Boxing News Stories and Press Releases from The Boxing Twins

Boxing News Stories and Press Releases from

       The Boxing TwinsFor Immediate Release:

April 24: Josue Vargas-Willie Shaw Featured on Navarrete-Diaz Undercard LIVE on ESPN+ from Kissimmee, Florida
Undercard action to stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (April 16, 2021) — Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas was born in Isabel, Puerto Rico, and idolized the great Felix “Tito” Trinidad. For the first time in his professional career, he’ll have a building full of Puerto Rican fans cheering him on. Vargas will fight Willie Shaw in a 10-round junior welterweight bout Saturday, April 24 at a sold-out Silver Spurs Arena in the Puerto Rican enclave of Kissimmee, Florida.
 
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with All Star Boxing, Vargas-Shaw will highlight a loaded undercard showcasing Puerto Rico’s top young talent streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+ at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. Following the undercard, Mexico’s Emanuel Navarrete defends his WBO featherweight world title against Puerto Rican contender Christopher Diaz, and super middleweight Edgar Berlanga (16-0, 16 KOs) seeks to score his 17th consecutive first-round knockout against Demond Nicholson (ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).
 
It is time to show the world who ‘The Prodigy’ is,” Vargas said. “Fighting in Kissimmee is like fighting in Puerto Rico. After this fight, the Puerto Rican fans will talk about me. I am going to put on a show. I’ve seen some videos of Shaw on YouTube. I’m not going to take anything away from him, but he doesn’t have skills like I do. I have more experience than him. It’s time for me to break him down and show the world I’m a contender.”
 
Vargas (18-1, 9 KOs) had a breakthrough performance last October on the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Teofimo Lopez undercard, dominating contender Kendo Castaneda via unanimous decision. He made headlines last June when he conducted his post-fight interview on ESPN after Salvador Briceno knocked out a pair of his upper front teeth. Despite the dental mishap, Vargas nearly shut out Briceno. Vargas has won 12 consecutive fights since a controversial disqualification loss.
 
“I’ve shown my intelligence in the ring. I barely got touched against Castaneda,” Vargas said. “I threw more than 800 punches in 10 rounds. It showed me that I belonged with higher-level fighters. I was letting him survive. That was me being nice. This time, I’ll apply more pressure and get the stoppage.”
 
Shaw (13-2, 9 KOs), from Oakland, California, enters the lion’s den as an experienced road warrior, having fought six times in Mexico since turning pro in 2017. Last August, Shaw pushed top prospect Omar Juarez before losing a six-round decision. He rebounded in January with a second-round stoppage in Tijuana.

In other undercard action:
 
Joseph Adorno (14-0-1, 12 KOs) vs. Jamaine Ortiz (14-0, 8 KOs)
8 Rounds, Lightweight

Adorno returns from a nearly 16-month layoff hoping to return to the win column following his January 2020 draw against Hector Garcia. He has a chance to advance from prospect to contender against the unbeaten Ortiz, who is coming off last November’s seventh-round knockout over Ugandan veteran Sulaiman Segawa on the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr. undercard.
 
Orlando Gonzalez (16-0, 10 KOs) vs. Juan Antonio Lopez (15-8, 6 KOs)
8 Rounds, Featherweight
 
Puerto Rican southpaw stylist Gonzalez makes his 2021 debut against Lopez, a Texas resident who has upset a few undefeated prospects during his nearly nine-year pro career. Gonzalez went 162-16 as an amateur and inked a promotional deal with Top Rank in 2019.
 
Xander Zayas (7-0, 5 KOs) vs Demarcus Layton (8-1-1, 5 KOs)
6 Rounds, Welterweight
 
Puerto Rican prodigy Zayas, an 18-year-old who signed with Top Rank at 16, makes his third pro appearance in Kissimmee. He last fought Feb. 20 in Las Vegas and was pushed the six-round distance by James Martin. Zayas, who won 11 national titles as an amateur, recently spent time in his Florida training camp sparring Gervonta Davis and former world champions Adrien Broner and Robert Easter Jr. Layton is unbeaten in three bouts since a 2019 TKO loss.
 
Jeremy Adorno (4-0, 1 KO) vs. Ramiro Martinez (2-0-2, 1 KO)
4 Rounds, Junior Featherweight
 
Adorno, a 2017 U.S. Youth National Championship gold medalist, turned pro under the Top Rank banner in March 2019. The younger brother of Joseph Adorno, he’ll fight for the first time since a January 2020 decision win on the Joe Smith Jr.-Jesse Hart undercard in Atlantic City. Martinez, who fights out of Hurst, Texas, fought last November and won a one-sided decision over the 1-0 Tevin Moore.
 
Jaycob Gmez (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Mobley Villegas (3-1, 2 KOs)
4 Rounds, Junior Lightweight
 
Gómez is a 19-year-old upstart from Caguas, Puerto Rico, the same city that produced Miguel Cotto. He turned pro last October and scored a sensational first-round knockout. Villegas has never stopped as a professional.

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Majority Rules: Joe Smith Jr. Edges Maxim Vlasov to win Light Heavyweight World Title
Efe Ajagba scores one-punch KO over Brian Howard

TULSA, OK (April 10, 2021) — Joe Smith Jr., the common man with the common name, finally reached boxing’s apex. Smith used a furious late rally to edge Maxim Vlasov by majority decision and win the vacant WBO light heavyweight world title Saturday evening at Osage Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The scorecards — 114-114, 115-113 and 115-112 — represented the nip-and-tuck nature of the bout.

Maxim Vlasov (R) stabs Joe Smith Jr. (L) with a hard right to the eye.

Maxim Vlasov (R) stabs Joe Smith Jr. (L) with a hard right to the eye.

Smith (27-3, 21 KOs), from Long Island, New York, swept the last two rounds on the cards to pull out the victory and joins promotional stablemate Jamel Herring as a Long Island-born world champion. He now sets his sights on the division’s other champions, including WBC/IBF king Artur Beterbiev. Vlasov (45-4, 26 KOs), from Samara Russia, saw his three-bout winning streak come to an end.

Joe Smith Jr. (R) smashes Maxim Vlasov (L) with a right cross to the jaw.

Smith said, “It’s a great feeling. It was definitely a close, tough fight. I give it to Vlasov. Great fighter. He really put on a great show tonight and toughed it out. I believe that round where I hurt him there… I believe he had his head down, and I should’ve got the knockout. I think I would’ve got the stoppage in {the 11th} round, but he pulled it off and made it out on his feet. I believe I got the victory tonight because they saw I landed the harder shots. He landed a lot of punches. It was a great fight.“I want the other belts. I want the big fights out there. Now I gotta get back in the gym and keep working on my technique and stuff. I believe I’m going to start unifying belts.”

