The USA Boxing News – The Global Publication that Packs a Punch!


  • Covering The Great Sport of Boxing

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This Website  is for the True Boxing Fan interested in both current events as well as Boxing’s rich history and assortment of the most colorful sporting and entertainment characters who ever lived!!

Unlike the typical and boring boxing websites on the internet, here readers will be introduced to a one-of-a-kind Boxing Website not seen anywhere else!! Included are pages highlighting up to date Boxing News Stories and Press Releases from the Boxing Twins featuring Boxing News Stories and Information on upcoming fightsInside Ringside column featuring a travelogue of the boxing world from small club shows to championship boxing promotions and Overseas Boxing Matches by Per-Ake Persson inside,  as well as various and numerous Stories featuring the USA Boxing News Bare Knuckle Corner  and historical and rare photographs of Fighters’ Training and Fight Gallery, and extraordinary and rarely seen film clips of the greatest boxing movies ever on film on the Best All-Time Boxing Movies page, and Joe Catena’s Ring Rage Column, and event a page on the legendary musical group The Beatles and Boxing, plus many more exciting and one-of-a-kind pages and features!!

Another one-of-a kind section of this website is The USA Boxing News Comics and Drawings Page. This includes an exciting collection of boxing comics, cartoons, and drawings that offer a new and exciting page for the true history-oriented boxing fan.

Boxing Historian, Author, and Hall of Famer, Bert Sugar once said of The USA Boxing News, “They demonstrate an enthusiasm for the sport that has not been seen in a boxing publication in a long time. The USA Boxing News has become what the Police Gazette was over 100 years ago – namely the most informative, original, and entertaining boxing publication of its generation.” The same goes for this website.

If you are a real boxing fan – The USA Boxing News is the website you cannot live without!

This goes for boxing fans and to fighters and champions as well.  Recently, former two-time boxing champion Bobby Czyz commented that, “All things considered, The USA Boxing News stands alone as the greatest boxing publication on the newsstands today, and so does the website.”

More champions, trainers, cut men, judges, cornermen, and promoters read The USA Boxing News than any other boxing publication, thereby making it one of the top sports periodicals in the world!

Boxing Hall of Fame Editors John and Alex Rinaldi present the fans of pugilism with a rich and extraordinary array of stories, videos, cartoons, comics, book reviews, columns, photos, and writings from their award-winning staff for the mutual enjoyment and benefit to the serious Boxing Fan!

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The Website where Boxing and its Legends come to Life!

 

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2-Time World Champion Shawn Porter is Confirmed for Sixth Annual Box Fan Expo, During Mexican Independence Day Weekend on Saturday September 17, in Las Vegas  

Box Fan Expo – the Largest Boxing Fan Event held in the U.S –

the Ultimate Boxing Fan Experience

Las Vegas (August 8, 2022) – Two-time world champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter has confirmed that he will appear at the Sixth Annual Box Fan Expo on Saturday, September 17, 2022, at the Las Vegas Convention Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Expo will also coincide with the mega trilogy fight between Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin, that will take place later that evening at the T-Mobile Arena. 

Porter will hold a Meet & Greet with his fans at The Porter Way Podcast, and he will be streaming LIVE at his booth during the fan event held over the Mexican Independence Day weekend.

The Box Fan Expo is an annual fan event that coincides with some of the sports’ legendary, classic fights in Las Vegas, including Mayweather vs. Maidana II, Mayweather vs. Berto, Canelo vs. Chavez Jr., Canelo vs. GGG II, and Canelo vs. Jacobs. Centered in boxing’s longtime home – Las Vegas – this year’s Expo is a must-do for fight fans coming in for this legendary weekend, with dozens of professional fighters, promoters, and companies involved in the boxing industry. The Expo is the largest and only Boxing Fan Expo held in the United States. http://boxfanexpo.com – @BoxFanExpo

Tickets to the Box Fan Expo are available at Eventbrite –https://bit.ly/BOXFANEXPO2022

Porter will make his sixth appearance at this years’ Expo and will be signing gloves, photos, and personal items. Boxing enthusiasts will have an opportunity to also take pictures with this fan friendly Boxing Star.

Porter joins Jessie Vargas and Erik Morales as an early commitment to this year’s Box Fan Expo, with more Boxing stars to be announced.

About Shawn Porter

Porter is an American former professional boxer who competed from 2008 to 2021. He is a two-time former welterweight world champion, having held the IBF title from 2013 to 2014 and the WBC title from 2018 to 2019. He is particularly known for his aggressive pressure fighting style, physical strength and high workrate. Some of his most noticeable fights came against Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr., Adrien Broner, Paulie Malignaggi, Andre Berto and Kell Brook to name a few.

About The Porter Way Podcast

Founded in 2020, Two-Time Welterweight world champion ”Showtime” Shawn Porter leads a unique, entertaining podcast focused on boxing & everything else in the sports & entertainment world. The Porter Way is a Blue Wire Podcast. More info: https://linktr.ee/theporterwaypodcast

About Box Fan Expo

Box Fan Expo is the ultimate boxing fan experience event, which allows fans to meet the stars of boxing that represent the past, present and future of the sport. With hosted autograph signings, meet-and-greets with current and former boxing world champions, limited edition merchandise for sale, giveaways and more, this is the ultimate event for fans of the sport.

Past boxing stars that have participated include: Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Julio Cesar Chavez, Juan Manuel Marquez, Tommy Hearns, Roy Jones Jr, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Andre Ward, Mikey Garcia, Marcos Maidana, Devin Haney, David Benavidez, Errol Spence Jr, Sergio Martinez, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Tim Bradley, Deontay Wilder, Amir Khan, Shawn Porter, Fernando Vargas, Abner Mares, James Toney, Jessie Vargas, Vinny Paz, Mia St.John, Leo Santa Cruz, Badou Jack, Terry Norris, Riddick Bowe, Earnie Shavers, Michael & Leon Spinks, Danny Jacobs, Claressa Shields, Teofimo Lopez, Brandon Rios, Jorge Linares, and many more.

Exhibitors include boxing promoters, gear, apparel, equipment, energy drinks, supplement products, broadcasting media, sanctioning bodies, and other companies who showcase their brand to fans and the boxing industry as a whole.

Throughout the next few months leading up to the Event, there will be weekly updates on the many stars that will commit their appearance at the Boxing Expo

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Return of the Mick: Conlan Dominates Marriaga in Belfast Main Event  

 Paddy Donovan, Kieran Molloy, and Kurt Walker notch victories in undercard action

BELFAST (Aug. 6, 2022)  Michael “Mick” Conlan returned home to Belfast and got back on the winning track. Conlan, who lost a featherweight title bid in March, defeated Miguel Marriaga by unanimous decision in the 10-round featherweight main event Saturday at The SSE Arena.

Conlan (17-1, 8 KOs) prevailed by scores of 99-88 2x and 99-89, securing knockdowns in the seventh, eighth, and ninth rounds. Marriaga (30-6, 26 KOs), a three-time world title challenger, dropped to 1-3 in his last four fights but showed a flourish of his vaunted power. In the 10th round, he buckled Conlan, and there were anxious moments for both men navigating the slippery canvas.

Conlan got the result the packed house came to see. He then called for a rematch with Leigh Wood, the WBA champion who scored a come-from-behind 12th-round knockout in a modern boxing classic.

Conlan said, “I had to get rid of a lot of demons tonight. Even in the fuc*ing last round, he hit me with a shot. That guy can punch. {He has} 10 more knockouts than I have fights. He hit me with a jab in the first round, and it was like, ‘Oh, this guy actually can bang.’ I had to be careful and use my skills, which I did. In the last round, he caught me with a shot. Listen, I’ve been using my legs all night. I was a bit off the pace. He was pushing it. He landed a good shot. He buckled me a little bit. I felt it, and for me, to kind of come through that and it’s the last round… I got knocked out in my last fight in the last round. I think that says a lot. I’m back, baby. I’m ready for any of them.

“Obviously, I want Leigh Wood. It’s obvious, but Leigh has his own situation. So, hopefully he can deal with that and come through and the rematch can be done. If not, it’s any other champion. I want to get back in. I will be world champion, and I know I will. Whoever I face, I know I’ll beat him.”

In other action:

Welterweight: Tyrone McKenna (23-3-1, 6 KOs) UD 10 Chris Jenkins (23-6-3, 8 KOs), Scores: 96-95 2x and 97-94. Jenkins, a former British and Commonwealth welterweight champion, appeared to do enough to earn the victory, but the three judges ruled in favor of Belfast native McKenna. It was a battle of Jenkins’ steady pressure against southpaw volume McKenna, and the two waged a phone booth affair. McKenna recovered from a barrage of body blows to have counterpunching success in the ninth and 10th rounds.

Junior Middleweight: Kieran Molloy (2-0, 2 KOs) TKO 2 Evgenii Vazem (9-36, 7 KOs), 1:23. Molloy, from Galway, Ireland, shined in pro bout number two with a devastating performance over Vazem. Early in the second, a four-punch combination, punctuated by a right hook to the body, put Vazem down for the count.

Molloy said, “I fit right in here. I’m an entertainer. I’m a good fighter, and I proved tonight that I’m a good boxer as well. I didn’t even look for that shot. I just landed that uppercut a few times. His elbows were coming up, and it was a nice, sinking body shot, so I just took it.”  

Super Middleweight: Padraig McCrory (14-0, 8 KOs) TKO 5 Marco Antonio Periban (26-6-1, 17 KOs), 2:14. McCory moved his knockout streak to four with a one-sided drubbing over the former world title challenger. Periban was dropped three times in the fifth round, the final blows coming courtesy of a quick-trigger combination that knocked him into a neutral corner. The referee waved off the fight, and McCrory secured the second defense of his WBC International Silver belt.

Featherweight: Kurt Walker (3-0, 1 KO) PTS 6 Marcos Gabriel Martinez (18-4, 5 KOs), Score: 59-55. Walker, a 2020 Tokyo Olympian, stepped up in class and used his superior lateral movement and combination punching to stymie Argentina’s Martinez. Walker, who is signed to Top Rank, turned pro earlier this year and hopes to take the express lane to title contention at 27 years old.

Welterweight: Paddy Donovan (9-0, 6 KOs) PTS 8 Tom Hill (10-3, 2 KOs), Score: 80-72. The Irish southpaw sensation returned from injury — and a nearly six-month layoff — to shut out Hill. It was the first scheduled eight-rounder for Donovan, a 23-year-old who is trained and managed by former middleweight world champion Andy Lee.

Donovan said, “It’s very important to get the rounds in. Tommy is a very, very tough fighter. We knew that before. He hopped in the ring before he accepted the challenge. He’s beat the Irish number one welterweight, knocking him down twice in the fight, so we know what he’s capable of.”

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NONITO DONAIRE TARGETING KAZUTO IOKA AND ROMAN ‘CHOCOLATITO’ GONZALEZ 

 

LOS ANGELES, AUGUST 5 – Nonito Donaire is targeting huge fights at super flyweight with Kazuto Ioka and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez – before moving back up to chase bantamweight greatness. 

The former four-weight world champion has emphatically dismissed any idea of retiring following his brutal stoppage defeat to Naoya Inoue in June

Instead, the legendary Donaire, who will be 40 in November, intends on dropping down to the 115lbs division to chase mouth watering fights with WBO champion Ioka and the brilliant Chocolatito. 

And then the Filipino Flash plans to move back into the mix at bantamweight in pursuit of becoming the undisputed champion in that division. 

“It’s a really good fight with Chocolatito and people are saying it would be ‘legend versus legend’” Donaire told Probellum.com 

“It’s a big fight. But I do like the Ioka fight as well because I want to get that title and become a five-division champion and then move back up to 118 and go for the undisputed crown once everything else is open and I get another opportunity for it.” 

Donaire has revealed he was mulling over the move to super flyweight in the hours before he faced Inoue last month. 

“Before the fight with Inoue, Richard Schaefer and I talked about going down to 115,” Donaire said.  

“Making the weight was very simple for me and I made it quickly. I even made 117 before stepping on the scales.  

“Richard and I were talking and saying that regardless of what happens here, maybe I can go down to 115 and fight the guys in that division.  

“Richard is talking with Ioka’s people, with Mr Honda and he is talking to Chocolatito as well. It’s exciting, there are a lot of things to look forward to.” 

To keep up to date with the latest news on Donaire’s next move, sign up to our newsletter or follow Probellum on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.    

You can also follow our official news, results, and information account, Probellum News, on Twitter.

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Teofimo Lopez: “The Takeover is Back!”

Lopez-Pedro Campa headlines ESPN-televised bill SATURDAY, August 13 @ Resorts World Las Vegas

Tickets starting at $40 are on sale now and can be purchased at Etix.com

RINGOES, N.J.  (Aug. 4, 2022) — The Takeover 2.0 is 10 days away. Teofimo Lopez (16-1, 12 KOs), the former unified and lineal lightweight champion, will make his junior welterweight debut against Mexican veteran Pedro Campa (34-1-1, 23 KOs) on Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Resorts World Event Center at Resorts World Las Vegas.

Lopez is back following last November’s split decision shocker to George Kambosos Jr., which knocked him from the top of the lightweight heap. The Brooklyn native is training in New Jersey for Campa, a 30-year-old puncher who is unbeaten in eight fights dating back to 2017. 

Following a recent training session, this is what Lopez had to say about his ESPN-televised return.

“The Takeover is back! I took over the lightweight division, and I plan on doing the same at junior welterweight. Pedro Campa is a tough opponent with an aggressive Mexican style, and I can’t wait to put on a show for the fans.”

“Every person goes through challenges, but I’ve put the past behind me and am thrilled to be back fighting on ESPN and in Las Vegas. I am calling this fight the ‘Take Back’ because I am coming to regain what I’ve lost. One defeat does not define a fighter, and it won’t define me.”

“I had been fighting at lightweight since I was a teenager, and it was time to move up. I am going to be an even better, more explosive fighter. You will see that on August 13.”

“I am only 25 years old. My best years are in front of me. Pedro Campa is the start of a new chapter in my career. I will be a two-weight world champion very soon. Every contender and champion at junior welterweight better watch out because I am coming to clean out the division.”

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets starting at $40 are on sale now and can be purchased at Etix.com.

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San Diego Media Workout Alert: Emanuel Navarrete, Nico Ali Walsh & Hometown Hero Giovani Santillan Prepare for August 20 Card @ Pechanga Arena 
Media workout to take place MONDAY, Aug. 8 @ The BXING Club East Village 

Navarrete, Santillan and Ali Walsh to headline ESPN-televised tripleheader (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT)

August 3 – Who: WBO featherweight world champion Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete, undefeated welterweight contender/San Diego native Giovani Santillan, and unbeaten middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh.
 
What: Navarrete, Santillan and Ali Walsh will conduct a media workout 12 days before they take center stage Saturday, Aug. 20, at Pechanga Arena San Diego.
 
Navarrete (35-1, 29 KOs) will defend his world title against his Mexican countryman, Eduardo Baez (21-2-2, 7 KOs). In the co-feature, Santillan (29-0, 17 KOs) risks his perfect against Julio Luna (19-0-2, 10 KOs).
 
Ali Walsh, the grandson of Muhammad Ali, opens the ESPN telecast in a rematch versus Reyes Sanchez (7-2, 3 KOs), the only man to take him the distance in his young career. Nearly 50 years ago, Ali fought at Pechanga Arena San Diego (then known as San Diego Sports Arena), suffering a broken jaw en route to a shocking decision defeat to Ken Norton.
 
Where: The BXING Club East Village
491 15th Street, San Diego

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The Homecoming: Newark Native Shakur Stevenson to Defend Unified Junior Lightweight Title Against Robson Conceição September 23 at Prudential Center LIVE on ESPN Lightweight sensation Keyshawn Davis set to return in the co-feature
Tickets starting at $50 are on sale TODAY, July 25

NEWARK, N.J. (July 25, 2022) — Brick City’s boxing superstar, Shakur Stevenson, is the junior lightweight king. He’ll soon return home to defend his throne.

Stevenson, the WBC, WBO and Ring Magazine champion, puts his hardware on the line against Brazilian standout Robson Conceição on Friday, Sept. 23, at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. In the eight-round lightweight co-feature, Tokyo 2020 U.S. Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis returns against an opponent to be named.
 
Stevenson-Conceição and Davis’ bout will air live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ (simulcast) at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
 
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets starting at $50 go on sale TODAY, July 25, at 2 p.m. ET and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com.
 
“The sensational Shakur Stevenson is a once in a generation boxing talent, and he’s back home in Newark as a world champion against a worthy contender in Robson Conceição,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “I also can’t wait to see young talents like Keyshawn Davis and Bruce Carrington perform on such a significant card.”
 
“Prudential Center is incredibly proud to partner once again with Top Rank and ESPN to host Newark’s own Shakur Stevenson in his homecoming bout, as he defends his junior lightweight world titles in this exciting matchup versus Robson Conceição”, said Dylan Wanagiel, VP of Sports Properties & Special Events for Prudential Center. “Having Shakur back home means a great deal to this city, as his presence alone is an inspiration to our next generation. We look forward to another historic night as we add to the rich history of combat sports in our great state of New Jersey. We welcome all fight aficionados to join the unique excitement of a Newark crowd, which we will share with the worldwide audiences of ESPN and ESPN Deportes.”
 
Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) returns to Prudential Center following a career-best performance in April over Oscar Valdez. He unified two junior lightweight titles in a near-shutout over 12 rounds and vaulted up the pound-for-pound rankings. Stevenson, a former featherweight world champion, won the WBO junior lightweight strap last October with a knockout over long-reigning champion Jamel Herring. In 18 professional fights since capturing a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Stevenson has lost a small handful of rounds, establishing himself as the sport’s premier defensive practitioner. The southpaw stylist comes back to Brick City intent on maintaining his dominance.
 
Stevenson said, “I’m coming home to Newark and I’m back as a unified champion. I’ve always proudly represented Newark, and I’m ready to perform in front of my hometown fans at Prudential Center on September 23. Robson Conceição gave Oscar Valdez a tough fight. A lot of people felt like he won, but we’ll see how good he really is when he fights me.”

Conceição (17-1, 8 KOs) made history as Brazil’s first Olympic boxing gold medalist, turning pro under the Top Rank banner less than three months after the 2016 Rio Games. He entered the Valdez last fight last September with a 16-0 record, but the oddsmakers gave him little shot at dethroning the champion. Twelve rounds later, he lost a close points verdict but ultimately proved himself as a worthy title contender. Less than five months after the Valdez fight, he traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and upset the previously undefeated Xavier Martinez over 10 rounds. Conceição, who fought the likes of Valdez, Vasiliy Lomachenko, Joe Cordina and Josh Taylor as an amateur, now gets the chance to battle another decorated amateur turned professional world champion.
 
Conceição said, “Shakur Stevenson is an excellent athlete and has my respect for everything he has accomplished. Our paths are crossing, and there will only be one champion. I guarantee the best performance of my life. It will be the fight of the year and a great show for the audience and my Brazilian fans, the ones that never give up!”
 
Davis (5-0, 4 KOs), from Norfolk, Virginia, shined in the Stevenson-Valdez co-feature, knocking out Esteban Sanchez in six rounds. The 23-year-old nicknamed “The Businessman,” is a rising star who has yet to lose a round in the paid ranks. The one-time amateur superstar was one of the fistic stars of Tokyo 2020. Davis ran roughshod through the lightweight bracket until the championship bout, where he lost a competitive decision to Cuban prodigy Andy Cruz.

The undercard, streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+, is highlighted by the fifth professional outing of featherweight Bruce Carrington, who hails from Brownsville, Brooklyn. Carrington (4-0, 3 KOs) will fight Chilean veteran Jose Argel (8-4, 2 KOs) in a six-rounder. Carrington has won three straight by knockout since turning pro with a decision victory last October on the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder III undercard.
 
In other undercard action:

Long Island-born welterweight prospect Jahi Tucker (8-0, 5 KOs) steps up in class against New Mexico’s Jose Luis Sanchez (11-2-1, 4 KOs) in a six-rounder. Sanchez went the distance against top junior middleweight prospect Xander Zayas last September.
 
A pair of Puerto Rican contenders, junior lightweight Henry “Moncho” Lebron (16-0, 10 KOs) and featherweight Orlando Gonzalez (18-1, 11 KOs), will see action in separate eight-rounders.
 
Floyd “Cashflow” Diaz (6-0, 2 KOs), from The Bronx, N.Y., fights in a six-rounder at junior featherweight, while popular Puerto Rican prospect Armani Almestica (6-0, 6 KOs) goes for knockout number seven in a six-rounder at lightweight.
 
Popular New York City welterweight Pablo Valdez (6-0, 5 KOs) makes his 2022 debut in a six-rounder.

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Manuel Gallegos vs. Jesus Moroyoqui

Headline “Canela Box Nights”

Aug. 19th Live & Free stream on Canela.tv and Canela Sports from Mexico

LOS ANGELES (August 2, 2022) – Only 10 days after the launching of the “Canela Box Nights” series, CANELA BOX and World Cup Boxing Series (WCBS), led by CEO Terry Hollan and promoter/matchmaker Guy Taylor, have announced boxing’s newest series will return August 19th to one of boxing’s true hotbeds, Los Mochis, Sonora, Mexico.

“Canela Box Nights” will be held and streamed live for free the third Friday evening every month in Mexico.

Los Mochis, Sonora is synonymous with elite boxing, producing stars such as 5-time World Champion Fernando Montiel 54-6 (39 KOs) and 4-division World Champion Jorge Arce (64-8, 49 KOs). 

The most recent WCBS signing, super-middleweight Manuel Gallegos (19-1, 16 KOs), has a legitimate shot at developing into the next star from Los Mochis. Gallegos appears to have the size, strength, skills, and chin to go deep in the loaded 168-pound division. Two fights ago. Gallegos defeated former Showtime and TMT fighter, Kevin Newman II (13-3-1, 8 KOs), of Las Vegas, by way of a close 10-round unanimous decision a year ago.

Gallegos’ opponent in the Aug. 19th 8-round main event is light heavyweight Jesus “Mazo” Moroyoqui (10-1, 7 KOs), of Navojoa, Sonora, the home of Mexican boxing legend and former International Boxing Federation (IBF) World Champion Luis “Yory Boy” Campas (107-17-3. 82 KOs). 

“I’ve had the privilege to sit ringside and watch both men fight on separate nights and when the opportunity came to make this fight happen it was something we couldn’t pass up,” explained Taylor. “Now, if you are a boxing purest and love the whole ‘hit and not get hit’ style, this main event match-up may not be for your favorite, but if want to see a fight with no pretense of defense then you better tune in on August 19th to CANELA.TV”.”

Moroyoqui had a good amateur career with more than 100 fights and as a pro he has already defeated two previously undefeated fighters. Moroyoqui’s last fight resulted in his first pro loss to current world-ranked, undefeated Diego Pacheco (15-0) on DAZN.

The 8-round co-featured event will serve as a great “table setter” as one of the top prospects in all of Mexico and member of the Mexico’s famous Montiel boxing family, super lightweight prospect Jorge Lugo Cota (7-0, 5 KOs), also from Los Mochis. An outstanding amateur who had a record of 155-10, coupled with numerous state and national championship performances, Cota takes a huge leap up in class versus former world title challenger Jesus Antonio Rubio (13-5-2, (7 KOs). 

Rubio defeated former world-ranked challenger and United States Boxing Association (USBA) Champion Sonny Fredrickson (21-3) back in the spring of 2021.  Defeating Fredrickson earned Rubio an opportunity to fight for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) Interim Junior Welterweight World Championship against undefeated Alberto Puello (20-0) a year ago albeit dropping a 12-round decision.  In Rubio’s last action, he fought to an 8-round split draw with Angel Martinez (14-1, 14KOs).

“I have always been known as an aggressive matchmaker in my 20 years of doing, but this is overly aggressive even for me,” Taylor noted. “We have the utmost confidence in our fighter (Lugo) and for him to make his first eight-round fight against a past world title challenger should tell you all about the confidence he has in himself.”

“Canela Box Nights” – LIVE, EXCLUSIVE and FREE stream on CANELA.TV, presented by World Cup Boxing Series, on Friday, August 19th from the Centennial Sports Center in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, starting 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT throughout the United States, Mexico, and Latin America.

Canela.TV is available for download on Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, as well as through linear channels on Samsung TV Plus, LG, Vizio, Plex, Distro TV and available through iTunes and Google Play.  Users can find a wide variety of content, including soap operas, news, movies, television series, cooking shows, among others, through the Hispanic lens.  For additional information on Canela.TV please visit: https://www.canela.tv/

“Canela Fight Nights” was created by CANELA MEDIA, a leading, minority-owned technology driven company committed to redefining digital media experiences for the Hispanic Community, and World Cup Boxing Series (WCBS), led by its creators CEO Terry Holland and promoter/matchmaker Guy Taylor.

ABOUT CANELA MEDIA: Canela Media is the leading, minority-owned technology driven company offering brands a complete ecosystem to connect with multicultural audiences starting with its free streaming platform service, Canela.TV which enriches the new generation of U.S. Latinos with free access to unique, culturally relevant content. In addition to TV content, Canela Music features a unique blend of Latin music programming , featuring various genres from Latin Pop, Regional Mexican, Classics, Romantic, and more.

Canela Media reaches more than 50 million unique Hispanics across its 180+ premium Spanish-language sites. Combined with the company’s proprietary data, Canela Media possesses in-depth knowledge and understanding of how to establish meaningful and culturally relevant connections with the new mainstream- U.S. and Latin America Hispanics.

Headquartered in New York, Canela Media is ranked as the third largest Hispanic ad-focused company and the only female-and minority-owned certified digital company. For more information please visit: https://canelamedia.com/

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Dog Fight: Isaac Dogboe Edges Joet Gonzalez in Featherweight Battle

Cabrera topples Flores Jr. in lightweight co-feature


HINCKLEY, Minn. (July 23, 2022) — Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe’s future was cloudy following back-to-back junior featherweight title fight losses to Emanuel Navarrete. Now, his future is brighter than ever.

Ghana’s Dogboe defeated two-time title challenger Joet Gonzalez by a 10-round split decision in the featherweight main event Saturday evening at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota. The bout was a WBC title eliminator, and Dogboe won the WBO International title, putting him in a prime position to challenge for a world title.

Dogboe (24-2, 15 KOs), who won the first three rounds on two of the scorecards, swept the 10th to earn the win by scores of 96-94 on two cards. Gonzalez prevailed by the same margin on the other card.

Dogboe said, “I said to the people that my journey can be a Hollywood blockbuster movie, and I praise God always.
 
“I’ve always seen {trainer} Barry {Hunter} as a very inspirational person, a father figure. He’s a person that when it seems like it’s all gone, he always has something to say to you. I really needed him in my corner. He was able to pull that extra strength in me out. I want to say thanks to Joet Gonzalez. He’s a true warrior.

“Whoever the champions are, they should watch out. The ‘Royal Storm,’ I am back, baby!”

Gonzalez (25-3, 15 KOs), who outlanded Dogboe 197-190, believed he did enough to earn the win. Last October, he lost a 12-round barnburner to Navarrete in his second bid for the WBO featherweight title. Despite falling short, he still hopes a third title opportunity is in his future.

“Close fight. I thought I won the fight. I buckled him, I believe, twice in the fight. I stunned him,” Gonzalez said. “He didn’t really land too many shots. I landed the cleaner, harder shots. I was pushing him back, and he was holding most of the time. Roughing me and trying to stop me. But I thought I won the fight.”

Cabrera Dominates Flores Jr.

Welcome to the big show, Giovanni Cabrera. The Chicago native dropped Gabriel Flores Jr. three times en route to a dominant 10-round unanimous decision (98-89 3x) in the lightweight co-feature.

Cabrera exploded in the opening round, knocking down Flores with a straight right left seconds into the opening round. He added a second knockdown off a left hand that had Flores stumbling into the ropes.

Cabrera (21-0, 7 KOs) added a knockdown with a right hook in the fifth, but Flores, the fighting pride of Stockton, California, would not give in. Flores (21-2, 7 KOs) pressed forward in the fight’s second half, doing enough to win a pair of rounds on all three judges’ cards. But in the 10th round, Cabrera charged forward hoping for the knockout.

The knockout did not materialize, but Cabrera, who is trained by the legendary Freddie Roach, did not have to worry about the cards. He had done more than enough to author a signature victory.

I felt amazing. It’s what we worked on in the gym,” Cabrera said. “Everybody, I think, can see I’m a very slick boxer. As I’ve progressed in the professional ranks, there’s still growth to be had. There’s a lot to learn, and I have the best trainer in the world to do that. I’ve been working on my power. He felt it in the

first round. Gabriel Flores is as tough as they come. My hat’s off to him. This incredible fight wouldn’t have been made if he wasn’t brave enough to take it.”

Flores said, “I should’ve kept on stepping to my left. The game plan kind of went to blur. My father was telling me to keep stepping to my left, keep feinting, keep flicking my jab, and keep jabbing. I didn’t really do much of any of that.”

In other results:

Middleweight: Javier Martinez (7-0, 2 KOs) UD 6 Chino Hill (7-1-1, 6 KOs). Scores: 60-54 and 59-55 2x. Milwaukee’s Martinez picked up the most substantial victory of his young career, nearly shutting out the savvy native of Davenport, Iowa. The Robert Garcia Boxing Academy-trained Martinez landed 25 more punches than Hill and connected at a 48 percent clip. Martinez, a one-time U.S. amateur standout, has been spotless since turning pro inside the MGM Grand Bubble two years ago.

Heavyweight: Guido Vianello (9-0-1, 9 KOs) TKO 4 Rafael Rios (11-4, 8 KOs), 2:59. 2016 Italian Olympian Vianello returned from a nearly 13-month layoff and didn’t skip a beat, lacing Rios with combinations until the finish came at the end of round four. Rios, with his nose bloodied, ate a vicious uppercut, then a combination capped by a left hook to the body that put him down for the 10-count.

Featherweight: Haven Brady Jr. (7-0, 4 KOs) UD 6 Aaron Echeveste (6-8, 3 KOs), Scores: 60-54 2x and 60-53. Brady put forth a workmanlike effort against Echeveste, an eight-year pro who has only been stopped once as a pro. He pressed for the knockout in the sixth round, landing a series of left hooks against the southpaw spoiler as the seconds ticked away. 
 
LightweightAbdullah Mason (3-0, 3 KOs) TKO 1 Luis Fernandez (1-4-1), 2:39. The 18-year-old southpaw, from Cleveland, Ohio, showed why he’s one of the sport’s ascending stars with a drubbing of Fernandez. The finishing flurry was punctuated by a brutal uppercut that prompted referee Mark Nelson to stop the fight.

HeavyweightAntonio Mireles (4-0, 4 KOs) TKO 2 Dennys Reyes (3-3, 1 KO), 2:09. “El Gigante,” the 6’9, 270-pound behemoth from Des Moines, Iowa, ended his evening early with a savage salvo in the second round. He knocked down Reyes with a chopping left hand, and when Reyes rose to his feet, a two-punch combination made the inevitable official.

Light HeavyweightDante Benjamin Jr. (3-0, 2 KOs) TKO 1 Corey Thompson (4-1, 3 KOs) 2:24. “Free Smoke” brought it to Minnesota, jumping all over the previously undefeated Thompson in the opening round of the scheduled four-rounder. Benjamin notched a pair of knockdowns, both of which left Thompson reeling into the ropes before the one-sided affair was called off.

Heavyweight: Colton Warner (5-1, 3 KOs) UD 4 Jimmy Barnes (1-3, 1 KO). Scores: 40-36 3x.

Middleweight: Antonio Woods (11-0, 9 KOs) TKO 1 Darryl Jones (4-5-1, 2 KOs), 2:36.

Heavyweight: Cayman Audie (2-1, 1 KO) UD 4 Anthony Garrett (1-1, 1 KO). Scores: 39-34 3x.

Photo by Mikey Williams / Top Rank via Getty Images

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Dylan Price Spectacular with Unanimous Decision over Drew Correll To win NBA Bantamweight World Title

 Chester Native Frankie Lynn Thrills Hometown Fans with 33 second KO in pro Debut

CHESTER, PA (July 18, 2022)–Bantamweight Dylan Price remained undefeated by displaying a scintillating performance in winning a 10-round unanimous decision over tough Drew Correll to capture the NBA Bantamweight world title at a sold out Elevations Event Center in Chester, Pennsylvania.

The six-bout card was promoted by Price Promotions.

Price came out fast by landing some wicked straight rights against the tall southpaw Correll. Correll looked to establish his long jab, and at times, he was successful. Price was able to put some vicious combinations throughout the contest. He was able to mix in hard body combinations with four and five flush punches to the head.   

Price was able to crack, but not break down the steel-chinned Correll. Almost each time it seemed like that anytime Correll was teetering on being in serious trouble, he would keep Price honest with a little flurry of punches.  Price’s punches were accurate, and were accompanied with speed and power, that saw Price came home with the victory and the title by scores of 99-91 and 98-92 twice.

Price of Sicklerville, New Jersey is now 15-0. Correll of Danville, New Jersey is 10-3.

The co-feature saw Frankie Lynn of Chester need just 32 seconds to dispose of Prince Francis in a one-sided battle of pro debuting middleweights.

Lynn dropped an overmatched Francis twice before the fight was halted.

Erron Peterson used a vicious body assault to take out Jeremiah Kendrick in round three of their scheduled four-round middleweight fight.

Peterson threw powerful punches to the side of Kendrick until it was determined that he had taken enough punishment for the evening at 2:56 of round three.

Peterson of Philadelphia is 1-0 with one knockout. Kendrick, also of Philadelphia, is 1-1.

Jalique Holden stopped Tyrique Gerald in round one of their four-round lightweight contest.

The time was 2:59 for Holden of Delaware, who is 1-0. Gerlad of Brooklyn, NY is 0-1.

Abimbola Osundairo put on a power-punching display and stopped Tariq Green in round two of their four-round super middleweight bout,

The time was 1:45 for Osundairo of Chicago, who is now 2-0 with one stoppage. Green of Philadelphia is 0-1.

The card kicked off with Aaron Newmose winning a four-round split decision over Jamir Anderson in a battle of debuting welterweight.

Newmose of Atlantic City won by scores of 39-37 twice, while Anderson won a card 39-37.

Photo by Darryl Cobb Jr.

 

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Hey Arnold: Barboza Defeats Zorrilla in 140-Pound Showdown

Silver Medal Star Richard Torrez Jr. Improves to 2-0

Arnold Barboza (R) and Danielito Zorrilla (L) square off with each other.

TEMECULA, Calif. (July 15, 2022) — Junior welterweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr. waited nearly 10 years as a pro to make his main event debut, and he took full advantage of the opportunity.

Barboza (27-0, 10 KOs), from South El Monte, California, grinded down Danielito Zorrilla to win a 10-round unanimous decision in front of a sold-out crowd of 2,836 Friday evening at Pechanga Resort Casino. Ranked No. 8 by the WBO at 140 pounds, he prevailed by scores of 98-92 and 97-93 2x.

Barboza returned from an 11-month layoff in vintage form, wearing down Zorrilla with a consistent body attack and well-placed right hands. Zorrilla (16-1, 12 KOs), down big on the cards, summoned one final charge in the 10th round. He landed a crisp right hand that wobbled Barboza, creating one very anxious moment for the Southern California standout. Barboza composed himself and held on for win number 27.

Barboza said, “I was a little rusty. It’s been a while. I’m not going to be inactive like that no more, man. I’m going to be fighting constantly.
 
“I was more off balance {in the 10th round}. I was right there. Once you saw me off balance, I was right back to my thing. Shout out to my conditioning. My conditioning was on point.

Arnold Barboza Jr. after his huge win.

“My manager knows, if we can’t get a title shot, you know who it is. We want Teofimo. It’s either a title shot or him.”

Muratalla Dominates Valtierra

Lightweight sensation Raymond “Danger” Muratalla (15-0, 12 KOs) shut out the game Jair Valtierra (16-2, 8 KOs) over eight rounds by identical scores of 80-71. Muratalla, from Fontana, California, dropped Valtierra with a left hook in the fourth.

Muratalla landed 133 power punches to 20 for Valtierra, but saw his nine-bout knockout streak end.

Raymond Muratalla (R) and Jair Valtierra (L) exchange punches on the inside.

Muratalla pressed for the knockout in the eighth round, but the stubborn Valtierra fired back and saw the final bell.

“I did OK. I felt like I was a little bit sloppy. I could’ve done a lot better. There are better days to come,” Muratalla said. “I just want to stay active, keep fighting, and whatever opponents they bring to me, they bring to me. I just want to get to the top, and I’m going to keep fighting and fighting.”

Torrez Jr. Stops Zavala Jr. in 58 Seconds

Richard Torrez Jr (R) smashed a jarring left to the jaw of Roberto Zavala Jr (L).

Heavyweight U.S. Olympic silver medalist Richard Torrez Jr. (2-0, 2 KOs) wasted little time, stopping Roberto Zavala Jr. (2-2-1, 2 KOs) at 58 seconds of the opening round. Torrez pressed forward and backed Zavala Jr. into the blue corner, unleashing a combination that prompted Eddie Hernandez Sr. to wave it off.

Torrez Jr. returns Aug. 27 on the ESPN-televised undercard of the Jose Pedraza-Richard Commey main event in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Torrez Jr. said, “I want to thank Top Rank for keeping me active and giving me the platform to showcase my talents. Every fight is a learning experience, and I can’t wait until August 27 in Tulsa.”

In other results:

Heavyweight: Stephan Shaw (17-0, 13 KOs) KO 1 Bernardo Marquez (14-5-1, 10 KOs), 2:35. “Big Shot” Shaw lived up to the billing with an explosive power burst that dropped Marquez three times in less than three minutes. Shaw, from St. Louis, ended the evening with a chopping right hand that dropped Marquez to the canvas. Shaw is 2-0 in 2022 since signing a co-promotional pact with Top Rank.

Stephan Shaw *R) pounds Bernardo Marquez (L) with a hard right.

Junior Featherweight: Floyd Diaz (6-0, 2 KOs) KO 3 Pedro Salome (3-1-1, 1 KO), 1:17. Four weeks after improving to 5-0, Diaz returned with a power flourish. After a competitive opening round, Diaz turned the tables in the second round and floored Salome with an overhand right in the third. Referee Daniel Sandoval waved off the fight after a three-punch combination staggered Salome.

Welterweight: Adrian Yung (28-7-3, 22 KOs) DRAW 6 Jorge Marron Jr. (20-3-2, 7 KOs). Scores: 59-55 Yung and 57-57 2x. Yung, who was originally supposed to fight Muratalla, was not fazed by the late-notice opponent. Marron, who hails from San Diego, brought a sizable cheering contingent but had to settle for his second consecutive draw. 

Featherweight: Austin Brooks (7-0, 2 KOs) UD 4 Victor Saravia. (1-3, 1 KO). Scores: 40-36 3x.

Photos from Mikey Williams / Top Rank via Getty Images

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Saturday: Michael Eifert-Adriano Sperandio Light Heavyweight Battle & The Return of Undefeated Junior Welterweight Prospect Hugo Micallef to Stream LIVE on ESPN+

Coverage from Magdeburg, Germany, begins at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT  

(July 13, 2022) — Light heavyweight contenders Michael Eifert and Adriano Sperandio will face off for the vacant IBF Intercontinental strap this Saturday, July 16, in the 10-round main event at the Maritim Hotel in Magdeburg, Germany. Undefeated Top Rank-signed junior welterweight prospect Hugo Micallef, “The Fresh Prince of Monaco,” returns in a six-rounder versus Mauro Loli.
 
Eifert-Sperandio, Micallef-Loli, and additional fight action will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ starting at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT.
 
Eifert (10-1, 4 KOs), a 24-year-old German, turned pro in 2018 and won the first six fights of his career before dropping a majority decision to Tom Dzemski in August 2020. Nearly one year later, he turned the tables, edging Dzemski by majority decision to win the WBC and IBF youth titles. Eifert has won two fights by knockout since then, including a third-round stoppage over the previously undefeated Nils Schmidt. Sperandio (14-1, 2 KOs), from Rome, Italy, has won three straight fights since the lone loss on his ledger.
 
Micallef (2-0) signed with Top Rank last year and is currently the only active boxer from the Principality of Monaco. The Monte Carlo-born Micallef is one of his nation’s most popular homegrown athletes and has the support of many of Monaco’s luminaries, including F1 star Charles Leclerc. Micallef has won bouts in France and Spain since turning pro and steps up against Loli (7-3, 3 KOs), an Italian veteran who has never been stopped as a pro.
 
In other streaming action on ESPN+:

  • German heavyweight Albon Pervizaj (17-1, 13 KOs) will face Spanish journeyman Alvaro Terrero (5-16-2, 3 KOs).
     
  • Junior middleweight prospect Paul Wall (2-0, 1 KO) looks for win number three in a four-rounder against Nikolas Dzurnak (2-1-2, 2 KOs).

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FLORIDA BOXING HALL OF FAME INDUCTION WEEKEND TAKES PLACE DURING UNUSUAL DANGEROUS HEAT WAVE

 

Story by Mark Weisenmiller

Photos courtesy of Florida Boxing Hall of Fame

PETERSBURG, FL – Despite a dangerous, life-threatening heat wave that covered much of the American South, The Florida Boxing Hall of Fame (FLBHOF) conducted its annual induction weekend this year. The event was held at the Marriot Hotel here in St. Petersburg from Friday June 17th through induction day of Sunday June 19th.

2022 Florida Boxing Hall of Fame Inductees.

Eleven fights were scheduled for Friday evening, but one of them was cancelled. Thus, only 10 bouts happened. These fights, and the entire proceedings, were livestreamed by Gold Star Television.

Saturday’s first seminar was conducted by long-time Florida-based referees Brian Garry and Chris Young. These two have been conducting this seminar, or variations of it, during past FLBHOF induction ceremony weekends for many years and, like a singing duo that has worked together for many years, they know each other’s physical actions and vocal syncopations.

2022 FBHOF – 2022 Inductee – Former Heavyweight king Shannon Briggs.

The theme of the seminar was boxing refereeing and judging and Garry and Young relayed anecdotes of both fields from their past, and current experiences. Garry told a story of himself refereeing a bout in St. Petersburg some years ago that got so out of control that the frenzied audience moved their physical and vocal mayhem out of the arena where the fight was being held and continued their hellraising. Result: 25 of these people were arrested by St. Petersburg police. Young often emphasized the importance of positioning by referees, of themselves, during a bout. “Position is everything,” Young told the audience of 25 to 30 people.

Shannon Briggs -L- fires at George Foreman -R- in 1997 Lineal Heavyweight Title Fight. Photo by Pat Orr – The USA Boxing News.

