Tag Archives: stevenson

Adonis Stevenson Is Awake From His Coma, “Healing From His Injury”


By: Sean Crose

Several weeks after suffering brain damage from a bout with Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Adonis Stevenson is reportedly out of a coma. “Despite recent reports being leaked to media,” Adonis Stevenson’s girlfriend, Simone “Sisi” God, said via a press statement, “I wanted to clarify that Adonis is awake. He is healing from his injury in the private company of his family and his dedicated medical team. Adonis is a world champion in the ring and is exhibiting that same grit, strength and determination in his recovery.” Earlier this month in Quebec City, the former WBC and lineal light heavyweight champion was stopped by Gvozdyk in a brutal, eleven round affair.

After the bout, the Canadian fighter was sent to Hopital de l’Enfant-Jesus via ambulance where doctors had him placed in a medically induced coma. Finally, the forty-one year old fighter’s condition appears to have improved. “Superman is a world champion,” states God in the press release, “and has demonstrated his strength in facing every obstacle he has ever faced. He is a legend in the eyes of his fans, and a man that demonstrates to his family daily that inner strength and love can change and redeem even the greatest of hardships.”

Recent reports had claimed that Stevenson’s condition had not changed. With that in mind, God’s press release is good news for Stevenson’s fans, and the fight world, as well. “Adonis and our family are so thankful to you all for your love and support,” God states, “and respectfully ask to continue to grant Adonis and our family privacy as he heals from this accident. With the holidays here, Adonis is spending time enjoying music and spending time with Adonia and his family and sends his love and appreciation to you all.” God gave birth to Stevenson’s daughter, his fifth child, this past autumn. It is the couples’ first child together.

Stevenson, who won the light heavyweight title by crushing Chad Dawson in less than a round back in 2013, held onto the championship for five years, successfully defending it a total of eight times. He fought twice this past year, battling Badu Jack to a draw in May before facing off against Gvozdyk on December 1st. People both in and out of the fight game have been publicly announcing their support for Stevenson and his family since that time.

“We are truly blessed,” God says in the statement, “by God and all of you for your support.”

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Adonis Stevenson’s Condition Remains Unchanged


By: Sean Crose

“Doctors do not venture an opinion on what lies ahead.”

With these words, Yvon Michel, promoter of former WBC and lineal light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson, made clear that the future of the Canadian fighter is uncertain. Stevenson, who had held the title since knocking out Chad Dawson in one round in 2013, was defeated by Oleksandr Gvozdyk in Quebec City on the first of December. Shortly after the fight, Stevenson was taken to Hopital de l’Enfant-Jesus. Doctor’s concluded that Stevenson had suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in need of surgery. A short time later, the fighter was placed in a medically induced coma, where he remains unconscious.

Unfortunately, there have been no signs of improvement in the fighter. Michel claims Stevenson “needs mechanical assistance to breathe.” It’s also being reported that those who suffer from the kinds of injuries Stevenson has often sustain lasting damage. “There is no change at the moment” Michel said. “He still needs mechanical assistance to breathe and he has not regained consciousness.” Although no official word has come from the hospital, Michel said that “”When there’s a significant change, the authorities of the Quebec University Hospital will announce it with the agreement of the family.”

During his reign, Stevenson was one of the more controversial champions in the sport, one who had a reputation, fair or not, of avoiding threatening competition. In his last two bouts, however, Stevenson fought not only the undefeated and well regarded Gvozdyk, but also the high level and popular fighter Badu Jack, who he battled to a draw in May of this year. Both fights were back to back grueling affairs waged by an aging fighter in his forties. Although he had Gvozdyk hurt in the 10th, the Ukrainian came back and unleashed a frightening combination in the 11th, sending Stevenson down in disturbing fashion in a corner, as the referee, Michael Griffin, stopped the fight.

