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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.

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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.

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Pac’s Back- And Top Rank is Still Around


By: Charles Jay

I imagine many of you have Facebook, with a healthy number of boxing friends on your news feed. What I see on mine, constantly, are fighters who can’t come up with enough complaints about promoters. Dirty, greedy people – who needs them, right? They show equal disdain for matchmakers and booking agents. Many of them are out of work, boxing-wise, which might explain some of the vitriol. Yes, their frustration is at times understandable, but the truth of the matter is, not a lot of fighters have made any money at all without someone promoting a fight.

I usually have a very simple answer for them – hey, there’s no law against you guys putting on your own show, or pooling your resources to do so.

There almost was, you know; back when Sen. John McCain was pushing his bill for national regulation of boxing, he had to agree at one point to a compromise with his Democratic counterpart Harry Reid of Nevada, who was being lobbied by promoters within his own jurisdiction who were protecting their own interests. So the idea of fighters being able to being their own promoters was taken off the table (except for those who were grandfathered in).

That particular bill never passed.

As a result, fighters continue to be allowed to both manage themselves and also promote themselves, and those who have reached a sufficient level of success can pull it off. We’ve seen this happening in recent years – Lennox Lewis had Lion Promotions, and of course Floyd Mayweather has his own promotional outfit, although he hired other promoters to do the “nuts and bolts” on the events. Winky Wright, a recent Hall of Fame inductee, ventured into this somewhat less successfully.

Most famously, Oscar De La Hoya, in the process of breaking away from Bob Arum and Top Rank, formed Golden Boy Promotions to create some independence for himself, and while his popularity as an active fighter was essential to leveraging dates out of networks, which was necessary to help the company take off, Golden Boy has certainly survived beyond that and become a full-fledged entity on its own. Mayweather Promotions would like to be able to duplicate that for the long term.

This won’t make me popular in promotional circles, but every fighter of any stature may want to consider such a thing; again, if they have the leverage to make it work. Which brings us to the case of Manny Pacquiao.

Some of you may not be aware of this, but Pacquiao has actually been a “promoter” of sorts for years, and through his company, MP Promotions, he’s had a deal with Top Rank that brought him something in the neighborhood of 27.5% of all revenues from his fights (that includes not only pay-per-view, but also live gate, sponsorship, foreign TV, etc.) and I imagine, this was for the most part against a guarantee. In effect, he was a promotional partner.

That was not really a “risk” situation for him. He brought the “talent” portion, while Top Rank took care of everything that was outside of the ring.

Now it’s a bit different. MP Promotions is the lead promoter for Saturday’s fight with WBA “regular” welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse (39-4, 36 KO’s) that is taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And there’s a little more risk involved, as in risk that the fight would fall out unless Pacquiao’s company was able to guarantee the $3 million that was to go to Matthysse and his promoter, Golden Boy, and put it in escrow. Reportedly that led to some anxious moments, although the Pacquiao camp expresses that it was never any problem.

This kind of arrangement came about because of a dispute about Pacquaio’s contract with Top Rank. PacMan announced in March that the paper had expired. As his attorney explained it, the fight with Jeff Horn in Australia was the last one in the deal. Bob Arum maintained otherwise. And this came in the aftermath of an offer made by Arum for Pacquiao to fight Mike Alvarado on the undercard of Horn’s fight with Terrence Crawford, which he considered an “insult.”

There was a little mud-slinging from one of Pacquiao’s publicists, Aquiles Zonio, who said that Arum was trying to disrupt the fight by planting seeds of doubt with the Malaysian interests who had put the money together, and that in the past, knowing that Pacquiao had irreconcilable problems with the IRS, he had “sabotaged” efforts to fight outside the States.

So as you can see, there’s some bad blood circulating.

But not enough to prevent business from forging ahead.

You see, like some of the other fighters who wanted to turn into promoters, and who may have become do-it-yourselfers only to facilitate their own fights and nothing else, Pacquiao realizes that he doesn’t really have the infrastructure to carry off a first-class promotion from Point A to Point Z.

So while we’re not sure what the whole contract status really is, Top Rank is still around.

According to Arum, his company is there to “handle the logistics (through my old USA Network colleague, Brad Jacobs), handle the undercard and handle the television,” which means they’re handling an awful lot. He wasn’t going to make a move, however, until Pacquiao got his money in place, and everybody tells me he wouldn’t have been too upset if that hadn’t happened, since he would have liked to put together Matthysse with Crawford.

And so we move forward. Pacquiao has the fight being simulcast on all three major TV networks in the Philippines, ensuring maximum visibility. And in the U.S., Arum has placed it on ESPN Plus, where he gets $2 million a show. Sales for that app are said to be slow, so we’re not really sure how many viewers they’re actually going to have.

This is not PPV-dependent, and Pacquiao, who is said to have pocketed $160 million for his fight with Floyd Mayweather, will probably get in the neighborhood of $10 million for this. But then again, he’s the promoter, right? So he could also make more on the “upside.” And he’ll be without Freddie Roach for the first time in a while, as Buboy Fernandez took over the camp.

If Manny wins, there is almost no doubt that he’ll continue to fight. And if he does, we wonder if these little battles with Top Rank will continue to take place.

QUICK NEWS AND NOTES: Speaking of fighters who became promoters, here’s one who DOES handle the whole show, all the way down to the details – Steve Forbes, the former IBF junior lightweight champion, has announced that he is back in Portland with his company, 2Pound Sports & Entertainment, as they will do their second show at the Jackson Armory. The maiden voyage in December combined amateur and pro bouts. Forbes won his title in 2000 over John Brown and lost consecutive decisions to Oscar De La Hoya and Andre Berto back in 2008………………

Jermaine Franklin (16-0, 13 KO’s), the 2014 National Golden Gloves super heavyweight champion, will try to stay unbeaten on Friday night at the MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit as he faces local guy Craig Lewis (14-2-1, 8 KOs) in a ten-rounder. “He keeps getting better and better and better,” says promoter Mike Acri of Franklin, who is from Saginaw, MI and recorded two amateur wins over Cam F. Awesome, who won the trials for the 2016 U.S. Olympic team…………….

ONE Championship, which regularly engages in MMA, kickboxing and Muay Thai competitions and is a huge success in the Asian TV market, has announced that it is entering the boxing arena, and they have pulled off a major coup by inking a deal with Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, the WBC super flyweight (115-lb.) champion, who has two significant wins over Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, which puts him on many of the top ten “pound for pound” lists. Pacquiao bought a stake in the company back in 2014.

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Egidijus Kavaliauskas Defeated Juan Carlos Abreu Saturday on ESPN


By: Ken Hissner

Bob Arum’s Top Rank Boxing over ESPN Saturday at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno replaced the fall out of the main event between Jose Ramirez and Danny O’Connor who was dehydrated trying to make weight and hospitalized so that made the Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Juan Carlos Abreau which was the co-feature is now the main event.

In the Main Event the No. 2 WBO Welterweight contender Lithuanian Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas, 20-0 (16), of Oxnard, CA, defeated Juan Carlos “Merengue” Abreu, 21-4-1 (19), of Dominican Republic, over 10 rounds in retaining his NABF title.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

In the first round with a pair of punchers Kavaliauskas uses a left hook while Abreu throws an occasional right to the head. A clash of head caused both fighters to be cut. Kavaliauskas had a cut over the right eye and Abreu a cut over the left eye. In the second round Kavaliauskas had a right blocked but a left hook land on the chin of Abreu. Abreu landed a combination to the head of Kavaliauskas. There were too many clinches so far early in this fight.

In the third round Abreu kept his hands down trying to draw Kavaliauskas in. The fans start letting the fighters know they want more action. Kavaliauskas ended the round with a left hook to the chin of Abreu. In the fourth round Kavaliauskas was hunting Abreu down. Abreu mostly threw overhand rights while Kavaliauskas used his jab more and left hooks. At the end of the round Abreu taunted Kavaliauskas by hitting his own chest. Kavaliauskas suffered a small cut over his left eye during the round from a punch.

In the fifth round blood was coming down the face of Kavaliauskas from the cut by his left eye causing the referee to stop the action and take a look at the cut. Both fighters got in solid single punches in the final seconds of the round. In the sixth round the fighters are falling into clinches. In the final ten seconds Kavaliauskas landed a solid right to the head of Abreu.

In the seventh round Kavaliauskas landed several good left hooks to the head of Abreu who came back with an overhand right to the head. Kavaliauskas continued to build up points but Abreu was still dangerous with his right hand though not throwing it enough. In the eighth round Kavaliauskas is chasing Abreu who must realize he is well behind in the fight. Kavaliauskas landed a double jab to the chin of Abreu knocking his head back. Abreu seemed too reluctant to throw his right but has shown very little with his left. Abreu landed his best right of the round but it was after the bell sounded.

