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Boxing Insider Notebook: Conwell, Bare Knuckle Fighting, Usyk, Gassiev, Munguia, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

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


Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

Usyk and Gassiev Touch Down in Moscow for Historic Final

Murat Gassiev and Aleksandr Usyk arrived Monday evening in Moscow ahead of the Cruiserweight Ali Trophy Final on July 21 at the Olympic Sports Complex.

“I am looking forward to the final. A final that will bring out the best in boxing. I can’t wait to see my fans in Moscow,” said Usyk.

Gassiev: “I’m in Russia one week before the fight. I’ve never had problems with the acclimatization. Jet-lag is also not a problem. A good nap during the flight and I’m ready to box at the airport. As always I expect a tough fight. I have to be ready for everything and adjust.”

Tickets are still available through official channels for one of the most anticipated fights of the decade, one of the most exciting boxing events in history, with 10.000 being sold up to now and 20.000 spectators expected.

“The exciting build-up for the first Ali Trophy Final ever is entering its most exciting phase,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer. “This is the moment we have been waiting for.”

“True history and legacy making are at stake and the ‘Winner takes it all’ frase has never been more fitting. On Saturday in Moscow boxing and the world of sport will have a new, true superstar!”

The winner of Usyk-Gassiev will be the first boxer ever to win the Muhammad Ali Trophy and unify the cruiserweight titles in the four belt era.

The belts on the line will be the WBO, WBC, IBF and WBA Super and RING Magazine’s vacant cruiserweight championship strap.

The mouthwatering final will be a key event during a weekend of boxing activities in the Russian capital in celebration of International Boxing Day after Comosa were invited to bring and supervise the first final of The Greatest Prize in Boxing – The Ali Trophy – to the festival of pugilism.

Jaime Munguia and Alberto Macahdo Los Angeles Media Workout Quotes

Jaime Munguia (29-0, 25 KOs), the newly-crowned WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, hosted a media workout today at the Westside Boxing Club ahead of the first defense of his title against former world champion Liam “Beefy” Smith (26-1-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round main event Saturday, July 21 at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas. The fight will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (19-0, 16 KOs), who will put his WBA Super Featherweight World Title on the line as he faces undefeated No. 1 Contender Rafael “Sweet Pea” Mensah (31-0, 23 KOs) in the 12-round co-main event, also participated in the workout.

Here’s what Munguia and Machado had to say during today’s media workout:

JAIME MUNGUIA, WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion:

“We had a sensational training camp. We have a great team, so I feel very good. The potential fight against Gennady Golovkin really got my name out there. It allowed me to get the opportunity to fight for a world title. I’m grateful for that. I’m also grateful that the NSAC didn’t allow me to fight against Golovkin because it lead to this world title.

I’m always 100% ready. I got the call to fight Sadam Ali with only two weeks notice. The only struggle was to lose the weight, but other than that I was ready. I knew my advantage was my reach and my power. I knew that he was a smaller fighter. Those were the keys to my victory.

I feel very motivated now that I am a world champion. Everyone is going to talk about to me after this fight. This will open up more opportunities, and people will mention my name with the likes of Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.

I think that the only advantage that Liam Smith has is that he’s fought in big events before. But I have many fights under my belt. I have a lot of experience. I had over 100 fights as an amateur. All this experience gives me a lot of confidence when I step into the ring. Also, Smith might say that he’s a natural 154-pounder, but I want to tell him that I’m a natural 160-pounder who drops down. I’m very happy with the training camp we had and very confident about this fight.”

ALBERTO “EXPLOSIVO” MACHADO, WBA Super Featherweight World Champion:

“It’s been about 10 months since my last fight. But it served me well. It allowed me to get some rest and to work on some technical details I needed to work on. I had been boxing for 15 years straight, so it was a necessary rest.

Fighting on HBO for the first time was a dream come true. I used to gather with my friends to watch Miguel Cotto, Ivan Calderon and Felix Trinidad on HBO, so this was definitely a dream come true. The fight against Jezreel Corrales was very tough. At first, he didn’t event make weight. I knew he had a lot more experience than I did too. But I brought out the spirit that characterizes us a boxers to walk away with the victory.

For this camp, I worked on strategy and technique. I had more time to travel to Los Angeles and work with Freddie Roach. During this camp, I really got to see why he is a Hall of Fame trainer. I got to see why he’s had so many world champions. On July 21, you will definitely see a new and improved Alberto Machado.”

Mykquan Williams Headlines Broadway Boxing on July 21st

Following a successful weekend that saw DiBella Entertainment (DBE) spanning the globe with four impressive victories between junior welterweight star Regis Prograis and US Olympian Charles Conwell in New Orleans, female boxing sensation Raquel Miller in San Francisco and lightweight contender George Kambosos Jr. in Kuala Lumpur, DBE is on the road again bringing the Broadway Boxing series back to its home away from home at the beautiful Foxwoods Resort Casino, in Mashantucket, CT, this Saturday. Headlining the event will be East Hartford, CT’s “Marvelous” Mykquan Williams (11-0, 7 KOs) facing Matt “The Mantis” Doherty (8-4-1, 4 KOs), of Salem, MA, in an eight-round junior welterweight bout.

Only 20 years old, the all-action Williams has become a featured fighter at Foxwoods Resort Casino, with nine previous starts on-site. Managed by Jackie Kallen and trained by Paul Cichon, Williams has started his 2018 campaign in destructive fashion with two first-round knockouts, most recently stopping Orlando Felix on May 5, at Foxwoods. The 29-year-old Doherty looks for a return to victory after his four-bout winning streak was stopped in a six-round clash against highly regarded undefeated prospect Ray Moylette on March 31, in Quincy, MA.

Tickets for the stacked card, presented by Nissan of Queens, Azad Watches, OPTYX, Christos Steak House and Gagliardi Insurance, are priced at $125, $75 and $45, and can be purchased online at Foxwoods.com, Ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-200-2882, or visiting the Foxwoods box office. Foxwoods Resort Casino is located at 350 Trolley Line Boulevard, Mashantucket, Connecticut 06338. Doors will open to the Fox Theater at 6:30 p.m., with the first fight scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

The show will be broadcast on LIVE.DBE1.COM, part of the SportsLive OTT service as part of a partnership with CBS Sports Digital. Fans can subscribe to the event for $6.95 now by visiting LIVE.DBE1.COM.

Featured in an eight-round women’s featherweight contest, Providence, RI, fan favorite Shelly “Shelito’s Way” Vincent (22-1, 1 KO) battles hard-hitting Colombian Calixta Silgado (16-9-3, 11 KOs), in a rematch of their memorable clash last year, won by Vincent over eight rounds. Including the win versus Silgado, Vincent is currently riding a four-bout winning streak, started after her history-making nationally televised battle with world ranked Heather Hardy on August 21, 2016, the only loss on her ledger.

Popular fast-rising welterweight prospect Adrian Sosa (7-0, 5 KOs), of Lawrence, MA, will compete in a scheduled six-rounder. The 23-year-old Sosa returns to action following his best win in the paid ranks, a six-round decision against fellow undefeated prospect Khiry Todd on May 5, at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Sosa was a 2014 New England Golden Gloves champion and turned pro in July 2016 following an 18-2 amateur career.

Newcomer Lamont Powell (1-0), of Pawtucket, RI, will compete in a four-round middleweight bout against Charles Carroll (0-1), of The Bronx, NY. The 25-year-old Powell made his triumphant pro debut on May 5, with a shutout four-round decision against Amadeu Cristiano.

Brooklyn, NY’s Hurshidbek Normatov (6-0, 2 KOs) will square off in a six-round junior middleweight fight against fellow unbeaten prospect Alexis Gaytan (4-0, 2 KOs), of Mission, TX. A former amateur standout representing Uzbekistan, the 26-year-old Normatov won a six-round decision versus Ronald Montes on May 5, at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Promoted by DiBella Entertainment and managed by David McWater’s Split-T Management, Normatov was an experienced amateur competing in 324 bouts and winning the 2014 European National Championships. The 23-year-old Gaytan returns following a six-round decision win versus then undefeated Kendrick Ball Jr. (9-0-2), on June 2, at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Undefeated super middleweight contender Lennox “2 Sharpe” Allen (20-0-1, 13 KOs), of Brooklyn, NY, will see action, after a three-year layoff, in a scheduled six-rounder against Willis Lockett (16-23-6, 5 KOs), of Takoma Park, MD. Allen is a former WBC CABOFE, New York State and Guyanese champion.

Co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc., Uzbek heavyweight Bakhodir Jalolov (1-0, 1 KO) will return to the scene of his pro debut in a six-round bout. Born in Sariosiyo, Uzbekistan, Jalolov was a highly accomplished amateur, compiling a record of 84-13. A four-time National champion from 2013 to 2016, Jalolov represented his homeland at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, and had the distinguished honor of being the country’s flagbearer at the Opening Ceremonies. As an amateur, Jalolov won gold medals at the Asian Amateur Boxing Championships in 2017, World Cup Tournament, Liventsev Memorial Tournament, Great Silk Way Tournament, and Duisenkul Shopokov Memorial Tournament in 2015, and at the World Cup of Petroleum Countries Tournament in 2014. During his amateur career, Jalolov also focused on his education, earning a Master’s Degree in Sports Science. He now trains in Miami, FL, with the renowned Pedro Diaz and Ravshan Khodjaev.

Bridgeport, CT, native Oscar Bonilla (4-3-2) will challenge Philadelphia, PA’s Seifullah Jihad Wise (3-4, 1 KO) in a six-round junior welterweight bout.

2016 United States Olympian Charles Conwell Scores 2nd Round Stoppage

2016 U.S. Olympian Charles Conwell was impressive by stopping Travis Scott in the 2nd round of their junior middleweight bout.

Conwell came out in round by hurting Scott with a flurry of punches on the ropes. Conwell ended things with a perfect left hook to the body that sent Scott to a knee for the ten count at 1:34.

Conwell, of Cleveland, OH raises his record to 8-0 with 6 knockouts. Scott, of Baton Rouge, LA falls to 19-4.

“This win means a lot as it shows that I can not only beat good fighters with experience, but get them out of there,” said Conwell. “It also shows that I am on a whole other level then guys out there in my weight, and that I am a force to be reckoned with.”

“Charles has remarkable power for somebody his age, and he really has no ceiling. This was supposed to be his step up fight,” said Split-T Management CEO, David McWater.

Conwell is co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Holden Productions

World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation Up and Running

Combat sports’ newest organization, World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (WBKFF), officially announced today that it is fully operational and targeting this October to promote its inaugural professional event, to air worldwide on independent pay per view.

WBKFF principals include CEO Tom Stankiewicz, COO & Director of Operations JC and matchmaker Paul Tyler.

The exact date of this historical event, venue, complete PPV details, and bouts will be announced during this summer.

“WBKFF will soon become the biggest, most popular in combat sports,” JC predicted. “This all started from our passion for hand-to-hand combat and to give fans what they deserve. WBKFF and fan-friendly will be synonymous. We’re going to give combat sports fans what they want and deserve: integrity, passion and fairness.”

Newly adopted rules including holding and striking, spinning backfists and hammer fists will be used in all WBKFF fights, which will be contested in a traditional boxing ring for optimum viewing and safety. All men’s and women’s matches will feature five (two-minute) rounds.

WBKFF has actively scouted and recruited battle-tested veterans and promising prospects alike from boxing, mixed martial arts, kickboxing, Muay Thai, wrestling and other combat sports disciplines.

Members of the WBKFF stable of fighters range from legendary MMA veteran and undefeated kickboxer Phil “New York Bad Ass” Baroni to Street Beats Internet and YouTube MMA sensation Chris “Mighty Mouse” Yarborough, pro-debuting Team USA national boxing champion Tika “Ice Cold” Hemingway and former University of South Alabama football star Desmond LaVelle, former UFC fighters Seth “Polish Pistola” Baczynski, Tom “Da Tank” Gallicchio and Christina Marks, former Bellator fighters Virgil “Rezdog” Zwicker and Dakota Cochrane, and former world boxing title challenger Jasmine Clarkson, among the more notables to date.

Additional signings, including some with major names in MMA and boxing, are in negotiation stages.

All fights and fighters are subject to change.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Klitschko, Berto, Alexander, Diaz, Monaghan, Ortiz, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of July 4th to July 11th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Klitschko Backs Police to Protect Animals from Abuse in Kyiv, Ukraine

For the first time ever, police in Kyiv are receiving training on how to fight crimes against animals and the alarming connections between the abuse of children, vulnerable adults and animals.

Animal-loving Vitali Klitschko (Mayor of Kyiv and former Professional Boxer) gives the project his full support, and states:

“Mistreating animals is cowardly and cruel, and I find it abhorrent that it goes on in our city. I am proud that so many Kyiv Police Officers are participating in this pioneering training programme and hope animal abuse cases will no longer be overlooked as a low-priority. Thank you to the British animal welfare NGOs for providing this vital training.”

Increasing research and clinical evidence suggests people who abuse animals may also abuse vulnerable people. It is understood that children who witness abuse within the home, either towards animals or people, are more likely to become violent themselves later in life.

Knowledge about these links will go a long way to help police protect victims, both animal and human.

The training also includes what constitutes evidence at animal abuse crime scenes, and how to use Ukrainian animal protection legislation to prosecute cases.

The training programme mirrors that being applied in other western countries.

Kyiv Police are aiming for more than 2000 officers to receive the training.

The first phase of the training programme took place in March where senior members of the Kyiv Police department attended a full day’s workshop. That same week, local animal welfare NGOs and the Kyiv Municipality received training on how to work with police and provide usable evidence that will assist with prosecutions.

Head of Kyiv Patrol Police Public Relations Department, Sergiy Bezpalchuk, says: “The training was very helpful, clearly demonstrating how to investigate cases of animal abuse. It was also useful to learn about the link between animal cruelty and abuse towards people. I’d like to thank the organisers and trainers, and look forward to further cooperation to train more officers in the future.”

The intention of the training programme is to assist with building a collaborative framework within which animal welfare groups, police, prosecutors and the municipality may address animal cruelty together, reducing victims of animal crime and bringing suspected offenders to justice.

The training is being delivered by UK animal welfare charity, Naturewatch Foundation, in collaboration with Mark Randell, a retired senior Police Officer and Animal NGO Director from the UK.

For over twenty-five years, Naturewatch Foundation has run projects in Ukraine to protect animals from abuse and suffering.

Naturewatch Foundation Campaign Director, Jennie Rudd, says: “By taking the initiative to tackle animal abuse and recognise the link between violence towards vulnerable people and animals, Kyiv police are developing a culture of compassion towards all living beings that future generations will benefit from.

“International organisations responsible for promoting the link between animal and human violence in Europe and America are impressed that Kyiv Police are taking on board this training as part of their development, and look forward to seeing how the programme develops.”

Jesus Rojas to Defend WBA Featherweight Title Against Joseph Diaz on Golden Boy Fight Night on Facebook Watch

Golden Boy Promotions’ partnership with Facebook will kick off with a bang as Jesus Rojas (16-1-2, 19 KOs) defends his WBA Featherweight World Title against Joseph Diaz, Jr. (26-1, 14 KOs) in the main event of the inaugural edition of Golden Boy Fight Night at the Avalon Theater in Hollywood. The action will be streamed live on Saturday, August 11 beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT. Fans can catch all the fights by clicking here.

Rojas is a 31-year-old puncher who is coming off a seventh-round knockout against former interim WBA Featherweight World Champion Claudio Marrero. During his time off, Rojas was elevated to world champion status, and he’ll be making the first defense of this title against Diaz, Jr. The native of Caguas, Puerto Rico is an experienced champion as he has taken on the likes of former world champion Jorge “El Travieso”Arce and featherweight contenders Jorge “El Pilón” Lara and Abraham “Chamaco” Lopez.

“I’m ready to come back after almost a year off,” said Jesus Rojas. “I’ll defend my title for the first time on a very important Golden Boy card which will start a new association with Facebook. Diaz Jr. is tough, intelligent and fast, but I have the power and the experience to score a spectacular win against him. We’ll see you all this August 11 in Hollywood.”

Diaz Jr. is a 25-year-old southpaw who represented the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic games in London. Immediately after, Diaz Jr. signed with Golden Boy Promotions and began a stellar career that has earned him a spot at the pinnacle of the featherweight division. Diaz Jr.’s first title opportunity was against Gary Russell Jr. in May of this year. Though he did not win, Diaz Jr.’s impressive efforts earned him an immediate title shot but this time against Rojas.

“I’ve always said that I’m going to be a world champion.,” said Joseph Diaz Jr. “I learned from my last fight, and now I know the adjustments I need to make in order to have a world title around my waist. I’m going to make a big statement in the 126-pound division. It’s also an honor to be the main event of the first-ever Golden Boy show with Facebook. It shows the faith my promoter has in me to be a leading name in the new era of boxing.”

In the co-main event, Ferdinand “Lucky Boy” Kerobyan (9-0, 5 KOs) of North Hollywood, Calif. will battle across a scheduled six-rounds of welterweight action. Aaron “Silencer” McKenna (4-0, 3 KOs) of Monaghan, Ireland will participate in a four-round welterweight fight.

Opponents for these two fighters will be announced shortly.

Luis Ortiz to Take on Razvan Cojanu in Co-Feature Bout of Garcia vs. Easter

Cuban heavyweight slugger Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz returns to action to face former world title challenger Razvan Cojanu in a 10-round bout on Saturday, July 28 live on SHOWTIME from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The three-fight SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) will open with unbeaten super lightweight contender Mario “El Azteca” Barrios takingon hard-hitting Jose Roman in a 10-round showdown. The event is headlined by lightweight world championship title unification bout between WBC Lightweight World Champion Mikey Garcia and IBF Lightweight World Champion Robert Easter Jr.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, begin at $50, plus applicable fees, and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit AXS.com.

After having heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder nearly out on his feet in their March classic, Ortiz (28-1, 24 KOs) eventually succumbed to the power of the unbeaten champion. Now, Ortiz looks to get back to world title contention on July 28. Originally, from Camaguey, Cuba, now residing in Miami, Fla., Ortiz will fight in Los Angeles for the first time as a professional. Ortiz quickly became one of the most avoided men in boxing with victories over Bryant Jennings, Tony Thompson and Malik Scott on his way to the memorable showdown with Wilder.

“I’m looking to make a statement on July 28 and get back to challenge for the heavyweight championship of the world,” said Ortiz. “I’m excited to be back in the ring. I am thankful to have this opportunity. To all the fans in Los Angeles, don’t miss this great card at STAPLES Center. ‘The Real King Kong’ is coming to LA!”

A native of Romania and fighting out of Burbank, Calif., Cojanu (16-3, 9 KOs) challenged then WBO heavyweight world champion Joseph Parker for the title in May 2017. Cojanu took the New Zealand champion the distance but lost via unanimous decision in the champion’s home country. Standing over six-foot-seven, Cojanu scored three straight knockout victories in 2016 to earn the title shot and will return to the ring for his first fight in the U.S. since January 2016.

“I’m proud and confident to know that I will be stepping into the ring against a worthy opponent on July 28,” said Cojanu. “Luis Ortiz is a world-class fighter with a lot of experience, which will give me the opportunity to show my skills to all the fans at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and watching on SHOWTIME.”

The 23-year-old Barrios (21-0, 13 KOs) has been impressive since moving up to 140 pounds last March. He’s scored stoppage victories over Yardley Cruz, Jose Luis Rodriguez, Naim Nelson and most recently a second-round destruction of Eudy Bernardo. The five-foot-ten Barrios of San Antonio had previously campaigned at 130 pounds before making the move to the higher weight class that has helped unlock his power.

“I fought on SHOWTIME EXTREME but making my debut on SHOWTIME has always been a dream of mine since I was a kid,” said Barrios. “Now, the time has come to show why I’m here. I’m ready to keep showing why I’m going to become a star and one of the sport’s next great fighters. Come July 28, everyone should tune-in for a great night of fights. It’s ‘Azteca’ time.”

Fighting out of Garden Grove, Calif., Roman (24-2-1, 16 KOs) scored knockouts in nine of his first 11 pro fights and has won 10 of his last 11 leading up to July 28. The 30-year-old most recently dropped a decision to Wilberth Lopez last September after a run of defeating veteran fighters and will look to put himself back on the path to a world title with a victory over Barrios at STAPLES Center.

“I’m very excited to have this great opportunity,” said Roman. “Barrios has been on a roll, but I have the experience to take him out. Both of us bring pressure and I know he’s going to be hungry to keep his record perfect. I’m more motivated than I’ve ever been for this fight. I can’t wait to put on a show in my backyard for all the great fans in Southern California.”

Barrera vs. Monaghan Set for August 18th
Former WBC International Light Heavyweight world champion Sullivan Barrera (21-2, 14 KOs) returns to the ring to regain his standing as one of the world’s top Light Heavyweights. Barrera faces top five Light Heavyweight Contender “Irish” Seanie Monaghan (29-1, 17 KOs) in the 10-round main event at the Sands Bethlehem Casino and Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on Saturday, August 18, 2018. The event is promoted by Main Events and World of Boxing and will be streamed live via Facebook Watch as part of the Golden Boy Fight Night series. Fans can catch all the fights by clickinghere.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, July 13.

Barrera vs. Monaghan is the second live card of the recently announced Facebook series, a collaboration between Golden Boy Promotions, Facebook and Main Events, offered to fans around the world via live online streaming.

Barrera, 36, a native of Cuba who defected to the United States after fighting for the Cuban National Team, now lives and trains in Miami, Florida. He makes his return to the ring after taking WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol deep into the 12th round of their title fight in November 2017 before being stopped, by far the most difficult opponent of Bivol’s professional career. The WBC ranks Barrera fourth in the competitive Light Heavyweight division.

Monaghan, also 36, is a Long Island, New York native with proud Irish roots. He began his professional boxing career at the late age of 28 but quickly made up for lost time. After his first and only loss as a professional in 30 fights to Marcus Browne in July 2017, Monaghan started his comeback quest with a win in November 2017, and intends to make up for lost time against Barrera.

“Thank you to my team, my coach Derik Santos, my promoter Main Events, my manager Luis Molina, and thanks to Seanie Monaghan for taking this fight,” said Barrera. “As always, I’m willing to face the top guys in my division. This is another tough fighter. I look forward to August 18 and I’ll give the fans a great show. They will see me start to climb my way back up to facing the very best light heavyweights in the world.”

Barrera’s trainer, Derik Santos, said training is already underway for the fight. “We are working, and are dedicated as usual. Thank you to manager Luis Molina and our promoter Main Events. Sullivan has gone into tough fights over the years, and has consistently shown himself to be one of the toughest light heavyweight contenders in the division.”

Despite the pressure on them, Barrera and Santos maintain the same confidence and positive attitude that led Barrera to the top. “Train well and overcome, has been the directive since day one,” declared Santos. “Our expectations are the same today.”

Barrera is no stranger to Seanie Monaghan, and he’s looking forward to the match-up. “This fight is do or die for both of us. I’ve been going back and forth with Barrera on Twitter for a couple of years now. This will finally be our chance to settle it in the ring, no more talking,” said Monaghan.

Monaghan recently lost his father, and has plans to bring the late Davy Monaghan’s ashes back to his hometown of Navan in Ireland someday while wearing a title belt around his waist. His fight with Barrera is as much for his father as it is for himself.

In the ultra-competitive Light Heavyweight division, the talent pool is deep, and virtually every fighter ranked among the Top 15 contenders is a threat to the current titleholders. Main Events’ CEO and Barrera’s promoter, Kathy Duva, selected this high-stakes fight as a perfect fit for the first Main Events-promoted card in the Golden Boy Fight Night series. “We have delivered the best in boxing entertainment to the fans for 40 years,” said Duva. “What better way to start our next 40 years in business by expanding access to our fan-friendly fights around the world with online streaming technology.”

Duva promised: “Technology has changed a lot in this world, but one thing will never change about Main Events: our determination to make the best matches and feature amazing athletes in the ring. I know Sullivan Barrera and Seanie Monaghan will give everything they’ve got for their legacy, and for the fans.”

Andre Berto and Devon Alexander Set to Square Off on August 4th

Former 147-pound world champions Andre Berto (31-5, 24 KOs)and Devon Alexander (27-4-1, 14 KOs)will battle in a 12-round showdown that headlines a stacked night of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes live in prime time on Saturday, August 4 from NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The telecast begins at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT with former world champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (33-1-1, 23 KOs)facing 168-pound contender J’Leon Love (24-1-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round bout. Also in action will be former amateur standout and fast-rising unbeaten prospect Joey Spencer (3-0, 3 KOs) in a super welterweight match.

The exciting night of fights begins with a special edition of PBC on FS2 & FOX Deportes at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT with unbeaten light heavyweight contender Marcus Browne (21-0, 16 KOs) taking on once-beaten Lenin Castillo (18-1-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round match. The FS2 & FOX Deportes telecast will begin with a welterweight showdown between former world champion Luis Collazo (37-7, 20 KOs) against Bryant Perrella (15-1, 13 KOs).

