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Claressa Shields: “I Just Want The Pound-For-Pound Spot”


By: Sean Crose

Claressa “T Rex” Shileds was expecting to have a major bout this weekend against Christina Hammer. That bout, however, fell through. Therefore, the 6-0 Shields will be facing the 5-2 Hannah Rankin this Saturday at the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas, headlining a card that will be aired live by the DAZN streaming service. Shields will be defending her IBF and WBA world middleweight titles. The WBC belt, formerly held by Hammer, will also be at stake. “The WBC crown was in the hands of Christina Hammer,” promoter Matchroom Boxing claims, “whom Shields was slated to meet this weekend in a unification blockbuster for all four belts, with the German also owning the WBO belt.”

“I’m thrilled,” Shields says, “to be able to continue my road to undisputed this weekend…Christina has first in line when I win the belt on Saturday, it’s not a fight that we are looking to avoid. If she’d been fit to face me then that would be the fight this weekend. I wanted that fight bad.” Shields claims she knew something was amiss with Hammer, who had to step out of the fight due to a medical condition that hasn’t been disclosed to the public.

“I felt that when we did the phone interview and we announced that we were fighting,” says Shields, “I sensed in her tone that something was wrong, that she wasn’t as excited as I was about the fight. She didn’t seem happy, and as a champion I sensed something was wrong and I was right as she was sick. As soon as she comes back, we can fight.” Shields, however, is not going to take Rankin lightly. “Hannah has been Christina’s toughest sparring partner,” says Shields of this weekend’s opponent, “so I am going to make her pay just for that. It’s not a let down for me, just getting in the ring and being able to fight is a joy to me, it makes me happy. Hannah has turned down another fight to take this shot and we’re fighting as a co-main event on DAZN, so it should be fun.”

Shields is reportedly willing to go up to super middleweight, or even down to super welterweight, in order to land fights. “None of the girls at 168lbs,” says Shields, “want to fight me. We’ve offered the fight to Alicia many times and fights to so many of them, they’ve all said I’m too big and they are too little, then they say we don’t offer good money – but we have TV and we’re offering good money for sure.” Shields is even open to fighting welterweight Cecilia Braekhus at a catchweight.

“I think I can go as low as 154lbs,” says Shields, “and I would do that to fight Cecilia for the pound-for-pound spot. I don’t want to go to 147lbs as I would only be able to win the fight and not go on to defend the belts. She can keep her belts, I just want the pound-for-pound spot – she can have the belts and be number two, I’m number one. We can meet at 154lbs, that would be huge.”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Algieri, Shields, De La Hoya, The Contender, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 31st to November 7th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Algieri Return Nearly Sold Out

There has been an overwhelming response to the return of boxing sensation and former WBO Junior Lightweight World Champion, CHRIS ALGIERI to the Paramount on NOVEMBER 30TH as he headlines “Rockin’ Fights” 33. Ticket demand to see the Huntington native has been tremendous. All of the top-priced tickets and all of the Sky Bar seats have already been sold out.

Only limited tickets remain. We are contacting you, because you are one of Star Boxing’s most loyal fans and ardent supporters and we greatly appreciate your patronage. We do not want you to be shut out from this top-tier event. If you want the opportunity to see this stellar night of boxing action please be sure to purchase your tickets today as there are only a handful of seats left.

Chris Algieri returns to The Paramount for the first time since 2014, when he defeated highly touted prospect Emmanuel Taylor by a unanimous decision. Algieri has dominated at his home venue, having fought eight times at The Paramount and having defeated the likes of world title challenger, Mike Arnaoutis, and then, highly regarded prospect, Jose Peralta. On November 30th, Algieri intends to pay homage to his strong hometown fanbase, earn his ninth consecutive victory at The Paramount, and make it a memorable homecoming. Be there to see the return of Chris Algieri, by purchasing your tickets HERE.

INFO:

Algieri, who was developed at the famed Star Boxing venue, The Paramount, moved to the big stage and had a career defining, real life “Rocky” story unfold on HBO on June 14th, 2014 at the Barclay’s Center, in Brooklyn, against heavily favored and feared Ruslan Provodnikov (then 23-2 16 KO’s) for the WBO World Championship. After peeling himself off the canvas two times in the opening round, Algieri put on the fight of his life. With one eye virtually closed, the gutsy Algieri fought the rest of the fight in brilliant fashion dominating the defending champion Provodnikov to become the new WBO Super Lightweight World Champion*.

The win catapulted the local sensation to international fame. Algieri was awarded a mega-multi-million dollar fight with boxing legend and superstar, Manny Pacquaio. The Pacquiao-Algieri bout took place around the world in Macao, China and was telecast on HBO/Pay Per View. Subsequently, Algieri continued to take the most challenging bouts taking on world class fighters such as Errol Spence Jr and Amir Khan, after the Pacquiao fight.

Algieri decided a couple of months ago that he was ready to make a comeback and re-signed a promotional agreement with his long-time promoter Joe DeGuardia and Star Boxing. The two agreed it was time to return to the roots of Algieri’s career and give back to the loyal Long Island fans. Therefore, on November 30th, after a two-year layoff, Chris Algieri returns home to the place where it all began, The Paramount. Algieri will headline “Rockin’ Fights” 33 as he begins another march towards a World Championship fight.

The Contender Champion to Earn Top 10 WBA Ranking

Premium cable network EPIX®, an MGM company and their popular boxing series The Contender join forces with World Boxing Association (WBA) ahead of the final live bout on Friday, November 9th from the Forum in Los Angeles. For the first time since its inception, WBA will designate the winner of the current season to be automatically ranked in the top ten, creating a shortened path for the winner to participate in a title shot to win the WBA belt. The partnership aims to create more opportunities for young boxers around the world.

Over the years, eleven Contender fighters competed in world championships after appearing on the show, with five title winners including: Sergio Mora (WBC Super Welterweight Champion), Cornelius K-9 Bundrage (2-Time IBF Super Welterweight Champion), Ishe Smith (IBF Super Welterweight Champion), Sakio Bika (WBC and IBO Super Middleweight Champion), and Sam Soliman (IBF Middleweight Champion and WBF World Middleweight Champion).

“EPIX has been honored to showcase the passion, sacrifice and hard work of the boxing talent featured in this season of The Contender,” said Michael Wright, President, EPIX. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with the WBA to give more deserved recognition to these incredible athletes.”

“Through the enduring success of the show, The Contender has produced several boxing champions and we thank the WBA for acknowledging the quality of these fighters and providing further opportunities that will enhance their professional boxing careers,” said Eric Van Wagenen, Executive Producer of The Contender.

“We are thrilled to work with EPIX and The Contender, a great tournament with strong talent, to create a path to success for the show’s champion by automatically ensuring their top 10 ranking, and ensuring strong competition for boxers globally,” said Gilberto Mendoza, President of World Boxing Association.

The WBA is an international boxing organization that sanctions official matches and awards the WBA world championship title at the professional level. Founded in the United States in 1921 by thirteen state representatives as the National Boxing Association, in 1962, it changed its name in recognition of boxing’s growing popularity worldwide and began to gain other nations as members. Gilberto Mendoza from Venezuela was the President of the WBA since 1982 until his death in 2015, after which Gilberto Jesús Mendoza took over as president.

Diego De la Hoya to Make Homecoming Defense of Super Bantamweight Titles Against Edixon Perez

NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Champion Diego De La Hoya (21-0, 10 KOs) will look to shine before a hometown crowd as he defends his titles against Edixon Perez (16-2, 11 KOs) in a 10-round main event at Plaza De Toros Calafia in Mexicali, Mexico. De La Hoya will fight for the first time as a professional in his native country of Mexico in a bout that will be televised live on TV Azteca at a delayed time of 8:30 p.m. PT.

De La Hoya is an undefeated contender who has built a stellar resume since turning professional in 2013. The 24-year-old scored his most significant victory when he defeated former IBF Bantamweight World Champion Randy “El Matador” Caballero on the HBO-televised undercard of Canelo vs. Golovkin in Sept. 2017. De La Hoya followed this win by defeating Jose “Sugar” Salgado via seventh-round technical knockout in June of this year. De La Hoya is on the verge of a world title shot but will risk that opportunity against Perez.

“I’m delighted to return to my hometown and defend my titles,” said Diego De La Hoya. “I’ve developed my career in the United States, but I’m happy to fight for the first time as a professional in Mexico. There’s no better way than to come back as a headliner and on a great platform such as TV Azteca.”

Perez is a 26-year-old native of El Tigrito, Venezuela who is coming off six straight victories, four of them by stoppage. Perez will look to follow in the footsteps of fighters such as the late Edwin “El Inca” Valero and Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares, boxers with Venezuelan blood who scored impressive wins against tough Mexican fighters.

“It is a privilege to fight in Mexico against a renowned boxer like Diego De La Hoya,” said Edixon Perez. “I’m going to my opponent’s backyard, but I am not going out without a fight. Local fans will find out who is Edixon Perez on the day of the fight.”

In the co-main event, Seniesa “SuperBad” Estrada (14-0, 4 KOs) of East Los Angeles, Calif. will fight for the vacant WBC Silver Light Flyweight Title in a 10-round fight against Debora Rengifo (10-5-1, 5 KOs) of Rio Chico, Venezuela.

The undercard of this event will feature five competitive fights with local prospects along with a series of amateur bouts to begin the night.

Jesus Riegos (5-0, 3 KOs) and Cristian Pimentel (6-2, 2 KOs) will meet in a four-round super bantamweight fight in a battle between Mexicali, Mexico natives.

Israel Ramirez (3-0, 3 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico will face Wilivaldo Garcia (2-3) of Tijuana, Mexico in a four-round 118-pound clash,

Jose Dorantes (15-0, 9 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico and Alexandro Zarate (6-6, 4 KOs) of Navojoa, Mexico will clash in a featherweight fight scheduled for six rounds.

Miguel Espinoza (3-3, 1 KO) will participate in a four-round lightweight fight against fellow Mexicali, Mexico native Alejandro Leon in what will be the latter’s professional debut.

Rafael Flores (1-0) of Mexicali, Mexico will face Luis Lomeli (0-1) of Mexicali, Mexico in a four-round 135-pound battle.

De La Hoya vs. Perez is a 10-round fight for the NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate,”THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING.” The fights will take place Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018 at Plaza de Toros Calafia in Mexicali, Mexico. The action will be televised live on TV Azteca beginning at 8:30 p.m. PT.

Banner Promotions Signs Former Olympian Naim Terbunja

Banner Promotions is proud to announce the signing of former Olympian and current super middleweight Naim Terbunja.

Terbunja of Linkoping, Sweden by way of Pristina, Kosovo, represented Sweden in the 2008 Olympics. He currently holds a professional record of 10-2-1 with one knockout.

The 34 year-old Terbunja began boxing at the age of 14, as he was a young soccer player looking to get stronger. Terbunja took up boxing, and fell in love with the sport.

That sparked an amateur career that saw him go 200-36. Terbunja fought all over the world for the Swedish National team, and then to the 2008 Olympics where he lost to Matt Korobov in the round of 36.

Terbunja moved to Long Island and spent part of his amateur career in the United States and captured the National Golden Gloves title in 2009 by defeating Luis Arias in the finals.

Terbunja turned professional on April 27, 2012 with a unanimous decision over Vladimir Spasojevic in Sweden. Terbunja has fought six times in Sweden and twice in Kosovo.

Terbunja has a 1st round stoppage over previously undefeated Joel De La Paz (7-0) on July 23, 2016.

Terbunja is coming off a disputed draw with regarded Lanell Bellows on May 11th in Las Vegas.

“I am happy to sign with Banner Promotions,” said Terbunja. “If I have a good team around me, I believe that I can fight for a world title. Banner Promotions can help me where I need to go.”

“Naim has a blue chip pedigree. He was an Olympian, and the bout he lost was close. He has had one bad fight at super middleweight. I believe he has the ability to be in position to fight for a world championship. He has an awkward style, and a good chin. He now has a good opportunity with Banner Promotions to realize his potential,” said Terbunja’s manager, Pat Zagarino.

“We happy to have signed Naim. He was an Olympian, and we think he can become a player in the super middleweight division. We look forward to getting him in the ring before the end of the year, and we will get him in prime position in 2019,” said Banner Promotions President Artie Pelullo.

Training Camp Complete: A Confident and On-Weight Claressa Shields Ready for Hannah Rankin on DAZN on November 17th

Women’s superstar and two-division world champion Claressa Shields is in Florida with trainer John David Jackson, finishing up preparations for her showdown with Glasgow, Scotland’s Hannahh Rankin on Saturday, November 17, at the Kansas Star Arena and Casino in Mulvane, Kansas.

Shields (6-0, 2 KOs) will defend her IBF and WBA World Middleweight Championships, and be looking to add the vacant WBC title, against Rankin (5-2, 1 KO) in the 10-round co-featured bout to Salita Promotions stablemate Jarrell Miller’s heavyweight showdown against Romania’s Bogdan Dinu.

