Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Pedraza Defeats Beltran
by: Sean Crose
Phoenix, Arizona hosted an evening of championship boxing on ESPN Saturday night. The card opened with Isaac Dogboe demolishing Japan’s Hideonor Otake in the first round of their WBO super bantamweight championship. The 20-0 titlist, the son of Ghanan, royalty scored his 14th knockout. The end started less than two minutes into the first round, as a thunderous left sent Otake to the mat. The man rose gamely, but he simply didn’t have what it took to beat the ferocious rising star. Dogboe, a fighter with a likable personality to match his thunderous style, is fast becoming one of the more entertaining athletes in the sport.
Next up, the 15-7 Edna Kiss faced off against the 6-0 former Olympian, Mikaela Mayer. Mayer, tall, lean and hard hitting, had Kiss down within seconds. Kiss survived the round, but Mayer’s piston jab and powerful right were telling the tale. There was no knockdown in the second, but by the third Mayer was turning up the volume and clearly looking for an early finish to the scheduled six rounder. And the third was all there was to it. Kiss retired on her stool before the fourth.
It was time for the main event. Former IBF super featherweight champion Jose Pedraza, 24-1, aimed to take the WBO world lightweight title from the 35-7-1 Ray Beltran. The first was close, but Pedraza seemed to control the tempo. Beltran spent the second stalking while Pedraza remained largely illusive. Beltran looked a bit more effective in the third, but still looked to come up a bit short. Beltran began to take over the tempo in the fourth, perhaps winning his first round of the fight. In the fifth, Beltran landed on his man hard while Pedraza appeared like he might be a bit flustered. By the middle of the fight, Beltran continued to work effectively.
The second half of the fight saw Pedraza reestablishing his jab in the 7th. The fight was becoming particularly hard to score in the 8th. Pedraza was zapping his man with jabs, but Beltran’s pressure and power were quite effective. The 9th saw Pedraza’s jab holding Beltran at bay. The 10th, on the other hand, was essentially even. Both men looked completely exhausted in the 11th. Beltran seemed to be edging it – until Pedraza dropped his man with a thunderous left. Beltran got up, but had clearly been rocked. The last round saw Pedraza’s jab effectively at work. In truth, the 37 year old Beltran had been looking up at the clock several times as the fight had wore on. The man’s age may have been starting to show. Pedraza ended the round with an explosive and effective flurry with Beltran on the ropes.
Pedraza walked out of the ring with the UD win and the WBO belt.
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Beltran vs. Pedraza, Dogboe vs. Otake
By: Ste Rowen
Ray Beltran vs. Jose Pedraza Preview
On Saturday night at the Gila River Arena, Glendale, Ray Beltran, 35-7-1 (21KOs), makes the first defence of his WBO lightweight title when he takes on former IBF super-featherweight champion, Jose Pedraza.
The Mexican will be hoping to extend his hot streak to 7 victories since his last official loss, when he was taken to school over 12 rounds by a, 24-0, Terence Crawford. The 37-year-old has rebuilt himself since that loss, and the immediate bout that followed; an overturned TKO win over Takahiro Ao, ruled a non-decision due to a failed drug test by Beltran.
Four straight stoppages and a majority decision over Bryan Vasquez led to a February 2018 showdown with Paulus Moses, then 40-3 (25KOs) for the bronze belt, thanks to Terry Flanagan vacating the WBO strap to move up a weight class.
Beltran handily dealt with his Namibian foe, winning a unanimous decision in Reno by consistently beating Moses to the punch. Raymundo was willing, and able to go toe-to-toe with Paulus throughout the 12 rounds, and although Paulus had his bright moments, the Mexican was not to be denied and he obtained world honours, on his 4th attempt.
‘‘This belt represents my family’s future and it’s going nowhere.’’ The Mexican told ‘ESPN’ last month. ‘‘I am very motivated to defend my title and it’s very special to me because I’m fighting in my adopted home. Pedraza is a very skilful fighter and is going to bring his best to take the belt from us.’’
Raymundo also has future plans for unification and is hoping to add another top 10 pound-for-pound fighter to his resume. Speaking to ‘FightHype’ he said,
‘‘I’ve got my own conclusions about Lomachenko’s style. I think I have the advantage of the size and strength…Another thing is that Lomachenko stays in the pocket. He comes and stays close, he gets hit…I’ve got enough power to hurt him.’’
‘Sugar Ray’ Beltran isn’t the only one eyeing up a future bout with the WBA and Ring lightweight champion. Puerto Rican challenger, Jose Pedraza, speaking to ‘BoxingScene.com’, is already talking tactics on how to defeat the Ukrainian,
‘‘I am focused on Beltran but, sure I would love to fight Lomachenko…The key simply is to be in great condition and to match his boxing. Salido used a style…that made Lomachenko very uncomfortable.’’
Pedraza, 24-1 (12KOs) is fighting in his first world title bout since his 7th round stoppage loss to unbeaten super-featherweight, Gervonta Davis last year. Since then Jose took over a year out and, much like Beltran did after his defeat to Crawford, steadily fought his way back into contention; defeating 23-11, Jose Luis Rodriguez and Antonio Moran, 23-2, over 8 & 11 rounds respectively, but ‘Sniper’ recognises the step up he’s about to take again,
‘‘Beltran is a veteran and finally a world champion…It’s going to be a great fight because he will not want to lose the title. I’m 100% prepared for war.’’
Isaac Dogboe vs. Hidenori Otake
Also on Saturday’s card in Arizona, is WBO super-bantamweight champion, Isaac Dogboe of Ghana, who takes on Japanese veteran, Hidenori Otake, in his first defence of the WBO belt proper, won back in April this year.
