Facebook-Golden Boy Deal Could Be Big Step Forward for Boxing
By: Charles Jay
They aren’t the first organization to do it. And they certainly won’t be the last. But Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions intends to be the outfit that makes the greatest strides in developing the ability to capitalize on presenting professional boxing over the internet.
They have announced a partnership with Facebook in which they will present a series of live fight cards, free of charge, through Facebook Watch, the branded live streaming mechanism the mammoth social network has. It all begins on August 11 with a WBA featherweight title fight between Jesus Rojas and JoJo Diaz, taking place in Hollywood, CA. They will also go the next week from the Sands in Bethlehem, PA. And from there it will continue.
There has been a traditional business model for years in boxing, with slight variations. You sell tickets or try to get a casino to pay for the show, and then you see if you can make a deal to go on cable TV. If it’s sufficiently big enough, then pay-per-view (PPV) becomes a possibility. But you probably knew all that already.
Well, casino rights fees have dried up considerably from what they used to be. Television money isn’t spread around as much either, and with Al Haymon having taken a significant position through time buys instead of selling the product itself, you have to wonder how anxious some of these non-premium networks are going to be about giving up money in the future, outside of a couple of vendors.
We’ve seen some trips “out of the box” that might just stick. ESPN Plus is making some fights available through a paid app (also available through other platforms); DAZN is doing live streaming and has a deal in place with Eddie Hearn, the promoter of Anthony Joshua. In one conversation with me a while back, Top Rank’s Bob Arum envisioned that the Chinese, with a billion or so cell phones on hand, might pay a small fee for an attractive product (preferably including one of their countrymen) and that would add up to huge money. Twitter showed a championship fight a couple of years ago, through it was more of an experiment than anything else. There are services in operation right now that show boxing on a pay-per-view basis online, although I’m not sure what their numbers are. Certainly the direct-to-consumer model (“over the top,” as they say) is at some point going to be a major staple of what HBO or Showtime PPV does. It would appear inevitable.
Not everything is going to work. The point, though, is that different methods of distributing the programming are being explored.
And even though Facebook has done live events, like baseball games, what Golden Boy is doing represents the exploration of a legitimate frontier in this particular sport. It can be a winner. Like television, it offers the chance for the same outlet to market and exhibit boxing programming, provided of course they can cultivate an audience. But you see, over the social media channels, there is that built-in mechanism as well. And what is incorporated in this is the ability to get immediate fan feedback and interaction. So in a sense, a lot of this is self-contained. And obviously, the programs are adaptable to mobile devices, which is where the audience is going. Remember, people are moving away from cable, and toward other services. You have to get out front and go where the eyeballs are.
Golden Boy will not only have live fights, but also original programming in support of it; “shoulder” programming, if you will. You can bet that they will be promoting their pay-per-view telecasts as well, and this first fight comes just in time to push the Canelo-GGG fight on September 15. And in order to do this, they don’t have to get TV time cleared, or buy it, as Haymon has.
As part of the deal, Golden Boy is establishing a partnership-within-a-partnership, with Main Events (the New Jersey-based promoter) coming on board, and the CEO of that company, Kathy Duva, hit on something very important when she said, “For too long, promotional companies have been at odds over a limited number of television dates. We look now to a future with Facebook with unlimited opportunity, where promoters can work together to best serve the interests of the fighters and fans all over the world.”
Yes, in time things like this are going to flip the field.
Putting the product online in creative ways can be a great enabler for any number of promotional organizations. That’s because it is the most democratic distribution channel that has come along. Sure, not everybody is going to have a “partnership” with an entity such as Facebook, like Golden Boy has. But anyone has the capability to stream with Facebook Live, and then it just comes down to how many people can be driven to the “telecast.”
Years ago, when putting together a sponsorship proposal, we used to say that a cable channel, or combination of channels, got into X-million homes. Of course, that didn’t mean that X-million homes were going to tune in; it just meant the show had the capability to reach that many. Well, as long as you want to get theoretical about it, an online broadcast has the ability to reach almost every home on earth, or at least the vast majority, right?
That doesn’t mean there is a potential bonanza out there, naturally, but the doors can indeed be unlocked. The real opportunity for small and mid-level promoters probably doesn’t lie in online pay-per-view, truth be told, although I guess that if someone is going to produce a telecast anyway, it could fall into the category of “found money.” But this is more likely a play for enhanced sponsorship, using something similar to the over-the-air TV model (and the one Golden Boy is using), where the fights are free to viewers. If you can get a lot of targeted eyeballs to a piece of content, there should be a way to monetize that. It all depends how creative one wants to be.
Those who can somehow command a presence online, with regard to the actual presentation of the product, should be able to get a leg up on their competitors.
Remember, the technology isn’t going backward. And it’s going to allow even small, independent producers the chance to avail themselves of geo-tracking, instant viewer surveys and precise audience measurements, which provides plenty of ammunition, from the standpoint of data, to take to any sponsor. The challenge as we move forward is that whoever wants to hit big online will have to reach out and cultivate younger viewers, as MMA has done. And technology may be the mechanism through which to do it. Again, it comes down to who is creative about it.
I, for one, am rooting for this Golden Boy venture to succeed, not necessarily for what it will do for the company, but what it might do for an industry. And even in this business, where “schadenfreude” is often the order of the day, I think everyone else might do well to root for them too.
Golden Boy Promotions Issues Statement on Canelo Alvarez
Golden Boy Promotions has issued the following statement in response to Canelo Alvarez’s settlement agreement with the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
“As we have maintained all along, the trace amounts of clenbuterol found in Canelo’s system in February came from meat contamination, and we provided the Nevada State Athletic Commission with a great deal of evidence to support those facts.
Although most professional sports, international anti-doping agencies and United States boxing commissions treat meat contamination differently from other positive tests, Nevada does not. Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions respect the rules of Nevada and are therefore satisfied with the settlement agreement reached today.
“Canelo looks forward to returning to the ring in September for Mexican Independence Day weekend to represent Mexico and boxing in what will be the sport’s biggest event of the year. He is ready to continue his remarkable record of fighting at the highest level.”
The Return of Frank De Alba Friday at Sands in Bethlehem, PA
By: Ken Hissner
Marshall Kauffman’s King’s Promotions return’s to the Sand’s Event Center Friday night with their second show in a week. It’s been a year since southpaw Frank De Alba, 22-2-2 (9), of Reading, PA, had his last fight in defeating Ryan Kielczweski, 26-2 at the Sands Event Center in Bethlehem, PA. On Friday he will return to the Sands Casino in the main event taking on O’Shaquie “Ice Water” Foster, 12-2 (8), of Houston, TX, over 10 rounds in the Super Featherweight division.
De Alba’s last two fights have been cancelled out to the disappointment of his loyal fans. He is on a five fight win streak since losing to Omar “Big O” Douglas, then 15-0 at the Sands in 2015. That was his only ten rounder and Friday will be his second. His opponent is a former national amateur champion with over 100 amateur fights and was in the 2012 Olympic Trials.
The co-feature features Cruiserweight Luther Smith, 9-2 (8), of Bowie, MD, takes on ever dangerous Elvin “KoKo” Sanchez, 8-3-1 (6), of Paterson, NJ, over 8 rounds. Welterweight Craig Callaghan, 17-1 (7), of the UK fighting out of Houston, TX, takes on Cesar Soriano Berumen, 28-37-2 (17), of Iztacalco, MEX, over 8 rounds.
Featherweight Juan Sanchez, 5-0 (2), of Allentown, PA, takes on Vincent Jennings, 5-4-1 (4), of Grand Rapids, MI, over 6 rounds. Welterweight Jesus Perez, 3-0 (1), of Reading, PA, takes on Anthony Sonnier, 3-0 (2), of Seattle, WA, over 6 rounds.
Welterweight Denis Okoth, 2-0-1 (1), fought a week ago at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia scoring a mild upset defeating Philly’s Rasheed Johnson, 3-1. He takes on Philly’s Greg “Lil Greg” Jackson 8-5-1 (2), over 4 rounds. Featherweight Martino Jules, 3-0 (0), of Allentown, PA, takes on Phillip Davis, 1-1-1 (0), of Worcester, MASS, over 4 rounds. Super Welterweight Laured Stewart, 3-0 (2), of Guyana fighting out of Sydney, Australia, takes on James Robinson, 4-9-4 (1), of York, PA, over 4 rounds.
Pacquiao-Matthysse Set To Fight July 14th In Malaysia
By: Sean Crose
“Signed, sealed, and delivered: Proud to officially announce that WBA welterweight world champion @MatthysseLucas will put his title on the line against @mannypacquiao in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Saturday night July 14 (US time).”
So Golden Boy Promoter Oscar De La Hoya Tweeted Monday evening, announcing a summer fight between a former great and an exciting veteran making a second go of his career. Matthysse (39-4) was a rising star until he was bested by Danny Garcia and, some time later, Viktor Postol at junior welterweight. After taking over a year and a half off, the Argentine slugger came back against Emmanuel Taylor in 2017, then won the WBA welterweight strap from Tewa Karam earlier this year.