Both fights, along with former world champion Brandon Rios taking on Canelo’s brother, Ramon Alvarez, in a super welterweight 10-rounder and former two-time world middleweight title challenger Gabriel Rosado going against once-beaten contender Luis Arias, will be broadcast live on DAZN.

23-year-old Shields, a former two-time Olympic Gold Medallist, has reignited interest in women’s boxing and become a ratings favorite for her nationally televised championship exploits. A proud native of Flint, Michigan, Shields mixes her brash pronouncements of greatness with a genuine and continued effort to inspire female athletes and render aid to members of her home community.

Shields was originally scheduled to face WBC and WBO World Middleweight Champion Christina Hammer on November 17, but the bout was postponed after Hammer withdrew due to medical reasons.

Did the change of opponents from Hammer to Rankin affect your training?

I don’t train for my opponents, I just push to get the best out of me, physically and mentally. If I’m the best ‘me,’ I don’t have to worry about who the opponent is. The change of opponents didn’t bother me at all; the worst thing about this camp for me was just all the date changes – constantly having to get my mind focused on the pace and timing of training depending on the fight date. I can’t wait to get in the ring!

You’ve fought at super middleweight 168 and recently at middleweight 160 pounds. How is your training, diet and any other efforts different to make 160?

Training is always hard and I’m constantly learning. I’ve had a completely different diet this camp – a real change and a positive one for me. I’ve teamed up with Perfecting Athletes for my daily meals, and I feel great. I’ve always tried to eat healthy but these folks are pros and are more educated in that field than myself. I have this magic drink that makes my stomach smile – I love it! It’s watermelon mixed with a green vegetable. I’m not going to tell you what vegetable it is, but I’ve been drinking it everyday, and I feel GREAT.

Your viewership numbers have been very strong. Why do you think people are drawn to you?

I believe that people are drawn to how real and honest I am, both in and out of the ring. I say what I mean and mean what I say. I’m hard but I have a soft side also. And I think people are drawn to how I fight — not only do I talk a good game but I fight my a– off too! I give 1000% every time – I want to change the game and bring a whole new generation of fans to women’s boxing and boxing overall.

What do you know about your opponent Hannah Rankin?

I know that my opponent Rankin is very tough and determined to be a world champion. I like her drive, I like her heart. I know that she has been in the ring as a sparring partner for many champions, one being Christina Hammer. So Rankin has seen some good fighters. But one thing is for sure – she has never seen a fighter like me. And since Hammer couldn’t fight because of her medical condition, in many ways the next best thing is to fight and beat her sparring partner and let Rankin tell Hammer what she’s in for when she returns!

What needs to be done to solve the Flint water crisis?

To solve the flint Water crisis, I think that people should continue to give water and also keep it in the news that there is a city in America where, unbelievably, US citizens don’t have clean water. And hopefully the president or our governor do something to fix all the pipes.

What’s the secret to becoming the best of the best in any sport?

I believe the secret starts with believing in yourself, being dedicated, working hard and just always striving to be better. I feel I’m my biggest critic when I train and box. It’s hard to watch film of my fights because even though I’m doing 97 things right I just can’t stand to see the 3 things I’m doing wrong. I’m a person who strives to pull out my full potential. It takes guts to be great. Nothing will stand in the way of achieving my goals, which includes being the GWOAT and creating equality for all women fighters when it comes to the money, opportunities and coverage the men get.

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Boxing Insider Interview with Savannah Marshall: The Woman Who Beat Shields


By: Michael Kane

Savannah Marshall (4-0, 2 KOs) recently won the WBA Intercontinental Super Middleweight title in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Marshall, 27, from Hartlepool, England was also the first woman UK amateur world champion and also the only woman to have beaten world champion Claressa Shields when they faced off as amateurs.


Photo Credit: Hennessy Sports Facebook Page

In a question and answer interview Boxing Insider asked Marshall about her career highlights, Shields and more.

Boxing Insider: You had a good amateur career, becoming the UK’s first amateur world champion, winning Gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and representing Team GB at two Olympics. What was the highlight of your amateur career?

Savannah Marshall: It has to be winning gold at the world championships because it fell on my 21st birthday!

BI: Do you feel your amateur background has helped prepare you for the pro ranks?

SM: Yes and no. I personally feel like it’s a different sport. But on the other hand I’ve been in with every style in the amatuers.

BI: Your pro debut was on one of the biggest PPV events ever, having signed with Floyd Mayweather TMT Promotions you fought on the undercard of Mayweather v McGregor in Las Vegas, what was that like to be involved in?

SM: It was brilliant, nothing could compare to that. Even the weigh in was in front of 14000 people.

BI: You are now training with Peter Fury, how beneficial has this move been for you?

SM: Yes 100% I love what Peter teaches, I feel like there is always some thing to learn and improve with him.

BI: You just won the WBA Intercontinental Super Middleweight title in Sofia, Bulgaria. How did it feel to win your first pro title?

SM: It was a great feeling! I haven’t stopped looking at it since I won it.

BI: Did the fight play out as you expected?

SM: No the girl (Yanina Orozco) was a lot tougher and gave me a harder contest than what I first thought from when I watched footage of her.

BI: When are we likely to see you back in the ring and do you have anyone you would like to fight next?

SM: I’m back on 9th Nov in Manchester so a quick turn around. (Opponent TBA)

BI: You are the only fighter to have defeated world champion Claressa Shields, who is taking on Scotland’s Hannah Rankin in November.

Would you like to face her again and do you have anything to say to her after she said a few words about you in an interview the other day, saying you may have beat her but she won gold at the Olympics and she would love to get you over to the States so she can beat you up!

SM: 100% I want that fight to happen. She has chosen her path and mine is different, I want to build myself up and make a name for myself, so that fight can be the biggest it can be.

BI: What is your thoughts on women’s boxing at the moment? It seems to be on the rise with th likes of yourself, Katie Taylor, Shields, Amanda Serrano etc all starting to gain a bit more publicity.

SM: Women’s boxing is really taking off and I’m glad to be a part of it.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Lomachenko, Shields, Brant, Baranchyk, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 24rd to October 31st; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Loma Prepares for Pedraza in Oxnard
WBA lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko was at home at the Boxing Laboratory as he prepared for his next challenge. Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs), who has won world titles in three weight classes in just 12 pro fights, will seek to unify titles for the first time as a pro when he takes on WBO champion Jose Pedraza (25-1, 12 KOs), Dec. 8 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden (ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 9 p.m. ET).

Lomachenko worked out for the media Tuesday, showing off his assortment of training tricks. This is what the pound-for-pound great had to say.

On the Pedraza fight

“I had a long rest {following shoulder surgery}. I am looking forward to seeing how I feel and taking on a tough opponent like Pedraza. I haven’t had much time to watch his fights.”

On potentially unifying the titles

“I can’t wait. After this fight, a lot of doors will be open. Title unification fights are good for the sport of boxing.”

On future opponents

“I love challenges. That’s what motivates me. I want all the top fighters. I’m open to anyone.”

On the Jorge Linares fight

“It was the first time I was knocked down as a pro. After the knockdown, I came back and finished the fight. It was a tough fight, but I showed the heart of a champion.”

On whether he’ll remain at lightweight

“I believe I’ll stay at 135 and focus on 135 because when I fought against Linares, I felt like he was bigger than me. So I’ll stay at 135 because I think 135 is not my {ideal} weight category right now. After one or two years, it will be my {ideal} weight.”

On a Mikey Garcia fight

“I hope {it will happen}. We can see in the future because my next fight is against Pedraza. After Pedraza, we can talk about fighting Mikey.”

Claressa Shields to Defend IBF and WBA Middleweight Championships Against Hannah Rankin on DAZN
On Saturday, November 17, at the Kansas Star Arena and Casino in Mulvane, Kansas, superstar two-division women’s world champion Claressa Shields of Flint, Michigan, will defend her IBF and WBA World Middleweight Championships and be looking to add the vacant WBC title against Hannahh Rankin from Glasgow, Scotland.

The 10-round Shields (6-0, 2 KOs), and Rankin (5-2, 1 KO) battle will serve as the co-featured bout to Brooklyn-born heavyweight contender Jarrell Miller’s WBA World Heavyweight Championship showdown against Romania’s Bogdan Dinu.

These two fights will be broadcast live on DAZN, along with former world champion Brandon Rios taking on Canelo’s brother, Ramon Alvarez, in a super welterweight 10-rounder and former two-time world middleweight title challenger Gabriel Rosado going against once-beaten contender Luis Arias.

Shields was originally scheduled to face WBC and WBO World Middleweight Champion Christina Hammer on November 17, but the bout was postponed after Hammer withdrew due to medical reasons. Hammer has been named a champion in recess during her recovery. The two champions are now projected to do battle in the first quarter of 2019.

“Claressa is a once-in-a-generation athlete that transcends the sport,” said her promoter, Dmitriy Salita. “She will take another step in her goal to achieve the status of GWOAT as she makes the first defense of her middleweight world titles against the skilled and durable Hannah Rankin.”

A bonafide women’s superstar and TV ratings favorite, 23-year-old “T-Rex” Shields is a two-time Olympic gold medallist and already a world champion in two weight divisions. In her fourth professional fight, she won the IBF and WBC Super Middleweight Championships in August 2017 with a dominant stoppage of Germany’s Nikki Adler. Then, in June of this year and in just her sixth pro fight, she dropped down to 160 pounds and won the IBF and WBA Middleweight titles with an exciting unanimous decision over Hannah Gabriels.

“I’m so excited to be able to give my fans another chance to see me defend my championship this year and to have the opportunity to win the WBC middleweight title on November 17,” said Shields. “I appreciate the efforts of Salita Promotions, my manager Mark Taffet, and Matchroom Boxing in putting this fight together so quickly. I will be in great shape and will provide a great performance.”

“I want to thank Salita Promotions and Matchroom Boxing for providing Claressa with another chance to fight this year and an opportunity to attain a third middleweight world championship,” said Mark Taffet, manager of Claressa Shields. “Claressa is hungry and motivated to put on a great performance on November 17 on DAZN. Claressa has lofty goals and I have no doubt that she’s going to achieve every one of them, including fighting and defeating Christina Hammer early next year. I expect Shields vs Rankin to be an action-packed fight that fans will enjoy tremendously.”

28-year-old Rankin put in an impressive and brave performance while losing a challenge for Alicia Napoleon’s WBA Super Middleweight Championship in August of this year. Before that, she picked up the WBC Silver Middleweight Championship with a dominant victory over Finland’s Sanna Turunen in June.

“I’m excited about the fight and proud to be representing Scotland on such a big stage,” said Rankin. “In boxing, nothing is impossible and on November 17, it will be just us in there when the bell rings and I think it’s going to be one hell of a fight.”
New WBA Middleweight Champion Rob Brant Basking in the Glow, but Ready for Next Assignment

Brand-new WBA World Middleweight Champion Rob “Bravo” Brant says he goes everywhere with his new best friend. “The belt hasn’t left my side since they handed it to me,” laughs the personable new champion from Saint Paul, Minnesota.

28-year-old Brant (24-1, 16 KOs) says he went into his main-event showdown with then champion Ryota Murata (14-2, 11 KOs), last Saturday night at the Park MGM in Las Vegas (and live on ESPN+), unaware he was such a heavy underdog.

“I really did go into it very confident I would win, just off the preparations we did,” said Brant, who was having his first fight with former world champion Eddie Mustafa Muhammad as his trainer. “I tried to stay away from news when I was in training, so I had no idea how big of an underdog I was. We had a post-fight press conference and that was when I found out. When reporters were asking about it. I had no idea. It wouldn’t have deterred me anyway if I had known.”

Despite the doubts of the bookmakers, Brant cruised to a lopsided 12-round unanimous decision over 2012 Olympic gold medalist Murata, with two judges giving him all but one round, the other all but two. Brant busted up the now ex-champion with a piston-like jab and peppered him with combinations throughout what turned out to be a surprisingly dominant performance.

According to CompuBox statistics, Brant landed 356 of 1,262 punches (28 percent) while Murata connected with just 180 of 774 (23 percent).

“As a pro, he hasn’t seen what I gave him,” explained Brant. We knew he had a hard time with hand speed and jabs. He locks up when punches are being thrown, so we made sure we kept him backing up and worried about the jab and punches in general. The more he thinks about my shots, the less he throws. We knew we’d be able to keep him on his back foot. Eddie Mustafa is very strict on letting the hands go. We were big on the cardio in training and keeping the punch rate high. And when you’re keeping the jab out there all the time, other shots open up.”

Brant says at fight’s end, he wasn’t worried about the decision going his way.

“I’ve always felt that judges’ decisions are out of my hands. I was nervous about it, you don’t know until they announce your name, but I knew I had done what I felt was my best work. I had a great sense of pride and relief knowing I put it all out there and did everything possible to win. But now that I have won, it’s kind of like having giant weight lifted off my shoulders. It’s definitely my biggest accomplishment ever, winning in Vegas against a former Olympic gold medallist. It’s everything I ever worked for. It was the best feeling in the world. I knew how much I worked for that. Boxing gives back what you put into it and I put my everything into it.”

