Tag Archives: stevenson

Pedraza, Stevenson, Ready To Impress On Horn-Crawford Undercard


By: Sean Crose

“Jose ‘Sniper’ Pedraza is nearing a title shot,” a Top Rank press release declared on Tuesday, “while Shakur Stevenson is well on his way.” Both Top Rank fighters will now find themselves on the undercard of much anticipated WBO welterweight title bout between Jeff Horn and Terence Crawford. Puerto Rico’s Pedraza will put his 23-1 record on the line by facing the 22-0 Antonio Moran. “I am excited because this will be my first fight in Las Vegas, which everyone knows is the fight capital of the world,” Pedraza claims. “I am determined to give a great performance…I know Moran is a good fighter and coming to upset my plans, but I have worked very hard to make sure that does not happen. I expect to be victorious on June 9 and will continue to show I am a force at lightweight.”

The WBO Latino Lightweight title will be at stake when Pedraza faces Moran on June 9th at the MGM Grand in Vegas. The bout will be aired on ESPN+, along with the Crawford-Horn main event. As for Olympic star, Stevenson, the 6-0 New Jersey native will face the 16-1 Aelio Mesquita in an eight round affair in the featherweight division. “I’ve gotten the chance to fight at Madison Square Garden,” says Stevenson, “and now I’m ready for my Las Vegas debut at MGM Grand on June 9…there have been so many historic fights in that arena and now it’s my turn. It’s always fun to fight on Terence’s undercards. The Crawford family has adopted me, so I’m going to put on a great performance for them and everyone watching at MGM and on ESPN+.”

The 26-0 Jose Benavidez will also be battling that night as he faces the 22-0 Venezuelan Frank Rojas. Having won all but one of his fights by KO, the hard hitting Rojas will present quite a challenge for Benavidez when they meet in a 10 round welterweight affair. “I have 21 knockouts in 22 fights,” Rojas claims. “On June 9, I will add another knockout to my record…I’m coming for you, Benavidez! I’m 100 percent ready to give the fans a great fight. I hope you are ready because I’m going to knock you out. I’m going to rip his head off. Get ready.” As for Benavidez, he appears eager to face the challenge. “”I hope that Rojas trained hard and that he comes well prepared,” he says, “because I’m determined to stop him.”

“Rojas will not touch me at all,” Benavidez adds. “He will not rip my head off because I’m going to rip his head off first.”

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Showtime Boxing Results: Russell Defeats Diaz, Stevenson and Jack Battle to a Draw


By: William Holmes

Showtime has shown no signs of slowing down in putting on competitive fights with a split site double header on their Showtime World Championship Boxing telecast.

The opening bout of the night was between Gary Russell Jr. (28-1) and Joseph Diaz (26-0) for the WBC Featherweight Title. This bout took place at The Theater at the MGM Grand National Harbor in Maryland.

Joseph Diaz entered the ring first and Russell second to a much louder ovation.


Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account

Both boxers were southpaws and Diaz looked like the bigger fighter, but Russell established early on that he had the better hand speed. He was active with his jab in the opening round and had a strong start to the fight.

Russell continued with his jab in the early parts of the second round, but Diaz had some moderate success to the body and ended the round strong.

The third round was a closer round, but it looked like Diaz was willing to take a few punches from Russell in order to land one punch of his own. Diaz ended the round with two good straight left hands.

Diaz kept a high guard in the fourth and fifth rounds but Russell landed the higher volume of punches while Diaz landed the harder shots to the body. Diaz had a strong fifth round, but Russell came back in the sixth round with his active jab and high volume output.

Russell was the first man to throw and land in the seventh and eighth rounds and looked like he was beginning to walk away with the fight. Russell hand speed was on full display in the ninth round as Diaz was simply not throwing enough punches.

Diaz had a better tenth round and took more risks than earlier rounds, but was also countered more often by the faster Russell.

The final two rounds featured several fierce exchanges, and Russell looked like he was beginning to fade a little bit in the last round, but Diaz wasn’t able to do enough to get a stoppage.
The Judges scored the fight 115-113, 117-111, and 117-111.

The last fight televised by Showtime was a WBC Light Heavyweight Title Fight between Champion Adonis Stevenson (29-1) and challenger Badou Jack (22-1-2) at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.

Stevenson, a southpaw, and Jack, fighting out of an orthodox stance, had spent the better part of two rounds feeling each other out and tried to find their range. Stevenson was able to land some straight left hands in the second and was more active in the third, but Jack was able to land some counters in the third round.


Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account

Jack was able to fire off his punches first in the fourth round but took a good left uppercut from Stevenson with about thirty seconds left. Stevenson was the aggressor in the fifth and sixth rounds while Jack fought mainly out of a tight high guard. Jack was warned for a low blow at the end of the sixth round.

Jack started to come forward in the seventh round and hurt Stevenson with a short right hand followed up by combinations. Jack was snapping the head of Stevenson in the seventh with his uppercuts, but he was warned for a low blow again at the end of the round.

Jack opened up the eighth round with another low blow and Adonis Stevenson was given time to recover. Jack followed up with short right hooks and uppercuts and was able to bust open the nose of Badou jack.

Jack looked like the fresher fighter in the ninth round and had Stevenson stumbling at one point. Stevenson was able to come back and have a strong tenth round when he hurt Jack with a body shot and had Jack peddling backwards.

Stevenson pressed the pace early on in the eleventh round and had Jack in full retreat, but he tired in the middle of the round and Jack re-established dominance in the ring.

Both boxers were able to land some good shots in the final round, but Jack ended the fight strong with a hard combination as the final bell rang.

The judges scored the bout 114-114, 115-113 Jack, 114-114 for a majority draw.

Adonis Steven retains the title with a draw.

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Showtime Boxing Preview: Stevenson vs. Jack, Russell vs. Diaz


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Showtime network will broadcast two fights from two separate locations on a split site feature.

One fight will feature a WBC Light Heavyweight Title Fight between current champion Adonis Stevenson and the Swedish fighter Badou Jack. This bout will be taking place in Toronto, Canada at the Air Canada Centre. The other bout will be a WBC Featherweight Title between Gary Russell Jr. and Joseph Diaz Jr.


Photo Credit: Badou Jack Twitter Account

The following is a preview of both televised fights.

Adonis Stevenson (29-1) vs. Badou Jack (22-1-2); WBC Light Heavyweight Title

Adonis Stevenson has often been mentioned as one of the best light heavyweights in the world along with Sergei Kovalev and Andre Ward, but neither of those fights have ever come to fruition and he’s no forty years old and past his athletic prime.

Stevenson will face a very tough opponent in Badou Jack. Jack is six years younger than Stevenson, but has also been more active. He fought twice in 2017 and once in 2016, while Stevenson only fought once in 2017 and once in 2016.

Stevenson will also be giving up about two inches in height to Jack, but he will have a four inch reach advantage. Stevenson will be fighting in his home country which shouldn’t be a big surpise since he has only fought outside of Canada two times. This will be Jack’s first fight outside of the United States since 2010.

Both boxers had successful amateur careers. Stevenson was a Canadian National Champion and Jack was a Swedish National Champion and a competitor in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Stevenson has defeated the likes of Andrzej Fonfara, Thomas Williams Jr., Tommy Karpency, Sakio Bika, Tony Bellew, Tavoris Cloud, Chad Dawson, and Donovan George. His lone loss was the Darnell Boone, which he later avenged.

Jack also has a good professional resume, though his level of competition in recent fights surpasses that of Stevenson. His lone loss was a shocking TKO upset loss to Derek Edwards in 2014. He has two draws against James DeGale and Marco Antonio Periban. He has defeated the likes of Nathan Cleverly, Lucian Bute, George Groves, Anthony Dirrell, and Marco Antonio Periban.

If this fight happened five years ago Stevenson would have to be considered the favorite. But he’s now forty years old and has been fairly inactive recently while Jack has been steadily facing tougher and tougher competition.

If this fight goes to the Judges scorecards Stevenson may have a slight edge since the fight is happening in Canada, but the timing feels right for Jack to pull off a victory.

Gary Russell Jr. (28-1) vs. Joseph Diaz Jr. (26-0); WBC Featherweight Title

Golden Boy Promotions needs to be given credit for their willingness to throw their fighters in the ring with top fighters from other promotions. The Diaz-Russell fight is a good example of Golden Boy taking a risk by putting one of their top guys against an established champion.

Diaz is twenty five and will be four years younger than Russell. However, Joseph Diaz has been very active since 2016. He fought once in 2018, twice in 2017 and four times in 2016. Russell only fought once in 2017, 2016, and in 2015.

Diaz will have about an inch and a half reach height advantage and both boxers have the same reach. They both represented the United States in the Summer Olympics, Russell in 2008 and Diaz in 2012.

Diaz is a southpaw, and the only boxer that Russell lost to, Vasyl Lomachenko, was a southpaw. It will be interesting to see what adjustments Russell has made since he last fought Lomachenko.

Russell represents the biggest test of Diaz’s young career. He has defeated the likes of Victor Terrazas, Rafael Rivera, Manuel Avila, Jayson Velez, and Ruben Tamayo.

Russell has been fairly inactive for a world champion, but has defeated some very good fighters. He has defeated the likes of Oscar Escandon, Patrick Hyland, Jhonny Gonzlaez, and Christopher Martin. His lone loss was the Vasyl Lomachenko, who has since jumped up two weight classes to dethrone Jorge Linares as the Lightweight Champion.

Russell’s inactivity should be of concern to his camp, especially since he’s facing a young, undefeated, challenger who has a strong amateur pedigree.

This fight will be close, but age and activity has this writer giving Diaz a slight edge on Saturday night.

