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Boxing Insider Notebook: Crawford, Khan, Stevenson, Vazquez, Bivol, Smith, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of February 26th to March 5th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Crawford vs. Khan Undercard Announced, to Feature Lopez, Stevenson, and Verdejo
Before pound-for-pound king Terence “Bud” Crawford enters the ring to defend his WBO welterweight world title against Amir “King” Khan, a pair of 21-year-old wunderkinds — Teofimo Lopez and Shakur Stevenson — will look to steal the show in their respective co-feature bouts on ESPN PPV Saturday, April 20 at Madison Square Garden.

Stevenson, the 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, will tangle with former 130-pound world title challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz in a 10-round featherweight bout. Lopez, the consensus 2018 Prospect of the Year and top lightweight contender, will face two-time European lightweight champion and former world title challenger Edis Tatli in a 10-rounder. Tatli is ranked No. 3 by the IBF and No. 10 by the WBC.

And, in a special attraction that will open the broadcast, Puerto Rican star Felix “El Diamante” Verdejo will fight former two-time interim super featherweight world champion Bryan Vasquez in a 10-round lightweight bout that will thrust the winner into the world title picture.

Tickets priced at $606, $406, $306, $206, $106, $81, and $56 (including facility fees) are on sale now and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com and www.msg.com.

Details on how fans will be able to access the pay-per-view broadcast, which will begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, will be announced at a later date.

The entire undercard will stream live beginning at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN+, the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.

“This terrific undercard accompanying the Crawford-Khan main event will be extremely entertaining and exciting,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Shakur Stevenson and Teofimo Lopez are two of the brightest young lights in boxing and are facing seasoned opponents in Diaz and Tatli. Felix Verdejo is on the comeback trail, and Bryan Vasquez is a tough veteran who won’t give in.”

Lopez (12-0, 10 KOs) catapulted from prospect to contender in 2018 and early 2019 with a slew of headline-grabbing wins, including sensational knockout victories over Mason Menard and Diego Magdaleno in his last two fights. A 2016 Olympian for his parents’ native Honduras, the Brooklyn-born puncher last fought at Madison Square Garden’s big arena on May 12 of last year, punctuating his first-round knockout of Vitor Jones Freitas with a Fortnite dance that went viral. Tatli (31-2, 10 KOs) has never been stopped as a pro and has wins over current European lightweight champion Francesco Patera, top contender Yvan Mendy and former 130-pound world champion Mzonke Fana. A celebrity in his native Finland, Tatli recently took home the first prize on “Tanssii tähtien kanss,” the Finnish version of the popular BBC program, “Strictly Come Dancing.”

“Every time I fight in my hometown, I take over the show, and that’s what I plan on doing again,” Lopez said. “This is the year I become a world champion, and whoever stands in my way is going to get knocked out. If you think you’ve seen the best version of Teofimo Lopez, think again. The Takeover is coming to Madison Square Garden and ESPN pay-per-view.

“One thing I know for sure: Tatli will be dancing with the real star of The Takeover on April 20. This ain’t reality TV. This is a real fight.”

“This is a great matchup, and I can’t wait to get the job done,” Tatli said. “Lopez is a skilled fighter, and he is in for a real treat on April 20. My goal has been clear for a long time — to win a world title — and Lopez is not going to stop me reaching it.”

Stevenson (10-0, 6 KOs) followed up a 5-0 campaign in 2018 with a spectacular fourth-round TKO over Jessie Cris Rosales on Jan. 18 in Verona, N.Y. A native of Newark, N.J. — a short train ride from Madison Square Garden — Stevenson hopes to move closer to a world title opportunity in front of his home fans. Diaz (24-1, 16 KOs), from Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, moved down to featherweight following his July 2018 decision loss to Masayuki Ito for the vacant WBO junior lightweight world title. He knocked out David Berna in the first round on Nov. 24 to set up the Stevenson showdown.

“Newark is going to be in the building on April 20 as I show Christopher Diaz what I’m all about,” Stevenson said. “After I get done with him, Diaz will wish he’d stayed at 130 pounds. Soon enough, the featherweight division is going to run through me.”

“I feel super motivated and focused as always for another big fight in another big event,” Diaz said. “I like these kinds of challenges. I’m fighting against a silver medalist of the 2016 Rio Olympics who is also a great prospect with a lot of potential. He needs to demonstrate that he has what nobody can teach him. He needs to show that he has heart and gallantry. We’ll see on April 20 when he faces his first real tough test. I will come prepared as I always do. On that night, he will understand that you can’t teach cojones and that I was born with very big ones.”

Verdejo (24-1, 16 KOs), a former amateur superstar for his native Puerto Rico, hopes to graduate to contender status with a victory over Vasquez. He suffered his first loss last March via 10th-round stoppage to Antonio Lozada Jr. in a fight he was leading. Verdejo was victorious in his comeback bout on Nov. 10 in Puerto Rico, knocking out Yardley Armenta Cruz in the second round. Vasquez (37-3, 20 KOs) has won two in a row since a tight majority decision loss to Ray Beltran in August 2017.

“I’m going into this new challenge ready to demonstrate my skills against a world-class fighter,” Verdejo said. “I hope that this fight will open the doors to big fights. I want to bring a world championship to Puerto Rico, and this is the year.”

“In order for me to lose to Verdejo, he’s going to have to kill me,” Vasquez said. “In order for him to kill me, he’s going to have to be willing to die with me. And he’s already shown that he’s not willing to die in there.”

Use the hashtag #CrawfordKhan to join the conversation on social media.
Bivol: I Know Smith Will Come and Fight
DMITRY BIVOL knows that JOE SMITH JR. is coming to rip his title away from him – and the WBA World Light-Heavyweight king says that will make for a great fight when he defends his belt at TURNING STONE RESORT & CASINO in Verona, NY on Saturday March 9, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW PRICED FROM $49 VIA TICKETMASTER.COM

Bivol (15-0 11 KOs) puts his strap on the line for the fifth time and it’s been smooth sailing since he destroyed Trent Broadhurst inside a round in his first defense in November 2017.

The Russian has put Sullivan Barrera, Isaac Chilemba and Jean Pascal to the sword since that win in Monaco, and now the hard-hitting Russian goes head to head with Smith Jr (24-2 20KOs).

The Long Island man fights for his first World title against Bivol, and the 29 year old has vowed to pour everything out of himself to land the crown – and the defending champ believes that their styles will gel for a great clash.

“He’s a strong guy,” said Bivol. “I saw his fight against Bernard Hopkins, and he’s really strong. He has the same age like me, he’s young. But he has some minus points like many fighters that I will use to my advantage for my win. He moves forward a lot. This is a good challenge for me, to stop him.”

“I saw in his eyes when I met him, he wanted my belt. And I’m glad, because only that way it can make a good fight.”

“We are both of different styles. When two guys meet in the ring with different styles in boxing, it usually makes a good fight. I think it will be a good fight for boxing fans.”

“To be honest, I don’t think about the belt. I just think about who my opponent is, and what he can show me in the ring. All I think about is how I should beat him. In my sight, I feel like I should just beat him. Of course, the belt is good for history, but I only think about my opponent.”

Bivol’s clash with Smith Jr. is part of a huge night of action at Turning Stone Resort Casino with a second mouthwatering World title fight on the bill in the shape of Maurice Hooker (25-0-3 17 KOs) defending his WBO World Super-Lightweight title against Brooklyn’s Mikkel LesPierre (21-0-1 10KOs).

Callum Johnson (17-1-0 12KOs) and Sean Monaghan (29-2-0 17KOs) will both have a keen eye on Bivol’s clash as they battle in a crunch fight in the 175lbs division, World-ranked heavyweight contender Sergey Kuzmin, (14-0 11 KOs), of St. Petersburg, Russia will battle Philadelphia based veteran Joey Dawejko, (19-6-4 11 KOs) and Otha Jones III makes his pro debut on the card.

DraftKings Delivers Knockout Gaming Experience in Collaboration with Showtime Sports
DraftKings Inc. and SHOWTIME Sports today announced a collaboration that will combine forces to immerse boxing fans in the sport they love through a custom Pick ‘Em style game exclusive to SHOWTIME Sports that debuts with this Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING event on March 2nd.

This new Pick ‘Em style game asks players to choose the winner of each televised fight, determine the method of victory and predict when the bout will end for all SHOWTIME boxing events including SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®, ShoBox: The New Generation®, SHOWTIME Boxing: Special Edition and SHOWTIME PPV®. Players will be awarded points based on the number of correct predictions in each boxing match. Prizing for individual fight cards includes $5,000 in winnings with each of the top-five finalists receiving a SHOWTIME Boxing prize pack. Additionally, the overall 2019 Pick ‘Em winner will be awarded a free trip to every 2020 SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® event.

To view and play the DraftKings and SHOWTIME Sports Pick ‘Em game please visit www.draftkings.com/showtime

“Our alignment with SHOWTIME Sports is another prime example of our endless efforts to innovate and satisfy our customers with the most comprehensive sports offerings possible,” said Ezra Kucharz, Chief Business Officer at DraftKings. “Boxing draws edge-of-the-seat fans with incredible passion and engagement with the sport, and this collaboration will further our ability to best connect with our burgeoning player community.”

“This unique collaboration with DraftKings delivers an entertaining companion experience for viewers and provides a year-long connection to all SHOWTIME boxing events,” said Stephen Espinoza, President Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “We’re excited to align with a leading sports-tech entertainment brand in the U.S. as SHOWTIME Sports continues to deliver fresh and innovative ways for fans to enjoy the best that boxing has to offer.”

Boxing is among the most storied and popular sports in the world with a passionate fan base, both domestically and internationally. Viewership trends for televised combat sports spectacles have been consistently impressive in recent years, with boxing accounting for the top selling pay-per-view television events in history. To serve this large and growing fanbase, DraftKings and SHOWTIME Sports are reshaping the fan sports entertainment experience through a creative collaboration, which will include custom fantasy games and other gaming innovations.

This Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING event will be the first opportunity for fans to play this Pick ‘Em style game. Saturday’s three-fight telecast is headlined by former world champion Erislandy Lara challenging undefeated WBA Super Welterweight Champion Brian Castaño plus the return of heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz.
Damien Vazquez Training Camp Quotes
Unbeaten bantamweight Damien Vazquez will take on the toughest test of his career in former world champion Juan Carlos Payano in Premier Boxing Champions Prelims on FS1 this Saturday from Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly StubHub Center, in Carson, California.

Prelims begin at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT and lead into a PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes show that’s headlined by WBC Welterweight World Champion Shawn Porter making his first title defense in primetime against mandatory challenger Yordenis Ugas.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at AXS.com.

Here is what Vazquez, who is the younger brother of former three-time world champion Israel Vazquez, had to say about training, his matchup and more:

On his recent training camp:
“I’ve had a phenomenal training camp going into this fight. Bones Adams and Joel Casamayor are two of the best boxing minds in the sport. I’m soaking up everything they’re showing me. I’ve also been sparring with Isaac ‘Canelito’ Avelar, a big strong featherweight who brings it every day. I’m confident and victory is on my mind.”

On his upcoming matchup with Payano:
“This is a big step up for me. Payano is a former world champion who is very dangerous, but I’m confident in myself, in my talent, and I’m going to leave everything in the ring. After March 9, the world will know who I am and what I’m about. There is no doubt in my mind, I’m coming out on top!”

On making his nationally televised debut on FS1:
“Fighting on FS1 is going to be a huge blessing for my career, because the whole world will be able to watch me perform. I’m very grateful for this opportunity. Boxing fans tuning in will see two warriors going for the kill.”

On what a victory will do for his career:
“Beating a former world champion like Payano will get me closer to that world title shot I’m seeking. I’m the future of the bantamweight division and it’s my time to shine.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Jacobs, Lara, Rungvisai, Estrada, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

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

Tickets on Sale for Canelo vs. Jacobs

Tickets for the highly anticipated 12-round unification fight between Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs), WBC, WBA, Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion, and Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs), IBF Middleweight World Champion,will go on sale this Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 10:00 a.m. PST. The champion-vs.-champion event will take place Saturday, May 4 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.

Tickets for Canelo vs. Jacobs are priced at $2,505, $1,505, $1,205, $805, $605, $405, $305, $205 and $105, not including applicable service charges and taxes. There will be a limit of 10 per person at the $2,505, $1,505, $1,205, $805, $605, $405, and $305 price levels with a limit of two (2) per person at the $205 and $105 price levels. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849). Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.t-mobilearena.com or www.axs.com.

To purchase tickets during the pre-sale, subscribe to our newsletter by going on www.goldenboypromotions.com and clicking VIP Connect or by following us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter at @GoldenBoyBoxing.

Canelo vs. Jacobs is a 12-round fight for the WBC, WBA, Lineal, Ring Magazine and IBF Middleweight World Titles presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Matchroom Boxing. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle.” The event will take place Saturday, May 4, 2019 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.
Erislandy Lara Training Camp Quotes

Former super welterweight world champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara will look to reclaim a piece of the 154-pound crown when he challenges WBA champion Brian Castaño on Saturday, March 2 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

“Brian Castaño is coming into this fight with an undefeated record, but it’s nothing I haven’t seen before,” said Lara. “This will be my third fight in a row versus an undefeated fighter. I’m taking this very seriously. Stylistically, I feel I’m the superior fighter, but he’s a very strong champion. I will be prepared to take back a title in this great division, then look to the biggest fights that are out there.”

One of the big fights that could be out there for Lara is a rematch with unified 154-pound champion Jarrett Hurd. Lara dropped a split-decision to Hurd in a unification showdown on SHOWTIME that was the consensus 2018 “Fight of the Year”, having been recognized by the BWAA, ESPN and Sporting News, amongst others.

“The fight against Hurd was a great fight for the fans, but I felt I won seven or eight rounds that night,” said Lara. “To be on the wrong end of another close decision left a bad taste in my mouth. That fight being recognized as ‘Fight of the Year’ shows my versatility as a fighter. I was on the ballot before with Alfredo Angulo, so it was good to get recognized for being a warrior, not only a craftsman. I will always give the fans my all and come March 2, it will be no different.”

Lara is continuing to to work with longtime trainer Ronnie Shields in Houston, where Lara has prepared for his matchup with sparring that includes going up against top prospects in 18-year-old Joey Spencer and 24-year-old Eimantas Stanionis.

“Ronnie and I are working great together, and we have an excellent game plan in place.,” said Lara. “This is one of the better camps I’ve had the last few years. Having young fighters like Spencer and Stanionis in camp with me is refreshing because I know they are hungry. When we spar, I feed off their energy, because I know they are trying to take take their game to the next level, which makes me better. This is a demanding sport and they are definitely pushing me.”

March 2 also gives Lara a chance to share the stage with another one of Cuba’s best fighters, as Luis Ortiz is set to take on Christian Hammer in the co-main event, making the night a celebration of Cuban boxing.

“Luis Ortiz and I go way back and I’m happy that my brother is fighting on the same card as me,” said Lara. “We’ve gone through a lot since leaving Cuba to pursue our dreams of becoming world champions here in the U.S. Like myself, I know he’s going to be ready to entertain the fans on fight night and make this a memorable night for Cuban boxing!”

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions in association with DiBella Entertainment, are on sale now and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com, or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

Rungvisai vs. Estrada and Roman vs. Doheny Top LA Blockbuster
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Juan Francisco Estrada will meet in a rematch for the WBC and Ring magazine Super-Flyweight titles and WBA and IBF Super-Bantamweight World Champions Daniel Roman and TJ Doheny clash in a unification battle on a blockbuster night of action at The Forum, Los Angeles on Friday April 26, live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports in the UK.

Rungvisai (47-4-1 41KOs) and Estrada (38-3 26KOs) clashed at the LA venue in February 2018 and delivered a memorable all-action affair that saw Rungvisai defeat Estrada by Majority Decision to retain his WBC Super-Flyweight title.

Pound for pound Thai star Rungvisai, who recently penned a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing USA, successfully defended his title for the third time in October on home turf against Iran Diaz, while Mexican ace Estrada enters the bout on the back of wins over Felipe Orucata at The Forum in September and Victor Mendez in Carson, California in December.

“I am extremely excited and honored to be back fighting in the US again,” said Rungvisai. “Estrada is a great fighter, and we had an amazing fight last year. Our round 12 was awarded Round of the Year by WBC. That is an evidence of how entertaining the previous fight was.

“I believe that this fight on April 26 will be even more entertaining. I am training extremely hard in Thailand. And I am confident I will be the winner on April 26th.

“Thank you to Matchroom Boxing and DAZN for this amazing opportunity, it’s such a great honor to be fighting for them. I also would like to thank WBC, NKL Team, and 360 Promotions for making this possible. I can’t wait to give a great fight to all the fans on April 26th!”

Roman (26-2-1 10KOs) and Doheny (21-0 15KOs) clash in a unification bout that is certain to entertain. Roman was one of the standout fighters of 2018, winning a wide points decision in the first defense of his WBA crown in Japan over Ryo Matsumoto in February and followed that with another authoritative points triumph over Moises Flores in Frisco, Dallas in June.

The LA man then punctuated his year’s work by stopping Brit challenger Gavin McDonnell in the tenth round of their clash on the first American boxing bill live on DAZN in October, and now looks to make a flying start to 2019 against IBF king Doheny.

Doheny’s path has echoes of his opponents as like Roman, the Australian-based Irishman travelled to Japan to land his first World title when he took the strap from Ryosuke Iwasa in Tokyo in August.
The unbeaten 32 year old signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing USA in January and swiftly made his first defense in New York against Ryohei Takahashi, stopping the Japanese in the 11th round at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, with Roman watching in the crowd.

“This is the biggest and most important fight of my career,” Roman said. “I haven’t been shy about wanting to unifying the division. This is the fight that I’ve been asking for since I became a World Champion. I need to deliver on my goal of becoming the best and a win against another World Champion puts me in that conversation.

“It will be a new experience for me because I’m not fighting a challenger, I’m fighting another belt holder. It’s exciting in a lot of ways. I’ll be at my best because I’m planning to add another title on April 26.

“It feels pretty damn good to fight in front of my hometown fans. My last five fights have been away from home, but I don’t feel any added pressure in this homecoming of sorts. I know I have a job to do. Nothing is easy at this point. It’s going to be a heck of a fight. Two World Champions fighting for control of the division. What more could you want?”

“Danny is one of those rare boxers that is motivated and committed to fighting the very best,” said Ken Thompson, President, Thompson Boxing Promotions. “He understands the risks that he is taking, but that’s what drives him. Against Doheny, he gets to show the world what he’s made of. It will be a tough fight, but one that Danny is more than capable of winning. We expect him to fight his fight and come out with another win and another World title.”

“This was my ideal scenario,” said Doheny. “Get the voluntary defence out of the way, then go straight into the unification, so great work from my team, and Eddie Hearn with Matchroom Boxing USA for getting this fight on. It’s unbelievable, it would mean the World to me. It’s just another boxed ticked, after I won the World title, the next goal was to become a unified Champion. I’m looking forward to achieving that.

“We met in the ring after the fight in New York, and there was a lot of respect for each other. That’s the way it should be. We’re two World class fighters, two World Champions in the division. A fight like this doesn’t need any false hype, I think that when you’ve got two World class fighters like this that’s enough of a selling point for a high-calibre fight like this

“Danny’s a great fighter, he adds a lot of pressure, he’s a great puncher, great punch selection, he’s got it all really. It’s going to be a great fight between us, and I won’t be surprised if the fans get to see a bit of a war. Fighting Danny in his home city, that doesn’t bother me. I’ve been fighting on the road my whole career, so it will be no different to me. It’s me and him in the ring, and it’s going to be all action.”

A stacked card in support of the huge World title double-header is led by Jessie Vargas’ move to 154lbs. The Las Vegas-based LA man (28-2-2 10KOs) headlined the aforementioned Chicago show in an entertaining clash with Thomas Dulorme, a draw the outcome after 12 pulsating rounds for the WBC Silver Welterweight title, where a last round knockdown cost Vargas the win.

The 29 year old will start the journey on becoming a three-weight World Champion on April 26 and will have a new but familiar face in his corner with the bout marking his first fight under hall of fame trainer Freddie Roach.

Roach will be a busy man on the night, with former Super-Bantamweight World Champion Scott Quigg returning to action. The English star (35-2-2 26KOs) returned to winning ways in Boston in October with a spiteful second round stoppage of Mario Briones, and will be on familiar ground in LA where he trains with Roach and shared a bruising fast-paced battle with WBO Featherweight ruler Oscar Valdez last March.

Unbeaten Super-Middleweight talent Anthony Sims Jr is set for a breakout year and will fight for his first title on the bill. Sims (17-0 16 KOs), who is in action in Peterborough, England on Saturday night live on DAZN and Sky Sports, clocked three stoppage wins in the second half of 2018, and will look to convert that momentum in style in first the UK and then in LA.

Shakhram Giyasov (7-0 6KOs) and Diego Pacheco (2-0 1KO) landed wins in Tijuana, Mexico this weekend and will fight on the bill, while Eddie Hearn’s latest addition to his blossoming stable of young USA talents, Houston’s Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams, will make his pro debut on the card.

“I’m proud to announce this huge card for our first show in LA,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Rungvisai vs. Estrada was one of the fights of the year in 2018 and fans can expect another war on April 26 for the WBC and Ring Magazine World titles.

“LA’s Danny Roman attempts to unify the division against IBF champ TJ Doheny and two division World Champion Jessie Vargas returns under his new trainer Freddie Roach as he begins his quest to win World titles in three different weight classes.

“Former World champ Scott Quigg returns to LA after his war with Oscar Valdez and unbeaten Super Middleweight star Anthony Sims Jr challenges for his first title. This is one of the cards of 2019 to date and fight fans can expect a wonderful show at the Forum and live on DAZN and Sky Sports.”

An announcement on ticket details will be made at the launch press conference in LA next Tuesday.

Ray Ximenez, Jr. Headlines His First RJJ Boxing Show Against Alberto Lopez for WBO International Featherweight Title

Texas prospect Ray “Valentino” Ximenez, Jr. will make his Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions debut this Thursday night, headlining a card live-streamed on UFC FIGHT PASS®, from the Event Center at Legends Casino Hotel in Toppenish, Washington.

The 26-year-old Ximenez, fighting out of Dallas, takes on dangerous Luis Alberto “El Venado” Lopez (16-1, 8 KOs), in the 10-round main event for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) International Featherweight Championship.

Ximenez vs. Lopez will headline a card to be streamed live on UFC FIGHT PASS, starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. The show is the third under a new agreement between RJJ Boxing, and FIGHT PASS, to live stream up to 72 professional boxing events over the next three years.

Ximenez (18-1, 4 KOs), who has won his last five fights in a row, was a decorated amateur boxer with a sterling 120-9 career record.

A former Texas State featherweight champion, Ximenez won a 10-round unanimous decision in his most recent fight, last June against 111-fight veteran German Meraz.

“It feels great fighting for RJJ Boxing and for a title,” Ximenez said. “I feel like I’m finally getting what I deserve in my career. Winning this fight will set me up for bigger and better things to where my family won’t have to worry about anything. It will mean all the time and hard work I put in and out of the gym will be paying off.”

Riding a four-fight win streak, including a 10-round unanimous decision last October over 10-1 Christian Bielma, Lopez will fight outside of his native Mexico for the first time during his 3-1/2-year pro career.

“I know he (Lopez) he leaves himself open a lot,” Ximenez added. “I will be able to control the fight the way I want it to go.”

Also scheduled to fight on the card, all in four-round matches, are OR light heavyweight John Peak (3-0, 1 KO) vs. Tacoma, WA’s Juan Jackson (1-0), Kent, WA junior welterweight Shae Green (3-0-1, 1 KO) vs. Medford, OR’s Gerardo Esquivel (0-1), Fairbanks, AK light heavyweight Taylor Shirley (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Vancouver, WA”s Luis Iniguez (1-1-1), Roman Avetisyan (7-0. 5 KOs) vs. Antonio Neal (4-0, 3 KOs), of Granger, CA, in a battle of unbeaten prospects, and Bonney Lake, and Pasco, WA light heavyweight Roman Avetisyan (0-1) vs. Moldova-native Alex Cazac (0-2), fighting out of Portland, OR,

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Ali, Peterson, Lipinets, Eyubov, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

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


Photo Credit: Muhammad Ali Enterprises LLC Photo By: Ken Regan

Muhammad Ali: Two-Part Television Event Debuts Tuesday, May 14th on HBO
The two-part HBO Sports documentary WHAT’S MY NAME | MUHAMMAD ALI, chronicling the extraordinary life of one of the 20th century’s most iconic figures, debuts TUESDAY, MAY 14 (8:00-10:40 p.m. ET/PT), with both chapters airing back-to-back in a special television event, it was announced today by Kary Antholis, president, HBO Miniseries and CINEMAX Programming, and Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports.

The documentary will also be available on HBO GO, HBO NOW, HBO on Demand and partners’ streaming platforms.

WHAT’S MY NAME | MUHAMMAD ALI is the first feature-length HBO production from SpringHill Entertainment, with LeBron James and Maverick Carter serving as executive producers, and is directed and executive produced by acclaimed feature-film director Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day,” “Southpaw,” “The Magnificent Seven,” “The Equalizer” franchise). Exploring Ali’s challenges, confrontations, comebacks and triumphs through recordings of his own voice, it paints an intimate portrait of a man who was a beacon of hope for oppressed people around the world and, in his later years, was recognized as a global citizen and a symbol of humanity and understanding.

In addition to relying on Ali himself to guide viewers through his remarkable journey, WHAT’S MY NAME | MUHAMMAD ALI features archival footage, some of it previously unseen.

The production team features executive producer Bill Gerber, a producer of the current Best Picture Oscar® nominee “A Star Is Born,” and executive producer Glen Zipper, creator and executive producer of the critically acclaimed docu-series, “Dogs,” a producer of the Oscar®-winning documentary “Undefeated” and an executive producer of HBO’s 2018 multi-part documentary “Elvis Presley: The Searcher.” The film is produced by Sean Stuart, whose HBO and CINEMAX credits include “Eagle of Death Metal: Nos Amis” and “Mike Judge Presents: Tales From the Tour Bus.” Paul Wachter and Jamie Salter are executive producers and Kat Samick of Fuqua Films is co-executive producer

“Muhammad Ali transcended sports in a way the world had never seen before,” says LeBron James. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to tell his incredible and important story for the coming generations. He showed us all the courage and conviction it takes to stand up for what you believe in. He changed forever what we expect a champion to be, and I’m grateful that SpringHill gets to be a part of continuing his legacy.”

“Muhammad Ali had a deep impact on me from an early age,” observes Antoine Fuqua. “Being given the opportunity to tell his story, both inside and outside the ring, is a privilege and a dream come true.”

“Muhammad Ali is indisputably one of the most iconic and distinctive figures in the history of sports,” says HBO’s Kary Antholis. “His impact resonates far beyond the boxing ring and is woven deep into the cultural and social tapestry of the second half of the 20th century. His personality, his voice, his message and his legacy all endure as an important element of American history. From the moment LeBron James told us of his deep visceral connection to Ali’s life and legacy, we were committed to helping him and Antoine Fuqua realize this film about one man’s incredible journey and the impact he had upon the world.”

Lonnie Ali, who was married to Muhammad Ali for the final 30 years of his life, adds, “We are at a time in American history when we look to a new generation of heroes like LeBron James to carry on Muhammad’s legacy, not only by remembering Muhammad, as is done so eloquently in this documentary, but also through their own words and deeds. I’m grateful to LeBron, Maverick Carter, SpringHill Entertainment and HBO for advancing the ideals that Muhammad believed in and fought for throughout his life.”