Although Brant and promoters GCP reportedly agreed to a rematch before the fight, the new champion says he’s not sure the now ex-champion wants it.

“All the talk of a rematch has been from his promoters. I haven’t heard him say anything about it. He might be a little discouraged right now. I’m not saying he won’t be able to come back, but I don’t think he wants it right now. I’ll just go on to bigger and better in the division. Once you win a title, there are no more easy fights. Until you are the undisputed king, you’re always taking steps up in class in every fight.”

Brant says he took a week off but is now back in the gym and ready for what comes next.

“I’m just waiting for the next assignment to work toward. I want to know who my next opponent is as soon as possible, so I can go to sleep at night thinking of what I’m going to do. Watching film and looking for flaws and things I can exploit. That’s when I‘m really the most comfortable. When I have an assignment. It’ll be a big name eventually. I’m there now. So I’m just waiting to see who is next for me to spend all my time watching that person.”

Brant gives a big piece of the credit for his upset victory to the only man to ever beat him. Last October, he stepped up in weight to participate in the World Boxing Super Series as a super middleweight and lost a one-sided decision to former light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer in Germany.

“The thought of what happened against Braehmer was always in the background. That’s what really motivated me to be the best I could in this fight. I knew I was better than I was in that fight. I had to prove it by doing what I’m capable of. The loss to Braehmer will be in the back of my mind forever. I won’t let anyone else do that to me again. I will never forget that loss and I’ve been a better fighter from that point forward.”

Undefeated Prospects Castaneda and Venegas Jr. Clash for NABA Super Lightweight Title on December 1st

TMB & PRB Entertainment and Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions, present “Whose ‘0’ Will Go 2”, a live boxing event taking place at the Scottish Rite Theatre in San Antonio, TX, on December 1, 2018. In the 10-round main event, undefeated super lightweights Kendo Castaneda (14-0, 7 KOs) and Gilbert Venegas Jr. (10-0, 6 KOs), will battle for the vacant WBA-NABA title. The entire card will be streamed via Facebook’s FIGHTNIGHT LIVE channel, which has already served more than three million fight fans since May 2017.

Venegas age 24, is coming off an impressive unanimous decision victory against Armando Cardenas (9-2, 5 KOs), a fight that took place at the Scottish Rite Theatre on September 8, 2018. With momentum on his side, Venegas is determined to remain unbeaten with a victory against Castaneda.

“Castaneda comes in with an undefeated record, so this will no doubt be my toughest opponent of my career, but a fight I believe I can win.” stated Gilbert Venegas Jr. “I’ve worked very hard to get into this position, to fight for a title, so rest assure, I’m not going to let this opportunity pass me by. Being that this will be my first shot at a title, you better believe I’m coming to win, and win impressively. I’m going to be the new NABA super lightweight champion and on December 1st, my hands will be raised in victory.”

The 24-year old Castaneda, who is promoted by Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions, recently defeated former WBC United States Champion, Jesus “Chuy” Gutierrez, by 8-round unanimous decision. With the victory, Castaneda, who resides in San Antonio, TX, will look to keep his undefeated record in tact against Venegas.

“I’m predicting a tremendous performance,” said Castaneda. “I’m ready to razzle and dazzle, graze them and daze them, confuse and abuse them. Getting a NABA title shot on my second fight with Roy Jones Jr. Boxing represents a huge door being kicked down for me. If I can’t beat a guy like Venegas, I have no business in boxing.”

Tickets priced $35 General Admission $40 at the door, and $100 Ringside, are on sale now, and can be purchased by calling (210) 449-5599 or (210) 322-9974. The Scottish Rite Theatre is located at 308 Ave E, San Antonio, TX 78205. Doors open at 4:00 PM, first bell at 5:30 PM.
Split-T Management’s Ivan Baranchyk Captures IBF Junior Welterweight Title
Split-T Management’s Ivan Baranchyk won the IBF Junior Welterweight title with a 7th round stoppage over Anthony Yigit.

The bout, which took place in New Orleans, was also part of the World Boxing Super Series, giving Baranchyk more than just a world title to celebrate.

Baranchyk took the fight to Yigit, as he landed many power shots that made the left eye of Yigit swell very badly. With the eye just about closed, the fight was halted after the 7th frame, gibing Baranchyk the coveted world title.

Baranchyk will now face the winner of next Saturday’s contest between Josh Taylor and Ryan Martin, which will take place in Glasgow, Scotland.

“This is the best feeling in the world,” said Baranchyk. “To become world champion, I feel like I am the best fighter in the tournament. It was a good fight, I was able to implore my style and get the stoppage. I will rest for a a week or so, and then start my work for my next fight.”

“I couldn’t be happier than I am for Ivan. He deserved this and worked for it as hard as anyone can. You have to be around Ivan to really realize how intense and dedicated he is. We are looking forward to the next round and I honestly don’t think Ivan cares which one he fights,” said David McWater of Split T Management.

Baranchyk is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, Holden promotions and Fight Promotions.
New Era Dawns: ICB Launches Boxing’s Move to MMA-Style Cage

With a patent, trademarks and official approval complete, Jack Perone Fulton, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of International Championship Boxing (ICB), is set to reboot the traditional sport of boxing by moving it into an MMA-style cage.

Trademarked “The Fight Zone,” the specially designed ICB cage is a 24-foot, six-sided fenced hexagon with red and blue entry points and two opposing neutral corners.

“ICB represents boxing for a new generation, one that has grown up watching combat sports in a cage,” said Fulton. “It’s truly a better boxing platform. It’s a larger fighting space and with better camera angles for broadcast viewers. And when a boxer’s heel touches the back of the cage fencing, they must come out swinging instead of resting on the ropes. Those are the main reasons we conceived, created and are now launching the ICB. We have no doubt the ICB will capture the imaginations of existing fans and attract new ones around the globe.”

It took Fulton almost two years to get The Fight Zone specially designed, built, patented and approved by boxing and athletic commissions within the United States. In March of this year, he received a unanimous approval from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, recognized as the industry leader when it comes to regulatory matters.

“I’m both ecstatic and excited we have been granted approval by the NSAC,” said Fulton. “It’s the first time anything remotely resembling this has been legally attempted.”

Real-life testing of the new format has gone extremely well.

“The initial sparring sessions have resulted in action that has exceeded our wildest expectations,” said Fulton. “MMA fans get what they want: stand-up striking, instead of the all-too prevalent ground game, which produces long breaks in the action. And boxing fans will enjoy the new action-packed toe-to-toe dynamic the cage produces.”

What has also exceeded expectations is the response from boxers and mixed martial artists alike. Several notable combatants in both fields have expressed enthusiasm about competing in the ICB. “You’d be surprised by the number of boxers – boxers whose skill sets range all the way up to world champions and world-ranked contenders – who not only are expressing interest but enthusiasm about boxing in the ICB cage,” said Fulton.

Because of the characteristics of a cage in comparison to a ring, boxers will have to learn and hone new skill sets.

“Some boxers will adapt and flourish quicker than others,” said Fulton, “but eventually, they’ll see the advantages of competing in the cage and will gravitate en-masse. Mixed martial artists, particularly those who excel at striking, will also feel the lure of boxing in the cage. It accentuates their strong points while eliminating their weak points.”

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Claressa Shields to Face Christina Hammer in Historic Unification Bout


By: Jake Donovan

Claressa Shields proclaimed during fight week ahead of her pro debut that she’d be ready for the likes of top boxers Christina Hammer and Cecilia Braekhus by her 7th pro fight.

Ever the prophet, the two-time Olympic Gold medalist and reigning middleweight queen remains true to her word—and just two years into her already booming pro career.


Photo Credit: Showtime

Shields and Hammer are officially set to collide on November 17 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Their scheduled 10-round bout will air live on Showtime, topping a special edition of the network’s long-running ShoBox: The New Generation series.

Given the significance, the titanic middleweight clash is more befitting the network’s “Showtime Championship Boxing” series as the winner will become just the second female boxer in history—and just the fifth overall—to lay claim as undisputed champion (WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO) in the four-belt era.

“I’ve worked hard my whole life to overcome every obstacle, represent my country and win two Olympic gold medals, and win world championships in two weight divisions as a pro,” Shields said in a press statement. “I want to be part of the biggest fight in women’s boxing history, I want to be undisputed world middleweight champion.”

Shields (6-0, 2KOs)—who captured Olympic Gold in 2012 and 2016—carries two middleweight belts in tow. The 23-year old from Flint, Mich. claimed both in a 5th round stoppage of previously unbeaten titlist Nikki Adler in their Aug. ’17 clash, marking just her fourth pro fight.

Two successful title defenses have followed, including a 10-round win over Hanna Gabriel in her most recent outing this past June. That show set the stage for this forthcoming clash, with Hammer (23-0, 10KOs) appearing in the Showtime-televised co-feature in a 10-round decision victory of her own, besting Tori Nelson (whom Shields outpointed in January).

It was clear from the moment the show was scheduled that the intention was to lead to a head-on collision.

Hammer—a two-division champion from Germany by way of Kazakhstan—won her first belt in just her seventh pro fight, way back in Oct. ’10 as she serves as the longest reigning active major titlist today, female or male. The 28-year old has racked up 14 title defenses, along with pit stops at super middleweight—where she bested previously unbeaten Zita Zatkayo in their May ’13 vacant title fight—and a super welterweight title win over former pound-for-pound queen Anne Sophie Mathis that was later changed to a No-Contest.

Despite her lengthy title reign, a desire to become the absolute best prompted a change in scenery. Having spent her entire career in Eastern Europe, Hammer made her stateside debut on the aforementioned shared card with Shields in June. The goal was to land the American boxing star in the ring, and now gets her wish.

“I am beyond excited and motivated to fight Claressa,” said Hammer. “I am the best middleweight in the world and will make that point very clear when we get in the ring. It’s been my dream to fight in the biggest women’s fight of all time and raise women’s boxing to an all-time high. I will be crowned the undisputed middleweight queen on November 17.”

The winner will join Bernard Hopkins, Jermain Taylor, reigning pound-for-pound queen Braekhus and pound-for-pound king Terence Crawford as the only boxers in history to simultaneously own all four major belts in the same weight division.

There have been higher profile female boxing events in history—most famously the June ’01 slugfest between famous offspring Laila Ali (Muhammad Ali’s daughter) and Jackie Frazier-Hyde (Joe Frazier’s daughter), as well as the Aug. ‘03 lopsided money grab between Ali and Christy Martin, the latter whom is credited for restoring notoriety in women’s boxing.

Where that side of the sport has fallen miserably short is securing historic matches, as women’s boxing was for too long limited as a sideshow attraction on major shows.

Now in an era where females are more empowered than at any other point in history, women’s boxing gets the dream matchup it has long deserved—and has no plans at stopping just there.

“Shields vs Hammer will break all the barriers and lift women’s boxing to a new level,” Mark Taffet, Shields’ manager assured BoxingInsider.com “It’s that rare, can’t miss fight between two undefeated, unified champions in their prime. All of boxing should be proud of these two women and take the example from them; when the best fight the best, there are no losers.

“It’s the biggest and best matchup in women’s boxing history. Laila Ali never fought Ann Wolfe; Christy Martin never fought Lucia Rijker. Hats off the Shields and Hammer for raising the bar for others to follow!”

Taffet and Shields joined forces straight out of the 2016 Olympics with this very blueprint in place. With a win on November 17—almost two years to the day of her pro debut—Shields will not only break new ground, but continue to lead by example.

“I want women’s boxing to reach new heights, and the only thing standing between me and the achievement of all those goals is Christina Hammer,” Shields notes. “I will defeat Hammer on November 17, and I will do it in a way that will leave no doubt who is the best in the world.”

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Showtime Boxing Results: Claressa “T-Rex” Shields & Christine Hammer Win Continuing on a Collision Course


by: Ken Hissner

Salita Promotions over USA Showtime brought two of the best female middleweights in the world in separate title defenses Friday night at the Masonic Temple, in Detroit, MI.

2-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields, 6-0 (2), of Flint, MI, the IBF and WBC Super Middleweight champion came off the canvas in the opening round to win two vacant belts in the IBF and WBA Middleweight division over the WBA and WBO World Female Super Welterweight champion Hanna “La Amazona” Gabriels, 18-2-1 (11), of Alajuela, Costa Rica, over 10 rounds.


Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account

In the first round Gabriels threw a right but was countered with a right to the chin. A clash of heads caused swelling on the left cheek of Gabriels. A right uppercut from Gabriels on the chin of Shields dropped her. She beat the count of referee Garard White at 8. In the second round it was a close round as Gabriels moved well and would attack Shields who had a better second round.

In the third round Gabriels with hands low got hit with a Shields right to the chin. Gabriels came back with a left hook to the head in another close round. In the fourth round Shields continues to load up too much. Gabriels bounced around staying loose. Shields landed to rabbit punches ending the round while referee White warns her after the bell.

In the fifth round Shields countered Gabriels with a right to the head. Shields landed a 3-punch combination with a minute left in the round. Gabriels looks winded at the end of the round. In the sixth round at the halfway mark Shields landed a solid right to the chin driving Gabriels into a neutral corner. With under 30 seconds left in the round Gabriels landed a 3-punch combination. Shields landed a solid pair of right’s to the chin just prior to the bell.

