that everyone is looking forward to,” said Harrison. “I think there’s actually more pressure on Charlo, just like last time. It’s just a blessing for me to be fighting on FOX and FOX Deportes Sunday, June 23. Everyone is going to be tuned-in to this fight and we’re going to bring the action to Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, the capital of the boxing world. I plan on doing the exact same thing to Jermell that I did in December. I’m going to get the win, and then I don’t want to hear any more crying or excuses.”

The 28-year-old Charlo (31-1, 15 KOs) suffered the first setback of his career with the close unanimous decision loss to Harrison. Fighting out of Houston, Texas, Charlo won the vacant WBC title with a devastating knockout victory over John Jackson in 2016. He made three successful defenses of the title with highlight-reel knockouts over Charles Hatley and Erickson Lubin, plus a majority decision win over former champion Austin Trout.

Charlo is trained in Dallas by Derrick James, who was recognized as the 2017 Trainer of the Year by Yahoo Sports and also works with welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. Charlo is one-minute younger than his identical twin brother, Jermall, who is the WBC interim middleweight champion and a former 154-pound champion.

“I am in a ruthless state of mind. I am upset and this upcoming fight, I am going to give it 110 percent,” said Charlo. “I am way hungrier now than I was before. I am not desperate for a win because I know how to win. The judges gave me a bad decision because I didn’t get the knockout, but you don’t have to knock everybody out to beat them. He knows he didn’t beat me. He knows exactly what happened. He knows he can’t beat me. If I have to go in there and prove it again, I will.”

Rigondeaux (18-1, 12 KOs) will look to show off the masterful technical skills that made him a unified world champion and perennial member of the pound-for-pound list when he steps into the ring on June 23. A two-time Olympic gold medalist for his native Cuba, Rigondeaux made his name with victories over the likes of Nonito Donaire, Rico Ramos and Joseph Agbeko. The 38-year-old most recently knocked out Giovanni Delgado in January on FS1.

Fighting out of Tlalnepantla, Mexico, Ceja (32-3, 28 KOs) won an interim world title at super bantamweight in 2015 by stopping Hugo Ruiz in the fifth-round. The 26-year-old would lose the full title to Ruiz in their rematch in 2016, but has won two of three fights since, including a knockout of Anselmo Moreno.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Haney, Wilder, Golovkin, Barrios, Ortiz, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 23rd to April 30th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Devin “The Dream” Haney Signs with Matchroom Boxing USA

Matchroom Boxing USA and Eddie Hearn are delighted to announce the signing of Lightweight star Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney.

Haney (21-0 13 KOs) has raced to the top of the Lightweight rankings and is on the cusp of fighting for his first World title ahead of turning 21 in November.

‘The Dream’ has rattled off 21 wins since turning pro in Mexico in 2015 at 16 years of age following a stellar amateur career that saw him crowned junior amateur champion seven times and plunder 130 wins.

The Las Vegas-based talent now sits at number three in the WBC rankings where the Lightweight title is now vacant, five in the WBA, eight in the WBO and ten in the IBF – and Haney will look to make a big statement on his debut with Matchroom Boxing USA and DAZN when he takes on Antonio Moran (24-3 17 KOs) at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland on May 25.

“I’m excited about my multi-million dollar partnership with Matchroom Boxing. All this hard work is finally paying off. This is a huge chapter in my career. I have a co-promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing, Eddie Hearn is the perfect guy for me to go in business with.

“While Matchroom will provide the infrastructure, together we will select the best opponents to showcase my talents in the sexiest cities in the world. I’m the future of the sport, and without a doubt in my mind… I’m going to continue to set the boxing world on fire. Matchroom and DAZN now have another superstar… ME!”

“Antonio Moran is a tough fighter with a lot of experience. He has been in the ring with good opposition. He fought Jose Pedraza to a decision last year, so I know he comes to fight. I expect nothing less from him on May 25. I’ve been in the gym working hard. Everyone knows that I stay ready and May 25 can’t come soon enough. On fight night the world will see I’m ready for anyone.”

“Devin Haney is a superstar – no two ways about it,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “At just 20 years old he has already racked up 21 victories, untouched as a pro and has become one of the most talked about fighters in America.

“The big fights are right in front of him, he is ready for anyone and we look forward to a wonderful partnership together. DAZN has another exceptional talent on their platform and we look forward to his Matchroom and DAZN debut on the huge Usyk vs. Takam card May 25 at MGM National Harbor.”

Haney’s clash with Moran is part of a huge night of action in Maryland as Ukrainian pound-for-pound star Oleksandr Usyk moves up to Heavyweight after dominating the Cruiserweight division, and takes on former World title challenger Carlos Takam. In addition, rising Heavyweight Croatian talent Filip Hrgovic takes on Gregory Corbin in his US debut, and WBA World Super-Lightweight champion Jessica McCaskill looks to unify the division against WBA champion Anahi Sanchez.
Statement from Gennady Golovkin on Abel Sanchez
I would like to announce that I have made a major decision for myself and for my career. I want to build on what I have already achieved and continue to better myself. Therefore, I will not be training with Abel Sanchez. This was not an easy decision for me and it is not a reflection on Abel’s professional abilities. He is a great trainer, a loyal trainer, and a Hall of Fame trainer.

I will be announcing my new trainer at a later date. But today, I want to thank Abel for the lessons he taught me in boxing.
Vergil Ortiz Jr. vs. Mauricio Herrera to Now be the Co-Main Event for Canelo vs. Jacobs
Rising star Vergil Ortiz Jr. (12-0, 12 KOs) will have the opportunity of a lifetime as his scheduled 10-round welterweight battle against Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera (24-8, 7 KOs) will now be the co-main event of Canelo vs. Jacobs. As previously announced, the night will also feature the likes of Pablo Cesar “El Demoledor” Cano, Lamont Roach Jr., John “The Gorilla” Ryder, Sadam “World Kid” Ali and Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. in separate bouts. The event will take place Saturday, May 4 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.

“This will be a big test for Vergil Ortiz Jr.,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “This young man has all that it takes to become a dominant world champion, so it’s only fitting that a prospect like him gets the opportunity to be the co-main event of a Canelo fight. At the same time, we know the kind of fighter Mauricio Herrera is. He has a lot of experience and has been in close fights with the best of his division, including what we all know was a win against Danny Garcia. If Ortiz Jr. can look spectacular against Herrera, then he will demonstrate what we already know: that he is the real deal.”

Since debuting as a professional in 2016, Ortiz Jr. has never heard the final bell of a fight, and he hopes to retain his 100% knockout ratio in the toughest fight of his career. The native of Dallas, Texas, who has his roots in Michoacan, Mexico, will return after defeating Jesus Valdez in January of this year. Ortiz Jr. will move up to welterweight for this fight only, and he plans to make a statement to the fighters of the 140-pound weight division, where the 21-year-old plans to return after this tough test.

“This is a great opportunity for fans all over the world to get to know me,” said Vergil Ortiz Jr. “Everyone will be watching this event, so I look forward to showing boxing fans what I’m made of. It’s very hard to look good against Mauricio Herrera. World champions have fought him and have looked bad. If I can look good and be the first to ever stop him, then I’ll be making a big statement.”

Herrera, a former interim WBA World Super Lightweight Champion, is a longtime veteran of the sport. The 38-year-old of Riverside, Calif. has faced a veritable who’s who of the welterweight and super lightweight division, including fights against Ruslan “The Siberian Rocky” Provodnikov, Mike “Mile High” Alvarado, Danny “Swift” Garcia, Johan “El Terrible” Perez, and Jose “Merciless” Benevidez Jr., among others. Herrera will bring a world of experience against the young prospect.

“Everyone knows the kind of experience that I bring to the table,” said Mauricio Herrera. “Whether it’s against world champions, contenders or prospects, I bring a tough fight to anyone. Vergil Ortiz might have bitten off more than he can chew for this fight, especially now since we are the co-main event. I’m happy for yet another opportunity, and we look forward to stealing the show.”

Pablo Cesar “El Demoledor” Cano (32-7-1, 22 KOs) will defend his WBC International Silver Super Lightweight Title against Michael “The Artist” Perez (25-3-2, 11 KOs) in a 10-round fight. Cano will return after his dominant knockout victory against former three-division world champion Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares.

Lamont Roach Jr. (18-0-1, 7 KOs) of Washington, D.C., will unify his WBO International Super Featherweight Title in a 10-round battle against NABO Super Featherweight Champion Jonathan Oquendo (30-5, 19 KOs) of Bayamon, Puerto Rico. The winner of this bout will earn the No. 1 spot for the WBO Super Featherweight World Title.

Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. (28-1, 14 KOs) of South El Monte, Calif. will fight against Freddy Fonseca (26-1-1, 17 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua in a 12-round battle for the vacant WBA Gold Super Featherweight Title. Diaz Jr. will return after a dominant victory against rugged warrior Charles Huerta.

Sadam “World Kid” Ali (27-2, 14 KOs) will return in a 10-round clash for the vacant USNBC Silver Welterweight Title against Anthony Young (20-2, 7 KOs) of Atlantic City, N.J.

London’s John “The Gorilla” Ryder (27-4, 15 KOs) will take on Bilal Akkawy (20-0-1, 16 KOs) of Sydney, Australia for the vacant interim WBA Super Middleweight World Title. Ryder was originally going to take on David Lemieux, though the fight was cancelled due to an injury Lemieux suffered in his right hand. Now, Ryder will now face a highly-ranked contender who is trained by Eddy Reynoso, the trainer of Canelo.

Alexis Espino (1-0, 1 KO) of Las Vegas, Nevada will participate in a four-round super middleweight fight against Billy Wager (1-0) of Great Falls, Montana.
Showtime Sports to Chronicle Wilder vs. Breazeale Heavyweight World Championship Fight with Award Winning Series All Access
SHOWTIME Sports will chronicle heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder’s ninth defense of his WBC title against mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale with a new installment of ALL ACCESS, premiering Friday, May 10 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME. The Emmy Award-winning series will peel back the curtain as two American heavyweights with a combined 90 percent knockout ratio prepare to square off Saturday, May 18 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

ALL ACCESS immerses viewers into the lives and training camps of Wilder and Breazeale as they approach a grudge match that has been brewing for more than two years. Filming for the series is underway in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and the Bay Area as the two 6-foot-7 heavyweights prepare to settle the score with Wilder’s coveted WBC title on the line.

ALL ACCESS DAILY will accompany the acclaimed original series with digital installments released throughout fight week on the networks’ social media channels. ALL ACCESS DAILY: WILDER vs. BREAZEALE will deliver the franchise’s signature intimate access and storytelling in the final days before the heavyweight showdown. New installments of the digital series will be available each day beginning Wednesday, May 15 on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page. A digital installment of ALL ACCESS EPILOGUE will provide an inside look at the intensity of fight night and capture all the sights, sounds and drama of heavyweight prizefighting.
Self-Procalimed “Godfather” of Arizona Mixed Martial Arts Charged on Numerous Criminal Offenses Involving Unsactioned Events
On April 26, 2019, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office filed charges in justice court against Mr. Roland Sarria and Mr. Todd Whitmoyer for suspected involvement in unsanctioned combat sporting events in Maricopa County. Charges arose from an Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) investigation into the activities of both defendants who reside in Maricopa County.
Each subject faces four, class 2 misdemeanors for failing to procure a license and failing to provide a physician for unsanctioned events that occurred on September 15, 2018, in Phoenix, and another event on September 29, 2018, in Glendale. Additional charges could be forthcoming. In Arizona, class 2 misdemeanors can carry a maximum fine of $750 and four months jail time, per violation. In some instances, courts may assess a maximum fine of $10,000, per violation.
The Arizona Boxing & Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Commission regulates and sanctions amateur and professional MMA, professional boxing and kickboxing, and tough man contests conducted statewide. Arizona’s requirements for sanctioned events are in place to protect the health and safety of participants and the public and include on-site medical and security professionals, match officials (referees, judges, inspectors, timekeepers, etc.), safety gear/equipment, licensed/bonded promoters (who provide health insurance for combatants), and specific combatant health tests/documentation. Any event not approved by an authorized sanctioning body is unsanctioned.
“It’s our duty to protect the integrity of these sports, the unarmed combatants and the public,” said ADG Director Ted Vogt. “We do this by ensuring that individuals engaged in unsanctioned unarmed combat events are held accountable in a court of law.”
“Unarmed combat sports are highly regulated competitions that require careful oversight to ensure the safety of the combatants and the spectating public, as well as a fair competition and impartial result,” said Francisco Meneses, Jr., Executive Director, Arizona Boxing & MMA Commission. “Unsanctioned events pose a physical danger to fighters and the public alike and compromise the integrity of combat sports.”
ADG takes tips about unsanctioned events involving unarmed combat sports events very seriously. If you have a tip, or just need information, please call (602) 364-1721.
All defendants are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law.
Mario Barrios Training Camp Quotes
Unbeaten super lightweight contender Mario Barrios will return to action and look to further solidify his spot amongst the 140-pound elite when he takes on Argentina’s Juan Jose Velasco in a 10-round showdown as part of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday, May 11 from EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia.

The broadcast begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and is headlined by IBF and WBA 154-pound world champion Jarrett Hurd defending his titles again top contender Julian Williams.

Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased through Ticketmaster (ticketmaster.com).

The 23-year-old made his 2019 debut in February, knocking out Richard Zamora in round four to bring his knockout streak to eight. Here is what Barrios (23-0, 15 KOs) had to say about his upcoming matchup, training camp with Virgil Hunter and more as he prepares to enter the ring May 11:

On his matchup with Juan Jose Velasco:
“Velasco is a tough fighter from Argentina who’s only loss is at the world class level against Regis Prograis. He will have to adjust to my style because I’m going to be dictating the action from the opening bell. My jab will be the key in this fight. I know I’ll have to let my hands go to be effective. This is going to be a tough fight, but I’m ready for the challenge.”

On his recent training camp:
“Training camp is going as planned. I’ve been in the Bay Area for the last six weeks working with Virgil Hunter and getting world class sparring with some of the best fighters in the world. Virgil has me perfecting my ability to fight with my length while using my jab efficiently. I’ve also been doing my strength training with Victor Conte and Remi Korchemny at the SNAC facility. I’m in amazing shape and will be at my best when I step in the ring against Velasco.”

On when he thinks he’ll be ready for a world title:
“I’m ready now, in my opinion, to fight any of the champions at super lightweight. I’m only 23, so there is plenty of time. I’ve never turned down a fight and when that time comes for me to get that title shot, I’ll be ready. I’m just talking it one fight at a time.”

On fighting on FOX:
“This is a major opportunity for the world to see me in action. The exposure on FOX is going to be unbelievable. My goal is to give the fans another knockout performance. Since I’ve moved up in weight, I’ve been knocking everyone out and my game is getting better with each fight. I feel I’m the next Mexican-American star in boxing who’s going to help keep this sport thriving.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Lemieux, Russell, Whyte, Martinez, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 16th to April 23rd; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Right Hand Injury Forces David Lemieux to Withdraw From Super Middleweight Debut Against John ‘The Gorilla” Ryder

An unfortunate hand injury has forced David Lemieux (40-4, 34 KOs) to withdraw from his 168-pound debut against London’s John “The Gorilla” Ryder (27-4, 15 KOs) in what was going to be the scheduled 12-round co-main event of Canelo vs. Jacobs. Lemieux injured his right hand during a sparring session, and his doctor has recommended that he rest for eight weeks before returning to the gym.

Details for the new co-main event will be announced shortly. The Canelo vs. Jacobs will continue as planned on Saturday, May 4 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.

Lemieux, a 30-year-old native of Montreal, Canada, is disappointed at his injury, but promises to return stronger than ever.

”Training camp was going really great,” said David Lemieux.”I felt in tremendous shape, the strongest I’d ever felt in my entire career. But, I will be back soon. Hopefully, the fans will understand. I promise I will make it up to them once I’m healed.”

“I’m very disappointed since he was in the best shape of his life both in the gym and in the ring,” said Camille Estephan, President of Eye of the Tiger Management. “We will take the time to heal his hand and get right back in the chase for a world title.”

“It’s very unfortunate that David Lemieux’s return has been postponed,” said Eric Gomez, President of Golden Boy. “But this is boxing, and these things happen. We wish David a speedy recovery and look forward to his return, so he can make big waves at 168 pounds.”
WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. To Defend Against Former Champion Kiko Martinez
WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. will defend his title against former world champion Kiko Martinez in the co-feature to Wilder vs. Breazeale on Saturday, May 18 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will also feature unbeaten super lightweight contender Juan Heraldez squaring-off against former world champion Argenis Mendez in a 10-round attraction. The event is headlined by WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder as he makes the ninth defense of his title against mandatory challenger Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale.

“Gary Russell Jr. is one of the most skilled fighters in the sport and he’ll look to stake his spot atop the featherweight division on May 18 against the always exciting former champion Kiko Martinez,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “The event will also feature a battle between a rising contender in the 140-pound division in Juan Heraldez going up against one of the division’s toughest and most active contenders in Argenis Mendez. This is truly going to be an electric night leading up to heavyweight champion of the world Deontay Wilder in the main event.”

“Preceding the night’s main attraction will be Gary Russell Jr. defending his title against a tough and experienced Kiko Martinez, making for a battle that is sure to bring excitement to the fans, plus Mayweather Promotions’ young prospect Juan Heraldez will open the telecast looking to put on a show, as he continues to elevate his career to new heights,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “I’m confident that he will execute his game plan impressively and showcase his talent against a seasoned and tested Argenis Mendez, who has been in the ring with some of the top guys in the super lightweight division. The fans at Barclays and those tuning in on SHOWTIME will see a night of non-stop action come May 18.”

Tickets for this BombZquad event can be purchased at ticketmaster.com and barclayscenter.com, Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP. The Heraldez vs. Mendez fight is co-promoted with Mayweather Promotions.

The 30-year-old Russell (29-1, 17 KOs), who was born in Washington, D.C. and now lives in Capitol Heights, Maryland, will make the fourth defense of his featherweight world title on May 18 and his second career appearance at Barclays Center. Russell won his title by knocking out Jhonny Gonzalez in 2015. After stopping Patrick Hyland and Oscar Escandon, he most recently defeated previously unbeaten Joseph Diaz Jr. last May. Russell, who is trained by his father, Gary, Sr., is part of a boxing family. Two of his younger brothers, Gary Antonio and Gary Antuanne, are currently unbeaten professionals.

“I expect to send a message to everyone in or near my division that I’m a force to be reckoned with,” said Russell. “I want to unify against Leo Santa Cruz and I’m going to do what I have to do to get there. I’m never going to take any opponent lightly and right now, it’s my job to take care of Kiko Martinez before I worry about anything else. On May 18 you should expect to see excitement, punching power, hand speed, fast combinations and a great level of boxing IQ. I’m the best in boxing today and I prove that every time I get in the ring.”

A native of Comunidad Valenciana, Spain, Martinez (39-8-2, 28 KOs) has faced the best names in and around the featherweight division throughout his career. He won a super bantamweight world title in 2013 by stopping Jhonatan Romero and has faced the likes of Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton, Josh Warrington and Scott Quigg. The 33-year-old is unbeaten in his last four contests, including most recently defeating Marc Vidal for a European featherweight title in October.

“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity to win another world title and I’m thankful and excited for May 18,” said Martinez. “Gary Russell Jr is in for a rude awakening. I have a lot of experience and I feel great at featherweight. There will be nothing better than celebrating my 50th fight with a new world title.”

The undefeated Heraldez (16-0, 10 KOs) continued to rise up the rankings in 2019 when he knocked out Eddie Ramirez in their February showdown. The 28-year-old from Las Vegas earned a decision victory over Kevin Watts and a stoppage of Maynard Allison in 2018. That followed up a unanimous decision victory over then unbeaten prospect Jose Miguel Borrego in his first 10-round bout in August 2017 on the Mayweather vs. McGregor undercard.

“I’m one of the best super lightweights in the world and I’m going to show it again on May 18,” said Heraldez. “They keep lining them up and I’ll keep knocking them down. Mendez is good, veteran opposition, but I’m going to show I’m on a different level. This is a great opportunity to once again perform on a big stage and I’m going to take full advantage and steal the show.”

Mendez (25-5-2, 12 KOs) most recently fought to a competitive split-draw against Anthony Peterson in March, running his unbeaten streak up to three fights. The 32-year-old defeated Eddie Ramirez and Ivan Redkach in back-to-back fights after losses to Robert Easter Jr. and Luke Campbell. Originally from San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic and now living in Brooklyn, N.Y, Mendez won the IBF super featherweight title with a knockout victory over Juan Carlos Salgado in 2013.

“This fight is do or die for me to become champion again,” said Mendez. “Anthony Peterson ran from me in our fight in March, so if Heraldez does that on May 18, I will be better prepared. If he stands and fights with me, I feel strongly that I will dominate him and make a statement to everyone that I’m an elite 140-pound fighter.”

Whyte to Face Rivas in London Showdown

Dillian Whyte will face Oscar Rivas for the number one Heavyweight spot in the WBC at The O2 in London on Saturday July 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Whyte (25-1 18KOs) holds the number one slot with the WBC and puts that on the line as the hard-hitting ‘Body Snatcher’ continues to blast his path to a World title shot. The Brixton banger put Derek Chisora away in devastating style in his last outing, the pair thrilling the Greenwich crowd in their rematch in December – before icing Del Boy in the 11th round.

The 31-year-old Briton will be gunning for a tenth straight win against Rivas, with wins over Joseph Parker, Robert Helenius and Lucas Browne sandwiched between his two wins over Chisora. Whyte has become a must-watch fighter since rocking old foe Anthony Joshua in their battle at The O2 in December 2012, and yet again takes on a high-risk challenge as he cements his spot as the leading Heavyweight contender in the world.

Rivas (26-0 18KOs) is yet another dangerous customer for Whyte to risk his number one rankings with, and the Colombian comes into the bout on the back of his biggest win in the paid ranks. Rivas travelled to Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY in January and KO’d former World title challenger Bryant Jennings in the final round of their clash, underlining his dangerous potential to World titlists and fellow contenders, with ‘Kaboom’ ranked at number ten with the WBC, seven in the IBF and a lofty five with both the WBA and WBO.

The Canadian-based 31 year old carried an impressive amateur record into the paid ranks, beating Kubrat Pulev in the 2008 Olympic Games a year after landing silver in the Pan-American games – and with 18 Kos in 26 fights since turning over, July 20 promises to be an explosive war between two in-form big-punchers, with huge stakes on the line.

“I am very happy to be fighting again at The O2 in July,” said Whyte. “Oscar Rivas is undefeated and ranked in the top 10 across the board of all the governing bodies. He has been one of the most avoided heavyweight fighters in the last few years.

“His KO victory over Bryant Jennings sent shockwaves through the division and Tyson Fury just turned down ESPN/Top Rank’s offer to fight him. I am over the moon that he has accepted the fight. He has a great amateur and professional record, including a win over Kubrat Pulev.

“I am more than happy to carry on fighting top 10 fighters like Rivas until I get my well-earned shot at Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua.

“I can’t wait until July 20 to fight again at The O2 which is one ofthe best venues in the world for boxing.”

‘‘I have waited for this opportunity for a very long time,” said Rivas. “Dillian Whyte is an excellent boxer, a World class fighter and the number one contender. He deserve all my respect for his accomplishments and I am grateful for the opportunity he is giving me.

“This is exactly the kind of challenge I was hoping to get. I am undefeated, I am planning to keep my perfect record after July 20 in my quest to get the ultimate opportunity to become World champion.”

“This is a great fight with both men coming off explosive late knockouts,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Rivas is undefeated and looking to take Dillian’s number one spot but as we know, The O2 has become a fortress for him of late and this is set to be another war. We are planning a huge night of boxing on July 20 with a monster card topped by the brilliant heavyweight headliner.”