Maxim Vlasov (R) attacks Joe Smith Jr. (L).

Vlasov disagrees with Smith’s assessment of the fight and believes the world title should be going home to Russia.“This was a very hard-fought, competitive fight,” Vlasov said. “I thought I was winning rounds and was well ahead. Against the aggressive style of Joe Smith, I came forward the entire fight. I felt confident I was winning and was securing rounds in the bank with the judges. I never felt that I was behind at any stage of the fight. This was my opportunity to show the world I was a world champion, and I did that, and Joe Smith knows I did that.” 

Ajagba Obliterates Howard

Efe Ajagba (15-0, 12 KOs) just crashed the heavyweight contender parade. The 2016 Nigerian Olympian sent Brian Howard into another orbit with a crunching right hand. Howard twisted, fell face first, and the bout was immediately stopped. Ajagba had not fought since last September’s decision win over Jonathan Rice, but he re-established his place among the world’s top young heavyweights. At 26 years old, time is on his side.

Ajagba said, “I felt good. I tried to pick the punches, use the jab. This guy is very slick sometimes. I tried to do the job. He was shaky, so when I went back to the corner after the first round, my coach told me to take my time, start with the body, leave the head.
 
“I trained for this fight, took my time, started with my boxing foundation, and came back strong. This camp was the best one for me, the best camp ever in my boxing career.
 
 “It’s my time to shine, so I’m coming for the heavyweights.”

In undercard bouts:

Jared Anderson (L) lands a right to the body of  Jeremiah Karpency (R).

Heavyweight: Jared Anderson (9-0, 9 KOs) KO 2 Jeremiah Karpency (16-3-1, 6 KOs), :34. Anderson, the 21-year-old prodigy from Toledo, added another speedy knockout to his highlight reel, this time using a body attack to end things early. He knocked down Karpency with a body blow at the end of the first round, then ended things with another right hand to the body early in the second round. Anderson said,  “I knew he was going to find a spot to fall. I respect him for getting in there and showing up today. It’s a man’s sport. I’m just grateful to be here, thankful for the opportunity.

“I {saw} the shot. His hands kept going up. I kept throwing my jab, looking for openings, feinting, moving around the ring, and it just came. It was a good shot, and he didn’t want to get back up.
 
“Everybody who says they’re the biggest and the baddest, come see ‘Big ‘Baby’ then.
 
“I want to thank Toledo, my city. A lot of them came out to Oklahoma, and I wanted to put on a show for them. I can’t wait for what is next.

Albert “Toledo” Bell (L) smacks Manuel Rey Rojas (R) with a left jab to the top of the head.

Junior Lightweight: Albert Bell (18-0, 5 KOs) UD 8 Manuel Rey Rojas (20-5, 6 KOs). Scores: 78-74 3x. Toledo’s Bell used his length and reach to keep the shorter Rojas at bay and ultimately cruised to a one-sided decision. Bell, who outlanded Rojas 114-94, is ranked in the top 15 by two of the major sanctioning organizations.Junior Lightweight: Robson Conceicao (16-0, 8 KOs) TKO 7 Jesus Antonio Ahumada (17-4 11 KOs), 1:20. 2016 Olympic gold medalist Conceicao, from Bahia, Brazil, put forth a workmanlike performance and beat down Mexican veteran Ahumada. After a knockdown in the seventh, referee Gary Ritter saw enough and saved Ahumada from further carnage. 

Heavyweight: Trey Lippe Morrison (17-0, 17 KOs) TKO 3 Jason Bergman (2-3, 2 KOs), 1:27. Lippe Morrison, son of the late heavyweight Tommy Morrison, returned from a nearly two-year layoff and stopped veteran Bergman in a crowd-pleasing slugfest. Bergman appeared to knock down Morrison in the first, but the referee missed the knockdown call. In the third, Bergman rolled his ankle and could continue, and Morrison was awarded the TKO victory.

Trey Lippe Morrison (L) nails Jason Bergman (R) with a jarring left to the jaw.

Featherweight: Duke Ragan (4-0, 1 KO) UD 6  Charles Clark (3-7,-1 1 KO). Scores: 60-54 3x. In his first fight away from the confines of the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble, Cincinnati’s Ragan outboxed Clark and won every round on all three judges’ scorecards. Through four pro bouts, Ragan has yet to lose a round.

Heavyweight: Jeremiah Milton (3-0, 3 KOs) TKO 1 Jayvone Dafney (2-3, 2 KOs), 1:19. Tulsa native Milton had a successful homecoming, icing Dafney in the opening round with a right hand as Daffney was backed up against the ropes. A dazed Dafney could not respond, and the referee called the bout off.

Sonny Conto (L) knocks out Waldo Cortes in the first round.

Heavyweight: Sonny Conto (7-0, 6 KOs) KO 1 Waldo Cortes (6-4, 3 KO), 1:41. Welcome back, Sonny! In his first fight in 15 months, South Philadelphia native Conto put Cortes down for the 10-count with a sweeping right hand. Conto has now won three straight by first-round stoppage.