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, go on sale Friday, July 6 at 10 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.nycblive.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the Ticketmaster Box Office at NYCB LIVE beginning Saturday, July 7 at noon. Group discounts are available by calling 516-231-4848.

“This is an outstanding card from top to bottom with matches that figure prominently in the 147-pound, 168-pound and 175-pound divisions,” said Tom Brown of TGB Promotions. “Berto and Alexander are two former champions who are fighting to get back into the crowded welterweight title picture. The Peter Quillin and J’Leon Love winner factors heavily in the super middleweight championship mix. It’s compelling action for the fans at Nassau Coliseum and the ones tuned in to FOX in prime time.”

“I’m happy to bring another action-packed event back to NYCB Live on Long Island,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Headlining the FOX and FOX Deportes telecast, former world champions Andre Berto and Devon Alexander meet in a high-stakes crossroads battle with the winner emerging one step closer to another shot at the welterweight crown. Former middleweight champion Peter Quillin continues his comeback facing the talented J’Leon Love and Staten Island’s unbeaten light heavyweight contender Marcus Browne also appears on the card. Long Island boxing fans will want to arrive early for a tremendous undercard, with local talent as well.”

An exciting and accomplished fighter from Florida, Berto returns to the ring after dropping a contest last April to Shawn Porter. Berto represented Haiti in the 2004 Olympics and picked up his biggest recent triumph on FOX in April 2016 as Berto scored a fourth-round knockout of former champion Victor Ortiz in their high-octane rematch.

Berto previously challenged retired legend Floyd Mayweather in September 2015 and has engaged in numerous Fight of the Year-worthy bouts, including a 2012 war with Robert Guerrero and his first fight with Ortiz. He has twice held a welterweight title, first the WBC belt, which he successfully defended five times between 2008 and 2011, plus the IBF crown he picked up in 2011 with a victory over Jan Zaveck.

“This is a great fight that has been a long time coming,” said Berto. “We share some common opponents, but we have different styles of fighting and styles make fights. I’ve had a lot of success with southpaws. I’m looking forward to seeing him in front of me and capitalizing on what I’m working on now.”

Alexander returned to the spotlight in February after only fighting once since 2015 while he sought treatment for an addiction to painkillers. He looked sharp in his first big fight in years, displaying similar speed and skills that had made him a two-weight champion before being given a controversial draw against former champion Victor Ortiz on FOX, in a fight most thought Alexander had won.

The 31-year-old emerged onto the scene with a unanimous decision victory over Randall Bailey to add the welterweight crown to the 140-pound title he had won three years prior. Originally from St. Louis, but now training in Florida with longtime coach Kevin Cunningham, Alexander has defeated the likes of Marcos Maidana, Lucas Matthysse and Jesus Soto Karass throughout his accomplished career.

“I’m very excited about this fight. Berto and I have history going back to the amateurs,” Alexander said. “I know him very well, but we’ve never fought. I have to show that I’m still one of the best in a stacked division. This is all business for me, because at this point in my career, I’m approaching every fight as if it’s my last. This is prime time for me.

“My mentality is that Berto is still the killer that he was 10 years ago. So I’m looking at him like he’s lost nothing. I’ve got one mission, and that’s to beat Berto. I’ll be technically sound and 100 percent focused on accomplishing that task.”

A Brooklyn-resident who has made the borough home for his whole career, Quillin returned to the ring last September when he defeated Dashon Johnson by unanimous decision. The former middleweight champion made three title defenses after winning his title from Hassan N’Dam in Brooklyn and his only loss came at the hands of former champion Daniel Jacobs.

“I’m excited to be back at home in New York in front of my fans and people I love so dearly,” Quillin said. “I’m coming back more polished and more seasoned and a man of God. I’ve definitely always been a guy who steps out and does what people think I can’t do. I know J’Leon is looking to make a splash. He needs a name on his resume. I have to do everything in my power to make sure that doesn’t happen. Either he’s going to have to learn a hard lesson or give me a hard lesson.”

The 30-year-old Love enters this fight unbeaten in his last seven contests after most recently defeating Jaime Barboza in May. The Michigan-native who now trains and lives in Las Vegas had previously defeated a slew of contenders and will look to move closer to a world title shot with a victory over Quillin on August 4.

“I think this is a really good matchup,” said Love. “Peter Quillin is a very talented fighter and a former world champion who is always in great shape. He’s someone you have to train very hard for and that you definitely cannot take lightly. I’m just grateful for the opportunity to fight a spectacular fighter like him. We’ll put on a great fight.”

Browne has put together three-straight impressive knockout victories to continue his rapid rise up the highly competitive 175-pound division. The 27-year-old southpaw has sandwiched knockouts of Thomas Williams, Jr. last February and Francy Ntetu this January around a second-round destruction of then unbeaten Seanie Monaghan in the inaugural boxing event at Nassau Coliseum on a FOX primetime telecast last July. The 2012 U.S. Olympian will look to put himself in position for a world title fight with a convincing win on August 4.

“I feel good about fighting close to home in New York,” said Browne. “Lenin Castillo is definitely a good, hungry, up-and-coming fighter who has one loss to Joseph Williams. I’m not overlooking him, but right now I’m trying to keep my top position in order to vie for a title, so I have to destroy him.”

The 29-year-old Castillo fights out of his native Dominican Republic and enters this bout with three straight victories by stoppage. Castillo’s recent wins followed his first professional loss, a majority decision defeat to unbeaten Joseph Williams last February. Castillo has fought professionally since 2010 and was unbeaten in his first 12 fights. The only other blemish on his pro resume was a majority draw in Brooklyn against then unbeaten Travis Peterkin in 2015.

“Marcus Browne is a boxer I’ve been following a long time because we were both Olympians,” said Castillo. “This is a good style matchup that I think will make a fun fight for the fans. We’re looking for the victory. Both of us know that a win here can take us to a world title shot and I’m not planning on wasting my opportunity.”

Collazo is a former world champion hailing from Brooklyn who has fought top welterweights from Berto and Shane Mosley to Keith Thurman and Ricky Hatton. His most recent fight saw him score a sensational knockout victory over Sammy Vasquez in February 2017. He returns to the ring after recovering from injuries sustained during training and will face Perrella of Fort Myers, FL. The 29-year-old defeated Alex Martin in his home state in December via a unanimous decision in his last outing.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Prograis, DeGale, Beltran, Briedis, Smith, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 26th to July 4th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Briedis Faces Deslaurier on Usyk-Gassiev Undercard

Mairis Briedis, Ali Trophy Final Cruiserweight Substitute Fighter, meets Brandon Deslaurier, on the Usyk-Gassiev undercard July 21 at the Olimpiyskiy Arena in Moscow, Russia.

“I can’t wait to fight again,” said Briedis (23-1, 18 KOs). “I’m looking forward to a quality World Boxing Super Series event and I am sure that the 21st of July will make a great night of boxing for the fans in Moscow and all over the world.”

The former WBC World Champion won his quarter-final in the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy against Mike Perez by unanimous decision and continued to face top-seed Usyk.

The Latvian sports hero did not fail to impress in a ‘Fight Of The Year’-contender as the semi-final was dubbed.

Briedis was defeated in a close and thrilling contest and gave what Usyk called; ‘the toughest fight of my career.’

The 33-year-old will be on standby to enter the final in Moscow in the unlikely scenario of one of the original participants being unable to compete.

In his fight on the Moscow undercard, Briedis is up against France’s Brandon Deslaurier (11-1-1, 1 KO).

“I’m very excited to come to Russia and compete against a world class fighter like Mairis Briedis. But people must not underestimate me. I am coming to Russia to win and beat Mairis Briedis,” said Deslaurier.

Everything is on the line for Aleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev in the Ali Trophy Cruiserweight Final in Moscow: The winner in Moscow on July 21 will be the first one ever to take home the Muhammad Ali Trophy. The first cruiserweight ever to unify the titles in the four-belt era. The winner will also add RING Magazine’s vacant cruiserweight championship belt.

Prograis and Velasco Competing for Place in Ali Trophy Tournament

The winner of WBC Interim World Champion Regis Prograis vs top challenger Juan Jose Velasco on July 14 will enter the 140lb edition of the second season of the World Boxing Super Series.

29-year-old Prograis (21-0, 18 KOs), the Houston resident who relocated from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, won the WBC Interim 140-pound World Championship in March after a sensational second round TKO-victory over former titleholder Julius Indongo from Namibia.

“My biggest asset is my hunger to be the best. I have a chip on my shoulder and I want to prove to everybody I am the best at 140 lbs,” said Prograis.

The undefeated southpaw, known for his fan-friendly style inspired by idols such as Roberto Duran and Pernell Whitaker, is confident that he will enter the tournament.

“I’m definitely excited to enter into the tournament. This is great for boxing. The best fighting the best.”

31-year-old Velasco (20-0, 12 KOs), from Buenos Aires, Argentina, will challenge the Interim WBC World Super Lightweight Champion in Prograis’ birthplace of New Orleans, Louisiana on July 14. Velasco already sees himself as an Ali Trophy participant:

“It’s a great honour and I look forward to competing for the Muhammad Ali Trophy and winning the whole thing. I think the format is set up well,” said Velasco, also known as ‘El Pitbull’. “The best fight the best in the World Boxing Super Series to determine one champ. Great!”

Said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer: “Prograis is an exciting athlete capable of catapulting his status to new heights of sporting glory in the Ali Trophy tournament. He is facing Velasco, a tough challenger. We are sure of one thing: another belt will enter the Ali Trophy tournament!”

Three weight classes will feature in Season II of the World Boxing Super Series with two categories, Bantamweight and Super Lightweight, already announced.

DeGale Vacates IBF Title

Two-Time IBF World Super-Middleweight Champion James DeGale MBE has today relinquished his title as he closes in on securing big-fights in the final phase of his illustrious ring career.

DeGale, a former British and European Champion, has ruled the 168 pound division split over two reigns as World Champion totalling almost three years and has been involved in six IBF World Championship contests.

The Londoner is proud to have held the organisation’s prestigious and famous red and gold World Title belt that has been worn by many of the great fighters at the weight including legends Joe Calzaghe and Roy Jones Jnr.

DeGale began his first reign as IBF World Champion in May 2015 by making history to become Britain’s first ever Olympic Champion to win a world title when he sensationally defeated Andre Dirrell in Boston to claim the vacant belt.

The trail-blazing Londoner then continued his campaign across the Atlantic to gain respect from the media and fans’ as he made the first successful defence of the title against former IBF World Champion Lucian Bute in Canada in November that year.

In April 2016, DeGale returned to the U.S to make the second defence of the title against tough Mexican Rogelio Medina in Washington which he won on a majority decision.

DeGale then aimed to solidify his dominance of the 168 pound division by attempting to unify his IBF title against WBC World Champion Badou Jack in January 2017 in Brooklyn, New York. In an electrifying, all-action fight, DeGale retained his title by way of controversial draw that many felt DeGale had won.

A British homecoming world title defence against American Caleb Truax in December 2017 was ruined after DeGale lost his title on a points decision in a below par performance. He later admitted it was because he returned to the ring too soon after having career saving surgery to his shoulder following the Jack fight.

However, DeGale proved his champion’s heart by facing Truax in his backyard for the rematch in April this year in Las Vegas when he reclaimed the title with a dominant display to win clearly on the judges’ scorecards.

DeGale was due to be involved in a purse bid for his IBF mandated title defence against Interim Champion Jose Uzcategui this Thursday (5th July), but has now withdrawn.

DeGale said, “No World champion easily gives up their World title that they’ve earned the hard way in the ring and I’ve proudly held the IBF World title in two reigns with pride and distinction which is why it makes it very hard decision to relinquish the belt. It has been a pleasure to work with the IBF and I would like to thank president Daryl Peoples for allowing me to challenge and hold the distinguished belt that so many of the division’s great champions have held before for me. It has been a honour to be recognised as the IBF World Champion and I hope that by now vacating it will ease the transition to determine a successor between the Interim champion Jose Uzcategui and the next highly ranked available contender. I’ve achieved so much in my career, Olympic Gold, British, European and International titles and two-time World Champion and I believe I’m at the top of my game right now. I’m in the final phase of my career where I have a few good years left where I can be involved in massive fights and really leave a legacy in the division’s history. My team have been working very hard behind the scenes and we’ve got some very big and exciting news to announce soon.”

WBO News: Top Rank Wins the Beltran-Andreev Purse Bid

This afternoon, at the World Boxing Organization (WBO) headquarters in Puerto Rico, the purse bid for the mandatory fight between WBO Lightweight World Champion Raymundo Beltrán (35-7-1 , 21 KOs), from Mexico, and first-ranked Roman Andreev (21-0, 15 KOs), from Russia.

Top Rank won the rights for the fight with a successful bid of $ 252,000. Top Rank Vice President Carl Moretti, personally presented the winning bid. The fight is scheduled for Saturday, August 25 in Phoenix, Arizona.

The OMB exhorted both Top Rank and other promoters to submit their boxers to doping controls, not only immediately prior to and after the title fights, but throughout the entire training phase of both combatants.

Joe Smith Jr. Returns with Devastating KO at Mohegan Sun

Returning to the ring after an 11-month layoff due to a broken jaw, Joe “The Beast” Smith, Jr. provided early fireworks last night (Saturday, June 30) in the latest installment in the popular “Slugfest at The Sun” series, presented by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

“Slugfest at The Sun” was taped live and will air July 19, 8 -10 p.m. ET, on New England Sports Network (NESN). Star Boxing’s next event, “Rockin’ Fights”, September 21 at the Paramount in Huntington, NY, will also air via tape- delay on NESN.

Rated No. 3 and No. 7 in the world, respectively, by the World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Association (WBA), Smith (24-2, 20 KOs) hurt Melvin “The Romantic Redneck” Russell (11-5-2, 7 KOs) with the first punch he landed and finished the show, two devastating knockdowns later, in the opening round.

“I hit him with a decent shot when I was walking him down and saw that I hurt him,” Joe Smith Jr. explained. “So, I looked to end it. I would have liked to have gotten some rust off, but I’m happy with my performance. My jaw feels great.”

“We’re looking to go to the top,” Smith’s promoter Joe DeGuardia stated. “Joe’s plan and goal has always been to be world champion. We wanted (Sergey) Kovalev before this fight, but it didn’t work out. We’re hoping to get him in the fall.”

“Kovalev looks great, he motivates me,” Smith noted. “I think I can take advantage of his conditioning.”

Coming off her historic fight this past May against the undefeated Queen of Boxing Cecelia Breakhus, who won a 10-round decision in the first female fight to air on HBO, three-time world champion Kali “KO Mequinonoag” Reis (14-7-1, 4 KOs) cruised past Mexican welterweight Patty “Las Elegante” Ramirez (11-6, 5 KOs), a former world title challenger, winning all eight rounds.

“She was a survivor,” Reis commented. “There was a lot we wanted to work on, body shots, jabs and more … getting more comfortable. I executed the plan my corner gave me and got the job done.

A Native American from Rhode Island, Reis wants a rematch with Breakhus, “I know I need to stay busy, active and remain fighting at welterweight to get the rematch,” Reis added. “I’m going to stay on her tail. I’ll be ready when it happens, I really want it to happen.”

In the television opener, undefeated junior welterweight “Action” Anthony Laureano (8-0 3KO’s) lived up to his nickname, never taking a backwards step, as he pounded Juan Rodriguez (8-10-1 6KO’s) in the center of the ring from the opening bell through the end for a dominant six-round unanimous decision. The 2016 New England Golden Gloves champion Laureano, who fights out East Hartford, CT, put on an entertaining show in front of his large, loud contingent of fans. Laureano effectively used every punch in his vast arsenal to break down a tough, game Rodriguez.

“I thought I did well,” Laureano said after the fight, “but I’d like to see more angles. I want to see more power, too. It’s there, he felt it; it’s coming. I have a long road. Next fight, I’d like to have an eight-rounder. We’re adding more people to the team. I hope everyone see that I’m getting better each fight. I have more tools and my discipline is there.”

Undefeated junior middleweight Wendy “Haitian Fire” Toussaint (9-0, 3 KOs) lit up an overwhelmed Andy Gonzalez (6-3, 5 KOs), battering him from pillar to post, until referee Steve Willis waved off the fight in the third round. Haiti-native Toussaint, now living in Huntington, NY, used his superior power and speed to make an impressive statement.

Popular South Boston southpaw Joe Farina (3-0, 2 KOs) overcame a flash knockdown during the opening seconds of the fight, using a relentless attack to defeat junior welterweight Steve Moore (1-4, 1 KO), by way of a four-round split decision.

Irish junior welterweight “Lethal” Larry Fryers (formerly known as Gleeson) improved his record to 7-1 (2 KOs) with a six-round unanimous decision over Anthony Woods (1-7-1). Fighting out of Yonkers NY, Fryers floored Woods with a left hook at the end of round two. Woods was penalized a point near the end of the final round for an intentional head butt.

Former U. of New Haven basketball star Cassius Chaney (13-0, 7 KOs), fighting out of New London (CT), kept his undefeated record intact, dropping Mexican heavyweight Elder Hernandez (5-3, 3 KOs) twice before referee Willis halted the match near the end of the opening round.

The opening bout of the evening ended in the second round and ruled a “No Contest” because of an accidental head butt that left both fighters — William “The Silent Assassin” Foster III (8-0, 6 KOs) and Tyrome Jones (4-3-1, 1 KO) – with serious head cuts and unable to continue.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Munguia, Smith, Pacquiao, Ennis, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

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

Jaime Munguia vs. Liam Smith Set for July 21st on HBO

Jaime Munguia (29-0, 25 KOs), the newly-crowned WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, will make the first defense of his title against former world champion Liam “Beefy” Smith (26-1-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round main event Saturday, July 21 at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas. The fight will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Munguia is a dangerous 21-year-old puncher who has ended 25 of his fights by stunning knockout. Munguia has only fought twice in the United States, the second of which was for a last-minute title opportunity against Sadam “World Kid” Ali in May. Munguia used his enormous height and reach advantages to drop Ali several times before a thunderous left hook ended matters in the fourth round. The newly-crowned champion is excited to defend his new belt.

“I’m very excited and thankful with everyone that made this possible,” said Jaime Munguia. “I invite the fans to go and see me live or to tune in on HBO. I will defend my WBO title with pride and honor. See you in Vegas!”

Smith, the first of an impressive stable of brothers to win a world title, is a 29-year-old native of Liverpool, England. After scoring 20 impressive victories as a professional, Smith defeated John “Apollo Kidd” Thompson via seventh-round technical knockout to capture the WBO 154-pound title. Smith then lost the title against Canelo Alvarez in front of over 50,000 fans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in an impressive show of heart. Smith has had three victories since, and after pulling out of his May 12 fight against Sadam Ali due to an illness, he is more than ready to regain the title that was once his.

“To go to Vegas and fight for a world title is every fighter’s dream,” said Liam Smith. “But it’s only an extra incentive to my main motivation – getting that WBO world junior middleweight title back around my waist. Munguia is obviously a dangerous puncher and I’ll have to be wary of him early on, but he’s never fought someone as good as me and a fully-fledged 154lb fighter. I can’t afford to look an inch past Munguia though. He’s world champion for a reason and with such a high knockout percentage, I’m going to have to be my best ever. Unfortunately for Munguia, that’s what I’ll be.”

In the co-main event, Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (19-0, 16 KOs) will put his WBA Super Featherweight World Title on the line as he faces undefeated No. 1 Contender Rafael “Sweet Pea” Mensah (31-0, 23 KOs) in a 12-round battle.

Machado, a 27-year-old of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a big man for his division and boasts power in both hands. After unifying two regional titles with a dominant unanimous decision victory against Carlos “The Solution” Morales, Machado defeated Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales by way of eighth-round knockout to capture WBA Super Featherweight Title in Oct. 2017. The hard-hitting southpaw promises to retain his title on July 21.

“One as a fighter knows the sacrifices that are made to become world champion,” said Alberto Machado. “Because of that, I will defend my title with blood and honor this July 21. Rafael Mensah is the mandatory challenger, and he possess great credentials, including an impressive record. That’s why I’m preparing more than ever to walk away with my hand raise in my first defense.”

Mensah is a 27-year-old contender of Accra, Ghana who made his professional debut in 2010.

Since then he has steadily climbed up 130-pound rankings, earning his spot at the top of the WBA rankings and a shot at the title. Mensah is confident that he has the skills to outclass Machado.

“I know Machado and there is no doubt I can beat him,” said Rafael Mensah. “When I saw Machado, I said ‘Yes, I can beat you. You are not somebody that can beat me. You cannot beat Rafael Mensah. I will come and maybe not knock you out, but I will beat you in boxing and teach you a good boxing lesson.’”

“We’re excited to bring two world title fights to Las Vegas on July 21,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Jaime Munguia exploded onto the championship scene last year in devastating fashion, and we’re delighted to showcase him once again on another HBO main event. The co-main event will also bring fireworks as Alberto Machado makes the first defense of what will be a very long reign.”

“I’m proud and excited that this Mexican Kid from Tijuana [Munguia], who’s the hottest fighter in boxing today, will once again fight on July 21 against the tough Liam Smith,” said Fernando Beltran, CEO of Zanfer Promotions. “I know he will prevail again in spectacular fashion like he always does.”

“Liam Smith was very confident of beating Sadam Ali, but unfortunately the allergic reaction he suffered temporarily sidelined his plans,” said Frank Warren. “Munguia looked impressive beating the former champion, but Liam actually feels he is a better stylistic match up for him than Ali would have been. I’m very confident Liam will be recapturing the WBO Junior Middleweight Title and bringing it back to the UK.”

“When Jaime Munguia made his HBO debut this past May, he put the division on notice with a spectacular knockout and captured a 154-pound title”, said Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President, HBO Sports. “He looks to keep the momentum going on July 21 as he takes on his mandatory challenger Liam Smith, who hopes to take the title back to his native UK.”

George Kambosos Jr. to Fight on Pacquiao-Matthysse Undercard

Undefeated world-ranked lightweight contender

“Ferocious” George Kambosos Jr. (14-0, 8 KOs), of Sydney, Australia, will return to battle in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Sunday, July 15 (Sat. July 14 in the United States) in a 10-round clash against JR “Star Boy” Magboo (17-1-2, 8 KOs), of Batangas, Philippines, it was announced today by DiBella Entertainment.

“I’m thrilled and very excited to get back in the ring on Manny Pacquiao’s undercard,” said the 25-year-old Kambosos. “Manny and I have had some excellent training sessions for this camp and I can’t wait to fight in Kuala Lumpur. I know that Magboo has lost only once, but I’ll be well prepared after training with Manny to be victorious.”

“I would like to thank Manny Pacquiao for giving George Kambosos this great opportunity to fight on his undercard in Malaysia,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “All of us at DiBella Entertainment believe that Kambosos is a star with the potential to become a champion. This is a great opportunity for him to showcase his talent on the undercard of a future hall-of-famer and a legend.”

Kambosos vs. Magboo will take place at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on the undercard of the WBA welterweight world title bout between boxing legend and challenger Manny Pacquiao and champion Lucas Matthysse.

Currently ranked #11 by the World Boxing Organization and #14 by the International Boxing Federation, the all-action Kambosos made his triumphant United States debut on May 5, with a stunning first-round knockout of Jose Forero at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT.

For the last few weeks, Kambosos has trained and sparred alongside Pacquiao as he prepares to win another welterweight world title. Trained by former heavyweight contender Justin Fortune, Kambosos also worked with Pacquiao in Los Angeles last summer in preparation for the Filipino’s clash with Jeff Horn.

A sports star in his native Australia, Kambosos stopped Krai Setthaphone in the ninth round on October 13, 2017, in front of a huge crowd headlining at the Melbourne Pavilion in Victoria, Australia.

Most recently, Magboo stopped Prell Tupas in the first round on May 13, in Marilao, Philippines.
Kali Reis Quotes from Media Workout

In advance of her fight this Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena, three-time world champion Kali “KO Mequinonoag” Reis held an open media workout today at Big Six Academy in Providence, Rhode Island.

Fighting out of nearby Cranston, RI, Reis (13-7-1, 4 KOs) will face former world title challenger Patty “La Elegante” Ramirez (11-5, 5 KOs), of Mexico, in an eight-round welterweight bout.

Reis vs. Ramirez is the co-featured bout on the “SLUGFEST AT THE SUN” card, presented by JOE DEGUARDIA’S STAR BOXING, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Reis is coming off a historic fight last month versus undisputed women’s world welterweight champion and pound-4-pound Queen, 33-0 Cecilia Braekhus, in the first female bout ever featured on HBO. Reis dropped Braekhus for the first time in her professional career, however the judges scored the fight in favor of Braekhus, over ruckus boo’s from the crowd.

QUOTES FROM TODAY’S MEDIA WORKOUT:

“I’m so excited to be back fighting at home, especially after our history making fight on HBO. I fought Cecilia Braekhus. We were the first women to ever fight on HBO and there were more than a million viewers. If I knew that many people would be watching, I would have been a lot more nervous.”