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


Compiled By: William Holmes

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


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Injury Rehabilitation Forces Keith Thurman to Relinquish WBC Belt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adonis Stevenson to Face Badou Jack May 19th in Toronto

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gary Russell Jr. vs. Joseph Diaz Press Conference Quotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JOSEPH DIAZ JR.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sullivan Barrera Expects Bounce Back Performance on Kovalev-Alvarez Undercard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Groves, Eubank, Barrios, Garcia, Stevenson, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

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

Undefeated Light Contender Mario Barrios Steps Up Elite Training with SNAC System

Undefeated 140-pound contender, Mario “Nino de Oro” Barrios (20-0, 12 KOs) takes his strength and conditioning to an elite level with Victor Conte’s SNAC System. Barrios will face Eudy Bernardo in a 10-round bout on SHOWTIME BOXING on SHO EXTREME Saturday, March 10 from Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio.

In preparation for his homecoming fight, Barrios has begun training with SNAC track coach and living legend Remi Korchemny, one of the world’s best elite performance trainers. Barrios is entering his third week with Korchemny, who’s worked with Andre Ward, Demetrius Andrade and Nonito Donaire to name a few. Korchemny sees significant improvement with Barrios’ speed and explosiveness.

“Barrios is a world class athlete with a tremendous work ethic and I see him getting stronger as we continue our rigorous training methods.” said Victor Conte, CEO/Founder of SNAC Nutrition supplements. “Barrios has really taken the next step to becoming a more explosive fighter. Remi and Mario are working great together.”

“Remi is having me do workouts that I have never done before, and our focus is on speed and explosiveness,” said Mario Barrios. “I am grateful to Victor Conte and Remi Korchemny for providing such top-level training prior to my big fight on Showtime.”

“Remi Korchemny is a world-renowned trainer who helps elite boxers develop more power in their punches.” Victor Conte concluded. “This is next level preparation. Only a select few are able to work with Remi and Barrios is definitely worthy.”

TMB and PRB Entertainment Sponsored by MIkey Garcia Promotions Presents Friday Night Fights

TMB & PRB Entertainment, sponsored by Mikey Garcia Promotions, present “Friday Night Fights”, live professional boxing Friday, March 9, 2018, from the Mi Mercado Event Center in San Antonio, TX. The card will showcase ten fights, all featuring hot prospects in 4-round bouts.

Undefeated featherweight sensation and San Antonio native, Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez (4-0, 2 KOs) vs. Jose Casiano (0-1) will serve as the main-event. In the co-feature, Arnold Alejandro (5-0, 4 KOs) battles Christian Santibanez (5-7, 3 KOs).

“We are very excited to be working with TMB & PRB Entertainment,’ said Robert Garcia, who runs and operates Mikey Garcia Promotions. “Mikey and I want to build a great boxing series here with my good friends Rick Morones and Greg Hannley of Prince Ranch Boxing. I know with hard work we can bring a lot of big fights to San Antonio.”

“Mikey and Robert Garcia bring great name recognition to the boxing community here in San Antonio,” said Rick Morones of TMB & PRB Entertainment. “Our local fans are asking for more boxing events and we are delivering. We are thrilled to be working with the Garcia family and March 9th is going to be a great night of boxing.”

Rounding out the card will be super bantamweight’s Angel Alejandro (1-0, 1 KO) vs Jose Elizondo (2-4-1), super middleweights Eddie Hunter Ortiz (5-0-2, 3 KOs) vs. Edward Tigs (4-7-3), lightweight’s Frank “Bloodhound” Brown (3-1-1, 1 KO) vs. Joe Sombrano (2-11-1, 2 KOs), super middleweight’s Tommy Kamara (0-1) vs. Patrick Clarke (Pro Debut), bantamweights Aaron Morales (Pro Debut) vs. Carlos Lopez (Pro Debut), and Featherweight Louie “King” Coria (6-1, 4 KOs) vs. TBA. More bouts to be added on a later date.

Multiple division world champion Mikey Garcia, former world champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios, 3-time world champion Abner Mares, and world title contender Josesito Lopez, will all be special guests at the event.

Ringside tickets priced at $100, and general admission $30, are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (210) 449-5599 or (210) 322-9974. The Mi Mercardo Event Center is located at 227 New Laredo Hwy, San Antonio, TX. Doors open at 6:30 PM, first bell at 8:00 PM.

Super Middleweight World Champions George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr. World Boxing Super Series Semifinals Airing on Super Channel in Canada

World champions “Sir” George Groves and Chris “Next Gen” Eubank Jr., both fighting out of the United Kingdom, will open World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) semifinals-round action in the super middleweight division, this Saturday at Manchester Arena in Manchester United Kingdom.

The Groves vs. Eubank Jr card, starting at 2 p.m. ET, will air live in Canada, exclusively on Super Channel.

The Groves-Eubank Jr. winner will advance to the WBSS championship final against the winner of the other WBSS super middleweight semifinals bout, Feb. 24 in Germany, between Juergen Braehmer (49-3, 35 KOs) and Callum “Mundo” Smith (23-0, 17 KOs). The two semifinals victors will battle for the coveted Muhammad Ali Trophy.

Super Channel acquired the exclusive rights in Canada to broadcast the World Boxing Super Series from MP & Silva, a leading international media company that provides media rights, digital, technology and sponsorship services.

Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) knocked out defending champion Fedor Chudinov in the sixth round to capture the World Boxing Association (WBA) super middleweight title last May. In the WBSS quarterfinals, Groves stopped previously undefeated Jaime Cox in the fourth round. All three of Groves’ pro losses have been to world champions, twice to his fellow countryman Carl Froch and Badao Jack.

“The hype behind this fight is huge,” Groves said. “I hope the fight justifies it. On paper, this is billed as a 50-50 fight with Eubank Jr. maybe even or being made the favorite. I don’t really understand that. I think the form, the history, the experience, the ability all lie in my favor and I’m looking forward to a big night. It’s a semifinal in a tournament I expect to win, so it’s a stepping stone, another step on the way for me.

“Chris Eubank Jr. puts on a façade that he’s able to do everything himself, that’s he’s a one-man band. But it’s very difficult doing stuff on your own, so we’ll see if he starts to make changes and adapts. He’ll have to. Obviously, this is his first really big fight, definitely at super middleweight, and I believe that he is going to fall short in a lot of categories.”

The son of two-time, two-division world champion Chris Eubank, Eubank Jr. was crowned International Boxing Organization (IBO) super middleweight world champion a year ago, when he knocked out Renold Quinlan in the 10th round. He successfully defended his belt last June, taking a 12-round unanimous decision over three-time, two-division world champion Arthur Abraham (46-5). In the WBSS quarterfinal round, Eubank Jr. stopped Avni Yildirim (16-0) in the third round.

“I’ve had many big fights, but this is probably the biggest in terms of profile, the tournament and hype,” Eubank Jr. commented. “But at the end of the day, I always rise to the occasion. The bigger the fight, the better I perform.

George seems to be hung up on what I’ll do. He needs to worry about himself. Thinking about me isn’t going to get him anywhere. I’m a man of my word and George, you will not see the end of the 12th round. He doesn’t have speed, his defense is poor, and his stamina is average, at best. The fact that he’s lacking in those things means he won’t be able to compete with me. I’m not a stepping stone, I’m Mount Everest, and you’re not going to climb me.”

Four potentially explosive fights, including three title matches, are on the “Groves vs. Eubank, Jr.” card, presented by Sauerland Event, airing exclusively in Canada on Super Channel.

The 10-round WBSS Super Middleweight Substitute Fight features undefeated Brit Zach Parker (14-10, 10 KOs) vs. Adasat “Toro” Rodriguez (16-6-2, 10 KOs), of Spain. British middleweight titlist Tommy Langford (19-1, 6 KOs) defends his title against challenger Jack Arnfield (25-2, 6 Kos) in a 10-round bout, and British featherweight champion Ryan Walsh (22-2-1, 11 KOs) takes on unbeaten challenger Isaac Lowe (14-0-2, 5 KOs) in a 12-rounder. Two “swing bouts” could air pending results of the televised bouts: four-round light heavyweight match between pro-debuting Sebastian Eubank and Poland’s Kamil Kulczyk (2-8, 1 KO) and a six-round bout between a pair of British welterweights, Danny Craven (3-1, 1 KO) and Luther Clay (6-1, 3 KOs).

Sullivan Barrera “After Ward, Bivol is My Toughest Challenge
Top light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera is working hard in the second half of his training camp for his March 3rd HBO televised clash against WBA light heavyweight champoin Dmitry Bivol.

The 35-year-old former Cuban amateur standout has been on quite a run. After losing a unanimous decision to the now retired former pound-for-pound king Andre Ward, Barrera has put together a four fight win streak against the likes of Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, Paul “Pay Per View” Parker, Joe Smith Jr. and the hard hitting Felix Valera.

While that is an impressive list, Barrera knows that none of those opponents are as formidable as the challenge that lies ahead of him on March 3rd at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden.

“Bivol is a great fighter. He will be the second best fighter I have faced and second only to Andre Ward,” said Barrera. “He has a great amateur pedigree and has been knocking out the majority of his opponents. I know I need to bring my ‘A’ game to beat him.”

Bivol has stopped his previous four opponents and only 2 of his 12 victims have made it to the final bell. Barrera has a lot of respect for his opponent and believes his power is legitimate.

“He has knocked guys out with one punch. I know I have to be careful in there. He is a very confident fighter. He knows he has power and knows how to get in position to use it. That is why I am taking him very seriously,” Barrera explained.

Barrera knows that a victory over Bivol will open a lot of doors as fights against champions like Sergey Kovalev, the Adonis Stevenson-Badou Jack winner and Artur Beterbiev could be available to him but the Cuban refuses to look ahead.