It’s already been a busy year, for ‘Royal Storm’ Dogboe.
At the beginning of 2018, the WBO champ, 19-0 (13KOs), dismantled Cesar Juarez to a 5th round stoppage victory in his native city of Accra. Then, 4 months ago, the 23-year-old was dropped in the 1st round, before going on to stop unbeaten American, Jessie Magdeleno via the 11th round in a ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate.
‘‘Coming into the fight we did think we could go there and blow Magdaleno out within three rounds and then I found myself on the floor and I wasn’t expecting it.’’ The WBO champ told ‘Sky Sports’ in June.
‘‘I got back up though, unhurt, and kept fighting. I just thought I had to put him back down and wanted to engage…God prepares my hands for war and my fingers for battle.’’
‘‘I’m making my first defence against Otake, a Japanese warrior…I’m not stepping back. We’re on a quest to make this division exciting and great again. We’re shaking up the division.’’
‘‘Isaac ‘Royal Storm’ Dogboe. You all know I bring lighting and thunder.’’
Otake, 31-2-3 (14KOs), will be hoping to bring a storm of his own. The Japanese fighter hasn’t loss since 2014, when he lost a 12-round unanimous decision to then, WBA ‘Regular’ champion, Scott Quigg. It was Hidenori’s one and only fight outside of Japan so far, not a good sign for Saturday.
The former Japanese super-bantamweight champion is on a 9-fight win streak, but it has come against fairly substandard opposition. Saturday’s fight will be his first fight in his pro career, other than the Quigg loss, not to take place in Tokyo’s Korakuen hall.
But home comforts will be the least of Otake’s problems once the bell rings and Dogboe comes out swinging, as is expected.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Garcia, Porter, Beltran, Pedraza, Taylor, Roach, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of July 17th to July 24th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Miguel Rocha/Melissa Cervera/Luzairem Torres
Garcia and Porter Set to Battle for Vacant Welterweight Title
Welterweight stars and former 147-pound titleholders Danny “Swift” Garcia and “Showtime” Shawn Porter will square off for the vacant WBC Welterweight World Championship live on SHOWTIME Saturday, September 8 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® main event (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) will pit two of the division’s biggest names against each other, as the former unified 140-pound champion and former WBC welterweight titleholder Garcia meets the hard-charging fan favorite and former welterweight champion Porter. The consensus top-5 ranked welterweights face off for the WBC belt vacated by Keith Thurman as he rehabs from an elbow surgery.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, in association with DSG Promotions, start at $50 and go on sale Thursday, July 26 at 10 a.m. Tickets 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 starting Friday, July 27 at noon. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
“I’m excited and motivated to go in there and recapture what’s mine,” said Garcia. “The WBC title belongs to me. Come September 8, I’m going to prove that I’m the best fighter in the world. My loss is behind me and it’s given me a chip on my shoulder to run that extra mile and train even harder. I know that Shawn Porter is not on my level. I’m coming to fight him in the middle of the ring and I’m going to beat him at his game.”
“I’m going to force Danny Garcia to fight me, to be uncomfortable and to do things he’s not used to doing in a fight,” said Porter. “If Danny comes in being defensive and trying to hold, it may last a while. But if he comes and tries to trade with me and prove something to himself, then it will end fast. I think my style will give him problems and not allow him to pace himself. This is going to be an instant classic and I’m going to win and become champion once again.”
Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) has fought and defeated many of the most formidable opponents at 140 and 147-pounds spanning two generations-Erik Morales, Zab Judah, Kendall Holt, Amir Khan, Lucas Matthysse, Paulie Malignaggi and Lamont Peterson among them. Five of his six opponents in the welterweight division were world champions and 11 of his last 15 opponents were world champions or former world champions.
Representing the fighting city of Philadelphia, Garcia has made Brooklyn another home base, drawing big crowds in six fights since the arena opened in 2012 including his triumphs over Morales, Judah, Peterson and Malignaggi and a narrow decision loss to Keith Thurman in a blockbuster world title unification that aired on CBS. The 30-year-old put himself into position to earn back his WBC belt with a highlight-reel knockout of Brandon Rios in a title eliminator February on SHOWTIME.
Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs) owns victories over four-division champion Adrien Broner and two-division champion Paulie Malignaggi over a career that has seen him develop a reputation as one of the sport’s most reliable all-action attractions. He lost a narrow decision to unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman in a 2016 Fight of the Year candidate in Brooklyn but rebounded with two victories last year at Barclays Center. He scored a TKO victory against former welterweight champion Andre Berto in a welterweight title eliminator and followed it up with a 12-round decision over Adrian Granados.
The 30-year-old Porter, who was born in Akron, Ohio and now lives in Las Vegas, will fight at Barclays Center for the fifth time on September 8, including his title-winning performance against Devon Alexander that earned him the IBF title in 2013.
“Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter will be an action-packed, can’t-miss brawl,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “This hugely important matchup is between two of the best welterweights in the world and pressure fighters with pleasing styles. Both Garcia and Porter have shined in memorable battles at Barclays Center and September 8 will be a tremendous night for boxing.”
“Danny Garcia against Shawn Porter in a welterweight title fight is a throwback to the era when you had Thomas Hearns battling Roberto Duran,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Their styles are tailor-made to create action in the ring. Porter comes forward and throws punches in bunches and Garcia doesn’t back up for anyone. This one will be decided in the center of the ring like all the great welterweight championship matches.”
“In 2018 SHOWTIME has delivered the biggest and most meaningful matchups in boxing, and Garcia vs. Porter is no exception,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “This will be our sixth fight this year featuring consensus top-10 welterweights, an unrivaled offering of elite fighters in boxing’s glamour division. Danny and Shawn have fought a combined 20 times on SHOWTIME and, along the way, have earned reputations as fighters who never back down from a challenge. I know they are both eager to earn another world title and send a statement to the other champions in the welterweight division.”