“On paper, it was a loss, but it was really a win-win for me, and women’s boxing. It’s already opened a lot of doors for me. There’s been so much growth for me and women’s boxing. It’s going to open the door for other women to fight on networks. It was a step up for women’s boxing, not just for one event, but forever.”

“I’m the first female Native American to fight in New England.”

“I’ve been fighting 18 years. I played basketball and volleyball in high school, but I love boxing.”

“I showed in my last fight that I belong to be with the elite. I want to get a rematch (with Braekhus).”

“Being a road warrior, I’m familiar fighting away or at home, but it’s more comfortable fighting here at home. My hometown crowd is always very supportive.”

“(Saturday) I am going to come out with a victory. My opponent’s taller, but I just need to follow the game plan and execute.”

Juan Carlos Abreu and Any Vences-Frank De Alba Headline Ramirez-O’Connor Undercard

The Mean Machine, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, is looking to cement his name as a welterweight to watch when he defends the NABF title against Juan Carlos Abreu, July 7 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno as the ESPN-televised co-feature to Jose Ramirez’s WBC super lightweight title defense against Danny O’Connor.

The undercard will also feature heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz Jr. against veteran Kevin Johnson in a 10- round bout, 18-year-old wunderkind Gabe Flores Jr. versus James De Herrera in a six-round lightweight bout, and Andy Vences defending the WBC Continental Americas super featherweight title against Frank De Alba.

Ramirez vs. O’Connor and Kavaliauskas vs. Abreu will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET.

The entire undercard, including Vences-DeAlba, Ruiz-Johnson and Flores-De Herrera will be streamed on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Star Boxing and Murphys Boxing, tickets to this world championship event, priced at $150 (floor), 90, $60, $35, $20, and $10, plus applicable fees, are ON SALE NOW and can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000, or at the Save Mart Center box office. For more information and box office hours, visit www.savemartcenter.com.

“This is a great opportunity to show everyone watching on ESPN what the ‘Mean Machine’ is made of,” Kavaliauskas said. “I want a title shot soon, but I have to take care of business against Abreu to make my dreams a reality. It’s going to be a toe-to-toe battle, and I know I will be victorious.”

“I am excited to show what I’m capable of doing. I’m more anxious than anything to show everyone the improvements I’ve made,” Vences said. “I am fighting another southpaw, so I feel like I’m picking up where I left off. I have a lot of family and friends coming out to support me, which gives me extra motivation.”

“This is my first fight in California as a pro, and I can’t wait to entertain my people,” Flores said.

Kavaliauskas (19-0, 16 KOs), ranked in the top 10 by three of the four major sanctioning organizations, is on the precipice of a world title shot. A native of Lithuania who trains out of the Boxing Laboratory in Oxnard, California, Kavaliauskas has won four consecutive fights by stoppage. He won the NABF title last September with a seventh-round TKO over Mahonri Montes and defended the title in February with a sixth-round TKO over former WBA welterweight world champion David Avanesyan. Abreu (21-3-1, 19 KOs) has won two in a row since a split decision loss to then-unbeaten Alex Martin in June 2016.

Ruiz (30-1, 20 KOs) is on the comeback trail after dropping a majority decision to Joseph Parker on Dec. 10, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. He took 15 months off after the Parker loss, but came back March 10 in Carson, California, knocking out Devin Vargas in the opening round. Johnson (32-9-1, 16 KOs) is a 15-year pro who challenged Vitali Klitschko for the WBC heavyweight title in 2009, losing a unanimous decision.

Flores (8-0, 5 KOs), an 18-year-old recent high school graduate from Stockton, California, signed with Top Rank in November 2016 at 16 years old, becoming the youngest fighter ever to sign with the promotional company. He is seeking his fourth win of 2018, most recently scoring a four-round unanimous decision June 9 in Las Vegas on the Terence Crawford-Jeff Horn undercard.

In his last bout, Vences (20-0-1, 12 KOs) fought to spirited draw against Erick De Leon as the ESPN-televised co-feature to the Oscar Valdez-Scott Quigg bout March 10 in Carson, California. De Alba (22-3-2, 9 KOs) is looking to get back into the win column following an eight-round majority decision defeat to O’Shaquie Foster on April 13 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Jaron Ennis and Armando Alvarez to Face off in July 20th ShoBox Main Event

A battle of unbeaten welterweight prospects will headline a ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader on Friday, July 20 live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT when Jaron Ennis squares off against Armando Alvarez in the 10-round main event from WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa.

Philadelphia’s Ennis (20-0, 18 KOs) has knocked out 10 consecutive opponents and was the 2015 National Golden Gloves Champion before turning professional in 2016. The 20-year-old former amateur standout will face his first undefeated opponent in Alvarez (18-0, 12 KOs), a native of the Florida Keys who has knocked out six of his last seven opponents.

The three-fight telecast features six prospects with a combined record of 82-1, with all six fighters facing what is likely the toughest tests of their careers.

In the co-feature, undefeated lightweight Thomas Mattice (12-0, 10 KOs) returns to Iowa for his second ShoBox appearance of the year when he clashes with former Armenian amateur standout Zhora Hamazaryan (9-0, 6 KOs) in a 10-round bout.

Also on the card, undefeated super lightweight prospect Montana Love (11-0, 5 KOs) will take on former national amateur champion Kenneth Sims Jr. (12-1, 4 KOs) in an eight-round super lightweight bout.

Tickets for the show, which is promoted by GH3 Promotions, Victory Promotions, Ringside Ticket Inc., Banner Promotions & Thompson Boxing are priced from $10-$60 and can be purchased at winnavegas.com.

JARON ENNIS vs. ARMANDO ALVAREZ – 10-Round Welterweight Bout

Ennis will debut on ShoBox following a statement second round knockout of former junior welterweight contender Mike Arnaoutis earlier this month, his 10th consecutive KO victory. The Philadelphia native had a standout amateur career, notching an impressive record of 58-3 and winning the 2015 National Golden Gloves tournament. Ennis, who was ranked No. 1 as an amateur at 141 pounds, narrowly missed the opportunity to represent the U.S. in the 2016 Olympics after losing a box-off to Gary Antuanne Russell at the Olympic Trials.

“This is the opportunity I have been waiting for,” Ennis said. “I can’t wait to show the world my talent.”

Just 20 years old, Ennis currently trains under his father Derek “Bozy” Ennis Sr., who also trained his other sons Derek Jr. and Farah. The 5-foot-10 Ennis will be the third brother to appear on ShoBox; Derek Jr. appeared on the series in 2007, and Farah faced Badou Jack on the series in 2013.

“A win on this platform would mean everything,” Ennis continued. “From here on out, I want to fight only the big names in the division. I feel grateful for this opportunity to show the world my talents and skills. It’s great to follow in my brother’s footsteps, and I am ready to take the Ennis last name to the next level.”

The 28-year-old Alvarez turned professional in 2014 and has gradually increased his level of opposition. Alvarez, who now lives in Key West, compiled a 26-4 amateur record and won the Florida State Championship in 2013. His headlining fight with Ennis will be his second fight of 2018 and by far his toughest test to date.

“This is the biggest opportunity I have ever received,” Alvarez said. “This is it. It’s on. Ennis is a great young fighter, but I think he has stepped out of his league. He is just a kid. The world will find out who Armando Alvarez is on July 20.”

THOMAS MATTICE vs. ZHORA HAMAZARYAN – Eight-Round Lightweight Bout

A 27-year-old from Cleveland, Mattice turned pro in 2014 and had an amateur record of 72-18. He was a three-time Ohio State Golden Gloves Champion and bronze medal winner in the USA National Tournament in 2014.

Mattice will be making his second ShoBox appearance following a strong debut Feb. 2, when the undefeated lightweight rallied from behind to score a seventh round TKO of ShoBox veteran Rolando Chinea. Mattice has recorded five straight KOs and nine overall in 11 professional fights.

“I am excited for the opportunity to showcase my talent again on ShoBox,” Mattice said. “I’m going to go out there and do what I did before. I’m going to get a win, hopefully in knockout fashion. This guy (Hamazaryan) doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into.”

Undefeated lightweight prospect Hamazaryan, who signed with Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing in February, is originally from Armenia but fights out of Los Angeles. Part of a long line of Armenian fighters who have fought in the U.S., Hamazaryan won his U.S. debut on Feb. 16, when he scored a unanimous decision win over the previously unbeaten Sergio Ramirez. Prior to his win against Ramirez, all of Hamazaryan’s victories were earned in Russia.

The 22-year-old was considered the No. 1 fighter in Armenia after an amateur career that spanned over 200 fights. Hamazaryan turned professional in 2015, turning down an opportunity to fight for the Armenian Olympic Team in 2016.

“This fight is very important for me, and I am very excited to be fighting on national television in America,” Hamazaryan said. “I know [Mattice] is undefeated but I normally don’t look at my opponent. I’m just looking to put on a great performance and make a statement for fans in the U.S.”

MONTANA LOVE vs. KENNETH SIMS JR. – Eight-Round Super Lightweight Bout

Cleveland native Love was an accomplished amateur who compiled a 174-13 record and won a bronze medal at the 2012 National Golden Gloves Championships. The 22-year-old recently sparred with Adrien Broner, and served as head sparring partner for Robert Easter Jr. before his lightweight title defense against Javier Fortuna on Jan. 20.

Love has won two consecutive bouts against lesser opposition since defeating Samuel Teah in his ShoBox debut on Feb. 2.

“I am excited and happy to be back,” Love said. “I want to put on another great performance. Sims and I grew up as amateurs together. He’s a good fighter, but I am hungry and want to keep rolling. I can’t let anything get in my way.”

Chicago native Sims makes his return to ShoBox just over a year after suffering the first loss of his career against Rolando Chinea via close majority decision in what was his toughest test to date. The 24-year-old Sims, who has sparred with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, was a 2013 U.S. National Amateur Champion and a 2012 Olympic Trials semifinalist.

“I am happy to be back fighting after having surgery on my elbow that had been bothering me for the last year and a half,” Sims said. “This is my chance to prove that I’m back and the loss onShoBox was a fluke. I remember Love from the amateurs and I know I have what it takes to beat him.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Shumenov, Hernandez-Harrison, Crossed, Alvarado, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

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


Photo of Hizni Altunkaya

Hizni Altunkaya Challegned Shumenov for WBA Cruiserweight Title

World Boxing Association (WBA) No. 3-rated cruiserweight Hizni “The Warrior” Altunkaya (30-1, 17 KOs) isn’t concerned about hitting the road to fight local hero and two-division World Boxing Association (WBA) World Champion, Beibut Shumenov, for the vacant WBA World cruiserweight title, July 7 in Astana, Kazakhstan.

A 2004 Kazakhstan Olympian, Shumenov (17-2, 11 KOs) retired a year ago due to an eye injury that required surgeries, forcing him to relinquish his WBA cruiserweight world title. Shumenov has fully recovered and he’s on a mission to recapture his WBA world cruiserweight title.

Shumenov vs. Altunkaya is a presentation of Shumenov’s company, KZ Event Productions, Inc. The July 7th gala event will be part of the 20th anniversary celebration of Astana being the capital of Kazakhstan. Many political dignitaries from Kazakhstan and around the World are expected to attend Shumenov’s comeback fight, which will air nationally on Qazaqstan TV and QAZSPORT TV, as well as internationally, including BoxNation in the United Kingdom.

“I have no reservations about fighting Shumenov in his country,” 30-year-old Altunkaya said. “I believe that there will be a fair decision and the better fighter that evening will win. I will arrive in Kazakhstan with enough time for me to acclimate.

“I have great respect for what he has achieved. Shumenov has a lot of experience and he is a strong boxer. We are studying some fights to find his weaknesses. I think it will be, technologically, a good fight, in which both of us will take chances to get a knockout. I’m a boxer, but when I see the chance for a knockout, I can change my style. It will be a tough fight and I will do my best to go home as world champion.

Altunkaya, who was born in Turkey but now lives and fights out of fighting out of Germany, knocked out Mathias Reinhardt in the first round, on the Vitali Klitschko versus Shannon Briggs World Boxing Council (WBC) Heavyweight World Championship card in 2010, at O2 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany.

In 2011, Altunkaya won a 12-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Salvatore Aiello (29-0) for the Interim World Boxing Federation (WBF) World cruiserweight crown. The gifted Turk captured the vacant Global Boxing Council (GBC) Intercontinental cruiserweight title in 2016, His pro loss happened last year, when he was stopped in round five by former World Boxing Organization (WBO) Cruiserweight World champion Krzysztof Glowacki (26-1).

Shumenov has a tremendous quality experience advantage over Altunkaya, who did not box as an amateur. Although Altunkava has fought more pro rounds than Shumenov, 147-140, the chiseled Kazakh has fought 88 rounds in major world title fights compared to zero for his Turkish opponent.

“The fight against Glowacki was one of the most important experiences in my career,” Altunkaya added. “I know what I did wrong and I will not repeat those mistakes against Shumenov.”

Additional fights will soon be announced. All fights and fighters are subject to change.

New England’s Top & Most Promising Boxers to be Showcased on “Slugfest at the Sun” Card June 30th

The “Common Man,” Long Island light heavyweight JOE SMITH, JR. (23-2, 19 KOs), returns to the ring after being inactive the past 11 months recovering from a broken jaw. The popular Irish-American will face MELVIN “THE ROMANTIC REDNECK” RUSSELL (11-4-2, 7 KOs) in the 10-round main event.

Smith burst onto the boxing scene in 2016 when he defeated, top rated light heavyweight, Andrzej Fonfara on NBC in Chicago, and again later that year, when he knocked living legend Bernard Hopkins clear out of the ring, becoming the first person to ever KO the former multi-division world champion and future Hall of Famer.

JOE DEGUARDIA, CEO of Star Boxing had this to say about June 30th, “We are thrilled to be up in New England for this sensational show at Mohegan Sun on June 30th that will be filled with local favorites and headlined by an international favorite (Joe Smith Jr). Boxing history is full of exciting fighters from New England and on June 30th fans will be treated to local fighters aiming to continue a rich tradition of tough New Englanders.”
In the eight-round co-featured event, two-time middleweight champion (pictured to left) KALI “KO MEQUINONOAG” REIS (13-7-1, 4 KOs), fighting out of Cranston, RI, is coming off her eye-opening performance last month against undisputed women’s world welterweight champion and pound-4-pound Queen, 33-0 CECELIA BRAEKUS, in the first female bout ever featured on HBO. Reis floored Braekhus once, but she lost a 10-round decision. The former WBC and UBF World middleweight champion will meet former world title challenger PATTY “LA ELEGANTE” RAMIREZ (11-5, 5 KOs), of Mexico, on Aug. 30 at Mohegan Sun.

Six New Englanders are scheduled to provide support on the undercard, including 2016 N.E. Golden Gloves champion “ACTION” ANTHONY LAUREANO (7-0, 3 KOs), of East Hartford (CT), in a six-round junior welterweight match against Mexican knockout artist JUAN de la cruz RODRIGUEZ (8-9-1, 6KOs). Laureano earned an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from Manchester Community College.

Former University of New Haven basketball star, New London, CT undefeated heavyweight CASSIUS CHANEY (12-0, 6 KOs), meets ELDER “BARON” HERNANDEZ (5-2, 3 KOs), of Mexico, in a six-round bout. Chaney is coming off a vicious second round KO win at Madison Square Garden against Tim Washington.Chaney is promoted by Main Events.

New Haven, CT junior lightweight prospect WILLIAM FOSTER III (8-0, 6 KOs), a three-time N.E. Golden Gloves champion, puts his undefeated pro record on the line in a six-rounder versus TRYROME JONES (4-3-1, 1 KO). Foster is promoted by Murphy’s Boxing.

Exciting South Boston, MA junior welterweight, and Union Local 941 railroad laborer, JOE FARINA (2-0, 2 KOs) throws-down with STEVE MOORE (1-3, 1 KO) in a six-round junior welterweight battle.

In a pair of six-round fights, Worcester, MA junior middleweight ANDY GONZALEZ (6-2, 5 KOs) has prepared to upset unbeaten WENDY “HAITIAN FIRE” TOUSSAINT (8-0, 2 KOs). Toussaint’s last three fights have ended via TKO, and the Long Island fighter plans on extending the streak to four,while Springfield, MA junior middleweight ANTHONY VELAZQUEZ (2-0, 2 KOs) will try to make an impression against ANTHONY WOODS (1-6-1).

Mayer, Conceicao, and Alvarado Headline Oklahoma City Card

Former WBO junior welterweight champion Mike Alvarado, female fighting sensation Mikaela Mayer, and 2016 Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceicao will see action on the June 30 undercard at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. The card will be headlined by WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez’s title defense against Alexis Angulo and 140-pound contender Alex Saucedo’s homecoming bout against the hard-hitting Lenny Zappavigna.

Alvarado (38-4, 26 KOs) will fight Martin Martinez (17-4-1-1, 10 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight bout, Mayer (5-0, 3 KOs) will face fellow unbeaten Sheena Kaine (5-0, 1 KO) in a six-round lightweight contest, and Conceicao (7-0, 4 KOs) will take on Gavino Guaman (5-2, 1 KO) in an eight-round super featherweight bout.

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets to this world championship extravaganza are ON SALE NOW. Priced at $200, $100, $60, $40 and $25, not including facility and service fees, tickets may be purchased at the Chesapeake Energy Arena box office, online at Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Ramirez-Angulo and Saucedo-Zappavigna will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 9 p.m. ET, while undercard action will stream live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+ starting at 6:00 p.m. ET. ESPN+ is the recently launched multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.

“I’m really excited to be fighting alongside the champ, Zurdo Ramirez!” Mayer said. “Top Rank continues to put me on amazing cards with the best talent in boxing. Fighting in Oklahoma City is the perfect opportunity to meet more boxing fans and give them an exciting show as I continue my journey to a world championship!”

“I’ve been reconstructing my entire organization over the past three years. I am training now with one of the finest professors of the sweet science, Tony Aguilera,” Alvarado said. “I’m excited to showcase what I’ve stayed dedicated to working hard for. Come June 30, I’ll be one step closer to securing my legacy against anyone who stands in my way.”

“I am very confident of fighting in OKC. I’m having a great high-level training camp in Miami,” Conceicao said. “I’m evolving every day and I’m sure I will put on a great show for all the fans in OKC and those watching live on ESPN+.”

Also appearing on the undercard will be heavyweight knockout sensation Trey Lippe Morrison (14-0, 14 KOs) of Tulsa, Oklahoma; former amateur standout Chris Zavala making his professional debut in a four-round super featherweight bout against Tyler Pacheco (1-1, 0 KOs); Oklahoma City native Aaron Morales (2-0, 2 KOs) in a four-round bantamweight contest; and unbeaten 140-pound prospect Julian Rodriguez (16-0, 10 KOs) against Alejandro Barbosa (11-2, 7 KOs) in an eight-rounder.

Alvarado has turned his career and his life around since personal problems derailed his career, as he’s won four consecutive fights (three by knockout). In his last bout, he scored one of 2017’s best one-punch knockouts with a third-round KO over Sidney Siqueira on the Terence Crawford vs. Julius Indongo undercard in Lincoln, Nebraska. Alvarado has been involved in multiple ‘Fight of the Year’ candidates, including the first fight of his trilogy against Brandon Rios, which won Sports Illustrated ‘Fight of the Year’ honors in 2012. Alvarado lost that fight via seventh-round TKO, but less than six months later, he outboxed Rios to win a unanimous decision.

Mayer, who is making her third ring appearance of 2018, is on the fast track to a world title shot. In her last bout, May 12 on the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Jorge Linares card in New York City, she shut out the game Baby Nansen over six rounds. The Los Angeles native opened her 2018 campaign on March 10 in Carson, California, with a 35-second knockout over Maria Semertzoglou.

In 2016, Conceicao became the first Brazilian boxer to capture Olympic gold. He is 2-0 with a pair of decision wins in 2018, with his last bout coming April 28 in Philadelphia. On that evening, he shut out the game Alex Torres Rynn over six rounds.

Dusty Hernandez-Harrison Released from Roc Nation Sports

Undefeated welterweight Dusty Hernandez-Harrison is now a promotional free agent after being granted his release from promoter Roc Nation Sports. The former USBA, WBC Continental Americas and WBC Youth Champion is eager to get back in the ring after a 22-month hiatus from the sport.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to get back into the ring and fulfill my goal of becoming a World Champion,” Hernandez-Harrison said. “I am in the gym and I am working hard to get back to where I was two years ago.”

“I just want to fight at this point; it’s been way too long,” Hernandez-Harrison added.

Hernandez-Harrison sports a record of 30-0-1, with 16 knockouts and is huge draw in his native Washington, D.C.

“I would really like to have a few fights at home,” the Southeast D.C., native said. “I love fighting in D.C., and I can’t wait to fight in front of my hometown fans again.”

That opportunity could come sooner rather than later if current plans come to fruition.

Sam Crossed Scores Devastating Knockout in Ring Return

Knockout artist Sam “The Vanilla Gorilla” Crossed of Greenbelt, Maryland, was triumphant in his ring return following an 11-month hiatus. Crossed won in spectacular fashion knocking out his previously undefeated opponent, Josh Jones, just 23 seconds into the first round with a brutal overhand right. Crossed improves his perfect record to 7-0, with 5 knockouts. The bout took place this past Saturday June 16, 2018, at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel, Maryland and was co-promoted by Jeter Promotions and GQ Promotions.

“It was a shot my trainer and I had been working on in the gym,” Crossed said. “This was the best camp I have had in my career and I felt more relaxed than ever before.”

Crossed should be back in action in August if things go as planned for the Washington, D.C., region fan favorite.

“It looks like we could have Sam back in the ring and possibly in a televised fight next time out if everything falls into place,” Crossed’s manager Mike Walters said. “He had a huge crowd for this fight and put on a hell of a performance for as long as it lasted.”

“The promoter (Jeter Promotions) was very happy with his performance and with the number of tickets he sold.”

Crossed has a rabid fan base in the Washington, D.C., region, which was evident on Saturday night as he received arguably the loudest cheers of any boxer on the card and by the number of fans in attendance wearing Vanilla Gorilla T-shirts. Dan Rafael of ESPN fame described the fighter as having a “cult like following” in an article he wrote in May 2016.

“I just want to get back in the ring as soon as possible,” Crossed said. “I feel like I have improved leaps and bounds since I made my debut and I am looking to step up in my next fight.”

“I want to fight as often as possible against better opposition every time out.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Trout, Shields, Lee, Hammer, Fury, Smith, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 29th to June 5th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Austin Trout Twitter Account/Chris Farina

Austin Trout Training Camp Notes

Austin Trout (31-4, 17 KOs), the former super welterweight world champion, is headed to Los Angeles today to meet current WBC Super Welterweight world champion Jermell Charlo inside the ring this Saturday, June 9 live on SHOWTIME from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/PT and is headlined by the featherweight world championship rematch between Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares.

In Trout’s words, this fight is finishing the mission. Spiritually centered and in his prime physical condition, it is, in his own words, his time.

“People are underestimating me and overlooking me,” said Trout. “I earned and continue to earn respect in this sport and my competition can choose to ignore it or acknowledge it. I’ve beaten champions and taken titles. I’ve lost in controversial decisions to champions like Canelo. This is my time. Don’t underestimate the power I bring to boxing as well as the international competitors I’ve already stepped into the ring against and beaten.”

After his October fight against Jarrett Hurd and February’s unanimous decision victory over Juan De Angel, this WBC title bout, in Trout’s words, is the fight that no one saw coming.

“The Hurd fight was the danger fight,” he said of his October 2017 match. “It was part of the process of knocking out the ring rust, and De Angel was part of that as well. Everything I do or don’t do is circumstantial. Because of the layoffs, it’s been challenging; now I’m back on track timing wise and I plan on changing boxing’s plans for me. I’m not sitting back and waiting.

“I started boxing as a kid to stand up for people that were being disrespected, and as an adult I continue to do that in the ring.”

A long time top ten and former #2 in the 154-pound division by Ring magazine, Trout will be once against be working with D.C. based world champion trainer Barry Hunter, to whom his longtime cornerman, Louie Burke, worked as an assistant.

“We are calling this fight ‘finishing the mission.’ I’m squarely in a dangerous division that’s full of talent. It’s one of the top divisions in my opinion. Everyone’s a killer including myself. It has the perfect balance of speed and power. This is where I excel, plus I have the brain.”

Showtime to Live Stream Tyson Fury Return

SHOWTIME Sports has secured the U.S. rights to stream the long-awaited return of former heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury, who will face Sefer Seferi in a 10-round heavyweight bout Saturday, June 9 from Manchester Arena. SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL® will stream live exclusively to U.S. audiences on the SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page and SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Channel beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT.

In the opening bout, local hero Terry Flanagan (33-0, 13 KO’s) will look to become a two-division world champion when he clashes with unbeaten American Maurice Hooker (23-0-3, 16 KO’s) for the vacant WBO Junior Welterweight crown. This will be the fourth live streaming boxing event this year on SHOWTIME Sports social media platforms.