(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images)
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  • TICKETS ON SALE NOW FOR
    TRIBUTE TO THE KINGS
    Saturday Night, June 19th
    LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW
  • Guadalajara, Mexico (April 16, 2021) –  Tickets are NOW on-sale for Tribute To the Kings that will take place on Saturday night, June 19th, at The Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico. 
    The card can be seen LIVE on Pay-Per-View in North America
    On the Pay-Per-View portion of the card:
    Julio Cesar Chavez Sr will take on Hector Camacho Jr. in a six-round exhibition fight.
    In this very special battle between Mexico and Puerto Rico, Camacho will look to get even from the historic bout that Chavez had with Camacho’s legendary dad on September 12, 1992.
    MMA legend, Anderson Silva will fight former world middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in an eight round light heavyweight bout.
    Ramon Alvarez and Omar Chavez will do it for a third time in their rubber match in a 10 round middleweight bout.
    Kevin Torres (17-1-1, 14 KOs) will take on an opponent to be named in an eight-round junior welterweight bout.
    Opening the pay-per-view, an exciting title fight pitting Damian Sosa (17-1, 10 KOs) taking on undefeated Abel Mina (13-0, 7 KOs) for the WBO Super Welterweight Latino Championship 
    Tickets are now on sale by clicking https://boletomovil.com/jcchavez and are priced for all fans in a wide variety of price ranges from $10 up to $350 for ringside tickets.
    Gates open at 4:00 pm CST and first undercard fight starts at 4:30 pm CST.
    The Pay-Per-View portion will begin at 9 PM ET/8 PM CT / 6 PM PT
    There will be a a total of 12 bouts on the show, with the first eight being streamed on www.globalsportsstreaming.com and many other digital platforms to be announced.
    ABOUT TRIBUTE TO THE KINGS
    This Massive Event “Tribute to The Kings” will be live on Pay-Per-View and will feature a special Exhibition bout that will see Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. make his final ring appearance against Hector Camacho Jr. Camacho will be honoring the legacy of his late Hall of Fame father.
    Anderson Silva, considered by many to be the greatest MMA fighter of all time, will take on former WBC Middleweight Champion of the world Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. in a boxing match on June 19th at Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico. Silva of Curitiba Brazil was the longest reigning middleweight Champion for the UFC and compiled a record of 34 victories with 11 losses and 23 stunning knockouts. His boxing record is 13 – 1. Chavez, Jr. has a record of 52-5-1 with 34 knockouts.
    The show is promoted by Borizteca Boxing and Tosacano Promotions, and is produced by Global Sports Streaming.
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  • From Mexico to England: Miguel Vazquez-Isai Hernandez & Danny Dignum-Andrey Sirotkin Headline #MTKFightNight Cards on ESPN+
    Vazquez-Hernandez to stream Friday from Mexico starting at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PTSaturday’s Dignum-Sirotkin card will stream live from England at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT From Mexico to England
  • (April 14, 2021) —From two continents, #MTKFightNight returns this week with a pair of evenly matched main events.

    The action begins Friday at Verité Social Venue in Monterrey, Mexico, as former lightweight world champion Miguel Vazquez battles Isai Hernandez in the 10-round junior welterweight main event.

    The fights continue Saturday from University of Bolton Stadium in Bolton, England, as undefeated middleweight contender Danny Dignum will make the second defense of his WBO European middleweight belt in a 10-rounder against Russian veteran Andrey Sirotkin.
     
    Vazquez-Hernandez will be an evening affair, streaming live on ESPN+ at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

    The Dignum-Sirotkin card will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ starting at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.
     
    Vazquez (42-10, 16 KOs) held the IBF lightweight world title for more than four years, from August 2010 to September 2014, and made six successful title defenses. He is 8-6 since losing the world title via split decision to Mickey Bey, but a few of those defeats have been controversial in nature, including last October’s split decision nod at the hands of Lewis Ritson. Hernandez (10-1-1, 7 KOs), from La Paz, Mexico, has won four consecutive fights since the lone defeat of his career.
     
    In other streaming action from Mexico:

    • Former Cuban amateur standout Ariel Perez (5-0, 4 KOs) will take on Mexico’s Brandon Romero (11-1-1, 6 KOs) in a 10-rounder for the WBC Youth Intercontinental super bantamweight belt.
       
    • In an eight-round lightweight battle, Argentina’s Ronan Sanchez (5-0, 3 KOs) will fight Mexico’s Jonathan Escobedo (4-1, 1 KO).
       
    • Jonathan “Geo Don” Lopez (2-0, 2 KOs), a 17-year-old phenom who was born in Puerto Rico and had extensive success as a U.S. amateur, will face Omar Santillan (5-1) in a six-round featherweight tilt.
       
    • In other six-round bouts, welterweight veteran Ricardo Salas (15-1, 11 KOs) will face off against Sergio De Leon (8-4, 1 KO), while junior welterweight puncher Jimerr Espinosa (9-0, 8 KOs) looks to extend his knockout streak to three against Ricardo Diaz (8-4-1, 1 KO).
    •  

    Dignum (13-0, 7 KOs), from Essex, England, won the WBO European middleweight belt in November 2019 with a fifth-round knockout over Conrad Cummings, then defended it less than four months later with a ninth-round stoppage over Alfredo Meli. He returns against Sirotkin (19-1, 7 KOs), a former WBO European super middleweight champion who has won four in a row since a TKO loss to John Ryder.

    In other streaming action from England:

    • Dan Azeez (12-0, 8 KOs) will defend his English light heavyweight title in a 10-rounder against former British title challenger Ricky Summers (17-2-1, 6 KOs); junior featherweight prospect Jack Bateson (12-0, 3 KOs) will step up against Joe Ham (16-2, 6 KOs) in an eight-rounder; upstart super middleweight Lewis Edmonson (4-0, 1 KO) will battle former Commonwealth king Luke Blackledge (26-9-2, 9 KOs) in a six-rounder; middleweight Paul Ryan will make his professional debut in a four-rounder against Kyle Hughes (2-2); and middleweight prospect Fearghus Quinn (2-0) will fight Jan Ardon (2-6) in a six-rounder.
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    • Trainer Julian Chua believes Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez is  No. 1 light heavyweight in the world  

      LAS VEGAS (April 15, 2021) – Rising, young boxing trainer Julian Chua believes he’s working with the No. 1 light heavyweight in the world, 41-0 Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (27 KOs), who was Mexico’s first world super middleweight champion.  

      Better than Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol and even Ramirez’ fellow countryman, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, if he returns to the 175-pound division in the near future.

      The 29-year-old Ramirez, who recently signed an exclusive promotional contract with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, is currently ranked No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, by the WBA and WBO.

      Working out of Churchill Boxing (formerly Wild Card West) in Santa Barbara (CA), Chua became Ramirez’ head trainer two months prior to Gilberto’s’ fourth-round stoppage of Tommy Karpency two years ago.  Last December, Chua prepared “Zurdo” for his fight against Alfonso Lopez, which Ramirez won by 10th round technical knockout in his promotional company’s (Zurdo Promotion’s) inaugural event.

      Chua feels that Ramirez is a special fighter because of his ring IQ, aggressive attack, and innate ability to adapt prior and during fights, pending his opponent.  

      “No. 1,” Chua explained, “he’s special because of his intelligence.  He’s very smart, knowing how to decoy, and even double decoy.  He throws certain shots to see how his opponent reacts. And he throws non-traditional combinations, assaulting his opponent with strange angles, like (Manny) Pacquiao in a way, but different.  ‘Zurdo’ knows what to do when there’s a hole, knowing where to attack and when.  He throws a lot of smoke, lands a good shot, and continues battering his opponent.