“I am pleased to welcome both Danny and Shawn back to Barclays Center,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of BSE Global. “Both fighters have established a great following in Brooklyn, and September will be their biggest moment yet at Barclays Center. We are the number one venue for boxing, and are proud to host another world-class fight.”
Beltran-Pedraza and Dogboe-Otake Headline ESPN World Championship Doubleheader
Ray Beltran and Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe will head to the desert on Aug. 25 for their first title defenses.
In the main event at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, Beltran, who resides in nearby Phoenix, will defend the WBO lightweight title against Jose “Sniper” Pedraza, a former junior lightweight world champion looking to bring another world title home to Puerto Rico. And, in the all-action co-feature, Dogboe will defend the WBO junior featherweight title against Hidenori Otake.
Beltran-Pedraza and Dogboe-Otake will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10:30 p.m. ET, with undercard action streaming live beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET. on ESPN+ — the recently-launched multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.
Tickets to this world championship doubleheader, priced at $125, $75, $50, and $25, not including applicable fees, go on sale Thursday, July 26 at 10 a.m PST. Tickets can be purchased at the Gila River Arena Box Office, by phone at 800.745.3000, or online at www.gilariverarena.com.
“I’m living the dream. It feels great to be a world champion. I am very motivated to defend my title, and it’s very special to me because I’m fighting in my adopted home,” Beltran said. “Pedraza is a very skillful fighter and is going to bring his best to take the belt from us, but I’m not just fighting for the belt, I’m also fighting to keep it in Phoenix and my birthplace of Los Mochis, Mexico. This belt represents my family’s future, and it’s going nowhere.”
“This is a great opportunity and a great challenge. Beltran is a veteran and is finally a world champion after trying for so long,” Pedraza said. “I think for that reason it’s going to be a great fight because he will not want to lose the title. I’m 100 percent prepared for war.”
“I’m making my first defense against Otake, a Japanese warrior. It’s going to be fireworks,” Dogboe said. “I’m not stepping back. We’re on a quest to make this division exciting and great again. We’re shaking up the division. Isaac ‘Royal Storm’ Dogboe, you all know I bring lightning and thunder!”
“I would like to express my appreciation to everyone who made this fight possible.
I am truly grateful for this opportunity,” Otake said. “In capturing the world title for my first time on Aug. 25, I’d like to show everyone that age does not matter. Since comments can reveal strategy, I can’t say anymore.”
Beltran (35-7-1, 21 KOs) is a story of perseverance who finally broke through as a world champion five month shy of his 36th birthday. In his last bout, an ESPN-televised contest against Paulus Moses on Feb. 16 in Reno, Nevada, Beltran dug deep to win the vacant WBO lightweight title by unanimous decision. The scores — 117-111, 117-111 and 116-112 — did not reflect the back-and-forth nature of the bout. Once Manny Pacquiao’s chief sparring partner, Beltran had three previous cracks at a world title, most notably a 2013 draw against Ricky Burns that most ringside observers felt should have been a clear Beltran victory. The following year, he lost a wide unanimous decision to pound-for-pound elite Terence Crawford, who had beaten Burns to win the WBO lightweight crown. Beltran, a Phoenix resident who is originally from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, will be fighting in his adopted home state for the first time since 2005.
Pedraza (24-1, 12 KOs), from Cidra, Puerto, is on a mission to become a two-weight world champion. A former IBF junior lightweight world champion who made two successful defenses of his title, he lost his belt via seventh-round TKO to Gervonta Davis in January 2017. Following a 14-month layoff, he moved up to the lightweight division and signed a promotional contract with Top Rank. Pedraza is 2-0 as a lightweight in 2018, winning an eight-round unanimous decision against Jose Luis Rodriguez on March 17 and a 10-round unanimous decision against Antonio Moran on June 9 as the co-feature to the Terence Crawford-Jeff Horn welterweight title bout in Las Vegas.
Dogboe (19-0, 13 KOs) established himself as one of boxing’s best young champions in 2018 with a pair of signature victories. He knocked out Cesar Juarez in the fifth round on Jan. 6 in his hometown of Accra, Ghana, to win the interim WBO junior featherweight title. On April 28 in Philadelphia, Dogboe won the title in dramatic fashion, surviving a first-round knockdown to stop Jessie Magdaleno in the 11th round in a Fight of the Year contender. A 2012 Olympian, Dogboe had a rapid rise through the pro ranks, winning the WBO Oriental and WBO Africa featherweight titles en route to junior featherweight title contention. Boxing is in the Dogboe lineage as his father/trainer, Paul Dogboe, once served as a boxing coach and a physical instructor in the British Army.
Otake (31-2-3, 14 KOs), from Tokyo, has been a professional for more than 12 years and is riding a nine-bout winning streak dating back to Nov. 22, 2014. On that day, he challenged Scott Quigg for the WBA super bantamweight title, dropping a unanimous decision. He won the vacant Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) title on March 17, 2017 with a unanimous decision against Jelbirt Gomera. Otake defended the OBPF title three times, most recently scoring a 10th-round TKO over Brian Lobetania in Tokyo on March 13.
Peter Taylor, Homeless and Jobless
The man who helped steer Ireland to its only Olympic gold medal in all sports this century is homeless and jobless, according to an interview in the Irish Independent.
Pete Taylor, father of 2012 Olympic champion and current IBF/WBA titlist Katie Taylor who defends her belts against Texas-born Kimberly Connor in London on Saturday, almost died in an attack at the Bray boxing club in Wicklow, Ireland last month.