In the seventh round Gabriels landed a right to the ribs followed by a right to the chin of Shields. In the eighth round both boxers slow the action with Shields landing a left hook to the chin of Gabriels. Once again there was a clash of heads. In the ninth round at the halfway point both fighters flurried with the best action of the fight. Shields landed a hard right to the head with seconds to go in the round.

In the tenth and final round Gabriels is forcing the action but Shields is countering her well. The final round was the best round of the fight. Shields landed 3 punches then Gabriels came in with her head. An accidental clash of heads caused a small cut under the left eye of Shields.

Scores were 98-91 and 97-92 twice This writer had it 95-94.

In the co-feature WBC & WBO World Female Middleweight champion Christina “Lady” Hammer, 23-0 (10), born in KAZ, living in Dortmund, Germany, easily defended her title successfully defeating the former IBF and WBC World Female UBF and IBA World Welterweight champion Tori “Sho Enough” Nelson, 17-2-3 (2), of Chase City, VA, over 10 rounds.

In the first round the much taller Hammer used an effective jab. The jab of Hammer has power behind it. The 41 year-old Nelson was too defensive. Best part of the round was a 4-punch combination from Hammer to the head of Nelson. In the second round Hammer continues to dominate the fight with Nelson landing an occasional right hand to the head of Hammer.

In the third round Hammer lands a pair of rights followed by a left to the mid-section. With a minute left in the round Nelson lands a right to the head of hammer who counters her with a flurry of punches. In the fourth round Hammer continues to dominate the much shorter Nelson. Her jab continues to control and she lands enough power punches with her right to win round after round.

In the fifth round Hammer continues to move well keeping the fight in the middle of the ring for the most part. In the seventh round Hammer kept Nelson at bay except for a few rushes to get inside. Hammer pushed Nelson into the ropes as referee Garza just looks on. With half a minute left in the round Hammer landed a good 3-punch combination to the head of Nelson.

In the eighth round Hammer landed a leaf right to the head of Nelson. Hammer rarely leads with her right instead of her jab and would like to score a knockout since Nelson has never been knocked down. In the ninth round Hammer is warned about holding behind the neck of Nelson. Inside the final minute both boxers landed right hands at the same time to each others chin.

In the tenth and final round it’s all Hammer until a minute to go when Nelson lands a lead right to the chin of Hammer. Hammer did more clinching in the final round than at any other time in the fight.

Scores were 100-90 twice and 99-91 while this writer had it 100-90.

“I wanted a knockout but she is a tough fighter and I am still the champ. I want to fight the winner of tonight’s main event,” said Hammer.

“I felt I may have landed more punches but she was too strong. I am still super welter champ,” said Gabriels. “I am the best in the world of all time (her opinion) winning every round after the knockdown,” said Shields. Unfortunately when Hammer entered the ring Shields showed her immaturity yelling and causing an ugly scene with too many people in the ring at the time.

Russian Light Heavyweight Umar Salamov, 21-1 (16), of Henderson, NV, stopped Brian Howard, 13-2 (10), of Atlanta, GA, in the ninth round for the vacant IBF North American Light Heavyweight title.

In the first round it was a battle of jabs. Few right hands were thrown in this “sparring session”. In the second round with a minute left Salamov landed his first combination. With half a minute left in the round the 38 year-old Howard hurt Salamov with a right near the back of the head as Salamov was moving away. Inside with ten seconds to go Howard landed a right uppercut to the chin of Salamov.

In the third round the awkwardness of both fighters looks like a pair of amateurs. The referee is allowing them to do whatever they want hitting behind the head telling Howard not to duck for that is why it’s happening. Salamov also uses an illegal “straight arm” ala Larry Holmes. In the fourth and fifth rounds it’s more of the same.

In the sixth round Salmov landed a slapping roundhouse to the head of Howard at the mid-point of the round. It’s been jab’s, straight arms and rabbit punches. There is very little to say as the fans are getting restless. The Howard corner is trying to get Howard to throw punches. In the seventh round Howard continues to “pose” except inside he lands an occasional right uppercut to the chin of Salmov. Howard continues to pull up on his trunks. With seconds to go in the round Salmov missed with a right and Howard countered with a right hand knocking the head of Salmov back. The rounds are close but Salmov seems to get the edge.

In the eighth round the jabs continue with plenty of misses from right hands. With seconds to go Salmov lands a right and follows with a left to the head of Howard. In the ninth round a chopping right hand from Salmov to the chin with drops Howard as Salmov lands a left as Howard takes the full count.

This writer had it 79-73 for the winner through 8 rounds. Sam Williams was the referee.

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Claressa “T-Rex” Shields & Christine Hammer Continue on a Collision Course to Meet


By: Ken Hissner

This Friday Salita Promotions brings USA Showtime fans the two best female middleweights in the world in separate title defenses. Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields, 5-0 (2), of Flint, MI, the IBF and WBC Super Middleweight champion drops down to middleweight in quest of two vacant belts in the IBF and WBA Middleweight belts at stake. She will be taking on WBA and WBO World Female Super Welterweight champion Hanna “La Amazona” Gabriels, 18-1-1 (11), of Alajuela, Costa Rica.

“It makes me so happy and it just touches my heart to see four female fighters on the main fight poster. I was so happy that they put them on TV. They have put me on before but it’s always been my goal to put other women on so when they decided to put Tori Nelson and Christina Hammer on women’s boxing is going somewhere,” said Claressa “T-Rex” Shields.

“I would like to say I am excited and grateful to be here, and share the ring with so many great fighters. I think it’s going to be a great fight night for all boxing fans, and after the weigh-in it will be all on us to make the very best out of all the effort and preparation we have had in these past months,” said Hanna “La Amazona” Gabriels.
In the co-feature WBC & WBO World Female Middleweight champion Christina Hammer, 22-0 (10), of KAZ, living in Dortmund, Germany, defends her title against the former IBF and WBC World Female UBF and IBA World Welterweight champion Tori Nelson, 17-1-3 (2), of Ashburn, VA, coming off a loss to Claressa Shields in January.

“US is the hot spot in boxing. It has always been my dream to fight here and show US that I am the champion and the best female middleweight in the world. I had a great final preparation in Florida. In a gym not white collar work out style, but tough, hot, pure and aggressive. I am in the best shape ever and can’t wait to go into the ring and show US my best performance. I am grateful to Dmitriy Salita and Mark Taffet, are giving me this opportunity. It is time to shine,” said Christina Hammer.

Shields and Hammer are on a collision course to unify the middleweight’s four title belts. Shields will be coming down in weight and Hammer up in weight. For Hammer she will be making her US debut.

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


Compiled By: William Holmes

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


Photo Credit: Austin Trout Twitter Account/Chris Farina

Austin Trout Training Camp Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Showtime to Live Stream Tyson Fury Return

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mike Lee Inching Closer to Title Shot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Compiled By: William Holmes

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


Photo Credit: Luis Arevalo Jr./Westside Boxing

Diego De La Hoya and Mercito Gesta Workout Quotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anthony “Juice” Young Signs with Real Deal Entertainment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christina Hammer Training Camp Notes

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

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

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

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

How has training camp gone so far?

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

Can you tell us about your current training location?

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

What is a typical day like at training camp?

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

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

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

Who is your head trainer?

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

Have you done anything different preparing for this fight?

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

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

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

What is your prediction for June 22?

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

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ShoBox: The New Generation Results: Claressa Shields Outclasses Tori Nelson


By Eric Lunger

Claressa Shields (4-0, 2 KOs), America’s only two-time Olympic boxing gold medalist, exploded onto the women’s professional scene less than two years ago, picking up the WBC and IBF super middleweight world titles in her fourth professional bout. Tonight, she put those titles on the line against undefeated challenger Tori Nelson (17-0, 2 KOs) of Ashburn, Virginia. Nelson, 41, took an unorthodox road to boxing, picking up the sport at age 29 as a way to increase her fitness.

Youth versus age, energy versus experience, talent versus strategy — there were lots of ways to view this fight, but first the first question was: could Nelson compete with Shield’s skill level? It is a serious question because the Flint, Michigan, native appears to be a once-in-a-generation talent.


Photo Credit: ShoBox Twitter

The two fighters faced off in the main event on ShoBox: The New Generation, at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, NY. Shields came out in the first with a tight, cautious attack, but the hand speed difference between the fighters was abundantly clear. In the second, Shields landed a number of heavy shots, but Nelson nodded her head, like “that was nothing,” but the blows had to be adding up. Nelson fought a smart third round, stepping inside Shields’ attack. In the fourth, Nelson got inside again, but Shields outfought her from off the ropes.

In the fifth, Shields opened with a textbook triple jab, followed by a classic one-two down the pipe. Shields continued to land big shots but Nelson showed herself as durable as she was unintimidated. The sixth was the first really lop-sided round, as Nelson slowed down and offered no offense at all. Tori Nelson fought hard in the seventh, still shaking her head when she got tagged, but no one wins rounds by just hanging on. The eighth was more of the same, and the ninth again saw Nelson hanging on and taking punishment. Shields won the final round convincingly, as she did all the others. That Nelson never went down was a testament to her durability, if nothing else. The judges saw it as a shut-out, 100-90 across the board for Claressa Shields.

In undercard action, Jessie Hernandez (10-1, 7 KOs) of Fort Worth, Texas, took on Ernesto Garcia III (9-2, 5 KOs) of Saginaw, Michigan, in a ten-round junior featherweight clash. Garcia was giving up almost 4 inches in height and 2 inches in reach to Hernandez, who was coming off a fifth round TKO win over previously undefeated Vladimir Tikhonov.

This was an action first round, both fighters coming forward, both willing to throw, but it was not sloppy. Hernandez switched to southpaw to start the second, but Garza got inside and landed a number of good combinations. The Michigan fighter scored a knock down with just seconds to go in the round, catching Hernandez inside with a short left hook. Fireworks started the third, with both men in the middle of the ring, exchanging power shots. But this was a much better round from Hernandez, who went back to orthodox and fought from the outside.

In the fourth, Hernandez went back to southpaw and went to work on Garza’s body. He landed one low blow, but otherwise the body assault seemed to be effective, as Garza’s work rate slowed markedly. The fifth was closer, but Hernandez landed the cleaner and more punishing shots. In the sixth, Garza seemed to regain some steam, but both men exchanged hard shots in the middle of the ring – at a pace that looked impossible to sustain. The seventh was a war, with Garza losing his mouthpiece for the second time, and the last thirty seconds again saw a flurry of activity from both boxers. In the eighth there was a drop in activity – it had to come at some point – but still lots of action in a very close round. The ninth went mostly Garza’s way, as Hernandez seemed to fade, or maybe he was taking a round off in preparation for the tenth. Garza began the final round dancing and moving, but the final minute was an incredible battle in the center of the. This was a tremendous fight by both men, and a difficult fight to score. The judges saw it 95-94, 93-95, 97-93, a split decision for Jesse Hernandez.

In the first televised bout, two undefeated prospects, Shohjahon Ergashev (11-0, 11 KOs) of Uzbekistan took on Sonny Fredrickson (18-0, 12 KOs) of Toledo, Ohio, in a scheduled eight-round junior welterweight clash. Ergashev, a five-foot-ten southpaw, currently trains in Brooklyn, NY, while the lanky six-foot-one Fredrickson was looking to run his KO streak to three. With a combined 80% knock out rate between the two men, this fight was not likely to go the distance.

Ergashev landed some heavy left hands early and late in the first round, with Fredrickson unable to match Ergashev’s speed and use of angles. The second round saw more effective boxing and power shots from the Uzbek, though he marred the round — in my view — with some unnecessary show-boating. The end came quickly, however, in the third, as Ergashev staggered Fredrickson with a clean left. The Toledo native tried to survive on rubber legs, but the punishment doled out by Ergashev compelled a stoppage at 1:58 of the round.

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ShoBox Preview: Claressa Shields vs. Tori Nelson, Hernandez vs. Garza


By: William Holmes

On Friday night one of the biggest attractions in women’s boxing, former Gold Medalist and current IBF/WBC Super Middleweight women’s World Champion Claressa Shields will be defending her titles against Tory Nelson.

This bout will be the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation airing on Showtime live from the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.


Photo Credit: Terrell Groggins/Salita Promotions

Super bantamweight Angel Hernandez and Super Lightweight Shohjahon Ergashev are expected to compete on the undercard.

The following is a preview of the Hernandez vs. Garza fight and the main event between Claressa Shields and Tori Nelson.

Jesse Hernandez (10-1) vs. Ernesto Garza (9-2); Junior Featherweights

ShoBox has a long history of putting on “crossroad” fights between two young and upcoming prospects. A win for a boxer will usually catapult him to bigger and better opportunities. A loss for a boxer will usually derail any hopes of him obtaining a future world title fight.

The fight between Hernandez and Garza is a perfect example of that.

Hernandez is twenty seven years old and is two years younger than Garza. He will have about a three and a half inch height advantage and about a two and a half inch reach advantage.

