Regis Prograis Pulls Out Of Tournament Final and Enters Legal Battle
By: Hans Themistode
The World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) tournament has yet another issue on its hands as WBA Super Lightweight title holder Regis Prograis has pulled out of the final bout of the tournament. Prograis, an undefeated, New Orleans born native, was scheduled to take on fellow undefeated belt holder Josh Taylor.
Instead, Prograis has not only pulled himself from the final but he has also filed a suit against the organizer of the tournament Comosa AG, which is a Swiss company. Earlier this year former IBF belt holder Ivan Baranchyk, pulled himself from the tournament because of several delays that took place. He would later re-enter the tournament after receiving warnings of being stripped of his title. Baranchyk subsequently lost his title to Taylor in his next bout.
Prograis has found similar issues with the WBSS and at this point is looking to move on. Along with his manager Lou Di Bella, they both claim that there has been several issues such as late payments, scheduling delays, missed deadlines and slew of other problems.
The WBSS, which is in its second season, was hampered by financial complications in its first season as well. Although it did manage to complete its tournaments at both Cruiserweight and Super Middleweight, it took longer than expected.
The current WBA belt holder has been spectacular in his run to the tournament final. Behind the scenes however, he has had issues with the tournament organizers which until now, we’re not revealed to the public.
According to Prograis, after securing his quarterfinal win against Terry Flanagan, he attempted to collect the money that was owed to him but was not compensated for more than a month. Originally, he believed that he would be compensated within a week.
There has also been back and forth deliberations of when and where his next bout would take place. It was thought that October 5th in the United Kingdom would be the official date and location for his contest but that has yet to be confirmed.
Issues such as these has forced the hand of both Prograis and Di Bella. The WBSS is seemingly coming to an end in the Super Lightweight division and unfortunately for everyone involved, it is an unsatisfying ending.
World Boxing Super Series Semi Finals Results: Prograis Stops Relikh, Donaire Shows Off Power
By: William Holmes
The semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series was held tonight at the Cajundom in Lafayette, Louisiana. The main event of the evening was between Regis Prograis and Kiryl Relikh in the Super Lightweight Division. The co-main event was between Nonito Donaire and Stephon Young in the Bantamweight Division.
Zolani Tete was originally scheduled to face Donaire, but an injury to his right shoulder forced him to withdraw. Stephen Young stepped in to face Donaire.
The co-main event was between Nonito Donaire (39-5) and Stephen Young (18-1-3) in the semifinals of the WBSS Bantamweight Tournament.
Donaire, the taller fighter, pawed at Young with his jab as he circled towards Donaire right hand. Donaire found a home for his check left hook in the opening round, and did not appear to be bothered by the power of young.
Donaire continued to walk Young down in the second and third rounds, but developed a small mouse under his left eye from some of the shots of Young. Donaire had Young stunned in the third round with a straight right hand.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
Young was backing up for most of the fourth and fifth rounds and had blood coming from his nose from the strong shots of Donaire. Young was able to land some counter punches in the sixth round, but Donaire was landing first most of the time.
The end came in the seventh round when Donaire landed a vicious left hook that sent Young crashing to the mat and unable to continue.
Nonito Donaire wins by knockout at 2:37 of the seventh round.
The main event was between Regis Prograis (23-0) and Kiryl Relikh (23-2) in the semifinals of the WBSS Super Lightweight Tournament..
Prograis, a southpaw, showed good upper body movement in the opening round and forced Relikh to miss most of his combinations. Prograis connected with a hard left to the body that caused Relikh to turn around and get cracked with another shot as he went down.
Relikh was able to get up survive the opening round.
Prograis continued his assault on Relikh and wasn’t phased by his power in the second. Prograis opened up a cut on the bridge of Relikh’s nose during the second, but was stung with a punch by Relikh after the the ringside bell signaled the end of the round.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
Prograis looked recovered by the third round and pummeled Relikh in the third and fourth rounds. Relikh’s attempts at combinations hit nothing but air as Prograis upper body movement made him a very elusive target.
Prograis dominated the fifth round, and when Relikh walked back to his corner he was warned that they may stop the fight if he didn’t show more.
Prograis opened up the sixth round with a straight left followed up with some thudding shots to the body that hard Relikh hurt again. A few more thudding power shots forced Relikh’s corner to follow through with their warnings and stop the fight.
Regis Prograis wins with an impressive TKO at 1:36 of the sixth round.
Donaire, Prograis Look To Win WBSS Semifinal Matchups
By: Sean Crose
Although he won’t be facing WBO bantamweight champ Zolani Tete as had been planned, the 36 year old Nonito Donaire will still be fighting this Saturday night in Lafayette, Lousiana. Donaire, 35-5, will be putting his WBA super world bantamweight and WBC diamond bantamweight titles on the line against Missouri’s 18-1-3 Stephon Young as part of the World Boxing Super Series’ bantamweight semifinals. The battle will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service. Tete, 28-3, of South Africa hurt himself in the leadup to a scheduled match with Donaire, which brought about the need for a replacement. Young, who last fought in October of 2018, proved ready to step in.
Donaire was one of the brightest lights in boxing not all that long ago. Since suffering a one sided defeat at the gloved hands of slickster Guillermo Rigondeaux in 2013 at Madison Square Garden, though, the fighter has come up short on numerous ooccasions. Nicholas Walters, Jessie Magdalano and Carl Frampton have all gotten the best of the Filipino-American since his loss to Rigondeaux. Last November, however, Donaire rose to the occasion and bested Northern Ireland’s Ryan Burnett in Scotland. Should Donaire end up going on to win the WBSS, his slump may well be permanently seen as nothing more than the low point of a fairly brilliant career.
Saturday’s DAZN card will also feature Lousiana’s own Regis Prograis, as he defends his WBC diamond super lightweight title against Kiryl Relikh as part of the WBSS super lightweight semifinals. Prograis, 23-0, has been riding high since stopping former titlist Julius Indongo in 2018, and plans on steaming along until he earns the Super Series’ Muhammad Ali trophy. Like Donaire, Prograis will join Oleksandr Usyk, and Callum Smith, should he emerge victorious in the WBSS. Both Usyk, and Smith have seen their marquee value rise considerably as past winners.
First, though, both Prograis and Donaire must get past Saturday. Young may not be well known, but he’s got the chance of a lifetime before him. He’s also lost a single fight, making his resume a bit easy to overlook in this era of worship for perfect records. As for Relikh, the native of Belarus has a quality name on his resume: Rances Barthylemy. Although losing the first of their two matches, Relikh won the rematch, and won the WBA world super lightweight title in the process.
World Boxing Super Series Soldiers On, Even If You’re Not Watching
By Jake Donovan
One week after Emmanuel Rodriguez and Yunier Dorticos were both dragged through hell in order to secure well-deserved victories in Orlando, Regis Prograis and Ivan Baranchyk found new ways to take their respective careers to new heights in separate dominant wins Saturday evening in New Orleans.
The boxing world should be talking loud and proud about each of these four boxers, all of whom have advanced to the next round of the latest edition of World Boxing Super Series. Instead, all were forced to ply their trade in front of near-empty venues and with little outside fanfare beyond the sport’s hardcore due to their events playing second fiddle on their own platform.
So continues the struggles of rallying the U.S. boxing audience around the WBSS brand, a sad commentary as the series as a whole deserves a far more resounding response.
Photo Credit: World Boxing Super Series Twitter Account
Whereas its overseas offerings have little difficulty commanding attention, the four stateside shows to date between the WBSS’ two seasons have featured little in the way of full-scale promotion, which has been reflected at the box office and in TV interest. Tournament handlers appeared to have learned from mistakes made in Season One, with this year’s offering featuring six WBSS doubleheaders rather than each bout topping its own card.