Since being hospitalized, Steven has received much good will and support from the fight community. People such as Gvozdyk, Jack, Michael Buffer, Gennady Golovkin, Mauricio Sulaiman, Roberto Duran, Andrzej Fonfara, and Sergio Martinez have all publicly offered their prayers and best wishes. An exciting, hard hitting battler, Stevenson reigned as Kronk fighter, Kronk being the famed Detroit-based boxing stable led by the late, iconic trainer, Emanuel Steward. Stevenson, a father engaged to be married, has been fighting professionally since his debut in 2006.

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Adonis Stevenson In Critical Condition Following Gvozdyk Knockout Loss


By Jake Donovan

The worst night of Adonis Stevenson’s championship reign has now extended far beyond the ring.

Not only did Oleksandr Gvozdyk rally to stop Stevenson in the 11th round of their light heavyweight scrap in Quebec City, but the fight ending sequence forced the exiting champ to be rushed to a nearby hospital where he remains under medical attention.

“Adonis is currently in a critical condition in intensive care at the hospital,” Yvon Michel, Stevenson’s promoter revealed via social media.

Stevenson (29-2-1, 21KOs) entered the night as both the sport’s longest-reigning and oldest champion. The 41-year old Haitian-Canadian won the crown in a stirring 1st round knockout of Chad Dawson in June ‘13, with nine successful defenses spray painted over 5 1/2 years. That came to a crashing halt on Saturday, when Gvozdyk bartered Stevenson into submission with a vicious onslaught that left the exiting champion slumped in a corner.

Referee Michael Griffin immediately waved off the contest, a rare shining moment on an otherwise miserable night of officiating on both sides of the ropes. Griffin missed a clear 3rd round knockdown for Gvozdyk when Stevenson was felled by a right hand, and then again in the 10th – this time for the defending champ after a clear shot to the chin wobbled the visiting challenger, with only the ropes breaking his fall.

Gvozdyk’s fight-ending sequence proved necessary, as he was trailing on two of the three scorecards. He was down 96-94 and 98-92 at the time of the stoppage, but overcame horrific scoring to leave Canada as the new light heavyweight champion.

Unfortunately for Stevenson, he couldn’t even leave the arena on his own.

“Right now, we’re all just hoping for the best but not in a position to say anymore on his condition,” said Michel. “His family respectfully requests (the public’s) understanding in their respect for privacy.”

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Showtime Boxing Results: Gvozdyk Stops Stevenson in Quebec


Hans Themistode

We officially have a new Light Heavyweight champion as Oleksandr Gvozdyk (16-0, 13 KOs) knocked out long reigning WBC champion Adonis Stevenson (29-2, 24 KOs) in the 11th round of their bout tonight.

It was an impressive display by Gvozdyk as he was able to box well from the outside while creating angles that made it difficult for Stevenson to land his signature left hand. Although Gvozdyk boxed very well early on, Stevenson still managed to find plenty of success.

In round two Stevenson began to find a home for his power punches. Although they did not necessarily hurt Gvozdyk they did grab his attention. Round three saw Stevenson hit the deck from a right hand from Gvozdyk but luckily for him the referee ruled it a slip.

For much of the fight it was a nip and tuck affair as both men had their moments and boxed well.

The later rounds were where things really heated up. In round 10 Stevenson landed a huge left hand upstairs that nearly knocked Gvozdyk to the canvas. The ropes were the only reason why Gvozdyk was not looking up at the lights. For much of the round Stevenson continued to headhunt. Give credit to Gvozdyk as he was able to weather the storm and make it out of the round.

The momentum seemed to be squarely behind Stevenson but in round 11 everything changed. Gvozdyk came out on fire landing a combination of shots that had Stevenson reeling. He tried his best to survive the onslaught but several more shots sent the champion to the canvas and the referee waved it off.

Adonis Stevenson reign as champion is officially over. Sure he was a belt holder for over five years but he never seemed to be interested in fighting top fighters or taking on the other champions.

With Gvozdyk now in the mix the division gets even more interesting. Tantalizing matchups against the divisions other champions in Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev are fascinating to think about. Bouts against contenders such as Badou Jack and Joe Smith Jr also bring plenty of intrigue. Bottom line is the Light Heavyweight division has a new champion.