Pacquiao (59-7-2) clearly needs no introduction to even casual sports fans. One of the greatest boxers of his era, the 39 year old Filipino has recently slowed down his output as politics in his homeland have taken over much of the man’s time. Yet the fighter known as PacMan still wants to ply his trade and, after a highly controversial loss to Jeff Horn last summer, the multi-titlist is now going to battle for another major belt.
All of this is good news for Matthysse’s promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, which has had a hard time lately, since it’s star fighter, Canelo Alvarez, has tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol on two occasions. Canelo’s much anticipated middleweight title rematch with Gennady Golovkin was subsequently canceled on Tuesday. With questions surrounding Canelo-GGG 2 now answered, another question is stepping into the forefront:
Will Freddie Roach be in Pacquiao’s corner this July or not? Word is out that Pacquiao’s sidekick, Buboy Fernandez, may end up taking over the role of trainer for the bout with Matthysse. Pacquiao’s manager, Michael Koncz, is quoted in the LA Times as saying:
“Manny will make the final decision on this. He’s contemplating letting Buboy shine at the finish of his career.” It’s clear team Pacquiao may now be setting its sights on the future. “If Buboy can get a stable of boxers out of this,” Koncz said, “no hard feelings to Freddie, but Manny has not made a final decision.” Koncz also indicated that, should Pacquiao defeat the rugged Matthysse, he might next be setting his gaze upon wunderkind Vasyl Lomachenko. It may be unwise to look too far into the future, though, considering the fact that Pacquiao won’t have fought in a year by the time he steps into the ring to face Matthysse.
T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to Host Rematch Between Canelo and Golovkin
Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) and WBC/WBA/IBF/IBO Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) will return to
T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for a highly anticipated rematch on Cinco de Mayo. The first fight between the two world-class athletes sold out in only two weeks, and tickets will surely be in even higher demand as both fighters have promised they will not leave the rematch in the judges’ hands. Canelo vs. GGG 2 will take place Saturday, May 5 and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at a special time of 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions
Tickets for Canelo vs. GGG 2 will go on sale Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 10:00 a.m. PT, and are priced at $5,000, $2,500, $2,000, $1,500, $800, $700, $500 and $300, not including applicable service charges and taxes. There will be a limit of 10 per person at the $5,000, $2,500, $2,000, $1,500, $800 and $700 price levels with a limit of two (2) per person at the $500 and $300 price levels. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849). Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.t-mobilearena.com or www.axs.com.
The two fighters will meet for the first time since last September’s controversial draw at an event at Microsoft Square at L.A. LIVE Tuesday, Feb. 27. More details will be announced shortly.
“I am happy to return for the fourth time at T-Mobile Arena for this historic rematch against [Gennady] Golovkin,” said Canelo. “I opened the doors of this place to the world of boxing, and it has become my favorite venue. This is where the fight started, and this is where I’ll end it by doing what I and my fans most desire: knocking him out.”
“It feels right that the rematch returns to the scene of the crime,” said Golovkin. “This time there will be no drama with a decision. I won the first fight and left the ring as world champion wearing all the belts. And I am going to win the second fight. It is going to be a record fight and a golden night for me and boxing at T-Mobile Arena.”
Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya, said, “There is no better place to host the historic rematch between Canelo and Golovkin than T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Las Vegas on a fight weekend during Cinco de Mayo is electric, and I know fans will travel from around the world to be here to participate in the celebratory atmosphere. Historic boxing matches like Canelo vs. GGG 2 belong in a place like Las Vegas, which offers fans the full and rich experience they are looking for on a big fight weekend.”
“The last time they met in the ring, the tie went to the runner — Canelo Alvarez,” said Tom Loeffler, promoter of Golovkin. “I think there is only one place to settle this dispute between the two best middleweights. The most appropriate place for the rematch is back at T-Mobile Arena. The venue was a sensational host to Team Golovkin and the fans were terrific. We’ll see if T-Mobile Arena remains Canelo’s favorite venue after he becomes Gennady’s twentieth and record-tying title defense.”
Richard Sturm, President of Sports and Entertainment for MGM Resorts International, said, “T-Mobile Arena is the ideal venue to host a championship boxing event of this magnitude. We look forward to celebrating Cinco de Mayo weekend with sports fans in Las Vegas and worldwide for what should be one of boxing’s premier rematches.”
Canelo vs. GGG 2 is a 12-round fight for the middleweight championship of the world presented by Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” Hennessy, “Never Stop, Never Settle,” Fred Loya Insurance, and Fathom Events. The event will take place Saturday, May 5 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at a special time of 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.
Cintron in No-Contest and Fox Wins at Sands in Bethlehem
By: Ken Hissner
Tuesday night at the Sands Event Center Marshall Kauffman’s Kings Promotion put on an 8 bout card featuring former champion Kermit Cintron and up and coming Mykal Fox in co-feature bouts.
In the co-feature former IBF Welterweight champion now Super Welterweight Kermit “El Asesino” Cintron, 39-6-3 (30) , of Reading, PA, and “Marvelous” Marcus Taylor, 8-1 (0) , of Houston, TX, was ruled no-contest at 0:35 of the third round due to clash of heads with an eye injury to Cintron.
In the first round already too many clinches. Referee Eric Dali warned Taylor for punching in the back and then behind the head of Cintron. In the second round Taylor landed a low blow causing referee Dali to give Cintron several minutes to re-coup. Cintron would lead with a jab but Taylor was not co-operating. In the third round due to an accidental clash of the heads Cintron’s right eye was near closed causing referee Dali to bring in the ring physician. The fight was called off by the ring physician. It was ruled no-contest in a scheduled 8. It could have been a DQ in favor of Cintron.
“I was looking for my 40th win. The referee did his job in warning his dirty tactics,” said Cintron. The first head butt cut Cintron’s forehead and the second a gash over the right eye. Joe Pastore is his trainer.
In the co-feature Super Lightweight southpaw Mykal “The Professor” Fox, 16-0 (4) , of Forestville, MD, won a hard fought decision over Ricardo Garcia, 14-2 (9) , of Dominican Republic, over 8 rounds.
In the first round the taller Fox used his reach jabbing while Garcia came forward going to the body well. In the second round Garcia seemed to come back taking the round with body work. Garcia’s left eye was closing by the end of the round. In the third round Garcia with left eye closing had problems with the southpaw Fox right jab. In the fourth round Garcia came back to even the score with overhand rights and inside body work.
In the fifth and sixth rounds Garcia walked into straight lefts from Fox. Though Garcia’s left eye was near closing he never stopped forcing the action. Garcia took the fifth and Fox seemed to do enough to take the sixth round though close.
In the seventh round a Fox right hook to the chin dropped Garcia who was up immediately taking the 8 count from referee Gary Rosato. In the eighth and final round Fox kept the jab working while Garcia did quite a bit of missing with hay makers.
Judge Poturaj had it 77-74 while judges Morgan and Weisfeld had it 78-73. This writer had it 77-74.
“I used my jab well. I got head butted (cut on forehead) but felt I controlled the fight,” said Fox.
Heavyweight Colby Madison, 6-0-1 (4) , of Owings Mills, MD, defeated southpaw Dante “Mr. Snuggly Time” Selby, 2-4-1 (0) , of Philadelphia, over 6 rounds.
In the first round Selby landed a lead left which was countered by a right of his own by Madison both to the head. Selby went down with referee Gary Rosato waving it off due to Madison stepping on the foot of Selby. In the second round Selby landed several lead lefts to the chin of Madison.
In the third round it took to the halfway point before a solid punch was landed by Madison to the chin of Selby. In the fourth round it was another slow round with Madison landing what little punches there were.
With Larry “The Easton Assasin” Holmes and “Gentleman” Gerry Cooney at ringside it looks like they could take both in the ring in a tag team match.
In the fifth round Selby landed a lead left at the halfway mark to the chin of Madison who came back with a stiff jab. It was another slow round on both parts. In the sixth and final round neither fighter seemed to go for the win. The scoring seemed out of line.
Judge Bernard Bruni had it 60-54 while Kevin Morgan and John Poturaj had it 59-55 with this writer having it 57-57.
Middleweight Blake “Kayo King” Mansfield 6-1-1 (4) , of Burlington, NC, stopped Darryl “Dreamking” Bunting, 3-3-2 (1) , of Asbury Park, NJ, at 0:36 of the fifth round in a scheduled 6.
In the first round Mansfield took it to Bunting driving him into a corner with a flurry of punches. Mansfield landed a left to the head drawing blood over the right eye of Bunting. In the second round Bunting landed a good straight right to the chin of Mansfield who came back with a right of his own rocking Bunting.
In the third round both fighters mixed it up well. Bunting got the best of it up until the final 30 seconds when Mansfield came back. In the fourth round Mansfield drove Bunting into the ropes with a straight right hand. Bunting knocked out the mouthpiece of Mansfield which was the third time costing Mansfield a point by referee Dali. Dali just prior to the bell landed a right to the head having Bunting wobble back to his corner.
In the fifth round Mansfield unleashed a vicious attack driving across the ring into the ropes forcing referee Dali to call a halt.