It meant a stacked card in Japan to kick off the series, with regional hero and rising bantamweight superstar Naoya Inoue destroying former champ Juan Carlos Payano in barely over a minute. The show aired on Sunday afternoon in Japan, which meant early Sunday morning for stateside viewers who were able to view on DAZN-USA which has picked up the U.S. broadcasts rights for the entire WBSS tournament spanning three weight divisions.
Despite the odd time slot for a typical boxing broadcast airing stateside, the event was able to command attention thanks to a big splash from DAZN USA presenting its first-ever US-based card barely eight hours prior in Chicago. Through cross-promotion came the extra push the event deserved, and fans willing to wake up a little earlier than normal in this corner of the world in order to catch Inoue and Kiryl Relikh (whom bested Eduard Troyanovsky in a 140-pound title defense) advance to the WBSS semifinal round of their respective weight divisions.
A similarly less distracting atmosphere came of the October 13 WBSS doubleheader from Russia. While wins posted by visiting cruiserweight Andrew Tabiti and well traveled bantamweight tiitlist Zolani Tete over house favorites Ruslan Fayfer and two-time Olympian Mikhail Aloyan lacked action, the advancement in their respective careers received deserved attention due to not having to compete for coverage.
The most significant boxing card of the day would come hours later on ESPN, with Terence Crawford stopping Jose Benavidez in the 12th round of the most watched U.S. televised boxing match of 2018. The spacing out between events meant most in the boxing industry were able to give their undivided attention to both shows.
That has simply not at all been the case for the past two WBSS offerings.
Conflicting telecasts is hardly anything new in boxing culture, but normally coming from rival networks or promoters. In each of the past two weeks, WBSS coverage was trumped by more high profile events offered by promoter Eddie Hearn, the primary boxing content provider for DAZN-USA.
Everything about Rodriguez’ gutsy win over Jason Moloney should’ve commanded boxing headlines. Their 12-round war is among the short list of viable Fight of the Year candidates, and Rodriguez’ eventual well-earned split decision victory setting up a mouthwatering bantamweight semifinal matchup with Inoue, a bout that is rumored to land stateside.
The perfect primer to the Rodriguez-Moloney slugfest came in the form of Dorticos’ brave stand versus a tough-as-nails challenger in Poland’s Mateusz Masternak. Dorticos is never in a bad fight—his TKO loss to Murat Gassiev in the Season One WBSS cruiserweight semifinals earlier this year also garnering Fight of the Year consideration—and his latest feat was no exception.
Unfortunately, the event came in front of a sparse Orlando crowd devoid of atmosphere, and playing second fiddle among the U.S. boxing audience to Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing USA-promoted event in Boston, headlined by Demetrius Andrade’s vacant middleweight title-winning shutout effort over Namibia’s Walter Kautondokwa. DAZN-USA’s core boxing crew was on hand for the latter event, with the WBSS offering on the same streaming platform carrying that DAZN brand only in televised rights but without any of the production value or promotion.
Prograis’ latest hometown headliner on Saturday suffered the same fate.
The unbeaten New Orleans native showed new elements to his game, offering a complete performance through a more subdued attack in dominating former lightweight titlist and still highly credible Terry Flanagan. The virtual shutout win included a knockdown of Flanagan, who’d previously never been down as a pro, as Prograis—in going 12 rounds for the first time in his career—showed that his boxing ability is just as strong as his explosive knockout game.
Much like the forthcoming November 10 WBSS cruiserweight doubleheader airing live from Chicago, Saturday’s show was intriguing in that both legs of the telecast featured bouts in the same weight class. While the winners won’t face off next—Prograis will next face Relikh, while Bananchyk awaits the winner of next week’s clash between Josh Taylor and Ryan Martin—Saturday night’s show very well could have provided a glimpse into the super lightweight finals.
That’s how dominant was Ivan Baranchyk’s performance, completely shutting the left eye of Anthony Yigit who bravely fought on to the point of even protesting the mandated stoppage by the ringside physician after seven physical rounds. Baranchyk picked up a vacant title for his effort, but seemed secondary to his not only remaining unbeaten but posing as a deep threat to Prograis and the rest of the bantamweight field.
Prograis and Baranchyk have plenty for which to be proud, but their moments of glory came in front of a near-empty room in a New Orleans venue that featured a much healthier crowd when Prograis performed just four months prior. This time around, it was DAZN-USA’s only boxing show on the night but from a notoriety perspective paled in comparison to a Hearn-promoted HBO triple header featuring storylines galore—including Daniel Jacobs re-emerging toward the top of the middleweight division following a hard-fought win over unbeaten and longtime training stablemate Sergiy Derevyanchenko to win a vacant title.
The WBSS tournament drifts back overseas to Glasgow, Scotland this weekend. Taylor and Martin will compete in a battle of unbeaten super lightweights looking to land a semifinal date with Baranchyk, while Ryan Burnett and former four-division champ Nonito Donaire meet with the winner to face Tete in the bantamweight semifinals.
One week later will come the cruiserweight doubleheader at UIC Pavilion in Chicago, where the winners between Mairis Breidis-Noel Gevor and Krzysztof Glowacki-Maksim Vlasov will collide early next year in the cruiserweight semifinals. A swarm of tickets still remain for the show, with barely a ripple of news having come of the event since the batch of stories that followed its initial announcement more than a month ago.
The good news for stateside viewers is that the November 10 cruiserweight show doesn’t have any competition on the dial. However, the most significant show of the day—and even of the division, for that matter—will come earlier from London.
That’s when World cruiserweight king and WBSS Season One winner Oleksandr Usyk will face Tony Bellew, also to be carried on DAZN, and to feature the platform’s primary crew and leading promoter. Their event—which in fairness is a massive one—has already benefited from live cross-promotion in each of the first two DAZN-USA live streams.
Nothing even remotely close has been afforded to any of the six Season Two WBSS telecasts. Suffering the most has been the (lack of) promotion for the five past and forthcoming stateside shows between the two seasons, all of which deserve a much better fate.
WBSS on DAZN Results: Prograis Defeats Flanagan; Baranchyk Stops Yigit
By: Ste Rowen
Tonight in The Big Easy, it was anything but easy viewing for the main event audience as, Regis Prograis battled his way to a unanimous decision victory over terry Flanagan; and, in more pleasant viewing, Ivan Baranchyk became the new IBF 140lb champion to score a 7th round technical stoppage over Anthony Yigit; both to progress to the semi-finals of their respective WBSS semi-finals.
Prograis now moves on to face Kiryl Relikh in the semi-finals; whilst Baranchyk faces the winner of next week’s matchup between Josh Taylor vs. Ryan Martin.
Both main event fighter’s southpaws, Prograis and Flanagan, were clearly weary of the other’s qualities as the two WBSS quarterfinalists fought off a steady jab through the early rounds into the 4th. ‘Turbo’ was in the fight but offering very little other than making it difficult for Prograis to initiate a substantial offense.
Photo Credit: DAZN Twitter Account
Both boxers seemed more mobile through the middle rounds, but there was only one man, home fighter Regis, who wanted to bring the excitement tonight. Flanagan seemed to have resigned himself to the occasional overhand counter. The Manchester native’s combinations weren’t quick enough to land on ‘Rougarou’.
At the end of round 6, Prograis gestured to his home crowd to pick up the atmosphere, a sure sign that the fight was lacking action. The American, in black and gold shorts, did his best to break out a fight but as the saying goes, it takes two to tango, and the away fighter had no desire to dance anything but his own moves.
With just over two minutes left of the 8th, Prograis dropped Flanagan. ‘Turbo’ took the 8-count and the onslaught that followed from the WBC ‘Interim’ champ, to survive the round. Now the crowd was making the noise Regis wanted to hear. But the 9th began as if the previous round hadn’t happened, ‘Turbo’ persisted with his earlier tactics, and Prograis reverted to a jab and hook manoeuvre.