A motive has yet to be established for the June 5 shooting in which Bobby Messett died after being shot in the head and Ian Britton sustained leg wounds.
Taylor was shot in the arm and the bullet exited through his chest.
He admitted that he thought he was dying. The gym has since been closed and the Gardai (Irish cops) are investigating the attack.
Taylor guided his daughter to 18 – 1 Olympic, 5 World, 5 European, 6 European Union and 1 European Games – gold medals in the Elite amateur ranks.
The Bray orthodox was ranked No. 1 in the World by AIBA for an unprecedented ten straight years between 2006 and 2016.
The father/daughter (boxing) relationship ended 2015 after Taylor’s marriage broke down. Taylor junior turned professional after a disappointing Rio 2016 for her and Irish boxing.
The so-called greatest Irish boxing team to compete at an Olympiad didn’t win any medals four years after claiming gold, silver and two bronze, courtesy of Taylor, John Joe Nevin, Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes, at London 2012.
Taylor senior understands why people are apprehensive in his company.
“People are afraid,” he told Vincent Hogan of the Irish Independent. “You’re like a bad disease to everybody. But they’re afraid because of what they’re reading and the slant being put on it. And what nobody’s saying is I only got shot because I ran at the gunman. The guard will tell you.
“I was plugging in my phone for the music to start the training session. And that’s when I heard bang, bang, bang… I had my back to everything and my first thought was it’s one of my air compressors backfiring. That was the kind of noise it was making.
“I actually turned around half in irritation to tell one of the lads to turn off the air compressor. And that’s when I saw the gunman at the door, just shooting randomly. In that first split-second, I thought it was a joke then, suddenly, I saw the fear on everybody’s faces.
You can read the full interview on below link.
Lamont Roach Wins by 6th Round TKO Over Deivi Julio Bassa
Lamont Roach, Jr. (17-0-1, 7 KOs) of Washington, D.C. delivered a spectacular sixth-round technical knockout victory over Deivis Julio.
Bassa (20-5, 12 KOs) of Monteria, Colombia to capture the vacant WBO International Super Featherweight Championship in the scheduled 10-round main event of the July 20 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at the Oasis Arena in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Roach Jr. showed a more aggressive side of himself, dropping Bassa with a right hand at the end of the third round and punishing him until Bassa’s corner called a halt to the fight at the end of the sixth round.
“My mentality was to make a statement and to show that I belong at the top super featherweight division,” said Lamont Roach Jr. “Anybody that’s in my way is in trouble. There were no difficulties in him being a southpaw because we were coming off fighting a lefty in Orlando Cruz and we were preparing for the rematch. We also got great sparring against left-handed fighters, including Mike Reed. The WBO Super Featherweight Title will be on the line next week, so I’ll be taking a close look at that fight to see who wins.”
In the co-main event, Juan Sanchez (24-6-1, 11 KOs) of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico scored an eight-round unanimous decision win against Florentino Perez (11-4-1, 7 KOs) of Monterrey, Mexico in a featherweight battle. Sanchez won with scores of 76-75, 77-74, and 78-73.
Alexis Bastar (11-1-1, 5 KOs) of Cancun, Mexico defeated Rigoberto Nava (3-3-4) of Mexico City, Mexico in first televised bout. Bastar won with three scores of 57-56.
Roach, Jr. vs. Bassa was a 10-round fight for the vacant WBO International Super Featherweight Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Cancun Boxing. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy, “Never Stop, Never Settle.” The fights took place on Friday, July 20, 2018 at Oasis Arena in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Christopher Diaz Hopes to Become Puerto Rico’s Next World Champion
Undefeated Puerto Rican contender Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz exudes confidence just days away from his first world title opportunity. He is a student of Puerto Rico’s rich boxing lineage, and he will do whatever it takes to fulfill his dream of adding his name to the long list of world champions from the ‘Island of Enchantment.’
Diaz will fight Japanese veteran Masayuki Ito for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight title on July 28 at the Kissimmee Civic Center.
“It’s time to show the world what I’m made of. Being able to fight for a world title is the dream of every boxer,” Diaz said. “I am prepared for my first chance to win a world title because I’ve been through many years of sacrifices, and I have waited all my life for this moment. Now the moment is here. I’m hungry and focused. On July 28, Puerto Rico will have a new world champion.”
Diaz (23-0, 15 KOs), from Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, is entering his first world title match riding a four-bout knockout streak. The WBO’s No. 1 junior lightweight contender, Diaz won the vacant NABO junior lightweight title last December with a third-round knockout of Bryant Cruz, knocking Cruz down five times en route to the stoppage. In his last bout, March 17 on the Jose Ramirez-Amir Imam undercard at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Diaz defeated Braulio Rodriguez via fourth-round TKO to earn the shot at the world title. For Diaz, this world title opportunity is a beacon of hope, as his home and most of his possessions were destroyed when Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico last year.
“I have a tough fight against Masayuki Ito, but I am very focused. I know I have all of Puerto Rico in my corner,” Diaz said. “Without the support of my people, none of this would be possible. Thank you for always supporting me and sending me positive vibes. On July 28, my mission will be to bring the world title to the island.”
Ito (23-1-1, 12 KOs), from Tokyo, is the WBO’s No. 2 junior lightweight contender. He has won seven consecutive bouts since the lone defeat of his career, a 10-round majority decision to then-undefeated Rikki Naito in February 2015. Ito, who has fought all of his professional bouts in Japan, has won four of his past five bouts via knockout, including a ninth-round stoppage of Lorenzo Villanueva in April of last year. In his last bout, on March 3 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Ito stopped Vergil Puton in the ninth round.
Diaz-Ito will stream live and exclusively in the United States at 9:30 ET on ESPN+ — the recently-launched multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN. Undercard bouts will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET. ESPN+ is available to all fans on the ESPN App and ESPN.com.