“March 3rd is all that matters. God willing I get the win and then we can talk about future plans but right now I am focused on Bivol. I know I have to concentrate on him and give him all of my attention,” said Barrera.
Olympic Silver Medalist Shakur Stevenson Set to Open 2018 in Impressive Fashion in Reno

From 2013 through 2015, 2016 Olympic silver medalist and featherweight prospect Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.) (4-0, 2 KOs) opened his competitive year in Reno, Nev. He will return to that tradition in 2018, kicking off the year in an eight-round featherweight contest versus Juan Tapia (Brownsville, Texas) (8-1, 3 KOs) on Friday, February 16 at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino’s Grand Theater.

Competing in Reno has always been a good luck charm of sorts for Stevenson with his run to both Junior and Youth World titles, a Youth Olympic Games gold medal and even his berth in the 2016 Olympic Games all beginning with domestic competitions in the “Biggest Little City in the World.” The Grand Sierra will also be a familiar venue for Stevenson who earned three straight Junior and Youth Open titles in the hotel as a teenager.

It’s only fitting that he prepares for his return to Reno and first eight-round bout at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., where the new USA Boxing training facility now showcases an action shot of the 20-year-old proudly on the gym wall.

Stevenson is training for his fifth professional fight with coach Kay Koroma and alongside the USA Boxing National Team, which includes three teammates from his home gym, the Alexandria Boxing Club in Alexandria, Va. He even enjoyed a special visit from Olympic gold medalists Andre Ward and Claressa Shields earlier in his training camp and Ward, Stevenson’s co-manager, will be ringside for Stevenson’s bout on February 16.

He looks forward to kicking off 2018 in impressive fashion after scoring four professional wins in 2017, including two TKO victories in New York, near his hometown of Newark. He hopes to be even busier in 2018 as he works toward his goal of becoming a World Champion.

Stevenson and his team will conclude training camp this weekend and travel to Reno on Monday in preparation for his February 16 bout. His fight will take place on the undercard of the Ray Beltran – Paulus Moses World Championship fight which will be televised on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Derrick Webster Earns Win Number 25

Derrick “Take it to the Bank” Webster (25-1, 13 KOs) was back in action on Saturday night at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, battling gritty opposition in power-puncher Francisco Cordero (38-10, 29 KOs). All but one ringside judge scored it a complete shutout for Webster, who earned the win via counts of 80-72 twice and 79-73.

“He was a tough opponent,” Webster said of Cordero. “He definitely wasn’t as fast as me and couldn’t move with me. I knew he didn’t like the body shots, so I probably should have gone to the body a little more. I was also landing left hooks on him, but he had a strong base. After not fighting since August, I was knocking a lot of ring rust off, but I ultimately came out and did what I needed to come away successfully with another victory.”

Webster was working the jab early in this contest, establishing his range and keeping his hands busy. In the second frame, he began tossing some throwaway jabs that he followed-up with a straight right hand down the middle, something that would be successful for him throughout the evening. He continued to do a nice job of keeping Cordero on the edge of his attack, and he looked to be in complete control by the time the middle rounds arrived.

Cordero had trouble getting inside the 6-foot-4 frame of Webster, as his offense quickly became restricted to a two-punch combination of an attempted jab to the body and a wild overhand right. Throughout the bout, Webster was able to continually read Cordero correctly, and he repeatedly missed with those shots.

In the latter rounds, Webster mixed in flurries while keeping Cordero distanced on the perimeter of his range, which prevented his opponent him from being able to get much offense going. Webster eventually put the exclamation point on the bout with a fast start to the eighth and final frame before finishing off a strategic win that never allowed Cordero to bring his power into play.

The victory stands as the 25th win for the Glassboro, N.J. native, a prestigious mark that was clearly significant to him.

“It means everything,” Webster said of reaching 25 victories. “I’m a student of the game, and I will remain a student of the game so I can keep on growing.”

With his first fight of the year now under his belt, Webster looks to springboard this win into a busy 2018. He hopes to step back into the ring as early as March.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Lomachenko Outclasses Rigondeaux, Stevenson, Conlan, Jennings, and Diaz Win


By: William Holmes

The Theatre at the Madison Square Garden was the host site for tonight’s highly anticipated WBO Super Featherweight World Title fight between Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux. Both Lomachenko and Rigondeaux had outstanding amateur careers winning two gold medals each.

Some of Top Rank’s most coveted boxers were featured on the undercard, including Michael Conlan, Shakur Stevenson, and former heavyweight title contender Bryant Jennings.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing

The opening bout of the night was between Shakur Stevenson (4-0) and Oscar Mendoza (4-2) in the featherweight division.

Shakur Stevenson looked levels beyond Oscar Mendoza and warmed up quickly and was landing crisp combinations within the first minute of the fight. Mendoza was able to offer little in return but cover up.

Stevenson opened up the second round with hard combination that sent Mendoza falling backwards into the rope. He followed that up with some punishing body shots. Stevenson continued to obliterate Mendoza until the referee, Sparkle Lee, stepped in to stop the fight.

The stoppage may have been premature, but Mendoza was clearly outclassed

Shakur Stevenson wins by TKO at 1:38 of the second round.

The next bout of the night was between Christopher Diaz (21-0) and Bryant Cruz (18-2) in the Super Featherweight division.

Cruz was the first to land with a quick jab but Diaz was able to land the combinations and crisper counters. A straight right hand by Diaz sent Cruz to his butt in the first, but Cruz was able to get back to his feet and survive the first.

Cruz looked recovered by the start of the second round and was sharp with his jab. Diaz however landed a left hook that may have clipped behind Cruz’s head that made his legs wobbly and sent him to the mat again. Diaz was knocked down a second time in the second round with a straight right hand that forced Diaz to take a knee to take time to recover.

Diaz jumped right on Cruz in the third round and had him wobbly and sent him to the mat for the fourth time in the night. This time the referee decided to stop the fight.

Christopher Diaz wins by TKO at 0:37 of the third round.

The next fight of the night was a featherweight fight between Luis Molina (4-3-1) and Michael Conlan (4-0).

Conlan, an Irish Olympian, was levels above Luis Molina and was landing a good jab to the body and head in the first two rounds of the fight. Conlan fought with his hands low throughout the fight and by the fourth land had landed eighty punches in comparison to the twenty that Molina landed.

Conlan was able to stagger Molina in the fifth round with a good left hook and was able to do some damage with left uppercuts.

By the end of the fight Conlan had out landed Molina 128-31. All three judges scored the bout 60-54 for Michael Conlan.

The main event of the night was between Vasyl Lomachenko (9-1) and Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0) for the WBO Super Featherweight Title.

The crowd could be heard chanting for Lomachenko during the referee instructions. Lomachenko had about a seven-pound weight advantage at the unofficial weigh ins before the fight.

Rigondeaux opened up the first round with a good two punch combination, but Lomachenko pressed the action more and was constantly looking for openings to land his jab.

Lomachenko was finding angles to land on Rigondeaux in the second round and had a sharp right hook. Rigondeaux was holding a lot in the second round and that holding continued throughout the fight. Rigondeaux consistently ducked low to try and avoid the punches of Lomachenko, but Lomachenko was able to find his target and dance around Rigondeaux.

The right uppercut from Lomachenko did some damage in the third round and the referee warned Rigondeaux again to not hold. Lomachenko was toying with Rigondeaux in the fourth round and Rigondeaux was beginning to look frustrated.

Lomachenko walked Rigondeaux down in the fifth round and Rigondeaux was showing his frustration by punching Lomachenko during a break. Lomachenko’s confidence only continued to grow into the sixth round as he dazzled the fans with his footwork and accurate counters.

Rigondeaux lost a point in the sixth round for holding, but he was losing every exchange when he was not holding his opponent. When Rigondeaux went to his corner before the start of the seventh he told his corner his hand was injured and that he could not continue.

Vasyl Lomachenko wins by TKO at the end of round six due to Guillermo Rigondeaux not being able to come out for the seventh due to an injured hand.

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Welcome to Montreal- Canada’s Mecca of Boxing


By: Patrick Mascoe

Montreal has long been considered Canada’s cultural capital and may very well be one of North America’s most beautiful and interesting cities. It is warm and inviting, as well as multicultural and cosmopolitan. French is the city’s official language, creating the illusion that Montreal is more of a European than North American city. Montreal may be best known for hosting the “Just for Laughs Comedy Festival” and for its beloved hockey team, the Montreal Canadians. However, in recent years it has re-established itself as a true boxing hotbed.

Historically, Montreal has always supported the sweet science. In 1958, arguably one of the greatest title fights of all time took place in Montreal between Yvon Durelle and legendary champion, Archie Moore. Moore eventually defeated the French Canadian, but it wasn’t easy. Motivated by fighting in front of a home crowd, Durelle, a 4-1 underdog, managed to knock down the champion five times before being stopped in the eleventh round.

Montreal also hosted the first Sugar Ray Leonard – Roberto Duran fight in 1980 in front of 44,000 spectators. Those numbers are truly amazing when you consider that neither boxer was fighting in front of a home crowd. Both the American, Leonard, and the Panamanian, Duran, were fighting on foreign soil. Montreal fans were not there to support one of their own as they had for Durelle years earlier. They were supporting the sport of boxing itself. That support has always existed in Montreal and now the rest of the world is taking notice.

American fighters, who would never have considered leaving home in the past, are now gladly flocking to Montreal and Quebec City to ply their trade in front of knowledgeable and appreciative audiences. Over the last few years, world ranked American boxers such as, Bernard Hopkins, Chad Dawson, Timothy Bradley, Kendal Holt, William Joppy, and Omar Sheika, as well as American-based fighters Edison Miranda, Glen Johnson, and Librado Andrade have all fought in the province of Quebec.

Ironically, after Bernard Hopkins fought Jean Pascal to a controversial draw in Quebec City in 2010, he swore he would never again fight in Canada. Funny how interest and money can change the mind of even the harshest critic. Bernard Hopkins did travel back across the border, this time to Montreal, and proceeded to win his rematch with Jean Pascal, becoming the oldest boxer in history to win a world title. More than 17,750 tickets were sold for the fight. Compare that to his very next fight against Chad Dawson at the Staple Center in Los Angeles, in front of a considerably smaller crowd of 7,000, and one can’t help but see the growing potential of the Montreal market.