WHAT’S MY NAME | MUHAMMAD ALI is produced with the cooperation of the Muhammad Ali family estate and Jamie Salter, founder, chairman and CEO of Authentic Brands Group, which has been active in preserving the Ali legacy and brand.

“As proud guardians of Muhammad Ali’s legacy, we are dedicated to preserving and upholding his core principles, and HBO’s production of WHAT’S MY NAME | MUHAMMAD ALI provides audiences around the world with an intimate connection to this global icon,” says Jamie Salter.

The HBO Sports presentation is a Sutter Road Picture Company Production in association with Fuqua Films and SpringHill Entertainment; executive producers, LeBron James, Antoine Fuqua, Maverick Carter, Paul Wachter, Bill Gerber, Jamie Salter and Glen Zipper; directed by Antoine Fuqua; produced by Sean Stuart; co-executive producer, Kat Samick; written by Steven Leckart; edited by Jake Pushinsky.

Lamont Peterson to Take on Sergey Lipinets on March 24th on FS1

Two-division world champion Lamont Peterson takes on former junior welterweight world champion Sergey Lipinets in a 12-round welterweight match that headlines Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes on Sunday, March 24 from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.

Coverage on FS1 and FOX Deportes begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features Anthony Peterson, Lamont’s brother, battling former junior lightweight world champion Argenis Mendez in a 10-round junior welterweight bout that serves as the co-main event.

The Peterson brothers are an inspirational duo that rose from poverty and homelessness in Washington D.C. as children to become professional boxers and reach an elite level in the sport. They will be fighting as the main and co-main event in nationally televised bouts for the first time since 2006 and will look to put on a show for fans just outside of their hometown.

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

“Lamont Peterson vs. Sergey Lipinets is a classic 50-50 matchup that is sure to include drama, action and intrigue,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Lipinets is looking to conquer a second division after winning a 140-pound title, while Peterson is out to show he’s still amongst the welterweight elite. Peterson will be joined by his brother, Anthony Peterson, for a true homecoming event featuring two of Washington D.C.’s most popular fighters. Anthony will have a tall task in former champion Argenis Mendez, and it should all equal to a great night at MGM National Harbor and on FS1 and FOX Deportes.”

“I’m looking forward to the return of the Peterson brothers to the ring,” said famed trainer Barry Hunter, who has mentored and coached the Petersons since they were kids. “It’s always nice to be fighting at home in the DMV and I’m truly looking forward to a big 2019 for us.”

Lamont Peterson (35-4-1, 17 KOs) has battled some of the top names in the sport at 140 and 147-pounds in climbing through the ranks and winning titles in both divisions while facing the likes of Victor Ortiz, Timothy Bradley, Jr., Amir Khan, Kendall Holt, Lucas Matthysse, Danny Garcia and Errol Spence, Jr. The 35-year-old from Washington D.C. won the IBF and WBA 140-pound titles with a split decision victory over Khan in 2011 and won the welterweight championship with a unanimous decision over David Avanesyan in 2017. Peterson is looking to rebound from a loss to Spence in a welterweight title fight last January.

“I’m happy to be doing what I love and that is fighting,” said Lamont Peterson. “I’m really excited about having the chance to fight at home once again and also on FS1 and FOX Deportes for the first time. I plan on giving fans on TV and in the arena the show they came to see.”

Lipinets (14-1, 10 KOs) has moved up to the welterweight division after previously becoming a world champion at 140 pounds. The 29-year-old, who is from Kazakhstan, grew up in Russia and now lives in Beverly Hills, California, picked up the IBF super lightweight world title with a unanimous decision victory over Akihiro Kondo in 2017. He lost the title by decision to Mikey Garcia last March and rebounded to defeat Erick Bone in his welterweight debut.

“I’m ready for the intensity of this fight with a great champion like Lamont Peterson,” said Lipinets. “I’m very humbled and honored to be in this position. I’m pushing myself to bring my A-game, because in a fight like this, there is no room for mistakes. I promise that I’m going to give a great performance and leave my fans happy.”

The 33-year-old Anthony Peterson (37-1, 24 KOs) is the younger brother of Lamont Peterson and has won seven straight fights since losing by disqualification to Brandon Rios in 2010. Five of his last eight wins have come inside the distance and he will look to put himself into title contention facing his toughest competition in years on March 24.

“This fight means a lot coming off a layoff because I want to make a clear statement that I am a world class legitimate fighter and that I deserve a shot at a title in 2019,” said Anthony Peterson. “It’s even more important for me to show up and show out as I will be fighting at home in front of my family and friends. I have to bring it and make the absolute most of this.”

Mendez (25-5-1, 12 KOs) won the IBF super featherweight title with a knockout victory over Juan Carlos Salgado in 2013. He has put together two straight victories since losing back-to-back fights to Luke Campbell and Robert Easter Jr. at lightweight in 2016. The 32-year-old, who is from San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic and now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., scored a unanimous decision over Eddie Ramirez in his last fight in May after defeating Ivan Redkach the previous year.

“I’m excited for this challenge against Anthony Peterson so that I can prove that I am still at a world championship level,” said Mendez. “I know that he’s fighting at home, but when he’s in the ring, no one can help him. I want to show off all of the skills that have gotten me here and leave an impression on everyone watching that I’m a threat to anybody they put in there against me.”

Bakhtiyar Eyubov to Fight For Salita Promotions on UFC Fight Pass on February 15th
Undefeated Kazakhstani dynamo Bakhtiyar “Bakha Bullet” Eyubov has been added to the special two-hour UFC Fight Pass live stream (7:30 pm ET/6:30 pm CT) on Friday, February 15, from the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas.

Eyubov (14-0, 12 KOs) will face Mexican veteran Jose Luis “La Boa” Rodriguez (25-12, 13 KOs) in an eight-round super lightweight showdown.

The live stream, presented by Salita Promotions will also feature US Olympic bronze medal winner Nico Hernandez, women’s top contender Elena Saveleva and undefeated heavyweight puncher Apti Davtaev in separate bouts.

A born showman, Eyubov’s relentlessly aggressive fighting style has won him new fans with every fight. The young slugger says he’s looking forward to bringing his mayhem to a new audience through the UFC.

“I look forward to showcasing my skills February 15th and am honored to do so on UFC Fight Pass,” he said. “I am the best in the world and look forward to proving this point when I get in the ring.”

Eyubov was last seen taking out 21-1-1 Nicholas Givan in seven rounds last June. His promoter, Dmitriy Salita, says he’s happy his entertaining slugger is back in action.

“Bakha is one of the most dominant contenders in the sport. I look forward to an exciting performance from him on one of the leading combat platforms in the works in UFC Fight Pass,” said Salita.

In a very special bonus that night for online viewers, the commentating team will consist of long-time combat sports voice Sean Wheelock and “2018 Female Boxer of the Year” and women’s world champion Claressa Shields, making her debut behind the microphone.

Djeko vs. Federici Set for Star Boxing Main Event

STAR BOXING is excited to return to its renown Long Island venue, The Paramount, on February 22nd, for another thrilling night of “Rockin’ Fights.” The 34th edition of the acclaimed fight series brings extreme boxing talent from across the world, right to Huntington’s, The Paramount. The main event is a real toss-up between the ‘big boys’ in a truly international fight between European champs. Giant Belgium JOEL “BIG JOE” DJEKO will take on Italian challenger, SIMONE “TYSON” FEDERICI in an intriguing 10-round cruiserweight bout. The co-main event will feature the return of Huntington’s own JOHNNY “HITMAN” HERNANDEZ who will be taking on upset minded, MARQUIS “THE HAWK” HAWTHORNE.

The main event features two international cruiserweight prospects who will travel a combined 7,873 miles to meet in the squared circle, in front of the expected packed crowd at The Paramount. Belgium’s Djeko (14-2-1 7KO’s), an IBO Champion, stands at a towering 6’5″ and breaks the will of his opponents by fighting behind his jab, followed by devastating power in both hands. Djeko’s marquee win came against then undefeated MARIANO ANGEL GUDINO (then 12-0 7KO’s), when he defeated the Argentinian by wide unanimous decision, dominating for the full ten-rounds, to secure the IBO Continental Cruiserweight Title. Djeko has fought in America only once before, but intends to begin laying roots state side, for an eventual shot at a cruiserweight world title. Djeko’s only 2 losses were on the road and by majority and split decision against undefeated prospects.

Djeko had this to say about fighting in America, “I am excited to make my first fight in New York, a city that saw the birth of great champions. But, I also come to fulfill my mission, that of leaving with a victory by knockout.”

Federici (14-1-1 6KO’s), a 25-year-old Italian who resides in Roma, Italy, will be making his debut on American soil on the February 22nd Paramount show. Federici had an impressive amateur record of 35-1-1. As a professional, Federici defeated FRANCESCO CATALDO in a thrilling battle earning the Italian Cruiserweight Title. Since then, Federici has successfully defended his title twice, most recently defeating the dangerous Georgian, ZURA MEKERESHVILLE by unanimous decision to add the IBF Mediterranean Cruiserweight Title to his pedigree. Federici has his eyes set an a massive victory on February 22nd main event. Federici and Djeko both have their eyes set on victory in the February 22nd main event and both know a top rankings in the cruiserweight division are at stake.

Federici said this about his American debut, “I thank America for the wonderful opportunity that has offered me! I hope to better meet American expectations. I can’t wait to get in the ring.”

In the co-main event, fans will see Johnny “Hitman” Hernandez (9-4 1KO), a familiar face at The Paramount having fought eleven of his thirteen professional fights at the venue. Hernandez who is known for his footwork and great conditioning, always seems to get stronger as the fight carries on. This will be Hernandez second main event at The Paramount. He was last seen in an absolute thriller with fellow Star Boxing stablemate DANNY “EL GALLO” GONZALEZ (then 16-1-1 7KO’s). Over the ten-round main event, Hernandez and Gonzalez exchanged blow after blow at the center of the ring, as the crowd seemed to be on their feet throughout the fight with consistent and vocal support for both fighters. While the judges scored the bout in favor of Gonzalez by majority decision, Hernandez proved to the rowdy sold out crowd that he has the skill to fight the upper echelon of the 140 lb. division. Gonzalez went on to fight fellow Paramount alumni CHRIS ALGIERI at Madison Square Garden a few weeks ago. Hernandez promises to return with vengeance on February 22nd in his Paramount hometown.

Hernandez is ready for his opportunity on February 22nd, and is prepared to leave his mark. “There are no secrets to success,” said Johnny, “it is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failures.”

Hernandez will be facing the very tough Texan, Marquis Hawthorne, who will be making his second appearance at The Paramount. Over his twelve-fight career, Hawthorne has fought ten undefeated prospects, with an opponent combined record of 81-23-3. Most recently, Hawthorne (6-9 1KO) won in a shocking upset at Mohegan Sun on January 26th over amateur standout and undefeated professional, from Detroit, Michigan RONNIE “TEFLON RON” AUSTION (then 10-0 7KO’s). Over the 6-round bout, Hawthorne commanded the action, using his long reach and height advantage to maintain his distance, landing grueling right hands to the body and the head of Austion. At the final bell, the scorecards read 57-56, 58-55 and 59-54, earning a massive upset victory for Hawthorne over the previously undefeated Austion.

Hawthorne has is eyes set on one thing only come February 22nd. “I am coming off a big win over a great prospect,” said Hawthorne, “the game plan is to continue to trust the plan my coaches have set before me, resulting in victory.”

Star Boxing CEO JOE DEGUARDIA had this to say about the main and co-main event, “We have put together a very intriguing international fight for Long Island’s dedicated boxing fans. Belgium’s, Big Joel Djeko, is an imposing figure, and carries knockout power in both hands. Federici has proven his ability to win big fights in his home country of Italy. The winner has a bright future. ” Regarding the co-main, DeGuardia stated, “this fight is a perfect example of the allure of our ‘Rockin’ Fights’ series. Both Johnny and Marquis have earned the right to be in this fight. In his last fight Johnny showed grit and we will always support our fighters, win or lose, when they perform like he did. That’s what the Paramount series is all about, action and heart. Similarly, Marquis Hawthorne earned the right to this fight with his victory over our undefeated prospect Ronnie Austion in a huge upset. Johnny and Marquis always show up in phenomenal shape with great energy on fight night, and I expect a thrilling fight on February 22nd.”

The main event between European cruiserweight champions in Djeko and Federici is destined to excite. The co-main event will see Hernandez in front of his hometown fans while Hawthorne will look for a second consecutive upset. Undercard to be announced soon.

More Headlines

Boxing Insider Notebook: Davis, Ruiz, Machado, Carto, Nietes, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 30th to February 6th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Dave Mandel/Showtime

Gervonta Davis vs. Hugo Ruiz Fight Week Workout Quotes

WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Gervonta Davis and former world champion Hugo Ruiz were on-hand at Churchill Boxing Club in Santa Monica Wednesday as they near their showdown that headlines SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® Saturday, February 9 from Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly StubHub Center, in Carson, California.

Wednesday’s workout also featured fighters who will enter the ring live on SHOWTIME in televised undercard attractions. Undefeated super lightweight Mario Barrios will be facing Mexico’s Richard Zamora, while former world champion Javier Fortuna steps in against lightweight contender Sharif Bogere in the opening bout of the tripleheader beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday in Santa Monica as they prepare for their Saturday night attractions:

GERVONTA DAVIS

“I was just watching Hugo Ruiz as I came in here. All I know is that he is fast, he has some speed. It looked like he has some power and good timing. I actually think that this is not a walk in the park, like people think. The fact that this is a late change doesn’t concern me because once I get in there, I’ll be able to make adjustments. I’m ready.

“It’s great to make it to this level. To have people under me like ‘Truck’ [Lorenzo Simpson], it feels amazing to inspire them to go further in life. It makes me want to push harder so that I can become the best that I can be.

“I come from a city with a lot of violence and things like that, but my mind was always focused on what I wanted to be in life. I traveled when I was super young, so my mindset was never like a typical eight-year-old. I won my first nationals when I was 10 years old. I’ve seen the world and I’ve seen the bigger picture. At that time, coming up in the gym, there were guys that I was looking up to that were getting killed in the streets. There were days in the gym where we would get a call that guys we trained with had been killed. I knew that it’s either boxing or things wouldn’t turn out too good. I knew I had to stay in the gym and stay focused.

“Camp is going great. I feel ready for Saturday night. I’m disappointed that I’m not facing Abner Mares but it doesn’t change too much. I heard that he hurt his elbow at first, I didn’t know that it was his eye. Once I heard it was his eye, I took it more seriously.

“I wanted to fight Abner. We could probably have done it back home but I gave him the chance to fight in LA. I am the champion, so I’m willing to give him another shot.”

HUGO RUIZ

“I feel great. I just came off of training for my last fight but I just feel like I’m continuing that training. I think it’s going to serve as great preparation for this next fight. It’s only going to be a benefit for me.

“I think this is going to be an explosive fight. We’re both known for our knockouts and this is a fight that can end at any moment. It’s going to be by a knockout.

“Out of my 39 wins, 33 of them are knockouts so I can say with confidence that I can knock out Gervonta Davis. No fighter is invincible and that’s a really possible outcome on Saturday.

“Gervonta Davis is a great fighter. I’ve watched him fight and I know that he’s a very strong fighter with a lot in his arsenal. There’s a reason why he’s a world champion right now but we know what we’re looking for. We have the hunger and the ambition to be triumphant. We have everything we need to beat Gervonta.

“I took the fight on short notice and I just fought, but I am ready. I trained very hard for my last fight and I still feel more than ready to go. I’m very excited to have this world championship opportunity and I am going to take advantage of it and show the world what I can do.

“I had a fight in November where I was training for a lefty. I then had another fight in January where I was preparing for a lefty. They changed my opponent last minute but I was still ready to go. I’ve been preparing for a lefty for five months and I think that’s a huge advantage for me.

“The reason I have so many knockouts is because I like to surprise my opponents and I really think I have something that I can surprise Gervonta with. Come Saturday, we will see how many ways I can surprise him.

“Gervonta is a fighter just like I am. We both are going in there with all the will to win and come Saturday I think we are going to give the people the show that they really want to see. I am ready to put on a spectacular show.”
WBO Orders Donnie Nietes vs. Aston Palicte II
The World Boxing Organization (WBO) has ordered negotiations to begin for a rematch between reigning WBO Junior Bantamweight World Champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes and No. 1-ranked, mandatory challenger “Mighty” Aston Palicte.

The WBO contacted the promoters for Nietes and Palicte, respectively, ALA Promotions and Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions, informing them that they have 15 days to reach an agreement regarding Nietes vs. Palicte II. If an agreement isn’t reached by the Feb. 19th deadline, the WBO will order a purse bid. The minimal bid is $100,000, but either promoter may request a purse bid procedure at any time during the negotiation process.

Nietes and Palicte fought to a controversial 12-round draw last September for the then vacant WBO junior bantamweight world title.

Erickson Lubin Training Camp Quotes
Super welterweight contender Erickson Lubin will enter the ring under the guidance of coach Kevin Cunningham for the first time when he steps into the ring this Saturday against former world champion Ishe Smith as part of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN from Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly StubHub Center, in Carson, California and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The digital presentation will stream on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, and will also feature a showdown between super lightweights Juan Heraldez and Eddie Ramirez, all leading up to that evening’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING event. The three-fight SHOWTIME telecast begins live at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT headlined by super featherweight world champion Gervonta Davis defending his title against former world champion Hugo Ruiz.

Lubin will fight for the second time since losing his first world title challenge to Jermell Charlo in 2017, and for the first time with his new coach. The Orlando-native began training camp in West Palm Beach, but has been training in Las Vegas for the last month since the team moved west to finish the training camp for Adrien Broner’s fight against Manny Pacquiao.

Here is what Lubin had to say about Saturday’s fight and more:

On his matchup against Ishe Smith:

“Ishe Smith has been in the ring with the best of them and he’s never been stopped. He knows how to fight and I’m expecting him to be at this best. I will have to dictate the pace right from the opening bell. My goal is to be the first person to take him out, but if it goes the distance, I’m okay with that as well. I’m going to win this fight and win it impressively.”

On training with new coach Kevin Cunningham:

“Kevin is a no-nonsense type of guy. He’s going to tell you the truth if you like it or not. If I’m doing something wrong in his eyes, he’s going to speak on it right away. He’ll do the same if I’m doing something right, so I like his style of training and I’m learning more each day we are together. This will be our first fight together and I’m excited to get back in the ring. We have a nice game plan in place that we will execute on fight night.”

On training in Las Vegas for the first time in his career:

“Training in Las Vegas is no joke, because we are training in higher elevation than what I’m used to in Florida. Getting away from the distractions at home has been relaxing. I’ve been getting great sparring and my timing is right on point. Las Vegas is definitely the place to be for high level sparring and training.”

On fighting in Southern California for the second time in his career:

“I really like fighting on the west coast. The fans are great, and the weather is beautiful. I know we’ll be fighting outdoors so I’m looking forward to that. Everyone knows this venue has hosted some really good fights. I’m looking to steal the show on Saturday night.”

“Hats off to the WBO for being so aggressive to attempt to make this fight happen,” RJJ Boxing Promotions CEO/Co-Founder Keith Veltre. We are looking forward to making this deal happen but, if the deal can’t be made, we are ready for a purse bid.:

The WBO ordered No. 1 ranked Nietes to fight No. 3 rated Kazuito Ioka, on New Year’s Eve in China, for the vacant WBO junior bantamweight crown, in addition to No. 2 Palicte vs. unbeaten No. 4 Jose Martinez last Thursday night in Alpine, California, to determine Nietes’ mandatory challenger.

Nietes (42-1-5, 23 KOs) won by way of a 12-round split decision to capture his fourth world title in four different weight classes, while Palicte (25-2-1, 21 KOs) knocked out Martinez in the second round to set-up another All-Filipino showdown.

Palicte vs. Martinez headlined a show that was the first under a new agreement between Palicte’s promoter, RJJ Boxing, and UFC FIGHT PASS® to live stream up to 72 professional boxing events during the next three years.
Alberto Machado and Andrew Cancio Workout Quotes
WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (21-0, 17 KOs) of San Juan, Puerto Rico and 130-pound contender

Andrew “El Chango” Cancio (19-4-2, 14 KOs) of Blythe, Calif. hosted a media workout today at Westside Boxing Club in Los Angeles ahead of their 12-round battle. The event will take place on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. and will be streamed live on DAZN – which is just $9.99 per month after a one-month free trial.

Four fighters from the undercard also participated in the workout. Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. (27-1, 14 KOs) of South El Monte, Calif. will return in a 10-round super featherweight battle against Charles Huerta (20-5, 12 KOs) of Paramount, Calif. Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (8-0, 5 KOs) will battle against Ivan “Striker” Delgado (13-1-2, 6 KOs) in an eight-round lightweight battle between a current Golden Boy prospect and an ex-Golden Boy fighter.

Below is what today’s participants had to say at the workout:

ALBERTO MACHADO, WBA Super Featherweight World Champion:

“Being a father is one of the most important things that has happened to me. Now I dedicate my time off to being a father, to being a family man. I’m boxing full time, but it’s an extra motivation because I want to provide the best for baby. That is one of the reasons I’m in Los Angeles working hard for six weeks in camp without my family. I’m ready to defend my title.”

“I hope to fight four times this year and make four defenses. I am very excited for all that has been happening in my career. Thank you to Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions. I’m very happy for all the opportunities.”

“I am big for this division. I’m tall. I have power, and I have speed. Cancio is a great warrior. I’m ready to defend my title. It’s another challenge in my career and I’m happy for this opportunity. Training camp has gone well. Freddie Roach is a great trainer and a great person. He has more time for me now, and I’m getting a lot of experience from him every day. I feel and see the difference in my fights and my sparring. Everyone who saw my last fight saw that I did better. I will continue that momentum in this fight.”

“DAZN is the new platform for boxing. DAZN has a lot of fighters now. Boxing is going through a great time right now. If my promoter gives me the opportunity to unify the titles–it would be a dream come true. I’m waiting for that opportunity this year on DAZN. I may even close the year in the lightweight division as well.”

ANDREW CANCIO, Super Featherweight Contender:

“It’s very surreal to be fighting for a world title. I thought my career was done. I took a tough loss in my first pay-per-view fight [against Joseph Diaz in 2016], and that wasn’t good at all. I told my best friend I was going to retire. It took 17 months for me to get back in the ring. I missed the sport. I also had a lot to prove. But I knew that I could be here. I knew that I could fight for a world title. I finally got things in order. I won some fights that people thought I would lose, but here I am. I’m looking to do the same thing February 9.”

“Life changed me. I got hit with some things that I had never seen coming. I guess it humbled me and changed me as a person. I became a different person. I didn’t take things for granted anymore. I had to come back and do things right this time around.”

“I feel great now. I feel like I’m a different fighter than the one who fought JoJo Diaz. This is a big deal. This is for a world title. It’s not my first time being on the big stage, but it’s the first time I’m the main event on the big stage. But I feel prepared for this. It’s my time.”

“For this fight we will have to work on the inside. If we let him get his range, he will get more leverage. He will get more powerful. They say he’s a big 130-pounder, but I’ve won all my best fights at 130. When I fought Jerry Belmontes, it was at 130 and I won clearly. When I fought Aidar Sharibayev, it was at 130. When I beat Rocky Juarez, it was at 130. I’m glad that this opportunity at 130. This division will benefit us.”

“I always bring action to a fight. The fans can expect me to be in good shape, mentally and physically. I will be ready to go all 12 rounds. But he’s a hard-hitter, and so am I. So, I don’t think this fight will go to the scorecards. Whether it’s me or him going down, we will collide. The fight fans will win that night no matter who walks away with the victory.”

Christian Carto, Darmani Rock Headline Raging Babe’s Feb. 8th Philly Special on Facebook FightNight Live
Having eclipsed the four-million views mark to close out the 2018 calendar year, FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Powered by Everlast opens the first quarter of 2019 with an outstanding six-card lineup featuring six different promotions and spanning five cities, beginning on Friday, Feb. 8 in South Philadelphia.

The free and interactive Facebook series rings its opening bell next Friday at 2300 Arena in South Philly by showcasing an exceptional, standing-room-only card put together by Raging Babe. Partnering with forward-thinking promoter Michelle Rosado on next week’s “Philly Special” featuring several undefeated prospects – including bantamweight Christian Carto (17-0, 11 KOs) and heavyweight Darmani Rock (13-0, 8 KOs) – FIGHTNIGHT LIVE is sure to get its 2019 schedule off to a hot start.

“We’re excited to partner with FIGHTNIGHT LIVE for our debut Philly event,” said Rosado. “The fights on the card and the fighters themselves have captured the attention of fight fans all over, even outside of the Philadelphia area, so we’re thrilled to give people the opportunity to see the fights live.”

Carto meets veteran southpaw Victor Ruiz (22-10, 15 KOs) in the main event, as the 22-year-old prospect looks to continue to make his case as a contender.Rock will fight in the card’s co-feature, while undefeated Marcel Rivers (6-0, 4 KOs) of North Philadelphia meets Derrick Whitley (4-0-1) of Springfield, Mass. in a special welterweight attraction. Amateur heavyweight standout Sonny Conto of South Philadelphia – a recent signee of monolithic promotion Top Rank – will also be featured in his pro debut as part of a seven-bout card.

“We couldn’t be happier to begin our New Year at 2300 Arena with the outstanding lineup that Raging Babe has assembled for the Feb. 8 ‘Philly Special,'” said Mark Fratto, Principal and Director of Business Development, Linacre Media. “We’ve been able to showcase nearly 500 up-and-comers on our platform, and Christian Carto is special prospect who we’re really pleased to feature on Facebook. Darmani Rock always brings the thunder, and watch out for the pro debut of Top Rank signee Sonny Conto as well.”

Now in its second season, FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Powered by Everlast is the fan-friendly Facebook platform that – among other aspects – prides itself on the real-time conversations held between fight commentators and the viewing audience. FIGHTNIGHT LIVE has showcased more than 450 fighters and 15 promotions during 26 live event broadcasts from 18 different cities since May 2017, and in doing so, the interactive platform has generated the loyal interest of fight fans from across the United States and around the globe, including significant audiences in Mexico, the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe, and even fans in South America, Asia and Australia.
•Since May 2017, the numbers on the 26-show FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series showed promise and potential for the new platform with an average of 166,508 views per event and more than 4.3 million total views for the franchise. Since Sept. 2018,Season II shows have averaged almost 323,000 views.
•The Sept. 2018 “Kings Boxing Tuesday Night Fights” (594,447) from the Sands in Bethlehem, the Dec. 2018 “Queens and Kings of Queens Card” (379,758) in New York, the Nov. 2018 “Hard Hitting Showtime Collaboration” (372,662), the Dec. 2018 “Roy Jones Jr. Texas Throwdown” (318,886), the Oct. 2018 “Hard Hitting Philly Special” (297,545), the Oct. 2018 hour-long Bareknuckle “Freeview” (292,253), the Nov. 2018 “Titans In The Capital” (256,871), the Sept. 2017 “Real Deal Promotions: Empire State” from Resorts World Casino (225,000), and the August 2017 CES “Super Saturday” from Foxwoods (203,000) all logged 200,000 or more views, and collectively the 26-show series has seen a total of more than 4,329,206 views across all devices.
•In addition to the raw viewership numbers, the fully-interactive, fan-friendly productions have seen more than 377,000 collective live post engagements (more than 14,500 per show), including more than 293,000 “likes” or “loves,” more than 46,000 comments and almost 16,000 shares.
•The Sept. 2018 “Kings Boxing Tuesday Night Fights” from the Sands in Bethlehem set a new bar with 594,447 views and the Sept. 2017 DiBella-CES doubleheader carried the series to three-quarters-of-a-million views in just over four months. The Sept. 2017 DiBella card saw more than 40,000 viewer interactions including almost 39,000 “likes” or “loves” and the March 17, 2018, Murphy’s “St. Patrick’s Day Clash” set a new high-water mark for shares with 2,182.
•The FIGHTNIGHT LIVE page on Facebook has more than 86,000 fans and more than 92,000 followers.