Through 10 and 12, more of the same occurred as the American looked for a way in, but Terry nullified most shots that came his way, without firing back with his own arsenal.
It’s not hard to see what Flanagan’s plan was at the start of tonight’s bout, it is difficult however, to understand what ‘Turbo’ was looking to do in the championship rounds. The former WBO lightweight champion did very little in terms of attack compared to ‘Rougarou’ and by the final bell it felt as if the Manchester fighter came to survive rather than to win. Regis’ jab ruled the fight throughout and saw him to the final bell.
It was never in doubt as the crowd waited for the judge’s final scorecards. The announcer called, 119-108, 118-109, 117-110 all for Regis Prograis, who spoke after the fight,
‘‘I want to bring big time boxing back to New Orleans and guess what? I did it. We gonna do it again.’’
‘‘I boxed my ass off. Most people say I can’t box, I can’t do this, I can’t do that, I only got power, now I showed you I can go 12 rounds with a world class fighter…It doesn’t matter who the hell I fight, the Muhammad Ali trophy is mine.’’
Ivan Baranchyk vs. Anthony Yigit
Baranchyk ‘The Beast’ may have been born in Belarus, but the super-lightweight has made his home in the US, and tonight it seemed as though he’d made his home in New Orleans as he fell into his stride early on into tonight’s bout.
From the first bell both fighters went in search for the big, finisher. Yigit, the southpaw struggled to make as much as an impact as his Belarussian opponent who, on multiple occasions through the early rounds, impactfully jerked the Swedes head back.
Photo Credit: DAZN Twitter Account
Yigit was throwing well, but volume counts for nothing if it doesn’t land. Baranchyk was living to his pseudonym of ‘The Beast’ into rounds 2 and 3 as he landed with precision, rarely wasting shots, and though at times he was using his face as his best defence, Ivan’s chin stood up and allowed him to fire off hooks more efficiently.
It seems a little lazy to compare an eastern European fighter to Gennady Golovkin but, Baranchyk really does resemble an early day’s version of the Kazakh. Ivan seems to trust so much in his chin and accuracy that he’s prepared to go toe to toe, and jaw to jaw, with whatever opponent he faces.
Into round 4 there was now swelling below Yigit’s left eye. The pressure seemed beginning to tell, but the Swedish southpaw clearly hadn’t got the message as he rushed into attacks, attempting to restrain his foe’s outside game. It wasn’t working, and by the 6th, Yigit’s left eye looked ready to blow. Baranchyk was firing from all angles, and almost without meaningful reply by now, but he knew where the most valuable punches needed to land.
Through to the 7th, no one could question Anthony’s desire. As his eye only swelled further, the Swede, 21-0-1 (7KOs) heading into tonight, seemed to have no quit in him. Though surely only being able to see out of one eye. Yigit was prepared to go head to head with one of the 140lb division’s most dangerous boxers, meeting Baranchyk in the middle of the ring when, arguably, he should have been evading attack trying to tire his opponent out.
With a minute left of round 7, the referee, Phil Edwards, took a point from Baranchyk for what seemed to be pushing down on his opponent. Harsh considering when up close, Yigit seemed to be ducking. It didn’t matter though as, at the end of the same round, the ring doctor took another extensive look at the Swede’s eye and called an end to the bout, sending the Belarussian into the World Boxing Super Series semi-finals.
Yigit fiercely protested against the stoppage but it seemed the good doctor saved the Swede from himself. Yigit will walk away from tonight with credit in the bank and, a very worthy and attractive contender.
Baranchyk however, comes away from tonight as the IBF world champion and the second Super Series semi-finalist, set to face either Josh Taylor or Ryan Martin in the near future.
Speaking post-fight, the defeated Yigit was magnanimous in defeat,
‘‘Obviously, I am a fighter and you never want a fight to be stopped but maybe it was the right decision. People are telling me it looks pretty bad…Our game plan was to take him later on because we felt like he was gassing out…But they stopped the fight, so I couldn’t fulfil the game plan. He’s a hard hitter and he deserves this win.’’
The new IBF super-lightweight champion, Ivan, now 19-0 (12KOs), was complimentary towards his opponent,
‘‘It was a tough fight, but I win this fight. I win. He’s a tough guy but I love this. Anthony is a good guy, thank you…With him (Trainer, Pedro Diaz) I will win the Ali trophy.’’
WBSS Preview: Prograis vs. Flanagan; Baranchyk vs. Yigit on DAZN
By: Ste Rowen
‘‘You walk up the street and people ask you ‘Did you win your fight?’ and you have to say no for the first time. ‘‘
Defeat never comes easy for an undefeated fighter. Terry Flanagan, the former WBO lightweight champion was 33-0 (13KOs) when he stepped into the ring with Maurice Hooker, at Manchester Arena four months ago. Watch the fight Saturday night on DAZN.
The north west native known as ‘Turbo’ isn’t the prettiest boxer even at his dominant best – see his WBO defences since winning the belt against the likes of Derry Matthews, Mzonke Fana and what felt like a never-ending bout with Petr Petrov. But the one running theme through Terry’s fights seemed to be the feeling he was a level above each and every opponent he faced.
Photo Credit: DAZN Twitter Account
Then he took the step up to super-lightweight after failing to secure unifications with the likes of former champions, Anthony Crolla, Jorge Linares and current 135lb titlist, Lomachenko. Manager Steve Wood and promoter Frank Warren maneuvered ‘Turbo’ into a position to fight for the vacant 140lb strap, recently dropped by the undisputed, Terence Crawford, and after a delay caused by a hand injury for Flanagan, Hooker and Terry were set to meet on the 9th June.
On fight night in June, southpaw, Flanagan looked out of sorts while his American foe was composed and patient. ‘Turbo’ constantly led in with his head, which it was revealed after the fight, had the adverse effect and not just for the viewers. Terry apparently sustained a concussion from the clashing of heads and suffered through the final rounds as Hooker took pot-shots off the southpaw’s face to seal a unanimous decision win for the American.
Terry lost, but months later, managed to seal his spot in the Super Series and have an opportunity for immediate redemption. Now Flanagan travels to New Orleans to face another America. Unbeaten WBC champion and #1 seed of the tournament, Regis Prograis.
‘‘They’re expecting to wipe the floor with me but it’s not gonna be the case…I see the fight against Prograis as 50/50 with us both having our own strengths, but I just think my assets stop his and therefore I win. I think what I bring to the table neutralise his strengths and that is the difference. I expect to get the credit I duly deserve after winning this fight.”
“The world boxing series is a new chapter…I believe I’m the best fighter on the planet on my day and I’m looking to show that in this tournament.‘‘
Regis Prograis has had a quick rise into boxing stardom. A former standout amateur who always aims to please, Prograis is one of two current WBC 140lb champions – Jose Ramirez being the other – ‘Rougarou’ as Prograis is otherwise known by, has a record of 22-0 (19KOs) including impressive stoppage victories over Joel Diaz Jr, Hector Velazquez and arguably his biggest win to date, a 2nd round TKO of former unified champion, Julius Indongo.
“All my fights are explosive no matter who is in front of me. I always bring the fireworks.”
In all three of the mentioned bouts Regis displayed not just the power that makes him an obvious fan favourite and the tournament’s top seed, but outstanding boxing fundamentals. A thudding single jab, the continuous fluid head & body movement and the devastating efficiency with which once he senses the opportunity for an early finish, ‘Rougarou’ goes hard on the accelerator.
“Flanagan is a really tough dude, a former world champion. I want to fight top competition and that is why I picked him. I know I am good, but I never look at myself as the favourite…I am the number one in the world and everyone fighting me sees me as a big opportunity.”
Saturday’s venue is the Lakefront Arena in Prograis’ native home of New Orleans, and the way Regis is talking, it could be a long journey to nothing for Flanagan,
“I am the number 1 seed so of course there is pressure on me, but I feel a lot better than last time I fought in New Orleans, where it felt like work and the pressure weighed on me a bit. This time I think the pressure is out of the window. This time it is going back to being fun.”