Antonio Tarver was slated to give the next seminar with the theme of it being “A Fighter’s Perspective.” Tarver did not show up so former lightweight king Nate Campbell Jr. – a past FLBHOF inductee and a talented boxer who fought from 2002 to 2014 – filled in. Campbell spoke much about how mental preparation for a bout is just as important – indeed, in Campbell’s estimation, more important – than physical preparation. “When boxers trash talk an opponent,” explained Campbell to a packed audience, “It is not just done for the benefit of the media, but is a form of a boxer mentally psyching himself up for a upcoming bout.” Nate also admitted that he and his compatriot boxers undergo the mental strain of getting ready for a fight. “I can’t eat what I want; I can’t see the woman I love, I can’t see my kids. All of this is mentally grueling,” Campbell confessed.

2022 FBHOF – 2022 Inductee – Former WBO jr. welterweight and IBF welterweight champion Randall Bailey.

After lunch, FLBHOF President Steve Canton led a four-person panel (himself included) of a round robin discussion of many boxing-related topics. Among the things that he and his fellow panel members talked about – before another packed room – was how long fights should be; where fights should be held (Canton remembered when fights were held in baseball stadiums); the fact that TV network executives prefer 12-round fights to 15-round fights because the former fits television’s peculiar way of bending time; the point that major fights are no longer held on free TV and that this leads to less name recognition; the fact that good fighters will always watch and study both tapes of themselves and their opponents, and other matters. Canton said, “Fighters train for their fights; champions train all the time.” He also highly praised this year’s class of inductees.

2022 FBHOF – 2022 FLBHOF Inductee and former IBF Cruiserweight King Al Cole.

The seminar lasted until 3 PM and, in the interval until the formal dinner began at 6 PM, people lulled about or visited vendors who sold their wares (T-shirts, hats, etc.) from glass topped covered tables. There was also, as has been the case in past years, a plaster cast company’s worker making plaster casts of peoples’ fists.

IBF Cruiserweight Champion Al Cole. Photo by Alex Rinaldi

Seated at Table 25, at the back of the hotel space where the formal dinner was held, we had a full, wide-angle view of the room. Master of ceremonies for the evening, as has been the case in past years, was FLBHOF Vice President Bob Alexander. Two massive, large-screen movie screens – onto which was projected continuously played highlights of past boxing matches – enveloped the podium where Alexander reigned over the proceedings. Ten chairs were at each table and old friendships were renewed while new friendships began.

2022 FBHOF – L-R Announcer Bob Alexander and 2022 Inductee and former welterweight and jr. middleweight king Cory Spinks.

Between the salad and the entrée, many people looked at the aforementioned tables. Atop them now were dozens of items up for sale at a silent auction, ranging from a football jersey of local NFL team Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Mike Evans to a signed photo of local NHL team Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevsky (the Lightning were playing the Colorado Avalanche in the 2022 Stanley Cup Final at the time of this year’s FLBHOF induction ceremony weekend).

IBF welterweight king Cory Spinks -R- clobbers Ricardo Mayorga -L- with a right hand in their 2003 title bout.

Alexander announced the names of people from the boxing world who died in the previous year and one of these people was past FLBHOF President Walter “Butch” Flansburg. Canton thanked the crowd for coming and congratulated the new inductees. After this, Alexander acknowledged the people in the room who were Class of 2022 FLBHOF inductees. Keynote speaker of the evening was former amateur boxer, and now President of the Indiana Boxing Hall of Fame, Craig Houk.

2022 FBHOF -Inductee Fres Oquendo gives his acceptance speech.

Before the evening ended with dancing, awards were presented. More specifically, Chris Young, and brothers Vernon and Russell Ansell were given Special Achievement Awards, and the final award was the first annual Walter “Butch” Flansburg Award; this was presented to Tim Shipman, who is the Assistant Executive Director of the Florida State Boxing Commission.

Fres Oquendo stabs IBF heavyweight king Chris Byrd with a hard jab in 2003 bout. Photo by Tom Hogan-The USA Boxing News.

As people made their way to the Sunday morning hot buffet breakfast of eggs, bacon, and fried potatoes – all washed down with a selection of coffee; tea; or apple or orange juice – many seemed somewhat groggy. Two possible reasons: they stayed up too late after the previous evening’s festivities, or they watched the Lightning lose Game Two of the Stanley Cup Final. Yet, as these people took in sustenance, their spirits seemed to brighten.

2022 FBHOF – 2022 Inductee – Former Heavyweight Challenger David Tua has his fist casted to be placed in the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame Museum. Photo by Damon Gonzalez – LatinboxSports

The induction ceremony started at 11:20 AM. The FLBHOF Class of 2022 inductees was, and is, made up of 20 people – one PROMOTER (Richard Dobal); one person from the MEDIA world (Claudia Trejos); two OFFICIALS (Dennis DeBon and Dr. Ramon Garcia-Septien); three TRAINERS (Gus Curren; Tito Tiburon Ocasio; and Armando Wiz Fernandez); five PARTICIPANTS (Phil Alessi Jr.; Richard Fabian; Jerry Reyes; Joey Orduna; Steve Harris), and eight FIGHTERS (Randall Bailey; Al Cole; Fres Oquendo; David Tua; Shannon Briggs; Keith Mullings Sr.; David Armstrong, and Cory Spinks).

David Tua KO’s Michael Moorer. Photo by Alex Rinaldi.

The inductees walked into the room, two by two, to the tune of “Rocky” which was followed by the National Anthem. As it was Father’s Day, Alexander started the day by proclaiming, “A Happy Father’s Day to all of you fathers out there.” All of fathers applauded unabashedly.

2022 FBHOF – 2022 Inductee – Former WBO jr. welterweight and IBF welterweight champion Randall Bailey has his fist casted. Photo by Damon Gonzalez – LatinboxSports

The first inductee was the only posthumous one – Keith “The Brooklyn Assassin” Mullings Sr. He was only 53 when he died last May; cause of death has never been announced. Mullings captured the WBC super welterweight title on December 6, 1997 when he TKO’d the legendary “Terrible” Terry Norris in the ninth round. His eldest sister accepted on his behalf. “He [Keith] wanted to be remembered as a great fighter and he was. We (his immediate family) are deeply honored for this recognition,” she said. Before leaving the stage, she added “Brother, your fight is over.” Mullings’ final record was 16-8-1 (11 KO’s).

2022 FBHOF – 2022 Inductee Gus Curren.

Brian Garry gave a final 10-count bell ring to all who died in the boxing world in the past year. A video tribute to the late Walter “Butch” Flansburg was then shown. Beforehand, Alexander told the room packed with boxing fans, “This is the first induction ceremony that we’ve had where Butch Flansburg was not in attendance.” It ended as the crowd watched, in the video tribute, Flansburg getting inducted into last year’s FLBHOF class. Kathy Flansburg, Butch’s heartbroken wife, was not in attendance at this year’s induction ceremony.

2022 FBHOF – The late, legendary former FLBHOF Fame President Butch Flansburg was honored at the Induction Ceremony.

The ceremony continued and the next inductee was Steve Harris. He first thanked God, then his mother, then his brothers, and then, overcome with emotion, Harris nicely wrapped up his speech when he told his fellow inductees “This isn’t the end of the world. Keep involved in boxing. You can always teach a young person something.” Earlier in his life, he took this advice for, after an amateur boxing career of some 250 bouts, rather than turn professional, he decided to become a full-time boxing coach.

Next came Jerry Reyes. He took the stage accompanied by the Whitney Houston song Hero. When he told the audience that he was born in Puerto Rico, many of the crowd yelled approval and began to loudly yell “Woo, woo!” He is the founder and operator of Reyes Macho Time Boxing. Reyes gave it this name, for he was close friends with FLBHOF inductee and former world champion Hector “Macho” Camacho.

Former inspector for the Florida State Boxing Commission Richard Fabian followed. In addition to the above, he later went on to own and operate his own boxing consulting company. “You have to have passion before you have progression,” was Fabian’s motto during his boxing career. He told the crowd that his career in boxing has been a series of meeting the right people at the right time. “The thing that’s been important to me is the friends I’ve made along the way,” he confessed. Overcome by emotion, Fabian ended his speech in tears.

2022 FBHOF – L-R Bob Alexander, inductee Dr. Ramon Garcia-Septien, and FLBHOF President Steve Canton.

Joey Orduna was next. The matchmaker for T & K Boxing Promotions took the stage to the tune of Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now. He remembered first getting interested in boxing when he watched bouts on TV, especially those with Muhammad Ali, with his father. “You get stronger through adversity. These are tough times in the world now, but don’t get down. Let’s get going,” he enthusiastically said. He gave the longest acceptance speech of all the inductees.

Keith Mullings fires a left jab at Terry Norris in winning the WBC jr. middleweight title bout.

Phil Alessi Jr. is an example of a son taking over a business run by his father and making it even more successful. In this case, his father started the well-known and successful Alessi Bakery, which is based in Tampa. This affable Italian – who was inducted for his work in the fields of boxing management and promotion -took to the stage to the tune of That’s Amore as sung by Dean Martin. “I do all of this for my Lord, my family, and the legacy of my father,” he told the audience.

2022 FBHOF – L-R Inductee Claudia Trejos with FLBHOF President Steven Canton.

The next inductee was Dr. Garcia-Septien. Born in Cuba in 1952, his family made their way to Florida. In 1984, in Tampa, he received his first state license. During his decades long work in helping boxers, he has never charged a boxer for a medical service. Uniquely, the first person that he thanked was his sister. “Boxing is my life and boxing is my family,” he said. Dr. Garcia-Septien gave the shortest acceptance speech.

2022 FBHOF – L-R 2022 Inductee Steve Harris and FLBHOF President Steve Canton.

Born in 1954 in Buffalo, New York, Dennis DeBon, the next inductee, has refereed more than 400 professional bouts. He collects autographed boxing gloves and, for a hobby, works as an artist specializing in works made from glass. DeBon was the first inductee who, in his acceptance speech, first thanked everybody at the FLBHOF. DeBon recalled getting hit in the face while refereeing a bout and thanked Brian Garry who was his mentor.

2022 FBHOF – 2022 FLBHOF Class of Inductees Cake.

Born in 1969, Claudia Trejos was the MEDIA department inductee. As a child, she was a talented athlete. For more than 25 years, she has worked as a television boxing commentator. In 2002, she started work for the Univision broadcasting network and her career has continued to climb. “When they say you can’t, guess what? Yes, you can,” she gushed in her acceptance speech. Bob Alexander, who has worked professionally with Trejos, echoed this theme when in his introductory speech of her, he told the crowd that the Hispanic boxing commentator “is serving as a great role model for Hispanic women and also young girls out there.”

2022 FBHOF – Former NBA Lightweight Champ and 2022 Inductee David Armstrong.

Next was boxing promoter Richard Dobal. Taking the stage to the accompaniment of the Phil Collins song In The Air Tonight, he remarked, “I’ve worn many hats and promoter wasn’t originally one of them.” Eventually, he made his way to the vocation of boxing promoter with an emphasis of promoting matches in Miami and Key West. “Through the years, I’ve co-promoted fights in Ireland and Australia. It’s been a helluva ride,” Dobal mused.

2022 FBHOF – L-R Florida Boxing Hall of Famer and ex-heavyweight king Pinklon Thomas poses with 2022 Inductee Shannon Briggs.

Now came the TRAINERS inductees. First up was Gus Curren. He was born in 1974 in Bloomfield, New Jersey. Later his family settled in Vero Beach, Florida. The affable Curren, the only inductee clad in blue jeans, made his way to the stage and first thanked his mother and father. He then thanked his wife and told the crowd of the circumstances of their first meeting. “She (his wife) shook my hand and said, ‘Hello Gus, it’s nice to meet you.’ I said to her ‘Shake the hand that shook the world, baby!’ It turns out that you shook my world, baby, and I love you.” He then asked the audience to give applause to the FLBHOF board members; the audience did so.

Trainer Armando Wiz Fernandez was, to borrow a phrase from baseball, next up to bat. He was born in Cuba and had relatives who worked with Chris and Angelo Dundee in their gym in Miami. This led to Armando getting work in boxing. By the 1990’s, he was a fulltime trainer and cut man. The humble Fernandez told the audience that his father did not want him to go into boxing. “To me, it is an honor to be inducted with this great group of champions,” he proclaimed.

2022 FBHOF – L-R Announcer Bob Alexander, inductee David Tua, and FLBHOF President Steve Canton.

The final trainer inductee was Tito Tiburon Ocasio. In 1996 he stopped his career as a boxing trainer due to being involved in a major car accident; six years later, Ocasio returned to the Sweet Science. Among the many boxers that he worked with was Antonio Vargas, who represented Brazil in a Summer Olympiad. As Ocasio opened a Christian ministry and does volunteer religious work at the Coleman Correctional Facility, it was not surprising to hear him open his speech with “God bless everyone here today.” The most striking thing that he said was “Never think you are nobody. You are somebody.” His father, mother, and children were in attendance and Ocasio thanked all of them.

By tradition, now came the final department, the FIGHTERS. First of these to be inducted was Cory “The Next Generation” Spinks (39-8, 11 KO’s). The former undisputed welterweight king and 2-time IBF jr. middleweight champion was born in 1978 in St. Louis, Missouri, only five days after his father Leon upset heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in their memorable bout. Cory would go into boxing and eventually win five different title belts. Before stepping behind the podium, he got up from his front row seat and started dancing. He had a hard time controlling his emotions during his acceptance speech. “We’re (boxers) the biggest giants and we’ve got the softest hearts,” he admitted.

Randall “The Knock-Out King” Bailey, the next inductee, was said to be one of the hardest boxers in boxing history by Alexander. The former WBO jr. welterweight and IBF welterweight champ now lives in Georgia with his family. Bailey finished with a pro record with 46 wins, 39 by KO, and 9 losses. Randall also gave a very short acceptance speech.

David Armstrong.

David “Diamond D” Armstrong (20-13-2, 12 KO’s) was next. As an amateur boxer, he had a record of 108 wins and only 7 losses. He ambled onstage to the accompaniment of a country and western song and wore a tan cowboy hat as he gave his speech. “Amazing, amazing, amazing,” the former NBA lightweight champion began and finished in a direct and to-the-point manner: “That’s it. We’re all good. I ain’t got anything more to say.”

Florida Boxing Hall of Fame Induction ring.

Florida Boxing Hall of Fame Induction ring.

Fres “The Big O” Oquendo was introduced by Alexander as “a man who always has a smile on his face.” Possibly that is since his final record as a pugilist was 37-8 (24 KO’s). Born in Puerto Rico, but raised in Chicago, he had 105 wins and only five losses during his amateur career. One of his bouts was against fellow inductee Tua.  The three-time world heavyweight challenger Oquendo held the USBA and NBA heavyweight titles, along with the WBO and WBC Latino heavyweight crowns, and the WBA Fedelatin belt. He spoke for many minutes and closed by telling the audience that his wife was in Chicago tending to their child who was recently diagnosed with COVID.

Former cruiserweight division champion Al “Ice” Cole (35-16-3, 16 KO’s) was the next inductee. Born in 1964 in New York, he grew up as an athlete who specialized in playing basketball; he did not take up boxing until he joined the Army. In 1989 he turned pro and then won his first 15 fights. Cole captured the IBF cruiserweight title with a 12-round decision over James Warring on July 30, 1992, at Waterloo Village in Stanhope, New Jersey. After 5 successful title defenses, Cole moved up to the heavyweight division. Before his fight with former heavyweight champ Tim Witherspoon, he was involved in a car accident which injured his back, yet he went ahead and fought Witherspoon anyway. He lost this fight, but the scoring was close. “Hey everybody, welcome to the Hall of Fame,” he gushed.  Although he has 16 losses to his record, the former cruiserweight king only suffered 1 loss in the cruiserweight ranks.

Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs was the next to last inductee. Born in Brooklyn in 1971, he had to deal with asthma as a child and he still suffers from it. Shannon won his first 25 bouts and then proceeded to beat George Foreman in a 12-round bout on a majority decision on November 22, 1997, in Atlantic City, NJ for the lineal heavyweight title. Briggs later captured the WBO heavyweight championship in the most dramatic way possible -by technical knockout with only one second remaining in the bout against title holder Siarhel Liakhovich on November 4, 2006, in Phoenix, AZ. His record was 60-6-1 and 1 NC (53 KO’s). Often gesturing with his arms while giving his acceptance speech, he began by telling the audience “Get comfortable because this is going to be awhile.” That it was – his speech covered many themes and was entertaining.

Randall Bailey (R) of the US floors compatriot Mike Jones (L) for an 11th round knock out victory in their fight for the vacant IBF Welterweight Championship at the MGM Grand Arena on June 9, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/GettyImages)

The final inductee was former #1-ranked heavyweight contender David “Tuaman” Tua. He and his wife travelled the farthest distance out of all who attended the weekend ceremonies: they live in their native New Zealand. Tua wrapped up his professional boxing career with an impressive 52-5-2 (43 KO’s) record.  He was mighty a slugger who KO’d future 3-time WBA heavyweight champion John Ruiz 19 seconds into the opening round on March 15, 1996, and then later KO’d former cruiserweight and 2-time heavyweight king Michael Moorer in 30 seconds of the first round on August 17, 2002. Tua only received one shot at the heavyweight title, facing Lennox Lewis on November 11, 2000, where he lost a 12-round unanimous decision.

Another highlight of Tua’s career was winning a bronze medal during the boxing competition at the 1992 Summer Olympiad held in Barcelona, Spain. He wore several leis around his neck and got the audience on his side when he began by saying “I’m going to keep this speech like me – short and sweet.” He thus proceeded to do so, and he kept the audience on his side when he told us that, in addition to it being Father’s Day and Induction Day, Sunday was also his wife’s birthday.

The Florida Boxing Hall of Fame is wonderful credit to the sport of boxing.  The USA Boxing News congratulates the 2022 Class of the FLBOF.

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Destiny brought together Roy Jones, Jr. & his protégé Andrew “White Lightning” Murphy

STREAMING LIVE & EXCLUSIVELY JULY 14TH  

FROM TOPPENISH, WASHINGTON ON UFC FIGHT PASS®

LAS VEGAS (July 7, 2022) – Hall of Famer Roy Jones Jr.’s protégé, undefeated middleweight prospect Andrew “White Lightning” Murphy (5-0, 4 KOs), will be fighting at home for the first time as a professional on July 14th in the 8-round, co-feature event on the RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS card, at Yakima Legends Casino in Toppenish, Washington.

Murphy, 22, faces the top test of his young pro career, Isiah Jones (9-6, 3 KOs), of Detroit, in the Irish American’s first scheduled 8-round bout, for the vacant National Boxing Association (NBA) Americas Middleweight Championship.

Murphy-Jones will be one of four fights slated to be streamed live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS®, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports, starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. To sign-up for UFC FIGHT PASS, please visit www.ufcfightpass.com.

Two years ago, Murphy packed his bags and moved 2600 miles across the country from Toppenish to Pensacola (FL), where Jones is based, and how they eventually connected can best be chalked up as destiny.

(L-R) – Roy Jones Jr. & Andrew Murphy (pictures courtesy of World Combat Sports Media) 

First, Murphy attended Jones’ last pro fight on February 8, 2018, in Pensacola, watching his idol in action, and after the show he waited around outside the venue to catch a glimpse of RJ. Instead, he got the thrill of his life when, after talking to a member of Team Jones, Murphy was brought inside to meet living legend Jones.

In 2019, RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS promoted a show in Murphy’s hometown of Toppenish at Yakima Legends Casino, where Murphy met Jones once again. He was formally introduced to Jones by Roy’s former teacher, Marlene Cousins, whose daughter Holly Collins was a member of the Toppenish City Council. At that time, Murphy was a successful amateur boxer (32-4, USA rated No. 4), who had spoken in front of the council regarding PAL funding.

“None of this makes sense…..it was destiny,” Murphy talked about having Jones as his head trainer. “When I was 16, my mother moved to Pensacola – I don’t know why – and two years later, she asked me to move there to train. I had a place to live. I like it here and because of all the military people it’s like a city of adopted people like me.”

Rather than stick around to try and make the US 2020 Olympic Boxing Team with no guarantees, advised by Jones, Murphy decided to turn pro, which he officially did on his 21st birthday (March 27, 2021) in Mexico. He has fought twice in Mexico, two times in Alabama, and once in Atlanta. Fighting at home, though, is a dream come true for the kid from Toppenish with a bonafide superstar in his corner.

“This fight is a big deal for me,” Murphy explained. “There’s not a lot of positivity in Toppenish. To be successful, so far, and to have an NBA title shot in my hometown means a lot. A lot of my friends will be there and hopefully some kids will be inspired. Even as an amateur there weren’t too many opportunities for me to fight at home in such a small town. I’ve been a road warrior so far as a pro, but when I learned about this opportunity for me to fight at home, I said, let’s go! And I’m fighting there on July 14th.”

The Irish, of course, are known for their fighting spirit. Murphy isn’t 100-percent sure of his Irish ancestry but with a name like Murphy, his fanbase should grow exponentially as fans all over the world discover this potential rising star.

Being guided by one of boxing’s all-time greats could be intimidating for many young boxers, but Murphy and Jones have developed a special relationship.

“My dad told Roy to take care of me like I was his son,” Murphy noted. “I look like him now as a father figure. We really have a close relationship. I like working on his farm with him and going fishing. I’ve learned how to use my brain, the art of war. He was so athletic, I think that (Jones’ ring IQ) was overlooked. More than anything that’s what he passes on to his fighter, and that’s where the magic will happen.”   

 

Unbeaten Quinton Randall (9-0-1, 2 KOs), fighting out of Houston, headlines against Ivan “Cobra” Pandzic 14-1-1 (8 KOs) in the 8-round main event. The reigning WBC USNBC champion, 31-year-old Randall was a celebrated amateur who captured a gold medal at the prestigious 2016 USA Nationals, silver at the 2017 USA Nationals and 2017 Pan American Games.

Washington State intra-state rivals William Hernandez (8-2, 5 KOs), of Burien, and Wapato super lightweight Magarito Hernandez (2-2-1) – no relations – square off an 8-round bout, and middleweights Joseph Aguilar (2-0-1, 1 KO) meets Alarenz Reynolds (1-1) in a 4-round match to open the UFC FIGHT PASS live stream.

Fighting on the non-UFC FIGHT PASS segment of the card are welterweight Chris Johnson (7-0, 1 KO) vs. Devonte McDonald (1-1), lightweight Bryan Sanchez (1-0, 1 KO) vs. pro debuting Dyllon Cervantes, and light heavyweight Nick Mills (3-0, 2 KOs) vs. Kelton Hall (2-1, 1 KO).

Tickets are reasonably priced at $90.00, $65.00, and $45.00 and available for purchase on site at the Legends Gift Shop, or by going online to https://www.ticketmaster.com/legends-casino-event-center-tickets-toppenish/venue/123450.

Doors open at 5 p.m. PT, first fight at 6 p.m. PT, and UFC FIGHT PASS starts at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT).

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August 20: Emanuel Navarrete-Eduardo Baez, San Diego’s Giovani Santillan & Nico Ali Walsh-Reyes Sanchez 2 Tops ESPN-Televised Bill at Pechanga Arena San Diego 
Tripleheader to be broadcast live on ESPN,
ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

SAN DIEGO (July 7, 2022) — A fighting cowboy, a hometown hero, and the grandson of “The Greatest” are set for a summer night to remember in San Diego.

Mexican star Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete will defend his WBO featherweight world title in the main event against countryman Eduardo “El Gemelo” Baez on Saturday, Aug. 20 at Pechanga Arena San Diego. Navarrete also signed a new multi-year promotional agreement with Top Rank that will see him fight on the ESPN family of networks in events promoted in association with Zanfer Promotions.

The 10-round welterweight co-feature will see San Diego native Giovani “Gallo de Oro” Santillan risk his unbeaten record against a soon-to-be-announced opponent.

In a four-round special feature, undefeated middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh, grandson of Muhammad Ali, will fight Reyes Sanchez in a rematch of their December 2021 bout that Ali Walsh edged by majority decision. Ali Walsh will fight in the historic venue that hosted one of his grandfather’s most memorable bouts. In March 1973, Ali and Ken Norton battled for 12 rounds at what was then known as San Diego Sports Arena. Ali suffered a broken jaw and lost a split decision in a major upset.
 
Navarrete-Baez, Santillan’s welterweight battle, and Ali Walsh-Sanchez 2 will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.

Ticket information for this event that will be promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zanfer Promotions, will be announced soon.

“San Diego is a great fight town, and this is an incredible card from top to bottom,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Emanuel Navarrete is always in tremendous action fights, and Eduardo Baez is the type of opponent who will stand in the center of the ring. Santillan is a fantastic young man who drew plenty of support from the local fans last time he fought here. Nico Ali Walsh has improved leaps and bounds since turning pro last year, and I expect him to leave no doubt against Sanchez this time.”
 
Navarrete (35-1, 29 KOs), winner of 30 consecutive bouts, is a two-weight world champion entering his 10th world title bout. A native of San Juan Zitlaltepec, Mexico, he emerged on the world scene with a pair of title fight victories over Isaac Dogboe, which started his run as one of boxing’s most fan-friendly world champions. Following five junior featherweight title defenses in nine months, Navarrete moved up to featherweight and won the WBO title in October 2020 with a decision over Ruben Villa. He defended his title twice in 2021, including last October’s 12-round barnburner over Joet Gonzalez at Pechanga Arena.
 
“I am very excited to finally be back in the ring on August 20. The inactivity of these last eight months has served to give my body the rest it needed and to reflect on many things,” Navarrete said. “Now I’m coming back stronger physically and mentally. I’m going to show that I’m ready to fight any champion at 126 or 130 pounds. There will be a lot of ‘Vaquero’ for a long time.”
 
Baez (21-2-2, 7 KOs), from Mexicali, Mexico, is the WBO No. 7 featherweight contender. He recently moved up to featherweight after a successful run at junior featherweight that included a Mexican title and wins over three undefeated prospects. In 2017, he lost a tight decision to Mauricio Lara, who entered the title picture with his 2021 knockout over Josh Warrington. Following a disputed majority decision to Ra’eese Aleem last November, Baez moved up to featherweight. In March, he edged Jose Enrique Vivas by majority decision to earn a world ranking and a shot at the 126-pound king.
 
Santillan (29-0, 16 KOs) is a 10-year pro who has seen his career momentum take off since linking up with noted trainer Robert Garcia in 2020. Last October, he made his Pechanga Arena debut, bringing a raucous cheering section that watched him outfight Angel Ruiz over 10 action-packed rounds. He returned in April in Costa Mesa, California, and knocked out Jeovanis Barraza in seven rounds. 
 
“I didn’t know when I’d be back fighting in San Diego, so when I heard the news, I was ecstatic. This shows we can continue having big cards in San Diego, and I can’t wait for all my fans to pack Pechanga Arena,” Santillan said. “I want a world title opportunity soon. That’s the dream. I’d love to fight for a world title, and defend my belt, in my hometown.”
 
Ali Walsh (5-0, 4 KOs) had no ring struggles until meeting Sanchez under the Madison Square Garden lights. After a dominant first two rounds, Sanchez rallied in the third and fourth to nearly pull even. In January, Ali Walsh got back on the knockout track with a second-round stoppage over Jeremiah Yeager. Three months later, on the Oscar Valdez-Shakur Stevenson undercard in Las Vegas, he sparked out Alejandro Ibarra in the opening round with a left-right combination. He enters the Sanchez fight with a new head trainer, Kay Koroma, who works with (among others) Stevenson, rising middleweight prospect Troy Isley, and female pound-for-pound star Mikaela Mayer. Sanchez (7-2, 3 KOs), from Topeka, Kansas, entered the first Ali Walsh fight with an unbeaten record built primarily in his home state. He is coming off a decision loss to unbeaten prospect Sharif Rahman, son of former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman.

“Despite winning our last fight, I feel like I must set the record straight with Reyes Sanchez. He’s the only opponent I haven’t knocked out, and I don’t see the rematch going the distance,” Ali Walsh said. “Kay Koroma has already added so much to my arsenal, and I can’t wait to perform in front of the great San Diego fans and everyone watching on ESPN.”
 
Undercard action, streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+, includes an eight-round junior welterweight showdown between unbeaten Mexican standouts Lindolfo Delgado (15-0, 13 KOs) and Omar Aguilar (24-0, 23 KOs). Delgado represented Mexico at the 2016 Rio Olympics, while Aguilar has 15 first-round knockouts on his ledger and second-round stoppages in his last three bouts.
 
IBF No 1. featherweight contender Luis Alberto Lopez (25-2, 14 KOs) returns in an eight-rounder, while junior lightweight contender Xavier Martinez (17-1, 11 KOs) looks to bounce back from his first career loss against Alejandro Guerrero (12-2, 9 KOs) in an eight-rounder.

Tickets go on sale TODAY (July 7, 2022) at 10 a.m. PT for the August 20 world championship event at Pechanga Arena San Diego headlined by WBO featherweight champion Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete against Eduardo “El Gemelo” Baez.
 
In the co-feature, San Diego native Giovani “Gallo de Oro” Santillan looks to improve his record to 30-0 in a 10-round welterweight battle against unbeaten contender Julio Luna. Undefeated middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh, grandson of Muhammad Ali, will see action in a four-round rematch versus Reyes Sanchez.
Navarrete-Baez, Santillan-Luna and Ali Walsh-Sanchez 2 will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

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CLICK PHOTO TO READ ABOUT THE WORLD FAMOUIS SUPERMAN CELEBRATION IN METROPILIS FEATURING FORMER HEAVYWEIGHT CONTENDER AND STAR OF SUPER AND SUPERMAN II MOVIE JACK O’HALLORAN AND THE USA BOXING NEWS SUPERMAN JEOPARDY GAME

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CLICK PHOTOS TO READ PREVIEW OF ABOVE FIGHTS

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Krael Stops Floyd in 4 in Philly
Cortes Defeats Karyah
Noble Takes out Mickens in 2
Smalls, Falcon, Adams and Edwin Cortes Remain Undefeated
PHILADELPHIA PA (June 28, 2022)–Cameron Krael was very impressive in taking out Vincent Floyd in round four in their six-round middleweight bout that topped an action packed 10-bout card in front of a large audience at the 2300 Arena.
The card was promoted by RDR Promotions.
Krael of Las Vegas and Floyd of Philadelphia fought a nip-and-tuck battle that saw both fighters land flush throughout the bout. Krael was able to surge ahead and drop Floyd twice with body shots, and the fight was stopped at 2:51.
Krael is now 19-22-3 with six knockouts. Floyd is 4-13-1.
Edward Joe Cortes won a six-round unanimous decision over Gorwar Karyah in a super bantamweight bout.
Cortes of Millville, New Jersey won by scores of 60-54 on all cards and is now 10-6-1. Karyah of Philadelphia is 2-3.
In what was the most anticipated battle of the night, Jabril Noble took out Nasir Mickens on round two of their six-round super featherweight bouts featuring Philly-based fighters.
Noble was dominant and showed flashes of being one of Philadelphia’s future prospects. The bout was stopped at 2:46.
Noble is 4-0 with four knockouts. Mickens is 2-2.
Ofacio Falcon remained undefeated with a sixth-round stoppage over Ken Porter in the final round of their super featherweight fight.
The fight was marred by Porter’s complaining of repeated low blows. The punches looked to be on the beltline. Falcon was deducted a point. Porter stayed down for five-minutes on three separate occasions. Finally he was deemed unable to continue at 2:26.
Falcon of Bronx, NY is 7-0 with six knockouts. Porter of Saint Louis, MO is 4-3.
Tahmir Smalls remained undefeated with a vicious opening round stoppage over Roque Agustin Junco in a scheduled six-round welterweight bout.
Smalls ended things with a vicious left hook that sent Junco to the canvas, and the bout ended at 2:20.
Smalls of Philadelphia is now 8-0 with five knockouts. Junco of Argentina is 10-12-2.
Rashan Adams stopped Nathan Benichou in round two of their four-round super featherweight fight.
The fight was stopped 28 seconds into round two for Adams of Philadelphia, who is now 3-0 with two knockouts. Benichou of Puebla, Mexico is 2-11-2.
Larry Fryers and Michael Crain fought to a four-round majority draw in a junior welterweight fight.
Fryers of Yonkers, NY won a card 39-37, while two cards were even at 38-38. Fryers is now 11-5-1. Crain of Smyrna, DE is 4-5-1.
Edwin Cortes remained undefeated with a four-round unanimous decision over Juan Gutierrez in a super flyweight bout.
Cortes of Millville, NJ won by scores of 40-35 on all cards and is now 3-0. Gutierrez of Esteli, Nicaragua is 0-2.
Karl Wylie made a successful pro debut with a four-round unanimous decision over Joshua Zimmerman in a lightweight bout.
Wylie of Coatesville, PA won by scores of 40-36 on all cards and is now 1-0. Zimmerman of Baltimore, MD is 0-9.
Rahiem Cooke took a four-round unanimous decision over Anthony Young in a super lightweight bout.
Cooke of Philadelphia won by scores of 39-37 on all cards and is now 1-2. Young of Philadelphia is 0-5.
RDR PROMOTIONS WILL BE BACK AT THE 2300 ARENA ON SATURDAY, JULY 9TH
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TICKETS GO ON SALE THURSDAY AND PRE-SALE TICKETS AVAILABLE TOMORROW FOR HEAVYWEIGHT SHOWDOWN BETWEEN ANDY RUIZ JR. & LUIS ORTIZ ON SEPTEMBER 4 DURING LABOR DAY WEEKEND FROM CRYPTO.COM ARENA IN LOS ANGELES

Former Unified Heavyweight Champion Ruiz Takes on Top Contender Ortiz In Much-Anticipated Clash Headlining FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View

For Pre-Sale Tickets Use Code: BOXING or CRYPTO

LOS ANGELES – June 23, 2022 – Tickets will go on sale Thursday for the explosive heavyweight showdown between former unified champion Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz Jr. and top contender Luis “King Kong” Ortiz taking place on September 4 during Labor Day Weekend from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles and headlining a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View event.
 
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, go on sale Thursday, June 23 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased online at AXS.com  
 
Pre-sale tickets are available TOMORROW beginning at 10 a.m. PT until 10 p.m. PT through AXS.com with the code: BOXING or CRYPTO

Viewers can live stream the PBC shows on the FOX Sports and FOX NOW apps or at FOXSports.com. In addition, all programs are available on FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83 on satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app.

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 Artur Beterbiev Destroys Joe Smith Jr. in 2 Rounds to become WBC/WBO/IBF Light Heavyweight Champion at the Hula Theater in Madison Square Garden

Robeisy Ramirez KOs Abraham Nova in featherweight co-feature

STORY BY ALEX RINALDI AND JOHN RINALDI

UNDERCARD STORIES BY TOP RANK

NEW YORK (June 18, 2022) — In the year 1979, the southern rock band from Florida known as Molly Hatchet  released their epic and most popular song – Flirtin’ with Disaster.  The song began as follows:

I’m travelin’ down the road
I’m flirtin’ with disaster
I’ve got the pedal to the floor,
My life is running faster…

Interestingly enough, people tend to flirt with disaster in many different ways. Sometimes it is doing daredevil acts or engaging in bad relationships. Sometimes it is risking money on long shots or setting up a pup tent in the middle of a hurricane. In the world of boxing flirting with disaster is now declared as entering the ring against Artur Beterbiev.

As his record indicates, Beterbiev, who bears a striking resemblance to the Kryptonian villain Non played by Jack O’Halloran in the Christpher Reeve Superman and Superman II films,  has a 100% knockout record on his ledger of professional fights. That record is so established that it should be added and carved onto Moses’ tablet of the Ten Commandments.

Frankly, a person has a better chance of surviving a firing squad of machine gun bullets while tied to fence door then going the distance against the now three belt Light Heavyweight Champion Beterbiev.

Unfortunately for the sturdy and rugged WBO Light Heavyweight Champ Joe Smith Jr., he found this out the hard and painful way.

To his credit, Smith is a tough fighter and was a good champion. He is also fearless and packs a big punch of his own as his 22 KO’s indicated. Against Beterbiev, however, he was like the early American revolutionaries against the vast British army – he was outgunned and outmanned. Unlike General George Washington who accepted this fact and fought a war of attrition and eventually bested the formidable British through successful battles of hit and run and retreating when necessary to drain them of their ability to wage war, Smith went straight at Beterbiev.

Sadly for the New York union laborer Smith, little did he know he needed a whip, a chair, and a pistol along with his fists to find success with that game plan.

As result, with less than 44 seconds remaining in round two after suffering two previous knockdowns, he was stopped after receiving one more sledgehammer right hand blow to his left ear. That punch sent him staggering and stumbling to the ropes three sheets to the wind and firmly on the dark side of Queer Street, prompting Harvey Dock to stop the fight there and then.

Beterbiev (L) landing a hard left hook to Smith’s jaw in round two.

When the dust settled, WBC/IBF ruler Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) had defeated Joe Smith Jr. (28-4, 22 KOs) Saturday evening at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden and captured Smith’s title along with the recognition of possibly being one of the premier hitters in boxing today and one step closer to fully unifying the light heavyweight division.

Although Smith started off well in the opening round fighting behind the left jab, with less then five seconds left in the stanza Beterbiev nailed Smith with a clubbing overhand right hand that sent Smith sailing to the canvas. While it was a flash knockdown, it also proved to be a harbinger and a gypsy curse of bad things to come.

With his solid fan base of New York fans and fellow union workers on hand trying to root him on, things only got worse for the Long Island native in the second, as a left hook that landed with the power of an anvil thrown off of the top floor of the Empire State Building, crashed Smith back to the canvas and nearly through the ropes. Like the courageous warrior he is, Smith bravely rose to his feet, but the end was near, actually very near. Like a storm of pure violence, Beterbiev landed another rain of thudding uppercuts, followed by another overhand right hand that left the referee with no other choice but to stop the fight and save the game Smith from further punishment.

Beterbiev celebrating after his huge KO win.

“My coach told me it’s not too far until I become a good boxer,” Beterbiev said. “Joe’s a little bit open, and it was more easy for me to get him. Both of us have a good punch, and both tried to connect first. I’m lucky that I was first.”

Sitting at ringside was British contender Anthony Yarde, who may be in line for a shot at Beterbiev this fall, though Beterbiev’s real preference is a unification fight with WBA champion Dmitry Bivol, the same fighter who recently defeated Canelo Alvarez in a torrid points win.

“Unification fights are more interesting, more motivating,” Beterbiev said. “I prefer unification fight. I want to be undisputed.”

Ramirez Topples Nova in Featherweight Co-Feature

Cuban southpaw star Robeisy Ramirez (10-1, 6 KOs) announced his presence as a featherweight contender in a big way with an even bigger left hand. Ramirez knocked out the previously unbeaten Abraham Nova (21-1, 15 KOs) in the fifth round to pick up the USBA and WBO Global belts. Ramirez, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, feinted with a right hand to the body and then came over the top with left that separated Nova from his senses.

Cuban southpaw star Robeisy Ramirez (L) staring down Abraham Nova (R) before scoring his thrilling KO win.

Ramirez said, “It was all about the strategy. I’m blessed to work with Ismael Salas, who is a genius in my corner. It really was about setting up that shot. If you watch the fight, it was about working, tapping the body until that opening was created. I knew he was dangerous, so I had to be careful, but when I saw my opening, I took it and I finished the fight.”

In other results:

Featherweight: Bruce Carrington (4-0, 3 KOs) RTD 5 Adrian Leyva (3-3-1, 1 KO). Carrington, the latest fistic prodigy from Brownsville, Brooklyn, authored a power punching clinic that forced Leyva to remain on his stool following the fifth round. He landed 69 of 121 power shots, including 11 of 17 in the fifth round. Leyva entered the fight riding a four-bout unbeaten streak.

Bruce Carrington (R) landing a hard left to the jaw of Adrian Leyva (L).

Welterweight: Jahi Tucker (8-0, 5 KOs) TKO 4 D’Andre Smith (11-2, 5 KOs), 2:27. Tucker, from Deer Park, New York, thrilled the home region fans with a relentless offensive display that prompted the commission to advise referee Shawn Clark to stop the fight. Tucker buzzed Smith in the second round, but Smith somehow weathered the storm to survive two more rounds.

Junior Featherweight: Floyd Diaz (5-0, 1 KO) UD 6 Daniil Platonovschi (4-1, 2 KOs). Scores: 60-54 2x and 59-55. Diaz cruised to a clear points win in a battle of unbeaten prospects, and he did so with a heavy heart. Earlier Saturday, Diaz’s grandfather, Juan Demetrio Diaz, passed away at the age of 68. Diaz honored his memory with a boxing tour de force.

Middleweight: Troy Isley (6-0, 4 KOs) TKO 6 Donte Stubbs (6-6, 2 KOs), :38. Isley, a U.S. Olympian, became the first man to stop Stubbs in a one-sided power punching display. Isley knocked down Stubbs at the end of the fourth, then ended the fight with a straight right hand early in the sixth. Stubbs rose to his feet on wobbly legs, and referee Charlie Fitch waved it off.

Junior Middleweight: Wendy Toussaint (14-1, 6 KOs) UD 8 Asinia Byfield (15-5-1, 7 KOs). Scores: 79-73 3x.

Junior Middleweight: Jahyae Brown (11-0, 8 KOs) UD 6 Keane McMahon (7-3, 4 KOs). Scores: 60-54 and 58-56 2x.

Photos from Mikey Williams / Top Rank via Getty Images

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Jalolov Stops Mulowayi in Final Round of ShoBox Main Event

Story by Kirk Lang

Verona, NY. It was not always a pretty affair throughout the contest, but 2020 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Bakhodir Jalolov ended matters in impressive fashion with a final round stoppage of 35-year-old Belgian Jack Mulowayi.

Bakhodir-Mulowayi was the 8-round main attraction of a ShoBox:The New Generation broadcast promoted by Lou DiBella and held at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York on June 10.

The 27-year-old Bakhodir, of Sariosiyo, Uzbekistand, seemed to drop Mulowayi with a straight left midway through the round. However, perhaps because it was a delayed reaction fall after some wobbly legs from Mulowayi, referee Benjy Esteves ruled the trip to the canvas a slip.

Bakhodir clearly possessed the better overall skills and with his power – he had knocked out every man he faced going in – it seemed there was a good chance he would render the judges’ scorecards useless. With Mulowayi doing little to deter Bakhodir from coming forward, the southpaw Uzbek fighter would continually find openings for his favorite punch – the straight left. A straight left had Mulowayi on unsteady legs in the third frame. Bakhodir followed up with an aggressive attack, but Mulowayi hung in there.