Pedraza, Stevenson, Ready To Impress On Horn-Crawford Undercard
By: Sean Crose
“Jose ‘Sniper’ Pedraza is nearing a title shot,” a Top Rank press release declared on Tuesday, “while Shakur Stevenson is well on his way.” Both Top Rank fighters will now find themselves on the undercard of much anticipated WBO welterweight title bout between Jeff Horn and Terence Crawford. Puerto Rico’s Pedraza will put his 23-1 record on the line by facing the 22-0 Antonio Moran. “I am excited because this will be my first fight in Las Vegas, which everyone knows is the fight capital of the world,” Pedraza claims. “I am determined to give a great performance…I know Moran is a good fighter and coming to upset my plans, but I have worked very hard to make sure that does not happen. I expect to be victorious on June 9 and will continue to show I am a force at lightweight.”
The WBO Latino Lightweight title will be at stake when Pedraza faces Moran on June 9th at the MGM Grand in Vegas. The bout will be aired on ESPN+, along with the Crawford-Horn main event. As for Olympic star, Stevenson, the 6-0 New Jersey native will face the 16-1 Aelio Mesquita in an eight round affair in the featherweight division. “I’ve gotten the chance to fight at Madison Square Garden,” says Stevenson, “and now I’m ready for my Las Vegas debut at MGM Grand on June 9…there have been so many historic fights in that arena and now it’s my turn. It’s always fun to fight on Terence’s undercards. The Crawford family has adopted me, so I’m going to put on a great performance for them and everyone watching at MGM and on ESPN+.”
The 26-0 Jose Benavidez will also be battling that night as he faces the 22-0 Venezuelan Frank Rojas. Having won all but one of his fights by KO, the hard hitting Rojas will present quite a challenge for Benavidez when they meet in a 10 round welterweight affair. “I have 21 knockouts in 22 fights,” Rojas claims. “On June 9, I will add another knockout to my record…I’m coming for you, Benavidez! I’m 100 percent ready to give the fans a great fight. I hope you are ready because I’m going to knock you out. I’m going to rip his head off. Get ready.” As for Benavidez, he appears eager to face the challenge. “”I hope that Rojas trained hard and that he comes well prepared,” he says, “because I’m determined to stop him.”
“Rojas will not touch me at all,” Benavidez adds. “He will not rip my head off because I’m going to rip his head off first.”
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Jose Pedraza vs. Gervonta Davis, James DeGale vs. Badou Jack
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Jose Pedraza vs. Gervonta Davis, James DeGale vs. Badou Jack
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York will host a WBC/IBF Super Middleweight Unification Title fight between Badou Jack and James DeGale to be televised live on the Showtime Cable Network.
This bout will help determine who the true number one boxer is in the super middleweight division since Andre Ward bumped up to the light heavyweight division.
Another bout scheduled for Saturday will be between Jose Pedraza and Floyd Mayweather Jr. promoted Gervonta Davis for Pedraza’s IBF Junior Lightweight Title. This bout should open up the Showtime broadcast.
The following is a preview of Saturday’s card.
Jose Pedraza (22-0) vs. Gervonta Davis (16-0); IBF Junior Lightweight Title
This is an intriguing matchup between two young upcoming stars in boxing with a bright future ahead of them. It’s also interesting because both boxers have had some much publicized issues with their management teams in the months coming into this fight. It’s been alleged that Pedraza wasn’t completely pleased with his lack of activity underneath the management of Al Haymon, and it’s also been alleged that there was some friction between Gervonta Davis and his promoter, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
However, those issues appear to have been resolved to allow this matchup to take place.
The most noticeable difference between the two boxers on Saturday will be the difference in size. Pedraza will have a two and a half inch height advantage over Davis and will also have about an inch and a half reach advantage. Pedraza is also five years older than Davis, and is experienced enough to deal with the southpaw style that troubles many boxers.
Pedraza does have an edge in amateur experience. Davis did well on the national level; he was a 2012 National Golden Gloves Champion, a three time National Silver Gloves Champion, and a two time PAL Champion. But, Pedraza competed on the international stage as an amateur and represented Puerto Rico in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Valuable international experience that Davis does not appear to have.
Davis has been the more active boxer between the two. He fought five times in 2015 and twice in 2016. Pedraza only fought twice in 2015 and once in 2016.
Davis is also the more powerful puncher/knockout artist. He has stopped fifteen of his opponents. He has defeated the likes of Marco Antonio Macias, Guillermo Avila, Luis Sanchez, and Cristobal Cruz.
Pedraza only has twelve stoppages on his resume. He has defeated the likes of Stephen Smith, Edner Cherry, Andrey Klimov, Michael Farenas, and Tevin Farmer.
This will be an entertaining bout between power and technique, and it should be a close one. But Pedraza has faced better opposition both as an amateur and a professional, and that experience alone gives him a slight edge going into their fight on Saturday.
Badou Jack (20-1-2) vs. James DeGale (23-1) WBC/IBF Super Middleweight Titles
This is one of the best bouts that could be made in the super middleweight division, and the winner should be considered by most to be the best super middleweight.
Both boxers are beginning to leave their prime ages as Jack is thirty three years old and DeGale is thirty years old. Neither boxer is known for their power, as Jack only has twelve stoppage victories and DeGale has fourteen stoppage victories.
Even though both boxers are at the top of their weight division, neither fighter has been very active. Jack fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015, and DeGale also fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015.
Both boxers have a deep amateur background. Jack represented Gambia in the 2008 Summer Olympics and DeGale represented Great Britain in the 2008 Summer Olympics. However, only DeGale medaled as he won the gold medal.