“This is not just a boxing show, when I fight in New Orleans it is a big-time event.”
A fight in the semi-finals against WBA champion, Kiryl Relikh awaits.
Ivan Baranchyk vs. Anthony Yigit
Also on Saturday’s card is the 3rd super-lightweight quarter final between two unbeaten fighters, Ivan Baranchyk vs. Anthony Yigit with the vacant IBF belt on the line.
18-0 (11KOs), Baranchyk of Belarus has been progressing at the perfect pace ever since making his move the US. ‘The Beast’s’ first three pro bouts were in Minsk before he set flight to America and began to build his name against limited opposition. From 2015 Ivan’s quality of opposition rose, as did his performances as he picked up victories over the likes of a 17-1-2, Abel Ramos but more recently, a superb dismantling of Petr Petrov in March on the undercard of Prograis/Indongo.
The manner of the victory more than the win itself solidified Baranchyk’s status as future world title contender, and his attitude toward the sport backs that up,
“I’ve never known and couldn’t even imagine life without boxing…If there is no competition I simply just cannot live without it.”
Ivan may be known as the beast, but he’s more than willing to show his versatility as his pro career progresses,
“My boxing style is aggressive. I’m constantly attacking, fighting to the very end…I’m trying to learn the Cuban way of boxing as it is respected all over the world. Pedro (Diaz) is one of the best coaches in the world and I want learn everything from him.”
“Anthony Yigit is a good boxer, a good fighter…I know all his strengths and weaknesses. I’ve been waiting for him for a long time and on the 27th I will destroy him in the ring.”
The big talk from the Belarussian is unlikely to have an effect on his Swedish opponent, and fellow unbeaten fighter, Anthony Yigit. Speaking in the WBSS pre-fight documentary, the Swede, currently 21-0-1 (7KOs), isn’t short of self-belief,
“I’m a nice guy here but if you go into the ring with me I know you’re in my way of me reaching that goal of where I want to be. When I started boxing I believed I was gonna become a world champion…In Sweden we have nine million people and no world champion. I’m gonna be one in nine million.”
Yigit, a former 2012 Olympian where he was beaten by Ukrainian, Denys Berinchyk, has shown so far in the pro ranks that if he lacks anything, it’s probably power, but the Stockholm southpaw has no intention of losing to another man with ‘chyk’ in his name,
“When I saw Usyk lift the Ali trophy I said, ‘That’s where I wanna be’ and that’s where I’m gonna be! … People have been telling me they can see something in my eyes, something that wasn’t there before.”
Winner of this matchup will go on to face either Josh Taylor or Ryan Martin, who fight next week in Glasgow.
Check out the WBSS pre-fight documentaries for both of Saturdays bouts here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYbJzjdzbAA
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Prograis, Bivol, Pascal, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 9th to October 16th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-HoganPhotos/Golden Boy Promotions
Canelo Alvarez Receives WBC Middleweight Title in Mexico City
Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) received his WBC Middleweight World Title today at Museo Soumaya in Mexico City in recognition of his spectacular victory against Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in September. Canelo also received the Cinturon Chiapaneco and the Cinturon Huichol at this momentous event as he prepares to return to the ring. The 28-year-old WBC, WBA, Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion will take on WBA Super Middleweight World Champion Rocky Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) in a special 12-round super middleweight attraction on Saturday, Dec. 15 at Madison Square Garden.
Below is what today’s participants had to say at the belt presentation:
CANELO ALVAREZ, WBC, WBA, Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion:
“I want to thank everyone for their support during the good times and the bad. It was a tough year for me. I would never do anything to blemish my career, but I’m grateful to all those who were there with me. I’m going to represent the WBC from here on. They’ve been my family since the beginning. It’s a great responsibility to be a Mexican world champion. But I take that responsibility because I know I’m a determined and disciplined fighter. I honor every fighter who has fought at Madison Square Garden, but I’m going to make my own story. This is another chapter in my legacy.
JOSE “CHEPO” REYNOSO, Manager and Trainer of Canelo Alvarez:
“The past 13 years of Canelo Alvarez’s career has not been easy. It has been difficult. But when you have a lot of determination like he does, it makes the hard road that much easier. We completed the promise of making him a world champion because he completed his part of working hard. I thank everyone here and the sport of boxing.”
EDDY REYNOSO, Head Trainer and Manager of Canelo Alvarez:
“I’m grateful and thankful for all that Canelo Alvarez has achieved. I thank Mauricio Sulaiman and the WBC for their help. They’ve supported us all along the way. We’re proud of what he has accomplished, and we know there is more to come.”
ERIC GOMEZ, President of Golden Boy Promotions:
“We’ve worked with Canelo Alvarez since he was a very young prospect. He was hungry and determined to be great. To see him achieve that greatness is a wonderful thing to see. I congratulate him on this exciting day for him.”
MAURICIO SULAIMAN, President of the WBC:
“Canelo shut a lot of mouths in his last fight. He quieted a lot of critics who said he did not come forward. But in his last fight he showed with his fists and his aggression that he is the better fighter. Canelo is always first to raise the Mexican flag after a victory and yell Viva Mexico! I am so proud he is representing the WBC once again.”
Canelo vs. Fielding is a 12-round fight for the WBA Super Middleweight World Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Matchroom Boxing. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” and Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle.” The event will take place Saturday, December 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.
Prograis Makes Brief Stop Home Before Upcoming Fight
Since the Crescent City last saw native son Regis “Rougarou” Prograis in the ring in July, it’s been a whirlwind for the rising star of boxing’s super lightweight division.
Prograis has been to Russia, Brazil and then in training for nearly six weeks in both Los Angeles and Houston as he counts down to an Oct. 27 matchup with Englishman Terry Flanagan at UNO Lakefront Arena.
“I started training camp two weeks earlier,” Prograis said Wednesday in a visit with local media. “I had to go to Russia on Tuesday (after his last fight). When I came back, I went back to Houston and bought a house. I barely stayed in my house for a couple of days, then I went to Brazil for a month … I was training MMA and jiu jitsu. I was back in Houston for a week, then off to (Los Angeles) for training camp.”
The longer camp allowed Prograis and trainer Bobby Benton to change the focus initially.
“As we start camp, we usually start with strength and conditioning,” Benton said. “Instead, we worked his feet. His feet are so much better, his balance is better. It’s made a difference.”
Prograis was wearing a reminder of how difficult training for the fight has been, showing a mark below his left eye as a result of a “little pop” in training Tuesday.
“My training camps are really, really hard,” Prograis said. “My body is sore.”
It’s the second consecutive fight at Lakefront Arena for Prograis, who dispatched Juan Jose Velasco in an eighth-round TKO in the headline event of New Orleans’ first championship fight card in nearly two decades.
“My whole goal is to turn it into a franchise,” Prograis said. “We got the Saints, the Pelicans, and hopefully now we’ll have Regis Prograis.”
A win against Flanagan could mean a return to New Orleans for his next bout.
Prograis, who is 22-0 in his career with 19 knockouts, is not only the No. 1 seed in the super lightweight bracket for the Ali Trophy, but ranked No. 1 in the 140-pound division by ESPN. As the top seed, he had a choice of opponents and picked Flanagan (33-1, 13 KOs).
“I’m in it to fight the best people,” Prograis said. “Terry Flanagan is tough, he’s scrappy, he’s going to come to right and he has a lot of experience. I wanted to fight the hardest fight first.”
If his first fight in his hometown taught Prograis anything, it was to watch what he eats right before the fight. What will he do differently this time? “Don’t eat po-boys and gumbo before I fight,” he said. “Otherwise, everything went smoothly. I experienced (nervousness) already, so that’s done. This time, it’s going to be back being fun to me again.”