Created and produced by Linacre Media out of New York City, the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series features professional announcers, multiple camera angles, television graphics, replays and behind-the-scenes access and interviews. The streamed shows are available globally wherever Facebook is available. The initiative not only enables fans from around the world to tune in, but also gives up-and-coming fighters a global platform to showcase their abilities, gives promoters an accessible “broadcast” solution and gives sponsors the ability to reach a mass audience via branded content.

FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Winter and Spring 2019 dates will be officially announced in the coming weeks.

FIGHTNIGHT LIVE is available online at: https://www.facebook.com/FaceFIGHTNIGHTLIVE/

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Conlan, Jones, Davis, Farmer, Vargas, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

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

Otha Jones III Makes Pro Debut in Turning Stone

Otha Jones III will make his professional debut on Saturday March 9 at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports in the UK.

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW FROM $49 FROM TICKETMASTER.COM

Jones III announced his decision to join the paid ranks last week and the Ohio talent will begin converting his amateur prowess into professional success on a huge World title double-header bill as Dmitry Bivol defends his WBA World Light-Heavyweight title against Joe Smith Jr and Maurice Hooker is on the road again as he puts his WBO Junior Welterweight strap on the line against unbeaten Brooklynite Mikkel LesPierre.

Jones III amassed 280 wins as an amateur in just under 300 fights, winning 13 National titles and representing the USA national team in multiple tournaments around the world, and believes his amateur style will translate into titles as a pro fighter.

“My style is hard to beat and it’s going to be the same in the pros,” said Jones III. “My team have a great plan for me and I’m so excited to fight in the UK as well as in the US, it’s awesome to know that I’ve got so many options and fights in front of me. I don’t feel any pressure because I have total faith in my ability, I just can’t wait to get out there and show what I’ve got.”

“Otha’s record speaks for itself,” said Hearn. “I asked people ‘who do we need to sign in the US?’ and the name Otha Jones III came up time and again, they’d say ‘this is the guy in amateur boxing right now that you need in the paid ranks’.

“Otha is going to box eight times in his first year as a pro starting on March 9, all over the world, particularly in the US. He’s an outstanding fighter with a great personality, and we can’t wait for his journey to start.

“We do stadium events and World title fights, but this is sometimes the most exciting thing as you get the chance to grow a fighter from day one.”
Tevin Farmer Defends World Title Against Jono Carroll on Marc 15
Tevin Farmer will defend his IBF World Super-Featherweight title against Jono Carroll at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia on Friday March 15, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Farmer (28-4-1 6KOs) makes the third defense of his crown in his first fight on home turf as a World champion, following a wide points win over Francisco Fonseca in New York in December, a win that followed a dominant fifth-round stoppage over Northern Irishman James Tennyson in his first defense in Boston in October.

The 28-year-old returns to the Temple University venue having boxed there in April 2017 against Arturo Reyes – the fight before his first World title showdown with Kenichi Ogawa in Las Vegas in December, where his controversial split decision loss was turned into a no-contest after Ogawa failed a drug test. Farmer would claim the vacant IBF title in August in Australia with a comprehensive points win over seasoned Aussie Billy Dib.

Unbeaten Dubliner Carroll (16-0-1 3KOs) fights for his first World title on St Patrick’s weekend against Farmer, with his shot at the title following a closely fought split draw in a final eliminator with Guillaume Frenois in Sheffield, England in December.

Farmer and Carroll have been involved in bitter social media spats and will finally come face-to-face for the first time at a press conference to launch the fight in Philly next Tuesday, and both fighters believe the fight will be as fiery as the build-up.

“He’s got a World title shot on St Patrick’s weekend, he should be thanking me,” said Farmer. “He’s trying to get under my skin but it’s impossible to get under my skin. He’s making himself look bad and he’s stepping up to a whole different level with me. I’m A-level and he’s going to pay.

“He says we both come from tough backgrounds, the hood, that boy hasn’t come from any struggle, no hood. I’m going to show him when he comes to Philly, he’s going to eat his words. He’s trying to get his buzz up but there’s certain things that you don’t say. He’s made this personal and you don’t want to get personal with a Philly guy like me.

“This is big for me, fighting as a World champion in Philly. When does Philly hold big World championship shows? This is big – it’s a boxing town but this is as big a show as there’s been here for a long time. I have to thank Eddie, Lou and DAZN for making this a reality, because often World champions don’t always get the chance to fight in their home city. It doesn’t happen, but it’s happening for me and that shows the level of respect that Eddie, Lou and I have for each other. It’s going to be a great night.

“I don’t care about these other champions. You never know what is going to happen with politics and people making excuses, but I’m here, I defended the title twice in three months last year and I’m headlining at home. If people really want to fight, it’s simple to do – sign the contract and turn up and fight.

“The only thing I care about is my career, keep lining them up and I’m going to keep smoking them and keep getting paid. With or without them, my career will be the best of all those guys. I’m on a high right now. Everything is good right now, I’m doing everything I’ve dreamed of.”

“It is only fitting that Tevin Farmer’s remarkable journey in boxing and in life comes back to his home city, Philadelphia,” said DiBella. “In 2018, from Australia to Madison Square Garden, Tevin established himself as one of the brightest and most active stars in boxing.

“This is the homecoming Tevin deserves, and if Jono Carroll fights with the same fervor that he talks, it will also be a fight befitting of a city that has long been synonymous with all-action wars.”

“I’ll do what I want with Tevin, he’s a tiny little child and I’m not afraid of him,” said Carroll. “When we meet, if he’s respectful of me, I’ll be respectful back as that’s how I’ve been brought up – but if comes talking rubbish then I’ll put him in his place.

“I see a fakeness in him when I see him interviewed, I see a fake person. My thoughts on him are that he wants to be liked, but he’s not. I reckon he’s arrogant, that’s the man I think he is and I know he’s that sort of flashy person saying stupid things on Twitter.

“Tevin is a man that wants to be liked but he plays like he’s Floyd Mayweather, but he’s not half as good as him. He has serious holes in his armory, and I am going to poke every single one of them, I’ll break him up and stop him.

“He’s never met a man like me in his life. He came from a rough background yes, but so did I. We’re both from crazy places but we’re in the limelight now, so we have to be grown-up and responsible as we’re going to have cameras around us.”

Irish sensation Katie Taylor can take a giant step towards her goal of becoming the undisputed World Lightweight champion when she aims to unify her WBA and IBF titles against WBO ruler Rose Volante.

Taylor (12-0 5KOs) added the IBF strap to her WBA title in April against Victoria Bustos in Brooklyn, New York, and has since defended the titles three times, stopping Kimberly Connor in three rounds in London in July before shutouts against Cindy Serrano in Boston in October and ending a stunning 2018 by beating Eva Wahlstrom in New York in December.

Volante (14-0 8KOs) has defended her WBO crown twice since winning the vacant title in December 2017 and the Argentine won both of her 2018 defenses in Brazil by the halfway point, with Lourdes Borbua retiring after five rounds in April and Yolis Marrugo Franco stopped in three in September.

The champions put titles and unbeaten records on the line in Philadelphia, and the winner will target Belgian WBC ruler Delfine Persoon for all the belts later in the year.

“Ever since I won my first world title as a pro my goal has been to unify the Lightweight titles so this is obviously a massive step towards that,” said Taylor. “Volante is unbeaten so I’m expecting a tough fight but that’s exactly the kind of challenge I want. I think the better the opponent and the bigger the challenge the better I will perform.

“It’s a great card to be on especially with so many Irish fighters on the bill on St. Patrick’s weekend in Philadelphia so I’m sure it will be a special occasion.

“For now my focus is on Volante but of course after that fight I would love to have all the belts as soon as possible. Hopefully the Persoon fight can finally be made for the summer and then there are some other huge fights out there as well for the rest of the year.”

A stacked card in support of the two World title blockbusters is led by a crunch Middleweight clash between Philadelphia’s Gabriel Rosado and Pole Maciej Sulecki and an all-Philadelphia Lightweight clash between Hank Lundy and Avery Sparrow.

Rosado (24-11-1 14KOs) is back in action after a controversial all-action fight in Kansas with Luis Arias in November, the former World title challenger drawing with the Milwaukee man. The 33 year old will be desperate to get his name back into contention for major honors with the 160lbs division red hot right now, but Sulecki (27-1 11KOs) will have the same designs on those title shots having bounced back from a loss against Daniel Jacobs in April with a second round KO win in Poland in November.

“I’m excited to start the year back home in Philly,” said Rosado. “This is the second half of my career and the goal is to win a World title. It’s only right that it starts here in Philly.”

Prospect Sparrow (9-1 3KOs) will be gunning to add a major scalp to his CV in the shape of former World title challenger Lundy (29-7-1 14KOs). Sparrow faces the second ten round clash of his career as he looks to step up his progress early in 2019.

“It’s been a long time since I last fought but that’s on me and I’ve learned from it,” said Sparrow. “Fighting someone like Hank Lundy is the kind of challenge I look forward to. It’s a big fight on a big stage.”

“Once again we have a great Philly vs. Philly fight and that is always good for boxing in Philly,” said Lundy. “It’s a hard fight but we’re both looking down the road because we know what winning this fight will do for our careers.”

Kazakhstan’s Olympic gold medal star Daniyar Yeleussinov (5-0 3KOs) fights for the sixth time in the paid ranks ahead of what promises to be a break out year for the 27 year old, the same of which can be said for two-time Olympian and 2012 silver medalist John Joe Nevin (11-0 4KOs) who joins fellow Irish fighters on the St. Patrick’s weekend bill.

“I can’t wait for March 15 at the Liacouras Center,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “It’s our first ever event in Philadelphia and it’s an honor to promote in this great city on St Patrick’s weekend.

“Tevin Farmer is one of the great boxing underdog stories of our generation and I’m so happy he is getting the chance to bring that World championship home against a feisty and talented Jono Carroll.

“The biggest star in World boxing, Ireland’s Katie Taylor, looks to unify the division against WBO champ Rose Volante. Philly favorite Gabe Rosado takes on Poland’s Maciej Sulecki in a thrilling middleweight match up and Olympic stars Daniyar Yeleussinov and John Joe Nevin. It’s stacked from top to bottom and it’s going to be an electric night of boxing in Philadelphia.”
Gervonta Davis Relocates Training Camp to Los Angeles
Two-time super featherweight world champion Gervonta Davis is relocating his training camp today and traveling from his hometown of Baltimore to finish camp in Los Angeles as he prepares defend his title against three-division world champion Abner Mares. Davis vs. Mares will headline a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® tripleheader on Saturday, February9 from Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly StubHub Center, in Carson, California andpresented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Davis, along with longtime trainer Calvin Ford, will be working at Ten Goose Boxing Gym as he nears this showdown that will serve as Davis’ first U.S. main event.

“Camp is going great, my weight is good and everything I had planned to do is on schedule,” said Davis. “I decided to move camp to Los Angeles to train in the same weather I’ll be fighting in and to get the long flight out of the way. Get your tickets now before they sell out, because you don’t want to miss my first SHOWTIME main event!”

“We decided to break camp and head to Los Angeles sooner than anticipated to allow Gervonta to get used to the change in altitude and climate,” said Ford. “We’re also taking into consideration that the fight will be outside. Everything with his training is on point and going as scheduled toward an explosive performance on February 9.”

Davis had previously scheduled a Baltimore media workout for Wednesday, before deciding to relocate for the final days of training.

Tickets for the event, promoted by Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotions and Ringstar Sports, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.
Michael Conlan Set for St. Patrick’s Day Extravaganza Against Ruben Garcia Hernandez at MSG
Michael “Mick” Conlan is set to paint the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden green on St. Patrick’s Day for a third consecutive year. The Belfast native, two-time Irish Olympian, and top featherweight prospect packed the Hulu Theater to the rafters in 2017 and 2018 and will return on Sunday, March 17 to face the battle-tested Ruben Garcia Hernandez in the 10-round main event.

Conlan-Hernandez will begin following the conclusion of the annual NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

In the co-feature, former junior featherweight world champion Jessie Magdaleno will face former junior lightweight world title challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz in a 10-round featherweight clash. And, in a crossroads welterweight bout, Brooklyn native and former world champion Luis Collazo will take on Samuel Vargas in a 10-rounder.

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets for St. Conlan’s Evening priced at $206, $156, $106, $81, $56, and $31 (including facility fees) go on sale Thursday, Jan. 24 at 12 p.m. ET and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at ticketmaster.com and MSG.com.

This special St. Patrick’s Day tripleheader will stream live and exclusively at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN. The soon-to-be-announced undercard will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 3 p.m. ET.

“I’m excited and honored to fight at my home away from home, The Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden, on St. Patrick’s Day for the third consecutive year,” Conlan said. “The fans in New York City have been incredibly supportive of my professional career, and I look forward to putting on a show for them, in addition to my great fans from Ireland who will be coming over for the party in Manhattan. Thanks very much to my team and Top Rank for this tremendous opportunity. I’ll be well prepared for victory to kick off a huge year for me in 2019.”

Conlan (10-0, 6 KOs) turned pro on St. Patrick’s Day 2017 following a storied amateur career that included gold medals at the European Championships, World Championships, and Commonwealth Games. His pro debut — in front of a capacity crowd of 5,201 and including being flanked to the ring by UFC superstar Conor McGregor — was the birth of a superstar. Conlan fought five times apiece in 2017 and 2018, most recently capturing the vacant WBO Intercontinental belt with a unanimous decision over Jason Cunningham on Dec. 22 in Manchester, England. Conlan, who captured a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics, has been dominant in the paid ranks. On St Patrick’s Day 2018, he knocked out David Berna in the second round. Hernandez (24-3-2, 10 KOs) has only been knocked out once as a pro and took four-weight world champion Nonito Donaire the 10-round distance in a 2017 bout.

Magdaleno (25-1, 18 KOs) is moving up four pounds following a world title run at 122 pounds that included one successful title defense. In his last bout, April 28 in Philadelphia, he battled Isaac Dogboe in one of the best fights of 2018. Magdaleno knocked down Dogboe in the opening round, only for Dogboe to rally for an 11th-round knockout. Diaz (24-1, 16 KOs), from Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, climbed the 130-pound rankings until he earned a shot at the vacant WBO title last July 28 versus Masayuki Ito. Diaz was knocked down in the fourth round and lost a unanimous decision in a gutsy showing. He moved down to featherweight and rebounded with a first-round stoppage over David Berna on Nov. 24. Diaz is now training with the legendary Freddie Roach.

“It’s going to be that classic Mexico vs. Puerto Rico battle,” Magdaleno said. “That’s the type of fight that the fans love to see! It’s two warriors that like to scrap and bring excitement, so I know I have to be 100 percent ready, and I’m ready to show the fans that I’m back!”

“Facing Jessie Magdaleno represents a new opportunity to battle against top fighters,” Diaz said. “I don’t like going the easy route. I am a warrior, and I want to face the best. That’s why I always work hard. March 17 will not be different. That will be the time to shine against the best. Magdaleno is a great challenge because he is a former world champion who will come with plans to get a victory that positions him to challenge for a world title in a second division. But that’s also what I want. I want another world title shot, and Magdaleno is in my way. I know that with the great Freddie Roach in my corner, my hunger for triumph, my willingness to leave everything in the ring, and my desire to be the best featherweight in the world, I will achieve my dream of becoming a world champion.”

Collazo (38-7, 20 KOs) is a 19-year-pro and a former welterweight world champion who has faced the likes of “Sugar” Shane Mosley, Ricky Hatton, Amir Khan, Andre Berto, Keith Thurman, and Victor Ortiz. One of the sport’s craftiest veterans, Collazo is coming off a well-earned decision victory over Bryant Perrella (15-1 at the time) and a sixth-round knockout against former top prospect Sammy Vasquez. Vargas (30-4-2, 14 KOs) has faced many of the welterweight division’s leading lights during his nine-year career. Last September, he knocked down Khan in the second round, but was unable to finish Khan off and lost a unanimous decision.

“I’m eager to get back in the ring and show the fans that I’m still an elite welterweight,” Collazo said. “Every time I fight, I give my blood, sweat, and tears. Brooklyn is going to be in the house on March 17. Samuel Vargas is in for a rude awakening. After I take care of business, I’m coming for all the top welterweights.”

“For a kid who came from Colombia with nothing, trying to make a name for himself and a better life for his family, fighting at Madison Square Garden feels like a dream come true,” Vargas said. “I’ve fought on some of the biggest stages in the world, but this is where every fighter envisions themselves fighting. It’s an opportunity I won’t let go to waste.”
Roy Jones Junior Boxing Fact Sheet: Palicte-Martinez
WHAT: RJJ Boxing on UFC Fight Pass
WHO: MAIN EVENT – WBO Jr. BANTAMWEIGHT WORLD TITLE ELIMINATOR (12)*
“Mighty” Aston Palicte(24-2-1, 20 KOs), Bago City, Negros Occidental, Philippines vs. Jose “Chiquiro” Martinez (20-0-2, 13 KOs), Las Marias, Puerto Rico
CO-FEATURE – FEATHWERWEIGHTS (6)*
Edward “Kid” Vasquez (5-0, 0 KOs), Fort Worth, Texas vs. Brandon “2 Smooth” Cruz (6-0, 4 KOs), San Diego, California
JUNIOR FEATHERWEIGHTS (6)*
Dilan “El Rey” Miranda (4-1, 3 KOs), San Diego, California by way of Mexico vs. Daniel Constantino (2-2-1, 1 KO), Compton, California
FEMALE FEATHERWEIGHTS (4 X 2)
Jessica Juarez (1-0, 1 KO), San Diego, California vs. Kailyn Hansen (1-2, 0 KOs), Whittier, California
WELTERWEIGHTS (4)
Anthony Franco (3-1-1, 0 KOs), Redlands, California vs. David Morales (2-1-1 (0 KOs)
HEAVYWEIGHTS (4)
Oscar Torres (3-0, 1 KO), Los Angeles, California Vs. Ignacio Zambrano (2-4, 0 KOs), Torrance, California
*denotes live-streamed on UFC Fight Pass
(ALL FIGHTS & FIGHTERS SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
WHEN: Thursday, January 31, 2019
WHERE: Oak Ballroom in Viejas Casino & Resort, Alpine, California (35 miles outside of San Diego)
PROMOTER: Roy Jones Jr (RJJ) Boxing Promotions in association with Miguel Cotto Promotions
LIVE STREAM: UFC FIGHT PASS®, starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT
Samuel Vargas to Face Luis Collazo March 17th
Samuel Vargas has had a lot of “pinch me” moments in his boxing career. From fighting on national television, to facing world champions, bringing a boxing show to his native Colombia, and headlining arena shows in his hometown of Toronto.

But on March 17, Vargas may have the biggest opportunity of his career, as he faces Luis Collazo in a 10-round welterweight bout at the Hulu Theatre inside the legendary Madison Square Garden.

The bout will be a co-feature on an ESPN card headlined by Irish superstar Michael Conlan, fittingly, on St. Patrick’s Day.

“For a kid who came from Colombia with nothing, trying to make a name for himself and a better life for his family, fighting at Madison Square Garden feels like a dream come true,” Vargas said. “I’ve fought on some of the biggest stages in the world, but this is where every fighter envisions themselves fighting. It’s an opportunity I won’t let go to waste.”

Collazo had recently been in talks as a potential opponent for welterweight titleholder Keith Thurman. Vargas hopes that a victory over Collazo could potentially put him in line for a world title opportunity, something that has eluded him despite his deep resume of opponents.

Vargas has done battle with some of the sport’s and division’s very best, including Errol Spence Jr., Danny Garcia, Amir Khan, Ali Funeka and more. However, none were world title fights, either because the bouts were between title stints, or the belt wasn’t on the line.

“A win over Luis Collazo would force the hand of the welterweight division,” said Vargas’ promoter Lee Baxter. “It would be the biggest win of Sammy’s career, and would establish that he belongs in the positions he’s been put in throughout his career. Remember, he was maybe one inch and a few seconds away from knocking out Amir Khan. On March 17, he won’t let anything slip away.”

Collazo (38-7, 20 KOs) has been a pro for 19 years, a career which has included a run as welterweight champion, and a who’s who resume of fighters he’s shared the ring with, including: “Sugar” Shane Mosley, Ricky Hatton, Amir Khan, Andre Berto, Keith Thurman, and Victor Ortiz. Collazo is coming off two major upset victories, a win over Bryant Perrella and a sixth-round knockout of top prospect Sammy Vasquez

“Collazo is someone I have a lot of respect for. We have a lot in common, we’ve both never ducked anybody, we’ve both improved and learned on the job as the years have gone on, and we’re always in exciting fights. But on March 17, all that goes out the window, and I’m going to prove that my time has finally come.”

With a victory, opportunities for Vargas could be abundant, says Baxter.

“Sammy isn’t someone that’s tied to a network right now, but he’s one step away from being a viable option to face any welterweight titleholder, not just Keith Thurman, but Terence Crawford, especially considering Sammy almost knocked out the man he’s about to fight. A win on March 17 could give us a lot of leverage,” said Baxter.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Dirrell, Crawford, Khan, Lara, Algieri, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

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


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Crawford and Khan Face Off in New York City

Fresh off their kickoff press conference in London, WBO welterweight world champion Terence “Bud” Crawford and Amir “King” Khan flew across the pond for a special press conference at ESPN’s South Street Seaport studios in lower Manhattan.

Crawford and Khan will battle on Saturday, April 20, live on the inaugural Top Rank on ESPN pay-per-view at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT. Details on how fans will be able to access the pay-per-view event will be announced at a later date.

On stop two of the Crawford-Khan cross-continental media tour, this is what the fighters and Top Rank chairman Bob Arum had to say.

Terence Crawford

“Amir Khan has been in there with a lot of great fighters. Me beating him will put me on another level in the welterweight division. People are interested in seeing this fight.”

“It don’t matter how I win. I just want to win. That still won’t get the fighters I want to fight in the ring with me. I just need to keep doing what I’m doing.”

“There’s no animosity between me and Amir. He respects me. I respect him. We’ll do our thing in the ring on April 20, and we’ll shake hands when it’s over.”

“I’m expecting the best Amir Khan to show up. I never take any shortcuts in training camp. I’m always training for the best fighter that {my opponent} can be. I never look at it like, ‘Oh, he’s some half Amir Khan, or he’s washed up.’ We’re going to train for the best Amir Khan.”

Amir Khan

On why he signed to fight Crawford

“First of all, it was because it was for a world title. Also, Terence is up there as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. This is a fight that could take me to a different level, and I want to win this fight because I want to be the best in the world. All them dreams I’ve had of being the best ever, and one day being that pound-for-pound champion, this is the fight that can take me there.”

“I’ve been reading a lot of things and hearing a lot of things with people saying that I’m taking this fight just to get beat or maybe just to have another world title fight. It isn’t about that. I’m coming here to win. I’ve never gone into a fight just to make numbers. I’ve made a lot of money in the game, and I could leave the sport happy. But I still have unfinished business. I still have a lot left in me to win them titles. Maybe my last fight wasn’t the best fight. Maybe that’s one of the reasons that got me this fight. I will prove myself. Going into this fight, I’m highly motivated. Terence is a great champion. I’m not going to walk into the ring just to get beat. I’m coming to win this fight. I don’t have that much pressure in this fight because people are expecting me to get beat. I’m going to come and shock the world.”

“This is a fight that can redeem my whole career. Against Canelo, maybe I was biting off more than I could chew. I took that fight because it was a massive opportunity for me, and I believe in myself as a fighter. This fight, I see that it’s more fair. We’re similar weights. We’ve had similar experience. In my opinion, I’ll be able to take his punching power. He’s also a quick and a skillful fighter, so there’s a lot of advantages for me in this fight. In other fights, I’ve fought guys who are a lot stronger, a lot bigger in weight. That plays a big part. In this fight, I really think I have the style and everything it takes to win.”

Bob Arum

“The idea is to make the best possible fight. We’ve been Terence’s promoter for many, many years. He’s at a stage now where, to cement his legacy, he has to fight the best. And I’ve always been a big fan of Amir Khan. I remember Amir Khan when he was an amateur and what great skills he has and had. It will be a real test for Bud Crawford to fight Amir Khan. I really think Amir has been one of the best welterweights around. And I think it’s going to be a great, great fight on April 20.”

“Terence Crawford, should he win the fight April 20, he will fight the best available welterweights in the world. It’s the world. There are tremendously gifted fighters. There’s this kid in Spain that’s the biggest attraction Spanish boxing ever had called {Kerman Lejarraga}. And he’s a terrific fighter. There’s the Eastern Europeans. There’s a lot of good welterweights. If there are fighters fighting for another promoter, and the other promoter is digging his heels in and won’t give his fighters the opportunity to be on a big stage, it’s on them. I can’t be worried about it.”

Chris Aglieri Wins WBO International Title by Decision

The bright lights of New York City were on full display Friday night at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden. Former WBO Super Lightweight World Champion

CHRIS ALGIERI (now, 23-3 8KO’s) and Queens native DANNY “EL GALLO” GONZALEZ (now 17-2-1 7KO’s) stepped in against each other with not only the WBO International Super Lightweight title on the line, but each knowing that a victory would put himself in line for a shot at a 140 lb. title.

Opening the action, Algieri controlled the opening rounds, showing a dedication to attacking the body, while using his agility and elite footwork to evade the offensive attempts of Gonzalez. Sitting on his punches, fighting on the outside, Algieri displayed his elite level punch rate.

Gonzalez would eventually settle in, pressuring Algieri through the second half of the scheduled ten-round bout. Gonzalez continued his aggression in an attempt to get himself back in the fight and successfully pushed the action for the remainder of the fight.

An accidental head butt, late in the seventh round, opened a cut under the left eye of Algieri. Seeing blood, Gonzalez went on the aggressive, landing a hard left hand while he pinned Algieri against the ropes. Getting into a grove, Gonzalez began putting combinations together to both the body and the head.

At the end of the 10-rounds, Gonzalez’s late offensive effort would prove to fall short, as the judges gave Algieri the nod by scores of 98-92, 97-93, 96-94. By unanimous decision, Chris Algieri earned the vacant WBO INTERNATIONAL SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE.

“I am my biggest critic, my performance wasn’t my best, but we got the W, we got the belt and I’m moving on” said Algieri. When asked about a possible title fight against MAURICE HOOKER, Algieri stated, “I can turn it up when I need it … I have always been the guy that can pull off the unexpected.”

CEO of Star Boxing JOE DEGUARDIA said this about the fight, “I am proud of both Chris and Danny. It was one of the most compelling fights of the night from the perspective of fan participation and support, with a vocal crowd that was essentially split between both local fighters. Chris gutted it though a tough fight and the win puts him in line for some big matches. I was also very impressed with Danny’s performance, and believe he showed that he can hang with the elite level of the 140 lb. division. Congratulations to both men on a great fight. We will be announcing some positive steps for both of them in the coming months.”

Bivol vs. Smith WBA Title Fight Set for March 9th at Turning Stone

MatchroomUSA, Star Boxing, and World of Boxing held a press conference to announce the site and date of the highly anticipated light heavyweight showdown between undefeated WBA World Champion DMITRY BIVOL (St. Petersburg, Russia, 15-0 11KO’s) and title challenger, the “common man” JOE “THE BEAST” SMITH JR. (Mastic Beach, NY, 24-2 20KO’s)

With a room full of media in attendance, Bivol’s exciting and eagerly anticipated fourth title defense against Long Island’s own, Smith Jr. was announced and is set to take place on MARCH 9TH at TURNING STONE RESORT & CASINO located in Verona, New York. The fight will be live on DAZN.