How did the Montreal faithful react to the defeat of their local hero Jean Pascal? They responded with class. At the end of the fight, not only did the fans continue to support Pascal, they also enthusiastically applauded Hopkins and acknowledged his monumental performance. It is the capacity that the Montreal fans possess to judge fighters solely on their merits that makes coming to Montreal so inviting. This attitude transcends boxing. Though the Quebec fans are fiercely loyal and incredibly supportive of their own, what makes them truly special is that you don’t need to be French Canadian to be loved. If you adopt them they will in turn adopt you.

Before baseball legend Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, he played in the International League for the Montreal Royals. He often spoke about how fortunate he was to play baseball in Montreal because all that was expected of him was to play to the best of his ability. “In my own country, I received boos and jeering. Going back to Montreal, and the warm and friendly reception that I received, is something I can never forget.” After Montreal won the International League Championships in 1946, the Montreal Gazette reported that Robinson was forced to run for his life because he was being chased by white men – not because of hate but because of love and adoration.

Montreal’s love affair with its athletes, either homegrown or adopted, is as strong now as it was in the days of Jackie Robinson. Just ask Lucien Bute, the former Super Middleweight Champion of the world. Bute was born in Galati, Romania in 1980 and arrived in Montreal in 2003 to work as a training partner for local fighter Eric Lucas, who was preparing to defend his WBC Super Middleweight Title against Markus Beyer. Since his arrival, Bute has become a fixture in the Montreal boxing scene.

On October 19, 2007, at the Bell Center in Montreal, Bute was given a shot at the IBF Super Middleweight Title. He defeated Alejandro Barrio of Columbia by TKO in the eleventh round. Bute went on to defend his title nine times, including six title fights in Montreal. His title reign ended in 2012, when he was soundly defeated by Carl Froch in Nottingham, England.

In 2014, after a long lay off due to injuries, Bute was matched against fellow Montreal resident Jean Pascal. Despite the fact that both fighters were no longer world champions, the fight captured the interest of the entire city and proved to be their best financial option. More than 20,000 boisterous fans took turns chanting the names of their hometown heroes throughout the entire twelve-round match. When it was all over, Pascal was awarded a unanimous decision over his cross-town rival.

Montreal boxing promoter, Yvon Michel, claims that there are numerous reasons for the consistent success of boxing in the Montreal market. For one, the city has never been short of homegrown talent. Hall of Famer, Arturo Gatti was raised in Montreal and went on to become the WBC Lightweight Champion. Two of the four Hilton brothers, who were as famous in Montreal for their antics outside the ring as inside, managed to stay out of trouble just long enough to win world titles. Matthew Hilton was an IBF World Light Middleweight Champion back in 1990 and his brother Davey Hilton Jr. won the WBC Super Middleweight Title in 2000.

Another set of Montreal brothers, who are still making their living in the fight business, are Howard and Otis Grant. Back in 1998, Otis Grant challenged Roy Jones Jr. for his WBA and WBC Light Heavyweight Titles. He and brother, Howard, a former Olympic boxer, now run a popular gym in Montreal with clients from both the boxing and MMA world. For years, they have coached UFC fighter Georges St. Pierre and were Lucien Bute’s corner men.

Montreal resident Eric Lucas held the WBC Super Middleweight Title from 2001 – 2003 and was a regular main event fighter at the Bell Centre. Dierry Jean, of Montreal, fought Terence Crawford in 2015, for the WBO Light Welterweight Title but was stopped in the tenth round. Former WBC heavyweight champion, Bermane Stiverne, grew up and learned his trade in Montreal. WBC Champion Adonis Stevenson has fought most of his fights in Quebec and has seen little reason to fight elsewhere. Whenever he steps into the ring at the Bell Center, the arena is packed.

In 2015, Montreal native David Lemieux lost his IBF Middleweight Title to Gennady Golovkin. Despite the loss, Lemieux endeared himself to his Montreal fans by seeking out Golovkin and challenging the fighter that most others in the division were trying to avoid. Although Golovkin proved to be too much, Lemieux demonstrated that he was both willing and brave. At one point, Lemieux was hit while taking a knee. He shook it off and said nothing. If ever a fighter was looking for an easy way out, that was it. He could have easily made the claim that the illegal blow prevented him from continuing. Had he done so, he may have been awarded the fight by disqualification. Thankfully, that’s not what Montreal fighters do, nor is that what Montreal fans expect. Lemieux didn’t look for a way to earn an undeserved victory. Instead, he tried his best but came up short. His Montreal fans knew what he was up against in Golovkin and despite the loss, admiration and support for Lemieux has only grown.

According to Yvon Michel, Montreal is a city that supports all sporting events. Montreal’s athletes are seen as celebrities and boxing matches are seen as social events. He remembers seeing thousands of fans turning out to support Quebec’s Amateur Olympic Athletes in sports like speed skating and synchronized swimming. Being world class and representing Quebec has always been enough to elicit both pride and support from the Quebec faithful.

Another reason for boxing’s success in Montreal is the ability for promoters to work together. Yvon Michel and rival promotional company, Eye of the Tiger, see the benefit of working together in order to make the best match-ups possible. As a result, Montreal fans are never sitting around wondering what would have been. Matches that are hoped for are made. The two biggest promotional companies understand the principles of mutual prosperity and mutual benefit. They work together because when they do, all of Quebec benefits – the promoters, boxers, fans and the media. Unlike the majority of big city newspapers that never seem to cover any boxing news, Le Journal de Montreal dedicates an entire section of their online paper to covering boxing and other combat sports.

Former champions, Pascal and Bute are no longer the stars of Montreal as they once were. Both are now on the brink of retirement. Pascal has lost three of his last five fights, while Bute has lost four of his last five. For both men their best days are behind them. However, their contribution to the Montreal boxing scene will never be forgotten. Montreal fans are not fair weather fans. If Lucien Bute and Jean Pascal never win another fight, they will still be forever loved by the city of Montreal.

Despite the fact that Bute and Pascal are on the way out, the future of boxing in Montreal will continue to shine for years to come. Three of the Ring’s “100 Best Fighters in the World” call Montreal home; Adonis Stevenson, the WBC light heavyweight champion, undefeated light heavyweight Artur Beterbiev, and undefeated Eleider Alvarez, also a light heavyweight.

Rumors in Montreal are suggesting that Eleider Alvarez, a Montreal resident by way of Colombia, will be challenging Montreal resident and WBC Lightweight Champion, Adonis Stephenson for his title in Montreal in early 2018. The fight was originally rumored to be held in December but has been moved back because one of Montreal’s other top tier fighters is already in negotiations to fight at the Bell Center in December. David Lemieux appears to be set to take on WBO Champ Billy Joe Saunders just before Christmas. Promoters in Montreal are living the dream. When the main event fighters are from the host city and are vying for a world title, tickets tend to sell themselves.

As in all things in life, success seems to keep opportunity flowing. Whoever wins between Alvarez and Stephenson will probably guarantee themselves main event status in Montreal at least for the next couple of years. Perhaps, Sergey Kovalev who has fought twice in Montreal would be willing to come back to chase a title? Should David Lemieux defeat Saunders that could open up a number of possible match ups. In the past, Lemieux has called out Canelo Alvarez and appears willing to step in against anyone at anytime. Artur Beterbiev has also announced that he is ready to challenge for a world title as soon as possible.

Besides the major fights held at the Bell Center a large number of smaller cards are held annually throughout Montreal. Montreal trained fighters such as, Yves Ulysse Jr., Steven Butler, Batyr Jukembayev, Oscar Rivas, and Custio Clayton are all hoping to keep the Montreal tradition alive by one day becoming world champions.

In a city where loyalty is rewarded with loyalty, and where both fighters and fans understand that love is a two-way street, Montreal may prove to be a prime boxing destination for years to come. If you consider yourself a fan of boxing, then “Bienvenue à Montréal.”

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Showtime World Championship Results: Adonis Stevenson Blitzes Past Fonfara, Alvarez Defeats Pascal


Showtime World Championship Results: Adonis Stevenson Blitzes Past Fonfara, Alvarez Defeats Pascal
By: William Holmes

Reigning WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Jean Pascal fought again in the familiar confines of the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada as he defended his title against an opponent he had difficulty with before, Polish light heavyweight Andrzej Fonfara.IMG_3896

The opening bout of the evening was between former lineal light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (31-4-1) and the undefeated prospect Eleider Alvarez (22-0). Despite Pascal’s recent losses, he still remains a popular boxer in Canada.

Alvarez, the taller fighter, took the center of the ring in the opening round and was sharp with his jab and the more aggressive boxer early. Pascal rallied late in the first round with some good shots to the body and may have stolen that round.

Alvarez’s straight right hand forced Pascal to clinch in the second round and was able to land some hard uppercuts. His aggressiveness continued into the third round which featured a fierce exchange between both boxers as the round ended.

Pascal was warned for punching after the break in the fourth round as Alvarez’s sharp jab was forcing Pascal to hold on often. Alvarez’s jab continued to be effective in the fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds and were noticeable effecting Jean Pascal.

Pascal was able to land some good flurries in the eighth round including two right hooks to the temple and a double left hook. But Alvarez retook control in the ninth round and landed two head snapping right uppercuts that had Pascal hurt.

Pascal may have stolen the tenth and eleventh rounds with late flurries near the end of the rounds, but in the final round Alvarez looked like the fresher fighter and was able to close out the bout strong.

The final scores were 114-114, 117-111 and 116-112 for Eleider Alvarez.

The main event of the night was between WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis Stevenson (28-1) and Andrzej Fonfara (29-4).