Live coverage for the Frank Warren promoted event will be provided by BT Sport and BoxNation with U.K. sportscasters John Rawling providing the blow-by-blow and Richie Woodhall the analysis. Boxing broadcaster Ray Flores and analyst Chris Mannix will deliver pre-fight and post-fight analysis from Staples Center in Los Angeles for the SHOWTIME Sports audience.

The live stream of Fury vs. Seferi will precede that evening’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® doubleheader that features WBA Featherweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz in a rematch against fellow three-division world champion Abner Mares live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed in the West Coast) from Staples Center. In the co-feature, Jermell Charlo will face Austin Trout for the WBC Super Welterweight World Championship.

Fury (25-0, 18 KOs), a former WBA, WBO and IBF Heavyweight World Champion will end a two-years-and-seven-months exile from the sport on June 9. Fury has been inactive since outpointing Wladimir Klitschko in Dusseldorf in November 2015 due to an injury, personal problems and a doping ban.

“I’m the fittest I’ve ever been,” said Fury, who has teamed up with new trainer Ben Davison. “Timing, reflexes, everything is better than it’s ever been. I kid you not. I’m 29 years old, coming into the prime of my life, I’m stronger and faster, holding more muscle mass than ever. I’m more confident looking at the competition.”

Albania’s Seferi (23-1, 21 KOs) is a 39-year-old Switzerland-based cruiserweight who is stepping up in weight and opposition when he faces the 6-foot-9 Fury. Seferi’s sole loss came in 2016 in a heavyweight bout against now-secondary WBA heavyweight champ Manuel Charr.

“This is going to be a hard fight for Fury,” said Seferi. “Two-and-a-half years out of the ring is a long time and nobody knows if he is still the same fighter that dethroned Wladimir Klitschko.”

Flanagan, the first Englishman to earn a lightweight world title, will seek to capture a title in a second weight class just days away from his 29th birthday. Hooker, a southpaw from Dallas, Texas and ShoBox alum, has been training with Terence Crawford. Hooker will look to follow in the footsteps of fellow Dallas resident Errol Spence Jr., who went to Kell Brook’s hometown of Sheffield, England to capture his first world championship.

Christina Hammer vs. Tori Nelson Added to June 22nd Claressa Shields Card

The women’s middleweight world championship between unified WBC and WBO titlist Christina Hammer and former world champion Tori Nelson has been added to the June 22 SHOWTIME telecast from Masonic Temple in Detroit.

In the main event, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and unified 168-pound champion Claressa Shields will attempt to become a two-division champion when she faces unified 154-pound titleholder Hanna Gabriels for the vacant IBF and WBA Middleweight World Championships.

With the addition of Hammer vs. Nelson to the June 22 SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (10 p.m. ET/PT) telecast, all four women’s middleweight world titles will be at stake in separate bouts featuring two of the consensus top 10 pound-for-pound women in the world.

The winners of Shields vs. Gabriels and Hammer vs. Nelson will meet this fall on SHOWTIME to determine the undisputed women’s middleweight world champion.

Hammer (22-0, 10 KOs), of Dortmund, Germany, has dominated the women’s middleweight division for nearly eight years, losing just a handful of rounds in her reign as champion at 160 pounds. The 27-year-old, who will make her U.S. debut on June 22, won the WBO title in 2010 then became unified champion in 2016 with a win over defending WBC champion Kali Reis.

Nelson (17-1-3, 2 KOs) won a middleweight world championship in 2011 and owns wins over previously unbeaten Alicia Napoleon, Mia St. John, and Reis, who recently floored women’s welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus. The native of Ashburn, Va., suffered her first loss in a spirited decision to Shields this January on SHOWTIME in what was the toughest test of Shields’ young career.

“Now that I’m added to the TV portion of the card it gives me even more motivation to prove to the U.S. audience that I’m the best female fighter in the world,” Hammer said. “My plan is to do something that Claressa Shields couldn’t do – knock out Tori Nelson. Once I take care of business with Nelson, my goal is to fight the winner of Shields vs. Gabriels to become the undisputed women’s middleweight world champion.”

“Christina Hammer can’t bring anything I haven’t seen before,” Nelson said. “I’ve beaten Kali Reis, Mia St. John, Alicia Napoleon. I went the distance with Claressa Shields and I plan on beating Hammer on June 22 to earn my shot at revenge against Shields. This is my chance and I don’t plan to let it slip away.”

“Adding Hammer vs. Nelson to the card was the right move as we collectively work to elevate the status of women’s boxing at the highest level,” said Gordon Hall, Executive Producer of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION. “The June 22 telecast now features two of the best pound-for-pound female fighters – Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer – in what will be our eighth presentation of women’s boxing since 2016. All four of the world titles in the women’s middleweight division are at stake on June 22 with the goal of the winners meeting this fall to determine an undisputed middleweight champion.”

“I am honored to promote this historic night of boxing on SHOWTIME in the championship city of Detroit,” said promoter Dmitriy Salita. “I believe these fights are in line with the best and most competitive matchups in the history of women’s boxing. All four of these fighters are coming from different parts of the globe to win a world title and show they are the best. It will be an exciting and explosive night of boxing from beginning to end for the fans attending the fight at the Detroit Masonic Temple and for those watching the fight live on SHOWTIME.”

Joe Smith Jr. to Face Melvin Russell on June 30th

JOE SMITH JR. (23-2 18KO’s) makes his much anticipated return to the ring on June 30th at Mohegan Sun Arena, in Uncasville, Connecticut. STAR BOXING’S “SLUGFEST at the SUN” is set to be one of boxing’s best cards thus far in 2018.

Already announced as the co-feature bout, highlights Rhode Island Native American warrior, KALI REIS (13-7-1 4KO’s) pitted against Hungarian , SZLIVIA SZABADOS (17-11 8KO’s). Kali is coming off of a historic power punching performance against undisputed champion Cecilia Braekhus, in the first female bout featured on HBO. Kali thrilled fans around the world in that fight, and promises the same action at Mohegan Sun on June 30th.

As a union laborer for Local 66 on Long Island, JOE SMITH JR. earned the title of the peoples champion when he burst onto the boxing scene in 2016. Working with a sledgehammer by day, and training by night, Smith Jr. defines hard work and determination.

The rise of Smith Jr. began when he took on, top rated light heavyweight, ANDRZEJ FONFARA on NBC in Chicago. As a 20-1 underdog, Smith Jr. destroyed Fonfara in the first round, knocking down the mighty Pole twice, before the referee called a stop to the onslaught. Later that year, Smith Jr. knocked legend, BERNARD HOPKINS on HBO, clear out of the ring, becoming the first person to ever KO the former multi-division world champion.

In the main event of Star Boxing’s “SLUGFEST at the SUN,” “THE BEAST” JOE SMITH JR. will be facing Kentucky’s MELVIN RUSSELL (11-4-2 7KO’S). The tough Kentuckian, who goes by the moniker “The Romantic Redneck,” has been in all out brawls with undefeated prospect Mike Wilson (then, 17-0 8KO’s) and world-title challenger Edwin Rodriguez (then, 28-2 20KO’s). Russell has proven the ability to go deep into fights, while still using a come forward offense. Fighting behind his jab, Russell will look to keep his distance from “THE BEAST” Joe Smith Jr., attempting to avoid his devastating power.

Smith Jr. returns to the ring after an eleven month layoff due to a broken jaw suffered in the second-round of his HBO fight against Sullivan Barrera last July. Smith Jr. said this about his June 30th return, “I am as confident and stronger than ever. I am ready to reclaim my position as one of the best light heavyweights in the world. Thank you all for the love and support over the past few years. I am ready to show the boxing world why I am the beast from the east.”

Star Boxing CEO, JOE DEGUARDIA, had this to say about June 30th, “Everyone in boxing has been anticipating the return of the “Common Man,” Joe Smith Jr.. He truly became the champion of the people, and is ready to get back in the ring on June 30th, to reclaim his position on top of the light heavyweight division.”

Mike Lee Inching Closer to Title Shot

There might not be a more well-rounded fighter on the planet.

Mike Lee (20-0, 11 KOs), who takes on Jose Hernandez (19-3-1, 9 KOs) this Friday night for the WBO Junior World Light Heavyweight World Title at The Allstate Arena in Chicago, brings all the intangibles that one would want in a professional athlete.

The card will be broadcast live on CBS Spots Network (9 PM ET) with an all-star announce team of International Boxing Hall of Famer Barry Tompkins and renowned Teddy Atlas.

Lee has not taken the route that most fighters take to get to the door of competing for a world title.

There isn’t the big name promoter. In fact there is no promoter at all. In a day when most fighters are afraid to test themselves, Lee’s last five opponents (Including Hernandez) have a combined record of 78-10-5.

Does Lee, take a vacation or just relax between fight? No he doesn’t, you have just as much chance to see Lee talking to major corporations or being a national spokesperson for a major company as you do as seeing him raising money for cancer stricken children.

Lee also brings a heart and determination into the ring as he battled and overcame autoimmune disease.

“Training camp in Los Angeles has been great. We had a good camp, I am 20-0 for a reason,” said Lee.

“I am not looking past Hernandez, but my dream is to win a a world championship one day. June 8th is a step towards that. I have everything in my body and mind towards that, and when I am determined, I am very difficult to beat.”

When Lee talks about what motivated to speak to companies around the country, it was that illness that almost derailed his career that came to mind.

“My career was almost taken away with autoimmune disease, and I wanted to tell my story. I have been lucky to speak to people and give techniques of visualization and mindset.”

“I am excited to fight in my hometown with a great crowd. I love fighting in a bigger venue which is a phenomenal arena. I have waited for this moment, and I can’t wait for Friday night.”

When WBO number-3 ranked light heavyweight contender Mike Lee (20-0, 11 KOs) takes on Jose Hernandez (19-3-1, 9 KOs) this Friday night at The Allstate Arena in Chicago. The card will be broadcast live on CBS Spots Network (9 PM ET) with an all-star announce team of International Boxing Hall of Famer Barry Tompkins and renowned Teddy Atlas.

More Headlines

Boxing Insider Notebook: Hammer, Shields, De La Hoya, Hall of Fame, Young, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 23rd to May 30th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Luis Arevalo Jr./Westside Boxing

Diego De La Hoya and Mercito Gesta Workout Quotes

Diego De La Hoya (20-0, 9 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico hosted a media workout today at Wild Card Boxing Club ahead of the June 8 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. De La Hoya will defend his NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles against Jose “Sugar” Salgado (35-4-2, 28 KOs) of Cozumel, Mexico in the 10-round main event.

DIEGO DE LA HOYA, NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Champion:

“This is going to be a tough fight. Salgado has the record of a knockout artist. But that doesn’t intimidate me. I’m going do a good job and show that I’m back. I’m going to show that I’m ready for a world title shot. He’s been saying a few things about me, but he just wants me to lose my focus. He can talk all he wants, but I’ll do my talking in the ring. All I have to say is that I’m going to give a great fight. Winning this fight, I want to face any champion who will give me the opportunity. But they just have to know what they will lose their title fighting me.”

MERCITO “NO MERCY” GESTA, Former Lightweight Title Challenger:

“I feel excited for every fight. It’s another great event. Every event that I fight I treat as something special. Manzanarez is tough, but I’ll need to figure him out in the ring. Based on the videos, it’s tough to get on the inside because he’s tall, long and knows how to use that as advantages.”

“I learned from my world title fight. It boosted my confidence because I did so well against a great fighter. Every opponent is different and has different styles. I can’t look down on this guy. He’s not a stepping stone, and I will treat him as a world champion. I see myself fighting for a world title again soon. I still feel strong and ready. I still have a long way left in my career. I want any champion in the division. I’m always ready to take a fight.”

Anthony “Juice” Young Signs with Real Deal Entertainment

Boxing manager Rich Masini announced that welterweight Anthony “Juice” Young has signed a promotional contract with Real Deal Entertainment.

Young (18-2, 6 KOs) of Atlantic City will make his debut under the Real Deal Entertainment banner when he takes on this Saturday night when he takes on Enver Halili (10-1, 3 KOs) in a scheduled eight-round bout at Boardwalk Hall in his hometown of Atlantic City.

“I am happy to join Real Deal Boxing. They are an up-and-coming promotion,” said Young.

In Halili, Young will be fighting the brother of a former opponent who defeated Young for one of his two defeats.

“I expect a tough fight. I saw his fight against Raymond Serrano, and I think he was winning until he got disqualified. I expect to get the victory.. At the end of the day, he is not his brother Skender. When his brother beat me, it was just a little setback.”

The Atlantic City native is honored and motivated to be performing on Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame weekend.

“It is special to fight at Boardwalk Hall. I am now at the point of my career, that I am set on bigger fights, and it is an honor to fight on Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame weekend. It motivates me as I want to be be inducted when my career is over.”

Masini, who has managed Young for the last six-years, is excited at the new partnership that he has for his fighter.

“I have seen “Juice” Improve greatly over his last seven fights. It is Anthony’s commitment and his team led by trainer Raul “Chino” Rivas that have done a great job with his preperation,” said Masini. “In addition, Anthony’s dad, Teany has helped me in the management end of things. I am very proud of him. He has matured inside and outside of the ring.”

“I am looking forward to working with Real Deal Entertainment. Sal Musumeci has been a long time friend, and this is the final piece of the puzzle in-terms of completing the team around Anthony. The reason that I am in this business is because of people like Anthony. He is loyal, dedicated, and now has all of the pieces to become world champion. We have tried to keep him busy, but in the last eight-months, we have had some fights fall out, but we are back on Saturday against Enver Halili. “Juice” will be ready to show all that he is on the rise.”

Ballard vs. Idigov Added to Claressa Shields vs. Hannah Gabriels Card

The Salita Promotions professional boxing event on Friday, June 22, at the Masonic Temple in Detroit, is heating up even more with the announcement of an intriguing match-up of promising light heavyweight prospects with local ties.

In a fight with explosive action written all over it, Detroit’s own James “The Equalizer” Ballard (10-1, 3 KOs) will face undefeated Aslambek Idigov (12-0, 5 KOs), from Detroit via Grozny, Russia, over 10 exciting rounds.

Fighting mostly in his home city, the 28-year-old Ballard has become a fan favorite for his fearlessly aggressive style. Ballard says he refuses to lose on his home turf of Detroit.

“Expect a war,” said Ballard. “I will go out there and give the fans what they want by going toe-to-toe. I am coming for Idigov’s O. I’m not going to be out-boxed in my hometown. It’s a respect thing. It’s going to be a long night for him. We are training hard and ready to go hard every round if it takes that long. June 22 can’t get here soon enough. I’m more than ready to send Russia back home.”

A compact puncher with pinpoint accuracy, Idigov has fan favorite written all over his muscular frame. Since he began training in Detroit’s famed Kronk Gym, Idigov says he’s learning to fight the American way.

“Training at the Kronk Boxing Gym in Detroit has been a great experience for me and I learn a lot and get better every day. I love their philosophy that the best win is a knockout!”

James Ballard is a very good fighter. I have no problem fighting him and winning in his hometown, which is becoming my second home as well. Let’s get it on!”

“This is a classic, crossroads fight between two talented and hungry prospects,” said event promoter Dmitriy Salita. “This is a ‘pick em’ type of match that will bring excitement to fans in the championship City of Detroit!”

The skillful pair will duel as part of the untelevised undercard of the blockbuster “It’s Our Time to Shine” event featuring two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and current Unified Women’s Super Middleweight Champion Claressa Shields attempting to become a two-division world champion against unified 154-pound champion Hanna Gabriels for the vacant IBF and WBA Women’s Middleweight World Championships.

The main event will be televised live on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (10 p.m. ET/PT) and will also feature highlights of Unified Women’s Middleweight Champion Christina Hammer as she defends her WBC & WBO Titles in her U.S. debut against former world champion Tori Nelson.

Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend to Feature Mazion vs. Pauldo on ESPN

Travell “Black Magic” Mazion(12-0, 11 KOs) of Austin, Texas will put his undefeated record on the line against once-beaten Daquan Pauldo(17-1, 9 KOs) of Orlando, Florida in an eight-round super welterweight fight in the co-main event of the June 8 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. In the main event, Diego De La Hoya(20-0, 9 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico will defend his NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles against Jose “Sugar” Salgado(35-4-2, 28 KOs) of Cozumel, Mexico in the 10-round fight.

ESPN3 will stream the fights live beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. ESPN2 will air the fights at 12:30 a.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT. ESPN Deportes will air the fights the following day at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

Mazion has the tools and the team that are guaranteed take him to the top, especially since he is trained Ozell Nelson. Nelson is known for training former undisputed middleweight championand Olympic Bronze Medalist Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor, who in his prime ended Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins’12-year reign as world champion. Mazion has been touted to have all the skills that Taylor had bad more, reflected partly by his 90% knockout rate.

“I have the team and the skills, both of which will do all the talking,” said Travell Maizon. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to be the co-main event for such a legendary weekend, especially because I’ve got a legendary coach behind me. I want to thank Golden Boy and my team. Without them, I wouldn’t be here.”

Representing Orlando, Fl., Daquan Pauldo, formerly known as Daquan Arnett, only has one-blemish on his record. Pauldo has come back with six impressive victories since.

“I’ll make sure that people haven’t forgotten about me,” said Daquan Pauldo. “I wanted to be more active this year. I’ve been training harder at my original weight class, and I will come into the ring on ESPN showing that I’m someone you should look out for. I want to thank Golden Boy and my team for this opportunity. I’m ready.”

The event will take place during the International Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, where legendary fighters such as “Dr. Ironfist” Vitali Klitschko, Erik “El Terrible” Morales, and Ronald “Winky” Wright will be inducted, along with important figures in the sport of boxing such as Peter Kohl, Steve Albert, Jim Gray and Lorraine Chargin.

Super lightweight prospect Daniel Zorrilla (6-0, 5 KOs) of Rio Piedras, Puerto will participate in the night’s swing bout, which is schedule for four or six rounds against a soon-to-be-announced opponent.

Participating in a four-round super lightweight fight, Dallas, Tex.’s Alex Rincon (3-0, 3 KOs) against Agua Prieta, Mex.’s Engelberto Valenzuela (11-13, 3 KOs). Rincon, whose fights have all ended in a knockout, will seek to maintain his unblemished knockout record.

Kenneth “Bossman” Sims, Jr. (12-1, 4 KOs) of Chicago, Il. will participate in a six-round super lightweight fight. The “Bossman” fought at the 2012 Olympic Trials, losing to eventual representative Jose Ramirez by one point.

In a four-round heavyweight fight, Syracuse, New York’s Luis Vargas (3-0, 2 KOs) will return to Turning Stone Resort Casino after ending his previous fight in a clear unanimous decision victory. Lawrence Gabriel (2-1-1, 1 KO), who also represents Syracuse, will open up the card in a four-round cruiserweight battle and will return after a technical knockout victory earlier in May.

De La Hoya vs. Salgado is a 10-round super bantamweight fight for the NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Don Chargin & Paco Presents.The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy, “Never Stop, Never Settle.” The fights will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. ESPN3 will stream the fights live beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. ESPN2 will air the fights at a delayed start time of 12:30 a.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT. ESPN Deportes will air the fights the following day at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend is packed with a series of events starting Thursday, June 7 until the induction ceremony on Sunday, June 10. The weekend kicks off on Thursday with the opening bell ringing and ringside lectures on the museum grounds. Friday, June 8 will feature another series of lectures preceding the celebrity fist casting, followed by the highly anticipated Fight Night, broadcasted live from Turning Stone. Saturday, June 9 will showcase a golf tournament, a 5K race, another series of lectures, a boxing autograph card show, a VIP “Gala” and the Banquet of Champions at 8:00p.m. The weekend will conclude on Sunday with the Parade of Champions and the Hall of Fame induction ceremony at 2:30p.m. Click here to see the full schedule.

Host of the June 8 event, Turning Stone Resort Casino is a Forbes Four-Star Award-winning destination resort, which continues to distinguish itself as a premier venue for fight-of-the-year level boxing. The May event will mark Turning Stone’s 26th nationally-televised boxing event, cementing the resort as a leading destination for nationally-televised combat sports. Turning Stone features world-class amenities including four hotels, more than 20 signature restaurants and dining options, two spas, an all-new 125,000 square foot Las Vegas style gaming floor, a cabaret-style Showroom, a 5,000-seat arena, five golf courses, several bars, cocktail lounges and nightlife venues with live entertainment every weekend.

Christina Hammer Training Camp Notes

Unified Women’s WBC and WBO Middleweight Champion Christina Hammer has taken to the mountains of Austria for this leg of her intense training camp.

Hammer (22-0, 10 KOs) will make her U.S. fighting debut while defending her titles against former world champion Tori Nelson (17-1-3, 2 KOs) on Friday, June 22. The bout will serve as a supporting bout to two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and unified women’s super-middleweight champion Claressa Shields’ attempt to become a two-division world champion against unified women’s 154-pound champion Hanna Gabriels at Masonic Temple in Detroit, Mich.

Shields vs Gabriels will be contested for the vacant IBF and WBA Middleweight World Championships and telecast on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION at 10 p.m. ET/PT live on SHOWTIME. Extensive highlights of Hammer vs. Nelson will also be shown.

Hammer, of Dortmund, Germany, has dominated the women’s middleweight division since 2010. The 27-year-old says training at elevation in the mountains of Austria is bringing the best out of her.

How has training camp gone so far?

“My camp has gone well. We train three times a day and work hard to be in the best shape possible on June 22 in Detroit.”

Can you tell us about your current training location?

“We are in Austria, staying at a place in the mountains that is about 5000-feet elevation. It’s amazing here. The nature and the mountains inspire me and give me power. It’s very comfortable to do my roadwork and go to the boxing gym because everything is situated in a comfortable way.”

What is a typical day like at training camp?

“We’ve been in Austria for the last 10 days. At 7:30 am, we start the first interval runs. At 9 am, I have breakfast and at 11 am, we go up to the mountains to our gym (which is at 6500 feet high) to do my strength and conditioning work. Later, in the afternoon, we start our boxing work. The nature and beautiful surroundings give me peace of mind.”

How and why is your training camp built into different stages?

“The mountains are perfect to prepare for the fight. You are away from your hometown stay more focused on training. The air is thin and this high level of elevation gives your body a higher level of conditioning. On June 10, we will move on to our next stage of training, which will take place in the United States. That will be to help acclimate me to the new time and climate for fight night on June 22, which is when I will put all of this hard work together and have it pay off in a big way.”

Who is your head trainer?

“My coach is Dimitrie Kirnos. I started my professional career with him. He himself was Soviet Union Boxing Champion and trained many top champions. He is old school and pushes my mind and body to the limit. He is a big part of my team we have a great bond. I have much respect and admiration for him.”

Have you done anything different preparing for this fight?

“I spar with lots of shorter fighters, like Tori Nelson. I guarantee that it will be much more explosive and impressive than Claressa Shields was against her.”

American fans love knockouts. Can they expect a Christina Hammer KO on June 22?

“That’s why I train hard and give everything in the gym. I want to be amazing that night and a knockout would be a perfect ending.”

What is your prediction for June 22?

“I will show my power and skills. People will see who the real unified Middleweight Champion of the world is. My performance will speak for itself!”

More Headlines

Boxing Insider Notebook: Kovalev, Lomachenko, ESPN, Acosta, and more….


Compiled By: William Holmes

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


Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events

Sergey Kovalev to Face Alvarez in Atlantic City

WBO Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (32-2-1, 28 KOs) and Eleider “Storm” Alvarez (23-0, 11 KOs) addressed the media at Hard Rock Café in Times Square to officially announce their upcoming “Super Men” showdown at the brand new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, on Saturday, August 4 televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing®.

Below is what Eleider Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev had to say at the press conference.

Eleider “Storm” Alvarez: “Good afternoon, everybody. First of all, I would like to thank Yvon Michel, Stèphane Lèpine who’s not here currently, Main Events, Kathy Duva, HBO and Sergey Kovalev for this opportunity. I feel really overwhelmed. It’s my first press conference outside of my country.

“I want to speak a little bit about myself. The first time that they offered me to fight against Sergey Kovalev, I didn’t think about it too much, and I said, at once, yes. Because everybody knows I’ve been three years waiting for Stevenson for the world championship. I have this kind of opportunity and I wanted to take advantage of it at once. It’s the same thing; it’s a world championship. But the importance of this fight is the man that I’m facing. The man that I’m going to be fighting with. He’s the best in the category of the 175 pounds. And after I took the position to fight as a professional boxer, I wanted to face the best ones. Sergey Kovalev is one of the best ones. For this sport of ours, you’re going to know more about who Eleider Alvarez is.

“Many know me from BoxRec because I didn’t have before to have the fight of such importance as the one that I’m going to have on the 4th of August. It’s going to be a chance for me to show what I have and everything I went through throughout my career. The next 4th of August, WBO’s going to have our next champion, and it’s going to be Eleider Alvarez.