Bivol is coming off of a 2018 that included three title defenses against SULLIVAN BARRERA, ISSAC CHILEMBA, and JEAN PASCAL. Argued by many as the top light heavyweight in the world, Bivol will be taking on a challenge in the arguably the hardest hitting light heavyweight in the world, Smith Jr. Smith Jr., burst onto the boxing scene as a fighter of the year finalist and knockout of the year winner in 2016 due to his devastating knockout of hometown favorite, ANDRZEJ FONFARA, and later that year, his unimaginable knockout of legend BERNARD HOPKINS through ropes.

QUOTES:

CEO of Star Boxing Joe DeGuardia:

“We know about [Joe Smith Jr.’s] humble background as a laborer, working with the union. He comes from a real hard working background.”

“Joe always seems to be doing the things that are not expected. I know he’s humble, but he has a real knockout punch”

“Joe has made the best of his opportunities. He did it against Fonfara and he did it against Bernard Hopkins. We are very excited for him to have this opportunity to go win a world title.”

Matchroom Promoter Eddie Hearn:

“The main event for the WBA Light Heavyweight Championship of the World is going to be a fabulous fight”

“This is a big opportunity for Joe Smith, and its a pleasure again to be working with Joe DeGuardia”

JOE SMITH Jr. addressed the media:

“This is a huge opportunity for me and I am going to take advantage of it.”

“I’ve worked very hard, trained very hard. I’ll give it everything I have and come March 9th, hopefully take the title home.”

“Thank you DAZN, Bivol and Star Boxing for giving me this shot.”

DMITRY BIVOL said this about March 9TH:

“Thank you all the guys who work with me and help me. I am glad that my team decided the way of my career, and the way we will work with DAZN.”

“Thank you [to] Joe Smith Team and Joe Smith for taking this fight. I think we will make a good fight. I will keep my belt.”

Nico Hernandez Returns February 15th

2016 Olympic Bronze Medallist, and fighting hometown hero, Nico Hernandez will return to the professional boxing ring on Friday, February 15, at the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas.

The undefeated Hernandez (6-0, 4 KOs) will face Mexico’s Victor Trejo Garcia (16-9-1, 8 KOs) in an eight-round flyweight special attraction in the featured live bout immediately preceding the SHOWTIME tripleheader telecast of “ShoBox Live at the Kansas Star Casino.”

The Hernandez vs Garcia bout is presented by Salita Promotions and John Anderson’s KO Night Boxing.

Tickets for the live event will go on sale on Friday, January 18, at 10 a.m. CT and are priced at $110, $75, $60, $45 and $25. They can be purchased at www.KansasStarCasino.com, www.Ticketmaster.com and at the Lucky Star Players Club at Kansas Star Casino.

Hernandez, who won the first Olympic men’s boxing medal since the 2008 Beijing Olympics by taking bronze at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was 94-5 as an amateur. He also captured six national titles, scored eight wins in the Ringside World Championship (an annual Kansas City-area event billed as “the largest amateur boxing tournament in the world”), along with six consecutive Silver Gloves National Championship wins, and a 2014 National Golden Gloves gold medal.

The 23-year-old turned professional in March 2017 and has dominated all his fights. He was last seen scoring a unanimous eight-round decision over Texas veteran Josue Morales. This will be his third consecutive fight at the Kansas Star Casino, where he enjoys tremendous popularity.

“I’m excited to be fighting on February 15 in front of my hometown fans at the Kansas Star Arena,” said Hernandez. “I’ll be in great shape and plan on putting on a great show. I want to be very active in 2019 and win a world title before the end of the year. It’s my time to shine.”

Presented by Salita Promotions, “ShoBox Live at the Kansas Star Casino” will feature top prospect Shohjahon Ergashev (15-0, 14 KOs) of Detroit via Fergana, Uzbekistan, taking on also undefeated Mykal Fox (19-0, 5 KOs) of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, in a 10-round welterweight main event.

In the other two televised bouts, Fort Worth’s rugged Jesse Angel Hernandez (12-1, 7 KOs) will take on Britain’s Thomas Patrick Ward (25-0, 4 KOs) in a 10-round super bantamweight battle for the WBA-NABA Championship and Grozny, Russia’s undefeated Aslambek Idigov (15-0, 7 KOs) will face once-beaten Travis Hanshaw (14-1-1, 7 KOs) of Ashland, Kentucky, in an eight-round super middleweight contest.

On fight night, the doors open at 5:30 pm (CST) and the action starts at 6:00 pm. Bouts subject to change. The Kansas Star Casino is located at 777 Kansas Star Drive in Mulvane, Kansas.\
Erislandy Lara to Challegne Brian Castano for WBA Super Welterweight Title

Former 154-pound world champion Erislandy Lara seeks to return to the championship ranks when the Cuban star challenges undefeated contender Brian Castaño for his WBA Super Welterweight World Championship on Saturday, March 2 live on SHOWTIME and presented by Premier Boxing Champions from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING coverage of the PBC event begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features another Cuban star in top heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz as he clashes with Christian Hammer in a 10-round co-featured bout. In the opening bout of the tripleheader, hard-hitting Ricardo Núñez takes on rugged veteran Edner Cherry in a 12-round super featherweight opener.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions in association with DiBella Entertainment, are on sale Friday, January 18 at 10 a.m. ET and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com, or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center beginning Saturday, January 19. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

The super welterweight division remains one of the hottest divisions in boxing with unified champion Jarrett Hurd, newly crown champion Tony Harrison, former world champion Jermell Charlo, former title challenger Julian Williams and Lara all circling each other for supremacy in the weight class.

“This night of exciting action is headlined by two Cuban stars who will surely put on a display of the immense skill and determination that Cuban boxers are known for,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Erislandy Lara has long been one of the best, if not number one, in the 154-pound division and he will look to get right back into that class by taking the WBA title from a hard-hitting and undefeated Argentine in Brian Castaño. Luis Ortiz has another opportunity to show why he’s one of the most-feared punchers in the heavyweight division and prove that he deserves a rematch for the title with Deontay Wilder. Christian Hammer has fought against the best at heavyweight and he isn’t coming here to lie down for Ortiz. When you add the Ricardo Núñez vs. Edner Cherry fight that is sure to bring action, it adds up to another can’t-miss night at Barclays Center and live on SHOWTIME.”

“Erislandy Lara is one of the most talented junior middleweights in the world, and while Brian Castaño is not yet a household name, he was a world renowned amateur and is undefeated as a pro,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “This is a must-win fight for Lara and Castaño’s chance to establish himself as one of boxing’s rising stars. Luis Ortiz is a dangerous man. His ‘King Kong’ nickname is appropriate, as no one wants to fight the beast. You saw why in his spectacular challenge against Deontay Wilder. Tested world class contender Christian Hammer will attempt to derail ‘King Kong’ in his quest to secure another world title shot.”

“Over the last few years SHOWTIME has spotlighted the progression of the super welterweight and heavyweight divisions as they have emerged as two of the hottest and deepest in the sport,” said Stephen Espinoza, President of Sports and Event Programming, SHOWTIME. “On March 2, we will further that with a pair of the most dangerous and perhaps most avoided fighters in boxing in Erislandy Lara and Luis Ortiz. Both are in significant and difficult matchups. Brian Castaño is young, undefeated and although already the champion, looking to make a mark on the division with a signature win over Lara. Add in an all-action 130-pound bout and we have a dynamite three-fight card.”

“I’m thrilled to welcome both Erislandy Lara and Luis Ortiz back to Barclays Center for what will be an exciting night for fight fans in Brooklyn,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of BSE Global. “Both fighters have put up compelling performances in our ring, and will face tough competitors on March 2. I am also looking forward to BROOKLYN BOXING returning to SHOWTIME for the first time in 2019 for an evening of world class matchups.”

Lara (25-3-2, 14 KOs) was the longest reigning 154-pound champion until he lost a split decision to Jarrett Hurd on April 7 in a unification bout on SHOWTIME. Now the 39-year-old Lara, who was born in Guantanamo, Cuba and lives in Houston, looks to grab a title and once again stake his claim as one of the division’s best. He has one of the strongest resumes in the division, having fought Hurd and former 154-pound champions Canelo Alvarez and Austin Trout.

“I’m very excited to be back headlining SHOWTIME in another major fight,” said Lara. ”Brian Castaño is a young undefeated champion with a strong amateur pedigree. I look forward to being in the ring with him and putting on a great fight for the fans. I can’t wait to being crowned world champion again. Everyone tune in March 2nd, you don’t want to miss the whole card, it’s going to be sensational.”

The 29-year-old Castaño (15-0, 11 KOs) has worked his way up the ladder in one of the toughest divisions in boxing with raw power and toughness. Castaño, who is from Buenos Aires, fits well into the mold of the Argentine sluggers before him – such as former champions Carlos Monzon, Sergio Martinez and Marcos Maidana. He will battle Lara after wins against Michel Soro in 2017, where he captured the interim 154-pound, and Cedric Vitu in 2018, where he captured the belt he will defend on March 2.

“I’m thrilled to be facing Lara as he was a great champion and still one of the best fighters out there,” said Castaño. “Obviously this is the most important fight of my career and I know it will be difficult because of his experience. I have my own experience however, and I’m willing to prove that I belong with the best tin the division. I know he will get onto his bike and move around the ring, but I have the strength to knock him off.”

‘King Kong’ returns to New York on March 2 as Ortiz (30-1, 26 KOs), a southpaw power puncher, enters the ring with two solid knockout victories under his belt since losing to WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder at Barclays Center last March. The 39-year-old Ortiz, who is from Camaguey, Cuba and now lives in Miami, Florida, is still considered one of the top five heavyweights in the division. He most recently scored a knockout victory over Travis Kauffman on December 1.

“’King Kong’ is coming back to Brooklyn!” said Ortiz. “I’m very excited to be back on SHOWTIME in a huge event at Barclays Center. Christian Hammer is a very good fighter and I will be prepared for the best he has to offer. Come March 2, I’m hammering my way past him and setting up a clash with the winner of Wilder-Fury II or Anthony Joshua. I can’t wait till Brooklyn.’’

Hammer (24-5, 14 KOs) has dueled some of the top heavyweights in the sport, including Tyson Fury and Alexander Povetkin. The 31-year-old Hammer, who was born in Galati, Romania and lives in Hamburg, Germany, has put together two victories since he lost a unanimous decision to Povetkin in 2017. In his last fight he scored a KO victory over then-unbeaten Michael Wallisch on December 15.

“I’ve been in training since right after Christmas for this big opportunity,” said Hammer. “I won my last fight by knockout, but I’m preparing for 12 hard rounds against Ortiz. A fight like this in New York is very special to me. This is the reason I became a boxer. The fans can look forward to a real heavyweight thriller on March 2.”

The hard-hitting Panamanian Núñez (20-2, 18 KOs) will be fighting for the first time in the United States on March 2. The 25-year-old is on a nine-fight winning streak in which he has scored eight knockout victories. He most recently delivered a first-round knockout of previously unbeaten Elvis Torres in June.

Cherry (37-7-2, 19 KOs) has put together a three-fight win streak since losing to Jose Pedraza in a featherweight title match in 2015. The 36-year-old Cherry, who was born in Nassau, Bahamas and now lives in Wauchula, Florida, has defeated Dennis Galarza, Omar Douglas and Haskell Rhodes heading into March and has faced top fighters including Tim Bradley and Paulie Malignaggi throughout his career.

Dirrell to Face Yildirim for WBA Super Middleweight World Championship

Former super middleweight world champion Anthony Dirrell gets an opportunity to rejoin the championship ranks when he battles top contender Avni Yildirim for the vacant WBC Super Middleweight Championship in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes Saturday, February 23 from The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Televised coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT with welterweight championship contender Jamal James fighting in his hometown for a third straight time against Janer González in a special 10-round attraction in the co-feature.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Warriors Boxing and TGB Promotions, are on sale now, and can be purchased at the Armory at http://ArmoryMN.com/and through Ticketmaster.

“Fight fans in Minneapolis and watching on FS1 and FOX Deportes are in for a treat with this high stakes world title showdown between Anthony Dirrell and Avni Yildirim,” said Leon Margules, President of Warriors Boxing. “Dirrell has been a champion and amongst the division’s elite for years, while Yildirim always comes to fight and will be determined to make the most of this opportunity. With the addition of local fan-favorite Jamal James in welterweight action, this is shaping up to be a can’t miss night at The Armory.”

“Anthony Dirrell took a long, difficult road to get to the super middleweight championship and he has worked hard to get into position to reclaim the title,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Avni Yildirim has been one of the most active contenders in the division and he has gained significant experience since his last opportunity to win a championship. He will need all that and more to get past Dirrell. And it’s going to be a special night watching Jamal James fighting for his hometown fans again.”

Dirrell (32-1-1, 24 KOs) won the WBC Super Middleweight Championship with a unanimous decision victory over Sakio Bika in 2014. It was the culmination of a long, hard road for Dirrell of Flint, Michigan after he successfully battled non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was cleared to return to boxing after completing chemotherapy in 2008. His reign as world champion was cut short when the 34-year-old Dirrell lost the title by majority decision to Badou Jack in 2015. He has won five straight since that loss to climb back into contention for a chance to become a two-time world champion.

“This is just like every other fight where we’re going to work on a game plan and execute that game plan in the ring,” said Dirrell. “I saw him fight Chris Eubank and it showed me some things. He’s a come forward fighter. That’s the kind of guy I like to fight. He’s tailor-made for me. I’m going to do what I do best and that’s fight. I’ve been keeping my mind, body and soul together and staying focused to know what I have to do to become two-time WBC champion.”

Yildirim (21-1, 12 KOs) is one of the most active contenders in the super middleweight division. The 27-year-old from Istanbul, Turkey has fought at least four times a year since 2014. The fight against Dirrell will be only the second time that he has fought in the United States after defeating Glen Johnson in Miami in 2015. Yildirim suffered the only loss of his professional career by stoppage against Chris Eubank, Jr. in 2017. In his last fight he won a majority decision against Lolenga Mock and he enters this fight on a five-fight winning streak.

“I’m very thankful to everyone who helped me get this opportunity and I know that I have all the tools to beat Anthony Dirrell,” said Yildirim. “Dirrell is a good fighter, but I believe I bring more to the table than him. I’m coming to win and bring the belt home to Turkey. I waited all my boxing life for this stage and I am ready to give him a war.”

James (24-1, 11 KOs) has become a local favorite and will be fighting in front of his hometown crowd in Minneapolis for the third straight time. The 30-year-old James has rolled off four consecutive victories since suffering the first loss of his career – a unanimous decision loss to Yordenis Ugás in 2016. In his last fight James stopped Mahonry Montes by knockout on August 24 on FS1. Gonzalez (19-1-1, 15 KOs) is a power-puncher from Cartagena, Colombia and is coming off the first loss of his career via a unanimous decision to Radzhad Butaev in 2017.

“I’m hungry to make 2019 the year that I get that world title,” said James. “I’m focused on my opponent, but in this fight I’m going to keep showing off the skills and speed that makes me the next champion. I’m extremely grateful to be fighting again at home and to keep bringing PBC to Minneapolis. I’m going to be the next champion from here and the journey starts fresh for 2019 when I step into that ring on February 23.”

“I’m excited for this opportunity to fight Jamal James in his backyard and leave all his hometown fans disappointed,” said Gonzalez. “I’m training harder than ever to bounce back from my loss and show everyone what I’ve learned. This victory is going to put me back on the path to becoming word champion.”

More Headlines

Boxing Insider Notebook: Roy Jones, Chris Algieri, Jaime Munguia, Philly Special, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

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


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

Jaime Munguia Discusses Promising 2019 As He Prepares to Defend Title Against Takeshi Inoue

Jaime Munguia (31-0, 26 KOs) discussed his busy plans for 2019 as he prepares to defend his WBO Junior Middleweight World Title against Japanese contender Takeshi Inoue (13-0-1, 7 KOs) in a 12-round battle. The action will take place on Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas and will be streamed live on DAZN – which is just $9.99 per month after a one-month free trial. Fans in Houston can purchase tickets starting at just $25 at ToyotaCenter.com.

The native of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico is working hard to make a successful third defense of his title in what will be his debut in Texas. Munguia is working under the expert tutelage of renowned trainer Robert Alcazar, who trained the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Edwin Valero and Jessie Vargas. Munguia is training in the Southern California area, where he combines a morning run at the mountains with an intense boxing session at a private gym in the afternoon.

Below is what Jaime Munguia had to say during a recent training session:

“We are preparing very well. I feel better and more motivated than ever before”

I’m stronger than ever, and I will do my best to give the best fights for the people on this new platform, DAZN.”

“I have worked hard to be in the main events like this. I think for me this is just the start. I want to make history. I was happy to be the co-main event of Canelo vs. GGG 2, and now that I’m headlining this event, I am more motivated.”

“Takeshi Inoue is a strong fighter. He comes forward. He doesn’t mind taking a punch in order to land one. We have to be careful with that and come very prepared. We have to be careful with his right hand as well. We’re going to come very well prepared on Jan. 26.”

“After this fight, it looks like I will have a WBO mandatory bout against Dennis Hogan. But I would still like to unify the titles at 154 pounds with the other champions. We will resolve anything that is put in front of us.”

“The plan is to move up to 160 pounds in about a year. We’re fine making weight now. I have no problems, but I feel I can move up and fight in other divisions. My body is such that I could even go up to 168 pounds.”

Munguia on the other fighters in his division:

“I thought the fight was a draw [regarding Jermell Charlo vs. Tony Harrison]. Charlo should have attacked more and not wait as much. That’s my opinion of the fight. Tony Harrison is a good fighter. He’s tough and has good skills. If he is put in front of us-or anyone for that matter-we will have to work.”

“[Jarrett] Hurd is a very big 154-pounder. I think he’s bigger than me. If a fight with him is presented to me, why not? We can unify the tittles or meet at 160 pounds.”

“I don’t know what to say about the political situation because we are on different platforms. We will see if a fight against them can happen. Perhaps not this year, but maybe we can meet them at 160 pounds.

“I’ve heard the things they’ve said about me. Maybe they don’t respect me or think I’m too young. They’ve said a lot. I will make them respect me on the day they step in the ring with me.”

Munguia on a potential fight against Canelo:

“I don’t think there is any pressure with being mentioned with names like Canelo and Golovkin. I like this. It’s fun. I’m happy to be in fights like this and to see that we are advancing. So, the truth is we are happy.

“I am conscious of what I am doing. I think I can move up to 160 pounds and fight any of the two. It’s a risk because there will always be risks. Those are the two best fighters in the world. We would have to be very careful and come very well prepared. I don’t think it would happen soon, so we have to see what the future holds for us.”

Chris Algieri Appears on WNYW Fox 5 To Discuss Upcoming Title Fight

Star Boxing’s CHRIS ALGIERI (Huntington, LI, NY, 22-3 8KO), former WBO World Super Lightweight Champion, will be on WNYW Fox 5 discussing his fight with Star Boxing stablemate DANNY “EL GALLO” GONZALEZ (Woodhaven, New York 17-1-1 7KO), for the vacant WBO Super Lightweight Title on January 18th at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in a featured 10 round bout on the undercard of the WBO World Middleweight Title bout between DEMETRIUS ANDRADE and ARTUR AKAVO.

On November 30th Algieri, ended a two year hiatus from the ring, winning a shutout unanimous 10 round decision over ANGEL HERNANDEZ, before a vocal and sold out crowd filled with his supporters at the Paramount. Algieri has never lost a fight at 140 lb. and he is trying to get back his WBO World Championship. The step just before that is the WBO International Championship and Danny Gonzalez on Friday Night. Catch Algieri live on Channel 5 at approximately 7:45 Tuesday morning. Perhaps more importantly, don’t miss him vs. Danny Gonzalez on Friday night on DAZN from the Hulu Theater MSG.

Gonzalez, a young and rising star who has made a name for himself at the Paramount in Huntington, LI, in Star Boxing’s Rockin’ Fights series, captured the ABO Intercontinental Championship in September 2018, with a unanimous decision over JOHNNY “HITMAN” HERNANDEZ in an epic battle. The fight was a war of attrition and Gonzalez earned his championship in a bout which proved both his fighting heart and talent. Now the spotlight is much greater as he challenges former World Champion Algieri for the WBO International Strap.

Not only is a possible world title shot on the line in this bout but bragging rights in the Star Boxing stable are being contested. This is a fight where both fighters will be calling on all their will and skill and it should be a crowd pleasing slam-bang affair from bell-to-bell.

Salita Congratulates Russia’s Elena Gradinar for Winning Prospect of the Year for 2018

Promoter Dmitriy Salita congratulates undefeated Russian featherweight Elena Gradinar for being named “Prospect of the Year” for 2018 by respected women’s boxing body womenofboxing.com.

Gradinar (9-0, 2 KOs) is the number one IBF contender and mandatory challenger to world champion Jennifer Han. She started the year with a unanimous decision over Karina Kopinska and then moved into the mandatory spot and picked up the IBF Inter-Continental Female Featherweight Championship with a unanimous decision over Olivia Gerula.

Already designated a Sport Master of Russia in her homeland, the 28-year-old, from Saint Petersburg finds herself one win away from her first world championship.

“I am very grateful for this honor,” said a happy Gradinar. “I look forward to winning the IBF Featherweight World Title in my next fight and bringing respect to women’s boxing by fighting the best champions and top contenders.”

Gerula’s co-promoter Dmitriy Salita (along with Russian-based Alexander Nevskiy Promotion Group) says Gradinar is a key component to his highly successful efforts to revive the once-floundering sport of women’s boxing.

Salita was named Promoter of the Year for 2018 by womenofboxing.com.

“This is a very meaningful victory in a category that featured top names in Women’s Boxing,” said Salita. “This shows that our effort to expand women’s boxing throughout the world is paying off. Elena is going to have a great year.”

Anthony Laureano Looks to Impress on January 26th At Mohegan Sun

With January 26th rapidly approaching, the hype for STAR BOXING’S “SLUGFEST at the SUN” continues to build as one of its up-in-coming fighters is ready to defend his undefeated record. Connecticut’s own “ACTION” ANTHONY LAUREANO (9-0 3KO’s) of East Hartford is all set to battle in a featured bout at Mohegan Sun against RONALD “SAVAGE” RIVAS (5-8-2 3 KO’s).

The bout will be Laureano’s fourth fight at Mohegan Sun. Laureano earned the nickname “Action” for his relentless, come-forward fighting style. This style was clearly evident in his last fight against Waco, Texas veteran MARQUIS “THE HAWK” HAWTHORNE in a bout in which Laureano had the crowd on its feet. The fighters stood toe to toe for most of the fight, with Laureano earning a unanimous decision.

2018 was a successful year for Laureano who reeled off three consecutive victories. When the East Hartford native is in the ring, fans can always expect an exciting show from start to finish. As Laureano explained: People come to fights to “see action” and “to see somebody coming forward.” “I’m that fighter that always wants to fight.” Star Boxing’s “Slugfest at the Sun” always brings fireworks to Connecticut, and Laureano is continuing the tradition of aggressive fighters who never take a step in retreat and who deliver plenty of action and excitement.

Laureano had this to say about his upcoming bout: “Super excited to be returning home to the Mohegan Sun. This is my 4th fight at Mohegan and there is nothing like fighting there. The venue is beautiful and the crowd is amazing. It makes me fight harder. I love to bring the action to my Connecticut fans and family at Mohegan.Can’t wait for January 26th. I want to thank JOE DEGUARDIA and Star Boxing for giving me this opportunity. You don’t want to miss this one!”

In the main event of “SLUGFEST at the SUN” on January 26th, CLETUS “THE HEBREW HAMMER” SELDIN (22-1 18 KO) will test his awesome punching power against the will and toughness of another fellow power puncher, Hungarian, ADAM “BAD BOY” MATE (28-13 21 KO). Seldin,who stunned Nelson Lara this past November, in a bout televised live on ESPN+, with his vicious body attack which resulted in a first round knockout, looks to continue his inexorable climb to the Super Lightweight championship. With both fighters bringing heavy artillery into the ring the fans can look forward to an exciting slugfest.

Philly Special Undercard Features Rivers vs. Whitley in Battle of Unbeaten Welterweight Prospects on Feb. 8th

A rare six-round contest between a pair of unbeaten welterweight prospects–Marcel Rivers, of North Philadelphia, and Derrick Whitley, Jr., of Springfield, MA–highlights the preliminary card of Raging Babe’s ‘Philly Special’ on Friday evening, Feb. 8, at the 2300 Arena.

Headlining the eight-fight program is an eight-round bantamweight match-up between undefeated Christian Carto, of South Philadelphia, and Victor Ruiz, of San Diego, CA. First bout is at 7.30 p.m.

Rivers, 31, has won all six of his pro fights, four by knockout. A single father, he balances boxing with a full-time, physically taxing job at Philadelphia Gas Works. Rivers, the sole caregiver for his 6-year-old son, Cameron, recently added another “why” to his quest to become a world champion. His new baby daughter, 4-month-old Jennah, provides him with new inspiration.

“I definitely have an incentive to work even harder now,” said Rivers. “It’s an honor to be on this card, with all the talent. A lot of these guys have backing, but I have come out of nowhere and found my way, so I appreciate the opportunity to fight on this card.”

Whitley, Jr, 27, a southpaw, is unbeaten in five pro fights with one draw. He comes from a fighting family–his dad and uncle were veteran pros.

Derrick Whitley, Sr., had 52 pro fights from 1995 to 2007. Uncle Darren–twin brother of Whitley, Sr.–had 44 pro fights from 1995 to 2003. Both fought as super middleweights and light-heavyweights.

The younger Whitley trains at the family gym. He works with adults who have had brain injuries, a career he has pursued for many years. He also plays semi-pro football.

“Rivers vs. Whitley was not the easiest fight to make,” said matchmaker J Russell Peltz, “given the culture of boxing today where few fighters want to risk their spotless records at such an early stage. These two guys are different and I applaud them for it.”

In a six-round heavyweight bout on the Feb. 8 card, North Philadelphia’s Darmani Rock (13-0, 8 KOs) will look to secure his 14th win. Rock was a highly touted amateur with multiple national and international titles. He signed with Jay Z’s Roc Nation in 2016 before turning pro. Rock is trained by his father, Wayne, AKA Whiz.

The Feb. card also includes the highly anticipated professional debuts of two of Pennsylvania’s most promising amateurs in four-round fights. Heavyweight Sonny Conto, of South Philly, and bantamweight Jeremy Adorno, of Allentown, PA, announced last week that they had signed with Top Rank Boxing.

Conto, 22, was a standout baseball player at Rowan College at Gloucester County before turning his attention to boxing. He takes on Jimmy Levins, of Buffalo, NY. Jeremy Adorno, younger brother of fellow Top Rank signee Joseph Adorno, was born in Puerto Rico. He boasts an amateur record of 106-17 with multiple Silver Gloves National titles and two Ringside World titles under his belt.

Coatesville, PA, junior welterweight Gerardo Martinez (3-1, 1 KO) faces Haitian-born Osnel Charles (12-18-1, 2 KOs), of Atlantic City NJ, who has appeared at the 2300 Arena in four of his last seven fights. This also is scheduled for four rounds.

Rounding out the card: New Hope, PA, bantamweight Alejandro Jimenez (4-0, 1 KO) vs. Edgar Cortes (6-4), of Vineland, NJ, in a six-round, bantamweight contest; Puerto Rican-born Jonathan Torres (1-0), of Bethlehem, PA, vs. Atlantic City bantamweight Dallas Holden (1-3) over four rounds.

“You have Gerardo Martinez with a 3-1 record going up against a 31-fight veteran in Osnel Charles,” said Peltz. “Or Alejandro Jimenez, at 4-0, fighting a capable 10-fight lefty in Edgar Cortes. There are times when four- and six-round fights are more appetizing than some of the so-called big fights you see on television.”

Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions & Rite Hook Promotions bringing pro boxing to Historic St. Petersburg Coliseum on Feb. 16

Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions and Rite Hook Promotions have jointly announced a co-promotion presentation, “St. Pete Fan Fest,” to be live-streamed on UFC FIGHT PASS©, on Saturday night, February 16, from historic St. Petersburg Coliseum in St. Petersburg, Florida.

“Roy Jones Jr and I are honored to work with such a hard-working and honorable promotion company like Rite Hook Promotions,” RJJ Boxing Promotions CEO/Co-Founder Keith Veltre commented. “William Hunter is a true class act in the sport of boxing. February 16th, RJJ Promotions along with Rite Hook Promotions will conquer the corner with outstanding fights. We have true warriors on this card who can now showcase their talent and let the world see what Tampa fighters have to offer.”

“I am super excited to be working with RJJ Boxing Promotions and UFC Fight Pass for our February 16th event,” Rite Hook Promotions president William Hunter said. “There are tons of talented fighters in the Tampa/St. Pete area along with loyal boxing fans. There are definitely some future world championship-caliber fighters on this event, male and female, who will showcase their talents in front of the world on February 16th.”

North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Continental Americas lightweight champion William “Baby Face” Silva (26-2, 15 KOs), a native of Brazil now fighting out of Plant City, FL, will headline in a 10-round bout.

Undefeated middleweight prospect Connor Coyle (8-0, 3 KOs), fighting out of Derry, Northern Ireland, is slated to fight in his first scheduled 10-rounder in the co-featured event.

Also scheduled to fight are St. Petersburg welterweight Clarence Booth (17-4, 9 KOs) in an eight-round match; unbeaten American Boxing Federation (ABF) Continental Americas welterweight titlist Mark Reyes (8-0, 6 KOs), of Tampa, undefeated Atlanta middleweight Javonn “Pinkie” Barnes (12-0, 6 KOs), unbeaten Tampa middleweight Antonio Tarver, Jr. (5-0, 4 KOs), the son of multiple world champion Antonio Tarver, and Tampa heavyweight Mike “Concrete” Bissett (14-11-1, 8 KOs) – all in six-round bouts – plus Tampa’s undefeated female junior bantamweight Jasmine Artega (5-0, 4 KOs) in a four-rounder.

All fighters are subject to change. Opponents will soon be announced.

“St. Pete Fan Fest” will be the second event of the RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS series. FIGHT PASS is a digital subscription service that is now available in more than 200 countries and territories. In 2019, FIGHT PASS will showcase more than 200 exclusive events featuring top promotions from around the world, providing fans with a front row seat to a broad spectrum of competitive fighting, including mixed martial arts, boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, individual and team submission grappling, and more.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Stevenson, DeGale, Eubank, Elbiali, Machado, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

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

Tickets on Sale for DeGale vs. Eubank Showdown at the O2

London (7 January 2019) Poxon Sports and Premier Boxing Champions are delighted to announce that tickets for the Battle of Britain clash between James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr on Saturday 23rd February at The O2 will go on sale at MIDDAY today.

DeGale and Eubank Jr finally meet in an eagerly anticipated contest which promises to be as explosive and thrilling as the great all British Benn-Eubank and Froch-Groves confrontations of the past.

After years of animosity and a hostile war of words, the bitter enemies will put everything on the line with the winner claiming the Best of British bragging rights, all set inside the perfect backdrop of The O2 in the capital that has hosted many of the big domestic blockbuster fights in recent years.

Tickets are priced at:

£40 & £60 (Level 4/Upper Bowl),

£80, £100 and £150 (Level 1/Lower Bowl)

£150/£200/£300 (Floor)

£600 Inner Ringside/VIP Hospitality*

All prices are subject to booking fees.

*VIP Hospitality includes separate bar/hospitality area, complimentary wine/beer, with canapés and will operate from approximately 6pm to 9pm.

Tickets can be purchased from www.AXS.com and Inner Ringside/VIP Hospitality from www.sportandmusic.co.uk

The show will start at approximately 6pm with the Main Event in the ring shortly after 10pm.

A full supporting, action-packed, undercard will be announced shortly.

Ahmed Elbiali Training Camp Quotes

Having recently moved from Miami to Las Vegas, hard-hitting light heavyweight Ahmed Elbiali shared his thoughts on training camp as he prepares to face Oklahoma’s Allan Green Sunday, January 13 from the Microsoft Theatre at L.A. Live in Los Angeles. The fight will be featured on the Premier Boxing Champions Prelims live on FS1 and FOX Deportes telecast that begins at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT, if time allows.

Prelims precede a Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes show that features IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Jose Uzcategui taking on unbeaten Caleb Plant in the main event. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and will also see unbeaten featherweight Brandon Figueroa take on Moises Flores and sensational prospect Joey Spencer entering the ring.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Zanfer Promotions, start at $50, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.

Here is what Elbiali had to say from training camp at Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas:

On training with new coach Chris Ben-Tchavtchavadze:
“Chris is a great coach and he’s teaching me a lot. I’m learning how to parry punches and my defense is improving. On offense, I’m using my jab more to set up combinations. With Chris in my corner, I feel I have someone who can help me make the proper adjustments in a fight.”
On facing veteran Allan Green:
“I know I’m up against a fighter in Allan Green who’s been in the ring and went the distance with some very good fighters. He has a lot of experience, so I must fight wisely to be victorious. I’m going into this fight with a do or die mindset and I’m going to leave everything in the ring.”
On making the move from Miami to Las Vegas:
“It’s been a tremendous blessing since I moved here a few months ago from Miami. The quality of sparring I’m getting is just incredible. I’m getting better every day just from sparring top level guys. In Miami, there just isn’t the quality of guys to spar on a regular basis. The move has been great.”
On making his return to the ring:
“I only fought once last year so I’m hoping to get back on track fighting regularly in 2019. I think with a few more fights I’ll be ready to challenge anyone in my division. I just need to stay active.”

Alberto Machado to Defend WBA Super Featherweight Title Against Andrew ‘El Chango” Cancio

Two world title fights will head to the Coachella Valley in February as Golden Boy Promotions presents another exciting night of boxing on DAZN. In the main event, Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (21-0, 17 KOs) will defend his WBA Super Featherweight World Title against Andrew “El Chango” Cancio (19-4-2, 14 KOs) in a 12-round clash. In the co-main event, Rey Vargas (32-0, 22 KOs) will put his WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship on the line against Franklin Manzanilla (18-4, 17 KOs) in a 12-round battle. The event will take place on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. and will be streamed live on DAZN – which is just $9.99 per month after a one-month free trial.

“Golden Boy Promotions has promised to bring exciting fights every month on DAZN,” said Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and Chairman of Golden Boy Promotions. “We’re keeping our promise by bringing two world title fights featuring a world champion from Puerto Rico in Alberto Machado and one from Mexico in Rey Vargas. The best talent from these two countries, which have a rich history in the sport of boxing, will be on display for fans to watch at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino or from home on DAZN.”

Machado, a 28-year-old of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a big man for his division and boasts explosive 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 World Title in Oct. 2017. The hard-hitting southpaw has retained his title against the likes of Rafael “Sweet Pea” Mensah and Yuandale “Money Shot” Evans and will look to make a third defense against Cancio.

“I am very hungry to go to Los Angeles and start camp for Andrew Cancio,” said Alberto Machado.”Cancio is a great warrior with good experience and will come very hungry, but I will prepare myself responsibly as he is a great challenge for my career. A victory over him will take me further to what I want to achieve in this sport. This will be the third defense of my title, and now I am going in with more experience. I look forward to retaining my championship and returning to Puerto Rico as a world champion.”

Cancio is a 30-year-old contender who recently re-signed with Golden Boy Promotions after scoring a sensational technical knockout victory against then-undefeated prospect Aida Sharibayev. The native of Blythe, Calif. has victories against the likes of Rocky Juarez, Jerry “The Corpus Christi Kid” Belmontes and Rene “Gemelo” Alvarado, and he’s also been in tough fights against Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. and Ronny Rios in a professional career that started over 12 years ago. Needless to say, Cancio has worked hard for his title shot.

“I’m very excited and grateful for this opportunity to fight for a world title,” said Andrew Cancio. “Thanks very much to my manager Ray Chaparro and the Golden Boy Promotions Team, along with DAZN. I’ve watched many of Alberto Machado’s fights and know how great of a fighter he is. However, I’ve already started training and will be well prepared on February 9 to win the world title in front of my fans at Fantasy Springs who have always been so very supportive.”

“We are excited to start 2019 with a great fight for Alberto Machado on DAZN,” said Miguel Cotto, President of Miguel Cotto Promotions.”We are committed together with Golden Boy Promotions to bringing the best fights with the best fighters in the world. We know what Machado he is capable of doing. He will enter the ring as a champion and leave the ring as a champion on February 9.”

As mentioned above, Rey Vargas will defend his 122-pound title against Franklin Manzanilla in the 12-round co-main event. Vargas is a 28-year-old world champion who brings a considerable height and reach advantage to every fight, which he has used to defend his titles against the likes of Ronny Rios, Oscar “El Jaguar” Negrete and Azat “Crazy A” Hovhannisyan.

“Franklin Manzanilla is a complete fighter,” said Rey Vargas. “He’s tough and goes forward, but he also knows how to box. He’s a strong fighter, and he showed that by defeating Julio Ceja in four rounds to earn the right to fight for a world title. Manzanilla also hits hard. I’ve seen this, and his record indicates that as well. However, I also believe he has some deficiencies in his defense, and that’s what we’re going to try to take advantage of in this fight. Lastly, I invite all the people to watch this fight because it’s going to be a war, and God willing I will walk away with my hand raised high.”

Manzanilla is a 30-year-old native of Caracas, Venezuela who will fight in the United States for the first time. Manzanilla is coming off a victory against Julio Ceja for the WBC Silver Super Bantamweight Title, earning him a shot at Vargas in February.

“I’m training very hard to be well prepared,” said Franklin Manznilla. “However, we still haven’t even begun the hard stages of preparation that will have us in excellent condition to give everything in the ring. Rey Vargas is a great fighter who is always well prepared for his fights. He throws a lot of punches, which means we have to be double prepared for this bout. It’s going to be a great fight, and I invite everyone to watch it because they will witness a great upset and will get to know Franklin Manzanilla, a fighter who is preparing physically and mentally to become the new world champion.”

“Rey Vargas is the best super bantamweight in the world,” said Oswaldo Kuchle, President of Promociones del Pueblo. “He will put on a great show on Feb. 9 with his excellent boxing skills. Without a doubt, I think it will be a great and explosive fight that will delight fans in the arena.”

The undercard of this event will be filled with contenders and prospects from the exclusive Golden Boy Promotions stable.

January 18: Stevenson-Rosales and Vikas “The Indian Tank” Krishan Highlight Jennings-Rivas ESPN+ Undercard

Shakur Stevenson, the 21-year-old wunderkind who captured a silver medal for the United States at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will begin his 2019 campaign with his toughest professional bout to date.

Stevenson (9-0, 5 KOs) will battle Jessie Cris Rosales in a 10-rounder for the IBF Intercontinental and WBC Continental Americas featherweight belts on Friday, Jan. 18 at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.

Stevenson-Rosales will serve as the co-feature to the Bryant Jennings-Oscar Rivas heavyweight main event, both of which will stream live beginning at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN. The undercard, including the highly anticipated pro debut of former Indian amateur standout Vikas “The Indian Tank” Krishan, will also stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM), tickets, priced at $79, $62, and $45, are available at the Turning Stone Resort Box Office by calling 315-361-7469 or online at Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com).

“I am ready to fight the best featherweights in the world. 2019 is going to be a year to remember for me,” Stevenson said. “Rosales is a tough opponent, but he’s going to be no match for my speed and power.”

Rosales (22-1-1, 10 KOs), a 27-year-old native of Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines, will be making his U.S. debut against Stevenson. He is coming of a second-round KO victory in March against Ibrahim Balla (13-1 at the time) in Altona North, Victoria, Australia. The only blemish on his record came via second-round KO in 2017 to former two-division world champion Jhonny Gonzalez.

Krishan, the most highly decorated amateur in the history of Indian boxing, will take on Steven Andrade (3-3, 2 KOs) in a six-round super welterweight bout. A 26-year-old southpaw, Krishan represented his homeland at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and became the only Indian fighter in history to capture gold medals at both the Asian and Commonwealth Games. He made headlines at the 2012 Olympics for defeating Errol Spence Jr., only for the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) to overturn the result a few hours later because of fouls that Krishan committed during the match.

“I was an amateur for a very long time, and the time was finally right to turn pro,” Krishan said. I do not take this opportunity lightly, and I look forward to showcasing my skills to boxing fans from around the world. I also want to show that Indians are not only good in medical studies, but we know how to fight as well!”

In other action:

Super welterweight contender Carlos “Caballo Bronco” Adames (15-0, 12 KOs) will take on the veteran Juan Ruiz (21-3, 13 KOs) in a fight scheduled for 10 or eight rounds. Adames is coming off a second-round destruction against Joshua Conley on the Terence Crawford-Jose Benavidez Jr. undercard Oct. 13 in Omaha, Neb.

Robson Conceicao (10-0, 5 KOs), a Brazilian who won a gold medal in front of his home fans at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will continue his march toward a 130-pound title shot in an eight-rounder versus Hector Ambriz (12-8-2, 6 KOs).

Former super featherweight world champion Jason Sosa (21-3-4, 15 KOs) will face the rugged Moises Delgadillo (17-18-2, 9 KOs) in a super featherweight bout scheduled for 10 or eight rounds.

Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (6-0, 3 KOs), who captured Olympic gold for his native Uzbekistan in 2016, will fight Ricardo Garcia (14-4-1, 9 KOs) in an eight-round super lightweight bout. Garcia has never been knocked out as a pro.

Heavyweight prospect Cassius Chaney (14-0, 8 KOs) will look to extend his KO streak to four against Michael Glasscox (6-2-2, 5 KOs) in a six-rounder.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Mares, Davis, Haney, Pacquiao, Broner, Roy Jones Jr., and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 26th to January 2nd; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Scott Hirano/Showtime

My Goal is to Knock Out Broner
Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), boxer laureate and the sweet science’s only eight-division world champion, has a goal. That goal is to knock out his next opponent, Cincinnati’s Adrien “The Problem” Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs), when they collide on Saturday, January 19, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Presented by Premier Boxing Champions, the Pacquiao vs. Broner WBA welterweight world championship event will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME PPV® beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

“I am not making a prediction but my goal is to knock out Broner,” said Manny on Monday as he was wrapping his hands before starting a rigorous workout, which included 12 rounds of hitting the mitts with world-famous Freddie Roach, at Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club. “I am looking for a knockout against Broner. I have to maximize the opportunity. I forgot how much fun winning a fight by knockout was until I stopped Lucas Matthyssee last summer to win the WBA welterweight title. It felt great to win that way and the fans loved it too, so why not try for it again? I have nothing personal against Adrien Broner. This fight is strictly business. He is fun. He makes me laugh. He knows how to sell himself and to sell a fight.”

It’s been strictly business tor Manny at Wild Card since beginning his U.S. training camp on Christmas Eve. No shutdowns or holidays have kept him away. After celebrating New Year’s Eve with a five-mile run up the hills to the Hollywood sign and 12-rounds of mitt work with Roach, Manny began 2019 the same way he ended 2018, only this time he sparred 12 rounds with three younger sparring partners in addition to a full session of bag work capped off with 1,000 situps.

“He runs like a deer,” said Justin Fortune, who oversees Manny’s strength and conditioning. “No one can keep up with him. That’s the secret to his success — his work ethic and his stamina. He has the strongest foundation of any fighter with whom I’ve worked. His legs and calves still generate more power and speed than younger fighters.”

“I am very pleased with the training camp Manny has had. His footwork, distance and angles are all coming together nicely,” said trainer Buboy Fernandez. “When he hits the mitts it sounds like an explosion. I have never felt such raw power.”

“I think experience has made Manny a better fighter,” added Roach. “He still trains harder than anyone. I like Broner as a fighter. I think he has excellent boxing skills. But Broner has never faced anyone like Manny. Broner will be mentally exhausted within four rounds and physically spent within six. It will be impossible for Broner to keep pace with the Manny Pacquiao of this training camp.”
Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions Slams New Zealand Boxing Commission About Controversial Joseph Parker-Alexander Flores Fight

Roy Jones, Jr. Boxing CEO-Co-Founder Keith Veltre has slammed the Professional Boxing Commission New Zealand (PBCNZ) regarding the controversial Joseph Parker vs. Alexander “The Great” Flores heavyweight fight, held earlier this month, due to numerous obvious low blows, resulting in Flores being knocked out in the third round.

“As excited as we were for Flores to face-off against Parker,” Veltre said, “we are equally disappointed with Parker’s dirty antics. It was clear that the referee not only favored Parker, but he also lacked enough knowledge to be officiating in the ring. Cleary, though, the New Zealand commission is just as inexperienced with high-caliber fights like this. If it wants to continue pursuing larger fights, then I would suggest it makes sure there is an equal playing field in New Zealand for all foreign fighters.”

Upset-minded Flores (17-2-1, 15 KOs), fighting out of Rowland Heights, California, traveled to Parker’s home country to challenge the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) heavyweight world champion, in front of three Kiwi judges and a New Zealand referee, John Conway.

“Coming into this fight,” Flores said, “I was excited and prepared for the opportunity to fight Joseph Parker. My vision of how it would play out was nothing that I could have ever expected. I heard Joe speaking in pre-fight interviews about hitting me in the balls or using his elbows, but I really thought he was talking about his experience with Dillian Whyte, and I never expected him to use those tactics with me. I have never been a dirty fighter, so, in my training for this fight, getting hit in the groin area or getting his forearm in my face was not something that ever crossed my mind.

“After reading articles it is clear to me that this was premeditated. When the fight started, the referee clearly stated that we were at belt-line and anything below that would be considered low. I noticed early on that he was hitting me low and I tried to get the referee’s attention. I don’t remember the exact number, but it was consistent whenever we would get inside and exchange.”

In the third round, Parker (25-2, 19 KOs) unloaded a right-left combination, both clearly landing below the belt, lowering Flores’ hands and leaving him virtually defenseless for a crushing right that floored him. Flores beat the count, but he never recovered from the illegal blows, ending in a knockout moments later.

“I have never been hit in the groin like that and there was an evident welt in that area. After the referee warned him in the corner, it was already after I had been the beneficiary of several low blows. It can be a serious problem when you’re hit in that area because, mentally, you feel like you need to protect a larger area. After that warning, he went straight to the well and hit me hard to the groin. I dropped my hand to cover my groin area and he hit me hard, knocking me down with a shot that I never recovered from. Even after the blatant low blow that knocked me down, I was shocked that the ref did not see it. This should have amounted to a disqualification, or point deduction, and time for me to recover. “

Conway warned Parker at last three times prior to the critical low-blow combination that led to the end of the fight moments later. Conway told Parker to keep his punches higher early in the second round, halted the action near the end of the second when a Parker left was terribly low, again during the first minute of the third, and then again after the two low blows that led to the first knockdown.

At the very least, Conway should have halted the action after the first knockdown to give Flores, by rule, up to five-minutes to recover, in addition to penalizing Parker one point. If Flores couldn’t continue the fight, it should have been ruled a “no contest”. Conway told Stuff that Parker would have lost a point had there been a third time, but the fourth and fifth south-of-the-border punches were the one-two leading to the first knockdown.

The only statement more irrelevant than Parker calling the low blows “unintentional”, as if legal punches, was his trainer, Kevin Barry, declaring after the fight that, “He didn’t get knocked out by a body blow.” No, Flores was merely left defenseless and dangerously susceptible to the damaging punch that floored him, from which he never really recovered, that resulted in the knockout.

“I heard that some people were saying that the low blows were irrelevant, because that was not the shot that finished the fight, but that’s from people who’ve never been knocked down and tried to recover from a knockdown. I never recovered from the low-blow knockdown. Joe quickly jumped on me with the shots needed to finish the fight.

“Looking back, I could have never imagined that he would resort to these tactics to win the fight, and I believe this left a black mark on the sport of boxing. I was knocked out to end the fight in a way that could have resulted in serious injury due to clear referee negligence.”

Even the New Zealand media understood Parker won by fighting dirty:

New Zealand Herald: “Parker last night knocked out Flores in the third round at Christchurch’s Horncastle arena but it came after at least two blows against his Mexican-American opponent, who complained bitterly about the “dirty” tacti afterwards.

“Parker’s second low blows caused Flores to drop his hands and the south Aucklander connected with a right hand which flattened his opponent. Flores beat the count but was set upon straight away by Parker who scented blood…..”

Stuff: “Parker, the former WBO world heavyweight champion of the world, knocked Flores down in the third round with a right hand to the head that was set up on the back of two unquestionably low shots.”

News.com/au: “He (Parker) promised to bring an edge, a little mongrel if you like, and Joseph Parker certainly did that when knocking out Alexander Flores in the third round……

“There will inevitably be some controversy attached to their stoppage by Parker because it came soon after a low blow, the second of the short fight, and Flores had dropped his hands when Parker’s right hand knocked him to the canvas.

“…Apart from the two low blows, Parker occasionally held and hit Flores, which is illegal, as well as going in with elbows raised.”

“I heard Joseph admitted to the low blows and that should be enough to change this fight to a ‘no contest’,” Flores concluded. “His excuse that, ‘That’s up to the ref to see low blows and his job to fight’ is like saying it’s up to police to stop you from stealing. I have the support of a lot of wonderful people in New Zealand and I was met by people at the airport who apologized for how I was mistreated. The biggest problem with boxing is we need to develop a zero-tolerance policy regarding issues of this nature. It would be a good start by the New Zealand boxing commission to set a precedence by saying it us not going to tolerate cheating or deception.

“When I pressed Joe at the end of the fight, I said to him, ‘What’s up? You know you were hitting me low.’ He just mumbled and didn’t have an answer, but he did say he’d give me a rematch. No amount of money would ever make me a dirty fighter. Joe needs to look deeply and reflect about the importance of good character because, at the end of the day, that’s what matters the most.”

The 28-year-old Flores’ goal remains to become the first Mexican-American heavyweight champion of the world.

UFC Fight Pass and Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions Reach Multi-Year Live Streaming Agreement

UFC® and Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions have reached a new agreement to live stream up to 72 professional boxing events over the next three years on UFC FIGHT PASS®, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports.

The inaugural event in the RJJ Boxing series on UFC FIGHT PASS will stream January 31, starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, live from Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine, California. WBO #2-rated world title challenger, “Mighty” Aston Palicte (24-2-1, 20 KOs), and unbeaten WBO #4 ranked Jose “Chiquiro” Martinez (20-0-2, 13 KOs) will headline in the 12-round World Boxing Organization Junior Bantamweight Title Eliminator.

Roy Jones Jr., a multi-time world champion and future boxing Hall of Famer, formed the Las Vegas-based promotional company RJJ Boxing Promotions three years ago with Las Vegas entrepreneur Keith Veltre and developed a growing stable of fighters in a short period of time.

“I’ve always been a big fan of Roy Jones Jr. and I’m excited to be in business with him,” said UFC President Dana White. “Everyone knows I’m looking to get into boxing, and I look forward to the future with Roy and using FIGHT PASS to live stream these exciting fights to our subscribers.”

“I was elated when my partner, Keith Veltre, told me he had started talking with UFC,” said Jones. “This is just the beginning of a long, lucrative partnership between these two brands.”

“I couldn’t be happier to bring together the biggest name in boxing, Roy Jones Jr., with UFC, the biggest name in combat sports,” said Veltre. “I love that UFC is allowing us to be creative, so expect to see prospects, tournaments, title fights, and more in this series.”

FIGHT PASS is a digital subscription service that is now available in more than 200 countries and territories. In 2019, FIGHT PASS will showcase more than 200 exclusive events featuring top promotions from around the world, providing fans with a front row seat to a broad spectrum of competitive fighting, including mixed martial arts, boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, individual and team submission grappling, and more.

Fight fans can access FIGHT PASS on personal computers, iOS and Android mobile devices, Apple TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, LG Smart TVs, and Sony TVs with Android TV.

Gervonta Davis vs. Abner Mares Press Conference Quotes

Two-time super featherweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis and three-division world champion Abner Mares went face-to-face for the first time Thursday at a press conference in Los Angeles as Davis defends his WBA title against Mares on Saturday, February 9 live on SHOWTIME® in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions from StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotions and Ringstar Sports, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING main event promises fireworks and high-stakes action as both men bring their fan-friendly styles to the ring. Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday from the Conga Room at L.A. Live:

GERVONTA DAVIS

“I believe that Abner Mares is a future Hall of Famer because he’s fought so many top-level guys. This is big for me because this is my first time being a main event in the U.S. and I just feel blessed to be here.

“In 2019, I want to make a big statement not only in the ring but by letting the boxing world know that I’m the next star. I’m aiming to headline a pay-per-view by 2020 if everything goes right. I have great fights lined up for next year, without looking past Abner.

“As soon as I got off the plane, I went straight to the gym and got some work in with some guys there. We’re not taking Abner lightly. I’m excited and blessed to be in this position. February 9, I’m confident it will be sold out and I’m confident that I will be that next boxing star.

“I’ve always known that you can’t underestimate anyone in the ring. You have to look at your opponent like they’re equal to you. I understand exactly what I have in front of me.

“I don’t know what Abner sees, but he was sure he wanted to take this fight so obviously he sees something. I have power, speed, movement and really a blend of everything. I believe that I’m a better fighter than him.

“It’s all about being focused in that ring and doing my job. I’m coming to get Abner Mares out of there.

“I wanted to fight Abner Mares out here in Southern California. Floyd Mayweather fought Arturo Gatti in his hometown and that’s basically what I’m doing here.”

ABNER MARES

“One day I just thought to myself that this fight against Gervonta Davis would be a great matchup and that I can win it. There are other big fights at featherweight that I could have gotten. I’m taking this fight because of the challenge that it brings. I’m all about that.

“I’m coming off of a great close fight against Leo Santa Cruz. I’m a winner every time I fight. I come to prove people wrong and perform. Not too many people do that these days.

“We’ll already have 50 percent of the fight won just by having a good corner, a good team and a great plan. The other 50 percent is up to the fighter to perform. One thing is having the game plan in your mind but it’s another thing to go out there and perform that game plan.

“We’re not just going into this fight blind. I’m not stupid. I’m taking this fight because I see something in this guy. It’s a tough fight, no doubt. All fights are tough. He’s in for a good fight. At the end of the day, you guys have to stop worrying about my weight and if I’m too small. You guys are going to get a great fight and that’s all that matters. Sit back, look pretty and enjoy the fight.

“You can’t compare Jesus Cuellar to Gervonta Davis. I know some people wanted to compare how I did against Cuellar and how Davis did against Cuellar, but he fought him two years after I did. It makes no sense. Gervonta Davis has a different style than Cuellar and it’s going to be a good fight. He’s an exciting fighter and he’s a boxer. He’s a boxer that trades punches so it makes for an exciting fight.

“People are going to recognize me as someone who took on everyone. People say this will be a new style for me, but I’ve seen them all. This is team ‘no fear’ and we’re going to make this happen.”

Devin Haney Media Day Quotes

Heralded undefeated lightweight contender Devin Haney worked out for the media Thursday at Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas ahead of his ShoBox: The New Generation main-event bout Friday, Jan. 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT live on SHOWTIME®.

The 20-year old Bay Area native and current Las Vegas resident Haney (20-0, 13 KOs), a seven-time national junior amateur champion, will headline on the popular up-and-coming prospect series ShoBox for the third time of his young career when he takes on fellow unbeaten Xolisani Ndongeni (25-0, 13 KOs) in a 10-round main event taking place at StageWorks of Louisiana in Shreveport.