Things turned a bit ugly in the fourth frame, with Mulowayi, 242, warned for hitting behind the head early on, and later, Bakhodir, 251, had a point deducted for excessive holding when Benjy Esteves was unable to separate the two fighters. The crowd expressed its displeasure with the grappling with some booing before Esteves took the point away. Bakhodir can be a force in the future, but it seems he would rather hold when he gets an opponent in close quarters rather than work over his foe with shorter range punches.

Bakhodir briefly showboated in the fifth frame when he took a page of Sugar Ray Leonard’s handbook to wind-up with one hand only to jab with the other. Soon after, he did a Roy Jones Jr., raising a leg off the canvas in an exaggerated fashion before letting loose with a punch that targeted his rival’s face.

Bakhodir Jalolov stops Jack Mulowayi in the 8th Round. Photo Courtesy of Showtime – Stephanie Trapp.

There was no more game playing after the fifth. A left hand from Bakhodir, thrown more like a hook, sent Mulowayi to the canvas face-first and even the fight fans in the cheap seats must have heard the thud his face meeting the canvas made. Fortunately, Mulowayi was able to get up from the knockdown. In addition, there were just a couple of seconds left in the round, so Bakhodir couldn’t mount a follow-up attack. Bakhodir tried to finish his adversary off in the early part of the seventh, but he could not, and when Bakhodir’s punch output lessened in the second half of the frame, Mulowayi resorted to some trash-talking.

But his time was coming.

One round later, Bakhodir came out punching in combination, and his last shot was a huge straight left hand that put Mulowayi flat on his back! Referee Benjy Esteves waved the fight off without a count and called ringside physicians over. Mulowayi stayed on the mat for several minutes before he got up on his own accord.

Bakhodir raised his record to 11-0 (11 KO’s), while Mulowayi saw his ledger drop to 11-3-1 (7 KO’s).

 “I feel really good about my performance,” said Bakhodir. “The opponent was at a really good level and a great fighter.”

He added, “He [Mulowayi] was a really tough durable guy.” Mulowayi had never been on the canvas, amateur or pro, prior to getting in the ring with Bakhodir.

In another heavyweight contest, Bronx, New York-based George Arias out-hustled Alante Green, of Cleveland, OH, over eight rounds to raise his unbeaten record to 18-0 (7 KO’s). The scores were 78-74 and 77-75 for Arias, while one judge saw it 77-75 for Green.

Green, who was coming up from cruiserweight for the first time, did not have the firepower to make Arias hesitate. More athletically gifted and possessing the harder punches, Arias scored points while fighting off his backfoot, taking advantage of Green’s come-forward but largely ineffective game plan. Green had a few moments in the contest, such as the third stanza when he landed a solid left hook with Arias backed against the ropes. Soon after, he scored with two consecutive hooks.  At the very end of the round, he caught Arias with a thudding straight right.

George Arias fires a left hand at Alante Green. (Photo by Kirk Lang).

Arias, however, got back on track in the fifth round, and continued to put rounds in the bank with his superior boxing skills. Green resorted to holding in the sixth frame, but it was not excessive enough to warrant a point deduction. Arias dominated the seventh frame, but Green seemed to save some energy for the eighth and final round. He was a bit busier with his hands and he also used his feet more, making himself a little bit more difficult to hit than in previous rounds. It was a nice mini comeback, but it was too little too late. Arias got the victory and the previously unbeaten Green saw his record fall to 10-1-1 (7 KO’s).

George Arias clobbers Alante Green with a left hook. Photo Courtesy of Showtime – Stephanie Trapp

In a lightweight contest scheduled for eight rounds, Quebec, Canada native Chann Thonson, 132 1/2, punished and bloodied formerly undefeated Tyler Tomlin, 134, of Cheatham County, TN, en route to a fifth-round stoppage. The time was 1:01.

Thonson came out a man on a mission, looking to cut the ring off quickly. Before the opening round was over, he had marked up Tomlin’s left eye with a straight right. He administered a one-sided pummeling in the third frame and had Tomlin walking back to his corner on shaky legs after landing some serious power punches. By the fourth round, Tomlin was bleeding from the mouth and nose, and his left eye was looking worse.

L-R – Chann Thonson trades with Tyler Tomlin. Photo Courtesy of Showtime – Stephanie Trapp.

A minute or so into the fifth round – after Thonson was gifting Tomlin with leather fist after leather fist – referee Mark Nelson had a ringside doctor take a close look at Tomlin. On the advice of the doctor, Nelson waved the fight off at the 1:01 mark.

Thonson extended his undefeated record to 11-0 (7 KO’s) while Tomlin fell to 13-1 (9 KO’s).

Coming into the ring with a 72-pound weight advantage, “The Sandman” Amron Sands, 282, of Orlando, FL, outworked Joe Jones, 210, of Jersey City, NJ, over 8 rounds to win by scores of 77-75 on all three scorecards. He is now 12-2 (9 KO’s) while Jones dips to 13-5 (10 KO’s).

In a light heavyweight contest, New Haven, CT’s Charles Foster, 173, stopped Bo Gibbs Jr, 172 1/2, of Carney, OK, at 2:48 of the 4th round. Foster sent Gibbs to the canvas in the opening session with a straight left and continued to dominate throughout the contest. He hurt Gibbs early in the fourth round with another left. Later, the same punch made Gibbs look like one of those bobblehead dolls. Finally, a variety of power shots from both hands had the referee watching matters with a close eye. Soon after Gibbs’ mouthpiece went flying, referee Charlie Fitch ended matters.

L-R. Bo Gibbs Jr. advances towards Charles Foster. Photo by Al Derouin.

Foster improved to 21-0 (11 KO’s) and Gibbs dropped to 23-3 (9 KO’s). These more significant fights and other bouts were promoted by New York City-based Lou DiBella. Also, a special thank you to Turning Stone Director of Public Relations Kelly Abdo for her efforts in making sure The USA Boxing News had credentials. Abdo and her team were busy preparing for multiple events related to the International Boxing Hall of Fame induction weekend, including not only the Friday night fights, but also the Saturday banquet and the Sunday induction, which took place at the casino for the first time in the Hall of Fame’s history.

Photos by Kirk Lang and Al Derouin – courtesy of SHOWTIME

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Roberto Duran’s take on Canelo Alvarez’s recent points loss to Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol

                                                      Bivol (R) nailing Canelo (L)

“It hurt me how Canelo lost. Thought I was a bit smarter. Canelo
didn’t prove anything. I saw him fight like an amateur.”
– Robert Duran-

Boxing: WBC Welterweight Title: Roberto Duran (L) in action vs Sugar Ray Leonard during fight at Olympic Stadium. Montreal, Canada 6/20/1980
CREDIT: Neil Leifer (Photo by Neil Leifer /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

Roberto Duran vs. Sugar Ray Leonard first bout. Duran invented the blue print on how to beat a great boxer.

Roberto Duran smacks Pipino Cuevas with a hard left jab in their 1983 slugfest.

Roberto Duran slugs away with Marvelous Marvin Hagler in their 1983 classic bout. The fight that most people thought Hands of Stone won.

A savage overhand right by Roberto Duran distorts Davey Moore’s face near the end. Duran scored a TKO in the eighth round to defeat Davey Moore, for the WBA junior middleweight title at Madison Square Garden.

Roberto Duran lands a right uppercut on Iran Barkley.

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Press Conference Notes: Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr. Ready to Unify Light Heavyweight Titles

Beterbiev-Smith Jr. goes down SATURDAY (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden LIVE on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+

NEW YORK (June 17, 2022) — Two of the light heavyweight division’s fiercest punchers will put three world title belts at stake in one of the year’s most anticipated showdowns. WBC/IBF world champion Artur Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs) — boxing’s only world champion with a 100 percent knockout ratio — will take on Long Island’s WBO champion Joe Smith Jr. (28-3, 22 KOs) Saturday evening at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

In the highly anticipated 10-round featherweight co-feature, two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez (9-1, 5 KOs) steps up against the unbeaten Abraham “El Super” Nova (21-0, 15 KOs). Ramirez has won nine straight bouts since a shocking loss in his pro debut, while Nova has settled in at featherweight after spending the first five-plus years of his career campaigning at junior lightweight

Beterbiev-Smith Jr. and Ramirez-Nova will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

Undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ (6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m PT) and includes the return of featherweight Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington (3-0, 2 KO), the latest standout to come from Brownsville, Brooklyn. Carrington made his pro debut on the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder III undercard last October, signed with Top Rank later that year, and has won two fights thus far in 2022. In March, at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, he scored a highlight-reel knockout over Yeuri Andujar.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, a limited number of tickets are still available at Ticketmaster.com.

At Thursday’s press conference, this is what the fighters and Top Rank chairman Bob Arum had to say. 

Bob Arum 

“At my age, this fight brings me back so many decades to when Top Rank promoted the leading light heavyweights in the world like Bob Foster, Matthew Saad Muhammad, John Conteh, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, and Marvin Johnson. The light heavyweight division has given people who follow boxing great thrills for as long as I’ve been promoting fights. Now we have this fight, which will go into the annals like all the great light heavyweight fights of the past and may even be the one that is the greatest.”
 
“Joe Smith is a tremendous fighter. He has a big heart. He has a lot of skills and a lot of punching power. And what can I say about Artur Beterbiev? He really epitomizes the ferocity that light heavyweights have been known for. Tremendous puncher. Big heart. A guy who refuses to lose. Nothing can be better than this. I predict that this fight will be considered the Fight of the Year for 2022.”

Artur Beterbiev

“This is a very important fight for me. With regard to the place, it’s not different for me. I’m more focused on the fight. I’m more focused on my opponent, not on the place. I always ask my boxing coach and my conditioning coach about how I’m doing. I ask them if it’s less than I was doing two years ago. They tell me that I’m doing better than two years ago.”
 
“If we compare it to the last one, this camp went very well. This camp was better. I want to thank my team, my conditioning coach, my boxing coach, all my team and all my sparring partners who helped me. We had a good camp.”
 
“We are both ready for this fight. I think it’s going to be a good fight. We will see. I can’t predict the future. I’m just a boxer.”

Joe Smith Jr.

“This is a huge opportunity. Beterbiev is a huge name in boxing. Everyone knows who he is at this point. He has two world titles, and I want those belts. I believe this fight is going to be great. You’ve got two big punchers, and I’m just excited to be in there with him. He’s a great name.”
 
“I’m fighting at the Garden. Home is not too far from here. All my fans are going to be here to support me or, if not, watch at home. I’m just glad to be here defending my WBO title and unifying two other belts.”
 
“I believe this guy is in his prime right now. I don’t think age has anything to do with it. I know he’s here at 100 percent and ready to go. I know I’m here fighting one of the best, so I trained at 110 percent. I made this camp a little longer. I made sure that I improved things that I wasn’t doing at my best. I stayed more consistent with my training, so I feel comfortable about this weekend.”

Robeisy Ramirez

“My level increases with the quality of opponent that I have in front of me. So, I think my growth is due to me increasing the level of my opposition and because we’ve been increasing our work, both mentally and physically.”
 
“We decided to take this fight because it would lead to a title shot. We all know who Abraham is. We all know the kind of record he has. So, a victory would put us one step away from fighting for a title. This was the step we wanted to take and the fight we were looking for. We weren’t looking to make a fight that wasn’t this one.”

“We didn’t make any adjustments. We did the kind of training camp that we would do for any other fight. At the end of the day, he is an opponent who has two arms and will be boxing. So, we just have to be prepared physically and go out there and work.”

Abraham Nova

“I’ve been trying to fight for a world title at 130, but I haven’t gotten the opportunity. I felt like there was a lot of political things going on. So, I decided to go down to 126 and see if I could make a run. I wanted the {Emanuel} Navarrete fight, but I guess he didn’t want the fight, so Robeisy was next in line. I feel like a win over him puts me in line for a title shot.”

“I feel like I’m being overlooked. People haven’t seen the best of me. In fights, I do this and I do that, but I always fix them. You guys are going to see a complete ‘Supernova’ on Saturday night. I promise that.”
 
“It’s always business as usual. In training camp, I did a lot of adjustments. He’s a lefty. I’m a righty. So, I had to get lefty sparring partners. I had different sparring partners every week. We have a great game plan, and I’m ready to execute it on Saturday night.”

Bruce Carrington

“It feels great to once again be fighting in this historic arena. I’m highly blessed to have back-to-back fights in my hometown as well. This is a great experience for me, and I’m ready to tackle this head-on. As a fighter, you should always get better than your last fight, so giving my folks and fans something new to see is definitely something I plan on doing this Saturday.”
 

Saturday, June 18
 

ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+ (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT)

 
Artur Beterbiev vs. Joe Smith Jr., 12 rounds, WBC/IBF/WBO Light Heavyweight World Titles
 
Robeisy Ramirez vs. Abraham Nova, 10 rounds, Vacant USBA & WBO Global Featherweight Titles
 

 ESPN+ (6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT)

Bruce Carrington vs. Adrian Leyva, 6 rounds, featherweight
 
Jahi Tucker vs. D’Andre Smith, 6 rounds, welterweight

Floyd Diaz vs. Daniil Platonovschi, 6/4 rounds, junior featherweight

Troy Isley vs. Donte Stubbs, 6 rounds, middleweight

Kieran Molloy vs. Jonathan Ryan Burrs, 4 rounds, junior middleweight

Wendy Toussaint vs. Asinia Byfield, 8 rounds, junior middleweight

Jahyae Brown vs. Keane McMahon, 6 rounds, junior middleweight

Event Name: Artur Beterbiev vs. Joe Smith Jr. — Press Conference
Date: Thursday, June 16, 2022

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TK Promotions stages knockout fight show in Ringkobing, Denmark

Middleweight prospect Jacob Bank KO’s Idaas Redjal to remain undefeated

#21 WBC ranked Heavyweight Kem Ljungqvist moves to (13-0) with KO win over veteran Paata Aduashvili 

Story by Per-Ake Persson

Ringkobing, Denmark. TK Promotions closed out the season on June 11 with a pro-am show at the ROFI Centre in Ringkobing in the North West of Denmark. 

Headlining was middleweight prospect Jakob Bank (6-0) taking on Frenchman Idaas Redjal (10-3-2) in a scheduled six-rounder. On a previous visit to Denmark, Redjajl gave Landry Kore a very tough time before getting knocked out and he was expected to test Bank. The young Dane, however, quickly established his jab and Redjal was cut on the cheek already in the opening frame. Idaas landed with a good right in the second, but Bank took it well. Jakob kept jabbing and working the body and Redjal, by now marked up on both cheeks, went down after a hard right and sat the count out. He was a spent force. One could of course argue that Redjal has seen better days, although Bank’s performance was nevertheless quite good.

Featherweight Payman Akbari (7-1) returned after a loss last time and won every round against the brave, but outclassed Georgian Tatishvili Bukhuti (3-1) in an eight-rounder. Bukhuti bled badly from the nose from the fourth round onwards and was at times covered in blood. Akbari, though, could never hurt his opponent and failed to follow up on his attack. He is a good boxer, but lacks punch and fighting spirit.

Cruiserweight Jeppe “Pain Train” Christensen (4-1) also came back from a loss and knocked out Slavia Margishvili (1-3) after 2:57 of the first round. Christensen just kept coming and while Margishvili landed with some good counters, “Pain Train” kept punching and Margishvili crumbled and was counted out.

Heavyweight Kem Ljungqvist (13-0), ranked #21 by the WBC at Bridgerweight, knocked out faded veteran Paata Aduashvili (10-34-2). The much bigger Dane took it easy in the first and opened up in the second and Aduashvili took the full count after a southpaw left to the head.

Welterweight Khybar Akbari opened the pro part of the show and was lucky to get a draw against Konstantine Jangavadze (5-24-3) in a four-rounder. Akbari made a good start but faded after that. 

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Featherweight Fury: Joet Gonzalez & Isaac Dogboe to Lock Horns in World Title Eliminator July 23 at Grand Casino Hinckley and LIVE on ESPN+

Lightweight co-feature will see Giovanni “El Cabron” Cabrera battle Gabriel Flores Jr.

Tickets starting at $35 go on sale Wednesday, June 15 at 10 a.m. CST

HINCKLEY, Minn. (June 15, 2022) — It’s the “Quiet Storm” versus a “Royal Storm,” a can’t-miss featherweight matchup with a title shot on the line. Two-time world title challenger Joet Gonzalez will take on former junior featherweight world champion Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe in a 10-round main event Saturday, July 23, at Grand Casino Hinckley in Hinckley, Minnesota. Gonzalez will put his WBO International belt on the line, with the fight also serving as a WBC world title eliminator.

In the 10-round lightweight co-feature, undefeated contender Giovanni “El Cabron” Cabrera hopes for a signature win against the flashy Gabriel Flores Jr.
 
Gonzalez-Dogboe, Cabrera-Flores and undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+.
 
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Rapacz Boxing, tickets starting at $35 go on sale Wednesday, June 15 at 10 a.m. CST, and can be purchased by visiting eTix.com.
 
“Joet and Isaac are guaranteed entertainment each time they step through the ropes, and I have no doubt they will combine for an action-packed main event,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “With Cabrera and Flores in the co-feature, this is a truly sensational summertime card at the Grand Casino in Hinckley.”
 
Gonzalez (25-2, 15 KOs), from Glendora, California, is considered one of boxing’s best uncrowned champions, a 10-year pro whose only defeats have come to Shakur Stevenson and Emanuel Navarrete in separate bids for the WBO featherweight world title. Gonzalez’s October 2021 decision loss to Navarrete was considered one of the best action fights of the year and did little to diminish his standing. He is currently rated No. 1 by the WBO and No. 3 by the WBC, which comes off the heels of his ninth-round knockout over Jeo Santisima in March.
 
Gonzalez said, “The third time’s a charm, and I’m more motivated than ever to have a world title around my waist. Isaac Dogboe always comes to fight. The respect is there, but on July 23, I am preparing to go to battle. I expect the best version of Dogboe, and I will be at the top of my game.”
 
Dogboe (23-2, 15 KOs), from Anyako, Ghana, burst onto the world scene in April 2018 with his title-winning knockout over Jessie Magdaleno. In his first title defense, he blitzed Hidenori Otake in the opening round. Dogboe’s rapid rise came to a halt with consecutive defeats to Navarrete, but he reignited his career with victories over Chris Avalos, Adam Lopez, and Christopher Diaz. The Diaz and Lopez bouts — 10-round majority decisions — were toe-to-toe barnburners that may serve as an indication what he’ll bring against Gonzalez. A 2012 Olympian, Dogboe has royal lineage, as his late grandfather, Torgbui Sri III, was the ruler of the Anlo state in Ghana’s Volta Region. His return to boxing royalty hinges on a victory over Gonzalez.
 
Dogboe said, “I have been tested against the very best, and on July 23, we go to war against another top contender in Joet Gonzalez. I am excited to be back in a main event as I continue my quest to become a two-weight world champion.”
 
Cabrera (20-0, 7 KOs) inked a promotional contract with Top Rank earlier this year and has notched decision victories over Rene Tellez Giron and Elias Araujo to make it 20 for 20. Trained by Freddie Roach at Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles, Cabrera started boxing at 16 when he was inspired by Roach’s most famous pupil, Manny Pacquiao. He was raised mostly in Chicago and developed as a pro at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington, where he headlined six events. Following an October 2019 win in Chicago, he was sidelined for more than two years due to promotional and managerial issues. Since signing with Top Rank, Cabrera has re-established his standing as a contender to watch. Flores (21-1, 7 KOs), a 22-year-old from Stockton, California, saw his momentum come to a temporary halt with a one-sided loss last September to Luis Alberto Lopez. Less than six months later, Flores survived a gut check to edge a majority decision over Abraham Montoya. Prior to the Lopez loss, Flores became only the second man to knock out former world title challenger Jayson Velez.
 
Cabrera said, “I’m here to contend for the lightweight crown. I’m still getting better, and I still have a lot to prove. Gabriel Flores Jr. is a highly skilled fighter, but I’m used to taking on this level of challenge. I know he’s never been in with a fighter like me. His strategy against me will only be a guess, a shot in the dark, but how can you prepare for a style you’ve never seen? I’m going to train my butt off out of full respect for my opponent, and the fans will be the winners.” 
 
“I am a different fighter at lightweight. The weight is no longer an issue, and you’re going to see the same fighter that knocked out Velez,” Flores said. “I like fighting southpaws, so if Cabrera thinks I don’t have the strategy to beat him, he’s going to be in for a rude awakening on July 23. I know what I need to do, and mark my words, I’m going to win this fight in dominant fashion.”
 
The undercard is scheduled to include many of Top Rank’s rising stars, including Italian heavyweight knockout artist Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello (8-0-1, 8 KOs) in an eight-rounder, featherweight prospect Haven Brady Jr. (6-0, 4 KOs) in a six-rounder, Milwaukee native Javier Martinez (6-0, 2 KOs) in a six-round middleweight bout, and 6’9 heavyweight Antonio “El Gigante” Mireles (3-0, 3 KOs) in a four-rounder against Minneapolis resident Dennys Reyes (3-2, 1 KO). Cleveland-born lightweight phenom Abdullah Mason (2-0, 2 KOs) and fellow Clevelander, light heavyweight Dante Benjamin Jr. (2-0, 1 KO), will represent “The Land” in separate four-rounders. Benjamin Jr. will fight fellow unbeaten Corey Thompson (4-0, 3 KOs), who hails from Coon Rapids, Minnesota.

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Undefeated Welterweight Contender Giovani Santillan Throws Out First Pitch at Padres Game

(JUNE 13, 2022) San Diego, California – Undefeated Welterweight contender Giovani Santillan threw out the first pitch at his beloved San Diego Padres game before Saturday’s game against the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park
The San Diego native, who is managed by Split-T Management and co-promoted by Top Rank and Thompson Boxing, wore number-one, threw a perfect strike that reminded fans of 1976 Cy Young Award winner Randy Jones.
“It was a great experience. Being born and raised in San Diego it was an honor to do this. The Padres have a great team, and being down on the field, and looking up in the stands, gave me the feeling of wanting to fight in a big stadium one day,” said Santillan.
Santillan has a record of 29-0 with 16 knockouts. His next bout will be announced soon.

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20 for 20: Edgar Berlanga Decisions Alexis Angulo 

Berlanga improves to 20-0 on the eve of Puerto Rican Day Parade

NEW YORK (June 11, 2022) — Super middleweight contender Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga didn’t get the knockout, but in front of the Puerto Rican faithful, he got the job done. Berlanga (20-0, 16 KOs) defeated two-time world title challenger Alexis Angulo (27-3, 23 KOs) by unanimous decision (99-91 2x and 98-92) over 10 rounds in front of 4,357 fans Saturday evening at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

 

It was Berlanga’s first headlining appearance on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade, a tradition made popular by 2022 International Hall of Fame inductee Miguel Cotto. 

Berlanga (L) stabs Angulo (R) with a staight jab.

While Berlanga rose to fame following 16 first-round knockouts to start his career, he won this fight by boxing and using his jab to offset the plodding-yet-aggressive Angulo. An Angulo uppercut bloodied Berlanga’s nose in the fourth, and Berlanga appeared to attempt to bite Angulo in the seventh. Berlanga landed clean left hooks and right hands in the ninth and 10th rounds, but his Colombian foe ate all the shots and kept coming.

 

“Mentally, I felt good. I felt happy the whole training camp. I moved the training camp to Puerto Rico, and I can’t be more grateful to be on my island training,” Berlanga said. “I did a full camp for this fight, and you see the difference tonight.

 

“He was throwing elbows. I was about to do a Mike Tyson on him. He kept throwing his elbows, and I didn’t want to get cut.”

 

Angulo said, “I think we both had a solid performance. He’s a young fighter, he’s a strong fighter, but nonetheless I think we both did well. I think I did better than him.”

Berlanga the winner with his son and corner.

Junior Lightweight: Henry Lebron (16-0, 10 KOs) UD 8 Luis Lebron (18-4-1, 11 KOs), Scores: 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74. In the all-Lebron Bowl, Henry Lebron made it 16 in a row with a masterclass in boxing off the back foot. Luis Lebron pushed the pace in the bout’s final stages, but Henry Lebron early work proved too much for him to overcome. Henry Lebron had the advantage in power shots landed, 88-62.

Henry Lebron (R) nails s Luis Lebron

Junior Featherweight: Victor Santillan (12-0, 4 KOs) UD 8 Carlos Caraballo (15-2, 14 KOs), Scores: 78-74 2x and 77-75. In this all-southpaw affair, Santillan upset the Puerto Rican crowd favorite with a disciplined display of smart pressure. Santillan stunned Caraballo in the fourth and seventh rounds, doing enough in the eyes of the judges to pull away. Santillan had fought most of his career in the Dominican Republic, but in his second bout on American soil, he authored his signature win.

Victor Santillan (R) slams Carlos Caraballo with a jarring right to the head.

Junior Welterweight: Dakota Linger (13-5-3, 9 KOs) TKO 2 Josue Vargas (20-3, 9 KOs), 2:06. West Virginia native Linger refused to read the script, shocking Vargas with a brutal display of power punching. Early in the second Linger landed an overhand right that dropped Vargas, although the referee did not rule it a knockdown. Sensing the end was near, Linger pressed forward and floored Vargas with an uppercut. Vargas rose gingerly, and following a barrage featuring dozens of winging blows, the bout was stopped.

Lightweight: Armani Almestica (6-0, 6 KOs) TKO 6 Eliseo Villalobos (2-3, 1 KO), 1:47. Southpaw puncher Almestica kept his perfect knockout rate alive with a one-sided drubbing of Villalobos, a native of Simi Valley, California. In the sixth round, Almestica landed a straight left hand that forced Villalobos back a step. Due to the accumulation of punishment, referee Shadi Murdaugh stopped the contest.

 

Featherweight: Orlando Gonzalez (18-1, 11 KOs) TKO 5 Pablo Cruz (22-5-1, 6 KOs), 1:00. Gonzalez was last seen losing his ‘0’ by unanimous decision last October to Cuban star Robeisy Ramirez, but the Puerto Rican southpaw returned with a vengeance. He battered Houston native Cruz, stunning his outmatched foe at the end of the second round. By the fifth, it was target practice, and the bout was halted following a series of right hooks to the head and body.

 

Junior Welterweight: Omar Rosario (7-0, 2 KOs) UD 6 Julio Rosa (4-1, 1 KO), Scores: 59-55 and 60-54 2x. It was all Rosario in this battle of unbeatens, as the 140-pound upstart initiated the action. Rosa was never in danger of being stopped and even opened up a cut under Rosario’s right eye. In the sixth round, Rosario landed a series of left hooks to put a stamp on his domination. 

 

Lightweight: Frevian Gonzalez (5-1, 1 KO) UD 4 Refugio Montellano (2-1, 1 KO) Scores: 40-36 3x. Almost one year to the day since he suffered his first professional defeat, Gonzalez, from Cidra, Puerto Rico, rebounded in fine form in front of the partisan crowd. The 5’7 pressure fighter ripped body shots to Montellano’s midsection and swept all four rounds.

 

Flyweight: Christina Cruz (3-0) UD 4 Maryguenn Vellinga (3-3-2, 2 KOs), Scores: 39-37 and 40-36 2x. Former U.S. amateur star Cruz used her jab to counter the aggressive Vellinga in the opening fight of the evening. It was a rematch of their November 2021 fight, which Cruz also won by unanimous decision.

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        CLICK PHOTO TO READ PREVIEW OF THE FIGHT

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Devin Haney Dominates George Kambosos Jr. to Win Undisputed Lightweight Title

Jason Moloney KOs Aston Palicte in bantamweight co-feature

MELBOURNE, Australia (June 5, 2022) — Devin “The Dream” Haney (28-0, 15 KOs) became the undisputed lightweight champion of the world by outclassing George “Ferocious” Kambosos Jr. (20-1, 10 KOs) en route to a 12-round unanimous decision in front of 41,129 fans on Sunday afternoon at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
 
Haney unified his WBC championship with Kambosos’ WBA/WBO/IBF and Ring Magazine lightweight titles. With two scores of 116-112 and one score of 118-110, he became the eighth fighter in history to capture all four major championship titles in the four-belt era and the first to do so at 135 pounds.
 
Prior to the fight, Haney felt as if all the odds were stacked against him. He came in as the challenger, fighting on enemy territory in a stadium full of people wishing and hoping to see him lose. It even appeared as if his father would not be able to be in his corner for the fight.
 
But, if Bill Haney’s eleventh-hour entry into Australia indicated anything, it was that today belonged to Devin, and nothing would prevent his victory.

Indeed, though both men initiated the bout with firm, confident jabs, it was Haney’s superior boxing skills that allowed him to find his rhythm by the third and fourth rounds. Kambosos’ right hand seemed to be a factor early, but Haney’s footwork, his ability to smother and clinch on the inside, and even the way he would stop the former champion in his tracks with a stiff jab, prevented Kambosos from landing any significant punches.
 
By the final rounds, Haney had nullified Kambosos’ offense to such a degree that he could even take the gas off the pedal in the 12th round and cruise to a decision win.
 
Haney said, “This is a dream come true. I was going through it without my dad being here because I knew it was a big moment for us. We both dreamed of this. Since we started out, we said we wanted to be the best. It would have hurt me to accomplish this without him. I’m so thankful that we were able to accomplish this together.
 
“I was comfortable. I was just sticking to the game plan. The game plan was to go there and hit and not get hit, and I did that for the majority of the fight. I took the last round off just because I knew I was comfortably ahead, but I fought a good, smart fight.”

Devin “The Dream” Haney (R) lands a left hook to the jaw of George “Ferocious” Kambosos Jr. (R).

“I handicapped him of his best things. He wanted to land the overhand right, and he wanted to land the big left hook. I handicapped him. I was fighting both ways. When I would go to the left, I would fight his right hand. When I would go to the right, I would fight his left hook. And he couldn’t hit me with neither one of them.”
 
“I want to thank George Kambosos and all of Australia for coming out. Thank you, George, for giving me the shot. All of these so-called champions would not give me my shot. But George was a true champion, and he gave me my shot. Thank you for this.
 
Kambosos said, “This was amazing for the sport. It was amazing for the country. At the end of the day, I wanted to take the best and hardest tests. I’m going to give him full respect after his victory today. Let him have his time, and we’ll do it again. I have to implement a few things, but I thought the fight was very close. I’m not going to wreck his moment. I’ll let him have his moment. Last November, my moment was wrecked, so let him have his moment, and I’ll see you again real soon.
 
“I landed the right hand a few times. I worked it to the body, but he had a smart game plan. He grabbed and held a lot and did what he had to do to win. That’s what it’s about. You do what you have to do to win, and today they gave him the decision, but I’m sure it will change when we get it on again. Respect to him, and respect to boxing. This is boxing. You fight the best. Win, lose or draw. This is what it’s all about. F*** protecting records.  I’ve always been about fighting the best. I gave him a shot, and we’ll do it again.”

Moloney Crushes Palicte

Jason Moloney (L) knocks out Aston Palicte (R).

Two-time bantamweight title challenger Jason “Mayhem” Moloney (24-2, 19 KOs) delivered a spectacular third-round technical knockout victory against rugged Filipino Aston “Mighty” Palicte (28-5-1, 23 KOs). Moloney, inspired by the cheers of his countrymen, initiated the bout with a firm jab in the first round before finding his rhythm and attacking the body in the second. By the following round, Moloney had his target set and landed a perfectly-timed one-two combo that sent Palicte to the canvas. Moloney then ended matters with a quick flurry that forced the referee to put a halt to the fight at 2:35 of the third. Moloney retained his WBC Silver Bantamweight Title and added to his collection the vacant WBO International belt. 

In other results:

BANTAMWEIGHT: Andrew Moloney (24-2, 16 KOs) TKO 2 Alexander Espinoza (21-4-2, 8 KOs). Time: 3:00.

CRUISERWEIGHT: David Nyika (3-0, 2 KOS) UD 5 Karim Maatalla (2-2, 2 KOs). Scores: 49-46, 48-47 and 49-46

David Nyika

HEAVYWEIGHT: Hemi Ahio (19-0, 14 KOs) TKO 1 Christian Ndzie Tsoye (5-5-2, 4 KOs)

HEAVYWEIGHT: Lucas Browne (31-3, 27 KOs) KO 1 Junior Fa (19-2, 10 KOs). Time: 1:58.

JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHT: Terry Nickolas (2-1-1,  2 KOS) DRAW 6 Lachlan Higgins (7-4-2, 2 KOs). Scores: 58-56 Higgins, 57-57 2x.

FLYWEIGHT: Taylah Robertson (5-1, 1 KO) UD 5 Sarah Higginson (3-1-1, 1 KO). Scores: 50-45 3x

WELTERWEIGHT: Yoel Angeloni (1-0) UD 4 Ken Aitken (3-1, 1 KO). Scores: 39-37 2x and 40-36.

Photos from Mikey Williams / Top Rank via Getty Images

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Return of The Mick: Featherweight Contender Michael Conlan to Face Miguel Marriaga in Belfast Homecoming August 6 LIVE on ESPN+


Conlan-Marriaga will take place at The SSE Arena as part of the annual Féile an Phobail festival
Tickets go on sale Friday, June 10

BELFAST (June 3, 2022) — Irish star Michael “Mick” Conlan is primed to make another charge at a featherweight world title. Less than five months removed from his valiant effort against WBA champion Leigh Wood, it is time for Conlan’s summer homecoming.
 
Conlan will battle Colombian puncher Miguel Marriaga in the 10-round main event Saturday, Aug. 6, at The SSE Arena as part of Belfast’s annual Féile an Phobail festival. Conlan-Marriaga and undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+.
 
Promoted by Top Rank and Conlan Boxing, tickets go on sale Friday, June 10, and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.co.uk.
 
“There is no place like home, and we are thrilled that Mick will get another chance to perform in front of the tremendous Belfast fans,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “With a win over a solid opponent like Marriaga, he’ll once again be contending for a featherweight world title in short order.”
 
“I’m very excited to be back fighting in my beloved Belfast,” Conlan said. “Miguel is a great fighter, and together we’ll give the fans a memorable night at The SSE Arena. This bout will get me straight back in the mix for world titles, and I’m relishing the task at hand.”
 
Added Jamie Conlan, CEO of Conlan Boxing: “The road back for Michael starts with Miguel Marriaga. Miguel is a dangerous man and one of the biggest punchers in the division who has mixed it up at the very top. August 6 will be another electric night in the city in what is becoming an annual Irish boxing tradition with Michael’s fight night at the Féile festival. The goal remains the same. Michael Conlan will be Ireland’s next world champion.”
 
A two-time Irish Olympian, this marks Conlan’s fourth professional outing in Belfast and third time headlining during Féile an Phobail. In August 2019, he knocked out Diego Alberto Ruiz in front of a sold-out crowd at Falls Park. Last summer, another sold-out crowd packed Falls Park as Conlan (16-1, 8 KOs) bested former junior featherweight world champion TJ Doheny over 12 rounds. The Doheny victory earned Conlan the mandatory position to fight Wood. In an epic Fight of the Year battle, Conlan, who was ahead on the scorecards, lost via 12th-round stoppage.
 
Marriaga (30-5, 28 KOs), from Arjona, Colombia, has been a factor at featherweight and junior lightweight since making his American debut in 2014. He is a three-time world title challenger, falling short to Nicholas Walters and Oscar Valdez at featherweight and Vasiliy Lomachenko in an August 2017 bid for the WBO junior lightweight crown. Marriaga is 5-2 since the Lomachenko fight and returns to featherweight following a decision loss last December to junior lightweight contender Eduardo Ramirez.

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Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame Ceremony A Hit

Returns After a 2-Year Hiatus

Story by Kirk Lang

Photos by Alyssa Lang

2022 – Uncasville, CT. After a two-year absence due to the Corona Virus/Covid-19 outbreak, the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremony made its return to Mohegan Sun and “we actually had one of our largest crowds,” said Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame President John Laudati.

2022 Conn. Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee Elvin Ayala.

The Hall had more than 500 pre-sells for its May 21 event -tickets were priced at $90 – but some people skipped out at the last minute due to concerns about rising COVID cases. Even so, there were at least 450 in attendance, according to Laudati.

Referee Danny Schiavone, one of six inductees of the Class of 2021, noted at the start of his speech that “it’s good to get back to some normalcy.”

Enshrined along with Schiavone, a professional referee for 19 years, were former WBC USNBC middleweight champion Elvin Ayala, ex-USBA and IBO super bantamweight champion Mike “Machine Gun” Oliver, manager Mike Criscio, best known for his association with former light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson when Dawson was one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet, trainer Jose “Papo” Colon and Frank Russo, who in addition to serving as executive director of the Hartford Civic Center in the 1970s and 1980s, also formed Monitor Productions, which helped promote the careers of 1984 U.S. Olympians Pernell Whitaker, Mark Breland, Evander Holyfield, Meldrick Taylor and Tyrell Biggs.

L-R. Host Randy Gordon with 2022 Conn. Boxing Hall of Famer Mike
Criscio, and CBHOF President John Laudati.

Russo had one of the best lines of the night when he said, matter-of-factly, “Thanks to Evander Holyfield for putting my daughter through college.”

The night began with appetizers just outside the Uncas Ballroom, as well as a red-carpet style photo booth, and induction dinner attendees were allowed inside around 7 p.m.  Randy Gordon, former editor-in-chief of The Ring, former chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission and current co-host of SiriusXM’s “At The Fights” alongside Gerry Cooney, served as the night’s Master of Ceremonies. Gordon has led the affair in the past, but a new twist was a different room layout and ring ropes that adorned the front of the stage, which served to make this classy boxing event seem even more special. Attendees were able to take part in a silent auction of boxing memorabilia, as well as purchase tickets for a 50/50 raffle, whose prize ending up being $1,080. Attendees also got to mix it up with Cooney, a special guest of the festivities.

Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame. Three of the night’s inductees had ties to Hartford’s San Juan Center – Oliver, Colon and Schiavone.

Oliver first put on boxing gloves at Hartford’s Bellevue Square Boys Club at three years-old and learned to box under the tutelage of famed trainer Johnny Duke. Later, when the Bellevue gym closed in 1997, he would train out of the San Juan Center. Colon, 76, moved to the United States from Puerto Rico but first settled in New York City, and raised his boxing IQ at Cus D’Amato’s Gramercy Gym and Brooklyn’s Gleason’s Gym. He eventually relocated to Hartford and began working at the San Juan Center with future Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame inductee George Cruz. Schiavone was a member of the gym and trained there throughout his amateur and professional assignments.

Conn. Boxing Hall of Fame 2022 Inducteed – Former USBA and IBO super bantamweight champion Mike Oliver.

Oliver’s biggest night in the ring was arguably winning the IBO super bantamweight title in 2007 at Mohegan Sun via a 12-round decision over Al Seeger. He had previously held the USBA super bantamweight title. He won those laurels at Mohegan in 2006 with a unanimous decision over Adam Carerra. Oliver’s last belt was the vacant USA New England super bantamweight championship. He earned it with a dominant decision victory over Castulo Gonzalez in 2009. Oliver, who in his prime was known for his rapid-fire fists, finally hung up the gloves this past November.

During his induction speech, he gave the late Johnny Duke nearly all the credit. Duke, who was inducted into the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005, was a father figure to him and Oliver followed him wherever he went.

“Wherever you’d find Duke, you’d find me,” Oliver said. “City Hall, I’m with Duke. If he went to his mother’s house, I was right there.”

He added, “If it wasn’t for Duke, I wouldn’t be here right now.” However, Oliver also gave thanks to everyone that played a part in his career, even the cut men for his fights.

L-R. Conn. Boxing Hall of Fame President John Laudati and 2022 Inductee Frank Russo.

Elvin Ayala, who trained out of the New Haven area, was a defensive specialist who never shied away from a challenge. He ran his record to 16-0 before his first defeat, a split decision 10-round points loss to David Banks. They rematched three months later, and Banks again won, this time by unanimous decision. From this point on, Ayala would fight a Who’s Who of boxing contenders and champions, including Sergio Mora, reigning IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham, Lajuan Simon, David Lemieux and Curtis “Showtime” Stevens. An entertaining draw with Mora, who was a personality on the boxing show The Contender, earned Ayala a title shot against Abraham. Fighting in Abraham’s home country of Germany, Ayala lasted until the 12th and final round before getting stopped. The draw with Mora also said a lot about Ayala’s talents, especially considering he had only 14 fights as an amateur, because eight months after tangling with Ayala, Mora captured the WBC super welterweight championship.

Conn. Boxing Hall of Fame 2022 Inductee Danny Schiavon.

Ayala fell short in bids for the USBA and NABF middleweight belts, but in between those setbacks he did manage to win the vacant WBC USNBC middleweight championship with a 10-round unanimous decision victory over Derrick Findley at Mohegan Sun in 2011. Referee Johnny Callas offered up some remarks about Ayala before he came up to the podium to accept his induction plaque. He also pulled out a bloody referee shirt that an Ayala punch from years ago soiled red.

Callas called it one of his greatest ring moments as a referee.

“I was standing in the pocket like this, and Elvin had his opponent on the ropes, and he hit him with the most perfect short left hand I’ve ever seen,” he said. “And it was right out of Raging Bull (the movie). That blood came squirting out, all over my shoulder, and I said, ‘Yeah baby. That’s the real deal.’” Callas said he was going to have Ayala sign the shirt after his induction.

Ayala said he was extremely grateful for the induction.

L-R Conn. Boxing Hall of Famer Marlon Starling and host Randy Gordon.

“I come from under the poverty line,” he said. “I lived in other people’s houses growing up. It was such a rough life. There was only drugs and violence and boxing.”

He added, “I used to fight in the street, boxing with the neighborhood kids and I noticed I was like moving, making them miss, and I just took it upon myself to start to run, to train.” Ayala, who had been living in Reading, PA, decided after getting in some trouble that maybe he should relocate to his mother’s home in New Haven. Soon after, he found Brian Clark’s Ring One boxing gym. He subsequently met Luis Rosa Sr. and relocated to Rosa’s gym in the Fair Haven section of New Haven.

“It’s just so many memories that boxing has given me,” said Ayala. “Ups and downs, and so many trials and errors and I’m thankful for it all.”

Asked by The USA Boxing News what the proudest moment of his career was, he admitted it wasn’t a big fight at a casino or sports venue. Rather it was the first time he was profiled in the newspapers, “while still living in the projects.”

At the Conn. Boxing Hall of Fame, former welterweight champion Marlon Starling and 7-year-old Laila, who was named after Muhammad Ali’s world champion daughter

Ayala added, “It was the first impact boxing had in my life and I felt I had a lot to accomplish after that. The first time I was in the newspapers was to announce I was ready to become a pro and everyone in the projects was knocking at my door to ask for autographs and pictures.” Ayala retired in 2019 with a 29-13-1 record.

Colon, who now trains fighters at fellow Connecticut Boxing Hall of Famer Paul Cichon’s Manchester Ring of Champions Society, gave the shortest induction speech, roughly one minute long. He said it was a great honor to be inducted and wanted to thank “God, my family and last but not least, Paul Cichon, for making his home my home.”

