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Boxing Insider Notebook: Holyfield, Nova, Martin, Hurd, and more…

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 14th to January 21st; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Promotions

Abraham Nova Scores 4th Round Knockout Over Navarrete

This past Saturday night, Split-T Management’s world-ranked junior lightweight contender Abraham “Super” Nova was explosive in stopping veteran Pedro Navarrete in the 4th round of their scheduled eight-round bout at The Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.

In round two, Nova landed a perfect left hook to the body that sent Navarrete to the canvas.  In round three, it was an overhand right to the head that put Navarrete to the on the deck.  In the opening seconds of round four, Nova landed three left hooks that dropped and eventually stopped Navarrete at 35 seconds.

Nova, of Albany, New York, is ranked number-seven by both the WBA and WBO  is 18-0 with 14 knockouts.  Navarrete, who has fought three future world champions and five more foes that competed for world titles, is now 30-25-3.

Nova was making his Top Rank debut and is co-promoted by Murphy’s Boxing and 12 Rounds Promotions.   

Jarrett Hurd Training Camp Quotes

Former unified 154-pound champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd shared his thoughts on his ring return taking place Saturday, January 25 against Francisco Santana live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

“This fight isn’t about making a statement,” said Hurd. “I just want to get the win and fight a great fight. I’m going to remind the boxing world what it’s like when I bring a storm to Brooklyn.”

The January 25 co-main event will be Hurd’s first fight with new trainer Kay Koroma. While Koroma trains fighters at the Alexandria Boxing Club in Virginia, not far from Hurd’s Maryland home, he is also an assistant coach for the USA amateur boxing team, having helped various boxers win Olympic medals. 

“Camp has been going great with my new trainer Kay Koroma,” said Hurd. “We’ve been working on a lot of head movement and jabs. We’re strictly focused on boxing and working on all the areas where I have room to grow. He’s really opened my eyes to a lot of things.”

For the Accokeek, Maryland native, this will be his first fight training outside of his home area as a pro fighter. He has been in Colorado Springs training since January 2 and has experienced both the positives and negatives of camp away from home.

“The positives are that there’s literally nothing to focus on out here except boxing,” said Hurd. “No distractions at all. The only negative is you can get homesick. I miss my girlfriend and my family. Also, I just got a new puppy named ‘Bolt’ and I miss my little guy too.”

Hurd will be fighting again after losing his WBA and IBF 154-pound titles in May 2019 against Julian Williams. It was one of the most exciting fights of last year, and one that Hurd will hope to be running back soon, after a victory on January 25. 

“The rematch with Julian Williams is what I always wanted,” said Hurd. “I had no intentions of moving up in weight. Unfortunately, the rematch just couldn’t happen sooner because of my circumstances.”

For his first fight back, Hurd will be facing a tough veteran in Francisco Santana, one who has faced other top 154-pounders, including Williams and Jermell Charlo, and who always comes forward and brings the fight to his opponent. If Hurd is unprepared, it will show against his hard-charging opponent. 

“We just wanted a matchup to get back in the groove of things,” said Hurd. “I’ve been inactive for the better part of the last year. Santana being a smaller fighter, he will stay close and try to outwork me. I know he’s coming to win, so I’m not thinking about anyone but Francisco Santana. We’re going to work behind strategy and skills to get the victory.”

Cletus Seldin to Headline Rockin Fights on February 28th

Boxing fans have been calling for it, Long Island has been waiting for it, and CLETUS “THE HEBREW HAMMER” SELDIN (Shirley, Long Island 24-1 20KO’S) couldn’t be more ready to make his ring return, back where it all began, at The Paramount, on February 28, at “Rockin’ Fights.” 

Seldin is coming off the biggest win of his career, when he stopped boxing legend, and multi-time world champion, ZAB “SUPER” JUDAH (Brooklyn, NY 44-10 30KO’s) in June of 2019 at Turning Stone Resort Casino during the coveted Hall of Fame boxing event. Over eleven dominating rounds, Seldin hurt Judah badly in the third, finding success in relentless pressure, culminating in an eleventh-round stoppage as Seldin, an underdog to the former world champ, earned the NABA Super Lightweight Title.  With the victory Seldinentered back into the World ratings (#11 WBA, #12 IBF). 

Making his seventeenth appearance at “Rockin’ Fights,” Seldinholds the record for most wins at The Paramount, the first of which came in 2011 with a quintessential KO over Rashad Bogar.  Seldinwent on to have tremendous success at the Paramount, ultimately winning the WBC International Silver Super Lightweight Title in 2014, which he successfully defended three times. 

In November of 2017,  Seldin would display his world class power on the national stage in a featured fight on HBO against ROBERTO ORTIZ (then 35-1-2 26KO’s). Seldin pounced on Ortiz from the opening bell and knocked knocked him out in the 3rd round in front of an electric crowd of his “Hamma Heads” fans at the Nassau Coliseum.  Just one month later Seldin would make history as the only the third boxer to appear on HBO in back-to-back months, joining boxing legends MIKE TYSON and ROY JONES JR.. 

Seldin has fully recovered from a surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder which he suffered in the Judah fight in June.   Riding a three-fight knockout streak, Seldin looks to continue his rise in the world rankings in his return to The Paramount.  Seldinhad this to say about his return home, “It feels great to be home where it all started. There is no venue like The Paramount, and I cannot wait to be back. I feel healthy and plan on putting on a show for all the ‘Hamma Heads’ who come out on February 28.”

Blair Cobb Battles Samuel Kotey on Valentine’s Day on DAZN

Prince Ranch Boxing’s undefeated welterweight contender, Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (13-0-1, 9 KOs), who is by promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, faces Samuel Kotey (23-2, 16 KOs) of Ghana, Africa.  The 10-round bout will take place on February 14, 2020, as part of the of Ryan Garcia versus Francisco Fonseca card at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA, which will air live on DAZN at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT.

“I am excited to return on such a great card,” said Blair Cobbs, who is managed by Greg Hannley of Prince Ranch Boxing. “I have been training very hard and know that all my hard work is about to pay off. My body feels great and I’m looking sharp in sparring. I’m ready to take this dude out.”

“We’re thrilled with how Blair Cobbs’ career is progressing” stated Hannely, Cobbs’ manager. “He has an incredible resume and has defeated some of the best unbeaten fighters already.  He keeps getting better and better with each fight.  I expect big things from Cobbs this year, and it all starts on Valentines day.”

Cobbs had a phenomenal 2019 defeating unbeaten fighters Ferdinand Kerobyan and Steve Villalobos as well as Robert Redmond Jr and Carlos Ortiz Cervantes. Cobbs’ last four opponents have had a combined record of (40-5-3, 32 KOs), making Cobbs one of the most battle-tested contenders in the welterweight division.

“Blair has all the tools to be a world champion,” stated Brandon Woods, Cobbs’ trainer, “He has defeated great opponents and done it in a style that is very entertaining.  I see Blair accomplishing some incredible goals in 2020, and I know he’s done everything in the gym to be at his best come fight night.”

“I love what I do,” Cobbs continued. “I am ready to have another great year and continue to put on a great, entertaining show for the fans. It’s Blair “The Flair” time baby, WOOOO!

Evan Holyfield Gets Visit from Christy Martin

Evan “Yung Holy” Holyfield’s (2-0, 2 KOs) next fight will take place on a Christy Martin Promotions card at Hard Rock Hotel Daytona on Saturday, February 8. 

Boxing legend Christy Martin stopped by Holyfield’s Houston Training Camp to look in on Four-Time World Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield’s son and came away impressed. 

“Most importantly he is a great young man,”said Christy. “He has great speed and power. His work ethic looks unbeatable.”

“It was really great that Christy came by and she gave me some psychological tips to use during my training,” Evan said. “Right now we are in the middle of camp – sparring just started and things are getting more intense, which I like. I enjoy when things are hard.”

This Daytona Beach is about a six hour drive from Atlanta, where Evan grew up. “I am excited to fight in Daytona – it’s a little closer than my two previous fights. Mom says she is coming with some of the fam. My amateur coach plans to make the drive down, and so are a few friends. I also have a couple of friends in the military that are based in Daytona that will also be there.”

Holyfield announced himself to the professional boxing world on the Canelo-Kovalev November 2 fight card at MGM Grand with a spectacular seventeen second stoppage (TKO 1), which you can watch HERE His second fight took place in Houston on November 23, stopping his opponent with a vicious body shot (KO 4). Watch the viral body shot KO HERE  

The event will be live streamed via Facebook and YouTube on Payne Boxing Television channels. More information will become available as we get close to the event.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Williams, Dulay, Salita, Fox, Khongsong, and more…

By: Hans Themistode

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

Photo Credit: Darryl Cobb/TGB Promotions

Julian Williams Media Workout Quotes

Unified 154-pound champion and Philadelphia native Julian “J-Rock” Williams showed off his skills and previewed his upcoming hometown title defense at a media workout Wednesday, as he prepares to face hard-hitting Jeison Rosario Saturday, January 18 in the FOX PBC Fight Night main event and on FOX Deportes from Temple University’s Liacouras Center. 

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at http://www.liacourascenter.com/events (direct link HERE) or by calling 800-298-4200.

After winning the title in one of 2019’s best fights against then unbeaten Jarrett Hurd, Williams will fight in his hometown for the first time since 2011 when he competes on January 18. Here is what Williams and his trainer, Stephen Edwards, had to say Wednesday from James Shuler’s Memorial Boxing Gym in Philadelphia:


On training and fighting in his hometown…

“I try to just block myself from the world… Especially with a hometown fight, people are pulling you 50 different ways, tickets, asking me stupid questions. It’s crazy, so I just try to block myself from the world.

“It’s not about enjoying, it’s about winning. I don’t care about enjoying. You’re not supposed to enjoy camp. It’s supposed to be a grind.”

On what he expects out of Rosario…

“Rosario brings ambition to the table. I think he’s an ambitious kid. I don’t think it’s a difficult fight (for me), to be quite honest. I just think it’s a matter of being focused and on top of my game, and I think I’ll take care of him. I don’t think it’s difficult, though. He’s a decent fighter. We’re not going to make him out to be Ray Robinson.

“He has put together a good string of wins, and he’s tough and he’s coming to win. So that’s more important than anything. He has the ambition to win, so you can’t underestimate him.”

On growing up in Philadelphia…

“Seeing all the stuff that I saw growing up (in West Philadelphia) made me hungry, made me want to get out and make a better life for myself. All you have to do is walk outside and go down Lancaster Ave. If that’s not motivating for you then nothing will.”

On his celebrity now that he’s a world champion…

“I’ve got a little more notoriety now. To be honest, I stopped thinking about it because I want to stay focused on the task at hand. The task at hand is being pound-for-pound best in the world. I’m not satisfied with just being the best super welterweight in the world. I’m just not satisfied with being unified champion of the world. Why sell myself short when I have the drive and the ability to be the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world? I’d be selling myself short. I’d be leaving millions of dollars on the table.”

On the history that he made for himself and Philadelphia when he defeated Hurd…

“I’m one of three men (from Philadelphia) who can say they’re a unified champion of the world.”

STEPHEN EDWARDS, Williams’ Trainer
On Rosario’s abilities…

“At this level, everybody can fight. (Rosario) is a good-looking fighter. He can punch. He’s just a good fighter. He’s got a lot of the same characteristics as Hurd and Charlo. He’s big and strong. It’s a good fight.”

On why this opponent for this fight…

“We thought we were going to be fighting Hurd (again), so we got a guy that’s kind of like Hurd because we didn’t know if Hurd was pulling out of the fight.”

On being Julian’s manager and helping advise him on real estate…

“If (Julian) buys a house I’ll tell him if that’s a good property, or sometimes he messes up, but the cool thing is that he’s got the money to make up for all the mistakes now.”

Nashville Native Austin Dulay Takes on Diego Magdaleno on Fox on February 15th

Lightweight contender and Nashville native Austin Dulay will fight in front of his hometown crowd when he takes on former title challenger Diego Magdaleno in a 10-round fight that opens FOX PBC Fight Night action and on FOX Deportes Saturday, February 15 from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. 

FOX PBC Fight Night begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and is headlined by IBF Super Middleweight Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant defending his title in a homecoming bout against mandatory challenger Vincent Feigenbutz. Plus, welterweight contenders Bryant “Goodfella” Perrella and Abel Ramos battle in the 10-round co-feature. 

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Sweethands Promotion, TGB Promotions and Sauerland Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com

Nashville’s Dulay (13-1, 10 KOs) has won back-to-back fights by stoppage since his lone pro defeat to top contender Chris Colbert in April 2018. The 24-year-old has fought professionally since 2015 and won his first 11 fights. He most recently scored a TKO victory over Yardley Armenta Cruz in February of last year, and his last time in the ring saw him stop Justin Pauldo in a fight that was later changed to a no contest. He will return to fight in Nashville for the first time since a 2017 victory. 

The 33-year-old Magdaleno (31-3, 13 KOs) has twice challenged for a world title and will look for a signature victory on February 15 to get closer to another chance at the belt. The Las Vegas native previously dropped title fights against Roman Martinez and Terry Flanagan. Magdaleno won three straight fights between 2016 and 2018, including a triumph over Art Hovhannisyan, and most recently lost to lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez in February 2019.
Three Salita Promotions Prospects Score Victories in Atlantic City

Both of Salita Promotions undefeated Detroit-based welterweights, twin brothers Joseph and Jacob Bonas, and Russian heavyweight destroyer Apti Davtaev, remained undefeated with impressive victories last Friday night.

Fighting on the untelevised undercard of the Claressa Shields vs. Ivana Habazin showdown at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., Joseph “Detroit Bad Boy” Bonas moved his record to 7-0, 6 KOs by stopping Steubenville, Ohio’s Glenn Mitchell (3-5, 3 KOs) via TKO 2. Meanwhile, brother Jacob Bonas (now 5-0-1, 2 KOs) had to work a bit harder to gain a unanimous four-round decision over Highwood, Illinois’ Christian Rivera (1-1-1). 

Showing marked improvement from his work in Detroit with SugarHill Steward, heavyweight crusher Apti Davtaev (19-0-1, 18 KOs) from Kurchaloi, Russia, overpowered Glenville, West Virginia’s Keith Barr (20-13-1, 8 KOs) in three brutal rounds.

Joseph Bonas showed some newfound patience in waiting for the right moment to pounce on the long-limbed Mitchell. And when the opening finally presented itself, he lowered the boom with a three-punch combination that brought things to a decisive end at 1:55 of round two. 

Jacob Bonas survived a momentary scare when a surprise right hand from opponent Rivera got his attention quickly in round one. Showing his extensive amateur pedigree, however, Bonas made adjustments and eventually cruised to a comfortable four-round decision (scores 39-37 x 3). 

Early on, Barr looked ready to rumble with his big Russian foe until a few punches from the Eastern Bloc strongman had him in full survival mode. 38 seconds into round three, the super naturally powerful Davtaev had his most impressive victory to date.

“All our fighters had terrific nights on Friday,” said Dmitriy Salita. “The Bonas brothers look to be turning into excellent professional fighters. They did what they are supposed to do with their early opponents by dominating. And Apti Davtaev is clearly getting stronger and stronger as his career advances. He is ready for a step-up fight against another up-and-coming heavyweight. His power is something the boxing world should have a look at soon.”

Mykal Fox Re-Signs with King’s Promotions

King’s Promotions is pleased to announce the re-signing of world ranked welterweight Mykal “The Professor” Fox to a multi-year promotional agreement.

Fox of Forrestville, Maryland has a record of 22-1 with five knockouts, and is currently ranked number-14 by the IBF and number-15 by the WBA.

The 24 year-old Fox had a busy 2019 as he competed four times against top-level opposition.  After suffering his only professional setback to undefeated Shohjahon Ergashev on ShoBox: The New Generation, Fox rebounded in terrific fashion by defeating 2016 Olympic Gold Medal winner Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (7-0), Eudy Bernardo (25-4), and John Arellano (10-1) to earn his ranking.

Fox, who turned professional in 2014 also has wins over Ricardo Garcia (14-1), former world champion DeMarcus Corley and Gonzalo Dallera (5-0).

“We are ecstatic to have Mykal in the fold with us.  It’s been a pleasure to watch him grow and King’s Promotions will continue to move Mykal into big fights and ultimately a world title opportunity,” said King’s Promotions CEO Marshall Kauffman.

“King’s Promotions has been great to me since signing in 2015. I look forward to continuing on with them and putting myself in position to become a world champion,” said Fox.

“We are happy to to continue the relationship with Marshall Kauffman and Kings Promotions. KP will allow Myke to keep busy until his inevitable world title opportunity,” said Fox’s agent and attorney, Mike Borao.

Ruben Villa to Face Alexei Collado on ShoBox on January 31st

Undefeated featherweight prospect Ruben Villa will make his fourth ShoBox: The New Generation appearance in just over a year as the former two-time Junior Olympic National Champion takes on hard-hitting Alexei Collado in a 10-round main event of a three-fight telecast on Friday, January 31live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) from Hirsch Memorial Coliseum in Shreveport, La.

Undefeated Ukrainian and 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist Taras Shelestyuk (17-0, 10 KOs) meets Mexico’s Alejandro Davila (19-1-2, 7 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight matchup in the co-featured bout. The televised opener features an eight-round lightweight bout pitting Southern California native Jerry Pérez (12-0, 9 KOs) against ShoBox veteran Zhora Hamazaryan (9-1-1, 6 KOs) from Armenia.

The event is promoted by Banner Promotions, Thompson Boxing and Bishop Promotions LLC. Tickets can be purchased at www.Bishoppromotions.com and prices are $20-$100.  

On January 31 we have three prospects at different points in their careers with Ruben Villa developing into a must-see prospect with high expectations,” said Gordon Hall, Executive Producer of ShoBox: The New Generation. “Taras Shelestuyk is still undefeated and working on rebuilding a once-promising career in a must-win fight and Jerry Pérez is young and relatively unknown, but in a big step-up fight looking to be noticed. Each of these three are in meaningful fights that should be action-packed.”

The 22-year-old Salinas, Calif., native Villa (17-0, 5 KOs) was also the 2014 and 2016 National Golden Gloves Champion and is currently ranked No. 5 at 126 pounds by the WBO and No. 13 by the WBC. Villa was a 2016 U.S. Olympic Team alternate, and had an impressive amateur record of 166-17 with wins against Devin Haney, Shakur Stevenson, and Gary Antonio Russell.

The southpaw Villa has looked impressive in each of his three previous ShoBox appearances, including his debut last January when he outclassed then-unbeaten Ruben Cervera. In May, Villa stepped up to 10-round status for the first time and won a unanimous decision against Luis Alberto Lopez and in September, Villa scored a second-round knockdown against Enrique Vivas en route to a comfortable shutout unanimous decision.

“I know my opponent has a good record at 26-2 and he has heavy hands, but he is wild,” Villa said. “I feel that I am close to a title eliminator, but the middle or at the very latest at the end of 2020. ShoBox has helped me with my recognition and showcasing my talent. I am just thankful to be headlining once again on ShoBox. I know I’m close to making that next step up to contender so I have to look impressive on January 31.

In Collado (26-2, 23 KOs), Villa will face a tough, 31-year-old Cuban currently living and training in Miami. Collado is on a seven-bout winning streak with six KOs and was active in 2019 winning four times, including his last victory via first-round KO against Facundo Eduardo Ased four days before Christmas. Collado won the 2006 Junior World Title in the flyweight division.

“I participated on a ShoBox event in the past and I couldn’t close the show,” said Collado, who made his ShoBox debut in April of 2014 in a 10-round lightweight unanimous decision loss to Rod Salka. “This time the story will be different and I am more than ready for Ruben Villa. Ruben is a young talented boxer but he will not be able to do with me what he was able to do to other guys. I’m far more experienced, much stronger and way smarter than all the guys put together that he has faced so far. This is an opportunity that I will not take for granted, Villa better be ready to get shocked.”

Management issues have kept the 34-year-old Shelestyuk mostly inactive and he has fought just once in two and a half years. Currently living and training in Southern California, Shelestyuk has trained with Freddie Roach and his stable of fighters at the famed Wild Card Gym in Hollywood. Shelestyuk’s last fight came in March, a unanimous decision against Martin Angel Martinez in Southern California. His best win came in 2015 on ShoBox over once-beaten Aslanbek Kozaev.

“Training camp is going great and a lot of the hard work is already done, but we have three more weeks to rock it and finish strong,” said Shelestyuk, who has previously fought twice on ShoBox, recording unanimous decisions in November of 2015 and 2016. “We always have a great atmosphere with the team during the training camp. It’s exciting to be back on SHOWTIME. The fans like my style and I’m ready to give them a show. My opponent is tough and a big guy, He has more fights than me in the professional ring, and it will be clash of different styles.”

Davila has campaigned almost exclusively in Mexico since turning professional in 2014.  He was undefeated over his first 20 bouts, including two draws, before suffering his first loss in his last fight in November against once-beaten Mikael Zewski in Canada. Davila notched his last victory via unanimous decision over Luciano Chaparro Araujo in July in Mexico.

“I know Taras has a tremendous amateur and professional career but I also got what it takes to beat anybody at this level,” Davila said. “I am coming to win this fight and hand Taras his first defeat. I will do my best to win this fight.”

The 26-year-old Pérez had 45 amateur fights with some international experience and currently trains with four-division world champion Leo Santa Cruz, whom he met through a family friend in 2016. Perez made his pro debut on the Santa Cruz-Carl Frampton undercard at MGM Grand in Las Vegas as Perez recorded a knockout against Javier Cepeda in January 2017. In his young career, Perez has also fought at Staples Center in Los Angeles on the Mikey Garcia-Robert Easter undercard scoring a second-round KO against Aaron Jamel Hollis. Perez started boxing at age 9 learning his craft at the High Desert Boxing Club in Victorville, Calif., in San Bernardino County.

“We have been knocking on doors for a while and finally that door has opened up to us,” Perez said. “It’s now time to show I belong in the ring with a guy like Zhora whom I respect but have the certainty I can beat. I’m coming to make a statement in my TV debut and show that I’m a force at lightweight.”

The 23-year-old Hamazaryan resides in Los Angeles and has fought on ShoBox twice, both memorable and exciting bouts against lightweight prospect Thomas Mattice. Hamazaryan lost the first matchup by split decision in July of 2018 after out-landing and out-powering Mattice in a fight many observers thought Hamazaryan clearly won. Hamazaryan earned a draw against Mattice in an immediate rematch two months later.

“I have had a tremendous camp and am excited to get back on ShoBox,” Hamazaryan said. “I feel I am still undefeated and the fans now know what I bring and that is a fighter who fights hard for the whole fight. I do not know much about my opponent except his record. I just fight my fight and I will bring home the victory.”

Barry Tompkins will call the action from ringside with boxing historian Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

Sampson Boxing Signs Thailand’s Apinun Khongsong to a Co-Promotional Contract
Promoter Sampson Lewkowicz proudly announces he has signed Bangkok, Thailand, slugger Apinun Khongsong to a co-promotional contract, along with Jimmy Chaichotchuang of Kiat Kreerin Promotions.

23-year-old Khongsong (16-0, 13 KOs) is the mandatory challenger to WBA and IBF Super Lightweight World Champion Josh Taylor of Scotland. Khongsong became the IBF’s mandatory by scoring a fifth-round knockout over Akihiro Kondo this past February. 

Co-promoter Chaichotchuang says he and Khongsong were in attendance for Taylor’s World Boxing Super Series unanimous decision victory over Ivan Baranchyk last May and the pair say they see holes in the Scotsman’s game.

“We are very confident,” said Chaichotchuang of Taylor. “We know we can beat him. My fighter is a very, very hard puncher and he will beat Josh. And when he does he will go on to become the ‘Pacquiao of Thailand.’”

Chaichotchuang says he’s happy to be working with his old partner Lewkowicz on the promising Thai’s career. 

“I’ve known Sampson for almost 20 years and he’s a good man. I feel very good about this deal and for my fighter’s future.”

Lewkowicz, who says he will begin negotiations almost immediately for the Taylor vs.  Khongsong match-up, says he’s also happy to have inked this co-promotional.