“I hurt him in the first round. When the referee took a point away in the previous round made me man. So I came out firing,” said Mansfield.
Heavyweight Michael Polite Coffie, 2-0 (1) , of Brooklyn, NY, defeated game Jamaican southpaw Nicoy Clarke, 0-1 (0) , of Jersey City, NJ, over 4 rounds.
In the first round Clarke landed a lead overhand left to the chin of the much larger Coffie. Coffie came back with hard left hook body shots on Clarke. Coffie landed half a dozen punches without return from Clarke. In the second round Clarke charges in trying to swarm Coffie with little success. A grazing left hook from Coffie bounced off the top of Clarke’s head. Inside a Coffie right uppercut on the chin drew blood from the nose of Clarke. Coffie has over a 60 pound weight advantage.
In the third round it was Clarke landing a dozen punches backing Coffie against the ropes. Coffie came back to rock Clarke with a right uppercut to the chin putting Clarke on the defense. Clarke started talking to Coffie and paid the price with half a dozen punches from Coffie. In the fourth and final round Coffie landed a solid uppercut to the chin of Clarke and then warned for a low blow by referee Rosato. A combination from Coffie hurt Clarke. Rosato was the referee.
All 3 judges Poturaj, Bruni and Morgan and this writer had it 40-36.
Featherweight southpaw Martino “Titan” Jules, 3-0 (0) , of Allentown, PA, won a close decision with a knockdown over Malik “Lil Leak” Loften, 1-1 (1) , of Suitland, MD, over 4 rounds.
In the first round both mixed it up good with Jules landing the better of the punches through the first half of the round. Loften came back in the last ten seconds driving Jules into a corner at the bell. In the second round Jules drove Loften into a corner but Loften came back with a left hook to the body. Loften rushed into Jules who landed a straight left to the chin dropping Loften. Referee Dali gave him the eight count and Loften was up and fighting back. It was Jules who came out of the round with a bloody nose smeared his face with blood at the bell.
In the third round Loften came charging out trying to turn the fight around as Jules met him with a combination. Loften drove Jules into a neutral corner with a combination to the head of Jules. Jules slipped a right from Loften and countered with a left to the chin of Loften. Loften landed a solid right to the head of Jules putting him into the ropes causing him to clinch. Again a right hand from Loften rocked Jules. In the fourth and final round both let it all hang out knowing the fight could be in the balance of the round. Loften had Jules holding after landing a solid right to the head of Jules.
Judge Bruni had it 39-38 while Morgan and Weisfeld had it 38-37 with this writer having it 38-37.
Featherweight Juan “Ciclon” Sanchez, 5-0 (2) , of Allentown, PA, stopped Mexican Sergio Aguilar, 2-7 (2) , of Homestead, FL, at 2:55 of the fourth and final round.
In the first round Sanchez came out firing driving Aguilar landing a left hook knocking him to the bottom strand of the ropes ruling a knockdown by referee Rosato. Sanchez landed eight left uppercuts to the body of Aguilar up until the bell. In the second round Sanchez hit Aguilar with a right to the head spinning him around making his glove touch the canvas causing referee Rosato to call it a knockdown. A combination from Sanchez dropped Aguilar a second time. Sanchez pulled a “Roy Jones, Jr.” putting his hands behind his back then throwing a punch. Aguilar got the final punch in as the bell sounded.
In the third round Sanchez rocked Aguilar who gamely came back with several punches of his own. Aguilar drove Sanchez into the ropes with a lead overhand right to the head. Aguilar did well to come back and edge Sanchez in the round. In the fourth and final round Aguilar missed with a wild right hand almost going through the ropes as Sanchez ducked out of the way. In the final minute both fighters let it all hang out with Sanchez hurting Aguilar with a right body shot. Then Sanchez followed up by swarming all over Aguilar driving him to the canvas on his back under the lower rope. Referee Rosato immediately waved it off. The local fans went crazy for Sanchez.
“He was a lot tougher than I thought he was. I did my thing (showboat) with a triple left hook to finish him off,” said Sanchez. His trainer well known in the area Louie Martinez said “he is in college and hasn’t been able to get in the gym as I would like but he did well.”
In the opening bout Cruiserweight Kendall “Smoke” Cannida, 1-0 (0) ,, of Philadelphia, defeated Leroy Jones, 2-2 (2), of St. Louis, MO, over 4 rounds.
In the first round the taller Jones used his jab until Cannida got inside and drove him into the ropes with a flurry of punches. Jones continued to carry his left low not learning Cannida can punch. In the second round Cannida switched to southpaw and back to orthodox. A right hand from Cannida rocked Jones with five more punches putting him against the ropes before Jones returned a punch. Jones landed a left uppercut to the chin of Cannida. Cannida came back with a solid jab just prior to the bell that knocked the head of Jones back.
In the third round Cannida landed a right to the body of Jones. Up until then he was head hunting. Jones came forward and got hit with a right to the chin stopping him in his tracks. Jones was warned for using his forearm for the second time by referee Dali. In the fourth round Cannida rocked Jones with a left hook to the chin. Another left hook from Cannida rocked Jones who hasn’t learned to pick up his left hand. Cannida landed an overhand right to the chin of Jones at the ten second warning.
All three Judges Bruni, Morgan and Weisfeld and this writer hat it 40-36. “I liked it a lot. This is what I trained for,” said Cannida. In his corner were Chucky Mills and former top world contender Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts, all from Philly. Cannida is a prospect.
The Ring Announcer was Alex Barbosa. On Go-Fight-Live were Marc Abrams and Mike Mittman. Timekeeper was Fred Blumstein. Kings Promotion will return to the Sands Event Center on April 17th. Per promoter Marshall Kauffman it may be his son heavyweight Travis Kauffman returning to the ring. Their next show is March 2nd at the SugarHouse Casino in Philly featuring unbeaten Christian Carto.
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Recap: Abreu Stops Soto Karass, Garcia Defeats Valenzuela
Live from the Casino del Sol in Tucson, Arizona, Golden Boy Promotions presented a handful of fights that were aired on ESPN2 and ESPN3.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
In the fourth round of the first televised fight, Cesar Diaz (5-0) forced Pedro Melo (17-18-2) to his knees with a body shot. Melo, however, complained of a shot to the back of the head and the referee did not give him a count. It was at this point that the excuses began for Melo. In the fifth round, he was knocked down again and before he got up started rotating his shoulder. The referee gave him his count. Melo got up and started walking around, still making a theatrical show of his injured shoulder. He had found his “out.” The referee asked if he wanted to continue. Melo shook his head. And so Diaz won by an uneventful TKO.
Up next Rafael Gramajo (9-1-1) fought German Meraz (58-45-2), who was a last-minute replacement for Sergio Najera. A veteran of over a hundred fights, Meraz made this fight fun to watch. He wasn’t there just to collect a paycheck. He was there to win and to entertain the crowd while doing it. The more experienced Meraz may not have dominated, but he did control the fight. Jerky, and a bit hyperactive, Meraz even slipped once, but that did not stop the crowd from rooting for him. The fight was ruled a draw, by majority decision, but one judge had Gramajo winning. Who knows what that judge was thinking.
The Hector Tanajara vs. Jesus Serrano fight was mostly uneventfully, except for an exciting fifth round exchange. Tanajara won, but not as decisively as the judges thought. Serrano was a last-minute replacement and gave Tanajara more trouble than he expected. Tanajara initially prepared to face Oscar Eduardo Quezada, and perhaps he was a bit unprepared to deal with a southpaw.
The co-main event was Ryan Garcia (11-0) vs. Cesar Valenzuela (14-5-1). Garcia’s power was on full display in the first round when he knocked Valenzuela down with a sharp left hook to the head. Garcia calls himself a boxing historian and his short shorts are certainly something from another era. Garcia knocked Valenzuela down two more times before the referee stopped the fight. Garcia has the potential to become a star. He’s veritable force of nature, a kid with enviable speed and power.
The main event was Jesus Soto Karass (28-12-4) vs. Juan Carlos Abreu (19-3-1). The 35-year-old Soto Karass started out slow, spending much of the first-round walking into Abreu’s hardest shots. Abreu ended the 1st round with a shot to the head that landed after the bell. In the 3rd round, there was a great exchange between both men, and Soto Karass landed a solid left hand to the head. Over the next two rounds, the flat-footed Soto Karass kept coming forward as Abreu kept skipping around. The younger Abreu looked fresh and more alive. Soto Karass slowed in the fifth. His punch count was down from previous fights. But he began to open up with his hands by the end of the sixth. Soto Karass kept up the pace into the seventh, but he continued to take punishment. Then, in the seventh round, Abreu knocked him down. Soto Karass staggered to his feet. The referee should have called off the fight then, but he let it continue. Moments later, he jumped in and called the fight off when Abreu caught Soto Karass on the ropes.
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Preview: Barrera vs. Gibson, Tapia vs. Rosado
By: William Holmes
On Thursday night Golden Boy Promotions will present a card live at the Park Theater at the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas, Nevada on ESPN 2.