Criscio, best known for managing Dawson, first connected with the New Haven fighter when he walked into his pawn shop and asked him to represent him.

“I didn’t have any experience but part of being a good person is about helping others,” he said. “It wasn’t easy at first, but through hard work and determination, Chad became light heavyweight champion of the world.”

Criscio added, “Gradually I started signing fighters from all over the world, Alfredo Angulo, Chris Avalos, Joel Diaz, Peter Manfredo, Jean Pascal, Luis Rosa Jr., Shelly Vincent (popular Rhode Island fighter), Yordenis Ugas – these boxers had one thing in common. I treated them like family, like my own children.”

Criscio further stated, “Boxing has become a labor of love for me. It wasn’t about the money I would gain, or the notoriety. It was helping these young men reach their potential, to build better lives for themselves and their families. The road to success isn’t easy to navigate, but hard work and the passion made it possible for my guys to achieve the American Dream.”

Criscio has faced his own personal adversity. He’s beaten terminal cancer twice. And now he’s a Connecticut Boxing Hall of Famer.

When Russo took over lead duties at the Hartford Civic Center in 1974, he had no clue the adversity he’d face a mere four years later. The roof caved in.

“We were out of business,” he said. However, Russo and his team persevered, got the roof replaced and began hosting a plethora of boxing shows, and future world welterweight champion Marlon Starling became the civic center’s house fighter. The Hartford Civic Center also broadcasted the first Sugar Ray Leonard-Roberto Duran fight on closed circuit television after a live card featuring Starling. More than 13,000 fans packed the place that night. Russo would subsequently join forced with Shelly Finkel to help promote some of the top talent from the 1984 Olympic boxing team. Now 66 years-old, he is currently the business development chief for Global Spectrum.

Taking the stage for his induction, Russo began with, “I don’t think there’s anybody in the house that’s more surprised than I am about this honor, but I really appreciate it. I’m very humbled by it.”

On Saturday night, one might have thought Schiavone was a fighter inductee rather than an official being inducted. The applause was thunderous. Then again, many of his family members and friends from New York City and New Jersey made the trek for his induction. Schiavone has refereed more than 500 professional bouts, the most in the history of Connecticut boxing. Forty-seven were title fights and he’s been the third man in the ring for bouts involving such names as Roy Jones Jr., Vasiliy Lomachenko, Adrien Broner, Gary Russell, Jr., Hasim Rahman, Ray Mercer, David Tua and many others.

Schiavone told The USA Boxing News he plans to hang his induction plaque over the bar area of his living room.

He said while there are some people in life who might say they made their own success, he added that’s very rarely ever true.

“You have to have good people around you,” he said. “Somebody gave you a break. Somebody who took you under their wing, that type of thing. And I was blessed, really from the time I set foot in the San Juan Center.”

He said George Cruz planted the seed that ultimately led to his Hall of Fame induction.

“He had spoken to me about being an official,” said Schiavone. “I thought about it and I said, ‘Yeah, sure, it might be cool.’”

Cruz would introduce Schiavone to the late Roland Roy, who was the head of USA Boxing Region 1. Schiavone spent six years volunteering his time in the amateurs, as a referee and judge.

“Roland gave me a lot of work. He got me prepared for the pros,” he said. “At the beginning I didn’t expect anything. It was like umpiring Little League, or something.”

After six years of working fights, Cruz sent a film of Schiavone to Mike Mazulli, commissioner of the Mohegan Sun Athletic Commission. Mazulli and company liked what they saw and brought Schiavone in to referee professional fights.

“They gave me a shot, it’s been 19 years and here I am up here,” said Schiavone. He added he and fellow referees have become like family members. He was mentored by the late Arthur Mercante Sr. and retired Connecticut referee Dick Flaherty. He’s super close with refs such as Mike Ortega and New York City-based Benjy Esteves Jr., as well as Joe Cusano, a longtime Connecticut referee who has since retired from the sport.

“I’ve had some great people in my corner,” he said.

The night also saw a handful of individuals honored with special awards.

Unbeaten WBC USNBC super lightweight champion Mykquan Williams was honored with the Professional Boxer of the Year award. He’s been trained since he was seven by Manchester-based Paul Cichon. Williams is unbeaten in 17 fights and plans to “keep climbing that ladder.”

Cichon was a proud trainer inside the Uncas Ballroom.

“It’s great seeing a boxer getting acknowledgement for all the hard work and dedication that they put in behind the scenes,” he said.

Jahnyah Lumpkin, a junior at East Hartford High School, was honored with the Amateur Boxer of the Year award. Fighting out of the Charter Oak Boxing Academy, Lumpkin posted a 7-2 record during 2021, beating six nationally ranked fighters and earning a silver medal in the Silver Gloves National Championships. Lumpkin finished fourth in the U.S. National Championships.

Other award winners were Heather Concepcion (Amateur Official of the Year); judge Frank Lombardi (The William Hutt Official of the Year); Hartford area attorney Jeffrey Dressler (The George Smith Contribution to Boxing Award); and community service activist Jason Jakubowski (Willie Pep Courage Award).

The night also saw the induction of the Class of 2020, which was comprised of old timers that have passed on. Five of the seven were pro boxers – Steve Carr, Eddie Dolan, Al Gainer, Mosey King and Jimmy Leto. Rounding out the Class of 2020 was Barbara Dunn, the nation’s first female boxing commissioner, and Bill Lee, a sports editor and columnist for the Hartford Courant between the end of the 1930s and the mid-1970s. Carr fought during the Great Depression and became a fan favorite in the New Haven area. Dolan retired with an impressive record of 89-9-3. Gainer was a formidable light heavyweight who finished with a record of 77-23-6. King had a brief career as a lightweight, but went on to become the head boxing coach at Yale University. He would also become Connecticut’s first boxing commissioner. Leto, a welterweight, had a career that spanned 19 years. He finished with an impressive record of 125-29-12. He scored notable victories over Chalky Wright, Cocoa Kid and Fritzie Zivic.  

Ian Cannon, a wheelchair-bound former boxer who created a fitness program for people with disabilities titled Rolling with the Punches, always makes a point to attend the annual induction dinner. He was pleased to be back after COVID had delayed the affair.

Cannon said he enjoyed “catching up with everyone and immersing myself back in the combat sports culture.”

For the first time ever, the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame Board of Directors decided to do a spring event. Past inductions always took place at the end of the year.  

“Several people approached me at the dinner expressing their preference for a spring event,” said Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame President John Laudati, adding, “I personally favor a spring event. Weather concerns are less than a late October or November date, and a spring date doesn’t compete with the holiday season when people are so busy with events. It also gives the board a full calendar year to consider our annual award winners.”

Asked to pick a highlight moment of the night, Laudati said there were many, including the inaugural Willie Pep Courage Award. However, he said “having former heavyweight contender Gerry Cooney at the event certainly lit up the room.”

He added, “He is a truly gracious man who found time for anyone and everyone who wanted a photo or an autograph. I couldn’t be happier with how Saturday night went.”

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Former heavyweight king Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder is honored with a bronze statue

Story by John and Alex Rinaldi

May 2022 – Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Years ago shortly before his death, actor Ray Bolger, who portrayed the Scarecrow in the classic 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, was asked whether he received residuals from the endless telecasts of the endearing film, he remarked, “No, just immortality. I’ll settle for that.”

Sculptor Caleb O’Connor (L) and Deontay Wilder (R).

The same goes when individual has a statue erected in one’s honor – they experience a similar sense of immortality.  Former WBC heavyweight king Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder must feel the same way now after a bronze statue of him was unveiled at the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The ceremony was presented by the Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports.

Statues have been erected of Gods, War Heroes, Presidents, and other famous icons, including the Statue of Liberty, for over 45,000 years. In the last century Prize Fighters and famous ring Champions such as Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis, Primo Carnera, Joe Frazier, Randolph Turpin, Larry Holmes, Ingemar Johansson, Roberto Duran, Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield, Jack Johnson, Julio Cesar Chavez, John L. Sullivan, Tony Demarco, Stanley Ketchel, Carmen Basilio, Mike Tyson, Joey Giardello, among others, have been added to those immortalized by the erection of statues in their honor. Now Deontay Wilder can be added to that exclusive list.

Deontay Wilder (L) vs. Chris Arreaola (R).

The hometown hero Wilder, 36, was on hand with his family and hundreds of fans who showed up to honor the fistic great.

The live-sized 6’ 7” bronze statue of the ex-champion is located outside of the Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports (TTS) building on Jack Warner Parkway. It was sculpted by local artist Caleb O’Connor. Unlike the 220 to 250 pounds that Wilder weighed during his boxing career, the statue’s weight is 830 pounds!

A visibly shaken Wilder said before the crowd in attendance, “For the first time in my life, I’m at a loss for words. This is generational wealth. This is black excellence. This is greatness. This is a monumental moment for me.”

“We are excited to unveil this highly anticipated piece of public art featuring the Bronze Bomber – Tuscaloosa’s world-champion boxer – and created by Caleb O’Connor, who has adopted Tuscaloosa as his home and has created many other beautiful pieces in our city,” said Mayor Walt Maddox.

Deontay Wilder standing with sculptor Caleb O’Connor next to the statue.

“Our organization has long supported Deontay Wilder and his journey to becoming a heavyweight champion. We’re proud of his accomplishments and are thrilled the visitor center will be home to this incredible statue,” said Don Staley, president and CEO of TTS. “His championship title has put our community, Deontay’s hometown, on the map and his statue will pay tribute to that.”

Deontay Wilder began his boxing career in Tuscaloosa when he turned 20. In 2007 he won the Golden Gloves competition and took Gold in the U.S. National Championships. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Wilder captured the Bronze medal, which he embraced in his nickname of “The Bronze Bomber” that he used from his first professional fight onward.

Deontay Wilder (R) belting Bermane Stiverne (L).

On January 17, 2015, Wilder outpointed Bermaine Stiverne over 12 rounds to capture the WBC heavyweight championship.  During his reign of terror, he defended his title ten times, including a 12-round draw over Tyson Fury.

Fury would dethrone Wilder on February 22, 2020, with a 7th round TKO and in their third battle, Fury KO’d Deontay in the 11th round on October 9, 2021.  The third fight between Wilder and Fury would go down as one of the greatest heavyweight battles of all time, where both men were brutally battered to the canvas.

Because the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight title holder Anthony Joshua at the time was afraid to face Wilder in a unification fight, most historians regard Wilder as the true heavyweight champion.

Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KO’s) still is not finished with the sport.

(in color trunks) Deontay Wilder knocks down Tyson Fury a 2nd time in the 12 round at the Staple Center Saturday. The fight was draw between both fighters from the judges scoring . Los Angeles, CA. Dec 1,2018.Photo by Gene Blevins/ZumaPress (Credit Image: © Gene Blevins/ZUMA Wire)

“I’ve been highly requested to come back,” Wilder said, “So many people have told me, ‘Come back, come back.’ I’d say I’m back by popular demand. And the business of boxing needs me. When there’s a thriving American champion, there’s nothing like it. When there’s not, you see it’s dead. There’s a drought. People know the difference now. I can’t stop right here. I must continue my journey. I have to, I have to.”

Wilder next to his life-like statue as the crowd cheers.

The estimated cost of the statue was over $30,000. The sculptor Caleb O’Connor figured that he worked 12-15-hour days, six days a week, for two-and-a-half months – amounting to nearly 800 hours! The life-size likeness (Wilder is 6-foot-7) required O’Connor to build scaffolding in his Tuscaloosa art studio, from which he fell twice near the end of one particular sculpting marathon.

Wilder approaches the statue as confetti floats in the air.

“Definitely some bruises, and I think I might’ve fractured a rib,” O’Connor said last week. “For a month after that, whenever I coughed or laughed it would hurt. It was almost unbearable. I just sculpted too long into the night.”

All in all, it was a great honor for a proud champion, who may still have some more exciting ring exploits to come.

It appears that Deontay Wilder, like Ray Bolger the Scarecrow before him, has also settled for immortality.

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Jermell Charlo clobbers Brian Castano to become boxing’s first super welterweight champion

 

Charlo drives a left hand to the body of Castano

 

Story by John and Alex Rinaldi

The battle of life is, in most cases, fought uphill; and to win it without a struggle were perhaps to win it without honor. If there were no difficulties there would be no success; if there were nothing to struggle for, there would be nothing to be achieved. –Samuel Smiles

 At the AT&T Center last July 17, Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano engaged in an unmerciful battle where both combatants fought their hearts out. There were numerous occasions where each champion was wobbled and near the precipice of defeat. After twelve grueling rounds, with all the super welterweight titles at stake, the bout was declared a draw.

Charlo drops Castano for the first time in Round 10.

It was one of the best fights of the year and certainly one that was hard to top – that is until their rematch!

At the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA, Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo, of Richmond, TX, entered the rematch wearing the WBA, IBF and WBC super welterweight championship belts, while the previously unbeaten Brian “El Boxi” Castano, of Isidro Casanova, Buenos Aires, Argentina, climbed through the ropes with his WBO super welterweight belt. Both men at 32 are in the peak of their fistic abilities and they gave the fans on hand a clash they would soon not forget.

Charlo bludgeons Castano along the ropes.

At the bell, Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KO’s) came out fast and unloaded a plethora of jabs, rights and uppercuts that repeatedly nailed the advancing Castano to his head and midsection. The WBO king Castano, 153 ¾, was moving forward, but by leading with his right crosses, instead of working behind his jab, he left himself an easy mark for the jolting combinations of the WBA/WBC/IBF king Charlo, 152 ¾.

The first three rounds were all Charlo as he battered his opponent with stabbing right hands and hooks to the ribs. While Castano managed to knock his adversary back with crackling right hands to the jaw, he was still woefully getting outpunched. What was surprising was that it was Charlo who wound up being the superior body puncher as he constantly used Castano’s midsection as an archery target.

Charlo drops Castano for the second time in Round 10.

Castano finally came alive in the fourth round as he began to throw double jabs, which made it easier for him to score with his hard right hands. Though Charlo was stunned by a few of the rights that graced his skull, he never allowed his man to take any bows and he immediately whipped off a fusillade of lefts and rights that had Castano backing away.

The non-stop action continued into Round Five as Charlo had Castano hurt with jarring hooks and rights. Just when it appeared as if the Argentine was in trouble, he stormed back and hammered Charlo with a left hook that sent him into the ropes. Before he could counter back, Charlo was stunned with a smashing right and left hook. Showing his herculean conditioning, Charlo dug in and answered back with a left hook of his own as he punched himself off the ropes and walloped his foe with a right and another left hook. The two then slugged it out with savage fists flying until the bell!

Castano had his best round in the sixth as his jab was sharper. Charlo continued to bang away with his fast left hooks, however, Castano made him pay by countering with blistering right hands that rocked Jermell. Although Castano was scoring well, Charlo never gave him a chance to admire his handiwork as he always fired back with his own weapons of destruction.

Charlo came back in the seventh as he viciously attacked Castano’s body, which was beginning to slow him down. Although uppercuts, jabs and hooks painfully bounced off Castano, he never gave up and attacked at the end of the session and even stunned Charlo once again with right hands.

The next two frames were give-and-take with both men’s legs holding up quite well under the constant assault of leather. The two fought like the proud champions they were as they never gave the other a chance for a brief respite.  

One thing was certain, it was that the concession stands would see little action as very few fans were willing to leave their seats to miss a second of the constant torrid action.

Going into the fateful tenth, Charlo had a commanding lead on two scorecards at 89-82 and 88-83, while one tally had it a little closer at 87-84. Either way it appeared that all Charlo had to do was remain on his feet for the remainder of the contest.  He surely planned to do that, and at the same time was mentally formulating a plan whereby his opponent would not be so lucky. Charlo had no desire to have the fight go to the scorecards. His fists would wind up being the judge, jury and the executioner.

Charlo -L- and Castano -R- fire bombs at each other.

At the sound of the bell for Round 10, Charlo stormed out and blasted away at Castano. A scorching right hand to the body, quickly followed by a left hook to the jaw sent Castano crumbling to the canvas like a bale of hay thrown off the top of a barn.

Referee Jerry Cantu moved in and began counting. Castano bravely rose at “six” and was quickly looked over by Cantu who  permitted the fight to continue.

Immediately, Charlo raced at his wounded prey and unleashed a volley of lefts and rights, that culminated with a smashing left hook to the head and another hook to the ribs. Castano hit the canvas again.

Like the Phoenix, Castano miraculously rose once more, but he was clearly two blocks down the alley from Queer Street as the referee stopped counting at “one” and ended the bout at 2:33 of the tenth round.

“I could see that I was wearing him [Castano] out and was breaking him down,” said Charlo. “I feel like I really accomplished something very, very important, very, very major. Something that’s gonna stand for a long time.”

Castano said afterwards, “He [Charlo] was smarter this time. I felt that I won the first fight, but tonight he caught me and that was it. I feel like I still have a lot to give in boxing. I’m happy with my performance despite the loss. I feel like there’s a big room for corrections and improvements with my boxing.”

The difference between the two battles was that Charlo was just in such incredible condition. He never took a round off and kept on unloading bombs all night.  To his credit, Castano took some mighty shots, but eventually his body collapsed under the weight of the relentless exploding leather fists of Charlo.

Going into the fight, Charlo was the -210 favorite and guaranteed $1 million and will probably wind up with nearly $3 million after the PPV and live gate revenue are added.  As for Castano, he was guaranteed $350,000 and will earn nearly $650,000 once the dust settles.

“I’m durable,” remarked Charlo. I was going all 12, and unfortunately for Castano, my power got stronger by the rounds. This is legacy. This is something that is legendary. I’m a legend. I knew Castano was going to give it his all. I knew I had trained very, very hard, but you all can see that I came in at 152 pounds because I was really in shape, and I wanted to make sure that this was my fight. I listened to my corner this time. I got in my bag around the seventh round. I started sitting down a little bit more instead of boxing so much and moving around. I saw that he was wearing down a little bit and I was breaking him down. I just saw my punches being more effective. I get stronger in the later rounds if they didn’t know.”

That is the type of fighter that is hard to beat today. Charlo is a throwback to the great 154-pounders of the past.

Next up for Charlo may be the WBO’s top rated contender Tim Tszyu.

The Charlo-Castano rematch was a ratings bonanza for the Showtime Network, which had its highest ratings in three years with an audience of 886,000 from its channel and streaming service.

The great sport of boxing is on a major upswing as fighters are going after unification bouts with all four titles at stake.  If Charlo stays in the weight class and defends his laurels on a regular basis, he will soon punch himself into the superstar status.

Photos courtesy of Showtime

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  • NONITO DONAIRE VS NAOYA INOUE REMATCH TO BE ‘MONUMENTAL’ MOMENT FOR BOXING  

    LOS ANGELES, MAY 26 – Probellum is honoured to have helped the great Nonito Donaire secure a blockbuster bantamweight rematch with Naoya Inoue – a fight the whole of boxing was calling for. 

    Donaire and Inoue combined to produce 2019’s Fight of the Year and will rematch on June 7, at the Super Arena, in Saitama, Japan in one of the biggest contests to be made in the sport. 

    Donaire’s promoter Probellum, led by President Richard Schaefer, has been working tirelessly behind-the-scenes to help make this mouth-watering unification match-up a reality. 

    Next month’s rematch between Donaire and Inoue will be promoted by Ohashi Promotion and Teiken Promotions in association with Probellum.  

    Richard Schaefer, President of Probellum said: “To be able to help bring together two of the best fighters in the world for this massive unification fight, is a proud moment for our business. 

    NONITO DONAIRE INTERVIEW – ‘I’VE MADE MORE IMPROVEMENTS THAN INOUE

    “Probellum launched only eight months ago and has already been a key player in making sure the rematch between Donaire and Inoue becomes a reality. 

    “I am incredibly excited for this fight, so too are Donaire and Inoue and the whole of boxing cannot wait for it.” 

    Inoue edged a remarkable first contest between the pair, winning on the judges’ scorecards after 12 rounds, but Donaire fractured his opponent’s nose and broke his orbital bone, in a brutal fight for the ages.  

    The Japanese star, who forced his rival to touch down in round 11, holds the WBA ‘Super’ and IBF belts in the 118lbs division but since their 2019 fight, Donaire has responded in legendary fashion, by winning the WBC crown with a fourth-round knockout of Nordine Oubaali. 

    The Filipino Flash, Nonito Donaire said: “Our first fight was brutal and amazing, it was a classic, but the rematch is going to be even better. 

    “I am heading into this monumental fight with a new mindset, because the first contest with Inoue was an awakening for me and I now know I can defeat him. 

    “I am incredibly grateful for the work of Richard and Probellum in helping to make this fight a reality because it is not only the fight I wanted, but the one the world wanted as well. 

    “June 7, in Japan, is going to be a special evening for the sport and make no mistake, it will end in a Donaire victory.” 

    Donaire, a future Hall of Fame fighter, joined the Probellum ranks in October last year, not long after the promotional company launched.   

    The 39-year-old is a four-weight world champion and in winning the WBC bantamweight title in May, broke his own record as the oldest fighter to ever hold a belt in that division. 

    To keep up to date with the latest news on the Donaire vs Inoue rematch, sign up to our newsletter or follow Probellum on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.   

    You can also follow our official news, results, and information account, Probellum News, on Twitter.

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July 15: Arnold Barboza Jr.-Danielito Zorrilla and Olympic Silver Medal Stars Keyshawn Davis & Richard Torrez Jr. Confirmed for ESPN-Televised Tripleheader at Pechanga Resort Casino

ESPN telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT

Tickets on SALE NOW!

TEMECULA, Calif. (May 26, 2022) — Southern California 140-pound standout Arnold Barboza Jr. wanted the main event spotlight. He’ll get his opportunity to shine when he takes on Puerto Rican contender Danielito “El Zorro” Zorrilla in a 10-round junior welterweight showdown Friday, July 15, at the Pechanga Summit at Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California. 
 
Tokyo 2020 U.S. Olympic silver medalists Keyshawn Davis and Richard Torrez Jr. will return on the card, with Davis battling Jair “Kaiser” Valtierra in the eight-round lightweight co-feature. Torrez will open the televised broadcast in a six-round heavyweight special attraction versus Roberto Zavala Jr.
 
Barboza-Zorrilla, Davis-Valtierra and Torrez-Zavala will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
 
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Ringside Ticket Inc., tickets starting at $29 are on sale now and can be purchased at Pechanga.com.
 
Barboza (26-0, 10 KOs), from South El Monte, California, is a nine-year pro who is closing in on a world title shot following a series of headline-grabbing victories. In April 2019, he knocked out former world champion Mike Alvarado in three rounds, a resounding Los Angeles homecoming that solidified him as a top contender. Barboza has won five bouts since, securing one-sided verdicts over Ricky Sismundo, William Silva, Tony Luis, Alex Saucedo, and Antonio Moran. He comes back following an 11-month layoff, the second-longest of his career. Ranked No. 8 by the WBO and No. 11 by the WBC, Barboza hopes a dominating win over his unbeaten foe will earn him that long-awaited title opportunity.
 
“I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. This fight will put the other fighters at 140 pounds on notice. We’re going to take full advantage of it,” Barboza said. “Zorrilla is undefeated, ranked, and coming off a great win. We’re going to make a statement on July 15. I want a world title shot soon, and I’m going to keep pushing forward and fighting whoever they put in front of me.”
 
Zorrilla (16-0, 12 KOs) is a native of a Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, who had more than 100 victories before turning pro with a second-round knockout in November 2016. The 28-year-old, ranked No. 10 by the WBO at 140 pounds, has diced through his opposition in the paid ranks with 11 knockouts in three rounds or less. He went 2-0 in 2021, edging past Ruslan Madiyev in March and knocking out former interim world champion Pablo Cesar Cano in two rounds in September. A renaissance man who has an associate degree in banking and cuts hair out of his home-based barbershop, Zorrilla can cut past the line of contenders with a victory over Barboza.
 
“I am extremely grateful for this opportunity, and I want to thank Miguel Cotto Promotions and Top Rank,” Zorrilla said. “We have been waiting for an opportunity of this magnitude. Arnold Barboza Jr. is a quality opponent, and I’ve always wanted an at-bat against a top contender. I am working very hard, and I will be at 100 percent on July 15 to continue my journey to a junior welterweight world championship.”
 
Davis (5-0, 4 KOs), the fighting prodigy from Norfolk, Virginia, has been on a whirlwind ride to stardom over the past year-plus. In February 2021, he turned pro on a Canelo Alvarez undercard in Miami, fought on another Canelo card at AT&T Stadium in Texas, earned his Olympic silver medal, signed a multi-year promotional contract with Top Rank, and made his Top Rank debut in December with a second-round knockout at Madison Square Garden. He fought April 30 on the Oscar Valdez-Shakur Stevenson card at MGM Grand Garden Arena, knocking out Mexican veteran Esteban Sanchez in six rounds. Valtierra (16-1, 8 KOs), from Leon, Mexico, is a four-year pro who previously held the WBC Latino lightweight title. Last August, he suffered an upset knockout loss to Alberto Ruiz Ibarra. Three months later, Valtierra got back on the winning track with a convincing 10-round decision over Argentina’s Javier Jose Clavero.
 
“Every time I fight, I try to give the fans something to remember, and I’m excited to make my Southern California debut. I will put on a show for everyone watching on ESPN, that much I can guarantee,” Davis said. “We know Valtierra is coming to fight, and I’ll be ready to match whatever he brings.”
 
Torrez (1-0, 1 KO), from Tulare, California, is a 22-year-old southpaw who became the first U.S. Olympic super heavyweight medalist since 1988. He made his pro debut on March 4 in Fresno, California, knocking out Allen Melson in the second round. Torrez sustained a cut along his right eyebrow in the first round, which delayed his second outing by a couple of months. Zavala (2-1-1, 2 KOs), from Del Rio, Texas, has never fought outside Texas. He has never been stopped in the paid ranks and is coming off a four-round draw against the 2-0 Rudy Silvas. The 34-year-old has never weighed under 255 pounds as a pro and should have a significant size advantage over Torrez, who tipped the scales at 228¼ pounds for his debut.
 
Torrez said, “Ever since that cut in my pro debut, I’ve been counting down the days until my next fight. I’m thankful to be fighting on ESPN and back in my home state. If you don’t know why you should watch me, you will soon.”
 
Undercard action, streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+, includes SoCal lightweight sensation Raymond “Danger” Muratalla in an eight-rounder against an opponent to be named. Muratalla (14-0, 12 KOs), a 25-year-old from Fontana, California, has knocked out nine consecutive opponents. He last fought April 30 on the Valdez-Stevenson card in Las Vegas, knocking out the usually durable Jeremy Hill in three rounds.
 
The undercard will also see heavyweight contender Stephan Shaw (16-0, 12 KOs) in an eight-rounder, and Las Vegas-born junior featherweight prospect Floyd “Cashflow” Diaz (4-0, 1 KO) in a six-rounder against Pedro Salome (3-0-1, 1 KO).

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Canelo Alavarez loses lopsided decision to WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol in  Major Boxing Upset

Even Mike Tyson weighs in on the loss

Story by Alexander R. Rinaldi and Joseph Rinaldi

Going into the bout almost a 6-1 favorite against the Russian WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol, Undisputed Super Middleweight Champion and current ring legend, Canelo Alvarez must have reasoned that Bivol was certainly not at his level, nor with only 19 fights on his ledger, nearly as seasoned or experienced as he was.

Well, “experience” flew out the window literally at the sound of bell for round one and as for the “level” it came in the form of a plethora of Bivol straight jabs that continually painted Canelo’s face with a pallet of leather.

In front of a sold-out house of his faithful inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs), a top-notch, four-division champion, sadly looked every bit like a mere challenger against the taller Russian champion, who made the best of his height, longer reach, and speed of foot and hand to score often and consistently in the fight.

Somehow, though Alvarez was the aggressor and kept going straight at Bovil, he lacked any real head movement or ducking abilities. He also failed to establish his own jab and literally let Bovil out-jab and outpoint him for nearly every round of the fight.

It was almost like watching the same Canelo Alvarez in his fateful loss to Floyd Mayweather almost a decade ago.

In this bout, while Canelo was the pursuer and the harder puncher of the two, especially when he connected with his uppercuts and left hooks, it was far too little in both scope and output to gain any real stronghold in the bout.

Bovil (R) fires away at Alvarz (L) with blazing punches.

As the rounds mounted,  and the sands in the hourglass swiftly disappeared, Canelo’s chances soon began to tick away as Bovil’s jab and quick combinations steadfastly kept Alvarez at bay and at a distance – far enough away for the Mexican legend to continuously come up short in hitting the mark of his Russian foe.

To make matters worse, and actually more harshly illuminating, Canelo tallied a career-low 84 total punches landing over twelve rounds, essentially an average of only seven punches per round. It could be said that many of the bouncers at some of the rougher joints on the Vegas Strip probably landed more blows that night.

Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) for the most part, relied upon mostly his defense, which was literally his lethal offense of blazing punches and spearing  jabs, which enabled the WBA Light Heavyweight Champion to capture both the judges’ scorecards as well as pull off the amazing upset in the fight.

Going into the twelfth round, Alvarez needed either a miracle or a knockout, neither of which were being granted to him as the bell for the last round tolled, along with nearly all the bells prior to it, most of them tolling for Bovil.

Still, waiting for the judges’ scorecards, one always has to wonder how close a Canelo Alvarez fight is since he is always seemingly a favorite of the scorekeepers. This time was no different, except for the outcome which saw all three judges voting unanimously for Bovil by duplicate scores of 115-113. Interestingly enough, those scores amount to 7-5 in rounds. Had Canelo won only one more round it would have been tabbed a draw (6 rounds to 6) – A bonanza for the casinos and sports betting.

The USA Boxing News saw it a little more lopsided by a score of 117-111 (9 rounds to 3) for Bivol.

Still this is what makes boxing the great sport it is. No matter what the odds-makers say, boxing is still remains a lifelong member of the great theater of the unexpected.

It is fights and wins like this that fuels the excitement of championship boxing matches. For boxing, in its over two hundred years as an international sport, has proven over and over again that anything can happen on any given day.

“I’m sorry I ruined your plans [for a fall trilogy fight against] Gennadiy Golovkin, maybe,” Bivol said. “Congrats to [Alvarez], he’s a great champion and I respect him. But if you don’t believe in yourself, what do you do? You won’t achieve anything. I believe and my team believes.” 

Although Bivol allowed Alvarez to fight directly in front of him, he never gave the great multiple champion any real openings to strike at. What he did instead by implementing his highly effective offense and defense was to give the legendary Mexican fighter numerous ways to strike out.

“I felt his power. As you can see from my arm, he beat my arm up but not my head,” Bivol said Alvarez. “It’s better. He had a good speed and power. Maybe his mistake was he threw only hard punches. After hard punches, he relaxed and tired. I was feeling great. This was the biggest fight of my career and I enjoyed this fight. When the people booed me, it gave me more energy.”

According to CompuBox,  Bivol out-landed Alvarez by a margin of 152 to 84.

Even with all that evidence, Canelo, not surprisingly, said that he thought he was ahead on the scorecards heading into the final rounds.

Nonetheless, by the bout’s end Canelo was very gracious in defeat.

“He’s a great champion. Sometimes in boxing, you win or lose. I lost today and he won,” Alvarez said. “He’s a really good fighter. He’s a fighter who comes in and goes out. I also felt his power. It was a good victory for him.”

After the fight, Alvarez shared hopes for a rematch, to which Bivol seemed obvously willing to explore.

“A rematch? No problem. Let’s talk about a rematch,” Bivol said. “I took this fight because I just wanted the opportunity and I appreciate the opportunity. I am ready for the rematch, I just want to make sure I win and am treated like a champion now.”

As expected, Canelo plans to return to the prize ring. “It doesn’t end like this,” said Alvarez.  Nor should it.

The word going into the fight was that Canelo, had he won, was expected to face Gennadiy Golovkin in September to complete their trilogy. Now with the loss, a potential rematch with Bivol could be in works.

One thing for certain, Canelo left the ring with over $15 million in guaranteed monies plus 70% of the pay-per-view revenue. Bovil, also filled his wallet well with a guaranteed $2 million plus 30% of the fight’s pay-per-view revenue.

Alvarez vs. Bivol undercard results

  • Montana Love def. Gabriel Gollaz via unanimous decision (114-112, 114-112, 114-112)
  • Shakhram Giyasov def. Christian Gomez via unanimous decision (99-88, 99-88, 98-89)
  • Marc Castro def. Pedro Vicente via unanimous decision (60-54, 60-54, 60-54)
  • Zhilei Zhang def. Scott Alexander via first-round knockout

Mike Tyson’s take on Canelo’s loss

A little after viewing Canelo Alvarez’s shocking loss to Dmitry Bivol, former undisputed Heavyweight Champion and ring legend Mike Tyson, like the true student of boxing he is, extrapolated the reasons behind Alvarez’s loss.

Tyson, particularly pointed out that Canelo’s jab, or the lack thereof, was the main contributing factor and villain behind his one-sided loss.

 “I just think if Canelo was using his jab effectively, hard, the guy [Bivol] wouldn’t have come because the guy was coming in because he wasn’t worried about Canelo’s jab,” Tyson said. “So he got more aggressive and he got brave. If you’re not jabbing he [Álvarez] has no defense. If he’s not gonna jab, the guy is gonna walk right in on him like he did.” 

Tyson described  Álvarez’s jab as “basic” and that he should have been moving more like bobbing and weaving and creating angles while throwing his jabs. 

“I believe if he used his jab, it would’ve been a different fight.” 

Photos courtesy of Matchroom Boxing

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PHOTO FLASHBACK

James “Light Out”Toney. (PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI) 

Julio Cesar Chavez (L) vs. Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker at the Alamo Dome San Antonio. (PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI)

Evander Holyfield (L) vs, George Foreman (R) in1991 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. (PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI)

Mike Tyson knocking out Alex Stewart at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City., (PHOTO BY ALEX RINALDI)

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Common Joe Versus The King: Artur Beterbiev-Joe Smith Jr. Light Heavyweight Title Unification Showdown Confirmed for June 18 at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden LIVE on ESPN

Beterbiev-Smith & Robeisy Ramirez-Abraham Nova featherweight co-feature will be broadcast LIVE on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
Brooklyn-born featherweight sensation Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington to see action on the undercard

NEW YORK (May 4, 2022) — Three belts and light heavyweight supremacy will be at stake when WBC/IBF world champion Artur Beterbiev meets WBO champion Joe Smith Jr. in a highly anticipated unification showdown Saturday, June 18, at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
 
Beterbiev, boxing’s only world champion with a 100 percent knockout rate, hopes to pick up another strap against “Cinderella Man” Smith, a Long Island native who grew up about 70 miles from Madison Square Garden.
 
In the 10-round featherweight co-feature, two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist Robeisy “El Tren” Ramirez will battle the unbeaten Abraham “El Super” Nova. Beterbiev-Smith and Ramirez-Nova will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
 
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, tickets starting at $56 go on sale Friday, May 6 at 12 p.m. ET, and can be purchased by visiting Ticketmaster.com or MSG.com.
 
“Beterbiev versus Smith is one of the very best fights that can be made in boxing, two huge punchers fighting at Madison Square Garden in what will be an electric atmosphere. Whoever comes out on top will be the true king of the light heavyweight division,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Robeisy Ramirez has developed into a sensational pro, and he will have his hands full against a tough, undefeated kid in Abraham Nova. The winner will be in line to fight for a featherweight world title.”
 
“I am thrilled we were able to put this sensational championship unification fight together,” said Joe DeGuardia, President of Star Boxing. “The top two punchers in boxing fighting each other for their three world titles. It has been brewing for a long time and is a potential fight of the year. Joe Smith Jr. is proud of his humble background and hard-working union ‘Common Man’ moniker, but he is also truly special and a real champ.  He could have chosen an easier path, but he wanted the best and toughest out there, the guy everyone is afraid to fight. Credit to both champions, each fighting the toughest, hardest-punching and most dangerous foe the division has. I can’t wait to see this fight!”
 
Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs), a two-time Russian Olympian, has spent his nine-year pro career based in Montreal, Canada. He has been a world champion since knocking out Enrico Koelling for the IBF strap in November 2017. He’s won five title fights inside the distance since then, including an off-the-deck victory over Callum Johnson and a title unification classic versus Oleksandr Gvozdyk in 2019. Beterbiev went 2-0 in 2021, capping the year with December’s brutal ninth-round stoppage over longtime contender Marcus Browne.
 
“I look forward to the challenge ahead of me. Joe Smith Jr. is a worthy champion, but I am coming to Madison Square Garden to add another world title to my collection,” Beterbiev said. “This fight will get me one step closer to becoming undisputed champion.”
 
Smith (28-3, 22 KOs) earned mainstream recognition with his 2016 knockout of living legend Bernard Hopkins and scored standout wins over Jesse Hart and Eleider Alvarez in 2020. In his second world title attempt, he outlasted Maxim Vlasov in a 2021 Fight of the Year Contender. Smith successfully defend his world title in January with a ninth-round stoppage over late replacement Steve Geffrard.
 
Smith said, “I am extremely excited and focused on this task I have ahead. Facing Beterbiev is huge. It is going to be a fight that fans remember forever, with two of the biggest punches in boxing today facing off. This opportunity is a dream of mine to accomplish. Fighting with three titles on the line is one step closer to becoming undisputed.”
 
Ramirez (9-1, 5 KOs) has been on a sterling run since a shocking loss in his August 2019 professional debut. An Olympic champion in 2012 and 2016, Ramirez is coming off one-sided victories over the unbeaten Orlando Gonzalez and Irish veteran Eric Donovan. Nova (21-0, 15 KOs), who spent much of his career at junior lightweight, has been flawless since moving up to the featherweight ranks. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Albany, New York, Nova knocked out William Encarnacion in eight rounds on the Smith-Geffrard undercard in January.
 
Ramirez said, “I have always wanted to display my talent on a stage as important as the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City. Come June 18, I will not only take advantage of this big opportunity, but I will also hand Nova the first loss of his career. I’m going to take a big leap in my quest to become world champion, and above all, showcase my class and give boxing fans another great performance. I will make clear that ‘El Tren’ is a true powerhouse in the featherweight division.”
 
Nova said, “Robeisy is a great talent, and he’s the fighter that will get me to that next level. I need a statement victory. Beating a two-time gold medalist puts me right in the title picture. The better the competition, the better I look. Nobody has seen the best of me yet, and I will show that on June 18.”
 
The undercard, which will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+, is scheduled to feature many of the sport’s rising superstars. In six-round bouts, Brooklyn-born featherweight puncher Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington (3-0, 2 KOs) and Long Island welterweight Jahi Tucker (7-0, 4 KOs) hope to extend their unbeaten records. U.S. Olympian Troy Isley (5-0, 3 KOs), fresh off his knockout win on the Oscar Valdez-Shakur Stevenson undercard, returns in a six-round middleweight bout. Featherweight Kurt Walker (2-0, 1 KO) and junior middleweight Kieran Molloy (1-0, 1 KO), both of whom starred for the Irish national team as amateurs, will make their respective U.S. debuts.

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FIGHTERS TRAINING AND FIGHT GALLERY PAGE

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Jack Johnson and Joe Choynski in jail after their historic fight

Jack Johnson (third from the Right) and Joe Choynski (second from the Left) in jail after their historic 1901 fight that Choynski won by KO.

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Shakur Stevenson overwhelms Oscar Valdez in Junior Lightweight Unification Showdown to become WBC and WBO junior Lightweight Champion

Keyshawn Davis and Nico Ali Walsh score KO wins on undercard

 Story by Alexander R. Rinaldi and Joseph Rinaldi

Undercard story and photos courtesy of TopRank.

LAS VEGAS — On Saturday night, in one of the greatest performances of the year thus far, Shakur Stevenson grabbed the gauntlet and showed the world that he is the new supernova in boxing as he easily manhandled the previously undefeated and very talented Oscar Valdez over twelve nearly one-sided rounds.

When the final bell tolled every person in the arena and anybody probably watching on television knew the WBO Junior Lightweight World Champion and Newark native Shakur Stevenson totally overwhelmed his Mexican foe. The judges agreed and unanimously decided for Stevenson by scores of 118-109 (twice) and 117-110. The USA Boxing News also scored it for Shakur at 118-109.

Lopez (L) nailing Stevenson (R) with a right to the ribs.

Although the fight was not very close there were some exciting moments which kept the predominately pro-Valdez crowd of 10,102 fans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena pretty enthralled throughout. Though they anxiously waited for Lopez to land one of his Atom Bombs to end Shakur’s big night, by the twelfth round it seemed like the fuse had fizzled out and there was only hope, and only hope alone that they prayed for.

Unfortunately for Lopez’s fans and the country of Mexico as a whole, hope vanished early on in the fight and rarely raised its winsome head again.

Wearing glittery silver trunks with NEWARK sewed across the back waistband, Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) swiftly peppered away with his right jab fighting in a southpaw stance. Though both fighters’ weights were nearly similar, Stevenson coming in at 130 to Lopez’s weight of 129.6, Shakur looked the much bigger of the two and the harder puncher.

Stevenson (L) battering Lopez (R) with both fists.

Considering that Lopez (30-1, 23 KO’s) wearing blue trunks with silver trim, entered the bout with a knockout percentage of nearly 77% compared to Stevenson’s 53%, Oscar never looked like the bigger puncher nor ever got into the groove of the fight.

For some strange reason, in this fight Lopez decided to adopt a high guard peek-a-boo style moving straight ahead to Stevenson, who used the tactic to fire off jabs and combinations to both Oscar’s head and body throughout the bout. Shakur also showed angles, moving side to side and back and forth. It was the classic matador versus the bull as Stevenson picked him apart all night.

The problem was that Lopez never even tried to duck or give his foe any head movement at all. For Shakur it was like shooting fish in a barrel.

Unified Junior Lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson.

One would have thought that after the first four rounds of this seemingly fruitless style, that a talented and experienced fighter like Lopez would have just changed his game plan, for the great ones usually do.

For some crazy reason, Lopez seemed married and loyal to his style which ended up having the same duplicitous allegiance of that of a cheating wife. It unabashedly crippled his chances and capsized his ability to win the fight.

He should have reviewed the legendary Roberto Duran’s explosive fight with the great Sugar Ray Leonard as a benchmark for his success. Instead it appears he followed the losing style of fellow stable mate Canelo Alvarez when he was outclassed and outpunched by Floyd Mayweather in their championship bout. Considering that Floyd Mayweather was a far cry from both Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran, the blueprint was clearly out there for sluggers who were fighting master boxers who sported quick hands, fluid movement, and a good punch.

The two fighters after their weigh in.