“First I would like to thank Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing who made a proposal impossible to turn down,” said Yvon Michel, President of Groupe Yvon Michel. “Oscar Rivas was willing to step up and face Anthony Joshua for June in New York and representations were made.

“It might not be his turn now but instead he is extremely happy, to be earning an eventual World title opportunity, by proving he is the best amongst the contenders against the outstanding Dillian Whyte. On July 20 a new star will be born!”

Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing, said: “Dillian Whyte is risking it all again as he battles the dangerous Oscar Rivas at The O2, which has become a happy hunting ground for ‘The Body Snatcher.’

“Dillian has already delivered exciting wins over Joseph Parker and Derek Chisora at the same venue, but he could have his hands full against Rivas, the unbeaten Colombian with his own world ambitions.

“Expect another enthralling showdown when Whyte returns in the summer, and we expect to have a stacked card before a sizzling main event.”

Croatian Heavyweight Star Hrgovic Makes American Debut on May 25
The Rio 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist joins a blockbuster bill in Maryland headlined by former undisputed Cruiserweight Champion Oleksandr Usyk, the winner of the inaugural World Boxing Super Series tournament, who makes his Heavyweight bow against Carlos Takam.

Hrgović returns following a one-sided points victory over Kevin Johnson in his hometown of Zagreb and is eager to showcase his skills in front of an American audience as he continues his quest for World glory.

The Croatian boxing sensation will take on Dallas-born Heavyweight Gregory ‘Bad News’ Corbin (15-1, 9 KOs), whose only previous defeat has come at the hands of former IBF World Champion Charles Martin.

“I am pleased that my promoter Team Sauerland has made an agreement with Matchroom and DAZN that will enable me to fight in America,” said Hrgović. “I believe DAZN is the future of boxing and I’m sure they will give their viewers the best match ups in the history of the Heavyweight division.”

“I look forward to making my American debut on May 25 I’m very excited because the entire Heavyweight division is moving to the US and the US is the best place for big fights at the moment.”

“I think American fans will love my style because I’m not a classic distance fighter. I’m constantly trying to fight and throwing many punches. The fans can expect some excellent fights from me.”

“My opponent Greg Corbin is very good, and I think he is an excellent choice for this stage of my career. I will prepare for this fight as if it were for a World title so I’m sure it will be a great match up.”

“It will be a good test for me because he is more experienced than me, we can see that from his record, and I believe he will come in his best possible shape so it will be an exciting match for viewers around world watching on DAZN.”

“I’m currently in training camp in Miami. We always train like it’s a fight for the world title. Pedro Diaz insists on discipline and hard training. He refuses to work with fighters who are not 100% focused. We share the same opinion about that. That is why we are a good team, and I think we can achieve big things together.”

“I am looking forward to getting straight back in there on May 25,” said Corbin. “This is a chance for me to redeem myself after the Martin fight. There were a lot of distractions for me in the build-up to that one, but this time I’m fully focused on Hrgovic. “There’s a lot of hype around this guy with his amateur background and his start in the pros – let’s see if he can back it up.”

“Filip Hrgović is an incredibly talented fighter and this could be a breakthrough year for the young Croatian,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “His amateur pedigree is outstanding and I share Team Sauerland’s excitement about his future – he’s going to be a real player in the division.”

“American fight fans are in for a treat. On May 25 they will witness a future star of the Heavyweight division,” said Hrgović’s promoter Nisse Sauerland. “Filip Hrgović is on a fast track for Heavyweight gold.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Atlantic City, Khan, Crawford, Judah, WBC, and more..


By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 9th to April 16th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Amir Khan Confirms First ‘Ring the Changes’ Initiatives to Help Young People Across the UK

Boxing superstar Amir Khan and online financial trading broker ThinkMarkets have confirmed their first partnerships as part of the ‘Ring the Changes’ initiatives aimed at providing support and opportunities for under-privileged young people across the UK.

More than 35 young people have been murdered in London already this year and Khan will work with ThinkMarkets and charity partners to raise funds and support initiatives to help young children get off the streets using financial education and the power of boxing.

The London Institute of Banking & Finance will offer young people access to their Lessons in Financial Education (LiFE) course to teach young people about the world of finance. Amir Khan will be actively working with ThinkMarkets to reach out to boxing clubs across London to invite young people on to the programme.

Youth Employment UK is not for profit organisation that helps 14-24-year-olds to kick-start their careers and will provide support specifically through their Young Professional programme which helps young people develop the work ready skills that employers are looking for.

This ties in with Amir Khan’s aims with ThinkMarkets to secure employment in the City for 100 young people from disadvantaged families by 2022.

Amir Khan said: “My ‘Ring the Changes’ initiative with ThinkMarkets WILL have an impact on youth crime and disenfranchisement and make a real difference.

“I’m focused on training for my fight against Terence Crawford in a few days but it’s tragic seeing the increasing devastation families are facing as young people are being killed or maimed in knife attacks.

“We have to give young people hope and opportunities and I believe that ‘Ring the Changes’ can go some way to providing inspiration for young people who may feel lost. Together with ThinkMarkets, we will not forget them and we will provide ways to help.”

Alison Pask, Managing Director, Financial Capability and Community Outreach at The London Institute of Banking & Finance added: “The Ring the Changes campaign helps young people combine the advantages of sports and financial knowledge to develop their skills and confidence.

“Over 70% of young people regularly worry about money and want to learn more. The role that initiatives like this can play in building financial resilience is critical. But more than that, initiatives like these can help open doors to career opportunities – and there are lots of those in the finance sector.

“We hope this programme will help raise the aspirations of young people, opening doors to careers and opportunities they may not have thought possible. We’re very proud of the role we can play.”

Laura-Jane Rawlings, Chief Executive Officer of Youth Employment UK, added: “The combination of sports, financial education and employability programme will provide young people with the necessary tools to further their career goals. By collaborating with ThinkMarkets under the Ring the Changes campaign we believe we can really make a difference to the future generations.”

Khan has a long history of helping charitable causes around the world and set up his own Foundation in 2014, something that attracted ThinkMarkets to working with the former Olympic silver medalist.

Nauman Anees, Co-founder of ThinkMarkets, said: “We wanted to take our time to get the right partnerships in place and have worked closely with Amir Khan before securing the London Institute of Banking & Finance and Youth Employment UK.

“’Ring the Changes’ WILL make a difference to the lives of a great many young people in the UK through a combination of philanthropy, opportunity and inspiration.”

ThinkMarkets aims to teach youngsters the importance of mental discipline and provide them with key skills to help them achieve their goals.

Khan’s partnership with ThinkMarkets is the first of its kind, with ThinkMarkets becoming the first UK broker to sponsor a professional boxer.

Earlier this year, ThinkMarkets announced another sporting partnership, with legendary Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath supporting young people in Australia and the UK.

WBC Champs Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada and “Bang Bang” Louisa Hawton Are All in for Autsim
This past weekend was one stacked with Women in Boxing no doubt! The World Boxing Council, WBC Cares program with Chairperson, Jill Diamond, WBC President, Mauricio Sulaiman and the entire WBC Family are very grateful to our WBC Champs, Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada and “Bang Bang” Louisa Hawton who donated their time Saturday evening to raise money for Autism Awareness. With World Champions in attendance like MLB World Series Champ, Scott Erickson, Former Dallas Cowboys, and NFL Superbowl XXVI MVP, Mark Rypien along with many other celebrities, it was a fun filled night where the Champs played, laughed and rewarded the winners of the table that knocked them out with WBC Medals!

April is Autism Awareness Month and we at the World Boxing Council are honored Pam Phillips and the Gemini Family have invited us to be a part of this event another year! The difference begins within each one of us. Let’s spread awareness just like our Champs Seniesa and Lulu!

For information on how Gemini helps those in the Autism Spectrum, go to Gemini.org

Judah vs. Seldin to Battle At Turning Stone Resort Casino
Preparations are well underway as Central New York prepares to host boxing’s biggest weekend of the year, International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend. Star Boxing, in partnership with Turning Stone Resort Casino, today announced a new event for an already impressive boxing weekend – Zab “Super” Judah (44-9, 30 KOs) vs. Cletus “Hebrew Hammer” Seldin (23-1, 19 KOs). The fight will take place in the Turning Stone Event Center on Friday, June 7, 2019, as part of the 30th Anniversary of Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend. The evening’s co-main event will feature James “Buddy” McGirt Jr. (27-3-1, 14KO’s) facing off against David Papot (22-0, 3KO’s), the same weekend his father James “Buddy” McGirt Sr. will be inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame.

Boxing fans will also have an opportunity to mingle with some of the biggest names in boxing, including boxing VIPs and Hall of Famers. Turning Stone will offer a unique boxing fan experience for guests who purchase tickets for the June 7thJudah vs. Seldin fight. For $50 (plus the purchase of a ticket), guests will receive access to the Boxing Hall of Fame Lounge, where boxing VIPs will be socializing throughout the night.

Tickets for Judah vs. Seldin are now available at the Turning Stone Box Office in person or by calling 315.361.7469 and 12:00 p.m. online at Ticketmaster. Prices start at only $35, with ringside seats available for $89 and $75.

June 7th’s main event features, Zab “Super” Judah (Brooklyn, NY), a six-time world champion, and the last undisputed welterweight champion of the world. The three-time New York Golden Glove champion made his professional debut at the age of 18, later holding world titles in three weight classes, capped off by his undisputed welterweight reign. Judah has defeated some of the most notable names in the business, including, Micky Ward, Lucas Matthysse and Cory Spinks (Undisputed Welterweight Title), and fought many other top fighters including Floyd Mayweather, Amir Khan, Danny Garcia and Miguel Cotto .

Opposing the six-time and former undisputed champion will be New York’s feared knockout artist, Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin (Shirley, NY). Born from a tough line of Jewish-Americans, Seldin won the Ringside Amateur World Championship in 2009. As a professional, Seldin created buzz throughout New York as a knockout artist packing the Paramount with his “Hamma Head” fans. He broke on to the national scene when he devoured Roberto Ortiz at the Nassau Coliseum in a featured HBO fight. One month later, Seldin became the first boxer alongside Hall of Fame world champions, Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. to fight in featured fights on back to back months on HBO. 83 percent of Seldin’s wins have come via knockout.

The veteran craftsmanship of former undisputed champion Judah, will have to weather the storm of the heavy-handed New York brawler in Seldin. On the biggest weekend in boxing, with many Hall of Famer’s in attendance, #JudahSeldin is bound to set off fireworks at Turning Stone on June 7th.

In the co-feature bout, James “Buddy” McGirt Jr. (Vero Beach, FL) will look to tip his hat to his father, James McGirt Sr. who is being inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame during the same weekend, when he takes on tough Frenchman David Papot (Saint-Nazaire, France). McGirt compiled an impressive amateur record of 44-4 winning the Sunshine State Games and the Southeastern Regional. As a professional McGirt has also found success and has faced some well-regarded fighters in his division, including, Carlos De Leon Jr., Edwin Rodriguez, and Raymond Joval. His opponent, undefeated Frenchman David Papot is taking the trip across the Atlantic Ocean with intentions of ruining the McGirt family weekend. Papot had 102 amateur bouts, 30 of which were with the French National team, earning French National Champion honors two times. In 2017 Papot earned the WBA Continental Middleweight Title, and later that year became the French National Super Welterweight Champion, having since defended the title three times.

Crawford vs. Khan PPV Details Revealed
The undefeated pound-for-pound king, three-division world champion and reigning WBO welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford will headline the inaugural Top Rank on ESPN pay-per-view broadcast against former unified super lightweight world champion Amir “King” Khan Saturday, April 20 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT from Madison Square Garden.

Crawford vs. Khan will be available via all major cable and satellite providers with a suggested retail price of $59.95 (SD) or $69.95 (HD).

All undercard bouts will air live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, beginning at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.

Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs), the fighting pride of Omaha, Nebraska, unified all four super lightweight titles in August 2017 and moved up to the welterweight division intent on doing the same. In June 2018, he won the WBO welterweight title with a dominant ninth-round stoppage over Manny Pacquiao conqueror Jeff “The Hornet” Horn. Four months later, in front of a packed hometown house at the CHI Health Center Omaha, he stopped bitter rival Jose Benavidez Jr. in the 12th round.

Khan (33-4, 20 KOs), who captured an Olympic silver medal in 2004 for Great Britain at the age of 17, has long been one of boxing’s most captivating performers. He won his first world title in 2009 and has victories over Marco Antonio Barrera, Zab Judah, Marcos Maidana, Paulie Malignaggi, Luis Collazo and Devon Alexander. He is undefeated as a welterweight and is once again attempting to prove his greatness against boxing’s best.

In other action on the pay-per-view broadcast:

• Lightweight sensation Teofimo Lopez (12-0, 10 KOs) will face former world title challenger and two-time European lightweight champion Edis Tatli (31-2, 10 KOs) in a 12-round co-feature. Lopez is ranked in the top five by all four major sanctioning organizations and is coming off a savage seventh-round knockout over Diego Magdaleno.

• In the other co-feature attraction, Shakur Stevenson (10-0, 6 KOs), the 21-year-old featherweight phenom who earned a silver medal for the United States at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will face former world title challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz (24-1, 16 KOs) in a 10-rounder.

• Felix “El Diamante” Verdejo (24-1, 16 KOs), one of Puerto Rico’s most popular fistic attractions, will fight former interim world champion Bryan Vasquez (37-3, 20 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight duel with potential world title implications.

CRAWFORD vs. KHAN is a 12-round fight for the WBO welterweight championship of the world, presented by Top Rank in association with Matchroom Boxing and Khan Promotions. The event is sponsored by Geico. CRAWFORD vs. KHAN will take place Saturday, April 20, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT at Madison Square Garden

Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame (ACBHOF) Announces Opening of It’s Legends Café
The ACBHOF is pleased to announce the opening of its Legends Café during their 3rd Annual Celebration and Induction Weekend. For the third year, the Claridge A Radisson Hotel will serve as ACBHOF’s partner and backdrop for this historic event to be held June 21 – 23, 2019.
On Friday, June 21st the ACBHOF VIP Cocktail Reception will kick-off the weekend with the opening of the Legends Café and a special screening of the movie “ME WHEE” — a 30-minute documentary of Muhammad Ali.

“It is with tremendous pride that The Claridge-A Radisson Hotel welcomes The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame during this induction weekend. We are privileged to join in this partnership, a blending of the rich history that we both share here in Atlantic City. The Legends Café is an extraordinary, unique, and unforgettable opportunity for immersion into the legendary world of boxing that has evolved in this city over the years.” – A. Cem Erenler V.P. Operations & Development.

On Saturday, June 22nd the ACBHOF will invite boxing enthusiasts to join us for conversation and coffee in the Legends Café where an engaging panel discussion will take place. The panel will be moderated and activated with a panel comprised of top boxing historians from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The Café will host exciting exhibits and art on display by Patrick Killiam from Newport, Wales, and other talented artists and Exhibits that will be on display: Jack Johnson, Joe Frazier Legacy Exists, Deborah King, James O’Neal Sculptures, Boxing Apocalypse and the SparBar.

Also, on Saturday the ACBHOF will be inside the Orange Loop for good food and music at the Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall; where guests and fans alike will be interacting up close and personal with boxing legends on hand for autographs and photo opportunities.

“Our mission is to honor, preserve and celebrate the excellence of Atlantic City’s rich Boxing History and there’s no better place to highlight this tradition than at the historic Claridge-A Radisson Hotel. My team and I are excited about this collaboration.” – Ray McCline President of Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame.

The weekend will culminate with the Induction Ceremony on Sunday, June 23rd where the ACBHOF Class of 2019 will be enshrined into the hall of fame history.

The Class of 2019 Participants: Bernard Hopkins, Tim Witherspoon, Iran Barkley, Roberto Duran, Micky Ward, Kevin Watts, John Brown, Virgil Hill, Butch Lewis, English Bouie Fisher, Ace Marotta, Jimmy Binns, Sr., Stan Hoffman, Nigel Collins, Henry Hascup, Tom Kaczmarek, Tony Orlando Jr., and Rhonda Utley-Herring.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Adames, Donaire, Lomachenko, Crawford, Carto, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 2nd to April 9th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Top Rank on ESPN to Bring Vasily Lomachenko vs. Anthony Crolla Lightweight World Title Bout April 12th Exclusively on ESPN+

One of the biggest boxing events of the year will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ on April 12 at 11 p.m. ET from the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. The reigning WBA/WBO lightweight – and widely regarded pound-for-pound –champion, Vasiliy Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs), is set to defend his unified lightweight world title against mandatory challenger Anthony Crolla (34-6-3, 13 KOs). The undercard bouts will also stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 8 p.m. ET. All the evening’s fights will be available in Spanish on ESPN+.

Friday’s Top Rank on ESPN card coincides with the one-year anniversary of the launch of ESPN+ – the leading direct-to-consumer sports streaming service.

Calling the action for ESPN will be Joe Tessitore (play-by-play), former two-division world titleholder Tim Bradley (analyst) and former pound-for-pound two-division world titleholder and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward (analyst). The on-location desk team will feature analysis from Mark Kriegel and Max Kellerman, and the ESPN+ Spanish coverage includes play-by-play from Jorge Eduardo Sánchez and former boxing champion Juan Manuel Márquez as analyst.”

ESPN’s official coverage of fight week kicked off Sunday, April 7, with Countdown to Lomachenko vs. Crolla, where viewers follow rival boxers Vasiliy Lomachenko and Anthony Crolla as they prepare for a must-see world title fight on April 12. See inside the training camp of pound-for-pound superstar Lomachenko as he trains at his home base in Oxnard, Calif., while former world champion Crolla trains to return the WBA title he once held to its rightful owner.

ESPN.com will have the fight covered throughout the week with a feature on Anthony Crolla from Nick Parkinson, a unique look at how the world’s best boxing trainers would prepare their fighters to face Vasiliy Lomachenko from Steve Kim and a complete guide to the fight from Dan Rafael. Rafael and Kim will be at the fight offering their unique insight as the action goes down.
Christian Carto Named the “One to Watch”

Local bantamweight boxer Christian Carto won four straight bouts in 2018 and improved his record to 17-0, with 11 KOs. These four fights included two local main events, and two supporting spots on big nationally televised cards. This was a year of development for Carto, as he went the distance in all four fights, mixed it up a bit more than we’re used to seeing, and faced a tougher level of competition. Along the way, Carto also established himself as one of the biggest box office attractions of the local scene.

For these factors, as well as his exciting style and promising future, Carto earned the award as “The One to Watch”, and will take home his first-ever Briscoe Award on Sunday, April 14, 2019, at Xfinity Live! in South Philly.

In his first start of 2019, Carto suffered his first professional set back, but for many reasons, he remains the fighter that everyone continues to watch, perhaps even more so after his most recent outing.

The awards, named after Philly middleweight boxing legend Bennie Briscoe, have been recognizing the best achievements of the Philly boxing scene since 2007.

This year’s event will be held on Sunday, April 14, 2019, at Xfinity Live! in South Philadelphia (1100 Pattison Avenue), 1-4 PM. Tickets for the Briscoe Awards cost $10 each, and can be purchased in advance at BriscoeAwards.com, or by calling 609-377-6413.

The Briscoe Awards are presented by Philly Boxing History Inc., a 501c3 Non-Profit organization, dedicated to preserving and honoring the great legacy of boxing in and around the city of Philadelphia. For more information, call John DiSanto at 609-377-6413.

Donaire: “I can’t wait to the to show the crowd what we’ve been working on”
Philippine-American Nonito ‘The Filipino Flash’ Donaire feels well prepared and looks forward to his World Boxing Super Series 118lb Semi-Final against South Africa’s WBO Champ Zolani Tete at the Cajundome in Lafayette, LA, USA on April 27.

“Lafayette, Louisiana is definitely going to be an experience,” said Donaire, a native of the Philippines who moved to the Bay Area in California at the age of 10 and today lives and trains in Las Vegas.

“There is so much culture all over the United States and I am I’m blessed to be in a tournament that allows me to visit a different state. I’ve heard the food is amazing and I can’t wait to try it out after the fight.”

36-year-old Donaire is perhaps the biggest name in the star-studded WBSS Season 2 line-up having held eight world titles by the main four boxing sanctioning bodies. Known as “The Filipino Flash” due to exceptionally hand speed and extraordinary punching power.

The former multiple-time world champion in four weight classes and current WBA Super Bantamweight Champion came down from 126lb to compete at 118lb for the first time in seven years to enter the WBSS.

In the quarter-final in Glasgow, Scotland Nov. 3rd last year against Northern Ireland’s Ryan Burnett, tournament No. 1 seed, Donaire felt he was in control and would have taken home the victory in the normal fashion if his opponent hadn’t been forced to retire after four rounds with a lower back injury.

How is the training going, can you give us some insight from your training camp?
“Training started about two weeks after the Burnett fight. We didn’t know when the fight would be scheduled but we knew the opponent so we stayed head on for Tete. I implemented new training methods that we haven’t tried before and have had a smooth training camp in Las Vegas.”

How would you describe your shape and preparations compared to your last fight?
“I believe the major difference is building upon what we had in the Burnett fight. I made sure to continue to stay disciplined with my diet and continue to be at the gym. As I said, it wasn’t completely 100% boxing throughout and we did implement training outside of the boxing gym and different drills as well. We made sure to have rest when needed so we could turn it up in these last couple weeks.”

How do you see the match-up with Tete?
“Tete is a formidable opponent. He is tall, he is fast, he is slick, but I am a fighter that can fight any kind of style. I can’t wait to the to show the crowd what we’ve been working on.”

April 20: Carlos Adames and Frank Galarza Headlines Packed Crawford-Khan Undercard
One of the 154-pound division’s biggest punchers — Dominican sensation Carlos “El Caballo Bronco” Adames — is set to make a thunderous statement April 20 at Madison Square Garden.

NABF champion Adames will defend his belt against Brooklyn native Frank Galarza in the 10-round featured bout on the Terence Crawford vs. Amir Khan undercard broadcast, which will begin at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT on ESPN2 and in Spanish on the ESPN app. Adames vs. Galarza will also be contested for the vacant NABO 154-pound belt.

Adames vs. Galarza will headline a scheduled five-fight broadcast, which will lead into the Crawford vs. Khan pay-per-view extravaganza at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT.

Details on how fans will be able to access the pay-per-view event will be announced at a later date.

“I am thrilled and proud to fight at Madison Square Garden once again. It is a great honor to be in action on such a big stage and on an important card like this one,” Adames said. “I have a new trainer, Robert Garcia, and we are working on a lot of new things. This will be the new era of ‘Caballo Bronco.’ Frank Galarza is a good, experienced fighter. I know he has faced good opposition and that he is training hard for this fight. It will be a very interesting fight because he will be battling against someone that wants to be one of the greats in the sport. I’m coming to make noise in the 154-pound division.”

“There is no better place for this fight to be than at The Garden,” Galarza said. “It’s a dream come true for me. I’m ready to show the world what I’m really made of. Carlos and I both are ranked in the top 15 in the WBO. He is coming to my backyard, and it’s going to be a great fight.”

Adames (16-0, 13 KOs) is 3-0 since signing with Top Rank in early 2018. He turned pro in 2015 after a nearly 300-fight amateur career and showed he belonged at the world-class level in July 2017, knocking down and scoring a shutout decision over former world champion Carlos Molina. His last two fights have lasted a total of five rounds, and he is coming off a third-round knockout over Juan Ruiz on Jan. 18 in Verona, N.Y.

Galarza (20-2-2, 12 KOs), from the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, overcame a troubled childhood and a brief 11-fight amateur career to become a longtime contender in the paid ranks. He began his career 17-0-2 before a sixth-round TKO loss to Jarrett Hurd, who is currently the unified 154-pound world champion. A close decision loss to Ishe Smith followed in September 2016, but Galarza has since resurrected his career, winning a trio of fights to set up this opportunity versus Adames.