      “Gilberto’s willingness to attack is because of his cardio mindset.  He’ll throw a 9-punch combination, then backs off like others, but he jumps right back in.  He has a relentless attack, and his assaults are creative.  He also has the ability to adapt.  A lot of people remember him pressuring (Jesse) Hart, but they forget how he beat (Artur) Abraham by out-boxing him for 12 rounds.  I’m not saying Gilberto isn’t good going forward…..he is Mexican!  He works angles and I love his versatility.  It’s easy to take his reins.  He has 41 fights of experience that make my job easier.  He moves a little awkwardly, but when he’s boxing, it’s effortlessly and smooth.  He also moves his weights effortlessly while throwing combinations.  Deception is his boxing style and that’s the way he thinks.”  

      Ramirez has openly targeted Beterbiev, Bivol, and eventually “Canelo.”  Chua is confident that “Zurdo” can defeat the entire trio, if given the opportunity.  

      “Beterbiev and Bivol are both great champions,” Chua commented.  “Beterbiev is very confident.  He’s a world-class fighter, tough to fight no matter how old he is, but ‘Zurdo’ has the tools to beat him.  He’s focused, in shape, and has the proper mindset.

      “Bivol is a real fighter, too.  You need to stay away from Bivol’s power.  He’s a well-oiled machine with not many dips.  He has strong rounds but also takes off a few rounds.  You can tell when he wants to rest a little.  Bivol has natural ability, and he controls the basics well.  He’s hard to fight because of his style.  He does what he does very well, but ‘Zurdo” has creativity.  Bivol is masterful but he doesn’t have the same creativity as Gilberto.  Not that he isn’t adaptable, but he’s not the same when the fight isn’t going his way.  “Zurdo” has the willingness to fight until the wheels fall off.  Bivol is more safety first.  He’s not going to risk getting seriously hurt.  I know Zurdo is.

      “I highly welcome a fight with ‘Canelo’, just let ‘Zurdo’ get more experience against top level fighters.  ‘Canelo’ is on a tear. (Callum) Smith is a good fighter, but you need good foot movement against ‘Canelo.’  His confidence is through the roof fight now.  He’s can take a punch and slip punches, but he has had some trouble against boxers like (Floyd) Mayweather, (Austin) Trout and (Erislandy) Lara.  If this fight gets made, ‘Zurdo” has the foot movement to give ‘Canelo’ trouble, plus he’s a southpaw and bigger, which also give ‘Canelo’ trouble.”

      The bottom line is “Zurdo” wants to fight the best and as Chua said, “Gilberto is willing to take the hardest route.”

      2021 promises to be the “Year of Zurdo!”

Heavyweight Andrey Fedosov back in Action on Saturday, April 17th against Mahammadrasul Majidov at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida and LIVE on DAZN
PHILADELPHIA (APRIL 8, 2021)–Former Boxcino Heavyweight champion, and, current contender, Andrey Fedosov returns to action when he takes on Mahammadrasul Majidov on Saturday, April 17th at The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Fedosov of Shuya, Russia, will be making his first ring appearance of 2021, and has a record of 31-3 with 25 knockouts.
The former Boxcino champion, who began his career in his native country, has been very successful when taking his career stateside, as he has a record of 12-2 with 11 knockouts, which includes scoring three knockout victories to win the Boxcino Heavyweight title
Fedosov, who is promoted by Banner Promotions and Newsboy Boxing, is a former WBO Intercontinental and WBA Fedlatin Heavyweight champion.
Mojidov is 3-0 with three and knockouts, and is a three-time world amateur champion.
“I am excited to be back in the ring. The Pandemic held me back, but I am ready to go on April 17th. I know my opponent was a decorated amateur, but I am a very experienced professional. That will be the difference on fight night,” said Fedosov
“With a win, Andrey puts himself back in the mix in the heavyweight division. He has the ability to defeat anybody, and we look forward to him putting on a major performance on April 17th, said Banner Promotions President, Artie Pelullo.
“I am excited to be part of the team with Banner Promotions. We are looking forward on Andrey having a great performance and working towards being a top contender in the heavyweight division,” said Gary McCarthy of Newsboy Boxing Promotions.
Said Steve Burman of Newsboy Boxing Promotions, “This is going to be a great fight for Andrey. I can not wait for Andrey to get in there and display that he is one of the top heavyweights in the world. With a win, the sky is the limit for his success.”
The fight will be streamed live on DAZN.
  • _________

Old-time boxing returns with  

“Crossroads” doubleheader   

April 17 in Derry, N.H.  

QUINCY, Mass. (April 8, 2021) – Granite Chin Promotions is bringing old-time, local rivalry pro boxing back Saturday night, April 17, with the presentation of the “Crossroads” day-night doubleheader, featuring seven regional and local title fights, at New England Sports Center in Derry, New Hampshire.  

Kendrick “Peppa” Ball 

Kendrick “Peppa” Ball 

Former New England middleweight champion Kendrick “Peppa” Ball (15-1-2, 11 KOs) steps up in terms of competition against Texas veteran Bryan “The Warrior” Vera (28-16, 18 KOs) in the 8-round main event for the vacant WBC USNBC (U.S.) Silver super middleweight title  

Fighting out of nearby Worcester, Massachusetts, Ball is 11 years younger than Vera, who needs to win or retire, and riding a 6-fight win streak with a 3-inch height and reach advantages.  

Fighting out of Austin, the 39-year-old Vera was originally known for his participation in the first season of The Contender, Reality Television series.  He went on to defeat a trio of world champions – Andy Lee, Sergio Mora (twice) and Serhiy Dzinziruk – capturing five regional titles including the NABO middleweight crown.  

Ball vs. Vera, the evening headliner of the day-night doubleheader (separate admissions), is co-promoted by Ball’s promoter, Classic Entertainment and Sports (CES).  

“Events like this is what local boxing is all about,” Granite Chin’s Chris Traietti said.  “’Crossroads’ is more than just the name for this event.  It’s a reality for a lot of guys on this show.  It is time to find out if some of these young up-and-comers are really as good as the hype, as well as learning if some of the veteran fighters have hit the end of the road.  Our two shows offer a ton of boxing for fans to watch.  On top of all the boxing, we will have live music from The Freight during the afternoon show.    

“For the last 6-7 years, I have been learning, absorbing and, at times, failing to figure out how to make Granite Chin work.  We hit our stride about 1 ½ years ago and not even a pandemic has been able to slow us down.  This is only the beginning of a bright Granite Chin future.   Thank you to everyone who has been supporting Granite Chin to allow us to grow to this point.”  