“I’ve known Jimmy for many years, and we’ve done a lot of good business together,” said Lewkowicz. “Jimmy is very loyal and honest and I’m very proud to be helping him represent the best fighter from Thailand in all of boxing. Khongsong is a very hard puncher and not many fighters will be able to take his punches, especially at 140 lbs.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Killic, Russell, Nyambayar, Ortiz, and more…

Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 31st to January 7th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Gary Russell Jr. to Defend His Title Against Unbeaten Mandatory Challenger Tugstsogt Nyambayar on February 8th

WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. will defend his 126-pound crown against unbeaten mandatory challenger Tugstsogt “King Tug” Nyambayar Saturday, February 8 live on SHOWTIME from PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event. 

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will see former world champions Guillermo Rigondeaux and Liborio Solís battle for the vacant WBA Bantamweight World Title in the co-main event. The telecast opens with Jaime Arboleda meeting Jayson Veléz in a 12-round bout WBA Super Featherweight Title eliminator.

The main event showdown will see Russell make the fifth defense of his title as he looks to again display the skills and speed that have made him one of the elite featherweight fighters in the world. He will be challenged by the 2012 Olympic silver medalist “King Tug”, who quickly rose up the rankings facing quality opposition throughout his 11-fight career.

“Gary Russell Jr. has proven himself to be at the very elite level of this sport and one of the best fighters in the featherweight division,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “His speed, power and overall skillset has made him a must-watch every time he steps into that ring. He’s going to get all he can handle from an undefeated fighter in ‘King Tug’ Nyambayar, who has the pedigree and power to make this a memorable fight. You won’t want to blink during this high octane showdown February 8 on SHOWTIME from PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania.”

“The February 8 card is co-headlined by two of the most skilled boxers in the sport today,” said Stephen Espinoza, President Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.  “Gary Russell Jr. – arguably the fastest hands in boxing – will be facing his toughest challenge as world champion against the aggressive power-puncher ‘King Tug’.  And in the co-main event, Guillermo Rigondeaux, one of the best boxers on the planet since his days as an amateur in Cuba, moves down in weight to the bantamweight division for the first time in his pro career as he faces former world champion Liborio Solis with a world title at stake.  Add in a compelling super featherweight eliminator and we have the makings of an action-packed tripleheader on February 8.” 

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Kings Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased through www.pplcenter.com/events (direct link HERE ).

The Capitol Heights, Maryland native Russell (30-1, 18 KOs) has held his WBC Featherweight Title since 2015 when he stopped multiple division champion Jhonny Gonzalez to emphatically capture the belt. The 31-year-old is part of one of boxing’s premier fighting families as he is trained by his father Gary Sr., and trains alongside his younger brothers, unbeaten super lightweight Gary Antuanne and undefeated bantamweight Antonio. Russell most recently stopped former champion Kiko Martinez in May on SHOWTIME after previously defeating then unbeaten challenger Joseph Diaz Jr in 2018 in a hometown defense.

“I’m forced to defend my title against another mandatory challenger and I’m going to show on February 8 why none of the other champions want to face me,” said Russell. “I’m the longest current reigning WBC champion but no one has stepped up to the challenge I present. I’m going to take care of business against a strong opponent and display all my skills like I always do.”

The 27-year-old Nyambayar (11-0, 9 KOs) represented his native Mongolia in the 2012 Olympics but now lives in the U.S. and is training out of Las Vegas. Nyambayar ascended up the featherweight rankings after his extensive amateur career with victories over then unbeaten Harmonito Dela Torre and former interim champion Oscar Escandon. Most recently he won his first 12-round decision by defeating former champion Claudio Marrero in January.

“This is going to be an exciting fight for everyone watching on February 8,” said Nyambayar. “Gary Russell Jr. is a great championwho is very talented, but he has the WBC belt and that’s what I want. I’m training hard to win this fight and I will be ready for anything that Russell brings to the ring.”

Rigondeaux (19-1, 13 KOs) will look to move down and capture a title in a second weight class in his SHOWTIME debut.  Since turning professional in 2009 after one of the best amateur careers in history, Rigondeaux has showcased masterful technical skills that made him a unified 122-pound world champion and perennial member of the pound-for-pound list. 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. Most recently, Rigondeaux scored an exciting eighth-round stoppage of former champion Julio Ceja in June.

Born in Venezuela and fighting out of Panama, Solís (30-5-1, 14 KOs) will make his U.S. debut on February 8 while riding a five-fight winning streak. Solís captured a super flyweight world title in 2013 amidst a 14-bout unbeaten run. He has lost by decision in his two previous attempts at 118-pound title, including a controversial loss to Jamie McDonnell, which he has bounced back from on his current win streak.

Arboleda (15-1, 13 KOs) has ripped off five straight victories by stoppage since he suffered the only loss of his career against ReckyDulay in 2017. The 25-year-old Arboleda from Curundu, Panama will be fighting in the U.S. for the third time in his career. He’s coming off a knockout victory over Victor Betancourt on August 24.

The 31-year-old Veléz (29-5-1, 21 KOs) has strung together three straight knockout victories since losing to Ryan Garcia in 2018. The Juncos, Puerto Rico resident is coming off a knockout victory over Hector Ruben Ambriz Suarez on July 27 and is looking for another championship opportunity. He came up short in his previous attempt when he fought to a draw against Evgeny Gradovich for the featherweight world title in 2014.

Undefeated Lightweight Prospect Jamaine “The Technician” Ortiz Hammering His Way to Medical School

Undefeated World Boxing Council (WBC) Youth World lightweight champion Jamaine “The Technician” Ortiz (12-0, 6 KOs) isn’t a typical professional boxer whose life entirely revolves in and around the “Sweet Science.”

The 23-year-old Ortiz is also a licensed carpenter with diverse interests ranging from engineering and psychology to philosophy, and his ultimate post-boxing career aspiration is to attend medical school. First, though, Ortiz’ goal is to become world champion, which would be a first for a native of Worcester, Massachusetts.  

“I was always fascinated by architecture, starting with my mother’s house, and that spun off to engineering,” Ortiz explained. “I wanted to learn how to build to better understand and became a carpenter after graduating from high school. I’m not worried about getting hurt at work. I do work with my hands, but I’m in the union and everything is safe, and I’m very careful.  

“Medical school is my dream. I want to help people working with cells, blood and muscle tissues, understanding the body. I’m not sure if I’ll do research or be working with patients, maybe in internal medicine, but not in traditional medicine.   I’m interested in natural, holistic medicine, and working for the benefit of people.”

Ortiz, who started boxing at the age of six, will return to the ring in early 2020 for, most likely, his final WBC Youth World title fight, because this title is for fighters 23 or younger, and Jamaine turns 24 on April 28.   

The WBC World Youth title has been a stepping-stone for great champions such as Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Timothy Bradley, Danny Garcia and Leo Santa Cruz, among the more notables.

“I’m proud to be the WBC World lightweight champion, but I’ll have to give it up in April when I turn 24.,” Ortiz remarked. “I’ll win bigger titles as I get older. This has been good for now, but I’m going on to bigger and better things. I’m confident that I’ll be world champion in 2021 and I want to be a multiple wight-class world champion before I retire.”

Ortiz recently gained even more confidence when Teofimo Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) captured the International Boxing Federation (IBF) World lightweight championship, knocking out defending champion Richard Commey in the second round this past December.

At the 2015 National Golden Gloves, Ortiz lost a decision to Lopez in the championship final. “He didn’t do that stuff to me (like he did to Commey),” Ortiz noted. “He didn’t beat me up. I lost a decision, but I showed that I could fight with him. He was nothing like you saw on television (vs. Commey), though. I’ve watched him get better and better.

So is Ortiz and before he swaps his boxing gloves for a stethoscope, he has unfinished business in boxing. Nothing short of capturing a world championship crown will satisfy “The Technician.”

Joey Spencer to Battle Erik Spring in FOX PBC Fight Night Action on January 18th

Top super welterweight prospect Joey Spencer will enter the ring to take on Erik Spring in a six-round showdown that opens up the FOX PBC Fight Night broadcast and on FOX Deportes Saturday, January 18 from Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.

FOX PBC Fight Night begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and is headlined by unified 154-pound champion and Philadelphia-native Julian “J-Rock” Williams making a homecoming defense against hard-hitting contender Jeison Rosario. The co-main event will feature undefeated rising star Chris “Prime Time” Colbert taking on former champion Jezreel Corrales for the Interim WBA Super Featherweight Title.

Preceding the main card on FOX, FOX PBC Fight Night Prelims on FS1 and FOX Deportes begin at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT and feature a 10-round super welterweight attraction between Mexico’s Jorge Cota (29-4, 26 KOs)and New Jersey’s Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna (28-2-1, 10 KOs). Plus, sensational 17-year-old prospect Vito Mielnicki Jr. (3-0, 3 KOs) steps in for a four round welterweight bout against West Virginia’s Preston Wilson (6-3-1, 4 KOs), while Puerto Rican prospect Romuel Cruz (3-0-1, 1 KO) competes in a four-round super bantamweight fight against Wisconsin’s Julio Garcia (3-3, 2 KOs) in the opener.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at http://www.liacourascenter.com/events (direct link HERE) or by calling 800-298-4200.

The 19-year-old Spencer (9-0, 7 KOs) has made fast strides since turning pro in February 2018, including four victories on his 2019 campaign. Representing his hometown of Linden, Michigan, Spencer most recently stopped Travis Gambardella on FS1 in September after defeating Akeem Black on FOX in June. He will kick off 2020 against the 35-year-old Spring (13-3-2, 1 KO), who fought three times in 2019, winning twice. The Reading, Pennsylvania native dropped a decision to Courtney Pennington last time out but has won five of his last seven bouts.

The non-televised undercard will also feature Delaware-native Kyrone Davis (14-5, 2 KOs) in an eight-round middleweight fight against Atlanta’s Antonio Todd (7-2, 4 KOs), Philadelphia native Paul Kroll (6-0, 5 KOs) battling another Philadelphia native in Marcel Rivers (7-2, 4 KOs) for a six-round super welterweight affair, and super featherweight Ricky Lopez (21-4-1, 6 KOs) from Colorado Springs taking on Chicago’s Jose Luis Gallegos (18-8, 14 KOs) in a contest scheduled for 10 rounds.

Rounding out the action is Paterson, New Jersey’s Norman Neely looking to remain unbeaten against Georgia’s Larry Knight in a four-round heavyweight bout, Puerto Rico’s Luis Del Valle in an eight-round super lightweight duel and the pro debut of Philadelphia’s Miguel Angel Roman Jr. in a four-round featherweight affair.

Undefeated Super Middleweight Cem Kilic Ready for Undefeated Steven Nelson in Atlantic City

This Saturday night at The Hard Rock Hotel Atlantic City, undefeated super middleweight contender Cem Kilic will be looking to make a big statement as well as positioning himself for a world title shot when he takes on undefeated Steven Nelson in the co-feature bout of an ESPN televised card.

The bout was originally scheduled for December 14th in Madison Square Garden, but was moved to Saturday, where the fight will receive more exposure being shown live on ESPN.

Kilic of Neustadt Hessen, Germany of Turkish decent, and now calls Sherman Oaks, California, has a record of 14-0 with nine knockouts.

That record includes wins over two undefeated foes in JerhedFenderson and DeAndre Ware.

In his last bout, Kilic, 25 years-old, stopped tough Martez McGregor in the eighth round of their June 15th bout in Las Vegas.

Kilic, who is ranked number-seven by the WBA has been training in Vero Beach, Florida under the watchful eye of Hall of Fame trainer Buddy McGirt.

“I have had a great training camp with my Hall of Fame trainer Buddy McGirt in Vero Beach, Florida, and I feel really strong and sharp heading into fight week. This fight means so much to me, as I know my talents will be on display, and that a big win in front of a large audience on ESPN will take my career to the next level. I would like to thank my manager Shane Shapiro for all his belief in me and Top Rank and ESPN for giving me this opportunity to properly introduce myself to the US audience,” said Cem Kilic

“Cem is doing very well.  Everything is going good and we just waiting until next week.  The fight being put off was a blessing.  It gave us more time to do what we need to do to win this fight,” said McGirt.

“This is the life changing opportunity Cem, and I spoke about when he first agreed to move here from Germany 6 years ago. Next Saturday, on January 11th, all of the American audience watching will see Cem Kilic’s hard core aggressive style of boxing combined with Buddy McGirt’s teaching of textbook boxing! I want to thank Bob Arum and Brad Goodman for the opportunity and their committed dedication to bringing boxing back to network television. I can’t wait for Saturday night,” said Kilic’ manager Shane Shapiro of No Limit Mindset LLC.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Bunch, Cohen, Castandeda, Barrera, and more…

Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 24th to December 31st; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Kendo “Tremendo” Castaneda Preparing for Graduation to Contender Status

Texas super lightweight Kendo “Tremendo” Castaneda (17-0, 8 KOs) will risk his perfect pro record against Yomar “The Magic” Alamo (17-0-1, 12 KOs) in a rare showdown between undefeated prospects on February 28, live on Boxeo Telemundo, starting at 11:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. PT, from Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida. 

The 26-year-old Castaneda will challenge Alamo, the reigning North American Boxing Organization (NABO) super lightweight champion, in the 10-round main event. 

Alamo vs. Castaneda is co-promoted by All-Star Boxing, which promotes Alamo and the event, and Castaneda’s promoter, Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions. 

“This fight is a testimony of what can happen when two companies work together to make the best fights possible.” Veltre said. “Yomarversus Kendo is a great match-up and exactly what the sport of boxing needs.”

The irony of Alamo vs. Castaneda is that a fighter from the city of San Antonio, home of the historically famous Alamo, will be fighting an opponent named Alamo.

“When I first saw his name,” the outspoken Castaneda said, “I thought to myself that he was in for what The Alamo is really all about, only a one-on-one war, and The Alamo is coming to him. I’m going to take it slow and let the good times roll.

“He’s undefeated, the same as me. He has a higher knockout ratio than me, but he hasn’t fought the caliber opponents than I have. I’ve been in tough. I was thrown into the fire from the start. I took over my state and now I’m in the stable of a big name, Roy Jones Jr.  I’m the only ‘Tremendo’, though.”

Alamo, fighting out of Puerto Rico, is the former World Boxing Council (WBC) Youth World and FECARBOX super lightweight champion, who has made three successful NABO title defenses. The 24-year-old knockout artist will be headlining his fourth straight fight at Osceola Heritage Park.

“Alamo is a boxer-puncher who likes to stick and move,” Castaneda added. ”But he’s on his back foot too much, fighting in reverse, and he’s never fought anybody applying pressure like me. This is going to be a win for me. He’s going to try and out-box me, but I can box and punch the whole fight. This guy fights backwards. It’s going to be the same result as my fight with ‘Stan The Man’ (Martyniouk).”

Castaneda captured the vacant North American Boxing Association (NABA) crown a year ago, taking a 10-round decision from previously undefeated Gilbert Venegas, Jr. (10-0), and followed that with an impressive 10-round unanimous decision over Dominican veteran Eudy Berbardo (24-3).  

This past October in Reno, Nevada, Castaneda stopped Stan Martyniouk (20-3) in the sixth round, after which he was installed by the World Boxing Organization as its No. 15 rated super lightweight in the world.  

WBO No. 8 ranked Alamo is coming off the lone blemish on his pro record, a draw with Antonio Moran (24-4-1). 

Castaneda has always delivered, in an out of the thing. He’s a part-time employee of FedX, starting work at 3 a.m. as a pre-loader. “Santa was coming. It’s peak season and we’ve been getting slammed,” Castaneda reported. “I look at my job as an advantage. Other fighters may wake up at 4 in the morning to start training. My workout starts at work. I go from work to the gym to train, or sometimes I mix it up and go home to sleep, and then train at 5 (p.m.). 

Alamo vs. Castaneda has world title implications for the winner, possibly as early as late 2020, in addition to showcasing two fan-friendly fighters on television. 

“This is the biggest fight of my career,” Castaneda concluded. “It’s two undefeated fighters, champion versus champion, Puerto Rico versus Mexico, and airing on Telemundo is huge. I’m going to make my mark in this fight. I’m going to put on a show and knock this guy’s brains out.”

Sullivan Barrera is a Promotional Free Agent, Wants Marcus Browne Next

Sullivan Barrera is 100% healthy and ready to return to the ring.

The former Cuban amateur standout has fought through a torn labrum and rotator cuff the past few years but is now 100% healed after having surgery over the summer and is looking to make a final run in the light heavyweight division. 

“He had surgery to repair his rotator cuff and torn labrum in August.  He has been back in the gym working and is ready to go.  He is a promotional free agent so he can fight with anyone,” said his manager Luis Molina. “Marcus Browne is coming off of a loss and so is Sully. This next fight will be a make or break fight for Sully and Browne needs to get back in the mix too so I think it would be a perfect fight for both of them.”

Barrera has fought several of the top names at 175. Fighters such as Andre Ward, Dmitry Bivol, Joe Smith Jr. and Jesse Hart are all on his resume.  While he hasn’t won all of his big fights, he is a proven television friendly action fighter.

With his shoulder fully healed, Barrera believes that he will prove that he still has a lot left in the tank. A lot of critics have written him off and he is using that negativity to fuel his comeback.

“A lot of people say I am too old but I know what I can do. I wasn’t 100% the past few fights.  People haven’t seen the best Sully B in a long time.  I just need one more chance to step in the ring and prove it.  If I am so old and past it then I am sure Browne’s people will have no problem making the fight,” said Barrera.

Shinard Bunch: The Role Model in the Making that Trenton Needs

It was about 18 months ago when Shinard Bunch held his 17-year-old friend, a local camp counselor and youth mentor, Tashaughn“Yungsta” [sic] Robinson in his arms, encouraging him to breathe and stop talking, but Robinson died bleeding from a gunshot wound in Bunch’s front yard.  The drive-by shooting, never solved, was one of a handful of killings Bunch has witnessed over the years in Trenton, the murder capital of New Jersey. 

Bunch, a 20-year-old professional boxer, has become numb to the violence that plagues his city, where he has lived since he was 13.  He now focuses on becoming a world champion, a dream Bunch feels he’s not entitled to have, coming from Trenton.  

“I want to be great,” said Bunch, who fights January 11 at the Hard Rock Hotel Casino in Atlantic City.  “I can’t say my goal is to become a world champion, or anything really spectacular. Where we come from, we don’t make it that far.  You never heard about somebody from Trenton doing something like this.” 

Well, except maybe Ike Williams. 

A bridge in Trenton is emblazoned with the words “TRENTON MAKES THE WORLD TAKES.” This sentiment perfectly describes Williams’ career.  One of the greatest fighters of all-time, Williams was managed by the mob and hardly saw a penny for several defenses he made of his World Lightweight Championship in the 1940s.  Bunch is determined not to allow the world to take from him as it did from Williams. 

Bunch’s mother, Quwannia Bunch, believed her son would be a star even before he was born. Upon his birth in Queens, NY, Bunch was named Shinard Charles Showtime Bunch by his mom. 

“She always said she knew I was going to be a star,” said Bunch, whose birth certificate and calls to his mother would prove to new friends that he was being truthful about his name. 

Now he goes by “Scraap,” [sic] a nickname given to him by Corey, his stepfather.  Bunch’s father, also named Shinard, recently was released from prison, where he’d landed on attempted murder charges in New York.  Quwannia married Corey when Bunch was 2 years old.  

Corey treated Bunch’s siblings like his own children, and eventually gave Bunch another brother and sister.  

“My parents don’t play,” remembered Bunch.  Good grades and good behavior were expected from their son.

Bunch began boxing at the New York City PAL when he was only 5 years old. His mother had bought him a Muhammad Ali DVD, and the young boy was hooked.  He followed his cousin to the gym and never left.

Bunch’s mother has had a profound impact on his career.  She worked extremely hard to keep food on the table, first as a nurse and then as a security guard at a homeless shelter, sometimes going without food so her children could eat.   Bunch is reverent of the sacrifices she made so that he could eat, wear nice clothes, and fight. She was ringside for his first loss, 30 fights into his amateur career. Bunch didn’t take the loss well and considered quitting the sport. 

“She gave it to me that day,” Bunch said, laughing.  “I acted a fool. I wanted to quit. I told her I’m not boxing. She sat me down and said,  ‘At the end of the day this is what you chose to do so with that there’s always wins and losses in life, but you always gotta take a loss like you take a win.  It’s right back to the drawing board. You mad because you got your ass kicked once? You kicked thirty asses before that–are you serious?’ My family is honestly why I’m at where I’m at.  My mom always pushing me. My little brother Corey is my biggest fan.”

In 2016, Bunch was on the USA national team with Errol Spence and Shakur Stevenson.  He was ready to make the Olympic team, but had a lot on his mind. He was 17, and his girlfriend recently revealed she was pregnant.  His father had come back into his life and Bunch was talking to him regularly. His grandmother had just died and his mother was struggling.

Bunch decided to wait until the 2020 Olympics, but waiting became tiresome and he hit the pro circuit, debuting last April with a first-round knockout.  On hand for that fight would be his stepfather Corey, and his mother and father, who had reconciled and moved back to New York. 

Bunch stayed in Trenton, where he knew his success could make an impact. 

One of Bunch’s major gripes with Trenton is the lack of mentors and father figures in the community.  It’s something he says has kept him out of trouble, despite living within a razor’s edge of drug and gun violence.  

“Corey is my dad,” said Bunch.  “He’s my support system. He taught me everything I know–how to be a man, how to look at stuff, how to approach stuff, literally everything.  When he found out I was going to be a father, he was angry but sat me down for a very long talk. He said, ‘Listen, you sat there and did what you did and now you gotta man up to it. This is what you’re gonna do.’  He molded me to be great, and to always remember who I am. The only person that can be myself is me.” 

People who know that Corey isn’t Bunch’s biological father say Bunch resembles his stepfather in his mannerisms and character.  For Bunch, that’s a compliment.  

Bunch is working to be a role model to Trenton’s children:  “Trenton is small, only 7 miles from one end of town to another.  There are just not enough role models. I try to be a role model for the kids in and out of the gym. I go to schools and speak–anything I can do.”

He blames the rampant drug problems in the 1970s and ’80s for some of the city’s woes, and the lack of leaders in the community. “We’re ’90s kids,” he said. “Our generation is better, but there’s still problems.” 

A win on ESPN+ on January 11 would give him new opportunities to talk about with the youth in Trenton.  “Every fight is big, but this is just another level,” said Bunch.

“He was 2-0, and then we were offered the Paul Kroll fight last August,” said Bunch’s manager, J Russell Peltz. “Kroll was 4-0. You don’t usually have two undefeated prospects fighting each other that early in their careers.” Bunch lost, but gave Kroll, who is one of the hottest prospects in the country, a tough fight. “His promoter, NedalAbuhamoud and I realized we have a good prospect on our hands,” continued Peltz. “We wouldn’t have known that if he just knocked out another opponent. After that fight, I got excited.”

Bunch, his girlfriend and 2 children still live with Corey in Trenton. The fighter has no plans to leave Trenton as his career advances, and believes he can do good.  

“We need more leaders, and more role models in Trenton,” said Bunch.  “We need more Coreys and Yungstas.”  After Jan. 11, win or lose, Bunch will return to Trenton.  It’s a good thing, because Trenton needs more Shinard Bunches. 

Split-T Management Adds Brian Cohen to Company

Split-T Management is pleased to announce the addition of manager Brian Cohen to the top Management company.

Cohen of Philadelphia will bring his stable of fighters to Split-T Management and will work very closely with CEO Dave McWaterin the management and development of approximately 14 fighters.

Cohen manages current world champions Alicia Napoleon Espinosa and Mary McGee.

Cohen will join McWater along with Tim VanNewHouse and Joe Quiambao in the Split-T Management company.

The 43-year old Cohen has been around boxing his whole life as he received an early indoctrination into the sport from his father, Ivan Cohen, who managed former world junior middleweight champion Buster Drayton.  Cohen then embarked in a successful fighting career that saw him go 15-2 as a professional.  He then transitioned into managing professional fighters, where he became the preeminent female boxing manager in the world with his Empire Management stable.

“I’m trying to build an all-star team of boxing people at Split-T, and it seemed impossible to do that without adding Brian.Beyond being the foremost expert today on women’s boxing, he’s an accomplished fighter, a trainer, a cut man, you name it, and most importantly he’s a good person,” said McWater.