In other action on the ESPN2 broadcast:

Former Indian amateur standout Vikas “The Indian Tank” Krishan (1-0, 1 KO) will take the next step in his professional journey against Noah Kidd (3-1-1, 2 KOs) in a six-round super welterweight fight. Krishan was a two-time Olympian for his home country and is the only Indian fighter to have won both the Asian and Commonwealth Games.

“As I continue my pro journey, it’s an honor to fight on such a significant card,” Krishan said. “There is a large Indian population in New York and New Jersey, and I can’t wait to see the support from my Indian people. It’s going to be a special night.”

Puerto Rican middleweight sensation Edgar Berlanga (9-0, 9 KOs) has scored nine consecutive first-round stoppages to begin his pro career. He will look to make it 10 for 10 versus Brazilian veteran Samir Dos Santos (37-15-3, 26 KOs) in an eight-rounder. The Brooklyn-born Berlanga has fought four times in New York City as a pro and will be making his Top Rank debut.

Bantamweight prospect Lawrence “BT” Newton (11-0, 7 KOs), a stablemate of Crawford’s, will face Jonathan Garza (7-2, 2 KOs), in a six-round showdown.

Larry Fryers (9-1, 3 KOs), a native of Ireland who now lives in New York, will look to make it four wins in a row against Dakota Polley (5-2, 2 KOs) in a super lightweight bout scheduled for six or four rounds.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Matchroom Boxing and Khan Promotions, tickets priced at $606, $406, $306, $206, $106, $81, and $56 (including facility fees) are on sale now and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.MSG.com.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Estrada, Rungvisai, Easter, Barthelemy, Byrd, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 26th to April 2nd; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Estrada vs. Rungvisai Rematch Will Be Twice the First Fight

Juan Francisco Estrada says he will be 100 per cent fit for his rematch with Sor Srisaket Rungvisai – and that will make the fight twice as good as the first clash and see him become World champion at The Forum in Inglewood, LA on Friday April 26, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

**TICKETS START FROM JUST $25 AND ARE ON SALE NOW FROM TICKETMASTER**

Estrada and Rungvisai served up a fight of the year contender at the famous LA venue last February, with the Thai star edging out ‘Gallo’ to retain his WBC Super Flyweight title and land the Ring Magazine crown.

Former WBA and WBO king Estrada was hampered in the build up by a knee issue for the first clash, yet the Mexican ace delivered a fantastic performance. The 28 year old has recorded a pair of wins since the majority decision loss to Rungvisai, and crucially, has enjoyed a great camp in Los Mochis, Mexico to enter the showdown in great shape.

“I’ve always said there’s always a second chance and we need to take advantage of it,” said Estrada. “I was 50 per cent prepared last time, not because I didn’t want to train but because I had some injuries that affected my preparation and we had no choice but to keep facing the fight as it was a very important fight. This rematch is an opportunity and we will make the most out of it because we are well trained and the goal is to be a World Champion, doesn’t matter if it’s against Rungvisai or anyone else.

“After his hand was raised, I knew there will be a rematch because it was an interesting fight for the fans and for us, it had to be a rematch. I had to win my way back with two or three flights because I was ranked on the top 10 but needed to come up to the second rank to be able to get this fight and my team and I made it happen.

“I had a knee injury first time around and my reactions were not the same. I could not run the same, I was tired but I showed heart. The final round was one of the best rounds of the year, and if I was 100 per cent prepared with no injuries the whole fight would have been like that and maybe he wouldn’t handle that round.

“When a right-handed fighter faces a lefty, it could be a boring fight because of the stances, but when Rungvisai and I fight, our style of boxing is a great match and I think it wasn’t a dirty fight, I think it was a good fight for the fans and that they enjoyed it.

“If he is 100 per cent prepared like he was or more, I think it will be a more aggressive fight for both of us, a tougher fight but I will throw a lot more punches and that will make the difference. He is a fighter that doesn’t throw a lot of combinations, he is a fighter that is has trusts his punch, he has very strong punches and I progressively throw more combinations. I will look for the knockout thawing more punches and showing more intensity.

“Really being champion is the most important, doesn’t matter who is it against, and fighting Rungvisai, in my opinion he is the best of this division. If god gives me the chance to win the fight, I would like to fight against other World champions and defend my title with a few fights and then get to the next division.

“It will be like the first fight but now throwing a lot more punches, and like I said our styles are a great match. Our physical preparation will be crucial last time I was 50 per cent and now the key will be to get their 100 per cent.”

Estrada’s rematch with Rungvisai tops a huge card in Los Angeles with WBA World Super-Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman and IBF ruler TJ Doheny clashing in a unification battle.

Jessie Vargas (28-2-2 10 KOs) is on the hunt to become a three-weight World champion and he faces fellow two-weight World king Humberto Soto (69-9-2 37 KOs) in a crunch clash for their elite level aspirations. The Soto clash will be Vargas’ first fight with new trainer Freddie Roach, and it’s a busy evening for the Hall of Fame coach as Scott Quigg (35-2-2 26KOs) also looks to move to world honors in a new weight, targeting a Featherweight World title shot in the second half of the year.

Unbeaten Super-Middleweight talent Anthony Sims Jr is set for a breakout year and will fight for his first title on the bill. Sims (17-0 16 KOs), who is in action in Peterborough, England on Saturday night live on DAZN and Sky Sports, clocked three stoppage wins in the second half of 2018, and will look to convert that momentum in style in first the UK and then in LA.

Shakhram Giyasov (7-0 6KOs) and Diego Pacheco (2-0 1KO) landed wins in Tijuana, Mexico this weekend and will fight on the bill, while Eddie Hearn’s latest addition to his blossoming stable of young USA talents, Houston’s Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams, will make his pro debut on the card.
Robert Easter Jr. and Rances Barthelemy Meet in WBA Lightweight Title Fight on April 27th
Former lightweight world champion Robert Easter Jr. and former two-division champion Rances Barthelemy will meet for the vacant WBA Lightweight Title on Saturday, April 27 live on SHOWTIME from The Chelsea inside of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and will also feature former super lightweight champion Viktor Postol taking on France’s Mohamed Mimoune in a WBC super lightweight title eliminator, while rising heavyweight sensation Efe Ajagba looks to remain unbeaten against once-beaten German Michael Wallisch in a 10-round heavyweight attraction.

Easter vs. Barthelemy pits two highly skilled and explosive former 135-pound champions against each other as they look to grab a title and vault themselves back into the top echelon of the lightweight division.

Easter will return to the ring for the first time since losing his IBF title in a unification showdown with WBC Champion and pound-for-pound great Mikey Garcia last July on SHOWTIME. Barthelemy is undefeated at 135 pounds and returns to the lightweight division for his second fight since losing a 140-pound title rematch to Kiryl Relikh last March on SHOWTIME.

“Two former champions looking to reclaim their championship status speaks for itself in terms of the action and will to win that Easter and Barthelemy will bring on April 27,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Both guys have already proven that they have what it takes to take care of business at this level. The eliminator bout, with Postol bringing his experience and Mohamed looking to take advantage of the opportunity, is a great lead-in to the main event attraction. Plus, Efe Ajagba will bring his A+ game in pursuit of a victory over Michael Wallisch. The fans in attendance at the Cosmopolitan here in Las Vegas, and tuning in on SHOWTIME, are in for a treat.”

“Easter vs. Barthelemy is a true 50-50 fight that will end with one of these fighters leaving the ring with one of the top spots in the lightweight division,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Both are former world champions at lightweight and possess the styles and attributes that should make this an action-packed match. Combined with a very competitive title eliminator between Viktor Postol and Mohamed Mimoune, plus the can’t-miss punching power of Efe Ajagba, this is going to be a dramatic night on SHOWTIME and at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.”

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions in association with About Billions Promotions, go on sale Monday, April 1, and can be purchased at www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com or through Ticketmaster.

The 28-year-old Easter (21-1, 14 KOs) won the IBF Lightweight Championship in 2016 by edging an exciting split-decision against then-unbeaten and current IBF titleholder Richard Commey. After two successful title defenses in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, Easter defeated former champion Javier Fortuna by decision in a January 2018 fight in SHOWTIME.

That victory set up a unification with WBC champion Mikey Garcia, in which Easter survived an early knockdown to push Garcia the full 12 rounds before coming up short on the scorecards. At 5-foot-11, Easter has continued to show the combination of size, skill and athleticism that made him a highly regarded prospect following an amateur career that featured a spot as an alternate on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.

“I’ve wanted to fight Barthelemy since he had the lightweight title and vacated it, and now I have the chance,” said Easter. “He has an awkward style and I’m up for that challenge. I am still coming in as the taller fighter with a reach advantage and I’ll use it to make this fight go how I want it to. He is a former world champion and he is coming to bring it just like I am.”

A decorated Cuban amateur who hails from a boxing family that includes his older brother, Olympic Gold Medalist Yan, and younger brother, unbeaten featherweight Leduan, Rances Barthelemy (27-1, 14 KOs) will return to lightweight to vie against one of the best fighters in the division. The 32-year-old now trains in Las Vegas and previously captured a 135-pound belt by defeating Denis Shafikov in December 2015.

Barthelemy won a 130-pound championship by defeating Argenis Mendez in 2014 and attempted to become the first Cuban three-division champion when he moved up to 140-pounds for his first fight against Relikh, a title eliminator that he won by decision. After dropping the rematch to Relikh in a vacant title fight on SHOWTIME, Barthelemy returned to the ring in December and stopped Robert Frankel.

“I’m looking forward to a great fight against Robert Easter Jr,” said Barthelemy. “I know I have what it takes to beat him and capture another title and become a three-time world champ. My best performances have come at 135 pounds. Both of us are former world champions who are hungry and will give the fans a sensational night of boxing. I’ve never lost at lightweight and that will continue on April 27. Don’t miss this fight on SHOWTIME. It’s now or never!”

Originally from Ukraine, but now fighting out of Los Angeles, Postol (30-2, 12 KOs) previously earned a 140-pound world title by knocking out Lucas Matthysse in 2015. The 35-year-old dropped the title in a unification showdown with Terence Crawford in 2016 before bouncing back by defeating then unbeaten Jamshidbek Najmiddinov. Last June he dropped a decision to unbeaten contender Josh Taylor and most recently he defeated Siar Ozgul in November.

The 31-year-old Mimoune (21-2, 2 KOs) has fought professionally since 2010 and will be making his U.S. debut against Postol on April 27. Representing Haute-Garonne, France, he is unbeaten in his last 10 fights dating back to 2014. His last five victories have come in 12-round decisions, including two last year over then unbeaten Emiliano Dominguez and most recently against Franck Petitjean.

Nigeria’s Ajagba (9-0, 8 KOs) gained notoriety last August 24 when his opponent, Curtis Harper, walked out of the ring after touching gloves to start the first round. The 24-year-old, 2016 Nigerian Olympian won the fight without throwing a punch as Harper was disqualified. In his last fight Ajagba, who lives in Stafford, Texas and trains with Ronnie Shields, defeated his toughest competition to date by stopping longtime contender Amir Mansour after two rounds.

Fighting out of Munich, Germany, Wallisch (19-1, 12 KOs) won his first 19 pro fights after turning pro in 2010, including a German heavyweight title-winning performance in 2013 against Alexander Kahl. The 33-year-old fought three times last year, picking up two knockout victories before losing to Christian Hammer in December.

World Heavyweight Champion Chris Byrd Joins BYB Extreme Announcing Team

Two-time world heavyweight boxing champion and 1992 Olympic silver medalist Chris Byrd has been added to an already strong BYB Extreme pay-per-view announcing team for its inaugural event, “BYB Brawl 1: Brawl For It ALL”, on Friday night, April 5, live from the Cheyenne Ice & Event Center in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Byrd will be part of the BYB Extreme announcing team at cage-side, along with blow-by-blow announcers Din Thomas and the othercolor commentators, Dyrushio “Rusy” Harris and his brother, Dhafir Harris, AKA iconic backyard-brawler Dada 5000. Tony Martinez will support the BYB announcing team in Spanish (SAP option), while veteran Bob Alexander is the BYB ring announcer.

“I’m excited to be part of the BYB team,” Bryd said. “I’m Looking forward to commenting and sharing my vast knowledge of boxing and many years of experience. Although the two sports are different, they are still very much the same. Looking forward to April 5th

“BYB Brawl 1: Brawl For It ALL” Is the first sanctioned-event promoted by BYB Extreme Fighting Series (BYB), bare-knuckles fighting’s most intense combat sports promoter, featuring 10 professional bare-knuckle fights and two mixed-martial-arts fights, all held inside the “The Trigon”, the most confrontational cage in combat sports. The much-anticipated show is presented by title sponsor Pure and Natural (www.getpureandnatural.com) and available to watch live worldwide on pay-per-view.

BYB Extreme and Lights Out Productions was initially inspired by the Backyard Fights that were held in Miami, featured in the award-winning documentary “Dawg Fight”, which debuted on Netflix and it still remains available to watch. Dada 5000 was the subject and star of “Dawg Fight”. Production of “Dawg Fight 2”, produced once again by award-winning documentary filmmaker Billy Corben (Rakontur), concludes at “BYB Brawl 1: Brawl for it ALL”.

Byrd, who now lives in San Diego, captured a silver medal for Team USA at the ’92 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. In 2003, Byrd upset Vitali Klitschko to become the World Boxing Organization (WBO) World heavyweight champion. During his illustrious professional career, Byrd (415, 22 KOs) also defeated Evander Holyfield and David Tua.

“Seems like every day a new piece gets added that gives BYB more depth and experience,” BYB Extreme president Mike Vazquez noted. “The addition of two-time World Heavyweight champion and US Olympic medal winner Chris Byrd does just that. We are very excited that Chris will be joining Din Thomas, Rusy Harris and Dada 5000 as part of our BYB Brawl broadcast team. His experience as a world Champion and what he will bring to the commentary is priceless. BYB may be a relatively new series, but we have all the tools to bring fight fans what they want, exciting well matched fights and a quality and experienced broadcast team that know first hand what they are talking about.”

“BYB Brawl 1: Brawl For It ALL” will revolutionize bare-knuckles fighting with all fights held inside its triangular cage, “The Trigon” (pictured below) – 7′ high fences, two beveled corners and a 60-degree, tight third-corner forming a triangle, totaling 187 square feet – marking the first time a professional bare-knuckles event is held inside a cage. This will also be the first time bare-knuckles fighting and MMA are contested in a cage on the same night.

Yunusov Shows Heart and Determination with Unanimous Decision Over Colon at SugarHouse Casino
Three-time Olympian Anvar Yunusov remained perfect by getting off the deck and fighting through a bad cut to win an eight-round unanimous decision over Carlos Colon in a junior lightweight bout that highlighted an action-packed ten bout card before a sold-out crowd on Friday night at SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia.

The card, which was promoted by King’s Promotions in association with Titans Boxing Promotions, was streamed LIVE (and now can be seen on-demand) all of the world on the King’s Boxing Facebook Page. The Main event can be seen HERE

Yunusov was dropped by a right hand in round three. He was cut badly in the same round over his right eye. Yunusov was able to shake off the rough 3rd frame to come back and put Colon down with body shot’s in rounds four and five. Yunusov was able to control the action down the stretch, and win by scores of 79-71 and 78-71 twice.

Yunusov of Philadelphia by way of Tajakistan is now 7-0. Colon of Lares, Puerto Rico is 5-2.

Erik Spring and Terrance Williams locked up in a very competitive eight-round super welterweight battle that saw Spring come through with a majority decision.

Spring of Reading, PA won by scores of 77-75 and 76-75, while one card read even at 76-76.

Spring is now 12-2-2. Williams of York, PA is 5-3-1.

Popular super middleweight Brandon Robinson needed one left hand to the body to take out Lawrence Blakey at 2:49 of the 1st round of their scheduled six-round bout.

Robinson of Philadelphia is 12-2 with nine knockouts. Blakey of Pittsburgh is 5-13-2.

Colby Madison beat down Emilio Salas and scored a 2nd round stoppage in a scheduled six-round heavyweight bout.

Madison of Owings Mills, MD is 8-0-2 with five knockouts. Salas of Yonkers, NY is 5-3-1.
Laquan Evans took a four-round split decision over Jordan Demko in a a middleweight bout featuring pro debuters.

The fighters mixed it up in an entertaining four-round scrap that saw the fight go back and forth. Evans was able to overcome being dropped in the 1st round.
Evans was able to fight back, and win by scores of 39-37 and 38-37 with Demko winning a card 39-37.

Anthony Mercado proved to be too much for Andres Navarro by scoring a stoppage at the end of round five of a scheduled eight-round bout featuring junior welterweights based in Puerto Rico.

Mercardo is 13-4 with 11 knockouts. Navarro is 11-8-1.

Ryan Humburger and Brent Oren put on a display that not only thrilled the capacity crowd in attendance, but kept everyone on their feet for the duration of their middleweight bout.

Both guys took turns pounding away on each other, with each debuter being several times before Oren was worn down and not able to come out for round four.

Michael Coffie scored a vicious 2nd round stoppage over Eduardo Vitela in a scheduled six-round heavyweight bout.

Cofffie landed a thudding left hook that immediately knocked Vitela out, and the fight was stopped at 1:10 of the 2nd frame.

Coffie of Brooklyn, NY is 6-0 with five knockouts. Vitela of Durango, Mexico is 3-4.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Frampton, Top Rank, Hurd, Williams, Hall of Fame, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 19th to March 26th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Jarrett Hurd vs. Julian Williams Press Conference Quotes
Unified and undefeated IBF and WBA 154-pound “Swift” Jarrett Hurd and top contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams previewed their recently announced showdown at a press conference Sunday before they meet in primetime in Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes action on Saturday, May 11 at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia.

Tickets for the event go on sale Thursday, March 28 at 12 p.m. ET and can be purchased through Ticketmaster (ticketmaster.com).

Here is what the fighters had to say Sunday from MGM National Harbor in Maryland:

JARRETT HURD

“It was very important to fight at home because that’s what everyone has been asking for. I’m excited to have the opportunity and I can’t wait to step in the ring.

“All of my fights are classics. I know that ‘J-Rock’ has been watching me and that makes him dangerous. He’s coming in with a good game plan and we’ll see what it is on fight night.

“Jermall Charlo is a big puncher and he landed some shots that got Julian out of there, but Julian was right in that fight. It was kind of back and forth action until Charlo landed those shots, but Charlo was hurt in that fight too.

“The fighter that I am, I wanted to go out there and close the show against Erislandy Lara. I thought I was up, but it’s not in me to just go out and survive. I’m glad I did because it got me the win.

“I’m going to be victorious on May 11. I’m looking for a decisive win. I’m not saying I’m going to to get the stoppage, but it will be convincing that it went my way.

“Tony Harrison beating Jermell Charlo definitely threw a monkey wrench into the plan coming off of surgery. I’m going to go after the WBC belt regardless of who has it, but first I have to take care of Julian.”

JULIAN WILLIAMS

“I’m not Erislandy Lara, I’m going to fight a completely different fight than he did. I’m going to do whatever I have to do to win. That’s the kind of fighter Hurd is, so that’s the kind of fighter I have to be.

“I think I’m going to win in a classic. We’re probably going to have to do it a second time it’ll be so good.

“My motivation are those two belts on the line. Any kind of fight with Harrison or Charlo and Hurd has nothing to do with me. I’m focused on what I have to do.

“I had to get over the loss quick. You can’t dwell on that. Am I going to mope? No, it’s who’s up next? I can’t even put it into words how hungry I am.

“Hurd is definitely a really exciting fighter. He gives that extra each fight, but I’ve seen some things. I have a way of wearing guys down myself. I wore Nathaniel Gallimore down fighting off my front foot and I think I’ll do the same to Hurd.

“I don’t know if there will be extra pressure on him fighting at home. You have to ask him. I know when I fight at home I don’t feel any extra pressure. When the bell rings, a fight is a fight.”
Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame Announces Star-Studded 2019 Induction Class
A diverse and glittering array of boxing greats will be honored with induction into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame at the 7th Annual Induction Weekend spectacular August 9th and 10th 2019 at Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa in Las Vegas. The partnership with the Red Rock Casino and Spa is just the beginning of a wonderful relationship with the NVBHOF.

The Inductees were announced at a press conference hosted by NVBHOF Founder Rich Marotta and 2014 NVBHOF Inductee, “Colonel” Bob Sheridan.

CEO and President Michelle Corrales-Lewis said, “I’m extremely excited about this year’s Class. I feel it’s one of our most glamorous ever!”

The exciting list of inductees includes:

Non-Nevada Resident Boxers

BERNARD “THE EXECUTIONER” HOPKINS: The magnificent “Executioner” won multiple world titles in the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions including 20 successful defenses of 160 pound title. Hopkins was the first male boxer to simultaneously hold world titles from four sanctioning bodies and became the oldest boxer ever to win a world championship fighting in his 50’s.

JUAN MANUEL “DINAMITA” MARQUEZ: Considered one the greatest Mexican champions of all time. A superb counter-puncher and technician and was willing to slug it out as well, hence his nickname “Dinamita”. Marquez engaged in an iconic 4-fight series With Manny Pacquaio, all of them in Las Vegas, and won World Titles in 4 divisions.

RONALD “WINKY” WRIGHT: Master ring general who could use all 20 feet of the ring to out-think, out-maneuver and out-hustle his adversaries. Strong resume included Wins over Trinidad, Mosley and Quartey.

HUMBERTO “CHIQUITA” GONZALEZ: One of the hardest punching lighter-weight boxers at 108 lbs ever. Won 2 of 3 in epic trilogy with Michael Carbajal, losing only a sensational Vegas battle in which he scored two knockdowns.

VINNY “THE PAZMANIAN DEVIL” PAZ: The Pazmanian Devil, winner of multiple world titles and a 1994 decision over Roberto Duran in Las Vegas. His unique story includes an incredible comeback from auto accident resulting in a broken neck, chronicled in the movie “Bleed for This”.

“TERRIBLE” TERRY NORRIS: The true epitome of “boxer-puncher” was a Las Vegas regular With 14 fights in Nevada. Possessor of great hand and foot speed, he KO’d champs like John Mugabi, Donald Curry, Meldrick Taylor, and Simon Brown among others and won a Decision over the legendary Sugar Ray Leonard.

“SCHOOLBOY” BOBBY CHACON (Posthumous): Immensely popular champion who engaged in Fight of the Year in both 1982 vs Bazooka Limon and ’83 vs Cornelius Boza-Edwards.

Nevada Resident Boxers

JOEL “EL CEPILLO” CASAMAYOR: Fought 12 times in Nevada. A clever, wise fighter who knew all the tricks. He held the WBA 130 pound and WBC 135 pound world titles. Won 2 of 3 in epic trilogy with Diego Corrales. Had nearly 400 fights as an amateur and won 1992 Olympic Bantamweight Gold Medal in Barcelona with victory over Wayne McCullough. Would’ve been 1996 Olympian as well but defected from Cuba just before Olympics. Longtime resident of Las Vegas, now working training kids.

WAYNE “POCKET ROCKET” McCULLOUGH: One of Ireland’s most famous and popular fighters and lived in Las Vegas throughout and after his career. He had storied amateur career of about 350 fights. Made it to finals of 1992 Olympics where he lost decision to Joel Casamayor. He returned to Ireland with Silver Medal as major hero. After just two years as pro, traveled to Japan and pulled off difficult assignment of defeating Yasukio Yakushiji to win the WBC Bantamweight Title. Career included wins over Johnny Bredahl, Joe Luis Bueno and Victor Rabanales.