Lopez apparently ignored history and never changed throughout the bout. Considering that his pal Canelo Alvarez was seated ringside you would have thought he would have run up to the corner and vehemently implore Oscar to change his course. Instead Lopez became the captain of his own Titanic and the architect of his own disaster.

Still, Shakur kept to his winning style and showed everyone that he is honing the skills of a legendary ring master.

The only time Valdez saw some success was in rounds 3, 10, and 12, when he showed caution to the wind. Otherwise he was getting stabbed and jabbed consistently and he even attempted the despairing act of lunging. All to no avail.

After winning easily four of the first five rounds, Shakur upped the ante in round six when he spun Valdez into the ropes and clocked him with a solid right hook to the head followed by a murderous left cross to the chin. Lopez bounced off the ropes like a pinball and appeared to just touch the canvas briefly. Still, it was a knockdown – a stunning exclamation point to the night.

For the remaining six rounds it was cat and mouse, though it seemed more like a lion and a mouse.

By the end of the fight Lopez’s swollen, red, and cut face told the true story of the bout. 

As for Stevenson he was unmarked.

With the win, Shakur unified the Junior Lightweight Title. He now owns two (WBC and WBO) of the four recognized sanctioning body belts.

After the bout Stevenson said, “This victory means everything. I told ya’ll what I was going to do. I said I’m gonna beat Valdez, Canelo and Eddy Reynoso, so that was my game plan, beat the whole team and I feel good about it. Much respect to them, but that was my game plan.”

As for his future Shakur revealed, “I want to collect all the belts at 130 and become undisputed. I deserve to be a superstar, so that’s what I gotta do.”

The fighters pose with their belts at the weigh in.

As for Lopez, hopefully he can re-group and get back on track like he was since his career began.  “He did what he had to do to win the fight,” Valdez said. “He’s a great fighter. His speed is there. Power is there. He was just he better fighter tonight. Overall, a great fighter.”

Davis Knocks out Sanchez

The future of the lightweight division, Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis, battered Mexican veteran Esteban Sanchez (18-2, 8 KOs) en route to sixth-round TKO in the co-feature. Sanchez provided some resistance, but Davis (5-0, 4 KOs) wore down his foe round by round. He landed 56.8 percent of his power shots, including 34 of 53 in the sixth round.

Davis (R) crashes a right to Sanchez’s (L)  jaw

Davis said, “He’s a great fighter, and I didn’t realize that until the first round. I said, ‘Whoa, he can fight!’ I knew I had to snap into a different Keyshawn. He’s a great fighter, a real respectful fighter. Hat’s off to Esteban Sanchez. Thank you for this opportunity. We should see a lot of Esteban Sanchez in the future.
 
“I just kept staying steady, staying with my rhythm. My coach, {Brian McIntyre}, kept telling me to go the body. I was trying to stab him a lot in the rounds, and honestly, I was just picking up round after round. I loved this fight because it challenged me. I felt challenged in the ring. I was happy I got a great performance and the stoppage.”

Keyshawn Davis

Ali Walsh Destroys Ibarra

The youngster with the famous last name, middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh, ignited the MGM Grand with a brutal first-round knockout over Alejandro Ibarra (7-2, 2 KOs). Ali Walsh (5-0, 4 KOs), the grandson of The Greatest, ended matters with a sweeping right hand. 

Nico Ali Walsh knocking out Alejandro Ibarra.

Ali Walsh said, “I was setting him up with the right hand. I noticed his left hand was going down when he threw the jab. I was trying to counter it, and that’s what I did. I wish the best for him and his team. He’s a true warrior. But I just waited for that setup, and I saw it and I took advantage.”

The rest of the Undercard

Lightweight: Raymond Muratalla (14-0, 12 KOs) KO 3 Jeremy Hill (16-3, 11 KOs), 2:23. Enter the danger zone. “Danger” Muratalla became the first man to stop New Orleans native Hill, finishing the fight with a crunching right hand.

Junior Lightweight: Andres Cortes (17-0, 10 KOs) KO 6 Alexis del Bosque (18-6-1, 9 KOs). Cortes, a Las Vegas, native, put on a show for the hometown fans, knocking down Cortes twice in a brutal power punching display. A three-punch combination dropped del Bosque in the sixth. After rising to his feet gingerly, the fight was halted.

Middleweight: Troy Isley (5-0, 3 KOs) TKO 2 Anthony Hannah (3-3, 2 KOs). U.S. Olympian Isley savaged Hannah with body blows, putting his overmatched foe down for the count with a right hand to the gut. Earlier in the second, he knocked down Hannah with a left hook to the body. 

Lightweight: Abdullah Mason (2-0, 2 KOs) TKO 1 Luciano Ramos (1-3), 2:32. The 18-year-old Mason, from Cleveland, Ohio, showed why he is one of the sport’s young prodigies with a first-round blitzing of Argentina’s Ramos. Referee Tony Weeks stopped the carnage after an assortment of lefts and rights left Ramos defenseless.

Welterweight: Jaylan Phillips (1-2-1, 1 KO) DRAW 4 Antoine Cobb (1-0-1, 1 KO). Scores: 39-37 Phillips and 38-38 2x. Phillips spoiled the spotless record of Cobb with a determined effort, sweeping the last the two rounds on the judges’ cards to earn a draw.

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Fury-ous Finish: Tyson Fury Knocks Out Dillian Whyte in 6

Heavyweight Champion Fury demolishes Whyte before 94,000 fans in attendance at London’s Wembley Stadium

LONDON  — On Saturday, after not having fought in his native land for almost four years, Tyson Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) returned home with a spectacular sixth-round knockout in front of a record-breaking 94,000 fans Saturday evening at Wembley Stadium in London.

As a result he is quickly asserting himself as the biggest athlete and draw on the planet.
 
The WBC/Lineal/Ring Magazine heavyweight champion defended his crown against former training partner Dillian Whyte with a vicious right uppercut that immediately ended matters at 2:59 of the sixth row. Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) has now won four of his last five fights via stoppage.

Fury crashes a jarring right to Whyte’s jaw.

To start the bout, both men attempted to engage in a bit of mind games, with Whyte (28-3, 19 KOs) entering the first round by working from a southpaw stance. The roles reversed in the following round with Fury commencing his attack from a left-handed position. But by the third round, none of that even mattered as Fury, now orthodox again, began snapping his jab, finding his rhythm and even smiling at Whyte as he began lunging with shots in the fourth and fifth rounds.
 
By this point, Fury had seen what kind of openings could be made when leading with his left hand as Whyte often used a cross-armed defense to evade shots. That’s when the “Gypsy King” circled in on his target to touch Whyte with a left hand before landing a fight-finishing uppercut that knocked the “Body Snatcher” down and out.

Showing the heart of an assassin – Fury (L) clocks Whyte (R) with a hard left hook.

Fury said, “I’m overwhelmed with the support. I can’t believe that my 94,000 countrymen and women have come here tonight to see my perform. I just want to say from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much to every single person who bought a ticket here tonight or stayed up late to watch it on TV.
 
“Dillian Whyte is a warrior. And I believe that Dillian will be a world champion. But tonight, he met a great in the sport. I’m one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. And unfortunately for Dillian Whyte, he had to face me here tonight. There’s no disgrace. He’s a tough, game man. He’s as strong as a bull. He’s got the heart of a lion. But you’re not messing with a mediocre heavyweight. You’re messing with the best man on the planet. And you saw that tonight with what happened.
 
“I think Lennox Lewis could even be proud of the right uppercut tonight.”
 
Essuman Decisions Tetley
 
Undefeated welterweight Ekow Essuman (17-0, 7 KOs) retained his British, Commonwealth, and IBF European 147-pound titles with a 12-round unanimous decision win against Englishman Darren Tetley (21-3, 9 KOs) in the night’s co-feature. Two judges scored the fight 116-112 for Essuman, while a third had it 117-111.
 
In undercard action:
 
Featherweight: Liverpool’s Nick Ball (15-0, 8 KOs) captured the WBC Silver Featherweight Title with a stoppage win over Isaac Lowe (21-2-3, 6 KOs). Ball dropped Lowe in the second round, and he managed to survive. Lowe was then cut by an accidental headbutt over his left eye in the third round as he continued to receive punches in the following rounds. Ball eventually stopped his foe with fight-finishing flurry at 1:45 of the sixth round.
 
Heavyweight: London native David Adeleye (9-0, 8 KOs) battered fellow Englishman Chris Healey (9-9, 2 KOs) en route to a TKO win. The referee halted the action at :52 of the fourth round.
 
Light Heavyweight: Tommy Fury (8-0, 4 KOs), the 22-year-old younger brother of the “Gypsy King,” defeated Daniel Bocianski (10-2, 2 KOs) of Nowy Sacz, Poland, via decision. Score: 60-54.
 
Light Heavyweight: Karol Itauma (7-0, 5 KOs), a rising southpaw of Slovak origin who lives in the U.K., scored a second-round technical knockout against Michal Ciach (2-12, 1 KO) of Poznan, Poland. Time of stoppage: 2:27.
 
Junior Lightweight: English prospect Royston Barney-Smith (2-0) scored a decision win against Romanian Constantin Radoi (0-11). Score: 40-36.

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Fighting for 44-0 vs. Dominic Boesel

 May 14th streaming live on DAZN

LAS VEGAS (April 28, 2022) – Rather than wait for the winner of the May 7th Las Vegas showdown between superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Light Heavyweight Champion Dmiity Bivol, or take a meaningless stay-busy fight, former World Super Middleweight Champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez will put his impeccable 43-0 (39 KOs) record on the line May 14th versus German Dominic Boesel (32-2, 12 KOs), the reigning International Boxing Organization (IBO) Light Heavyweight World title holder and WBA No. 1 rated contender.

 

“Zurdo vs. Boesel,” presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Zurdo Promotions and SES Boxing, will stream live and exclusively on DAZN from Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.

 

The winner of their 12-round main event will position himself for a shot at the Canelo vs. Bivol winner.

 

“Boesel is the No. 1 European light heavyweight who has all the accolades to make this a challenging fight,” Ramirez said. “Of course, Bivol (WBC & IBF champion Artur), Beterbiev and (WBO champion Joe) Smith are still at the top of my list, but they were all unavailable. Even though they are on the top of my list, I’m not waiting for them, I’ve got my own legacy to chase. I’ve said before, Beterbiev and Smith are average fighters at best, and they know not to mention my name. Bivol was close to making it (fight vs. Zurdo) happen, but he got the Canelo opportunity, so I don’t blame him.”

 

Boesel, who has fought outside of Europe, is 2-1 in IBO world title fights, losing to Robin Krasniqi, while Zurdo is 6-0 fighting in world championships. Boesel is also a former WBA Interim, European and WBO Youth World lightweight champion.

 

“I’m looking forward to this challenge,” Zurdo added. “He knows this fight can change his life. I’m the best light heavyweight in the world, but I still need to bring my best come fight night. I will have an advantage in experience, but I can’t take him lightly because he’s a longtime pro who knows how to take advantage of the moment.”

 

Because he was blocked from fighting for the WBA, WBO, WBC or IBF light heavyweight world titles right now, due to the aforementioned unavailability of Bivol, Beterbiev and Smith, Ramirez considered formally challenging WBC Cruiserweight World Champion Ilunga Junior Makabu (29-2, 25 KOs). It never came to that, however, Zurdo does plan to move up, but only after he takes care of business clearing out the 175-pound division.

 

“I still plan on moving up to cruiserweight and eventually heavyweight,” Zurdo offered. “It’s always been my goal to be a 4-division world champion.”

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The USA Boxing News Book Review

By Mark Allen Baker

The History Press (www.historypress.com) – 174 pp

Reviewed by John Rinaldi and Alex Rinaldi

CLICK PHOTO TO READ BOOK REVIEW

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                       CLICK PHOTO TO READ STORY

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PAUL BUTLER WINS WBO INTERIM WORLD BANTAMWEIGHT TITLE ON ‘UNBELIEVABLE’ NIGHT

LIVERPOOL, APRIL 22 – Paul Butler has described the “unbelievable” feeling of becoming a two-time bantamweight champion of the world.

Butler out-pointed late replacement Jonas Sultan at Probellum Liverpool tonight to claim the WBO interim world title in front of his passionate fans.

The expectation is that the WBO will officially elevate Butler to the full champion and the 33-year-old and his fans are this evening celebrating him becoming a two-time title holder.

Butler won the IBF crown in 2014 but soon relinquished his belt to chase honours at super-flyweight and he admits it has been a “long journey” to get back to the top of the 118lbs division.

Butler was given the decision by all three ringside judges who scored the contest 116-112, 118-110 and 117-111 in favour of the local hero.

The new champion said: “It’s unbelievable, what a feeling!

“I have waited a long time to be a two-time world champion.

“It’s been a long journey and we only had 48 hours to come up with a gameplan for Sultan but that’s what I can do.  I nullified the bull tonight.”

Peter McGrail has warned the super-bantamweight division that he is only going to get “better and better” after recording a third straight stoppage win.

The Liverpool star halted Uriel Lopez in the fourth round after overwhelming the Mexican with yet another masterful display.

McGrail, now 4-0, said: “I am going to keep getting better and better.

“And hopefully, in the future, there will be some big nights coming to Liverpool.  We’re the next stock coming through, and we will be bringing world titles back to this city.”

Probellum’s Sam Jones added: “That was a great decision by the referee to stop the fight, Lopez was taking a lot of damage.

“This guy will be selling this arena out very, very soon and he will win world titles in numerous weight divisions.  Get behind Peter McGrail – what a fighter!”

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globe1-150x150OVERSEAS BOXING MATCHES

By Per-Ake Persson

CLICK ABOVE TO READ STORIES FROM

                                               NORWAY, DENMARK, GERMANY, AND SWEDEN

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Ruben Villa Returns with Impressive 9th Round Stoppage over Horacio Garcia

PHILADELPHIA, PA /Ontario, CA (April 18, 2022) – Ruben Villa returned from a 18-month layoff to look impressive in stopping Horacio Garcia in round nine of their 10-round featherweight bout at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California.

Villa, who was making his first start since competing for the WBO Featherweight World Title, is promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing.

In round one, Garcia was cut over his left eye. Villa looked sharp in landing crisp three and four-punch combinations for which Garcia had no answer for. Villa did not look like he took any time off as he continued to break down and bloody Garcia more and more as the rounds went by.

Ruben Villa (L) stops Horacio Garcia (R) in round nine.

Finally in round nine, Villa landed hard combinations that forced referee Raul Caiz Jr. to stop the bout at 1:12.

“This was one of my best performances against a tough fighter,” said Villa, who last scored a knockout in 2018. “Garcia has never been stopped, so to get the knockout against him, assures me that I’m back stronger than ever. During this long layoff, I never stopped training, now I’m ready to take on all contenders in the featherweight division.”

Villa, 126.4 lbs of Salinas, CA is now 19-1 with six knockouts. Garcia, 126.8 lbs of Guadalajara, MEX is 35-6-1.

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TYSON FURY VS. DILLIAN WHYTE TOP RANK BOXING HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE SHOWDOWN COMING TO SELECT THEATERS ON APRIL 23

LIVE COVERAGE OF FURY-WHYTE BEGINS AT 2 P.M. ET/11 A.M. PT

(April 15, 2022) — Fight fans across the U.S. are counting down the days until WBC/Lineal/Ring Magazine heavyweight world champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury defends his crown against British countryman Dillian Whyte at London’s Wembley Stadium on Saturday, April 23. The Top Rank Pay-Per-View event will begin at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.
 
A UK-record crowd of 94,000 is expected for this heavyweight matchup of historic proportions. And, thanks to a partnership with Joe Hand Promotions, this fight card will now be shown in movie theaters across the U.S., including Cinemark, AMC, Regal, Marcus Theatres, Emagine Entertainment, and Harkins Theatres.
 
“Tyson Fury is the best heavyweight of his generation, and I expect another spectacular performance on April 23,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Dillian Whyte is a formidable challenger, and with 94,000 people in attendance, this is a unique event that will capture the attention of the entire sports world.”

“Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte is one of the biggest fights of the year and fight fans across the U.S are looking for a fun place to gather with friends and enjoy the event. Theaters from all across the country are offering the opportunity for these fans to watch this fight on a big screen, in comfortable seating, with a great selection of food and drinks” said Joe Hand, Jr., President, Joe Hand Promotions. “We’re proud to partner with Top Rank and help them grow their fan base and brand in theaters across the U.S.”
 
“As a content provider, it’s exciting to bring these types of top-quality live events into theaters as we continually seek to activate new content for theater owners and their customers.”
 
To locate a theater showing the event, fans can check the Joe Hand Promotions website: https://bit.ly/furywhyte.

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Click Photo to read Story on Boxing News Stories and Press Releases from The Boxing Twins Page

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Top Rank on ESPN Presents Clash of Heavyweight Titans: Fury vs. Whyte

Streaming LIVE on ESPN+ PPV from Wembley Stadium Saturday, April 23 at 2 p.m. ET

Undercard to Stream on ESPN+ at 1 p.m. ET

(April 14, 2022) — Top Rank on ESPN will be at London’s Wembley Stadium on Saturday, April 23 to capture the all-English heavyweight battle between WBC/Lineal/Ring Magazine heavyweight champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury and WBC interim titleholder Dillian “The Body Snatcher” Whyte. 
 
ESPN+ Pay-Per-View will stream the event LIVE in the United States at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, with the undercard to stream on ESPN+ at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. ESPN will also air a special Fury vs. Whyte Pre-Show on ESPN beginning at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. Purchase the ESPN+ PPV here.
 
Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) will defend his crown against WBC interim champion Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) in front of a record 94,000 fans, the largest Wembley Stadium has ever hosted and the most fans to witness a boxing event in person since 1993. The Whyte showdown marks Fury’s first bout in London since February 2015.
 
Calling the action will be Joe Tessitore (play-by-play), former two-division world champion Timothy Bradley Jr. (analyst) and former pound-for-pound #1, two-division world titleholder and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward (analyst). The desk team will feature analysis from Mark Kriegel and Bernardo Osuna.  

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THE JOEL DIAZ JR. VS. MERCITO GESTA CARD FEATURES TOP SOCAL BOXING PROSPECTS, LIVE ON DAZN 

GERRY COONEY, BOXING’S MOST BELOVED HEAVYWEIGHT FIGHTER, IS SET AS THE SPECIAL VIP GUEST AT FANTASY SPRINGS RESORT CASINO ON APRIL 21

Gerry Cooney against Larry Holmes in their classic 1982 Heavyweight Championship bout.

Tickets on Sale Now! 

LOS ANGELES (April 14, 2022) – Boxing’s most beloved heavyweight fighter, Gerry Cooney is set as the special VIP Guest at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on the April 21st fight card. The event features Golden Boy returning to its Coachella Valley home and is headlined by Palmdale’s Joel Diaz, Jr. (26-2, 22 KOs) and San Diego’s Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (32-3-3, 17 KOs) in a 10-round super lightweight battle. The co-main event of the night Jousce “Tito” Gonzalez (11-0-1, 10 KOs) from Glendora, CA, will face Jairo Lopez (27-14, 17 KOs) of Apodaca, Mexico in an 8-round lightweight bout. Also on the card, San Diego’s top prospect Jorge Chavez (1-0, 1 KOs) is scheduled for a 4-round super featherweight fight. Undefeated prospect Manuel Flores (11-0, 8 KOs) of Coachella, CA, will take on the experienced Victor Ruiz (23-12, 16 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico in an 8-round super bantamweight fight. Also, part of the DAZN broadcast, Los Cabos, Mexico’s Jan Salvatierra (7-1, 3 KOs) will participate in a 6-round flyweight event, and Hawaii’s Asa Stevens (2-0, 1 KOs) is scheduled for a 4-round bantamweight bout. All the fights will be streamed live, exclusively, on DAZN worldwide starting at 6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET.  

Best known for his epic battles against George Foreman and Larry Holmes, Gerry Cooney challenged for the WBC and Lineal Heavyweight World Championship titles in 1982 and the Lineal Heavyweight World Championship in 1987. The heavy-handed, Cooney compiled a professional record of 28 wins and 3 losses, with 24 knockouts and not one of his fights ever went the distance. He is currently ranked number 53 on The Ring’s list of “100 Greatest Punchers of All Time” and according to George Foreman, Gerry Cooney was one of the three hardest punchers he had faced in his career. As the VIP guest, Cooney will be in attendance for the fights and will be on hand to meet fans, sign autographs and take pictures inside the Fantasy Springs Special Events Center before the DAZN livestream begins. The meet-and-greet is open to the public with the purchase of a ticket to the event.

Tickets for Diaz Jr. vs. Gesta are on sale now and are priced at $45, $35 and $25 plus applicable facility fees and service charges. Tickets are available at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino box office, by calling 1-800-827-2946, or by purchasing online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Diaz, Jr. vs. Gesta is a 10-round super lightweight fight presented by Golden Boy. The event was sponsored by Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle.” The fight will take place on Thursday, April 21 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, CA, and will be streamed live worldwide on DAZN.

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Granite Chin Promotions

“Hometown Royalty” May 7th

First pro boxing show ever in in Bridgewater, MA

Mike Ohan, Ryan Kielczweski, Edet Mkpanam, Dave Ribeiro & Damon Towns

QUINCY, Mass. (April 11,  2022) – The first professional boxing event in Bridgewater (MA) will be held Saturday night, May 7th, when Granite Chin Promotions presents its third promotional event of 2022, “Hometown Royalty,” at Bridgewater Veterans Club in Bridgewater, Massachusetts (85 Cottage St.).

 

“Hometown Royalty” is presented by Granite Chin in association with Cappiello Boxing Promotions and Shearns Boxing Promotions.

 

“I’m excited to be bringing professional boxing to Bridgewater for the first time ever,” Granite Chin president Chris Traietti said. “I was shocked when I found out that this would be the first for the town. It’s going to be a great show and I want to thank Rich Cappiello and Chuck Shearns for their help in making it happen. We are going to pack the Vets hall with amazing boxing fans who have helped Granite Chin grow expeditiously over the last couple of years. This will be the first of many to come to Bridgewater.”

 

Some of the best and most popular boxers from the South Shore area of the Bay State will be showcased in an intimate setting.

 

New England Welterweight Champion Mike “Bad Man” Ohan (14-1, 8 KOs), of Holbrook, is dropping down to junior welterweight in the 8-round main event to face Jose “El Chino” Aubel (8-9, 7 KOs), of Argentina.

 

Quincy lightweight Ryan “The Polish Prince” Kielczweski (30-6, 11 KOs) is matched against another Argentinian, Mario Lozano (18-5-1, 9 KOs), in the 8-round co-featured event. A 2008 National Golden Gloves silver medalist, as well as a 2-time New England Golden Gloves Champion, The 32-year-old Ryan K. has been world rated during his 14-year professional career.

 

Brockton welterweight David Ribeiro will make his long-awaited pro debut in a 4-round fight versus an opponent to be determined. Ribeiro was a celebrated amateur having won gold medals at the 2020 New England Golden Gloves, 2019 King of the Ring, and the regional Mike Tyson Tournament.

 

Undefeated New Bedford light heavyweight Edet Mkpanam (6-0, 5 KOs), a 2018 New England Golden Gloves runner-up, throws down with Scott “Bombz” Lampert (2-4, 2 KOs) in a 6-round match.

 

Fall River (MA) welterweight Damon Towns (4-0, 3 KOs) faces Robert Bricks (0-9) in a 4-rounder.

 

Card subject to change.

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Giovani Santillan Remains Undefeated with Impressive Seventh Round Stoppage over Jeovannis Barraza

New York, NY (April 11, 2022)-Giovani Santillan was almost flawless in stopping Jeovannis Barraza in round seven of their 10-round welterweight bout.

 

The bout took place this past Saturday from The Hanger in Costa Mesa, California and was televised live on ESPN.

 

Santillan, who is managed by Split-T Management, landed power punches from the outset and was on-top of Berraza from the beginning, Santillan started beating up and breaking down Barraza until the bout was stopped at 33 seconds of round seven.

 

Santillan, 147.4 lbs of San Diego, CA is now 29-0 with 16 knockouts. Barraza, 148.6 lbs of Barranquilla, COL 25-3.

 

The win solidified Santillan’s spot in bigger stakes fight against any of the top welterweights

 

Santillan said, “I am humbled by the support of my hometown, San Diego. Once again, they came out in force. They motivate me to do my best every time out there.

 

“I am going to keep working to earn a welterweight world title shot. I have a great team behind me, and when the time comes, I’ll be ready.”

 

Santillan is co-promoted by Top Rank and Thompson Boxing. 

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APRIL 23: FURY-WHYTE UNDERCARD REVEALED AS CAPACITY INCREASE CONFIRMED FOR WEMBLEY STADIUM SUPER FIGHT

Live Pay-Per-View coverage will begin in the United States at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT

LONDON (April 8, 2022) — The undercard for Tyson Fury’s WBC/Lineal/Ring Magazine Heavyweight Championship of the World collision with challenger Dillian Whyte on Saturday, April 23 is now in place, headed up by a return to the ring for the British junior lightweight champion, Anthony “The Apache” Cacace.
 
Additionally, it has been confirmed that 4,000 additional tickets now set to go on sale tomorrow making Fury-Whyte the record-breaking sporting event to be held at Wembley Stadium connected by EE.

Cacace (19-1, 7 KOs) is back in action making a successful first defense of his title against Lyon Woodstock in August of last year. The Belfast native will fight for the vacant WBO International title in a 10-rounder against Colombia native Jonathan Romero (34-1, 19 KOs), a former IBF junior featherweight world champion.

In a 10-round supporting fight where fireworks are guaranteed, the vacant WBC Silver featherweight title will be on the line when Tyson Fury comrade Isaac Lowe (23-1-3, 6 KOs) takes on undefeated Liverpool native Nick Ball (14-0, 7 KOs).

The winner of this prestigious belt will be catapulted into the WBC world rankings.

Ladbroke Grove heavyweight David Adeleye (8-0, 7 KOs) will clock up his ninth fight and his second eight-rounder as a professional against Stockport’s Chris Healey as he closes in on title contention.

The unbeaten Tommy Fury (7-0, 4 KOs) will continue his light heavyweight journey over six rounds against Polish veteran Daniel Bocianski (10-1, 2 KOs).

Live pay-per-view coverage in the United States will begin at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.
 
Before the pay-per-view telecast begins, Top-Rank signed Irish Olympian Kurt Walker (1-0, 1 KO) will compete in a four-round featherweight bout against an opponent to be named.

Frank Warren, who is promoting the show in association with Bob Arum’s Top Rank, said: “I am delighted to finally be able to reveal what will be a competitive undercard in support of the big one that we have all been waiting for.

“I genuinely believe that as soon as Anthony Cacace gathers some momentum in his career, he has got what it takes to win a world title and securing the WBO International belt will put him firmly on track. But he is up against a dangerous and experienced opponent in Jonathan Romero and will need to be at his very best on the night.

“I am so looking forward to seeing our man Nick Ball get the chance to really announce himself on the big stage against Tyson’s sidekick, Isaac Lowe, and it should be a cracking fight. The WBC Silver title on the line will propel the winner right into the world mix at featherweight.

“Big David Adeleye, a regular sparring partner for Tyson, will add the heavyweight theme of the night and will relish the big stage.

“I am delighted that Tommy Fury will get to share some of the spotlight with his big brother after missing out on his big fight last year through illness. If Tommy keeps on winning and continues to shine, his big opportunities will soon follow.

“I would also like to welcome Kurt Walker, the Irish Olympian signed to Top Rank, onto the card.”
 
WEMBLEY CAPACITY INCREASE FOR TYSON’S BIG NIGHT
 
Fury-Whyte will now be witnessed in person by 94,000 fans following the granting of an additional 4,000 tickets by the local authority.

Brent Council has now approved a further 4,000 tickets to be available as coach packages which go on sale at noon on Wednesday, April 6, exclusively from Ticketmaster.

The 90,000 would have already been a record attendance for boxing but, such was the demand, Queensberry and Top Rank, along with our hosts Wembley Stadium, sought permission from Brent Council to increase capacity to the biggest seen at a sports event at the national stadium since it was rebuilt in 2007.
 
An original 85,000 tickets were snapped up in a matter of three hours after going on sale, followed a week later by the initial additional 5,000 tickets also sold in conjunction with coach travel.

Warren said, “I am delighted we are now able to provide four thousand extra tickets for fans to watch the biggest boxing event staged in this country. I know this in no way gets near to meeting the huge demand, but we were determined to have as many fans as possible attend Tyson Fury’s big homecoming fight.

“I would like to extend my thanks to Brent Council for making this possible, along with our event partners at Wembley Stadium, and on April 23 Wembley and the borough of Brent will be beamed across the world.”

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April 30: Las Vegas Native Nico Ali Walsh Makes Hometown Debut on Oscar Valdez-Shakur Stevenson Bill LIVE on ESPN at MGM Grand Garden Arena

Ali Walsh to fight Alejandro Ibarra in a four-round middleweight attraction LIVE on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+ (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT)

LAS VEGAS (April 7, 2022) — Las Vegas native Nico Ali Walsh, grandson of “The Greatest,” hopes to make a statement for the hometown fans. Ali Walsh will fight Denver’s Alejandro Ibarra in a four-round middleweight attraction Saturday, April 30, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Ali Walsh-Ibarra will open the televised broadcast featuring the world junior lightweight title unification showdown between WBC champion Oscar Valdez and WBO king Shakur Stevenson.
 
Valdez-Stevenson, an eight-round lightweight co-feature between U.S. Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis and Esteban Sanchez, and Ali Walsh-Ibarra will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

Ali Walsh said, “Las Vegas is home, and the MGM Grand Garden Arena has hosted so many legendary fights. This is a dream come true. I’ve gotten to know Oscar and Shakur, and it’s an honor to fight on their card. I’m focused on my fight, as Ibarra is a capable veteran. He wants to be the guy to knock off Muhammad Ali’s grandson. I won’t let that happen, especially in front of my family and friends.”

Ali Walsh (4-0, 3 KOs) graduated from Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High School and is currently a student at UNLV, where he is on track to graduate later this month with a degree in business entrepreneurship. He turned pro last August with a headline-grabbing first-round knockout. Ali Walsh fought twice more in 2021, including a four-round decision over Reyes Sanchez at Madison Square Garden, the site of many of his grandfather’s most memorable ring battles. Ali Walsh last fought in January in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he knocked out Jeremiah Yaegar in two rounds. He now turns to Ibarra (7-1, 2 KOs), a 28-year-old who has won four straight since the lone loss on his ledger.

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Roy Jones, Jr. -trained Undefeated Swedish middleweight prospect Shady Gamhour Returns Apr. 29th to Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (April 6, 2022) – Undefeated Swedish middleweight prospect Shady Gamhour (12-0, 9 KOs) returns to Las Vegas to fight there for the first time since 2018, April 29th on the “Sons of Legends” card, presented by Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing in association with Ares Entertainment, in The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas.

The main event is a 10-round match for the vacant WBC USNBC heavyweight title between Kenzie “TCB” Morrison (19-02,2, 17 KOs) and Hasim “Gold Blooded” Rahman (12-0, 6 KOs), respectively, the sons of past World Heavyweight Champions Tommy “The Duke” Morrison and Hasim Rahman.

The action will be called at ringside by Hall of Famer Roy Jones, Jr., James “Smitty” Smith and Kalvin “Hot Sauce” Henderson on FITE TV and iNDemand PPV.

Sweden-native Gamhour, who lives and trains with Roy Jones in Pensacola, Florida, is matched against Steven Pichardo (8-1-1, 2 KOs) in a 6-round bout.

“It feels awesome to fight again in Las Vegas,” Gamhour said. “It is a dream come true! It has been a blessing to have been able to be trained by the great Roy Jones, Jr. for the past five years.

“My training camp has been great, and we now have the most important weeks of training leading up to the fight in Las Vegas.”

Pichardo has won seven of his last eight fights with one draw.

“For me,” Jones commented, “it’s always fun to train Shady because he is one of the most dedicated people you ever want to see. There is nothing better in my opinion than a dedicated fighter. All fighters don’t have the same talent, all fighters don’t get to the same skill level drive and motivation is something that they can control. When you find a fighter with drive, control, and motivation like Shady, it makes you glad to spend time teaching them. Because of his drive and motivation, I’m very much looking forward to seeing Shady back in the ring. I can’t wait to see him fight.” 

Also scheduled to fight are sons of other “boxing legends” such as Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran, Mike “The Bounty” Hunter, Robert “Preacherman” Daniels, Gerald “G-Man” McClellan, and Steve “USS” Cunningham.

Card subject to change.

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Jeremiah Nakathila Knocks out Miguel Berchelt in stunning impressive fashion

Eduardo Baez edges Jose Enrique Vivas in featherweight co-feature 

Story by Alexander R. Rinaldi and Joseph Rinaldi

UNDERCARD FIGHTS COURTESY OF TOP RANK

LAS VEGAS — Going into the first third of 2022 it is clear that in this year the lighter weight divisions are already exploding with knockouts and torrid-pace fighting. Fighters such as Shakur Stevenson, Oscar Valdez, George Kambosos, Josh Taylor, Errol Spence Jr., and of course, Terence Crawford, are lighting up the prize rings and spreading excitement all through the boxing world.

On Saturday night after demolishing former Junior Lightweight champion Miguel Berchelt, you can add to that short list Jeremiah Nakathila.  

Like  Ferdinand Magellan who sailed almost 10,000 miles to cross the Pacific Ocean to Guam and the Philippines in 1521 to capture riches and fame, Jeremiah Nakathila did the same journeying nearly 10,000 miles from Namibia to Las Vegas for his fight with Berchelt.

Jeremiah Nakathila (L) Pounds away at Miguel Berchelt.

Unlike Magellan who was killed in the Philippines after being caught in a battle between powerful rival chieftains, Nakathila not only arrived and survived, he also conquered.

In one of the bravest and fiercest performance of an underdog, Nakathila displaying the courage of a lion and the fists of Thor, knocked out former world champion Miguel Berchelt in an improbable and stunning upset at Resorts World Las Vegas.

“I’m going to put Miguel Berchelt back to sleep,” proclaimed Nakathila before the fight, echoing the defeat that Berchelt experienced when he was knocked out cold in his last ring appearance by former WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez on February 21, 2021. The last time the boxing viewing public saw Berchelt he was being taken away in an ambulance.

The winner – Jeremiah Nakathila after stopping Miguel Berchelt .

Meanwhile, Berchelt, who entered the ring wearing Mexican colors of green and black trunks with red trim, and weighing in at a solid 135, showed a great deal of confidence declaring before the fight, “I’m going to redeem myself and show that I’m here to stay. I think I’ll be a better version of myself at lightweight.”

Sadly for the former great champion, instead of redeeming himself – he actually repeated himself getting smashed once again to the canvas in another one-sided beating.

That picture must have been burned into Nakathila’s psyche, for once the fight began, the Namibian went after Berchelt with such ferocity that the former champion was never ever to establish a fight rhythm or sustain any type of offensive.

Right from the bell, Nakathila went straight after Berchelt taking the fight immediately to him. Although Nakathila, 133.6,  had previously lost a decision to Shakur Stevenson last June, in this fight the speed was solidly in his favor. Wearing black trunks with gold trim, which also matched his gold 8 ounce gloves, Nakathila quickly established the jab and overhand right hands. He also introduced early on his potent left hook. The same left hook that would consistently land on Berchelt’s head and ribs for the entire six rounds of the bout.

Miguel Berchelt after his loss.

The tone was set by the second round, when Nakathila crashed an overhand right to Berchelt’s jaw which knocked his head back so far it was if it was attached to a gate hinge.

Then came round three.

It was one of those rounds where one fighter’s eyes appeared like the black coal eyes of a panther while the other reflected the blinking eyes of a wallaby about to be devoured by a python. 

Halfway through the round, Nakathila, began pummeling Berchelt with left-right combinations eventually nailing him with two hard pile-driver left jabs which sent Berchelt to canvas. Though he rose quickly enough and took the eight count, it seemed that it was the slow dawning of the beginning of the end for the brave Mexican.

This pummeling continued until round five when Berchelt appeared to regain his strength and began trading bombs with Nakathila, who seemed to be tiring a bit.

At one point, the former champ even nailed his Nambian foe to the ropes and smothered him with a storm of punches. When the bell sounded, Berchelt’s fan base took a deep sigh and felt as if their man was turning the tide of the fight in his favor.

The problem is when dealing with tides, sometimes they go out to sea and gracefully return back to the shore, while other times they come crashing back in violent riptides. When that happens –  it changes everything.

Jeremiah Nakathila (R) clocks Miguel Berchelt with an overhand right.

For the sturdy and proud Berchelt, he soon found himself caught and drowning in that riptide in round six.

Though both fighters began the round trading blows, Berchelt in true grit fashion battled back with hard right hands, one of which even stunned Nakathila while he was trapped in the corner. To his credit, Nakathila eventually was able to regain his wind, and managed to escape the ropes that Berchelt tried to nail him to, and smashed Berchelt with a flurry of right crosses,  left hooks, overhand rights, and left jabs.

Then near the end of the round, Nakathila landed a terrific right to the jaw that sent Berchelt’s mouthpiece across the ring. Little did Berchelt realize that the both his mouthpiece and his chances of winning sailed away with that same punch.

After the round ended, seeing Berchelt (38-3, 34 KOs) bleeding and swollen, the referee Russell Mora on the advice of the ring doctor stopped the fight between rounds.

Nakathila (23-2, 19 KOs) said, “From the first round, my corner told me to take my time. I know what I have. I knew it would be difficult for him to reach the 10th round. It wasn’t so easy, but I made it look easy. He didn’t really bother me, the way he swung. I just got back to my game plan, and I capitalized. Luckily, he couldn’t continue. I was going to knock him out or put him to sleep in a bad way. Luckily, he saw it coming and decided he couldn’t come back.”

At the time of the stoppage, Nakathila was ahead 60-53 on all three scorecards, essentially winning every round.

Added Berchelt, “I’m going to get up. I’m going to rise from this. The great champions are not the ones who fall. The great champions are those who rise, and I will go home, spend time with my family, visit with them, get some rest, and I am going to come back stronger than ever.”

While it is three cheers for Nakathila, one does hope that the talented Berchelt regains his stature and returns to the prize ring.

Like Magellan whose ship rose in the ocean, Nakathila rose to the occasion, and like the historic explorer, he is now guaranteed a fight for the riches.

On the Undercard

Featherweight: Eduardo Baez (21-2-2, 7 KOs) MD 10 Jose Enrique Vivas (21-2, 11 KOs). Scores: 95-95, 96-94 and 98-92. In the co-feature, Baez announced his presence as a title contender with a closely contested victory over his Mexican countryman. It was expected to be a toe-to-toe barnburner, but Baez played the role of boxer, using an educated jab to blunt his rival’s attack. Vivas found pockets of success in the 10th, backing Baez to the ropes and unloading. Baez was never in serious trouble and prevailed by a slim margin on the cards. He outlanded Vivas 304-215.

Eduardo Baez (R) slams Jose Enrique Vivas with a terrific right uppercut.

Junior Featherweight: Carlos Caraballo (15-1, 14 KOs) MD 8 Luis Fernando Saavedra (9-7, 3 KOs). Scores: 76-76, 77-75 and 79-73. Caraballo rebounded from last October’s decision loss to Jonas Sultan with a closer-than-expected challenge from the rugged Mexican. It was a battle of Caraballo’s pure boxing against the come-forward body attack of Saavedra, who found occasional, if not consistent, success. Saavedra won the eighth round on all three judges’ cards, but Caraballo’s early lead held up.

Carlos Caraballo (L) nails Luis Fernando Saavedra (R) with a thudding left.

Welterweight: Tiger Johnson (3-0, 2 KOs) TKO 4 Sebastian Gabriel Chaves (5-4, 2 KOs), 1:42. Johnson, who represented the U.S. last summer at the Tokyo Olympics, kept the momentum going with a one-sided beatdown over Chaves. Johnson knocked down Chaves with a straight right hand early in the fourth and ended it later in the round with a left hook that prompted referee Kenny Bayless to wave off the contest. 

Junior WelterweightJosue Vargas (20-2, 9 KOs) UD 8 Nicolas Pablo Demario (15-6-3, 9 KOs) Scores: 76-74 2x and 76-73. Vargas returned from his first-round knockout defeat to Jose Zepeda, but it was not without controversy. The most eventful thing to happen was not Vargas getting dropped with a left hand in the fifth round. It happened later in the fifth, when Demario bit Vargas on the right shoulder. Demario was deducted one point for the infraction, and Vargas outboxed him the rest of the way.  

Featherweight: Haven Brady Jr. (6-0, 3 KOs) TKO 4 Jose Argel (8-3, 2 KOs), 2:05. “The Hitman” found his target early and often, battering Argel to the body in the first three rounds. Brady scored his first knockdown with a right hand, then ended the bout with an uppercut on the inside. Argel, from Chile, had never been knocked out entering the fight.

Light HeavyweightDante Benjamin Jr. (2-0, 1 KO) UD 4 Kevin Johnson (2-1, 1 KO). Scores: 40-36 3x. Benjamin, a native of Cleveland went the distance for the first time in his young career and cruised past the durable Johnson. 

Junior Featherweight: Arturo Cardenas (2-0-1, 2 KOs) DRAW 4 Juan Hernandez Martinez (2-0-1). In a phone booth affair, the judges’ cards reflected the back-and-forth nature of the four-rounder. Martinez swept the fourth to earn the draw. 

LightweightAdrian Serrano (0-0-1) DRAW 4 Estevan Partida (0-1-1). Scores: 38-38, 39-37 Serrano, 39-37 Partida. The 17-year-old Serrano, from Salinas, California, went for broke in the opening round but ran into a rough customer in Partida. Serrano won the fourth round on two of the three scorecards to salvage the draw in his pro debut.

Photos from Mikey Williams / Top Rank via Getty Images

______________Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame

Class of 2021 Announced

Mike Oliver, Danny Schiavone, Frank E. Russo, Jose “Papo” Colon, Elvin Ayala & Mike Criscio

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (April 4, 2022) – The Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame (CBHOF) has announced its six-member Class of 2021 to be inducted during the 16TH annual CBHOF Gala Induction Dinner on Saturday night, May 21, in the Uncas Ballroom at Mohegan Sun.

The CBHOF Class of 2020 consisting entirely of “Old Timers”, will also be inducted on May 21st.

Class of 2021 inductees are retired boxers Mike “Machine Gun” Oliver, of Hartford, and New Haven’s Elvin Ayala, Hartford referee Danny Schiavone, Glastonbury’s (Hartford Civic Center executive director) Frank E. Russo, Manchester trainer Jose “Papo” Colon, and New Haven manager Mike Criscio.