If Prograis can win the Ali Trophy – the final would likely happen around June 2019 – he has in his sight a matchup with fellow unbeaten Jose Ramirez (23-0). Prograis attended Ramirez’s fight last month in Fresno, California.
Prograis and his team were headed back to Houston late Wednesday to resume training before returning to New Orleans in the days leading up to the fight.
The Prograis-Flanagan co-headliner is another Ali Trophy super-lightweight quarterfinal between Ivan Baranchyk and Anthony Yigit for the IBF world championship.
The undercard is expected to begin at 6 p.m., with the two main events at about 9. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and the Lakefront Arena box office.
Dmitry Bivol to Defend WBA Title Against Jean Pascal in Atlantic City
Dmitry Bivol will defend his WBA Light Heavyweight World Title against former Olympian and former WBC, IBO, and Ring Magazine champion Jean Pascal on Saturday, November 24, 2018 as boxing returns to Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
The event will be promoted by Main Events and World of Boxing, Bivol’s promoter, in association with Jean Pascal Promotions. The bout will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Bivol, age 27, of St. Petersburg Russia, risks his perfect record of 14 wins with no losses and 11 knockouts against the time-tested Pascal, who turns 36 on October 28, has 33 wins, 20 by knockout, against five losses and a draw.
Bivol is coming off a dominating 12-round decision victory over crafty Isaac Chilemba of Malawi on August 4. Pascal is fresh from an eighth round TKO over former UFC champion Steve Bosse at Place Bell in Laval, Quebec on July 20.
After storming through the amateur ranks, Bivol has quickly moved himself into position to take over the highly competitive light heavyweight division by facing top names and defeating them, one after the other. Bivol is open about his ambitious goals to fight all of the best opponents in the division, and to deliver entertaining fights in front of large audiences.
Bivol’s ultimate goal to unify the light heavyweight division: “It’s very important for me. It’s every boxer’s dream to be the champion, the unified champion. It’s a big step to dream about. Like (unified cruiserweight champion) Oleksandr Usyk.”
Although he has a humble nature, Bivol is sure about his abilities. “Not too long ago, Pascal fought for three world titles and I watched on TV. Now he wants to take my title away, and I am very happy to accept this challenge and look forward to my next title defense on HBO.”
Vadim Kornilov, Bivol’s manager, added, “We are looking forward to another great performance by Dmitry Bivol on November 24th. Jean Pascal is a name everyone has heard, and we look forward to a competitive fight with this great champion.”
Andrei Ryabinski of World of Boxing, Bivol’s promoter, said, “We are glad to be putting together another fight for Dmitry Bivol together with HBO, Main Events and the Hard Rock. Look forward to a great fight between Dmitry Bivol and Jean Pascal!”
“This is the most important fight of my life and I could not be more motivated,” said Pascal. “I’m making boxing history on November 24th. I’m known as a champion who never turned down any challenges, but I want to be two-time champion and I want to be immortalized in the Hall of Fame when my career is over. To fully cement my status as a hall of famer, I must win this fight and I will win this fight.
“Bivol is a very good fighter and a difficult challenge, but greatness has never been achieved without overcoming difficult challenges. My Canadian fans should be very excited because all of the light heavyweight belts will be in our house for Christmas this year,” promised Pascal.
Manager Greg Leon is equally confident. “In my opinion Bivol is the best light heavyweight champion in the world, so this is an extremely difficult challenge for us. However, Jean is fighting for the hall of fame, history and legacy. That coupled with the intangibles he possesses that cannot be taught make him the most dangerous fighter Bivol has ever faced by far.
“November 24th will provide Bivol with a couple of new experiences; he’ll be fighting in his first major main event and he’ll be suffering his first loss as a professional,” said Leon.
Main Events CEO Kathy Duva said, “Main Events could not be more excited to return to Atlantic City for our second card at the Hard Rock’s Etess Arena. Our first card there on August 4 was a sellout, and we expect to build on that momentum by bringing Dmitry back to be in the main event on November 24.”
“Following up on the success of last August’s fight between Alvarez and Kovalev, this will just be another step forward in Atlantic City’s return to professional boxing,” says Bernie Dillon, Vice President of Entertainment for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, “I’m thrilled that Hard Rock can be a big part of that.”
Ruben Villa Shines on Front of Hometown Fans on Saturday Night
Featherweight Ruben Villa (14-0, 5 KOs) returned to his hometown for the second time in his career and delivered a thrilling, one-sided performance against the game Miguel Carrizoza (10-4, 2 KOs) Saturday night from a sold-out Storm House in Salinas, Calif.
Villa, 21, used terrific footwork to find the angles against Carrizoza in route to a sweep of the scorecards in the 8-round main event. Throughout the fight, Villa hammered Carrizoza with a stiff jab, followed by a thundering left hand. It was an outstanding display of accuracy for the southpaw in his fifth fight of the year.
“I felt great tonight,” said Villa, who is promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing. “Everything was clicking. The guy was tough. I landed a lot of good shots and he came coming back. I’m very happy with my performance. I put on a great show for my hometown fans.”
To watch a replay of Villa’s dominant performance, please click here
Villa, who has been as active as possible since joining the professional ranks in 2016, looked as comfortable as he ever has.
“I’m gaining more and more confidence with each win,” Villa said. “I like where I’m at right now.”
Top Rank Boxing On ESPN Results: Regis “Rougarou” Prograis Stop Juan Jose Velasco
By: Ken HIssner
Saturday at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment and Sampson Boxing over ESPN it was the hometown return of interim WBC Super Lightweight champion Regis “Rougarou” Prograis as promised by Top Rank’s Bob Arum.
Interim WBC Super Lightweight southpaw Regis “Rougarou” Prograis, 22-0 (19), out of Houston, TX, stopped WBC Latino Champ Juan Jose “El Pitbull” Velasco, 20-1 (12), of Bueno Aires, ARG, at 1:59 of round 8.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing/Mikey Williams
In the first round Prograis had his way as his hometown fans were cheering for him from his introduction. He was doing plenty of faking but Velasco got his licks in. Prograis in the final seconds of the round rocked Velasco with a combination to the head. In the second round Prograis continued pressing the action. The second round was similar as the first round. At the end of the round Prograis avoided half a dozen of Velasco’s punches and landed a left of his own to the chin of Velasco at the bell.
In the third round Velasco missed four punches but landed the following two to the head of Prograis. There is no respect of Velasco’s punching power by Prograis. At the bell Prograis landed a left uppercut to the chin of Velasco knocking his head back. In the fourth round Prograis rocked Velasco with a lead left to the chin. Halfway through the round Prograis landed a pair of left hands to the mid-section of Velasco.
In the fifth round Velasco got on his bicycle not wanting those body shots that Prograis hit him with last round. A vicious left to the body from Prograis dropped Velasco who barely beat the count of referee Lawrence Cole. He managed to get through the round. In the seventh round the stalking from Prograis continued. Half the punches from Velasco but several got in on Prograis. Prograis landed a left to the body and down went Velasco. He got up with approximately twenty seconds to go in the round and made it to the bell.
In the eighth round Velasco went down from another left to the liver. Velasco got up and fought harder than at anytime until another left uppercut dropped him. Then Prograis drove him into the bottom strand of the ropes before referee Cole waved it off. Referee Cole showed poor judgment in letting the fight go on too long. Finally the corner stepped up and waved it off.
“It was super special. Thanks to everybody in New Orleans. I want to bring back big time boxing to New Orleans. I’m going into the WBSS and hope to win that,” said Prograis.
Lightweight Teofimo Lopez, 10-0 (8), of David, FL, stopped IBO Continental Champion William “Baby Face” Silva, 25-2 (14), of Sao Paulo, BRZ, for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Lightweight title at 0:15 of the sixth round in a scheduled 10.