Fonfara started off aggressively and was coming at Stevenson with his jab, but his momentum was short lived. Stevenson landed his straight left and followed it up with a clubbing straight left that sent Fonfara down to the mat. Fonfara was able to get back to his feet, but Stevenson swarmed on Fonfara and landed several hard straight left hands that had Fonfara hurt. Stevenson was unloading on Fonfara by the corner as the opening round came to an end.

Stevenson landed several hard straight left hands to open up the second round and he had Fonfara backing up and not throwing many punches back towards Stevenson’s way. Virgil Hunter then stepped on the apron to stop the fight before his boxer would take any additional damage.

Adonis Stevenson destroys Andrzej Fonfara by TKO at 0:28 of the second round.

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Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Adonis Stevenson vs. Andrzej Fonfara, Jean Pascal vs. Eleider Alvarez


Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Adonis Stevenson vs. Andrzej Fonfara, Jean Pascal vs. Eleider Alvarez
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada Adonis Stevenson will take on Andrzej Fonfara for Adonis Stevenson’s WBC Light Heavyweight
Title in the main event of World Championship Boxing on Showtime.

Former world champion Jean Pascal will be the lead fight of the undercard as he takes on undefeated contender Eleider Alvarez.

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Two other light heavyweight stalwarts, Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward, will meet in a few weeks on HBO Pay Per View. It seems logical that the winner of Saturday’s Stevenson and Fonfara bout will likely face the winner of the pay per view bout between Kovalev and Ward, at least it should happen for boxing fans worldwide.

The following is a preview of Saturday’s card.


Jean Pascal (31-4-1) vs. Eleider Alvarez (22-0); Light Heavyweight

Eleider Alvarez is an intriguing prospect with a successful amateur background that includes competing in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Pascal is an ex-champion that has faced some legends in the sport. He also had a successful amateur background and won the Canadian Amateur Championships seven times and competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics.

Alvarez will have about an inch and a half height advantage as well as a three and a half inch reach advantage. They’re both nearing the end of their primes, with Pascal being thirty four years old and Alvarez being thirty three years old.

Pascal has defeated the likes of Ricardo Ramallo, Yunieski Gonzalez, Lucian Bute, George Blades, Chad Dawson, and Adrian Diaconu. His losses have come to Carl Froch, Bernard Hopkins, and Sergey Kovalev twice.

Alvarez opened up a lot of eyes with his knockout in his last bout against Lucian Bute. He has also defeated the likes of Robert Berridge, Isaac Chilemba, Ryno Liebenberg, and Edison Miranda. Alvarez has never tasted defeated.

Both boxers have average power, Pascal has stopped eighteen of his opponents while Alvarez has stopped eleven of his opponents.

Alvarez is an intriguing prospect, he’s undefeated with a deep amateur background but older than the age most people would consider someone to be a prospect. But his career trajectory is on the upswing, while Pascal’s appears to be on the downswing. For that reason this writer has to give the edge to Alvarez.

Adonis Stevenson (28-1) vs. Andrzej Fonfara (29-4); WBC Light Heavyweight Title

This bout is a rematch of their bout in May of 2014 that saw Stevenson win a close and tightly contested decision.

Since that bout Stevenson has gone on a tear, including winning three of his past four fights by stoppage. Fonfara was knocked out viciously and quickly by Joe Smith Jr., but was able to bounce back from that by defeating former world champion Chad Dawson.

Both boxers had moderate success as an amateur. Stevenson won the Canadian National Championship in 2005 and 2006. Fonfara competed regularly on the European circuit. Neither boxer competed in the Olympics.

Stevenson has considerable power and has stopped twenty three of his opponents. Fonfara has seventeen stoppage victories. Both boxers have at times been stopped. Stevenson was stopped by Darnell Boone while Fonfara was stopped twice.

Stevenson has defeated the likes of Thomas Williams Jr., Tommy Karpency, Sakio Bika, Dmitry Sukhotskiy, Andrzej Fonfara, Tony Bellew, Tavoris Cloud, Chad Dawson, and Donovan George. Fonfara has defeated the likes of Chad Dawson, Nathan Cleverly, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Gabriel Campillo, Tommy Karpency and Glen Johnson.

Stevenson started late as a professional but is currently thirty nine years old. Fonfara is ten years younger at the age of twenty nine. Stevenson will be giving up a three and a half inch height advantage. They have the same reach.

Their first bout was close, but Fonfara is coming off a knockout loss. If this bout goes the distance Fonfara has a chance at winning as stamina favors him. But this writer believes Stevenson will walk away the victor and hopefully chase after the winner of Ward and Kovalev.

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HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Beltran Flattens Maicelo, Crawford Dazzles in Impressive Performance


HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Beltran Flattens Maicelo,
By: William Holmes

The ultra-talented and underappreciated Terence Crawford headlined tonight’s HBO World Championship Boxing Card live from Madison Square Garden in New York City as he took on former Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz.

The untelevised undercard featured some of Top Rank’s best prospects, including gold medalist Fazliddin Gaibnazarov and the man many consider to be the best prospect from the US Olympic Boxing team of 2016, Shakur Stevenson.

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There were no notable upsets on the undercard.

Unfortunately for Top Rank, Terence Crawford’s ability to draw in New York City appears to be questionable, as the top section of Madison Square Garden was empty and there were numerous empty seats in the lower section of the arena.

The first bout on the televised card was between Jonathan Maicelo (25-2) and Ray Beltran (32-7-1) for the NABF, NABO, WBA International, and in an IBF World Title Elimination Bout in the lightweight division.

Maicelo, surprisingly, had a large number of fans in attendance and they were very vocal during the ring entrance and announcements.

Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance and Beltran was clearly the bigger fighter. Beltran pressed forward in the opening round while the crowd loudly chanted “Peru, Peru!” for their boxer Jonathan Maicelo. Maicelo was able to score a surprise knockdown on Beltran from a combination to the body and an accidental head-butt in the first. The clash of heads opened up a cut over the left eye of Maicelo and the left eye of Beltran. Beltran was able to hurt Maicelo with a left hook at the end of the round.

Beltran pressed forward to start the second round and opened up with an early left hook. Maicelo was able to respond with a solid four punch combination followed by a hard shot to the body. Maicelo looked energized and landed another combination on Beltran by the ropes. However, beltran later responded with a vicious left hook that sent the back of Maicelo’s head crashing hard on the mat.

Maicelo was out cold and the referee immediately stopped the bout. Ray Beltran wins by a vicious knockout at 1:25 of the second round.

The main event of the night was between Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz (19-1) and Terence Crawford (30-0) for the WBO and WBC Super Lightweight World Titles.

Crawford, who had a noticeable height advantage, was active with his jab early on and chose to come out in a southpaw stance against the Diaz, who is a natural southpaw. Diaz was short with most of his punches and reached for his left hook while Crawford was active with his jab.

Diaz was able to land a good left hook early in the second round and later fell to the mat with a pushdown afterwards. Crawford was sharp with his jab for most of the second round and landed a sharp double uppercut combination in the middle of the round. Diaz was able to land a hard right hook near the end of the second that caught Crawford off guard.

Crawford hard a commanding third round and opened it up with a crisp counter left uppercut on a charging Diaz. Crawford’s accuracy with his jab continued in the third round and he was able to land several hard two punch combinations on Diaz.

Diaz was warned for a low blow in the fourth round, but more concerning for him was that Crawford’s accuracy showed no signs of letting up while Diaz’s face was beginning to show signs of swelling from Crawfrod’s accurate assaults.

Crawford dominated the fifth round which was punctuated by a left cross right jab combination and a hard left uppercut.

Crawford toyed with Diaz in the sixth round and seemingly touched Diaz with his gloves whenever he wanted to. Diaz was able to land some good punches in the seventh round and they had several good exchanges, but Crawford appeared to get the better of Diaz.

There was some trash talk between both boxers in the eighth and ninth rounds, but Crawford was landing combinations at will and the intensity of his punches showed no signs of slowing down. He had Diaz momentarily stunned in the ninth round with a hard left cross to the temple of Diaz.

Ringside doctors took a hard look at the eyes of Diaz before the start of the tenth round but decided to let him continue. Crawford took no pity on the plight of Diaz and battered him from ring post to ring post in the tenth round and toyed with him, again.

Diaz walked back to his corner at the end of the tenth round looking like a defeated man and his corner wisely decided to call of the fight.
Terence Crawford wins by TKO at the end of the tenth round in an impressive and dominant performance.

Undercard Quick Results:

Steve Nelson (7-0) defeated Gilberto Rubio (7-5) by TKO at 0:36 of the second round in the light heavyweight division.

Henry Lebron (2-0) defeated Johnny Estrada (0-2) by TKO at 0:52 of the second round in the super featherweight division.

Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (2-0) defeated Agustine Mauras (6-3-3) by decision with scores of 80-72 on all three scorecards in the super lightweight division.

Konstantin Ponomarev (32-0) defeated Edward Paredes (37-7-1) by decision with scores of 78-74 on all three scorecards in the super welterweight division.

Teofimo Lopez III (5-0) defeated Ronald Rivas (5-6-2) by knockout at 2:21 of the second round in the lightweight division.

Tong Hui Li (9-1) defeated Daniel Calzada (14-17-3) by decision in the super welterweight division with scores of 60-54 on all three scorecards.

Shakur Stevenson (2-0) defeated Carlos Suarez (6-4-2) in the featherweight division wins by TKO at 2:35 of the first round.

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3 Olympic Boxing Gold Medal Winners in Papp, Stevenson & Savon!


3 Olympic Boxing Gold Medal Winners in Papp, Stevenson & Savon!
By: Ken Hissner

Hungarian southpaw Laszlo Papp won Olympic Gold Medals in boxing in 1948, 1952 and 1956. When the Communist country of Hungary finally allowed Papp to turn professional in 1957 he was not permitted to box other than in Europe. Boxing promoter Lou Lucchese informed this writer that when he tried matching middleweight champion Joey Giardello with Papp the FBI showed up on his door step in Leesport, PA, questioning his interest in Papp. The fight was never made.