Jack has defeated the likes of Lucian Bute, George Groves, Anthony Dirrell, Rogelio Medina, Marco Antonio Periban, and Farah Ennis. His lone loss was an upset loss to Derek Edwards which he lost by TKO.
DeGale has defeated the likes of Rogelio Medina, Lucian Bute, Andre Dirrell, Marco Antonio Periban, Gevorg Khatchikian, and Dyah Davis. His lone loss was the George Groves.
Even though this is a good matchup, it will likely not be a fan pleasing fight as both boxers are technically skilled fighters that are not known for their power. DeGale has experienced more success as an amateur than Jack, and that indicates that he’s the better technical boxer.
DeGale should win by a close decision on Saturday night.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Jones, Chilemba, Mayweather, Davis, Pedraza, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Jones, Chilemba, Mayweather, Davis, Pedraza, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 8th to November 15th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Roy Jones Jr Prepares Isaac Chilemba to Face Oleksandr Gvozdyk on November 19
As Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba (24-4-2, 10 KOs) prepares to attempt to reclaim the NABF Light Heavyweight Title from Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk (11-0, 9 KOs) live on the Kovalev-Ward “Pound For Pound” HBO Pay-Per-View undercard from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada he will have former four-division world champion Roy Jones Jr. in his corner for the first time. Below Jones assesses the match-up and his observations of the young Malawi native:
Question: Does Chilemba’s performance against Kovalev give him more confidence going into this fight?
Roy Jones Jr: “Oh yes, most definitely. Kovalev had been crushing everybody and he didn’t get crushed so it has to give him confidence.”
Q: Chilemba has almost three times as many fights as Gvozdyk. How big of an advantage is this?
RJ: “It’s not a big advantage because Gvozdyk probably has three times more fights than Chilemba does in amateurs. These Eastern European guys have so many more amateur fights than we do. They fight from when they’re small and they go through schools and everything. These guys are very, very high-tech when it comes to being skilled in the ring in the sport of boxing so he probably has a little bit more experience if you add up the fights over the years.”
Q: What must Chilemba do in this fight in order to win?
RJ: “He’s got to disrupt Gvozdyk. He can’t let Gvozdyk fight at his own pace. He can’t let Gvozdyk constantly push him backwards so he’s gotta make Gvozdyk change, make Gvozdyk do things he does not like to do.”
Q: What must Chilemba prevent Gvozdyk from doing or take away from him in order to win?
RJ: “Chilemba must prevent Gvozdyk’s control of the power of the jab and setting up the big right hand.”
Q: Do you think, now that you are working with Chilemba, if he defeats Gvozdyk he should be
entitled to a rematch with Sergey?
RJ: “Of course, of course he should. Chilemba deserves a rematch with Sergey.”
Q: What are Chilemba’s biggest strengths and weaknesses. How are you working to correct them?
RJ: “His feet are his biggest strength. His feet are very good, he can be very elusive. And his biggest tool is his straight right hand. His weakness is that he had a lack of punching power because he wasn’t turning his shoulder, turning his body with his punches. We are fixing that, working on it right now.”
Q: As a former light heavyweight world champion, what are your observations on the Kovalev Ward fight?
RJ: “Very good fight. Best fight of boxing today. I look forward to seeing it. To me it’s one of the best fights we had in boxing in years as far as guys being in their prime, being the two best in the division. That is just a great fight. A great fight for boxing.”
Q: How would you break down this match-up?
RJ: “No I don’t have a prediction. Andre Ward hasn’t been beaten in a long time, and if there was a guy that could beat him, there is the guy, so…”
Q: Which fighter, Kovalev or Ward, would have given you the best fight when you were 175-pound world champion?
RJ: “Both of them would be really good fights, very hard fights to fight. Very different fights to fight. My hand speed maybe would be better against both of them but they’d be tough guys to fight. Kovalev because of the power and Ward because of his mentality, he’s a very smart guy in the ring. Very hard fights, but speed factor is probably what I would use to get both of them beat.”
Floyd Mayweather to Attend Badou Jack and James DeGale Press Conference
Floyd Mayweather Jr., the President of Mayweather Promotions, will be on hand at the press conference at the Barclays Center Geico Atrium on Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. ET to announce the upcoming Super Middleweight World Title Unification Fight between Badou Jack and James DeGale.
This bout will take place live on Showtime on Saturday, January 14th, 2016. Other people who will be present to announce this fight include Badou Jack, James DeGale, Leonard Ellerbe, Lou DiBella, Stephen Espinoza, Rosie Perez, Paulie Malignaggi, Daniel Jacobs, and Heather Hardy.
Bermane Stiverne Fails Drug Test
Bermane Stiverne has a scheduled interim heavyweight title fight scheduled for Alexander Povetkin. However, Dan Rafael of ESPN reported that Stirverne has failed a random drug test, but will be allowed to fight.
Deontay Wilder is scheduled supposed to face the winner of the bout.
Stiverne is scheduled to fight Povetkin on December 17th in Russia, but that bout is still scheduled to go on.
The WBC announced that Stiverne tested positive for methylhexaneamine, a stimulant known as DMAA and has been on the prohibited list of substances since 2010.
Salita Promotions and Forgotten Harvest Team Up to Fight Hunger in Detroit
Continuing with his pledge on Tuesday, to give back to the city in which he has dedicated himself to resurrecting professional boxing, promoter Dmitriy Salita of Salita Promotions joined a group of fighters and trainers to work as a volunteer for Forgotten Harvest, one of the nation’s largest food rescue organizations.