In the ShoBox co-feature, featherweight prospect Ruben Villa (14-0, 5 KOs) will take on Ruben Cervera (10-0, 9 KOs) in an eight-round matchup. The telecast will open with young heavyweights Frank Sanchez Faure (10-0, 8 KOs) and Willie Jake Jr. (8-1-1, 2 KOs) squaring off in another eight-round bout.

Here is what Haney and his father and trainer Bill Haney had to say:

DEVIN HANEY

On his recent training camp:

“Training camp has been fantastic. I always start in Las Vegas for the first two weeks. I then went to the Bay Area to train at the SNAC facility with Victor Conte for four weeks. I did a lot of rounds of sparring with Mario Barrios among others at Virgil Hunter’s gym as well. Right now, I’m back in Las Vegas with my strength and conditioning coach Reggie. We are working hard, and I’ll be at my best when I step into the ring on Jan 11th.”

On facing South Africa’s undefeated Xolisani Ndongeni:

“I know fighters from Africa always come to fight. Xolisani Ndongeni is no different. He’s very experienced and undefeated. Ndongeni has gone 12 rounds many times in his career. These are the type of fights I need to win impressively. I’m always looking to improve. Beating the tough South African will get me one step closer to a world title shot.”

On making his third appearance on ShoBox:

“Fighting on SHOWTIME’s ShoBox series has been amazing for my career. This is my third appearance on the series. It feels great to have a home to showcase my talent. Ndongeni will bring out the best in me. I’m ready to graduate to SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.”

On when he thinks he’ll be ready for a world title:

“I’ve climbed the rankings with good wins against Mason Menard and Juan Carlos Burgos. I’m rated in the top 10 in the WBA, WBC, and IBF. I’m focused on Ndongeni and January 11th is my time to shine.”

BILL HANEY, Devin’s Father and Trainer

On the progression of his son Devin Haney:

“Devin always impresses me with his work ethic and commitment to the game plan. Every day in the gym he is working on the little things that makes a fighter great. Devin has come a long way since his pro debut. Once he started fighting on SHOWTIME, he’s really stepped up his game. He’s a natural born fighter and one hell of a good entertainer.”

On picking his opponents:

“We always look to step him up in competition. This is a big fight for us and we know what we are up against. These are the type of fights that are going to take him to the next level.”

On the landscape of the lightweight division:

“The lightweight division is stacked and is one of the best in boxing. [Vasiliy] Lomachenko and [Mikey] Garcia are considered pound-for-pound top 10. The young guys coming up are very talented as well and to hold the lightweight title at this time you got to be a bad boy. Devin is marching up the rankings and hopefully by the end of the year, we’ll get our shot, but first we must handle business against Xolisani Ndongeni.”

More Headlines

Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao, Seldin, Algieiri, Stevenson, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 18th to December 25th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Media Statement Regarding Boxing Champion Adonis Stevenson

From Girlfriend Simone “Sisi” God.
On behalf of Adonis and our family, I wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who has taken the time to reach out, send prayers and post about Adonis’ injury. We are so grateful for the outpour of messages, gifts and support that have come our way.

Superman is a world champion and has demonstrated his strength in facing every obstacle he has ever faced. He is a legend in the eyes of his fans, and a man that demonstrates to his family daily that inner strength and love can change and redeem even the greatest of hardships.

Despite recent reports being leaked to media, I wanted to clarify that Adonis is awake. He is healing from his injury in the private company of his family and his dedicated medical team. Adonis is a world champion in the ring and is exhibiting that same grit, strength and determination in his recovery.

Adonis and our family are so thankful to you all for your love and support and respectfully ask to continue to grant Adonis and our family privacy as he heals from this accident. With the holidays here, Adonis is spending time enjoying music and spending time with Adonia and his family and sends his love and appreciation to you all.

We are truly blessed by God and all of you for your support.

Chris Algieri to Fight Danny Gonzalez at MSG Live on DAZN

Demetrius Andrade will make the first defense of his WBO World Middleweight against Artur Akavov on a bumper show at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York on Friday January 18, live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports in the UK.

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW FROM WWW.MSG.COM – TICKETS START AT $46!

Andrade (26-0 16KOs) claimed the title in October to become a two-weight World champion, flooring Walter Kautondokwa four times as he comfortably outpointed the tough number African in Boston to land the title. The unbeaten Rhode Island ace had been out of the ring for a year as he boxed in the Massachusetts capital, and ‘Boo Boo’ now wants to become an active champ as he targets unification battles in 2019.

Akavov (19-2 8KOs) will be confident of ripping up those plans as he challenges for the title for the second time, having pushed former champion Billy Joe Saunders all the way in Glasgow in December 2016, being narrowly edged out by the Londoner. The Russian landed the WBO International title in his last outing in May in Latvia, a win that saw him climb to #8 in the rankings with the WBO and move into position to rip the crown from the 32 year old in the Big Apple.

“I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity,” said Andrade. “Fighting at Madison Square Garden, where so many great fighters have fought is a true honor, and something I have dreamt about my entire life.

“People might not know much about Akavov, but this is a guy who went overseas and gave Billy Joe Saunders absolute hell. Most people thought that he should have won the fight. This is an optional defense, so I could have fought anyone I wanted, but we chose to fight a guy that we know is going to bring it all night long and a guy who in many people’s eyes beat Saunders.”

“I know that I have an extremely tough task in front of me, but that’s what this game is all about. I want all the top guys, all the belts and with Eddie Hearn and DAZN behind me and continuing to give me these opportunities to showcase my talent to the world, the other champions can’t hide for long. This is my time and January 18 is another step in that direction.”

“After the fight with Saunders, I was hoping for a rematch because that fight left a lot of unanswered questions,” said Akavov. “I believe that Andrade is a better fighter than Saunders and this is my chance to answer those questions. I understand the weight of the responsibility that is on my shoulders and will give it 100 per cent.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn is lining up a stacked bill in support of the main event, and a second World title bout on the card sees Amanda Serrano (35-1-1 26KOs) gunning for history as she looks to land World honors in an extraordinary seventh weight class as she meets WBC and IBF World Super-Flyweight champion Eva Voraberger (24-5 11KOs) – the Austrian tasked with stopping Serrano’s bid for glory.

“I’m super excited to be able to make history alongside the biggest and best network out now, DAZN,” said Serrano. “Being part of the best makes you want to raise the bar and we will do that together.”

Former World Lightweight ruler Jorge Linares continues his comeback trail on the card when he meets Pablo Cesar Cano. Linares’ (45-4 28KOs) reign as WBA and Ring Magazine champion was ended in an epic clash with pound-for-pound star Vasily Lomachenko at Madison Square Garden in May, with Linares felling the Ukrainian star in the sixth before being stopped four rounds later.

Linares returned to winning ways in September with a third round stoppage win over Abner Cotto in September in California and starts 2019 with his 50th pro fight against Cano (31-7-1 21KOs), the Mexican former World title challenger who landed the WBC International Silver strap in his last outing in September – and Linares is joined by fellow Golden Boy Boxing star Alexis Rocha (12-0 8KOs), the 21 year old Welterweight talent ready to begin his charge for titles in 2019.

“My next goal is to become the first four-division world champion from Venezuela,” said Jorge Linares. “I accomplished what I needed to accomplish at 135 pounds, and in my last fight with Abner Cotto I showed that I can take my speed and power to this new division.”

“We’ve been going back to the basics with my old trainer Jorge Zerpa, and I know I can earn another World title in this new weight class. But first I have a tough fight against Pablo Cesar Cano, a young veteran with a lot of experience who is naturally a super lightweight. I’m expecting a tough fight against Cano, but I’m motivated to give fans a great fight in New York City and on this new platform, DAZN.”

“I want to thank Golden Boy Promotions for giving me the enormous opportunity of fighting a great world champion on Jorge Linares,” said Pablo Cesar Cano. “To repeat, this is a great opportunity that I will not fail to take advantage of. The fans know the kind of fighter I am and that the only way you’ll get me to quit is by taking me out on a stretcher. But I warn everyone: that will not happen.”

“Jorge Linares has been an important staple of Golden Boy Promotions for many years and has established himself as a fighter who can come back from any setback,” said Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and Chairman of Golden Boy Promotions. “He’s beaten some of the best fighters in three different weight classes, and I’m looking forward to his rise in this new weight division.

“Pablo Cesar Cano has also played in important role at Golden Boy, giving tough fights to almost everybody at 140 and 147 pounds. This will be a great fight between two experienced warriors, and I’m delighted that it will be streamed on DAZN.”

Former World Super-Lightweight champion Chris Algieri (22-3 8KOs) made his return from two years out of the ring in November with a ten round win in Huntington, Long Island, and the 34 year old faces fellow New Yorker Danny Gonzalez (17-1-1 7KOs) in his second bout back, with the carrot of major fights later in the year dangling in front of Algieri.

Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing, the promoter of both Algieri and Gonzalez stated: “Both Algieri and Gonzalez jumped at the chance of fighting each other at the Theater at MSG. Although they know each other well and are Star Boxing stablemates, they both recognize the enormous opportunity this fight provides and I am looking forward to January 18.”

One of Matchroom Boxing USA’s rising stars tastes his first action in 2019 on the card as Reshat Mati (2-0 1KO) returns to the scene of his last outing in October where the ‘Albanian Bear’ went the four round distance in his second fight.

Andrade vs. Akavov is a co-promotion between Matchroom Boxing USA and DiBella Entertainment, and Lou DiBella is confident his charge can rip the title from the champion, and that Serrano will make history.

“Anyone who saw Artur Akavov’s bout with Billy Joe Saunders knows that he is a relentless fighter capable of competing on the big stage,” said Lou DiBella. “Akavov may not be very well known to the average American boxing fan right now, but there is no better way to change that than by beating Demetrius Andrade and no better place than in the heart of New York City.

“There is no doubt that Amanda Serrano is the best pound-for-pound fighter in women’s boxing and one of the most accomplished fighters in the sport, regardless of gender. By fighting for a championship in her seventh weight class, Amanda is again showing her desire to chase greatness. Props to DAZN and Eddie Hearn for believing in Amanda’s talent and providing her this platform.”

“The Middleweight division is on fire right now and Demetrius is a key player,” said Hearn. “He is the one looking to lay down the gauntlet by kicking off 2019 and will be looking to deal with Akavov in style before moving into blockbuster fights.”

“It’s a huge show and we are delighted to welcome Jorge Linares to the card. Jorge has boxed on many of our shows in the UK and is a pound-for-pound quality fighter, I love the Maurice Hooker fight in the summer.

“Chris Algieri, who is also in line for Hooker, returns in a local derby and female star Amanda Serrano looks to make history – there’s even more to be announced and fans are going to get plenty of bang for their buck at Madison Square Garden on January 18.”

Pacquiao Arrives for LA Training Camp

MANNY IS BACK! Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), the Philippines’ national treasure and boxing’s only eight-division world champion, returns for his first U.S.-based training camp in over two years on Saturday, December 22nd. The Pacman Express is scheduled to deliver the reigning WBA welterweight world champion and his team to LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal at 6:15 p.m. PT via Philippine Airlines flight PR 102.

What a whirlwind journey it has been for the Amazin’ Manny. After knocking out defending WBA welterweight world champion Lucas Matthyssee in the seventh round of their July 15 bout which took place at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, there has been no down time for Manny, a schedule that keeps the international icon thriving. Manny has traveled to the United Kingdom at the invitations of the prestigious Oxford Union and Cambridge Union to speak about his life and answer questions from the student members on consecutive days. He embarked on a coast-to-coast U.S. media tour to announce his title defense against four-division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs), from Cincinnati, followed by an immediate flight back to Manila where he gave a speech to the plenary to further push his Senate Bill 1599 seeking to raise the excise tax on tobacco products.

Then it was 14 to 16-hour days divided into two-part rigorous training sessions and a full work day dedicated to his senatorial duties. Once the Philippine Senate session ended on December 12, Team Pacquiao returned home to General Santos City to focus on training — with one exception — his 40th birthday celebration. He began his birthday celebration one day early, as he has traditionally done, by donating and handing out 2,000 bags of groceries to residents of Barangay Tinoto in Maasim, Sarangani. The following day, it was a gala celebration that filled the KCC Convention Center. Friends, family, celebrities and government dignitaries of the highest order, including President Duterte, joined together to wish Manny a happy 40th birthday But typical of Manny, he was the one who was giving the gifts, which included the raffling of major prizes, featuring four automobiles, 58 motorcycles, and two dozen large screen LED televisions.

“Life begins at 40,” exclaimed Manny at his gala. “Physically, I still feel like I am 25, but with the benefit of the wisdom that comes from the added years of my life experience. I still have a lot I want to accomplish as an athlete, a public servant, and a father, husband and son. I look forward to adding more chapters to my life story.”

Now it’s off to Hollywood, California and his second home, Wild Card Boxing Club, where Manny will endure the most intensive part of his training in preparation for his title defense against Broner. Holidays will be work days for this training camp, which will begin on Christmas Eve. Manny and his team have taken a vow to leave no stone unturned as they prepare for the battle with Broner.

Cletus Seldin Set to Return at Star Boxing’s “Slugfest at the Sun” on January 26th
Star Boxing returns to Mohegan Sun on January 26th, for another edition of the exciting “SLUGFEST at the SUN” series. Tickets are now on sale through Ticketmaster! More information on the undercard will follow, so stay tuned to Star Boxing on all social media platforms, @StarBoxing, for announcements.

“SLUGFEST at the SUN” at Mohegan Sun will kickstart an incredible year of boxing. Be there to start your 2019 off with a bang. Be sure to get your tickets now, through Ticketmaster.

CLETUS “THE HEBREW HAMMER” SELDIN (Long Island, NY 22-1 18KO) is bringing his devastating punching power to the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville CT, in the main event of an eagerly anticipated Star Boxing show on January 26th. Seldin will face the heavy-hitting Hungarian, ADAM “BAD BOY” MATE (28-13 21KO), in a scheduled 10 round Jr. Welterweight contest. Seldin is coming fresh off his first round knockout of Nelson Lara last month in Oklahoma on ESPN+.

With 21 KOs in his 28 victories, Mate is a formidable puncher in his own right. A victory for the Hungarian would instantly propel him into prominence and he is sure to go all out to capitalize on this opportunity. For Seldin, a win would place him at the doorstep of a world championship. When two punchers such as Seldin and Mate square off against one another, in a high-stakes contest such as this, both will be gunning for the knockout and an exciting finish is expected.

Cletus Seldin had this to say about his upcoming bout: “I am excited to be fighting Adam Mate in front of my loyal fans at Mohegan Sun. I love that star boxing keeps me active. On January 26th you will see that I am ready to contend for the 140 lb. World Championship.”

Adam Mate commented: “I am ready to capitalize on this great opportunity and look forward to displaying my talent in front of a U.S. audience.”

JOE DEGUARDIA, CEO and promoter of Star Boxing said this about SLUGFEST at the SUN: “We are excited to be back at Mohegan Sun to showcase knockout artist Cletus Seldin against Adam Mate. Both Seldin and Mate will put on a show that will thrill the fans.”

More Headlines

Boxing Insider Notebook: Roy Jones Jr., Raging Babe, Whyte, Cohen, Gabriels, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

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

Showtime Sports to Present Whyte vs. Chisora on Saturday, December 22nd on Showtime

SHOWTIME Sports will present the highly anticipated rematch between top-rated heavyweight contenders Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora this Saturday, December 22 live on SHOWTIME at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT. As with all SHOWTIME programming, the event will air live on air and via the networks’ streaming service.

Whyte (24-1, 17 KOs) and Chisora (29-8, 21 KOs) will go toe-to-toe once again in a rematch of one of 2016’s best fights, live from London’s The O2 on SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL. The all-British affair between the bitter rivals has been brewing since Whyte narrowly edged Chisora in a back-and-forth slugfest that necessitated a rematch.

“SHOWTIME continues to lead the industry by delivering more of the most compelling boxing events from around the world to our premium cable subscribers and online streaming customers,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, SHOWTIME Sports. “This network has televised all of the most important heavyweight fights during the division’s renaissance and we are proud to join Matchroom Sports in delivering Whyte-Chisora II to our audience. Their first fight was action-packed from bell to bell. Now, with the stakes as high as they have ever been for both men, this bout promises to be even better. I hope that the boxing pundits have not yet cast their vote for Fight, Knockout and Round of the Year. Saturday’s matchup may challenge some of this year’s best.”

The SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL coverage will be provided by Sky Sports Box Office with host Brian Custer and Hall of Fame analyst Steve Farhood calling the action.

The stakes are high in the rematch, as both Whyte and Chisora have been working toward world title opportunities against IBF, WBA and WBO Champion Anthony Joshua and WBC Champion Deontay Wilder. Whyte holds the No. 1 ranking in the WBC and WBO, as well as the WBA’s No. 4 position. Chisora is ranked No. 5 by both the WBA and IBF, as well as No. 9 by the WBC. Their first matchup was widely regarded as the best heavyweight matchup of 2016, and round five of their “sensational fight” earned Round of the Year honors from ESPN.

Women’s World Champion Hanna Gabriels Returns to Defend Against Sarah Dwyer on January 26th
Having solidified herself as a legitimate women’s star in her own right with her gallant performance against Claressa Shields last June, world champion Hanna Gabriels (18-2-1, 11 KOs) will return to her homeland to face Australia’s Sarah Dwyer on Saturday, January 26, at the Avenida Escazu in San Jose, Costa Rica.

The 10-round battle will be in defense of Gabriels’ WBA Super Welterweight Championship.

Dwyer (3-4-2, 1 KO) is coming off a draw for the Australian Championship against undefeated Tayla Harris in November.

This will be Gabriels’ first fight since the impressive showing against Shields, where she had the women’s superstar down in the first round before losing an exciting and close decision. The fight is being called the Women’s Fight of the Year for 2018.

“I’m feeling amazing training with my husband and just ready to get back,” said Gabriels. “She’s (Dwyer) a warrior will try to come and chop my head off, but we will send her back to Australia quick enough.”

Gabriels’ manager, Hector Cordova, says Dwyer is the first stop of a comeback that includes a return go with Shields and some other big names in women’s boxing.

“I am really proud of Hanna and everything she does for the community in Costa Rica. She is a hero inside and outside the ring; a real-life world success story. Our goal is to unify the 154-lb. division. We want to raise women’s boxing to new heights and eventually rematch Claressa and fight (women’s unified welterweight champion) Cecilia Braekhus. Hanna is the best 154-lb fighter in the world: a point we look forward to proving once again on January 26.”

Promoter Dmitriy Salita says that Gabriels’ name belongs among the best names in the sport.

“Hanna is one of the best female fighters in the world. Her world-class skills make her one of the biggest names in all of women’s boxing. January 26 is going to be a great night and will open a door of exciting new opportunities for Hanna.”

“I want to thank all of my fans for supporting me always and showing me love even in defeat,” said the always gracious Gabriels. “That’s what makes me want it more and more. I want to fight Claressa and Cecilia and give my fans all I can before I leave the sport. I also want to thank my team because they’re amazing. Bryan Vasquez, my husband, Hector Fernandez de Cordova, my manager, Pedro Gonzalez and Esteban Quesada, my co-trainers and Dmitriy Salita for lending a hand when is needed. I won’t disappoint you.”

Raging Babe’s Philly Special Set for February 8th at 2300 Arena
Michelle Rosado, who has been promoting her own boxing cards in Arizona and working behind the scenes on other shows in Pennsylvania, is taking the next step by staging her first card in Philadelphia on Friday evening, Feb. 8, at the 2300 Arena.

Rosado’s Raging Babe company has been a trend-setter, and her Feb. 8 card, dubbed “Philly Special,” will add to her resume.

Coming to Philadelphia with a solid promotional background and a reputation for selling out venues, Rosado is no stranger to the area. She was born in Bristol Borough, attended Temple University, and she cut her teeth working with Hall-of-Fame promoter J Russell Peltz since 2014. Peltz will handle matchmaking duties.

While promoting her first card in 2011 in Phoenix, AZ, Rosado was dubbed “Raging Babe” by Phoenix New Times. The New Times and many in the boxing community credited her with re-energizing the professional boxing scene in Arizona. She promoted several events in Phoenix and Tucson before branching out and promoting shows in North Carolina, and assisting with several large promotions with Top Rank Boxing.

A master at making connections, Rosado brought together the women of boxing for the first Raging Babe Brunch in 2012, and has hosted several since to honor these women. She also co-founded and hosted “The Morning Punch-in Show with RB and Jae,” a drive-time boxing radio show that was acclaimed throughout the industry for its unique format, sense of humor, and down-to-earth interviews. She even boasts her own line of boxing apparel for men and women.

Of all the projects Rosado has taken on, promoting boxing shows most complements her work ethic and dedication to the old school methods taught to her by Peltz, and practiced by boxing promotional legends. She plans to combine those old-school methods with her new-school ways. Taking a page from the 2018 Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles, Rosado has dubbed her first event “Philly Special.” The event promises to showcase some of Philly’s top talent in competitive fights, while honoring the rich history of Philadelphia boxing.

The main event and ticket information will be announced soon
Greg Cohen Promotions Signs New York Prospects Zachary Ochoa and Oscar Moreno to Exclusive Contracts

Greg Cohen, of Greg Cohen Promotions, proudly announces the signing of a pair of Brooklyn-based prospects, super lightweight Zachary “Zungry” Ochoa and super bantamweight Oscar “Filoso” Moreno to promotional contracts.

Boxing since age 13, the talented Ochoa (20-1, 7 KOs) is a Puerto Rican from Brooklyn. Despite having just seven career knockouts, the 26-year-old scored a spectacular 15-second KO over Engelberto Valenzuela and, in 2016, was nominated for Knockout of the Year for his one-punch KO 8 of Luis Joel Gonzalez.

“I can adapt to anything. I’m very unpredictable,” said Ochoa. “I can box and win easily, or I can hit you with one shot and take you out.”

Ochoa says he’s happy to have his career back on track and looking forward to the future with Cohen.

“It’s a blessing. I’m very focused and determined. I stay in the gym because I love boxing. I saw Greg Cohen’s resume and what’s he’s done in the sport and I know this is a great opportunity for me. This is the guy who’s going to make me a millionaire and world champion.”

Moreno (7-0, 6 KOs) is power puncher who comes forward behind lots of movement. Originally from Mexico City, he is now also living in Brooklyn. The 25-year-old went 54-5 as an amateur and was the 2004 Junior Olympic Champion, the 2011 Golden Gloves NY Champion and the 2012 Golden Gloves NY Runner-Up.

“I’m excited to make it happen,” said Moreno of the signing. “I’m looking forward to getting on the road toward the world championship. The plan I have is to have 10 more fights to get the experience in, because so far most of my fights have ended in the first round. So I say in a year or two we’ll be looking to step up and fight for titles.”

Both fighters are managed and trained by Kelly Rich at GymU Boxing (in Association GGE Fitness Studio) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Rich has had Ochoa since childhood and has been working with Moreno for the past four years.

Rich says he trusts Cohen to do the right things with his fighters.

“Greg is an exciting person and he motivates you and get the job done,” said Rich. “He’s a top promoter affiliated with all the other premier boxing companies. We are good friends and I can personally trust him. We’ve always been on the up-and-up.”

Promoter Cohen, on a hot streak of late with the “out of nowhere” success of heavyweight contender Jarrell Miller and world middleweight champion Robert Brant, says he’s happy to be adding this one-two punch of prospects from New York.

“Both these fighters have a wealth of talent,” said Cohen. “I will be looking to continue their strong development and advancement against increasing competition in the next couple years. Both fighters have the talent it takes to make it and with hard work and determination, it is very possible. I credit Kelly Rich for the work he’s done with them.”

Undisputed Champions Program Teaches Boxing and More to Teens with Autism and Other Disabilities

The Undisputed Champions Program, a unique non-contact boxing program for kids with autism and other disabilities, will be holding a showcase Friday, December 14 at 11:00am at SCHOTT’S BOXING, 21 Vatrano Road in Albany NY.

The program is part of Wildwood School’s adapted physical education program. Head Coach, Javier Martinez, a retired, undefeated professional fighter and a police officer with the Colonie Police Department, volunteers and leads the class of 17 students along with professional fight judge Tom Schreck. A team of volunteer coaches works side by side with the students.

Many people hear the term “disability” and they immediately feel sorry for the individual who they believe must be limited in what they can experience in their lives. Autism is often seen as one of those disabilities.

“When you get labeled with a disability it can become defining, if you let it. People around you often lower expectations and that becomes a way of life. That doesn’t happen here. The Undisputed Champions program is about going beyond,” Tom Schreck, the co-founder of the program says.

The program was designed by Martinez and Schreck and with certified adapted physical education instructor, Rachel McDermott, who made sure the program fit within the students’ PE goals. Safety is paramount…but so is hard work.

“When you drop in you can see the group doing burpees, mountain climbers, pushups, pistons—you name it. If need be, the exercises can be adapted to a person’s level. Doing their best and pushing to their limit is what is important,” Javy Martinez, co-founder, says.

The program also teaches the principles of “Relax, Focus and Adjust” as a way to be prepared in the ring, but more importantly, in life. Though the program does no sparring for safety reasons, the fighting metaphor is used as a teaching tool. The students train for eight weeks building up to this showcase where they will throw 1,000 punches to earn their “Undisputed Champion” title and their t-shirt. There’s a brief ceremony to close the training camp and salute the new champions.

This training camp the team decided to fight for a cause bigger than themselves. They are dedicating their 1,000 Punch Challenge to people facing cancer and raising funds for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. They are closing in on their $2,000 fundraising goal and will have an oversize check to present to Dana Farber at the end of the ceremony.

The International Boxing Federation, Everlast and Schott’s Boxing have all lent their support to the Undisputed Champions program.

Roy Jones, Jr. Boxing Inks 18-1 Featherweight Prospect Ray Ximenez, Jr.

Roy Jones, Jr. (RJJ) Boxing proudly announces the signing of Dallas featherweight prospect Ray Ximenez, Jr. to a long-term, exclusive promotional contract.

Riding a five-fight win streak, the 25-year-old Ximenez (18-1, 4 KOs) is expected to make his RJJ Boxing debut in March.

“We’re excited to sign another top prospect like Ray Ximenez to our growing stable of fighters,” RJJ Boxing CEO and co-founder Keith Veltre said. “Ray is an old-school boxer, well-conditioned, hard-working, and we believe he has a very bright future.”

“I’m very excited and very appreciated for Roy Jones Jr. Boxing giving me this opportunity,” Ximenez commented. “I plan on showing everyone that I will be the next world champion from Dallas. “I am ready, willing and able to fight anyone, anywhere, any place and any time.”

Ximenez was a standout amateur boxer, compiling a sterling 120-9 record, highlighted by three gold-medal performances, both in the National P.A.L. Championships and Ringside World Championships. A six-time Dallas Golden Gloves champion, Ximenez started boxing at the age of 10 and he also captured gold at the 2009 Silver Gloves National Championships and Junior Olympic National Championships. He represented and captained Team USA at the 2009 Youth World Junior Olympics.

In 2010, Ximenez made a successful pro debut, winning a four-round unanimous decision versus Cristoval Larrazolo..

Five years later, Ximenez defeated Jesse Angel Hernandez, currently 12-1 and world rated (IBF #14, WBO #15), by way of a six-round split decision in Fort Worth, Texas. Last February on beIN Sports, Ximenez registered an impressive eight-round unanimous decision in Dallas over Eugene Lagos, who in his next fight on ESPN knocked off Golden Boy’s top prospect, undefeated (15-0) Emilio Sanchez, in round two.