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As a professional Papp was 27-0-2 (15), and became the European middleweight champion in 1962 and defended that title six times before being forced into retirement for refusing to coach the Russian boxing team in 1962. He boxed in Germany, Austria, France, Spain and Denmark. He defeated four Americans with the most known being Ralph “Tiger” Jones.Papp passed away in 2003 at the age of 77.His amateur record was 301-12-6 and was inducted into the IBHOF in 2001. In Helsinki, Finland in 1952 he defeated American Spider Webb. In 1956 he defeated future world champion Jose Torres.

Cuban Teofilo Stevenson was the Olympic Gold Medal winner in 1972, 1976 and 1980. Cuba withdrew from the Olympics in 1984. In 1972 he avenged a loss in the 1971 Pan Am Games to American Duane Bobick defeating him in the Olympics. He was awarded the Val Barker Trophy as the best boxer in the Olympic Games. In 1976 he defeated future world champion John Tate. He won World championships in 1974 defeating American Marvin Stinson and in 1978 defeating future world champion Tony Tubbs. In 1982 he lost to future world champion Francesco Damiani.

In the Pan American Games Stevenson in 1975 defeated future world champion Michael Dokes for the title. In 1979 he defeated American Rufus Hadley for the title. In USA-Cuba meetings he defeated Jimmy Clark three times and Tyrell Biggs the 1984 Olympic Gold medalist twice. He defeated American Philipp Brown in 1979. He was 302-22 in the amateurs. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 60.

Cuban Felix Savon won Olympic Gold Medals in 1992, 1996 and 2000. 362-21 was his amateur record. In 1992 he defeated American Danell Nicholson and Nigerian David Izon. In 1996 he defeated Luan Krasniqi. In 2000 he defeated American Michael Bennett and future world champion Russia’s Sultan Ibragimov. He defeated David Tua and future world champions Lamont Brewster and Shannon Briggs. Savon is 49 years-old.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather, McGregor, Fonfara, Stevenson, Pulev, Barrios and more…


Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather, McGregor, Fonfara, Stevenson, Pulev, Barrios and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes

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

press conference-0013 - Adonis Stevenson - CBS

Dana White Tells Colin Cowherd that McGregor vs. Mayweather is Getting Closer

UFC President Dana White joined The Herd with Colin Cowherd today, April 19, to update everyone on a potential Floyd Mayweather / Conor McGregor fight and said it’s getting really close. Below is a highlight from the interview, as well as a link to the video:

Cowherd: “Has one side agreed to it, or are they both in flux?”
White: “I think we get the McGregor side done in the next couple of days, and then I go lock myself in a room for a couple days with Team Mayweather and see what we can come out with.”

Cowherd: “Is it all about money at this point?”
White: “It’s all about money. Absolutely. Yeah, definitely.”

Cowherd: “What is your projection on total purse for this – all said and done?”
White: “It depends on how much the fight sells. If the fight sells as well as I think it can, Floyd makes a little north of $100 (million) and Conor makes $75 (million).”

Cowherd: “Mayweather is bothered by the split, because he feels what – he should get how much of it?”
White: “He feels he’s the A side and he should get more of it. We haven’t really got into that negotiation yet. I wanted to get McGregor locked in first because McGregor is under contract with me. At the end of the day, does this fight make a ton of sense for me? It really doesn’t, but you know, Conor wants this thing really bad, and I’ve said it many times, this kid has stepped up and saved some big fights for me, man. So I’m in, I’ll figure it out.”

Video Link: https://twitter.com/TheHerd/status/854798886270939136

Credit to “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” and Foxsportsreadio.com

Andrzej Fonfara to Face Adonis Stevenson in Championship Rematch

WBC Light Heavyweight World Champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson will take-on hard-hitting Polish contender Andrzej Fonfara in a rematch of their 2014 slugfest on Saturday, June 3 in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, presented by Premier Boxing Champions, live on SHOWTIME from the Bell Centre in Montreal.

Televised coverage will also include a matchup of top light heavyweights as WBC number-one contender Eleider Alvarez (22-0, 11 KOs) faces former world champion Jean Pascal (31-4-1, 18 KOs) with both men looking to get a shot at the winner of the main event next.

Stevenson (28-1, 23 KOs) and Fonfara (29-4, 17 KOs) battled at Bell Centre on May 24, 2014 as Stevenson was able to survive a knockdown late in the fight to win a decision and defend his belt for the third time. Both men threw huge shots all the way until the final bell and will look to pick up where they left off on June 3.

“I’m very excited for this rematch with Fonfara, but it is going to be a short night for him because they don’t pay me for overtime,” said Stevenson. “I’m very happy to be back in the ring for my first fight of 2017. I can’t wait to fight in front of my hometown fans at the Bell Centre. The first time I fought Fonfara was at the Bell Centre in 2014 and now we’re back doing it for a second time. I will put on a great, exciting show for the fans in my hometown, and for the fans on SHOWTIME.”

“I feel good that I’m back here after three years,” said Fonfara. “I’m ready for revenge. I’m a different fighter physically and mentally. I’ve shown in a couple of fights that I’m a better fighter. It’s a great opportunity to get the rematch and be a world champion. The last fight against Chad Dawson gave me experience because it was very technical. But really all the fights since then – Julio Chavez, Jr., Nathan Cleverly and even Joe Smith – have helped me prepare for Stevenson again. I changed my team, got a new coach and a trainer, which makes me physically and mentally where I need to be for this fight. I don’t have a problem fighting in Montreal. I love Montreal. It’s a beautiful city with beautiful people. It will be a great night of boxing and I’m sure that I will be victorious on the night of June 3.”

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Group Yvon Michel (GYM) in association with Warriors Boxing, are priced from $80 to $350, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at the Bell Centre box office, on www.evenko.ca, at GYM (514) 383-0666) or at Champion Boxing Club (514) 376-0980.

“This is one of the best shows in Quebec in a long time,” said Yvon Michel, President of GYM. “It’s the kind of event that will inject some adrenaline into boxing in Quebec. We have two fights that could be main events anywhere in the world and on any network. Adonis will defend his title for the eighth time. To be a world champion for four years is exceptional. Fonfara has a style that can give Adonis some problems.’

“In the co-main event we have a former world champion in Pascal who still believes he can be world champion. He will have a tough assignment with Alvarez, a fighter who just proved he belongs with the best in the world with his win over Lucian Bute. If he beats Pascal he will have beaten two of the best stars that Canada has ever produced in back-to-back fights. He will prove to be a threat to anyone in the future.”

“We’re really looking forward to taking on Stevenson at the Bell Centre in Montreal on SHOWTIME,” said Leon Margules, President of Warriors Boxing, Fonfara’s promoter. “Andrzej was just 26-years-old when they fought last time and it was a big step up for him. We believe he’s now ready to win because he has gained a significant amount of experience in matches with Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., Nathan Cleverly and Chad Dawson. We’re thrilled to be given the opportunity to fight Stevenson for the world title for a second time.”

Stevenson won the world light heavyweight title in June of 2013 in Montreal, via a sensational 76-second, first-round knockout over the then-undisputed king of the division Chad Dawson. The impressive victory earned Stevenson “Knockout of the Year” and “Fighter of the Year” accolades. From there, Stevenson went on to record stoppage victories over Tavoris Cloud and Tony Bellew in addition to the decision over Fonfara. Born in Haiti, but fighting out of Quebec, Stevenson defended his title twice in 2015 before making the seventh defense of his belt in an exciting firefight with Thomas Williams Jr. that ended with a fourth-round knockout for the reigning champion.

The lineal 175-pound champion trains out of the late Emanuel Steward’s Kronk Gym with his head trainer Sugar Hill.
Now training in Oakland with Virgil Hunter, Fonfara enters this bout coming off of a 10th-round stoppage victory over former world champion Chad Dawson in March at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The fighter out of Warsaw, Poland bounced back from his defeat to Stevenson with a TKO victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and a decision over Nathan Cleverly in a 2015 Fight of the Year contender. The 29-year-old won his first 13 fights after moving up to light heavyweight in 2010 including wins over Gabriel Campillo, Glen Johnson and Tommy Karpency.

A 2008 Colombian Olympian fighting out of Montreal, Alvarez worked his way into the mandatory position for the WBC title with victories over Isidro Ranoni Prieto and Isaac Chilemba in 2015. He followed those up with wins over Robert Berridge and Norbert Dabrowski before his most recent matchup that saw him deliver a sensation fifth round knockout over former world champion Lucian Bute.

Originally from Haiti, Pascal and his family moved to Canada when he was a child and began boxing at the age of 13. He would eventually become one of the most accomplished fighters from Montreal. Pascal became a world champion in 2009 when he defeated previously unbeaten Adrian Diaconu. He would go on to defend the title three times, including a victory over Chad Dawson. After losing his title to Bernard Hopkins, Pascal has picked up victories over Lucian Bute, Yuniesky Gonzalez and most recently Ricardo Ramallo in addition to two challenges of former unified world champion Sergey Kovalev.

Fite TV to Stream Pulev vs. Johnson

FITE TV will stream the April 28th heavyweight clash between a pair of past world title contenders, Kubrat “The Cobra” Pulev and Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson, live on pay per view, starting at 2 p.m. ET /11 a.m. PT, from Arena Armeec in Sofia, Bulgaria. Encore presentations will also be available to watch.

FITE TV is a Combat Sports Network that features boxing, MMA and wrestling programming. FITE gives viewers the choice to watch the program on line at www.FITE.tv, on their mobile device or on their WiFi connected television using the FITE app. The FITE app can be downloaded for free at Google Play or the iTunes app stores.