“I have a lot of respect for Sergey Kovalev. He’s a great champion but I like these kinds of fights. I know it’s going to be a difficult fight but I know what I have. I know of my training and my preparation, and on next August 4th, I’m going to be the champion. Thank you very much.”

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev – Two-Time Light Heavyweight World Champion: “Thank you. Thank you very much for everything and I’m happy to be here and back to New York and I’m glad to be here again.

“First of all, I want to say thank you to Egis, who one day believed in me and gave me opportunity to be a professional fighter and may my dreams happen for me. And, also, thank you to Kathy Duva who supports us and gave opportunity fighting on HBO. Thanks also to HBO for great opportunity to be in team of HBO boxing. And personal thank you for help to Peter Nelson and Hard Rock for expressing confidence in me.

“Thanks to Yvon Michel and Eleider Alvarez for approve the fight. I am sure that we will show really great fight August 4th because I have a plan to defend my title. He has a plan to get a title and to be champion. It will be very big battle and we must be ready and be the best shape of our boxing career. Because in the future, happening huge fights, unification fights, I hope.

“Thank you to all the writers. To the writers who gave award that Egis best manager in the world, Lomachenko was the best fighter in the world, and his father, Anatoly, won the best trainer in the world.

“Thank you very much for everything and see you and at next press conference before August 4th. God bless you everyone, and thank you.”

Linares vs. Lomachenko is Cable Television Highest-Rated Fight of 2018

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN won the night for combat sports last night. Not only did the Linares vs. Lomanchenko main event draw a 1.0 metered market rating, making it cable television’s highest-rated fight of 2018, according to Nielsen overnight data, but the entire Top Rank on ESPN telecast was ESPN’s highest-rated Top Rank telecast of the year.

Vasiliy Lomachenko stopped Jorge Linares in the tenth round to win the WBA and Ring Magazine lightweight titles in front of a packed house at Madison Square Garden. A left hand to the body put Linares down for the 10-count.

Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs) is a now a three-weight world champion. With this victory, he has shattered the all-time boxing record for fewest fights needed to win a world title in three weight divisions, accomplishing that in just his 12th fight. Lomachenko broke the record held by Australian legend Jeff Fenech, a Hall of Famer who won world titles at bantamweight and junior featherweight before winning a belt at featherweight in his 20th fight in 1988.

Main Things to Know

◦Last night’s entire Top Rank on ESPN telecast averaged a 0.8 metered market rating, making it ESPN’s highest-rated Top Rank telecast of 2018

◦The main event, featuring Jorge Linares and Vasiliy Lomachenko, averaged a 1.0 metered market rating, making it cable’s television’s highest-rated fight of 2018

◦The co-feature, featuring Alejandro Barrera vs. Carlos Adames, averaged a 0.7 metered market rating, tying it as the third highest-rated fight on ESPN this year

WBO Light Flyweight Champion Tito Acosta to Face Carlos Buitrago

World Boxing Organization Light Flyweight World Champion Tito Acosta will showcase his vast skills June 16 in his first title defense against Nicaraguan challenger Carlos “Chocorroncito” Buitrago in the “La Batalla” 12-round main event, airing on pay-per-view, live from the Coliseo de Puerto Rico Center in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.

La Batalla: Acosta vs. Buitrago is presented by Miguel Cotto Promotions, which is owned and operated by the first Puerto Rican boxer to capture world titles in four different weight classes, future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto, and H2 Entertainment, in association with DIRECTV Puerto Rico.

Integrated Sports Media will distribute the La Batalla: Acosta vs. Buitrago card in the United States on cable, satellite and digital pay-per-view via iN Demand, Vubiquity, DIRECTV, DISH and live-streamed worldwide (excluding Puerto Rico) on the FITE.TV app and website (www.fite.tv), starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, for a suggested retail price of only $34.95.

Building his own legacy in a traditionally rich, hot-bed for boxing like Puerto Rico, Acosta (17-1, 17 KOs) captured the vacant WBO title last December at famed Madison Square Garden, when he knocked out Juan Alejo (24-4-1), of Mexico, in the 10th round.

An outstanding amateur boxer with more than 180 matches, highlighted by his gold-medal performance at the Central American Games,), the San Juan-based fighter has defeated 22-5 Juan Guzman (KO1), 12-1 Japhet Uutoni (TKO12), and 28-5-3 Luis Ceja (KO2).

“My goal is to be the best,” Acosta said. “I grew-up watching Tito Trinidad and Miguel Cotto, who are my favorite fighters. I will work as hard as I can to give the best to my family, as well as make my island proud. I will win on June 16th and let the world know that I am the best 108-pound boxer in the world.”

Having a future Hall of Famer such as Cotto as his promoter is a tremendous advantage, in and out of the ring, for Acosta. “It means a lot and is an honor for me to have a living legend like Miguel Cotto as my promoter,” Acosta explained. “He has guided my career the best way. He also gets involved in my camp and wants me to get better and better every fight.”

“Tito Acosta is a really good fighter,” Cotto commented about his protégé. “He is World Champion for a reason. We will work to give him the best opportunities. Tito has an opportunity to show the world on June 16th what he is made of and who he is. As World Champion, he needs to be at the highest level to have a brilliant performance each fight, because the better performances and victories, the bigger name he will build.”

“It is important for a fighter to do his job in the ring because every performance is a unique opportunity to show the world who you are and at what level you belong. People in Puerto Rico love boxing, and its fighters.”

WBA #2-rated Buitrago (30-3-1, 17 KOs) will be fighting in his fifth world title fight, after losing three times with one draw. He was stopped for the first time in his last fight this past December, by undefeated International Boxing Federation (IBF) Minimumweight World Champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (8-0), in the eighth round of their title fight in Japan.

All three of Buitrago’s career losses have been to world champions, including a pair to Thammanooon Niyomtrong (11-0) in 2016 and 2014, both by way of 12-round unanimous decisions in Thailand for the Interim WBA title. Buitrago also fought a 12-round split draw in 2013 to then-WBO Minimum World Champion Merlito Sabillo (12-0) in Manila, Philippines.

“Chris Buitrago is a great fighter and tough challenger, who has the highest level of experience, and that motivates me,” Acosta spoke about his Nicaraguan opponent. “People want to watch a toe-to-toe brawl and he brings that style. I think he will brawl with me, but I’ll be ready for any style he brings June 16th.

“I work for the KO (he has 17 knockouts in his 17 wins) because that’s what fans like. I work for that every fight and I will win June 16th by knockout!”

Two New Exclusive Original Programs on ESPN+ to Expand ESPN’s Boxing Coverage

ESPN will debut two new shows this month, exclusively on ESPN+, as it continues to introduce new and unique boxing content to serve fans of the “Sweet Science.”

In This Corner is a twice-monthly deep-dive talk show with a rotating panel of four of boxing’s best journalists gathering at noteworthy New York City establishments to discuss boxing’s biggest stories, past, present and future.

The first episode of In This Corner will be available today on ESPN+ and brings fans to New York’s Crompton Ale House, just six blocks from Madison Square Garden, to preview Saturday’s big Top Rank Boxing on ESPN fight between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Jorge Linares, as well the potential rematch between Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin (aka Triple G) and Saul Canelo Alvarez. The four featured boxing writers: George Willis of the New York Post), Chris Mannix from Yahoo Sports, Lance Pugmire at the Los Angeles Times and Mike Coppinger of Ring Magazine.

The Boxing Beat, a weekly interview show available next Monday, May 14, on ESPN+, features ESPN’s lead boxing writer Dan Rafael providing an inside perspective of boxing through conversations with top fighters, as well as breaking news, commentary and questions from boxing fans. The Boxing Beat will debut with Keith Idec of Boxingscene.com and WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr.

Professional Boxing Ringside Official Training Seminar to be Held in Chicago
Professional Boxing Ringside Officials Training Seminar to be conducted in Chicago on June 30, 2018.

The Illinois State Athletic Commission and the World Boxing Organization are conducting a training seminar for professional boxing officials on June 30, 2018 at the Garfield Park – Golden Dome, 100 N. Central Park Ave, Chicago, Illinois, 60624 starting at 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Space is limited, so to reserve a seat, please email you intent to attend and your contact information to Nancy Ilg and Joel Campuzano of the Illinois State Athletic Commission: Nancy.illg@illinois.gov and Joel.campuzano@illinois.gov

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Ennis, Jones, Holyfield, Russell, Adames, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

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

Gary Russell and His Brothers to Compete on Same Card on May 19th

The Russells of Capitol Heights, Maryland will team up again for an exciting night of boxing for their hometown fans. Three of the five boxing brothers, all trained by their father, Gary, Sr., will compete on the same card for the second time in their careers at MGM National Harbor in Maryland on Saturday, May 19.

The event is headlined by Gary Russell, Jr. defending his featherweight world title against mandatory challenger Joseph Diaz Jr. live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT). His brothers, super lightweight Gary Antuanne Russell and bantamweight Gary Antonio Russell will compete in separate non-televised bouts on the undercard.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions, are on sale now and are available by visiting http://mgmnationalharbor.com/.

The 21-year-old Gary Antuanne (5-0, 5 KOs) will take on Wilmer Rodriguez (9-2, 7 KOs) in an eight round 140-pound match. Russell was a member of the U.S. boxing team at the 2016 Olympic games. He made his professional debut fighting on the same card as his other two brothers at MGM National Harbor last May 20 when he scored a TKO victory over Josh Ross. With his brothers and father working his corner at his last fight, he scored a stoppage victory over Andrew Rodgers in Brooklyn on April 21.

Gary Antonio (10-0, 8 KOs) will battle Esteban Aquino (12-4, 7 KOs) in an eight-round bantamweight match. Russell scored a knockout victory over Marco Antonio Mendoza Chico in his last fight on Nov. 21 and the card with his brothers last May 20, the 25-year-old Russell stopped Jovany Fuentes for a TKO victory.

In additional undercard action, Cobia Breedy (10-0, 4 KOs) will fight in an eight-round featherweight match and Immanuel Aleem (17-1-1, 10 KOs) steps into the ring for a 10-round middleweight match. Plus, Moshea Aleem (4-1-2, 2 KOs) battles Rayton Okwiri (2-0, 1 KO) in a six-round super welterweight match and Brandon Quarles (18-4-1, 9 KOs) clashes with Fred Jenkins, Jr. (10-5, 3 KOs) in an eight-round super welterweight bout.
Marine Takes on Royal Marines in UK Boxing Match

Marine Corporal Christian Valdes, of Silver Springs, MD, will be competing in a boxing match against the Royal Marines in London, England on May 8th at 2 p.m. eastern. You can watch his boxing match against the Royal Marines via webcast or on our satellite coordinates below.

Marines from the Marine Corps Boxing Team travelled to the United Kingdom to participate in a military-to-military training exchange culminating in a boxing competition against the Royal Marines May 8, 2018. The United States Marine Corps and Royal Marines will use the competition to celebrate their shared warfighting culture, values and military partnership. The U.S. Marine fighters have been handpicked from units in Southern California to represent the United States Marine Corps in the ring against the Royal Marines.

WHO: Corporal Christian Valdes
WHAT: Boxing Match between US Marines & Royal Marines
WHERE: London, England
WHEN: Tuesday, May 8th at 2 p.m. eastern
HOW: Via webcast and Satellite coordinates (below additional info)

Webcast Link to Boxing Matches : https://www.dvidshub.net/webcast/15204

Carlos Adames Ready for ESPN Spotlight

Carlos ‘Caballo Bronco’ Adames no longer wants to be the welterweight division’s best-kept secret. The undefeated 24-year-old from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, is seeking to make a statement on one of the biggest stages imaginable.

Adames (13-0, 11 KOs) will face Alejandro Barrera in a 10-round bout as the ESPN-televised co-feature to Jorge Linares’ WBA and Ring Magazine lightweight title defense against Vasiliy Lomachenko on Saturday at Madison Square Garden. Adames, who will be making his debut under the Top Rank banner, has not fought in the United States since his fourth pro bout back in 2015.

“I feel like I carry the responsibility of becoming the superstar that my country is waiting for,” Adames said. “I have the talent, dedication and confidence to become a superstar that represents the Dominican Republic. I’m going to give it all for my country.”

Adames, a go-for-broke puncher, turned pro in 2015 following a storied amateur career that saw him win gold medals at the Pan American Youth Championships and the Dominican Republic Youth National Championships, among other tournaments. Last July, he picked up the most impressive win of his pro career, shutting out former IBF junior middleweight champion Carlos Molina over 11 rounds. Adames gained invaluable experience when he sparred with pound-for-pound elite Terence Crawford roughly two years ago.

“I sparred some good rounds with Crawford, and I did very well against one of the best fighters in the world,” Adames said. “That gave me a lot of confidence, and it showed me that I could go very far as a fighter.”

Standing in his way is Barrera (27-4, 17 KOs), a veteran from Monterrey, Mexico, whose only stoppage defeat came to current IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in 2015.

“I’m going to leave it all in the ring and put on a great show for the fans that will be present at Madison Square Garden and for the millions that will be watching live on ESPN,” Adames said. “I want to tell everyone to get their snacks and drinks ready because I am going for the knockout. Watch out. ‘Caballo Bronco’ is coming.’”

Linares vs. Lomachenko and Adames vs. Barrera will be televised live and exclusively at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and undercard bouts will stream live on ESPN+, available through the ESPN App, beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Roy Jones Jr. and Evander Holyfield to Attend Atlantic City Card at the Claridge

Two of the greatest fighters of all-time, former cruiserweight and heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and former four division world champion Roy Jones, Jr. will be special guests as Mis Downing Promotions will officially kick off the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame 2nd Annual Induction Weekend on Friday, June 1st, with a great night of professional boxing at The Claridge: A Radisson Hotel.

The fight card on Friday June 1st in the Celebrity Theater at the Claridge Hotel will precede a great show that will take place the next evening Saturday June 2nd at Historic Boardwalk Hall {Adrian Phillips Theater} where Mis Downing Promotions will be working in associating with 4-Time Heavyweight Champ Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield and his promotional company Real Deal Sports & Entertainment.

“To have Evander and Roy attend my fight card will just add to a great night and weekend in Atlantic City. These are 2 of the legends of the sport, and knowing that they will be in attendance on June 1st, that will inspire all of the fighters even more,” Said Mis Downing, CEO of Mis Downing Promotions.

In the main event, super middleweight Derrick Webster (25-1, 13 KOs) of Glassboro, New Jersey will take part in a ten-round bout.
Jaron Ennis to Take On Mike Arnaoutis

On Friday, June 1st Rising Welterweight Contender, Jaron “Boots” Ennis (19-0 17ko) headlines Rising Star Promotions newly created series “Boardwalk Boxing” Round 2 taking on battle tested, former USBA, NABO Champion and World Title challenger “Mighty” Mike Arnaoutis (26-10-2 13ko) at the beautiful Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

“Boots” comes from a fighting family with his brothers Farah and Derek “Pooh” Ennis along with trainer/father Derek “Bozy” Ennis. Turning pro on April 30th of 2016, Ennis has been very active almost fighting 10 times a year. Ennis will be scheduled to box his first 10 round bout on the Boardwalk.

“This is going to be a great night of boxing, not only for us and the fighters, but for the City of Atlantic City and the State of New Jersey” Rising Star VP Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna says during a brief interview. “Atlantic City has a HUGE history of boxing and I think it’s great that a venue like The Showboat Hotel has gone the extra mile for us to be able to continue bringing Elite Level club show boxing to this reviving city”.

Mike Arnaoutis is no stranger to the big fights. The Pride of Athens Greece is the toughest test to date to the much younger Ennis. Arnaoutis has been in the ring with World Class opposition like Danny Garcia, Kendall Holt, Chris Algieri, Victor Ortiz, Demetrius Hopkins and Delvin Rodriguez to name a couple.

LaManna continued to quote “This is a test that Boots needs but to me, Jaron Ennis is hands down one of the best fighters not only in Philadelphia, but in the country. I see Boots’ story turning out to be like Terrance Crawford, he might be unknown to certain people and outlets outside of Philadelphia and/or the Tri-State area, but once he gets that breakout fight and TV appearance, he will become a superstar and I’m happy to be apart of that journey in any way, shape or form”.

The June 1st undercard is headlined by two NEW JERSEY STATE TITLE FIGHTS

Undefeated Chris “Sandman” Thomas (8-0-1) of Beachwood will be taking on Asbury Park’s Daryl “DreamKing” Bunting (3-3-1) for the NEW JERSEY STATE MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP.

Brick, New Jersey’s Dan Pasciolla (9-2-2) defends his State title against Vineland’s undefeated former Flordia, Marlins Center Fielder Quian Davis (4-0-2 2ko) for the NEW JERSEY STATE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP.

Undercard will feature Rising Star Promotions own Donald “No Love” Smith and Nahir “Woo” Albright both of Philadelphia. Afghanistan War Veteran Ernesto “Tito” Perez, Yurik “DBSBC” Mamedov, Joel De La Paz, Michael Lee and Angel Pizarro.

Appearing in six-rounds bouts will be lightweight Christina Linardatou (9-1, 5 KOs) of Athens, Greece; super lightweight John Bauza (9-0, 5 KOs) of North Bergen, NJ; heavyweight Darmani Rock (11-0, 7 KOs) of Philadelphia, PA; featherweight Kevin Asmat (3-2, 2 KOs) of North Bergen, NJ.

Seeing action in four-round bouts will be pro debuting super welterweight Isaiah Hart of Atlantic City; featherweight James Wilkins (3-0, 3 KOs) of Brooklyn, NY; super featherweight Javier Oquendo (3-0, 1 KO) of Philadelphia and super lightweight Osnel Charles (12-18-1, 2 KOs) of Atlantic City.

Tickets are $150 for VIP Ringside; $120 for Stage seating; $85 for Premium Seating and $60 for General Admission

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Ramirez, Acosta, Cotto, Ranallo, Ancajas, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 25th to May 2nd; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Gilberto Ramirez to Defend Super Middleweight Title in Oklahoma City

The Sooner State will welcome home its favorite fighting son and one of boxing’s elite champions for a special edition of Top Rank on ESPN Saturday, June 30 at Chesapeake Energy Arena, home of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder. Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez will make the fourth defense of his World Boxing Organization (WBO) super middleweight title against the hard-hitting Roamer Alexis Angulo, while Oklahoma City’s Alex ‘El Cholo’ Saucedo continues his march to a 140-pound title shot against Lenny Zappavigna in a 10-round special attraction.

This world class doubleheader will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 9 p.m. ET.

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets to this world championship extravaganza will go on sale Friday, May 4 at 10 a.m. CST. Priced at $200, $100, $60, $40 and $25, not including facility and service fees, tickets may be purchased at the Chesapeake Energy Arena box office, online at Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

“We are looking forward to a great event in Oklahoma City. Zurdo Ramirez is always in great fights, and Angulo will give him a real battle,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum, founder and CEO of Top Rank. “It’s also with great pride that we were able to put in Oklahoma City native Alex Saucedo against a world class fighter like Lenny Zappavigna.”

“I want to prove that I’m the best fighter in the division. I’m willing to leave everything in the ring to defend my title,” Ramirez said. “I want to dedicate this fight to all the Mexicans and all the Latinos who reside in Oklahoma, I would like many of them to be present in the arena. That would motivate me even more. I’ll be waiting for you guys on June 30.”

“It’s a huge opportunity for me, and I am thankful to be fighting at home on ESPN. I’m going to train really hard, so I can put on a great show for my city,” Saucedo said. “It’s a dream come true to fight at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. I’m ready for the moment. I know what kind of style I bring. I’m going to put on an incredible show and get Lenny out of there.”

Ramirez (37-0, 25 KOs), from Mazatlán, Mexico, became the first Mexican-born super middleweight champion when he shut out three-time world champion Arthur Abraham on April 9, 2016. He was sidelined with a hand injury and didn’t make his first defense for more than a year but didn’t miss a beat in winning a shutout unanimous decision over Max Bursak. Ramirez closed out 2017 with a nip-and-tuck battle against No. 1 contender Jesse ‘Hollywood’ Hart, ultimately prevailing by unanimous decision. In his last bout, on Feb. 3 in Corpus Christi, Texas, Ramirez scored the first stoppage of his championship reign with a sixth-round TKO over Habib Ahmed.

Angulo (23-0, 20 KOs), from Bogota, Colombia, has won his last five bouts by knockout, most recently winning the WBO Latino belt with a first-round knockout over Evert Bravo. He has a well-worn passport, having gone on the road to win bouts in Turkey, Mexico, Germany, United States, and Dominican Republic.

Saucedo (27-0, 17 KOs) was born in Meoqui, Mexico, but his family moved to Oklahoma City when he was 7 years old. An accomplished amateur who won more than 150 bouts in the unpaid ranks, Saucedo turned pro in 2011 and served as a sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao. Saucedo, ranked No. 3 by the WBO at 140 pounds, last fought March 10 in Carson, Calif., against Abner Lopez, knocking Lopez out in the seventh round with a left hook to the body. Against Zappavigna, Saucedo will be fighting in Oklahoma City for the first time since 2014. Saucedo is also fighting for his place in Oklahoma City boxing history. He is seeking to become only the second Oklahoma City product to win a world title. Sean O’Grady captured the World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight title on April 12, 1981 with a unanimous decision over Hilmer Kenty in Atlantic City, N.J.

Zappavigna (37-3, 27 KOs) is a 12-year pro and a longtime contender at both 135 and 140 pounds. He challenged Miguel Vazquez for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) lightweight title on March 12, 2011 in Las Vegas, dropping a unanimous decision. Following a knockout loss to Amneth Diaz later that year, Zappavigna moved up in weight, winning 10 consecutive bouts before engaging in a bloody slugfest against then-unbeaten Sergey Lipinets on Dec. 10, 2016. Lipinets prevailed via eighth-round TKO and would go on to win the IBF junior welterweight title two bouts later. Zappavigna has won two straight fights since the Lipinets defeat.

Acosta to Make 1st Title Defense Against BuitragoShowtime Documentary on Mauro Ranallo to Premier May 25th

Prolific combat sports broadcaster Mauro Ranallo and his lifelong battle with mental illness are the subject of a new documentary film from SHOWTIME Sports®. BIPOLAR ROCK ‘N ROLLER – named for the moniker Ranallo gave himself as a broadcast personality and DJ in the early 90’s – will premiere on SHOWTIME during Mental Health Awareness Month on Friday, May 25 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

First look video: https://s.sho.com/2Ft4Mig

Ranallo has Bipolar Affective Disorder, a condition afflicting nearly five percent of the U.S. population according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI.org). As a national sportscaster for preeminent boxing, mixed martial arts and WWE events, Ranallo has long been an advocate for ending the stigma of mental illness. Now, for the first time, he exposes the true extent of his daily struggle. Through extensive behind-the-scenes video footage, candid personal interviews and detailed accounts from his loved ones and doctors, BIPOLAR ROCK ‘N ROLLER takes an unflinching look at mental illness and its effects.

The film explores Ranallo’s career, including his work on the two biggest pay-per-view events in television history, and his relentless pursuit of a childhood dream despite seemingly insurmountable odds. Through this deeply personal portrait, Ranallo hopes that the film might inspire others to persevere in pursuing their dreams despite the challenges of a mental health condition.

“I have always tried to do my part to bring awareness to mental health issues,” said Ranallo. “Over the last several years, I allowed my best friend, Haris (Usanovic), to film me at my lowest points as well as at my highest. The idea is simply to show others who suffer that they are not alone and that, even when the outlook is bleak, you can overcome and achieve success. Mental illness is a life sentence—there is no cure—but it doesn’t have to be a death sentence.”

“Through BIPOLAR ROCK ‘N ROLLER, Mauro Ranallo has chosen to share not only his life’s dreams, but his nightmares as well,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programming for Showtime Networks Inc. “Having reached the pinnacle of his profession, Mauro bravely turns his keen observational skills inward to examine his own life-long battle. The result is a raw, poignant and ultimately inspirational film that personifies Mauro’s courage and selflessness.”

Ranallo is a popular fixture on today’s combat sports scenes. In a career that has spanned more than 30 years, he has called everything from “All-Star Wrestling,” a Canadian professional wrestling outfit, to historic MMA events for PRIDE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIPS out of Japan, to WWE SmackDown Live on USA Network, to many of the biggest boxing events in the world for SHOWTIME Sports. Ranallo was the first broadcaster to call play-by-play on boxing, kickboxing, MMA and professional wrestling events on national television.

Today, Ranallo is the voice of three prominent nationally televised series: SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®, WWE’s weekly show NXT on WWE Network, and BELLATOR MMA on Paramount Network. Perhaps best known for his dramatic, excitable style, Ranallo is a student of the English language. He has already made a lasting mark on the industry having called the two biggest pay-per-view events in television history: Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao (May 2015, international telecast); and Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor (Aug. 2017, SHOWTIME PPV®).