Dmitriy Salita is the promoter of Hernandez and he’s been very active the past two years. He fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016. Garza has also been active, but not as active as Hernandez. He fought three times in 2017 and once in 2016.

Hernandez has seven stoppage victories in comparison to the five stoppage victories of Garza. Hernandez debuted in 2009 but had a five year gap in between his second and third professional fight.

Hernandez has two big wins on his resume. He defeated Glenn Dezurn and Vladimir Tikhobnov. They were both undefeated at the time.

Garza’s only notable win was against Edward Kakembo. His two losses were to undefeated boxers, Jon Fernandez and Neslan Machado.

ShoBox fights are usually hard to pick a favorite due to the series’ history of putting on competitive fights between up and coming prospects that have yet to be tested. However, the physical advantages for Hernandez appear to be too great for Garza to overcome.

Claressa Shields (4-0)vs. Tori Nelson (17-0-3); IBF/WBC Super Middleweight Titles

Claressa Shields is one of Women’s Boxing Biggest stars. Her upside is so high that she’s headlining Friday’s ShoBox card and became a world title holder in only her third professional fight.

She’s a two time Olympic Gold Medalist and won it in 2012 and 2016.

Her opponent, Tori Nelson does not have the amateur pedigree of Shields but women’s amateur boxing did not exist in the Summer Olympics prior to 2012.

Shields is still incredibly young at the age of twenty two. Nelson is nearly twice her age and is forty one years old.

Shields has only fought four times as a professional but already has 2 TKO/KO wins. Nelson has twenty professional fights but only has 2 wins by stoppage. Shields has the clear advantage in power.

Shields was thrown to the fire almost immediately upon turning pro. She defeated Nikki Adler in only her third professional fight and was able to win both the IBF and WBC titles. She has also been active, and has fought three times in 2017 and once in 2016.

Even though Shields fought three times in 2017, she feels like she took some “time off” after he last match, in an era where many champions only fight once to twice a year.

She stated at a recent media workout, “”I am calm – focused – but still hungry like a challenger with the added confidence of being a world champion. I took some time off after my last win but I look forward to getting busy again in 2018.”

Nelson only fought once in 2017 and once in 2016. Her biggest victory to date was a TKO over Mia St. John, but Mia St. John was 46 years old at the time of that defeat.

Shields appears to be aware of the experience that Nelson possess and has been training hard for this fight. “This training camp I did eight weeks instead of six. A lot of camp has been extremely hard. But I’m so focused and determined on 2018 and starting great and staying busy. I expect my opponent to apply pressure, and to use some dirty tactics. She has more experience, but not that much when you speak of her amateur experience”.

Unfortunately for Shields, women’s boxing is not deep with talent, especially at the higher weights where she competes. This should be an easier win for Shields, especially considering the advance age of Nelson and Nelson’s lack of amateur experience.

But some big fights await Shields if she’s able to emerge victorious. Christina Hammer is a big name in the 160lb division in Women’s boxing and she may be next on Shields agenda. Chris Cyborg of the UFC has also been talked about as a possible future opponent.

As far as her future, Shields stated, “In 2018 I expect great fights against the best contenders. I expect to make history again on SHOWTIME and also looking forward to dropping to 160 to fight against [Christina] Hammer mid-2018. January 12th will be the beginning of great things to come”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Golovkin, Shields, Garcia, Hammer, 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.


Photo Credit: Terrell Groggins / Salita Promotions

Claressa Shields Media Workout Quotes

Unified Women’s Super Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields met with local members of the media and took part in an open-to-the-public workout on Tuesday at Kronk Gym, exactly one month away from defending her 168-pound WBC and IBF titles against undefeated IBF mandatory challenger Tori Nelson on Friday, Jan. 12 live on SHOWTIME.

A two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Shields (4-0, 2 KOs) will face her second consecutive undefeated opponent in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation live at 10 p.m. ET/PT from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions, are currently on sale for $75 for the first two rows of ringside, $65 for remaining ringside seats and all others priced at $49 and $37, plus any applicable fees. Tickets can be purchased in person or by calling the Turning Stone Resort Box Office at 800.771.7711 or online at Ticketmaster.

Here is what the 22-year-old native of Flint, Mich., had to say on Tuesday:

CLARESSA SHIELDS

“I am calm – focused – but still hungry like a challenger with the added confidence of being a world champion. I took some time off after my last win but I look forward to getting busy again in 2018.

“This training camp I did eight weeks instead of six. A lot of camp has been extremely hard. But I’m so focused and determined on 2018 and starting great and staying busy. I expect my opponent to apply pressure, and to use some dirty tactics. She has more experience, but not that much when you speak of her amateur experience.

“There is no doubt I will start 2018 with a win. Then I just take it one fight at a time. Right now my focus is Nelson.

“I’m excited to be on SHOWTIME as the first fight of the year, and just to be back inside the ring. I feel I have been the face of women’s boxing for some time now. I don’t let it feel like pressure – I just work really hard in the gym.

“In 2018 I expect great fights against the best contenders. I expect to make history again on SHOWTIME and also looking forward to dropping to 160 to fight against [Christina] Hammer mid-2018. January 12th will be the beginning of great things to come

“Training through the holidays is fine. The difference between the amateurs and now is that I was always in other countries competing. Now I get to be home with my family getting ready and I feel good.

“The match-up to me will play out with the first few rounds of me using my jab. Then I’ll add the combinations as the fight goes on. I see it being competitive though. I’m going to earn the win. I believe I can KO her by the sixth, seventh round.”

Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin Deal Very Close According to LA Times

Esteemed boxing writer Lance Pugmire of the LA Times recently reported that a deal for a rematch between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin is very close to being finalized.

Pugmire reported that Eric Gomez, the president of Golden Boy Promotions, texted him and indicated that there only a few items left to discuss with Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler to finish the agreement.

Many were worried that the outcome of the WBO Title fight between Billy Joe Saunders and David Lemieux could affect the negotiations for the rematch, but Gomez seems to not be too concerned. He stated, “Our main goal is the rematch, not thinking of Saunders.”

Read more at: http://www.latimes.com/sports/boxing/la-sp-sn-boxing-canelo-ggg-rematch-20171218-story.html

Mikey Garcia to Face Sergey Lipinets on Februray 10th on Showtime

Undefeated three-division world champion Mikey Garcia will attempt to win a world title in a fourth weight class when he challenges unbeaten IBF 140-pound world champion Sergey Lipinets on Saturday, February 10 live on SHOWTIME. The matchup of top-5 ranked junior welterweights will take place at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas and is presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy will face Kiryl Relikh in a rematch of their May showdown on SHOWTIME, this time for the vacant WBA 140-pound world title. The doubleheader of title bouts in the wide-open 140-pound division sets the stage for a potential unification match.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, are priced at $250, $75, $50 and $20. Tickets will go on sale next week and will be available at Ticketmaster.com.

The 29-year-old Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs), emphatically returned to pound-for-pound lists in 2017 by scoring a highlight reel knockout of Dejan Zlaticanin to win the WBC Lightweight World Championship in January and then dominating four-division champion Adrien Broner on his way to a unanimous decision in July. Garcia is a member of a renowned boxing family, and is noted for his sportsmanship and his commanding presence in the ring, honed by his brother and acclaimed trainer Robert Garcia.

Garcia, of Moreno Valley by way of Oxnard, Calif., returned to the ring after a two-and-half-year layoff in July 2016 without missing a beat by stopping former champion Elio Rojas. Garcia, who has held world titles at 126, 130 and 135 pounds, has stopped 19 of his last 22 opponents including Roman “Rocky” Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez and Orlando Salido.

“It is a dream to have the opportunity to become a four-division worldchampion,” Garcia said. “San Antonio has some of the greatest boxing fans in the country, including some key supporters of my Robert Garcia Boxing Academy family. Since my last fight, I have stayed in the gym. I can’t wait to give the fans in Texas and those watching at home on SHOWTIME another great performance.”

The unbeaten Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) captured a super lightweight world title in just his 13th pro fight by defeating Akihiro Kondo via a unanimous decision on November 4 on SHOWTIME. He is originally from Kazakhstan but moved to Russia when he was six years old. He currently lives in Beverly Hills, California, Lipinets and is trained by Buddy McGirt.

The 28-year-old moved up the 140-pound rankings with victories over then unbeaten Haskell Rhodes, Levan Ghvamichava and Walter Castillo before knocking out Leonardo Zappavigna in a world title eliminator last December. Lipinets will look to stamp his place as an elite fighter when he takes on the accomplished and dangerous Garcia on February 10.

“Getting the title is one thing, but keeping the title is a more difficult task,” said Lipinets. “I’m not about to give it away to anybody. No disrespect to Mikey Garcia or anybody else out there, but I’m keeping my title. Beating Mikey Garcia will put me in the elite of boxing where I believe I belong. I’m happy my team was able to put this great fight together. I can promise you this won’t be a snoozer. It’s going to be an action-packed fight for sure.”

“We’re going to call it’ ‘Undefeated.’ That pretty much sums it up. Two undefeated fighters, champion versus champion,” said Richard Schaefer, Chairman & CEO of Ringstar Sports. “It’s a big challenge for Mikey Garcia to win a championship belt in his fourth weight class. Lipinets never backs down and he’s out to show that’s he one of the biggest punchers in the division. A win for Lipinets is a game-changer for his family and his career. A win for Mikey is another feather in his cap and will help him be recognized as pound-for-pound best in the world. I’m happy to be back in San Antonio at the Alamodome. I’ve promoted some big fights there. San Antonio fight fans are in for a real treat seeing two of the best fighting each other. I’m sure the fans will embrace this fight.”

“We have another intriguing matchup of two young, hungry undefeated fighters who lay it on the line every time they step into the ring,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “As talented as Mikey is, you can’t count Lipinets out. He’s one of the hardest hitters in the 140-pound division. He’s a tough competitor and there’s a reason why he’s a world champion. He knows this is a career-defining fight and he’s going to do everything he can to spoil the party for Garcia in San Antonio on Feb. 10.”

“In three consecutive fights on SHOWTIME since his return to the sport, Mikey Garcia has solidified his position on boxing’s pound-for-pound lists,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “Mikey has proven he’s willing to take on the most avoided opponents in any division as he seeks out the biggest possible matchups in the sport. He’ll face yet another dangerous opponent in Sergey Lipinets, an undefeated champion in his own right, as he seeks to become a four-division world champion. On the heels of Errol Spence vs. Lamont Peterson on January 20, a matchup of consensus top-10 welterweights, we’re proud to deliver this main event of top-5 ranked fighters to build on the momentum.”

Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KOs), who was born in Arroyo Naranjo, Cuba and now lives in Las Vegas, has won world titles at 130 and 135 pounds. He defeated Relikh by unanimous decision in his debut at 140 pound in his last fight on May 20. If he defeats Relikh again, he will become the first Cuban boxer to win world championships in three different weight classes. He defeated Argenis Mendez by unanimous decision to win the 130-pound world title in 2014 and a year later scored a unanimous decision over Denis Shafikov for the 135-pound world title. Barthelemy, 31, has two brothers, Yan and Leduan, who are professional boxers who he trains alongside with under the tutelage of Ismael Salas.

Relikh (21-2, 19 KOs) believes that he won the first match with Barthelemy and that the scorecards did not reflect the competitive nature of the fight. The 28-year-old nearly had Barthelemy out after landing a barrage of punches that penned Barthelemy on the ropes, but he was only awarded a knockdown. In the eighth round, Barthelemy came back to drop Relikh with a body shot. Shortly after the May 20 title eliminator, the WBA ordered a rematch, this time to be contested for the vacant 140-pound title. This will be Relikh’s second world title shot after the fighter from Minsk, Belarus lost a unanimous decision to Ricky Burns in Glasgow, Scotland on Oct. 7, 2016.

Christina Hammer Signs with Salita Promotions

Promoter Dmitriy Salita proudly announces the signing of undefeated women’s unified world middleweight champion Christina Hammer to a multi-fight promotional contract.

Already a superstar in Europe, “Lady Hammer” (22-0, 10 KOs), from Dortmund, Germany, (via Novodolinka, Kazakhstan) is the current WBC and WBO Middleweight Champion. She has also previously held the WBF Middleweight, as well as WBO and WBF Super Middleweight Championships.

Under Salita’s promotional direction, Hammer will make her United States boxing debut on Friday, January 12, at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, on the non-televised undercard of a ShoBox: The New Generation telecast (10 p.m. ET/PT), featuring unified Women’s Super Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields’ WBC and IBF title defense against mandatory challenger Tori Nelson. Hammer is scheduled for a 10-round fight, highlights of which will be shown on SHOWTIME.

“I never had any doubt that my manager Harald Pia and I would reach an agreement,” said a happy Hammer of the signing. “I love the U.S.,” she continued. “If you are successful here, you will be successful everywhere. Since the beginning of my boxing career it has been a dream of mine to fight in the U.S.. I can’t wait for January 12.”