“The Connecticut Boxing Hall of Game is very excited to reconvene our Gala Induction Dinner after a two-year pandemic related hiatus,” CBHOF president John Laudati said. “The pandemic ‘pause’ gave the Selection Committee ample time to research boxing archives in order to support the induction of the 2020 Class of deceased boxing legends. Recognition of these deserving individuals is long overdue.”

“Our Class of 2021 is also exceptionally outstanding, as well. It is a class which truly represents the sport of boxing. Fighters, trainers, managers, promoters, and ring officials are being inducted in this class. I encourage all boxing fans to come out to Mohegan Sun on May 21st for a fantastic celebration of the accomplishments of these two worthy Hall of Fame classes.

Oliver (26-12-1, 8 KOs) first laced-up boxing gloves at the tender age of three. After excelling as an amateur boxer, Oliver captured the vacant IBO Super Bantamweight World title in 2007, taking a 12-round unanimous title from Cruz Carbajal in Boston. The gifted southpaw was also the USBA and New England title holder during his 20-year pro career.

Schiavone has developed into one of the most respected referees in boxing, having worked more than 440 fights during almost two-decade career, including seven world title bouts and more than 40 regional title fights. He has refereed bouts featuring elite fighters such as Roy Jones, Jr., Adrian Broner, David Tua, Hasim Rahman, and Vasiliy Lomanchencko. The Hofstra University graduate also refereed the 2019 Chris Arreola-Chris Kownacki fight, which set a record for most thrown punches during a heavyweight fight. Schiavone has also acted in two boxing movies, “Back in the Day” and the soon to be released “Pep” a movie about Hartford’s greatest fighter Willie Pep.  Schiavone also appeared in the television series, “Gravesend.”

Back in 1974, Russo listened to the suggestion of the Hartford Civic Center concessions manager, Johnny Cesario, later a CBHOF member, to host boxing events. Russo later made future world welterweight champion and CBHOF inductee Marlon Starling the Harford Civic Center’s house fighter. More than 13,000 boxing fans attended the closed circuit showing of the first Sugar Ray Leonard-Roberto Duran fight, which was shown after a live card headlined by Starling. Russo also helped promote the pro careers of 1984 USA Olympians Pernell Whitaker, Mark Breland, Meldrick Taylor, Evander Holyfield, and Tyrell Biggs.

The 76-year-old Colon is still an active trainer, now working out of the Manchester Ring of Champions Society. A native of Puerto Rico Colon moved to the U.S. and in 1979, he worked some of New York’s most prestigious gyms, including Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn. Eighteen years later, Colon moved to Hartford, where he worked at the San Juan Center with future CBHOF inductee George Cruz. He later worked out of the Hartford Boxing Center, assisting trainer Tony Blanco in building Richie “Popeye” Rivera’s career.

Ayala burst upon the pro boxing scene in 2003, winning his first sixteen fights with a defensive style that left opponents flustered and frustrated. A 2007 draw in Carson, California with unbeaten Sergio Mora (19-0), winner of the Contender series (original) and future world middleweight champion positioned Ayala to challenge 25-0 IBF Middleweight World Champion Arthur Abraham. Abraham stopped the game Ayala in the 12th round.

Criscio progressed from a pawnbroker to a boxing manager where in 2017 he guided Chad Dawson to the WBC Light Heavyweight World Championship by way of a lopsided 12-round unanimous decision over defending champion Tomasz Adamek in Kissimmee, Florida. Criscio managed as many as 35 pro boxers, including Dawson, Alfredo Angulo, Jean Pascal, Peter Manfredo Jr., Toka Kahn Clery, Chris Avalos and the late Luis Rosa Jr.

CBHOF’s 2021 award winners will soon be announced.

The Class of 2020 inductees are boxers Jimmy Leto, Eddie Dolan, Al Gainer, and Steve Carr, as well as coach Mosey King and commissioner Barbara Dunn.

Leto, a welterweight from Hartford, had a superlative 125-29-12 record from 1924 to 1943. Managed by legendary Lou Viscusi, Leto defeated future International Boxing Hall of Famers such as Chalky Wright, Cocoa Kid and Fritzie Zivic. Leto died in 1986 at the age of 75.

Dolan not only fought in the same era as Leto, but he also defeated him in 1940. Dolan tuned pro in 1931at the age of 18 and finished his career with an 89-9-3 pro record, including victories against Cocoa Kid and Zivic. The Waterbury welterweight, who was undefeated throughout 1939, died in 1964 at 51.

After a brief pro career as a lightweight, King became the head boxing coach at Yale University in 1907. The New London native held that post until 1952, when Yale dropped boxing as a sport. King was so highly regarded that he became Connecticut’s first boxing commissioner in 1921, serving in that capacity for two years. King passed away in 1956.

Gainer was a formidable light heavyweight from New Haven who compiled a 77-23-6 (41 KOs) record from 1930-1941. Gainer defeated James J. Braddock and Tony Galento. He fought Maxie Rosenbloom to a draw and had two different win streaks of 12 and 13 fights. He died in 1973.

Fighting during the Great Depression, Carr’s career lasted only seven years, but the Meridian native retired with a 52-14-8 pro record, his most notable win versus Nathan Mann. Carr died in 1954 at the age of 41.

Newton native Dunn was a pioneer. She was named the Connecticut Commissioner of Consumer Protection in 1971, also taking on the role as the nation’s first female boxing commissioner. Her fearless regulation of the sport of boxing earned her respect throughout the boxing industry. A University of Connecticut graduate, Dunn passed away in 2017 at 90.

Tickets for the CBHOF 16th annual Gala Induction Dinner, reasonably priced at $90.00, are on sale and available to purchase by calling Sherman Cain at 860.212.9029 and Rider Productions at 860.413.9067. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. ET, followed by a full sit-down dinner at 7 p.m. ET.

Go online to www.ctboxinghof.org for additional information about the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame, its 16th annual Gala Inductee Dinner, event sponsorship opportunities, and past CBHOF inductees.

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43-0 Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez prepared to move up & challenge

WBC Cruiserweight champion Ilunga Junior Makabu

LAS VEGAS (March 29, 2022) – Despite winning the WBA Light Heavyweight World Title Eliminator last December to become the mandatory challenger for WBA Super Champion Dmitry Bivol, 43-0 Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez finds himself blocked from fighting for a world light heavyweight title due to boxing politics and a unification fight.

Rather than sit and wait, or fight a meaningless tune-up, Ramirez is fully prepared to move up in weight once again, this time to challenge World Boxing Council (WBC) Cruiserweight World Champion Ilunga Junior Makabu (29-2, 25 KOs).

“I’m always ready to take on anyone,” Ramirez said. “I was hoping to make the Bivol fight, but he took another route. It’s definitely disappointing but I’m glad he was rewarded with Canelo. He’s a good guy and definitely has a chance to change his life forever. Now moving forward, as always, I’m open to fight anyone from light heavyweight to heavyweight, and why not start with cruiserweight? Golden Boy did mention  Makabu to me and if he has the balls to face me, I will snatch that WBC title from him with ease. Despite the weight difference, I would out-skill, out-speed, and out-fight him in every aspect.”

Last December in San Antonio, Ramirez (43-0, 29 KOs) did his job to earn his long-awaited showdown with Bivol, stopping Yunieski “The Monster” Gonzalez (21-4, 17 KOs) in the 12th round to become Bivol’s mandatory challenger. However, Bivol has since been allowed by the WBA to fight unified super middleweight world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) on May 7th in Las Vegas.

The other two world light heavyweight champions, (WBC/IBF) Artur Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs) and (WBO) Joe Smith, Jr. (28-3, 22 KOs), are reportedly fighting in a unification bout June 18th in New York City, effectively shutting out the 30-year-old Ramirez from fighting for the world light heavyweight title until this fall at the earliest.

Makabu, 34, is the first and only native of the Democratic Republic of The Congo to be world boxing champion. According to reports, ironically, he was all set to fight “Canelo” until boxing’s “rainmaker” shifted gears and chose Bivol as his next opponent. Makubu captured his WBC Cruiserweight crown January 31, 2020, when he decisioned Michael Cleslak, followed by two successful title defenses versus Olanreqaju Durodola (34-7) and Thabisco Mchunu (23-5), both by 12-round decision.

The first Mexican to capture the world super middleweight title, “Zurdo” wants to write Mexican boxing history again as the first from his country to be world cruiserweight champion.

Rated as the No. 2 light heavyweight in the world by both the WBA and WBO, as well as No. 4 by the IBF and #5 by The Ring magazine, “Zurdo” is ready to move on up and add to his growing boxing legacy.

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Granite Chin heavyweight Quintin Sumpter

Riding high off upset victory

QUINCY, Mass. (March 28, 2022) – Last Saturday in Rhode Island, undefeated Pittsfield (MA) Quintin Sumpter heavyweight pulled off an upset that better positions him for a significant fight this year.

Sumpter went into the lion’s den to face undefeated Providence heavyweight Timothy Hatfield (3-1, 3 KOs), a decorated New England amateur boxer, without any reservations. Like a throwback fighter, Sumpter never turns down a fight offer from his promoter, Chris Traietti.

Against Hatfield, Sumpter came out throwing big overhand rights that obviously made a deep impression on his opponent, who was never in the fight despite one judge scoring the fight a draw, while the two others had Sumpter winning all four rounds.

“We only had 2-3 weeks to prepare, so we reached out to a few world-class fighters for sparring. I must have sparred 50-55 rounds with Cassius Chaney in two weeks. Chad Dawson (3-time world light heavyweight champion) and Mike Marshall (reigning New England heavyweight titlist holder) helped me, too. They all gave me pointers. I knew I was fighting a guy in his backyard and went into the ring to knock him out. Once I got into it, I boxed. Mentally, he couldn’t handle my power; once he felt my right, he was timid the rest of the fight.

“I was confident that I had won, but when the scores were announced and one of the judges had it 38-38, I had a look on my face like, what? I’m not saying I’m the best, but I want to continue showcasing my talent, and prove that I can fight with anybody.”

“This was a huge win for Quintin,” Traietti commented. “He basically sent from an unknown talent to a prospect that have eyes on him. Hatfield had an extensive amateur background. Quintin showed up to fight and took it to Hatfield. Don’t be surprised if his next fight is on a mega-stage.”

“Chris has always taken care of me,” Sumpter added. “I’m the first heavyweight he calls. We had a fight on the Fury-Wilder (3) card (last Oct. to in Last Vegas) that fell through. I’m grateful for Granite Chin and proud Chris is promoting me.”  

Quintin’s younger brother, undefeated super middleweight prospect Steven (5-0, 5 KOs) is also promoted by Granite Chin.

The Sumpter brothers are Granite Chin stablemates along with Mass. super lightweight Mike Ohan, Jr., Mass. middleweights Anthony Andreozzi and Julien Baptiste, Mass. super welterweight and Carlo Castillo, Mass. light heavyweights Edet Mkpanam, and Leondro Silva, Mass. super featherweight Ryan Kielczweski, Mass. welterweights Denzel Whitley and Dave Ribeiro, Mass. super middleweight Laurent Humes, New York light heavyweight Scott Lampert, New Jersey super lightweight Tyrone Luckey, Conn. heavyweight Mike Marshall (New England champion), Maine heavyweight Justin Rolfe (former New England champion), Texas middleweight Larry Smith, and Georgia middleweight Antonio Todd.

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ALEXIS ROCHA DEFEATS BLAIR COBBS VIA KNOCKOUT LIVE FROM THE GALEN CENTER IN LOS ANGELES

MCKINSON CLAIMS A VICTORY IN HIS U.S. DEBUT 

LOS ANGELES, CA (March 19, 2022) – Los Angeles boxing fans were treated to a night of action at USC’s Galen Center tonight, as two top welterweight contenders, Orange County’s Alexis “Lex” Rocha (19-1, 13 KOs) and Philadelphia’s Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (15-1-1, 10 KOs) delivered a lively boxing event, live worldwide on DAZN. Cobbs brought “The Flair” walking out with a lucha libre inspired outfit and a luchador, paying homage to his childhood growing up in Jalisco, Mexico. The fighters were very active in the first round as they each took turns trying to establish dominance. An effective right jab from Cobbs opened up a cut on top of Rocha’s right eye in the third round, but that did not stop Rocha from pursuing Cobbs and landing some power punches that shook Cobbs. In the fifth round, Rocha caught Cobbs with a combination that visibly hurt him, as he retreated in an effort to avoid a continued attack from Rocha. By the sixth round, Cobbs had recovered as he tried to distance himself and use a jab to set up his shots. But Rocha was relentless and continued his attack, dropping Cobbs to the canvas in the eighth round and overwhelming him at the 44 second count of the ninth, winning the fight by knockout in a 10-round welterweight main event.

“I got the knockout but I know I could’ve done better,” said Alexis Rocha. “It took me quite a while to adjust. He was running, very awkward at first. This is what I need so I can develop as an all around fighter. It took me awhile since I wasn’t listening to my coach. I was getting careless, only throwing one shot, not cutting the ring and not throwing my combinations. I could have gotten him out of there sooner. I just want to give a big shoutout to everyone from Santa Ana. The only round that I actually let my hands go I followed him up. That’s what put him down, me throwing combinations. I want to give Blair credit. He was a tough opponent, he was awkward and he did a lot of trash talking but you don’t play with Mexico. Viva Mexico!”

“He was just a good fighter today,” said Blair Cobbs. “I was impressed by the way he came out. He got me with some pretty good shots. He got me in the later rounds very good so shout-out to him and his team. I was throwing shots but I wasn’t following up with them. I just couldn’t recover and figure it out in time to take over the fight. He did a tremendous job. I just wanted to give a shout-out to everyone that came out and I promise that Blair ‘The Flair.’”

In the co-main event of the night Michael “The Problem” McKinson (22-0, 2 KOs) of Portsmouth, GBR and Alex “Chi-Heat” Martin (17-4, 6 KOs) of Chicago, IL, participated in a 10-round welterweight fight. Martin used his reach to his advantage by using his jab to set up effective counter-punches. McKinson was not afraid to take on the role of chaser, coming forward landing some effective right hooks while using his jab as a guide to his attack. The fight went the distance with the judges’ ruling the fight in favor of Mckinson via unanimous decision with scores of 97-93, 99-91, and 98-92. 

“It was basically a clash of styles,” said Michael McKinson. Two tricky southpaws which I expected. “I didn’t feel like I was losing too many rounds. With me fighting someone so negative, I didn’t look my best which wasn’t as exciting to the crowd. I had to stick to the game plan and be patient. I kept my distance and when I threw my shots I had to make them count.” 

“I think he’s average,” said Alex Martin. “If we fight again in a rematch I’ll stop him. I’m not being arrogant. My timing just wasn’t there, I couldn’t click. He had good distance which surprised me because I’m usually the one keeping my distance. I was basically fighting myself.

In the second fight of the DAZN live stream, Bektemir “Bully” Melikuziev (9-1, 7 KOs) of Indio, CA faced seasoned veteran David “La Pantera” Zegarra (34-8, 21 KOs) of Lima, Peru in a scheduled 10-round light heavyweight fight. Bek established early dominance and proved why he is considered a power puncher by finishing the fight in the second round at the 30 second mark, adding another KO victory to his record. 

“Everything feels good and this went like I expected it to go,” said Bektemir Melikuziev. “The only thing on my mind is a re-match with Gabe Rosado.”

Opening up the DAZN live stream, Evan Sanchez (11-0, 6 KOs) of Parlier, CA took on Alejandro Munera (6-5-4, 5 KOs) from Medellin, Colombia in a 6-round super welterweight fight. The fighters started the action early in the first round as both come-forward fighters made an effort to establish early dominance. Action continued through rounds 2-4 with Sanchez cornering Munera on the ropes in the third and knocking him down to the canvas in the fourth. Sanchez also hit the canvas in the fourth round but that was ruled a slip by the referee. The crowd pleasing fight went the distance with both fighters giving it their all in the sixth round, exchanging power shot after power shot. Ultimately the judges ruled a unanimous victory to Evan Sanchez with scores of 60-53.

“My plan all along was to outbox him,” said Evan Sanchez. “In the first two rounds I got a little wild and he caught me with some shots. I fixed myself after the third round and did way better. He could take a shot. I went to the body and he was taking them. Hopefully you see me next month. I want to get prospect of the year.”

Also on the card, but featured as part of the Golden Boy Fight Night live stream on YouTube

Fan favorite, Alex Rincon (10-0, 7KOs) of Dallas, Texas, stopped Puerto Rico’s Luis Sanchez (9-3, 6 KOs) in the second round of a 8-round middleweight fight. Rincon won via KO with a time of 1:44 of the aforementioned round.

Los Angeles’ undefeated fighter John “Scrappy” Ramirez (9-0,7 KOs) kept his undefeated record when he faced Roberto “Escorpion” Pucheta (10-21-3, 6 KOa) of Jalisco, Mexico. The scheduled 6-round bantamweight bout went the distance with judges awarding the unanimous decision victory to Ramirez with scores of 60-54. 

“I knew he was going to be a tough fighter going into the fight,” said John Ramirez. “He’s only been stopped once, he’s strong, but he also took a beating. But that was good for me, I am up for a challenge, it elevates me. This is the second time I am going the distance, I mean I have only been fighting for five years and I am only getting better. The sky’s the limit for me.”

Westside boxing’s Alejandro “Pin-Pon” Reyes (7-0, 4KOs), took on Daniel Evangelista Jr. (20-13-2, 16 KOs) of Mexico City in a 6-round super lightweight fight. The crowd pleasing fight had the fighters going back and forth as Reyes dominated the action with precise jabs and head movement. Evangelista was deducted points for head butting in the second round and holding/grabbing in the fourth round. The fight went the distance with scores of 60-51 from all three judges for a unanimous decision victory for Reyes. 

“It was a great experience,” said Alejandro Reyes. “It was a tough fight and we knew that coming in. I had to listen to my corner. We made the adjustments that we needed to as the fight progressed. He was a tough fighter. He had a lot of experience. It was a great learning experience and thank God we got the job done.”

Los Angeles’ Miguel “El Hijo de El Sereno” Gaona (2-0,1 KO) scored an early first round knockout against Mexico City’s Gilberto Aguilar (0-5). The fight was originally scheduled to be a 4-round super lightweight fight. 

“I am not surprised by the early knock out,” said Miguel Gaona. “This is what we trained for, just happy we were able to get it done early.”

In the second fight of the night, Dalis Kaleiopu (2-0, 2 KOs) of Walanae, HI defeated Tamaulipas, Mexico’s Manuel Lara (2-8) via TKO in the fourth round at the 2:15 marker in a 4-round lightweight fight. 

“I felt good,” said Dalis Kaleiopu. “I could’ve stopped it in the first round but I decided not to. Hopefully I get to fight in a couple of months.”

Opening up fight night, London’s Ramla Ali (5-0, 1KO) gave another stellar performance as she knocked out Toronto’s Shelly Barnett (5-7-2) in the second round of their scheduled 8-round featherweight fight. Ali won with a time of 1:23 of the aforementioned round.

“I felt really good, very relaxed,” said Ramla Ali. “I took my time. Which is a testimony to training with Manny Robles. He’s always saying don’t rush your shots and everything else will follow. My opponent was really tough. She wanted to keep going. It’s really nice to get my first stoppage. A lot of hard work and sacrifice, it’s all paying off.” 

Rocha vs. Cobbs was a 10-round welterweight fight presented by Golden Boy in association with Matchroom Boxing. The event was sponsored by Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle” and “BetOnline – Your Online Sportsbook Experts.” The fight took place on Saturday, March 19 at Galen Center in Los Angeles, and will be streamed live worldwide on DAZN.

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Roll On: Edgar Berlanga Defeats Steve Rolls 

Xander Zayas dominates Quincy LaVallais in co-feature

NEW YORK (March 19, 2022) — Edgar Berlanga sold out the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden to the tune of 5,158 fans. Berlanga prevailed via 10-round unanimous decision (96-94 and 97-93 2x) over Steve Rolls in his main event debut.

It wasn’t the sterling knockout Berlanga sought, but it was an important step forward for the Brooklyn native. Berlanga (19-0, 16 KOs) tore his biceps last October against Marcelo Esteban Coceres and spent the last 12 weeks training in Las Vegas.

The biceps injury did not flare up, as Berlanga stalked the Canadian veteran. Rolls had pockets of success, especially with right hands to Berlanga’s midsection. Berlanga closed the fight strong, winning the final two rounds on all three judges’ scorecards.

He now moves forward to a potential June 11 date.

Berlanga said, “You could tell that he was fighting scared. Every time I reached in or threw something, he’s pulling back, running the whole fight. 

“I was looking for a big shot. My corner was telling me use a jab. My elbow was bothering me a little bit. But I’m just happy we got the victory and moving forward. 

“My elbow starting hurting me in like the second round but no excuses. We got the biceps torn in the last fight, came back in four months and got to it.”

Zayas Blanks LaVallais

Xander Zayas was dominant in the junior middleweight co-feature, shutting out New Orleans-based veteran Quincy LaVallais over eight rounds (80-72 2x and 80-71). Zayas, the 19-year-old phenom from San Juan, Puerto Rico, excelled in his first scheduled eight-rounder, applying the pressure early and never letting up.

Zayas (13-0, 9 KOs) nearly scored the stoppage in round two, as he had LaVallais (12-3-1, 7 KOs) pinned against the ropes for the whole round. He landed 54 punches in that stanza, but LaVallais’ granite chin blunted Zayas’ power. By the fifth, LaVallais was marching forward, if not banking rounds.

Zayas kept the barrage going in the later rounds, and LaVallais received a moral victory of sorts in surviving the distance. Zayas outlanded LaVallais at a nearly 4-1 clip, 262-66.

Zayas said, “I need this type of experience. Eight rounds against a tough opponent will only help me as I move forward in my career.

“The plan is to come back June 11 at The Garden on Puerto Rican Parade Weekend. That’s a special weekend for Puerto Ricans, and I am proud to represent my people.”

Junior Welterweight: John Bauza (17-0, 7 KOs) UD 8 Tony Luis (29-5, 10 KOs). Scores: 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74. Luis applied his typical pressure, but that wasn’t enough to upset the apple cart against the rising Puerto Rican star. Bauza used his southpaw jab and quick-trigger combinations to blunt the Luis attack.

Welterweight: Jahi Tucker (7-0, 4 KOs) UD 6 Tracey McGruder (6-2, 4 KOs). Scores: 60-54 and 59-55 2x. Long Island native Tucker tried everything he could, but the stubborn McGruder withstood the onslaught. He turned southpaw at times and attempted to lure McGruder to the ropes. After six rounds, McGruder was still standing, and Tucker had to settle for the near-shutout.

Junior Lightweight: Henry Lebron (15-0, 10 KOs) TKO 7 Josec Ruiz (23-6-3, 16 KOs). It took Lebron nearly seven rounds, but the Puerto Rican contender became the first man to knock out the Honduran veteran. Lebron laid a beating on Ruiz, but he finally staggered him in the seventh, prompting referee Benjy Esteves to stop the fight.

Junior Lightweight: Bruce Carrington (3-0, 2 KOs) KO 5 Yeuri Andujar (5-5-1, 3 KOs). Carrington, the latest knockout puncher from the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, knocked Andujar out cold with left hook. The Dominican veteran gave Carrington the most competitive run of his young career, but it was mostly one-sided traffic that ended in devastating fashion.

Carrington said, “I want to thank Brownsville and all of Brooklyn for coming out to support me. Fighting as a pro at Madison Square Garden was a dream come true. This is only the beginning.”

Junior Welterweight: Armani Almestica (5-0, 5 KOs) TKO 3 Luis Valentin Portalatin (3-4, 1 KO), 1:57. Almestica brought a vocal contingent to the Hulu Theater and battered late replacement Portalatin until referee Eric Dali stopped the fight.

Junior Welterweight: Kelvin Davis (4-0, 3 KOs) TKO 1 Phillip Carmouche (2-3), 1:17. The eldest of the Fighting Davis Brothers from Norfolk, Virginia, Kelvin notched the first first-round knockout of his burgeoning career. Carmouche offered little resistance, and Davis pounced with a pair of knockdowns. The finishing blow came courtesy of a right hook as Carmouche was slumped against the ropes.

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Tapia Outlasts Lebron in 10-round War to Win WBC Continental Super Featherweight Title in Philadelphia

Pizarro Stops Jones in Four

Villanueva and Vann win Pro Debuts

CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW STORY

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Heavyweight contender Ron Stander passes away 

October 17, 1944 – March 8, 2022


Ronald Stander was born October 17, 1944 in Fort Jackson, Columbia, South Carolina. Ronald passed away March 8, 2022 at his home with his loving wife, Toddy Ann, and his kitty, Sissy, by his side. He moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa at a young age. Attended Washington School at age 4. From there, he attended Bloomer School, where he told stories of being a catcher for Stan Bahnsen. He attended Abraham Lincoln High School, where he excelled in sports. In track, he was always trying to outthrow his record for shot put. He went to State two years in a row for wrestling. But his greatest love was football and with Albert Milner as his partner, they were able to rack up the points.

After graduating in 1962, he attended Northwest Missouri in Tarkio and Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa with Football Scholarships. Soon after college, he became interested in boxing.

His natural athletic abilities carried over into boxing under the guidance of Leonard Hawkins. He began training for the Midwest Golden Gloves Tournament in February of 1967. He was awarded, The Charlie Moon Award for Outstanding Prospect. In 1968, he was the Omaha City Golden Gloves Heavyweight Champion and again in 1969. He also received the Sammy Williams Award for Outstanding Fighter in March of 1969. That same year in July, he began his professional career in boxing. From 1969 through March of 1972, he won 23 matches (14 were KO’s) with 1 draw and 1 loss, then on May 25, 1972, at the Omaha Civic Auditorium, The World Heavyweight Championship Fight with Joe Frazier was stopped in the 5th round, due to facial cuts that required 17 stitches. He ended his career in 1982 with a record of 61 fights, 28 knockouts, with the most notable being against Ernie Shavers, who landed face-first on the mat. Ron said, “His punches were like being hit by a nightstick.” During Ron’s career, the referees never ever did a count of 10 over him.

After boxing, Ron still was in the ring as a referee. He said, “I still get to be in the ring and call the shots and not feel them.” He worked as a referee for ESPN and USA Network, besides regular boxing events.

Ron furthered his career on the East Coast as a member of bouncers and bodyguards. Some of the most notables he was privileged to bodyguard were Liza Minnelli, Tom Jones, Gene Hackman, The Rolling Stones, and the Eagles. On the “Hotel California” album, the Eagles give special thanks to Ron Stander.

Ron Stander (L) after being stopped by heavyweight champion Joe Frazier (R) during their May 25, 1972 heavyweight championship fight in Omaha, Nebraska.

During his lifetime, Ron has had wonderful experiences and met lots of people that have become friends. Jack O’Halloran invited him to England when he was doing The Superman Movie. Ron got to meet Christopher Reeve. Redd Foxx always had a VIP table waiting for him whenever he was in Vegas. Evel Knievel, who shared the same birthday (October 17) spent over a week with Ron in Omaha. They had a great time hanging out a Paul’s Motorcycle Shop in Council Bluffs. Ron loved to race stockcars and was Number 99 at Playland Park. He always said, “99 on your Program, Number 1 in your Heart.” Mad Dog Vachon was another great friend. He loved to play Cribbage with Ron and Toddy Ann. Hollywood came calling and he found himself in a movie with Sean Penn. Another movie that played at the AMC Theater in Omaha on November 14, 1997 called, “The Mouse,” had Ron at the beginning with Burt Young.

Ron worked as a skilled machinist at Vickers Manufacturing Company until it closed. A most informative booklet about Ron’s boxing career was written and published by his promoter, Thomas Lovgren. A film documentary about Ron “The Bluffs Butcher” Stander by Andrew Batt was aired on Public TV Network.

At his 45th class reunion, Ron reconnected with a gal he had a crush on in high school. Her husband had passed 6 years before. After a year of dating, they were married on Halloween in 2008. Since both were retired, they had an opportunity to do some traveling to Alaska, California, Arizona, Texas and a West Coast trip on Amtrak.

Ron will always be known as the guy with a big heart, a firm handshake, a big smile following with a joke or two.

Ron never knew a stranger, they were just a friend he had never met. If he shook your hand, he considered you a friend. But if you asked him a stupid question, you got a stupid answer with a smile and a twinkle in his brown eyes. He will be missed by all his fans that knew of him, those that loved him and his family that he always said, “Love you more.”

Preceded in death by parents, Marie and Frank Stander. Survived by his loving wife, Toddy Ann, who adored him and referred to him as her hero; his children: Frank Stander (Judy Compton), Angie Carberry, Ryan Stander (Chyanne Walker), Rowan Stander (Erin Koerselman); grandchildren, the children of Frank and Robin Stander: Brooke (Dan) Baker, Jake (Amanda McClanahan); son of Mike and Angela Carberry: Harley Carberry; children of Ryan Stander: Mia Brown, Sabella Stander, Xavier Stander; children of Rowan Stander: Nala Stander, Rowan Stander, Sebastian Stander, Marabelle Stander.

He will be missed by the Cundall Family, his numerous cousins, as well as special friends he named: Sunflower Sue and Foxy French.

Story courtesy of Omaha world-Herald

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Unbeaten Champions Clash: Oscar Valdez-Shakur Stevenson Tickets at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas On Sale 

Tickets for the April 30 junior lightweight title unification tilt — starting at $79 — can be purchased by visiting AXS.com

LAS VEGAS (March 10, 2022) — The world’s two best junior lightweights — WBC world champion Oscar Valdez and WBO king Shakur Stevenson — ignited their long-anticipated unification grudge match, which will take place Saturday, April 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas (LIVE on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).

Less than eight weeks from fight night, the two went face to face Wednesday morning at MGM Grand. Tensions did not spill over, but the two undefeated champions exchanged not-so-pleasant pleasantries. Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs), the two-weight champion from Nogales, Mexico, enters as the betting underdog for only the second time in his career. The first time, Valdez knocked out Miguel Berchelt in devastating fashion.

Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs), in his fifth bout at junior lightweight, hopes a victory will vault him up the mythical pound-for-pound rankings

The battle for junior lightweight supremacy is on deck. WBC champion Oscar Valdez will meet WBO king Shakur Stevenson in a title unification showdown between undefeated fighters Saturday, April 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets starting at $79 go on sale Thursday, March 10 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased by visiting AXS.com.

“This is a fight between two fighters in their physical primes, the best fighting the best,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Oscar and Shakur deserve the biggest stage, and it doesn’t get much bigger than ESPN and the MGM Grand Garden Arena. On April 30, a superstar will be born.”

Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs), the fighting pride of Nogales, Mexico, is a two-weight world champion entering his 10th world title fight. He authored the 2021 Knockout of the Year with his title-winning effort over longtime champion Miguel Berchelt. Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs), the rising pound-for-pound star from Newark, New Jersey, is coming off last October’s one-sided knockout over then-champion Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring.

Valdez-Stevenson and additional fight action will be televised live on ESPN & ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Undercard bouts will be announced shortly.

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LONDON (March 1, 2022) —Two men will fight, but only one showed up for the press conference. WBC/Lineal/Ring Magazine heavyweight champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury made it a solo act Tuesday to promote his April 23 showdown against Dillian Whyte at London’s Wembley Stadium connected by EE. Fury-Whyte will be broadcast live on Pay-Per-View in the U.S.

Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) has been the lineal champion since November 2015 and will fight on English soil for the first time since June 2018. Since then, he’s fought Deontay Wilder three times, cemented his status as the world’s best heavyweight, and has served as an inspiration for mental health sufferers around the world. Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) is a consensus top-five heavyweight who knocked out Alexander Povetkin in a rematch last year to regain the WBC interim title.

Fury-Whyte marks the third time in boxing history that a pair of Brits are fighting for the heavyweight title. Fury managed without his counterpart at the press conference, lobbing insults and promising a memorable evening in front of an expected crowd of nearly 100,000.

Fury at London’s Wembley Stadium 

Promoted by Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions and Top Rank, tickets will be on sale exclusively from Ticketmaster at 12 p.m. UK/7 a.m. ET on Wednesday, March 2. News on undercard bouts will be announced shortly.

This is what Fury, Warren and Top Rank COO Brad Jacobs had to say at Tuesday’s press conference.

Tyson Fury

“It’s been a roller coaster of a ride, across the Atlantic Ocean in the exotic venues of MGM Grand, T-Mobile, Staples Center. I just feel like the song {by} Thin Lizzy, ‘The Boys Are Back in Town.’ Four years away, and I get to come back and showcase on the world’s biggest stage at Wembley Stadium, 100,000 people there. I’m just putting it on so the fans can come, the people who traveled to Las Vegas… not everyone was able to come. For the people who stayed up to five in the morning to see those fights on BT Sport, now they can come and enjoy an event on home soil and be a part of history. People will be talking about this event and saying, ‘Where were you when this happened?’”
 
“I know Dillian Whyte is going to come in prepared. He’s going to come in rugged and rough and game and aggressive. And he’s got a big left hook and a big right hand. Who knows? It could be me chinned on the night. I think both fighters are going for the knockout on the night. I just think when I land a ‘Lancaster Bomber’ on his jaw, it’s going to be over. That could be in round one, or it could be in round six. I don’t see it going past that. I’m looking to put on an excellent {fight} and showcase knockout boxing for the UK fans and then sing a load of songs afterwards and have a good time. Party on down in the big smoke!’”

“”If I can’t look like Muhammad Ali against this guy, then I’m in the wrong {profession}. I will chop him to bits. Not a problem. I will smash his face right in. You’re going to see a boxing masterclass. You’re going to see the difference in levels.”
 
“This man is a big old strong fellow who swings a big old punch in and knocks a man spark out if he connects. But if I’m daft enough to get hit off him and knocked out, then I don’t deserve to be heavyweight world champion.”

“I don’t blame him for not being here today because if he were here, I’d have probably stretched him at the press conference. It’s good he’s not here, otherwise I’d be remanded in a London jail cell somewhere. The buildup to this fight will be fantastic because Tyson Fury versus his own shadow sells for sure. I will make sure people are entertained.”

“My personal message to Dillian Whyte today is this: I will win this fight for England and for St. George on St. George’s Day. There we go.”

“He should be here promoting the fight. That’s my opinion, and I think it’s tough luck for him and his family and his legacy going forward.” 

Frank Warren

“I’m delighted. It’s great. We’re at Wembley. I think we’re going to sell out just under 100,000 capacity. It’s going to be a special night because you have the lineal champion, the WBC champion who has not been here for four years, not fought in the country for four years.”

Fury walking into Press Conference.

“The atmosphere is going to be brilliant. All we need — unfortunately he is not here today — is the other side of the card to show up.”

Brad Jacobs 

“Whyte is certainly a credible threat and is one of the top available contenders. It is unprofessional that he is not here today but we will get past that and move on. Everyone is second best to Tyson, in the ring, in personality, in everything.”

To watch the entire press conference, CLICK HERE.

Photos by Shaun Smith

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Click photo to read story of upcoming fight

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The Boxing World Mourns the death of former Florida Boxing Hall of Fame President and Hall of Famer Butch Flansburg

FHBOF 2017 – The Dynamic Duo of Boxing – Kathy and Butch Flansburg

STORY BY ALEX AND JOHN RINALDI

In these current sad days, the world became even bleaker with the heartbreaking passing of a true hero in the world of pugilism – Walter “Butch” Flansburg, the former President of the esteemed Florida Boxing Hall of Fame.

“The WBC mourns the passing of Walter “Butch” Flansburg the former President of the Florida Hall of Fame,” said The World Boxing Council and its President Mauricio Sulaimán, President of the World Boxing Council (WBC). “Butch Flansburg was a man dedicated to boxing with honesty and integrity, for which he will be remembered with admiration and affection. We send Walter’s family our deepest condolences.”

FHBOF 2017 – Butch Flansburg (R) inducting Alex (L) and John Rinaldi (C) in 2017.

Gilberto Mendoza, Jr. President of the World Boxing Association concurred. “Flansburg was known for being a boxing man who devoted most of his life to the sport. He was respected by the entire community and left a mark thanks to his integrity and sacrifice,” said Mendoza. “The pioneer organization sends condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Walter (Butch) Anthony Flansburg was born June 24, 1944 in Utica, New York to Walter and Viola Flansburg.

2021 FBHOF Inductee Arcadio Castro Jr. with Kathy Flansburg.

The senior Walter, who was originally from Germany, was a prisoner of war in World War II. With his dad in a POW camp, Butch’s mother became the main source of income to the struggling family.  It was also during this time that Butch’s grandmother from Italy helped to raise him and through her he learned to speak fluent Italian.

After the war ended and Butch along with his Dad and Grandfather, along with the majority of Americans, regularly listened to boxing matches on the radio. It would germinate in him  a lifelong love of the great sport of boxing. Little did he know at the time, Butch would later become a giant in the sport and a legend in his own time.

Butch inducting 2012 Florida Boxing Hall of Famer Aaron Pryor in 2012.

Like most Americans, once the television age arrived, the family purchased a television and the routinely enjoyed watching the fights, especially those featuring champions such as Carmen Basilio, Rocky Marciano, Kid Gavilán, Archie Moore, Jake La Motta, Gen Fullmer, and Sugar Ray Robinson to name a few.

Butch joined the United States Marines after high school and was proud to have served our country.

After his stint in the marines during the Vietnam War era, Butch moved to Miami, FL, where he discovered his passion for photography. Soon he was recognized as one of the most sought-after photographers in Florida, and due to his great photographic talent, he was quickly recruited by the Miami fight scene.

FBHOF President Butch Flansburg (L) inducts the late, great writer Gerard Rinaldi of The USA Boxing News into the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame as his brothers Alex Rinaldi (C) and John Rinaldi (R) accept the award for their brother.

He would often find himself spending days and late nights at the 5th Street Gym in Miami, Florida. His ability to capture the action, chronicle a fight, and project compelling images from the prize ring, lead to his work being featured in such prominent boxing publications such as The Boxing Digest and World Boxing.

It was while he was in Miami that Butch quickly became acquainted with the late Dundee brothers, Angelo and Chris, having spent so much time at the gym. He also befriended the late Muhammad Ali, Roberto Duran, and Alexis Arguello. He would find himself in the company of other public figures as James Caan, Roy Jones, Don King, Sugar Ray Leonard, Maydad Ronen, and Pinklon Thomas.

FBHOF 2017 – Butch inducting former Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight king – Michael Moorer.

Butch eventually relocated to the Tampa area in 1986. Shortly thereafter he met the love of his life and best friend Kathy. After dating for three years, they married in the spring of 1989. After they married, they both shared the same  passion and dedication to the boxing world. With Kathy by his side, he continued to nurture and contribute to the rich sport of boxing .

The National Boxing Association (NBA) recognized Butch’s leadership enlisting him as a board member and nominating him for Presidency of the organization this position was held from 1997-2018. As president of the NBA, he traveled extensively throughout the United States and abroad with Kathy accompanying him to various countries, such as Panama, China, France, Germany, Finland, Slovakia, and Antiqua, to name a relatively small few.

Major credits to the sport of boxing – Butch & Kathy Flansburg kick off the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame at the St. Petersburg Marriott.

In 2009, one of Butch’s dreams became a reality when he and Kathy and several trusted political and boxing luminaries founded The Florida Boxing Hall of Fame (FBHOF). The Executive Board was established, and Butch was nominated President of the organization and Florida Boxing history was soon memorialized.

Butch Flansburg was the poster child to the mission of The Florida Boxing Hall of Fame, “We came together to honor former professional boxers, to promote the sport of boxing, and support various youth programs in communities that teaches discipline, dedication to the sport and respect,” remarked Butch.

Former Junior Middleweight Champion Ronald “Winky” Wright (L) with Butch Flansburg (R) as he gets elected into the 2017 FBHOF Class of Inductees.

He supported these programs throughout the state of Florida. Over his twelve-year tenure with the FBHOF, the organization grew and flourished and in short time the FBHOF increased to competitively exceed many other Boxing Hall of Fame entities across the nation.

He humbly retired from the FBHOF in November 2020, and in that same year was inducted into the FBHOF for his duty and service to the sport of boxing.

2021 Inductee and former FBHOF President Butch Flansburg with current FBHOF President Steve Canton.

After Butch stepped down, Steven Canton was given the reigns as President of The Florida Boxing Hall of Fame.  Because of the efforts of Steven Canton,  Butch lived to see the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame Museum become a reality, where it is located at the SJC Boxing Gym at 4220 Cleveland Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33901 – (239) 275-5275.

Anyone who knew Butch comically understood he was somewhat shy and clearly did not enjoy public speaking! It was a standard joke each year when he gave his President’s speech at the Gala dinner. Over time, however, he became better at it and eventually became a fairly proficient public speaker. It was also reported that Butch took great pride in cooking his authentic Italian meals. In addition to cooking, he also enjoyed other hobbies, such as watching old westerns, old cars and specifically Dodge car restorations.

FBHOF Inductee and fighter out of Colombia Sugar Baby Rojas strikes a pose with Butch Flansburg presenting him with plaque

It was also reported that he was also a connoisseur of all music genres’, Jazz and Elvis Presley, while he especially loved the 50’s Rock ‘n Roll, along with his dream car – a 2016 Dodge Charger.

Butch lived life to the fullest and he will be greatly missed.

FORMER JR. WELTER KING AND TRAINER JOHN DAVID JACKSON WITH PRESIDENT BUTCH FLANSBURG.

He is survived by his loving wife of many years, Kathy, his devoted daughter Renee, his beloved son Jason, and his only brother David, and his precious grandchildren and a host of family and friends.

Butch was a leader and icon in the sport of boxing. He was also a dear friend and colleague to Alex and John Rinaldi – the editors of The USA Boxing News, whom he inducted into the FBHOF in 2017. Prior to that he inducted into the FBHOF the esteemed writer of The USA Boxing News and World Boxing of Japan – Gerard Rinaldi in 2012.

FORMER WBA INTERIM LIGHT HEAVY KING RICHARD HALL WITH BUTCH FLANSBURG

Butch was one of the giants in the sport of boxing,” declared John and Alex Rinaldi. “If there was a Mount Rushmore of boxing luminaries and legends, Butch would perch firmly in the George Washington spot. His kind will seldom pass this way again.”

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.HillsboroMemorial.com for the Flansburg family.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALEXANDER R. RINALDI AND RON JOHN RINALDI

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April 23: Heavyweight Titans Fury & Whyte Collide at Wembley Stadium 

Tyson “The Gyspy King” Fury to defend heavyweight crown against top contender Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium LIVE on Pay-Per-View with tickets going on sale on Wednesday, March 2.

LONDON (Feb. 25, 2022) — After storming the United States with a pair of knockouts over Deontay Wilder, WBC/Lineal/Ring Magazine heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury returns home for an all-British battle against WBC interim champion Dillian Whyte on Saturday, April 23 at London’s Wembley Stadium connected by EE. Fury-Whyte will be broadcast live on Pay-Per-View in the U.S.