In the co-featured event, New Hampshire welterweight champion Ryan Dibartolomeo (3-1-1, 1 KO) faces title challenger Marquis Bates (7-4, 5 KOs) in a 6-round bout.  

Larry Pryor (13-23, 7 KOs) takes on Scott Lampert (1-1, 1 KO) for the vacant New Hampshire cruiserweight crown in a 6-rounder.  Undefeated prospect Francis “The Tank” Hogan (4-0, 4 KOs), of Weymouth, MA, meets veteran Larry “Slo Mo” Smith (12-45-2, 8 KOs) in a 6-rounder for the vacant New Hampshire junior middleweight championship, and undefeated Schenectady, NY junior middleweight Jahyae Brown (8-0, 7 KOs) fights Dormedes Potes (12-2-1, 9 KOs) in an 8-round brawl for the vacant ABF Atlantic junior middleweight strap.  

Former New England heavyweight champion Justin “Crazy Train” Rolfe (4-2-1, 3 KOs) squares off against Alfredo “Choncho” Trevino (9-8-1, 1 KO) in 6-round bout.  

Also fighting on the evening’s undercard is unbeaten Holyoke, MA welterweight Denzel Whitley (3-0, 3 KOs) vs. Aquilando Brandao (0-3), and Fall River, MA welterweight Dustin Reinhold (5-4, 2 KOs) vs. pro-debuting Anthony Andreozzi.  

Julien Baptiste (1-0, 1 KO), of Woburn, MA, and pro-debuting Holyoke junior middleweight Carlos Castillo are in separate 4-round bouts against opponents to be determined.  

UBO All-America welterweight champion Brandon “The Cannon” Berry (20-5-2, 12 KOs) headlines the afternoon segment of “Crossroads” in an 8-round title defense versus challenger Gael Ibarra (5-2, 4 KOs).  

Heavyweights Mike “Fly” Marshall (4-1, 3 KOs) and Tracey Johnson (4-9-6) throwdown in in the 8-round co-feature.  

Canadian cruiserweight Yan “Wild Thing” Pellerin (10-1, 4 KOs) meets Steve “The Spoiler” Walker (26-36, 18 KOs) for the vacant ABF Atlantic cruiserweight title in an 8-round encounter.  

In a pair of scheduled 8-round bouts, Danbury, CT junior welterweight Omar Bordoy, Jr. (10-1, 3 KOs) stays busy against Dewayne Wisdom (7-55-2, 3 KOs), while New England welterweight champion Mike “Bad Boy” Ohan, Jr. (11-1, 5 KOs) stays busy against Rynell Griffin (8-45-2, 2 KOs) in a non-title fight.  

Also fighting on the afternoon undercard in 4-rounders are Jimmy Torney (2-0, 2 KOs) vs. pro-debuting Justin Velmure in battle of Boston heavyweights, Weymouth, MA pro-debuting welterweight Eric Goff vs. Jader Alves (0-4), and the pro debut of Demek Edmonds vs. Francisco Neto (1-11).  

All bouts subject to change.  

Tickets are priced at $35.00 (Day Show) / $45.00 (Night Show) for general seating (unassigned) and $220.00 (Day Show) / $300.00 (Night Show) for ringside tables (assigned and seats 4) and available to purchase online at www.ticketriver.com (Search: crossroads).  

Doors open at 12:15 p.m. ET and 7:15 p.m. ET (night) with the first bouts, respectively, at 12:30 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. ET.  

  • _________

Joey Dawejko Stops Joe Jones in 1st Round in Philadelphia
Albright Takes Out Cox in 3

Hilton, Gonzalez, Brown and Smalls Remain Undefeated

PHILADELPHIA (APRIL 8, 2021)–This past Saturday night, popular heavyweight Joey Dawejko knocked out Joe Jones in the opening round of their scheduled eight-round heavyweight bout at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.
The bout headlined a card promoted by RDR Promotions.
Dawejko was dominant in dropping Jones twice, with the final punch coming from a big left hook, and the fight was halted at 2:50.
Dawejko of Philadelphia improved his record to 21-8-4 with 12 knockouts. Jones falls to 11-4.
 
In the co-feature, surging lightweight Nahir Albright notched his third consecutive stoppage victory by stopping Dante Cox in round three of their scheduled six-round bout.
Albright dropped Cox twice in round two, and finished him off at 2:13 of the third frame.
Albright of Sicklerville, NJ is now 11-1 with five knockouts. Cox of Glen Burnie, MD is 6-2.
Former National Golden Gloves champion Mike Hilton shrugged off a knockdown to win a six-round unanimous decision over Twon Smith in a cruiserweight fight.
Smith put Hilton down for a flash knockdown in round three from a left. That was sandwiched around Hilton outboxing Smith, and Hilton took all three cards by 58-55 scores.
Hilton of Trenton, NJ is 11-0. Smith falls to 3-5.
Afunwa King scored a mild upset by taking a six-round majority decision over previously undefeated Benny Sinakin in a light heavyweight bout.
King took two cards by 58-56 tallies, while a third card read even at 57-57.
King is now 3-1. Sinakin of Philadelphia is 6-1.
Matthew Gonzalez of Brooklyn, New York remained undefeated by taking out Luis Eduardo Florez in round five of a scheduled six-round junior welterweight bout.
The time of the stoppage was 2:13 for Gonzalez, who is now 12-0 with eight knockouts. Florez is now 25-19.
Rasheen Brown stopped late-replacement Christopher Nelson in round three of their four-round featherweight fight.
Brown dominated with body shots, and the fight was stopped at 1:50 of round three. A West Philadelphia native, Brown is 7-0 with four knockouts. Nelson is 3-18.
Tahmir Smalls remained undefeated by winning a four-round unanimous decision over Andres Abarca in a welterweight bout.
Scores were 40-34 twice and 39-35 for Smalls, who is now 3-0. Abarca,is 2-4.
Jahdon Ervin made a successful pro debut by taking a four-round unanimous decision over Kareem Gladney in a middleweight fight.
Ervin of St. Clair, PA is 1-0. Gladney is 0-4.
A limited number of seats were available due to Covid restrictions, and were filled to that limited capacity. The fights were streamed worldwide on BXNGTV.com
  • _________