Hammer joins the Salita Promotions roster that also includes women’s superstar, unified super middleweight champion and two-time gold medalist Claressa Shields, as well as world, European (2X) and Russian (6X) amateur champion and 2012 Olympian, Elena Savelyeva.

“Christina has all the tools to become a star in the U.S.,” said Dmitriy Salita. “Her skills, personality and appeal outside the ring make Christina a unique and special fighter in the talent-filled middleweight division. I believe 2018 is going to be a historic year for women’s boxing all over the world.”

Hammer is a technically outstanding boxer, but her outstanding physical strength is what separates her from the rest of the world’s 160-pound fighters. She was voted WBF Female Fighter of the Year in 2011 and 2013; the WBO Female Fighter of the Year in 2013; the BDB Female Boxer of the Year in 2016; the HERQUL Female Boxer of the Year in 2017 and is the only woman in Europe to earn the Diamond Ring of the WBO.

“It is always a pleasure to work with highly professional partners,” said manager Pia of the deal. “I’m confident we have a contract that is good for all parties. Christina is very happy to be fighting in the U.S. It is a dream of hers to be successful over here and she can’t wait to show the U.S. public who Christina Hammer is!”

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Seldin, Usyk, Briedis, Estrada, Shields, Rungvisai, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

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


Photo Credit: Star Boxing/Nick Sideris

Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin Returns to HBO in Back to Back Months Usyk-Briedis Semi-Final Tickets for WBSS on Sale

Tickets for the Ali Trophy semi-final bout in the cruiserweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series between WBO World Champion Aleksandr Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs) and WBC World Champion Mairis Briedis (23-0, 18 KOs) are on sale now via bilesuserviss.lv with prices starting at €50.

This biggest Cruiserweight unification fight for several years, takes place at the Arena Riga in Latvia on 27 January 2018.

Ukrainian Usyk has promised a night to remember for boxing fans at the arena and around the world: “Fans at the arena and in front of their TV’s can look forward to a beautiful and interesting battle between two world champions.”

Said Briedis: “I can’t wait to hear the noise of the devoted Latvian fans again. I will prepare myself over the next weeks to give them a show against Usyk.”

Tickets for Usyk vs Briedis start at €50 and are on sale now via bilesuserviss.lv

Women’s Boxing Superstar Claressa Shields to Hold Public Media Workout

WBC and IBF Super middleweight World Champion Claressa “T-Rex” Shields (4-0, 2 KOs) to defend titles against former world champion and undefeated mandatory challenger Tori Nelson (17-0-3, 2 KOs) on Friday, January 12, in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation live at 10 p.m. ET/PT from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY; Presented by Salita Promotions

Shields, her trainers, and Salita Promotions’ founder, Dmitriy Salita, will be available for photographs and interviews.

WHEN:

Tuesday, December 12 – OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!
12:00 p.m. ET – Media Arrival
12:15 p.m. ET – Workout Begins

WHERE:
Kronk Boxing Community Center
9520 Mettetal St,
Detroit, MI

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Juan Francisco Estrada Set for February 24th Live on HBO

Following the overwhelming success from the first SUPERFLY event this past September, Tom Loeffler’s 360 Promotions in association with Nakornluong Promotions and Zanfer Promotions is proud to announce the highly anticipated second installment, SUPERFLY 2, set for Saturday, February 24 at the Forum in Los Angeles, CA televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.

SUPERFLY 2 will be headlined by WBC Super Flyweight World Champion SRISAKET SOR RUNGVISAI, (44-4-1, 40 KO’s), of Si Sa Ket, Thailand, defending his title over 12-rounds for the second time against former world champion and #1 ranked mandatory challenger JUAN FRANCISCO “El Gallo” ESTRADA, (36-2, 25 KO’s), of Sonora, Mexico.

Advance tickets for SUPERFLY 2, priced at $250, $150, $100, $60 and $30 will go On-Sale Tuesday, December 12 at 12:00 p.m. PT and can be purchased through Ticketmaster (Ticketmaster.com, 1-800-745-3000) and the Forum Box Office. The Forum is located at 3900 W. Manchester Blvd, Inglewood CA 90305.

“It’s very exciting to announce the main event for the second installment of our SUPERFLY series. With the tremendous response from fans and media from our first event and overwhelming anticipation to our second, we join boxing fans in saying that we ‘can’t wait’ until February 24 at the Forum,” said Loeffler.

“Srisaket Sor Rungvisai had a remarkable year in 2017 upsetting ‘Chocolatito’ by controversial decision on March 18, 2017 at Madison Square Garden for the WBC Super Flyweight Title and decisively defeating him again in his first defense on September 9 at the Stubhub Center at our first SUPERFLY event.”

“Juan Francisco Estrada won a terrific fight against Carlos Cuadras on September 9 at the Stubhub Center and is very anxious to challenge for a world title in the super flyweight division against Sor Rungvisai.”

“The Forum has played host to many nights of memorable battles for more than 40 years and we expect this event to be another chapter in the annals of this iconic venue.”

Said Fernando Beltran, President of Zanfer Promotions, “On February 24 our talented and pride of Mexico, Juan Francisco “Gallo” Estrada will show that he is the best flyweight in the world by beating the WBC Champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in another great night at SUPERFLY 2.”

“HBO has given us a great opportunity to showcase the smaller divisions and the fans will be very happy to see it. If SUPERFLY 1 was a great night of quality boxing and action, I am sure that SUPERFLY 2 will surpass it.”

Mauricio Sulaiman of the World Boxing Council stated, “SUPERFLY 2 must be celebrated as it will bring excitement to boxing fans and it marks the return of real boxing promotion as this concept has found great interest around the world. It is great to see that the smaller weight divisions receive this type of opportunities to shine on the biggest stage of the world for boxing. The WBC fully supports SUPERFLY 2 and looks forward to this spectacular night of boxing.”

Said Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, “The super flyweight division is the deepest division in the world at the moment. I have great respect to Tom Loeffler and HBO for making SUPERFLY so successful, and SUPERFLY 2 will continue to deliver. We have so many great fighters in the super flyweight division, and it is exciting for me because there are many world class opponents that can make terrific fights.”

“Juan Francisco Estrada is definitely among the top-class fighters in our division. When someone is a former unified champion that moved up without losing his titles, you know he is a world class fighter in his prime. However, I am confident that I will be successful in this fight because I will be at my best on fight night again. We will give the fans an incredible fight and I plan on another impressive win.”

“I would like to invite all Thais in the United States, especially those in Los Angeles to attend my fight at the Forum on February 24. Together our Thai hearts will beat and our Thai blood will be pumped with pride and excitement. Let’s show the world our Thai power together on that day!”

Said Estrada, “I am very excited about facing Sor Rungvisai for the WBC Super Flyweight World Title on February 24 at the Forum. He will be a difficult challenge as he defeated Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez twice in a row with a vicious KO in their last fight. Sor Rungvisai is a very tough and skilled boxer so I will have to prepare very well to be ready to challenge him for his belt.”

The 30-year-old Sor Rungvisai made his United States debut on March 18 shocking the boxing world with a 12-round majority decision over then undefeated and consensus #1 pound-for-pound fighter Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez at Madison Square Garden. Dropping Gonzalez in the first stanza, Sor Rungvisai would capture the WBC Super Flyweight World Title in a hotly contested battle that had the massive crowd on their feet throughout.

Rematching Gonzalez on September 9 at The Stubhub Center, Sor Rungvisai would drop the four-division world champion twice in the fourth round, the second resulting in Sor Rungvisai being awarded the knockout stoppage erasing any controversy from the first fight.

Sor Rungvisai also previously held the WBC Super Flyweight World Title defending it once before losing the title to Carlos Cuadras on a technical decision on May 31, 2014. Sor Rungvisai had won the title in his hometown of Si Sa Ket, Thailand on May 3, 2013 by knocking out champion Yota Sato in the eighth round.

Known for his true ‘Mexican Style’ of fighting, Juan Francisco Estrada has remained one of the most popular fighters in the flyweight and super flyweight divisions throughout his nine-year professional career.

The 27-year-old Estrada won the WBC and WBA Flyweight World Titles on April 6, 2013 with a 12-round decision victory over Brian Viloria in Macau, China. Estrada defended both titles six times before moving up to the super flyweight division.

At the inaugural Superfly event on September 9, Estrada fought brilliantly in winning a 12-round unanimous decision over former WBC Super Flyweight World Champion Carlos Cuadras at the Stubhub Center.

Estrada has not lost a fight in over six years. On November 17, 2012, he challenged then WBC Flyweight World Champion Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, losing a very close, 12-round decision at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

Champs Celebrate the Holidays with our US Veterans

This past Tuesday, WBC Cares gathered together with local Champions and fighters from the Los Angeles community to fulfill a promise WBC made to the Veterans Home in Barstow earlier this year, to come spend a Holiday Lunch with our U.S. Veterans, our Heroes. Due to the California Wildfires, a few couldn’t make it because of road closures, but we still had great attendance from Champions and WBC Cares Ambassadors, like Golden Boy’s NABF Featherweight Champion, Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz Jr., WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion Daniel Roman, Former World Champion Paul Banke, Former World Championship Contenders Ruben Castillo and Mando Muniz, Professional fighter and Officer for L.A.P.D., Juan Bustamente, Cutman Sergio Estrada and lastly the WBC Los Angeles team, Pepe & Cecy Sulaiman, Nancy Rodriguez & kids.

President Mauricio Sulaiman, and WBC Cares Chairperson Jill Diamond wanted to make sure our heroes received a special gift, the WBC presented all Veterans with an official WBC patch personalized with “CAL VETERANS” as well as a special plaque for the Veterans Home presented by Pepe Sulaiman to the Home administrator.

The visit started with our WBC Cares Ambassadors Daniel Roman, Joseph Diaz Jr. Juan Bustamante, Marissa Rodriguez and Ruben Castillo helping serve the veterans and staff a special Holiday Lunch. the Vets had a great time laughing through the line with Ruben Castillo’s jokes and great smiles behind the kitchen line, while the rest of the WBC Family Paul Banke, Sergio Estrada, Mando Muniz ate in the cafeteria with the Vets and had great conversations. After the lunch, WBC presented special gifts to all the Vets who answered Boxing questions, some were present as fans for the Ali vs. Frazier fight! Great stories to hear! Pepe Sulaiman then presented the Home with a Plaque in appreciation for all they do for our heroes, the kids and Ambassadors passed out patches as well as a special WBC cake for all present. The visit ended with many photos and autographs for the Veterans and many smiles.

Barstow is over a two hour drive from Los Angeles, the WBC is very grateful to our ambassadors for taking the time to make the drive out to Barstow and helping bring beautiful smiles to our heroes faces this Holiday season.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Shields, Sosa, Gamboa, Fury, Seldin, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 31st to November 7th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Claressa Shields to Defend Women’s Super Middleweight Title Against Tori Nelson

Unified Women’s Super Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields will defend her 168-pound titles against undefeated IBF mandatory challenger Tori Nelson on Friday, Jan. 12 live on SHOWTIME.

A two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Shields (4-0, 2 KOs) will face her second consecutive undefeated opponent in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation live at 10 p.m. ET/PT from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.

Shields dethroned previously unbeaten Nikki Adler Aug. 4 on SHOWTIME to pick up the WBC and vacant IBF titles less than one year after she became the first American boxer to capture back-to-back Olympic gold medals. The 22-year-old native of Flint, Mich., returns to face Nelson, a seven-year veteran with seven times the professional ring experience.

“I’m truly excited to have the chance to demonstrate my skills against an opponent the caliber of Tori Nelson,” Shields said. “I’m honored to be headlining the first ShoBox of 2018, and I know January 12 will be a great night for the fans. This will be the beginning of a historic year for me and for women’s boxing.”

Nelson (17-0-3, 2 KOs) won a middleweight world championship in 2011 and owns wins over previously unbeaten Alicia Napoleon and Mia St. John. The 41-year-old Ashburn, Va., native looks to capture her second world title in a showdown with the fastest rising star in women’s boxing.

“Ever since Claressa turned pro, I have wanted this fight,” Nelson said. “She’s young and talented, but my experience will make the difference. Since I became a boxer, I have dreamed of being in big fights on television. I am confident that I will win this fight and remain undefeated. And I plan to retire as an undefeated world champion.”

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions in association with Aasha Record Breakers, go on sale Monday, Nov. 13 for $75 for the first two rows of ringside, $65 for remaining ringside seats and all others priced at $49 and $37, plus any applicable fees. Tickets can be purchased in person or by calling the Turning Stone Resort Box Office at 800.771.7711 or online at Ticketmaster.

“Claressa’s determination to challenge the best available contenders shows why she is one of the most accomplished fighters in the sport today,” promoter Dmitriy Salita said. “This is a great matchup and I am confident that we will witness another memorable performance.”

Said Gordon Hall, Executive Producer of ShoBox: The New Generation: “Claressa is a star both in and out of the ring who possesses all the intangibles to become the face of women’s boxing. In just four professional fights, two as headliners on ShoBox, she is already unified champion at 168 with plans to conquer the 160 and 154-pound divisions. Tori Nelson is undefeated, a former champion, and represents what should be the toughest test of Claressa’s young career. Only time will tell, but I don’t know if there is any fighter in the world who can stop Claressa Shields.”