BIPOLAR ROCK ‘N ROLLER is produced by Brian Dailey, the network’s Vice President, Sports Digital Content and Strategy, and MALKA MEDIA GROUP. Directed by first-time filmmaker Haris Usanovic, the film is executive produced by Stephen Espinoza and SHOWTIME Sports.

Ancajas and Yafi to Defend World Titles on May 26th
Two of the world’s most dynamic 115-pound talents — on a collision course to a potential title unification bout — will take center stage at the Save Mart Center on the first Top Rank on ESPN world championship card on ESPN+, Saturday, May 26 at 9:30 p.m. ET.

Filipino standout Jerwin ‘Pretty Boy’ Ancajas will defend the International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight world title in the main event against countryman Jonas Sultan. It marks the first world title bout featuring two Filipino fighters in 93 years, when Pancho Villa defended the world flyweight title against Clever Sencio on May 2, 1925.

In the co-feature, Great Britain’s Kal Yafai will make the third defense of his World Boxing Association (WBA) super flyweight title against David Carmona. Soon-to-be announced undercard bouts, including appearances by welterweight contender Jose Benavidez and Central Valley products Bryan Lua and Isidro Ochoa, will be shown on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.

The Ancajas vs. Sultan / Yafai vs. Carmona world championship doubleheader will be streamed live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ — the first-ever multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International group and ESPN. ESPN+ is available to all fans on the ESPN App and ESPN.com.

Fans can watch Ancajas vs. Sultan / Yafai vs. Carmona, hundreds of other boxing matches per year, other Top Rank on ESPN content and thousands of other live events by subscribing to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year). To subscribe, fans simply download or open the ESPN App or visit ESPNPlus.com and subscribe. Fans can stream on the ESPN App on mobile and TV-connected devices and on ESPN.com.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions, Big Al Presents, Joven Sports, and Matchroom Boxing USA, special ticket on-sale information will be announced soon.

“I am so glad and very grateful that I was given an opportunity to fight Jonas Sultan,” Ancajas said. “We are given a chance to display our talents on a world stage, two Filipinos fighting for a world title. This is history, and our names will be linked forever.”

“I can’t wait to make my U.S. debut. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do since I laced them up,” Yafai said. “This is the right time to do it. Everyone wants to fight in America at some stage in their career, and this is the right moment for me to announce myself in the States. I know people will talk about the Jerwin Ancajas fight, of course, but Carmona is the man in front of me, and he’s all I’m thinking about. I have to look good against Carmona, but I know that the Ancajas fight is something that can happen down the line in the States or in England.”

Ancajas (27-1-1,19 KOs), from Barangay Ramirez, Magallanes, Cavite, Philippines, will be making the fifth defense of the world title he won on Sept. 3, 2016 in Taguig City, Philippines, when he knocked down the previously undefeated McJoe Arroyo in the eighth round en route to a unanimous decision. Ancajas made his U.S. and Top Rank debut as the co-feature to the Gilberto Ramirez vs. Habib Ahmed bout on a Top Rank on ESPN card, Feb. 3 in Corpus Christi, Texas. On that night, Ancajas steamrolled Israel Gonzalez, knocking him down three times and scoring a 10th-round TKO.

One of the most devastating punchers in the lighter weight classes, Ancajas is 15-0 with 14 knockouts since his only loss, a 10-round majority decision to Mark Geraldo on March 17, 2012. He has defended his title in Australia, Northern Ireland, and Macao, a world traveler intent on staking his claim as the top fighter in the loaded 115-pound weight class.

Sultan (14-3, 9 KOs), ranked No. 1 by the IBF, is coming off the biggest victory of his career, when he knocked out former two-division champion John Riel Casimero on Sept. 16, 2017 in Cebu City, Philippines. He has won five in a row, four by knockout, since a 10-round unanimous decision loss to Go Onaga on Nov. 15, 2015. A native of Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines, Sultan lost two split decisions in his first six pro fights. Like Ancajas, he has won several fights in his opponents’ home countries, including a 2016 second-round TKO over Makazole Tete in East London, South Africa.

Yafai (23-0, 14 KOs), from Birmingham, England, turned pro in 2012 following an accomplished amateur career, winning eight fights in his first eight months in the paid ranks. On March 21, 2014, he stopped Yaqub Kareem in the third round to win the vacant Commonwealth super flyweight title. Yafai won the British super flyweight title in March 2016 and soon set his sights on a world crown.

On Dec. 10, 2016, Yafai dominated Luis Concepcion via unanimous decision, winning the WBA belt and becoming Birmingham’s first world champion in 109 years. In his most recent title defense, Yafai turned back a tough challenge from Sho Ishida, winning a unanimous decision by scores of 118-110 and 116-112 (2x).

Carmona (21-5-5, 9 KOs), from Mexico City, will be making his third attempt at a world title at 115 pounds. In 2013, he fell to longtime WBO champion Omar Narvaez via seventh-round TKO. And, in 2016, he dropped a unanimous decision to pound-for-pound elite Naoya Inoue, who’d knocked out Narvaez to win the title. On March 10, 2017, he lost a disputed unanimous decision to former WBC super flyweight champion Carlos Cuadras. In his last bout, on March 2 of this year, he scored a fourth-round TKO over Jesus Iribe in Mexico City.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Thurman, Barrera, Magdaleno, Russell, Diaz, Stevenson, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

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


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Injury Rehabilitation Forces Keith Thurman to Relinquish WBC Belt

Unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman has voluntarily relinquished his WBC title while he recovers from the effects of elbow surgery last year and a hand injury he suffered in training camp last month.
After speaking with WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman recently, Thurman decided that he would relinquish the title and open the way for former champions Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter, the two leading contenders for the WBC title, to fight each other for the championship while Thurman made a full recovery from his injuries.

“Due to my rehabilitation from my injuries, I agreed to relinquish my WBC title at this time. I continue to rehab my hand and elbow and I look forward to getting back in the ring this summer. This is a temporary setback and I will be the unified champion once again and look forward to winning back my WBC title as soon as possible,” said Thurman.

“Keith Thurman unfortunately has suffered two consecutive injuries that have kept him out of the ring after his sensational victory over Danny Garcia and he has graciously relinquished his title, and the WBC has mandated that Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter will fight for the title,” said Mauricio Sulaiman. “Keith will have a direct path to fight for the title once he has healed just as Vitali Klitshcko and other WBC champions have done in the past. Keith is a tremendous athlete, champion and role model. The WBC will support him completely during this difficult time. ”

Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs), a former unified champion at 140 pounds and the former WBC welterweight champion, lost the WBC title to Thurman by 12-round split decision in 2017. He bounced back with a knockout victory over former champion Brandon Rios in February. The WBC had made that fight a title elimination match, which put Garcia in line to fight Thurman again for the title.

Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs), a former welterweight champion, lost a close 12-round decision to Thurman in 2016. He became the mandatory challenger for the WBC title when he knocked out Andre Berto last year. He maintained his status with a 12-round decision over Adrian Granados in November.

The 29-year-old Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) has been plagued by a string of injuries the last two years.
Thurman injured his neck in a car accident in February 2016, which delayed his match against Porter by three months. When they met Thurman defeated Porter by unanimous decision on June 25.

He defeated Garcia by split decision in a welterweight unification match on March 4, 2017. A month later he had major surgery on his right elbow to remove bone spurs and calcium deposits. He is still in rehabilitation from that surgery.

Thurman injured his hand hitting the heavy bag last month and aggravated the injury sparring with some amateurs at his gym in St. Petersburg, Florida. An MRI revealed bruises to the metacarpal bones in the hand, which also has extensive swelling. Thurman can’t have any impact with the hand for at least 8 weeks, which added another delay to his ring return.

He now hopes to return to the ring in the late summer or early fall.

Jessie Magdaleno: I’m Going to Put on a Spectacular Show

World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior featherweight champion Jessie Magdaleno has spent his latest training camp running the mountains near Guadalajara, Mexico, and alongside some of the world’s best fighters at Legendz Boxing in Norwalk, Calif. Magdaleno is preparing for the role of main event headliner against No. 1 contender and interim champion Isaac Dogboe (18-0, 12 KOs) on Saturday, April 28 at The Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.

“I’m mentally ready. I’m physically ready,” Magdaleno said. “Being here with {trainer} Manny Robles keeps me ready. The sparring has been great, but I get impatient sometimes and just want to get in the ring for real. I have to stay calm and wait until the fight comes.”

Said Robles: “Dogboe is a real tough opponent. Jessie definitely has to be ready for this fight, and it should be a fan-friendly fight.”

Magdaleno (25-0, 18 KOs) won the world title with a unanimous decision over four-weight world champion Nonito Donaire on Nov. 5, 2016. He has defended his belt once, a second-round stoppage over Adeilson Dos Santos last April. When Magdaleno steps into the ring against Dogboe, it will have been 371 days since the Dos Santos fight.

“It’s been a long training camp, and I’ve been training with some excellent fighters,” Magdaleno said. “I was with {WBO featherweight champion} Oscar Valdez in Mexico, and now, it’s the home stretch. We’re more than ready to get back in the ring.”

The pre-fight drama escalated last month when Dogboe’s father/trainer, Paul Dogboe, told Ghana’s Pulse website: “We hope Magdaleno will not run like a chicken. We hope he makes the weight and comes in with no excuses because we are ready for him. We are ready to eat him like a chicken. We are focused, and our only mission is to devour him, eat the crazy chicken, throw him over the wall of Mexico and present the title to Donald Trump. Magdaleno will run when he sees Isaac.”

Paul Dogboe has since apologized, and Magdaleno is intent on doing his talking inside the ring.
“It’s about experience, staying focused, and doing our job,” Magdaleno said. “Manny keeps me focused on the fight, and that is my main concern.”

Magdaleno-Dogboe will be televised LIVE on ESPN and stream in English and Spanish on the ESPN App at 7 p.m. ET. Undercard bouts will stream live on ESPN+, available on the ESPN App, beginning at 4 p.m. ET. ESPN Deportes will air the fight at 10 p.m. ET.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Peltz Boxing, tickets, priced at $100 (ringside), $65 and $35, are ON SALE NOW and can be purchased at The Liacouras Center Box Office and www.liacourascenter.com, or by calling Peltz Boxing at 215-765-0922.

Adonis Stevenson to Face Badou Jack May 19th in Toronto

Undefeated knockout artist Adonis Stevenson, the longest reigning light heavyweight world champion, will defend his title against two-division champion Badou Jack on Saturday, May 19 live on SHOWTIME from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The showdown between Stevenson and Jack is one of the most intriguing matches in the light heavyweight division as Jack, a former 168-pound and 175-pound champion, has relinquished his title for the chance to challenge one of the hardest hitters in the sport. Both men are looking to make their claim as the class of the division.

Stevenson vs. Jack is part of a split-site SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT with featherweight champion Gary Russell, Jr. defending his title against mandatory title challenger Joseph Diaz from the MGM National Harbor in Maryland on Saturday, May 19.

Tickets for the Toronto show, which is promoted by Groupe Yvon Michel, Lee Baxter Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, are on sale Friday, April 27 and will be available at www.ticketmaster.ca.
“It is the second time that we will come to Toronto to promote a WBC world championship fight with Adonis Stevenson,” said Yvon Michel, President of Groupe Yvon Michel. “If you found the first event to be spectacular, be sure not to miss the second one as it will be a real firework! Badou Jack is a two-division world champion and an Olympian. He is dangerous and by far the biggest challenge for Adonis since he won the title against Chad Dawson in 2013. We are confident that ‘Superman’ has what it takes to defend his title successfully for the ninth time.

“I would also like to give thanks to our co-promoter Lee Baxter. This event would not have been possible without his collaboration. In addition, I am grateful for Lee and Wayne Zronik from MLSE, who are providing great support for this event and has opened the doors of the Air Canada Centre to us.”

“Mayweather Promotions is looking forward to partnering with Groupe Yvon Michel to pull off this highly anticipated matchup,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Adonis Stevenson has been a reigning champion in this division since 2013. Badou Jack has risen to every challenge he’s faced in his career. Now, he has an opportunity to become a three-time world champion and that raises the stakes for him. I predict two confident, hard-punching and highly skilled fighters will enter the ring at Air Canada Centre on May 19, both determined to walk away a champion.’’

“We are looking forward to hosting this spectacular event at Air Canada Centre,” said Wayne Zronik, Senior Vice President, Music and Live Events at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. “It is the first title fight that the venue will host. We’ve worked with this group before to bring world class boxing to the city and are excited for the return of championship boxing to Toronto, and to Air Canada Centre in particular.”

Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs) owns one of the most powerful left hands in boxing and goes by the ring moniker “Superman’’. The 40-year-old Stevenson has made eight successful defenses of his title since winning it with a knockout victory over Chad Dawson in 2013. The lineal 175-pound champion most recently defended his title with a second-round stoppage of Andrzej Fonfara last June and delivered a third round TKO over Tommy Karpency in his most recent defense in Toronto in 2015.

“I’m definitely excited and hungry to get into the ring and perform,” said Stevenson. “I’ve trained very hard for this fight against Badou Jack. I’m looking forward to winning this fight by knockout. I’m from the Kronk Gym and we always look for the knockout. Jack is a good, technical boxer. He was a world champion and he has done very well. He’s tough and I won’t underestimate him. I’ll be prepared for anything he brings in the ring.

“I’m fighting him at home in Canada, so I’m looking to give the fans a good show. I’ve got power and I’ve got the best left hook in boxing. I’ve got 12 rounds and I just need to touch you once to end it. It’s not complicated. I don’t need three or four shots. I just need one shot and you’re not going to recover. I’m going to finish you.”

The 34-year-old Jack (22-1-2, 13 KOs) relinquished his 168-pound world championship following a majority draw against James DeGale in 2017 to move up to light heavyweight. He made a successful debut at 175 pounds by knocking out Nathan Cleverly for the light heavyweight championship last August. Jack then relinquished that title to seek out this challenge against the division’s heaviest hitter. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, a 2008 Olympian for his father’s native Gambia and now residing in Las Vegas, Jack is looking to become a three-time world champion on his opponent’s home turf on May 19.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to fight for my third world title against one of the division’s best, Adonis Stevenson,” said Jack. “I’ve been asking for this fight for a long time and was willing to fight him anywhere, including his backyard. I know he’s good and very dangerous and that’s the reason I want to fight him. I’m all about the best fighting the best and come May 19th, I’m bringing the WBC belt back to Las Vegas. My newborn son, Malik was born just before training camp so now I have two children to fight for, which gives me all the motivation I need to get this win.”

Gary Russell Jr. vs. Joseph Diaz Press Conference Quotes

WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. (28-1, 17 KOs) and unbeaten No. 1 contender Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. (26-0, 14 KOs) hosted a press conference and faced off for the first time Tuesday before their championship showdown Saturday, May 19 live on SHOWTIME from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions, are on sale now and are available by visitinghttp://mgmnationalharbor.com/.

The Russell vs. Diaz fight is part of a split-site SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast that will feature WBC Light Heavyweight World Champion Adonis Stevenson defending his title against two-division world champion Badou Jack in a main event from Toronto presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Russell Jr., a 2008 U.S. Olympian and 126-pound titleholder since 2015, will defend against his mandatory challenger in the 25-year-old Diaz, who represented the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic games and will be competing in his first title bout.

Here is what the fighters had to say Tuesday from TAP Sports Bar at MGM National Harbor:
GARY RUSSELL JR.

“It’s amazing to be fighting at home. It’s cool to know that the people I see around all the time will be able to get in the car and drive 15 minutes to come watch this massacre. I can’t wait.

“I appreciate JoJo for being honest and saying that he feels I’m the best featherweight in the world. That speaks volumes.

“We stay focused in the gym. The inactivity doesn’t mean anything. It’s no issue. I’ve had hand issues in the past but I’m able to preserve my body and stay sharp, stay focused. I’m a fighter that’s always in shape. I never take a day off. You can ask my wife. On anniversaries, we’re in the gym. On birthdays, we’re in the gym.

“Regardless of what the situation is, you want a sense of financial stability for yourself and your family. I’m at the point of my career where I have maybe six more fights in me. We want to maximize everything. We want to maximize our revenue and it’s been irritating because a lot of the champions don’t want to get in the ring with me. I appreciate JoJo for giving me the opportunity to sharpen my teeth a little bit more. At least he’ll have the opportunity to say he got in the ring with Mr. Gary Russell Jr.

“I’m one of the most dangerous fighters on the planet. Speed, power, ring IQ, we can get ugly if we need to. I don’t plan on going 12 rounds. I’m not going the distance with anybody for the remainder of my career. Mark my words.

“When you have guys that fight and move around a lot, it makes it difficult to get to them the way you want to. When you have a guy that is straightforward and will be in your face, it makes it much easier for me and they’re much more susceptible to get hit.

“A lot of fighters win with pure athleticism because they’re faster, stronger or in better shape. They’re not winning because they have the ability to make the necessary adjustments based on what goes on in the ring. I tell people all the time that boxing is intellect manifested on a physical form. In most cases, the more intelligent fighter wins.

“My father says that whenever you see a fight that is an all-out, knockdown war, it’s just two stupid fighters that didn’t have a plan B or the ability to make the adjustments to make the fight easier. If that’s JoJo’s game plan, it’s going to make this fight a lot easier for me. It’s not going 12 rounds.

“As far as a hit list of my next opponents goes, we are first going to take care of JoJo. I would love to get a unification bout with Leo Santa Cruz after that. If we don’t get that, I plan on moving up in weight and challenging whoever has the title in that division. You want to know who I really want, though? I want Mikey Garcia.

“My last fight will be against (Vasyl) Lomachenko. I want to conclude my career with breaking my foot off of him. That will be the conclusion of it. I’m willing to wait, though. Right now, we’re good.
“Of course I would entertain a fight with Gervonta Davis. We’re cool. He’s somebody that I actually watched grow up and develop as a fighter, but you have to stay in your lane. When I move up in weight, he’s got to get out of the way or he’s going to get ran over too.

“I didn’t want to come home to fight until I had a world title. That’s the reason I didn’t fight at home for so long. Now we have the title, and I wanted to fight at least one more time here.

“I want to maximize our revenue because I don’t plan on fighting for too much longer. I had my first fight at seven years old. I’m 29 now. That’s a long time competing and a lot of wear and tear on your body. I’m a guy that doesn’t cut corners, so it takes away from the time I could be spending with my family and friends. I’m ready to spend time with my family and children and live out the fruits of our labor. But in the meantime, everybody else is in my way. They’re trying to take food off my baby’s plate.”

JOSEPH DIAZ JR.

“I don’t think the fact that I’ve been more active will give me any advantage. I’m just doing what I’m supposed to be doing and getting the experience I need inside the ring before facing an elite fighter like Gary Russell Jr. My preparation has been good. I’ve fought tremendous opponents and I have all the experience to come out victorious May 19.

“It doesn’t affect me at all fighting in his hometown. I’m happy to fight in his backyard. He’s the champion and that’s what champions get to do. I know what he’s capable of doing. He says I don’t have the boxing IQ or the power and speed that he has, but he’s going to be in for a rude awakening come fight night. He’s going to see that I have all the tools.

“It’s a dream come true to be fighting on this stage. Ever since I roomed with Errol Spence at the Olympics, we always promised each other that once we became pro we were going to fight all the elite athletes and the best champions. Gary Russell Jr. is the best at 126 pounds. I’m not scared to fight him and that’s what Errol Spence did, too. He beat Kell Brook in his hometown.

“Gary Russell Jr. is by far the best featherweight in the world. Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares, Lee Selby, none of these guys want to fight Russell. They’re afraid of the speed and the counter shots. But I know what I’m capable of doing and I’ll showcase it May 19.

“A win would mean everything for me. It would be a dream come true realizing all of the hard work I’ve put in since I was 13 years old. It would mean that I’m the champion and I’d be the shot caller.

“I think his speed is an obstacle; he’s very fast. But that’s the thing about me, I’m good at adapting to any style that I fight. Come fight night I know that his speed is going to be fast, but it’s nothing that I won’t be able to take, or nothing that will shock me. I’m going to be able to adapt to that speed and make sure I’m able to land my shots when he’s opening up.

“I’m very confident; 100 percent confident I’ll beat him. I know that this is an opportunity that is presented to me and I’ll be victorious. I’ve always prayed to God that I could fight on SHOWTIME and for a WBC title. And now that I am it feels like it’s all settling in and it’s all coming true. I’m working hard every single day, and once I get my hand raised in victory I’m going to go from there.

“If he gets a little bit over confident like he did against [Oscar] Escandon, he’s going to be in for a rude awakening. He’s going to be shocked with not only my punching power, but also with my combinations and with my speed. I’m not like a Jhonny Gonzalez where I’m just throwing one shot, or slow combinations. I’m pretty fast with my punches and you won’t see my punches coming because I throw them very elusive and I punch from different angles. He’s going to be very shocked if he fights the way he fought Oscar Escandon.

“I don’t think it’s going to go the distance. Gary Russell is going to go out there and not back down and give the fight fans a good show, but I’m going to go out there and give a good show and not back down. So I think we’re both not going to back down and we’re going to brawl it out, and let the best man win.”

Sullivan Barrera Expects Bounce Back Performance on Kovalev-Alvarez Undercard

Light heavyweight contender Sullivan “Sully B” Barrera is back in training camp armed with a new fight date and a fresh attitude.

The former Cuban amateur standout admits that not much went right in his March 3rd loss to Dmitry Bivol but chalks it up to an off night and said that it was a learning experience.

Barrera is back with his team but has also added a sports psychologist to his squad in an effort to make sure a repeat of March 3rd doesn’t happen.

“I feel great. I know that was just one bad night. I am not worried about the past and only looking ahead,” Barrera explained.

The plan is for Barrera to return to the ring sometime in the summer on the Sergey Kovalev-Eleider undercard and he hopes to fight the winner next.

“I think the fans know that I always want to fight the best out there. After this fight I want another big fight. My goal is to fight whoever wins between Kovalev and Alvarez,” said Barrera.

“Boxing is like sex. You can be the best lover in the world but sometimes you have an off night. My fiancee knows I am the best even if I don’t perform as well one night. I want to get back in the ring and show the world my best again.”

More Headlines

Boxing Insider Notebook: Charlo, Trout, Fury, Jennings, Murata, Garcia, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 4th to April 11th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Charlo to Face Trout on June 9th

The 154-pound division continues to heat up as undefeated world champion Jermell Charlo defends his belt against former world champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout Saturday, June 9 in a 12-round showdown live on SHOWTIME from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

The Premier Boxing Champions event is headlined by WBA Super World Featherweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz battling WBA Regular Featherweight World Champion Abner Mares in an anticipated world title rematch.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, begin at $50, plus applicable fees, and are on sale now To purchase tickets visit AXS.com or click HERE.

Super welterweight is one of the deepest and most ferociously contested divisions in boxing with unified champion Jarrett Hurd and Charlo on a collision course for supremacy in the weight class. Virtually all of the most significant fights in the division are taking place in 2018 on SHOWTIME, with the three consensus best fighters, and at least five of the consensus top-10, facing off in what has become an unofficial tournament.

Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) has blasted his way to the top of the division, having stopped four of his last opponents by knockout. The 27-year-old from Houston won the title with a knockout victory over John Jackson in 2016. Since then he has successfully defended it twice, including scoring a devastating first round knockout victory over top contender Erickson Lubin in his last fight in October and a Knockout of the Year contender against Charles Hatley in April. Charlo and his twin brother, Jermall, were the only twin brothers to hold world titles in the same weight class simultaneously before Jermall relinquished his 154-pound championship to campaign at 160 pounds.

“Trout is no journeyman. He’s a former world champion, someone who has a name and he comes to fight. The name means he’s worthy of another title challenge,’’ said Charlo. “Trout is the man that has been chosen for me and I have to take care of him. I’m super excited to be fighting and defending my title again.

“The only thing I’m going to tell you about what I’m going to do against Trout is, I’m going to surprise you guys. I plan to show my skills and show why I’m the best at 154 pounds. The most important thing is to make my mark and claim my territory.’’

The 32-year-old Trout (31-4, 17 KOs) is one of most accomplished boxers in the 154-pound division, having stepped into the ring against champions like Miguel Cotto, Saul “Canelo’’ Alvarez, Erislandy Lara, Jermall Charlo and Jarrett Hurd. Representing Las Cruces, New Mexico, he won the super welterweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Rigoberto Alvarez in 2011. He successfully defended the title four times, including a victory over Cotto, before losing the championship to Alvarez in 2013 and a decision to Lara eight months later.

After winning four straight, Trout stepped in for a world championship against Jermall Charlo but lost a close unanimous decision in 2016, although he is the only person to go the distance with Jermall since 2015. Last October he took on Hurd for the title, but lost via 10th round TKO – the first time in his career that he’d ever been stopped. Trout is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Juan De Angel on Feb. 17.

“I’m more than excited. I’m happy because I’m still a threat in this game,” said Trout. “People can write me off all they want. Even when I was a champion people wrote me off. This is an opportunity of a lifetime. I’m approaching it is as my last opportunity. Everybody is counting me out and I’m hoping he is too. I’m going to shock him and the world.