In the ninth round with too many clinches Abreu landed several rights to the head of Kavaliauskas but still gets out punched. In the tenth and final round Abreu got warned for a low left. Both fighters taunted each other with hands down. The fans were not happy near the end of the round due to too many clinches. Abreu raised his right hand for some reason. He couldn’t possibly think he won. Ed Collantes was the referee who had plenty of work to do in this one.

Scores were Ralph McKnight and Michael Tate scoring it 97-93 Eric Cheek 96-94 while this writer had it 99-91.

In the co-feature Heavyweight Andy “Destroyer” Ruiz, 31-1 (20), of Imperial, CA, won a lopsided decision over Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson, 32-10-1 (16), of Lawrenceville, GA., over 10 rounds.

Scores were 97-93 by Pat Russell and Eric Cheek while Lou Moret had it 99-91 with Marcos Rosales as the referee.

Andy “The Shark” Vences, 21-0-1 (12), of San Jose, CA, won a lopsided decision over southpaw Frank De Alba, 22-4-2 (9), of Reading, PA, in a defense of his WBC Continental Americas Super Featherweight title, over 10 rounds.

In the first round it was all jabs until at the halfway of the round southpaw DeAlba missed a left and was countered with a right to the chin by Vences. Before the round was over, Vences landed half a dozen more lead rights to the chin of DeAlba. In the third round DeAlba who is usually a counter puncher was able to counter with his straight left to the chin of Vences in another close round.

In the fourth round after the fans getting restless with lack of action Vences turned southpaw in the last minute matching DeAlba with jabs. In the fifth round Vences landed a 3-punch combination to the body of DeAlba. After starting the round southpaw Vences switched back to orthodox and in doing so landed several lead rights to the chin of DeAlba. Vences style had him leaning to the right having his right cocked and ready to throw.

In the sixth round Vences remains the aggressor landing an occasional chopping right to the head of DeAlba. The pace of the fight picked up in the fifth round cutting out the unhappiness of the fans due to lack of action. The fight had few clinches making it easy for referee Raul Caiz, Jr. From the corner of Vences they yelled encouragement for him to stay orthodox. In the seventh round after starting orthodox Vences again went back to southpaw. It ended in another close round with Vences building up a lead that DeAlba would have a hard time overcoming. Vences best punch was a right uppercut to the chin of DeAlba.

In the eighth round DeAlba lead with a left to the chin of Vences and began staying in front of Vences realizing he may need a knockout to pull this fight out. Vences came in with his hands down but landed a right uppercut to the chin of DeAlba. Vences head clashed with the nose of DeAlba causing the referee to give DeAlba a very short rest.

In the ninth round Vences came out very aggressively landing rights to the chest and then to the chin of DeAlba. DeAlba countered with a left to the chin of Vences. Vences landed a combination that DeAlba missed with a counter left and took a questionable right to the back of his head while leaning down. DeAlba ended the round with a solid left to the chin of Vences.

In the tenth and final round DeAlba came out realizing he needed a knockout to pull out the fight against a CA opponent in CA getting countered by a Vences right. There was one of the few clinches in the fight after a minute into the final round. DeAlba continued for the first round of the fight going after Vences. DeAlba in the final minute of the fight was getting countered with rights from Vences to the chin.

Judges scores were 99-91 twice and 98-92 as did this writer.

Lightweight Joseph Adorno, 8-0 (8), of Allentown, PA, knocked out Guadalupe De “Lupillo” Leon, 9-16-1 (5), of Mission, TX, in the third round in a scheduled 6.

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The Champ is Home: Jose Ramirez to Make First Title Defense in Front of Hometown Fans


The dream has been realized. Now, it’s time for Jose Ramirez to get down to business.

Ramirez (22-0, 16 KOs), from Avenal, California, will make the first defense of his WBC super lightweight world title against Danny O’Connor (30-3, 11 KOs) on Saturday in front of a projected sold-out crowd at the Save Mart Center in Fresno. It’s the building Ramirez packed several times on his journey to a world title.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Ramirez-O’Connor and the 10-round welterweight showdown between NABF champion Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Juan Carlos Abreu will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET.

The entire undercard will be shown on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET and includes heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz Jr. (30-1, 20 KOs) against Kevin Johnson (32-9-1, 16 KOs) in a 10-rounder, undefeated Andy Vences (20-0-1, 12 KOs) defending the WBC Continental Americas super featherweight title against Frank De Alba (22-3-2, 9 KOs) in a 10-rounder, and 18-year-old wunderkind Gabe Flores Jr. (8-0, 5 KOs) against James De Herrera (4-3, 3 KOs) in a six-round lightweight contest.

The fighters gathered Thursday at the final press conference at Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino. This is what they had to say.

Jose Ramirez

“It’s quite an honor for me to bring this type of fight, this type of entertainment, to Central California. To fight my first title defense in front of my biggest fans, my closest friends and my family, it’s a blessing.”

“We’re calling this event ‘Protecting Home’ because we’re protecting those that belong here in this country, who fight every day and contribute to this community. We’re also protecting what belongs to us, which is a world title.”

On switching from Freddie Roach to Robert Garcia as head trainer

“I think what went on with that change was loyalty and the fact that we do so much outside of the ring as well. Robert is a guy who is from Oxnard, a very similar community to Central California. He understands the work ethic and what we represent, what we do. And he wants to be a part of it. He’s very motivated to train me. He’s very excited to train me. That makes it easier for me to be motivated and to be excited to stay in this sport. Freddie is a great man. He’s very respected. He always respected me as a fighter, but he had so many world champions, and I needed to feel more of that loyalty and excitement from him. And I think I found it now in Riverside with a lot of undefeated prospects, good prospects, and future world champions at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy.”

Danny O’Connor

“First and foremost, I’m a father and a husband, so that’s the most important thing. After taking a knockout in that form {a first-round stoppage loss versus Gabriel Bracero in October 2015} when I had never even been dropped in the gym before, I had to assess my personal health to make sure I was able to be that father, that husband I needed to be. It wasn’t so much taking time away from the sport, it was kind of just re-evaluating to make sure I was OK mentally and physically and still able to compete at the level I needed to be in a fight like this.”

“I feel grateful to be in this position. I’ve worked very hard inside the ring and outside the ring to overcome so much adversity to be here today. I never quit. I never gave up on myself. I never lost hope.”

Egidijus Kavaliauskas

“I’m just happy to fight in Fresno. It’s close to where I live in Oxnard. It’s very nice here. It’s very hot. On Saturday, it will be even hotter inside the ring. It’ll be a very good fight.”

Juan Carlos Abreu

“I feel very good. I’m ready to take the title back home to the Dominican Republic.”

Andy Ruiz Jr.

“My goal is to fight the big names out there. The main thing is to stay on track, stay on the right side and in shape, and get ready for whatever comes in 2018.”

“I’m in good condition. After my last fight March 10 {a first-round stoppage over Devin Vargas}, I’ve been in the gym ever since. I’m training really hard, taking it more seriously. It’s my time for this year and next year. The main thing is to stay in shape and be prepared.”

Gabe Flores Jr.

“I sold a bunch of tickets out here. I’m glad a lot of people are supporting me, and for my family to see me fight, it’s beautiful. There’s only one person that I wish could be here, and it’s my mother. She’s up there, but she’s going to be watching me, and she’s going to give me the energy I need to fight.”

On building his hometown of Stockton, California, as a boxing market

“I have amazing support in Stockton, California. We’re going to be there eventually. It’s going to take some time, but I can’t wait to fight in front of my people.”

Andy Vences

“{The Erick De Leon fight} was a technical fight. It ended in a draw. I do what I always do. I looked back at the fight, saw what adjustments I could’ve made, and moving forward, those are adjustments I’m going to show for this fight. The fans are in for it. They’re going to get their money’s worth because every time I fight at the Save Mart Center, I bring action, I bring knockouts.”

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Ramirez Defeats Angulo, Saucedo Wins War


By: Ken Hissner

Top Rank promoted a championship main event at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK, Saturday over ESPN.

In the Main Event WBO World Super Middleweight champion Mexican southpaw Gilbert “Zurdo” Ramirez, 38-0 (25), defended his title for the fourth time Saturday easily defeating No. 10 ranked Roamer Alexis Angulo, 23-1 (20), of Bogota, COL, over 12 rounds.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

In the first round Ramirez landed a left uppercut and was countered by Angulo who landed lead overhand rights to the chin of Ramirez with little effect. Ramirez landed his jab and a right uppercut well. In the second round Angulo pinned Ramirez against the ropes landing half a dozen punch some on the arms and gloves of Ramirez. Ramirez used his reach keeping the muscular Angulo at bay.