“This is a very unique situation for me.  Dave McWater is a very intelligent guy, and I  have known him a long time,” said Cohen.  “Dave is from New York, and I do a lot of business in New York, so we seem to run into each other everywhere.  Dave wants to get more into women’s boxing, and we started talking. Split-T Management has a lot of terrific fighters, and I feel I can be an asset because of my experience doing different things in the sport.  I can scout talent, work corners, train fighters in the gym, do strength and condition and help with nutrition.  I look forward working with Split-T Management.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Plant, Garcia, Redkach, Hurd, Santana, and more…

Compiled by: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 17th to December 24th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Danny Garcia vs. Ivan Redkach and Jarred Hurd vs. Francisco Santana Press Conference Quotes


“This is my eighth fight at Barclays Center and I’m excited to be back. I’ve fought in a quarter of the events here at Barclays Center, so you could say this is my house. I’ve had some historic fights in here. I love walking in the tunnels and seeing my pictures next to Jay-Z, DMX and Rihanna.

“Come January 25, this is going to be another great night of boxing. I know Ivan is coming to fight. We’ve followed each other’s careers. I know he’s hungry and he wants to show the fans that he belongs on this level. 

“I’m excited to share the card with my Philadelphia brother Stephen Fulton, who I’ve known since he was a kid. Plus, Jarrett Hurd, who’sjourney I’ve been watching. It’s been great and he’s going to show everyone that a loss doesn’t mean anything. Just like I have.

“I just think the culture here in Brooklyn is great and I fit right in with it. Lots of hip-hop and Puerto Ricans. It’s the perfect market and we just go together. 

“If the top welterweights want to fight me, I’ll be ready whenever. Redkach makes a lot of sense because he’s a southpaw and that would have me ready for Errol Spence Jr. or Manny Pacquiao. 

“We picked Redkach because he’s dangerous and we knew he’d be tough. I’m definitely not overlooking him. I’m training hard for this fight. For me, this is a big fight. If I overlook him, it could ruin everything. I want to show everyone I’m still one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. 

“Redkach has a big heart and he’s going to come forward. I think it’s going to be a really entertaining fight. I can’t overlook him. 

“I always feel like I’m the best. They need me, I don’t need them. I’m one of the best fighters in the world and I’m going to be here for a while.”


“I want to give thanks to my team and everyone involved in making this fight and for believing in me, which give me the belief that gives me the strength to go in the ring and give it my all.

“This opportunity fighting at Barclays Center is huge for me. I accept the opportunity with honor and I want to thank Danny Garcia for taking the fight. 

“My friends and family provide me with the will to win. That support, along with my experience, is what I’ll need to win this fight.

“I want Danny Garcia’s fans to all come out on January 25 because you’re going to see a great fight and you’re going to be welcomed into the Ivan Redkach family. 

“The victory over Devon Alexander was important because he was a well-known opponent. Winning in the fashion that I did catapulted me to where I am right now.

“Danny made a mistake if he thinks this is a tune-up. I’m going to give everyone a great fight and we’ll see what happens on January 25. 

“Training alongside Leo Santa Cruz was great motivation. I’m going to knock Danny Garcia out. That’s the plan. Simple.

“I’m training very hard because this fight is extremely important to me. I have to give the best performance of my professional career.

“The energy in the building on January 25 is going to give me the extra motivation to not only put up a great performance, but to leave Brooklyn with the victory.”


“This is my first time doing interviews since I fought Julian Williams. Last time I was up here I was an undefeated fighter and then I suffered my first loss. 

“We had the rematch set up for this December, but with me going through a switch in trainers and still in the process of searching, I wasn’t in condition for it. It was the hardest thing possible to not take the rematch, much harder than taking it. 

“I’ve been training in Colorado with Kay Koroma and getting away from everything. We’re focused strictly on boxing. I cut the hair off too because I was just ready for a change. The work so far is showing me how much work I have left to do and how much room I have to grow.

“I will stay at 154-pounds and fight for my titles again. I’m not looking past Francisco Santana because he’s a great fighter. I’m working hard to get back to the old me. 

“This is the fighter who was put in front of me. He has the style that we were looking for with my having my first fight with my new trainer. I had some time out of a gym after the Williams fight but now we’re going strong toward January 25.

“I would never say I overlooked Julian Williams. There’s no excuses. Julian was the better man that night. When I look back there were probably some things that could have affected me, but Julian deserved to win the fight.

“I don’t know if I’m a better fighter now, but the loss opened my eyes to some things. My new coach has really opened my eyes to some things that I need to work on. Using my jab more and my footwork specifically.

“I’m not thinking about anyone but Francisco Santana. I look back at my fights and realize that I won those fights on pure heart and determination. We’re doing things different this time and working behind strategy and skills.”


“Jarrett Hurd is a good solid fighter who’s accomplished a lot. This is my Super Bowl. When someone calls and presents an opportunity like this, you can’t turn it down. 

“To fight against one of the biggest names in the division, that’s hard to say no to. Of course I’m going to step up to the plate and on January 25 I’m going to show everyone the definition of never giving up on a dream.

“I’ve had setbacks like Jarrett and I’ve picked myself up and rose to the occasion time and time again. On January 25 I’m going to fight with every ounce of spirit that I have in me so I can go on and become a world champion. 

“Jarrett has himself with a new team and when a fighter feels refreshed, you know he’s going to come out strong. I expect nothing less. 

“I know that everyone is giving me zero chance come fight night. But that’s okay. I read the comments and what people say. It’s all good. My team believes in me and I believe in myself.

“I’m a big welterweight and people tend to forget that I started my career as a super welterweight, but back then I was self-trained. I used to fight on a couple weeks’ notice and was bouncing from gym to gym. When I met coach Joseph Janik, it all changed and we’ve been together about a decade now. He was the missing piece to my puzzle.

“I’ve often said it’s not how you start a race but how you finish it. I know it’s not an easy task, but I look forward to these big challenges. It will test me as a fighter and a human being. I want to show the whole world my definition of never giving up. 

“The minute I stop learning, that would be the time I need to hang them up. I’m still learning and we’re still getting better at our craft. It’s a big challenge. He’s the monster of the division, but this is a great opportunity for me. Sometimes you have to face the monster head on.”

Caleb Plant to Defend Title Against Vincent Feigenbutz

IBF Super Middleweight Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant will defend his title in a homecoming bout against mandatory challenger Vincent Feigenbutz live in primetime in the FOX PBC Fight Night main event and on FOX Deportes Saturday, February 15 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.

The broadcast will begin at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and feature a clash between welterweight contenders as Bryant “Goodfella” Perrellaand Abel Ramos battle in the 10-round co-feature. 

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Sweethands Promotion, TGB Promotions and Sauerland Promotions, are on sale today at 5 p.m. CT and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com. 

“We’re thrilled that championship boxing is back in Nashville with their homegrown world champion Caleb ‘Sweethands’ Plant defending his super middleweight title on February 15,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Caleb Plant has made a name for himself as one of the sport’s elite fighters and will look to continue solidify his place in the stacked 168-pound division. He’ll be facing a hard-hitting fighter in Germany’s Vincent Feigenbutz, who is sure to apply the pressure and upset Plant in his hometown. Expect an all action main event live on FOX from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.”

This will be the first time that Plant (19-0, 11 KOs), who was born in Ashland, Tennessee outside of Nashville, will be fighting in his hometown as a pro. He will be making the second defense of the title that he won with a unanimous decision victory over Venezuelan slugger Jose Uzcategui in January. His first title defense saw him dominate and stop then unbeaten Mike Lee in July on FOX. 

To win the title, Plant turned the tables on the hard-hitting Uzcateguiin their championship fight on FS1. Going into the match the consensus was that Uzcategui was the harder puncher and that Plant would have to withstand his power to walk away with the belt. It was the 27-year-old Plant however, who stunned Uzcategui by dropping him to the canvas twice on the way to a convincing unanimous decision. It was an emotional night for Plant, who now lives and trains in Las Vegas. He had dedicated his championship victory to the memory of his late daughter Alia, who suffered from a rare disorder that caused seizures.

“I’m very excited to bring my world title home to Nashville in my second title defense,” said Plant. “It’ll be in front of all of my family and friends and I plan to put on a spectacular performance. Vincent Feigenbutz is a very tough, rugged European fighter. He’s got a big knockout ratio, but this is my backyard and I will not let any man come in here and rain on my parade. On February 15, I’m representing my hometown and my home city with pride. I believe this will be the first of many fights that we hold at The Bridgestone in Nashville. This fight isn’t going 12-rounds. Nashville, stand up!”

The 24-year-old Feigenbutz (31-2, 28 KOs) is known as “The KO King” and he has been able to live up to that name with a 90% knockout ratio. The German slugger from Karlsruhe, Baden-Wurttemberg will be fighting in the United States for the first time on February 15. He became the youngest German champion ever when he defeated Giovanni de Carolis for the Interim WBA Super Middleweight title at the age of 20 in 2015. He lost the world title rematch with De Carolis, but recovered to win 10 straight since the loss – including nine via stoppage. He is coming in off of an eighth round TKO of previously undefeated over César Núñez in August. 

“It has always been my goal to have a big fight like this in the U.S.,” said Feigenbutz. “I am not going there to lose. I am coming over to become only the second German boxer, after the legendary Max Schmeling, to win the world title in the U.S. and bring the belt back home to Germany. I hope everyone in my home country will have my back and support me on this journey. For me, Plant is the strongest of all super middleweight world champions. We are the underdog, but we won’t make it as easy for Caleb, like in his last fight. We know how difficult a fight on American soil is, so there is only one strategy: Get the knockout!”

The 30-year-old Perrella (17-2, 14 KOs) scored a decision victory over Breidis Prescott and most recently a stoppage of DomoniqueDolton in his 2019 campaign, bouncing back from a majority decision loss to former champion Luis Collazo in 2018. Fighting out of Fort Myers, Florida, Perella turned pro in 2012 after an impressive amateur career that included victories over Regis Prograis, Miguel Cruz and Sammy Vásquez. Perrella suffered a 2016 loss to top welterweight Yordenis Ugás that was sandwiched by victories over Alex Martin and then unbeaten David Grayton. 

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to showcase my talent,” said Perrella. “I have a quality opponent in front of me in Abel Ramos and I’m looking to make a statement on February 15. I’m going to show everyone once again that I’m a serious threat to anyone in the welterweight division.

Fighting out of Casa Grande, Arizona, Ramos (25-3-2, 19 KOs) picked up two victories in 2019, most recently stopping Jimmy Williams in July after defeating veteran contender Francisco Santana on FOX in March. The 28-year-old previously challenged former champions Regis Prograis and Ivan Baranchyk while campaigning at 140-pounds. He brings a seven-fight winning streak into February 15 since a close decision loss in 2018 to contender Jamal James. 

“I can’t wait to start my year off fight a great fight on FOX,” said Ramos. “I know that I have a tough opponent across from me on February 15. I’m here to give a performance that makes me standout in this division. I know that after this fight, everyone will see I’m one of the best welterweights and that I’m going to have a huge 2020.”

Unbeaten Prospect Ernesto Delgadillo and Jade Bornea to Battle for NABF Super Flyweight Title

Three days prior to Super Bowl LIV, Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions, in association with Sanman Boxing, will present its first RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS® event of 2020, Thursday night, January 30, at Legends Casino and Hotel in Toppenish, Washington.

RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS will be streamed live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS®, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports, starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.

Unbeaten Ernesto Delgadillo (11-0-2, 2 KOs) will battle undefeated Jade “Hurricane” Bornea (14-0, 10 KOs) for the vacant North American Boxing Federation (NABF) super flyweight title in the 10-round main event.

Delgadillo, fighting out of Dallas, is a former World Boxing Council (WBC) United States super flyweight and Texas State flyweight titlist. 

Rated No. 10 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and No. 15 by the World Boxing Association (WBA), Bornea is a former IBF Youth World champion, as well as the latest member of a new wave of gifted Filipino fighters.

Delgadillo will be in action for the first time since the summer of 2018, when he won a 10-round decision over 10-1 Nate Green. “I am excited to be fighting for the NABF super flyweight title on UFC FIGHT PASS,” Delgadlillo said. “On January 30th, I’ll be in the best shape of my career, and bring that belt back to Dallas with me to prove that I belong in there with the very best of the division.”

Bornea will be making his United States debut having fought exclusively as a professional at home in the Philippines. “I want to thank my promoter, Sanman, Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions and UFC FIGHT PASS for this opportunity,” Bornea commented. “I have been training for three months and have no excuses. I am ready to show the world my abilities and come January 30th, I’m going to make a statement to all super flyweights.”

“The 115-pound weight class has always been my favorite division,” RJJ Boxing’s veteran matchmaker Guy Taylor added. “Last year, we opened up UFC FIGHT PASS with a WBO super flyweight (115 lbs.) world title ‘Eliminator’ and almost a year to the day later, we are opening up 2020 with an NABF super flyweight title fight. The winner of this intriguing match-up will solidify himself as a new face of the super flyweight division.”

Undefeated Mexican knockout artist, rising star Santiago “Somer” Dominguez (20-0, 16 KOs) will put his WBC USNBC Silver welterweight title on the line against his Brazilian challenger, Victor “La Amenza” Jones Freitas (16-5, 10 KOs), in the 10-round, co-featured event.

Undefeated middleweight Connor “The Kid” Coyle (11-0, 4 KOs), the Northern Ireland sensation who has become as regular on RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS events, takes on Miguel Dumas (11-2, 9 KOs), of Mexico, in an 8-round bout.

A pair of undefeated Northwest prospects, light heavyweights Richard Van Sicien (7-0, 3 KOs) and Abraham Martin (5-0, 5 KOs), open the UFC FIGHT PASS segment of the evening in a 6-round match. Van Sicien is from Seattle, Oregon, Martin from Medford, Oregon, by way of Mexico. 

Card subject to change.

Bellator Japan: Full Fight Card Announced for this Saturday on Paramount Network and DAZN

Bellator’s lineup for the promotion’s first show in Japan is now complete with six live televised bouts headlined by legends FedorEmelianenko (38-6, 1 NC) and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (38-13) in a long-awaited heavyweight showdown. The co-headlining attraction will see three-time former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler (19-5) take on Sidney Outlaw (14-3), who is looking for his tenth consecutive win, in a 160-lb. contract weight matchup.

Bellator Japan, powered by RIZIN, emanates from the iconic Saitama Super Arena and will air LIVE on Paramount Network and DAZN on Saturday, Dec. 28 at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT. BellatorJapan post-lims, powered by RIZIN, will air on SKY PerfecTV! andGYAO! following the main card. Additionally, RIZIN.20 will be available in Japan on Dec. 31 on DAZN, SKY PerfecTV! andGYAO! 

Fans will also be treated to an exciting matchup that sees Saitama’s own Shinsho Anzai (11-3) defend his home turf against London’s flashy kickboxing prodigy Michael “Venom” Page (16-1) in a 173-lb. contract weight bout.

Keeping with the promotional collaboration, three Bellator versus RIZIN bouts will be featured, including Tokyo’s K-Taro Nakamura (35-10-2, 1 NC) taking on Riverside, California’s Lorenz Larkin (21-7, 1 NC), while Brazil’s Ilara Joanne (9-4) welcomes Tokyo’s undefeated Kana Watanabe (8-0-1) to the Bellator flyweight ranks and the man with the most submissions in Bellator history, GoitiYamauchi (24-4) opens the show against  “The Detroit Superstar” Daron Cruickshank (22-12, 1 NC) in lightweight action.

Bellator Japan: Fedor vs. Rampage Main Card:

Paramount Network & DAZN

10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT

Heavyweight Main Event: Fedor Emelianenko (38-6, 1 NC) vs.  Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (38-13)

160-lb. Contract Weight Co-Main Event: Michael Chandler  (19-5) vs. Sidney Outlaw (14-3)

173-lb. Contract Weight Main Card Bout: Michael “Venom” Page (16-1) vs. Shinsho Anzai (11-3)

Welterweight Main Card Bout: Lorenz Larkin  (21-7, 1 NC) vs. K-Taro Nakamura (35-10-2, 1 NC)

Flyweight Main Card Bout: Ilara Joanne (9-4) vs. Kana Watanabe (8-0-1)

Lightweight Main Card Bout: Goiti Yamauchi (24-4) vs. DaronCruickshank (22-12, 1 NC)

Bellator Japan post-lims, powered by RIZIN:

SKY PerfecTV! and GYAO! (in Japan)

120-kg Post-lim Bout: Shoma Shibisai  (5-2, 1 NC) vs. Sergey Shemetov (9-6)

77-kg Post-lim Bout: Ryuichiro Sumimura (14-7) vs. Jon Tuck (10-5)

49-kg Post-lim Bout: Andy Nguyen (6-8) vs. Ai Shimizu (5-1)

58-kg Post-lim Bout: Yusaku Nakamura (16-6-1) vs. Makoto “Shinryu” Takahashi (9-1-1)

68-kg Post-lim Bout (Kickboxing): Ren Hiramoto (10-4) vs. Takahiro Ashida (23-10-2)

49-kg Post-lim Bout: Kanna Asakura (15-4) vs. Jayme Hinshaw (4-3)

53-kg Post-lim Bout: Haruo Ochi (19-7-2, 1 NC) vs.  Jarred Brooks (15-2, 1 NC)

71-kg Post-lim Bout: Yusuke Yachi (20-9) vs. Hiroto Uesako (16-8)

Raeese ‘The Beat” Aleem Looks to Carry Momentum into 2020

Prince Ranch Boxing’s undefeated super bantamweight prospect, Raeese “The Beast” Aleem (15-0, 9 KOs), has his sights on facing all the top contenders and champions in the upcoming 2020 year. 

In his las fight, Aleem, who is promoted by Kings Promotions, retired Saul Eduardo Hernandez (14-15, 9 KOs) by third round stoppage, a fight that took place on the undercard of Erickson Lubinvs Nathaniel Gallimore on October 26, 2019. Having knocked out seven of his last ten opponents, Aleem is looking to carry that momentum into the new year. 

“I have big plans to step up in competition next year and make a name for myself,” said Aleem, who is managed by Greg Hannley of Prince Ranch Boxing. “Right now, I’m flying under the radar, but that is about to change when I fight someone with a name. I’m hoping I’ll land a big fight in the early part of next year. I know my team is working hard behind the scenes to make it happen. I’ll be ready to go when I get that call.”

The super bantamweight is loaded with some of the best fighters in boxing. World champions, Rey Vargas (33-0, 22 KOs), Daniel Roman (27-2-1, 10 KOs), Emanuel Navarrete (30-1, 26 KOs) and Brandon Figueroa (20-0, 15 KOs), are all fighters with big names that Aleem wants to face.

“I want to fight all of the super bantamweight champions at some point.” Aleem continued. “I know I have to work my way up the rankings, so that’s what I’m going to do. I told my team that I’m willing to fight any and all world ranked contenders. Vargas, Roman and Navarrete, all those champions are beatable. Brandon Figueroa is not on my level, so if he wants to get some, then come get some. Next year will be my year. Soon everyone will know my name. All I need is an opportunity.” 

“In 2020, everyone will start to recognize Raeese as one of the top fighters in the super bantamweight division,” said Greg Hannley of Prince Ranch Boxing. “He’s ready to step up and solidify his position as top contender. His promoter Marshall Kaufman and I agree, Raeese Aleem will be a household name in the near future. Big fights are on the horizon.”

More Headlines

Boxing Insider Notebook: Baumgardner, Haney, Garcia, Rosado, and more…

Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 10th to December 17th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Photo Credit: Darryl Bugham

Alycia Baumgardner Stops Christina Del Valle Pacheco in Harrisburg

Alyica Baumgardner was sensational in stopping Christina del valle Pacheco in the 1st round of their scheduled eight-round junior lightweight bout that headlined a nine-bout card at the Zembo Shrine in Harrisburg, Pa.

The show was promoted by King’s Promotions.

Baumgardner sent Pacheco to the canvas in round one with a chopping right to the head.  Baumgardner finished off Pacheco by landing a flush combination that left Pacheco defenseless and the bout was stopped at 1:46

Baumgardener, 130 3/4 lbs of Freemont, OH is 9-1 with six knockouts.  Pacheco, 128 1/2 lbs of Cordoba, ARG is 11-13-2. 

“Alycia looked fantastic tonight, and showed that she is one of the top fighters in the world.  She is ready and wanting to fight anybody in the world.” said Marshall Kauffman, CEO of King’s Promotions.

Carlos Vidal remained undefeated by stopping Jonathan Perez in the 2nd round of a scheduled six-round junior lightweight fight.

Vidal started landing hard shots in the 2nd frame.  He then landed a three-punch combination that wobbled Perez into the corner.  A follow up flurry sent Perez down and the fight was stopped at 1:48.

Vidal, 128 1/2 lbs of Las Vegas is 16-0 with 15 knockouts.  Perez, 128 3/4 lbs of Barranquilla, COL is 38-25.

James Bernadin stopped Nick Baez in the 2nd round of their scheduled four-round junior welterweight bout.

Bernadin landed several hard shots that backed up Baez before a huge overhand right to the jaw sent Baez down, and the fight was immedately called off at 1:57.

Bernadin, 141 lbs of Lancaster, PA is 3-0-1 with two knockouts.  Baez, 136 lbs of Bronx, NY was making his pro debut.

Dewayne Williams stopped Brent Oren in the 1st round of their scheduled four-round middleweight bout.

Williams landed a thudding combination that was capped by a left to the jaw that sent Oren down.  The fight was stopped upon Oren getting to his feet at 2:38

Williams, 160 1/2 lbs of Philadelphia is 2-2 with one knockout.  Oren, 156 1/2 lbs of Harrisburg is 2-3.

Michael Coffie won a technical decision over Grover Young after Young suffered a cut in round five of their scheduled six-round heavyweight bout.

In round two, Coffie sent Young down with a straight left to the head.

In round five, Young was cut over his left eye.  Later in the round, the cut worsened to the point that the ringside physician determined that the cut was too much, and the fight was halted.

Coffie, 273 3/4 lbs of Kissimmee, FL won by scores of 49-45 twice and 48-46, and is now 8-0.  Young, 260 lbs of Memphis is 13-29-3. 

Luis Morales remained undefeated with a four-round unanimous decision over Ayron Palmer in a lightweight battle.

Morales, 136 3/4 lbs of Harrisburg won by 40-36 tallies on all cards and is now 4-0.  Palmer, 138 3/4 lbs of Tallahassee, FL is 0-3,

Roudly Lolo and Mike Diorio brawled their way to a four-round split draw in a super middleweight bout.

In round four, Lolo suffered a cut around his left eye.

Each guy took a card 39-37 and a 3rd card was 38-38.

Lolo, 165 1/2 lbs of Harrisburg was making his pro debut.  Diorio, 167 3/4 lbs of Cortland, NY is 0-2-1.

Britain Hart and Unique Harris battled to a four-round split draw in a bantamweight fight.

Each fighter won a card 39-37 and 3rd card was even at 38-38.

Hart, 118 1/4 lbs of Bedford, VA is 3-3-3.  Harris, 118 1/4 lbs of Philadelphia is 1-3-1.

Khainell Wheeler remained undefeated with a 37 second destruction over Patrick Pierre in a scheduled four-round super middleweight bout.

Wheeler landed a left hook in the opening seconds in the bout that wobbled Pierre into the ropes.  The follow up flurry saw Wheeler landed several flush punches to the head, and referee Gary Rosato called a halt to the action.

Wheeler, 167 lbs of Bethlehem, PA is 4-0 with four knockouts.  Pierre, 167 3/4 lbs of Brooklyn is 3-10.

Danny Garcia to Face Ivan Redkach in Brooklyn

Two-division world champion Danny “Swift” García returns to the ring to take on hard-hitting slugger Ivan “El Terrible” Redkach in a 12-round WBC welterweight title eliminator Saturday, January 25 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

In the co-feature, former unified 154-pound champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd will return to battle all-action Francisco “Chia” Santana in a 10-round super welterweight contest, plussensational super bantamweight Stephen “Cool Boy Steph” Fulton will face undefeated Arnold Khegai in a 12-round WBO Super Bantamweight title eliminator to open SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING action at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

García’s blend of power and sublime boxing skills has made him one of the most popular boxers of the last decade and secured him as a box-office fixture at Barclays Center, where he holds the record for the largest crowd for a boxing event. He set the benchmark when 16,533 attended his welterweight title unification match against Keith Thurman on March 4, 2017 in a bout that aired in primetime on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on CBS. The fight against Redkach will be Garcia’s eighth appearance at Barclays Center.