Based off of the performance he put on tonight he could turn out to be a nightmare for just about anyone.

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Showtime Boxing Preview: Stevenson vs. Gvozdyk


By: Hans Themistode

With all of the buzz that Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury has received and rightfully so I might add. It is easy to forget that current WBC Light Heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs) will be entering the ring this Saturday against the dangerous and undefeated Oleksandr Gvozdyk (15-0, 12 KOs).

Stevenson has ruled over the Light Heavyweight division ever since he starched former champ Chad Dawson in the first round of their 2013 matchup.

To the chagrin of many the competition faced by Stevenson has been subpar to say the least. Now it’s not say that he has been ducking all challengers. However facing the likes of Sakio Bika, Dmitry Sukhotskiy, Andrzej Fonfara (twice) and Tommy Karpency does not exactly scream murderers row.

Ring activity has also been something that Stevenson has been against as well. This will be the first time in two years that Stevenson has fought at least twice in a calendar year.

Let’s be honest here. Stevenson had several opportunities to take on much tougher opposition but he seemed content with milking his title with easy pay day fights. That narrative however is now over.

In the first half of 2018 Stevenson took on former Super Middleweight title holder and current Light Heavyweight contender Badou Jack (22-1-3, 13 KOs). Although Stevenson only came away with a draw in that fight he will be looking to build off of his solid performance by defeating his upcoming Oleksandr Gvozdyk.

For those of you unfamiliar with Gvozdyk and are just assuming that Stevenson is taking on yet another soft touch, think again.

His destruction of former title contender Yunieski Gonzalez (18-3, 14 KOs) was awfully impressive. He also seemingly has the pedigree as he was a 2012 bronze medal winner in the olympics. Gvozdyk also shares the same team used by both pound for pound stars Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk.

In short Stevenson will have quite the fight on his hands this Saturday night. The champion will have a slight one and a half reach advantage while also having his hometown fans behind him. He will also have the edge in both pro experience and having fought the better opposition.

Gvozdyk however will carry with him in to the ring a three inch height advantage and also plenty of momentum.

The Wilder vs Fury fight will be a tremendous one. Two undefeated big guys in their prime going head to head should lead to a special night.

However Stevenson vs Gvozdyk should receive their share of attention as well. It is a legitimate 50/50 matchup. Will Stevenson continue his reign that has spanned five plus years? Or will Gvozdyk finally bring that reign to an end and continue to usher in this new era of Ukrainian boxing?

This matchup may not have the buzz surrounding it that the Heavyweights do but nonetheless it’s sure to be one helluva fight.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Crawford and Stevenson Deliver Scintillating Knockouts


By: William Holmes

The CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska, the hometown of welterweight champion Terence Crawford, was the host cite for tonight’s Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card.

The main event of the night was between Terrance Crawford (33-0) and Jose Benavidez Jr. (27-0) for the WBO Welterweight Title.

But before the main event, undefeated former Olympian Shakur Stevenson (8-0) met Viorel Simion (21-2) in the junior lightweight division.

Stevenson, a southpaw, used a steady jab early in the first and was able to find his range early with his check right hook. Stevenson landed a crisp two punch combination that sent Simion down to the mat in the first half of the round. Simion got back to his feet but on wobbly legs, and Stevenson landed another combination on Simion who fell face forward again.

Simion got back to his feet again and had to try and withstand an onslaught from Stevenson. Stevenson landed another hard combination that ended with a hard left hook that sent Simion spinning to the ground again.

Simion arose on wobbly legs, and the referee waived off the fight as the round came to an end.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account

Shakur Stevenson wins by TKO at 3:00 of the opening round.

Terence Crawford and Jose Benavidez Jr. were involved in a scuffle at the previous night’s weigh ins, and appeared to have some legitimate bad blood leading into the fight

Benavidez entered the ring first to a loud chorus of boos while Crawford had the support of the crowd behind him.