In the third round Angulo rocked Ramirez with a right to the chin. Ramirez regained control in an interesting round. In the fourth round Ramirez controlled with his jab as Angulo was loading up and when he landed a punch had a bad habit of backing up dropping his hands.

In the fifth round it was more of the same with Ramirez controlling with his jab. He rocked Angulo with a left to the chin at the midway point of the round. In the sixth round Ramirez landed a lead left on the chin of Angulo getting his attention. The fans were getting restless after being entertained by the great co-feature.

In the seventh round Angulo rocked Ramirez with a left hook to side of the head but failed to follow up. Ramirez gained control for the remaining of the round. In the eighth round Angulo missed with a right and was countered with a left from Ramirez to the chin. Ramirez came back with a hard left to the head pinning Angulo to the ropes. Angulo dug in with a left to the mid-section doubling Ramirez up.

In the ninth round Angulo landed three right upper cuts to the chin of Ramirez who had his back to the ropes. In the tenth round Angulo’s corner is yelling “go to the body” but Ramirez will not let him get inside keeping the jab in his face.

In the eleventh round Angulo comes out rushing right into a Ramirez straight left to the chin. Angulo landed a hard right uppercut to the chin putting Ramirez against the ropes. Ramirez came right back. Angulo landed a right on top of the head of Ramirez who was leaning in. Angulo who never went past eight rounds looked near exhausted. In the twelfth and final round knowing he needs a knockout Angulo starts throwing wild punches as the back pedaling Ramirez lands his jab. Then Ramirez opens up landed several punches to the head of Angulo. Ramirez pins Angulo against the ropes with a flurry of punches with a minute left in the round. Angulo is landing right uppercuts but getting countered by Ramirez lefts to the head.

119-109 twice and 120-108 as did this writer have it 120-108.

“I’m not happy for I want to unify titles and be the best,” said Ramirez.

In the co-feature unbeaten WBA-NABA USA Super Lightweight champion Mexican Alex “El Cholo” Saucedo, 28-0 (18), of Oklahoma City, OK, in a bloody war stopped Australia’s Leonardo “Lenny Zappa” Zappavigna, 37-4 (27), at 2:31 of the seventh round in a scheduled 10 rounds.

In the first round Saucedo used a good jab keeping Zappavigna on the defense. Both boxers mixed it up well and with ten seconds left in the round Saucedo landed a right to the chin and Zappavigna countering returning the favor just before the bell. In the second round Saucedo landed a hard right uppercut to the chin of Zappavigna. Halfway through the round a left hook from Saucedo opened up a cut under the left eyebrow of Zappavigna who is prone to cut.

In the third round a Zappavigna missed with a right and was countered with a right to the head from Saucedo and down went Zappavigna on the seat of his trunks. He beat referee Gerald Ritter’s count. By the end of an exciting round Zappavigna gained control. In the fourth round Zappavigna was all over Saucedo rocking him with body and head punches causing a cut over his right eye. It turned into a war with blood coming down the face of both fighters. Saucedo was forced to hold on but fought back with both exchanging punches at the bell. Zappavigna also suffered a small cut along his left eyebrow.

In the fifth round it was Saucedo’s turn to rock Zappavigna with blood flowing from both fighters. The fans have been screaming throughout. In the sixth round they picked up where they left off brawling to the delight of the fans. Zappavigna gained control for the first half of the round. Then Saucedo took over the rest of the round.

In the seventh round with Zappavigna’s corner letting him come out for one more round he comes out with his face covered with blood. Saucedo used a jab to set up his right. Zappavigna would come back on occasion with a left hook. Zappavigna’s corner stopped the fight as the Saucedo fans went wild! Zappavigna’s left eye was closed shut. “He was tough and I have to give him credit. The cuts continue to hurt me,” said Zappavigna. “I want to thank God for the victory. I want to thank the fans for their support. This is just the beginning of bigger fights,” said Saucedo. This will be up for “fight of the year” at years end. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said “He will be fighting Maurice Hooker for his title by the end of the year.” This writer had Saucedo ahead after six rounds 59-56.

Welterweight Mike “Mile High” Alvarado, 39-4 (27), of Thornton, COL, stopped Martin Angel “El Arcangel” Martinez, 18-5-1 (11), of Sonora, MEX, on a cut in the 9th in a scheduled 10.

2016 Olympic Gold Medalist super featherweight Robson Conceicao, 8-0 (5), from Salvador, BRZ, stopped Ecuador’s Gavino “Huesitos” Guaman, 5-3 (1), out of River Falls, WI, at 0:56 of round 3 in a scheduled 8.

In the first round Conceicano had his way with rights over a jab and left hooks to the body. A lead right uppercut on the chin of Guaman and down he went on the seat of his pants just prior to the bell. In the second round Conceicano landed a 3-punch combination to the body and head of Guaman. Guaman is throwing wild punches missing most. Conceicano landed a left hook to the chin driving Guaman back several steps into the ropes. Conceicano scored a pair of knockdowns before the round came to an end with referee Ritter still counting a Guaman was upright.

In the third round a right from Conceicano dropped Guaman in a complete mismatch. The referee counted to eight asking Guaman to step forward and he fell backwards against the ropes before the referee “finally” waved it off.

Heavyweight Trey Lippe “Morrison”, 15-0 (15), of Tulsa, OK, stopped Byron “The Bear” Polley, 30-23-1 (13), of St. Joseph, MO, scoring 5 knockdowns stopping him in the 3rd round of a scheduled 8.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Saucedo vs. Zappavigna, Ramirez vs. Angulo


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night the WBO Super Middleweight Champion, Gilberto Ramirez, will be defending his title in his home state against challenger Roamer Alexis-Angulo. Alex Saucedo, who is also from Oklahoma City will also be competing on the card when he takes on Lenny Zappavigna in the junior welterweight division.

This card is being promoted by Top Rank Promotions and will be televised live on ESPN. It will take place at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

The undercard will also feature several prospects and former title contenders. Mike Alvarado, Julian Rodriguez, and Mikaela Mayer are just some of boxers competing on the undercard that fight fans may be interested in seeing.

The following is a preview of both planned televised bouts:

Alex Saucedo (27-0) vs. Lenny Zappavigna (37-3); Junior Welterweights

The opening televised bout will be between Alex Saucedo and Lenny Zappavigna in the junior welterweight division.

Saucedo is a young twenty four year old undefeated prospect. He is currently six years younger than his opponent and will have a rather large four inch height advantage and about a four and a half inch reach advantage.

Saucedo has been fairly active recently He fought once in 2018 and three times in 2017. Three of his past four fights have been KO/TKO victories. Zappavigna has also been fairly active, he fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016.

Zappavigna does appear to have an edge in two areas. He appears to be the more powerful puncher of the two. He has stopped twenty seven of his opponents while Saucedo has stopped seventeen. But, two of Zappavigna’s losses were by KO/TKO. Saucedo has never tasted defeat.

Zappavigna also appears to have the better amateur career of the two. He competed in the 2005 World Championships and was a Bronze Medalist in the 2006 Commonwealth games.

Saucedo has the better professional resume. He has defeated the likes of Abner Lopez, Gustavo David Vittori, Raymond Serrano, and Clarence Booth. Zappavigna has defeated the lkes of JK Yang, Ramon Ayala, and Misael Castillo. His losses were to Miguel Vazquez, Ammeth Diaz, and Sergey Lipinets.

Saucedo physical edges in height, reach, and age will likely be too much for Zappavigna to overcome.

Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez vs. Roamer Alexis Angulo; WBO Super Middleweight Title

Saturday night will be Gilberto Ramirez’s fourth defense of his world title.

Zurdo is a very good boxer who still needs an “elite” level victory to establish himself as one of today’s greats. Columbian boxer Roamer Alexis Angulo is not that elite level boxer that Ramirez needs.

Ramirez is in the middle of his athletic prime at twenty seven years old. Angulo is already either past or close to past his prime at the age of thirty four. Ramirez will also have about an inch and a half height advantage over his opponent.

Ramirez has been fairly active. He fought once in 2018 and twice in 2017. He also has twenty five stoppage wins on his record, but only one of his past five fights were stoppage victories. Angulo has twenty stoppage wins on his record and is currently riding a five fight win streak. However, two of those victories were against opponents with sub .500 records. Two of his past five fights were against guys with records of 2-33 and 6-19.

Angulo turned pro late and has no notable victories. His best wins to date were against Evert Bravo and Izaak Cardona. He turned professional late around the age of 26 in 2010.

Ramirez will be facing a third straight fighter with an undefeated record. He has defeated the likes of Habib Ahmed, Jesse Hart, Max Bursak, Arthur Abraham, Gevorg Khatchikian, Derek Edwards. Ramirez, a southpaw, looked especially good against Jesse Hart, a known power puncher.