“Barclays Center fan-favorite Danny García is back in Brooklyn as he continues his quest for the top spot in the welterweight division,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Danny has been in the biggest fights at Barclays Center and on January 25 there are sure to be fireworks when hard-hitting Ivan Redkach looks for a career-defining win. Redkach has upset the odds before and there’s no doubt he’ll leave it all in the ring with this opportunity to move closer to a world title fight. Combined with a former unified champion known for action fights in Jarrett Hurd, plus a rising star in Stephen Fulton, this card is loaded with intrigue from top to bottom.” 

“Danny García and Jarrett Hurd are two of the biggest stars in the sport because they have consistently taken on the toughest challenges and they are always in all-action, exciting fights,” said Stephen Espinoza, President Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “On January 25, both men are fighting to maintain their place at the top of two of boxing’s deepest divisions in important, must-win fights. Add in two undefeated, promising contenders in the opener and we have the recipe for an explosive night of fights on SHOWTIME.” 

“We’re thrilled to host our first boxing event of 2020 by welcoming Danny García back for his eighth fight at Barclays Center and have Jarrett Hurd return to the arena where he’s had some memorable victories,” said Keith Sheldon, EVP of Programming and Development for BSE Global. “Danny specifically has built an enthusiastic fan base in the borough, becoming one of the most popular fighters in our arena, and we can’t wait to see his supporters out in full force as he steps back into our ring against Ivan Redkach.”

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and DSG Promotions, are on-sale now and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com andbarclayscenter.com. Tickets also can be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP. The Fulton vs. Khegai bout is promoted in association with Salita Promotions. 

García (35-2, 21 KOs) is the latest in a long line of great boxers from Philadelphia who have made their mark on the sport. His run through the super lightweight division and two-year reign as a unified champion is one of the most impressive in modern history as he defeated a string of champions, including Nate Campbell, Kendall Holt, Erik Morales, Amir Khan, Zab Judah and Lucas Matthysse. 

After dominating the super lightweight division, the 31-year-old García moved up to welterweight where he won the vacant WBC title with a unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero in 2016. He lost a split decision to Thurman in a unification match in 2017 and dropped a narrow unanimous decision to Shawn Porter for the WBC title in 2018. García and many pundits thought he won both those matches. In his last fight, García scored a spectacular knockout victory over Adrian Granados on April 20 to get back into position to regain the welterweight crown. 

“I’m very excited to be headlining another SHOWTIME card and to go back to Barclays Center, my home away from home,” said García. “I can’t wait to step in the ring in Brooklyn and give fans the Danny García show. I watched a few of Redkach’s recent fights and he had a great knockout win over two-time champion Devon Alexander. So, I know he’s a tough fighter and competitor who I expect to bring the best out of me, and he’s someone who deserves this opportunity. But January 25 is tax season, so I’m going to have to tax him and pay him with a reality check.”

Redkach (23-4-1, 18 KOs) has his sights set on winning a welterweight title and will face the toughest challenge of his career when he steps in against Garcia. The 33-year-old Redkach, who was born in Shostka, Ukraine and now lives in Los Angeles, is accustomed to stern tests. He started boxing as an amateur in Ukraine where he had over 300 fights. When he turned professional he traveled to Mexico to train and develop the “Mexican Style” – a style that emphasis standing in the pocket and throwing hard shots to the body. 

Things started out slowly for Redkach, but soon he began to hold his own in Mexico and prevailed, earning the nickname “El Terrible” from his training partners. Redkach won 14 of his first 18 professional fights by stoppage and has won three in a row, including most recently knocking out former world champion Devon Alexander in June. 

“I’m very motivated to take a massive step in my career and get closer to becoming world champion against a strong and accomplished fighter like Danny García,” said Redkach. “I have been to a lot of Danny’s fights and now I get the chance to test myself against him. I am training very hard so that I am the best that I have ever been on January 25. I’m going to shock the boxing world just like I did against Devon Alexander. I’ve never been this hungry before and I’m confident I will win this fight.”

The former WBA and IBF champion at 154-pounds, Hurd (23-1, 16 KOs) returns to action for the first time since losing his belts via decision against Julian Williams in one of 2019’s best fights. The 29-year-old from Accokeek, Maryland captured his first title by stopping current WBC titlist Tony Harrison in 2017 and then added the WBA belt by defeating Erislandy Lara in 2018’s consensus Fight of the Year. Hurd earned his title opportunity by going on a run of knocking off unbeaten fighters including Frank Galarza and Oscar Molina, and also owns a successful title defense against Austin Trout at Barclays Center in 2017. 

“Just because I fell back, doesn’t mean I fell off,” said Hurd. “I’m back and excited to fight at Barclays Center for the third time. I’m bringing the storm back on January and I’m going to make a statement everyone is going to see. You’re not going to want to miss this fight and the best Jarrett Hurd anyone’s seen.” 

Santana (25-7-1, 12 KOs) has taken on the toughest challenges at 154 and 147 pounds and has made his name with an all-action action style throughout a long career as a contender. The 33-year-old will look to bounce back from a close decision loss to Abel Ramos in March, in a fight where Santana dropped Ramos in the second round. Prior to the setback against Ramos, the Santa Barbara, California native was coming off of a victory over Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz in April 2018. Santana has faced former champions Jermell Charlo and Sadam Ali while also owning a six-round draw against Julian Williams in 2011.

“This is a great opportunity for me against a fighter like Jarrett Hurd,” said Santana. “When you get an opportunity like this, it’s hard to turn it down. My job is to rise to the occasion and have the best moment of my career on fight night. This is my Super Bowl. When I last fought at 154-pounds, I was basically self-trained. Now I have my coach Joseph Janik training me and I really think he’s the missing piece of the puzzle for me. I’m going to go in there and leave it all in the ring January 25.” 

The 25-year-old Fulton (17-0, 8 KOs) has made a rapid rise through the super bantamweight ranks with superb boxing skills, befitting a slick fighter from Philadelphia. Lately Fulton has shown flashes of power that have caught his opponents off guard. In his last fight he stopped Isaac Avelar with a body shot to end their fight in the fifth round on August 24.

Fighting out of Odessa, Ukraine and training for this fight in Los Angeles, Khegai (16-0-1, 10 KOs) will make his third start in the U.S. on January 25, after a successful U.S. debut in in May 2018 when he defeated Adam Lopez on the prospect developmental series ShoBox: The New Generation. The 27-year-old has already been victorious twice in 2019, stopping Haidari Mchanjo in March and most recently winning a unanimous decision over Vladimir Tikhonov in August on ShoBox.

Raging Babe Michelle Rosado Set to Launch Boxing Mom’s Web Series

Raging Babe’s Michelle Rosado is set to launch her flagship web series Boxing Moms, chronicling the pain and glory of the mothers of the sports world’s toughest athletes.

The series shines a light on the women behind some of the most influential boxers in America, along with stars in the making as they climb the ladder. Experience the roller coaster that is being the mother of a fighter — the triumph, sacrifice, blood and tears. 

Boxing Moms will feature a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of these women as they balance the demands of motherhood and boxing. From smoothing over their kids’ relationship woes, to helping to keep the fighters on track and focused as they prepare for fights, these mothers inspire with their strength and poise, all while holding down jobs and caring for their families and their own relationships. Training camps turn into chaotic fight weeks, which turn into fight nights, where these mothers who have stood next to their sons through it all watch them step into the ring, putting their lives on the line in the name of entertainment and glory.

“Boxing moms juggle being counselors, punching bags, taxi drivers, nutritionists, life coaches, and business managers,” said the show’s Creator and Executive Producer, Michelle Rosado.  “We hear a lot about self-care, but with what these women go through, there aren’t enough spa days or meditation hours in the world that can balance the volatility of their everyday lives.”

It’s a passion project for Rosado, who has long wanted to tell the stories of the mothers she’s met as a boxing promoter, and during her signature Raging Babe Brunches – inspired events that bring together the women of boxing.

“These stories need to be told,” said Rosado. Every time I put on an event, it’s the mothers who are making things happen for their sons. It’s the moms who hustle tickets, and act as de facto public relations reps. It’s the moms who are cooking for the fighters, and bear the brunt of their weight cut crankiness.  Then they have to watch their baby climb into the ring, knowing that dying is one of the risks, and that it can happen in any fight.”

The series will be produced by award-winning sports agency, Break Media Group.  “Boxing Moms will bring back some of my signature emotional storytelling that I’m recognized for,” said Break Media’s co-founder Jay Chaudhry, who will be spearheading the series as producer/director. “It will share stories from the heart, and really show what it’s like being in the shoes of some of the real influential women in boxing: mothers.”

Boxing Moms launches in early 2020, and will be available exclusively on YouTube and IGTV.

Devin Haney Has Succesful Surgery Procedure on Injured Shoulder

WBC Lightweight World Champion, Devin “The Dream” Haney (24-0, 15 KOs), is recovering from a successful surgery to his injured right shoulder. The procedure was performed this week in Los Angeles by world renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal S. ElAttrache.

Haney suffered a microscopic tear of his right labrum on November 9, 2019, during his WBC title defense against Alfredo Santiago. The tear required immediate surgery. Now in recovery, Haney is focused on getting the proper rest and rehabilitation needed to make a full recovery.

“In my last fight with Alfredo Santiago, my right shoulder came completely out of the socket in the 12th round,” said Devin. Haney. “I stayed focused and showed the grit of a true champion. I’m very happy with my performance considering the injury. I’m the youngest world champion in the last 23 years. Unfortunately, my injury required that I have surgery, but I’m happy I went with Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who in my opinion is the best surgeon in the world with these types of injuries. His resumé speaks for itself and the procedure was a success. Right now, I’m all about healing so I can get back in the ring as soon as possible.”

Haney’s surgeon Dr. ElAttrache has performed procedures on other distinguished athletes such as Tom Brady.  ElAttrache serves as team physician for the LA Dodgers and LA Rams.  In addition, he serves as an orthopaedic consultant for the LA Lakers, LA Kings, LA Angels and the Anaheim Ducks.

Devin, who was expected to defend his WBC world title against mandatory challenger and the #1 ranked contender, Javier Fortuna, is expected to be out of the ring for at least six months. Upon a healthy recover, Haney plans to solidify his position as the best young fighter in boxing.

“As soon as I feel I’m ready to get back in the ring, I’m coming for everyone,” continued Haney. Lomachenko, Lopez, Commey…who ever, I’m coming for all the belts! I’ll be back stronger than ever, that you can bet.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Crawford, Fox, Bejenarus, Bordoy, and more…

Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 3rd to December 10th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Terence Crawford Hosts Packed Grand Opening Event for his Store, the TBC Shop

Three-division World Champion Terence “Bud” Crawford put on a new hat this weekend, officially becoming a retail store owner. Crawford opened his long-awaited TBC Shop on Saturday in the heart of north Omaha, near his childhood stomping grounds. Fans lined up around the block to get in to the newly renovated space, which features all of Crawford’s signature apparel. Crawford certainly felt the love and support of his fans, who came from near and far to purchase the latest merchandise and get a moment with their champion. The TBC Shop is located in north Omaha, an area of the city that once housed the historic district and is now enjoying a revitalization. The building was previously owned by the father of a childhood friend and Crawford has strong memories of the store that once sat in that location. “I remember going to the store and buying chips, pops and candy on my way to play basketball. It was the neighborhood store,” Crawford said. “When the building came up for sale, I thought I want to buy that building. I want to leave a legacy and help my community.” He hopes that his TBC Shop will create another bright spot in north Omaha and provide inspiration for the youngsters that now reside in the same neighborhood he grew up in. Even before Saturday’s successful grand opening, Crawford has enjoyed solely positive feedback, particularly once he hung up the sign outside the building. “I’ve had all positive reactions. Everybody’s really pleased with what I’m doing. They’ve been asking about it for awhile,” he said. “When I put the sign up, everyone knew whose building it was because they saw my logo.” A proud Omaha native, Crawford has consistently brought a positive spotlight to his hometown. A recipient of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Headliner Award, Crawford has brought the city more than one billion dollars of publicity through his six Nebraska fights and showcasing OMAHA across the waistband of his trunks in all of his bouts. Crawford and his team will depart for New York this evening ahead of his December 14 bout with two-time Olympian Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas at Madison Square Garden. The fight will be Crawford’s third defense of his WBO welterweight title, and will headline a stacked card airing immediately following the Heisman Trophy presentation on ESPN.

Mykal Fox Defeats Johnny Arellano in Philadelphia on Friday

World Ranked welterweight Mykal Fox won a eight-round unanimous decision over Johnny Arellano in the main event of a seven bout show at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. The card was promoted by King’s Promotions. Fox of Forestville, Maryland, controlled the action by keeping his jab in the face of Arellano. Arellano tried to get inside, but it was the experience of the fighter known as “The Professor” that was able to thwart the offense of Arellano. In round five, Fox was able to score a knockdown on shot that landed while both fighters were on the inside. The number-14 ranked welterweight in the world by the IBF and number-15 by the WBA, Fox won by scores of 80-71 twice and 78-73 to run his winning streak to three in a row and raise his overall mark to 22-1. Arellano of Conroe, Texas is 10-2. “Johnny is tough. He was awkward. He has some height on him presented some challenges, but we made the adjustments like we are supposed to,” said the 6’4″ Fox. “In 2020, we are looking for good fights, and just keep moving forward. That’s the biggest thing. We are going to go back to the gym, and work on the things we need to. I am going to work on what we did bad, and improve on what we did good, and look for a big 2020. We are going to keep working.” Kalvin Henderson and Genc Pllana battled to an eight-round majority draw in a super middleweight bout. Pllana took a card 79-73, while two cards read even at 76-76. Henderson of Fayettville, AR is 12-0-1. Pllana of Hagerstown, MD is 7-1-2.

No Reward If No Risk for Connecticut Super Lightweight Prospect Omar “The Beast” Bordoy

Unlike most boxing prospects, super lightweight prospect OMAR “THE BEAST” BORDOY (9-1, 3 KOs) is always willing to take risks, even fighting undefeated opponents, instead of simply padding his record. Bordoy, fighting out of Danbury, CT, meets undefeated Irish sensation “SLICK” VICTOR RABEI (8-0, 2 KOs) on December 13 in an 8-round bout on a stacked “New England Explosion” card, at MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. “New England Explosion,” presented by JOE DEGUARDIA’S STAR BOXING and sponsored by MGM Springfield, will air live from Mass MutualCenter in a first for New England Sports Network (NESN), starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. As the home of the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox, NESN is available nationally on a sports subscription basis. “I fought an undefeated fighter before and it was cool to give him (3-0 Terell Bostic) his first loss,” the 24-year-old Bordoy said. “An undefeated record could be padded. Rabei is a good fighter and I expect a very good fight. He’s a good fighter who is good defensively. He’ll want to be fighting on the outside because he’s 5′ 9″ and I’m 5′ 5”. But he’s coming down in weight and we’re fighting at my natural fighting weight. I’ve fought taller opponents before. It looks like he has a little power. We’re both stepping up. “I’m excited to be fighting on live television for the first time. I’m a kid who came from nothing and now I’m fighting on TV. I’ve fought in pre-recorded fights before, but this will be my first on live television. It makes everything even more exciting. I’m glad to be fighting on this NESN platform.” Bordoy has won two in a row since losing a disputed 6-round split decision last April to Romain Tomas (7-2). “I didn’t get into boxing to go undefeated,” remarked Bordoy, who will be fighting in his first scheduled 8-rounder. “Only a few fighters have ever retired undefeated. A loss doesn’t bother most greats. It’s part of my developmental stage. I’d rather suffer a loss early in my career than later. I certainly don’t feel like a defeated fighter going into this fight. I learned a lot about myself and what to do better from that loss.” Cutting weight for this fight, Bordoy didn’t really enjoy Thanksgiving. In fact, he ate alone because it was too difficult dieting and eating with others. So, he had brown rice and baked chicken. “Yeah,” he added. “I didn’t get to eat much. I’m going to splurge this fight. And I’ll get an early Christmas present when my hand is raised at the end of the fight.”

Bejenarus Vows to be Ready for Fight of his Life Against WBA Champ Goulamirian on December 28th WBA #8 cruiserweight Constantin Bejenaru says he’s ready to go in and do the job he set out to do when he started boxing. Bejenaru (14-0, 4 KOs) will challenge WBA cruiserweight champion Arsen Goulamirian (25-0, 17 KOs) on December 28 at the Palais Des Sport in Marseille, France. “I have been working my entire career for this opportunity,” said Bejenaru, “…the chance to win a world title; the chance to show myself on the biggest stage with the highest stakes.” A tricky southpaw from Ungheni, in the Republic of Moldova and now living in Brooklyn, Bejenaru was a 10-time Romanian champion, a Bronze Medalist at the European Amateur Boxing Championships in 2006, a Finalist in the European Union Championships in both 2006 and 2007, and a Gold Medalist at World Combat Games in 2010. After turning professional in 2012, Bejenaru went on to score wide decision victories on ShoBox: The New Generation over previously undefeated Alexey Zubov (10-0, 6 KOs) and Stivens Bujaj (16-0-1, 11 KOs), as well as a decisive points victory over previous world title challenger Thabiso Mchunu (18-3, 11 KOs). Bejenaru’s career was stalled for nearly two years by what he called “promotional problems,” but he is now realizing his dream fight in just his second under the Salita promotional banner. “I love the sport of boxing. I am always working to develop my craft, my skills, my fitness and my mind. It is ultimately the mind that makes a champion. The intelligence and creativity that are necessary to succeed in the ring. The mental discipline that allows a boxer to persevere at the hardest moments. Goulamirian recently defended his belt for the first time by KO 4 over Australia’s Kane Watts on November 15 in Paris. “Goulamirian has made a mistake taking this fight against a fighter of Constantin Bejenaru’s caliber so quickly after first defense,” said promoter Dmitriy Salita. “Constantin has incredibly high boxing intelligence and he’s been waiting for this fight his entire life. I look forward to having a new world champion in the Salita Promotions stable.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Haney, Joshua, Ruiz, ESPN, Plant, and more…

Compiled By: William Holmes

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

Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing

Diriyah Arena Ready for Clash on the Dunes Action

An iconic fight needs a spectacular venue and few can compare to the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia which is now ready for a historic night as the Clash On The Dunes sees World Champion Andy Ruiz Jr take on Anthony Joshua.

Earlier this week, Joshua promised the world an “iconic evening of boxing” as he flew into the Kingdom ahead of the epic bout on December 7.

The first-ever Heavyweight World Title fight to take place in the Middle East will be staged in the custom-built 15,000 seat Diriyah Arena in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage site, known as the home of heroes and kings.

Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Boxing, said: “The arena and site are utterly breath-taking, with a theme park and concert the night before as well. It’s like nothing we’ve seen before in boxing. The Clash On The Dunes will be a night to remember. We can’t wait.”

The Diriyah Arena has been constructed by 175 staff working tirelessly to transform the 10,000 sq m site, which includes 295 tonnes of steel, which would stretch 57km. Work began on October 7, just two months out, with 3,000 sqm of scaffolding needed to complete the work.

On the night more than 2,000 staff will ensure proceedings run smoothly in the arena, 95 percent of which is reusable, and which will take a month to take down.

Joshua will be looking to regain his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO belts after suffering defeat to Ruiz in New York earlier this year, but the British Heavyweight will have the backing of thousands of UK fans joining boxing enthusiasts from more than 60 countries across the world.

Fans will approach the Diriyah Arena via the Diriyah Oasis, a huge sprawling entertainment hub which includes ice-skating outdoors, sky diving, jetski-ing and ziplining among a host of activities on offer. The Diriyah Oasis is split into the four zones – Nature, Imagination, Reflection, Excitement- giving families a place to come together, and at its heart lies an astonishing grand installation by world-renowned Italian artist, Edoardo Tresoldi.

The Clash On The Dunes forms part of the Diriyah Season, epic month of sports which kicked off with Formula E at the weekend, the Diriyah Tennis Cup featuring eight of the best men’s players on the planet, and the Diriyah Equestrian Festival, an elite competition with Tokyo Olympics 2020 qualifying points on the line.

The Diriyah Season is also supported by the Diriyah Music Festival with huge concerts taking place around the event. On December 6, the night before the Clash On The Dunes, major artists who are yet to be announced will perform. So far artists such as Imagine Dragons, DJ Alan Walker, Clean Bandit and Maluma have performed to 40,000 concert goers.

Tickets for all of the Diriyah Season’s spectacular events, concerts and entertainment will be available at www.diriyahseason.sa. Follow Diriyah Season’s news and announcements on the official social media pages on twitter and Instagram @diriyahseason.

Caleb Plant to Host Turkey Drive in his Hometown

This Wednesday, November 27, 2019, IBF super middleweight champion, Caleb “Sweethands” Plant (19-0, 11 KOs), will be hosting a turkey drive in his hometown of Ashland City, TN.

The Champ and his wife, FOX SPORTS announcer Jordan Plant, will personally hand out 100 turkeys to those in need. The Turkey Drive will take place on the Ashland City Courthouse Lawn, starting at 9:00 A.M CT.

“This is a chance to give back to those in need during the holiday season,” said Caleb Plant. “I felt it was important to come back home to Ashland City to give back to my community where it all started.”

WHO: CALEB PLANT, IBF Super Middleweight Champion.

WHAT: IBF Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant, and his wife, FOX
SPORTS announcer Jordan Plant, to host a Turkey Drive in,
Caleb’s hometown of Ashland City, TN.

WHERE: Ashland City, Courthouse Lawn
100 Public Square, Ashland City, TN 37015

WHEN: Wednesday, November 27, 2019
9:00 A.M

ESPN Celebrates 13th Annual V Week in Support of the V Foundation for Cancer Research

ESPN’s 13th consecutive V Week for Cancer Research begins on “Giving Tuesday,” Dec.3, and runs through Dec. 14. Throughout the week, ESPN will drive awareness and funds for the V Foundation for Cancer Research across ESPN platforms and all net proceeds will go directly to cancer research and related programs. Last year, V Week helped raise a record $8.3 million, bringing the 12-year total of contributions to more than $30.5 million.

“V Week leverages ESPN platforms and partners to drive awareness of the continued fight against cancer and generates donations to the V Foundation,” said Kevin Martinez, vice president, ESPN Corporate Citizenship. “This year, we celebrate our dear friend and colleague, and the 2014 Jimmy V Perseverance Award winner Stuart Scott, by honoring his courageous spirit to ‘Fight Like Hell.’ We’re honored to once again celebrate V Week and inspire fans to help support the V Foundation to one day eradicate cancer.”

The 2019 V Week will feature several new initiatives to raise funds for the V Foundation:

•Stuart Scott Day: In honor of famed ESPN television personality and 2014 Jimmy V Perseverance Award recipient Stuart Scott, who passed away from cancer in 2015, ESPN is dedicating Monday, Dec. 4, as “Stuart Scott Day.” On that day, ESPN will showcase content, which depicts Scott’s love of life and perseverance through his fight with cancer and his consistent message to “never give up.” A special, limited edition Stuart Scott t-shirt will go on sale starting Dec. 4 and all net proceeds of sales will benefit the V Foundation for Cancer Research.

•UFC “Fight Like Hell” Night: On Saturday, Dec. 7, UFC is dedicating its fight to the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund, which supports groundbreaking minority cancer research. Scott had a strong connection to mixed martial arts and even trained during his treatments. “Fight Like Hell” Night will also feature Stuart Scott-related content all throughout fight night.

•“Ring the Bell to Knock Out Cancer” Night: Also during V Week, Top Rank will raise awareness and funds for the V Foundation by dedicating Saturday, Dec. 14, as “Ring the Bell to Knock Out Cancer” night. Within boxing, “ringing of the bell” symbolizes the end of the fight, and for patients with cancer and their healthcare team, the “ringing of the bell” is a significant moment as well, signaling the end of active treatment and the beginning of a life free of cancer. The “ringing of the bell” will be a symbolic moment during the Top Rank fight, making fans aware of ESPN’s dedication to eradicating cancer. The fight will air on ESPN, Saturday, Dec. 14, at 9 p.m. ET.