Promoted by Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions and Top Rank, tickets will be on sale exclusively from Ticketmaster at midday on Wednesday, March 2. Fans hoping to purchase a ticket for the event are encouraged to sign-up for Ticket Alert emails HERE to receive the ticket link direct to their inboxes. News on undercard bouts will be announced shortly.

“Tyson Fury coming home to fight under the arch at Wembley Stadium is a fitting reward for the No.1 heavyweight in the world following his exploits across the Atlantic in his epic trilogy against Deontay Wilder,” stated Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren. “The fact that this mandatory defense of his WBC title comes against another Brit only adds to the occasion. They are two of the biggest characters in British sport and both normally have plenty to say for themselves.

“It is going to be an incredible night and a huge occasion for sport in this country that will capture the imagination of fans right across the world.”

Bob Arum, chairman of Top Rank, added: “Tyson Fury conquered America, and it is only fitting that he defends the heavyweight championship in a packed Wembley Stadium. Dillian Whyte has called for this fight for years, and while he is a deserving challenger, no heavyweight can match ‘The Gypsy King.’ This is going to be a momentous night of boxing with tens of thousands of fans in attendance at Wembley Stadium.”

Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs), based in Morecambe, has held the lineal heavyweight title since November 28, 2015, the night he ended the nearly decade-long championship run of Wladimir Klitschko. Following over two years of inactivity, he returned to action in June 2018, inspiring millions with a comeback that saw him fighting for the world title within six months of his June 2018 comeback victory over Sefer Seferi in Manchester. The only blemish on his record — a disputed December 2018 draw against Wilder — was avenged with stoppage wins over the American star in February 2020 and October 2021. The Dillian Whyte showdown marks his first bout in London since February 2015.

Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs), who was raised in Brixton, London, earned a shot at Fury with a seven-year run as a world-level heavyweight. Following a seventh-round TKO loss to Anthony Joshua in 2015 — when both were undefeated prospects — Whyte went on an 11-fight winning streak that included triumphs over Joseph Parker, Oscar Rivas, Lucas Browne, and Derek Chisora (2x). His momentum, and mandatory position, was halted when Alexander Povetkin knocked him out with a single left uppercut in August 2020. Whyte exacted revenge in March 2021, knocking out Povetkin in four rounds to regain his interim title.

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Nogales Meets Newark: Oscar Valdez-Shakur Stevenson Junior Lightweight Unification Showdown Set for April 30 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas

Valdez-Stevenson to headline telecast airing live on ESPN & ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

LAS VEGAS (Feb. 22, 2022) — WBC champion Oscar Valdez hopes to become a Mexican boxing legend while WBO king Shakur Stevenson is eyeing the mythical pound-for-pound rankings. On Saturday, April 30, Valdez and Stevenson, the world’s two best junior lightweights, will meet in a title unification matchup for the ages at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
 
Stevenson and Valdez are vying to become the first unified junior lightweight champion since Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera in 2005.

Oscar Valdez weighs in ahead of his world title bout in 2016

Oscar Valdez

Stevenson-Valdez, along with additional to be announced fight action, will be televised live on ESPN & ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
 
Promoted by Top Rank, ticket information will be announced shortly.

Oscar Valdez weighs in ahead of his world title bout in 2016

Shakur Stevenson

“Oscar Valdez and Shakur Stevenson are the world’s best junior lightweights. The fans and the fighters demanded this matchup, and we are proud to deliver it live on ESPN for no extra charge,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “The winner becomes a superstar, and I know both men will rise to challenge.”
 
Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs), the fighting pride of Nogales, Mexico, is closing in on an undefeated decade as a pro after Olympic appearances in 2008 and 2012. He is 9-0 in world title fights and has solidified his standing as one of Mexico’s consummate ring warriors. His 2017 featherweight title defenses against Miguel Marriaga and Genesis Servania were Fight of the Year contenders. In March 2018, he defeated an over-the-weight Scott Quigg despite fighting with a broken jaw for seven rounds. Valdez is 4-0 since moving up to junior lightweight, winning the WBC title with the 2021 Knockout of the Year over Miguel Berchelt. Last September, he made his first defense of that title, coming on strong in the later rounds to edge Robson Conceição by unanimous decision.
 
“I want to make it clear that I am the best 130-pound fighter in the world,” Valdez said. “We know Shakur Stevenson is very good at fighting, but he’s even better at social media. I’ll let my fists speak for themselves.”Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs), the pound-for-pound talent from Newark, New Jersey, won the vacant WBO featherweight world title against Joet Gonzalez in 2019 after Valdez vacated the title to campaign at junior lightweight. Stevenson moved up in weight after dominating Gonzalez, winning three fights before challenging WBO junior lightweight world champion Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring last October in Atlanta. Stevenson stopped Herring in the 10th round to become a two-weight world champion.
 
As the toast of the U.S. amateur boxing scene, Stevenson was pegged for superstardom ever since making his pro debut in April 2017. Through 17 pro bouts, he’s flashed a defensive riddle that has thus far been impossible for opponents to solve. It is a battle of youth versus hardened experience, as Valdez won his first world title in July 2016, four weeks before Stevenson earned a silver medal at the Rio Olympics.
 
Stevenson said, “I have been chasing this fight for nearly three years since we were both at featherweight. On April 30, I’m going to show him and the world why he ducked me all this time. I’m the best young fighter in the world, and I will become unified champion.”

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_____________Bare-Knuckle CornerBare Knuckle Corner Logo.

   Harry Broome

“The Birmingham Bomber”

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Marvelous Marvin Hagler’s grandson James Hagler Jr. teams with Manager Ryan Roach, son of Freddie Roach

(L-R) – The late, great Marvelous Marvin Hagler, his grandson James Jr., and son James

BOSTON (February 18, 2022) – There are few family names in boxing, especially in New England, as universally revered as Hagler and Roach.

They are part of boxing royalty.

There is a new connection as James Hagler, Jr., the grandson of the late Hall of Famer Marvelous Marvin Hagler, has signed an exclusive managerial contract with Fighter Locker, owned and operated by the nephew of Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, Boston-based Ryan Roach.

The plan is for Roach to have Hagler fight in Massachusetts, ideally in Brockton, the City of Champions in which Hagler as well as another Hall of Famer, Rocky Marciano, fought out of during their professional careers.

James Hagler, Jr. in action

“I was looking for a manager and read about Ryan,” Hagler said. “I looked him up online, talked with him, and met him last weekend for the first time. He is not a greedy person. By far, he offered me the best deal I have ever received. He really wants to help me. Ryan’s a cool dude. I feel good about signing with him.

“Fighting someday in Brockton and Boston means a lot to me, because of my grandfather’s background, and that’s one of the reasons I signed with Ryan. My mother and father are from that area, and I still have a lot of family living on both sides living there. I’ll be the third member of the Hagler family to fight in New England, joining my grandfather and uncle (Robbie Simms).”

(L-R) – Ryan Roach & James Hagler, Jr.

“I’m excited to be managing James,” Roach commented. “Right away, I was interested in a fighter with the Hagler name. I spoke with James and he’s a good kid who is all in. He wants to prove himself on his own and I get that, because I want to make it on my own terms, not my last name.

“We’re excited to get him fighting in New England. We’re going to do great things together. We plan on having him fight in Brockton, hopefully this summer, to bring boxing back to Brockton.” 

The 31-year-old Hagler, who fights out of Atlanta, didn’t start boxing until he was 24. Why did he start so late?

“My grandfather didn’t want any of us  (in the Hagler family) to box,” James explained. “I wanted to be a boxer since I was 3 or 4. He didn’t want anybody in his family to go through what he did in the Sugar Ray Leonard fight. My father (a boxing promoter in Atlanta) was an amateur boxer who fought in the Olympic Trials. He stopped boxing because my grandfather wouldn’t watch him fight. My father didn’t want to continue fighting.

“There’s a lot of pressure on me fighting because people expect me to be like my grandfather or want me to live up to the Hagler name. I feel good following in my grandfather’s footsteps. When guys fight me, it’s like their championship fight, because they want to say they beat a Hagler for bragging rights. I know that they will always have their best fight against me.”

James (2-1, 1 KO) had a relatively brief amateur career, fighting in Alabama and Georgia, and the southpaw made his pro debut December 14, 2019, in Ohio, when he stopped Michael Widmer in round one. He’s only had two fights since, winning one and losing the other, the latest this past November.

Hagler will fight as a super middleweight for now, but he intends to campaign as a middleweight in the same division his legendary grandfather owned for so many years. He does have a dream fight in mind, saying, “I met Muhammad Ali’s grandson (Nico Walsh). I’d love to fight him someday.”

Fighter Locker’s growing stable of gifted boxers also includes California super flyweight Rocco “So Cal Kid” Santomauro (21-1, 6 KOs), New York’s ABF American West super lightweight Ray Jay “The Destroyer” Bermudez (16-0, 11 KOs), Connecticut’s ABF USA super welterweight Jimmy “Quiet Storm” Williams (18-5-2, 6 KOs), Colorado’s ABF American West super middleweight champion “The Amazing” Shawn McCalman (10-0, 6 KOs), Massachusetts super lightweight Adrian “Tonka” Sosa (12-0, 9 KOs), Florida super bantamweight Daniel  “The Dedication” Bailey, Jr. (10-0, 5 KOs), Massachusetts featherweight Troy Anderson, Jr. (4-0, 2 KOs), 2-time Brazilian Olympian & 2016 Olympic silver medalist Yuberjen Martinez, Brazilian Olympian Jorge Vivas, 2-time Dominican Olympian, lightweight Leonel de los Santos (5-0, 5 KOs), Dominican cruiserweight Roki “Rocky” Berroa (2-0, 1 KO), Dominican super welterweight Juan Solano Santos (1-0, 1 KO), Dominican featherweight Orlando Perez Zapata (10-0, 8 KOs), Dominican lightweight Isaelin Florian Henriguez (8-1, 4 KOs),  Florida light heavyweight Robert Daniels, Jr. (6-0, 5 KOs),  Irish light heavyweight Tommy “The Kid” O’Toole (3-0, 2 KOs), Texas super lightweight Miranda “La Alacrana” Reyes (5-1-1, 2 KOs), Massachusetts super featherweight Alex Rivera (3-0, 2 KO), Kansas brothers, welterweight Marcus (3-0, 3 KOs) and super lightweight Marcell (1-0), and Utah brothers, ABF American West lightweight champion Ignacio Chairez (9-0-1, 5 KOs) and lightweight Gabriel Chairez (4-0-1, 2 KOs).

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Jose Ramirez Camp Notes: The Comeback Starts Now

Ramirez-Jose Pedraza junior welterweight main event will take place Friday, March 4 at Fresno’s Save Mart Center and streaming LIVE on ESPN+

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Feb. 15, 2022) — Former unified junior welterweight Jose Ramirez (26-1, 17 KOs) is ready to turn the page. Last May, he lost a competitive decision to Josh Taylor for the undisputed title. The road to redemption begins Friday, March 4, at Fresno’s Save Mart Center in a 12-rounder against Puerto Rican two-weight world champion José Pedraza (29-3, 14 KOs).

Ramirez, from Avenal, California, returns home to the friendly confines of the Save Mart Center. In five headlining events at the venue, Ramirez has drawn more than 65,000 of his most devoted Central Valley fans through the turnstiles.

This is what Ramirez had to say after a recent training session at Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Riverside, California.

“The loss against Taylor taught me a lot. It was the first of my career, and I feel like it brought back my hunger for boxing again. I’ve really enjoyed this training camp preparing to get back on the winning path. I’ve had a lot of fun training with Robert Garcia in Riverside. I have corrected the mistakes that I made in that fight against Taylor. Maybe I had been making them for a long time, but when you are winning all your fights, you do not always look at the mistakes. I had a hard time accepting it, but I’ve already turned the page. There’s nothing I can do about it.”

“I am ready to return to the top of the division. I know that I am one of the best fighters at 140 pounds. I want to regain my titles and win all of the belts. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a rematch against Taylor, challenging another champion, or in a vacant title match against another top contender. I want my titles back.”

“José Pedraza is a tough test. He is a very good fighter and has looked good since he adjusted to the 140-pound division. I want to earn another shot at the title. I am not one to talk much. I come to face the best and let my performances in the ring speak for themselves.”

“I hope that Pedraza comes well prepared. I want to face the best version of José Pedraza so we can give the fans another classic fight between Mexico and Puerto Rico.”

“Coming back to fight again in front of my people in Fresno makes me very happy. I am training very hard because I want to bring joy and happiness to my fans again. I want them to feel proud, and that is why I am here to leave everything inside the ring on March 4 at Save Mart Center.”

Ramirez vs. Pedraza headlines a stacked card that includes featherweight contender Joet Gonzalez (24-2, 14 KOs) against Jeo Santisima (21-3, 18 KOs) in a 10-rounder, the six-round heavyweight professional debut of U.S. Olympic silver medalist Richard Torrez Jr., Gabriel Flores Jr. (20-1, 7 KOs) coming back in a 10-round junior lightweight matchup against Abraham Montoya (20-2-1, 14 KOs), rising junior lightweight Karlos Balderas (11-1, 10 KOs) in an eight-rounder, lightweight prospect Charlie Sheehy (1-0, 1 KO) in a four-rounder, 6’9 heavyweight Antonio “El Gigante” Mireles (2-0, 2 KOs) in a four-rounder, and middleweight prospect Javier “Milwaukee Made” Martinez (5-0, 2 KOs) in a six-rounder.

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IBF flyweight world champion Sunny Edwards signs with PROBELLUM

LONDON, FEBRUARY 9 – Probellum is delighted to announce the promotional signing of IBF flyweight world champion Sunny Edwards.

Undefeated Edwards (17-0, 4 knockout) boasts a proven pedigree at the highest level and captured the world title in April last year when he defeated South Africa’s Moruti Mthalane at York Hall courtesy of a unanimous points decision.

His first defence of the title came at Probellum’s inaugural show at Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena, in December, when he produced a brilliant performance to overcome of the challenge of Filipino Jayson Mama in the night’s main event.

Edwards will headline the second night of Probellum Evolution, which takes place at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on March 18 and 19, when he puts his title on the line against Muhammad Waseem (12-1, 8 knockouts), one of Pakistan’s most talented fighters.

IBF flyweight world champion Sunny Edwards

The Edwards family boasts a rich boxing pedigree with Sunny’s older brother, Charlie, a former WBC flyweight champion.

“This is a huge moment in my career and I believe signing for Probellum will help take me on to an even higher level in terms of my all-round performance,” said Sunny.

“Probellum is changing the boxing landscape and providing brilliant opportunities for fighters at all levels. This is a really exciting time to sign, especially given the fact my upcoming title defence against Muhammad Waseem takes place next month.

“Throughout my career, I have shown I possess the ability and work ethic to get to the top. Signing for Probellum will ensure I stay there.”

“Signing Sunny Edwards, an undefeated world champion, sends out a huge statement of intent,” added Richard Schaefer, President of Probellum.

“Sunny’s reputation within boxing speaks for itself. Not only is he a hugely talented fighter, he also boasts a fierce desire to show fight fans around the world that he is the best, which he has done, and will continue to do in the future.

“We are absolutely thrilled to recruit a boxer of Sunny’s calibre, and with his fight against Muhammad Waseem in Dubai just over a month away, we won’t have to wait long to see him showcase his talent to a global audience.”

Edwards’ title defence against Waseem is supported by a potentially pulsating bout between USA’s Regis Prograis (26-1, 22 knockouts) and Ireland’s Tyrone McKenna (22-2-1, 6 knockouts) on the second night of Probellum Evolution.

The opening night features the Middle East’s first-ever all-female title showdown, between France’s Estelle Mossely (9-0, 1 knockout) and Argentina’s Yanina del Carmen Lescano (10-1, 2 knockouts), with Ireland’s Jono Carroll (21-2-1, 5 knockouts) facing Serbia’s Serif Gurdijeljac (21-6, 8 knockouts) in the co-main event.

Olympic medalists Bakhodir Jalolov (9-0, 9 knockouts) and Hovhannes Bachkov (2-0, 1 knockout), who won gold and bronze respectively at the 2020 competition in Tokyo, will also be in action on the opening night. Both men remain undefeated in the professional ranks.

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Former WBA Welterweight Champion Keith Thurman returns to the ring to score a one-sided decision victory over former WBA Super Lightweight Champion Marios Barrios at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas

Story by Ron John Rinaldi and Joseph Rinaldi

Sometimes taking a break re-charges ones’ batteries, in the case of former WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman – a break was exactly what the doctor ordered to jumpstart his career and add more star power to the boxing world.

After a 2½-year hiatus from boxing, for twelve rounds Thurman outfought and outboxed former WBA super lightweight champion Mario Barrios to win a one-sided decision at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday February 5th.

It was a near perfect performance as Thurman smothered Barrios with a blanket of combinations and swift foot movement.

It was also his first fight since he lost his crown in a razor-close fight with the legendary Manny Pacquiao in July 2019.

Thurman (R) lands a hard right to the chin of Barrios (L).

Thurman (R) lands a hard right to the chin of Barrios (L).

The victory against Barrios, was Thurman’s first win since January 2019, when he decisioned Josesito Lopez . “I’m just so grateful to everyone who got me into this position I’m in now,” he said. “And I look forward to having a better year later this year, 2022. ‘One Time’ is back!”

Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) appears to have recovered from injuries to his elbow and hand that required surgery.

By the fight’s end it was apparent to all that the Thurman of old re-joined the present Thurman, who entered the ring in excellent shape and commandeered the bout from the beginning to the end. He was fast of hands and fast of foot – the recipe for a disastrous night for his opponent.

Barrios (26-2, 17 KOs), for his part was far from a punching bag. He was a sturdy foe who boxed cleverly and even landed some hard shots of his own. He even stunned Thurman with a body blow in round 8 that buckled his knees. It was just a measure of too punches too few.

The scores were 118-110, 118-110 and 117-111 for Thurman. The USA Boxing News also scored it for Thurman at 117-111.

Thurman was asked to grade his performance and gave himself “a C+ or B.”

“I rocked him a few times,” Thurman said. “I just have to get back to the gym, get grinding, and push that high intensity, high endurance. That’s what I’m missing right now. I got the stamina, I got the timing. I just have to go a little harder. And we’re going to prepare to do that later this year.”

Thankfully for Thurman, the bout  was a WBC title eliminator, which makes Keith now a probable opponent for any of the 147-pound titleholders.

Thurman is prepared to take on all comers and all reigning champions, including, but not limited to the winner of the projected Errol Spence Jr.-Yordenis Ugas title-unification bout or Terence Crawford.

“I want the belts, baby,” replied Thurman. “I want the champions. I want to be back on top. So whoever’s willing to send Keith Thurman a contract, let’s go, baby, let’s go.”

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Thomas”Hitman”Hearns

Honors Marvelous Marvin Hagler in Brockton ceremony

By Ron John Rinaldi and Joseph Rinaldi

Thomas “Hitman” Hearns did not want any fanfare. Nor did he request any limo, or a luxury suite, nor anything else for that matter. 

Instead , all Hearns wanted was to honor the legacy of arguably his greatest ring adversary – Marvelous Marvin Hagler. As a result, Hearns appeared at the Fort Pont media Day to honor Hagler in the City of Brockton because he felt it was the “right thing to do.”  He also flew from Detroit and paid his own plane fare and lodgings to give best wishes to the memory of his fellow ring legend.

The famous Hitman stayed for hours posing for photos, talking to the fans on hand, and signing autographs fro one and all in attaendance. 

In additon to Hearns, fellow Legends Sugar Ray Leonard sent a video, and Roberto Duran sent his best regards.

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WORLD TITLE BOUT BETWEEN CASIMERO AND BUTLER HEADLINES
PROBELLUM’S MAIDEN LIVERPOOL SHOW 

 

LONDON, FEBRUARY 10 – Liverpool fan-favourite Paul Butler will aim to unseat world champion John Riel Casimero as global boxing and media company Probellum brings its first show to Liverpool on Friday, April 22.

Butler will lead a stellar list of big-name fighters such as former WBA super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding, next generation stars including Liverpool-born brothers Peter and Joe McGrail, and the highly rated duo of Will Cawley and Luke McCormack.

In the night’s main event at the M&S Bank Arena, Filipino Casimero (31-4, 21 knockouts) puts his WBO bantamweight title on the line against the UK’s Butler (33-2, 15 knockouts) in a bout which was originally due to be held at Probellum’s inaugural December 2021 show before Casimero was unable to make weight.

“Liverpool is one of the most passionate boxing cities in the world and we are delighted to be holding our first show at the M&S Bank Arena in April,” said Richard Schaefer, President of Probellum.

“This is an absolutely fantastic card featuring a combination of world-class fighters, extremely talented aspiring stars and packed with local talent whose fans will no doubt create a truly unique atmosphere.

“With the likes of John Riel Casimero, Paul Butler, Rocky Fielding and the McGrail brothers all set to put on a great show, we fully expect some thrilling fights and a fantastic occasion.” 

Local fans will be in full voice supporting recent Probellum signings the McGrail brothers, Peter (2-0, 1 knockout) and Joe (1-0, 1 knockout), who both secured second-round stoppage victories when they fought at the M&S Bank Arena on the Connor Benn versus Chris Algieri undercard in December. 
 
Also on the card are the Probellum duo of rising-star Cawley (1-0) who will be aiming to build on his impressive debut victory in November 2021 and former Olympian McCormack who is set to make his professional bow following a superb career at amateur level, during which time he represented Team GB.

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Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte is ON!

LAS VEGAS (Jan. 29, 2022) —Queensberry and Top Rank are delighted to announce that WBC and Lineal world heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, will defend his titles against Dillian Whyte following today’s purse bids. A venue and date for the fight will be announced in due course.

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PAST FIGHT GEMS

Iron Grip: Light Heavyweight Champion Joe Smith Jr. Knocks Out Steve Geffrard

Abraham Nova shines in featherweight co-feature 

STORY BY ALEXANDER R. RINALDI AND JOSEPH RINALDI 

AND TOP RANK

VERONA, N.Y. — Boxing lore often bounces around between tragedy, triumph, and overcoming the odds.  When the gritty challenger and South Florida native Steve Geffrard boldly accepted a shot at the light heavyweight title on eight days’ notice to take on the tough WBO light heavyweight king Joe Smith Jr., the stage was set for him to register a historic and grand ring finish – one that would feature an overcoming the odds triumph to place himself firmly in the category of underdogs who captured the gauntlet and with it the gold ring of a world championship title.

Smith stopping Geffrard in the 9th round.

Sadly for Geffrard, as the early seconds of round nine was slowly ticking off, the Champion – Joe Smith Jr. began pounding away at the game challenger with a huge barrel full of lefts and rights, as if Geffrard had threatened his family then decided to also burn down the village.

Once Smith finally and securely trapped Geffrard against the ropes, hope disappeared, triumph vanished, and despair raised its ugly head over the brave countenance of Geffrard, as punches landed in bunches and with it one smashing blow after another. When the tenth straight punch finally collided with his skull – specifically a crushing left hook to the jaw, which nearly deposited the Floridian’s head to the second row of ringside, Geffrard’s chances disappeared swiftly into the darkness of the Turning Stone Arena.

Smith putting on his hand wrraps before the fight.

Though the challenger’s chances crumbled then permanantely evaporated, kudos to WBO light heavyweight world champion Joe Smith Jr. who made the first successful defense of his crown, knocking out Geffrard on Saturday, January 15, at Turning Stone Resort Casino.

Smith (28-3, 22 KOs) was never threatened, as his activity (665 punches thrown) forced Geffrard (18-3, 12 KOs) pedaling in reverse on his back foot. Though Geffrard had some interesting and tangible pockets of success in the opening round,  it soon turned into a one-sided exhibition for the Long Island native Smith.

He rattled Geffrard with right hands in the fifth and later turned up the heat, like a blow torch,  in the ninth. With Geffrard pinned against his corner as if in a Vietnamese booby trap, Smith like a man on a mission bent on destruction with the honor of his home state of New York on his shoulders, unloaded with a ten punch combination. The last of the punches – a terrific left hook,  deposited Geffrard soundly to his knee on the canvas, with his all the planets and stars in the universe wizzing around his head in a deadly orbit. Thankfully, before referee Mark Nelson could finish the 10-count, trainer Kevin Cunningham wisely threw in the towel to end the one-sided affair.

Smith (R) attacking the challengeGeffrard

Smith has his sights set on the other division kingpin, IBF/WBC champion Artur Beterbiev. Or perhaps a date with Canelo Alvarez if the pound-for-pound king elects to move up from super middleweight.

Smith said, “He really brought it today. It was a great fight. As you can see, he’s a great boxer, a good survivor. I was trying to get him out of there early, but I realized he was very tough and I wasn’t going to be able to do that. I tried to wait until the later rounds and started throwing more combinations to pick him apart.
 
“Beterbiev is what I want. I want to get back in the gym, work on my craft, and like I say each and every time I get in the ring, I’m going to get better and better. I believe the next time you see me, I’ll be ready for anybody.

Smith (L) smashes another hard left to the challenger’s jaw.

“If Canelo wants to come to 175 and fight me, I’m ready for him. That’s the fight I want. Everybody would love to see that fight. It would be a big deal.”

Nova TKOs Encarnacion in Co-Feature

Undefeated featherweight Abraham “El Super” Nova walked to the ring with a mascot and cheerleaders, but he soon found himself in a fight. Short-notice opponent William “El Gago” Encarnacion stunned Nova with an a chopping right in the first round, but Nova (21-0, 15 KOs) settled in and prevailed by eighth-round TKO.

Nova was world-ranked at junior lightweight before moving down to featherweight last year. He survived the early rough patch and plastered Encarnacion (19-2, 15 KOs) with body shots. Encarnacion’s corner saw enough and threw in the towel, much to the shock of those in attendance.

Nova said, “It feels good to fight close to home a day after my birthday. I had a tricky opponent in front of me, but I got the job done.

Nova (R) punishes Encarnacion (L) with a right uppercut.

“I want {WBO world champion Emanuel Navarrete}, to be honest. Everybody thinks he’ll blow me out. Put him in there. Let’s see if he’ll do it. I know I’ll beat him. I know I have the punch output, I know I’ll knock him out, and I know I’ll be the next WBO champion.”

In other action:

Junior Welterweight: Puerto Rican prospect Omar Rosario (6-0, 2 KOs) learned another lesson in his young career, as he nearly finished off Brooklyn’s Raekwon Butler (4-2, 2 KOs) in the opening round before being forced the six-round distance and winning a unanimous decision (59-54 2x and 58-55). Rosario outlanded Butler 111-49.

Welterweight: Jahi Tucker (6-0, 4 KOs) is fighting beyond his years. The 18-year-old knocked down Akeem Black (6-5, 2 KOs) with an uppercut in the opening round and then finished things off with a flurry in the second. Tucker became only the second man to knock out Black and landed 47 out of 98 punches thrown.

Middleweight: U.S. Olympian Troy “Transformer” Isley (4-0, 2 KOs) threw everything, including the kitchen sink, but Harry Keenan Cruz-Cubano (6-3, 2 KOs) withstood a hellacious beating to survive the six-round distance. Isley tagged Cruz-Cubano with uppercuts in the early rounds and cruised to a decision by scores of 59-53 and 59-54 2x.

CruiserweightLyubomyr Pinchuk (14-2-1, 8 KOs) lumbered to an eight-round unanimous decision over Jose Mario Flores (8-3-2, 4 KOs) by scores of 80-72 and 79-73 (twice). 

Photos from Mikey Williams / Top Rank via Getty Images

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EAST CANTON – Marion Conner, an 11-time Golden Gloves champion boxer and world-ranked professional fighter, has died.

He was 81.

Story by Henry Hascup

Born in Canton in 1940, Conner was Stark County’s first Golden Gloves champion. 

He is enshrined in the Stark County Amateur Sports Hall of Fame and the Canton Negro Oldtimers Athletic Association Hall of Fame.

In the 1950s, he played football and track at McKinley High School.

Conner, who had most recently lived in East Canton, made his pro debut in 1962. Among his opponents were Joe Frazier and fellow Cantonian and Olympic gold medalist Ronnie Harris.

A one-time Ohio heavyweight champion, Conner retired from the sport in 1976, the year he fought Harris in the “Bicentennial Battle of 1976” which Harris won. Both fighters came up through the Police Boys Club boxing program run by J. Babe Stearn, who knew Jack Dempsey.

‘He loved family; he was all about family.’

Rhonda Conner said her dad was a devoted family man who loved the public.

“He loved family; he was all about family,” she said. “He also loved the community.”

Rhonda Conner said her father was a disciplined and structured man who shared his expertise with his children.

“He was serious about teaching his children ‘form.’ You had to know form,” she said with a laugh. “For him, it was a science.”

Rhonda Conner recalled attending some of her father’s fights.

“Ronnie Harris, I remember that very clearly,” she said.

Emma Conner said she and her late husband were high school sweethearts who were married for 69 years on Nov. 29. 

“After he retired, he worked at the Canton Friendship Center for 18 years,” she said. “He was also involved in the food ministry at Community Life Church of God. We did that for 20 years.”

Conner, who was given a “Marion Conner Day” and a mayoral proclamation by the city of Canton, also worked at Diebold and Operation Positive, a city youth program. In the early 1970s, he operated his own newsstand in downtown Canton.

He also was a regular participant in the Harvest for Hunger’s “Celebrity Cuisine” fundraising event.

Fought under the names ‘KayO’ and ‘Thunderbolt’

A soft-spoken man, the solidly built Conner fought under the nicknames “KayO” and “Thunderbolt.” He packed a punch, fighting 250 amateur bouts from 1948 to 1962, and 54 professional fights.

Though Conner spent much of his pro career in fights up and down the East Coast, he was also part of Canton’s “golden age” of boxing at Memorial Auditorium, known today as the Canton Memorial Civic Center. He held the World Regional New England States Light Heavyweight Belt from 1963 to 1968, and the World Regional New England States Heavyweight Championship from 1965 to 1967.

With a professional record of 55-21-3, the World Boxing Association ranked Conner No. 4 among the world’s top light heavyweight contenders.

Rhonda Conner said her father often talked about his experiences in the ring and the people he met along the way.

“Dad was very reminiscent,” she said. “He could tell you about his fights and the people he met, from Canada to Massachusetts. He would remember the details. He talked about times when he fought Joe Frazier, and the conversations they had afterward. He talked about meeting Muhammad Ali in an elevator. Ali knew there was a possibility that he could fight my dad. They would joke around. He was real comical guy. They would joke around a lot.”

On Nov. 17, 1966, Conner scored a ninth-round knockout against Greatest Crawford at the Canton Memorial Auditorium. Crawford never regained consciousness, dying the next day from a blood clot on his brain.

“He vaguely talked about Greatest Crawford,” Rhonda Conner said. “That was very traumatizing for him.”

‘I want people to know we had greatness that lived here.’

Canton Councilwoman Chris Smith, a longtime family friend, said Conner was a role model who stayed committed to his community.

“I want people to know we had greatness that lived here,” she said. “He never left Canton. I want kids to know that you don’t have to live in a big city to accomplish things.”

Conner is survived by his wife, Emma; daughters Rhonda Conner and Vivian Conner-Brown; brothers Chester Brown and James Conner; sisters Evelyn Kelly, Melinda Andrews and Gwendolyn Ladson; nine grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by a son, Marion Jr.; a daughter, Cheryl; a granddaughter; and a great-grandchild.

Rhoden Memorial Home is handling the arrangements.

Reach Charita at 330-580-8313 or charita.goshay@cantonrep.com

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Feature-length Documentary Represents Eva Longoria Bastón’s Directorial Festival Debut and the First DAZN Original to Premiere at Sundance

                                                  Eva Longoria

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Alexis Arguello

Former Featherweight, Super-Featherweight and Lightweight Champion

By John and Alex Rinaldi

 

CLICK THE PHOTO TO READ THE EXPLOSIVE INTERVIEW OF THE LATE GREAT ALEXIS ARGUELLO

 

CLICK PHOTO TO READ STORY

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ROBERTO DURAN

Manos de Piedra

CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW PAGE

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Boxing Hall of Famer Gaspar “El Indio” Ortega Dies

 One of the Last of the 1950s TV Stars

Story By Kirk Lang

Gaspar “El Indio” Ortega, a true warrior of 1950s era boxing, died Thursday on December 16, 2021. He was 86. Ortega was one of the last men standing from that Golden Age of fisticuffs, along with former 1950s welterweight champion Tony DeMarco, of Boston. But the last 14 months have seen the passingo of both old school pugilists. DeMarco, who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame just two years ago, died in October 11, 2021, and now Ortega’s passing leaves a hole in the Connecticut Boxing community.

Both Ortega and his son Michael are inductees in the esteemed Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame, Gaspar as a fighter and Michael as a world-class referee. Retired referee Joe Cusano, who lived about a mile or so down the road from Ortega in East Haven, remembers Ortega not just as a great warrior, but as a valuable member of society aterward, when Ortega ran a drug program for the City of New Haven in the 1990s called Project More.

 “He helped a lot of people including my brother, who ultimately died from drug overdose years later,” said Cusano. “He helped my brother and impressed my parents with his fluid Italian.”

Born in Mexicali, Mexico, on October 31, 1935, Ortega turned pro at 17 after first trying his hand at another dangerous sport – amateur bullfighting. His first bout was a first-round knockout. Half Mexican and half Indian, he became famous for wearing an Indian headdress into the ring for his bouts, to pay homage to his mother’s bloodline.

Gaspar Ortega (L) fires away at Benny Paret (R).

Ortega relocated to New York City in 1954 and became one of the famous faces of televised boxing. He had a trio of bouts with Tony DeMarco between November 1956 and February 1957, winning the first two by split decision before DeMarco exacted some revenge in their third meeting. DeMarco had reigned as welterweight champion the previous calendar year, so he was still in top form when Ortega bested him.

Gaspar split a pair of bouts with welterweight legend Kid Gavilan in 1957, earning a “W” three months after losing a decision to the “The Cuban Hawk.” All in all, Ortega fought 10 past or future world champions and five Hall of Famers. He retired with a record of 131-39-6 (69 KO’s), though Ortega said he had more fights, and more wins, than are officially listed. His lone title opportunity came against Hall of Famer former welterweight and middleweight champion Emile Griffith on June 3, 1961 in Los Angeles, CA in 1961’s Fight of the Year. Ortega would lose the World’s Welterweight Title contest via a 12th round stoppage, but he believed he over-trained for that fight, because there’s only one other stoppage loss on Ortega’s 175-plus fight record, and an earlier fight with Griffith, 14 months prior, showed he was an equal to the champ.

Gaspar Ortega -L- with Kid Gavilan -R-.

The first meeting with Griffith was a non-title affair and the action went back and forth as Griffith won a close split-decision before his home base at Madison Square Garden. Ortega did not beat the champ when he fought Griffith in 1961, but in another bout in ’61, four months earlier, against Benny “Kid” Paret, Ortega showed he was not only able to go tit-for-tat with a champion, he could actually beat one. Paret was the reigning World Welterweight Champ when they fought in February, but Ortega had begrudgingly agreed to Paret’s request that the title would not be on the line. Gaspar won a 10-round decision at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA. Griffith then beat Paret for the title a month later, which set up Gaspar’s title shot against Griffith. Ortega would fight on for four more years, retiring in 1965 two months shy of his 30th birthday. His career saw him fight 20 times at Madison Square Garden.

Gaspar Ortega of East Haven

Ortega ranks third as far as most victories by a Mexican boxer, according to the World Boxing Council, which presented Ortega with a WBC belt 20-plus years ago. Only Luis Villanueva “Kid Azteca,” with 192, and Luis “Baby” Vazquez, with 138, rank higher.

Fellow Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame fighter inductee Luigi Camputaro was saddened to hear of Ortega’s passing. “Gaspar was a good man, both in and out of the ring,” he said. “He was a great role model to all.”

Gasper Ortega vs. Emile Griffith tale of the tape.

It was about 20 years ago when Ortega and AJ Raccio, who was involved with Hamden’s Parks and Recreation Commission, teamed up to open a boxing gym for troubled youth. From that partnership, the two would co-train Elvin Ayala and could be seen working his bouts at the Connecticut casinos. Most of the attendees at the fights had no clue the slender man working Ayala’s corner was a Mexican and 1950s era boxing legend.

Richard Schwartz, vice president of the New York-based Ring 10, which helps fighters in need, remembers Ortega fondly. “Pure skill and determination and was as tough as a bucket of nails, Schwartz said. “Ortega fought in an era when fighters were far more active, and Ortega was far more active than most. In May 1964, Gaspar fought 11 bouts in one month. I asked him, ‘How come you fought so many times?’ He replied, ‘I had to put food on the table.’ He was tough.”

Gaspar Ortega being honored at a boxing show.

 “El Indio” may not have ever won a world title, “but he was a gallant warrior who held his own with the greats and was a real classy gentleman,” said Schwartz.

Ortega was inducted into at least three boxing halls – The Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame (2006), The New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame (2003) and the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1995.

        Questions/Comments: kirklang@yahoo.com

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Boxing News Stories and Press Releases from

 The Boxing TwinsCLICK PHOTO TO VIEW PAGE

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Film of legendary featherweight king Willie Pep begins filming in West Hartford, Connecticut

Story by Kirk Lang

Photos by Alyssa Lang

West Hartford Connecticut. Five Penske Truck Rental vehicles could be seen parked in front of 146 and 150 Raymond Road this past week. However, it was not a case of anyone moving in or out, but rather, moving on up.

Pep film actor/producer James Madio

That is because legendary 1940s era featherweight champion Willie Pep, who was born in Middletown and grew up in Hartford, will see his story immortalized on the big screen. The rental trucks housed, among other items, wardrobes, lighting equipment, and various period props. The interiors of the two West Hartford residences served as the Pep home and Willie’s sister’s home as scenes with actors were overseen by director Robert Kolodny.

It’s been nearly 80 years since Pep won his first world title and most everyone that saw him perform in his prime has passed on. However, writer/producer Steve Loff and actor/producer James Madio want to make sure Pep, one of the greatest featherweights of all time, and arguably the greatest defensive fighter that ever lived, is given his just due. If fighters of lesser skill and legend can see their stories turned into movies, then Pep surely deserves a film.

Pep was the youngest to win the featherweight title (20 years old), was the first featherweight boxer to regain the title and at one point boasted a record of 135-1-1. Even after fighting on into his 40s, he retired with a ledger of 229-11-1.

James Madio, perhaps best known for a co-starring role in The Basketball Diaries with a young Leonardo DiCaprio, and as a key cast member of the HBO series Band of Brothers, was told by his boxing fan father years ago that he looked like Pep and that portraying the legend was a role he was born to play. When Loff linked up with Madio in 2008 in Los Angeles, he noticed a picture of Pep on his bulletin board. After Madio gave him the back story, Loff said he would be glad to help make the Pep project a reality. Thirteen-and-a-half years later, after a revised script that now focuses on one period of Pep’s life – his 1960s comeback – it is finally happening.

Pep film outside photo actors and director under tent.

“We never gave up,” said Loff. “Willie always signed, ‘Keep punching.’ So that was something that always kept Jim and I going. I never felt even years ago when I had the draft that wasn’t getting traction, before I wrote the new draft, I never felt we were dead. I always felt like, for some reason, I always felt like, if we just keep going, it’s not a matter of if we’ll make this movie. It’s just a matter of when. I’m proud that we stayed with it for all this time.”

And as for Madio, he said he’s “dedicated to bringing Willie’s story to audiences and to cement Willie’s legacy in cinematic history.”

Actors playing a young Pep and his sister.

And Madio is not above pitching in wherever he’s needed. Shortly after he arrived on location – before he was in wardrobe – he was outside with crew members. When one individual who was helping hold the roof-area aluminum framework of a canopy tent amid strong rains and wind got called away, Madio immediately raised his arm to grip a portion of the framework. Another crew member told him he did not have to do that and took over for him, but his quick assist showed his humbleness and that no task is beneath him, though he is the star of the movie.

Pep film actor/producer James Madio

Madio said his grandfather (James Madio Sr.) was a “knock-around club fighter from New York in the late 1930s.”

Willie Pep in his boxing prime.

“No record or serious bouts but he fought for watches and jewelry,” he said. Madio’s father turned him into a boxing fan.

After not getting any support for a Pep movie for some time, Loff revised the original 240-page script from a cradle to grave tale into a faux documentary script focusing on Willie’s comeback in the 1960s.

“It was like a bible, a little too long,” said Loff. “About five to six years ago, I came up with this idea, when our project was floundering, and it was too big a budget, I said what if we had found some documentary footage in the days and weeks leading up to Willie’s comeback. What if I wrote that story and made that the script? And when I did that, that changed everything.”

Sandy Saddler

Loff added, “That’s when we really started to get interest. Appian Way, Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company partnered with us on this. It opened everything. I think it was just a more inspired way to tell the story so that reflected on the page. There’s heart and soul in the way this story’s being told now and I was just really excited about that approach, and it afforded me an intimacy with the characters that I wasn’t getting as this objective observer and trying to tell the story of all the facets and pieces of Willie’s life.”

Rain made Friday’s filming more challenging, but it didn’t throw the shoot off schedule, although movie cameras are so sensitive, the sound of torrential rain outside could possibly be picked up and interfere with dialogue. Friday represented day 10 of a scheduled 18-day shoot and the fifth and final day of interior scenes at the Raymond Road residences.

Scenes shot involved Pep, Pep’s son Billy, played by Keir Gilchrist, and Willie’s sister Fran, played by Shari Albert. Cast and crew were scheduled to move on to exterior scenes in the south end of Hartford, where Pep grew up.

Pep film camera crew inside.

And for prop master Diego Quecano, that meant overseeing everything from period cars to car key chains to re-creating license plates, including Pep’s “W*Pep” plate.” The movie takes place in the 1960s but there are various flashbacks to the 1940s, Quecano said. The crew had its work cut out for it when it had to re-create a fight at Madison Square Garden at a local boxing gym. There will be no digital effects for the Garden scene, yet Quecano promises, “It’s really beautiful. You’re going to see it in the film.” Quecano secured 1940s era pencils and pads for the actors playing judges, among other things, from local antique shops.

For scenes at the Pep home, Quecano was responsible for cooking all the Italian food that will be on camera. “And because this is the 1960s, we have a Jello mold,” said Quecano. It’s all about the details. Even a watch Madio will wear has an engraving on the back that says, “For the Champ – It was a pleasure watching you fight.”

The film is being made on a budget of roughly 1.5 million dollars. More often, films are being shot here in the Nutmeg State, in part because of an enticing tax credit not seen in New York City and other locales.