Both fighters came out in an orthodox stance with Benavidez finding some success early on walking Craword down behind his jab. Crawford switched to a southpaw stance before the end of the first.

Benavidez continued with his jab in the second round, but Crawford began to the target the body. Neither boxer took many risks in the second and could have been scored either way.

Crawford began to land his combination both to the body and head of Benavidez in the third round, but Benavidez’s straight right hand was finding it’s home in the fourth round and he briefly caught Crawford off balance as the round came to an end.

Crawford was landing from unique angles in the fifth but Benavidez was landing some stiff straight right hands in the sixth. Both of these rounds were close, though Benavidez looked like eh was beginning to tire.

Crawford had a strong seventh and eighth rounds as he was continuing to get hit less and less while landing at a progressively higher clip. Benavidez wasn’t able to come forward effectively and looked hampered by his right knee.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account

Crawford looked like he was close to knocking Benavidez down in the ninth round and had Benavidez’s back to the ropes in the tenth. Benavidez attempted to lure Crawford into an exchange in the tenth and eleventh rounds with his back to the ropes, but when they did exchange Crawford looked like landed the better and more accurate punches.

Benavidez needed a knockout in the final round to win the bout and pressed forward in an attempt to finish the bout, but he got hit with a vicious right uppercut that sent him crashing to the mat in a violent fashion.

Benavidez somehow got back to his feet, but was hit with several hard combinations before the referee jumped in to stop the fight and award Crawford the TKO victory.

Terrance Crawford wins by TKO at 2:42 of the 12th round.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Shakur Stevenson, Adonis Stevenson, Don Chargin, Johnson, and more…


Compiled By: William Holmes

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

Shakur Stevenson-Duarn Vue Headlines Crawford-Benavidez Undercard

Shakur Stevenson, the 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, will face his steepest test as a professional when he takes on Duarn “The Storm” Vue for the vacant WBC Continental Americas featherweight title on Saturday, Oct. 13 at the CHI Health Center Omaha. Stevenson vs. Vue will be televised on ESPN at 10:30 p.m. ET before pound-for-pound great Terence Crawford’s WBO welterweight title defense against Jose Benavidez Jr.

All undercard bouts will stream live in the United States at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+ – the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets to this world championship event are on sale now. Remaining tickets, priced at $178, $103, $63, and $38, not including applicable fees, can be purchased at the CHI Health Center Omaha box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 800-745-3000, or online at ticketmaster.com.

“The world is going to see the real Shakur Stevenson on Oct. 13,” Stevenson said. “With my team, Top Rank, and ESPN behind me, I should be world champion in 2019.”

“I am very thankful for this opportunity,” said Vue, who is promoted by Greg Cohen Promotions and Supreme Hits. “Get ready because ‘The Storm’ is coming!”

Stevenson (8-0, 4 KOs) was one of the most highly touted amateurs coming out of the 2016 Olympics, and less than 18 months since turning pro, he has acclimated seamlessly to the paid ranks. He is 4-0 thus far in 2018, including second-round stoppages against Roxberg Patrick Riley and Aelio Mesquita. The Mesquita victory included five knockdowns and came on the undercard of Crawford’s title-winning June 9 stoppage victory against Jeff Horn in Las Vegas. In his most recent bout, Aug. 18 in Atlantic City, N.J., Stevenson scored an eight-round unanimous decision against Carlos Ruiz, who has never been stopped as a professional.

Vue (14-1-2, 4 KOs), from Madison, Wis., is 2-0 since his only defeat, an eight-round unanimous decision loss to Alejandro Salinas. In his last bout, April 28 in Oshkosh, Wi., he notched a 12-round unanimous decision versus former WBA super bantamweight world champion Nehomar Cermeño.

The ESPN+ undercard broadcast is as followed:
• Mikaela Mayer (7-0, 4 KOs) will take on fellow unbeaten Vanessa Bradford (4-0-2, 0 KOs) in an eight-rounder for the vacant NABF super featherweight title. Mayer is coming off a third-round stoppage on Aug. 25 against former world title challenger Edina Kiss.