Michael Dutchover Takes on Ivan Leon Benitez on Friday, May 28th at Reed Arena in Bryan-College Station, Texas and LIVE on UFC FIGHT PASS®
Undefeated Heavyweight Isaac Munoz Gutierrez in co-feature
Undefeated Knockout Artist Miguel Madueno Plus Exciting Jamshidbek Najmitdinov to see action in separate bouts
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas (APRIL 7, 2021)–Memorial Day weekend promises to start out with a bang, as junior welterweight Michael Dutchover will look to thrill his Lone Star State fans when he takes on Ivan Leon Benitez in the headlining 10-round bout of what will be an explosive night of boxing on Friday, May 28th at Reed Arena on the campus of Texas A&M University and LIVE and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS®., the world’s leading streaming service for combat sports. The card will begin at 7 PM ET / 6 PM CT /4 PM PT.
The show is presented by Reed Arena and Texas A&M University and promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing.
Dutchover, of Midland, Texas, has a record of 14-1 with 10 knockouts. The 23- year-old turned professional five years ago.
Dutchover, known as the “West Texas Warrior,” has wins over Miguel Cariozza (10-1); Ricardo Lopez (7-1-2); Bergman Aguilar (14-3-1); Rosekie Cristobal (15-3), and his last bout when he won an eight-round unanimous decision over Jorge Marron (18-1) on July 26th in Orange, California.
Dutchover is promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing.
“In December I was supposed to fight, but I had an injury, and things happen for a reason. I am back in California training and am excited to get back in the ring. There is no place that I would rather fight than in Texas. I will have fans there from Midland and all over the state. This is my fifth year as a professional, and this is the year that I become a contender,” said Dutchover.
Benitez, of Cancun, Mexico, has a record of 14-4-1 with 6 knockouts.
Just 20 years old, Benitez is already a six-year professional. He has wins over two undefeated opponents and is coming off a draw with undefeated Francisco Javier Lopez Corrales (12-0) on December 8th in Mexico.
“I will have a difficult task ahead of me in fighting Dutchover, but May 28th will be my day. I will be prepared to give the fans a great show and to beat my opponent. This is what I work for everyday, and he will not derail my dreams of becoming a future champion,” said Benitez.
Seeing action in the 10-round co-feature will be heavyweight Isaac Munoz Gutierrez.
Gutierrez of Mexicali, Mexico is undefeated with a record of 12-0-1 with 10 knockouts.
The 29-year-old Gutierrez, who will be making his United States debut, was a former amateur star in Mexico and competed in the World Series of Boxing.
Gutierrez has stopped his last six opponents and is coming off a first-round stoppage of 35-fight veteran Jesus Alberto Torres Martinez on September 7, 2019 Naucalpan, Mexico.
Seeing action in an 8-round bout will be undefeated lightweight, Miguel Madueno.
Madueno, 22-years-old from Orange, California, has an impressive record of 22-0 with 20 knockouts.
Madueno is a four-year professional who has shot up the prospect rankings with wins over Cristian Flores (7-1-2); Jesus Rendon (13-1-1); former world-title challenger Cosme Rivera; and his last bout when Madueno stopped Jesus Quintero Velarde in two rounds on December 18th in Sonora, Mexico.
Opening up the broadcast will see Jamshidbek Najmitdinov take part in an 8-round junior welterweight fight.
Najmitdinov, of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, has a record of 16-1 with 13 knockouts.
Najmitdinov is an eight-year professional who will be making his American debut.
Najmitdinov has been in several all-action fights, with a style that will appeal to the American audience. The only blemish on his record was a very disputed decision loss to former world champion Viktor Postol. That bout saw Najmitdinov go into the home country of Postol in the Ukraine, and Jamshidbek dropped Postol on two occasions and rocked him several other times during the fight, yet fell short on the judges’ scorecards.
Najmitdinov is coming off a first-round stoppage over Giorgi Khutsishvili on October 6, 2019 to win the WBC CIS Title.
“UFC FIGHT PASS prides itself on being the destination for combat sports fans,” said Crowley Sullivan, Vice President and General Manager, UFC FIGHT PASS. “We’re thrilled to showcase the exciting talent from Banner Promotions to our subscribers. With boxers putting their undefeated records on the line, this action-packed event is one our subscribers won’t want to miss.”
“I am looking forward to working with UFC Fight Pass and Darren Davis with Reed Arena. We are very excited to be putting on this show to kick off a holiday weekend. This show promises to feature fan-friendly fights. When Michael Dutchover fights in Texas, it is always a great crowd, and we are excited about his continued ascent up the rankings. We also are looking forward to getting a glimpse of a future player in the heavyweight division in Isaac Munoz Gutierrez. The fans watching in the arena and around the world are in for a terrific night of boxing,” said Banner Promotions President, Artie Pelullo.
“We are very happy to see the return of Michel Dutchover, and what better place than at the Reed Arena at Texas A&M. Michael will make a run for a world title and this is the best way to get him going,” said Ken Thompson, President of Thompson Boxing.
  
“We are thrilled to be hosting this marquee fight with Banner Promotions. Adding to a growing list of exciting events we are bringing to Bryan-College Station, this fight will be one any boxing fan will not want to miss,” says Darren Davis, General Manager of Reed Arena.
“We couldn’t be happier to be working with Banner Promotions, to bring a championship event to a great Texas Arena. Reed Arena is going to be a great new venue for boxing, the Gig’Em spirit will be alive and well,” said Daren Libonati of the Libonati Group.
Tickets go on-sale on Thursday, April 8th at 10 AM CT
  • _________

May 22: Jose Zepeda-Pedro Campa & Elvis Rodriguez-Kenneth Sims Jr. added to Jose Ramirez-Josh Taylor Card 
Junior Welterweight tripleheader will air live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT

LAS VEGAS (April 5, 2021) — The most anticipated fight of the first half of 2021 now has some powerful backup.
 
Jose “Chon” Zepeda will battle Mexican veteran Pedro Campa in a 10-round junior welterweight battle Saturday, May 22, which will serve as the co-feature to the undisputed junior welterweight world title bout between WBC/WBO champion Jose Ramirez and IBF/WBA champion Josh Taylor.

And, in a junior welterweight special attraction scheduled for eight rounds, top prospect Elvis “The Dominican Kid” Rodriguez will take a seismic step up against Chicago native and one-time U.S. amateur standout Kenneth “Bossman” Sims Jr.

This junior welterweight tripleheader will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) starting at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT.  Location, venue and ticket information will be announced shortly.

“The current and future stars of the junior welterweight division will be on display May 22,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Jose Zepeda is one of the very best 140-pounders in the world, and he’ll have a chance to cement his status against a rugged Mexican in Pedro Campa. Elvis Rodriguez is a future world champion. Kenneth Sims Jr. is no pushover, but we believe this is the ideal next step as he continues his development.”
 