At least two bouts are currently scheduled to take place. The co-main event will feature KeAndre Gibson taking on Alejandro Barrera in the welterweight division. The main event will be a fight between Philadelphia’s Gabriel Rosado and New Jersey’s Glen Tapia in the middleweight division.
Photo From Glen Tapia’s Twitter Account
Both Rosado and Tapia have been in the ring with some high profile opponents, and a loss for either will likely signal the end of meaningful matchups for either boxer.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Alejandro Barrera (29-3) vs. KeAndre Gibson (17-1); Welterweights
KeAndre Gibson was once considered a high level prospect due to his amateur background and success. He won the Junior Golden Gloves National Championship in 2006 and was a bronze medalist in the 2006 Junior Olympics.
However, he lost by TKO to the undefeated Antonio Orozco in April of this year and some of Gibson’s hype has begun to fade.
Gibson will be facing Alejandro Barrera, and opponent that is four years older than him but will have a five and a half inch reach advantage and stands at the same height.
Barrera does not have the amateur experience of Gibson, but he does appear to have a slight edge in power. He has stopped seventeen of his opponents while Gibson has only stopped seven. Both men have suffered on stoppage loss in their career.
Gibson has been fairly active the past two years. He already fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016. Barrera only fought once in 2017 and zero times in 2016.
Barrera has defeated the likes of Eddie Gomez, Juan Mantiel, and Armando Robles. His losses were to Errol Spence Jr., Ramses Agaton, and Armando Robles.
Gibson has defeated the likes of Dennis Dauti, Mahonry Montes, and Jorge Romero.
It should be noted that three of the past four fights of Barrera were split draws and very close on the scorecards. Gibson’s amateur experience and technical edge should make him the favorite, but he will have to be wary of the power of Barrera.
Glen Tapia (23-4) vs. Gabriel Rosado (23-11); Middleweights
The main event is between two guys known for their heart and willingness to leave it all in the ring, but are also known for coming up short when placed in big time fights.
Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia, will be giving up a half inch in height and about an inch and a half in reach to Gabriel Rosado. However, Tapia is four years younger than Rosado and has a considerable edge in amateur experience. Tapia has a claimed amateur record of 130-4 while Rosado is alleged to only having eleven fights as an amateur on his record.
Both boxers have similar power numbers. Tapia has stopped fifteen of his opponents while Rosado has stopped thirteen. Both boxers have also been known to be stopped by their opponents. Tapia has three stoppage losses to his resume while Rosado has four.
Tapia fought once in 2017 and once in 2016. He is currently riding a three fight losing streak. He has lost to the likes of Jason Quigley, David Lemieux, Michel Soro, and James Kirkland. Notable victories include Daniel Dawson, Donatas Bondorovas, Abraham Han, and Ayi Bruce.
Roasdo has fought once in 2017 and twice in 2016. He has defeated the likes of Antonio Gutierrez, Joshua Clottey, Charles Whittaker, Sechew Powell, Jesus Soto Karass, and Ayi Bruce. His losses were to Martin Murray, Willie Monroe Jr., David Lemieux, Jermell Charlo, Peter Quillin, and Gennady Golovkin.
Rosado has only gone 2-5 in his past seven fights, but most of those fights were against high level opponents.
Both boxers have had their share of tough losses, but Tapia has suffered more devastating losses than Rosado and has not been as active. Additionally, Rosado’s losses were against some of the best in the business, including Gennady Golovkin and Jermell Charlo, while Tapia has lost to lesser known boxers such as Jason Quigley and Michel Soro.
This should be an entertaining action packed bout. But it won’t be a bout to showcase the technical aspects of boxing. Rosado has an edge in the intangibles, but this is a fight that could go either way.
Joey “The Tank” Dawejko Returns to Philly with KO Win Friday
By: Ken Hissner
Hard Hitting Promotions (Will Ruiz and Manny Rivera) returned to the SugarHouse Casino before a packed house in Philadelphia Friday. This young promotional group has brought back life to a once great city with top notch young talent and crowd pleasers.
In the main event heavyweight Joey “The Tank” Dawejko, 18-4-4 (11), of Philly, stopped Demitrius Banks, 9-2 (4), of Detroit, MI, at 1:42 in the third round of a scheduled 8.
In the first round Dawejko stalked Banks out working and out smarting him. In the second round a hard right from Dawejko dropped Banks. Shortly afterwards a series of punches dropped Banks a second time. In the third round Dawejko with the crowd yelling “Joey, Joey” was all over Banks who all but collapsed from the fury Dawejko put on him before “The Tank’s” fans before referee Shawn Clark rescued Banks from any further punishment.
Welterweight Ray “Tito” Serrano, 23-4 (10), of Philly, came off the canvas to defeat Zack Ramsey, 8-2 (4), of Springfield, MASS, now out of Newark, NJ, over six rounds.
In the first round it was all Serrano digging in with left uppercuts to the body until the final seconds of the round when Ramsey countered with a right to the chin and Serrano went down. In the second round Serrano came out with a vicious body attack keeping Ramsey on the ropes for the most part of the round. In the third round Ramsey kept his arms to his side for the most part being outworked by Serrano. In the fourth round the action slowed to a crawl.
In the fifth round Ramsey stayed on the ropes for the most part while Serrano did his best trying to pinpoint a knockout punch. Halfway through the round with the crowd yelling “Tito, Tito” Serrano hurt Ramsey with a right to the chin. In the sixth round Serrano was warned for landing a low blow by referee Bashir. It was just prior to the bell Ramsey almost knocked Serrano down as the bell sounded. This fight was changed to a six from an eight.
Scores were 57-56 twice and 59-55 while this writer had it 58-56.
Both Dawejko and Serrano are under the management of Rocco Collision’s Mark Cipparone.
Super lightweight 17 year-old Devin “The Dream” Haney, 17-0 (11), of Las Vegas, NV, defeated late sub Enrique Tinoco, 16-5-3 (12), of MEX, over 8 rounds. Bashir was the referee.
In the first round Haney used his reach advantage he keeping Tinoco at bay throughout the round. In the second round Tinoco made more of a fight of it switching back and forth from southpaw to orthodox. Haney who turned pro at 15 in Mexico fights with his mouth open. In the third round it was Tinoco forcing the action fighting Haney to a stand still. In the fourth round it started out all Haney before Tinoco reversed course and pushed Haney back to the ropes.
In the fifth round late sub Tinoco continued to hold his own and in the sixth Tinoco had his moments forcing the action as Haney was moving backwards countering. Haney started showboating landing a windmill uppercut to the chin of Tinoco. In the seventh round it was Haney holding on when a right hand from Tinoco caught him on the chin. Tinoco came coming forward while Haney countered well. In the eighth and final round Haney came rushing out but Tinoco was waiting for him. Haney at the midway point of the round was landing good chopping right’s to the head of Tinoco. Near the end of the round Haney started showboating again. Tinoco did well making a fight of it. Haney did not win the Philly crowd over in this one.
Judges scores were 80-71 and 80-72 twice. This writer had it 78-74.
In the co-feature super lightweight sensation 17 year-old Branden Pizarro, 8-0 (4), of Philly, stopped Tyrone Luckey, 8-8-3 (6), of Neptune, NJ, at 0:24 of the fourth round.
In the first round it was all Pizarro who at 17 is already a fan favorite. In the second round Luckey was on the offense until tangled with Pizarro who got tired of referee Ron Bashir breaking the fighters and landed a low punch getting Luckey off of him. Pizarro went right after Luckey with an assortment of punches without return. In the third round a lead right from Pizarro to the chin rocked Luckey. A follow-up right to the chin from Pizarro dropped Luckey. He beat the count of referee Bashir just prior to the end of the round.
In the fourth round a left hook from Pizarro drove Luckey into the ropes which would have been ruled a knockdown but referee Bashir waved the fight off.
In the fight of the night light heavyweight David Murray, 7-1-1 (6), of Philly, came off the canvas in a real slugfest to stop Attila Koros, 14-12-1 (10), of Salgotarjan, HUN, at 1:53 of the fifth of a scheduled six.
In the first round Murray was having his way when a counter right from Koros right on the chin dropped Murray. Up at referee Clarks 8 count Murray did well to get through the round. In the second round both were throwing bombs when a straight right from Koros dropped Murray who managed to get through the round. In the third round Koros went right after Murray but lost his mouthpiece three times in the round.
In the fourth round it turned into a wild slugfest. Just when it looked like Koros may have punched himself out he landed a powerful right to the chin of Murray. The fans loved the action in this round. In the fifth round Murray punched out the mouthpiece of Koros. Murray was out punching Koros but it seemed to have little effect on Koros who kept coming forward until he lost his mouthpiece causing referee Clark to finally take a point away. Koros went right after Murray until he got caught with a wicked right to the mid-section and dropped for the count of referee Clark while on his knees. It looked like a “Rocky” episode. This one started like a war and ended the same way!
Lightweight Sam Teah, 11-1-1 (5), of Philly, was a late scratch as his opponent Istvan Dernanecz, 10-6 (7), of Nagykonizsa, HUN, didn’t pass his medicals in time.