Angulo is taking a big step up in competition and he has a daunting task in facing a world champion in his home state. He has never faced someone remotely close to the level of Ramirez and it’s unlikely he’ll survive to the final bell.

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Top Rank Boxing Preview: Conlan vs. Dos Santos


By: Oliver McManus

There’s been a lot of talk about returns and comebacks in a British ring over the past weeks and month but this weekend, in Belfast, there’s, arguably, the most exciting return of all; for the first time in eight years, Michael Conlan will fight in his home town of Belfast and headline at the SSE Arena in front of a raucous crowd of near 11,000.

Already 7 and 0 as a professional, having fought in various states across America as well as in Australia, Saturday marks Conlan’s first professional fight in the United Kingdom and he’ll be looking to make a significant statement up against Adeilson Dos Santos.

Dos Santos brings pedigree to the encounter having challenged for Jessie Magdaleno’s WBO Super Bantamweight crown and whilst the Brazilian has only recently moved up to the heavier weight class – this will be his third successive fight at featherweight – his experience is something that Conlan refused to look beyond.

Something of a “gatekeeper” across both divisions, Dos Santos will be viewing this as his opportunity to cause an upset of untold magnitude and instantly reinstate himself as in-and-around the world title scene.

Conlan, himself, says 2018 is all about setting up and preparing for a big 2019, the year in which he envisions becoming world champion, and will be looking to display all of his natural ability in the most pressurised environment of his life.

The Rio Olympian has gone on record as saying he would like opponents who come to fight as opposed to those who simply tuck up, and Adeilson is the type of man who will start fast and hard, looking to disrupt the rhythm of Conlan, in a bid to really rattle the nerves of the Irish sensation.

Let’s be clear, on paper, Conlan should be more than enough to overcome his latest opponent but, as we’ve seen all too often, paper means nothing and Dos Santos has a frequent habit of taking to the centre of the ring during the first couple of rounds and swinging some wild left hands from a, borderline, crouched posture.

Indeed from some of the footage of his fights back in Brazil – undeniably against lesser opposition – he really does favour a three-four punch combination of left hooks to the ribcage of his opponent.

Conlan, meanwhile, has been forced into changing his style in past fights in order to accommodate for trickier opponents, having to go forward and really press his case whereas the more natural style of his relies on having a livewire opponent that he can really trade and tee-off with.

Genuinely one of the best counter-punchers in the business there’s an expectation that this bout – scheduled for 10 rounds – will enable Conlan to showcase what made his name in the amateur ranks and, certainly, build on everything he’s learned so far as a professional.

Also on the card is a ferocious rivalry for between Jono Carroll and Declan Geraghty as the two meet for the first since a controversial four rounder between the pair way back in 2014; for context, Geraghty was six and 0 whilst Carroll was two and 0 when they faced off in November, four years ago, with the two boxers producing a barnstormer of a fighter, Geraghty leading on the scorecard, before Declan got disqualified for a repetitive use of the head in the fourth round.

Since then the heat has been brewing and the blood between them is genuinely bad, the talk from both camps in the build up to this fight has shown no signs of simmering down and, indeed, it looks as though fight night will be the boiling point and produce, yet another, sensational clash.

Geraghty believes he is the more naturally gifted boxer and that his class should outshine the “brawling” nature of Jono Carroll and since that loss Geraghty has shown an unrivalled development in terms of maturity, looking really patient and composed throughout his career in not pushing the stoppage.

Admittedly, as with every boxer, there is a weakness and you must suggest his chin is questionable having been dropped on three occasions, once against Eusebio Osejo and twice against James Tennyson, but even that has developed and Geraghty has looked particularly impressive over the course of his last 10 rounders – against John Quigley and Michael Roberts – and, let’s not forget, he has the experience to learn from his previous mistakes.

Jono Carroll, despite that tag as a brawler, has only notched up two stoppage victories from 15 wins without defeat and he takes to the ring with, yes, aggression but a continued, constant aggression that just wears down, fatigues, his opponent as opposed to bouncing them out of the ring.

The current IBF Inter-Continetnal Super-Featherweight champion, he too faced John Quigley – over 12 rounds – and claimed an edgy split decision against his fellow Irishman but looked a bit better than the scorecards suggested. If you were to isolate the Quigley fights then you’d suggest that Geraghty performed better but there’s no point in over-extrapolating one particular bout and Carroll has been consistently impressive over the course of his career.
A Prizefighter champion – that’s no mean feat – he beat Stephen Foster, Gary Buckland and Michael Devine on his way to lifting the trophy and that was only in his fourth, fifth and sixth fights.

These were experienced contenders and, albeit over only three rounds, Carroll’s high-tempo combined with a classy fighting style secured him the win and ensured development far beyond his age.

The winner of this bout will gain bragging rights for life but, more importantly, they’ll push themselves ever closer to the coveted world title shot and this could, easily, be fight of the night.

But you look down the card and there’s so much talent stacked across Tyrone McKenna taking on Jack Catterall over 10 rounds in the super lightweight division – two sleek and skilled stylish southpaws going at it, McKenna coming off the back of a convincing win against Anthony Upton and Catterall looking to further push himself up the world rankings.

Lewis Benson and Johnny Coyle will pit their unbeaten records against each other as they go head-to-head over the course of 10 rounds in a fight that looks like going the distance; Coyle is the established fighter despite being younger than Benson but ‘Kid Caramel’, as he’s known, has looked SO impressive every time he’s been in the ring so, yet again, this is another 50-50 fight that’s just TOO GOOD to miss.

Joe Ham vs Tyrone McCullagh, Gary Corcoran, Sunny Edwards, Gary Cully, Lewis Crocker, Taylor McGoldrick, Padraig McCrory… even some 21 year old Cuban called Neslan Machado, this is, without doubt, the CARD OF THE YEAR from any British promoter.
Bring it on.

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ESPN+ Boxing Results: Berchelt Dusts Barros In Three


By: Sean Crose

Miguel Berchelt, the 33-1 Mexican superfeatherweight titlist faced the 41-5-1 Argentine Jonathan Victor Barros for the WBC World Superfeatherweight title in Berchelt’s home country of Mexico on Saturday evening. The bout, which was carried live on various ESPN+ streaming services, was a high octane affair. With the Mexican crowd cheering him on, Berchelt engaged in an active first round, then actually dropped his man with a left hook at the very end of the second. Barros got to his feet, but, as ringside analyst Teddy Atlas claimed, the champion was “just bigger and younger.” Sure enough, Barros went down a second time in round three.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Accounted

Barros subsequently tried to run, but the man was dropped yet again later in the round. The challenger’s corner stepped in and ended things at that point, much to Barros’ dismay. It was the third defense of Berchelt’s belt. The brief affair was a story of Berchelt simply tossing far, far too many punches Barros’ way, which didn’t allow Barros to react in any effective manner. From the opening second of round one, Berchelt was determined to impress his countrymen in the audience. He was all forward motion and violence throughout the proceedings. In short, he made quick work of his overmatched opponent.

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ESPN+ Results: Crawford Wipes Out Horn


By: Sean Crose

The Jeff Horn-Terence Crawford card on ESPN+ began at 9:30 PM Eastern Standard Time live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday night as the 23-1-0 Jose Pedraza faced the 23-2 Antonio Moran for the WBO Latino Lightweight Title. The first few rounds of the bout made for an exciting, see-saw affair, as both men fought energetically and with aggresion. Yet Moran got his nose busted, a war wound that got to look quite ugly as the fight wore on.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

There ended up being no stoppage. There wasn’t a knockdown to be found throughout the bout, either. It proved to be an entertaining match, though. Moran never gave up. Pedraza was simply stronger and was able to put his puches together better. Ultimately, Pedraza also proved to be the more energetic fighter as the bout wore on. The Puerto Rican ended up with the unanimous decision win and WBO Latino Lightweight Strap.

It was time for the main event. The 32-0 Crawford stepped into the ring favored to beat the 18-0-1 Horn, even though Horn was the WBO World Welterweight Champion and had won that title by besting the great Manny Pacquiao – albeit by a highly controversial decision. For Crawford entered the weekend widely regarded as one of the best practitioners in the entire sport. He might have been moving up in weight to face Horn, but it was Crawford who boxing’s writers and analysts expected to walk away with the victory.

Crawford tagged his man early in the first. Yet Horn tagged Crawford clean a moment later. Crawford, however, landed the cleaner, more effective punches throughout. Crawford landed a hard left to the body in the second and then started to pick up the pace. Horn, however, was tough and kept moving forward. Crawford began the third landing clean, though Horn was able to land clean himself. Crawford, however, was landing the better shots more frequently. The man from Nebraska was really starting to go to work.