Zepeda (33-2, 26 KOs) is coming off last October’s fifth-round knockout over former world champion Ivan Baranchyk, the consensus 2020 Fight of the Year that featured eight total knockdowns culminating in the one-hitter quitter that ended the bout. A two-time world title challenger who pushed Jose Ramirez to a majority decision in their 2019 showdown, Zepeda is unbeaten in four fights since the Ramirez defeat, including a one-sided decision over two-weight world champion Jose Pedraza. Campa (32-1-1, 21 KOs), from Guaymas, Mexico, is 5-0-1 since the lone defeat of his career and most recently toppled veteran Carlos Cardenas by majority decision.
 
“I’m ready to go,” Zepeda said. After my Fight of the Year with Baranchyk, I’m better than ever. It’s only a matter of time before I become a world champion.”

The Freddie Roach-trained Rodriguez (11-0-1, 10 KOs), one of boxing’s elite young talents, went 5-0 inside the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble, including four stoppages in three rounds or less. He went the distance for the first time in his career Feb. 20, topping Argentinian veteran Luis Alberto Veron by eight-round unanimous decision. Sims (15-2-1, 5 KOs), who lost to Jose Ramirez by one point at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, has sparred with the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Jorge Linares in the paid ranks. His defeats have come via close decisions to Rolando Chinea and Samuel Teah, but he has won two straight since the 2018 unanimous decision verdict to Teah. Against Rodriguez, he has the opportunity to flash the amateur pedigree that saw him defeat the likes of current contenders Lamont Roach Jr., O’Shaquie Foster and Albert Bell.
 
Rodriguez said, “I am happy and grateful for this opportunity, and I am going to make the most of it. It is a great step for my career, and I want to continue to show the boxing world that I have the talent to achieve great things.”

  • _________
  • Gilberto Ramirez hunting undefeated  

    Russian light heavyweight world champions  

    “Zurdo” targets Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol

    Gilberto Ramirez Forms Zurdo Promotions, Returns Dec. 19 Versus Alfonso Lopez - Boxing News

    LAS VEGAS (April 8, 2021) – Former world super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (41-0, 27 KOs) is on the hunt and his targets are undefeated Russians, Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol, respectively, the reigning WBC/IBF and WBA Super light heavyweight World champions. 

    The 29-year-old Ramirez, who recently signed an exclusive promotional contract with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, is currently ranked No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, by the WBA and WBO.

    Ramirez was unimpressed by Beterbiev’s recent fight and he wonders where Bivol has been the past 1 ½ years, because he hasn’t been in the ring.

    In his first fight in 519 days (Oct. 12, 2019), Beterbiev showed signs of rust and possibly age (36) during his 10th round technical knockout of his relatively unknown German opponent, Adam Deines (19-2-1, 10 KOs).  Now, Beterbiev is talking about next fighting the winner of the April 10th Joe Smith, Jr. (26-3, 21 KOs) versus Maxim Vlasov (45-3, 26 KOs) on April 10th for the vacant WBO 175-pound division title.  Vlasov, incidentally, was defeated by Ramirez via a 10-round unanimous decision in 2015.

    “I expected a lot more from him (Beterbiev),” Ramirez talked about Beterbiev’s fight with Deines.  “I thought he looked flat and dull for the majority of the fight.  It’s nice of him to temporarily hold my belts, but he should know that I’m coming for all the hardware and will bring the titles back to my people in Mexico.”

    Bivol hasn’t thrown a punch during a fight in 17 months, since winning a 12-round unanimous decision against Lenin Castillo.  Instead of returning against a “name” fighter in defense of his WBA Super title, Bivol will be returning May 1st in London against somebody named Craig “Spider” Richards 16-1-1, 9 KOs), the WBA No. 8-rated light heavyweight who has never fought outside the United Kingdom.  

    “I’ve always said Dmitry Bivol was the toughest challenge out there,” Ramirez added, “which is why I want to make this fight happen.  I know he’s got a fight coming up and hopefully he stays undefeated so we can make the mega-fight this summer.”

    “Zurdo” is on the hunt!

  • _________

Still On Top: Jamel Herring Knocks Out Carl Frampton
Herring stops Frampton in 6 to retain junior lightweight world title

DUBAI (April 3, 2021) — Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring, at 35 years of age, authored the signature win of his career. Herring dominated and then stopped Carl “The Jackal” Frampton in the sixth round to retain his WBO junior lightweight world title Saturday from Caesars Bluewaters Dubai.

Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) dropped Frampton twice in the fight, the second one coming in the sixth round courtesy of a brutal uppercut. A follow-up assault prompted Frampton’s corner to throw in the towel, ending what had been an entertaining, phone booth affair.

Jamel Herring (L) connects with a left hook to Carl Frampton’s jaw.

“I’m just honored to share the ring with him, Herring said. “He’s a two-division world champion. He’s done great in the sport of boxing, and it was just an honor.
 
“It was an emotional rollercoaster just to get here. My last outing was not my best. People doubted me. They called me every name in the book, but even with the cut, I wasn’t going to give up. I wasn’t going to quit, and Carl Frampton is a tremendous champion. I’ve been a fan since day one. It’s tough to see any veteran of the sport go out like that.”

 Carl Frampton (L) nails Jamel Herring with a jarring left jab.

Carl Frampton (L) nails Jamel Herring with a jarring left jab.

Frampton (28-3, 16 KOs), from Belfast, was attempting to become the first man from the island of Ireland to win world titles in three weight classes. Having fallen short of that goal, the 34-year-old elected to retire.

Frampton said, “I said before the fight I’d retire if I lost, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I want to just to dedicate my life to my family now. Boxing has been good to me. It’s also been bad to me, but the last few years with these boys have been the best years of my career. I just want to go home to my beautiful wife and kids, and that’s it.

Jamel Herring (R) connects with a thudding right to the body of challenger Carl Frampton (L).

Jamel Herring (R) connects with a thudding right to the body of challenger Carl Frampton (L).

“I just got beat by the better man. I really struggled to get inside on him.”

PHOTOS
Courtesy: D4G Promotion

  • _________
  • April 10: Heavyweight Sensation Jared Anderson to Battle Jeremiah Karpency on the Joe Smith Jr.-Maxim Vlasov Undercard LIVE on ESPN+ 
  • 2016 Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceição returns against Jesus Antonio AhumadaUndercard action to stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT
  • TULSA, OK (March 28, 2021) — The heavyweight division’s next king is taking his show on the road. Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson, who knocked out five opponents inside the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble, returns to action Saturday, April 10 against Jeremiah “The Bullfrog” Karpency in a bout scheduled for 8/6 rounds from Osage Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
     
    Anderson-Karpency is among the undercard contests streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+ (5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT), preceding the vacant WBO light heavyweight world title main event featuring Joe Smith Jr. and Maxim Vlasov, and the 10-round heavyweight co-feature between Efe Ajagba and Brian Howard (ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and Tony Holden Productions, limited tickets are available and can be purchased by visiting StubWire.com.
     