• Carlos “El Caballo Bronco” Adames (14-0, 11 KOs) will face Josh “Young Gun” Conley (14-2-1, 9 KOs) in a 10-rounder for the vacant NABF super welterweight title. Adames last fought as the ESPN co-feature May 12 on the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Jorge Linares card, winning a unanimous decision against Alejandro Barrera.

• Former 140-pound world champion Mike Alvarado (39-4, 27 KOs) will look to make it six wins in a row when he faces Robbie Cannon (16-13-3, 7 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight fight.

• Omaha native Steve “So Cold” Nelson (11-0, 9 KOs) will clash with the durable Oscar Riojas (17-10-1, 6 KOs) in an eight-round light heavyweight bout.

• Ismail “Sharp Shooter” Muwendo (19-1, 12 KOs) will look to rebound from his first career defeat against Andre Wilson (15-11-1, 12 KOs) in an eight-rounder at lightweight.

• Welterweight prospect Keeshawn Williams (3-0-1, 1 KO) will fight Ramel Snegur (2-2-1, 1 KO) in a four-rounder.

• Seattle native and amateur standout Jose Valenzuela will make his pro debut in a four-round super featherweight bout.

Statement from Golden Boy Promotions on Passing of Hall of Famer Don Chargin
LOS ANGELES (Sept. 28, 2018): Today, the sport of boxing lost a legend.
For decades, “War a Week” Don Chargin was universally known as a titan of promoting and matchmaking. His events at the Olympic Auditorium were not to be missed, and along with his wife, Lorraine, he was the linchpin of boxing in California and beyond.

But to those of us at Golden Boy Promotions, he was so much more. He was a partner. He was a mentor. And he was a friend. To say Don will be missed doesn’t come close to explaining the sadness we all feel today.
Johnson Inspired by Smith’s Heroics to “Shock the World”
Callum Johnson is targeting a ‘Callum win double’ and follow gym-mate Callum Smith’s World title win with his own stellar triumph at the elite level when he challenges IBF World Light-Heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago on Saturday night (October 6) live on DAZN.
Johnson’s fellow Joe Gallagher-trained banger Smith knocked out George Groves in Saudi Arabia to win the World Boxing Super Series and bag the WBA Super, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight crowns.
Boston banger Johnson (17-0 12 KOs) knows he has to put in the performance of his career against Russian wrecking machine Beterbiev (12-0 12KOs), but after returning to action with a stunning first round KO of Frank Buglioni in his last outing in London in March – and the 33 year old predicts a violent showdown with the champion on Saturday, and another memorable night for Gallagher’s gym.

“Callum’s win has just inspired me even more to win here,” said Johnson. “It was a stunning performance and he’s the number one in the division now, and that’s what I want to become at Light-Heavyweight.
“I’ve dreamt of moments like this since i was a kid. No one else wants to fight him but I can’t wait to get in there with him. I’m living the dream and I genuinely believe I will shock the world.
“I know about him, if I wasn’t confident I wouldn’t be here. We were amateurs around the same time but we never came across each other to fight, but I would have done then and now we are fighting and it’s on a massive stage for a World title so it’s even better.
“He is a strong, powerful beast and he’s a very good fighter, it’s a tough ask, but it’s a challenge that I am up for and I’m full of belief.
“We’re not going to have to look for each other. He likes to KO people and so do I. We’ll meet in the middle of the ring and let the bombs go. There will be thought involved and we can both box, but we both want to take people out with bog shots, so it’s going to be exciting
“I shocked people [against Buglioni] and I don’t really know why. People had forgotten about me, out of sight, out of mind, but I showed them what I am capable of against Frank. I’ve been written off again and maybe rightly so, but I can KO any Light-Heavyweight in the world, and he’s no exception.