“Final Countdown: Pulev vs. Johnson”, promoted by Sauerland Promotions, is available to watch on the FITE app and website for a suggested retail price of $19.99.

Boxing fans may watch the entire card, headlined by the Pulev-Johnson 12-round World Boxing Association (WBA) heavyweight title fight, simply by downloading the FITE app and then cast the fight to the big screen by using the instant stream-to-TV function. The FITE app works with any Wi-Fi connected television around the world, iOS and Android devices, as well as streaming devices such as Roku, Chromecast and more. Fans may also watch the fights live on the FITE website at www.fite.tv from any computer.

“Pulev versus Johnson is another fine boxing event that FITE is now making available to our North American fan base,” FITE COO Michael Weber said. “FITE continues to grow by leaps and bounds and we are very proud of the growth of world class boxing events to complement our current line-up of MMA and wrestling events.”

The 6′ 4 ½ Pulev, fighting at home in Sofia, Bulgaria, captured the vacant WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight title in his last fight this past December, in which former world champion Samuel Peters (36-5) retired after the third round.

Last May, Pulev won a 12-round split decision over Dereck Chisora (25-5) to capture the European heavyweight championship. The 35-year-old Pulev has won four in a row since he suffered the only loss of his professional career, by way of a fifth-round knockout in 2014, to then-International Boxing Federation (IBF) heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko (62-3).

Pulev was a celebrated amateur boxer who represented Bulgaria at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. Currently rated No. 9 in the world by the WBA, Pulev can position himself for another world title shot with an impressive victory over Johnson, the battle-tested veteran fighting out of Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA.

“My number one goal is to fight for the World title and on April 28,” Pulev commented, “I will take another step towards achieving this goal. I’m already training hard to prove I am worthy to fight again for the heavyweight crown.

“Johnson is a tough opponent. You must only look at his resume to tell this will be a real challenge. He has shared the ring with many World class fighters like Vitali Klitschko and Anthony Joshua. I know I will need to be at my best to beat him, but with the help of my coach Ulli Wegner and the support of the Bulgarian people, I’m confident my hand will be raised, and we will be able to celebrate another great night for Bulgarian boxing and another step towards me fulfilling my dream of becoming the Heavyweight Champion of the World.’

Johnson, 37, has served as a dangerous “gatekeeper” in the heavyweight division during his 14-year professional career. He’s fought reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua – the only fighter to stop Johnson – former unified world heavyweight titlist Tyson Fury, former world title challenger Manuel Charr and current European champion Christian Hammer.

Johnson’s most notable wins have been against world title challengers Bruce Seldon (TKO5), Alex Leapai (TKO9) and Albert Sosnowski (SDEC3 in Prizefighter Tournament).

In 2009, Johnson lost his lone world title fight by unanimous decision to undefeated WBC champion Vitali Klitschko, extending him the full 12-rounds.

Additional PPV fights are scheduled on FITE TV on a weekly basis.

Beibut Shumenov Injured, Bout with Dorticos Cancelled

Cruiserweight world champion Beibut Shumenov (17-2, 11 KOs) suffered an eye injury in training on Wednesday and will not be able to defend his title against Yunier Dorticos (21-0, 20 KOs) in the main event of a special Saturday night edition of Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes, April 29 from Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas.

Shumenov-Dorticos has been postponed until Shumenov has completely healed from his injury. It will be rescheduled as soon as Shumenov is healthy enough to return to training. There is no timetable yet on when he is expected to return from the injury.

WBA Interim Featherweight Champion Carlos Zambrano (26-0, KOs) defending his title against once-beaten contender Claudio Marrero (21-1, 15 KOs) has been elevated to the main event.

Televised coverage will begin at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and will feature undefeated Jeison Rosario (12-0, 9 KOs) taking on once-beaten Nathaniel Gallimore (17-1-1, 14 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight attraction.

“It is disappointing that Shumenov suffered an eye injury in training. Unfortunately, that’s the nature of boxing,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “We were looking forward to seeing him defend his cruiserweight world title against Dorticos. I hope he makes a full recovery and we can reschedule the match.

“Now, we’re looking forward to Carlos Zambrano making his Mayweather Promotions debut in a scintillating match against a very tough challenger in Claudio Marrero on FS1 and FOX Deportes.”

An unbeaten fighter from Lima, Peru, Zambrano turned pro in 2008 and fought nine of his first 12 bouts in the U.S. He won a South American regional title in 2012 and began moving up the featherweight rankings with a knockout victory over Devis Perez in 2014. He picked up his interim title with a unanimous decision victory over Daniel Ramirez in 2015 and defended the belt successfully against Jose Sanmartin later that year.

A former title challenger who lost a narrow decision to Jesus Cuellar in 2013, Marrero has won seven-straight bouts since then. Most recently, the 28-year-old knocked down Luis Hinojosa four times before stopping him in the fourth round in August 2016. A native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Marrero was an accomplished amateur who will be fighting in Las Vegas for the second time in his pro career.

An unbeaten fighter out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Rosario will make his U.S. debut when he enters the ring on May 16. A pro since 2013, the 22-year-old scored knockouts in his first three starts and won a Domincan welterweight title with a second round stoppage of Jose Vidal Soto in 2014. Rosario’s last three starts have seen him score TKO victories over Euro Gonzalez plus previously unbeaten fighters Carlos Jairo Cruz and Rafael Lorenzo.

Originally from Kingston, Jamaica and fighting out of Evanston, Illinois, Gallimore enters this fight having won his last four bouts, all by knockout. The 28-year-old has fought professionally since 2014 and was unbeaten in his first 14 outings before losing a narrow split-decision last June. He began his 2017 with a third round stoppage of Angel Hernandez in early April.

Mario Barrios Training Camp Quotes

Undefeated rising contender Mario Barrios has wrapped up training camp and is set for a main event showdown against Nicaragua’s Nelson Lara that headlines Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes Tuesday, April 25 from the Fitz Tunica Casino & Hotel in Tunica, Mississippi.

Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features a 10-round matchup of exciting welterweights as once-beaten Oscar Molina (13-1-1, 10 KOs) takes on Georgia’s Levan Ghvamichava (17-3-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round showdown.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, start at $20 and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased through the Fitz Gift Shop or Ticketmaster at www.Ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Here is what Barrios had to say from training camp:

On fighting in his first main event on FS1:
“Fighting in the main event on FS1, on national television, is going to be an incredible blessing. I know it’ll be a tremendous boost to my career. I want to set the pace from the opening bell, and give the fans a night to remember. These are the type of fights I’ve always dreamed of.”

On his recent training camp with Virgil Hunter in the Bay Area:
“Training with Virgil Hunter has been great. This will be my third fight with him as the lead in my corner. We are working tremendously well as a team and I’m happy where my career is at. We got a lot of good sparring in, with a lot of different looks. I feel my punches are sharp and my timing is on point. I’m going to shine in this fight.”

On his matchup with Nelson Lara…
“I really don’t know much about Nelson Lara, except for the fact that he’s coming off a couple of wins. I’m sure his confidence is high, so I’m expecting a tough fight. Also, I know he’s fought at lightweight or super-lightweight for most of his career, so he’s got more experience fighting at this weight. One thing for sure is…I’ll be ready for anything he brings to the ring.”

On moving up two weight classes…
“It’s hard to believe, but I started off my career at super-bantamweight while standing six feet plus. It was getting to make those smaller weights. I was killing myself to make super featherweight, so my team and I felt it was best to skip lightweight, and move to super-lightweight. It’s a big jump, but I feel real strong at this weight. This is where I want to make my run toward a world title, at super lightweight. You’ll see a stronger Mario Barrios.”

On fighting in Mississippi…
“I actually fought out here early in my career but at a different venue. The fans are great and they get loud. A lively crowd is always fun to fight in front of. I plan on giving the Mississippi fans a great night of boxing.”

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Stevenson, Ramirez, Valdez Win In Top Rank’s Saturday PPV Card


Stevenson, Ramirez, Valdez Win In Top Rank’s Saturday PPV Card
By: Sean Crose

Olympic star Shakur Stevenson debuted in winning fashion Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Edgar Brito, who entered the ring with a record of 3-2 was being overwhelmed when a headbutt stopped the fight at the end of the fifth round of the scheduled six round affair. The early stoppage led to a sooner than hoped for judge’s decision. Needless to say, all three judges gave the nod to Stevenson. It may not have proven to be the explosive debut Stevenson or his team at Top Rank promotions had probably hoped for, but it was a win nonetheless.

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Next up was Gilberto Ramirez, who, at 34-0, was stepping into the ring to face 34-4-1 Max Bursak for the WBO super middleweight strap. Ramirez appeared sharp in the first, landing effectively. The second, however, looked to be a closer affair. Still, it was obvious that Ramirez was the better of the two fighters. In fact, Bursak’s only true moments of note were when he was deducted points in the fifth and eleventh rounds for holding. Long story short, Ramirez, who has made it clear for a while now that he’d love to fight middleweight terror Gennady Golovkin, won by unanimous decision.

It was time for the 21-0 Oscar Valdez to defend his WBO featherweight strap again the 25-1 Miguel Marriaga in front of the StubHub crowd of over five thousand people. Suffice to say, the fight was close, with Valdez having a slight edge over his opponent most of the time, but with Marriaga always staying in the contest. To be sure, several rounds may have been difficult to judge after the first. It was most certainly an action fight. And it remained one until the very end. Afterwards, Valdez was awarded a unanimous decision win – one that, although fair of the surface of things – may have been a bit too wide in favor of the champion.

The card, which aired on PPV courtesy of Top Rank promotions, certainly won’t break any records. It’s been said that even Top Rank honcho Bob Arum knows this won’t come out a financial barnburner. Still, the entertaining man event made the evening a success. It also added to the allure of the StubHub Center, which now has a reputation for being the home of high octane fights with lots of fireworks. Too bad fans couldn’t watch Saturday’s bouts without digging inside their wallets.