HASIM “THE ROCK” RAHMAN: Longtime Las Vegas Resident held both the IBF and WBC Heavyweight title, and had two stints as WBC King. His first fight vs Lennox Lewis proved his biggest win with a stunning KO win in South Africa. Notable wins over Maskaev and Barrett, draws with Toney and Tua. Fought 5X in NV, including his 1994 pro debut at Caesars Palace.

LEROY “IRISH” HALEY (Posthumous): Fought an awesome 49 times in Nevada, more than any current or past NVBHOF Inductee. He won the WBC 140lb title in 1983, defeating outstanding champion Saoul Mamby and repeated victory later in the rematch. He lost the title outdoors at Caesars Palace to Bruce Curry. He lived in Las Vegas throughout his career.

Non-Boxer Participants

FLOYD MAYWEATHER SR.: Best known for training his son Floyd Jr, and Oscar de la Hoya. He is well known for teaching defensive techniques. He also has trained Chad Dawson, Laila Ali and Ricky Hatton. He also had successful pro boxing career with 28-6-1 record.

DUANE FORD: A longtime judge in NV and now President of North American Boxing Federation (NABF). Resides in Las Vegas. He judged over 600 fights including some of the biggest bouts in Las Vegas such as Hagler vs Antuofermo 1, De La Hoya vs Mosley 2, Morales vs Barrera 1, Wright vs Mosley 2 and Hopkins vs Taylor 1.

DAN GOOSSEN (Posthumous): President of Goossen-Tudor Promotions, previously President of America Presents and Ten Goose Boxing. He served as VP at Top Rank when he resided in Las Vegas. He promoted the Ruelas Brothers, Michael Nunn, James Toney, Terry Norris, Chris Arreola, Andre Ward and briefly Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather Jr. He died 2014

DR. EDWIN “FLIP” HOMANSKY: Ringside physician for more than 20 years. NV State athletic Commissioner, Chairman NSAC Medical Board.

MARC RISMAN: He was the attorney to Joe Louis and has represented many in boxing, including NVBHOF inductees and nominees with legal matters. Also managed Virgil Hill, Trevor Berbick and Engels Pedroza. Marc has always been a huge advocate for the sport of Boxing throughout the community.
Elated Frampton: Top Rank/ESPN Deal Insane
Carl Frampton has heaped praise on MTK Global after securing a colossal deal with US boxing giants Top Rank and ESPN.

Belfast’s two-weight world champion (26-2-KO15) was in New York to watch MTK Global team-mate Michael Conlan beat Ruben Garcia Hernandez on St Patrick’s Day as news broke.

Frampton told iFL TV: “I’ve done a deal through MTK Global with Top Rank and ESPN and it’s massive for me personally. It’s huge and I’m very, very excited for it.

“It’s an amazing deal. Talking financially, if you got this deal coming off the back of win, you’d be very happy with it but coming off a loss, credit to MTK Global.

“I think it’s insane coming off a loss. At one point a few months ago, I was genuinely thinking about retiring.

“It’s been in discussion for a number of weeks and we’ve done well to keep it quiet. There was a little bit of talk about it online but I’ve kept it very quiet.

“It gives me a big opportunity to get back. I believe I can win a world title. There’s more of a chance of that happening now than there was six weeks ago.

“Potentially, I’ll face a good fighter and then potentially Oscar Valdez after that. That’s an option and if I’m asked to fight Valdez straight away, I’d be happy to do that too.”

Frampton, who unified super-bantamweight world titles before dethroning Leo Santa Cruz on his first outing as a featherweight, was defeated by Josh Warrington on points in a classic world title fight back in December.
Banner Promotions Signs Super Middleweight Patrick Mukala to Promotional Contract
Banner Promotions is proud to announce the signing of super middleweight Patrick Mukala to a Promotional Contract.

Mukala of the Democratic Republic of The Congo has a record of 11-1-1 with 10 knockouts.

The 25 year-old Mukala began boxing at the age of 15 after watching a film of the famous “Rumble in the Jungle” fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.

“The fight took place in my country (formerly known as Zaire), since seeing seeing that fight, it really motivated me to be the face of boxing in my country, and then the whole world,” said Mukala.

Mukala had an amateur record of 65-5 and he was an eight-time regional champion.

Mukala turned professional on April 28, 2014 with a 1st round stoppage over Vhonani Netshidamboni. Mukala has wins over Page Tshesane (20-4-3), Faizel Malinga (6-1), Renson Hobyani (6-1) and Daniel Lartey (6-0). In the bout with Lartey, Mukala won via 8th round stoppage that garnered him WBA Pan African Super Middleweight Title.

He defended that title twice.

“My country hosted that legendary fight with Ali and Foreman. I believe that wasn’t by chance. For me it is a sign that a Congolese boxer can achieve big things in boxing. I want to say thanks to Banner Promotions to offer me this opportunity to follow my American dream and achieve my ultimate dream to become a world champion.”

“We are very excited to add Patrick to our roster. He is a very exciting young fighter, who has power in both hands. We will announce his first fight with us very shortly,” said Artie Pelullo, President of Banner Promotions.

Mukala is trained by Asheley Fourie, and is managed by Marcel Tshiyoyi.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Crawford, Khan, Stevenson, Vazquez, Bivol, Smith, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of February 26th to March 5th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Crawford vs. Khan Undercard Announced, to Feature Lopez, Stevenson, and Verdejo
Before pound-for-pound king Terence “Bud” Crawford enters the ring to defend his WBO welterweight world title against Amir “King” Khan, a pair of 21-year-old wunderkinds — Teofimo Lopez and Shakur Stevenson — will look to steal the show in their respective co-feature bouts on ESPN PPV Saturday, April 20 at Madison Square Garden.

Stevenson, the 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, will tangle with former 130-pound world title challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz in a 10-round featherweight bout. Lopez, the consensus 2018 Prospect of the Year and top lightweight contender, will face two-time European lightweight champion and former world title challenger Edis Tatli in a 10-rounder. Tatli is ranked No. 3 by the IBF and No. 10 by the WBC.

And, in a special attraction that will open the broadcast, Puerto Rican star Felix “El Diamante” Verdejo will fight former two-time interim super featherweight world champion Bryan Vasquez in a 10-round lightweight bout that will thrust the winner into the world title picture.

Tickets priced at $606, $406, $306, $206, $106, $81, and $56 (including facility fees) are on sale now and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com and www.msg.com.

Details on how fans will be able to access the pay-per-view broadcast, which will begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, will be announced at a later date.

The entire undercard will stream live beginning at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN+, the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.

“This terrific undercard accompanying the Crawford-Khan main event will be extremely entertaining and exciting,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Shakur Stevenson and Teofimo Lopez are two of the brightest young lights in boxing and are facing seasoned opponents in Diaz and Tatli. Felix Verdejo is on the comeback trail, and Bryan Vasquez is a tough veteran who won’t give in.”

Lopez (12-0, 10 KOs) catapulted from prospect to contender in 2018 and early 2019 with a slew of headline-grabbing wins, including sensational knockout victories over Mason Menard and Diego Magdaleno in his last two fights. A 2016 Olympian for his parents’ native Honduras, the Brooklyn-born puncher last fought at Madison Square Garden’s big arena on May 12 of last year, punctuating his first-round knockout of Vitor Jones Freitas with a Fortnite dance that went viral. Tatli (31-2, 10 KOs) has never been stopped as a pro and has wins over current European lightweight champion Francesco Patera, top contender Yvan Mendy and former 130-pound world champion Mzonke Fana. A celebrity in his native Finland, Tatli recently took home the first prize on “Tanssii tähtien kanss,” the Finnish version of the popular BBC program, “Strictly Come Dancing.”

“Every time I fight in my hometown, I take over the show, and that’s what I plan on doing again,” Lopez said. “This is the year I become a world champion, and whoever stands in my way is going to get knocked out. If you think you’ve seen the best version of Teofimo Lopez, think again. The Takeover is coming to Madison Square Garden and ESPN pay-per-view.

“One thing I know for sure: Tatli will be dancing with the real star of The Takeover on April 20. This ain’t reality TV. This is a real fight.”

“This is a great matchup, and I can’t wait to get the job done,” Tatli said. “Lopez is a skilled fighter, and he is in for a real treat on April 20. My goal has been clear for a long time — to win a world title — and Lopez is not going to stop me reaching it.”

Stevenson (10-0, 6 KOs) followed up a 5-0 campaign in 2018 with a spectacular fourth-round TKO over Jessie Cris Rosales on Jan. 18 in Verona, N.Y. A native of Newark, N.J. — a short train ride from Madison Square Garden — Stevenson hopes to move closer to a world title opportunity in front of his home fans. Diaz (24-1, 16 KOs), from Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, moved down to featherweight following his July 2018 decision loss to Masayuki Ito for the vacant WBO junior lightweight world title. He knocked out David Berna in the first round on Nov. 24 to set up the Stevenson showdown.

“Newark is going to be in the building on April 20 as I show Christopher Diaz what I’m all about,” Stevenson said. “After I get done with him, Diaz will wish he’d stayed at 130 pounds. Soon enough, the featherweight division is going to run through me.”

“I feel super motivated and focused as always for another big fight in another big event,” Diaz said. “I like these kinds of challenges. I’m fighting against a silver medalist of the 2016 Rio Olympics who is also a great prospect with a lot of potential. He needs to demonstrate that he has what nobody can teach him. He needs to show that he has heart and gallantry. We’ll see on April 20 when he faces his first real tough test. I will come prepared as I always do. On that night, he will understand that you can’t teach cojones and that I was born with very big ones.”

Verdejo (24-1, 16 KOs), a former amateur superstar for his native Puerto Rico, hopes to graduate to contender status with a victory over Vasquez. He suffered his first loss last March via 10th-round stoppage to Antonio Lozada Jr. in a fight he was leading. Verdejo was victorious in his comeback bout on Nov. 10 in Puerto Rico, knocking out Yardley Armenta Cruz in the second round. Vasquez (37-3, 20 KOs) has won two in a row since a tight majority decision loss to Ray Beltran in August 2017.

“I’m going into this new challenge ready to demonstrate my skills against a world-class fighter,” Verdejo said. “I hope that this fight will open the doors to big fights. I want to bring a world championship to Puerto Rico, and this is the year.”

“In order for me to lose to Verdejo, he’s going to have to kill me,” Vasquez said. “In order for him to kill me, he’s going to have to be willing to die with me. And he’s already shown that he’s not willing to die in there.”

Use the hashtag #CrawfordKhan to join the conversation on social media.
Bivol: I Know Smith Will Come and Fight
DMITRY BIVOL knows that JOE SMITH JR. is coming to rip his title away from him – and the WBA World Light-Heavyweight king says that will make for a great fight when he defends his belt at TURNING STONE RESORT & CASINO in Verona, NY on Saturday March 9, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW PRICED FROM $49 VIA TICKETMASTER.COM

Bivol (15-0 11 KOs) puts his strap on the line for the fifth time and it’s been smooth sailing since he destroyed Trent Broadhurst inside a round in his first defense in November 2017.

The Russian has put Sullivan Barrera, Isaac Chilemba and Jean Pascal to the sword since that win in Monaco, and now the hard-hitting Russian goes head to head with Smith Jr (24-2 20KOs).

The Long Island man fights for his first World title against Bivol, and the 29 year old has vowed to pour everything out of himself to land the crown – and the defending champ believes that their styles will gel for a great clash.

“He’s a strong guy,” said Bivol. “I saw his fight against Bernard Hopkins, and he’s really strong. He has the same age like me, he’s young. But he has some minus points like many fighters that I will use to my advantage for my win. He moves forward a lot. This is a good challenge for me, to stop him.”

“I saw in his eyes when I met him, he wanted my belt. And I’m glad, because only that way it can make a good fight.”

“We are both of different styles. When two guys meet in the ring with different styles in boxing, it usually makes a good fight. I think it will be a good fight for boxing fans.”

“To be honest, I don’t think about the belt. I just think about who my opponent is, and what he can show me in the ring. All I think about is how I should beat him. In my sight, I feel like I should just beat him. Of course, the belt is good for history, but I only think about my opponent.”

Bivol’s clash with Smith Jr. is part of a huge night of action at Turning Stone Resort Casino with a second mouthwatering World title fight on the bill in the shape of Maurice Hooker (25-0-3 17 KOs) defending his WBO World Super-Lightweight title against Brooklyn’s Mikkel LesPierre (21-0-1 10KOs).

Callum Johnson (17-1-0 12KOs) and Sean Monaghan (29-2-0 17KOs) will both have a keen eye on Bivol’s clash as they battle in a crunch fight in the 175lbs division, World-ranked heavyweight contender Sergey Kuzmin, (14-0 11 KOs), of St. Petersburg, Russia will battle Philadelphia based veteran Joey Dawejko, (19-6-4 11 KOs) and Otha Jones III makes his pro debut on the card.

DraftKings Delivers Knockout Gaming Experience in Collaboration with Showtime Sports
DraftKings Inc. and SHOWTIME Sports today announced a collaboration that will combine forces to immerse boxing fans in the sport they love through a custom Pick ‘Em style game exclusive to SHOWTIME Sports that debuts with this Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING event on March 2nd.

This new Pick ‘Em style game asks players to choose the winner of each televised fight, determine the method of victory and predict when the bout will end for all SHOWTIME boxing events including SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®, ShoBox: The New Generation®, SHOWTIME Boxing: Special Edition and SHOWTIME PPV®. Players will be awarded points based on the number of correct predictions in each boxing match. Prizing for individual fight cards includes $5,000 in winnings with each of the top-five finalists receiving a SHOWTIME Boxing prize pack. Additionally, the overall 2019 Pick ‘Em winner will be awarded a free trip to every 2020 SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® event.

To view and play the DraftKings and SHOWTIME Sports Pick ‘Em game please visit www.draftkings.com/showtime

“Our alignment with SHOWTIME Sports is another prime example of our endless efforts to innovate and satisfy our customers with the most comprehensive sports offerings possible,” said Ezra Kucharz, Chief Business Officer at DraftKings. “Boxing draws edge-of-the-seat fans with incredible passion and engagement with the sport, and this collaboration will further our ability to best connect with our burgeoning player community.”

“This unique collaboration with DraftKings delivers an entertaining companion experience for viewers and provides a year-long connection to all SHOWTIME boxing events,” said Stephen Espinoza, President Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “We’re excited to align with a leading sports-tech entertainment brand in the U.S. as SHOWTIME Sports continues to deliver fresh and innovative ways for fans to enjoy the best that boxing has to offer.”

Boxing is among the most storied and popular sports in the world with a passionate fan base, both domestically and internationally. Viewership trends for televised combat sports spectacles have been consistently impressive in recent years, with boxing accounting for the top selling pay-per-view television events in history. To serve this large and growing fanbase, DraftKings and SHOWTIME Sports are reshaping the fan sports entertainment experience through a creative collaboration, which will include custom fantasy games and other gaming innovations.

This Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING event will be the first opportunity for fans to play this Pick ‘Em style game. Saturday’s three-fight telecast is headlined by former world champion Erislandy Lara challenging undefeated WBA Super Welterweight Champion Brian Castaño plus the return of heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz.
Damien Vazquez Training Camp Quotes
Unbeaten bantamweight Damien Vazquez will take on the toughest test of his career in former world champion Juan Carlos Payano in Premier Boxing Champions Prelims on FS1 this Saturday from Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly StubHub Center, in Carson, California.

Prelims begin at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT and lead into a PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes show that’s headlined by WBC Welterweight World Champion Shawn Porter making his first title defense in primetime against mandatory challenger Yordenis Ugas.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at AXS.com.

Here is what Vazquez, who is the younger brother of former three-time world champion Israel Vazquez, had to say about training, his matchup and more:

On his recent training camp:
“I’ve had a phenomenal training camp going into this fight. Bones Adams and Joel Casamayor are two of the best boxing minds in the sport. I’m soaking up everything they’re showing me. I’ve also been sparring with Isaac ‘Canelito’ Avelar, a big strong featherweight who brings it every day. I’m confident and victory is on my mind.”

On his upcoming matchup with Payano:
“This is a big step up for me. Payano is a former world champion who is very dangerous, but I’m confident in myself, in my talent, and I’m going to leave everything in the ring. After March 9, the world will know who I am and what I’m about. There is no doubt in my mind, I’m coming out on top!”

On making his nationally televised debut on FS1:
“Fighting on FS1 is going to be a huge blessing for my career, because the whole world will be able to watch me perform. I’m very grateful for this opportunity. Boxing fans tuning in will see two warriors going for the kill.”

On what a victory will do for his career:
“Beating a former world champion like Payano will get me closer to that world title shot I’m seeking. I’m the future of the bantamweight division and it’s my time to shine.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Jacobs, Lara, Rungvisai, Estrada, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of February 19th to February 26th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Tickets on Sale for Canelo vs. Jacobs

Tickets for the highly anticipated 12-round unification fight between Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs), WBC, WBA, Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion, and Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs), IBF Middleweight World Champion,will go on sale this Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 10:00 a.m. PST. The champion-vs.-champion event will take place Saturday, May 4 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.

Tickets for Canelo vs. Jacobs are priced at $2,505, $1,505, $1,205, $805, $605, $405, $305, $205 and $105, not including applicable service charges and taxes. There will be a limit of 10 per person at the $2,505, $1,505, $1,205, $805, $605, $405, and $305 price levels with a limit of two (2) per person at the $205 and $105 price levels. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849). Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.t-mobilearena.com or www.axs.com.

To purchase tickets during the pre-sale, subscribe to our newsletter by going on www.goldenboypromotions.com and clicking VIP Connect or by following us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter at @GoldenBoyBoxing.

Canelo vs. Jacobs is a 12-round fight for the WBC, WBA, Lineal, Ring Magazine and IBF Middleweight World Titles presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Matchroom Boxing. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle.” The event will take place Saturday, May 4, 2019 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.
Erislandy Lara Training Camp Quotes

Former super welterweight world champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara will look to reclaim a piece of the 154-pound crown when he challenges WBA champion Brian Castaño on Saturday, March 2 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

“Brian Castaño is coming into this fight with an undefeated record, but it’s nothing I haven’t seen before,” said Lara. “This will be my third fight in a row versus an undefeated fighter. I’m taking this very seriously. Stylistically, I feel I’m the superior fighter, but he’s a very strong champion. I will be prepared to take back a title in this great division, then look to the biggest fights that are out there.”

One of the big fights that could be out there for Lara is a rematch with unified 154-pound champion Jarrett Hurd. Lara dropped a split-decision to Hurd in a unification showdown on SHOWTIME that was the consensus 2018 “Fight of the Year”, having been recognized by the BWAA, ESPN and Sporting News, amongst others.

“The fight against Hurd was a great fight for the fans, but I felt I won seven or eight rounds that night,” said Lara. “To be on the wrong end of another close decision left a bad taste in my mouth. That fight being recognized as ‘Fight of the Year’ shows my versatility as a fighter. I was on the ballot before with Alfredo Angulo, so it was good to get recognized for being a warrior, not only a craftsman. I will always give the fans my all and come March 2, it will be no different.”

Lara is continuing to to work with longtime trainer Ronnie Shields in Houston, where Lara has prepared for his matchup with sparring that includes going up against top prospects in 18-year-old Joey Spencer and 24-year-old Eimantas Stanionis.

“Ronnie and I are working great together, and we have an excellent game plan in place.,” said Lara. “This is one of the better camps I’ve had the last few years. Having young fighters like Spencer and Stanionis in camp with me is refreshing because I know they are hungry. When we spar, I feed off their energy, because I know they are trying to take take their game to the next level, which makes me better. This is a demanding sport and they are definitely pushing me.”

March 2 also gives Lara a chance to share the stage with another one of Cuba’s best fighters, as Luis Ortiz is set to take on Christian Hammer in the co-main event, making the night a celebration of Cuban boxing.

“Luis Ortiz and I go way back and I’m happy that my brother is fighting on the same card as me,” said Lara. “We’ve gone through a lot since leaving Cuba to pursue our dreams of becoming world champions here in the U.S. Like myself, I know he’s going to be ready to entertain the fans on fight night and make this a memorable night for Cuban boxing!”

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions in association with DiBella Entertainment, are on sale now and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com, or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

Rungvisai vs. Estrada and Roman vs. Doheny Top LA Blockbuster
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Juan Francisco Estrada will meet in a rematch for the WBC and Ring magazine Super-Flyweight titles and WBA and IBF Super-Bantamweight World Champions Daniel Roman and TJ Doheny clash in a unification battle on a blockbuster night of action at The Forum, Los Angeles on Friday April 26, live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports in the UK.

Rungvisai (47-4-1 41KOs) and Estrada (38-3 26KOs) clashed at the LA venue in February 2018 and delivered a memorable all-action affair that saw Rungvisai defeat Estrada by Majority Decision to retain his WBC Super-Flyweight title.

Pound for pound Thai star Rungvisai, who recently penned a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing USA, successfully defended his title for the third time in October on home turf against Iran Diaz, while Mexican ace Estrada enters the bout on the back of wins over Felipe Orucata at The Forum in September and Victor Mendez in Carson, California in December.

“I am extremely excited and honored to be back fighting in the US again,” said Rungvisai. “Estrada is a great fighter, and we had an amazing fight last year. Our round 12 was awarded Round of the Year by WBC. That is an evidence of how entertaining the previous fight was.

“I believe that this fight on April 26 will be even more entertaining. I am training extremely hard in Thailand. And I am confident I will be the winner on April 26th.

“Thank you to Matchroom Boxing and DAZN for this amazing opportunity, it’s such a great honor to be fighting for them. I also would like to thank WBC, NKL Team, and 360 Promotions for making this possible. I can’t wait to give a great fight to all the fans on April 26th!”

Roman (26-2-1 10KOs) and Doheny (21-0 15KOs) clash in a unification bout that is certain to entertain. Roman was one of the standout fighters of 2018, winning a wide points decision in the first defense of his WBA crown in Japan over Ryo Matsumoto in February and followed that with another authoritative points triumph over Moises Flores in Frisco, Dallas in June.

The LA man then punctuated his year’s work by stopping Brit challenger Gavin McDonnell in the tenth round of their clash on the first American boxing bill live on DAZN in October, and now looks to make a flying start to 2019 against IBF king Doheny.

Doheny’s path has echoes of his opponents as like Roman, the Australian-based Irishman travelled to Japan to land his first World title when he took the strap from Ryosuke Iwasa in Tokyo in August.
The unbeaten 32 year old signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing USA in January and swiftly made his first defense in New York against Ryohei Takahashi, stopping the Japanese in the 11th round at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, with Roman watching in the crowd.

“This is the biggest and most important fight of my career,” Roman said. “I haven’t been shy about wanting to unifying the division. This is the fight that I’ve been asking for since I became a World Champion. I need to deliver on my goal of becoming the best and a win against another World Champion puts me in that conversation.

“It will be a new experience for me because I’m not fighting a challenger, I’m fighting another belt holder. It’s exciting in a lot of ways. I’ll be at my best because I’m planning to add another title on April 26.

“It feels pretty damn good to fight in front of my hometown fans. My last five fights have been away from home, but I don’t feel any added pressure in this homecoming of sorts. I know I have a job to do. Nothing is easy at this point. It’s going to be a heck of a fight. Two World Champions fighting for control of the division. What more could you want?”

“Danny is one of those rare boxers that is motivated and committed to fighting the very best,” said Ken Thompson, President, Thompson Boxing Promotions. “He understands the risks that he is taking, but that’s what drives him. Against Doheny, he gets to show the world what he’s made of. It will be a tough fight, but one that Danny is more than capable of winning. We expect him to fight his fight and come out with another win and another World title.”

“This was my ideal scenario,” said Doheny. “Get the voluntary defence out of the way, then go straight into the unification, so great work from my team, and Eddie Hearn with Matchroom Boxing USA for getting this fight on. It’s unbelievable, it would mean the World to me. It’s just another boxed ticked, after I won the World title, the next goal was to become a unified Champion. I’m looking forward to achieving that.