Horn kept being a warrior in the fourth, but it appeared that he was being outclassed as the first third of the bout ended. The man did, however, have a good moment in the fifth, when he got Crawford against the ropes. Horn tried to play rough and got a warning from referee Robert Byrd. Crawford then physically rough housed Horn. It had become a one sided affair. By the midway point of the fight, Crawford was continuing to beat his man up.

One thing had to be said for Horn – the man was as rough and as brave as they came. At no point through the first seven rounds (which must have been gruelling for the man) did the champion give up or cease to fight with incredible heart. It simply didn’t matter, though. Crawford was simply far too skilled. And still, Horn kept fighting on, trying to land, trying to muscle his man around. It was to little avail. Crawford kept dominating.

Crawford exploded late in the eighth, causing his man to stumble. In fact, Horn came very close to hitting the canvas. The brutality continued through the ninth – where Horn finally went down. The champion got back up, but Crawford went right back to work and referee Robert Byrd steped in and stopped the fight.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ Preview: Ancajas vs. Sultan, Yafai vs. Carmona


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night the first All Filipino World Title Fight in nearly one hundred years will take place as Jerwin Ancajas battles Jonas Sultan for the IBF Junior Bantamweight Title. The last all Filipino title fight was in 1925 when Pancho Villa defended his title against Clever Sencio. The WBA Junior bantamweight Title will also be on the line as Khalid Yafai defends his title against David Carmona.

This fight card will be part of Top Rank’s deal with ESPN to broadcast fights on ESPN’s new ESPN+ streaming service. The Save Mart Center in Fresno, California will be the host site for Saturday’s fights.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

The following is a preview of both world title fights.

Khalid Yafai (23-0) vs. David Carmona (21-5-5); WBA Junior Bantamweight Title

Khalid Yafai is a British Champion that is starting to make a name for himself. He won the WBA title in 2016 against Luis Concepcion and has held it ever since.

He has never tasted defeat and has fourteen knockouts on his resume. He’s the same size as Carmona, but is considerably more experienced and successful both as a professional and as an amateur.

Yafai had a very successful amateur career and represented the United Kingdom in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Carmona has no such successful amateur background.

Carmona fought once in 2018, twice in 2017, and once in 2016. Yafai has fought twice in 2017 and four times in 2016.

Carmona’s biggest win of his career was against Antonio Garcia. He has lost almost every time he has stepped up to face good competition. He has losses to Daniel Lozano, Carlos Cuadras, Naoya Inoue, Omar Narvaez, and Fernado Curiel.

Yafai has defeated the likes of Sho Ishida, Suguru Muranaka, and Jason Cunningham.

On paper this fight looks like a mismatch, and in the ring it will probably look like one. The winner of this bout may face the winner of the main event.

Jerwin Ancajas (29-1-1) vs. Jonas Sultan (14-3); IBF Junior Bantamweight Title

Jerwin Ancajas is a twenty six year old southpaw Filipino Champion. He’ll be facing a Filipino contender in Jonas Sultan, who is also twenty six years old but fights out of an orthodox stance. Ancajas will have about a two inch height advantage.

Ancajas has fought once in 2018, three times in 2017, and once in 2016. Three of his past four fights were KO/TKO wins and he has twenty stoppages during his career.

Sultan is currently riding a five fight win streak with four of those five fights coming by KO/TKO. He fought twice in 2017 and three times in 2016 with nine stoppages during his career.

Ancajas lone loss was to Mark Anthony Gerlado early on in his career in 2012. He has won every fight since then and has defeated the likes of Israel Gonzalez, Jamie Conaln, Teiru Kinoshita, Jose Rodriguez, and McJoe Arroyo.

Sultan does not have the professional resume of Ancajas. He has losses to Go Onaga, Jonathan Francisco, and Rolando Servania. He has had some recent success including victories over John Riel Casimero, Sonny Boy Jaro, Mazakole Tete, and Tatsuya Ikemizu.

Ancajas also has the edge in amateur experience. He allegedly has an amateur record of 90-5 while Sultan has an amateur record of 8-4.

Ancajas has traveled all over the world to fight. He has fought in the United States, Northern Ireland, Australia, Macao, the Philippines and China. Sultan has fought in nations such as South Africa, the Philippines, and Japan. This will be Sultan’s first fight in the United States.

Ancajas has the apparent edge in all the tangible comparisons with Sultan. He’ll likely shine on Saturday night with a bigger name opponent in the near future.

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Boxing Insider Interview with Michael Conlan: Ready for Belfast


By: Oliver McManus

Michael Conlan is seldom a man who needs introducing, a living legend in his home city of Belfast quickly building his legacy stateside but for the prodigious professional his fight on the 30th June will mark his first fight back home since 2010, when he was at the start of his star-studded amateur career.

Bronze at London 2012, Gold at the World, European and Commonwealth Championships saw him enter the Rio games as one of the most successful amateur fighters ever to herald from Ireland and favourite for the title. A well-documented, and controversial, Vladimir Nikitin resulted in Conlan walking away from the amateur sport.


Photo Credit: Michael Conlan Twitter Account

His fire and hunger for success was galvanized and transitioned into the paid ranks where, promoted by Bob Arum and Top Rank, the Conlan world tour has only just begun; New York, Chicago, Brisbane, Arizona, Belfast, already ticked off the list.

Seven fights, seven opponents conquered, sharing the bill with Lomachenko, Linares and Pacquaio serves as a taste for the big fight atmosphere that Michael admits he is still to get used to – his fourth headlining show on June 30th, in front of that fabled Irish crowd, should see him settle into the spotlight.

Ireland awaits, the world awaits.

We’re just over a month away from your first professional fight in the UK, in Belfast no less, how are you feeling?

I’m really looking forward to it, you know, it’s a huge thing for me, a huge achievement in my career. For me to come home and fight in Belfast is something special, it’s something I’ve dreamed of all my life as a fighter, as a boxer. Especially as a professional I think it’s what I’ve always wanted to do, to fight in the Odyssey – sorry, SSE now – and it’s the first time I’ll be boxing at home since 2010 and I’m main eventing in the SSE Arena.

It’s really special and I’m really looking forward to it.

Are there any extra nerves because it is your first fight home in so long or is it just a case of getting the job done?

No I don’t think so, I honestly don’t, I feel the fact that I’ve headlined MSG twice now and then I’ve competed on such big cards, you know, Lomachenko-Linares, Pacquiao and I’ve had major billing on those cards. I think the atmosphere that’ll be generated in the Garden on St Patrick’s Day had prepared me for what to expect.

Maybe not so much as it’s only 5,000 at the theatre but it’s the same compact, crazy atmosphere we’re expecting in Belfast. That’s definitely stood me in good stead.

It will be your fourth headlining fight from eight bouts, have you got used to that yet?

No I still get excited, I don’t think anyone ever gets used to it unless you’re like a twenty world title veteran fight, then you can get used to it, but I feel that, for me, it’s still very fresh. Especially now it’s in Belfast, it’s even more exciting for me but I definitely find that I am getting comfortable with the situation more now and I think that’s the main thing, being comfortable in those situations and being able to put in performances and not letting the nerves affect your performance.

You’re fighting a former world title challenger, what sort of a fight are you expecting?

He’s kind of more a gate-keeper type fighter now, I’d say, and I expect him to come trying to win, he’s got good power and he’s dangerous but he’s been beaten in the past and he knows what the feels like. I think he’ll be expecting to feel it again but he’ll put it on me and try and take it away from me because he may see this as his platform to get back into the mix and I’m not saying he’s a warrior but I am expecting a tough test from him because after all this is my eight fight and it is a good step up from my recent opposition.

So I am expecting a tough fight and an early on acid test to see where I’m at now and that’s what it is because there’s an awful lot riding on this – it is a test, it’s in Belfast and if it all goes wrong, it all goes wrong. I am prepared, I’m not underestimating anybody and I know he’s a tough guy who comes in and fights to win. He’s got power so I am very aware of that.

And I ask that because some of your opponents have been quite negative in their style, does it frustrate you when you can’t showcase your ability because of the way they’ve came to fight?

Oliver, you know, this is something that really annoys me but at the end of the day I can’t complain because I’ve watched these guys pre-fight and I’m going “okay this guy is going to give me a test” and against other opposition he’s going forward, he’s trying to win the fight and they’re doing a job, winning fights and they actually look like they’re game and ready to go but then when these guys have stepped in the ring they’ve kind of shied away, they’ve got too nervous, the atmosphere has maybe tripped them up and I think that’s what has happened so far.

The last guy (Ibon Larrinaga) was a former WBC Mediterranean Champion and I watched his previous clips and he always came to win and then you’ve got that David Berna guy, 14 wins 13 knockouts something like that with two losses and he’s the only that came to win. He tried a little bit, I caught him with a body shot and that was it but everybody else they just seem to be taken away by the occasion.