The group, (that included Salita, Sugar Hill Stewart (trainer), Zach Shamoun (fighter), Theotrice Chambers (trainer), Muheeb Fazeldin (fighter), and Andrei Saakyn (Salita Promotions) all involved with his latest “Detroit Brawl,” event at the Masonic Temple in Downtown Detroit, on Saturday, November 12, spent a day working in Forgotten Harvest’s Royal Oak, Michigan, warehouse packing food to be delivered to families in need.
Tickets for “Detroit Brawl” will be priced at VIP $123, Box Seats $100, Ringside $93, $63, $38, and $28 and available at all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster.com.
True to his word, Salita has incorporated a charitable element to every one of his Detroit shows. In addition to the time spent volunteering, he will be donating a portion of every ticket sold to provide thousands of meals to Detroit’s less fortunate. His last show was able to donate over 3000 meals to worthy families.
“We are so glad that Salita Promotions is in our corner and has joined us in the fight against hunger here in metro Detroit,” stated Forgotten Harvest CEO Kirk Mayes. “We sincerely appreciate their help and community spirit.”
Salita says he’s happy his plans are coming together on both the boxing and charitable fronts.
“I am thrilled to be working with this wonderful organization that does so much for Detroit’s hungry,” he said. “And I will continue to make every show as much about boxing as it is about giving back to this wonderful city that has become my second home.”
Based in Oak Park, Michigan, Forgotten Harvest was formed in 1990 to relieve hunger and prevent food waste throughout the metro Detroit area. Forgotten Harvest “rescued” over 40 million pounds of food last year by collecting surplus prepared and perishable food from over 800 locations, including grocery stores, fruit and vegetable markets, restaurants, caterers, dairies, farmers, wholesale food distributors and other Health Department-approved sources.
This donated food, which would otherwise go to waste, is delivered free of-charge to 280 emergency food providers in the metro Detroit area. Forgotten Harvest has been ranked as a four-star charity by Charity Navigator for nine consecutive years.
Jose Pedraza to Defend Title Against Gervonta Davis
ESPN also reported that Jose PEdraza will face Gervonta Davis of Mayweather Promotions on January 14th. It will be the main undercard bout on the super middleweight title fight between Badou Jack and James De Gale.
This will be Pedraza’s third world title defense, and he had to get an exception from the IBF in order to skip over his mandatory challenger and fight Davis.
What’s next for Vasyl Lomachenko?
What’s next for Vasyl Lomachenko?
By: Jordan Seward
Vasyl Lomachenko created history last Saturday in Madison Square Garden by becoming a two-weight world champion in just his seventh professional fight.
The Ukrainian, who had an illustrious amateur career before he turned pro, delivered a brutal fifth-round knockout of Rocky Martinez to strip away and claim his WBO super-featherweight belt.
Lomachenko (6-1) has now won world titles at featherweight and super-featherweight. The Ukrainian gold medallist won his first world title when he handed Gary Russell Jr (27-1) his first and only career defeat, with a majority decision victory to claim the vacant WBO world featherweight title. Although this was his second bite at the cherry.
Orlando Salido (43-13-4) was due to make his first defence of the WBO world featherweight belt against Lomachenko in the Ukrainian’s second professional fight but Salido came in over weight and was subsequently stripped of the belt. The much bigger Salido slugged his way to a split decision victory and is the only blemish on Lomachenko’s professional record to date.
The transition from amateur boxing to professional boxing can be a difficult one, but the Ukrainian was undoubtedly ready to make the leap way before he actually did. Before turning pro, the double Olympic champion achieved just about everything that can be as an amateur and boasts an incredible record of (396-1), the only loss coming to Albert Selimov. This sort of amateur pedigree stands a fighter in very good stead to progress on to the professional ranks and Lomachenko is testament to that.
Lomachenko nurtured in the amateur ranks and bought over his speed, skill and power to the professional game seamlessly, it was there for all to see, but questions hung over his head after the defeat to Salido. Many suggested he wasn’t ready to fight at world level and needed more time as a professional before fighting for a world title. How wrong they were. If it wasn’t for Salido coming in over the 126lb limit the story could’ve been different. Not that it mattered as he claimed the very same belt a fight later and hit back at his critics by beating a 24-fight veteran in Gary Russell Jr and winning a world title in just his third professional fight.
And now, at just 28-years-old and seven fights in, it seems Lomachenko is destined to replicate the success he had in the amateurs in the professional game. The Ukrainian is already unquestionably one of the biggest rising stars of modern boxing and has proved he is the real deal in the professional ranks. The only thing left to ponder, is who’s up next for Lomachenko?
It all depends on what weight division he wants to operate in, there’s huge fights out there for him at featherweight and super-featherweight. A unification fight with the IBF world super-featherweight champion Jose Pedraza (22-0) makes sense and would certainly appeal to an American audience. Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0) is a name being bandied about as he returns to the ring after eight months out against James Dickens (22-1) on the 16th July.
The Cuban shares two Olympic gold medals with Lomachenko and has stated in the past he would fight the Ukrainian at 126lbs. It would be interesting to see who would come out on top of this super fight with the speed and power of Lomachenko and the defensive control and swagger of Rigondeaux.
Even a fight at lightweight is a possibility. Dejan Zlaticanin (22-0) has fought in America in his last two fights and has just won the WBC world lightweight title and could be a potential next opponent for the skilful Lomachenko. If he hasn’t already cemented his position among the world’s top pound for pound fighters, becoming a three-weight world champion in just eight fights surely would.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Results: Pedraza Wins by Decision, Russell Destroys Hyland
Showtime World Championship Boxing Results: Pedraza Wins by Decision, Russell Destroys Hyland
By: William Holmes
The Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut was the host site for tonight’s World Championship Boxing telecast on Showtime. Two world title fights were featured as Gary Russell Jr. defended his WBC Featherweight Title against Patrick Hyland in the main event of the night and Jose Pedraza defended his IBF Junior Lightweight Title in the co-main event.