“We met in the ring after the fight in New York, and there was a lot of respect for each other. That’s the way it should be. We’re two World class fighters, two World Champions in the division. A fight like this doesn’t need any false hype, I think that when you’ve got two World class fighters like this that’s enough of a selling point for a high-calibre fight like this

“Danny’s a great fighter, he adds a lot of pressure, he’s a great puncher, great punch selection, he’s got it all really. It’s going to be a great fight between us, and I won’t be surprised if the fans get to see a bit of a war. Fighting Danny in his home city, that doesn’t bother me. I’ve been fighting on the road my whole career, so it will be no different to me. It’s me and him in the ring, and it’s going to be all action.”

A stacked card in support of the huge World title double-header is led by Jessie Vargas’ move to 154lbs. The Las Vegas-based LA man (28-2-2 10KOs) headlined the aforementioned Chicago show in an entertaining clash with Thomas Dulorme, a draw the outcome after 12 pulsating rounds for the WBC Silver Welterweight title, where a last round knockdown cost Vargas the win.

The 29 year old will start the journey on becoming a three-weight World Champion on April 26 and will have a new but familiar face in his corner with the bout marking his first fight under hall of fame trainer Freddie Roach.

Roach will be a busy man on the night, with former Super-Bantamweight World Champion Scott Quigg returning to action. The English star (35-2-2 26KOs) returned to winning ways in Boston in October with a spiteful second round stoppage of Mario Briones, and will be on familiar ground in LA where he trains with Roach and shared a bruising fast-paced battle with WBO Featherweight ruler Oscar Valdez last March.

Unbeaten Super-Middleweight talent Anthony Sims Jr is set for a breakout year and will fight for his first title on the bill. Sims (17-0 16 KOs), who is in action in Peterborough, England on Saturday night live on DAZN and Sky Sports, clocked three stoppage wins in the second half of 2018, and will look to convert that momentum in style in first the UK and then in LA.

Shakhram Giyasov (7-0 6KOs) and Diego Pacheco (2-0 1KO) landed wins in Tijuana, Mexico this weekend and will fight on the bill, while Eddie Hearn’s latest addition to his blossoming stable of young USA talents, Houston’s Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams, will make his pro debut on the card.

“I’m proud to announce this huge card for our first show in LA,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Rungvisai vs. Estrada was one of the fights of the year in 2018 and fans can expect another war on April 26 for the WBC and Ring Magazine World titles.

“LA’s Danny Roman attempts to unify the division against IBF champ TJ Doheny and two division World Champion Jessie Vargas returns under his new trainer Freddie Roach as he begins his quest to win World titles in three different weight classes.

“Former World champ Scott Quigg returns to LA after his war with Oscar Valdez and unbeaten Super Middleweight star Anthony Sims Jr challenges for his first title. This is one of the cards of 2019 to date and fight fans can expect a wonderful show at the Forum and live on DAZN and Sky Sports.”

An announcement on ticket details will be made at the launch press conference in LA next Tuesday.

Ray Ximenez, Jr. Headlines His First RJJ Boxing Show Against Alberto Lopez for WBO International Featherweight Title

Texas prospect Ray “Valentino” Ximenez, Jr. will make his Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions debut this Thursday night, headlining a card live-streamed on UFC FIGHT PASS®, from the Event Center at Legends Casino Hotel in Toppenish, Washington.

The 26-year-old Ximenez, fighting out of Dallas, takes on dangerous Luis Alberto “El Venado” Lopez (16-1, 8 KOs), in the 10-round main event for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) International Featherweight Championship.

Ximenez vs. Lopez will headline a card to be streamed live on UFC FIGHT PASS, starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. The show is the third under a new agreement between RJJ Boxing, and FIGHT PASS, to live stream up to 72 professional boxing events over the next three years.

Ximenez (18-1, 4 KOs), who has won his last five fights in a row, was a decorated amateur boxer with a sterling 120-9 career record.

A former Texas State featherweight champion, Ximenez won a 10-round unanimous decision in his most recent fight, last June against 111-fight veteran German Meraz.

“It feels great fighting for RJJ Boxing and for a title,” Ximenez said. “I feel like I’m finally getting what I deserve in my career. Winning this fight will set me up for bigger and better things to where my family won’t have to worry about anything. It will mean all the time and hard work I put in and out of the gym will be paying off.”

Riding a four-fight win streak, including a 10-round unanimous decision last October over 10-1 Christian Bielma, Lopez will fight outside of his native Mexico for the first time during his 3-1/2-year pro career.

“I know he (Lopez) he leaves himself open a lot,” Ximenez added. “I will be able to control the fight the way I want it to go.”

Also scheduled to fight on the card, all in four-round matches, are OR light heavyweight John Peak (3-0, 1 KO) vs. Tacoma, WA’s Juan Jackson (1-0), Kent, WA junior welterweight Shae Green (3-0-1, 1 KO) vs. Medford, OR’s Gerardo Esquivel (0-1), Fairbanks, AK light heavyweight Taylor Shirley (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Vancouver, WA”s Luis Iniguez (1-1-1), Roman Avetisyan (7-0. 5 KOs) vs. Antonio Neal (4-0, 3 KOs), of Granger, CA, in a battle of unbeaten prospects, and Bonney Lake, and Pasco, WA light heavyweight Roman Avetisyan (0-1) vs. Moldova-native Alex Cazac (0-2), fighting out of Portland, OR,

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Ali, Peterson, Lipinets, Eyubov, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of February 5th to February 12th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Muhammad Ali Enterprises LLC Photo By: Ken Regan

Muhammad Ali: Two-Part Television Event Debuts Tuesday, May 14th on HBO
The two-part HBO Sports documentary WHAT’S MY NAME | MUHAMMAD ALI, chronicling the extraordinary life of one of the 20th century’s most iconic figures, debuts TUESDAY, MAY 14 (8:00-10:40 p.m. ET/PT), with both chapters airing back-to-back in a special television event, it was announced today by Kary Antholis, president, HBO Miniseries and CINEMAX Programming, and Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports.

The documentary will also be available on HBO GO, HBO NOW, HBO on Demand and partners’ streaming platforms.

WHAT’S MY NAME | MUHAMMAD ALI is the first feature-length HBO production from SpringHill Entertainment, with LeBron James and Maverick Carter serving as executive producers, and is directed and executive produced by acclaimed feature-film director Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day,” “Southpaw,” “The Magnificent Seven,” “The Equalizer” franchise). Exploring Ali’s challenges, confrontations, comebacks and triumphs through recordings of his own voice, it paints an intimate portrait of a man who was a beacon of hope for oppressed people around the world and, in his later years, was recognized as a global citizen and a symbol of humanity and understanding.

In addition to relying on Ali himself to guide viewers through his remarkable journey, WHAT’S MY NAME | MUHAMMAD ALI features archival footage, some of it previously unseen.

The production team features executive producer Bill Gerber, a producer of the current Best Picture Oscar® nominee “A Star Is Born,” and executive producer Glen Zipper, creator and executive producer of the critically acclaimed docu-series, “Dogs,” a producer of the Oscar®-winning documentary “Undefeated” and an executive producer of HBO’s 2018 multi-part documentary “Elvis Presley: The Searcher.” The film is produced by Sean Stuart, whose HBO and CINEMAX credits include “Eagle of Death Metal: Nos Amis” and “Mike Judge Presents: Tales From the Tour Bus.” Paul Wachter and Jamie Salter are executive producers and Kat Samick of Fuqua Films is co-executive producer

“Muhammad Ali transcended sports in a way the world had never seen before,” says LeBron James. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to tell his incredible and important story for the coming generations. He showed us all the courage and conviction it takes to stand up for what you believe in. He changed forever what we expect a champion to be, and I’m grateful that SpringHill gets to be a part of continuing his legacy.”

“Muhammad Ali had a deep impact on me from an early age,” observes Antoine Fuqua. “Being given the opportunity to tell his story, both inside and outside the ring, is a privilege and a dream come true.”

“Muhammad Ali is indisputably one of the most iconic and distinctive figures in the history of sports,” says HBO’s Kary Antholis. “His impact resonates far beyond the boxing ring and is woven deep into the cultural and social tapestry of the second half of the 20th century. His personality, his voice, his message and his legacy all endure as an important element of American history. From the moment LeBron James told us of his deep visceral connection to Ali’s life and legacy, we were committed to helping him and Antoine Fuqua realize this film about one man’s incredible journey and the impact he had upon the world.”

Lonnie Ali, who was married to Muhammad Ali for the final 30 years of his life, adds, “We are at a time in American history when we look to a new generation of heroes like LeBron James to carry on Muhammad’s legacy, not only by remembering Muhammad, as is done so eloquently in this documentary, but also through their own words and deeds. I’m grateful to LeBron, Maverick Carter, SpringHill Entertainment and HBO for advancing the ideals that Muhammad believed in and fought for throughout his life.”

WHAT’S MY NAME | MUHAMMAD ALI is produced with the cooperation of the Muhammad Ali family estate and Jamie Salter, founder, chairman and CEO of Authentic Brands Group, which has been active in preserving the Ali legacy and brand.

“As proud guardians of Muhammad Ali’s legacy, we are dedicated to preserving and upholding his core principles, and HBO’s production of WHAT’S MY NAME | MUHAMMAD ALI provides audiences around the world with an intimate connection to this global icon,” says Jamie Salter.

The HBO Sports presentation is a Sutter Road Picture Company Production in association with Fuqua Films and SpringHill Entertainment; executive producers, LeBron James, Antoine Fuqua, Maverick Carter, Paul Wachter, Bill Gerber, Jamie Salter and Glen Zipper; directed by Antoine Fuqua; produced by Sean Stuart; co-executive producer, Kat Samick; written by Steven Leckart; edited by Jake Pushinsky.

Lamont Peterson to Take on Sergey Lipinets on March 24th on FS1

Two-division world champion Lamont Peterson takes on former junior welterweight world champion Sergey Lipinets in a 12-round welterweight match that headlines Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes on Sunday, March 24 from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.

Coverage on FS1 and FOX Deportes begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features Anthony Peterson, Lamont’s brother, battling former junior lightweight world champion Argenis Mendez in a 10-round junior welterweight bout that serves as the co-main event.

The Peterson brothers are an inspirational duo that rose from poverty and homelessness in Washington D.C. as children to become professional boxers and reach an elite level in the sport. They will be fighting as the main and co-main event in nationally televised bouts for the first time since 2006 and will look to put on a show for fans just outside of their hometown.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and HeadBangers Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting www.mgmnationalharbor.com/.

“Lamont Peterson vs. Sergey Lipinets is a classic 50-50 matchup that is sure to include drama, action and intrigue,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Lipinets is looking to conquer a second division after winning a 140-pound title, while Peterson is out to show he’s still amongst the welterweight elite. Peterson will be joined by his brother, Anthony Peterson, for a true homecoming event featuring two of Washington D.C.’s most popular fighters. Anthony will have a tall task in former champion Argenis Mendez, and it should all equal to a great night at MGM National Harbor and on FS1 and FOX Deportes.”

“I’m looking forward to the return of the Peterson brothers to the ring,” said famed trainer Barry Hunter, who has mentored and coached the Petersons since they were kids. “It’s always nice to be fighting at home in the DMV and I’m truly looking forward to a big 2019 for us.”

Lamont Peterson (35-4-1, 17 KOs) has battled some of the top names in the sport at 140 and 147-pounds in climbing through the ranks and winning titles in both divisions while facing the likes of Victor Ortiz, Timothy Bradley, Jr., Amir Khan, Kendall Holt, Lucas Matthysse, Danny Garcia and Errol Spence, Jr. The 35-year-old from Washington D.C. won the IBF and WBA 140-pound titles with a split decision victory over Khan in 2011 and won the welterweight championship with a unanimous decision over David Avanesyan in 2017. Peterson is looking to rebound from a loss to Spence in a welterweight title fight last January.

“I’m happy to be doing what I love and that is fighting,” said Lamont Peterson. “I’m really excited about having the chance to fight at home once again and also on FS1 and FOX Deportes for the first time. I plan on giving fans on TV and in the arena the show they came to see.”

Lipinets (14-1, 10 KOs) has moved up to the welterweight division after previously becoming a world champion at 140 pounds. The 29-year-old, who is from Kazakhstan, grew up in Russia and now lives in Beverly Hills, California, picked up the IBF super lightweight world title with a unanimous decision victory over Akihiro Kondo in 2017. He lost the title by decision to Mikey Garcia last March and rebounded to defeat Erick Bone in his welterweight debut.

“I’m ready for the intensity of this fight with a great champion like Lamont Peterson,” said Lipinets. “I’m very humbled and honored to be in this position. I’m pushing myself to bring my A-game, because in a fight like this, there is no room for mistakes. I promise that I’m going to give a great performance and leave my fans happy.”

The 33-year-old Anthony Peterson (37-1, 24 KOs) is the younger brother of Lamont Peterson and has won seven straight fights since losing by disqualification to Brandon Rios in 2010. Five of his last eight wins have come inside the distance and he will look to put himself into title contention facing his toughest competition in years on March 24.

“This fight means a lot coming off a layoff because I want to make a clear statement that I am a world class legitimate fighter and that I deserve a shot at a title in 2019,” said Anthony Peterson. “It’s even more important for me to show up and show out as I will be fighting at home in front of my family and friends. I have to bring it and make the absolute most of this.”

Mendez (25-5-1, 12 KOs) won the IBF super featherweight title with a knockout victory over Juan Carlos Salgado in 2013. He has put together two straight victories since losing back-to-back fights to Luke Campbell and Robert Easter Jr. at lightweight in 2016. The 32-year-old, who is from San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic and now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., scored a unanimous decision over Eddie Ramirez in his last fight in May after defeating Ivan Redkach the previous year.

“I’m excited for this challenge against Anthony Peterson so that I can prove that I am still at a world championship level,” said Mendez. “I know that he’s fighting at home, but when he’s in the ring, no one can help him. I want to show off all of the skills that have gotten me here and leave an impression on everyone watching that I’m a threat to anybody they put in there against me.”

Bakhtiyar Eyubov to Fight For Salita Promotions on UFC Fight Pass on February 15th
Undefeated Kazakhstani dynamo Bakhtiyar “Bakha Bullet” Eyubov has been added to the special two-hour UFC Fight Pass live stream (7:30 pm ET/6:30 pm CT) on Friday, February 15, from the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas.

Eyubov (14-0, 12 KOs) will face Mexican veteran Jose Luis “La Boa” Rodriguez (25-12, 13 KOs) in an eight-round super lightweight showdown.

The live stream, presented by Salita Promotions will also feature US Olympic bronze medal winner Nico Hernandez, women’s top contender Elena Saveleva and undefeated heavyweight puncher Apti Davtaev in separate bouts.

A born showman, Eyubov’s relentlessly aggressive fighting style has won him new fans with every fight. The young slugger says he’s looking forward to bringing his mayhem to a new audience through the UFC.

“I look forward to showcasing my skills February 15th and am honored to do so on UFC Fight Pass,” he said. “I am the best in the world and look forward to proving this point when I get in the ring.”

Eyubov was last seen taking out 21-1-1 Nicholas Givan in seven rounds last June. His promoter, Dmitriy Salita, says he’s happy his entertaining slugger is back in action.

“Bakha is one of the most dominant contenders in the sport. I look forward to an exciting performance from him on one of the leading combat platforms in the works in UFC Fight Pass,” said Salita.

In a very special bonus that night for online viewers, the commentating team will consist of long-time combat sports voice Sean Wheelock and “2018 Female Boxer of the Year” and women’s world champion Claressa Shields, making her debut behind the microphone.

Djeko vs. Federici Set for Star Boxing Main Event

STAR BOXING is excited to return to its renown Long Island venue, The Paramount, on February 22nd, for another thrilling night of “Rockin’ Fights.” The 34th edition of the acclaimed fight series brings extreme boxing talent from across the world, right to Huntington’s, The Paramount. The main event is a real toss-up between the ‘big boys’ in a truly international fight between European champs. Giant Belgium JOEL “BIG JOE” DJEKO will take on Italian challenger, SIMONE “TYSON” FEDERICI in an intriguing 10-round cruiserweight bout. The co-main event will feature the return of Huntington’s own JOHNNY “HITMAN” HERNANDEZ who will be taking on upset minded, MARQUIS “THE HAWK” HAWTHORNE.

The main event features two international cruiserweight prospects who will travel a combined 7,873 miles to meet in the squared circle, in front of the expected packed crowd at The Paramount. Belgium’s Djeko (14-2-1 7KO’s), an IBO Champion, stands at a towering 6’5″ and breaks the will of his opponents by fighting behind his jab, followed by devastating power in both hands. Djeko’s marquee win came against then undefeated MARIANO ANGEL GUDINO (then 12-0 7KO’s), when he defeated the Argentinian by wide unanimous decision, dominating for the full ten-rounds, to secure the IBO Continental Cruiserweight Title. Djeko has fought in America only once before, but intends to begin laying roots state side, for an eventual shot at a cruiserweight world title. Djeko’s only 2 losses were on the road and by majority and split decision against undefeated prospects.

Djeko had this to say about fighting in America, “I am excited to make my first fight in New York, a city that saw the birth of great champions. But, I also come to fulfill my mission, that of leaving with a victory by knockout.”

Federici (14-1-1 6KO’s), a 25-year-old Italian who resides in Roma, Italy, will be making his debut on American soil on the February 22nd Paramount show. Federici had an impressive amateur record of 35-1-1. As a professional, Federici defeated FRANCESCO CATALDO in a thrilling battle earning the Italian Cruiserweight Title. Since then, Federici has successfully defended his title twice, most recently defeating the dangerous Georgian, ZURA MEKERESHVILLE by unanimous decision to add the IBF Mediterranean Cruiserweight Title to his pedigree. Federici has his eyes set an a massive victory on February 22nd main event. Federici and Djeko both have their eyes set on victory in the February 22nd main event and both know a top rankings in the cruiserweight division are at stake.

Federici said this about his American debut, “I thank America for the wonderful opportunity that has offered me! I hope to better meet American expectations. I can’t wait to get in the ring.”

In the co-main event, fans will see Johnny “Hitman” Hernandez (9-4 1KO), a familiar face at The Paramount having fought eleven of his thirteen professional fights at the venue. Hernandez who is known for his footwork and great conditioning, always seems to get stronger as the fight carries on. This will be Hernandez second main event at The Paramount. He was last seen in an absolute thriller with fellow Star Boxing stablemate DANNY “EL GALLO” GONZALEZ (then 16-1-1 7KO’s). Over the ten-round main event, Hernandez and Gonzalez exchanged blow after blow at the center of the ring, as the crowd seemed to be on their feet throughout the fight with consistent and vocal support for both fighters. While the judges scored the bout in favor of Gonzalez by majority decision, Hernandez proved to the rowdy sold out crowd that he has the skill to fight the upper echelon of the 140 lb. division. Gonzalez went on to fight fellow Paramount alumni CHRIS ALGIERI at Madison Square Garden a few weeks ago. Hernandez promises to return with vengeance on February 22nd in his Paramount hometown.

Hernandez is ready for his opportunity on February 22nd, and is prepared to leave his mark. “There are no secrets to success,” said Johnny, “it is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failures.”

Hernandez will be facing the very tough Texan, Marquis Hawthorne, who will be making his second appearance at The Paramount. Over his twelve-fight career, Hawthorne has fought ten undefeated prospects, with an opponent combined record of 81-23-3. Most recently, Hawthorne (6-9 1KO) won in a shocking upset at Mohegan Sun on January 26th over amateur standout and undefeated professional, from Detroit, Michigan RONNIE “TEFLON RON” AUSTION (then 10-0 7KO’s). Over the 6-round bout, Hawthorne commanded the action, using his long reach and height advantage to maintain his distance, landing grueling right hands to the body and the head of Austion. At the final bell, the scorecards read 57-56, 58-55 and 59-54, earning a massive upset victory for Hawthorne over the previously undefeated Austion.

Hawthorne has is eyes set on one thing only come February 22nd. “I am coming off a big win over a great prospect,” said Hawthorne, “the game plan is to continue to trust the plan my coaches have set before me, resulting in victory.”

Star Boxing CEO JOE DEGUARDIA had this to say about the main and co-main event, “We have put together a very intriguing international fight for Long Island’s dedicated boxing fans. Belgium’s, Big Joel Djeko, is an imposing figure, and carries knockout power in both hands. Federici has proven his ability to win big fights in his home country of Italy. The winner has a bright future. ” Regarding the co-main, DeGuardia stated, “this fight is a perfect example of the allure of our ‘Rockin’ Fights’ series. Both Johnny and Marquis have earned the right to be in this fight. In his last fight Johnny showed grit and we will always support our fighters, win or lose, when they perform like he did. That’s what the Paramount series is all about, action and heart. Similarly, Marquis Hawthorne earned the right to this fight with his victory over our undefeated prospect Ronnie Austion in a huge upset. Johnny and Marquis always show up in phenomenal shape with great energy on fight night, and I expect a thrilling fight on February 22nd.”

The main event between European cruiserweight champions in Djeko and Federici is destined to excite. The co-main event will see Hernandez in front of his hometown fans while Hawthorne will look for a second consecutive upset. Undercard to be announced soon.

More Headlines

Boxing Insider Notebook: Davis, Ruiz, Machado, Carto, Nietes, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 30th to February 6th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Dave Mandel/Showtime

Gervonta Davis vs. Hugo Ruiz Fight Week Workout Quotes

WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Gervonta Davis and former world champion Hugo Ruiz were on-hand at Churchill Boxing Club in Santa Monica Wednesday as they near their showdown that headlines SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® Saturday, February 9 from Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly StubHub Center, in Carson, California.

Wednesday’s workout also featured fighters who will enter the ring live on SHOWTIME in televised undercard attractions. Undefeated super lightweight Mario Barrios will be facing Mexico’s Richard Zamora, while former world champion Javier Fortuna steps in against lightweight contender Sharif Bogere in the opening bout of the tripleheader beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday in Santa Monica as they prepare for their Saturday night attractions:

GERVONTA DAVIS

“I was just watching Hugo Ruiz as I came in here. All I know is that he is fast, he has some speed. It looked like he has some power and good timing. I actually think that this is not a walk in the park, like people think. The fact that this is a late change doesn’t concern me because once I get in there, I’ll be able to make adjustments. I’m ready.

“It’s great to make it to this level. To have people under me like ‘Truck’ [Lorenzo Simpson], it feels amazing to inspire them to go further in life. It makes me want to push harder so that I can become the best that I can be.

“I come from a city with a lot of violence and things like that, but my mind was always focused on what I wanted to be in life. I traveled when I was super young, so my mindset was never like a typical eight-year-old. I won my first nationals when I was 10 years old. I’ve seen the world and I’ve seen the bigger picture. At that time, coming up in the gym, there were guys that I was looking up to that were getting killed in the streets. There were days in the gym where we would get a call that guys we trained with had been killed. I knew that it’s either boxing or things wouldn’t turn out too good. I knew I had to stay in the gym and stay focused.

“Camp is going great. I feel ready for Saturday night. I’m disappointed that I’m not facing Abner Mares but it doesn’t change too much. I heard that he hurt his elbow at first, I didn’t know that it was his eye. Once I heard it was his eye, I took it more seriously.

“I wanted to fight Abner. We could probably have done it back home but I gave him the chance to fight in LA. I am the champion, so I’m willing to give him another shot.”

HUGO RUIZ

“I feel great. I just came off of training for my last fight but I just feel like I’m continuing that training. I think it’s going to serve as great preparation for this next fight. It’s only going to be a benefit for me.

“I think this is going to be an explosive fight. We’re both known for our knockouts and this is a fight that can end at any moment. It’s going to be by a knockout.