At the same time I can’t complain because not everybody is going to be like that, a lot of people will be tougher and harder.

In terms of your development I’m assuming you’d rather have people who come and try and beat you as opposed to people who just tuck up and let you work around them?

Yeah, yeah, definitely, I like to describe myself as a trading puncher but a boxed fighter, almost, I can do the go forward stuff but it’s not my strongest point so I like to be in the pocket but at the same time counter punching so that would be how I like it – if someone was trying to connect then I’d make them pay and even then you can tee off and it’s always a very eventful style, I feel.

And what I have been doing is going Mexican-style sometimes on people and that’s not my kind of fight.

I want to talk about the undercard for June 30th – all 50-50 fights – what does it mean to you when you look at the card and it’s so solid?

It’s brilliant, I’m really happy about it and it was one of the main things we spoke about when we talked about having me come back because I don’t want to be part of shows, even if I am the main event, where it’s just about me. I want everybody to play their part and to have a solid card, I don’t want it to just be a great main event, I want it to be a great night in general and the whole card is really solid, I’m really happy to be a part of it.

Is there any particular fight that stands out, for you?

They all do! It is very tough to pick and I honestly can’t really pick between them because I’m really interested to see how Sutcliffe-McKenna goes, I WANT to see Jono Carroll vs Declan Geraghty again because there is so much bad blood between them it’s unbelievable.

Then even Tyrone McCullagh vs Joe Ham, that’s two undefeated prospects who are probably a bit further on in their career in terms of development and they’ve had more fight, they’re facing each other and someone’s 0 will go so that’s another fight I’d like to watch.

You are signed up with Bob Arum and Top Rank but we’ve seen Frank Warren and Top Rank sign an agreement for “enhanced partnership”, does that realistically mean we can see you in Ireland and the UK more often or is you career still mainly in America?

I think most of my career will still be in America but hopefully there’ll be some more, I always said I was going to box in Ireland at least once a year and that was what I wanted to negotiate before I became professional and signed with Top Rank and we got that sorted, I’m really happy with that and hopefully with Frank Warren and Top Rank coming to an agreement we can have me fight at home more or even elsewhere in the UK or Ireland – it’s definitely something that I would love to do and be interested in doing because I know Top Rank don’t just want me to be America based or just Ireland based, they want me worldwide and it shows already in where they’ve put me.

They’ve put me in Arizona, New York, Australia, Ireland now and it’s growing and growing and growing and hopefully we can keep it going like this.

How quickly are we looking at getting you to that world level, that world title shot?

I’m thinking towards the end of next year, the end of 2019 and that’s what I kind of said when I turned professional that 2019 would be the year that I’m going to be world champion or there or thereabouts so I think this year is definitely an important year with the level of opposition that I face and next year is the crucial year, I will do a lot next year and it just depends on how I develop through the next year but if everything goes to plan, I believe I will be world champion next year.

You’re still only 26, you’re still young, are we going to see you move up or down the weights as you get older and see a multi-weight champion or are you fully committed to feather?

At the minute I’m committed to featherweight but yes, I will be a multi-weight world champion, that’s always been my aim even before I turned professional – I’m not going to move down any weights because I tried super-bantamweight but I quickly gave that up. You know I’m a big featherweight and I get in the ring at 142(lbs), 143 so I’m really happy with that because I believe I am big enough to move up to super-featherweight and even lightweight.

For you what has been your best professional performance to date?

Best professional performance? When I think about learning and what I’ve done as a whole maybe the last one because the guy gave me rounds and I was able to work off him and do things that I’d practised. Maybe I didn’t look my best but it was the little things that I developed when I was in the ring and it was probably MY best performance so far based on learning that night and I probably learnt more than I did in the rest of them.

On performances maybe St Patrick’s Day this year (Berna) when I took the guy out with the body shot, just the way it happened it was nice, a left uppercut to the body and then that was it.

Absolutely mate, can I get a prediction for your next fight, sort of result and performance?

Just another win and I’m going to say a lot stoppage maybe, I think so, a late stoppage, definitely. Another victory in what is an entertaining fight while it lasts.

Thank you so much for speaking to us, been a pleasure.

Cheers Oliver, appreciate it.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Lomachenko Stops Linares in the Tenth


By: William Holmes

Madison Square Garden in New York City was the host site for tonight’s collaborative effort between Top Rank Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions to put on a highly anticipated main event between Vasyl Lomachenko and Jorge Linares for the WBA Lightweight Title.

The opening bout of the night was between Carlos Adames (13-0) and Alejandro Barrera (29-4) in the welterweight division.

Adames is a high ceiling prospect for Top Rank and he made it known why early on. His straight right hand was finding it’s home often and he was in control. Barrera was able to sneek some punches in past the guard of Adames, but they didn’t appear to hurt him.

In the sixth round he switched to a southpaw stance and was still able to land shots at will. His power shots came from his right hand, but he was still fluid and smooth in his southpaw stance.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account

Barrera was able to do some decent body work in the seventh round and was a little more effective. His counter uppercut found it’s home but Adames was landing the harder shots. Barrera continued to hang in the fight into the eighth round and showed a willingness to exchange, and he may have stolen the round when he landed some short shots on Adames when his back was against the ropes.

The ninth round featured fierce exchanges and started with Barrera walking Adames down, but Adames was able to turn the momentum back in his favor with sharp left hooks. A clash of heads occurred in the final moments of the ninth round that caused a cut by the right eye of Barrera.

Barrera needed a knockout in the final round to win, and he was the more active fighter and landed more shots in the final round, but that knockout never came.

Carlos Adames wins by decision with scores of 97-93, 96-94, and 98-92.

The main event of the night was between Jorge Linares (44-3) and Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1) for the WBA Lightweight Title.

Lomachenko, the favorite, entered the ring first while the champion, Linares, entered second.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account

Linares looked like the significantly bigger man in the ring and was able to land his straight left hand from his southpaw stance early on in the first round. Linares though was accurate with his counter punches in the first and landed a good lead left hook at the end of the round.

Lomachenko looked to be a little looser in the second round and was landing more, and by the third round his foot movement was on point as he danced around Linares and landed multiple combinations. Lomachenko continued to stay on the attack in the fourth round. Linares was warned for rabbit punches in the fourth and Lomachenko responded by landing hard right uppercuts.

Lomachenko was able to bloody the nose of Linares in the fifth round. Linares was warned for a low blow in the fifth and sixth rounds and appeared to be fading fast. However, a clean straight right hand by Linares in the sixth round sent Lomachenko to the mat.

Linares pressed the action in the seventh round and Lomachenko was no longer on the offensive. Linares was able to land good shots to the body and head of Lomachenko.

Lomachenko looked like he was recovered by the eight round and was able to get a cut over the left eye of Linares. Lomachenko was focusing on that cut throughout the remainder of the eighth round as momentum swung back in his favor.

Linares and Lomachenko had several good exchanges in the ninth round and that round could have been scored either way, but it appeared Lomachenko was landing more shots than Linares but Linares was landing the harder shots.

Linares came right at Lomachenko in the beginning of the tenth round but Lomachenko was able to slow him down with an accurate jab. Lomachenko connected with a multi punch combination to the head and ended it with a liver shot that sent Linares crumbling in pain to the mat.

The referee counted to nine before waiving off the fight as he could tell that Linares was unable to continue.

Lomachenko wins by body shot knockout at 2:08 of the tenth round.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Linares vs. Lomachenko, Adames vs. Barrera


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night two of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters, Jorge Linares and Vasyl Lomachenko will square off in a WBA Lightweight Title bout at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions will be working together and will televise this fight on ESPN.

The co-feature of the night will be a welterweight bout between Carlos Adames and Alejandro Barrera. Other prospects on the fight card include Michael Conlan, Teofimo Lopez, and Jamel Herring. Conlan may appear on the televised portion of the card due to his popularity, but that bout should be an easier victory for him.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Boxing

The following is a preview of the co-featured bout and the main event of the night.

Carlos Adames (13-0) vs. Alejandro Barrera (29-4); Welterweights

Carlos Adames is a prized prospect with heavy hands. He’s only twenty four years old and will be seven years younger than Barrera on fight night. He will also have a significant three inch reach advantage.

Adames has been very active. He fought three times in 2017 and four times in 2016. Barrera fought twice in 2017 and did not fight in 2016.

Adames has considerable power. He has stopped eleven of his opponents and only one of his past ten opponents was able to make it the full fight. Barrera has eighteen stoppage victories, but he has lost two of his past four fights.

Adames is a former Pan American Gold Medalist and competed in the world amateur championships. Barrera has no notable amateur career to speak of.