The first bout of the night was between Jose Pedraza (21-0) and Stephen Smith (23-1) for the IBF Junior Lightweight Title.
Smith started the bout off strong by taking control of the center of the ring in the first round and was accurate with his lead left hook, but neither boxer was threatened in the opening stanza and both were feeling each other out.
Pedraza came out firing in the second round and landed an early two punch combination followed by a straight right hand that hurt Smith. Smith was forced to tie up several times in the second round as Pedraza was able to land several hard shots.
Pedraza showed good head movement in the third and fourth round and boxed patiently. Smith was able to land a few blows to the body of Pedraza, but Pedraza remained in control.
Pedraza’s upper body movement appeared to confuse Smith in the fifth and sixth rounds, and Pedraza pressed forward more in the sixth round and was effective in landing from the outside.
Smith was able to offer some good flurries in the seventh and eighth rounds and may have stolen these rounds, but his shots were not hurting his opponent.
Pedraza finally scored a knockdown in the ninth round when he connected with a flush counter right hand. Smith was able to get back to his feet and held on when he could to try and survive the round, but not without taking some additional punishment.
Smith showed heart and clearly needed a knockout in the championship rounds to win the bout, but he was unable to do so.
The judges scored the bout 117-110, 116-111, and 116-111 for Jose Pedraza.
The main event of the evening was between Gary Russell Jr. (26-1) and Patrick Hyland (31-1) for the WBC Featherweight Title.
Patrick Hyland was a heavy underdog in this fight, and Russell’s hand speed was very evident in the first round as his jab was on point and he seemed confident in landing his combinations when he threw them.
Russell was able to score his first knockdown in the second round with a lightning fast right hook that sent Hyland to the mat for the first time in his career. He was able to get back to his feet but was knocked down a second time while falling back into the ropes. The referee allowed him to continue, but he only went down for the third and final time after a four punch combination for Gary Russell Jr. The referee, rightly, waived off the fight.
Gary Russell Jr. won by KO at 1:33 of round two.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Pedraza vs. Smith, Hyland vs. Russell
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Pedraza vs. Smith, Hyland vs. Russell
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the Foxwoods Resort Casino will televised two world title fights live on Showtime as Gary Russell Jr. defends his WBC Featherweight Title against Patrick Hyland in the main event of the evening and Jose Pedraza defends his IBF Junior Lightweight Title against Stephen Smith.
Other noted boxers will appear on the undercard including Antonio Russell in the bantamweight division as well as former light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson facing Cornelius White. Only two fights are currently scheduled to be televised on Showtime, but highlights of the undercard may be shown.
The following is a preview of both the televised championship fights.
Jose Pedraza (21-0) vs. Stephen Smith (23-1); IBF Junior Lightweight Title
Jose “The Sniper” Pedraza had some considerable hype when he turned a professional for he represented Puerto Rico in the 2008 Summer Olympics and medaled in several international events. He is the current IBF Junior Lightweight title holder and has a significant edge in amateur experience over his opponent Stephen Smith, despite the fact Smith won the gold medal in the 2006 Commonwealth Games as an amateur.
Neither boxer is known for their power, as Pedraza has twelve knockouts on his record while Smith has thirteen. Pedraza is four years younger than Smith at twenty six years old. He will also have about a two inch height advantage as well as a four and a half inch reach advantage.
Smith has never fought outside of the United Kingdom and Saturday will be his first fight in the United States. Smith’s resume is lacking in big name victories, and his biggest wins to date were over Devis Boschiero, Mauricio Munoz, and Gary Buckland. Smith’s lone loss was by TKO to Lee Selby back in 2011.
Pedraza’s last victory was against Edner Cherry which he won by split decision. Other notable victories include Andrey Klimov, Michael Farenas, and Sergio Reyes.
This is a bout that Pedraza should win, quite easily. However, Pedraza has shown that he may have difficulty against crafty veterans as was evident in his bout against Edner Cherry. Unfortunately for Smith, he does not appear to have the power to catch Pedraza by surprise and he was stopped the last time he faced a big name opponent.
Gary Russell Jr. (26-1) vs. Patrick Hyland (31-1); WBC Featherweight Title
Gary Russell Jr. has a reputation for fighting boxers that are way overmatched, and Saturday night appears to be another fight that he should win easily.
Patrick Hyland is one half of the Hyland brothers and is more famous for his previous management deal with Snooki of MTV’s the Real World than for his actual boxing ability. Patrick was the better of the two Hyland brothers, but it appears he no longer has a working relationship with Snooki.
Both Hyland and Russell have fifteen knockouts on their resume. Hyland will have a significant height advantage as he is three and a half inches taller than Russell. Russell, however, is five years younger than Hyland.
Russell also holds an edge over Hyland in amateur experience. Russell qualified for the United States in the 2008 Olympics but failed to compete due to missing weight.
Despite the fact Russell has a reputation for fighting inferior opponents, he has a vastly better resume than Hyland. He has defeated the likes of Jhonny Gonzalez, Christopher Martin, Vyacheslav Gusev, and Christopher Perez. His lone loss was the current world champion and amateur standout Vasyl Lomachenko. Russell has two stoppage wins in his past five fights.
Hyland’s only notable victories came against Emmanuel Lucero and Frankie Arhculetta. His lone loss was to Javier Fortuna in 2012.
Hyland is the type of opponent that Russell should dispatch of easily. Russell does have problems when he’s facing someone that can match him in hand speed as was evident in his bout with Lomachenko, but Hyland will be outmatched in hand speed.
This is a bout that Russell should look incredible in, and it’s hard to envision a scenario where Hyland pulls off the upset.