•“Don’t Give Up on Me” Anthem: Multi-platinum selling pop artist Andy Grammer is invested in the mission to find cures for cancer, having lost his mother to breast cancer. The lyrics of his song “Don’t Give Up on Me” fit perfectly with the themes of fighting adversity, supporting a loved one, having belief in dark times and ultimately not giving up. Grammer’s song “Don’t Give Up on Me” will air during V Week campaigns, which aligns with the V Foundation theme of fighting adversity and motto of “Don’t Give Up . . . Don’t Ever Give Up!”®

Additional V Week programming includes:

•Kicks to Beat Cancer (Dec. 2-Dec.12): Professional athletes, celebrities and musicians are putting their “kicks” to good use by reaching into their extensive shoe collections and donating a signed pair to be auctioned off in support of the V Foundation. Celebrities and sports stars past and present have donated their shoes, including NBA legend Magic Johnson, Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, former NFL player Victor Cruz, Kansas City Chief athletes Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, fashion icon Anna Wintour, celebrity Kim Kardashian West, college basketball coaches Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams, USA national soccer team athletes Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan, and many more. Fans can bid on the shoes at www.ebay.com/espn.

•Jim Valvano’s ESPYS Speech Roadblock: Just once a year, nearly all of ESPN platforms pause regularly scheduled programming and run a “roadblock” in support of the V Foundation. On Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m., the 15-minute roadblock will begin with a highlight by ESPN television personalities discussing Stuart Scott’s impact on the industry, his presence at ESPN and his fight with cancer. The roadblock also will highlight former N.C. State coach-turned ESPN commentator Jim Valvano’s legendary 1993 “Don’t Give Up” ESPYS speech. It will be offered simultaneously on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes, ACC Network, SEC Network, Longhorn Network, ESPN Radio, the ESPN App and ESPN.com. The roadblock will be streaming live on all networks listed and fans can access it on demand via ESPN3 replay. A captioned version also will be available on the ABC SuperSign in Times Square, HearstLive, the New York City Disney Store and within Disney Resorts. In addition, speeches from all Jimmy V Perseverance Award winners (Robin Roberts, Craig Sager and Jim Kelly) will air during V Week. Across all ESPN networks, the Bottomline scroll will encourage viewers to join ESPN and the V Foundation to achieve Victory Over Cancer®” by visiting v.org/donate.

The Jimmy V Men’s and Women’s Basketball Classics Presented by Corona will begin with the Women’s Classic on Sunday, Dec. 8, followed by the Men’s Classic on Tuesday, Dec. 10, all airing live on ESPN.
•Women’s Classic: No. 15 Notre Dame vs. No. 4 UConn at 4 p.m. (Gampel Pavilion on UConn’s campus)
•Men’s Classic: No. 12 Texas Tech vs. No. 2 Louisville at 7 p.m., and Indiana vs. UConn at 9 p.m. (Madison Square Garden); College GameDay will also be on-site, with host Rece Davis and analysts Jay Bilas, LaPhonso Ellis and Seth Greenberg providing news and analysis in between games.

Devin Haney Visits Skid Row to Give Back to Those Less Fortunate

Earlier this week, WBC Lightweight Champion, Devin “The Dream” Haney (24-0, 15 KOs), spent his 21st birthday giving back to those less fortunate. The young boxing phenom spent time with the homeless on Skid Row in Los Angeles. His plan was to feed as many people as he possibly could, serving one of his favorite dishes, garlic crab and shrimp with macaroni cheese, yams, and dessert.

When the food ran out, he gave everyone a little cash to brighten up their day. Devin loves to see people smiling and happy. He had an amazing birthday celebration on Sunday, and the very next day, he woke up and went out in the world to share.

“I really wanted to give back after my last fight, and that’s just what I did,” said Devin Haney. “I took my whole team out to skid row right after celebrating my 21st birthday. When I ran out of food, I passed out cash to those that didn’t get a plate. It was great seeing all the smiles on their faces. I’m grateful for the blessing that God has giving me I just want to bless others as well.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Fox, Wilder, Ortiz, Hart, Smith, and more…

Compiled by: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 12th to November 19th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Photo Credit: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Photo Credit: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

<strong>Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz Make Grand Arrivals at MGM Grand </strong>

WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and Cuban slugger Luis “King Kong” Ortiz made their grand arrivals Tuesday at MGM Grand as they kicked off fight week events ahead of their highly anticipated rematch that headlines a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View this Saturday, November 23 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. 

“We’re all here to see what’s going to happen on Saturday night,” said Wilder. “Even though I knocked Ortiz out the first time, it was an amazing fight. That was the fight that I was challenged the most during. I understand why none of the other heavyweights want to fight Ortiz. 

“He’s very dangerous and I blessed him with a second chance,” continued Wilder. “Fans always get their money’s worth when I’m on the big stage. Because people know what I’m able to do to another human being inside of that ring. I can’t wait for Saturday night.”

“Deontay Wilder is a throwback fighter like me, and we both want to fight the best,” said Ortiz. “I believe I’m the best and that’s why I’m getting this rematch. I’m focused on this fight and this fight only and doing everything to have my hand raised Saturday night.

“My life has changed tremendously and for the better since I came to the United States from Cuba,” said Ortiz. “Being in the U.S. has allowed me to focus on my two dreams, finding a cure for my daughter’s disease and becoming heavyweight champion of the world. That’s always been my mission.”

Also making their grand arrivals at MGM Grand were fighters competing on the pay-per-view undercard that begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. 

Three-division champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz is looking to win a title in a fourth division when he takes on Miguel “El Michoacan” Flores for the WBA Super Featherweight Championship in the co-main event. 

The pay-per-view also features undefeated rising star Brandon “The Heartbreaker” Figueroa defending his WBA Super Bantamweight Title against former champion Julio Ceja while undefeated Mexican power-puncher Luis Nery battles Puerto Rico’s Emmanuel Rodríguez in a showdown of former bantamweight champions.

<strong> Jesse Hart-Joe Smith Jr. to Clash in Light Heavyweight Showdown at Hard Rock Atlantic City January 11 Live on ESPN</strong>

This one is personal. Jesse “Hollywood” Hart, born and bred in Philadelphia, will take on Joe Smith Jr. Saturday, Jan. 11 from Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena in the 10-round main event, which will kick off the 2020 Top Rank on ESPN schedule.

It was Smith, the union construction worker from Long Island, who knocked Philadelphia legend Bernard Hopkins through the ropes and into retirement in December 2016. For Hart, who considers Hopkins a mentor, this fight is more than a step towards a world title shot.

ESPN and ESPN Deportes will televise Hart-Smith Jr. and a co-feature beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, with undercard action slated for ESPN+ beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Star Boxing, tickets priced at $100, $60, $40 and $25 (not including applicable fees) go on sale Friday, Nov. 22 at 10 a.m. ET and can be purchased by visiting www.ticketmaster.com and www.hardrockhotelatlanticcity.com.  

“When you have two fighters who can punch like heck, anything can happen,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “We believe Jesse Hart has everything it takes to become a world champion, but Joe Smith Jr. can turn the lights out at any moment. This is a sensational main event to kick off the Top Rank schedule in 2020.”

“This is personal. Bernard inspired me to be what I became,” Hart said. “I wouldn’t be right if didn’t avenge that defeat. I can’t move forward unless I beat him. This is a Philly thing. It’s more personal than business for me. I want a world title shot at light heavyweight, but I have to get through this guy first.”

“I am back in the gym and feel great,” Smith said. “I am focused and ready to bring everything I have. Jesse Hart might want to make this personal, but I didn’t even know who he was before this fight was brought up. I am ready for this. It is going to be a great night.”

“I look forward to a thrilling, fan-friendly fight in Atlantic City on ESPN Jan. 11,” said Star Boxing CEO Joe DeGuardia, Smith’s promoter. “Jesse Hart is Philly tough, but I love watching Joe Smith Jr. fight as his amazing punching power always puts him 10 seconds away from a KO win. It will be a rocking night at the Hard Rock Hotel.”   

Hart (26-2, 21 KOs) is making his triumphant return to Atlantic City, where he is 7-0 with 7 knockouts. He twice challenged for the super middleweight world title previously held by Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez, but he came up short via a pair of close decision defeats. Following the second Ramirez loss in December 2018, Hart moved up to the light heavyweight ranks and announced his arrival with a 10-round decision victory over Sullivan Barrera on the Tyson Fury-Tom Schwarz undercard.

Smith (24-3, 20 KOs) was boxing’s “Cinderella Man” in 2016, upsetting Andrzej Fonfara via first-round TKO to earn the shot at Hopkins. He proved the Fonfara win was no fluke, as he bullied Hopkins around the ring before a combination knocked him through the ropes. Smith is coming off a decision loss to WBA light heavyweight world champion Dmitry Bivol, although he buzzed Bivol on several occasions in the championship rounds.

<strong>Omar Juarez Training Camp Quotes </strong>

Rising super lightweight prospect Omar Juarez shared his thoughts on training camp, his upcoming matchup and more before he battles Kevin Shacks this Saturday, November 23 in FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View Prelims on FS2 and FOX Deportes from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. 

Prelims begin at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and is headlined by undefeated Cuban contender Leduan Barthelemy squaring off against former title challenger Eduardo Ramirez. Plus, 17-year-old sensation Vito Mielnicki Jr. compets in a four-round welterweight bout against North Carolina’s Marklin Bailey.

Prelims precede the pay-per-view event headlined by boxing’slongest reigning heavyweight world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder defending his WBC title in a rematch against once-beaten Cuban slugger Luis “King Kong” Ortiz. Three-division champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz will seek a title in another division in the co-main event when he takes on Miguel “El Michoacan” Flores for the WBA Super Featherweight Championship as part of pay-per-view action beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by BombZquadPromotions, TGB Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at www.mgmgrand.com or www.axs.com. 

The 20-year-old Juarez (5-0, 3 KOs) fights out of his hometown of Brownsville, Texas and most recently stopped Gino De la Paz in the first round in August. Here is what Juarez had to say ahead of his Saturday showdown: 

On his recent training camp:

“I had another great training camp going into this fight. I spent some time in Houston and San Antonio getting good sparring with some of the top guys in those areas. I’m in great shape and my body is healthy.”

On his upcoming fight with Kevin Shacks:

“I don’t know much about Shacks except that he has a lot of power.  All his wins have come by knockout, so I know he’s dangerous. I’m still going to go in there and dictate the pace with my game plan.  My goal is to knock him out.”

On fighting in Las Vegas on FS2:

“This is a dream come true for me and my dad. We’ve always talked about fighting in Las Vegas under the big lights. To top it off I’ll be fighting on FS2 in front of a large televised audience.  All my people back home are having parties showing my fight, so this is a big blessing for my career.  I’m truly grateful.”

On the state of the super lightweight division:

“The 140 pound division is loaded with talent and I think it’s one of toughest in boxing. Mario Barrios is a beast, Josh Taylor just showed the world what he’s about by beating Regis Prograis, and Jose Ramirez is no joke.  The entire division is stacked and one day I’ll be right up there with all those guys.”

<strong> Star Boxing’s William Silva to Fight on ESPN on November 30th </strong>

Star Boxing is pleased to announce the signing of WILLIAM “BABY FACE” SILVA (27-2 15KO’s), who will be closing out 2019 with a bang when he faces undefeated California-born, ARNOLD BARBOZA JR (22-0 9KO’s) at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas on November 30, to be featured on ESPN.

Hailing from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Silva has had an impressive amateur and professional career. Over his 29 professional bouts, the super lightweight has held titles such as the IBO Intercontinental Lightweight Championship, WBO Latino Welterweight and Lightweight Championship, NBA Lightweight Championship and is the current ABF Continental Americas Champion. 

Silva began his boxing career well before his professional debut in 2006. At the age of 7, Silva’s father brought him to a local boxing gym and he never looked back. “My father was a boxer” said Silva, “he fought, as did my brothers.” Silva’s brother, Michele Silva is a professional boxer, fighting out of Brazil. As an amateur, Silva represented his home country as a member of the Brazil Olympic training team. He boasted a stellar amateur record of 135-5.

Campaigning most of his career at lightweight, Silva has had great success since moving from his native Brazil, making Florida his home away from home. Fighting prospects such as Felix Verdejoand Teofimo Lopez, Silva never hides from a challenge. In his last two bouts, Silva steamrolled Joe Forero, dominating the entire fight, ending with a 9th round TKO earning the ABF Continental America’s Title. In February it was more of the same for Silva, as he dominated a 10-round unanimous decision over the tough Juan Ramon Solis (then 25-13 9KO’s). (100-90 (x2), 98-91).

William Silva said this about signing with Star Boxing, “I am extremely excited and grateful to sign a contract with Star Boxing and feel really motivated to show the world that I belong in World Championship fights. I live and train in Plant City Florida, with a great coach Jose Rodriguez, my manager Jody Caliguire, and our entire team is awesome. I am ready to get back to the top of the rankings. I know I can beat anyone in the world.”

Silva is preparing to return to the ring in a thriller against top rated undefeated Barboza in an ESPN bout from the majestic Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas on November 30.  Having last fought in February of 2019, Silva is chomping at the bit to get back into the ring. 

Manager JODY CALIGUIRE had this to say about Silva signing with Star Boxing, “Team Silva is very happy to have signed promotional contract with Star Boxing. We look forward to competing on great events and having the opportunity to compete soon for a world title. At 27-2, with 15 KO’S, Silva is a proven excellent boxer. We want a world title shot in the near future. Silva, now lives and trains in Florida, and we have the team in place to insure each time he walks in the ring he will be ready to win and convincingly. This man is a true professional and great boxer. Thank you to Joe DeGuardia for allowing us to be part of your great team.”

CEO JOE DEGUARDIA said this about signing Silva, “Silva is a very talented fighter who we are very excited to work with. We believe that with the team we have in place, the sky is the limit for Silva, and we are looking forward to closing out 2019 with a great fight in Las Vegas on ESPN!”

<strong> Welterweight Mykal Fox Takes on Johnny Arellano on Friday, December 6th </strong>

World-Ranked welterweight Mykal Fox will take on Johnny Arellano in the 10-round main event on Friday night,  December 6th at The 2300 Arena  in Philadelphia.

The nine-bout card will be promoted by King’s Promotions.

Fox of Forestville. Maryland is ranked number-15 by the WBA, has a record of 21-1 with five knockouts.

The 24 year-old Fox is a five year professional and has garnered his world ranking on the strength of wins over Ricardo Garcia (14-1), Gonzalo Carlos Dallera (5-0), 2016 Olympic Gold Medal Winner Fazliddin Gainazarov (7-0) and in his last bout, Fox won a 10-round unanimous decision over Eudy Bernardo (25-4) on September 14th in Bethlehem, PA.

Arellano of Conroe, Texas has a record of 10-1 with nine knockouts.  The 27 year-old Arellano is a nine-year pro who has wins over undefeated foes D’Angelo Keys (7-0) and his bout when he won a decision over Xavier Wilson (10-0-1) on March 28th in San Antonio.

In the eight-round co-feature, undefeated super middleweight Kalvin Henderson will take on  Genc Pllana.

Henderson of Fayetville, Arkansas has a record of 12-0 with eight knockouts.

The 29 year-old is a three year professional, and has had a meteoric climb up the super middleweight latter.

Henderson has wins over Bobby Taylor (4-0) and Brandon Robinson in a bout that was voted Philadelphia Fight of the Year for 2018.  In his last bout, Henderson stopped Antowyan Aikens on May 10th at the 2300 Arena.

Pllana of Hagerstown, Maryland has a record of 7-1 with four knockouts.

The 25 year-old is a two-year professional who has defeated Jason Bell (3-0) and in his last bout, Pllana stopped Alex Lara in one-round on October 24th in Washington, DC. 

A packed undercard has been assembled as some very talented fighters will be on display.

In eight-round bouts, WBA Number-10 ranked super bantamweight Marcus Bates (10-1-1, 8 KOs) of Washington, DC battles Jesus Martinez (26-10, 13 KOs) of Hollywood, Florida.

Shinard Bunch (4-1, 4 KOs) of Trenton, NJ takes on an opponent to be named in a six-round welterweight bout.

Undefeated Devar Ferhadi (7-0, 6 KOs) of Frederick, Maryland will square off with fellow undefeated Vincent Baccus (4-0-1, 3 KOs) of Okmulgee, OK in a super middleweight bout.

In four-round bouts:

Ryan Umberger (3-0, 3 KOs) of Philadelphia battles an opponent to be named in middleweight contest.

Brandon Mullins (6-0, 2 KOs) will box Juan Zapata (6-17-2, 4 KOs) of Bronx, NY in a super middleweight bout.

Martino Jules (7-0, 1 KO) of Allentown, PA will take on an opponent to be named in a featherweight contest

Shamar Fulton (4-0-1, 3 KOs) of Alhambra, California takes part in a lightweight bout,

Tickets are $100, $75 and $50 and can be purchased at www.2300arena.com

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Boxing Insider Notebook: KSI, Logan Paul, Billy Joe Saunders, Fox, Atlantic City, and more…

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

Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/DAZN

KSI vs. Logan Paul 2 Quotes

In a thrilling back and forth affair, KSI (1-0) triumphed over Logan Paul (0-1) in front of a raucous crowd of 12,137 fans at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and live on DAZN. In the fourth round of their six-round bout, Paul knocked down KSI with an uppercut that was ruled illegal and resulted in a two-point deduction. KSI ultimately won by split decision to settle the score following their majority draw in August 2018.

Earlier in the evening, lightweight world champion Devin Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) defended his belt with a dominating performance over Alfredo Alvarez (12-1, 4 KOs) in a 12-round bout, and Billy Joe Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) earned a stoppage victory over Marcelo Coceres (28-1-1, 15 KOs) in a tough battle during his United States debut.


“KSI last time was scared to fight, scared to touch him, scared to get close to him, I just kept going this time. I worked my ass off and kept going. I’m victorious! I’m a dog, I kept saying it. He just hit me in the back of head. It is what it was. I’m happy, happy days. It took about a minute to figure out how I was. I came back at it. That’s boxing, I didn’t stop. I’m going to keep fighting. I’ve never worked so hard. In the ring, in camp, it was tough, but kept going and going. I was on fire. He couldn’t deal with my jabs and he kept moving.’

To Logan Paul: “It takes a big man to get the ring. You made me work today and you made me work two years ago. Thank you for a good fight.

On a rematch: “It’s done for me. I’m on the to the next. You should fight CM Punk.”

Logan Paul

On the knockdown: “It was a slip. I don’t think he won the round for that. The ref told me it wasn’t a knockdown.”

To KSI: “Fair play to JJ, one of the toughest people I know. You had my respect before this match. I don’t like to be a dick to you. You’re one of the toughest people I know, respect.”

On this fight vs. the first: “I was more calm, I worked on my conditioning. The more I boxed the more comfortable I get. Boxing is a weird type of conditioning I guess.”

On the point deduction: “My emotions got the best of me. No warning, I got two points taken away from me that’s why I lost. If you do the math that’s I why I lost. I want to contest the commission. I should’ve only got a warning.”

On if he will fight again: “Yes these are the best moments of my life. Yeah you will definitely see me back. I’m going to commission on that.”

Devin Haney

“I feel alright. In one of the rounds I dislocated my right shoulder. I’m a true champion and still won every round. Not sure what round, but he was on the ropes, I threw a right and over extended. Like I said I’m a true champion, fight through everything. On to the next.

“He was very crafty. I went in there and was able to adjust. I got this opponent on week notice. I’m a true champion and can fight through everything. It’s all experience, and it all comes with the fight game. l got the win, on to the next.

“In 2020 I want all the top guys. I want to unify. Vasyl Lomachenko and I can get it done. I can see what Lomachenko does. 2020 I want to start off with a bang with all the big fights.

On fight with Ryan Garcia: “I think that’s a big fight. Boxing fans would love to see that fight. Hope we can make it happen in 2020 or 2021. I’m ready to make that sooner rather than later.”

Billy Joe Saunders

“There’s no excuses. The performance was not worthy Canelo or Jacobs, but I came here five days before. I knew in my head I had to get him out of here. My timing was off my, movement was off, everything was off. I wanted to impress the crowd. Hopefully you enjoyed the KO, all I could do tonight.

“I had a chest and cough, but no excuses. I was not 100% fighting mentally. I was tired, but needed to get him out in the ninth. I just needed to look calm and needed to let him gas. This is the experience I’ve had before. Had to let him gas. Continue to follow me, this wasn’t the best of me.

“I’ve been in big fights, needed to stay cool. As being champion you know when to step on the gas, and you need to step on the gas at some point. It’s the difference between winning and losing.

“Canelo if you want to become four-weight champion, take me now because this is the time to make it happen. I want Canelo. I respect you, you’ve done big things for the sport.”

Star Boxing Fighters Secure Wins Around the Globe

From Florida to France, Star Boxing fighters have brought the action to kick off November. In France, DAVID PAPOT (23-0-1 3KO’s) improved on his undefeated record in impressive style, while across the Atlantic Ocean in Florida, Connecticut native, RICHIE “POPEYE THE SAILOR MAN” RIVERA (15-0 12KO’s) took care of business in his third fight in as many months.

Undefeated Frenchman, David Papot, took on Armenian, VAGHINAK TAMRAYZAN (16-5 5KO’S) at the “International Festival of Boxing” in Chapiteau Luna Park, Guerande, France on Friday night. Papot looked stellar in his return to the ring, out-boxing and dominating the tough, Tamrayzan, for eight straight rounds. Papot earned the clear unanimous decision victory, improving to 23-0-1 3KO’s. (78-74 (x3)).

Papot had this to say about his victory, “Victorious in the return on my land! Thank you all for your support, those close and far, you are huge.”

Heavy handed slugger, Richie Rivera took on Juan Zapata at the Hard Rock Hotel in Daytona Beach, Florida on November 1st. Rivera entered the ring for his third fight in as many months, against Zapata, who was taking on his fourth straight undefeated prospect. Wasting no time, Rivera imposed his will and strength on Zapata (6-16-2 4KO’s) scoring three knockdowns out of the gate, as the referee stopped the action with 30 seconds left in the first round. Rivera improves to 15-0 12KO’s.

Rivera had this to say about his victory, “It was such an amazing experience. I just want to thank God for these blessings. I can’t wait to get back in the ring.”

Keep an eye out for both Papot and Rivera moving into the new year, as each fighter looks to make a splash in their respective weight classes, and continue their rise up the world rankings.

Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Announces Its 2020 Honorees for its 4th Annual Weekend

The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame (ACBHOF) today announced the honorees for the 2020 Induction Ceremony to be held Friday, June 26, through Sunday, June 28, 2020. The legendary boxers, trainers, promoters, matchmakers, media, and special contributors being enshrined into the 2020 Hall of Fame includes:

Roy Jones, Sergio Martinez, Riddick Bowe, Pernell Whitaker, AL Cole, Ernest Bing, Tony Thornton, Sr., Calvin Grove, Percy Richardson, Tommy Parks, Earl Morton, Steve Weisfeld, Ron Katz, Murad Muhammad, Marc Abrams, Al Bernstein, and Ms. Laoma Byrd.

“I am delighted to be going into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame I don’t know if I truly stopped boxing long enough, but it’s an honor and a pleasure that you guys think enough of me to put me into the Hall of Fame. I’m truly delighted and thankful and look forward to being back in Atlantic City again” said Roy Jones.

Since its 2017 inception, the climax of the weekend showcases the prestigious Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony which will take place in the Celebrity Theater at The Historic Claridge – A Radisson Hotel, located on Park Place & the Boardwalk in Atlantic City.

The Claridge a Radisson Hotel is again proud to host the 4th Annual Induction Ceremony in June 2020 and partner with the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame” says Brian DeWinne, Partner, at the Claridge Hotel, a historic property that opened in 1930. “Ray McCline and his team have put on a great weekend of events in each of the past years here at the Claridge and we expect this to be the best Ceremony to date for them! We look forward to hosting and meeting all the inductees and attendees for the event and want to thank all who choose to visit and stay at our Historic hotel.”

The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame will boast of an exciting weekend filled with VIP Meet & Greets, Live Boxing, Fan Experience, Music, Food, Boxing Legends and Celebrity guests and much more.

“FantaSea Resorts has been a proud sponsor and partner of the ACHOF since its inception. With this year’s exciting Induction class, we believe this will be ACBHOF’s biggest knockout to date. Founder Ray McCline and his team passion and love for boxing are infectious and that always deliver an experience up close and personal with all your favorite super-heroes of the sport. See you all in June” said Roxanne Passarella Esq. President and CEO of FantaSea Resorts.