Shields compiled an amateur record of 77-1 and won her first Olympic Gold when she was only 17 years old in the inaugural women’s boxing competition at the 2012 London Games. She won a second gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio and turned professional three months later.

In March 2017 in Detroit, Shields stopped Hungary’s Szilvia Szabados in four rounds in the first women’s main event in premium television history. Shields returned to headline her second ShoBox telecast in August, knocking out Adler in the fifth round to become unified champion in just her fourth professional fight. With the win, Shields became the 70th world champion in the history of the prospect developmental series.

Active in her community, Shields advocates for several social issues and serves as an inspirational figure in her hometown of Flint, a city beset by problems.

Nelson turned professional at the age of 29 and won the WBC 160-pound title in just her fifth professional fight. She twice fought to a draw in middleweight world title bouts with Teresa Perozzi.

The high-pressure Nelson is one fight removed from a unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Napoleon, and is fresh off a second round knockout of Latashia Burton in her first hometown fight in Ashburn, Va.

Undercard bouts for the ShoBox telecast will be announced in the coming weeks.

Hennessy Sports Statement in Regards to Tyson Fury

Both Tyson Fury and Hughie Fury have been fighting the United Kingdom Anti-Doping (Ukad) over Fury’s positive test for steroids in June of 2016. The BBC is reporting that the Ukad fears it could be made insolvent or require a government bailout over a dispute with Tyson Fury.

Hennessy Sports recently released a statement in regards to Tyson Fury and stated, “It has been a difficult two years but we will not stop until we have cleared Tyson Fury and Hughie Fury names.”
Former Unified Featherweight Champion Yuriorkis Gamboa to Step In and Fight Jason Sosa
Former unified featherweight champion Yuriorkis “El Ciclon de Guantanamo” Gamboa (27-2, 17 KOs) will step in to fight Jason “El Canito” Sosa (20-2-4, 15 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight fight at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in the televised opener to Kovalev vs. Shabrankskyy. The event takes place Saturday, Nov. 25 and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Gamboa, a 35-year-old native of Guantanamo, Cuba, is an Olympic Gold Medalist who shot to the top of the Featherweight rankings to win two world titles, defeating the likes of Orlando “Siri” Salido and Daniel Ponce De Leon before officially moving up to 130 pounds. Gamboa has also faced stiff competition as a super featherweight, with wins against Darleys Perez and Rene “El Gemelo” Alvarado under his belt. Gamboa is replacing Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos, who pulled out of this fight due to an injury.

“I’m excited for this great opportunity to fight Sosa on the undercard of Kovalev-Shabranakssy,” said Gamboa. “A win over Sosa on HBO could push me back into title contention. I’m a fighter with many aspects and dimensions, and that’s what I’ll bring in my fight against Sosa. For my my last fight, I wasn’t prepared well. This time I will be very much prepared, so I can walk away with my hand raised.”

“I’m excited for Gamboa,” said Zeferino Ramirez of ZR Entertainment. “This is the fight we wanted. And I expect big things in 2018. He’ll be ready for any 130-pound champion if he is successful on November 25.”

The 29-year-old Sosa, of Camden, NJ, is the former WBA World Super Featherweight Champion. He earned his title by handing Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna his first loss as a pro with an 11th-round knockout in Beijing, China in June 2016. Sosa successfully defended his title with a 12-round decision win over Stephen Smith in Monte Carlo in November 2016 before returning several months later in a tough fight against Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko in April 2017. Sosa is also known for fighting to an impressive majority draw against former WBA Super World Featherweight Champion Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters and for stopping former world title challenger Jerry “The Corpus Christi Kid” Belmontes in only one round.

“People think we have an easier opponent in Gamboa since Castellanos beat him, but we’re not buying into that,” said Sosa. “Maybe Gamboa didn’t take Castellanos seriously. We expect to see the very best Gamboa on Nov. 25. Having said that, this is not about who we are fighting; this is about why. We are fighting to make Puerto Rico proud after what all the people who live there have been through recently.”

“This should be a solid fight between two guys, the same size, who like to hurt people,” said Russell Peltz, Hall of Fame Promoter of Peltz Boxing Promotions.”It’s a better matchup, style-wise, than the one between Jason [Sosa] and Robinson Castellanos.”

Kovalev vs. Shabranskyy is a 12-round fight for the vacant WBO Light Heavyweight World Title promoted by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions. Barrera vs. Valera is a 10-round light heavyweight fight promoted by Main Events in Association with Shuan Boxing Promotions.

Gamboa vs. Sosa is a 10-round super featherweight fight promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Peltz Boxing and ZR Entertainment. The event will take place on Nov. 25 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin and Tyron “Pretty Boy” James Media Day Quotes

Super lightweight contender and Long Island knockout artist CLETUS “THE HEBREW HAMMER” SELDIN, (20-0 16 KO’s), and undefeated welterweight prospect TYRONE “PRETTY BOY” JAMES (5-0 3 KO’s) entertained the large group of press and fans at the Westbury Boxing Gym in Long Island today, in advance of their fights at NYCB Live, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, this Saturday, November 11th. James will face veteran DANIEL SOSTRE (13-14-1, 5 KO’s) in a 6 round bout during the non-televised portion of the card. Also in attendance was Long Islander, TOMMY “THE RAZOR” RAINONE, who will be fighting on the non-televised portion of the card.

Seldin will be the TV opener on HBO, in a 10 round clash against Mexican brawler ROBERTO “MASSA” ORTIZ (35-1-2 26 KO’s). Headlining the card is DANIEL “MIRACLE MAN” JACOBS (32-2 29 KO’s) vs LUIS ARIAS (18-0 9 KO’s) in a 12 round bout and co-feature JARRELL “BIG BABY” MILLER (19-0-1 17 KO’s) vs MARIUSZ WACH (33-2 17 KO’s) in a 12 round heavyweight showdown. The HBO World Championship production is set to begin a 10:00 PM ET with Cletus Seldin vs Roberto Ortiz bout.

CLETUS SELDIN
“When Star Boxing told me that I had a fight on HBO, I just jumped at it, I didn’t even ask who the opponent was”
“Im ecstatic, so excited, to be fighting on HBO and to be in my hometown of Long Island.”
“This is my audition and I’m taking it as there is no tomorrow.”
“I want to show everybody that I am just a really hard working individual who as long as I work hard, I will get there.”
“Whether I am the first fight or the last fight, I will put on the most exciting fight of the night.”

TYRONE JAMES
“This is a big fight for me and I know that, but I am going to take it like any other fight, training 110% just like my other fights, and give it everything I have.”
“We will come out victorious.”

Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Second Induction Weekend June 1st through June 3rd

The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is proud to announce its second Annual Induction Ceremony & Celebration Weekend. The 2018 celebration is set for Friday, June 1st through Sunday, June 3rd; and will be held at the historic Claridge a Radisson Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Our esteemed Nomination Committee has completed the nomination and voting process; and the names of all luminaries who will be inducted into the 2018 Induction Class, will be announced Monday, November 27, 2017, via an official press release. This year’s group of Inductees is comprised of Boxers, Trainers, Promoters, Managers, Matchmakers, Historians, Special Contributors, and Posthumous individuals. All who have played a major role in making Atlantic City atop boxing destination in the U.S.A.

The countdown to Induction Weekend has begun as plenary meetings are already underway. Over the next several week’s updates on room packages, schedule of events and expected celebrity appearances will be posted on the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame and the Claridge Hotel websites and social media platforms.

During last year’s inaugural three-day celebration – ACBHOF showcased the Fight Fan Experience – a festive boxing-themed environment that included a Boxing Fantasy Camp, Pop-Up Barber Shop, Jack Johnson Exhibit, Icons of Boxing, The Legacy Exists Joe Frazier Scholarship Fund, James O’Neal Sculptures, Cake King of Queens, The Press of Atlantic City Exhibit, WBC Boxing, Food vendors and music by DJ Young Hitta.

The master of ceremonies for the ceremony was President of NJ Boxing Hall of Fame, Henry Hascup. The 2017 induction weekend was a smorgasbord of boxing royalty, celebrity guests, and legions of boxing fans. Last year’s star-studded Charter Class members included: Don King, Michael Spinks, Larry Hazzard, Steve Smoger, Mike Rossman, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Frank Gelb, Don Elbaum, J Russell Peltz, Dave Bontempo, Ken Condon, Robert Lee, Sr., Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson.

Some of last year’s VIP guests included: Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian, Councilman Frank Gilliam, Dr. Nina Radcliff, Whitney Ullman, Jill Diamond, Flo Anthony, Aaron Snowell, Lillo Brancato, Alan Goldberg, Ray Mercer, Mark Breland, Iran Barkley, Iceman John Scully, Tracy Patterson, Milton Luban, Chuck Zito and the Grandy Twins. Entertainment was provided by former Miss America, Suzette Charles; Chicken Bone Beach Jazz Band and saxophonist Parris.

Considering the scale and level of our inaugural event and the significant interest it has kindled, we can safely say that the celebration remains unique and exciting for Atlantic City and the sport of boxing.

All interested sponsors, exhibitors, and vendors looking be involved in 2018 induction weekend or to reserve a booth are encouraged to contact the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame (ACBHOF) at [email protected]

Two Time Olympian Alberto Melian to Turn Professional December 16th

Sampson Boxing’s newest promotional signing, Argentinean amateur star and two-time Olympian, Alberto “Impacto” Melián, will be taking the “Lomachenko” route into the professional ranks by facing Diego Ricardo Santillan (23-2, 15 KOs) in an eight-round bout for his first professional fight on Saturday, December 16, at the Macro Stadium of the Argentine Federation of Boxing (FAB) in Buenos Aires.

A formidable foe for anyone, the 30-year-old Santillan, from Tartagal, Salta, Argentina, is a former Argentina (FAB), WBC Mundo Hispano and South American Bantamweight Champion. Melian, however, has requested the fast track to a world championship and promoter Lewkowicz has agreed.

“Alberto is regarded as one of the best Argentine amateur boxers ever and he’s ready for the best of the professional ranks. We hope to have him fighting for a world championship within 10 fights,” said Lewkowicz.

Lewkowicz says that Melian’s amateur credentials are enough to let him forego the usual development period of a new professional.

“In addition to his two Olympic appearances, Alberto fought in nearly every international tournament and won dozens of titles. He’s ready for anyone in the world going into his first fight. We have every confidence in him.”

Melián vs. Santillan will be televised live by TyC Sports Argentina.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Bey, Peterson, Shields, DiBella, Singh, and more…..


Compiled By: William Holmes

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

Singh Beats Chinese Rival then Gives Belt Back in Bid to Ease Tension Between Two Nations

Vijender Singh, an Indian boxer and the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight Champion, recently defeated WBO Oriental Super Middleweight Champion Zulpikar Maimaitiali of China on August 5th, 2017 in Mumbai.

However, Singh has handed Maimaitiali’s title back to him after the scores were announced. He told the media, “I don’t want tension on the border. It’s a message of peace. That’s important.”

China has been involved in a border dispute in a region in the Himalayas with India for several years. Singh won a close decision, with scores of 96-93, 95-94, and 95-94.

Team Shields Congratulates Boxing’s Newest Superstar, Claressa Shields, For Winning Unified World Titles in Fourth Pro Fight

Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields became the unified WBC and IBF World Super Middleweight Champion last Friday night with a dominant fifth-round TKO of now former champion Nikki Adler.

Fighting in front of her home state fans at MGM Grand Detroit and in the main event of a nationally televised ShoBox: The New Generation, Shields put on a display of skills and power seldom seen by a first-time world-title challenger. Without any answers to the level of talent in front of her, Adler was forced to cover up and withstand the blazing speed of Shields’ fists for five one-sided rounds.

A driven competitor, Shields is on a mission to become the GWOAT (Greatest Woman of All Time) and the performance against Adler has the entire world watching. Four fights into her professional career and Shields is already the face of women’s boxing.

“It was a dream come true to win two world title belts in one night!” said Shields. “I was very proud of my performance, and I can’t wait to defend my belts and then give Christina Hammer her first defeat.”

For Team Shields, the victory was more than could ever be asked for from their young fighter.

“Congratulations to a unified world champion Claressa Shields!” said promoter Dmitriy Salita. “In less than a year as a pro, she has already achieved what no other woman has done in the sport. America’s first two-time Olympic Gold Medalist has become a professional unified world champion in just her fourth professional fight! Congratulations also to the great team behind her: long-time trainer Jason Crutchfield, Berston Field House, and to her managers who work diligently behind the scenes Mark Taffet and Jamie Fritz. I and everyone at SP is proud and excited to be part of this exciting journey of a lady who is on a quest to be GWOAT!”

Shields co-manager, Mark Taffet, a long-time TV exec in boxing, says he’s never seen a performance like the one Shields turned in against Adler. “Claressa Shields’ win over Nikki Adler was the most dominant performance I have ever seen in a championship fight, male or female. She is staking her claim to be GWOAT in spectacular fashion. Claressa is carrying women’s boxing forward on her broad shoulders.”