In the first round Lopez had his way. Lopez missed with a right but with a lunging left hook Lopez dropped Silva who beat the count of referee Bruce McDaniel and had a bloody nose. In the second round Lopez started showboating. He was making Silva look bad. He stunned Silva several times.
In the third round Lopez kept up the showboating knowing the taller Silva who had his hands held high got in a couple of counter left hooks but too few. Lopez rocked Silva with a right, left. He then followed with a lead right uppercut to the chin of Silva followed by a left hook to the head. In the fourth round Lopez landed a combination and added a right hand to the head of Silva. He ended the round with a lead right to the head of Silva.
In the fifth round Lopez continued using head fakes and landing left uppercuts and left hooks to the chin of Silva. The blood continued funning from the nose of Silva. Silva got in the best punch of his fight countering a right to the head of Lopez. With seconds left in the round Lopez drove Silva into the corner with a flurry ending with three left hooks to the head dropping Silva for a nine count as he got up and saved by the bell.
In the sixth round Lopez again dropped Silva within seconds of the round with a double left hook to the head when referee McDaniel immediately waved it off. After winning Lopez did a back flip. “I want to thank God, Bob Arum, Top Rank, Bruce Trampler, Bruce Goodman. I set him up with a jab and played with his mind. I set him up for the left hand. I’m full of blood, his blood. I lost my dog this past Sunday. All I want to do is go home and cry. I love you Leo (dog) He was my best friend,” said Lopez.
Southpaw Mexican Erik De Leon, 18-0-1 (10), out of Detroit, MI, defeated Adrian “Chinito” Young, 25-5-2 (19), out of Sinaloa, MEX, over 10 rounds.
De Leon came off the canvas in the first round but had his way the rest of the way by scores of 97-92 twice and 98-91.
Super welter 2016 Olympian Charles Conwell, 8-0 (6), of Cleveland, OH, stopped Travis “Sweet Feet” Scott, 19-4 (5), of Baton Rouge, LA., in the second round with a body shot in a scheduled 10 rounds.
Unbeaten super lightweight southpaw 2016 Gold Medalist Olympian Fazlidden Gaibnazarov, 5-0 (2), of UZB and living in L.A., CA, had a harder than expect fight defeating Kevin Johnson, 5-1 (4), out of Detroit, MI, over 8 rounds.
Unbeaten featherweight PR’s Jean Carlos “Chapito” Rivera, 14-0 (9), out of Orlando, FL, knocked out Dominican Angel “El Gato” Luna, 11-5-1 (6), in 82 seconds of the first round.
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Prograis Defends Title Against Juan Jose Velasco
By: Ken Hissner
Interim WBC Super Lightweight southpaw Regis “Rougarou” Prograis, 21-0 (18), out of Houston, TX, riding a six fight knockout streak defends his title against WBC Latino Champ Juan Jose “El Pitbull” Velasco, 20-0 (12), of Bueno Aires, ARG, over 12 rounds.
This is a “homecoming” for Prograis fighting at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, LA. He was born in New Orleans and has always wanted to headline there so Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment and Sampson Boxing has made his dream come true. On Saturday at 7pm ESPN will show this card.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
“It’s a dream to come here. The Lakefront Arena, I grew up right around the corner from there. I have to hide my excitement for I still have to fight. I hope to bring big time boxing back to New Orleans. Velasco is going to try to knock me out. I’m focused. There are no distractions,” said Prograis.
“Regis is a great fighter. To be a great champion, you have to beat the great fighters. I want to prove that Saturday night, that I’m elite like him,” said Velasco.
There is a strong undercard featuring Lightweight Teofimo Lopez, 9-0 (7), of David, FL, takes on IBO Continental Champion William “Baby Face” Silva, 25-1 (14), of Sao Paulo, BRZ, fight for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Lightweight title, over 10 rounds.
“I definitely want to showcase more of what I’m capable of doing. People have yet to see everything of me. This is a good step up,” said Lopez.
“I’m ready for the fight. It’s a real important fight. I had a really good training camp and I’m ready to go,” said Silva.
Coming off a draw decision super featherweight southpaw Mexican Erik De Leon, 17-0-1 (10), out of Detroit, MI, takes on Adrian “Chinito” Young, 25-4-2 (19), out of Sinaloa, MEX, over 10 rounds.
“I can’t wait to see all my fans. I can’t wait to display my talent and everything I got. It’s going to show Saturday so get there early,” said De Leon.
Also, on the undercard are unbeaten boxers like super welter 2016 Olympian Charles Conwell, 7-0 (5), of Cleveland, OH, taking on Travis “Sweet Feet” Scott, 19-3 (5), of Baton Rouge, LA., over 10 rounds.
Also, Jonathan “The King” Guidry, 10-0-2 (5), out of Dulac, LA., taking on Aaron Chavers, 8-4-1 (3), out of Oklahoma City, OK, over 6 rounds.
Also, super middleweight Tyler Howard, 14-0 (9), out of Crossville, TN, taking on Javier Frazier, 8-3-1 (4), out of SC, over 6 rounds.
Unbeaten boxers facing one another are super lightweight southpaw Fazlidden Gaibnazarov, 4-0 (2), of UZB and living in L.A., CA, against welterweight Kevin Johnson, 5-0 (4), out of Detroit, MI, over 8 rounds.
Unbeaten featherweight PR’s Jean Carlos “Chapito” Rivera, 13-0 (8), out of Orlando, FL, takes late sub Dominican Angel “El Gato” Luna, 11-4-1 (6), over 10 rounds.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Prograis, DeGale, Beltran, Briedis, Smith, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 26th to July 4th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Briedis Faces Deslaurier on Usyk-Gassiev Undercard
Mairis Briedis, Ali Trophy Final Cruiserweight Substitute Fighter, meets Brandon Deslaurier, on the Usyk-Gassiev undercard July 21 at the Olimpiyskiy Arena in Moscow, Russia.
“I can’t wait to fight again,” said Briedis (23-1, 18 KOs). “I’m looking forward to a quality World Boxing Super Series event and I am sure that the 21st of July will make a great night of boxing for the fans in Moscow and all over the world.”
The former WBC World Champion won his quarter-final in the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy against Mike Perez by unanimous decision and continued to face top-seed Usyk.
The Latvian sports hero did not fail to impress in a ‘Fight Of The Year’-contender as the semi-final was dubbed.
Briedis was defeated in a close and thrilling contest and gave what Usyk called; ‘the toughest fight of my career.’
The 33-year-old will be on standby to enter the final in Moscow in the unlikely scenario of one of the original participants being unable to compete.
In his fight on the Moscow undercard, Briedis is up against France’s Brandon Deslaurier (11-1-1, 1 KO).
“I’m very excited to come to Russia and compete against a world class fighter like Mairis Briedis. But people must not underestimate me. I am coming to Russia to win and beat Mairis Briedis,” said Deslaurier.
Everything is on the line for Aleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev in the Ali Trophy Cruiserweight Final in Moscow: The winner in Moscow on July 21 will be the first one ever to take home the Muhammad Ali Trophy. The first cruiserweight ever to unify the titles in the four-belt era. The winner will also add RING Magazine’s vacant cruiserweight championship belt.
Prograis and Velasco Competing for Place in Ali Trophy Tournament
The winner of WBC Interim World Champion Regis Prograis vs top challenger Juan Jose Velasco on July 14 will enter the 140lb edition of the second season of the World Boxing Super Series.
29-year-old Prograis (21-0, 18 KOs), the Houston resident who relocated from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, won the WBC Interim 140-pound World Championship in March after a sensational second round TKO-victory over former titleholder Julius Indongo from Namibia.
“My biggest asset is my hunger to be the best. I have a chip on my shoulder and I want to prove to everybody I am the best at 140 lbs,” said Prograis.