World Ranked Welterweight Mykal Fox Headlines on Friday, December 6th at 2300 Arena

World-Ranked welterweight Mykal Fox will compete in the 10-round main event on Friday night, December 6th at The 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.

The 10-bout card will be promoted by King’s Promotions.

Fox of Forestville. Maryland is ranked number-15 by the WBA, has a record of 21-1 with five knockouts.

The 24 year-old Fox is a five year professional and has garnered his world ranking on the strength of wins over Ricardo Garcia (14-1), Gonzalo Carlos Dallera (5-0), 2016 Olympic Gold Medal Winner Fazliddin Gainazarov (7-0) and in his last bout, Fox won a 10-round unanimous decision over Eudy Bernardo (25-4) on September 14th in Bethlehem, PA.

Fox’s opponent will be named shortly.

In the eight-round co-feature, undefeated super middleweight Kalvin Henderson will take on Genc Pllana.

Henderson of Fayetville, Arkansas has a record of 12-0 with eight knockouts.

The 29 year-old is a three year professional, and has had a meteoric climb up the super middleweight latter.

Henderson has wins over Bobby Taylor (4-0) and Brandon Robinson in a bout that was voted Philadelphia Fight of the Year for 2018. In his last bout, Henderson stopped Antowyan Aikens on May 10th at the 2300 Arena.

Pllana of Hagerstown, Maryland has a record of 7-1 with four knockouts.

The 25 year-old is a two-year professional who has defeated Jason Bell (3-0) and in his last bout, Pllana stopped Alex Lara in one-round on October 24th in Washington, DC.

A packed undercard has been assembled as some very talented fighters will be on display.

In eight-round bouts, WBA Number-14 ranked super bantamweight Marcus Bates (10-1-1, 8 KOs) of Washington, DC battles Jesus Martinez (26-10, 13 KOs) of Hollywood, Florida.

In six-round bouts, Joshafat Ortiz (7-0, 4 KOs) of Reading, PA will take on an opponent to be named in a lightweight bout.

Shinard Bunch (3-1, 3 KOs) of Camden, NJ fights Vicente Morales (3-4-2, 2 KOs) of Matamoros, MEX in a welterweight contest.

Anthony Mercado (13-4, 11 KOs) of Arecibo, PR takes on an opponent to be named in a junior welterweight bout.

Undefeated Devar Ferhadi (7-0, 6 KOs) of Frederick, Maryland will square off with fellow undefeated Vincent Baccus (4-0-1, 3 KOs) of Okmulgee, OK in a super middleweight bout.

Damon Allen (16-1-1, 5 KOs) of Philadelphia fights an opponent to be named in a junior welterweight fight.

In four-round bouts:

Ryan Umberger (3-0, 3 KOs) of Philadelphia battles Charon Spain (1-13-1) of Davenport, IA in a junior middleweight contest.

Brandon Mullins (6-0, 2 KOs) will box an opponent to be named in a middleweight fight.

Nicholas Irizarry to Return to Action on Saturday in Orlando

Top super lightweight prospect Nicholas Irizarry will fight for the second time as a professional Saturday night when he faces Anthony Overby at the UCF Arena in Orlando, Florida. The card is topped by Dewayne Beamon who takes on Marvin Solano.

Irizarry, who is trained by one of Youtube sensation Logan Paul’s trainers Milton Lacroix, made his professional debut on October 12th in Southern California on the Ronald Johnson-Sergio Ramirez undercard. Irizarry overwhelmed Johnie White, stopping him on his feet in the second round.

This will be Irizarry’s second fight in two months and Ron Johnson’s American Dream Promotions plans on keeping the 23 year old very busy as he gains professional experience.

“Irizarry is a very talented super lightweight prospect that will be a world champion in a few years. He has a very bright future in the sport and we plan on building him up the right way,” Johnson explained.

Saturday’s card is promoted by Undisputed promotions and tickets are still available at Ticketmaster.com.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Karl, DAZN, Nigel Benn, Cobbs, Correa and more…

Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 22nd to October 29th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Eros Correa Remains Undefeated with Knockout Performance in Mexico

This past Saturday, Cali Boxing Management’s super bantamweight prospect, Eros Correa (9-0, 7 KOs), remained undefeated with a first-round knockout over Arturo Ballesteros (2-9, 2 KOs). The scheduled six-round bout took place at the Big Punch Arena in Tijuana, MX and was promoted by GM3 Boxing and Gonzalez Boxing Promotions.

“I felt good to get back in the ring after being sidelined with a minor injury for a few months,” said Correa, who was an alternate on the 2012 USA Olympic team. “I got another knockout and I’m ready to step up in competition. It’s been hard getting fights in the States, but I know if I keep winning, I’ll get an opportunity to shine on a big card.”

“Eros handled his business in Mexico with another knockout performance,” said Andrew Bocanegra, Correa’s co-manager. “We believe he’s ready for a step-up fight and right now we are talking to a few promoters about getting him a fight in the USA. It’s just a matter of time before he’s in a meaningful fight with a named opponent. All we can do is keep building him until we land that big fight.”

“Eros is looking better with each fight,” said Jessie Sanchez, co-manager of Correa. “He has a lot of talent. All we need to do is get him with the right promoter.”

Blair “The Flair” Cobbs Training Camp Quotes

Unbeaten welterweight, Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (12-0-1, 8 KOs), who is managed by Prince Ranch Boxing’s Greg Hannley and promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, has his sights set on steeling the show when he faces Carlos Ortiz (11-4, 11 KOs) on the undercard of Canelo Alvarez versus Sergey Kovalev ,November 2, 2019, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Cobbs vs. Ortiz will be a 10-round bout for the NABF welterweight title, and all the action will air live on DAZN. Live coverage of main card begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Here is what Blair Cobbs, who is also advised by Shahid Malik, had to say about his upcoming fight with Ortiz.

On his recent training camp with trainers Brandon Woods and Bones Adams:

“I really feel that I took my boxing IQ to a new level during this training camp. My coaches Brandon Woods and Bones Adams have got me looking sharp in the gym. I’m starting to understand what they want from me and works best with my God given talent. I can do many different things in the ring and it’s all starting to come together now. I’m in great shape and my body feels rested. All the preparation is finally over and now it’s time to zero in on the task at hand.”

On his matchup against Ortiz:

“I know Ortiz is a southpaw who comes to fight and has a lot of heart. He’s has had plenty of time to prepare for me, so I know he’s coming with his best, just like everyone who steps in the ring with me. My trainers got a masterful game plan in place, and I’m ready to execute. Expect me to control the fight from the opening bell. I’m not going to let this man breathe. If I see an opening, I’m going for the knockout.”

On fighting for the NABF Welterweight title:

“Winning the NABF title is something special because some of the greats have won that belt when they were on their way up to a world title shot. This is the fight that will get me to where I’m trying to go, which is to get ranked in the top 15. I know in due time I’ll get an opportunity to make my dreams come true, and fight for a world title.”

On fighting in Las Vegas on the Canelo vs. Kovalev card:

“Everyone knows Las Vegas is the boxing capitol of the world, and it’s where I call home now. I’m ready to become a super star in this sport. Since I moved to Las Vegas a few years ago, I’ve always saw myself fighting on a big card and here we are. I’m happy that Golden Boy and DAZN have me as the opening bout of the main card. They see the charisma and excitement that I bring to the ring, its what the fans want to see. I’m going to be my electrifying self and everyone watching will see a star in the making. Each fight is getting bigger and bigger and I can’t wait till I’m the main event on a big card like this. It’s Blair “The Flair” Time…Woooo!”

Nigel Benn Statement on Fight Cancellation

(Made by an appointed spokesperson on behalf of Nigel Benn).
After sustaining a shoulder injury in training yesterday (28 October 2019) afternoon, Nigel Benn regrets to inform his fans and supporters that will not be fit to box on November 23rd. Father time has NOT caught up with him at all, as his preparation and sparring had actually progressed better than expected at this stage of his preparation.

Nigel had several anti-inflammatory injections, primarily into one shoulder joint last week, but this treatment has failed in its efforts to reduce the acute pain that is significantly affecting his punching power and full movement on one side.

He is devastated at this setback. Years of organisation has gone into this event, and many people (aside from himself) will be affected by his inability to fight.

This setback will likely mean that he will never get the closure he sought. In his own words “I hope my fans will respect that I have no say in this decision. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience this may cause to my loyal fans who have bought tickets, The British and Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) for sanctioning me, undercard fighters, the venue, suppliers and anyone else who is affected by my announcement. God bless you all.”

The venue (Resorts World Arena) and the 2 appointed ticket agencies – The Ticket Factory and Eventim are currently in dialogue with the head of BIBA (Gianluca Di Caro), in an effort to rescue the event, given 10 fights are still arranged. However, refunds for ticket holders are available from the respective agents upon request.

DAZN Partners with Snapchat

DAZN, the largest global sports streaming service, has announced a new partnership with Snapchat that will include two new Shows and Our Story coverage surrounding DAZN’s biggest boxing events.

The new Show “DAZN Fight Week” will premiere on Snapchat’s Discover page in the United States on Monday, Oct. 28, and new episodes will air every day in the week leading up to Canelo Alvarez’s Nov. 2 fight – which will see the middleweight king jump two weight classes to challenge Sergey Kovalev for his WBO Light Heavyweight belt. Episodes will include Canelo’s career highlights as well as cutdown versions of 40 DAYS: CANELO VS. KOVALEV – the latest installment of DAZN’s behind-the-scenes fight prep docuseries that is executive produced by LeBron James, Maverick Carter, and Carlos Vela.

Watch DAZN on Snapchat here: https://www.snapchat.com/discover/DAZN/2390252634

Additionally, “DAZN Fight Night” will premiere on Nov. 2, featuring live-updating highlights from the night and a complete recap of fight week. Notably, this Show marks the first time Snapchat will have in-progress premier boxing highlights on the platform.

“The DAZN Snapchat slate will bring fight fans closer to the action while allowing us to showcase the sport to an entirely new audience,” said Jamie Horowitz, EVP Content for DAZN North America. “These Shows were specifically developed to leverage the Snapchat platform and highlight the sport’s most thrilling moments. Viewers can expect everything from quick cut highlights on fight night to exclusive access from a fighter’s locker room moments before a bout.”

“DAZN Fight Week” and “DAZN Fight Night” will immediately continue in the week leading up to KSI vs. Logan Paul 2 – the highly-anticipated professional rematch of the two YouTube personalities on Nov. 9 – with new episodes airing beginning Nov. 4 that feature a similar mix of highlights, behind-the-scenes action, and cutdown content of 40 DAYS: KSI VS. LOGAN PAUL 2. In addition, Our Story coverage will debut Saturday, Nov. 9 on fight night, featuring content submitted by Snapchatters and broadcast quality match highlights.

About DAZN:
DAZN is the largest global sports streaming service. Since launching in 2016, DAZN has expanded to nine countries across four continents with its app available for download in the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Japan and Brazil. In the U.S., DAZN has made its mark as an attractive alternative to pay-per-view within the combat sports industry. The service features big fights from Matchroom Boxing, Golden Boy Promotions, GGG Promotions, Bellator MMA, the World Boxing Super Series and Combate Americas, all for one affordable price, on any device – including smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, games consoles and PCs. DAZN also features The Pat McAfee Show, live MLB action each day of the season with its daily show ChangeUp and a growing number of projects from DAZN Originals.

Ryan Karl Battles Bergman Aguilar and David Morrell Jr. Battles Quinton Rankin in FS1 PBC Fight Night

Exciting welterweight Ryan “Cowboy” Karl will take on Costa Rica’s Berman Aguilar in a 10-round welterweight fight and highly-regarded prospect David Morrell Jr. faces Quinton Rankin in an eight-round light heavyweight as part of FS1 PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes on Saturday, November 2 from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.

The action begins at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT and is headlined by undefeated former champion Brian Carlos Castaño against exciting veteran contender Wale “Lucky Boy” Omotoso, plus former world champions Javier “El Abejón” Fortuna and Jesús Andrés Cuellar collide in the co-feature.

Preceding the fights on FS1 are FS2 PBC Fight Night Prelims featuring 2016 U.S. Olympian Gary Antuanne Russell (11-0, 11 KOs) from Capitol Heights, Maryland battling Panama’s Juan Huertas (14-2-1, 10 KOs) in a 10-round super lightweight affair. Prelims begin at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT with unbeaten welterweight prospect Anthony Velazquez (7-0, 7 KOs) in an eight round fight against Delaware’s Michael Crain (3-3, 1 KO).

The lineup also includes undefeated featherweight Ranfis Javier Encarnacion taking on Mexico’s Emmanuel Dominguez in a 10-round attraction and unbeaten bantamweight contender Antonio Russell in a 10-round fight against Mexico’s Samuel Gutierrez.

Non-televised fights will also feature undefeated super lightweight Patrick Harris from Washington, D.C. facing Brazil’s Joaquim Carneiro for eight rounds of action, unbeaten prospect Paul Kroll of Philadelphia in a six-round super welterweight contest, and an eight-round lightweight showdown between once-beaten fighters Dravontay Rawls of Glenarden, Maryland and Newark, New Jersey’s Wanzell Ellison.

Rounding out the show is undefeated welterweight Tyrek Irby from Landover, Maryland in an eight-round duel against Los Angeles-native Joaquin Chavez, unbeaten Keeshawn Williams of District Heights, Maryland in an eight-round super welterweight fight and Kazakhstan’s Shyngyskhan Tazhibay looking to remain unbeaten in a six-round super welterweight attraction.

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

The 27-year-old Karl (17-2, 11 KOs) will enter the ring coming off of back-to-back knockout victories in 2019, most recently stopping David Morales in June. Born in Milano, Texas and fighting out of Houston, Karl won his first 13 pro fights after turning pro in 2014. Karl avenged one of his defeats by knocking Kevin Watts out in their January rematch. He will be opposed by Aguilar (15-5-1, 5 KOs), who was born in Nicaragua and now fights out of Costa Rica. He most recently defeated Eliecer Lanzas in July.

Representing his native Cuba and now fighting out of Minneapolis, Morrell (1-0, 1 KO) made his pro debut in August with a first round knockout of Yendris Valdez. The 21-year-old began his pro career after an impressive amateur career that included being named “Fighter of the Tournament” at the 2016 Youth Boxing Championships. He will be opposed by Charlotte, North Carolina’s Rankin (15-6-2, 12 KOs) who had a three-fight winning streak snapped in a decision loss to Chad Dawson in June.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Conto, Wilder, Ortiz, Easter, Granados, and more…

Compiled By: William Holmes

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

Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Undefeated Heavyweight Sonny Conto Remains Perfect with 1st Round Stoppage

Split-T Management’s Sonny Conto remained undefeated with a stoppage after the 1st round over Steve Lyons in a bout that took place this past Friday night at The Liacouras Center in Conto’s hometown of Philadelphia.

Conto dominated the action against the 11-fight veteran as he used his jab and right hand effectively to the point that Lyons did not want anymore punishment from the 23 year-old Conto.

With the win, the South Philadelphia native upped his perfect mark to 5-0 with four knockouts. Lyons of Larose, Louisiana was the most experienced foe of Conto’s young career is now 5-6.

Conto is promoted by Top Rank.

Two More High-Octane Showdowns Added to Wilder vs. Ortiz II Fox Sports Pay Per View on Saturday, November 23rd

Undefeated rising star Brandon “The Heartbreaker” Figueroa will make the first defense of his WBA Super Bantamweight Titleagainst former champion Julio Ceja while undefeated Mexican power-puncher Luis Nery battles Emmanuel Rodríguez in a matchup of former bantamweight champions on Saturday, November 23 in FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View action live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The pay-per-view event is headlined by boxing’s longest reigning heavyweight world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder defending his WBC title in a rematch against once-beaten Cuban slugger Luis “King Kong” Ortiz. Three-division champion “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz will seek a title in another division in the co-main event when he takes on Miguel “El Michoacan” Flores for the WBA Super Featherweight Championship as part of the pay-per-view action beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

“With these two all-action matchups added, the November 23 card is shaping up to deliver another memorable night of excitement on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “In addition to the Wilder vs. Ortiz rematch and the Santa Cruz vs. Flores title fight, one of the 122-pound division’s hottest young stars Brandon Figueroa will make his first title defense against a very tough opponent in former champion Julio Ceja. Rounding out the night is Mexican knockout artist Luis Nery and tough former champion Emmanuel Rodríguez, who will be sure to kick off the pay-per-view in style with another classic in the Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry.”

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by BombZquad Promotions, TGB Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at www.mgmgrand.com or www.axs.com.

The 22-year-old Figueroa (20-0, 15 KOs) will look to make the first defense of his super bantamweight championship in his fourth fight of 2019. He knocked out Moises Flores in January on FS1 and won an interim super bantamweight title in April on FOX by stopping Yonfrez Parejo. Representing Weslaco, Texas, Brandon, the younger brother of former world champion Omar, has a seven-fight knockout streak that he brings into the ring on November 23, having most recently stopped Javier Nicolas Chacon with an exciting fourth-round knockout in an FS1 main event in August. He was subsequently elevated to full champion by the WBA.

“This is probably going to be the biggest test of my career in the first defense of my title against a solid fighter like Ceja,” said Figueroa. “To be fighting on pay-per-view of the Wilder-Ortiz II undercard at MGM Grand is a dream come true. I’ve been working towards this moment my whole life. I attended Pacquiao vs. Thurman in July and the crowd was electric that night. I told myself while watching that fight ringside that I couldn’t wait to fight at MGM on a similar card, and now look at where we are. Ceja might have lost against Rigondeaux, but he put on a great fight and I know he’s going to come forward and brawl with me on November 23.”

Fighting out of Tlalnepantla, Mexico, Ceja (32-4, 28 KOs) will look to rebound from a loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux on FOX in June, when he was stopped in round eight while leading on all three judges’ scorecards. The 26-year-old knocked out Hugo Ruiz in 2015 to win an interim title before eventually being elevated to the full champion. While he lost the rematch to Ruiz, Ceja put together wins in two of his next three fights heading into the Rigondeaux bout.

“This is a great opportunity and I plan to win the world title again on November 23,” said Ceja. “I know what it takes to win and I will have the best training of my career for this fight. I hope Brandon Figueroa is prepared for fireworks. This title is coming back to Mexico for my country, my pride and my people.”

Nery (30-0, 24 KOs) is a power puncher who has stopped his last 11 opponents and 15 of his last 16. The 24-year-old southpaw from Tijuana, Mexico will be making his third appearance on a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View this year. He scored a dominant stoppage victory over McJoe Arroyo on the March event in Arlington, Texas and returned on the July 20 show to stop former champion Juan Carlos Payano. He scored a TKO victory over Shinsuke Yamanaka to win the bantamweight world title in 2018.

“I’m excited for another opportunity to perform on the biggest stage and show that I’m the best bantamweight in the world,” said Nery. “Rodríguez is a tough competitor and he will help bring out my best on November 23. Mexico and Puerto Rico have a storied rivalry in this sport and I intend to make my mark in history with a spectacular win.”

The 27-year-old Rodríguez (19-1, 12 KOs) will also look to put himself back in position to reclaim a 118-pound belt with a statement win on November 23. Fighting out of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, Rodríguez won the IBF Bantamweight World Title with a unanimous decision victory over Paul Butler in 2018 and defended it successfully against then-unbeaten Jason Moloney. He most recently was stopped by unbeaten champion Naoya Inoue in their May title bout.

“Switching opponents is no problem for me since we always train for different fighting styles,” said Rodríguez, who had previously been scheduled to face former champion Rau’shee Warren before Warren withdrew due to injury. “My Puerto Rican and Mexican people want to see a great fight and that’s what they will have on November 23. I know what Nery brings to the table and I’m ready for that. We are confident in victory and that in 2020 I will be crowned world champion again.”
Robert Easter Jr. and Adrian Granados Preview Super Lightweight Showdown Taking Place this Saturday

Former world champion Robert Easter Jr. and all-action veteran Adrian “El Tigre” Granados will go toe-to-toe this Saturday, October 26 in a crucial super lightweight showdown as both fighters look to insert themselves into the title picture with a win live on SHOWTIME from Santander Arena in Reading, Pa.

“I want to be the top dog at 140 pounds,” said Easter. “I have to go after those guys that have the belts in this division. It doesn’t matter to me who I fight. I just have to fight the best and to me all the belts in the division are up for grabs.”

“Beating Easter would definitely bring me back to championship contender status,” said Granados. “I feel like everything is on the line in this fight. I’m treating this as if my back is against the wall. Easter being a former champ would elevate me for sure, and a win against him would go a long way.”

The weight for this fight is of particular note for both fighters as Easter, a former lightweight champion, will make his super lightweight debut and Granados will move back down after suffering defeats to the 147-pound elite. Both believe big improvements could be in-store because of the weight.

“I’ll be stronger at this weight and more dominant,” said Granados. “I can do a lot more at this weight and it’s more natural for me. I’m stricter on my diet and I have to push a little more in training for this weight. But I’ve had more success at this weight and my body is still geared towards fighting at this weight.

“Overall, this has been night and day from the training camp for my last fight compared to this camp. I was so sick during camp for my last fight that we were almost ready to cancel the fight. This camp has been totally different. I feel completely healthy now and can’t wait to put on great performance on October 26.”

“I felt it was time to make the move up and explore a higher weight class,” said Easter. “Making 135 pounds wasn’t that hard for me, but I was taking off too much muscle to make that weight. Now I’ll definitely have more power and be better hydrated. I’ll feel much more comfortable heading into the fight and inside the ring.

“I know that the guys I’m facing in this weight class will be stronger too, so we’ve been working a lot with my strength and conditioning coach. We’re doing lots of legs and upper body drills. I’m focusing on staying strong, as well as keeping the cardio up.”

With Easter bringing his slick boxing style and top flight speed to the table, and Granados being known as a come-forward fighter who never lets his opponent rest, the winner could be determined by which fighter is able to impose their will and adjust as the fight progresses.

“Granados will come to fight,” said Easter. “I know that. I’ll try to use my boxing skills and not just stand there banging with him, but you never know how it’ll play out until we actually get in the ring. You can’t really put together a blueprint. I’ll just have to adjust to whatever style he brings to the table on October 26.

“Granados is a tough fighter, and I’ve had a plenty of tough fights, but he’s been in there with some great fighters. I know he’ll test me, but I’m ready for whatever he throws at me. I’m training really hard for this one.”

“I think this fight is a classic boxer versus puncher-brawler,” said Granados. “I am going to apply the pressure and I’m going to come out to take this one from him. I think Robert is a tough, good fighter, but I’ve been in there with lots of elite fighters.

“I’m excited to be back at my natural weight. I know that he’s the taller, longer fighter, but I’m not much shorter than him and I know that I have what it takes to beat him when I’m at my best.”

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and King’s Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.com or at the Santander box office (Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.).

Sampson Boxing Signs Mexican Super Lightweight German Orozco to a Contract

Sampson Boxing proudly announces the signing of Mexican super lightweight contender German Rodolfo “Sinaloita” Orozco to a promotional contract.

20-year-old Orozco (24-2-3, 17 KOs) hails from Guamuchil, Sinaloa, Mexico. He turned professional shortly before his 16th birthday and has fought exclusively in his homeland to this point in his career. Orozco is 9-0-1 in his last 10 fights and holds a shutout unanimous decision over former world-title challenger Cosme Rivera in July of this year. In his most recent ring appearance he scored a seventh-round stoppage over popular Mexican contender Nery Saguilan two weeks ago.

“I am honored to have signed with a promoter who has helped so many Mexican fighters become champions,” said Orozco. “I am looking forward to fighting in the United States against the best challengers. I will be world champion one day.”

Orozco’s manager, Javier Landeros, says he’s been waiting patiently for his young prospect to strengthen and mature before bringing him to Lewkowicz.

“We knew we were going to sign with Sampson as the promoter and Fernando Dominguez as the agent from the start,” said Landeros. “German has grown into a strong and talented fighter who is ready for the challenges he needs to become a contender and champion. I trust Sampson to help guide us to big fights internationally, where he can show the world the newest talent from Mexico.”

Lewkowicz says he’s eager to get Orozco fighting in the US and building his name as a prospect to watch next year.

“Sinaloita Orozco is a very talented boxer with great potential and his manager Javier Landeros and Fernando Dominguez are good and honest men who care very much for their fighters,” said Lewkowicz. “I look forward to bringing this young prospect to the United States where he can start his climb to the world-class. They are a good team and I’m happy to be working with them.”