“I feel like I’ve done this before because I fought his brother. Jermell uses more of his skills where Jermall uses more of his brute strength. I fought the bigger one and I fought Hurd who was like his bigger brother. Now I get to fight someone who is closer to my size.’’

Jennings vs. Dawejko Matchup April 28th Recalls Memories of All-Philly Fighters

When heavyweights Bryant “By By” Jennings and Joey “The Tank” Dawejko square off in their 10-round heavyweight bout Saturday, April 28, it will revive memories of the some of the great all-Philly matchups that helped to make the Quaker City one of the leading boxing centers in the country.

The Jennings-Dawejko match is one of three bouts at the Liacouras Center at Temple University to be televised live by ESPN, beginning at 7 pm EST. The card is being promoted by Top Rank and Peltz Boxing.

Topping the show is a 12-round contest for the WBO junior featherweight title between defending champion Jessie Magdaleno, of Las Vegas, NV, and mandatory challenger Isaac Dogboe, of Accra, Ghana. The 10-round semifinal features Jesse Hart, of Philadelphia, against Demond Nicholson, of Laurel, MD, for the vacant NABF super middleweight championship.

First live fight begins at 4 pm EST and all undercard bouts will be streamed on the ESPN App.

Always a leading center for boxing, Philadelphia built its reputation by matching fighters from different neighborhoods in front of large, enthusiastic crowds. Artist Jim Meehan’s drawing (above) lists several of those great matchups, among them the classic 1928 showdown at Shibe Park between Hall-of-Fame junior lightweight champion Benny Bass and unbeaten crosstown rival Harry Blitman in front of 24,000 raucous fans.

“My dad went to that fight with his dad,” promoter J Russell Peltz said, “and he’d always tell me about it. My dad went to school with Harry Blitman and he never got over the fact that Blitman smoked cigarettes and still was successful as a fighter. My dad sat on the second row and he used to tell me about the sweat that flew off Blitman’s hair every time Bass nailed him.”

Bass, who boxed from 1919 to 1940, won by knockout in six rounds and went on to a career record of 158-29-6 with 72 K0s. Blitman, who boxed from 1926 to 1934, finished at 53-11-4, 25 K0s, including a victory over Hall-of-Fame lightweight champ Tony Canzoneri.

“There were so many great all-Philly fights that you simply cannot list them all,” Peltz said. “The heavyweight bout between a couple of Joe Louis victims, Al Ettore, of West Philadelphia, against Gus Dorazio, of South Philly, belongs on that list, as well as the world lightweight title fight between Hall-of-Famer Bob Montgomery and Wesley Mouzon, who had knocked Montgomery out three months earlier in a non-title fight.”

Peltz, who began promoting in 1969, rates the first meeting between middleweights Bennie Briscoe and Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, a 10-round draw late in 1975 at The Spectrum, as one of the greatest action fights in Philly’s long and storied boxing history.

“Now we’ve got Jesse Hart, Cyclone’s son, on the card,” Peltz said. “I believe Jennings vs. Dawejko is the biggest all-Philly matchup in 36 years. That goes back to 1982 when Jeff Chandler successfully defended his WBA bantamweight title by knocking out former high school classman Johnny Carter in six rounds at the Civic Center. We’ve had some good ones since then, but none as big as Chandler vs. Carter.

“A lot of 21st century boxing ‘experts’ don’t like to see all-Philly fights. They wonder why we would want to knock off a local attraction. I guess they’d rather me import some scrub from the South or the Midwest to get his brains beat out. They’d rather watch that than a competitive all-local fight. The most recent major local showdown was in 2010 when junior middleweightDerek Ennis beat Gabriel Rosado at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia. Guess who got knocked off in that one? The winner, Ennis, who soon faded from the scene. The loser that night, Rosado, went on to climb the ladder and make a lot on money and he’s still going strong.

“Jennings vs. Dawejko is my kind of fight. I guarantee there will be more action in one round than there was in 12 rounds of the recent heavyweight unification match between Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker.”

Murata to Defend WBA Middleweight Title Against Emanuele Blandamura

It’s breakfast with the middleweights on Sunday, April 15, as Ryota Murata makes the first defense of his World Boxing Association (WBA) middleweight title against Italian challenger Emanuele ‘Sioux’ Blandamura at Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan. This special, international edition of Top Rank on ESPN will air live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes and stream on the ESPN App at 8 a.m. ET, with a same-day replay scheduled for 11 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Murata (13-1, 10 KOs), from Nara, Japan, captured a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics (165 pounds), becoming the first Japanese boxer to accomplish that feat since Takao Sakurai at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. He turned pro on Aug. 25, 2013, and by his fifth pro bout, was already fighting in scheduled 10-rounders. Murata made a big statement on U.S. soil on July 23, 2016 in Las Vegas, when he knocked out George ‘Comanche Boy’ Tahdooahnippah in the opening round.

His first title challenge came this past May against Hassan N’Dam for the vacant WBA middleweight title at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo. In one of the year’s most controversial verdicts, N’Dam prevailed via split decision. The WBA ordered an immediate rematch, and the two judges who scored the bout for N’Dam were suspended for six months and ordered to pass several evaluations before being allowed to judge WBA-sanctioned fights again. Murata got his revenge — and the WBA world title — in the rematch on Oct. 22, when he dominated the action and forced N’Dam to retire on his stool following the seventh round.

Blandamura (27-2, 5 KOs), ranked No. 8 in the WBA middleweight rankings, is a former European middleweight champion who captured the title with a 12-round split decision over Matteo Signani on Dec. 3, 2016. In his last ring outing, on June 17, 2017, Blandamura retained the European title with a unanimous decision against Alessandro Goddi. He later vacated the title and heads into his first world title bout riding a four-bout winning streak.

Showtime Adds Two Featherweight Fights to Lineup

SHOWTIME Sports added two featherweight bouts to its robust boxing schedule with two high-stakes matchups from the U.K. streaming live on SHOWTIME Sports social media platforms, free to boxing fans in the U.S.

Former two-division world champion Carl Frampton will battle former four-division champion Nonito Donaire on Saturday, April 21 in Belfast, Ireland for the interim WBO Featherweight Title. Then, on Saturday, May 19, IBF World Champion Lee Selby will defend his 126-pound title against undefeated Josh Warrington live from Leeds, England. Both SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL® social media offerings will stream live in the U.S. on SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page and SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Channel. The events are promoted by Frank Warren with live coverage provided by BT Sport and BoxNation.

The previously announced rematch between WBA Featherweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz and former three-division champion Abner Mares will take place just a few weeks later on Saturday, June 9 live on SHOWTIME® from the Staples Center in L.A.

In all, five of the consensus top-10 ranked featherweights will clash on SHOWTIME platforms in two months, including two world champions and four former multi-division champions. These matchups between titleholders and top-ranked featherweights will give further clarity to a stacked division.

“As we’ve seen at welterweight, super welterweight and even heavyweight, the top fighters in the featherweight division are looking to prove that they are undoubtedly the best in the world,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programming for SHOWTIME. “They are doing so by facing their toughest challengers and ultimately seeking to unify world titles. SHOWTIME proudly leads the industry with fights like these—the most competitive and important fights in boxing’s most talent-laden weight divisions. We commend the fighters who have dedicated themselves to this simple, yet dangerous premise. Their effort has been inspiring and contagious.”

Tyson Fury Sets Return Date and Names New Promoter

Former WBA Super, WBO and IBF world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has confirmed his return under a new promoter.

Fury caused a colossal upset in his previous bout in November 2015 when he ended the 11-year reign of Wladimir Klitschko with a masterful points victory in Dusseldorf.

Now, the unbeaten 29-year-old (25-0-KO18) will fight for the first time in two-and-a-half years at the Manchester Arena on June 9 after signing a promotional deal with Frank Warren.

Ahead of an official press conference on London’s Park Lane, Fury said: “A lot of people out there are claiming to be the best and I know they’re not.

“They won’t be a match up for me. They’re sluggers and wild punchers and I’m looking forward to getting in there and showing them.

“Let’s say I’m a lot, lot, lot lighter than I’ve been in the past. If Frank asked me to fight this weekend, I’m ready. I’m better than I’ve ever been.”

Warren added: “The heavyweight division should now be put on notice because the lineal champion will be looking to pick back up where he left off.

“I am thrilled Tyson has entrusted us with the responsibility of recharging his career and steering him back to where he once emphatically belonged.

“Were it not for his exploits, the now thriving and fascinating heavyweight scene might have remained stagnant. Tyson’s comprehensive schooling of the Wladimir Klitschko opened all sorts of doors from which others have ultimately benefitted.

“Now Tyson is back, in fantastic shape and full of beans, ready to take the first step on the road back towards world domination once again.

“I am certain the boxing public – who he never lost the affection of – will get behind him in force and support his journey.”

A spokesperson for MTK Global added: “It’s been a long wait but we are delighted with the news that Tyson’s return is now finalised.

“Working with Frank Warren and his team on this has been highly productive and this is just the start of another chapter of success in Tyson’s extraordinary story.

“We are all looking forward to seeing Tyson conquer the world again as he begins his climb back to the top of boxing’s marquee division.”

Ryan Garcia to Face Jayson Velez

Ryan “The Flash” Garcia (14-0, 13 KOs), the 2017 consensus prospect of the year and pride of Victorville, Calif., headlines a very special edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Garcia, who is the brightest rising star in the sport of boxing today, will kick off the Cinco de Mayo festivities as he faces seasoned Puerto Rican contender Jayson “La Maravilla” Velez (26-4-1, 18 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight fight in this spectacular arena that has become the home for great battles.

ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will air the fights beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT, and stream live on ESPN3 starting at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

At only 19 years of age, Garcia is the future superstar of boxing. After winning multiple national championships as an amateur and several professional fights in Mexico, Garcia signed with Golden Boy Promotions in Nov. 2016. Since then, he has won every fight by knockout, including a highlight-reel knockout of Miguel Carrizoza to win the Junior NABF Super Featherweight Title. In his most recent performance, Garcia defeated Fernando Vargas on the March 22 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN via a stunning first-round knockout victory.

“I’m back already and with high expectations,” said Ryan Garcia.”I’m glad to be headlining two times in a row and excited to be fighting in an iconic venue where there have been many wars. I’ve said all along that I was destined for greatness. I’m speaking it to existence, and I will show that on May 4.”

Velez is an experience contender of the Island of Enchantment, Puerto Rico, home of former world champions such as Wilfred “El Radar” Benitez, Wilfredo “Bazooka” Gomez, Felix “Tito” Trinidad and Miguel Cotto, among others. The 30-year-old pugilist has faced the toughest fighters of the competitive 126-pound division, including Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, Jr. and Ronny Rios. Velez is coming off three impressive victories, including a unanimous decision win against the previously undefeated Alberto Mercado and back-to-back stoppage victories over former contender Giovanni “El Ruso” Caroand former world champion Juan Manuel Lopez.

“I will not let my country down as it is a powerful force in boxing,” said Jayson Velez. “If anyone believes that I am only going for the paycheck, they are wrong. As I have proved before, I always give my best and this will not be the exception against Garcia. In the face of all predictions, I will defeat him.”

“Ryan Garcia is going to prove that he’s the next superstar in the sport of boxing,” said Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya. “After an amazing performance in March, Garcia will now make his debut in an arena that is slowly becoming a legendary battleground for boxing, the StubHub Center.”

In the co-main event, Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs), the incomparable and explosive Irish contender, will make his Southern California debut in a 10-round middleweight fight presented in association with Murphy’s Boxing. O’Sullivan has faced the likes of current WBO Middleweight World Champion Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank, Jr., and he’ll returning after his most significant and impressive victory against Antoine “Action” Douglass via seventh-round technical knockout. O’Sullivan will be next in line for a middleweight title shot if successful on May 4.

Welterweight knockout artist Alexis “Lex” Rocha (11-0, 8 KOs), who without a doubt will be the first world champion to come out of Santa Ana, Calif., will participate in an eight-round 147-pound fight. Rocha has many tools in his southpaw arsenal as he can both fight at the distance and knock people out from the inside.

Ferdinand Kerobyan (8-0, 4 KOs) of North Hollywood, Calif. will battle across a scheduled six-rounds of action in the super welterweight division. Kerobyan is the latest prospect to be signed to the exclusive Golden Boy Promotions stable and the first fighter under the management of former UFC fighter and current WWE Superstar Ronda Rousey.

Richard “Kansas Kid” Acevedo (1-0, 1 KO), a prospect originally out of Garden City, Kansas, will participate in a four-round super welterweight fight. This exciting puncher out of the Westside Boxing Club promises fireworks as he initiates this exciting card.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Ali, King, Smith, O’Connor, Boxing Hall of Fame, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

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

Sadam Ali to Face Liam Smith on HBO

Sadam “World Kid” Ali (26-1, 14 KOs) will defend his WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship against hard-hitting former world champion and No.1 contender Liam “Beefy” Smith (26-1-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round main event at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. The event takes place Saturday, May 12 and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Ali, a 2008 U.S. Olympian, has always displayed the skills of a future world champion. The 29-year-old pride of Brooklyn, N.Y. held multiple regional titles and scored important wins against the likes of Francisco “Chia” Santana, Luis Carlos “El Potro” Abregu and former interim WBA World Super Lightweight Champion Johan “El Terrible” Perez. Though suffering a setback in a welterweight title fight against Jessie Vargas, Ali silenced his doubters by moving up to 154 pounds to defeat future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto in Dec. 2017. The newly-crowned WBO Junior Middleweight Champion will face a tough challenge in Smith, a former holder of the same 154-pound title.

“It felt great to accomplish my dream of becoming world champion,” said Sadam Ali. “I’m excited to defend my title and to demonstrate that it is not up for grabs. Liam Smith is a great fighter and I’m sure he’ll be ready, but so will I.”

Smith, the first of an impressive stable of brothers to win a world title, is a 29-year-old native of Liverpool, England. After scoring 20 impressive victories as a professional, Smith defeated John “Apollo Kidd” Thompson via seventh-round technical knockout to capture the WBO 154-pound title that Ali currently holds. Smith then faced Canelo Alvarez in front of over 50,000 fans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Smith lost the title in an impressive show of heart and determination, and after three consecutive victories, he is ready to regain the title that was once his.

“I’m very happy that we’ve got this fight,” said Liam Smith. “I’m looking forward to pitting myself against a good fighter in Sadam Ali, a former Olympian and now world champion who is coming off the back of a good win against Miguel Cotto. I’m confident going into this fight. I know I’m naturally the bigger man, and that will come into play, especially in the type of fight that I think it will be.”

“Sadam Ali climbed onto the world championship stage with one of the biggest upsets in boxing history when he snatched the WBO Junior Middleweight World Title from Four-Division, Six Time World Champion, and Future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Being in the ring with a hungry fighter with a world championship belt on his resume like Liam Smith will be nothing new to Ali. Sadam will prove yet again he’s someone to watch out for in the division.”

“This is Liam’s chance to reclaim his world title,” said Frank Warren. “He’s come through two hard fights against Liam Williams to earn his shot, and he’s done what he set out to do. When he lost his belt against Canelo Alvarez, Liam said he would be a world champion again, and on May 12 he will deliver on that promise.”

Ali vs. Smith is a 12-round fight for the WBO Junior Middleweight Championship presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Frank Warren. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Casa Mexico Tequila. The fight will take place Saturday, May 12, 2018 at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Host of the May 12 event, Turning Stone Resort Casino is a Forbes Four-Star Award-winning destination resort, which continues to distinguish itself as a premier venue for fight-of-the-year level boxing. The May event will mark Turning Stone’s 25th nationally-televised boxing event, cementing the resort as a leading destination for nationally-televised combat sports. Turning Stone features world-class amenities including four hotels, more than 20 signature restaurants and dining options, two spas, an all-new 125,000 square foot Las Vegas style gaming floor, a cabaret-style Showroom, a 5,000-seat arena, five golf courses, several bars, cocktail lounges and nightlife venues with live entertainment every weekend.

Tickets for this highly anticipated matchup go on sale Tuesday, March 20 at 10:00 am ET and are available from $95 and $75 for ringside seats and all others priced at $55 and $45, plus any applicable fees. Tickets can be purchased at the Turning Stone Resort Box Office in person or by calling 315-361-7469 or online at Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com).

Don King Brings Isaac Ekpo and Rafael Mensah to America to Train for Upcoming World Title Fights

World Boxing Association (WBA) Mandatory challenger Isaac Ekpo (32-3, 25 KOs) from Abuja, Nigeria, and Rafael “Sweet Pea” Mensah (31-0, 23 KOs) from Accra Ghana both recently arrived to the U.S. with a new manager, new direction and first full training camps with trainer Stacy McKinley, to prepare for their upcoming world title fights.

Ekpo arrived in Germany Sunday for a world title rematch against WBA Super Middleweight Champion Tyron Zeuge. Their first bout, almost a year ago to the day on March 25, 2017, ended in controversial fashion and a loss for Ekpo.

Mensah has been in serious negotiations to challenge WBA Super Featherweight Champion Alberto Machado (19-0, 16 KOs).

Both Ekpo and Mensah arrived in the U.S. having made little to no money while fighting in Africa. Both fighters have a new manager. Stacy McKinley is training both for the first time.

“My old manager and promoter in Ghana, Anthony Karmah, (of Landmark Boxing), did good by taking me to where I am but he cheated me and is cheating all the boxers.” Explained Ekpo, also a 2004 Olympian. “He never paid me for the fights. He told me the fights, all of my fights, were for building my career. He prefers to have the money all to himself and the boxers are suffering, which is very bad. I was the mandatory challenger to (WBO Super Middleweight Champion Robert) Stieglitz in 2013. I was No. 7. We fought 12-rounds and was paid only $12K – for a world title fight! I argued with him but it didn’t matter. After the fight I went back to Africa, and signed with Don King. When I came to America in December, Don King told me to put the past behind and move forward. My coach is there beside me taking good care of me. He and Don King don’t treat me like a boxer they treat me like I am their blood.”

“In Ghana I was the champion, but no, I didn’t get any money,” said Mensah, who as an amateur was the Captain of the Ghana National Team. “The promoter there signed me and I don’t get money. Why? Somebody chopped my money. Every time I fight he told me he was building my record for me. I don’t know why. I fought thirty-one fights, big fights. I won the African title twice and the African Boxing Union title. I fight in front of huge crowds in Ghana – it is like the Las Vegas of Africa, it is the Mecca. Ike Quartey, Joshua Clottey, Azumah Nelson, Agbeko – they all fought there.”

Ekpo went further: “I would fight under Don King Productions and Don would send the money to my manager and I would never see the money – my manger keeps saying, still, he is building my record and I never see the money. When I fought Zeuge my manager got the money from Don King but he took two months to pay me – he said Don King never paid him. My manger was trying to destroy the man’s (Don King’s) name and it’s not like that. When my wife passed, I was looking for some money to help my family and Don King sent my former manager $10,000 to give to me. I only received $2000 of it – my manager kept the rest.” Ekpo lived on his marginal soldier’s salary. “When I came to train in America in December, Don King told me to put the past behind and move forward. My coach is there beside me taking good care of me. He and Don King don’t treat me like a boxer they treat me like I am their blood. Don King gave me money and I shared it and said this money is going to change a lot of things in my life.”

Mensah on his arrival to the U.S.: “I was in Ghana and I was told I got this opportunity to fight Machado and I may not get this opportunity again so I said OK, I will come to the America to see Don King for the first time. I signed with Don King three years ago with my old manager and never net him. My old manager would not let me meet Don King. My contract with my old manager was up in November and my new manager told me to come to the US to get better training – he convinced me to move here. I came to US a month ago and Don King said, “Rafael, now that you are here, how can I help you?” I said ‘yes, I will take this title to give to you. Don’t worry about that.’ I am here in the USA training and it will not be a problem. I am the man, I am Sweet Pea.”

Ekpo wants this message sent across to Zeuge regarding the rematch – “Train hard because I am coming. My name is ‘Grenade’ and when I explode no living thing will be left near me – everything will fall, and he is going to fall. I promise him and by the grace of God he is going to fall.”

In the first Zeuge-Ekpo fight, in front of a Zeuge hometown crowd at MBS Arena in Pottsdam, Germany, Zeuge (21-0-1, 11 KOs) from Berlin, was cut in round three from an Ekpo left hook.. “I gave him a left hook and it caught him but they changed it to a head-butt. It wasn’t a head-butt like they called it. It was a left hook. I watch the fight every day,” said Ekpo. The decision would go to the judges’ scorecards, whom all had Zeuge ahead at the time (48-47, 49-47, 49-46). “In round 5 he was very tired, but he survived the round. When the round was over he called the doctor to stop the fight. When they stopped the fight my coach and I were celebrating, but next the referee said ‘no, it is a technical decision.’ Why technical decision? The guy said he can’t fight. I’m not tired. I didn’t give up. If he stopped the fight that means I am the winner because I never give up but the champion said he is not going to fight anymore.”

Ekpo had gone into the fight with extreme adversity, having lost his wife (a 32-year-old Nigerian National soccer star) during childbirth on March 9, just two weeks before the fight. “After my wife delivered she started bleeding and from there she passed away,” explained Ekpo. “She left the baby behind. I gave her the mommy’s name and she is living right now with her grandmother. ” Ekpo trained only one week with his new trainer and five weeks total for the fight. Ekpo thought long and hard before deciding to go through with the fight. “I needed the money to take care of my family. Coach Stacy McKinley said to me ‘you’re good, you can beat this kid.’ I fought Zeuge with pains in my heart.”

“This time my hands are my referee and my judges. I am going to fight Tyron Zeuge as if he is the one that killed my wife,” said Ekpo. “Last time I took all of his best punches. Now I am stronger and I’m going to hit him hard – harder than before, like a sledgehammer. This time I am going to knock him out in his hometown, right in front of his people. He is not going 12-rounds with me. I promised my wife before she died that I would bring the title back to my baby. I love her so much. Every time I think about her I shed tears.”

Machado on his immediate future: “My next fight will be against Machado. I know Machado and I know I can beat Machado. There is no doubt that Mensah can beat him. When I saw Machado I said ‘yes, I can beat you.’ You are not somebody that can beat me. You cannot beat Rafael Mensah. I will come and maybe not knock you out but I will beat you in boxing. I will teach you boxing very well. If I don’t knock you out I will teach you a boxing lesson.”

“I came to America and signed with a new manager and he exposed everything,” explained Ekpo, who moved to the United States on December 27. “When I first learned what had happened, I wanted to go back to Africa and fight him but Don King said no. He knows he can’t even call me any more and he’s scared. Everything is exposed. The last time I was at his office and he hid then ran out the back door. Don King gave me money and immediately I told my new manager to send it to my family and he said ‘why are you crying?’ The amount of money Don King gave me will change a lot of things and that makes me happy. Now I’m going to give him the title. That’s the thing I’m going to use to pay him back.”

“Now I am ranked #2 in the WBA and now I am waiting for Machado,” said Machado. “I came here to train and listen to my new manager. I left my 4-month old child and my wife to come to America because of Machado. When I arrived Don King said, ‘Rafael, now that you are here, how can I help you?’ I said ‘yes, I will take this title to give to you. Don’t worry about that. I am now focused about the business of being in the ring. I don’t see anybody coming to beat me. My new manager is here to help me. God has done everything for me and now I listen to Don King and my manager. So now everything will be all right for me in America.”

Nelson Aiyelabowo, current manager of both Ekpo and Mensah: “We are very grateful for how Don King has welcomed us. Isaac is having a great camp and we are ready to add to a stable of champions Don King has promoted over the past decades.”

MTK Global Opens MTK NewCastle as UK Presence Continues to Grow

MTK Global is pleased to confirm the opening of a new UK branch – MTK Newcastle in Gateshead.

With MTK Global’s UK bases in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Scotland already thriving, the proud fighting city of Newcastle has joined the party.

The north-east has produced several success stories in the ring, such as Glenn McCrory’s world cruiserweight title glory down the road in Stanley in 1989. World title challengers John Davison and Billy Hardy are also local stars of yesteryear.

With interest in boxing and MMA on the rise, MTK Newcastle will provide excellent facilities for the stars of tomorrow while remaining an invaluable recreational facility for the local community.

MTK Newcastle Gym Manager and coach, Brad Tarren, said: “It’s exciting news for fighters in the north-east of England as we look to create combat teams under the MTK banner.

“MTK Newcastle adds to the growing entity of the MTK Global brand and we are certainly excited for the future prospects this opportunity brings.

“The gym will also remain as a recreational facility welcome to all members of the public – regardless of their level or experience.”

MTK Global CEO Sandra Vaughan added: “We are so proud to have added a Newcastle headquarters. It’s a fantastic city with a rich history in combat sports.

“We look forward to Brad and his team nurturing the local talent. This move is further proof of MTK Global’s commitment to improving opportunities for fighters in as many areas as we can.”