“Out of my 39 wins, 33 of them are knockouts so I can say with confidence that I can knock out Gervonta Davis. No fighter is invincible and that’s a really possible outcome on Saturday.

“Gervonta Davis is a great fighter. I’ve watched him fight and I know that he’s a very strong fighter with a lot in his arsenal. There’s a reason why he’s a world champion right now but we know what we’re looking for. We have the hunger and the ambition to be triumphant. We have everything we need to beat Gervonta.

“I took the fight on short notice and I just fought, but I am ready. I trained very hard for my last fight and I still feel more than ready to go. I’m very excited to have this world championship opportunity and I am going to take advantage of it and show the world what I can do.

“I had a fight in November where I was training for a lefty. I then had another fight in January where I was preparing for a lefty. They changed my opponent last minute but I was still ready to go. I’ve been preparing for a lefty for five months and I think that’s a huge advantage for me.

“The reason I have so many knockouts is because I like to surprise my opponents and I really think I have something that I can surprise Gervonta with. Come Saturday, we will see how many ways I can surprise him.

“Gervonta is a fighter just like I am. We both are going in there with all the will to win and come Saturday I think we are going to give the people the show that they really want to see. I am ready to put on a spectacular show.”
WBO Orders Donnie Nietes vs. Aston Palicte II
The World Boxing Organization (WBO) has ordered negotiations to begin for a rematch between reigning WBO Junior Bantamweight World Champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes and No. 1-ranked, mandatory challenger “Mighty” Aston Palicte.

The WBO contacted the promoters for Nietes and Palicte, respectively, ALA Promotions and Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions, informing them that they have 15 days to reach an agreement regarding Nietes vs. Palicte II. If an agreement isn’t reached by the Feb. 19th deadline, the WBO will order a purse bid. The minimal bid is $100,000, but either promoter may request a purse bid procedure at any time during the negotiation process.

Nietes and Palicte fought to a controversial 12-round draw last September for the then vacant WBO junior bantamweight world title.

Erickson Lubin Training Camp Quotes
Super welterweight contender Erickson Lubin will enter the ring under the guidance of coach Kevin Cunningham for the first time when he steps into the ring this Saturday against former world champion Ishe Smith as part of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN from Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly StubHub Center, in Carson, California and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The digital presentation will stream on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, and will also feature a showdown between super lightweights Juan Heraldez and Eddie Ramirez, all leading up to that evening’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING event. The three-fight SHOWTIME telecast begins live at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT headlined by super featherweight world champion Gervonta Davis defending his title against former world champion Hugo Ruiz.

Lubin will fight for the second time since losing his first world title challenge to Jermell Charlo in 2017, and for the first time with his new coach. The Orlando-native began training camp in West Palm Beach, but has been training in Las Vegas for the last month since the team moved west to finish the training camp for Adrien Broner’s fight against Manny Pacquiao.

Here is what Lubin had to say about Saturday’s fight and more:

On his matchup against Ishe Smith:

“Ishe Smith has been in the ring with the best of them and he’s never been stopped. He knows how to fight and I’m expecting him to be at this best. I will have to dictate the pace right from the opening bell. My goal is to be the first person to take him out, but if it goes the distance, I’m okay with that as well. I’m going to win this fight and win it impressively.”

On training with new coach Kevin Cunningham:

“Kevin is a no-nonsense type of guy. He’s going to tell you the truth if you like it or not. If I’m doing something wrong in his eyes, he’s going to speak on it right away. He’ll do the same if I’m doing something right, so I like his style of training and I’m learning more each day we are together. This will be our first fight together and I’m excited to get back in the ring. We have a nice game plan in place that we will execute on fight night.”

On training in Las Vegas for the first time in his career:

“Training in Las Vegas is no joke, because we are training in higher elevation than what I’m used to in Florida. Getting away from the distractions at home has been relaxing. I’ve been getting great sparring and my timing is right on point. Las Vegas is definitely the place to be for high level sparring and training.”

On fighting in Southern California for the second time in his career:

“I really like fighting on the west coast. The fans are great, and the weather is beautiful. I know we’ll be fighting outdoors so I’m looking forward to that. Everyone knows this venue has hosted some really good fights. I’m looking to steal the show on Saturday night.”

“Hats off to the WBO for being so aggressive to attempt to make this fight happen,” RJJ Boxing Promotions CEO/Co-Founder Keith Veltre. We are looking forward to making this deal happen but, if the deal can’t be made, we are ready for a purse bid.:

The WBO ordered No. 1 ranked Nietes to fight No. 3 rated Kazuito Ioka, on New Year’s Eve in China, for the vacant WBO junior bantamweight crown, in addition to No. 2 Palicte vs. unbeaten No. 4 Jose Martinez last Thursday night in Alpine, California, to determine Nietes’ mandatory challenger.

Nietes (42-1-5, 23 KOs) won by way of a 12-round split decision to capture his fourth world title in four different weight classes, while Palicte (25-2-1, 21 KOs) knocked out Martinez in the second round to set-up another All-Filipino showdown.

Palicte vs. Martinez headlined a show that was the first under a new agreement between Palicte’s promoter, RJJ Boxing, and UFC FIGHT PASS® to live stream up to 72 professional boxing events during the next three years.
Alberto Machado and Andrew Cancio Workout Quotes
WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (21-0, 17 KOs) of San Juan, Puerto Rico and 130-pound contender

Andrew “El Chango” Cancio (19-4-2, 14 KOs) of Blythe, Calif. hosted a media workout today at Westside Boxing Club in Los Angeles ahead of their 12-round battle. The event will take place on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. and will be streamed live on DAZN – which is just $9.99 per month after a one-month free trial.

Four fighters from the undercard also participated in the workout. Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. (27-1, 14 KOs) of South El Monte, Calif. will return in a 10-round super featherweight battle against Charles Huerta (20-5, 12 KOs) of Paramount, Calif. Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (8-0, 5 KOs) will battle against Ivan “Striker” Delgado (13-1-2, 6 KOs) in an eight-round lightweight battle between a current Golden Boy prospect and an ex-Golden Boy fighter.

Below is what today’s participants had to say at the workout:

ALBERTO MACHADO, WBA Super Featherweight World Champion:

“Being a father is one of the most important things that has happened to me. Now I dedicate my time off to being a father, to being a family man. I’m boxing full time, but it’s an extra motivation because I want to provide the best for baby. That is one of the reasons I’m in Los Angeles working hard for six weeks in camp without my family. I’m ready to defend my title.”

“I hope to fight four times this year and make four defenses. I am very excited for all that has been happening in my career. Thank you to Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions. I’m very happy for all the opportunities.”

“I am big for this division. I’m tall. I have power, and I have speed. Cancio is a great warrior. I’m ready to defend my title. It’s another challenge in my career and I’m happy for this opportunity. Training camp has gone well. Freddie Roach is a great trainer and a great person. He has more time for me now, and I’m getting a lot of experience from him every day. I feel and see the difference in my fights and my sparring. Everyone who saw my last fight saw that I did better. I will continue that momentum in this fight.”

“DAZN is the new platform for boxing. DAZN has a lot of fighters now. Boxing is going through a great time right now. If my promoter gives me the opportunity to unify the titles–it would be a dream come true. I’m waiting for that opportunity this year on DAZN. I may even close the year in the lightweight division as well.”

ANDREW CANCIO, Super Featherweight Contender:

“It’s very surreal to be fighting for a world title. I thought my career was done. I took a tough loss in my first pay-per-view fight [against Joseph Diaz in 2016], and that wasn’t good at all. I told my best friend I was going to retire. It took 17 months for me to get back in the ring. I missed the sport. I also had a lot to prove. But I knew that I could be here. I knew that I could fight for a world title. I finally got things in order. I won some fights that people thought I would lose, but here I am. I’m looking to do the same thing February 9.”

“Life changed me. I got hit with some things that I had never seen coming. I guess it humbled me and changed me as a person. I became a different person. I didn’t take things for granted anymore. I had to come back and do things right this time around.”

“I feel great now. I feel like I’m a different fighter than the one who fought JoJo Diaz. This is a big deal. This is for a world title. It’s not my first time being on the big stage, but it’s the first time I’m the main event on the big stage. But I feel prepared for this. It’s my time.”

“For this fight we will have to work on the inside. If we let him get his range, he will get more leverage. He will get more powerful. They say he’s a big 130-pounder, but I’ve won all my best fights at 130. When I fought Jerry Belmontes, it was at 130 and I won clearly. When I fought Aidar Sharibayev, it was at 130. When I beat Rocky Juarez, it was at 130. I’m glad that this opportunity at 130. This division will benefit us.”

“I always bring action to a fight. The fans can expect me to be in good shape, mentally and physically. I will be ready to go all 12 rounds. But he’s a hard-hitter, and so am I. So, I don’t think this fight will go to the scorecards. Whether it’s me or him going down, we will collide. The fight fans will win that night no matter who walks away with the victory.”

Christian Carto, Darmani Rock Headline Raging Babe’s Feb. 8th Philly Special on Facebook FightNight Live
Having eclipsed the four-million views mark to close out the 2018 calendar year, FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Powered by Everlast opens the first quarter of 2019 with an outstanding six-card lineup featuring six different promotions and spanning five cities, beginning on Friday, Feb. 8 in South Philadelphia.

The free and interactive Facebook series rings its opening bell next Friday at 2300 Arena in South Philly by showcasing an exceptional, standing-room-only card put together by Raging Babe. Partnering with forward-thinking promoter Michelle Rosado on next week’s “Philly Special” featuring several undefeated prospects – including bantamweight Christian Carto (17-0, 11 KOs) and heavyweight Darmani Rock (13-0, 8 KOs) – FIGHTNIGHT LIVE is sure to get its 2019 schedule off to a hot start.

“We’re excited to partner with FIGHTNIGHT LIVE for our debut Philly event,” said Rosado. “The fights on the card and the fighters themselves have captured the attention of fight fans all over, even outside of the Philadelphia area, so we’re thrilled to give people the opportunity to see the fights live.”

Carto meets veteran southpaw Victor Ruiz (22-10, 15 KOs) in the main event, as the 22-year-old prospect looks to continue to make his case as a contender.Rock will fight in the card’s co-feature, while undefeated Marcel Rivers (6-0, 4 KOs) of North Philadelphia meets Derrick Whitley (4-0-1) of Springfield, Mass. in a special welterweight attraction. Amateur heavyweight standout Sonny Conto of South Philadelphia – a recent signee of monolithic promotion Top Rank – will also be featured in his pro debut as part of a seven-bout card.

“We couldn’t be happier to begin our New Year at 2300 Arena with the outstanding lineup that Raging Babe has assembled for the Feb. 8 ‘Philly Special,'” said Mark Fratto, Principal and Director of Business Development, Linacre Media. “We’ve been able to showcase nearly 500 up-and-comers on our platform, and Christian Carto is special prospect who we’re really pleased to feature on Facebook. Darmani Rock always brings the thunder, and watch out for the pro debut of Top Rank signee Sonny Conto as well.”

Now in its second season, FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Powered by Everlast is the fan-friendly Facebook platform that – among other aspects – prides itself on the real-time conversations held between fight commentators and the viewing audience. FIGHTNIGHT LIVE has showcased more than 450 fighters and 15 promotions during 26 live event broadcasts from 18 different cities since May 2017, and in doing so, the interactive platform has generated the loyal interest of fight fans from across the United States and around the globe, including significant audiences in Mexico, the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe, and even fans in South America, Asia and Australia.
•Since May 2017, the numbers on the 26-show FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series showed promise and potential for the new platform with an average of 166,508 views per event and more than 4.3 million total views for the franchise. Since Sept. 2018,Season II shows have averaged almost 323,000 views.
•The Sept. 2018 “Kings Boxing Tuesday Night Fights” (594,447) from the Sands in Bethlehem, the Dec. 2018 “Queens and Kings of Queens Card” (379,758) in New York, the Nov. 2018 “Hard Hitting Showtime Collaboration” (372,662), the Dec. 2018 “Roy Jones Jr. Texas Throwdown” (318,886), the Oct. 2018 “Hard Hitting Philly Special” (297,545), the Oct. 2018 hour-long Bareknuckle “Freeview” (292,253), the Nov. 2018 “Titans In The Capital” (256,871), the Sept. 2017 “Real Deal Promotions: Empire State” from Resorts World Casino (225,000), and the August 2017 CES “Super Saturday” from Foxwoods (203,000) all logged 200,000 or more views, and collectively the 26-show series has seen a total of more than 4,329,206 views across all devices.
•In addition to the raw viewership numbers, the fully-interactive, fan-friendly productions have seen more than 377,000 collective live post engagements (more than 14,500 per show), including more than 293,000 “likes” or “loves,” more than 46,000 comments and almost 16,000 shares.
•The Sept. 2018 “Kings Boxing Tuesday Night Fights” from the Sands in Bethlehem set a new bar with 594,447 views and the Sept. 2017 DiBella-CES doubleheader carried the series to three-quarters-of-a-million views in just over four months. The Sept. 2017 DiBella card saw more than 40,000 viewer interactions including almost 39,000 “likes” or “loves” and the March 17, 2018, Murphy’s “St. Patrick’s Day Clash” set a new high-water mark for shares with 2,182.
•The FIGHTNIGHT LIVE page on Facebook has more than 86,000 fans and more than 92,000 followers.

Created and produced by Linacre Media out of New York City, the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series features professional announcers, multiple camera angles, television graphics, replays and behind-the-scenes access and interviews. The streamed shows are available globally wherever Facebook is available. The initiative not only enables fans from around the world to tune in, but also gives up-and-coming fighters a global platform to showcase their abilities, gives promoters an accessible “broadcast” solution and gives sponsors the ability to reach a mass audience via branded content.

FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Winter and Spring 2019 dates will be officially announced in the coming weeks.

FIGHTNIGHT LIVE is available online at: https://www.facebook.com/FaceFIGHTNIGHTLIVE/

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Conlan, Jones, Davis, Farmer, Vargas, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 23rd to January 30th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Otha Jones III Makes Pro Debut in Turning Stone

Otha Jones III will make his professional debut on Saturday March 9 at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports in the UK.

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW FROM $49 FROM TICKETMASTER.COM

Jones III announced his decision to join the paid ranks last week and the Ohio talent will begin converting his amateur prowess into professional success on a huge World title double-header bill as Dmitry Bivol defends his WBA World Light-Heavyweight title against Joe Smith Jr and Maurice Hooker is on the road again as he puts his WBO Junior Welterweight strap on the line against unbeaten Brooklynite Mikkel LesPierre.

Jones III amassed 280 wins as an amateur in just under 300 fights, winning 13 National titles and representing the USA national team in multiple tournaments around the world, and believes his amateur style will translate into titles as a pro fighter.

“My style is hard to beat and it’s going to be the same in the pros,” said Jones III. “My team have a great plan for me and I’m so excited to fight in the UK as well as in the US, it’s awesome to know that I’ve got so many options and fights in front of me. I don’t feel any pressure because I have total faith in my ability, I just can’t wait to get out there and show what I’ve got.”

“Otha’s record speaks for itself,” said Hearn. “I asked people ‘who do we need to sign in the US?’ and the name Otha Jones III came up time and again, they’d say ‘this is the guy in amateur boxing right now that you need in the paid ranks’.

“Otha is going to box eight times in his first year as a pro starting on March 9, all over the world, particularly in the US. He’s an outstanding fighter with a great personality, and we can’t wait for his journey to start.

“We do stadium events and World title fights, but this is sometimes the most exciting thing as you get the chance to grow a fighter from day one.”
Tevin Farmer Defends World Title Against Jono Carroll on Marc 15
Tevin Farmer will defend his IBF World Super-Featherweight title against Jono Carroll at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia on Friday March 15, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Farmer (28-4-1 6KOs) makes the third defense of his crown in his first fight on home turf as a World champion, following a wide points win over Francisco Fonseca in New York in December, a win that followed a dominant fifth-round stoppage over Northern Irishman James Tennyson in his first defense in Boston in October.

The 28-year-old returns to the Temple University venue having boxed there in April 2017 against Arturo Reyes – the fight before his first World title showdown with Kenichi Ogawa in Las Vegas in December, where his controversial split decision loss was turned into a no-contest after Ogawa failed a drug test. Farmer would claim the vacant IBF title in August in Australia with a comprehensive points win over seasoned Aussie Billy Dib.

Unbeaten Dubliner Carroll (16-0-1 3KOs) fights for his first World title on St Patrick’s weekend against Farmer, with his shot at the title following a closely fought split draw in a final eliminator with Guillaume Frenois in Sheffield, England in December.

Farmer and Carroll have been involved in bitter social media spats and will finally come face-to-face for the first time at a press conference to launch the fight in Philly next Tuesday, and both fighters believe the fight will be as fiery as the build-up.

“He’s got a World title shot on St Patrick’s weekend, he should be thanking me,” said Farmer. “He’s trying to get under my skin but it’s impossible to get under my skin. He’s making himself look bad and he’s stepping up to a whole different level with me. I’m A-level and he’s going to pay.

“He says we both come from tough backgrounds, the hood, that boy hasn’t come from any struggle, no hood. I’m going to show him when he comes to Philly, he’s going to eat his words. He’s trying to get his buzz up but there’s certain things that you don’t say. He’s made this personal and you don’t want to get personal with a Philly guy like me.

“This is big for me, fighting as a World champion in Philly. When does Philly hold big World championship shows? This is big – it’s a boxing town but this is as big a show as there’s been here for a long time. I have to thank Eddie, Lou and DAZN for making this a reality, because often World champions don’t always get the chance to fight in their home city. It doesn’t happen, but it’s happening for me and that shows the level of respect that Eddie, Lou and I have for each other. It’s going to be a great night.

“I don’t care about these other champions. You never know what is going to happen with politics and people making excuses, but I’m here, I defended the title twice in three months last year and I’m headlining at home. If people really want to fight, it’s simple to do – sign the contract and turn up and fight.

“The only thing I care about is my career, keep lining them up and I’m going to keep smoking them and keep getting paid. With or without them, my career will be the best of all those guys. I’m on a high right now. Everything is good right now, I’m doing everything I’ve dreamed of.”

“It is only fitting that Tevin Farmer’s remarkable journey in boxing and in life comes back to his home city, Philadelphia,” said DiBella. “In 2018, from Australia to Madison Square Garden, Tevin established himself as one of the brightest and most active stars in boxing.

“This is the homecoming Tevin deserves, and if Jono Carroll fights with the same fervor that he talks, it will also be a fight befitting of a city that has long been synonymous with all-action wars.”

“I’ll do what I want with Tevin, he’s a tiny little child and I’m not afraid of him,” said Carroll. “When we meet, if he’s respectful of me, I’ll be respectful back as that’s how I’ve been brought up – but if comes talking rubbish then I’ll put him in his place.

“I see a fakeness in him when I see him interviewed, I see a fake person. My thoughts on him are that he wants to be liked, but he’s not. I reckon he’s arrogant, that’s the man I think he is and I know he’s that sort of flashy person saying stupid things on Twitter.

“Tevin is a man that wants to be liked but he plays like he’s Floyd Mayweather, but he’s not half as good as him. He has serious holes in his armory, and I am going to poke every single one of them, I’ll break him up and stop him.

“He’s never met a man like me in his life. He came from a rough background yes, but so did I. We’re both from crazy places but we’re in the limelight now, so we have to be grown-up and responsible as we’re going to have cameras around us.”

Irish sensation Katie Taylor can take a giant step towards her goal of becoming the undisputed World Lightweight champion when she aims to unify her WBA and IBF titles against WBO ruler Rose Volante.

Taylor (12-0 5KOs) added the IBF strap to her WBA title in April against Victoria Bustos in Brooklyn, New York, and has since defended the titles three times, stopping Kimberly Connor in three rounds in London in July before shutouts against Cindy Serrano in Boston in October and ending a stunning 2018 by beating Eva Wahlstrom in New York in December.

Volante (14-0 8KOs) has defended her WBO crown twice since winning the vacant title in December 2017 and the Argentine won both of her 2018 defenses in Brazil by the halfway point, with Lourdes Borbua retiring after five rounds in April and Yolis Marrugo Franco stopped in three in September.

The champions put titles and unbeaten records on the line in Philadelphia, and the winner will target Belgian WBC ruler Delfine Persoon for all the belts later in the year.

“Ever since I won my first world title as a pro my goal has been to unify the Lightweight titles so this is obviously a massive step towards that,” said Taylor. “Volante is unbeaten so I’m expecting a tough fight but that’s exactly the kind of challenge I want. I think the better the opponent and the bigger the challenge the better I will perform.

“It’s a great card to be on especially with so many Irish fighters on the bill on St. Patrick’s weekend in Philadelphia so I’m sure it will be a special occasion.

“For now my focus is on Volante but of course after that fight I would love to have all the belts as soon as possible. Hopefully the Persoon fight can finally be made for the summer and then there are some other huge fights out there as well for the rest of the year.”

A stacked card in support of the two World title blockbusters is led by a crunch Middleweight clash between Philadelphia’s Gabriel Rosado and Pole Maciej Sulecki and an all-Philadelphia Lightweight clash between Hank Lundy and Avery Sparrow.

Rosado (24-11-1 14KOs) is back in action after a controversial all-action fight in Kansas with Luis Arias in November, the former World title challenger drawing with the Milwaukee man. The 33 year old will be desperate to get his name back into contention for major honors with the 160lbs division red hot right now, but Sulecki (27-1 11KOs) will have the same designs on those title shots having bounced back from a loss against Daniel Jacobs in April with a second round KO win in Poland in November.

“I’m excited to start the year back home in Philly,” said Rosado. “This is the second half of my career and the goal is to win a World title. It’s only right that it starts here in Philly.”

Prospect Sparrow (9-1 3KOs) will be gunning to add a major scalp to his CV in the shape of former World title challenger Lundy (29-7-1 14KOs). Sparrow faces the second ten round clash of his career as he looks to step up his progress early in 2019.

“It’s been a long time since I last fought but that’s on me and I’ve learned from it,” said Sparrow. “Fighting someone like Hank Lundy is the kind of challenge I look forward to. It’s a big fight on a big stage.”

“Once again we have a great Philly vs. Philly fight and that is always good for boxing in Philly,” said Lundy. “It’s a hard fight but we’re both looking down the road because we know what winning this fight will do for our careers.”

Kazakhstan’s Olympic gold medal star Daniyar Yeleussinov (5-0 3KOs) fights for the sixth time in the paid ranks ahead of what promises to be a break out year for the 27 year old, the same of which can be said for two-time Olympian and 2012 silver medalist John Joe Nevin (11-0 4KOs) who joins fellow Irish fighters on the St. Patrick’s weekend bill.

“I can’t wait for March 15 at the Liacouras Center,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “It’s our first ever event in Philadelphia and it’s an honor to promote in this great city on St Patrick’s weekend.

“Tevin Farmer is one of the great boxing underdog stories of our generation and I’m so happy he is getting the chance to bring that World championship home against a feisty and talented Jono Carroll.

“The biggest star in World boxing, Ireland’s Katie Taylor, looks to unify the division against WBO champ Rose Volante. Philly favorite Gabe Rosado takes on Poland’s Maciej Sulecki in a thrilling middleweight match up and Olympic stars Daniyar Yeleussinov and John Joe Nevin. It’s stacked from top to bottom and it’s going to be an electric night of boxing in Philadelphia.”
Gervonta Davis Relocates Training Camp to Los Angeles
Two-time super featherweight world champion Gervonta Davis is relocating his training camp today and traveling from his hometown of Baltimore to finish camp in Los Angeles as he prepares defend his title against three-division world champion Abner Mares. Davis vs. Mares will headline a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® tripleheader on Saturday, February9 from Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly StubHub Center, in Carson, California andpresented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Davis, along with longtime trainer Calvin Ford, will be working at Ten Goose Boxing Gym as he nears this showdown that will serve as Davis’ first U.S. main event.