Super lightweight southpaw prospect Jeremy Cuevas, 5-0 (4), of Philly, easily stopped Justin Savi, 31-14-2 (21), of Cotonou, Benin, now out of Silver Spring, MD, at 1:25 of the third round.
In the first round it was all Cuevas who swarmed all over Savi from bell to bell. Savi covered up and occasionally threw a wild right that never landed. Cuevas used a good body and head assortment. In the second round Cuevas swarmed all over Savi causing referee Clark to administer an 8-count. Savi did all he could to survive the round. In the third round Cuevas continued the onslaught until referee Clark stepped in waving it off.
Super bantamweight Angel Pizarro, 3-0 (2), of Philly returned to action stopping Joseph Cole, 1-3 (1), of Marvero, LA, at 1:54 of the second round.
In the first round Cole missed with a lead right but caught Pizarro with the follow-up left to the chin. With about 30 seconds to go in the round Pizarro dropped Cole with a left hook to the chin. After the bell Cole took a swipe at Pizarro and was warned by referee Bashir. In the second round Pizarro dropped Cole with a left hook to the chin. Upon beating the count Cole was stormed by Pizarro who rocked him with a right hand causing referee Bashir to wisely stop the bout. Angel Pizarro Sr. trains his son.
In the opening bout bantamweight Ernesto Almodovar, 2-0 (1), of Philly, halted Trevir Ballinger, 0-2 (0), of OH, at 1:28 of the fourth and final round.
In the first two rounds Almodovar was busier than Ballinger whose accuracy was off. In the third round Almodvar landed a good overhand right to the head of Ballinger getting his attention. Near the end of the round Almodovar landed a combination to the head of Ballinger who was in the corner of Almodovar making Ballinger hold on. In the fourth and final round Almodovar landed a hard right uppercut making Ballinger hold on and trying to get to the final bell but it didn’t happen. Almodovar landed a flurry of punches having Ballinger in a neutral corner making referee Clark wisely put a stop to it. Angel Pizarro, Sr. trains Almodovar.
3-Division world champion Mikey Garcia entered the ring with Branden Pizarro. Upon being asked he said he was no longer under contract to Cameron Dunkin who still manages Terrance Crawford.
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Results: Rojas Stops Marrero in the 7th
By: William Holmes
The Marquee Ballroom at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site for tonight’s Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Card.
The venue was a more intimate venue with good views for the fans in attendance.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
The opening bout of the televised card was between Damon Allen Jr. (12-0) and Jayro Duran (10-2) in the lightweight division.
Damon Allen is a Philadelphia native and considered by many to be on of the area’s best prospects.
Allen was in clear control the opening rounds and was able to land his left hook and jab with ease. He was able to control the distance and fight a measured but controlling pace on Duran.
Duran was able to land a thudding right hook in the fifth round that caught Allen by surprise momentarily, but Allen was able to outland Duran for the remainder and in this writer’s opinion still won the round.
Allen won a large majority of the remainder rounds and was sharp with his combinations and didn’t appear to tire even though Duran was able to continuously come forward. However Allen did not show that he had fight stopping power, but he did have good boxing skills.
All three judges scored the bout 79-72 for Damon Allen Jr.
The next bout of the night was in the Super Featherweight Division between Ryan Garcia (10-0) and Miguel Carrizoza (10-2) in the Super Bantamweight division. This bout was for the Junior NABF Super Featherweight Title.
Garcia came right out and landed a thudding right hook in the opening seconds that sent Carrizoza down to the mat. As soon as Carrizoza got to his feet Garcia landed another thudding hook that sent him down to the mat and the referee stopped the fight.
Two punches, two knockdowns, quick stoppage. Impressive fight for Garcia.
Ryan Garcia wins by TKO at 0:30 of the first round.
The next bout of the night was between Alexis Salazar (11-3) and Evan Torres (6-4) in the middleweight division. This bout was a TV swing bout.
Salazar was the taller fighter and he attempted to use his reach to keep Torres at bay. Torres, however, applied consistent pressure but he appeared to be more effective in the earlier rounds.
Both boxers took advantage of the opportunity to possibly be on television and had some heavy exchanges in the later rounds.
The final scorecards were read in Torres favor: 59-55, 58-56, and 60-54.
The televised main event was between Claudio Marrero (22-1) and Jesus Rojas (25-1-2) for the WBA Interim Featherweight Title.
Rojas is known for his hard charging come forward style and he had Marrero backing into a corner early. Marrero was mixing his combinations to the body and head and at one point pushed Rojas down into the corner. Marrero landed several good uppercuts in the opening round.
Marrero controlled the distance in the second round and showed he was clearly the fighter with the faster hands. Rojas was able to do a better job in the third round keeping the fight in close quarters, but Marrero was dominating when there was some separation between the two fighters.
Rojas dominated the fourth and fifth rounds and looked like he was wearing Marrero down. He kept his head in the chest of his opponents and was landing heavy shots, though Marrero was able to get in some good combinations of his own.
Marrero was able to retake control in the sixth round by landing good combinations and even backing Rojas up. Marrero could be seen jawing to his opponent throughout the sixth.
Marrero looked like he was catching his second round in the seventh round until Rojas landed a devastating combination with a fight ending left hook that sent Marrero down to the mat. Marrero was badly hurt and unable to get up before the count of ten.
Jesus Rojas wins by knockout at 2:59 of the seventh round.
Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna and George Sosa at Claridge Saturday
By: Ken Hissner
Rising Star Promotions returns to the Claridge Hotel & Casino, in Atlantic City, NJ, Saturday. They will be featuring 12 bouts with Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna of Millville, NJ, against George “El Terrible” Sosa for the WBC Silver Latino welterweight title in the Main Event.
“I’m just ready to fight and I hope he is too. I encourage people to come to this action packed event. 12 events and a title fight,” said Lamanna. His opponent Sosa had this to stay, “I think Lamanna is a boxer who has fought no one of my caliber yet, and like me I have fought everyone.”
Former IBF Cruiserweight champion Imamu “Young Ben” Mayfield, 26-10-2 (19), of Perth Amboy, NJ, takes on upset minded Lamont Capers, 7-10-2 (2), of Hawley, PA. Anthony “Juice” Young, 17-2 (6), of Atlantic City, NJ, takes on southpaw Tracey Johnson, 4-5-4 (0), of Boston, MASS.
Doors open at 6pm and first bout at 7pm
Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao, Horn, Eubank, Abraham, Joe Smith Jr., and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao, Horn, Eubank, Abraham, Joe Smith Jr., and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 28th to July 5th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
ESPN’s Telecast of Battle of Brisbane Between Jeff Horn and Manny Pacquiao Highest Rated Boxing Telecast Since 1995
ESPN’s live telecast Saturday, July 1, of the “Battle of Brisbane” (10 p.m. to 1 a.m. ET) averaged a total live audience (television and streaming) of 3.1 million viewers across the ESPN and ESPN Deportes networks, according to Fast National ratings from Nielsen. It was the highest-rated and most-watched boxing telecast on cable television since 2006 and ESPN’s highest-rated boxing telecast since 1995.
The WBO World Welterweight Championship main event between Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs), the Filipino legend and boxing’s only eight-division world champion, against undefeated No. 1 contender and Brisbane’s favorite son Jeff “The Hornet” Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs) (12 midnight to 1 a.m. ET) peaked during the final half hour of their fight with 4.4 million viewers across both networks. Horn defeated Pacquiao by a controversial unanimous decision.
On ESPN, the telecast averaged a 1.6 household rating and 2,812,000 viewers, making it the highest-rated and most-watched boxing telecast on cable TV since 2006. Carlos Baldomir vs. Arturo Gatti on HBO on July 22, 2006, earned a 1.6 household rating.
“The Battle of Brisbane” was also the highest-rated boxing telecast on ESPN’s networks since 1995. Danell Nicholson vs. Darren Hayden on ESPN, on December 21, 1995 earned a 1.7 household rating.
Highest Ratings for Boxing Telecasts on Cable in Last 10 Years
DATE NETWORK MAIN FIGHT US HH Rating
7/01/2017 ESPN Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn 1.6
9/26/2009 HBO Vitali Klitschko vs. Chris Arreola 1.4
4/19/2008 HBO Bernard Hopkins vs. Joe Calzaghe 1.3
5/03/2008 HBO Oscar De La Hoya vs. Steve Forbes 1.3
5/09/2015 HBO Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland 1.3
“The Battle of Brisbane” on ESPN Deportes averaged 206,000 viewers, including 308,000 viewers in the final half hour of the event, making it the most-watched fight on ESPN Deportes since Leo Santa Cruz vs. Abner Mares on August 29, 2015, which had an average minute viewing audience of 355,00
ESPN’s telecast had a streaming average minute audience of 78,000, with 392,000 unique viewers, and 14.4 million total minutes streamed. Based on all three measures, the fight was the most-streamed boxing event on record on ESPN’s networks. On ESPN Deportes, the telecast had a streaming average minute audience of 1,400, with 7,800 unique viewers, and 253,000 total minutes streamed. Based on all three measures, the fight was the most-streamed boxing event on record on ESPN Deportes. Streaming provided a combined additional 2.6% lift on top of the television audience for both networks.