Ximenez won a 10-round unanimous decision over 111-fight veteran German Meraz this past July in Ximenez’ last fight.

“I’m also excited and appreciate for this opportunity,” Ximenez’ manager Michael Montoya added. “I’d like to especially thank CEO Keith Veltre and matchmaker Guy Taylor for believing in Ray Ximenez, Jr. and I am looking forward to a long-term relationship with one of the best boxing promoters in the sport of boxing.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Ward, Plant, Flores, Parker, Lopez, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

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

Alexander Flores to Challenge Former World Champion Joseph Parker

Upset-minded heavyweight prospect Alexander “The Great” Flores departed a week ago on a 13-hour flight from California to New Zealand to challenge former world heavyweight champion Joseph Parker this Saturday (Dec. 15) in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“Beating Parker will get me a step closer to my goal to be the first Mexican-American to become world heavyweight champion,” Flores said. “I can’t picture myself losing, not the way I feel. I’ve had a long, hard training camp for this fight. It’s really been a couple years, because some fights fell through.”

A former World Boxing Council (WBC) Youth World Heavyweight Champion, the 28-year-old Flores (17-1-1, 15 KOs) has a new lease on his pro boxing career, now promoted by Roy Jones, Jr. (RJJ) Boxing.

“Alex has worked hard during the past two months,” added Keith Veltre, CEO/co-founder of Roy Jones, Jr. Boxing. “I truly believe Joseph Parker has no clue what he is in for with him. Like I said before, Alex is headed to New Zealand for the W, and he will leave it all in the ring. It has been a huge mistake on Parker’s part to overlook Alex.”

On a mission to become the first Mexican-American heavyweight champion of the world, Flores has already had a significant first leading up to this fight versus Parker. He experienced his initial flight a few months ago to do media work in New Zealand to promote the Dec. 15 fight.

“Yeah,” Flores explained, “that was my first flight. It took 13 hours, but I slept five or six hours, so it wasn’t too bad, other than being a little cold there. New Zealand is a beautiful country. The only thing I really need to acclimate to is the 20-hour time difference.

“I’m not concerned about fighting Parker there. I know I’m the underdog, but I had to take advantage of this opportunity. We were supposed to fight November 24th, so I had already waited a long time for a fight like this. At the end of the day it’s just going to be me and him in the ring. I’m going there to win, I see myself knocking him out.”

Parker (24-2, 18 KOs) is coming off back-to-back losses in the United Kingdom, both by way of 12-round unanimous decisions, respectively, to Dillian Whyte and unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Parker captured the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO heavyweight world title two years ago, when he took a 12-round majority decision over Andy Ruiz, Jr., followed by unanimous and majority 12-round decisions, respectively, against Razvan Cojanu and Hughie Fury. Ruiz and Fury were undefeated going into their fights with Parker, both ending in majority decisions and shrouded in scoring controversy.

Flores’ lone loss as a professional came 3 ½ years ago against former world champion Charles Martin for the North American Boxing Organization (NABO) title, in which Flores, who took the fight with only two weeks’ notice, was stopped in the fourth round.

The powerful Flores, fighting out of Rowland Heights, California, realizes Parker has never been knocked out as a pro, plus the New Zealander is fighting at home for the first time in 1 ½ years, but he is not deterred from predicting a shocking conclusion.

“He’s going to get a little bit of everything from me,” Flores forcasted. “I’m a boxer-puncher, but I can press the action, or stand and punch. I’m tough to hit, too. It’s not going the distance; I’m not going down, Parker’s going down.”

Teofimo Lopez Has Star Making Performance in New York City

Top lightweight Teofimo Lopez scored an explosive 44-second knockout over Mason Menard this past Saturday night at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in a scheduled ten-round bout that was viewed by a massive audience on ESPN.

Lopez landed a crushing right hand that had Menard plummeting face-first on to the cnavas, in what was the opening televised bout on the Vasilly Lomachenko – Jose Pedraza lightweight unification card.

Lopez is now the NABA, NABF and USBA Lightweight champion.

The knockout, was featured on ESPN SportCenter, and all over social media, took place on an event which was the 2nd highest rated boxing card on cable television this year.

With the win, Lopez pushed his perfect mark to 11-0 with nine knockouts, and now he feels he is ready for anybody in the lightweight division.

“I knew he was a tough fighter. I knew he could fight,” Lopez said. “I wanted to test him, and I took a chance early in the fight. I know he trained hard, and he didn’t want it to go that way. But this is ‘The Takeover.’ ‘The Takeover’ has begun.

“In 2019, I will be a world champion. That’s a guarantee.”

“I put an exclamation point that I am no longer a prospect, and now it’s on to the contenders, and moving up the rankings. In 2019 you will see me fight for a world title.”

Said Lopez manger, David McWater of Split T Management, “He’s just never stops surprising me. Just when you think he can’t do better than his last fight he does something even more amazing. It’s been a generation since boxing saw a young fighter like this”
Keith Hunter Remains Undefeated with First Round Knockout

Last night at Bowie State University, in Maryland, Prince Ranch Boxing’s rising star, super lightweight prospect Keith “The Bounty” Hunter (9-0, 7 KOs), remained undefeated a devastating first round knockout against Siddharth Ravindra Varma (4-3-1, 1 KO). Hunter landed a monstrous right uppercut that sent Varma to the canvas up against the ropes forcing, the referee to stop the bout.

“I wanted to send a message to the super lightweight division with a great performance and I got the knockout,” said Keith Hunter. “It felt great to let my hands go. I’m going to get right back in the gym, so I can be ready for anything that comes my way. If my name is called, I’m going to be prepared, locked and loaded.”

“I’m very excited about Keith Hunter’s future,” said manager Greg Hannley, of Prince Ranch Boxing. “Tonight, his power was on display and those watching saw a star in the making. He’s getting better with each fight. He’s going to be a problem for anyone.”

This fight was promoted by Greg Cohen Promotions (GCP).

Jose Uzcategui to Defend World Title Against Caleb Plant

Battle-hardened Venezuelan Jose Uzcategui defends his IBF Super Middleweight World Championship against unbeaten top challenger Caleb Plant in prime time on Sunday, January 13 on FS1 and FOX Deportes presented by Premier Boxing Champions at Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Also in action unbeaten featherweight contender Brandon Figueroa who takes on his toughest challenge to date when he meets rugged, once-beaten veteran Moises “Chucky” Flores in the televised co-feature. Also appearing is unbeaten sensation Joey Spencer entering the ring in a special junior middleweight attraction.

The first show of the 2019 season of PBC on FOX is promoted by TGB Promotions and Zanfer Promotions and tickets, starting at $50, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.

“This is an excellent card, featuring the kinds of bouts that are intriguing for boxing fans because it involves two young stars who are reaching up for challenges to determine whether they have what it takes to become world champions,” said Tom Brown of TGB Promotions. “Jose Uzcategui is going to push Caleb Plant to the limits and Plant will have to take the title away from Uzcategui if he wants it. Moises Flores feels like he definitely has something to prove coming off his last fight and Brandon Figueroa knows his road to a world title runs right through Flores. It’s also exciting to see the continued growth of the sensational prospect Joey Spencer. It’s going to be a special night of boxing on PBC on FS1 at Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live.”

“José Bolivita Uzcategui is the best super middleweight in the world and as always he will show his skills and elevate his game in the biggest stage,” said Fernando Beltran of Zanfer Promotions. “This is no exception. Plant is a good fighter but Bolivita is at his best and we are all thrilled to be able to do this fight on FOX Sports. So everyone tune in and enjoy the show.”

Uzgategui (28-2, 23 KOs) will be making his first defense of his IBF super middleweight championship with the match against Plant. The 27-year-old Uzgategui was born in El Vigia, Venezuela and now lives in Tijuana, Mexico. He earned the world title with a ninth round TKO victory over Andre Dirrell in their rematch in March. Uzcategui lost the first fight by disqualification in 2017. In his last match Uzcategui scored a unanimous decision over Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna on Sept. 28.

“It is an honor to defend my IBF title for the first time on FOX Sports,” Uzcategui said. “About the only thing I can say about my fight is that I don’t respect Caleb Plant. He has talked too much and I will punish him, beat him up and then knock him out.”

The 26-year-old Plant (17-0, 10 KOs) is an undefeated top contender who moved into position to challenge for the title with an impressive unanimous decision victory over tough veteran Rogelio Medina on Feb. 17. Plant, who was born in Nashville, Tennessee and now lives in Las Vegas, has dedicated his career to his daughter, Alia, who was born with a medical condition that causes seizures. She died at 19 months old from a respiratory infection that developed into pneumonia.

“Come January 13th when I step in that ring it will be for a lot of reasons,” Plant said. “I’ll be stepping between those ropes for Alia. I’m stepping between those ropes for the people of my city and state and for the people who come from the very bottom. I’m stepping between those ropes to finish the job that my father started, for all the work and sacrifice he made to ensure that he gave us a better opportunity than the life we once had and lived. But most importantly I’m stepping between those ropes January 13th in LA for myself. AND THE NEWWWW!”

The 21-year-old Figueroa (17-0, 12 KOs) will be facing the toughest challenge of his pro career when he takes on Flores. Figueroa fought three times and scored three knockouts in 2018 as he climbed the ladder in the super bantamweight and featherweight divisions. Figueroa of Weslaco, Texas is the younger brother of former lightweight world champion Omar Figueroa. In his last fight Figueroa scored an impressive TKO victory over Oscar Escandon on Sept. 30.

“This is definitely a step up for me. He’s 25-1 and he’s been in some tough fights, especially the championship fight against Daniel Roman,” Figueroa said. “I feel like I keep getting better with each fight, stronger and wiser in the ring. I want to show everyone that I’m the real deal and I’m ready for that world title. I believe that it’s coming soon and this is the kind of fight that I need to prove that I’m ready.”

Flores (25-1, 17 KOs) is looking to rebound from the first loss of his professional career after dropping a unanimous decision against Daniel Roman for the super bantamweight world title on June 16. The 32-year-old Flores of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico had fought Guillermo Rigondeaux in 2017 in a match that was ruled a no contest before the bout against Roman.

“I’m looking forward to this fight,” Flores said. “I had only fought one round in two years coming into my last fight with Roman. And while I wasn’t happy with my performance, it was great to get 12 rounds in and I’ve been in the gym since that loss. So now I’m confident I will be at my best. Figueroa and I both throw a ton of punches. It’s gonna be an all out war.”
Andre Ward in USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame

The last male American boxer to capture an Olympic gold medal, Andre Ward, will be honored tomorrow night, when he is inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame.

The 34-year-old Ward will be inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame in Salt Lake City, along with Class of 2018 members Roy Jones, Jr. and Claressa Shields, as well as the late Emanuel Stewart and Tom Cleary.

The second annual USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception, held in conjunction with the 2018 USA Boxing Elite and Youth National Championships and Junior and Prep Open, December 2-8, will be held at the Radisson Hotel (215 S. Temple St.) in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Not only is he the last American male boxer to garner Olympic gold, which he did in 2004 in Athens, Greece, Ward is the last to do so for Team USA.

“It (last American male boxer to win Olympic gold) has never crossed my mind and it’s bittersweet,” Ward remarked. “On one hand, it’s kind of cool to be the last to do something for so long but, on the other hand, I’m eager for that streak to be broken. It’s time that the United States of America take its rightful place at the top of amateur boxing, like it once was, and in 2020 I predict Gold…lots of it!”

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be inducted in to the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall Fame,” Ward said. “It’s even sweeter to be inducted with this year’s other inductees and the icing on the cake is going in to the hall of fame with Roy Jones, Jr., my all-time favorite fighter.

“Being ranked No. 1 in the country since I was 17-years-old afforded me the opportunity to travel the world, train alongside the other top United States boxers, and the chance to face international competition leading up to the Olympics played a big part in my Olympic success.”

Ward, who lives in Oakland (CA), started boxing in 1994 at the age of nine. He finished his brilliant amateur career with an amazing 115-5 record, highlighted by his gold medal performance at the 2004 Olympics. He also was a two-time U.S. National Championships (2001 & 2003) winner, in addition to a 2002 Under-19 National champion.

“As the youngest USA Boxing alum to win a men’s Olympic gold medal, Andre has inspired present and future generations of champions,” said Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Executive Director. “He is a champion in every sense of the term — for his intelligence, skill, and work ethic demonstrated throughout his career as well as his professionalism and character outside of the ring. The USA Boxing Alumni Association is thankful for Andre’s contributions to amateur boxing and look forward to honoring him as part of this year’s Hall of Fame class.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Horn, Mundine, WBC, Creed 2, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 21st to November 28th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Horn vs. Mundine Grudge Match Live on ESPN+

The latest edition of Breakfast and Boxing on ESPN+ will be streamed live from Down Under this Friday, as former welterweight world champion Jeff “The Hornet” Horn and former two-time super middleweight world champion Anthony “The Man” Mundine will settle a long-simmering Australian grudge match in a 12-rounder from Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. The ESPN+ stream will begin at 3:30 a.m. ET, with Horn and Mundine expected to enter the ring at approximately 6:30 a.m. ET.

Horn vs. Mundine will be contested at a catchweight of 71 kilograms (156.5 pounds), with Mundine’s WBO Oriental and the vacant WBA Oceania middleweight titles on the line.

Horn (18-1-1, 12 KOs) burst onto the world boxing scene in 2017 with a year for the ages. In front of more than 50,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium on a sunny July day, he defeated living legend Manny Pacquiao by close unanimous decision to win the WBO welterweight world title. A former teacher who represented Australia at the 2012 Olympics, Horn defended his title later that year with an 11th-round TKO against Gary Corcoran. Horn’s good fortune finally ran out June 9 in Las Vegas against pound-for-pound elite Terence “Bud” Crawford, who snagged Horn’s belt via dominating ninth-round TKO.

Mundine (48-8, 28 KOs), a 43-year-old former professional Australian rugby player, turned pro in 2000 following a limited amateur career. His professional career has been a fascinating one, as he’s fought as low as super welterweight and as high as cruiserweight. Mundine first captured the WBA super middleweight world title in 2003 with a unanimous decision victory against Antwun Echols, defending the title once before a split decision loss to Manny Siaca. He knocked out countryman Sam Soliman in the ninth round on March 7, 2007 to win the WBA super middleweight world title for second time. Since then, he has taken part in some of Australia’s most high-profile boxing events, including a 2013 TKO win against future Hall of Famer Shane Mosley. Mundine rebounded from a 1-3 skid on Jan. 17, knocking out Tommy Browne in the second round.

In undercard action, Australian welterweight contender Cameron “The Hammer” Hammond (17-1, 9 KOs) will take on Frank Rojas (23-1, 22 KOs) in a 10-rounder for the WBA Oceania welterweight title. Australian super featherweight champion Brent Rice (8-0, 2 KOs) will make the second defense of his belt against Liam Wilson (2-0, 2 KOs) in a 10-rounder, and middleweight prospect Ben Mahoney (5-0, 2 KOs) will step up in class versus Adrian Rodriguez (11-1-2, 5 KOs) in a five-round clash.

From Michael B. Jordan’s On Screen Mouthguard to Sylvester Stallone’s Cornerman Outfit, Check Out eBay’s Exclusive Creed II Auction

Off the heels of Creed II’s impressive box office debut, raking in $55M over the Thanksgiving weekend, eBay is offering fans the exclusive opportunity to own pieces of blockbuster history from Creed II, part of the iconic Rocky series.

Now through January 18, 2019, eBay is partnering with VIP Fan Auctions to offer over 600 Creed II props and wardrobe pieces, including screen-used boxing gloves, trunks, robes and more — with new lots added on a weekly basis.

Link: http://www.ebay.com/creed2

Channel your inner Michael B. Jordan as the beloved character Adonis Creed with a Nike sweatshirt, Nike sneakers and jewelry, All Saints Jacket & Shirt, and even a used mouth guard and water bottle set.
Inspired by the film’s intense training scenes? You can own Michael B. Jordan’s on-set head gear and weight set. You can also check out the medicine ball used by Sylvester Stallone’s character Rocky, along with his iconic Cornerman outfit.

Select hi-res images of the current and upcoming auction items are available here:
https://edelmanftp.box.com/s/jkipl1sxowv3805b1x4oldw2t1zvkmr9

Bivol Makes the Most of His Main Event Debut on HBO with Dominant Victory Over Jean pascal

While the HBO World Championship Boxing era ended, the Dmitry Bivol era continued on Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. Bivol (15-0, 11 KOs), from St. Petersburg, Russia, headlining his first HBO telecast, extended his reign as World Boxing Association (WBA) light heavyweight world champion with a blitzing of former world champion Jean Pascal (33-6-1, 20 KOs),who hails from the Montréal suburb Laval, Québec, Canada. .Ringside judges Lynn carter and Carlos Ortiz scored the fight 119-109 and Henry Grant 117-111, all in favor of the defending champion. Managed by Vadim Kornilov and promoted by World of Boxing, it is onward and upward for Bivol, arguably the best light heavyweight in the world, who eschewed more lucrative offers from other networks for the honor of headlining the finale of HBO’s 45-year flagship boxing series. The telecast will be replayed for the final time Tonight! at Midnight ET/PT, exclusively on HBO.

“This is my time. I would like to fight the other champions in my division and unify the light heavyweight titles,” said Bivol. “I could even move down to 168 pounds and fight Canelo if he beats Rocky Fielding to win the WBA super middleweight title. That way we could each put our titles on the line. I just want to fight the best. That is what I want and that is what the fans want.”

It was a perfect night for Bivol’s World of Boxing stablemates who fought on the undercard as well. In the co-main event, which opened the HBO telecast, Murodjon Akhamdaliev (5-0, 4 KOs), a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist who hails from Uzbekistan, retained his WBA Intercontinental super bantamweight title by scoring a ninth-round TKO of veteran Isaac Zarate (16-4-3, 2 KOs). In the best fight of the undercard, Israil Madrimov (1-0, 1 KO), from Uzbekistan, in his pro debut — a 10-round super welterweight bout — stopped battle-tested Vladimir Hernandez (10-3, 6 KOs), of Mexico, in the sixth-round of their gory slugfest. Russian heavyweights Evegeny Tishchenko (3-0, 2 KOs), a 2016 Olympic gold medalist, and WBA Intercontinental champion Sergey Kuzmin (14-0, 11 KOs) were knockout winners over Mexico’s Christian Mariscal (11-2, 5 KOs) and Laron Mitchell (16-2, 14 KOs), from San Francisco, respectively.

Welterweight Shakhram Giyasov (6-0, 5 KOs), of Uzbekistan, stopped Miguel Zamudio (41-12-1, 25 KOs), of Mexico, in the first round.

“I am very proud of all of our guys! It was a pleasure working with HBO and Main Events on another great event,” said Andrey Ryabinskiy, CEO of World Of Boxing.

“I am very glad that all our fighters looked great and got the W’s on Saturday. I am very excited about the future to come and I am proud of our team,” said Kornilov.

Sampson Boxing and the WBC to Stage Eight-Man Carlos Monzon “Super 8” Middleweight Tournament in Argentina

Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing, with the sanctioned cooperation of the World Boxing Council, proudly announces the Carlos Monzon “Super 8” Middleweight Tournament, featuring eight of Argentina’s most promising 160-lb middleweight fighters vying for the Monzon Cup and a world rating.

The tournament begins on Friday, January 4 and all tournament events will be held in Argentina and televised live around the world on TyC Sports. The finals will be held on Saturday, July 6.

Featured fighters include Gonzalo “El Mago” Coria (14-2, 5 KOs), Martin Ezequiel Bulacio (8-2, 6 KOs), Tomas “El Cobra” Reynoso (13-3-1, 3 KOs), Jose Antonio “Tsunami” Villalobos (11-5-2, 7 KOs), brother of current WBA Super Welterweight Champion Brian Castano, Alan Emmanuel Castano (13-0, 8 KOs), Francisco “Pancho” Torres (10-3, 4 KOs), Sergio “Checho” Lopez (12-2, 9 KOs) and Jonathan “El Chúcaro” Sanchez (13-3-1, 4 KOs).

Lewkowicz, who has already successfully organized and promoted a similar super bantamweight tournament, and expertly handled the career of all-time-great Argentinean middleweight world champion Sergio Martinez, says the initial tournament’s success is what led to this middleweight edition.

“I’m very honored to be putting on this tournament in Argentina, and I’m confident it will produce Argentina’s next future middleweight star,” said Lewkowicz. “The winner of this tournament will have a world rating with the prestigious WBC and a ticket to graduate to the world level. I am hoping to put on a tournament worthy of the great Carlos Monzon. Something that he’d be proud of.”

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman says the WBC are gratified to be lending their official support.

“Carlos Monzon was a legendary champion when I came to the sport of boxing and he was very close to the WBC and my father throughout his career,” explained Sulaiman. “Argentina is such an important country for boxing, they deserve support because they have done unbelievable work both in the amateurs, by winning medals, and in the professional ranks. Lately it has been a very complicated and difficult time for Argentinean boxing, so Sampson coming out and doing this tournament is something we will absolutely support. The winner will absolutely appear in the WBC’s rankings.

From Wikipedia: Carlos Monzon was an Argentine professional boxer who held the Undisputed World Middleweight Championship for 7 years. He successfully defended his title 14 times and is widely regarded as not only one of the best middleweights in history but also one of the greatest boxers of all time.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Atlantic City, Hurd, Fury, Parker, and more….


Compiled By: William Holmes

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

New Zealand heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker with trainer Kevin Barry after defeating Russia’s Alexander Dimitrenko. Burger King Road to the Title by Duco Boxing. Auckland, New Zealand. Saturday 1 October 2016. © Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz

Alexander Flores Has Chance of a Lifetime When He Faces Joseph Parker

Former World Boxing Organization (WBO Youth World Heavyweight Champion Alexander “The Great” Flores, promoted by Roy Jones, Jr. Boxing (RJJ), has an opportunity of a lifetime December 15, when the gifted 28-year-old Mexican-American travels halfway around the world to take on former world heavyweight titlist Joseph Parker in New Zealand.

Fighting out of Rowland Heights, California, the heavy-handed Flores (17-1-1, 15 KOs) is confident as he trains at home to face Parker in his backyard.

“There is no way this fight goes 10 rounds,” Flores said. “I’m going to knock him out. A lot of people might not have heard of Alexander ‘The Great’ Flores yet, but they’ll all know who I am after December 15th.”

Flores’ lone loss as a professional came 3 ½ years ago against former world champion Charles Martin for the North American Boxing Association (NABF) crown. Flores, who took the fight with only two weeks’ notice, was stopped in the fourth round.

“Alexander can dramatically change his life by defeating Parker and we’re confident he can go to New Zealand and pull off an upset,” said Keith Veltre, co-promoter of Roy Jones, Jr. Boxing. “Alexander has power in both hands and he will certainly test Parker’s chin. Flores isn’t going over there just for a paycheck, he’s going to send shockwaves throughout the boxing world.”

An impressive victory against Parker, who has lost his last two fights against unified world champion Anthony Joshua and Dillian White, should propel Flores high in the competitive heavyweight division.

“I’m really glad that Alex is coming to New Zealand full of confidence,” remarked Parker, who is training in Las Vegas. “For me, boxing is all about the challenge, and this is another big one. I know what is at stake. I need to win and win well. I need to knock him out and I will knock him out, but I can’t focus on that. I need to focus on getting better each and every time I get in the ring.”

Parker has never been knocked out as a pro and he’ll be fighting at home for the first time in 1 ½ years.

“After a five-year undefeated run that took Joe all the way to the WBO World title, we now find ourselves in very unusual territory, coming off back-to-back loses,” Parker’s head trainer Kevin Barry noted. “Joe has never been in this position before and needs a top performance. Joe finds himself under huge pressure to not only win this fight, but to win big and get his career back on track.

“These guys (Parker and Flores) are the same height (6’ 4”) and both pack a serious punch, so it stacks up as a great contest. This is a dangerous fight, one that Joseph Parker is fighting for his career.”

Parker, however, may be looking past Flores, according to his recent statements in the media. First, Parker called out Tony Bellew, who just lost to undisputed, undefeated world cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, and then the big New Zealander said he’d like to fight the winner of Whyte-Derek Chisora II.

Meanwhile, Flores is training like Rocky to make a major statement, one that promises to surprise a lot of boxing fans.
Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, Jarrett Hurd, and Luis Ortiz Share What they are Thankful for this Thanksgiving

For those fighting in the blockbuster night of boxing on Saturday, December 1 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, this year’s Thanksgiving will come during the tail end of training camp for their respective matchups. While the fighters may not be able to surround themselves with their loved ones or enjoy a traditional holiday meal, they still have plenty to be thankful for.

Fighters who are competing in the Wilder vs. Fury SHOWTIME PPV and SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION from STAPLES Center discussed what they are most thankful for this time of year. The SHOWTIME PPV begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions. The night kicks off with SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION at 6:45 p.m. ET/3:45 p.m. PT live on SHOWTIME and on SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by BombZquad Enterprises and Queensberry Promotions, in association with TGB Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, are on sale now and are available via AXS.com. Wilder vs. Fury will be produced and distributed by SHOWTIME PPV. The suggested retail price (SRP) for the pay-per-view telecast is $64.99 for standard definition.

The event is headlined by a heavyweight world championship showdown that pits WBC champion Deontay Wilder against lineal champion Tyson Fury on SHOWTIME PPV®. The PPV undercard features unified super welterweight world champion Jarrett Hurd returning to take on Jason Welborn, Cuban heavyweight slugger Luis Ortiz facing-off against Travis Kauffman and rising heavyweight Joe Joyce battling Joe Hanks. In action on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION are former champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and hard-hitting Alfredo Angulo in a super middleweight clash. Non-televised action will see the return of former multiple-division champion Robert Guerrero.

Here is what the fighters said they are thankful for this holiday season:

DEONTAY WILDER

“I’m just thankful for my beautiful family – my wonderful children and my beautiful lady. I’m just so thankful for all the positive energy that I’ve been receiving from my family. This is the happiest I’ve been in my life – career wise and in my personal life. I don’t have any drama and I’m ready to go December 1.”

TYSON FURY

“I’m most thankful for being alive, for being healthy and for being in a right mind. Business and jobs are very unimportant when you’ve got no health. You can be a billionaire but dying inside. It’s all irrelevant if you haven’t got your health. Because your health is your wealth. I’m very qualified to say it because I’ve been in some tough positions before. I’m just thankful to be alive.”

JARRETT HURD

“I’m thankful for my family, my team, my health and the chance to get back in the ring and do what I love on December 1. Unfortunately, no Thanksgiving for me this year. I think I’ll even be on the plane on the holiday, which is fine for me so I don’t get the urge to eat. I’m also going to do a Turkey Drive in my community and make sure that I’m giving back as much as I can.”

JASON WELBORN

“2018 has been my year. I’m thankful for my family – my wife, children, my dad and my Mom who looks over us all.

“I became British Champion in 2018, defended my title and now I’m going to shock the world in L.A. to cap a wonderful year.”

LUIS ORTIZ

“First and foremost, I’m thankful for my daughter’s health and well-being, along with my whole family. I know that in boxing, there are no holidays. Thanksgiving will be whenever it lands and whenever I have the opportunity for it. Boxing is my first love and I’m happy to be training even during this time of year.”

Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Announce Class of 2019

The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame (ACBHOF) has announced its 2019 Induction Class. The Induction Weekend will take place at The Claridge, a Radisson Hotel located at Park Place & Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey on June 21 – 23, 2019.

“We’re extremely excited about the Class of 2019 and are very much looking forward to paying tribute to the new inductees in Atlantic City at our 3rd annual induction weekend next June” said ACBHOF President and Founder Ray McCline.