Follow MTK Newcastle on Twitter @mtknewcastle

National Boxing Hall of Fame Gala 2018

The National Boxing Hall Of Fame will be holding its Annual GALA April 28th, 2018 from 11:00am – 3:00pm, at Quiet Cannon Event Center, 901 Via San Clemente, Montebello, CA. Tickets are $75 and available at www.nationalboxinghalloffame.com All 2018 Inductees are confirmed to attend event this year! Limited seating available and tickets MUST be paid in advance to attend.

The 2018 Inductees are:
◦Al Bernstein
◦Ruben Castillo
◦Michele Chong
◦George Chuvalo
◦Miguel Diaz
◦Juan LaPorte
◦Lupe Pintor
◦Christy Martin
◦Eddie Mustafa Muhammad
◦Richie Sandoval
◦Herbert Santos
◦Aaron Snowell
◦Alfonso Zamora
◦Carlos Zarate

POSTHUMOUS (Family will attend)
◦Muhammad Ali
◦Bundini Brown
◦Zora Folley
◦Ernie Lopez
◦Jerry Quarry

RISING STAR AWARD
◦2016 U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas

DON SULAIMAN LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
◦Don Majeski

HOWIE STEINDLER AWARD

◦Danny “Little Red” Lopez
◦Ernie “Indian Red” Lopez

BOBBY CHACON GIFT OF LOVE AWARD

◦Mike Donahue

Boxing Fans, don’t miss this great Boxing event with legends of our sport and future stars, for more information please contact info@nationalboxinghalloffame.com .

Danny O’Connor Defends WBC Title Against Steve Claggett

After coming off a of a great KO win, earning the vacant WBC Silver Intercontinental Title against rising Queens prospect and previously undefeated, DANNY GONZALEZ, (then, 14-0 5KO’s) at STAR BOXING’S Slugfest at the Sun, at Mohegan Sun Arena, in November, DANNY O’CONNOR (now, 30-3, 11KO’s) put his title on the line at the against an extremely tough Canadian in STEVE CLAGGETT (now, 26-5-1, 17 KO’s).

Claggett came into last nights title bout, just off of a hard fought win against previously unbeaten, and fellow highly touted Canadian prospect, YVES ULYSSE JR. (then, 14-0 9KO’s).

O’Connor vs. Claggett was seen live on PPV, and was the main event bout of a great night of boxing on St. Patricks day, from the House of Blues Boston.

For the opening two rounds, O’Connor and Claggett maintained a fast, competitive pace, with give and take action by both fighters. However, in the third round, O’Connor began to find his rhythm, landing strong combinations while alluding the attempted offense of Claggett.

O’Connor continued to use his combinations to score, while keeping his foot on the outside of Claggett, dodging most attempts the Canadian threw. However, in the seventh round, Claggett threw a perfect counter right, that sent O’Connor to the canvas. O’Connor managed to shake off the knockdown, got his legs under him, and finished the final two rounds strong, earning a unanimous decision vicory, and successfully defending his WBC belt.

Promoter JOE DEGUARDIA had this to say about O’Connor’s strong outing, “Danny O’Connor showed true guts, putting his title on the line against a very tough fighter in Steve Claggett. Danny used his skill and more importantly, great resilience, getting up from a late round knockdown to defend his title. This was a very solid victory for Danny against a tough opponent, and we look forward to what is to come.”

O’Connor vs. Claggett was promoted by Murphy’s Boxing and Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Lara, Hurd, Imam, Ramirez, Top Rank, ESPN, and more….


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 6th to March 13th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Lara and Jarrett Hurd to Clash on April 7th

Erislandy Lara, the longest reigning world champion at 154-pounds, will clash with IBF champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd in a highly-anticipated super welterweight title unification live on SHOWTIME (10 pm ET/7 pm PT) as part of an exciting card presented by Premier Boxing Champions Saturday, April 7 from The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

In the co-main event, Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb Truax will make the first defense of his IBF title against James DeGale in a rematch of one of the biggest upsets of 2017 that saw Truax wrestle the belt from DeGale on his home turf in London last December.

Tickets for the show, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, will go on sale Friday, March 16 and be available by visiting AXS.com or the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas Box Office.

“This is an action-packed card from top to bottom. The televised card features boxers who all have something significant to gain with a victory,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “The winner of Lara-Hurd will be one step closer to becoming the undisputed 154-pound world champion. In a rematch, Truax gets to re-affirm his position as champion and DeGale has a chance to regain his world championship status. This is the kind of show that keeps fans on the edge of their seats.”

“We take pride in promoting quality events that our audiences always want to see,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “This card is going to be another line-up that the fans won’t want to miss. With Lara and Hurd looking to unify their titles and guys going head-to-head in rematches on the undercard, this is sure to be a night of non-stop action.

Lara vs. Hurd is a classic contrast in styles that could force each fighter to raise their game to another level. Lara is a crafty southpaw who relies on his superior boxing skills to confound opponents, while Hurd is a pure pressure boxer-puncher that stalks his opponents and isn’t easily frustrated.

Lara, a Cuban whose nickname is “The American Dream”, is coming off a unanimous decision victory on SHOWTIME over Terrell Gausha in October. Hurd was on the same card and defeated former champion Austin Trout when Trout’s corner stopped the fight in the 10th round. That paved the way for this unification showdown.

The 34-year-old Lara (25-2-2, 14 KOs), who lives and trains in Houston, Texas, won his world title with a TKO victory over Alfredo Angulo in 2013 and has successfully defended it seven times, which includes wins over Trout, Ishe Smith and Vanes Martirosyan.

“I’m very excited and motivated for this fight and to once again be headlining on the best network in boxing on SHOWTIME, is truly a pleasure,” said Lara. “I look forward to adding another belt to my collection on April 7 and to proving that I’m the best 154-pound fighter out there. Everyone tune-in because you don’t want to miss this unification. It’s going to be a legendary night and one for the history books.”

The undefeated Hurd (21-0, 15 KOs) is coming off a career-defining TKO victory over the former champion Trout in his last fight on Oct. 14. It was the first defense of the title for the 27-year Hurd of Accokeek, Maryland, who won the championship with a TKO victory over Tony Harrison on Feb. 25, 2017.

“I plan on being the aggressor for the entire fight, so I’ve been doing some exercises and working on techniques to improve my foot work so that I can stay on top of Erislandy Lara,” said Hurd. “We are not trying to go to the scorecards, so hopefully, I can be the first man to stop him, which I hope to do in the later rounds.

“I called him out, and now, it has come to pass that I get to become a unified champion against the man everyone considers to be the best and most feared in the division, and that’s Erislandy Lara.”

They call 34-year-old Truax “Golden”, and he punched his ticket to world title gold while on a trip to London in December, when he defeated DeGale by majority decision. Truax (29-3-2, 18 KOs) of Osseo, Minnesota was on a two-fight win streak heading into the match against DeGale. Before that his only losses came against former champions Anthony Dirrell, Daniel Jacobs and Jermain Taylor.

“They made the right call on the decision in England, and I expect to be even more dominant this time around,” Truax said. “I am planning to really just beat up James Gale and get the job done in more efficient fashion this time.’

“Fighting in Las Vegas for the first time will be a very cool experience and I expect it to be friendlier than it was in London. There is a lot of pride on the line for me, being that I’m the first boxing world champion from Minnesota in a long time. So there is a lot on the line for me and I plan to keep that going, especially as a means for supporting my family.”

The 32-year-old DeGale (23-2-1, 14 KOs) was the first British boxer to win a Gold Medal in the Olympics (2008 Beijing Games) and a world championship as a professional. He won his world title with a unanimous decision over Andre Dirrell in 2015 and made two successful defenses before fighting to a draw against Badou Jack on Jan. 14, 2017. It was a brutal standoff between two world champions, but neither man had his hand raised in victory. DeGale, who was coming off of an injury, had his home town crowd behind him but couldn’t deliver a win as Truax scored a stunning upset with the majority decision victory.

‘I’m happy to have the opportunity to rematch Truax and regain my IBF title,” said DeGale. “I am not going to make excuses for my poor performance, actions speak louder than words. I am excited to be boxing in Vegas and on SHOWTIME again. The real JD will be back on fight night!”

Amir Imam Preparing for Jose Ramirez

Amir Imam (21-1, 18 KOs) is in Pompano Beach, Florida, under the auspices of head trainer Stacy McKinley, in final preparations for his March 17 showdown against Jose Ramirez (21-0, 16 KOs) from Avenal, California for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) super lightweight belt Saturday, March 17, at the The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Imam, 27, rated No. 1 by the WBC, boasts a victory by knockout ratio of 86%, including his last three and five of his last seven. Ramirez, 25, WBC No. 3 ranked super lightweight, has stopped 76% of the opponents he has faced, including four consecutive and eight in his last 10 bouts

“Amir Imam is coming to Madison Square Garden, The Mecca of Boxing, in New York City, to take down not only Jose Ramirez but Bob Arum too!” boasted Imam’s promoter Don King. “I can hardly wait for Saturday night. Start the clock. Tick-tock, tick-tock.” T-minus 124 hours 45 minutes till Ramirez-Imam enter the ring, Saturday night . . .

“Yes sir, March 17 is a big day for me and the stakes are real high for both me and him. It’s the first time I get to fight in the Garden and that’s exciting, knowing that greatness has fought there. It’s the first time I am fighting in a main event and first time fighting for a world title,” said Imam. “It’s what I have been working for my whole life and it’s finally here and I’ve got to take advantage of it.

“He’s kind of tall and long just like me, so it’s like seeing each other in the mirror so it is going to be real interesting and it’s going to be an electrifying fight.”

“Ramirez is a tough fighter – a real tough fighter and we know what we’ve got to do to win this fight. If a knockout comes I will take advantage of it but I am not going in there looking for a straight knockout. I have to fight real hard and get the rounds under my belt just in case. He’s been aggressive but he may not come out aggressive – you never know. I just have to be smart in the ring and adjust to things he will be doing.”

“I can definitely match his power, I can box when I have to, and I can fight. I can do a lot of things. I can do whatever it takes to get the W. A lot of fighters these days can’t do that – they are one-dimensional fighters. If I have to box or if I have to slug I can do it. I think I am the toughest guy in the 140-pund divisi

“I can just hear them saying “The New.”

Ramírez vs. Imam will headline a spectacular St. Patrick’s Day boxing extravaganza, The Ramírez – Imam world championship fight will be televised live and exclusively at 8 p.m. EDT on ESPN and stream live on the ESPN App at 6 p.m. EDT. It will mark the first time Arum and King have battled each other promotionally on the same card since Miguel Cotto defended his World Boxing Association (WBA) super welterweight world title on March 12, 2011.

ESPN Scores Highest Rated Boxing Fight on Cable Television in 2018 with Saturday Night’s Top Rank on ESPN

Top Rank on ESPN saw Oscar Valdez (24-0, 19 KOs) retain his WBO featherweight title against Scott Quigg while fighting under a canopy at the rainy StubHub Center, the famed outdoor boxing venue in Carson, Calif. south of downtown Los Angeles. The telecast includes two of 2018’s top five highest-rated fights on cable television in 2018, according to preliminary audience results from Nielsen. The Valdez vs. Quigg world championship fight aired live and exclusively on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and streamed live on the ESPN App.

Top Things to Know

• Last night’s telecast was the highest-rated of the three Top Rank on ESPN telecasts in 2018
• Last night’s Top Rank on ESPN featured two of the five highest-rated fights on cable television in 2018
• The main event featuring Valdez vs. Quigg averaged a 0.7 metered market rating, while the co-main event featuring undefeated junior lightweights Andy Vences vs. Erick De Leon averaged a 0.8 metered market rating
Top Boxing Overnight Ratings on Cable Television 2018 (By Fight)
03/10/2018
ESPN
VENCES vs. DE LEON
0.8

03/03/2018
SHOWTIME
WILDER vs. ORTIZ
0.8

03/10/2018
ESPN
VALDEZ vs. QUIGG
0.7

01/27/2018
HBO
MATTHYSSE vs. KIRAM
0.7

03/03/2018
HBO
KOVALEV vs. MIKHALKIN
0.7

The next Top Rank on ESPN is this Saturday, March 17 and features top-rated contenders José Ramírez and Amir “Young Man” Imam fighting for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) super lightweight world title. Ramirez vs. Imam will headline a St. Patrick’s Day at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. The event also features Irish Olympian Michael Conlan (5-0, 4 KO’s), from Belfast, who begins his sophomore professional year exactly where he started his freshman year — at The Garden. The Ramirez vs. Imam world championship event will live and exclusively at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN and stream live on the ESPN App at 6 p.m. ET.

Witherspoon Decisions Capers in Atlantic City

Chazz Witherspoon raised his winning streak to eight in a row as he went the eight-round distance by won a unanimous decision over Lamont Capers that headlined a seven-bout card at The Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City.

The show, which took place this past Saturday, was promoted by Mis Downing Promotions and Silverspoon Promotions.

Witherspoon was able to outpoint the crafty Capers. Capers was very competitive, but it was Witherspoon’s size and harder punches that proved to be the difference as he captured the via 78-74, 78-74 and 77-75 scores.

Witherspoon of Paulsboro, NJ is now 37-3. Capers, who was fighting for the 2nd time in seven days is 9-12-4.

Willis Lockett took a six-round majority decision over Prince Badi Ajamu in a cruiserweight bout.

Lockett of Takoma Park, MD won by scores of 59-55, 58-56 and 57-57, and is now 16-22-6. Ajamu of Camden, NJ is 28-4-1.

Super Lightweight John Bauza remained undefeated with a six-round unanimous decision over David Morales.

Bauza of North Bergen, NJ won on all cards by scores of 60-54, and is now 9-0. Morales of Managua, Nicaragua is 13-9.

Mike Hilton won a three-round technical unanimous decision over Hector Perez.

The fight was a terrific back and forth brawl when Perez suffered a cut over his right eye in the third frame.

Perez almost made a quick night for himself as he dropped Hilton in the 1st round. Hilton stormed back to register his own knockdown’s in round two and three.

The scores were 28-26 on all cards at the time of the stoppage.

Hilton of Trenton, NJ is 10-0. Perez of Pleasantville, NJ is 3-2

Edgar Cortes won a four-round unanimous decision over Kevin Asmat in a featherweight bout.

Scores were 38-37 twice and 39-36 for Cortes, of Vineland, NJ, who is now 6-4. Asmat of North Bergen. NJ is 3-2.

Alejandro Jimenez made a successful pro debut with a 2nd round stoppage over Derrick Pitts in a bantamweight bout.

The time of the finish was 3:00. Pitts is 0-2.

Dan Murray and Latorrie Woodberry fought to a no-contest when Woodberry hurt his shoulder in the 1st round of their scheduled four-round welterweight bout.

“I am ecstatic about Saturday night’s card,” said Mis Downing of Mis Downing Promotions. “The fights were terrific and very competitive. I want to thank the Claridge Hotel and a special thanks to The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame. I also want to thank Mayor Frank Gilliam for supporting our event. We are excited about what is to come in the future, and we will have a very big announcement shortly about our next event, which will be a very special night of boxing.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Jacobs, Mosley, Wallin, Ali, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of February 13th to February 20th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Daniel jacobs to Face Maciej Sulecki at Barclays Center on April 28th

Brooklyn native and former Middleweight Champion Daniel Jacobs (33-2) will return to action on April 28th at the Barclays Center to face Maciej Sulecki (26-0). This bout has been announced to be televised on HBO.

Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller (20-0-1) will face Johann Duhaupus (37-4) in the opening bout of the telecast in a twelve round bout.

“I’m looking forward to fight Sulecki on April 28, he’s an undefeated guy that I know will be looking to make a name for himself by beating me,” continued Jacobs. “I’m looking to have a great training camp and get myself focused to really put on a show for the Brooklyn fans come April 28.”

“This is an excellent opportunity for me to fight one of the very best middleweights in the world,” said Sulecki. “I’ll be very well prepared to stay undefeated and defeat Jacobs in front of the Polish boxing fans at Barclays Center as I continue my march to become a world champion.”

Said Miller, “Nothing makes me more gratified and blessed to do what I love best and that’s to get back in the ring and continue to solidify my place as the next heavyweight Champion of the world.

“This fight on April 28th is just the next step to being recognized as the best in the world and a training ground for Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder,” Miller continued. “Thank you HBO, Eddie Hearn and Dmitry Salita for this amazing opportunity. Big Baby Miller and Big Baby Promotions is here.”

Said Duhaupus, “A top Heavyweight does not have to be heavy or light, fat or slim – a heavyweight just needs to be strong. I will show on April 28 that I am strong enough to beat Jarrell Miller.”

Wallin vs. Granat Grudge Match Set for April 21st in Sundsvall
Swedish heavyweights Otto Wallin (19-0, 13 KOs) and Adrian Granat (15-1, 14 KOs) will meet in a grudge match for the European Union title on April 21 at the Gärdehov ice hockey arena in Sundsvall, Sweden.

The 26 year-old fighters have been on a collision course since joining the professional ranks in 2013, and following years of speculation, now the time has come to see who is Sweden’s number one heavyweight.

Wallin, the current WBA Continental Champion, has a record of 19 wins and 0 defeats, while Granat, a former IBF International Champion, has suffered just 1 defeat in his 16 contests, and boasts a frightening near perfect KO ratio of 88%.

Having previously exchanged barbs in the press, there is no love lost between the warring heavyweights, and as anticipation for a fight has grown so to have their hostilities which have reached boiling point ahead of this championship contest.

“I don’t like him,” says Granat, who must travel to Wallin’s hometown of Sundsvall for the fight. “Boxing is supposed to be entertainment, but he’s not entertaining. He’s not got an entertaining boxing style or personality. I think he’s dull all the way through, and I’m 100% confident I will win this fight.

“He’s got a weak mind and no punch so it’s going to be difficult for him. He’s fought lower level journeymen his whole career so it’s going to be a big step up for him to face me, and I think he’s going to notice the difference.

“For me, it doesn’t matter that the fight is in Sundsvall. I think that’s great. It’s going to be fun. I look forward to the crowd booing me in, and they’ll be booing me even more at the end when Otto is lying on the canvas!”

“I’ve been waiting a long time for this fight and finally we will see who is the best heavyweight in Sweden,” said Wallin. “I’m very confident I will win. I’m confident in my ability and in my work rate. I know when I enter the ring, I would have prepared to the best of my ability and done everything possible to win.

“Granat is a big guy with some strength, but I believe I’m the better boxer. I’ve known him for many years since we were amateurs so I know what to expect. I don’t think he’s improved and I don’t think he understands what it takes to become something in this game.

“He’s always tried to do things the easy way. He’s disrespected me and he’s disrespected his other opponents. I want to show him that’s not the way to behave. This is a gentleman’s sport, and I plan to teach him a lesson.”

“This is going to be a fantastic fight,” said Wallin’s promoter Nisse Sauerland. “It’s a fight the fans wanted and we’re very happy that we’ve been able to deliver it. On April 21, Sweden’s top two heavyweights will go toe-to-toe, and I believe the winner of this fight will go on to become a World Champion.”

Granat’s promoter Erol Ceylan adds: “I think that Adrian is well aware of his situation. He will give everything to defeat him. Wallin may have home advantage but he will need to withstand the pressure that comes with that first. I think he does not know how strong Adrian is. This is going to be a great fight. A huge heavyweight fight that will be talked about for years to come.”

Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame to Include Sen. Harry Reid, Laila Ali, Shane Mosley, and Earnie Shavers

Laila Ali will become the first child of a Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame inductee to be enshrined when she is inducted into the NVBHOF on Saturday, August 18 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Tickets to the induction gala, priced from $95 to $500, go on sale at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT today and can be purchased at www.nvbhof.com (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nevada-boxing-hall-of-fame-6th-annual-induction-dinner-tickets-43144441185) Caesars Palace is once again offering a discounted room rate for the event. Rooms can be reserved now via this link: Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame.

Ali, the daughter of legendary former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, headlines an elite 14-member class.

“I am so excited about our latest class, because we not only do we get to honor some of the greatest boxers ever, but also because of the historic connection between Muhammad Ali and his daughter, Laila,” said Michelle Corrales-Lewis, the CEO of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. “Just like her father, who was known as ‘The Greatest,’ Laila was believed by many to be the best female boxer during her career.

“It’s also exciting for us to induct Sen. Harry Reid. Sen. Reid was a boxer himself, and loved the sport and used his influence over the years to help boxing and boxers in his beloved State of Nevada. We can’t wait for our fans to be able to see these great people receive recognition for their amazing careers.”

Of the 14-member class, nine are being elected as boxers and five as non-participants. The living inductees are Laila Ali, Chris Byrd, Todd duBoef, Kevin Kelley, Don Minor, Shane Mosley, Sen. Harry Reid, Jerry Roth and Earnie Shavers.

Alexis Arguello, Henry Armstrong, Jack “Doc” Kearns, Bill Miller and Aaron Pryor will be inducted posthumously.

Star Boxing Returns to the Paramount on March 16th

Star Boxing’s critically acclaimed ‘Rockin’ Fights’ returns to the Paramount, Long Island’s premier venue, on March 16. The show is bound to be yet another sellout at the unique venue.

Star Boxing’s series at The Paramount has developed some of Long Island and Star Boxing’s biggest stars, like former world champion Chris Algieri, light heavyweight star Joe Smith Jr. and jr. welterweight knockout artist Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin.

Star Boxing has also brought in talent from all over the world to the Paramount including two-time world champion Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade (Rhode Island), and former world champion, Joshua Clottey (Ghana, Africa).

Rockin’ Fights at The Paramount has continuously sold out (this is Star Boxing’s 30th show there) with a Long Island crowd that fills the venue with unrivaled energy. The series has even brought out the likes of celebrities such as actor Burt Young, famously known for his role in Rocky and hip-hop artist and actor LL Cool J, amongst many others.

The Rockin’ Fights series at The Paramount offers an affordable and extremely entertaining night out, that is guaranteed to see action packed professional fighting from the opening bout, through the main event.

On March 16th, Star Boxing plans to make the 30th edition of Rockin’ Fights yet another thrilling night of entertainment.

Telemundo Deportes Kicks Off Boxeo Telemundo Spring Season with Mexico vs. Puerto Rico

Telemundo Deportes kicks off the 2018 spring season premiere of “Boxeo Telemundo Ford,” the #1 Spanish-language boxing program in the U.S., this Friday, Feb. 23 at 11:30 p.m. ET, live from the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida. The season will open with an event featuring Mexican Ricardo “Meserito” Rodríguez, 16-5 (5 KOs) and Puerto Rican Jonathan “Bomba” Gonzalez, 19-2-1 (12 KOs) battling for the WBO Regional Flyweight Title.

Telemundo and Telemundo Deportes En Vivo app will broadcast live with commentators René Giraldo and Edgar López from the venues calling the bouts.

The season opener will have Mexican title contender Rodriguez looking to redeem himself from the last performances and extend his undefeated winning streak versus Puerto Rican fighters with a 5-0 record in regional title fights. Rodriguez will face Gonzalez – nicknamed “Bomba” because of his past explosive knockouts – who recently signed with All Star Boxing, Inc. after gaining an International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) Youth World Championship title and two Puerto Rican championships. Gonzalez has used the recent natural disasters in Puerto Rico as a motivation to fight for all those who have been affected and is ready to make his debut on Telemundo.

The undercard for the 2018 spring season premiere will feature Olympians Antonio Vargas (5-0-3 KOs) of Kissimmee, Florida and Jeyvier Cintron (2-0-1 KO) of Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Vargas represented team USA in Rio in 2016 and will be coming off a spectacular win over undefeated prospect Jonathan Garza last November. Cintron was the first and only two-time Olympian boxer to have represented Puerto Rico in the amateur ranks, and he is looking to make up for the lost time after the natural disasters that hit the island by staying very busy in 2018, starting with this bout.

“Boxeo Telemundo Ford” 2018 spring season will continue on March 2 with an exciting bout between David “Severo” Carmona and Jesus “Azul” Iribe for the vacant World Boxing Council Latin Bantamweight Title. On March 9, Telemundo returns to Mexico City for another all-Mexican bout, featuring Gilberto “Yaqui” Parra, who is ranked among the top ten in the world in his weight class, and Saúl “Baby” Juárez for the World Boxing Council Latin Light Flyweight Title.

The “Boxeo Telemundo Ford” season will be broadcast live on Telemundo and live streamed on Telemundo Deportes En Vivo app and will be complemented with extensive news and content on TelemundoDeportes.com, including access to the weigh-in and exclusive behind the scenes content. “Boxeo Telemundo Ford,” the longest-running boxing program on U.S. Spanish-language television, debuted in 1989. Since then it has showcased more than 50 world champions, including Erik Morales, Felix Tito Trinidad, Wilfredo Vazquez, Daniel Zaragoza, Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez, Oscar “Chololo” Larios and Israel “El Magnífico” Vazquez, earning a reputation as the show “where champions are born.” “Boxeo Telemundo Ford” wrapped up 2017 with its highest fourth quarter ever among adults 18-49 with 227,000 and 480,000 total viewers, according to Nielsen.

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