“People said ‘he’s never boxed anyone as good as Frank Buglioni’ – no disrespect to Frank, but I could name 20 fighters I’ve boxed that are better than Frank. Yes, it was in the amateurs with headguards, but just because people hadn’t seen me do it in the amateurs, doesn’t mean that I couldn’t. There’s still a lot more to see from me, my best has not come out in the pros.”
Johnson’s battle with Beterbiev is part of a massive night of action in Chicago, topped by the WBC Silver Welterweight title clash between Jessie Vargas and Thomas Dulorme.
Daniel Roman defends his WBA Super-Bantamweight crown against another Brit, second time World title challenger Gavin McDonnell, Brooklyn’s brash Heavyweight star Jarrell Miller meets Polish legend Tomasz Adamek and local favorite Jessica McCaskill can make history as Chicago’s first women’s World champion when she challenges Erica Farias for the Argentine’s WBC World Super-Lightweight title.
Three debutants grace the bill as Team USA talents Reshat Mati, Nikita Ababiy and Nkosi Solomon lace them up for the first time.
Along with these World stars and promising youngsters, Chicago fight fans will be able to back two of their own on the night, with unbeaten Bantamweight prospect Shawn Simpson joining McCaskill on the card.
Tickets for October 6 are on sale now priced $40, $60, $100 and $200 and are available from:
Online at Ticketmaster: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/07005506EDA47F37

Stevenson’s Mandatory Defense Against Gvozdyk for WBC Light Heavyweight Championship on December 1st
Fans of boxing, prepare your agenda: World Boxing Council (WBC) and lineal light heavyweight world title fight between the champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (29-1-1, 24 KOs) and the mandatory challenger, Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk (15-0-0, 12 KOs), will be held December 1 at Videotron Center in Quebec City.
Tickets will be in presale Wednesday and Thursday and general admission go on sale this Friday at Gestev.com.
International Boxing Federation (IBF) super welterweight mandatory challenger Marie-Eve Dicaire (13-0-0, 0 KOs), North American Boxing Federation (NABF) heavyweight champion Oscar Rivas (24-0-0, 17 KOs), WBC International welterweight Mikael Zewski (31-1-0, 22 KOs) and fan-favorite Sébastien Bouchard (16-1-0, 6 KOs) will also take part in this gala event.
Tickets, starting at $50.50, taxes and service fees included, will be on sale at Gestev.com and Ticketmaster.ca, as well as at the Champions Boxing Club (514-376-0980), GYM (514-383-0666) or by calling 1-855-790-1245.
The “Mandatory” event will be broadcast in the United States on a major network and in Canada on pay-per-view via Indigo, Bell TV and Shaw TV. More details will be given Oct. 9 during a press conference in Quebec City, attended by all the participants of this exciting boxing card.
“We are very excited to be returning to the Videotron Center for this fifth Superman world championship defense in Quebec City, more than anyone else in the history of boxing,” GYM President Yvon Michel said. “The challenger is talented and seasoned. The danger is present, but the belt will remain with Quebecers! The challenge is colossal, but the show will be solid and the evening fantastic, an appointment not to be missed,”
“The clash between Adonis Stevenson and Oleksandr Govdzyk will be the third world championship fight in the young history of the Videotron Center and the second for champion Adonis Stevenson,” added Martin Tremblay, Chief Operating Officer of Quebecor Sports and Entertainment Group. “Fans from all over Quebec will appreciate the quality of this gala. The Videotron Center occupies an important place in combat sports with its sixth event in 2018,”
“I am very proud to be back in Quebec City for this mandatory title defense and offer the opportunity to American viewers and on the international scene to rediscover the beauties of Quebec City as well as the hospitality and the Latin passion of the Quebec boxing fans,” Stevenson commented. “I know many believe December would be the end of my reign against this young undefeated Olympic medalist. The message I am prepared to send with this fight is: I am still the No. 1 light heavyweight and I still have several chapters to add to my journey as world champion. December 1st at the Videotron Center is a personal invitation to Quebec fans. You will not be let down, I will win by KO!.”
“I am one of the best boxers in the light heavyweight division and the time has come for me to prove it to the rest of you,” Gyozdyk insisted. “The WBC gave me this opportunity and I am thankful for it. Adonis has been in this position too long. My time is now!”
“Oleksandr has been waiting for this opportunity for a very long time,” Gvozdyk noted. “He respects Adonis Stevenson as a fighter, but make no mistake, his time is now. ‘The Nail’ is going to leave Canada as the new WBC light heavyweight champion.”
“The WBC championship bout between Stevenson and Gvozdyk will be among the best fights of the year, proclaimed Top Rank CEO Bob Arum. “It’s a must-see for all boxing fans.”
Recognized as one of the most powerful punchers, pound-for-pound, in the boxing world, Stevenson will attempt to successfully defend his title for the 10th time on December 1st.
In his last outing on May 19 at the Air Canada Center in Toronto, he fought a draw with former WBA light heavyweight and WBC super middleweight world champion, Badou Jack, in a spectacular fight, while Floyd Mayweather Jr watched from ringside.