The undefeated southpaw, known for his fan-friendly style inspired by idols such as Roberto Duran and Pernell Whitaker, is confident that he will enter the tournament.
“I’m definitely excited to enter into the tournament. This is great for boxing. The best fighting the best.”
31-year-old Velasco (20-0, 12 KOs), from Buenos Aires, Argentina, will challenge the Interim WBC World Super Lightweight Champion in Prograis’ birthplace of New Orleans, Louisiana on July 14. Velasco already sees himself as an Ali Trophy participant:
“It’s a great honour and I look forward to competing for the Muhammad Ali Trophy and winning the whole thing. I think the format is set up well,” said Velasco, also known as ‘El Pitbull’. “The best fight the best in the World Boxing Super Series to determine one champ. Great!”
Said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer: “Prograis is an exciting athlete capable of catapulting his status to new heights of sporting glory in the Ali Trophy tournament. He is facing Velasco, a tough challenger. We are sure of one thing: another belt will enter the Ali Trophy tournament!”
Three weight classes will feature in Season II of the World Boxing Super Series with two categories, Bantamweight and Super Lightweight, already announced.
DeGale Vacates IBF Title
Two-Time IBF World Super-Middleweight Champion James DeGale MBE has today relinquished his title as he closes in on securing big-fights in the final phase of his illustrious ring career.
DeGale, a former British and European Champion, has ruled the 168 pound division split over two reigns as World Champion totalling almost three years and has been involved in six IBF World Championship contests.
The Londoner is proud to have held the organisation’s prestigious and famous red and gold World Title belt that has been worn by many of the great fighters at the weight including legends Joe Calzaghe and Roy Jones Jnr.
DeGale began his first reign as IBF World Champion in May 2015 by making history to become Britain’s first ever Olympic Champion to win a world title when he sensationally defeated Andre Dirrell in Boston to claim the vacant belt.
The trail-blazing Londoner then continued his campaign across the Atlantic to gain respect from the media and fans’ as he made the first successful defence of the title against former IBF World Champion Lucian Bute in Canada in November that year.
In April 2016, DeGale returned to the U.S to make the second defence of the title against tough Mexican Rogelio Medina in Washington which he won on a majority decision.
DeGale then aimed to solidify his dominance of the 168 pound division by attempting to unify his IBF title against WBC World Champion Badou Jack in January 2017 in Brooklyn, New York. In an electrifying, all-action fight, DeGale retained his title by way of controversial draw that many felt DeGale had won.
A British homecoming world title defence against American Caleb Truax in December 2017 was ruined after DeGale lost his title on a points decision in a below par performance. He later admitted it was because he returned to the ring too soon after having career saving surgery to his shoulder following the Jack fight.
However, DeGale proved his champion’s heart by facing Truax in his backyard for the rematch in April this year in Las Vegas when he reclaimed the title with a dominant display to win clearly on the judges’ scorecards.
DeGale was due to be involved in a purse bid for his IBF mandated title defence against Interim Champion Jose Uzcategui this Thursday (5th July), but has now withdrawn.
DeGale said, “No World champion easily gives up their World title that they’ve earned the hard way in the ring and I’ve proudly held the IBF World title in two reigns with pride and distinction which is why it makes it very hard decision to relinquish the belt. It has been a pleasure to work with the IBF and I would like to thank president Daryl Peoples for allowing me to challenge and hold the distinguished belt that so many of the division’s great champions have held before for me. It has been a honour to be recognised as the IBF World Champion and I hope that by now vacating it will ease the transition to determine a successor between the Interim champion Jose Uzcategui and the next highly ranked available contender. I’ve achieved so much in my career, Olympic Gold, British, European and International titles and two-time World Champion and I believe I’m at the top of my game right now. I’m in the final phase of my career where I have a few good years left where I can be involved in massive fights and really leave a legacy in the division’s history. My team have been working very hard behind the scenes and we’ve got some very big and exciting news to announce soon.”
WBO News: Top Rank Wins the Beltran-Andreev Purse Bid
This afternoon, at the World Boxing Organization (WBO) headquarters in Puerto Rico, the purse bid for the mandatory fight between WBO Lightweight World Champion Raymundo Beltrán (35-7-1 , 21 KOs), from Mexico, and first-ranked Roman Andreev (21-0, 15 KOs), from Russia.
Top Rank won the rights for the fight with a successful bid of $ 252,000. Top Rank Vice President Carl Moretti, personally presented the winning bid. The fight is scheduled for Saturday, August 25 in Phoenix, Arizona.
The OMB exhorted both Top Rank and other promoters to submit their boxers to doping controls, not only immediately prior to and after the title fights, but throughout the entire training phase of both combatants.
Joe Smith Jr. Returns with Devastating KO at Mohegan Sun
Returning to the ring after an 11-month layoff due to a broken jaw, Joe “The Beast” Smith, Jr. provided early fireworks last night (Saturday, June 30) in the latest installment in the popular “Slugfest at The Sun” series, presented by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
“Slugfest at The Sun” was taped live and will air July 19, 8 -10 p.m. ET, on New England Sports Network (NESN). Star Boxing’s next event, “Rockin’ Fights”, September 21 at the Paramount in Huntington, NY, will also air via tape- delay on NESN.
Rated No. 3 and No. 7 in the world, respectively, by the World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Association (WBA), Smith (24-2, 20 KOs) hurt Melvin “The Romantic Redneck” Russell (11-5-2, 7 KOs) with the first punch he landed and finished the show, two devastating knockdowns later, in the opening round.
“I hit him with a decent shot when I was walking him down and saw that I hurt him,” Joe Smith Jr. explained. “So, I looked to end it. I would have liked to have gotten some rust off, but I’m happy with my performance. My jaw feels great.”
“We’re looking to go to the top,” Smith’s promoter Joe DeGuardia stated. “Joe’s plan and goal has always been to be world champion. We wanted (Sergey) Kovalev before this fight, but it didn’t work out. We’re hoping to get him in the fall.”
“Kovalev looks great, he motivates me,” Smith noted. “I think I can take advantage of his conditioning.”
Coming off her historic fight this past May against the undefeated Queen of Boxing Cecelia Breakhus, who won a 10-round decision in the first female fight to air on HBO, three-time world champion Kali “KO Mequinonoag” Reis (14-7-1, 4 KOs) cruised past Mexican welterweight Patty “Las Elegante” Ramirez (11-6, 5 KOs), a former world title challenger, winning all eight rounds.
“She was a survivor,” Reis commented. “There was a lot we wanted to work on, body shots, jabs and more … getting more comfortable. I executed the plan my corner gave me and got the job done.
A Native American from Rhode Island, Reis wants a rematch with Breakhus, “I know I need to stay busy, active and remain fighting at welterweight to get the rematch,” Reis added. “I’m going to stay on her tail. I’ll be ready when it happens, I really want it to happen.”
In the television opener, undefeated junior welterweight “Action” Anthony Laureano (8-0 3KO’s) lived up to his nickname, never taking a backwards step, as he pounded Juan Rodriguez (8-10-1 6KO’s) in the center of the ring from the opening bell through the end for a dominant six-round unanimous decision. The 2016 New England Golden Gloves champion Laureano, who fights out East Hartford, CT, put on an entertaining show in front of his large, loud contingent of fans. Laureano effectively used every punch in his vast arsenal to break down a tough, game Rodriguez.
“I thought I did well,” Laureano said after the fight, “but I’d like to see more angles. I want to see more power, too. It’s there, he felt it; it’s coming. I have a long road. Next fight, I’d like to have an eight-rounder. We’re adding more people to the team. I hope everyone see that I’m getting better each fight. I have more tools and my discipline is there.”
Undefeated junior middleweight Wendy “Haitian Fire” Toussaint (9-0, 3 KOs) lit up an overwhelmed Andy Gonzalez (6-3, 5 KOs), battering him from pillar to post, until referee Steve Willis waved off the fight in the third round. Haiti-native Toussaint, now living in Huntington, NY, used his superior power and speed to make an impressive statement.