Having fought three times this year already, winning two regional and two world title belts along the way, Shields says she will take some time to enjoy her historic accomplishments before plotting the next move with her team.

DiBella Entertainment’s Broadway Boxing Returns to Foxwoods Resort Casino on September 15th

DIBELLA ENTERTAINMENT’s acclaimed BROADWAY BOXING series will return to the beautiful Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, on Friday, September 15, 2017, headlined by an excellent 10-round clash between popular heavyweight prospect ALEXIS SANTOS (18-1, 15 KOs), of nearby Lawrence, Massachusetts, and cross-town rival, Ireland’s NIALL KENNEDY (8-0, 5 KOs), promoted by Ken Casey’s Boston-based Murphys Boxing. Broadway Boxing is presented by Nissan of Queens, Azad Watches, OPTYX, and Christos Steak House.

Tickets for the event, promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Murphys Boxing, priced at $125, $75 and $45 are Now On Sale and can be purchased online at Foxwoods.com, Ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-200-2882, or visiting the Foxwoods box office. Foxwoods Resort Casino is located at 350 Trolley Line Boulevard, Mashantucket, Connecticut 06338. Doors will open to the Fox Theater at 7:00 p.m. ET with the first bell at 7:30 p.m. ET.

“I am happy to again bring Broadway Boxing back to our home away from home at Foxwoods Resort Casino,” said LOU DIBELLA, President of DiBella Entertainment. “The series at Foxwoods has seen a number of terrific heavyweight brawls of late and New England’s own Alexis Santos battling Ireland’s Niall Kennedy promises to be very entertaining. Popular local stars Shelly Vincent, a great ambassador for women’s boxing from Rhode Island, East Hartford up-and-coming unbeaten welterweight Mykquan Williams, and Nicholas DeQuattro, in his pro debut, will appear on the stacked undercard, along with undefeated New York cruiserweight prospect Joe Williams.”

The 27-year-old fan favorite Santos returns to Foxwoods Resort Casino on a five-bout winning streak highlighted by an eight-round unanimous decision over Jesse Barboza on November 19, 2016, in an action-packed bout from start to finish that had the crowd roaring throughout. With the victory, Santos seized the New England heavyweight championship.

Most recently Santos scored a first-round knockout of Andy Perez on February 24, 2017, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

“I’m thrilled to be fighting again at Foxwood Resort Casino,” said Santos. “The fan support for my first fight there last November was fantastic.

“Niall Kennedy has more amateur experience than I, but I’ve had more fights as a professional. It’s a great crossroads fight and I can’t wait for September 15.”

Backed by longtime member of Boston’s famed Dropkick Murphys, Ken Casey, Kennedy, a native of Gorey, West Ireland, has become a fan favorite among the city’s Irish population, with knockout victories on the last two annual St. Patrick’s Day cards. Before turning pro in May 2015, Kennedy accumulated an impressive 130-20 amateur record. He is trained by the renowned Paschal Collins, brother of former world champion Steve Collins, out of Celtic Warrior Boxing Gym in Dublin. In addition to his burgeoning boxing career, the 33-year-old has also worked as a police officer for the past 11 years.

In his last start, Kennedy finished off Barboza in the eighth round on March 18, 2017, to capture the Massachusetts heavyweight title, in Boston before a huge, festive crowd at the House of Blues.

Featured on the undercard on September 15 is junior lightweight contender SHELLY “SHELITO’S WAY” VINCENT (19-1, 1 KO), of nearby Providence, Rhode Island. Vincent will look to stay in the win column following an epic nationally televised battle with Heather Hardy on August 21, 2016, in Coney Island, New York, which resulted in her first loss. The Ring Magazine called their grudge match the “Female Fight of the Year” for 2016. Vincent was also honored by the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame as their “Fighter of the Year” for 2016, becoming the first female recipient of the award.

In her last bout, Vincent won an eight-round decision over Marquita Lee on December 2, 2016, in Lincoln, Rhode Island. This will be her seventh appearance at Foxwoods. Managed by Mike Criscio and trained by Peter Manfredo Sr., Vincent signed with DiBella Entertainment in 2016.

Just 19 years old, fast rising East Hartford welterweight prospect MYKQUAN WILLIAMS (7-0, 4 KOs) will look to stay undefeated as he makes his seventh start at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Promoted by DiBella Entertainment and managed by Jackie Kallen, Williams returns to the ring following an impressive six-round decision over veteran Ariel Vasquez on June 3. Williams is trained out of Manchester Ring of Champions Society boxing gym by local legend and community leader Paul Cichon, whom he’s known since he was a child and looks upon as a surrogate father. His biological father was murdered when Mykquan was just a week old. Williams was a decorated amateur with a 45-13 record, highlighted by three gold-medal performances at the Ringside World Championships, in addition to winning the PAL Tournament and Silver Gloves Championships.

Heralded cruiserweight prospect JOE “MACK” WILLIAMS (12-0, 8 KOs), of Far Rockaway, Queens, New York, fights for the first time at Foxwoods Resort Casino looking to capitalize on his quick start to 2017 with two dominant victories, most recently knocking out Felipe Romero in the third round on April 22 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Promoted by DiBella Entertainment and managed by David McWater’s Split-T Management, the 29-year-old Williams began this year by making his national television debut on February 10, handing 15-0-1 Dominican Olympian Lenin Castillo his first defeat by way of eight-round decision, competing on SHOWTIME’s “ShoBox” series. As an amateur, Williams was a three-time New York Golden Gloves champion, a 2012 National Golden Gloves champion, and a 2012 US Olympic team alternate. When he’s not boxing, Williams, a father of two daughters, works as an asbestos handler and is a union member with Local 78.

Rounding out the undercard, junior welterweight NICKY DEQUATTRO of Johnston, Rhode Island, will make his highly anticipated pro debut.

Additional information on the undercard will be announced shortly.

Sergiy Derevyanchenko to Face Tureano Johnson on August 25th

Powerful middleweights Sergiy Derevyanchenko (10-0, 8 KOs) and Tureano Johnson (20-1, 14 KOs) will square-off in a middleweight world title eliminator that headlines a special Friday night edition of Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes on August 25from Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma.

“This is a very important fight for me,” said Derevyanchenko. “A victory in this fight brings me closer to my dream of becoming a world champion. I’m training hard for this challenge and I know that Johnson will be prepared. I’m going to show that I’m ready for anybody in the middleweight division.”

“I fight to provide for my family, to bring pride to my country and because I know I have done the work necessary and am destined to become a world champion,” said Johnson. “I have a great respect for my opponent and expect a great fight, but he is my way toward the championship, so I will defeat him.”

In an action packed co-main event, unbeaten Immanuwel Aleem (17-0-1, 10 KOs) takes on once-beaten Hugo Centeno (25-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight attraction. Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS telecast will be preceded by the live weigh-in for Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor and all four episodes of ALL ACCESS: Mayweather vs. McGregor on FS1.

“This is a great fight for me against a very good opponent,” said Aleem. “I want to build off my last performance and show even more dimensions to my game. Training camp is going well and I’m planning to execute my game plan on fight night. I’m trying to be a world champion and prove that I’m a force in this division.”

“I’m very excited to get back in the ring and I’ve been training hard since my last fight in December,” said Centeno. “I feel like I’m in great shape and I’m definitely looking forward to this fight. I know a win of this quality will put me into another echelon in the division. It’s very motivating to be training at Wild Card Boxing with so many great champions as I prepare for this fight.”

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, start at $25 and are on sale Friday, August 4 at 12 p.m. CT. Tickets can be purchased by visiting BuffaloRun.com or by calling 918-542-7140.

“Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Tureano Johnson are two of the top middleweights in the world,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “This is a great opportunity on a big forum for Derevyanchenko to prove that he belongs with the elite fighters at 160 pounds. The co-featured bout between middleweights Immanuwel Aleem and Hugo Centeno also figures to be a barnburner. This will be a terrific event.”

A highly decorated amateur who represented his native Ukraine in the 2008 Olympics, Derevyanchenko now lives and trains in Brooklyn and most recently stopped previously unbeaten Kemahl Russell in April. His 2016 saw him earn a TKO victory over Mike Guy in March before stopping former champion Sam Soliman in the second round of a world title eliminator in July. The unbeaten fighter defeated a slew of experienced contenders in 2015 with wins over Elvin Ayala, Alan Campa, Vladine Biosse and a third-round stoppage of Jessie Nicklow.

A 2008 Olympian for his native Bahamas, Johnson enters this bout the winner of his last six contests, including a fifth round stoppage of once-beaten Alex Theran and a 12-round decision over once-beaten Eamonn O’Kane in 2015. The 33-year-old turned pro in 2010 and won his first 2014 before suffering his first defeat in the final round against Curtis Stevens.

Born in East Meadow, New York and fighting out of Richmond, Virginia, Aleem was introduced to boxing at a young age by his parents. Since turning pro in 2012 at age 18, the 23-year-old has wiped out all of the competition in front of him. In January he defeated then unbeaten Ievgen Khytrov in a memorable back and forth battle that saw Aleem emerge victorious with a sixth-round TKO win. Aleem had previously defeated once-beaten Jonathan Cepeda and fought to a majority draw with Demond Nicholson in 2016.

The 26-year-old Centeno bounced back from his first defeat with a stoppage of Ronald Montes after three rounds in December 2016. Centeno won his first 24 pro fights after amassing a 90-8 amateur record including a highlight reel knockout of James De La Rosa and a decision over then unbeaten Gerardo Ibarra. The fighter out of Oxnard, California will fight in Las Vegas for the first time since a no contest against Julian Williams in 2013 that was called because of an accidental head butt.

Mickey Bey to Face Anthony Peterson on August 22nd

Former lightweight world champion Mickey Bey (22-2-1, 10 KOs) will face once-beaten contender Anthony Peterson (37-1, 24 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight matchup that headlines Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes August 22 from Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas in Las Vegas.

Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT as part of an exciting week of events presented by Mayweather Promotions and leading up to the Mayweather vs. McGregor showdown on Saturday.

“It’s been over a year since I was in the ring and I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my career as a fighter and as a man,” said Bey. “I realize what’s important now and how I can protect my legacy as a fighter. I’ve put in more work fir this fight than I have for any other and I’m ready to let my performance speak for me. I’m focusing on my mental toughness and my ring IQ and I’m looking to put on a perfect performance on August 22.”

“I’m just happy to be back in the ring and fighting again,” said Peterson. “I’ve known Mickey Bey for years and he’s a good friend of mine. But business is business and on August 22 I will be all business when I step into the ring.”

The August 22 show will feature a showdown between former world champion Juan Carlos Payano (18-1, 9 KOs) and Phoenix’s Alexis Santiago (21-4-1, 8 KOs) in 10 rounds of bantamweight action.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, are priced at $125, $100, $75 and $50 and are on sale Friday, August 4 at 12 p.m. PT. Tickets are available online at www.samstownlv.com/entertain.

“This is an incredible event to kick-off the biggest fight week in the history of boxing,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “We are proud to announce that some of Mayweather Promotions’ top prospects will be featured on their own FS1 and FOX Deportes card, giving the fans nonstop action and excitement for the whole week. We have a great lineup in store with Mickey Bey and Anthony Peterson in the main event, and former world champion Juan Carlos Payano taking on Alexis Santiago in the co-feature. It is truly going to be an action filled night of boxing.”

Originally from Cleveland but fighting out of Las Vegas, Bey steps back into the ring after challenging unbeaten two-division champion Rances Barthelemy last June. Bey won his world title in 2014 with a decision victory over long reigning champion Miguel Vasquez. He vacated his title due to injuries but returned in December 2015 to defeat previously unbeaten Naim Nelson by decision and earn his most recent title fight. Bey’s previous victories include triumphs over Alan Herrera, Carlos Cardenas and Hector Velazquez.

The brother of current welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson, Anthony enters this fight the winner of his last seven bouts, including a dominant decision over once-beaten Samuel Neequaye last April. The fighter out of Washington, D.C., was unbeaten in his first 30 pro fights before dropping a title eliminator to Brandon Rios in 2010. He returns to the ring looking to take out a former champion on his way to another shot at a title.

The two-time Dominican Olympian Payano began his path towards another world title with a stoppage of Isao Gonzalo Carranza in January, after first becoming a champion via a technical decision over Anselmo Moreno in September 2014. The accomplished amateur won gold at the 2006 Central American and Caribbean games with victories over McJoe Arroyo and Yoandris Salinas. He defeated Jundy Maraon, Jose Silveria and Luis Maldonado on the way to his title shot and engaged in a pair of exciting fights with Rau’shee Warren that saw him defend his title in August 2015 and lose in June 2016.

A pro since 2009, the 26-year-old Santiago had won ten consecutive bouts before dropping a decision to Jose Cayetano in his last contest. The Phoenix-native defeated Gustavo Molina, Javier Gallo and Antonio Tostado Garcia in 2015 and and has also taken down once-beaten fighters Alex Rangel and Hanzel Martinez. He will make his 2017 debut against one of his most experienced foes to date in Payano.

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