World champion since his violent knockout over the American Chad Dawson in 2013, “Superman” will try to hammer his mandatory aspirant nicknamed, at the Videotron Center.
Bronze medalist at the London Olympics, Ukrainian-born Gvozdyk moved to Oxnard, California, to begin his professional career in 2014. He has marched forward ever since, racking up 15 wins in 15 bouts, 12 by knockout.
During his last appearance in the ring on March 17 at Madison Square Garden in New York, he defeated Frenchman Mehdi Amar by unanimous decision to become Stevenson’s mandatory challenger, winning the interim light heavyweight WBC title along the way.

Teammates of Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk, Gvozdyk is a talented and dangerous boxer, as evidenced by his victories by referee stoppage over Yunieski Gonzalez, Isaac Chilemba and Tommy Karpency. In addition, he is now trained by the legendary American trainer and commentator Teddy Atlas.
Unbeaten Ruben Villa Fights in Hometown of Salinas, California on October 13th
Promising featherweight prospect Ruben Villa (13-0, 5 KOs) headlines a talent rich card from his hometown of Salinas, Calif. on Saturday, Oct. 13.

Villa, 21, returns to the Salinas Storm House for the second time this year. The talented southpaw faces Mexico’s Miguel Carrizoza (10-3, 2 KOs) in the 8-round “New Blood”main event.

Villa last fought from the Salinas Storm House in April, when he routed fellow prospect Marlon Olea in route to winning the vacant WBO Youth featherweight championship. It was Villa’s first title since turning professional in July 2016.

The two-time national Golden Gloves winner fights for the fifth time this year after registering six wins in 2017.

“It’s incredible how fast I’ve developed,” said Villa, who is managed by Danny Zamora and trained by Max Garcia. “It feels like it was yesterday that I was in four round fights and now I’m routinely headlining shows.”

The lefty, who sometimes conducts training camps in the sparring rich city of Riverside, Calif., decided to stay close to home for this fight. Him and his team have zeroed in on what is required to defeat Carrizoza.

“He fought my stablemate, Michael Dutchover [undefeated junior lightweight], last year so Mike gave me a pretty detailed scouting report on him,” Villa said. “He’s a bruiser. He likes to come forward and get you onto the ropes or just backpedaling. I know how to fight guys like that. I’ve fought against guys like that before and I’ve seen a bunch of them in previous training camps. We are really comfortable in our game plan.”

Villa is promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing.

Tickets for “New Blood” are priced at $40, $75, & $125, and are available for purchase by calling 714-935-0900, or online at ThompsonBoxing.com.

The Salinas Storm House is located at 185 Maryal Drive in Salinas, CA 93907.

Doors open at 4:30 p.m. local time with the first bout at approximately 6 p.m.

All fights will be live streamed on our Facebook page.

The livestream starts at 6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET with Beto Duran as the blow-by-blow announcer and Steve Kim providing expert, color commentary.

“New Blood” is presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions and Banner Promotions and sponsored by Everlast.

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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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