Adames has fought mainly in the Dominican Republic, his past nine fighters were there. He has defeated the likes of Carlos Molina, Jean Carlos Prada, and Ivan Alvarez. Barrera has defeated the likes of Eddie Gomez and Juan Macias Montiel. He has losses to Armando Robles, Rmases Agaton, Errol Spence Jr., and Keandre Gibson.

Barrera is talented enough to score an occasional upset, as evident in his win over Eddie Gomez. But Adames looks like he will be too talented for Barrera to handle.

Jorge Linares (44-3) vs. Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1); WBA Lightweight Title

Jorge Linares used to be a top boxer in Top Rank’s stable of fighters, but back to back losses to Sergio Thompson and Antonio DeMarco in late 2011 early 2012 forced Top Rank to let Linares loose and allowed for Golden Boy Promotions to pick him up.

He has since won thirteen fights in a row and his name has often come up in conversation as one of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters.
However, he’ll be facing a true legend in the sport with only eleven professional fights, Vasyl Lomachenko.

Lomachenko has eight stoppage victories and will be giving up about an inch in height and three and a half inches in reach to Linares. Lomachenko will be two years younger than Linares, but both boxers are still considered by most to be in their athletic primes.

Linares has twenty seven stoppage wins, but his past four fights were won by decision. Lomacheno fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016 while Linares fought twice in 2017 and once in 2016.

Lomachenko’s lone loss was a controversial one to Orlando Salido, who came in overweight. He has defeated the likes of Guillermo Rigondeaux, Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sosa, Nicholas Walters, Roman Martinez, and Gary Russell Jr.

Linares has losses to Sergio Thompson, Antonio DeMarco, and Juan Carlos Salgado. He has defeated the likes of Oscar Larios, Mercito Gesta, Luke Campbell, Anthony Crolla, Kevin Mitchell, and Nihto Arakawa.

It is extremely rare to find someone with the amateur resume of Vasyl Lomachenko. He was a two time Olympic Gold Medalist. Linares was a national champion as an amateur in Venezuela.

Linares has excellent footwork and incredible accuracy, but Lomachenko also has excellent footwork and accuracy and in fact, probably has better footwork than Linares. Linares can hang with anyone in the first half of a fight, but he tends to fade late. Lomachenko has never shown signs of fading in a ring.

Lomachenko does have problems with fighters who are known for being rough on the inside and willing to fight a little dirty, like Orlando Salido. Linares is not that type of fighter. He’s known for his technique and finesse.

Linares will have a size advantage on Saturday night, and he’d be wise to use it. But Lomachenko’s movement and accuracy will should win him the fight, especially in the later rounds.

This writer thinks Linares will be able to keep it close early on, but will fade late and eventually succumb to a Lomachenko barrage.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Magdaleno Loses Title by KO to Dogboe, Hart and Jennings Win


By: Ken Hissner

Top Rank and Peltz Boxing Promotions brought back big time boxing to Philadelphia Saturday, at Temple University’s Liacouras Center via ESPN before a well entertained crowd.
In the Main Event WBO World Junior Featherweight champion southpaw Jesse Magdelano, 25-1 (18), of Las Vegas, NV, tasted defeat for the first time losing to interim WBO champion Isaac Dogboe, 19-0 (13), of Accra, GH, who stopped him at 1:38 of the eleventh round of a scheduled 12.

In the first round Dogboe was the aggressor. Dogboe landed a solid left hook to the head of Magdelano but got countered with a 3 punch combination dropping him. Magdelano lead with a left hand to the chin of Dogboe hurting him but Dogboe tossed him to the canvas. In the second round Dogboe led with a right but got countered by a Magdelano left to the head. Dogboe rocked Magdelano with a lead overhand right to the head.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account

In the third round Dogboe led with a right to the chin of Magdelano making him clinch. A left uppercut to the chin by Magdelano buckled the knees of Dogboe. Dogboe came back with a good combination to the body and head of Magdelano. At the bell Dogboe landed a hard overhand right to the chin of Magdelano. In the fourth round both landed with exchanges. A pair of rights to the head from Dogboe rocked Magdelano.

In the fifth round Dogboe dropped Magdelano with a vicious right to the chin. Then he went after him with a flurry of punches making Magdelano hold on. In the sixth round Dogboe drove Magdelano into the ropes on several occasions making him hold on. The sixth and seventh rounds were dominated by Dogboe though Magdelano was always dangerous. In the eighth round Dogboe continued to go after Magdelano with body and head shots. Dogboe told this writer prior to the fight he would “outsmart Magdelano” and that is the way he fought.

In the ninth round Dogboe backed up Magdelano without throwing any punches for the most part as Dogboe seemed to be loading up. Referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. had trouble at times sepeerating the two with Magdelano refusing to let go of Dogboe. It was a cat and mouse round with Magdelano getting chased.

In the tenth round Dogboe landed half a dozen punches hurting Magdelano who would pound on his own chest as if he was hurt but was. A body shot by Dogboe from a right to the body hurt Magdelano. Magdelano walked on shaky legs back to his corner. In the eleventh round Dogboe landed four unanswered punches. Seconds later a combination from Dogboe dropped Magdelano to his knees. Dogboe jumped all over him with body shots until a right uppercut dropping him until referee Esteves wisely stopped the onslaught. Dogboe made Magdelano pay for his remarks at the press conference!

Dogboe got off to a slow start but from the fourth round on it was all his fight. This humble God loving fighter will be taking the championship belt back to his home in Ghana! It couldn’t happen to a nicer God loving man!

Co-Feature Event Super Middleweight WBO No. 1 contender Jesse “Hollywood” Hart, 24-1 (20), of Philadelphia, overwhelmed Demond “D’Bestatit” Nicholson, 18-3-1 (17), of Laurel, MD, at 2:26 of the seventh round for the vacant NABF Super Middleweight title.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account

In the first round Hart came out like a wild man trying to end it early. He is not the puncher like his father. He has better tools but not the punch of “the Cyclone”. He controlled the entire round up until the final seconds when Nicholson hit him with a right knocking him across the ring into the ropes which should have been ruled a knockdown by referee Shawn Clark. In the third round Hart landed a left to the body causing a delayed knockdown. Hart landed a left hook to the chin of Nicholson almost dropping him.

In the fourth round Hart continued to man handle Nicholson throughout with Nicholson landing an occasional right to the head of Hart. In the fifth round Hart continued to throw the right hand bomb but got countered with a solid right from Nicholson on the chin. Nicholson kept slipping most of Hart’s wild punches but got hit enough not to win the round. Nicholson showed too much respect for Hart who at the press conference said “I looked up to him when I was just 14!”

In the sixth round Hart landed three right hands to the head while in close. Nicholson finally came back with a left hook to the head of Hart. Hart kept pinning Nicholson to the ropes where Nicholson was defenseless. A Hart uppercut to the chin of Nicholson rocked him. Nicholson landed a hard right uppercut to the chin of Hart and came back with two more ending the round.

In the seventh round it was Nicholson turning aggressor. Hart looked like he was spent from all the punching he did earlier and all of a sudden he seemed to hurt Nicholson but went after him and missed with a left hook but seemed to push Nicholson to the canvas who argued with the referee Clark but wouldn’t get up. When he did the referee waved it off.

There was a controversy afterwards between both fighters almost coming to blows. The Nicholson camp and the fighter were unhappy with the ending but he lost every round and should have let his hands not his mouth do the talking.

Heavyweight Bryant “By-By” Jennings, 23-2 (13), won a close hard decision over Joey “Tank” Dawejko, 19-5-4 (11), of Philadelphia, for the vacant USA PA Heavyweight title over 10 rounds.

In the first round Dawejko landed several left hooks to the body of Jennings. Jennings came back with a double jab to the chin. Dawejko landed a double left hook to body and head of Jennings. Jennings depended on his jab the entire round. Dawejko was much more active. In the second round Jennings started off with a left hook to the head of Dawejko. Dawejko dug in a left hook to the body of Jennings whiono continues using his jab to chin and mid-section. Dawejko warned for low punch by referee Gary Rosato. Dawejko came back with a right to the head. Jennings ended the round with a solid left hook to the head of Dawejko.

In the third round Dawejko landed a lead overhand right to the head of Jennings. Dawejko landed a trip left hook to the body and head of Jennings. Jennings came back to do the same combination. In the fourth round Jennings landed a double jab to the chin. Dawejko came back with a combination to the head. Dawejko landed a right uppercut to the chin and followed with a left hook to the head of Jennings. Dawejko missed with a left hook while Jennings countered with his best punch a right to the head of Dawejko. At the ten second warning Jennings landed a low punch causing referee Rosato to warn him.