“Camp is going great, my weight is good and everything I had planned to do is on schedule,” said Davis. “I decided to move camp to Los Angeles to train in the same weather I’ll be fighting in and to get the long flight out of the way. Get your tickets now before they sell out, because you don’t want to miss my first SHOWTIME main event!”

“We decided to break camp and head to Los Angeles sooner than anticipated to allow Gervonta to get used to the change in altitude and climate,” said Ford. “We’re also taking into consideration that the fight will be outside. Everything with his training is on point and going as scheduled toward an explosive performance on February 9.”

Davis had previously scheduled a Baltimore media workout for Wednesday, before deciding to relocate for the final days of training.

Tickets for the event, promoted by Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotions and Ringstar Sports, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.
Michael Conlan Set for St. Patrick’s Day Extravaganza Against Ruben Garcia Hernandez at MSG
Michael “Mick” Conlan is set to paint the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden green on St. Patrick’s Day for a third consecutive year. The Belfast native, two-time Irish Olympian, and top featherweight prospect packed the Hulu Theater to the rafters in 2017 and 2018 and will return on Sunday, March 17 to face the battle-tested Ruben Garcia Hernandez in the 10-round main event.

Conlan-Hernandez will begin following the conclusion of the annual NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

In the co-feature, former junior featherweight world champion Jessie Magdaleno will face former junior lightweight world title challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz in a 10-round featherweight clash. And, in a crossroads welterweight bout, Brooklyn native and former world champion Luis Collazo will take on Samuel Vargas in a 10-rounder.

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets for St. Conlan’s Evening priced at $206, $156, $106, $81, $56, and $31 (including facility fees) go on sale Thursday, Jan. 24 at 12 p.m. ET and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at ticketmaster.com and MSG.com.

This special St. Patrick’s Day tripleheader will stream live and exclusively at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN. The soon-to-be-announced undercard will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 3 p.m. ET.

“I’m excited and honored to fight at my home away from home, The Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden, on St. Patrick’s Day for the third consecutive year,” Conlan said. “The fans in New York City have been incredibly supportive of my professional career, and I look forward to putting on a show for them, in addition to my great fans from Ireland who will be coming over for the party in Manhattan. Thanks very much to my team and Top Rank for this tremendous opportunity. I’ll be well prepared for victory to kick off a huge year for me in 2019.”

Conlan (10-0, 6 KOs) turned pro on St. Patrick’s Day 2017 following a storied amateur career that included gold medals at the European Championships, World Championships, and Commonwealth Games. His pro debut — in front of a capacity crowd of 5,201 and including being flanked to the ring by UFC superstar Conor McGregor — was the birth of a superstar. Conlan fought five times apiece in 2017 and 2018, most recently capturing the vacant WBO Intercontinental belt with a unanimous decision over Jason Cunningham on Dec. 22 in Manchester, England. Conlan, who captured a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics, has been dominant in the paid ranks. On St Patrick’s Day 2018, he knocked out David Berna in the second round. Hernandez (24-3-2, 10 KOs) has only been knocked out once as a pro and took four-weight world champion Nonito Donaire the 10-round distance in a 2017 bout.

Magdaleno (25-1, 18 KOs) is moving up four pounds following a world title run at 122 pounds that included one successful title defense. In his last bout, April 28 in Philadelphia, he battled Isaac Dogboe in one of the best fights of 2018. Magdaleno knocked down Dogboe in the opening round, only for Dogboe to rally for an 11th-round knockout. Diaz (24-1, 16 KOs), from Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, climbed the 130-pound rankings until he earned a shot at the vacant WBO title last July 28 versus Masayuki Ito. Diaz was knocked down in the fourth round and lost a unanimous decision in a gutsy showing. He moved down to featherweight and rebounded with a first-round stoppage over David Berna on Nov. 24. Diaz is now training with the legendary Freddie Roach.

“It’s going to be that classic Mexico vs. Puerto Rico battle,” Magdaleno said. “That’s the type of fight that the fans love to see! It’s two warriors that like to scrap and bring excitement, so I know I have to be 100 percent ready, and I’m ready to show the fans that I’m back!”

“Facing Jessie Magdaleno represents a new opportunity to battle against top fighters,” Diaz said. “I don’t like going the easy route. I am a warrior, and I want to face the best. That’s why I always work hard. March 17 will not be different. That will be the time to shine against the best. Magdaleno is a great challenge because he is a former world champion who will come with plans to get a victory that positions him to challenge for a world title in a second division. But that’s also what I want. I want another world title shot, and Magdaleno is in my way. I know that with the great Freddie Roach in my corner, my hunger for triumph, my willingness to leave everything in the ring, and my desire to be the best featherweight in the world, I will achieve my dream of becoming a world champion.”

Collazo (38-7, 20 KOs) is a 19-year-pro and a former welterweight world champion who has faced the likes of “Sugar” Shane Mosley, Ricky Hatton, Amir Khan, Andre Berto, Keith Thurman, and Victor Ortiz. One of the sport’s craftiest veterans, Collazo is coming off a well-earned decision victory over Bryant Perrella (15-1 at the time) and a sixth-round knockout against former top prospect Sammy Vasquez. Vargas (30-4-2, 14 KOs) has faced many of the welterweight division’s leading lights during his nine-year career. Last September, he knocked down Khan in the second round, but was unable to finish Khan off and lost a unanimous decision.

“I’m eager to get back in the ring and show the fans that I’m still an elite welterweight,” Collazo said. “Every time I fight, I give my blood, sweat, and tears. Brooklyn is going to be in the house on March 17. Samuel Vargas is in for a rude awakening. After I take care of business, I’m coming for all the top welterweights.”

“For a kid who came from Colombia with nothing, trying to make a name for himself and a better life for his family, fighting at Madison Square Garden feels like a dream come true,” Vargas said. “I’ve fought on some of the biggest stages in the world, but this is where every fighter envisions themselves fighting. It’s an opportunity I won’t let go to waste.”
Roy Jones Junior Boxing Fact Sheet: Palicte-Martinez
WHAT: RJJ Boxing on UFC Fight Pass
WHO: MAIN EVENT – WBO Jr. BANTAMWEIGHT WORLD TITLE ELIMINATOR (12)*
“Mighty” Aston Palicte(24-2-1, 20 KOs), Bago City, Negros Occidental, Philippines vs. Jose “Chiquiro” Martinez (20-0-2, 13 KOs), Las Marias, Puerto Rico
CO-FEATURE – FEATHWERWEIGHTS (6)*
Edward “Kid” Vasquez (5-0, 0 KOs), Fort Worth, Texas vs. Brandon “2 Smooth” Cruz (6-0, 4 KOs), San Diego, California
JUNIOR FEATHERWEIGHTS (6)*
Dilan “El Rey” Miranda (4-1, 3 KOs), San Diego, California by way of Mexico vs. Daniel Constantino (2-2-1, 1 KO), Compton, California
FEMALE FEATHERWEIGHTS (4 X 2)
Jessica Juarez (1-0, 1 KO), San Diego, California vs. Kailyn Hansen (1-2, 0 KOs), Whittier, California
WELTERWEIGHTS (4)
Anthony Franco (3-1-1, 0 KOs), Redlands, California vs. David Morales (2-1-1 (0 KOs)
HEAVYWEIGHTS (4)
Oscar Torres (3-0, 1 KO), Los Angeles, California Vs. Ignacio Zambrano (2-4, 0 KOs), Torrance, California
*denotes live-streamed on UFC Fight Pass
(ALL FIGHTS & FIGHTERS SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
WHEN: Thursday, January 31, 2019
WHERE: Oak Ballroom in Viejas Casino & Resort, Alpine, California (35 miles outside of San Diego)
PROMOTER: Roy Jones Jr (RJJ) Boxing Promotions in association with Miguel Cotto Promotions
LIVE STREAM: UFC FIGHT PASS®, starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT
Samuel Vargas to Face Luis Collazo March 17th
Samuel Vargas has had a lot of “pinch me” moments in his boxing career. From fighting on national television, to facing world champions, bringing a boxing show to his native Colombia, and headlining arena shows in his hometown of Toronto.

But on March 17, Vargas may have the biggest opportunity of his career, as he faces Luis Collazo in a 10-round welterweight bout at the Hulu Theatre inside the legendary Madison Square Garden.

The bout will be a co-feature on an ESPN card headlined by Irish superstar Michael Conlan, fittingly, on St. Patrick’s Day.

“For a kid who came from Colombia with nothing, trying to make a name for himself and a better life for his family, fighting at Madison Square Garden feels like a dream come true,” Vargas said. “I’ve fought on some of the biggest stages in the world, but this is where every fighter envisions themselves fighting. It’s an opportunity I won’t let go to waste.”

Collazo had recently been in talks as a potential opponent for welterweight titleholder Keith Thurman. Vargas hopes that a victory over Collazo could potentially put him in line for a world title opportunity, something that has eluded him despite his deep resume of opponents.

Vargas has done battle with some of the sport’s and division’s very best, including Errol Spence Jr., Danny Garcia, Amir Khan, Ali Funeka and more. However, none were world title fights, either because the bouts were between title stints, or the belt wasn’t on the line.

“A win over Luis Collazo would force the hand of the welterweight division,” said Vargas’ promoter Lee Baxter. “It would be the biggest win of Sammy’s career, and would establish that he belongs in the positions he’s been put in throughout his career. Remember, he was maybe one inch and a few seconds away from knocking out Amir Khan. On March 17, he won’t let anything slip away.”

Collazo (38-7, 20 KOs) has been a pro for 19 years, a career which has included a run as welterweight champion, and a who’s who resume of fighters he’s shared the ring with, including: “Sugar” Shane Mosley, Ricky Hatton, Amir Khan, Andre Berto, Keith Thurman, and Victor Ortiz. Collazo is coming off two major upset victories, a win over Bryant Perrella and a sixth-round knockout of top prospect Sammy Vasquez

“Collazo is someone I have a lot of respect for. We have a lot in common, we’ve both never ducked anybody, we’ve both improved and learned on the job as the years have gone on, and we’re always in exciting fights. But on March 17, all that goes out the window, and I’m going to prove that my time has finally come.”

With a victory, opportunities for Vargas could be abundant, says Baxter.

“Sammy isn’t someone that’s tied to a network right now, but he’s one step away from being a viable option to face any welterweight titleholder, not just Keith Thurman, but Terence Crawford, especially considering Sammy almost knocked out the man he’s about to fight. A win on March 17 could give us a lot of leverage,” said Baxter.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Dirrell, Crawford, Khan, Lara, Algieri, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 15th to January 22nd; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Crawford and Khan Face Off in New York City

Fresh off their kickoff press conference in London, WBO welterweight world champion Terence “Bud” Crawford and Amir “King” Khan flew across the pond for a special press conference at ESPN’s South Street Seaport studios in lower Manhattan.

Crawford and Khan will battle on Saturday, April 20, live on the inaugural Top Rank on ESPN pay-per-view at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT. Details on how fans will be able to access the pay-per-view event will be announced at a later date.

On stop two of the Crawford-Khan cross-continental media tour, this is what the fighters and Top Rank chairman Bob Arum had to say.

Terence Crawford

“Amir Khan has been in there with a lot of great fighters. Me beating him will put me on another level in the welterweight division. People are interested in seeing this fight.”

“It don’t matter how I win. I just want to win. That still won’t get the fighters I want to fight in the ring with me. I just need to keep doing what I’m doing.”

“There’s no animosity between me and Amir. He respects me. I respect him. We’ll do our thing in the ring on April 20, and we’ll shake hands when it’s over.”

“I’m expecting the best Amir Khan to show up. I never take any shortcuts in training camp. I’m always training for the best fighter that {my opponent} can be. I never look at it like, ‘Oh, he’s some half Amir Khan, or he’s washed up.’ We’re going to train for the best Amir Khan.”

Amir Khan

On why he signed to fight Crawford

“First of all, it was because it was for a world title. Also, Terence is up there as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. This is a fight that could take me to a different level, and I want to win this fight because I want to be the best in the world. All them dreams I’ve had of being the best ever, and one day being that pound-for-pound champion, this is the fight that can take me there.”

“I’ve been reading a lot of things and hearing a lot of things with people saying that I’m taking this fight just to get beat or maybe just to have another world title fight. It isn’t about that. I’m coming here to win. I’ve never gone into a fight just to make numbers. I’ve made a lot of money in the game, and I could leave the sport happy. But I still have unfinished business. I still have a lot left in me to win them titles. Maybe my last fight wasn’t the best fight. Maybe that’s one of the reasons that got me this fight. I will prove myself. Going into this fight, I’m highly motivated. Terence is a great champion. I’m not going to walk into the ring just to get beat. I’m coming to win this fight. I don’t have that much pressure in this fight because people are expecting me to get beat. I’m going to come and shock the world.”

“This is a fight that can redeem my whole career. Against Canelo, maybe I was biting off more than I could chew. I took that fight because it was a massive opportunity for me, and I believe in myself as a fighter. This fight, I see that it’s more fair. We’re similar weights. We’ve had similar experience. In my opinion, I’ll be able to take his punching power. He’s also a quick and a skillful fighter, so there’s a lot of advantages for me in this fight. In other fights, I’ve fought guys who are a lot stronger, a lot bigger in weight. That plays a big part. In this fight, I really think I have the style and everything it takes to win.”

Bob Arum

“The idea is to make the best possible fight. We’ve been Terence’s promoter for many, many years. He’s at a stage now where, to cement his legacy, he has to fight the best. And I’ve always been a big fan of Amir Khan. I remember Amir Khan when he was an amateur and what great skills he has and had. It will be a real test for Bud Crawford to fight Amir Khan. I really think Amir has been one of the best welterweights around. And I think it’s going to be a great, great fight on April 20.”

“Terence Crawford, should he win the fight April 20, he will fight the best available welterweights in the world. It’s the world. There are tremendously gifted fighters. There’s this kid in Spain that’s the biggest attraction Spanish boxing ever had called {Kerman Lejarraga}. And he’s a terrific fighter. There’s the Eastern Europeans. There’s a lot of good welterweights. If there are fighters fighting for another promoter, and the other promoter is digging his heels in and won’t give his fighters the opportunity to be on a big stage, it’s on them. I can’t be worried about it.”

Chris Aglieri Wins WBO International Title by Decision

The bright lights of New York City were on full display Friday night at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden. Former WBO Super Lightweight World Champion

CHRIS ALGIERI (now, 23-3 8KO’s) and Queens native DANNY “EL GALLO” GONZALEZ (now 17-2-1 7KO’s) stepped in against each other with not only the WBO International Super Lightweight title on the line, but each knowing that a victory would put himself in line for a shot at a 140 lb. title.

Opening the action, Algieri controlled the opening rounds, showing a dedication to attacking the body, while using his agility and elite footwork to evade the offensive attempts of Gonzalez. Sitting on his punches, fighting on the outside, Algieri displayed his elite level punch rate.

Gonzalez would eventually settle in, pressuring Algieri through the second half of the scheduled ten-round bout. Gonzalez continued his aggression in an attempt to get himself back in the fight and successfully pushed the action for the remainder of the fight.

An accidental head butt, late in the seventh round, opened a cut under the left eye of Algieri. Seeing blood, Gonzalez went on the aggressive, landing a hard left hand while he pinned Algieri against the ropes. Getting into a grove, Gonzalez began putting combinations together to both the body and the head.

At the end of the 10-rounds, Gonzalez’s late offensive effort would prove to fall short, as the judges gave Algieri the nod by scores of 98-92, 97-93, 96-94. By unanimous decision, Chris Algieri earned the vacant WBO INTERNATIONAL SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE.

“I am my biggest critic, my performance wasn’t my best, but we got the W, we got the belt and I’m moving on” said Algieri. When asked about a possible title fight against MAURICE HOOKER, Algieri stated, “I can turn it up when I need it … I have always been the guy that can pull off the unexpected.”

CEO of Star Boxing JOE DEGUARDIA said this about the fight, “I am proud of both Chris and Danny. It was one of the most compelling fights of the night from the perspective of fan participation and support, with a vocal crowd that was essentially split between both local fighters. Chris gutted it though a tough fight and the win puts him in line for some big matches. I was also very impressed with Danny’s performance, and believe he showed that he can hang with the elite level of the 140 lb. division. Congratulations to both men on a great fight. We will be announcing some positive steps for both of them in the coming months.”

Bivol vs. Smith WBA Title Fight Set for March 9th at Turning Stone

MatchroomUSA, Star Boxing, and World of Boxing held a press conference to announce the site and date of the highly anticipated light heavyweight showdown between undefeated WBA World Champion DMITRY BIVOL (St. Petersburg, Russia, 15-0 11KO’s) and title challenger, the “common man” JOE “THE BEAST” SMITH JR. (Mastic Beach, NY, 24-2 20KO’s)

With a room full of media in attendance, Bivol’s exciting and eagerly anticipated fourth title defense against Long Island’s own, Smith Jr. was announced and is set to take place on MARCH 9TH at TURNING STONE RESORT & CASINO located in Verona, New York. The fight will be live on DAZN.

Bivol is coming off of a 2018 that included three title defenses against SULLIVAN BARRERA, ISSAC CHILEMBA, and JEAN PASCAL. Argued by many as the top light heavyweight in the world, Bivol will be taking on a challenge in the arguably the hardest hitting light heavyweight in the world, Smith Jr. Smith Jr., burst onto the boxing scene as a fighter of the year finalist and knockout of the year winner in 2016 due to his devastating knockout of hometown favorite, ANDRZEJ FONFARA, and later that year, his unimaginable knockout of legend BERNARD HOPKINS through ropes.

QUOTES:

CEO of Star Boxing Joe DeGuardia:

“We know about [Joe Smith Jr.’s] humble background as a laborer, working with the union. He comes from a real hard working background.”

“Joe always seems to be doing the things that are not expected. I know he’s humble, but he has a real knockout punch”

“Joe has made the best of his opportunities. He did it against Fonfara and he did it against Bernard Hopkins. We are very excited for him to have this opportunity to go win a world title.”

Matchroom Promoter Eddie Hearn:

“The main event for the WBA Light Heavyweight Championship of the World is going to be a fabulous fight”

“This is a big opportunity for Joe Smith, and its a pleasure again to be working with Joe DeGuardia”

JOE SMITH Jr. addressed the media:

“This is a huge opportunity for me and I am going to take advantage of it.”

“I’ve worked very hard, trained very hard. I’ll give it everything I have and come March 9th, hopefully take the title home.”

“Thank you DAZN, Bivol and Star Boxing for giving me this shot.”

DMITRY BIVOL said this about March 9TH:

“Thank you all the guys who work with me and help me. I am glad that my team decided the way of my career, and the way we will work with DAZN.”

“Thank you [to] Joe Smith Team and Joe Smith for taking this fight. I think we will make a good fight. I will keep my belt.”

Nico Hernandez Returns February 15th

2016 Olympic Bronze Medallist, and fighting hometown hero, Nico Hernandez will return to the professional boxing ring on Friday, February 15, at the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas.

The undefeated Hernandez (6-0, 4 KOs) will face Mexico’s Victor Trejo Garcia (16-9-1, 8 KOs) in an eight-round flyweight special attraction in the featured live bout immediately preceding the SHOWTIME tripleheader telecast of “ShoBox Live at the Kansas Star Casino.”

The Hernandez vs Garcia bout is presented by Salita Promotions and John Anderson’s KO Night Boxing.

Tickets for the live event will go on sale on Friday, January 18, at 10 a.m. CT and are priced at $110, $75, $60, $45 and $25. They can be purchased at www.KansasStarCasino.com, www.Ticketmaster.com and at the Lucky Star Players Club at Kansas Star Casino.

Hernandez, who won the first Olympic men’s boxing medal since the 2008 Beijing Olympics by taking bronze at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was 94-5 as an amateur. He also captured six national titles, scored eight wins in the Ringside World Championship (an annual Kansas City-area event billed as “the largest amateur boxing tournament in the world”), along with six consecutive Silver Gloves National Championship wins, and a 2014 National Golden Gloves gold medal.

The 23-year-old turned professional in March 2017 and has dominated all his fights. He was last seen scoring a unanimous eight-round decision over Texas veteran Josue Morales. This will be his third consecutive fight at the Kansas Star Casino, where he enjoys tremendous popularity.

“I’m excited to be fighting on February 15 in front of my hometown fans at the Kansas Star Arena,” said Hernandez. “I’ll be in great shape and plan on putting on a great show. I want to be very active in 2019 and win a world title before the end of the year. It’s my time to shine.”

Presented by Salita Promotions, “ShoBox Live at the Kansas Star Casino” will feature top prospect Shohjahon Ergashev (15-0, 14 KOs) of Detroit via Fergana, Uzbekistan, taking on also undefeated Mykal Fox (19-0, 5 KOs) of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, in a 10-round welterweight main event.

In the other two televised bouts, Fort Worth’s rugged Jesse Angel Hernandez (12-1, 7 KOs) will take on Britain’s Thomas Patrick Ward (25-0, 4 KOs) in a 10-round super bantamweight battle for the WBA-NABA Championship and Grozny, Russia’s undefeated Aslambek Idigov (15-0, 7 KOs) will face once-beaten Travis Hanshaw (14-1-1, 7 KOs) of Ashland, Kentucky, in an eight-round super middleweight contest.

On fight night, the doors open at 5:30 pm (CST) and the action starts at 6:00 pm. Bouts subject to change. The Kansas Star Casino is located at 777 Kansas Star Drive in Mulvane, Kansas.\
Erislandy Lara to Challegne Brian Castano for WBA Super Welterweight Title

Former 154-pound world champion Erislandy Lara seeks to return to the championship ranks when the Cuban star challenges undefeated contender Brian Castaño for his WBA Super Welterweight World Championship on Saturday, March 2 live on SHOWTIME and presented by Premier Boxing Champions from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING coverage of the PBC event begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features another Cuban star in top heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz as he clashes with Christian Hammer in a 10-round co-featured bout. In the opening bout of the tripleheader, hard-hitting Ricardo Núñez takes on rugged veteran Edner Cherry in a 12-round super featherweight opener.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions in association with DiBella Entertainment, are on sale Friday, January 18 at 10 a.m. ET and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com, or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center beginning Saturday, January 19. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

The super welterweight division remains one of the hottest divisions in boxing with unified champion Jarrett Hurd, newly crown champion Tony Harrison, former world champion Jermell Charlo, former title challenger Julian Williams and Lara all circling each other for supremacy in the weight class.

“This night of exciting action is headlined by two Cuban stars who will surely put on a display of the immense skill and determination that Cuban boxers are known for,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Erislandy Lara has long been one of the best, if not number one, in the 154-pound division and he will look to get right back into that class by taking the WBA title from a hard-hitting and undefeated Argentine in Brian Castaño. Luis Ortiz has another opportunity to show why he’s one of the most-feared punchers in the heavyweight division and prove that he deserves a rematch for the title with Deontay Wilder. Christian Hammer has fought against the best at heavyweight and he isn’t coming here to lie down for Ortiz. When you add the Ricardo Núñez vs. Edner Cherry fight that is sure to bring action, it adds up to another can’t-miss night at Barclays Center and live on SHOWTIME.”

“Erislandy Lara is one of the most talented junior middleweights in the world, and while Brian Castaño is not yet a household name, he was a world renowned amateur and is undefeated as a pro,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “This is a must-win fight for Lara and Castaño’s chance to establish himself as one of boxing’s rising stars. Luis Ortiz is a dangerous man. His ‘King Kong’ nickname is appropriate, as no one wants to fight the beast. You saw why in his spectacular challenge against Deontay Wilder. Tested world class contender Christian Hammer will attempt to derail ‘King Kong’ in his quest to secure another world title shot.”