Loff explained Connecticut allows a 30 percent tax credit on all monies, “whether it’s above the line talent like cast and directors or producers or below the line expenses, all of it qualifies for 30 percent tax credit.”

He added, “So if we spent a million in theory, we get $300,000 back. There’s always a loss. You assume a 5 or 10 percent loss. On $1 million, you’re probably going to get $250,000 let’s say. You’re going to lose a little bit, but what we did here is we used that credit, and I’m still working through this process, we’re using the tax credit to take a loan up front.”

Pep film with John Scully and director and Kirk Lang.

Big budget films sometimes get five to six weeks’ worth of shoot time. Blockbuster movies may even get 12 weeks at times.

“We’ve got 18 days,” said Loff. “It’s really tight. $1.5 million is really tight. You can’t pay people what they deserve to get paid for their services. You’re getting a much younger crew, so it’s important that you have good management at the top. We have a few veterans. You sprinkle in a few veterans. We have a great DP, a director that works fast, so despite the fact that we have a young crew, despite the fact we have a short schedule of 18 days and not a lot of money to work with, we’re doing our best to maximize all that and we are on schedule and on budget as of today.”

For many, seemingly random occurrences or run-ins are not so random, and Madio ran into Loff in Los Angeles back in 2008 mere days after his dad told him he looked like Willie Pep.

“That’s when I told [Loff] the Willie story and we immediately started the development process. Over a decade later here we are. Unreal. A dream come true.”

The film’s working title is Pep and is slated for a late 2022 or early 2023 release, according to Loff.

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Terence “Bud” Crawford Scores Terrific Stoppage of Former Champ “Showtime” Shawn Porter in 10

Story by Ron John Rinaldi and Joseph Rinaldi

Undercard Story by Top Rank

LAS VEGAS (Nov. 20, 2021) — After the relatively dismal COVID sports year of 2020, it is without a doubt that in 2021 the sport of boxing roared like a lion producing the most exciting fights and matchups seen in years, such as Emanuel Navarrete’s win over Christopher Diaz for the WBO featherweight title; Stephen Fulton’s win over Angelo Leo for the WBO jr. feather title; Olesksandr Usyk’s upset victory over Anthony Joshua for the WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight laurels; Shakur Stevenson’s impressive KO win over Jamel Herring to capture the WBO super featherweight crown; Canelo Alvarez’s KO over Caleb Plant to become the first ever undisputed super middleweight champion; and last, but far from least, Tyson Fury’s amazing  KO win over the great Deontay Wilder to retain the WBC heavyweight title in one of the most exciting heavyweight championship bouts in boxing’s rich history.

Then comes “Showtime” Shawn Porter’s gallant challenge against one of boxing’s premier fighters Terence “Bud” Crawford for the Nebraskan’s WBO welterweight title.

Just like the other fights mentioned herein, fireworks and excitement reigned through the night as the pound-for-pound champ Crawford knocked out Porter in the 10th round to retain his WBO welterweight world title in front of a sold-out crowd of 11,568 at Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 20: Shawn Porter (L) and Terence Crawford (R) exchange punches during their fight for the WBO welterweight championship at Michelob ULTRA Arena on November 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)


Making his fifth title defense, Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) was faced with the toughest fight of his career taking on former WBC and IBF welterweight champion  Porter (31-4-1, 17 KOs), of Akron, Ohio, who has fought nearly every great welterweight of this era.


“I figured him out in Round 1,” said Crawford after the bout. “I figured that I had the reach and he had to take chances, and he did what he normally does. He tried to maul and push me back, but I used my angles and I pushed him back at times as well. Shawn Porter is a slick fighter. He was doing some things in there and made me think.”

As for the knockout, Crawford said, “I know I caught him with a good uppercut and then when I caught him with another left hook clean in his face that he was real hurt and his dad did the right thing by stopping it because I was coming with a vengeance.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 20: Shawn Porter (L) and Terence Crawford (R) exchange punches during their fight for the WBO welterweight championship at Michelob ULTRA Arena on November 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)


Regardless of the tough fight and eventual outcome, Crawford could not show enough respect for Porter who fought one of the best fights of his career. “I love him. Shawn Porter is a real good friend of mine. I didn’t really want to fight him. We always said we would fight each other when the time was right, and I guess the time was right for this fight to happen. I tried to fight the other champions in the division, and that didn’t happen, so I went to the next best thing.”

For their night’s work, Crawford earned in excess of $6 million, while Porter earned upwards of $4 million or more.

But Porter came to fight.

Dressed in a black robe to honor his favorite fighter, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, inscribed with “Marvelous” and “War” Porter entered the ring at the Mandalay Bay to LL Cool J’s “I’m Bad” blasted from the speakers of the arena.

Crawford knocking down Porter in round ten.

In the opening round, the Porter scored with a hard right to the champion’s head, clearly intending to make a statement right there and then. He followed up the right with combinations and became at that moment the aggressor in the bout.

Round two saw Porter attacking Crawford in an attempt to pile up points to bank in the early rounds. Though Crawford connected with a good jab, Porter continued his two-fisted attack. Halfway through the round, Crawford switched to a southpaw stance and landed a couple of jarring rights to the challenger’s head. Not to be outdone, Porter knocked back Crawford with a thudding right to the jaw. This got Crawford’s attention as both fighters went toe-to-toe in an all-out slugfest to the delight of the sellout crowd on hand.

In round three, Porter continued in his aggressive posture, eventually scoring with another hard right that backed the champion to the ropes. Crawford responded with blows of his own as the two fighters exchanged enough leather to saddle a horse as the fans by then were leaping to their feet.

These back-to-back exchanges continued through rounds four to six as both fighters refused to back up as fists flew around the ring faster than a Cuisinart Mixer.

After rounds, Porter led 48-47 on all three scorecards.

In round seven, Porter slammed Crawford with a right to head, as both fighters continued their two-fisted exchanges. Though Crawford landed the greater punches, Porter refused to relent.

After a close round eight, Porter notched up his game in the following session, landing punches to the head and body of the Nebraska champion.

After nine rounds, Crawford was up 86-85 on two cards and 87-84 on the other. The USA Boxing News had Porter slightly ahead at 86-85.

Then came round ten.

Possibly sensing that the fight was a little too close for comfort, Crawford came out for round ten with a vengeance as he quickly knocked down the gutsy former champion with a terrific left uppercut to the jaw.

Though Porter bravely rose to his feet, Crawford, sensing blood in the water, went for the kill and let go with a fusillade of blows – all thrown with the acumen of an assassin, which he finished with a right hook to the temple, followed by a signature short left hook to the challenger’s head that deposited him on the ring floor for the second time in the round.

After the second knockdown, the Ohio challenger slammed his right fist to the canvas three times.

This time, his corner, led by his father Kenny Porter, had seen enough and called the fight off as Crawford retained his title on a technical knockout. 

“I didn’t expect that (stoppage by his father). We have an understanding,” Porter exclaimed.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 20: Bob Arum (L) and Terence Crawford (R) victory pose as he defeats Shawn Porter for the WBO welterweight championship at Michelob ULTRA Arena on November 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Still, he clearly had respect for Crawford. “He’s the best out of everybody,” said Porter, a member of the welterweight-stacked Premier Boxing Champions stable that counts two-belt champion Errol Spence Jr., WBA champion Yordenis Ugas and former champions Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia. 

“He’s definitely the best of anybody in the world,” Porter said afterwards.

“I’m prepared to retire,” Porter said. “I was prepared to announce my retirement tonight — win, lose or draw. Even if it was a draw, we had a date. They were telling us we were going to have to do it again. I was not going to do it again. I am announcing my retirement right now.”

Crawford, meanwhile, revealed that he knew he’d finish Porter after the first knockdown. “I was a little stronger, using my angles to push him back,” Crawford said. 

“Who’s the best in the welterweight division now?” Crawford asked triumphantly.

Told that Errol Spence Jr. had been at the fight, Crawford remarked, “He came to my fight. I thought he didn’t want to fight me. … You saw what I did.” 

Actually, the whole world saw what he did.

If a unification process can start, the welterweight division will become the most colorful and talent laden division in boxing.

The Undercard

Falcao Edges Volny

Middleweights Esquiva Falcao (29-0, 20 KOs) and Patrice Volny (16-1, 10 KOs) were headed for a distance fight until a brutal headbutt opened a gash above Falcao’s left eye in the sixth round. The fight went to the scorecards, and Falcao prevailed by technical decision (58-56 Volny, 58-56 Falcao and 58-57 Falcao) in an IBF title eliminator.

Falcao, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist for Brazil, is now in line for the winner of December’s title unification fight between WBA champion Ryota Murata and IBF kingpin Gennadiy Golovkin.

Janibek Rolls Past N’Dam

Janibek “Qazaq Style” Alimkhanuly (11-0, 7 KOs) is a problem. The world-ranked middleweight from Kazakhstan steamrolled former two-time champion Hassan N’Dam (38-6, 21 KOs) by eighth-round stoppage to retain his WBO Global and WBC Continental Americas belts.

Alimkhanuly dropped N’Dam in the third round and continued marching forward. N’Dam gamely returned fire, but Alimkhanuly was not deterred. Whenever N’Dam landed a punch, Alimkhanuly shook his head and continued the assault. Late in the eighth round, a multi-punch combination froze N’Dam in the blue corner, prompting referee Kenny Bayless to end the carnage.

Alimkhanuly said, “I am ready for a world title shot next. ‘Qazaq Style’ is about to take over the middleweight division. Any champion, it doesn’t matter.

“I must give credit to N’Dam, a tough former champion who took a lot of punishment.”

In other action:

Lightweight phenom Raymond “Danger” Muratalla (13-0, 11 KOs) became the first man to knock out out Elias Araujo (21-4, 8 KOs), finishing things off in the fifth round of a scheduled eight-rounder. Araujo was not seriously hurt at the time of the knockout, but referee Allen Huggins halted the fight due to an accumulation of punishment.

Former junior featherweight world champion Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe” (23-2, 15 KOs) kept his hopes of a featherweight title shot alive, edging two-time title challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz (26-4, 16 KOs) by 10-round majority decision (95-95, 96-94 and 97-93). Dogboe has now won three straight fights since back-to-back defeats to Emanuel Navarrete.

Adam “BluNose” Lopez (15-3, 6 KOs) was just getting started. After dominating the first two rounds against Adan Ochoa (12-2, 5 KOs), the fight was ruled a no-decision due to an accidental headbutt that opened a cut above Ochoa’s right eye. Ochoa sustained the damage in the opening round and was unable to continue.

Lopez said, “I landed some good shots and was busting him up. He was looking for a way out.

“This is so frustrating. I want to get back in the ring as soon as possible. I’m still ready to take on anybody in the featherweight division.”

Junior lightweight prospect “King” Karlos Balderas (11-1, 10 KOs) notched his second stoppage victory in a row, battering Ecuadorian veteran Julio Cortez (15-4, 11 KOs) en route to a fourth-round TKO. Cortez had never been knocked out as a pro entering the bout.

Recent U.S. Olympian Tiger Johnson had an eye-opening professional debut, stopping Antonius Grable (3-2-1, 3 KOs) in the fourth round of a welterweight bout. Johnson suffered the first cut of his career before knocking down Grable with a right hand in the fourth round. Referee Allen Huggins stopped the fight after a follow-up flurry pinned Grable against the ropes.

Johnson said, “I’m coming. The cut was not an issue for me, and I did my thing against a solid opponent in my professional debut. It was an honor to debut on a big pay-per-view card in Las Vegas, and I can’t wait for my second professional fight.”

 

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ANTHONY JOSHUA VS. OLEKSANDR USYK LOOKS LIKE IT WILL TAKE PLACE BY APRIL 2022

Anthony Joshua vs. Olexandr Usyk

After Joshua’s listless loss to the Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk, British boxing fans have been waiting for the announcement of their rematch.

Many of Joshua’s faithful have felt that their champion simply had a bad night and that beloved Joshua should be able to re-group and formulate a plan to end the Ukrain heavyweight championship reign.

After the decade long debacle with the Klitschko brothers claiming the heavyweight laurels, there are few boxing fans left in the world west of  Eastern Europe clamoring for a return of less than exciting fighters.

It has been reported that Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn feels confident that  that Anthony Joshua’s rematch with Oleksandr Usyk will take place by April 2022 at the latest.

Intitially WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight champion Usyk, and WBC champion Tyson Fury were apparently attempting a title unification,  but it appears that the Gypsy King Fury is getting prepared to take on the WBC’s mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte.

Meanwhile, Usyk is already contracted to a rematch with Joshua. According to Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk, the  fight is looking to be held in either the Middle East, Ukraine or Great Britain.

“I think [the rematch] will be realistically end of March, early April. Both guys are probably resting, although AJ will be doing a bit more preparation because he wants to get it right,” Hearn told Talk Sport. “There was a well-documented trip to America, just to look really, look, learn and see. I think he will go back out there towards the end of the year. We will start talking to Team Usyk over the next couple of weeks and pin down the venue.

“I would like it back in the UK. There are other options. We have had approaches to stage that fight around the world. But last time out was a massive spectacle and, obviously, this time is a much bigger fight.”

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A statue of Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield was erected in Atlanta, Georgia

The Evander Holyfield statue is a monumental statue of famed professional boxer Evander Holyfield, located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The statue was designed by sculptor Brian Hanlon and unveiled in front of State Farm Arena on June 25, 2021

Evander Holyfield standing in front of his statue.

The Evander Holyfield statue is a monumental statue of legendary former undisputed Heavyweight Champion and Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion  Evander Holyfield, located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.

The statue was designed by sculptor Brian Hanlon and unveiled in front of State Farm Arena on June 25, 2021. The $90,000 cost of the statue was part of a $4.4 million investment in public art in Downtown, Midtown, and Southwest Atlanta.

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A new 10-foot bronze statue of Mike Tyson erected at Resorts World in Las Vegas

Mike Tyson Unveils Statue at Mulberry Street Pizzeria -

History has shown that the best way to immortalize a famous and noteworthy individual is to erect a statue of them.
Interestingly enough there are more statues of boxers than there are of any other athlete across the globe. Statues of Roberto Duran, Jack Johnson, Carmen Basilio, Rocky Marciano, Randy Turpin, ingemar Johansson, Jack Dempsey, Young Corbett III, Billy Backus, Stanley Ketchel, Joe Frazier, Larry Holmes, Johnny Kilbane, Joey Giardello, Jersey Joe Walcot, Tony DeMarco, and John L. Sullivan, to name a few have been erected celebrating the great champions that they were; and there are two more on the way – Ezzard Charles and Marvelous Marvin Hagler.
Not surprisingly, a new fighter that has just made his way to bronze is none other than the iconic former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson in his adopted home of Las Vegas. Tyson was recently honored with the unveiling of a new statue at Resorts World in Las Vegas. The statue, which  stands at 10 feet tall and is situated outside of Mulberry Street Pizzeria. Tyson, one of the more popular fighters of all-time, reigned as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world from 1987 to 1990, then as WBC and WBA heavyweight champion in 1996.

“Mulberry Street Pizzeria owner and founder Richie Palmer is an avid boxing fan and felt that Tyson represents a prominent time in the sports world as well as Las Vegas,” read a news release by Mulberry Street Pizzeria. “He thought that it was time Tyson deserved to be honored with his own statue, which is something that the Resorts World team agreed with, so they worked together to make this happen.”

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Instant KO: Jose Zepeda Starches Josue Vargas in 1

Jonas Sultan upsets Carlos Caraballo in co-feature

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RECENT FLASHBACK

Super Shakur: Stevenson Stops Herring to Win Junior Lightweight Title

Xander Zayas & Nico Ali Walsh Score KO Wins on Undercard

ATLANTA (Oct. 23, 2021) — Shakur Stevenson snatched at Jamel Herring’s world title belt during the pre-fight press conference and weigh-in. After Saturday’s virtuoso performance at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Stevenson added some flashy hardware to his collection. Stevenson toppled Herring via 10th-round TKO to win the WBO junior lightweight world title and become a two-weight world champion at 24 years of age.

Bruised and cut, referee Mark Nelson stopped the fight with Stevenson pitching a shutout on two of the three cards.

“Around the fifth round, I was landing everything and then he started trying to come on,” Stevenson said. “I smelled blood. I saw he was bleeding and was like, ‘OK, I have to attack the cut. I was trying to touch the cut to make the doctor try and stop it.”

Said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, “A sensational performance from Shakur Stevenson, who showed why so many think he’s the future pound-for-pound king. Jamel Herring displayed the heart of a champion, but he was in there with an incredible fighter tonight.”
 
Herring (23-3, 11 KOs) has made a career off of upsetting the odds, bouncing back from a pair of lightweight defeats to become a world champion. He defended his title three times and had designs on derailing a potential pound-for-pound superstar. 

“He’s sharp and slick. His hand-eye coordination is very good,” Herring said. “No excuses. He was just the better man tonight.”

Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs), from Newark, New Jersey, has been destined for stardom since capturing a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He had a brief run as a featherweight champion, but had never faced an established world champion until Herring. Stevenson picked Herring apart at mid range, while Herring tried in vain to ugly things up on the inside.

As soon as the fight ended, talk began about Stevenson’s next foe. The top name on his list is the WBC champion at 130 pounds, Mexican star Oscar Valdez.

Stevenson said, “There’s only one fight left at the end of the day. It’s the biggest fight at the end of the day. Oscar can’t keep ducking. It’s time for him to fight. There’s nothing else to look forward to. The 130-pound division needs to unify. Let’s get it!”

Zayas KOs Karpency

Junior middleweight Xander Zayas (11-0, 8 KOs) is starting to run away with the 2021 Prospect of the Year. The Puerto Rican sensation won his fifth fight of the year, battering Dan Karpency (9-4-1, 4 KOs) until Karpency’s corner stopped the slaughter after the fourth round. Zayas landed nearly 50 percent of his power shots (81/166) and became the first man to knock out Karpency, who has been a pro for eight years.

Zayas said, “My debut on ESPN, I feel amazing. I stopped a guy that had not been stopped in eight years {as a pro}. I’m blessed to be here. I hope everybody enjoyed the show, and now it’s just back to the gym. Hopefully, I can get on that December 11 show in New York.
 
“In my last fight in September, we noticed that my left hand was a low a little too much, so this camp we kept the elbows and shoulders up and tried to avoid that right hand. We knew he was going to come with those hooks, so we stayed low. Overall, I think I made an improvement. I showed I could adjust, and I hope everyone enjoyed it today.”

2 Up, 2 Down: Ali Walsh Victorious Again

Nico Ali Walsh (2-0, 2 KOs) had to go a little longer than his one-round August pro debut, but the grandson of “The Greatest” was dominant in knocking out James Westley II (1-1) in the third round of a middleweight special attraction. Ali Walsh ate a couple hard right hands in the first round, and he then knocked down Westley with a straight right hand shortly before the bell sounded to end the second. Westley’s corner stopped the fight following a knockdown early in the third round.

Ali Walsh said, “I’m happy that my pro debut went the way it did. There’s stuff, of course, I have to work on.
 
“I know the crowd got excited seeing him land a punch, but I did not feel the punch. Maybe it was my energy, my adrenaline, but my hat’s off to him and his team. Mutual respect both ways, and it was a very good fight.

“I’m blessed that I’m following the legacy of my grandfather. I think everyone who loves my grandfather who’s watching me… I love this legacy that I’m continuing.”

In other action:

Atlanta native Evan Holyfield (8-0, 6 KOs) — following in the footstep of his famous father— knocked out Charles Stanford (6-4, 3 KOs) in the second round of a scheduled six-round junior middleweight contest. Holyfield connected with a looping left hook that staggered Stanford. After a right hand for good measure, Stanford was on the deck and in no position to continue.

In his first fight since representing the United States at the Tokyo Olympics, middleweight Troy Isley (3-0, 2 KOs) made quick work of Nicholi Navarro (2-2, 2 KOs), knocking out his overmatched foe in 2:48. At the end of the round, Isley connected with a three-punch combination that sent Navarro to the mat.

It was a junior welterweight upset in A-Town, as the sub-500 Eric Palmer (13-14-5, 1 KO) stunned hometown favorite Roddricus Livsey (8-1-1, 5 KOs) by six-round split decision (58-56 Palmer 2x and 59-55 Livsey).

The identical 40-36 cards did not tell the entire story. Featherweight prospect Haven Brady Jr. (4-0, 3 KOs), from Albany, Georgia, withstood the right hand barrage of Roberto Negrete (3-1, 1 KO) to win the four-round battle of unbeatens. Negrete had his moments pushing Brady to the ropes, but the judges preferred Brady’s cleaner punching.

Welcome to the pro game, Antoine Cobb. The junior welterweight from Chicago needed only 58 seconds to win his professional debut, as an overhand right sent Jerrion Campbell (2-2) tumbling into the ropes.

Brooklyn-born lightweight prospect Harley Mederos (2-0, 1 KO) went the distance for the first time in his career, shutting out the game Deljerro Revello (0-2) over four rounds by identical scores of 40-35. Mederos knocked down Revello in the opening round.

 Photos from Mikey Williams / Top Rank via Getty Images

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globe1-150x150OVERSEAS BOXING MATCHES

By Per-Ake Persson

 

 

Dina Thorslund wallops Zulina Munoz in 7 to retain WBO Female Bantamweight Laurels

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RECENT FLASHBACK

TYSON FURY THE BEST HEAVYWEIGHT ON THE PLANET

Tyson Fury KO’s Deontay Wilder in Terrific Trilogy Triumph

Tyson Fury KO’s Deontay Wilder. 

Story by Alex and John Rinaldi and Top Rank

In one of the greatest and most exciting ring battles in the colorful history of the heavyweights, Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury retained his heavyweight championship in a devastating fashion after stopping the gallant Deontay Wilder in eleven rounds, before a packed crowd in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas

In doing so he has cemented himself firmly as the lone sentinel atop the Mt. Everest of the heavyweight division.

Prior to the bout, former WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder declared, “I want payback back in blood.  I will get my revenge. It’s an eye for an eye.”

Remarkably, after nearly eleven slam-down rounds, Wilder almost got that “eye for an eye” especially in the fourth round when he crashed Tyson Fury twice to the canvas, only to have him survive and KO the brave challenger six rounds later.

Wilder entered the ring wearing a mask, a strange headpiece, and a tooth-like and claw necklace, looking very much like a sinister witch doctor hell bent on delivering his foe an evil brew of rights and lefts.

Fury, meanwhile waited in his dressing room listening to the band Lynyrd Skynyrd’ss rendition of their classic rock song Sweet Home Alabama. Considering that it is Wilder who hails from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, not Fury, who happens to hail from Manchester, England, the song might have been a poke to Deontay that he would soon be resting in a grave under the ground there.

Wilder (L) and Fury (R) going on the attack.

Like all things in life, the end justifies the means, and in this case Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) scored three knockdowns in all, the final two in the eleventh frame which closed the curtain on Wilder’s gutsy challenge, in front of a loud and frenzy crowd of 15,820.

 
“Like the great John Wayne said, iron and steel, baby,” Fury said. “I give God the glory for the victory. [Wilder] is a tough man. He took some big shots tonight. And I want to say that if it wasn’t for Sugar Hill, America and Detroit’s own, I wouldn’t have gotten through that fight tonight.  He said, ‘get your jab working, big guy, and throw that right hand down the middle.  That’s how the big dogs do it,’ so that’s what I did.”
 
As for Wilder, his effort should also be cheered.

“I did my best, but it wasn’t good enough,” said Wilder afterwards. “I’m not sure what happened. I know that in training he did certain things, and I also knew that he didn’t come in at 277 to be a ballet dancer. He came to lean on me, try to rough me up and he succeeded.”

Wilder dropping Fury in Round 4.

Wilder began the fight well throwing jabs and rights to the target-like body of Fury and combinations to the head. Fury responded with hard right crosses along with short lefts and uppercuts to the challenger’s skull.

Then came round three.

In third round, the action came to a boiling point when Fury unleashed a powerful right that sent Wilder sailing to the canvas, like a kite unleashed in a violent storm.

Courageously, the game puncher from the American South rose to his feet, and managed to survive the follow-up blows until the bell rang seconds later.
 
Sensing that Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) was on unsteady legs, in the fourth round Fury went after the former champ like a predator to end matters there and then.

Punch after Fury punch landed on the former champion as the crowd was gearing up for a funeral parade in the aisles when all of a sudden, like the legendary fighters of the past, the “Bronze Bomber” exploded with a terrific short right followed by another sledge hammer overhand right, that sent Fury smashing to the canvas like a sunken British warship .

Tyson Fury (L) Deontay wilder (R) in action.

Bravely, like Wilder the round before, Fury made it to his feet only to be knocked down again after another Wilder fusillade floored the Brit for the second time in the round. Down for the count of “nine” the bell rang seconds after he got up to spare the champion from Wilder’s hangman’s noose of punches.
 
Wilder started strong in the fifth, blasting Fury with more crippling rights. The “Gypsy King” maintained his composure, digging to the body in close quarters.
 
Unfortunately for Wilder, Fury appeared to wither the storm, while the challenger started to appear hurt and tired.

Possibly due to Fury’s body shots as well as his constant pressure and leaning on Wilder, the challenger began to quickly slow down.

While Wilder continued to land hard rights, Fury dropped him for the send time in the tenth the – courtesy of another wrecking ball right hand.

Both fighters clocking the other.

To his credit, and as a testament to his supreme courage, Wilder, like the great fighter he is, rose and survived the brutal stanza.

Sadly for him, the survival would be short-lived since Fury was hell bent on finishing off Wilder before the former champ could land one of his thunderous right hands of destruction of his own.

In the first and eventually last minute of the eleventh round, Fury clocked Wilder with another nuclear right to the temple that looked to knock Wilder somewhere between the clouds and the wild blue yonder.

Referee Russell Mora mercifully rescued the brave warrior, ending the fight at 1:10 of the round.

“It was a great fight tonight, as good as any trilogy in history,” said Fury. “October 9, 2021, will go down in history, I hope. I always said I was the best in the world and he was the second-best. Don’t ever doubt me.  When the chips are down, I will always deliver.”

Fury (R) landing a hard left hook.

After the fight, Fury went over to Wilder and attempted to shake his hand. Wilder rebuffed the attempt and refused to acknowledge him. In his post-fight interview, Fury stated “I’m a sportsman. I went over to him to show some love and respect and he didn’t show it back. I will pray for him so that God will soften his heart.” Fury then added that it “was a great fight tonight, worthy of the best of trilogies.”

Praise for the fight was immediate and profuse, with many describing it as one of the best heavyweight bouts in history. Promoter Bob Arum stated he had “never seen a heavyweight fight as magnificent as this” during his 57-year career in boxing.

For his work, Fury received a $10 million guaranteed plus share of PPV revenue depending on PPV buys numbers. Set to clear between $12 to 15 million; while  Wilder pocketed a $8 million guarantee plus share of PPV revenue, which might clear him between $10 to $12 million.

With a fourth Fury-Wilder fight off the table, Fury can target the winner of the rematch between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk, the surprise winner of their bout late last month. In theory, within 12 months, the heavyweight division could have a single champion.

Wilder, for his part, could regroup and take some tuneup fights, or he could make big-money matches in the aftermath of the Joshua-Usyk-Fury round-robin. The main point, for Fury, Wilder and fans, is that options abound for entertaining, high-stakes fights.

Wilder (L) landing a shrp hook to Fury’s jaw (R).

“Boxing is big, and boxing is back,” Javan Hill, Fury’s trainer, said at the news conference. “The heavyweight division is flourishing.”

The Undercard

Sanchez KO’s Ajagba

In the co-main event battle between two unbeaten heavyweights, Frank Sanchez (19-0, 13 KOs) scored one knockdown on his way to a comfortable, 10-round unanimous decision win over Efe Ajagba.
 
Sanchez used his superior boxing skills to keep the hard-hitting Ajagba (15-1, 12 KOs) off-balance for the entire fight. The “Cuban Flash” displayed his power as well, flooring Ajagba with a hard right in the seventh. A follow-up left hook which landed a tick after Ajagba’s knee hit the canvas.

Frank Sanchez (R)stops Efe Ajagba (L).

Ajagba made it to his feet and survived the round but never seriously threatened on his way to the first defeat of his career.

Sanchez said, “I knew I was going to win all the rounds because I’m much better than him technically. I knew that if I connected, he would fall and he did fall. My game plan was always to frustrate him and go in for the attack.”


Helenius Stops Kownacki

Robert Helenius was even better against Adam Kownacki this time. In a rematch of their March 2020 slugfest which Helenius won via fourth-round TKO, Helenius battered Kownacki throughout to induce a stoppage at 2:38 of the sixth round. 
 
“I expected [this win] because, what does he have?” Helenius said. “Don’t get me wrong. He’s a good brawler, but I’ve been fighting brawlers for 20 years. I know how to deal with them, even if they are hitting me low or behind the head. That doesn’t bother me.”

Robert Helenius (L) clobbers Adam Kownacki (R).

Helenius used his height and length to box in the first, working the jab up and downstairs and briefly buckling Kownacki with a right toward the end of the stanza. 
 
Kownacki came alive in the second and third, throwing punches in bunches but earned a warning for two low blows that sank Helenius to his knees. The “Nordic Nightmare” took over from that point on, bloodying Kownacki’s nose and closing his left eye with thudding power shots. 
 
The steady hammering continued until the sixth, when Kownacki landing another low blow. Referee Celestino Ruiz examined Kownacki as he warned him and decide to halt the action. 
 
“Right now, I want to go home to my family,” Helenius said. “I’ve been away from them for four weeks. Then we can worry about what’s next.”

Anderson KOs Tereshkin

Jared “Big Baby” Anderson 10-0 (10 KOs) continued his rapid rise up the heavyweight ranks, stopping veteran Vladimir Tereshkin (22-1-1, 12 KOs) at 2:51 of the second round.
 
“I was a little anxious in the opening round,” Anderson said. “My first pay-per-view card and all that. But I settled in and gave a great performance. I practiced what my coaches preached. On to the next one.”
 
Anderson dominated from the opening bell, landing at will. In the second, a series of well-placed power shots drove Tereshkin toward the ropes where Anderson unloaded on his defenseless opponent until referee Kenny Bayless mercifully stopped the fight.
 
“I got great work in the gym with Tyson Fury,” Anderson said. “Iron sharpens iron. Shout out to Toledo, my home. I hope I made the fans back home proud.”

In other action:

Rising super middleweight Edgar Berlanga (18-0, 16 KOs) survived the first knockdown of his career to remain unbeaten, winning a 10-round unanimous decision over Marcelo Esteban Coceres (30-3-1, 16 KOs).
 
Berlanga controlled the first half of the bout, flashing his prodigious power which ultimately closed Coceres’ right eye shut. Coceres began opening up in the sixth, catching Berlanga with a stiff left hook. He continued to enjoy pockets of success despite being outgunned.
 
Coceres’ best moment came in the ninth, when he countered a Berlanga left with a beautiful overhand right. Berlanga crashed to the canvas but the Brooklyn, New York gamely rose to his feet, pressing the action until bout’s end.
 
Rugged southpaw Vladimir Hernández (13-4, 6 KOs) registered the finest victory of his career, outworking former unified super welterweight world champion Julian “J-Rock” Williams (27-3-1, 16 KOs) to win a 10-round split decision. 
 
Hernández won on two cards by scores of 97-93 and 96-94 respectively while a third card read 96-94 for Williams.
 
Williams got off to a strong start, countering the aggressive Hernández with well-timed counters and opening a cut over his right eye. Hernández never stopped coming forward, utilizing a dedicated body attack to gradually wear down. The non-stop assault culminated in a big 10th round for Hernández, who rocked Williams with a straight left that frame. The round was the margin of victory for Hernández. 

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Robeisy “El Tren” Ramirez (8-1, 4 KOs) picked up the most significant win of his young career, using his southpaw stance to befuddle the previously undefeated Orlando “Capu” Gonzalez (17-1, 10 KOs) over 10 rounds in a featherweight contest. Scores were 99-91 2x and 97-93.  

Featherweight prospect Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington had a spotless professional debut, shutting out Texas native Cesar Cantu (3-2, 1 KO) by identical scores of 40-36.

Heavyweight upstart Viktor Faust (8-0, 6 KOs) knocked down Mike Marshall (6-2-1, 4 KOs) twice  and finished off the Connecticut native in the third round.

(Photos by Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing )

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Cowboy Up: ‘Vaquero’ Navarrete Retains Featherweight Crown in Bloody Battle Against Joet Gonzalez

CLICK PHOTO TO READ STORY OF THE FIGHT

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Former Welterweight Champion and Boxing Hall of Famer Tony DeMarco dies at age 89

By Henry Hascup and Alexander R. Rinaldi
Sadly, it has been confirmed that the ten count recently has sadly tolled for former World Welterweight Champion and Boxing Hall of Famer Tony DeMarco at the age of 89.
DeMarco was born Leonardo Liotta on January 14, 1932 in Boston. He began boxing at 12, and like most future ring greats, Tony displayed an extraordinary boxing talent literally right from the beginning. A converted southpaw, four years later he turned pro in 1948 at 16, borrowing the name of a friend, Tony DeMarco, to circumvent the legal fighting age of 18.
 
He was soon meeting the top lightweights and welterweights of the era including Pat Manzi (TKO 1), Paddy DeMarco (W 10), Teddy Davis (W 10), Chris Christensen (TKO 6), Pat Manzi (TKO 1), and Jimmy Carter (D 10). He was also fighting in some of the most famous arenas in boxing history such as the Boston Garden (Boston), Laurel Garden (Newark), the Forum in Montreal, and,  of course, Madison Square Garden in New York. He also was one of the few fighters ever to fight in Boston’s famed Fenway Park where he outpointed Vince Martinez in ten rounds on June 16, 1956.

DeMarco standing by his statue leading into the North End Boston neighborhood where he was born. 

His biggest and most glorious win came at the Boston Garden when he demolished and stopped Johnny Saxton in devastating fashion in 14th round after dropping him to the canvas on April 1, 1955 to become the undisputed Welterweight Champion of the World. It was a left hook followed by a jarring right cross that sent Saxton to the canvas.
Although Saxton bravely beat the count, he rose utterly defenseless against DeMarco’s storm of punches prompting the referee to wisely stop the fight. 
“I felt a pain in my right hand. I switched to southpaw, which was natural for me. I started hitting Saxton with left hooks and uppercuts: boom, boom, boom,” said DeMarco.

With the win, DeMarco became one of the biggest and most iconic athletes in Boston, though his reign would be short. 

Unfortunately, in his next bout,  Tony defended his belt against agaisnt the ultra-tough challenger Carmen Basilio in his hometown of Syracuse, NY and was stopped in the 12th round of a classic give-and-take brawl before 9,000 fans.

After the loss, DeMarco rebounded with a first round TKO over Chico Vejar to earn a rematch with Basilio in Boston. In a virtual repeat of their first battle, Basilio again stopped DeMarco in the 12th round of one of the greatest wars of all time, which was later hailed as the “Fight of the Year” for 1955.

In that fight venues were switched to Boston Garden. Before a hometown of his faithful, DeMarco was hell bent on regaining his championship.

In a blod and guts bout, DeMarco nearly ended matters in round 7 when a roundhouse left hook caused Basilio’s knees to tremble and his balance to be compromised.  Like the great champion he was, Carmen managed to  regain his balance, and crashed DeMarco to the ring floor in round 12. In a gutsy move, DeMarco stood back up, only to be knocked out cold by a right hand as referee Mel Manning tried to stop DeMarco’s nearly lifeless body from dropping to the canvas.

A statue of DeMarco located in he North End Boston neighborhood he grew up in.

After that bout, DeMarco added one more huge win against the  famous former Welterweight Champion and Boxing Hall  of Famer Kid Gavilan in 1956.
DeMarco wrapped up his career with one last bout at the Boston Garden, defeating Stefan Redl by unanimous decision in February of 1962.
In a  career that spanned 14 years, Demarco retired with a record of (58-12-1, 33 knockouts).
In 2019, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Tony DeMarco, right, lands a right to the head of Carmen Basilio in the seventh round of their rematch at the Boston Garden in November 30, 1955. (AP Photo)

Tony DeMarco, right, lands a right to the head of Carmen Basilio in the seventh round of their rematch at the Boston Garden in November 30, 1955. 

“People talk about me having a short title reign, but I’d have been happy to be champion for just one day. That was a dream come true for me,” DeMarco told ESPN.

DeMarco chronicled his life in an autobiography, “Nardo: Memoirs of a Boxing Champion,” which was released in 2011. He was later honored in 2015 with a statue leading into the North End Boston neighborhood where he was born.

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Ancient former 4-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield gets walloped in the opening round against UFC fighter Vitor Belfort in exhibition match

Story by John and Alex Rinaldi

 September 11 – 2021 – Hollywood, FL. The last time former undisputed cruiserweight champion and 4-time heavyweight king Evander “Warrior” Holyfield  (44-10-2-1, 1 NC, 29 KOs) stepped into a boxing ring was on May 7, 2011 when he stopped heavyweight contender Brian Neilsen in ten rounds at the Koncerthuset in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Since then, he has spent his retirement doing personal appearances and endorsements. 

After Mike Tyson and Roy Jones fought to a 10-round draw in an exhibition match last November 28, where Tyson pocketed a guaranteed $10 million and Jones was earned a guaranteed $3 million, along with extra revenue from PPV sales, many old time boxers have been wetting their lips looking for an easy payday taking the “exhibition” route.

US former professional boxer Evander Holyfield (R) fights against Brazilian martial artist Vitor Belfort (L) during a boxing fight at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida on September 11, 2021. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP)

One such former legend was Oscar De La Hoya, 48, who was set to return to the ring and face former UFC Heavyweight Tournament and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort on September 11 in California.  De La Hoya spent the last few months honing his body into fighting condition before he was TKO’d by the Covid-19 Virus on September 3.

Victor Belfort pummels Holyfield before the referee stops the fight.

The promoters of the exhibition, Triller Fight Club, frantically looked around for a replacement to keep their date 8 days later. What they needed was a popular former champion and one who appeared to be in decent physical condition.  It took no further than finding Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield to fill in for Oscar.  The locale, however, was moved from California to Florida at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL, since the California Athletic Commission wanted no part of allowing the 58 year-old Holyfield to climb into the ring in their state.

A dazed Holyfield looks up at his oponent Belfort.

The promoters, Triller Fight Club, then decided to hedge their bets and signed on another legend for the event, the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, to handle the commentary.

 

Trump, who is a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, is no stranger to boxing.  In the late 1980s into the mid 1990s, Trump was boxing’s biggest supporter in Atlantic City and hosted many of Mike Tyson’s historic battles, including his title fights against Michael Spinks, Larry Holmes, Tyrell Biggs, and Carl Williams. He also hosted the April 19, 1991 blockbuster contest between undisputed heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and the popular challenger, former heavyweight king George Foreman.  Trump’s hotel at the time, Trump Plaza, had a direct access into Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, and most of those events were sell-outs.

Besides the heavyweight title fights, Trump hosted 1989’s Fight of The Year, when the betting underdog and boxing legend Roberto Duran captured the WBC middleweight title in a 12-round war against Iran “The Blade” Barkley.

At that time period, Trump ushered in a golden era in Atlantic City boxing.  Additionally, nearly every Friday night, he held smaller scaled fights in the ballrooms of Trump Plaza that were packed to the rafters.  Trump’s love of the sport made Atlantic City the go to place to watch big time boxing, literally burying Madison Square Garden in the process. Trump worked with promoters such as Don King Productions, Top Rank, Inc. and Main Events to bring championship boxing to the fabled New Jersey resort.

Former champion David Haye lands a jab to the jaw of Joe Fournier.

When Trump was elected president, he still was a champion of the sport as he finally granted the legendary former heavyweight king Jack Johnson a full pardon, something that ALL of the past presidents could not pull off.

So when the former President of the United States was signed on to offer television commentary to the Holyfield-Belfort PPV telecast, he was certainly no stranger to the sport of fisticuffs.

Holyfield was guaranteed a purse of $500,000, while Belfort was guaranteed $200,000.  Both men could earn more once the PPV revenue is counted.

Before taking on his duties as fight commentator, Trump surprised an immense crowd, including policemen and firemen in New York City to honor the 20th anniversary of 9/11. 

At the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, the former president was given thunderous applause as he entered the arena as the crowd chanted, “We want Trump! We want Trump!”

Victor Belfort sends Evander Holyfield through the ropes.

During the telecast, Trump’s knowledge of the sport was quite clear and beforehand said these remarks to the viewing audience on 9/11, “The anniversary of 9/11 us one of the most important days.  And we had a very bad week because of some very bad decisions that were made.  We should have never allowed to happen what happened in Afghanistan with 13 great warriors and many injured and many people killed in these final days, and it was a shame.”

From there on, Trump settled down to speaking on boxing and of his opinions of the boxers and of some of the great fights he hosted in the past in Atlantic City.  Also with Trump was his son Don Jr, who is another fine student of The Sweet Science.  Besides mentioning some of the famous fights he hosted in the past, Trump talked about the classic Duran-Barkley bout, admitted that he thought Larry Holmes had the best  left hand jab he ever saw, and that he is a big fan of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

While Trump may have had a triumphant return to the limelight, the same could not be said of Evander Holyfield.  He looked all of his 58 years (he would be turning 59 in 5 weeks) as he climbed through the ropes. Holyfield was clearly the crowd’s favorite, for they came to see fighters, not UFC guys whose only strategy in a fight is to strangle their opponent in the opening seconds.

Vitor Belfort, 44, of Boca Raton, FL, was actually engaging in his first ever boxing match. 

At the bell, Holyfield moved around the ring as if he were just released from his Egyptian tomb, and with all the movement of mummy that just crawled out of his sarcophagus. Evander lashed out with weak jabs that rarely found their mark.  In the early seconds, Belfort was cautious as he kept his gloves up high blocking most of his opponent’s shots. After Holyfield fired a left hook, Belfort countered with his own left hook that cracked into Holyfield’s skull, and then he opened up with both fists. Proving that although his reflexes were absent, his guts were still intact and Evander willingly traded blows until he slipped to the floor after missing with a wild punch.

Upon  rising from the slip, Belfort attacked the former champion with a relentless assault and capped it off with a brutal left uppercut to the chin that sent Evander soaring backwards and through the ropes on the canvas.  The brave warrior got first into a sitting position, before he rose to his feet.

Once the fight resumed, Belfort moved in for the kill and fired away with both hands.  Although Holyfield was still on his feet and blocking most of the punches, referee Sam Burgos stopped the fight in the opening frame.

The audience was shocked at the sudden conclusion of the fight, and so was Holyfield. The stoppage came at 1:49 of the first round.   There were only 11 seconds left in the 2-minute round.  The fight was scheduled for eight rounds.

“I let him [Belfort] get too close, although I thought it was a bad call,” said Evander. “I don’t think the referee should have stopped the fight that quick.”