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Rio 2016 Boxing Recap


Rio 2016 Boxing Recap
By: Matthew N. Becher

All the medals have been awarded and the Rio Olympics have finally come to a close with last night’s ceremonies. In the Boxing division a lot of great fights took place, future world champions got to display their talents to the masses and controversy still reared its ugly head as it always does in this sport. Here were some of the highs and lows of what took place in the past 2 weeks.

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USA captures 3 medals:
The US team won more boxing medals then it has in over a decade. Nico Hernandez was able to win a Bronze medal to start off the pace. Shakur Stevenson lost a heartbreaking split decision to Cuban, and now two time Olympic Gold Medalist, Robeisy Ramirez. Stevenson was awarded a Silver medal and will now most likely look to turn professional. And rounding out the Americans that medaled, the Golden Girl, Claressa Shields took home the gold medal for the second time in two Olympics.

Uzbekistan ruled the podium:
The country of Uzbekistan took home 7 medals in all (3 Golds, 2 Silvers & 2 Bronze). They were represented from the smaller fighters to the bigger, and have now officially cemented their name onto the international scene with the showing in these games.
Hasanboy Dusmatov, the Light Flyweight Gold Medalist, was awarded the Val Barker trophy for the most outstanding male competitor. Dusmatov is also the first of the amateurs competing in this year’s Olympics to sign a professional contract. (He has signed on with South African Promoter Rodney Berman’s Golden Gloves)

The Pro’s couldn’t cut it:
In a year that eliminated the head gear, the International Boxing Federation also allowed Professional fighters to compete with the Amateurs for the first time. This was a hot topic throughout the boxing world, with many seeing it an unfair advantage to let a seasoned veteran compete with amateur fighters. It turned out to be a non-topic. As most amateurs were not threatened by the professionals being allowed to compete, they proved themselves right. The two most well-known pros that turned out for the games, Hassan N’Daam of France and former world champion Amnat Ruenroeng could not get passed the first round and the round of 16 respectively. The amateur style was not to their ability and both will now have a difficult time with backlash in their pro careers.

Allegations of Fixed matches, again:
In the history of the games match fixing has been the black eye of the sport. The fights of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Roy Jones are two of the most famous that have ever taken place, and this year saw a few too many fights that seemed to follow suit.

AIBA was forced to take a look at fights that many felt were clearly swayed by dishonest referees and/or judges. AIBA issued a statement that agreed that some negligence may have played a role, but that no evidence could be found in the ‘fixing’ of fights. Several Judges and Referees were excused from the games early (though they were not named) and AIBA did not overturn any of the results. It is a very difficult process to manage the amateur boxing officials, but more thought and efforts need to go into the games. It seems that this happens in every Olympics now, and it is hurting the sport in a great deal.

Claressa Shields becomes history:
Claressa Shields is only 21 and may be the best female boxer on the planet. She capped off her time in Rio, the same way she did in London, with a Gold Medal. Shields became the first US boxer, Male or Female to win two gold medals. She was also awarded the Val Barker trophy for the Most Outstanding Female boxer in the games.

Shields right now is at the top of her sport and has options. She can show up again and go for the three peat, which only 3 boxers have ever done before. Or she can turn pro and try and weave her way through the Female boxing scene, which has historically not been so rewarding to its fighters.
Either way, she is a very bright star in the sport and she will be at the top for a long time.

See you all in four years, 2020, when Tokyo plays host.

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2016 Olympics Underway As Americans Look to Seek Gold!


2016 Olympics Underway As Americans Look to Seek Gold!
By: Ken Hissner

The Olympic Games are in Rio, Brazil, with boxing opening up on Saturday but no Americans have fought yet through first 3 rounds.

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There are 3 CA boxers and 2 from KS on the 10 man team of the USA. At Super heavyweight is Marlo Moore, of Hayward, CA, light heavyweight is Jonathan Esquivel, of Anaheim, CA, and at lightweight is Carlos Balderas, of Santa Maria, CA. At heavyweight is Cam Awesome, of Lenexa, KS, and at light flyweight Nico Hernandez, of Wichita, KS. At middleweight is Charles Conwell, of Cleveland Heights, OH. At welterweight is Philadelphia’s Paul Kroll. He is the lone Philadelphia boxer.

There were 3 others Philadelphia boxers who have turned professional after not winning a spot. The most talented is now welterweight Jaron “Boots” Ennis who has won by knockout in all 5 of his fights in 5 months. Moving up a weight class is Christian Carto who has won both of his bouts by stoppage. He will be making his Philadelphia debut August 26th at the Sugar House Casino. At super heavyweight Darmani Rock has won all of his 4 bouts, 3 by knockout in 4 months. 11-0 for the Philadelphia threesome who were Olympic Alternates in 2016.

At light welterweight is Gary Antuanne Russell, of Capitol Heights, MD. One of the boxers favored to get the Gold is Bantamweight Shakur Stevenson, of Newark, NJ. Rounding out the 10 team member is Antonio Vargas of Kissimmee, FL.
In some of the past history of the Olympics there have been 3 boxers who have won 3 Gold Medals. First was Hungary’s Laszlo Papp winning in 1948 in London, 1952 in Helsinki and 1956 in Melbourne. Promoter Lou Lucchese once told me he tried contacting Papp’s people hoping he would come to the US to fight then middleweight champion Joey Giardello out of Philadelphia. Next thing he knew the FBI was at his door. Seems Papp was not allowed to leave Europe per the Communist country of Hungary. After a bout in October of 1964 he was told he wasn’t allowed to fight again by the government and that he could not fight for a world title in 1965. He was 27-0-2 and European champion.

Then came the well-known Cuban heavyweight Teofilo Stevenson winning Gold in 1972 in Munich, 1976 in Montreal and 1980 in Moscow. Most recently Cuba’s heavyweight Felix Savon won Gold in 1992 in Barcelona, 1996 in Atlanta and 2000 in Sydney. Many rumors had Stevenson coming to the US to fight World Champion Muhammad Ali but they were only rumors. There was no way the Castro brothers were allowing Stevenson to come to the US and be exploited by Ali.

In 1904 in St. Louis American Oliver Kirk won Gold medals at 125 and dropped 10 pounds in a week to win at 115. Eddie Eagan (1920) won a pair of Gold Medals in boxing and part of the 4-man Bobsleigh. Cincinnati’s Rau’shee Warren competed in 3 Olympics in 2004, 2008 and 2012 without medaling. The USA team hasn’t won a Gold Medal since 2004 when Andre Ward took Gold at 178. 2000 was Gold empty. 1992 and 1996 brought in a Gold Medal apiece. The 1996 Gold medal went to Philadelphia’s David Reid. Oscar “Golden Boy” De la Hoya of East L.A. won Gold in 1992.

In 1988 there were 3 Gold medal winners. At Heavyweight Ray “Mercilless” Mercer. Kennedy McKinney took the Bantamweight Gold medal. Andrew Maynard won the Gold medal in the Light Heavyweight Division.
In 1984 without Russian, East Germany and Cuba competing the USA team took 9 Gold Medals. They were won by Paul Gonzales, Steve McCrory, Meldrick Taylor, Pernell Whitaker, Jerry Page, Mark Breland, Frank Tate, Henry Tillman and Tyrell Biggs.
The USA 1976 team in this writer’s opinion was the greatest Olympic team ever. They won 4 Gold Medals and all winners went onto win world titles in the professional ranks. They were John Tate, Michael and Leon Spinks along with “Sugar” Ray Leonard. This writer did a story about 1976 vs 1984 with Manny Steward of the Kronk Gym and Joe Clough of the Tacoma Boy’s Club who trained 5 Gold medalists along with this writer as judges. The 1976 team won 8-3.
1956 Heavyweight Gold Medalist Pete Rademacher made his professional debut losing to 1952 Gold Medal Olympian and then World Heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson. Current WBO Super featherweight champion Ukraine’s Vasyl Lomachenko was a two-time Gold Medalist in 2008 and in 2012. He challenged for a world title in his second pro fight losing. Then winning the WBO featherweight title in his third fight. He took his current title in his seventh fight.

There have been numerous Gold Medal winners who would go onto becoming world champions in the professional ranks. Starting with Ray Leonard (1976), and his teammates were Michael Spinks, Leon Spinks and Leo Randolph. Leon would win the world heavyweight title in his 8th fight defeating Muhammad Ali. From the 1984 team were Mark Breland, Meldrick Taylor, Pernell Whitaker, Evander Holyfield, Virgil Hill and Frank Tate.
Others were Italy’s Maurizio Stecca (1984), Cuba’s Joel Casamayor (1992), Ray Mercer (1988), Jackie Fields (1924), David Reid (1996), Hungary’s Istvan Kovacs (1996), Andre Ward (2004), Cuba’s Guillermo Rigondeaux (2000 and 2004) won the interim WBA World Super Bantamweight title in his 7th fight and in his 9th fight the WBA World Super Bantamweight tite, George Foreman (1968), Oscar De la Hoya (1992), Fidel La Barba (1924) UK’s Anthony Joshua (2012), Cuba’s Yuriorkis Gamboa (2004), Canada’s Lennox Lewis (1992), KAZ Vassiliy Jirov (1996), Italy’s Nino Benvenuti (1960), Muhammad Ali then Cassius Clay (1960), Argentina’s Pascual Perez (1948) and Joe Frazier (1964) to name a few.

There have been anywhere from 47 to 49 Gold Medals won by USA boxers since 1904. This writer counted 47 in 22 Olympics over a 112 year period. On the women’s team there is Claressa Shields who won a Gold medal in the 2012 Olympics. The other woman is Mikaela Mayer. The 3 men are Gary Antuanne Russell, Shakur Stevenson and Antonio Vargas. All 5 may be long shots but you never know in boxing especially this Olympics there will be no headgear. Let’s root them on!

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