“The Battle of Brisbane” is available to stream now on the ESPN app.
Chris Eubank Jr. vs. King Arthur Abraham to Air on PPV in the United States
One of boxing’s most polarizing and exciting young fighters faces a dangerous three-time, two-division world champion, as Chris Eubank Jr. defends his International Boxing Organization (IBO) Super Middleweight Championship against “King” Arthur Abraham on Saturday, July 15, available to watch on Pay Per View in the United States, starting at 2:30 pm ET / 11:30 am PT, live from SES Arena, Wembley in London, England.
“Eubank Jr. vs. Abraham”, promoted by Poxon Sports in association with Team Sauerland, is presented in the United States by Integrated Sports Media and Protocol Sports Marketing, Ltd.
Integrated Sports Media will distribute “Eubank Jr. vs. Abraham” live in the United States on cable and satellite PPV via iN Demand, Vubiquity, and DISH for a suggested retail price of only $24.95. In Canada, the event will be available on television to fight fans that subscribe to premium pay television network Super Channel.
Outside of North America, “Eubank Jr. vs. Abraham” is being distributed to broadcasters worldwide by leading boxing television rights distribution firm, Protocol Sports Marketing Ltd.
Only 27 years old, the British-born Eubank Jr. (24-1, 19 KOs) enters the contest with less experience than Abraham but with power, a mean streak, and meaningful boxing pedigree. Eubank Jr. has won 16 of his last 17 fights by stoppage.
His father, Chris Eubank Sr. (45-5-2, 23 KOs), is a former World Boxing Organization (WBO) super middleweight and middleweight world champion. Eubank Sr. co-trains and manages his son, in addition to being an idiosyncratic presence in and around his son’s fights, and the British fight scene.
A former Interim World Boxing Association (WBA) Middleweight World Champion, Eubank Jr. captured the IBO title this past February, stopping Renold Quinlan (11-1, 7 KOs) in the 10th round. His July 15th fight versus Abraham will mark the confident young champion’s first IBO title defense.
“Abraham is a strong, come forward fighter,” Eubank Jr. said, “but he’s one-dimensional. He’s very good in that one dimension, but a one-dimensional fighter cannot beat me. I see a lot of holes in his game and I’m going to exploit those holes ruthlessly.”
The IBO No. 1 rated Abraham (46-5, 30 KOs) fights out of Berlin, Germany. “King” Arthur is a two-time WBO super middleweight world champion, as well as a former International Boxing Federation (IBF) middleweight world champion. The powerful Armenian has a sensational 18-4 (9 KOs) record in world championships, 7-4 (4 KOs) against former or current world champions. Noted victims during his 17-year professional career reads like a Who’s Who of Boxing in the 160- and 168-pound divisions, including world champions Raul Marquez, Hector Javier Velazco, Jermain Taylor, Robert Stieglitz thrice, and Giovanni De Carolis. Abraham has also defeated world-class opponents such as Martin Murray, Paul Smith twice, Lajuan Simon, Edison Miranda twice, Khoren Gevor, Sebastian Demers, Kofi Jantuah, Kingsley Ikeke, Robin Krasniqi and Howard Eastman.
Four of Abraham’s five career losses have been to world champions Carl Froch, Andre Ward, Stieglitz and Gilberto Ramirez. Stieglitz is the only opponent to stop Abraham, who has won 10 of his last 11 fights, the most recent a 12-round unanimous decision win over Krasniqi (46-4, 17 KOs) this past April in Germany.
“I will make sure that I’m in top shape and ready to secure a great victory,” Abraham remarked. “I know Chris Eubank, Jr. is a good fighter, like his dad. I’m expecting a tough fight, but I am confident I will beat him.”
Also airing live is the 12-round International Boxing Federation (IBF) Featherweight World Championship match as popular Welshman “Lightning” Lee Selby (24-1, 9 KOs) makes his third defense of the title he captured May 30, 2015, when he won an eighth-round technical decision over previously unbeaten Evgeny Gradovich (19-0-1, 9 KOs).
Selby will be challenged by former WBA Featherweight World Champion Jonathan Victor “Yoni” Barros (41-4-1, 22 KOs), of Argentina, who is the IBF No. 1 contender.
Additional PPV fights will soon be announced.
Taras Shelestyuk and Ruben Villa Defend Unbeaten Records on Saturday Night
In the “Locked n’ Loaded” main event, welterweight Taras “Real Deal” Shelestyuk (16-0, 10 KOs) made quick work of Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez (15-3, 11 KOs) by knocking him out in the third round Saturday night from Omega Products International in Sacramento, Calif.
Shelestyuk, who is ranked No. 5 by the WBO, predicted a knockout win in his prefight interview with the Olympic bronze medalist (London 2012) saying he planned to be aggressive from the start.
“I didn’t want this fight going the distance,” said Shelestyuk, who attributes the aggressiveness to new trainer Joel Diaz. “Joel and I worked on increasing our punch output and it showed in this fight.”
Shelestyuk, who is from the Ukraine but now makes his home in Los Angeles, rocked Rodriguez in the first round. He connected on a two-punch combination that sent the Mexican to the canvas. In the third round, Shelestyuk struck early and often, earning the knockout win at the 2:05 mark.
Top featherweight prospect Ruben Villa (7-0, 4 KOs) of Salinas, Calif. delivered a beating to overmatched veteran Jonathan Alcantara (7-16-2, 1 KO) of El Salvador. Villa, who swept all three scorecards (40-36), looked equally comfortable fighting on the outside or in the pocket.
“I think this fight showed how versatile I am,” Villa said. “I boxed him well and mixed it up inside without taking any hits. It was a solid performance.”
Villa, indeed, looked the part of an elite prospect. He was aggressive the entire fight, yet was extremely disciplined on the defensive end.
“There’s no doubt I frustrated him,” Villa continued. “I could tell he was having a hard time. I never let him relax.”
Shelestyuk and Villa are co-promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing
Joe Smith Jr.-The Light Heavyweight Division is Back
Following his recent knockout of boxing legend BERNARD HOPKINS, Long Island fan favorite JOE SMITH JR. moved right into the mix in the light heavyweight division, boxing’s deepest and most exciting.
Working full-time as a union laborer in the New York City area, Smith (23-1-0, 19 KO’s) will take a short break from wielding the sledgehammer as he finalizes training for his upcoming 10-round showdown with fellow highly ranked contender SULLIVAN BARRERA, (19-1-0, 14 KO’s), on Saturday, July 15 from The Fabulous Forum in Los Angeles and telecast live on HBO’s Boxing After Dark (9:50 p.m. ET/PT).
Most recently a new #1 Pound-for-Pound in boxing from the light heavyweight division was heralded as ANDRE WARD defeated SERGEY KOVALEV for the second time on June 17, defending the WBA/IBF/WBO Light Heavyweight Titles. On June 3, longtime WBC Light Heavyweight Champion ADONIS STEVENSON stopped highly ranked contender ANDRZEJ FONFARA.
In addition to those two champions the division is filled with world class fighters and highly regarded contenders including ARTUR BETERBIEV, DMITRY BIVOL, OLEKSANDR GVOZDYK and ELEIDER ALVAREZ .
“It’s true the division is truly heating up and I’m honored to be a part of it,” said the 27-year-old Smith Jr. “The winner of my upcoming fight moves right into the top of the mix in the division.”
“With my last two knockouts I have the full confidence that the sky is the limit for me in this division, I want to achieve my dream of becoming a world champion.”
Smith Jr. is promoted by JOE DEGUARDIA’S STAR BOXING who has developed the heavy handed Long Island native over the last few years into a world ranked contender and holder of the WBC International Light Heavyweight Title.
“Timing is always very important when bringing along a fighter to a higher level,” said DeGuardia. “We started working together a few years ago and our plan was to continue developing Joe’s talents and present him with the right opportunities for success. This is a formula we’ve used many times in the past in building fighters the right way.”
“When the opportunity came to fight Andrzej Fonfara we believed as a team that Joe was ready and he was spectacular in the first round knockout victory. The same with fighting Bernard Hopkins, it was a great opportunity and Joe put on another star making performance.”
“With the Sullivan Barrera fight the stakes are even higher but we feel this is another great opportunity for Joe, back on HBO which has built many stars over the last forty years.”
Oscar Negrete Overpowers Sergio Frias to Take Home NABF Bantamweight Championship
In one of his best performances yet, the still undefeated and newly crowned NABF Bantamweight Champion Oscar “El Jaguar” Negrete (17-0, 7 KOs) overpowered the rugged and resilient Sergio “Frio” Frias (18-7-2, 9 KOs) with a technical knockout victory in the main event on Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN live from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
“I want Caballero next,” said Negrete, calling out Randy “El Matador” Caballero who was scheduled to fight in the main event originally. “Tonight with Sergio Frias, I knew I was winning the fight; it was more of waiting for either the knock out to come about or get the unanimous decision. I felt like my jabs were the most effective, because after watching his fight against Archinean, our team noticed that he didn’t move his head a lot. There’s a couple more of these belts that I need to add to my career.”