Popular South Boston southpaw Joe Farina (3-0, 2 KOs) overcame a flash knockdown during the opening seconds of the fight, using a relentless attack to defeat junior welterweight Steve Moore (1-4, 1 KO), by way of a four-round split decision.
Irish junior welterweight “Lethal” Larry Fryers (formerly known as Gleeson) improved his record to 7-1 (2 KOs) with a six-round unanimous decision over Anthony Woods (1-7-1). Fighting out of Yonkers NY, Fryers floored Woods with a left hook at the end of round two. Woods was penalized a point near the end of the final round for an intentional head butt.
Former U. of New Haven basketball star Cassius Chaney (13-0, 7 KOs), fighting out of New London (CT), kept his undefeated record intact, dropping Mexican heavyweight Elder Hernandez (5-3, 3 KOs) twice before referee Willis halted the match near the end of the opening round.
The opening bout of the evening ended in the second round and ruled a “No Contest” because of an accidental head butt that left both fighters — William “The Silent Assassin” Foster III (8-0, 6 KOs) and Tyrome Jones (4-3-1, 1 KO) – with serious head cuts and unable to continue.
Prograis Wins interim WBC Super Light Title Friday in South Dakota
By: Ken Hissner
Lou DiBella’s DiBella Entertainment and USA Showtime promoted the interim World Boxing Council World Super Lightweight Title fight Friday night from Deadwood Mountain Grand, in Deadwood, South Dakota.
In the Main Event southpaw Regis “Ruga Rou” Prograis, 21-0 (18), of New Orleans, LA, living in Houston, TX, the WBC No. 2 contender, destroyed the former IBF World and WBA World Super Lightweight champion southpaw Julius “Blue Machine” Indongo, 22-2 (11), of Windhoek, Nambia, living in Omaha, NEB, the WBC No. 8 Contender, with four knockdowns at 2:54 of the second round.
In the first round the taller Indongo landed a combination to the head of Prograis. A solid right hook by Prograis to the chin of Indongo hurt him. A strong jab from Prograis to the chin of Indongo almost knocked him down. Prograis landed a right uppercut to the chin of Indongo dropped him to the canvas. In the second round Indongo used his jab with occasional long left hands to the chin of Prograis. Both fighters went to the body.
A left from Prograis to the chin of Indongo dropped him. Two more times left hands to the chin of Indongo dropped him for the second and third time forcing referee Ian John-Lewis to wave it off.
“I didn’t have a chance to show all my punches since it ended so soon. This 140 pound division is mine,” said Prograis.
Holden Production and Banner Promotions promoted the co-feature.
In the co-feature Russian born Super Lightweight Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk, 18-0 (11), out of Brooklyn, NY, stopped late sub Russian Petr “El Czar” Petrov, 38-6-1 (19), out of Madrid, Spain, at 1:12 of the eighth round of a scheduled twelve.
In the first round a jab from Baranchyk scored a knockdown when Petrov as his gloves touched the canvas breaking his fall. Baranchyk leaped with a left hook to the chin of Petrov. Petrov used his jab keeping Baranchyk off balance.
Baranchyk landed a solid left hook to the chin of Petrov. In the second round a left hook from Baranchyk to the chin of Petrov knocked him to the canvas and he got up immediately and started fighting when referee Mark Nelson jumped in and started his count. Petrov came back with a good right to the side of the head of Baranchyk. Petrov ducked into a Baranchyk left uppercut to the chin. The round ended as Petrov landed a right to the chin of Baranchyk.
In the third round Petrov landed a left hook to the body of Baranchyk. Baranchyk dropped Petrov to a knee with a left hook to the body but referee Nelson called it a slip. Petrov landed a right to the head of Baranchyk but got countered with a right to the head almost dropping him. Just prior to the bell Baranchyk landed two left hooks to the body knocking Petrov into the ropes. In the fourth round Petrov landed a double left hook to the body of Baranchyk. Baranchyk landed a double left hook to the body and head of Petrov. Petrov came back with a left hook to the body followed by a right to the head of Baranchyk. Baranchyk came back with a 3-punch combination to the body and head of Petrov. Petrov ended the round with several rights to the body and head of Baranchyk.
In the fifth round Baranchyk continued to throw punches with “bad intentions” to the head of Petrov. Baranchyk landed a lead right to the head of Petrov. Petrov landed a pair of left hooks to the body of Baranchyk. That was the best round of the fight so far. Petrov took the fight on five days notice and stepped up the super lightweight. In the sixth round Petrov landed an over hand right to the head of Baranchyk. Baranchyk came back with a combination to the head of Petrov. Baranchyk landed an overhand right to the ear of Petrov dropping him.
In the seventh round Baranchyk landed a pair of combinations to the head of Petrov. Baranchyk landed a chopping right to the head of Petrov. Just prior to the end of the round Baranchyk landed a flurry of punches to the body and head of Petrov. In the eighth round Baranchyk continued to show how his power was much stronger than Petrov driving him into the corner with a flurry of punches until referee Nelson wisely called a halt.
This writer had Baranchyk up 69-61 after seven rounds. Baranchyk is managed by David McWater.
Heavyweights Junior Fa, 14-0 (8), of Papakura, New Zealand, won a lack luster majority decision of late sub Craig Lewis, 14-2-1 (8), of Detroit, MI, over 8 rounds.
In the first round Fa landed the first punch a right to the chin of Lewis. Lewis is mostly using a jab. He missed quite a bit with his right hand. Inside the final minute of the round Fa landed a solid left hook to the head of Lewis and followed up with several more punches before Lewis tied him up. In the second round Fa landed a solid left hook backing Lewis up several steps. There were a dozen clinches after this keeping referee Mark Nelson busy.
In the third round Fa landed a good left hook to the chin of Lewis while inside.
Fa landed a solid right to the chin of Lewis getting his attention. Another round of about ten clinches. In the fourth round Fa came out and landed the first combination of the fight starting with a left hook followed by a straight right to the chin of Lewis. Lewis took the fight on two weeks notice and had his mouth open already gasping for air. He had swelling around his left eye. Lewis jumped in with a left hook to the chin of Fa. Again, too many clinches.
In the fifth round Lewis continued to come forward walking into a Fa left hook on the chin. Both threw right hands at the same time with both missing and falling into a clinch. Lewis landed a right to the chin of Fa. Fa came back with a right to the chin of Lewis. A Lewis jab to the mid-section of Fa knocked Fa off balance. In the sixth round it was Fa missed with a right and fell into a clinch time after time.
In the seventh round Fa landed a good left hook to the chin of Lewis. Fa landed a combination to the head of Lewis.
Referee Nelson continued to tell both boxers to stop clinching. In the eighth and final round Fa landed a pair of right’s to the head of Lewis. Fa looked exhausted and Lewis did too but seemed more active. Fa continued to hold Lewis. Lewis landed a left uppercut just prior to the bell on the chin of Fa. This fight was like watching wall paper dry.
Judge Rey Danseco had it 76-76, Juan Carlos Pelayo had it 78-74 and ? 79-73. This writer had it 77-75.
Super Featherweight Matt “Sharp Shooter” Remillard, 27-1 (15), of Hartford, CT, won by TD in 8 at 1:58 of the round over Jesus A. “Chuito” Valdez, 22-4-1 (11), of Sonora, MEX, of a scheduled 8.
Heavyweight Trey Lippe, 14-0 (14), of Tulsa, OK, stopped Oswaldo Ortega, 3-8 (1), Sonora, MEX, at 1:13 of the third in a scheduled 6.
Super welterweight Charles Conwell, 7-0 (5), of Cleveland, OH, shut out Juan Jesus Rivera, 28-20 (18), of Aguascalientes, MEX, over 6 rounds.