The 2019 inductees in the Fighter category are:
Bernard Hopkins Tim Witherspoon, Sr.
Kevin Watts Virgil Hill, Sr.
Iran Barkley John Brown
Roberto Duran, Sr. Micky Ward

Trainers and Cutmen:
Ace Marotta English “Bouie” Fisher
Non-Participants–Special Contributors:
Butch Lewis Bobby Goodman
Stan Hoffman Nigel Collins
Henry Hascup Jimmy Binns Sr.
Tom Kaczmarek Tony Orlando Jr.
Rhonda Utley-Herring

Bernard Hopkins will be inducted into his first Hall of Fame as part of the third annual class that will include a total of 19 inductees.

“I feel appreciated and it’s starting to settle in that I’m near that mark of living legend. I don’t see myself as a living legend. Let other people decide that. This is a great honor and I’m grateful for the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame for making this happen,” Hopkins said in a November 16 RingTV interview with Joseph Santoliquito.

“Watch who you co-sign for; you can’t sell me black to get in the door. You can’t sell me white to get in the door. You can’t sell me half white or half black or none of that to get in the door. But you can sell me LOYALTY” said former two-division champion Bernard Hopkins.

The 3rd Annual Induction Ceremony & Celebration Weekend will honor some of the world’s most iconic figures from the sport of boxing: Butch Lewis, Nigel Collins, English “Bouie” Fisher and New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame’s President Henry Hascup are just a few named who will be enshrined with the 2019 induction class.

Inductees will be named in three categories: Fighter, Trainer & Cut-Men and Special Contributors.

“It was a great honor to hear I was going to be inducted into Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame. Atlantic City is my second home, and as a pro fighter I’ve fought numerous times in this great city. It’s a great boxing town and it is an honor to be inducted into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame” says Micky Ward.

Over the next several weeks there will be updates on the schedule of events, room packages and expected VIP appearances on the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame and the Claridge Hotel websites and social media platforms

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Braekhus, Chocolatito, Zurdo, Hurd, Stevenson, Chavez, and more…


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


Photo Credit: Lina Baker/360 Promotions

Cecilia Braekhus vs. Alexsandra Magdziak-Lopez and Chocolatito vs. Guevara Set for December 8th

Two of Boxing’s Biggest Stars make their highly anticipated return at the iconic Stubhub Center in Carson, CA. on Saturday, December 8 for an outstanding double-header featuring Undisputed Women’s Welterweight World Champion ‘The First Lady’ Cecilia Braekhus (34-0, 9 KOs) and Four-Division Pound for Pound World Champion Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, (47-2, 39 KOs). The event will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:20 p.m. ET/PT.

Fighting out of Bergen, Norway, Braekhus, the Consensus #1 Ranked Women’s Pound-for-Pound Fighter in the World will face two-time world title challenger, Aleksandra Magdziak-Lopes, (18-4-3, 1 KO), a native of Gilwice, Poland, now based in Marshfield, MA in the ten-round main event.

Former Men’s #1 Ranked Pound-for-Pound Fighter in the World, Gonzalez of Managua, Nicaragua, clashes with former world champion Pedro ‘Jibran’ Guevara, (32-3-1, 19 KOs) of Sinaloa, Mexico in a ten-round super-flyweight bout.

Presented by Tom Loeffler’s 360 Boxing Promotions, advance tickets priced at $25, $50, $100 and $150 can be purchased through www.AXS.com starting This Friday, November 9 at 12:00 p.m. The StubHub Center is located at 18400 Avalon Boulevard, Carson, CA 90746. For more information please visit their website at www.StubHubCenter.com.

A press conference was held on Wednesday in Downtown Los Angeles to formally announce the event. Also appearing at the press conference was popular atomweight world title challenger Louisa ‘Bang Bang Lulu’ Hawton, (8-2-0, 4 KOs), of Perth, Australia, who will also be fighting on the non-televised portion of the show.

“I’m thrilled to be announcing my next title defense against Aleksandra Magdziak-Lopes,” said Cecilia Braekhus, currently training in Southern California with the renowned Johnathon Banks. “I know Aleksandra very well and this will be a very tough challenge for me.”

“It’s great to be back in Los Angeles, it’s starting to feel like my second home now. Right now, it’s pretty cold now in Norway so the sun and warm weather are treating me very good and I expect a lot of fans from Norway to come to my fight and experience the Southern California sunshine. My trainer Johnathon Banks and I have already started working very hard in the gym.”

“A big thank you to Tom Loeffler and 360 Promotions for putting together this great event. Thanks very much to HBO for putting me on the network again. I promise to deliver another big fight, my last fight was very exciting and this one will be as well, I don’t do boring fights.”

‘I’m defending all the belts as you see in front of me. They represent a life-time of hard work. Hopefully when it becomes time to retire I can do so undefeated, that is my dream, that is my goal. I thank you for all your support and to the fans here in the United States and those attending the fight Internationally.

“It’s been my dream to fight Cecilia and I can’t wait to fight her,” said Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes. “She is the best women’s fighter in the world and has been for many years but on December 8 I will be up to the challenge and come out victorious with her titles.”

Stated Roman Gonzalez, “Thanks very much to God, Mr. Honda, Teiken Promotions, HBO Boxing and 360 Promotions. I know Pedro Guevara very well, he’s a very tough fighter and I will have to be at my very best to continue my pursuit of a fifth world title.”

“It’s an honor to be on the same card as Cecilia Braekhus, we’re very blessed to be here. I was very happy with the knockout victory of my last fight and look forward to fighting in Los Angeles again in front of my fans.”

“Chocolatito was the best fighter in the world not too long ago and that is the fighter I am preparing for,” said Pedro Guevara. ‘It’s an honor to share the ring with him but on December 8 it will be another victory on my path to again becoming a world champion.”

Said Tom Loeffler, “This card truly is a tribute to HBO where the biggest stars in boxing have been made for decades. As we have seen with the ascent in popularity with Gennady Golovkin and as we continue to see with Cecilia and Roman their international popularity and marketability continues to increase with each appearance on HBO.”

“We’ve promoted some outstanding and record-breaking memorable nights of boxing at the Stubhub Center and we look forward to another great event on Saturday, December 8. We hold the record for the 3 largest gates at StubHub Center with GGG in his two fights at StubHub and Chocolatito with his sold out fight there last year.”

“Thanks to Dan Beckerman at AEG and everyone at StubHub Center for their support and for working on this show with us and to the California State Athletic Commission who have always been very fair while keeping the health and safety of the fighters as their number one priority.”

Fighting for the first time in Russia, Cecilia Braekhus won a 10-round unanimous decision over junior middleweight world champion Inna Sagaydakovskaya on July 21, 2018 in Moscow. The victory took place in front of over 25,000 spectators at the Olympic Stadium and an international televised audience. Prior to that, Braekhus was victorious in the first women’s bout televised by HBO in their 45-year history on May 5, 2018. Defeating Kali Reis by unanimous decision at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA, the fight drew an average of 904,000 viewers in the United States, the second highest viewership by the network for boxing in 2018.

Braekhus is currently ranked the #1 Pound-for-Pound Female Boxer by Ring Magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America. She was presented with the first women’s Ring Magazine Pound-for-Pound Title belt in Las Vegas on September 15, 2018. Since September 2014, Braekhus has held the WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO Welterweight World Titles and was just awarded 3 Guinness Book of World Records Awards this year at the WBC Convention in Kiev, Ukraine.

Magdziak-Lopes has twice previously challenged for world title. On September 17, 2016, she traveled to Gdansk, Poland to face Ewa Piatkowska for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight World Title, losing a hard-fought ten-round decision. In 2014, Magdziak-Lopes battled Mikaela Lauren in her hometown of Rocklunda, Sweden for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight World Title. At the end of a highly competitive ten rounds, Lopes would come up just short losing a majority decision to Lauren.

Magdziak-Lopes is unbeaten in her last 3 fight, including victories over Paty Ramirez and Lisa Noel Garland.

Returning to battle less than three months after a knockout victory, Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez looks to continue on his path towards a fifth world title. On September 15, 2018, the hard-hitting Nicaraguan dismantled Moises Fuentes with a ‘Knockout of the Year’ stoppage in the fifth round on the HBO Pay-Per-View® Undercard of the World Middleweight Championship between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez.

Gonzalez has held world titles in four weight divisions; minimum weight, junior flyweight, flyweight and super flyweight. From September 12, 2015 to March 18, 2017, he was the Consensus #1 Pound-for-Pound Fighter in the World.

The 29-year-old Guevara first became a world champion on December 30, 2014 with a seventh-round knockout of Akira Yaegashi in Tokyo, Japan, winning the vacant WBC Junior Flyweight World Title. After making two successful defenses in Mexico, Guevara would return to Japan losing a split-decision to Yu Kimura on November 28, 2015.

In 2018, Guevara has recorded two stoppage victories, an eighth-round knockout of Angel Guevara on May 18, 2018 followed by a tenth-round stoppage of Roberto Sanchez on September 1, 2018.

Revenge or Repeat? Zurdo-Hart 2 Set for December 14th in Corpus Christi
It was one of the best fights of 2017. WBO super middleweight world champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez had Jesse “Hollywood” Hart down and nearly out in the second round, only for Hart to come back with a furious late-rounds rally. Ramirez ultimately prevailed via unanimous decision that September evening in Tucson, Ariz., but Hart, the Philadelphia native with the legendary last name, had rematch on his mind immediately after the decision was rendered.

His wish has finally come true.

Ramirez will make the fifth defense of his world title against Hart, Friday, Dec. 14 at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. Ramirez-Hart 2 and a soon-to-be announced co-feature will stream live and exclusively at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ in the United States— the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN. The entire undercard will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zapari Boxing Promotions, tickets to the Ramirez-Hart 2 world championship event will go on sale Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 10 a.m. CST. Priced at $100, $65, $45, and $30, tickets may be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, at the American Bank Center Box Office, Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST, or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

“This will be a good fight. I feel better prepared than the first time and even more convinced that I will finish him,” Ramirez said. “I’ve always said that I wanted to be the king of the division. I’ve been waiting for unification fights, and I’m still patient. I’m at my best, and against Hart, I want to show why I’m the best.”

“I’m very grateful and humbled for this opportunity,” Hart said. “I just want to go out there and perform to the best of my ability. I have nothing derogatory to say about Gilberto Ramirez. At this point, I just want to go out there and perform.”

Ramirez (38-0, 25 KOs), the first Mexican-born super middleweight champion, will be defending the title he won from Arthur Abraham via shutout decision on April 9, 2016. A hand injury put Ramirez on the shelf until April 22, 2017, but he didn’t miss a beat, dominating Max Bursak en route to a unanimous decision victory. In his most recent outing, June 30 in Oklahoma City, Ramirez used his boxing skills to win a unanimous decision against Alexis Angulo. Ramirez, from Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico, is a nine-year pro who is no stranger to Corpus Christi. He headlined a show at the American Bank Center on Feb. 3, knocking out the previously unbeaten Habib Ahmed in the sixth round to retain his title.

Hart (25-1, 21 KOs), the WBO No. 1 contender, is a former amateur standout, winning the 2011 National Golden Gloves and U.S. National championships at 165 pounds. A 2012 U.S. Olympic alternate, Hart turned pro in 2012 and won his first 22 bouts prior to challenging Ramirez. Hart last fought as the ESPN co-feature Aug. 18 in Atlantic City, battering Mike Gavronski en route to a third-round stoppage. After more than a year of calling out Ramirez for a return match, Hart has his shot at redemption. A proud native of Philadelphia, Hart is the son of Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, a feared middleweight contender in the 1970s who never received a world title shot. With Eugene Hart in his corner as head trainer, Jesse Hart will seek to bring a world title home to the City of Brotherly Love.

Split Site Doubleheader Featuring Adonis Stevenson and Julio Cesar Chavez Kicks Off Big Night of Boxing on December 1st

A split-site doubleheader airing live on SHOWTIME and streaming live on SHOWTIME Sports social media platforms will kick off a big night of boxing on Saturday, December 1, leading into the SHOWTIME PPV presentation of the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury heavyweight blockbuster event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Adonis Stevenson will make the 10th defense of his WBC Light Heavyweight World Championship against undefeated, mandatory challenger Oleksandr Gvozdyk to start the action live from Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada. The two-fight telecast presented by Premier Boxing Champions continues live from Los Angeles, where Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. will take on Alfredo Angulo in a 10-round super middleweight clash at STAPLES Center.

COUNTDOWN LIVE: WILDER VS. FURY will begin at 6:45 p.m. ET/3:45 p.m. PT live on SHOWTIME and on SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and Facebook page, preceding the Wilder vs. Fury SHOWTIME PPV event that begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT from STAPLES Center.

The December 1 SHOWTIME PPV and COUNTDOWN LIVE presentations feature two of the most feared knockout punchers in the sport. With 39 knockouts in 40 professional fights, Wilder’s right hand is widely regarded as the biggest weapon in boxing. The southpaw Stevenson’s left has led to knockouts in six of his nine title defenses. On December 1, the two power-punchers will take on top-rated, undefeated opponents as they make the 10th and eighth defenses of their respective WBC titles.

Stevenson (29-1-1, 24 KOs) is boxing’s longest reigning world champion, having won the WBC 175-pound title in 2013. The Montreal-based southpaw will face his WBC-mandated challenger in Gvozdyk (15-0, 12 KOs), a Ukrainian with 12 knockouts in his 15 professional fights since a standout amateur career that included a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics.

In Gvozdyk, Stevenson will face his second consensus top-10 light heavyweight of 2018, following his Fight of the Year candidate draw with Badou Jack in May on SHOWTIME. Gvozdyk, an amateur teammate of fellow Ukrainians Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk, earned the mandatory status with a near-shutout decision over Mehdi Amar in March.

“I’ve been pushing myself in training to be ready to put on a great performance December 1 and defend my title once again,” said Stevenson. “My old trainer, the late great Emanuel Steward, used to tell me that ‘knockouts sell’ and that’s what I’m going for in this fight. I know I’m facing a good boxer who’s coming in very determined. He’ll be ready, but it won’t be enough. It’s going to be show time on SHOWTIME and another victory for ‘Superman’.”

“I have been waiting for this title shot for a very long time, and I will take full advantage of the opportunity,” said Gvodzyk. “It doesn’t matter where we fight. I am fully prepared to become the new WBC light heavyweight champion. Canada, ‘The Nail’ is coming to put on a show!”

Chavez, Jr. (50-3-1, 32 KOs) is the son of Mexican boxing legend and Hall of Famer Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr. The 32-year-old from Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico ripped off 46 straight victories to start his career using a gritty boxing style that denoted his toughness in the ring. Chavez is seeking to rebound from a unanimous decision loss to middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on May 6, 2017.

The 36-year-old Angulo (24-7, 20 KOs) is a tough brawler who has faced some of the best boxers in the sport. Angulo, who lives in Coachella, California but was born in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, is coming off a hard-fought split decision loss to former world champion Sergio Mora in April.

“I am excited to be back on December 1 to perform for the great Mexican fans in Los Angeles,” said Chavez Jr. “At my weight I know I can beat anyone. I am focused and feel strong. Angulo will be first, but then I will pursue a belt at 168. I’m putting the division on notice. Chavez is back.”

“I have been training very hard in anticipation of this fight and this is the best I have felt in a long time,” said Angulo. “I am looking forward to defeating Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and getting a title opportunity in the near future. I’m thankful for everyone who has supported me and I promise to surprise a lot of people on December 1.”
Showtime Sports Captures a Day in Training Camp with Welterweight Prospect Jaron Ennis
s.sho.com/2QyCjOp
SHOWTIME Sports delivers a day in the life of training camp with Philadelphia’s Jaron Ennis as he prepares to face Raymond Serrano in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation this Friday, November 16, live on SHOWTIME at 9:35 p.m. ET/PT from 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.

Ennis (21-0, 19 KOs), who knocked out Armando Alvarez in a third-round stoppage during his ShoBox debut in July, has knocked out 11 consecutive opponents. He faces perhaps the toughest test of his career in Serrano, a 29-fight veteran whose five losses have come against opponents with a combined fight night record of 89-1-1.

Training under his father Bozy, who also trained Jaron’s older brothers Derek Jr. and Farah, the 21-year-old undefeated prospect puts in work in what he describes as an ‘old-school’ training camp consisting of chopping wood, flipping tires and climbing rope. With victory in his hometown on his mind this Friday, Ennis vows to become a household name in the sport of boxing.

“When you’re a boxer from Philly, it means you have to put on a show,” says Ennis. “I love fighting at home, that’s the best feeling ever. People let the crowd get to them, I just feel at home. I feel comfortable and relaxed. I get to show out on SHOWTIME in Philly, get a win and look good doing it.

“My goal is to be world champ and be a great example for the kids. I want to unify, get all the belts, move up in weight and keep going, and keep going. Watch out all 147’s. A young animal is on the way!”

In the co-feature of Friday’s live ShoBox telecast, series veterans Kenneth Sims Jr. (13-1-1, 4 KOs) and Samuel Teah (14-2-1, 7 KOs) meet in an eight-round super lightweight bout. Undefeated Ukrainian Arnold Khegai opens the three-fight card when he takes on New Jersey’s Jorge Diaz (19-5-1, 10 KOs) in an eight-round super bantamweight bout.
Star Boxing Signs Undefeated French Welterweight David Papot

JOE DEGUARDIA, CEO of Star Boxing announced the signing of undefeated French super welterweight, former WBA Continental Middleweight Champion and current French Super Welterweight Champion, DAVID PAPOT (Saint Nazaire, France, 22-0 3KO’s) to a long-term promotional agreement

Papot, 27, who is also currently rated #7 Middleweight in the World (WBA) began boxing at the age of 5 in his hometown of Saint Nazaire, France, where he still currently resides. With an impressive amateur pedigree, Papot has fought over 100 amateur bouts, earning the titles of two-time junior French champion, two-time vice champion and senior champion of France. Papot fought a total of thirty bouts with the French national team, reaching the quarter-finals of the European Championship.

In March of 2017, Papot took on undefeated Belarus southpaw, DZIMITRY ATROKHAU (then 15-0 5KO’S), where he earned the WBA Continental Middleweight Title by a dominating unanimous decision victory, with scores of 116-112 and 115-113 (2X). In his next bout, Papot took on co-Frenchman BARTHELEMY LEFEBVRE (then 16-8-1 4KO’s), for the France Super Welterweight Title. Papot dismantled Lefebvre over the 10-round bout, winning another unanimous decision with scores of 99-91 and 98-92 (2X). Papot has successfully defended his title two times since being crowned Champion.

PAPOT has this to say about signing with Star Boxing, “Today I have global ambitions and that is why I need a strong team to accompany me to world titles and I trust my team and promoter Star Boxing to accomplish these goals. ”

Promotor JOE DEGUARDIA said this about the signing of Papot, “We are excited to have signed David Papot, who has reached the pinnacle of boxing in France and now, together with Star Boxing, we believe David will have every opportunity to reach his goal of becoming a world champion.”

Star Boxing anticipates announcing David Papot’s next bout in the near future.
Sullivan Barrera is a Promotional Free Agent, Targets Top Light Heavyweights
Top light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera bounced back into the win column with a dominant decision victory earlier this month in New York. Barrera started off strong and won by the scores of 99-91 and 98-92 twice.

Along with the victory, Barrera also became a promotional free agent and is looking to get the biggest possible fights.

“I saw on social media that Badou Jack is looking for an opponent in January and that time table works perfect for me. I am sure the fans would like to see me and Jack trade punches,” Barrera stated.

The Cuban slugger holds victories over Joe Smith Jr, Vyacheslava Shabranskyy, and Felix Valera and has also been in the ring with champions like Andre Ward and Dmitry Bivol.

Barrera is driven to accomplish his goal of becoming a world champion and will not stop until he fulfills his destiny.

“At this point in my career I only want to fight the best. I have always wanted to be a champion and I will accomplish my dream. I want to fight the Adonis Stevenson-Olesandr Gvozdyk winner, the Eleider Alvarez-Sergey Kovalev winner, Jack, Artur Beterbiev. Those are the guys I want. There are no excuses for these fights not to happen. I don’t have a promoter so any of these fights should be easy to make,” said Barrera.

“Beating Monaghan got me back on track. I was able to work on some things in the gym and I promise that the next time I get a shot at a world title I will win. I am just reaching my peak and the fans haven’t seen my best yet.”
Gamboa and Lopez Both Win, Set Up Future Bout
Yuriorkis Gamboa and Juan Manuel Lopez were both victorious this weekend and have set up a possible fight in the very near future.
Below are some quotes after their victories:
JuanMa Lopez Post Fight
“I don’t know how he absorbed all the punishment. I couldn’t know him out but it was a good fight.
It was uncomfortable because of his style but I’ve been fighting for a long time and it was an excellent warm up for the Gamboa fight.”

Gamboa trainer Post Fight:
“i have been working every day to make Gamboa a champion once again. And he is responding. It was a great night.”

Gamboa Post Fight:
“I was very happy with the results. I tried to work on my explosiveness and it worked well. It was a very exciting night for me. Here in Miami. My city. Great crowd.”

JuanMa after Gamboa’s fight grabs the mic in the ring:
“Enough of the waiting. We have been waiting long enough I did my part and you did your part now let’s get it on.”

Gamboa after JuanMa:
“If it’s a fight the fans want to see, let’s do it!”
Unified 154 World Champion Jarrett Hurd Returns on Wilder vs. Fury Showtime PPV Card
The most significant heavyweight event in the U.S. in more than 15 years will feature an undercard lineup of stellar fighters including the return of a unified world champion and two of boxing’s hardest-hitting heavyweights.

Undefeated, unified 154-pound world champion Jarrett Hurd along with heavyweight title contender Luis Ortiz and top heavyweight prospect Joe Joyce will fight in separate bouts on the SHOWTIME PPV® undercard of the Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz heavyweight blockbuster event presented by Premier Boxing Champions on Saturday, December 1 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

Hurd (22-0, 15 KOs) returns for his first fight since unifying the super welterweight division earlier this year to defend his IBF and WBA titles against British Commonwealth champ Jason Welborn (24-6, 7 KOs). Hurd, who edged Erislandy Lara in a leading candidate for 2018 Fight of the Year in April on SHOWTIME, will enter the ring for the first time since undergoing rotator cuff surgery as he targets another title unification in 2019.

Cuban heavyweight slugger Luis Ortiz (29-1, 25 KOs) will continue his quest for a second shot at a heavyweight world championship as he takes on American Travis Kauffman (32-2, 23 KOs) in a 10-round bout. Ortiz went toe-to-toe with Wilder in another contender for Fight of the Year in March on SHOWTIME and returns for his third bout of 2018 with his sights set on a rematch with Wilder.

In the opening bout of the SHOWTIME PPV, 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist and unbeaten heavyweight Joe Joyce (6-0, 6 KOs) will face his sixth opponent of 2018 when he meets Joe Hanks (23-2, 15 KOs) in a 10-round heavyweight bout.

“This fan-friendly undercard features two participants from 2018 Fight of the Year candidates, Jarrett Hurd and Luis Ortiz, along with one of the hottest rising talents in the heavyweight division,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “Heavyweight boxing has re-captured the world’s attention and both of these potentially explosive fights will help shape the future of the division. Jarrett Hurd emerged as one of boxing’s most exciting fighters in unifying the super welterweight division in 2018. Now, he returns from a significant injury to risk his titles in his quest to become undisputed 154-pound world champion.”

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by BombZquad Enterprises and Queensberry Promotions, in association with TGB Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, are on sale now and are available via AXS.com. Wilder vs. Fury will be produced and distributed by SHOWTIME PPV. The suggested retail price (SRP) for the pay-per-view telecast is $64.99 for standard definition.

Hurd, who hails from Accokeek, Md., floored Erislandy Lara in the final minute of their unification showdown to earn the narrow split-decision victory over the divisions’ longest-reigning champion. Following the bout, Hurd underwent surgery and subsequent rehab to repair a rotator cuff. Hurd won the IBF title with a TKO of Tony Harrison in 2017 and handed Austin Trout his first loss via knockout later that year. The 28-year-old is known for his all-action, fan-pleasing style that had seen him record seven straight stoppages prior to his decision win over Lara.

“’Swift’ is back and Christmas is coming early,” said Hurd. “This is the perfect way to get ready for 2019. I expect it to be a big year with big fights that the fans will love. I’m locked in right now and ready to put on a great performance against Jason Welborn. Tune in on December 1, because I promise you it won’t go 12 rounds.”

Jason Welborn, from West Midlands, England, will make his U.S. debut on the heels of two wins over previously once-beaten Tommy Langford for the British middleweight title in 2018. Langford now moves back to the 154-pound class, where he has faced Matthew Macklin and Liam Smith in all-British encounters.

“Jarrett Hurd is a big talent who holds all the belts and I respect the challenge he poses,” said Welborn. “I was a huge underdog against Tommy Langford in May and I came through and shocked Britain. In December, I’m going to shock the world. I’ve been in training camp since my last fight and I’ve already been preparing for Hurd’s style. This is my time.”

The 39-year-old Ortiz returns to STAPLES Center for his second consecutive fight in Los Angeles after scoring a second-round knockout of Razvan Cojanu in July. In a March, Ortiz nearly had Wilder out on his feet in the seventh until he ultimately succumbed to Wilder’s power in the 10th round, suffering the first loss of his professional career. A consensus top-5 heavyweight, Ortiz will look for another knockout as he hopes to earn a rematch with Wilder in the revived heavyweight division.

“I feel blessed to be on the Wilder vs. Fury card and competing on a huge night of boxing in front of a full house,’’ said Ortiz. “In my last fight at STAPLES Center the fans showed me so much love and I can’t wait to be back. I know Travis Kauffman has a good record and I know he’s definitely got heart. If all goes as expected and Wilder puts Fury to sleep like I think he will, I want another shot at him ASAP. It will be an epic rematch between me and Wilder.”

Kauffman, of Reading, Penn., is coming off a majority decision over Scott Alexander in May in which the two heavyweights traded first round knockdowns. Kauffman is 14-1 (1 NC) in his last 16 fights with the sole loss coming to Amir Mansour in March 2017.

“I’m looking forward to stepping up and challenging myself in an exciting fight,” said Kauffman. “Luis Ortiz is the second best heavyweight in the world next to Deontay Wilder. But I’m the toughest fighter you’ll ever face. This is my chance to prove that I’m a great fighter and I’m excited to do it on this huge stage.”

The 6-foot-6 Joyce, of London, England, has started his professional career with a 100 percent KO rate after turning professional in 2017 at the age of 32. An accomplished amateur, Joyce claimed the super heavyweight silver medal for Great Britain at the 2016 Olympic Games. Joyce, who trains in Big Bear, Calif. under renowned trainer Abel Sanchez, made his U.S. debut in September with a fifth-round knockout of Iago Kiladze.

“It’s an honor to be part of this huge event and I give a lot of credit to Joe Hanks for stepping up and taking this fight,” said Joyce. “Hanks has a good record, but I am coming to take him out. If everything goes to plan and I come through this fight as I should, I am ready for a big fight early next year to show that I’m a force in this division.”

Hanks, of Newark, N.J., started his career with a 21-0 run before suffering consecutive losses to Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2013 and Derric Rossy in 2014. After a three-and-a-half-year layoff following the loss to Rossy, Hanks, who lives in downtown Los Angeles, has recovered his form and returned to score a unanimous decision over Joel Caudle and a first round knockout of Terrence Marbra in consecutive fights.

“It feels good to be in the mix and getting exposure with the top heavyweights,” said Hanks. “I bring speed, athleticism and power to this fight. I’ve got a lot of great experience in my career sparring against guys like Deontay Wilder and Wladimir Klitschko, so I’m comfortable against a guy like Joe Joyce. I live in Los Angeles now and this is going to be like fighting in my front yard. I’m going to be feeling good on fight night.”

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