“El Jaguar” was focused and in control of the fight, catching Frias on the ropes in several stand and deliver exchanges attacking the body consistently. In the last couple of rounds, Frias attempted to claw his way back, nailing Negrete with a couple of uppercuts that stunned “El Jaguar”. It was a heavy exchange in the eighth round that cause Frias to become unstable, and before the ninth round could commence, Frias’s corner called the fight, awarding the technical knockout win to Negrete.
A slew of VIPs attended the card, which marked the 50th show that Golden Boy Promotions has put on at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino including former IBF and WBO Featherweight Champion, Mexican actor and circus performer Jorge “El Maromero” Paez, NABF Featherweight Champion Joseph “Jojo” Diaz, Jr., Antonio “Relentless” Orozco, Jesus “El Renuente” Soto Karass, Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera, and Vyacheslav “Lion Heart” Shabranskyy.
In the co-main event, super lightweight contender Ryan “Blue Chip” Martin (19-0, 11 KOs) of Chattanooga, Tennessee participated in a 10-round slugfest against Marcos “El Tigre” Jimenez (22-8, 15 KOs) of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The two fighters went toe-to-toe with each other, however Martin managed to outclass his opponent.
“He was a tough, very defensive fighter,” said Ryan Martin. “It was hard for me to get him to open up because he would only throw a shot once he knew he could land it clean. This was my first time going the full 10 rounds, and by the eight, I was like ‘darn, he’s still standing?!’ Overall, I felt that I could be more consistent with my style, and I wish I would have listened to my coaches more while I was in the ring, but I am satisfied with my performance and despite not getting the knock out, I’m glad that I got the win.”
Heavy-handed Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (5-0, 4 KOs) from San Diego, Calif. demolished Devon Jones (2-5, 1 KO) of Fairfield, Calif. in a scheduled four-round match-up of lightweights that only made it to the 1:04 mark of the first round. “El Conde” handled his business with two knockdowns: the first with a left hook, the second a finishing blow of an overhand right.
“We were the swing bout, so I tried to send everyone home as early as I could,” said Genaro Gamez. “Of course I’m so excited for this win, I’m trying to keep my knock out streak alive.”
Retaining his unblemished record and champion title, WBC Youth Super Featherweight Champion Lamont Roach, Jr. (14-0, 5 KOs) dazzled the crowd with his skills in the ring against Sonora, Mexico’s Jesus “Chuito” Valdez (20-3-1, 9 KOs) for their 10-round super featherweight bout. Valdez landed impressive uppercuts that sent the crowd gushing for more, however Roach, Jr. went straight to the body, and worked-in his swift power combinations. In the last round, Roach gave a beating to Valdez, chipping away at him with consecutive blows to the head, leaving the resilient Mexican unbalanced. The judges scored the bout unanimously in favor of Roach, Jr. with scores of 100-90, 98-92, and 97-93.
“The icing on the cake would have been if I could have knocked him out, so I feel like this was an okay performance,” said Lamont Roach, Jr. “He was a tough opponent, and he was able to catch me a couple of times.”
Welterweight KeAndre “The Truth” Gibson (17-1-1, 7 KOs) made a comeback from the first loss of his career taking on Zurich, Switzerland’s Dennis “Dennis the Menace” Dauti (14-3, 7 KOs) in eight-rounds of non-stop action. The hungry fighters both pressed on aggressively, engaging in heavy exchanges, however “The Truth” was always a step ahead, utilizing his height and reach to his advantage. Dauti was unable to properly adjust to Gibson’s style, but nevertheless, was able to step into moments of dangerous exchanges. The judges scored the bout at 80-72, 79-73, 77-75, awarding the unanimous decision to Gibson.
“This fight gives me a confidence boost,” said KeAndre Gibson. “Most fighters who come from overseas are pretty awkward in their styles, and he was no exception – he had strange head and shoulder movements that could have become accidental head-butts. I just want to be able to get those tough fights, so I think this puts me back in there.”
Hot off his professional debut, Luis Feliciano (2-0) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and fighting out of Rancho Cucamonga impressed the crowd with his easy conquest over Baltazar Ramirez (3-3, 3 KOs) of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. In the six-round super lightweight bout, Feliciano displayed his growing ring generalship, preventing Ramirez from landing any significant punches with his effective counter punching. All three judges scored the bout accordingly with scores of 60-54.
“I feel like we came in and we executed the game plan just how we had trained,” said Luis Feliciano. “I wasn’t sure what type of fighter we were getting, and once you’re in the ring styles change. He was a tough guy, and he took a lot of my punches.”
Opening up the card, Philadelphia’s Damon “No Smilin” Allen (12-0-1, 5 KOs) battled ring veteran Gamaliel “El Platanito” Diaz (40-17-3, 19 KOs) in a scheduled eight-round super lightweight match that made it to the sixth round. Allen showed growth from his previous fights, forcing Diaz to taste the mat various times throughout the bout. The doctors called the fight during the sixth round, due to an accidental head-butt, forcing the judges to go to the cards. The scores were 57-56 for Diaz, 58-55 for Allen, and 57-56 for Allen, awarding “No Smilin” the split decision victory.
“I don’t know if it was actually a head butt that he got from me, I just remember going off on him and unleashing my punches,” said Damon Allen. “It doesn’t matter if it was a split decision or if it would have ended unanimously – I was going to win regardless. I love taking on veteran fighters for this reason. I feel that I learn a lot about my skills and how to improve for the better.”
Philly’s Damon “No Smilin” Allen, Jr.,Remains Unbeaten
Philly’s Damon “No Smilin” Allen, Jr.,Remains Unbeaten
By: Ken Hissner
The great grandson of legendary Philly trainer Mitch Allen is Philly’s “No Smilin” Damon Allen, 12-0-1 (5), remained unbeaten on June 30th at Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, CA, winning a split decision over veteran Gamaliel “El Clatano” Diaz, 40-17-3 (19), of MEX.
Allen is trained by his father Damon “Big Dame” Allen, Sr. and out of his great grandfather’s Mitch Allen Gym at the Recreation Center at 57th& Haverford in West Philadelphia. ”My great grandfather taught me everything. I feel my style is old school,” said Allen.
When Allen was a senior at Communications Technology High, he won the boy’s 15-16 open division in the 125-pound class at the Ringside World Championships in Kansas City, Mo., for the second year in a row. He was then trained by his 81 year old (now 87?) great-grandfather Mitch Allen. He also won Gold in the 15-16 division at the Junior Golden Gloves Nationals.
“Bernard Hopkins, Matthew Saad Muhammad, “Sugar” Ray Leonard and David Reid were my favorite Philly boxers growing up,” said Allen. In 2006 he was at Northern Michigan University for two years along with Jesse Hart with both trained by Philly’s Al Mitchell and that was the last time he saw David Reid.
“In Camden, NJ, working with some bad kids it means a lot giving back. I know firsthand being my parents adopted my little cousin whose mother was on drugs and has been boxing since he was 8 and won the Silver Gloves at 9,” said Allen.
“My cousin lives in L.A. and is a limo driver who was talking to Mike Tyson about me and had him call me talking boxing. It really propelled me to win my next fight,” said Allen.
After a brilliant amateur career the 24 year old lightweight now with Golden Boy Promotions is in his sixth straight fight since fighting in his home city of Philadelphia in his fourth bout in California in his last six fights.
“I always found it so befitting that he was signed by Golden Boy Promotions, because he truly is the ‘Golden Boy’ of our city – Philadelphia. Damon “No Smilin” Allen or “Baby Dame” to those who are close to him – is a special fighter, and there’s really no way to describe him. I’ve known Dame for many years, trained alongside him, sparred countless rounds with him and learned so much from him. As a kid he was considered a phenom, but now as a man he has really taken his game to a whole another level, and a world title will soon be in his possession. Damon Allen is a great fighter, anyone who witnesses him fight can attest to that. However, his friends and family know that he’s a great person also, and I can attest to that,” said Naim Nelson (former PA lightweight champion).
Allen’s otherwise unblemished record was held to a draw in October of 2016 against veteran Luis Areceo, 28-15-4. In viewing this bout on www.youtube.com it was a close fight and I though 5-3 Allen. His career started back in April of 2013.
Allen turned professional in April of 2013 stopping Joseph Ahaamid at Harrah’s Philadelphia, in Chester, PA. He would follow up with a pair of decision wins at the Valley Forge Casino, in Valley Forge, PA. In September he defeated Tony Walker, 5-2-1, at Bally’s in Atlantic City.
In 2014 Allen won a pair of fights at the PA Metal Sheet Workers Hall in Philadelphia. Then a contract dispute caused him not to fight for fifteen months returning to the ring in 2015 with a pair of wins in Philadelphia and his debut in L.A.
In 2016 Allen defeated Daniel Perales, 9-4-1, in DC and Daniel Montoya, 10-3, in Hollywood. In October came his draw with Arceo in L.A. In 2017 he stopped Adam Mate, 24-10, at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, NY.