Statement From Golden Boy Regarding Recent Lawsuit

A frivolous lawsuit was filed recently alleging that Oscar De La Hoya sexually assaulted ‘Jane Doe,’ which is completely false. Oscar is a very successful businessman, running one of the country’s leading sports and entertainment companies – thus a prime target. It is worth noting that both recent lawsuits have been filed by the same attorney who is looking to make a name for himself. We vehemently deny these allegations and look forward to vigorously defending Oscar’s good name and reputation.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Kovalev, Canelo, Garcia, Conto, Beterbiev, and more…

Compiled By: William Holmes

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

Photo Credit: Joe Barbuto

South Philadelphia Heavyweight Sonny Conto Right at Home in the Columbus Day Parade

Sonny Conto took time out from preparing for his hometown bout on Oct. 18 to appear in the annual Columbus Day Parade in South Philadelphia. Riding in a convertible adorned with posters promoting his bout at Temple University’s Liacouras Center, Conto entertained the crowd and spent time after the parade, signing autographs and handing out TEAM CONTO headbands to fans.

“It was an amazing experience,” said Conto. “I went to this parade every year as a kid, and this year, I was actually in the parade. It’s an incredible feeling.”

Conto’s convertible was positioned just behind the car of famed Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo. Rizzo passed away in 1991, but is still a beloved figure among South Philadelphia’s Italian community.

Tomorrow it’s back to work for the heavyweight fighter, as he prepares for his bout this Friday.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Peltz Boxing, tickets priced at $150, $90, $75 and $50 (not including applicable fees) can be purchased at the Liacouras Center Box Office, www.liacourascenter.com or charge by phone at 800-298-4200.
A Russia-Ukraine Story Ten Years in the Making- Friday in Philadelphia

As Russia and Ukraine dominate the news, both countries have become inextricably linked to the current impeachment inquiry in Washington DC. Up the road in Philadelphia, two world champion boxers–one Russian, one Ukrainian–are preparing to meet in a light-heavyweight unification bout.

As their home countries wage war against each other, their thoughts are 5,000 miles away, focused not on the opponent’s country, but on the man he will meet in the center of the ring at Temple University’s Liacouras Center on Oct. 18. The winner will leave the ring as WBC/ IBF Light-Heavyweight Champion of the world.

Oleksandr Gvozdyk (17-0, 14 KOs) is the current WBC Light- Heavyweight Champion, having defeated Adonis Stevenson via knockout in the 11th round of their Dec., 2018, bout in Quebec, Canada. The knockout would end Stevenson’s boxing career.

IBF Light-Heavyweight Champion Artur Beterbiev (14-0, 14 KOs) defeated Gvozdyk when the two met as amateurs–Beterbiev representing Russia, Gvozdyk representing Ukraine.

Ukraine Arrives on the American Stage

In recent weeks, calls for President Donald Trump’s impeachment became deafening after Ukraine released the transcript of a phone call between its President, former comedian Volodymir Zelensky, and Trump, which included an exchange about former Vice President and Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter. Trump urged the newly elected leader to investigate the younger Biden.

The impeachment inquiry will examine whether Trump held up $400M in aid to Ukraine with the intention of releasing it when the country began an investigation of Hunter Biden, and one into Ukraine’s role in the 2016 US Presidential election–a conspiracy theory, which Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Guiliani, have repeatedly pushed publicly. The premise is that Crowdstrike, a California-based company that was brought in to investigate the Russian hack of the Democratic party’s servers that election year, is owned by a Ukrainian.

Zelensky, who played the President of Ukraine in a television show called Servant of the People for four years, was elected in a landslide victory in April and began his term as Ukraine’s sixth president in May. He’s an unwitting participant in American politics, which was made clear during a 10-hour, informal question-and-answer session last week with reporters in Ukraine. He spoke dismissively about the potential that Ukraine interfered with the 2016 election, saying he would have to be shown a reason to proceed with any joint “theoretical” investigation.

Like the boxers training in Philadelphia, who are focused on their fight and not on war and politics, his mind is elsewhere – working to end the conflict with Russia on Ukraine’s Eastern border.

His constituents, the people of Ukraine, are not focused on American politics and elections. “The Trump phone call is being covered right now in Ukraine,” said Petro Shugurov, former Ring Magazine Ukraine Writer and Contributing Editor who lives in the country. “Mostly just that Zelensky was involved. The Ukrainian people have enough to worry about with our own politics.”

The American and the Canadian

While the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has a complicated and lengthy history, the roads that led Beterbiev and Gvozdyk to Philadelphia are well-traveled.

“The Boxing Federations of Russia and Ukraine are very similar,” said Shugurov. “They still operate like they did during the days of the USSR. The Russian Federation is like God Almighty to boxers in Russia–there are a lot of programs to support them and they receive stipends.”

Both boxers were decorated amateurs. Beterbiev had over 300 amateur fights and won gold and silver in world-level contests in Milan and Chicago. Gvozdyk had over 250 amateur bouts and won a bronze medal for Ukraine in the 2012 Olympics in London.

Gvozdyk is followed closely by those in his home country of Ukraine and Ukrainians stateside, despite moving to California five years ago to focus on his career: “One month ago, we went to the Ukrainian Festival. There were a lot of Ukrainian people there and I was surprised that a lot of them knew me. We spent a couple hours there, signing autographs and taking photos.”

Gvozdyk, whose father had a brief career as an amateur boxer in Ukraine, is living out his dream in California. “When I asked my wife to come to California with me, to leave her home, she said the most important thing is that I’m going to go with you,” Gvozdyk said of his wife, Daria. He acknowledges that it can sometimes be difficult to be away from family as the two raise a family, but the kids–two boys and one girl, ages 3-10–have traveled the world with their parents. “Our kids are the most quiet kids on the plane when they travel. They don’t cry. They know it’s pointless.” Gvozdyk lost his mother in 2014.

Politics is not a topic that Gvozdyk is anxious to discuss, going so far as to say he doesn’t know what’s happening. “It doesn’t bother me,” he said. “I’m just an athlete. I don’t want to make any parallels to the fight. I am living in California, he is living in Montreal. I just don’t know anything about it.”

“Teddy Atlas, Gvozdyk’s trainer, runs a tight ship,” said J Russell Peltz, who is co-promoting the championship fight with Top Rank. “It doesn’t surprise me that he’s not focused on what’s happening on the other side of the world.”

His opponent, Beterbiev, shared the sentiment. “Any war is bad for people, but I really don’t want to talk about it,” said the Russian, who relocated to Montreal six years ago to further his career. “It’s far from me in Canada.”

Shugurov hints at other motives at why the boxers don’t want to talk about life in the former Soviet bloc: “They are high-profile athletes and they don’t want to upset anyone. They don’t want to have problems like those that have happened with other boxers.

“Ukrainians and Russians are everywhere and they are like a network. Fighters as a whole don’t want to get involved. They want to make money and not have problems. Beterbiev, he’s Canadian now. Gvozdyk is American.”

Beterbiev’s family life nearly mirrors that of his opponent. Married with four children ages 2-8, Beterbiev lost his father to an accident when he was only sixteen. His father was just starting to enjoy his son’s career. “A couple days before he died, I won a bronze medal in a tournament. He said to me: ‘You won this fight. Now go go go. I believe in you.’”

Raising a family away from home hasn’t been easy for Beterbiev and his wife, Medena, though Beterbiev’s mother has traveled to Canada to help.

Much Can Change in Ten Years

Ten years ago, Ukraine was led by Viktor Yushchenko, who had survived an assassination attempt by poison five years prior. There was political chaos and a gas dispute with Russia. Putin was not yet President of Russia, but it was understood that he was in charge of the country. There was tension between the two countries, but nothing that matched the war and hostility they are facing today.

“We had beat Germany together,” said Shugurov. “We fought Nazis together. A whole lot of people believed we should be one country. While Ukraine had a Western-friendly leader, there was a brotherhood between the people of the countries.”

The US had a different president, one not embroiled in an impeachment inquiry permeated by Russian and Ukrainian ties.

Ten years ago, two fighters, one from Ukraine, one from Russia, met in a boxing ring with the Russian besting the Ukrainian. The two fighters, now husbands and fathers, undefeated world champion professionals, living away from home and seeking the glory that comes with unifying world titles, will meet in the most pivotal fight of their respective careers. It’s a fight that transcends politics and war, whose winner, at least in the boxing world, will be declared Unified Champion of the World.
Andrew “El Chango” Cancio to Face Rene Alvarado in Rematch for WBA Super Featherweight Title

WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Andrew “El Chango” Cancio (21-4-2, 16 KOs) will defend his title for a second time in a 12-round rematch against Rene “Gemelo” Alvarado (31-8, 20 KOs). The event will take place on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. and will be streamed live exclusively as part of fight season on DAZN.

“Andrew Cancio is a very resilient fighter and has proven himself with his raw talent and passion, showing his true potential to grow in this industry. Meanwhile, Rene Alvarado has also put in hard work during his tenure, with an impressive determination in the ring that has kept up his winning streak over the past couple of years,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “This year, we’ve put on many high-quality bouts at Fantasy Springs and are confident this event will be the best so far. We’re also excited to add this card to this fall’s action-packed fight season on DAZN. You don’t want to miss this!”

Cancio is a 30-year-old world champion who recently made two back-to-back stoppage wins against former undefeated world champion Alberto “Explosivo” Machado. The native of Blythe, Calif. has become a hero in his hometown, where he received a “Key to the City” after his first win against Machado. Cancio is managed by Ray Chaparro and recently re-signed with Golden Boy before his win against Dardan Zenunaj. Since his return to the sport after a two-year hiatus, he has become one of Golden Boy’s most prominent and determined champions.

“I’m very excited to return to my second home, Fantasy Springs Casino on November 23 for the rematch with Rene Alvarado,” said Andrew Cancio. “This is my 12th time fighting there, and I love the enthusiasm my fans bring to the venue in support of my fights. Rene Alvarado and I have fought before and now he’s earned another opportunity to fight me. I know he’ll be very well prepared to try and take my WBA world title. However, I plan on defending my championship in impressive style once again and show boxing fans in attendance and watching on DAZN that I’m the best 130-pound fighter in the world, period!”

Alvarado is a 30-year-old super featherweight contender who has faced challenging opponents in his professional career including Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos, Rocky Juarez, Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, Manuel “Tino” Avila, Jayson Velez, Yuriokis “El Ciclon de Guantanamo” Gamboa, and Carlos “The Solution” Morales. A veteran in the ring that originates from Nicaragua, Alvarado hopes to avenge his loss against Andrew Cancio.

“Nicaragua is known for its great world champions, and I’m one step away from becoming one,” said Rene Alvarado. “I’m coming for the victory against Andrew Cancio on November 23. We know each other very well, and it’s going to be a war.”

In the co-main event, Xu Can (17-2, 3 KOs), China’s third world champion, will defend his WBA Featherweight World Title against rising contender Manny Robles III (18-0, 8 KOs) of Los Angeles in a 12-round fight. Robles is a crafty fighter whose grandfather and father were renowned trainers. After victories against the likes of Edgar “Kid Neza” Valerio and Rigoberto Hermosillo, Robles is ready to take on the biggest challenge of his career against a man who has become a national hero in his home country.

“I’m ready to make the second defense of my world title,” said Xu Can. “I defended it with honor in my home country of China, and now I’ll come back to the United States to defend it against a tough fighter. Manny Robles III as earned his opportunity. He is smart and tough, but I plan to remain champion for a very long time.”

“My time has come,” said Manny Robles III. “All of my amateur experience, the hours spent in the gym, and the tough fights as a professional have prepared me for this challenge. I’m ready to bring a world title to Los Angeles and make everyone at home proud. Xu Can is a phenomenal fighter, but on Nov. 23, the Robles family will crown its very own world champion.”

Rashidi “Speedy” Ellis (21-0, 14 KOs) of Boston will fight Eddie “Eboy” Gomez (23-3, 13 KOs) of the Bronx, N.Y. in a 10-round rematch for the vacant WBA Continental Americas Welterweight Title. Ellis is very close to a world title opportunity, while Gomez is eager to avenge his stunning first-round knockout loss to him in 2016.

Victor Morales Jr. (12-0, 7 KOs) of Vancouver, Wash. will return in an eight-round super featherweight bout. This will be Morales’ first fight on a Golden Boy card after signing with the company.

Alberto “Impacto” Melian (5-1, 3 KOs) of Buenos Aires, Argentina will participate in an eight-round super bantamweight fight. Melian is a two-time Olympian who will return after his first loss against Leonardo “Leon” Baez for the NABA Super Bantamweight Title.

Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (15-3-1, 6 KOs) of Urumqi, China will face Saul Corral (30-14, 20 KOs) of Sonora, Mexico in an eight-round super lightweight bout.

Daniel Barrera will make his professional debut in a four-round super flyweight fight.

Alex Rincon (7-0, 6 KOs) of Dallas will return in a six-round super welterweight fight.

Opponents for this undercard will be announced shortly.

Ryan Garcia to Face ‘Ruthless” Romero Duno in Co-Main Event of Canelo-Kovalev

The Canelo vs. Kovalev undercard will be brimming with action as it features the returns of Ryan Garcia, Bakhram Murtazaliev, Seniesa Estrada, Marlen Esparza and many others. The event will take place Saturday, Nov. 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively as one of the most anticipated events this fight season on DAZN.

“We have put a lot of thought into this long-awaited night, and we’re eager to deliver one of the best undercards of the year,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “This event will feature some of our brightest talents taking on the toughest fights of their careers. With Ryan Garcia, we have a huge star in the making, but he’ll need to get past a tough, hard-hitting contender in Romero Duno to secure his path for a world title. We also have Seniesa Estrada and Marlen Esparza, who will look to final end their rivalry in a fight for the Interim WBA Flyweight Title. So, whether in person or live on DAZN, a new chapter in boxing’s history will unfold on November 2.”

As announced previously, rising superstar Ryan Garcia (18-0, 15 KOs) of Victorville, Calif. will look to unify the vacant WBC Silver Lightweight Championship with NABO Lightweight Champion “Ruthless” Romero Duno (21-1, 16 KOs) of Cotabato City, Philippines in the 12-round co-main event to Canelo vs. Kovalev. This will be a fight between two of the hardest-hitting lightweights in the Golden Boy stable.

“This is a big moment for me,” said Ryan Garcia. “These opportunities don’t come often. It’s my chance to show what I’m capable of on the biggest stage in boxing. I’m not going to let this opportunity slip. I’m fighting against Romero Duno, the opponent I wanted since the beginning, so I’m going show that I’ve reached another level on Nov. 2.”

“This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for,” said Romero Duno. “I’m so excited to be part of a such a big night as the co-main event of Canelo vs. Kovalev. This fight has been building up for some time. I’ve had my eye on Ryan Garcia for a while now. I promise to do everything it takes to beat him on Nov. 2 and take home a big victory for the Philippines!”

Undefeated Russian prospect Bakhram Murtazaliev (16-0, 13 KOs) will face the biggest test of his young career in a 12-round elimination bout with Jorge Fortea (20-1-1, 6 KOs) of Valencia, Spain for the mandatory position in the IBF Junior Middleweight Division. Murtazaliev was originally supposed to fight Jeison Rosario on September 21 for the #1 position but Rosario pulled out due to an injury. This exciting bout will be co-promoted by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with Sampson Boxing.

“I have been waiting a long time for this opportunity. I am excited for my first fight with my new trainer, Virgil Hunter. We will be ready on November 2nd to face Fortea and become mandatory challenger. Thank you to my team Main Events, Krusher Promotions, Kathy Duva, Sergey Kovalev, my manager, Egis Klimas and Virgil Hunter for making my dream a reality.”

According to Fortea, “It’s a moment I have been waiting for whole my life, to be part of the undercard of Canelo vs Kovalev for my US debut is like a dream. I trained 15 years for this. I want to thank Sampson Lewkowicz for making it true, Main Events and Golden Boy for hosting the eliminator. Murtazaliev is indeed a strong and dangerous boxer but I will be ready for that and my skills will prevail. I won’t waste the opportunity to fight for a world title”

Bakhram is a terrific fighter and we are so pleased to be able to give him this great opportunity on such an auspicious night,” said Main Events’ CEO Kathy Duva. “With any luck, Main Events and Krusher promotions will have another world champion soon.”

Two of the most exciting and popular female boxers in the sport today will finally settle their heated rivalry as Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada (17-0, 7 KOs) of East Los Angeles, Calif. and Marlen Esparza (7-0, 1 KOs) of Houston, Texas battle for the vacant Interim WBA Flyweight Title. This clash has been building up for over two years as both fighters have been exchanging words over social media and various interviews.

“Thank you to my promoter Golden Boy, especially Roberto Diaz for making this fight possible,” said Seniesa Estrada.“I’m happy to give the fans the fight they’ve been wanting to see. I’m looking forward to representing women’s boxing in a positive way. I’m going to put on a great show and demonstrate my skills, showing things that people have not yet seen from me. Thank you to all the people who continue to support me.”

“My team and I have been pushing for this fight,” said Marlen Esparza. “I know this is what the fans want. Now I’m forcing her to back up everything she has ever said. She knows it’s going to be a long night for her.”

Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (12-0-1, 8 KOs), a fan-favorite native of Philadelphia, will fight for the vacant NABF Welterweight Title against Carlos Ortiz (11-4, 11 KOs) of Torreon, Mexico. Cobbs is an exciting, unconventional fighter who has taken the undefeated records of Ferdinand “Lucky Boy” Kerobyan and most recently against Steve “Manos de Oro” Villalobos.

Rising 17-year-old prospect Tristan Kalkreuth (2-0, 2 KOs) of Duncanville, Texas will return in a four-round cruiserweight fight.

Meiirim Nursultanov (12-0, 8 KOs) of Merki, Kazakhstan will fight in a 10-roumd middleweight battle against Cristian Olivas (16-5, 13 KOs) of San Ysidro, California for the WBC – USNBC Middleweight Title. Nursultanov is a top prospect in the hot middleweight division and is current ranked #10 in the IBF. Olivas hits hard with power in both hands and has never been stopped. This should be an explosive match-up.

Evan Holyfield, the son of legendary Hall of Famer Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield, will make his much-anticipated professional debut in a four-round junior middleweight fight against Nick Winstead (0-1) of Abita Springs, La.

Canelo –Kovalev Stacked Undercard at MGM on November 2nd

The Canelo vs. Kovalev undercard will be brimming with action as it features the returns of Ryan Garcia, Bakhram Murtazaliev, Seniesa Estrada, Marlen Esparza and many others. The event will take place Saturday, Nov. 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively as one of the most anticipated events this fight season on DAZN.

“We have put a lot of thought into this long-awaited night, and we’re eager to deliver one of the best undercards of the year,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “This event will feature some of our brightest talents taking on the toughest fights of their careers. With Ryan Garcia, we have a huge star in the making, but he’ll need to get past a tough, hard-hitting contender in Romero Duno to secure his path for a world title. We also have Seniesa Estrada and Marlen Esparza, who will look to final end their rivalry in a fight for the Interim WBA Flyweight Title. So, whether in person or live on DAZN, a new chapter in boxing’s history will unfold on November 2.”

As announced previously, rising superstar Ryan Garcia (18-0, 15 KOs) of Victorville, Calif. will look to unify the vacant WBC Silver Lightweight Championship with NABO Lightweight Champion “Ruthless” Romero Duno (21-1, 16 KOs) of Cotabato City, Philippines in the 12-round co-main event to Canelo vs. Kovalev. This will be a fight between two of the hardest-hitting lightweights in the Golden Boy stable.

“This is a big moment for me,” said Ryan Garcia. “These opportunities don’t come often. It’s my chance to show what I’m capable of on the biggest stage in boxing. I’m not going to let this opportunity slip. I’m fighting against Romero Duno, the opponent I wanted since the beginning, so I’m going show that I’ve reached another level on Nov. 2.”

“This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for,” said Romero Duno. “I’m so excited to be part of a such a big night as the co-main event of Canelo vs. Kovalev. This fight has been building up for some time. I’ve had my eye on Ryan Garcia for a while now. I promise to do everything it takes to beat him on Nov. 2 and take home a big victory for the Philippines!”

Undefeated Russian prospect Bakhram Murtazaliev (16-0, 13 KOs) will face the biggest test of his young career in a 12-round elimination bout with Jorge Fortea (20-1-1, 6 KOs) of Valencia, Spain for the mandatory position in the IBF Junior Middleweight Division. Murtazaliev was originally supposed to fight Jeison Rosario on September 21 for the #1 position but Rosario pulled out due to an injury. This exciting bout will be co-promoted by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with Sampson Boxing.

“I have been waiting a long time for this opportunity. I am excited for my first fight with my new trainer, Virgil Hunter. We will be ready on November 2nd to face Fortea and become mandatory challenger. Thank you to my team Main Events, Krusher Promotions, Kathy Duva, Sergey Kovalev, my manager, Egis Klimas and Virgil Hunter for making my dream a reality.”

According to Fortea, “It’s a moment I have been waiting for whole my life, to be part of the undercard of Canelo vs Kovalev for my US debut is like a dream. I trained 15 years for this. I want to thank Sampson Lewkowicz for making it true, Main Events and Golden Boy for hosting the eliminator. Murtazaliev is indeed a strong and dangerous boxer but I will be ready for that and my skills will prevail. I won’t waste the opportunity to fight for a world title”

“Bakhram is a terrific fighter and we are so pleased to be able to give him this great opportunity on such an auspicious night,” said Main Events’ CEO Kathy Duva. “With any luck, Main Events and Krusher promotions will have another world champion soon.”

Two of the most exciting and popular female boxers in the sport today will finally settle their heated rivalry as Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada (17-0, 7 KOs) of East Los Angeles, Calif. and Marlen Esparza (7-0, 1 KOs) of Houston, Texas battle for the vacant Interim WBA Flyweight Title. This clash has been building up for over two years as both fighters have been exchanging words over social media and various interviews.

“Thank you to my promoter Golden Boy, especially Roberto Diaz for making this fight possible,” said Seniesa Estrada. “I’m happy to give the fans the fight they’ve been wanting to see. I’m looking forward to representing women’s boxing in a positive way. I’m going to put on a great show and demonstrate my skills, showing things that people have not yet seen from me. Thank you to all the people who continue to support me.”

“My team and I have been pushing for this fight,” said Marlen Esparza. “I know this is what the fans want. Now I’m forcing her to back up everything she has ever said. She knows it’s going to be a long night for her.”

Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (12-0-1, 8 KOs), a fan-favorite native of Philadelphia, will fight for the vacant NABF Welterweight Title against Carlos Ortiz (11-4, 11 KOs) of Torreon, Mexico. Cobbs is an exciting, unconventional fighter who has taken the undefeated records of Ferdinand “Lucky Boy” Kerobyan and most recently against Steve “Manos de Oro” Villalobos.

Rising 17-year-old prospect Tristan Kalkreuth (2-0, 2 KOs) of Duncanville, Texas will return in a four-round cruiserweight fight.

Meiirim Nursultanov (12-0, 8 KOs) of Merki, Kazakhstan will fight in a 10-roumd middleweight battle against Cristian Olivas (16-5, 13 KOs) of San Ysidro, California for the WBC – USNBC Middleweight Title. Nursultanov is a top prospect in the hot middleweight division and is current ranked #10 in the IBF. Olivas hits hard with power in both hands and has never been stopped. This should be an explosive match-up.

Evan Holyfield, the son of legendary Hall of Famer Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield, will make his much-anticipated professional debut in a four-round junior middleweight fight against Nick Winstead (0-1) of Abita Springs, La.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Coleman, Martinez, Eddie Murphy, Russell Peltz, and more…

Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 1st to October 8th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

J. Russell Peltz Honored by Philadelphia City Council

Members of the Philadelphia City Council presented a resolution honoring J Russell Peltz at this morning’s council meeting on behalf of President Darrell Clarke. The resolution recognized Peltz’ contribution to the city over 50 years of promoting boxing in Philadelphia. President Clarke serves as the City Councilman for District 5, where Peltz promoted his first boxing event at the Blue Horizon on September 30, 1969.

The resolution gave a brief history of Peltz’ career before thanking him for the profound impact he had on the city over the last 50 years. It also expressed the wish that the next generation of boxing promoters continue to preserve Philadelphia’s legacy as a boxing stronghold.