In the fifth round Dawejko landed a looping left hook to the head of Jennings. Both fighters exchanged good body shots inside. Jennings continues to use an effective jab. Dawejko continues to stalk him. At the ten second warning Jennings landed a solid right following a jab to the chin of Dawejko getting his attention. In the sixth round Jennings landed a left hook to the head of Dawejko knocking him off balance. Jennings halfway through the round started using the ring to avoid any exchanges giving away the round.

In the seventh round Dawejko went after Jennings with left hooks to the body and head. Jennings kept peppering Dawejko with his jab. Jennings countered Dawejko with a right uppercut to the chin. In the eighth round Jennings started thins off with a right to the body and head of Dawejko. Dawejko pinned Jennings to the ropes while Jennings tried to spin him off but ended in a clinch. Dawejko drove Jennings into a corner with a flurry of punches.

In the ninth round Jennings landed a good left hook to the chin of Dawejko who acknowledged it as a good one. Dawejko pushed Jennings into a corner forcing Jennings to tie him up. Jennings landed a lead straight right to the chin of Dawejko getting a reaction from the crowd. Dawejko ended the round with a combination to the body of Jennings.

In the tenth and final round Dawejko pinned Jennings against the ropes while referee Rosado again stepped in separating the two. Jennings knocked the mouthpiece of Dawejko out with a right to the chin. Jennings landed a 3-punch combination to the head and body of Dawejko. Dawejko landed a half dozen unanswered punches before Jennings landed a solid left hook to the head.

“I thought it was a competitive fight and maybe I should have done more,” said Dawejko. That was a statement from a very humble Dawejko. He did mention that he felt the referee separated them too much when he had Jennings against the ropes throwing punches. Both fighters showed respect at the press conference for each other and it seemed to carry on after the fight but from press row this writer was not able to hear Jennings comments and since the Executive Director Greg Sirb doesn’t allow this writer into the locker rooms after fights I was not able to talk to Jennings.

“Styles make good fights and I thought I came out with the win. With a new trainer I have to try to get what he wants me to do. I believe good things are coming. Joey is a slick fighter trying to set traps for me. It isn’t easy fighting a smaller fighter at times. I felt the scoring was what I felt it should have been. I was hurt once in the fight. He is a helluva fighter. We showed respect for one another knowing when we got warned from the referee it was not intentional on our parts,” said Jennings.

Judges all had it 98-92 for Jennings but this writer had it 97-93 for Dawejko. The press favored Jennings for the most part.

2016 Olympian southpaw Shakur Stevenson, 6-0 (3), of Newark, NJ, won by TKO over Roxberg Patrick Riley, 12-1 (6), Dallas, GA, at 1:35 of the second reound in a scheduled 8.

In the first round Stevenson used an effective jab to control the pace. Stevenson hurt Riley with a straight left to the mid-section of Riley. In the second round a left hook from Stevenson drove Riley into the ropes. Stevenson knocked Riley down with a combination of punches. He followed up with an onslaught of punches causing referee Clark to call a halt.

Super Featherweight 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Robson Conceicao, 7-0 (4), of Salvador, Bahia, BRZ, pitched a shutout over Mexican Alex Torres “Azteca de Oro” Rynn, 6-2 (3), of Calgary, Ontario, CAN, over 6 rounds.

In the first round Conceicao dominated Rynn with good body work and occasional head shots. In the second round Conceicao continued with solid body work with both hands. Rynn kept switching from orthodox to southpaw and back. Conceicao landed a hard combination to the head and ended the round with a right to the chin of Rynn.

In the third round Conceicao kept landing with body punches but Rynn landed a hard counter right from the southpaw stance. From the third round through to the sixth Conceicao put on a good exhibition of his boxing skills.

All 3 judges and this writer had it 60-54.

Popular Bantamweight Christian Carto, 12-0 (8), of South Philadelphia, won an easy decision over Edwin “Puto” Rodriguez, 8-5-1 (4), of PR, over 8 rounds.

In the first round Carto controlled with his jab. Rodriguez landed a left hook which was countered by a Carto right to the head. Carto landed a solid right to the head of Rodriguez who was coming forward. Carto landed a double left hook as the bell sounded ending the round. In the second round Carto landed a double jab followed by a left hook to the body of Rodriguez. Both fighters exchanged left hooks to the head. Carto landed a lightning fast lead right to the chin of Rodriguez. Carto continued to set the pace with his jab.

In the third round Carto landed a 3-punch combination to body and head of Rodriguez. Carto landed a left hook to the ribs of Rodriguez. Carto landed a jab follwed by a right to the head of Rodriguez. Carto continued to make Rodriguez miss. Rodriguez landed a left hook to the chin of Carto at the bell. In the fourth round Rodriguez landed a double left hook to the body of Carto. Carto landed a double left hook to the body and head of Rodriguez. Carto controlled with his jab but got countered by a Rodriguez right to the chin. Rodriguez landed a left hook to the chin of Carto who countered with a left hook to the chin at the bell.

In the fifth round both boxers landed several body punches. Carto hurt Rodriguez with a hard left hook to the head. Carto landed several lead rights to the chin of Rodriguez. Both exchanged rights to the head. Carto ended the round with a 3-punch combination to body and head. In the sixth round Rodriguez landed a right to the head of Carto. There was a clash of heads leaving a lump on the top of Carto’s head. While using the ring well Carto countered with rights to the head of Rodriguez. Carto continued at times backing into the ropes and countered Rodriguez well.
In the seventh round both boxers exchanged rights to the head. Carto landed several counter left’s to the body of Rodriguez. Rodriguez landed a short right to the chin of Carto. In the eighth and final round Carto countered a Rodriguez left with a combination to the head. Carto continues to impress with each fight.

“He was a tough fighter. I thought I got head butted in the sixth round. It was a tough fight but I’m learning”, said Carto. His trainer is Mickey Rosati, his brother Frankie is the assistant and manager while cut-man Joey Eye rounded out team Carto.

Judges had it 77-75 twice and 78-74 while this writer had it 80-72.

Super Lightweight Kent “The Puerto Rican Sensation” Cruz, 14-0-1 (9), of St. Louis, MO, and Mohamed Rodriguez, 11-4-1 (4), of San Luis Potosi, MEX, drew in a lack luster 8 rounds.
In the first round the boxers felt each other out as Cruz stalked Rodriguez landing an occasional jab. Rodriguez missed with a wild left hook. Cruz landed a partially blocked right to the head of Rodriguez. In the second round Rodriguez missed with a wild right. Cruz landed a double jab to the chin of Rodriguez. Cruz missed a right and was countered by a Rodriguez left hook to the chin. Rodriguez landed a right to the head of Cruz just prior to the end of the round.

In the third round Cruz threw a pair of left hooks with the second one landing on the chin of Rodriguez. In close Cruz landed a left hook to the head of Rodriguez. Rodriguez missed with 3 punches. In the fourth round little action continued with Cruz using his jab. Cruz received a warning for hitting the back of the head of Rodriguez. In the fifth round Rodriguez missed with a right while Cruz countered with a solid left hook to the chin of Rodriguez which was the best punch of the fight up until then.

In the sixth round Cruz continued using the jab. Cruz landed a right to the body of Rodriguez. Both boxers exchanged jabs to the mid-section. In the seventh round both landed left hooks to the head at the same time. Rodriguez continued to miss more than landing. In the eighth and final round Rodriguez landed a left hook to the chin of Cruz and did a little dance. Rodriguez landed a left hook to the head of Cruz and missed with a second one.

The Judges had it 78-74 Cruz, 77-75 Rodriguez, and 76-76. This writer had it 77-75 Cruz. This entire fight was without anything to get the crowd into it.
Hot prospect Lightweight Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno, 7-0 (7), of Allentown, PA, stopped Jorge Hugo “Dandy” Padron, 3-2 (3), of Sonora, MEX, at 1:11 of the first round in a scheduled 6 rounds.

In the first round Adorno stalked Padron landing a solid left to the body. Seconds later Adorno landed a jab followed by a wicked right to the ribs of Padron dropping him to a knee and unable to continue. Adorn brought many fans from the Lehigh County with him.

Opening the event Super Welterweight Marcel Rivers, 5-0 (4), of Philadelphia, stopped Ronald Logan, 0-3 (0), of the Bronx, NY, at 0:40 of the second round of a scheduled 4 rounds.

In the first round Rivers landed the first solid punch a right to the head of Logan backing him up several steps. Shortly thereafter a Rivers right to the mid-section backed Logan up several steps. Rivers continued to stalk Logan. Logan threw an overhand right that missed while Rivers countered with a combination to the head of Logan. In the second round Rivers landed a solid left hook to the head of Logan who started to run backwards until he fell on his own. Referee Rosato ruled it a slip. Upon rising Logan started to limp and indicated he couldn’t continue forcing the referee to halt the fight.

Ring announcer Lupe Contreras is back in the east and doing his usual great job.

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