“New” Ray Robinson Wins at Tropicana in Atlantic City Friday
“New” Ray Robinson Wins at Tropicana in Atlantic City Friday
By: Ken Hissner
Hard Hitting Promotions with Manny Rivera and Will Ruiz brought their Philadelphia promotion to Atlantic City’s Tropicana Hotel & Casino Friday night featuring Philadelphia’s “New” Ray Robinson and a cast of young talent who will be the future of Philadelphia boxing!
Welterweight southpaw “New” Ray Robinson, 24-2 (12), of Philadelphia, defeated by technical decision Columbian Breidis “Braidys” Prescott, 30-11 (22), of Miami, FL, into the seventh round.
In the first two rounds Prescott was the aggressor while Robinson showed pin point counter punching. In the third round it was Robinson backing up Prescott with a solid jab and hurting him with a right hook to the chin near the end of the round.
In the fourth round both rocked one another at the same time. Robinson was out punching Prescott. In the fifth and sixth rounds Robinson became much more aggressive in trying to take Prescott out. In what referee Harvey Dock ruled a clash of heads in the seventh round Prescott went down and didn’t make any effort to get up. The EMT’s had to remove Prescott from the ring. The judges went to the scorecards. Robinson hasn’t lost since 2010. His trainer “Bozy” Ennis seemed quite pleased as was his manager David McWater.
All 3 judges and this writer had it 70-63.
Luis “Popeye” Lebron, 9-0-1 (4), of San Juan, PR, defeated in a real battle Manuel “El Zombie” Botti, 22-1-1 (18), of DR, for the WBA Fedelatin featherweight title, over 10 rounds.
In the opening round it was all Botti. In the second round Lebron came back to control while both gave a good account of themselves. In the third round it went back and forth with Lebron pulling it out. In the fourth and fifth rounds both were rocked. Botti kept coming forward getting the better of the two inside.
In the sixth and seventh rounds they continue to take turns getting the better of the action. It turned into a war as uppercuts from both boxers were flying. Neither would give an inch in a real slugfest. In the eighth round Lebron landed three left hooks to the head of Botti. As Botti came back he was stunned by a Lebron left hook to the head.
In the ninth round it continued to be a savage fight. In the tenth and final round Lebron seemed to have pulled it out.
Judge Carter had it 98-92, Constatino 99-91 and Cheeks 100-90. This writer had it much much closer at 96-94.
Super lightweight Liberian Samuel “Tsunami” Teah, 11-1-1 (5), of Philadelphia, knocked out Dominican Ken Alvarez, 8-6-2 (3), of PR, at 1:48 of the third round.
In the first two rounds both boxers mixed it up well especially to the body. In the third round Teah landed a hard right to the head of Alvarez. Seconds later Teah landed a chopping right to the head of Alvarez and out he went.
Bantamweight Christian Carto, 10-0 (10), of Philadelphia, continued his knockout streak and now up to 10 as he stopped Juan Guzman, 22-8 (12), of DR, 2:30 of the first round.
In the first round Carto dropped Guzman twice to a knee while referee Lee never acknowledged them. In between those Carto scored a knockdown. The unofficial fourth knockdown referee Lee couldn’t miss as Guzman went down and referee Lee finally called a halt.
17 year old lightweight Branden Pizarro, 6-0 (3), of Philadelphia, in a brilliant performance stopped Angel Hernandez, 2-4 (1), of PR, at 0:26 of the sixth.
In the opening round Pizarro controlled with good body work but Hernandez got in several of his own but was completely outclassed. In the second round it was all Pizarro landing pin point punches breaking Hernandez down. In the third round though Hernandez got several good body shots in Pizarro completely controlled the round working both body and head with punches.
In the fourth round Pizarro showed his skills while on the ropes landing uppercuts. A pair of uppercuts by Pizarro hurt Hernandez backing him up several steps. In the fifth round Hernandez tried pushing Pizarro over the ropes getting a warning from referee Lee. Pizarro landed 3 left hooks to the body of Hernandez on several occasions. A left hook from Pizarro to the chin of Hernandez dropped him. He got up and held on as the bell sounded. In the sixth and final round a vicious body shot made Hernandez step back and drop to a knee taking the full count from referee Lee. It was a brilliant performance from Pizarro.
Bantamweight Ariel Lopez, 7-0 (5), of Pueblo, MEX, won a split decision over Charles Clark, 1-3-1 (1), of Dallas, TX, in a 6.
In the opening round after a minute of no punching Lopez landed a double right hook to the head of Clark. In the second round things started heating up with Lopez using his combinations and Clark landing a solid lead right to the head. In the third round Clark drove Lopez into a neutral corner landing well until a punch went south of the border. Lopez landed a 3-punch combination with Clark coming back with a solid left hook to the head of Lopez.
In the fourth round Lopez landed a solid double left hook to the body of Clark who countered with a solid left hook to the head of Lopez. In the fifth round a Clark left hook to the head rocked Lopez. Clark had a point taken away for a low blow after several previous warnings from referee Eddie Claudio. In the sixth and final round both looked tired.
Judge Barnes had it 58-55 and George Hill 57-56 for Lopez while Rubenstein 57-56 for Clark. This writer had it 58-55 Lopez.
Featherweight Jose “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, 8-0-1 (2), of New York City, in a hard fought fight won a split decision over Mexico’s Guadalupe “Lupe” Arroyo, 2-5 (0), of Huntington Beach, CA, in a 6.
In the first two rounds Arroyo came in low throwing wild punches as Gonzalez the southpaw picked him off with uppercuts. In the third and fourth rounds Gonzalez was warned several times for infractions. He hurt Arroyo several times with body shots. In the fifth round Arroyo did much better while Gonzalez continued to get away with pushing off without warning from referee Claudio. In the sixth and final round Arroyo landed a solid uppercut to the chin of Gonzalez knocking his head back. It got sloppy in the final round with both boxers tiring.
Judge Barnes had it 58-56, Rubenstein 59-55 for Gonzalez and Hill 58-56 for Arroyo. This writer had it 59-55 for Gonzalez.
Jeremy Cuevas, 4-0 (3), of Philly knocked out Jonathan Valarezo, 0-2 (0), of Ecuador at 2:08 of the first round.
In the first round both mixed it up well until an overhand left from Cuevas to the head of Valarez and down he went and out.
Welterweight Mark Dawson, 4-0-1 (3), of Philadelphia won over William Hill, 2-4 (0), of Detroit, MI, in a bloody 4.
In the opening round it was too much holding. In the second round Dawson landed a right hook causing a cut on the upper eye lid of Hill. Dawson was using a good uppercut when Hill came in low. In the third round the blood is covering the face of Hill on the left side. Dawson due to a head butt had a cut over his left eye. In the fourth the ring physician took a long look at Dawson who was obviously ahead before she allowed the fight to continue. In the final round Hill was chasing Dawson knowing he was behind and ran into a straight left to the chin from Dawson. Hill’s left eye was closed by the end of the round.
Judges Barnes, Hill and Rubenstein and this writer had it 40-36.
It was a good and competitive show for Hard Hitting’s first NJ event.
More Atlantic City Boxing
“New” Ray Robinson & Breidis Prescott at Tropicana Friday
“New” Ray Robinson & Breidis Prescott at Tropicana Friday
By: Ken Hissner
Hard Hitting Promotions make their New Jersey debut at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City this Friday with a big main event featuring WBC welterweight No. 10 contender southpaw “New” Ray
Robinson of Philadelphia against Colombian Breidis “Braidys” Prescott, out of Miami, FL, over 10 rounds.
Robinson, 23-2 (12) hasn’t lost since 2010 and Prescott is best known for being the first to defeat Amir Kahn back in 2008.
The co-feature has Luis “Popeye” Lebron, 8-0-1 (4), of San Juan, PR, and Manuel “El Zombi” Botti, 22-0-1 (18), of DR, for the vacant WBA Fedelatin featherweight title over 10 rounds.
In 6 round bouts Bantamweight sensation Christian Carto, 9-0 (9), of Philadelphia takes on his biggest test in Dominican Juan Guzman, 22-7 (12). Liberian Super lightweight Samuel “Tsuanami” Teah, 10-1-1 (4), of Philadelphia meets Dominican Ken Alvarez, 8-5-2 (3), of PR. 17 year-old top prospect Branden Pizarro, 5-0 (2) of Philadelphia takes on Angel Hernandez, 2-3 (1), who last fought 21 months ago. Featherweight Jose “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, 7-0-1 (2), of New York City takes on Mexico’s Guadalupe “Lupe” Arroyo, out of Huntington Beach, CA.
In 4 round bouts Bantamweight Arial Lopez, 6-0 (5), takes on Charles Clark, 1-2-1 (1), of Dallas, TX. Jeremy Cuevas, 3-0 (2), of Philadelphia takes Jonathan Valarezo, 0-1, of Eduador. Welterweight Mark Dawson, 3-0-1 (3), of Philadelphia takes on William Hill, 2-3 (0), of Detroit, MI.
Doors open at 7pm and first bout at 8pm.