Peltz was gracious in his remarks, and had the crowd laughing when he began speaking about his career.

“I’m humbled to be honored by the city,” he began, “because if you think about it, the only thing I’ve done over the last 50 years is start fights that other people finish.

“I’ve grown up in the greatest fight city in the world,” he continued. “Some of the greatest fighters of all time have fought for me – hall of fame fighters – beginning with my first love, Bennie Briscoe in 1969, and going all the way up through one of my fighters winning a world title in Bejing, China a couple years ago by the name of Jason Sosa.”

He closed his remarks with a story about playing “Cowboys & Indians” as a kid, and how he thought it would be so cool if he could just play the game as an adult, instead of going to work every day. “Honestly, that’s what my career has been like,” he said, and thanked the Council for the honor.

Peltz was joined in attendance by his wife, Linda, and his protege and the promoter of Friday’s “Blood, Sweat and 50 Years” fight card at 2300 Arena, Michelle Rosado.

Eddie Murphy’s Nephew Brandyn Lynch Aims to Shine on 10/12 in California

Rising super welterweight Brandyn “Bad News” Lynch(9-10) returns to action next Saturday when he faces Bernard Thomas in Pico Rivera, California. The stakes have never been higher for Lynch as the vacant GBO super welterweight regional title will be on the line.

The 28 year old Lynch, who began boxing professionally in late 2016 is the nephew of Eddie Murphy who recently signed a major distribution deal with streaming giant Netflix. This will be the 5th fight of the year for Lynch who expects to keep his busy schedule through 2020 as he moves closer to title contention.

Ronald Johnson headlines the card against Sergio Ramirez in a rematch of their 2017 thriller that took place in Las Vegas. Johnson won the first time around by unanimous decision and is looking to win more decisively in their second go around.

In addition to headlining the card, Johnson is also the CEO of American Dream Presents, the company that is co-promoting the card along with Red Boxing Promotions and Hollywood’s Powerhouse Wardour Studios. This event will serve as the lead in to a big 2020 for the company as several shows are being mapped out both domestically and internationally in 2020.

Johnson is looking for Lynch to be one of the cornerstones of some of the upcoming events. He recently sat down with Brandyn’s father, Vernon Lynch to discuss his son’s future plans and both sides are interested in coming to a long term agreement.

Lynch’s boxing ability, combined with his family’s connections, has generated a lot of interest in Hollywood. Many of Hollywood’s biggest names will be in attendance on October 12th.

Sampson Lewkowicz Congratulates Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez for Being Named on Class of 2020 International Boxing Hall of Fame Ballot

Promoter/matchmaker and legendary talent scout Sampson Lewkowicz wishes to congratulate his long-time fighter and former junior middleweight and middleweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez, for being included on the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) ballot for the class of 2020.

In his long and storied career, Martinez held the Interim World Boxing Council World Super Welter Title and the WBC Middleweight Championship, which he defended six times. His memorable victories over Paul “The Punisher” Williams (KO 2) Kelly Pavlik (UD 12) and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (UD 12) cemented Martinez as one of the top fighters of the early 2010’s.

Lewkowicz, best-known as the man who discovered Manny Pacquiao, signed a then-unknown WBC Super Middleweight Champion David Benavidez and brought Martinez to North America, is also making his debut on the hall-of-fame ballot this year. Lewkowicz was a long-time advisor to Martinez through all the most important parts of his career and the pair enjoy a warm relationship to this day.

Martinez will have his work cut out for him to make the cut, as the Class of 2020 is stacked with superstars including Jorge Arce, Timothy Bradley, Vuyani Bungu, Joel Casamayor, Diego Corrales, Carl Froch, Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Antonio Tarver and Israel Vazquez.

“I congratulate the great champion, Sergio Martinez, for being named in this esteemed hall’s ballot. He was and will always be a role model and beloved fighter and this recognition is well deserved. I hope the judges see him as the great warrior he is and put him among the best of all time.”

Lewkowicz, a former amateur boxer, was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and came to the US in 1971. He met then World Boxing Council President Jose Sulaiman while managing an electronics store in New York City and caught the boxing bug. The rest, as they say, is history.

He is nominated in the Non-Participant Category, along with 29 others including Kenny Adams (trainer), Rodney Berman (promoter), Freddie Brown (cut man), Bill Caplan (publicist), Miguel Diaz (trainer/cutman), Lou DiBella (promoter), Cameron Dunkin (manager), Kathy Duva (promoter), Duane Ford (judge); Al Gavin (cut man); Harry Gibbs (referee); Brad Goodman (matchmaker), Dr. Margaret Goodman (ringside physician), Dan Goossen (promoter), Chuck Hull (ring announcer), Brendan Ingle (trainer), Jackie McCoy (manager/trainer); Dave Moretti (judge), Carlos Padilla (referee), Abel Sanchez (trainer), Fritz Sdunek (trainer), Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel (administrator) and Ulli Wegner (trainer), Ted Broadribb (manager), Charles E. “Parson” Davies (Manager), Francois Deschamps (manager), Dai Dollings (trainer), John Fleming (manager/promoter) and Gilberto Mendoza Sr. (administrator).

The hall of fame’s electors, made up of members of the Boxing Writers Association of America and selected non-members of the BWAA as well as a panel of historians from Japan, England, Canada, Italy, South Africa, Germany, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United States, will vote for five people in each category and, in Lewkowicz’s category, the top three vote-getters will be inducted.

Adding some hope to Martinez’s chances, the IBHOF has made a rule change that states that in addition to the top-three vote getters, any fighter who receives more than 80% of the vote will be inducted, creating the possibility of five fighters being enshrined in one year.

“It is just an honor to be on the ballot with so many great names,” continued Lewkowicz. “My hope is for Sergio Martinez, who deserves to take a place of honor among the greats. He is an icon and a treasure to his countrymen and deserves any accolades he receives.”

GH3 Promotions Signs Undefeated Junior Middleweight Derrick Coleman Jr.

GH3 Promotions has announced the signing of undefeated junior middleweight prospect Derrick Coleman.

Coleman of Detroit, Michigan, has a record of 9-0 with seven knockouts.

“Derrick is a very talented young fighter. He possesses a lot of skill and power. I look forward on moving him, getting him great television exposure, and putting him in position for big fights,” said GH3 Promotions CEO, Vito Mielnicki.

The now 20 year-old Coleman began boxing at the age of four because his family, namely his grandfather were big fans of the sport. Coleman had a 135-fight amateur career, and was a four-time National Champion.

Coleman plied his trade at the famed Kronk Gym, and worked with the legendary Emanuel Steward until his passing. Coleman is now trained by Marlon Thomas.

Coleman turned professional in 2017 at the age of 18, and he has been perfect by displaying his boxer-puncher skill-set.

“I signed with GH3 Promotions because Vito treated me like family, and he made me an offer that could not turn down. I can see him moving me and hopefully I will be in the top-20 in the next year.”

Coleman, who is managed by Sheer Sports Management, and advised by Dave “Bing” Dogan.

“This is a great situation to be working with Vito. He can do a lot of good for Derrick and I know he will move him in the right direction,” said Dogan.

Coleman will be in action on Friday, October 25th in Philadelphia.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Hall of Fame, Wilder, Ortiz, Benn, Santa Cruz, Shields, and more…

By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of September 24th to October 1st; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Photo Credit: Nabeel Ahmad/Premier Boxing Champions

Deontay Wilder vs. Luiz Ortiz and Leo Santa Cruz vs. Miguel Flores Press Conference Quotes

Here is what the fighters had to say Saturday from the Lexus Club at STAPLES Center:


“Here we go again. The only way for there to be a rematch was for there to be an exciting first fight. When I first met this man in the ring, it was amazing and inspiring to go up against such a skillful fighter. It was such a great experience for me and an honor for me to face him.

“That first fight was a test for me to show me where my skill level was in the heavyweight division. He was the bogeyman in the heavyweight division for a reason. To this day, they still don’t fight him for a reason.

“I’m the best in the world. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I believe in that and I’ve proven that. I’ve proved so many people wrong and I still have to do it. That gives me the motivation and the will to keep going.

“I created a bond with Ortiz fighting the first time because of our daughters. We were two fathers in the ring who had to battle it out for our families. There’s no better feeling than going for war against another gladiator.

“There wasn’t really anything that I learned about myself in the first fight, but it was confirmation of something I had already known. I know what I can do and I believe in myself. I didn’t feel like I was proving anything to myself, it was just proving it to others.

“We’re passionate about this and we want to give the fans the best fight possible. We will do that again because I never leave you without having a great time and giving you excitement. If you’ve never seen a boxing match before, I’m the person to come see. If you want to see excitement, this is the fight to be at. This is the fight to order.

“I’m a true champion. A true champion can walk it like he talks it, and I walk it like I talk it every time. On November 23 I expect to see everyone there or ordering it on pay-per-view, because I can’t wait.”


“I’m very happy to have this opportunity at the rematch. Wilder had the courage to take the rematch and that’s a big part of why this is happening. I’m excited for this fight and I’m going to make the most of it.

“There are no excuses from me. The first fight is over. Now we’re on to this fight. I’m going to get the victory. There are things that are being done differently, but it will all be decided in the ring.

“I’m focused on this fight and only this fight. I’m not a man of many words, but the opportunity is here and it was destined to be. Here we go.

“A warrior doesn’t abandon his mission. My mission is to become world champion. I’ve trained very hard since my loss and it will all culminate on November 23.

“I won’t make the same mistake this time like I made in the last fight. I’m going to be more prepared, more aggressive and have more of everything. I’m taking it all up a level.

“There was no reason for me not winning the first fight, it just is what it is. We knew that one of us was going to get knocked out. I have that same sentiment for the rematch. This fight is not going 12 rounds.

“I want November 23 to get here sooner than later. I’m ready to step into the ring and do the job and become heavyweight world champion.”


“I work hard for every fight and it’s going to be the same for this fight. This opportunity came to fight for the 130-pound title and I’m excited to fight for it. I want to become a four-division world champion.

“I’m going to see how I feel at 130. If I’m strong I definitely feel like I will have more fights there. My goal right now is to win this world title. That’s what I’m focused on.

“I’m very happy and excited to have this opportunity to become a four-division world champion. My goal when I began boxing was just to become a world champion. To go for a fourth time is an even bigger dream.

“Miguel Flores is a tough fighter and I don’t underestimate him. I know it’s going to be a hard fight. He’s going to come with everything he has. It’s the opportunity of his lifetime.

“I’m really motivated like this is my first world title. This is something big for me. It will help me be remembered as one of the best Mexican fighters and that’s my goal.

“Most importantly, we’re going to give the fans a great show on fight night. To be the co-main event for Deontay Wilder is amazing. He always gives a great show, but my job is to give everyone even more excitement.”


“They say you don’t get second chances in life, but I am getting that and I’m very grateful. Everything happens for a reason. This fight was meant to happen and I plan to take full advantage of it.

“Being at 130 or 126 doesn’t make a difference to me when fighting Leo, it’s still the same guy. He started his career at 118 anyway and I’ve had it in my brain for so long about how I’m going to beat him.

“The strategy is to outdo him in anything. Outsmart him, out hustle him and just be able to do it all. He does everything well and he’s a veteran. I know he has tricks under his sleeve, but we need to be ready for that and have something ready to go back at him.

“This is an even bigger scene being the co-main event to the heavyweight championship of the world in Las Vegas. Everything has worked out perfect for me. That wasn’t my mentality when the injury happened, but now it all makes sense.

“I want to be able to be the guy. By beating Leo, I become the guy. It’s both of our jobs to turn everyone into believers. After this fight, everyone is going to know this was a great fight.

“Our focus is on Leo Santa Cruz. November 23 is all that’s on my mind. A lot of people don’t know how good my boxing skills are and how crafty I can be in the ring. They’re going to be in for a surprise.”

International Boxing Hall of Fame Ballots to be Released to Worldwide Voting Panel for 2020 Election

The International Boxing Hall of Fame released the 2020 election ballots to an international panel of voters today. Inductees will be named in the following categories: Modern, Old-Timer, Pioneer, Non-Participant and Observer; and, for the first time, Women’s Modern and Trailblazer.

In addition to the newly created women’s boxing categories, the Hall of Fame previously announced that modern-era boxers now require a three-year retirement period.

Members of the Boxing Writers Association of America and an international panel of boxing historians cast votes. Voters from Japan, England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United States are among those who will participate in the election process.

“The October 1st ballot mailing is a special time for the sport of boxing,” said Executive Director Edward Brophy. “The anticipation of the vote is palpable as the Hall of Fame and the worldwide boxing community anxiously awaits the results to determine who will join the list of boxing immortals.”

Boxers added to the men’s modern ballot for 2020 include Jorge Arce, Timothy Bradley, Vuyani Bungu, Joel Casamayor, Diego Corrales, Carl Froch, Bernard Hopkins, Sergio Martinez, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Antonio Tarver and Israel Vazquez.

Boxers comprising the first ever women’s modern ballot include Laila Ali, Sumya Anani, Regina Halmich, Holly Holm, Susi Kentikian, Christy Martin, Lucia Rijker, Jisselle Salandy, Mary Jo Sanders, Laura Serrano, Ana Maria Torres and Ann Wolfe.

Ballots are distributed on October 1st and a news conference will be held in early December to announce results of the voting.

The 2020 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend will be held June 11-14 in Canastota, NY.

Don King Signs Ilunga Makabu

Ilunga Makabu 26-2, 24 KOs, born in Kananga, Democratic Republic Of The Congo, now residing in Johannesburg, South Africa is the current World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver Cruiserweight Champion and is ranked No. 1 ranked by the WBC in the cruiserweight division.

“Signing with Don King is the beginning of a new chapter,” said Makabu. “A dream that I have had my entire life can now be fulfilled – fighting for the world title in my own country and becoming world champion in the Congo.”

“I have traveled from France, and Makabu from the Congo, to meet here in Florida with Don King,” said co-manager Tarik Saadi. “I have matched the greatest fighter in the world with the greatest promoter in the world and today, together, we sign for the future of Junior Makabu..”

“It has been a pleasure to work with Tarik in the past four weeks to bring this all together,” said advisor Lee Holiday. “To get the deal signed is certainly a great achievement. I look forward to working with this team and working with Junior Makabu and making him the world champion.”

“I am extremely excited to sign the future WBC Cruiserweight Champion,” said Hall of Fame Promoter Don King. “It is perfect timing as I have been speaking with Ferdinand Luyoyo, the President of the Boxing Federation of the Democratic Republic of Congo, about putting a fantastic card together to celebrate the anniversary of ‘The Rumble in the Jungle.’ It was 45 years ago when the greatest of all times, THE LEGENDARY MUHAMMAD ALI AND THE GIANT, STRONG MAN OF BOXING, THE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD, GEORGE FOREMAN had that great, legendary fight in Kinshasa, Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo – ‘A Salute to Greatness for The Pursuit of World Peace’ featuring the WBA Heavyweight championship bout”.

“We want to revitalize the sport and bring some new blood onto the scene and to do a card with the World Boxing Association cruiserweight champion Beibut Shumenov, the WBC world cruiserweight title fight with Ilunga Makabu and a couple additional world title fights. General Ferdinand Luyoyo is going to set up a meeting with the President of the DRC, Felix Tshisekedi and we are hoping to put a show there before the end of the year with five world championship bouts, one featuring the Iron Lady of Nigeria, Helen Joseph.”

And on Thursday In New York . . .

“I was in New York City Thursday to celebrate the legacy of George Herbert Walker Bush at The George H.W. Bush Points of Light Awards Gala at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

George H W Bush was a man of the people and was always looking to help somebody else. I feel honored to work with the Bush family and I am deeply appreciative to be a part of and to be able to contribute to the Thousand Points of Light. It was also a great honor for me to greet and meet Honorable Jesse Jackson and former President William Jefferson Clinton (Bill). We all got a chance to take photos and promote love and peace together. It was all about learning to help and to love each other instead of being taught to hate each other with disdain and with superior and inferior classes of people which denigrates humanity and promotes hatred and divisiveness.

Thousand Points of Light honored Garth Brookes, one of my favorite country singers, with the “Man of the Year” award. The Beach Boys performed live and the great Dr. Love (Michael Love) told me he was 78-years old and I told him “I got you by ten years.” It was all about unity, solidarity and togetherness. I love the Bush family and they represent what America should be in democracy. A great lady, wonderful mother and a fantastic First Lady Barbara Bush, and a great American, a tried, a tested and true American patriot, former President George HW Bush and together, Barbara Pierce Bush and George H W Bush set the tone for family, love and togetherness… signaling for a better America.

Claressa Shields and Salita Promotions to Honor Flint City Youth

Undisputed middleweight world champion and hometown hero Claressa Shields is joining forces with corporate sponsor IronRoad and her promoter, Salita Promotions, to honor representatives from several area youth groups at her upcoming world-championship fight on October 5 at the Dort Federal Event Center in Flint, Mich.

Nearly 300 youth and chaperones from six different groups including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flint and Genesee County, YMCA of Greater Flint, Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Flint in partnership with “SHE IS” Youth Empowerment Group, GENYOUth and the Claressa Shields Community Program will be introduced to the crowd in attendance and recognized by the community during Shields historic 10-round “Homecoming for Herstory,” showdown with former world champion Ivana Habazin for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship.

In her first professional fight in her hometown of Flint, 24-year-old Shields (9-0, 2 KOs) will be looking to become the fastest fighter in boxing, male or female, to become a three-division world champion by defeating #1-ranked Habazin (20-3, 7 KOs), of Zagreb, Croatia.

The fight will headline a SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT) telecast that will also feature undefeated Saginaw, Mich., heavyweight prospect Jermaine Franklin (19-0, 13 KOs) facing Czech Republic’s once-beaten Pavel Sour (11-1, 6 KOs) and unbeaten welterweight prospect Jaron “Boots” Ennis (23-0, 21 KOs) taking on Argentina’s Demian Daniel Fernandez (12-1, 5 KOs).

“The youth are the future of Flint. I want them to know that being born in Flint is not a bad thing, that we can still be successful,” said Shields. “It wouldn’t be a homecoming without involving the kids. I love Flint and want to show the kids that no matter what is thrown at us, we are fighters and we are winners!”

“I want to thank IronRoad for their vision and support which allowed us to honor the Youth Groups of Flint at this historic event,” said Dmitriy Salita. “The presence of three-hundred youth will make an historic event even more special and memorable.”

“There’s nothing more important to Claressa than including the youth of Flint in the October 5 homecoming event,” said Shields’ manager, Mark Taffet. “I thank IronRoad and Salita Promotions for their support which will enable us to honor Flint youth and recognize the leaders of the Flint youth groups for their dedication.”

IronRoad (ironroad.us) is a corporation which provides human resources services and support to companies across the US and is a regular supporter of causes which give back to communities and particularly support the development of the youth of America.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flint and Genesee County (www.bbbsflint.org) makes a difference by creating professionally supported one-to-one matches for kids who want to realize their full potential. They are located at 410 E. Second Street in Flint. For more information, call (810) 235-0617 or email [email protected]
YMCA of Greater Flint (flintymca.com) focuses on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Y nurtures the potential of every youth and teen, improves the nation’s health and well-being, and provides opportunities to give back and support neighbors. They are located at Downtown Branch: 411 E. 3rd St. in Flint, call (810) 232-9622 and Pierson Road Branch: 5219 W. Pierson Road in Flushing, Mich., call (810) 732-9622.
The Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village’s (sbev.org) mission is to cultivate leadership capacity. They serve all people in a dignified manner regardless of gender, race, or religion, and work to empower the youth in Flint and their communities to give them a voice in the world. They are located at 4119 N Saginaw St in Flint. For more information, please call (810) 893-6098 or email [email protected]

DAZN Unleashes Fall Campaign

DAZN’s fall campaign in the U.S. – It’s Fight Season on DAZN – has landed. Further differentiating itself from others in the sport of boxing, the sports streaming platform’s new campaign pivots from the more traditional, one-off event promotion to instead highlight DAZN’s entire fall fight season that will feature boxing’s biggest matchups. As the only place to watch Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin back in title contention on Oct. 5, Canelo Alvarez jump up two weight classes in a championship clash on Nov. 2, and the highly-anticipated rematch between Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua on Dec. 7, DAZN has amassed one of the best schedules in boxing history.

DAZN’s new campaign features highlight reels of each of these four superstars juxtaposed against an evocative track titled “The Impossible Dream,” eliciting the wide range of emotions and piercing intensity that fighters experience throughout their journey by bringing viewers closer to the rawness of the sport – the training, the anticipation, the fans, the drama, and ultimately, the culmination of it all inside the ring. Dentsu Aegis Network’s 360i created the ads.

The 60-second spot will debut on NBC during the Dallas Cowboys vs. New Orleans Saints Sunday Night Football game on September 29. From there, the full campaign, which will include 30-second, 15-second and six-second video ads, will run on linear and digital platforms including Notre Dame Football and English Premier League on NBC, CBS, Turner, Comedy Central, Adult Swim, the History Channel, A&E, Telemundo, Univision, Bleacher Report, Complex, as well as targeted addressable media with select cable and satellite providers, and more. Notably, the 30-second spot will continue to run on Sunday Night Football every week through the Nov. 2 Canelo vs. Kovalev title fight. A campaign extension in the form of a local Hispanic grassroots campaign is also planned for all of October in Los Angeles, including experiential pop-up events centered around Canelo.

“Premiering our new campaign during Sunday Night Football is fitting given the parallels between the two sports,” said Robert Stecklow, SVP of Marketing for DAZN North America. “Just as fans are used to football delivering an entire season of star athletes, big moments, major rivalries, and huge upsets, DAZN has introduced the concept of an entire fight season that is loaded week after week with incredible talent and can’t-miss action.”

Other major matchups this fight season on DAZN include Oleksandr Usyk’s long-awaited heavyweight debut, World Boxing Super Series final clashes Regis Prograis vs. Josh Taylor and Naoya Inoue vs. Nonito Donaire Jr., Bellator MMA’s Featherweight World Grand Prix opening rounds and their Welterweight World Grand Prix’s final million dollar title clash between Rory MacDonald and Douglas Lima, YouTube sensations KSI and Logan Paul going pro for their much buzzed about rematch, and more.

DAZN offers an annual pass for $99.99 and a monthly option at $19.99 for those customers who prefer more flexibility.

Nigel Benn Returns to the Ring for Closure

It’s official, former WBC & WBO World Champion Nigel Benn will return to the ring one last time for CLOSURE.

The event will be held on the 23rd November 2019 at Resorts World Arena, located in the National Exhibition Centre, Perimeter Rd, Birmingham, England.

The event will be broadcast globally upon the Epicentre.TV broadcast platform on Nigel’s own channel: WWW.Epicentre.TV/Nigel-Benn

So why is he returning to the ring?

“This one is for me and has been many years in the making. My return to the ring is an itch I need to scratch. I feel fitter, stronger and more focused than at any time in my career. Age is nothing but a number, I still have good movement, quick hands and a good whack. I have been training for five years ahead of this event, the last two years intensively and as an elite athlete ahead of the fight. It is eight weeks until I return to the ring, and I am only a couple of Kilograms off weight. I feel strong and looking forward to stepping in the ring for the last time in November. Looking back at my career I feel I cheated myself. Even though I accomplished so much, I was walking on the dark side; cheating, taking recreational drugs at parties and smoking weed. Starting at eight years old, I smoked cigarettes throughout my entire career! Towards the end of my career my life was out of control. When I hit my lowest point, I attempted to take my own life. By reconnecting with my faith, I have made the changes needed and now live a blessed life in Australia with my beautiful wife Carolyne and three of my eight wonderful kids. I want my return to the ring to demonstrate to anyone who is struggling that no matter how low you feel and no matter how bad things get there is always hope, there are people that can help you and you can always make the change to be a better version of yourself.” Nigel Benn

Nigel will face former WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Sakio Bika who is 15 years Nigel’s Junior. Sakio Bika is one of the toughest boxers of the last two decades. In his 20 year career, Sakio has never been stopped and has taken undefeated boxing superstars Joe Calzaghe and Andre Ward the distance giving them the hardest night of their lives.

So why Sakio Bika?

“I respect Sakio immensely, he is a true warrior and did not want to take an easy option. He has shared the ring with some of the great world champions of recent years. He will come to fight and will not take a backward step. It will be a war” Nigel Benn

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