“Over the last few years SHOWTIME has spotlighted the progression of the super welterweight and heavyweight divisions as they have emerged as two of the hottest and deepest in the sport,” said Stephen Espinoza, President of Sports and Event Programming, SHOWTIME. “On March 2, we will further that with a pair of the most dangerous and perhaps most avoided fighters in boxing in Erislandy Lara and Luis Ortiz. Both are in significant and difficult matchups. Brian Castaño is young, undefeated and although already the champion, looking to make a mark on the division with a signature win over Lara. Add in an all-action 130-pound bout and we have a dynamite three-fight card.”

“I’m thrilled to welcome both Erislandy Lara and Luis Ortiz back to Barclays Center for what will be an exciting night for fight fans in Brooklyn,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of BSE Global. “Both fighters have put up compelling performances in our ring, and will face tough competitors on March 2. I am also looking forward to BROOKLYN BOXING returning to SHOWTIME for the first time in 2019 for an evening of world class matchups.”

Lara (25-3-2, 14 KOs) was the longest reigning 154-pound champion until he lost a split decision to Jarrett Hurd on April 7 in a unification bout on SHOWTIME. Now the 39-year-old Lara, who was born in Guantanamo, Cuba and lives in Houston, looks to grab a title and once again stake his claim as one of the division’s best. He has one of the strongest resumes in the division, having fought Hurd and former 154-pound champions Canelo Alvarez and Austin Trout.

“I’m very excited to be back headlining SHOWTIME in another major fight,” said Lara. ”Brian Castaño is a young undefeated champion with a strong amateur pedigree. I look forward to being in the ring with him and putting on a great fight for the fans. I can’t wait to being crowned world champion again. Everyone tune in March 2nd, you don’t want to miss the whole card, it’s going to be sensational.”

The 29-year-old Castaño (15-0, 11 KOs) has worked his way up the ladder in one of the toughest divisions in boxing with raw power and toughness. Castaño, who is from Buenos Aires, fits well into the mold of the Argentine sluggers before him – such as former champions Carlos Monzon, Sergio Martinez and Marcos Maidana. He will battle Lara after wins against Michel Soro in 2017, where he captured the interim 154-pound, and Cedric Vitu in 2018, where he captured the belt he will defend on March 2.

“I’m thrilled to be facing Lara as he was a great champion and still one of the best fighters out there,” said Castaño. “Obviously this is the most important fight of my career and I know it will be difficult because of his experience. I have my own experience however, and I’m willing to prove that I belong with the best tin the division. I know he will get onto his bike and move around the ring, but I have the strength to knock him off.”

‘King Kong’ returns to New York on March 2 as Ortiz (30-1, 26 KOs), a southpaw power puncher, enters the ring with two solid knockout victories under his belt since losing to WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder at Barclays Center last March. The 39-year-old Ortiz, who is from Camaguey, Cuba and now lives in Miami, Florida, is still considered one of the top five heavyweights in the division. He most recently scored a knockout victory over Travis Kauffman on December 1.

“’King Kong’ is coming back to Brooklyn!” said Ortiz. “I’m very excited to be back on SHOWTIME in a huge event at Barclays Center. Christian Hammer is a very good fighter and I will be prepared for the best he has to offer. Come March 2, I’m hammering my way past him and setting up a clash with the winner of Wilder-Fury II or Anthony Joshua. I can’t wait till Brooklyn.’’

Hammer (24-5, 14 KOs) has dueled some of the top heavyweights in the sport, including Tyson Fury and Alexander Povetkin. The 31-year-old Hammer, who was born in Galati, Romania and lives in Hamburg, Germany, has put together two victories since he lost a unanimous decision to Povetkin in 2017. In his last fight he scored a KO victory over then-unbeaten Michael Wallisch on December 15.

“I’ve been in training since right after Christmas for this big opportunity,” said Hammer. “I won my last fight by knockout, but I’m preparing for 12 hard rounds against Ortiz. A fight like this in New York is very special to me. This is the reason I became a boxer. The fans can look forward to a real heavyweight thriller on March 2.”

The hard-hitting Panamanian Núñez (20-2, 18 KOs) will be fighting for the first time in the United States on March 2. The 25-year-old is on a nine-fight winning streak in which he has scored eight knockout victories. He most recently delivered a first-round knockout of previously unbeaten Elvis Torres in June.

Cherry (37-7-2, 19 KOs) has put together a three-fight win streak since losing to Jose Pedraza in a featherweight title match in 2015. The 36-year-old Cherry, who was born in Nassau, Bahamas and now lives in Wauchula, Florida, has defeated Dennis Galarza, Omar Douglas and Haskell Rhodes heading into March and has faced top fighters including Tim Bradley and Paulie Malignaggi throughout his career.

Dirrell to Face Yildirim for WBA Super Middleweight World Championship

Former super middleweight world champion Anthony Dirrell gets an opportunity to rejoin the championship ranks when he battles top contender Avni Yildirim for the vacant WBC Super Middleweight Championship in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes Saturday, February 23 from The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Televised coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT with welterweight championship contender Jamal James fighting in his hometown for a third straight time against Janer González in a special 10-round attraction in the co-feature.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Warriors Boxing and TGB Promotions, are on sale now, and can be purchased at the Armory at http://ArmoryMN.com/and through Ticketmaster.

“Fight fans in Minneapolis and watching on FS1 and FOX Deportes are in for a treat with this high stakes world title showdown between Anthony Dirrell and Avni Yildirim,” said Leon Margules, President of Warriors Boxing. “Dirrell has been a champion and amongst the division’s elite for years, while Yildirim always comes to fight and will be determined to make the most of this opportunity. With the addition of local fan-favorite Jamal James in welterweight action, this is shaping up to be a can’t miss night at The Armory.”

“Anthony Dirrell took a long, difficult road to get to the super middleweight championship and he has worked hard to get into position to reclaim the title,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Avni Yildirim has been one of the most active contenders in the division and he has gained significant experience since his last opportunity to win a championship. He will need all that and more to get past Dirrell. And it’s going to be a special night watching Jamal James fighting for his hometown fans again.”

Dirrell (32-1-1, 24 KOs) won the WBC Super Middleweight Championship with a unanimous decision victory over Sakio Bika in 2014. It was the culmination of a long, hard road for Dirrell of Flint, Michigan after he successfully battled non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was cleared to return to boxing after completing chemotherapy in 2008. His reign as world champion was cut short when the 34-year-old Dirrell lost the title by majority decision to Badou Jack in 2015. He has won five straight since that loss to climb back into contention for a chance to become a two-time world champion.

“This is just like every other fight where we’re going to work on a game plan and execute that game plan in the ring,” said Dirrell. “I saw him fight Chris Eubank and it showed me some things. He’s a come forward fighter. That’s the kind of guy I like to fight. He’s tailor-made for me. I’m going to do what I do best and that’s fight. I’ve been keeping my mind, body and soul together and staying focused to know what I have to do to become two-time WBC champion.”

Yildirim (21-1, 12 KOs) is one of the most active contenders in the super middleweight division. The 27-year-old from Istanbul, Turkey has fought at least four times a year since 2014. The fight against Dirrell will be only the second time that he has fought in the United States after defeating Glen Johnson in Miami in 2015. Yildirim suffered the only loss of his professional career by stoppage against Chris Eubank, Jr. in 2017. In his last fight he won a majority decision against Lolenga Mock and he enters this fight on a five-fight winning streak.

“I’m very thankful to everyone who helped me get this opportunity and I know that I have all the tools to beat Anthony Dirrell,” said Yildirim. “Dirrell is a good fighter, but I believe I bring more to the table than him. I’m coming to win and bring the belt home to Turkey. I waited all my boxing life for this stage and I am ready to give him a war.”

James (24-1, 11 KOs) has become a local favorite and will be fighting in front of his hometown crowd in Minneapolis for the third straight time. The 30-year-old James has rolled off four consecutive victories since suffering the first loss of his career – a unanimous decision loss to Yordenis Ugás in 2016. In his last fight James stopped Mahonry Montes by knockout on August 24 on FS1. Gonzalez (19-1-1, 15 KOs) is a power-puncher from Cartagena, Colombia and is coming off the first loss of his career via a unanimous decision to Radzhad Butaev in 2017.

“I’m hungry to make 2019 the year that I get that world title,” said James. “I’m focused on my opponent, but in this fight I’m going to keep showing off the skills and speed that makes me the next champion. I’m extremely grateful to be fighting again at home and to keep bringing PBC to Minneapolis. I’m going to be the next champion from here and the journey starts fresh for 2019 when I step into that ring on February 23.”

“I’m excited for this opportunity to fight Jamal James in his backyard and leave all his hometown fans disappointed,” said Gonzalez. “I’m training harder than ever to bounce back from my loss and show everyone what I’ve learned. This victory is going to put me back on the path to becoming word champion.”

More Headlines

Boxing Insider Notebook: Roy Jones, Chris Algieri, Jaime Munguia, Philly Special, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 8th to January 15th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos-Golden Boy Promotions

Jaime Munguia Discusses Promising 2019 As He Prepares to Defend Title Against Takeshi Inoue

Jaime Munguia (31-0, 26 KOs) discussed his busy plans for 2019 as he prepares to defend his WBO Junior Middleweight World Title against Japanese contender Takeshi Inoue (13-0-1, 7 KOs) in a 12-round battle. The action will take place on Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas and will be streamed live on DAZN – which is just $9.99 per month after a one-month free trial. Fans in Houston can purchase tickets starting at just $25 at ToyotaCenter.com.

The native of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico is working hard to make a successful third defense of his title in what will be his debut in Texas. Munguia is working under the expert tutelage of renowned trainer Robert Alcazar, who trained the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Edwin Valero and Jessie Vargas. Munguia is training in the Southern California area, where he combines a morning run at the mountains with an intense boxing session at a private gym in the afternoon.

Below is what Jaime Munguia had to say during a recent training session:

“We are preparing very well. I feel better and more motivated than ever before”

I’m stronger than ever, and I will do my best to give the best fights for the people on this new platform, DAZN.”

“I have worked hard to be in the main events like this. I think for me this is just the start. I want to make history. I was happy to be the co-main event of Canelo vs. GGG 2, and now that I’m headlining this event, I am more motivated.”

“Takeshi Inoue is a strong fighter. He comes forward. He doesn’t mind taking a punch in order to land one. We have to be careful with that and come very prepared. We have to be careful with his right hand as well. We’re going to come very well prepared on Jan. 26.”

“After this fight, it looks like I will have a WBO mandatory bout against Dennis Hogan. But I would still like to unify the titles at 154 pounds with the other champions. We will resolve anything that is put in front of us.”

“The plan is to move up to 160 pounds in about a year. We’re fine making weight now. I have no problems, but I feel I can move up and fight in other divisions. My body is such that I could even go up to 168 pounds.”

Munguia on the other fighters in his division:

“I thought the fight was a draw [regarding Jermell Charlo vs. Tony Harrison]. Charlo should have attacked more and not wait as much. That’s my opinion of the fight. Tony Harrison is a good fighter. He’s tough and has good skills. If he is put in front of us-or anyone for that matter-we will have to work.”

“[Jarrett] Hurd is a very big 154-pounder. I think he’s bigger than me. If a fight with him is presented to me, why not? We can unify the tittles or meet at 160 pounds.”

“I don’t know what to say about the political situation because we are on different platforms. We will see if a fight against them can happen. Perhaps not this year, but maybe we can meet them at 160 pounds.

“I’ve heard the things they’ve said about me. Maybe they don’t respect me or think I’m too young. They’ve said a lot. I will make them respect me on the day they step in the ring with me.”

Munguia on a potential fight against Canelo:

“I don’t think there is any pressure with being mentioned with names like Canelo and Golovkin. I like this. It’s fun. I’m happy to be in fights like this and to see that we are advancing. So, the truth is we are happy.

“I am conscious of what I am doing. I think I can move up to 160 pounds and fight any of the two. It’s a risk because there will always be risks. Those are the two best fighters in the world. We would have to be very careful and come very well prepared. I don’t think it would happen soon, so we have to see what the future holds for us.”

Chris Algieri Appears on WNYW Fox 5 To Discuss Upcoming Title Fight

Star Boxing’s CHRIS ALGIERI (Huntington, LI, NY, 22-3 8KO), former WBO World Super Lightweight Champion, will be on WNYW Fox 5 discussing his fight with Star Boxing stablemate DANNY “EL GALLO” GONZALEZ (Woodhaven, New York 17-1-1 7KO), for the vacant WBO Super Lightweight Title on January 18th at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in a featured 10 round bout on the undercard of the WBO World Middleweight Title bout between DEMETRIUS ANDRADE and ARTUR AKAVO.

On November 30th Algieri, ended a two year hiatus from the ring, winning a shutout unanimous 10 round decision over ANGEL HERNANDEZ, before a vocal and sold out crowd filled with his supporters at the Paramount. Algieri has never lost a fight at 140 lb. and he is trying to get back his WBO World Championship. The step just before that is the WBO International Championship and Danny Gonzalez on Friday Night. Catch Algieri live on Channel 5 at approximately 7:45 Tuesday morning. Perhaps more importantly, don’t miss him vs. Danny Gonzalez on Friday night on DAZN from the Hulu Theater MSG.

Gonzalez, a young and rising star who has made a name for himself at the Paramount in Huntington, LI, in Star Boxing’s Rockin’ Fights series, captured the ABO Intercontinental Championship in September 2018, with a unanimous decision over JOHNNY “HITMAN” HERNANDEZ in an epic battle. The fight was a war of attrition and Gonzalez earned his championship in a bout which proved both his fighting heart and talent. Now the spotlight is much greater as he challenges former World Champion Algieri for the WBO International Strap.

Not only is a possible world title shot on the line in this bout but bragging rights in the Star Boxing stable are being contested. This is a fight where both fighters will be calling on all their will and skill and it should be a crowd pleasing slam-bang affair from bell-to-bell.

Salita Congratulates Russia’s Elena Gradinar for Winning Prospect of the Year for 2018

Promoter Dmitriy Salita congratulates undefeated Russian featherweight Elena Gradinar for being named “Prospect of the Year” for 2018 by respected women’s boxing body womenofboxing.com.

Gradinar (9-0, 2 KOs) is the number one IBF contender and mandatory challenger to world champion Jennifer Han. She started the year with a unanimous decision over Karina Kopinska and then moved into the mandatory spot and picked up the IBF Inter-Continental Female Featherweight Championship with a unanimous decision over Olivia Gerula.

Already designated a Sport Master of Russia in her homeland, the 28-year-old, from Saint Petersburg finds herself one win away from her first world championship.

“I am very grateful for this honor,” said a happy Gradinar. “I look forward to winning the IBF Featherweight World Title in my next fight and bringing respect to women’s boxing by fighting the best champions and top contenders.”

Gerula’s co-promoter Dmitriy Salita (along with Russian-based Alexander Nevskiy Promotion Group) says Gradinar is a key component to his highly successful efforts to revive the once-floundering sport of women’s boxing.

Salita was named Promoter of the Year for 2018 by womenofboxing.com.

“This is a very meaningful victory in a category that featured top names in Women’s Boxing,” said Salita. “This shows that our effort to expand women’s boxing throughout the world is paying off. Elena is going to have a great year.”

Anthony Laureano Looks to Impress on January 26th At Mohegan Sun

With January 26th rapidly approaching, the hype for STAR BOXING’S “SLUGFEST at the SUN” continues to build as one of its up-in-coming fighters is ready to defend his undefeated record. Connecticut’s own “ACTION” ANTHONY LAUREANO (9-0 3KO’s) of East Hartford is all set to battle in a featured bout at Mohegan Sun against RONALD “SAVAGE” RIVAS (5-8-2 3 KO’s).

The bout will be Laureano’s fourth fight at Mohegan Sun. Laureano earned the nickname “Action” for his relentless, come-forward fighting style. This style was clearly evident in his last fight against Waco, Texas veteran MARQUIS “THE HAWK” HAWTHORNE in a bout in which Laureano had the crowd on its feet. The fighters stood toe to toe for most of the fight, with Laureano earning a unanimous decision.

2018 was a successful year for Laureano who reeled off three consecutive victories. When the East Hartford native is in the ring, fans can always expect an exciting show from start to finish. As Laureano explained: People come to fights to “see action” and “to see somebody coming forward.” “I’m that fighter that always wants to fight.” Star Boxing’s “Slugfest at the Sun” always brings fireworks to Connecticut, and Laureano is continuing the tradition of aggressive fighters who never take a step in retreat and who deliver plenty of action and excitement.

Laureano had this to say about his upcoming bout: “Super excited to be returning home to the Mohegan Sun. This is my 4th fight at Mohegan and there is nothing like fighting there. The venue is beautiful and the crowd is amazing. It makes me fight harder. I love to bring the action to my Connecticut fans and family at Mohegan.Can’t wait for January 26th. I want to thank JOE DEGUARDIA and Star Boxing for giving me this opportunity. You don’t want to miss this one!”

In the main event of “SLUGFEST at the SUN” on January 26th, CLETUS “THE HEBREW HAMMER” SELDIN (22-1 18 KO) will test his awesome punching power against the will and toughness of another fellow power puncher, Hungarian, ADAM “BAD BOY” MATE (28-13 21 KO). Seldin,who stunned Nelson Lara this past November, in a bout televised live on ESPN+, with his vicious body attack which resulted in a first round knockout, looks to continue his inexorable climb to the Super Lightweight championship. With both fighters bringing heavy artillery into the ring the fans can look forward to an exciting slugfest.

Philly Special Undercard Features Rivers vs. Whitley in Battle of Unbeaten Welterweight Prospects on Feb. 8th

A rare six-round contest between a pair of unbeaten welterweight prospects–Marcel Rivers, of North Philadelphia, and Derrick Whitley, Jr., of Springfield, MA–highlights the preliminary card of Raging Babe’s ‘Philly Special’ on Friday evening, Feb. 8, at the 2300 Arena.

Headlining the eight-fight program is an eight-round bantamweight match-up between undefeated Christian Carto, of South Philadelphia, and Victor Ruiz, of San Diego, CA. First bout is at 7.30 p.m.

Rivers, 31, has won all six of his pro fights, four by knockout. A single father, he balances boxing with a full-time, physically taxing job at Philadelphia Gas Works. Rivers, the sole caregiver for his 6-year-old son, Cameron, recently added another “why” to his quest to become a world champion. His new baby daughter, 4-month-old Jennah, provides him with new inspiration.

“I definitely have an incentive to work even harder now,” said Rivers. “It’s an honor to be on this card, with all the talent. A lot of these guys have backing, but I have come out of nowhere and found my way, so I appreciate the opportunity to fight on this card.”

Whitley, Jr, 27, a southpaw, is unbeaten in five pro fights with one draw. He comes from a fighting family–his dad and uncle were veteran pros.

Derrick Whitley, Sr., had 52 pro fights from 1995 to 2007. Uncle Darren–twin brother of Whitley, Sr.–had 44 pro fights from 1995 to 2003. Both fought as super middleweights and light-heavyweights.

The younger Whitley trains at the family gym. He works with adults who have had brain injuries, a career he has pursued for many years. He also plays semi-pro football.

“Rivers vs. Whitley was not the easiest fight to make,” said matchmaker J Russell Peltz, “given the culture of boxing today where few fighters want to risk their spotless records at such an early stage. These two guys are different and I applaud them for it.”

In a six-round heavyweight bout on the Feb. 8 card, North Philadelphia’s Darmani Rock (13-0, 8 KOs) will look to secure his 14th win. Rock was a highly touted amateur with multiple national and international titles. He signed with Jay Z’s Roc Nation in 2016 before turning pro. Rock is trained by his father, Wayne, AKA Whiz.

The Feb. card also includes the highly anticipated professional debuts of two of Pennsylvania’s most promising amateurs in four-round fights. Heavyweight Sonny Conto, of South Philly, and bantamweight Jeremy Adorno, of Allentown, PA, announced last week that they had signed with Top Rank Boxing.

Conto, 22, was a standout baseball player at Rowan College at Gloucester County before turning his attention to boxing. He takes on Jimmy Levins, of Buffalo, NY. Jeremy Adorno, younger brother of fellow Top Rank signee Joseph Adorno, was born in Puerto Rico. He boasts an amateur record of 106-17 with multiple Silver Gloves National titles and two Ringside World titles under his belt.

Coatesville, PA, junior welterweight Gerardo Martinez (3-1, 1 KO) faces Haitian-born Osnel Charles (12-18-1, 2 KOs), of Atlantic City NJ, who has appeared at the 2300 Arena in four of his last seven fights. This also is scheduled for four rounds.

Rounding out the card: New Hope, PA, bantamweight Alejandro Jimenez (4-0, 1 KO) vs. Edgar Cortes (6-4), of Vineland, NJ, in a six-round, bantamweight contest; Puerto Rican-born Jonathan Torres (1-0), of Bethlehem, PA, vs. Atlantic City bantamweight Dallas Holden (1-3) over four rounds.

“You have Gerardo Martinez with a 3-1 record going up against a 31-fight veteran in Osnel Charles,” said Peltz. “Or Alejandro Jimenez, at 4-0, fighting a capable 10-fight lefty in Edgar Cortes. There are times when four- and six-round fights are more appetizing than some of the so-called big fights you see on television.”

Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions & Rite Hook Promotions bringing pro boxing to Historic St. Petersburg Coliseum on Feb. 16

Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions and Rite Hook Promotions have jointly announced a co-promotion presentation, “St. Pete Fan Fest,” to be live-streamed on UFC FIGHT PASS©, on Saturday night, February 16, from historic St. Petersburg Coliseum in St. Petersburg, Florida.

“Roy Jones Jr and I are honored to work with such a hard-working and honorable promotion company like Rite Hook Promotions,” RJJ Boxing Promotions CEO/Co-Founder Keith Veltre commented. “William Hunter is a true class act in the sport of boxing. February 16th, RJJ Promotions along with Rite Hook Promotions will conquer the corner with outstanding fights. We have true warriors on this card who can now showcase their talent and let the world see what Tampa fighters have to offer.”

“I am super excited to be working with RJJ Boxing Promotions and UFC Fight Pass for our February 16th event,” Rite Hook Promotions president William Hunter said. “There are tons of talented fighters in the Tampa/St. Pete area along with loyal boxing fans. There are definitely some future world championship-caliber fighters on this event, male and female, who will showcase their talents in front of the world on February 16th.”

North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Continental Americas lightweight champion William “Baby Face” Silva (26-2, 15 KOs), a native of Brazil now fighting out of Plant City, FL, will headline in a 10-round bout.

Undefeated middleweight prospect Connor Coyle (8-0, 3 KOs), fighting out of Derry, Northern Ireland, is slated to fight in his first scheduled 10-rounder in the co-featured event.

Also scheduled to fight are St. Petersburg welterweight Clarence Booth (17-4, 9 KOs) in an eight-round match; unbeaten American Boxing Federation (ABF) Continental Americas welterweight titlist Mark Reyes (8-0, 6 KOs), of Tampa, undefeated Atlanta middleweight Javonn “Pinkie” Barnes (12-0, 6 KOs), unbeaten Tampa middleweight Antonio Tarver, Jr. (5-0, 4 KOs), the son of multiple world champion Antonio Tarver, and Tampa heavyweight Mike “Concrete” Bissett (14-11-1, 8 KOs) – all in six-round bouts – plus Tampa’s undefeated female junior bantamweight Jasmine Artega (5-0, 4 KOs) in a four-rounder.

All fighters are subject to change. Opponents will soon be announced.

“St. Pete Fan Fest” will be the second event of the RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS series. FIGHT PASS is a digital subscription service that is now available in more than 200 countries and territories. In 2019, FIGHT PASS will showcase more than 200 exclusive events featuring top promotions from around the world, providing fans with a front row seat to a broad spectrum of competitive fighting, including mixed martial arts, boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, individual and team submission grappling, and more.

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