    “Jared Anderson is a superstar in the making,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “He is the world’s most exciting young heavyweight, and I can’t wait to see what he shows next. When you watch Jared, you are watching a future world champion.”
     
    Anderson (8-0, 8 KOs), from Toledo, Ohio, turned pro with Top Rank following a stellar amateur career that included U.S. National Championship victories in 2017 and 2018. He has been spotless as a professional, notching five first-round knockouts and serving as Tyson Fury’s primary sparring partner before the Deontay Wilder rematch. He last fought Feb. 13 and created a viral moment with a left hook that knocked out Kingsley Ibeh in the sixth round. Karpency (16-2-1, 6 KOs), from Adah, Pennsylvania, is an 11-year pro whose only defeats have come against previously undefeated foes: Oscar Rivas (third-round TKO) and Sergey Kuzmin (sixth-round KO).Anderson said, “I began 2021 on a high note against Ibeh, and I’m looking forward to carrying over my momentum against Karpency. The fans love big knockouts, and my goal is to deliver that every time I fight.”
     
    In other undercard action:
     
    Robson Conceição (15-0, 7 KOs) vs. Jesus Antonio Ahumada (17-3, 11 KOs)
    8 Rounds, Junior Lightweight2016 Olympic gold medalist Conceição, from Bahia, Brazil, cemented his status as a contender with last October’s gut check against Louie Coria. Conceição recovered from a knockdown and a pair of point deductions to squeak out a unanimous decision victory and preserve his unbeaten record. Ahumada, from Hermosillo, Mexico, is 3-1 since a 2018 TKO loss to Stephen Fulton, who went on to win a junior featherweight world title.
     
    Albert Bell (17-0, 5 KOs) vs. Manuel Rey Rojas (20-4, 6 KOs)
    8 Rounds, Junior Lightweight
     
    The six-foot Bell, from Toledo, Ohio, makes his 2021 debut following last July’s 10-round shutout over Filipino veteran Mark Bernaldez. Bell, who is ranked in the top 15 by the WBO, holds a 2019 victory over longtime contender Andy Vences and is closing in on a potential world title opportunity. Rojas, from Dallas, Texas, is 8-1 in his last nine bouts, with his only defeat coming by 10-round decision in January 2020 to Puerto Rican star Felix Verdejo. He fought last September in Mexico and scored a second-round stoppage.
     
    Sonny Conto (6-0, 5 KOs) vs. Waldo Cortes (6-3, 3 KOs)
    4 Rounds, Heavyweight
     
    Conto returns for his first fight in 15 months against the man he was supposed to fight Feb. 20 inside the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble. A medical issue forced Cortes out of the fight, but he is now recovered and ready to face the South Philadelphia native who has two consecutive first-round stoppages.
     
    Troy Isley (1-0) vs. LaQuan Evans (4-1, 2 KOs)
    4 Rounds, MiddleweightDecorated former U.S. amateur star Isley, from Alexandria, Virginia, turned pro Feb. 13 and shut out Bryant Costello over four rounds. Isley will step up in pro bout number two against Evans, a two-year pro who has won three straight bouts since a majority decision defeat.Duke Ragan (3-0, 1 KO) vs. Charles Clark (3-6-1, 1 KO)
    6 Rounds, Featherweight
     
    Ragan, from Cincinnati, Ohio, signed a professional contract with Top Rank last year following an amateur run that included a silver medal at the 2017 World Championships. As a professional, he’s been perfect, following up a first-round knockout in his professional debut with a pair of shutout four-round decisions. He steps up to six rounds against Clark, who bested the 4-1 Malik Loften in his last fight.
     
    Trey Lippe Morrison (16-0, 16 KOs) vs. TBA
    8 Rounds, HeavyweightTulsa’s Morrison, son of the late heavyweight star Tommy Morrison, returns from a nearly two-year layoff intent on extending his knockout streak. A proven ticket-seller in Oklahoma, this will be Morrison’s 14th professional fight in the Sooner State.
     
    Jeremiah Milton (2-0, 2 KOs) vs. Jayvone Dafney (2-2, 2 KOs)
    4 Rounds, Heavyweight
     
    Tulsa native Milton returns home after a pair of stoppage wins to begin his career late last year. Dafney is coming off a first-round knockout Feb. 27 in Georgia.
     
    Use the hashtag #SmithVlasov to join the conversation on social media. 
  • __________

Cuban Star & WBA Super Welterweight Champion Erislandy Lara Takes on Thomas LaManna For WBA Middleweight Championship Headlining FOX PBC Fight Night & on FOX Deportes Saturday, May 1 from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California
Top Mexican Featherweight Contenders Eduardo Ramírez & Isaac Avelar Clash For Interim WBA Featherweight Title Live on FOX in Co-Main Event Kicking Off The Broadcast at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT
 Primetime Action on FOX Precedes FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View Event Headlined By Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Chris Arreola Heavyweight Showdown

CARSON, CALIF. (March 28, 2021) – Cuban star and WBA Super Welterweight Champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara will seek a third world title in a second weight class when he faces veteran contender Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna for the WBA Middleweight Title in the main event of FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes Saturday, May 1 as part of a stacked night of boxing from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
 
The broadcast begins at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and precedes the FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View event headlined by former unified heavyweight world champion Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz Jr. battling all-action heavyweight Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola, which tops a stellar boxing extravaganza all taking place at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
 
The FOX PBC Fight Night co-main event will see top featherweight contender Eduardo Ramírez take on hard-hitting Isaac Avelar in a 12-round fight for the vacant interim WBA Featherweight Title.
 
The event is promoted by TGB Promotions. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 26 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased at AXS.com for the event that includes an action-packed lineup of FOX PBC Fight Night and FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View fights. Dignity Health Sports Park will be open to fans in a limited capacity, with all guests remaining socially distanced and subject to local and state health guidelines throughout the event.

“Erislandy Lara has had a long reign as an elite 154-pounder and now has his sights set on a new challenge in the star-studded middleweight division,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “He will bring his renowned skills and style to this tough matchup against the young and rangy Thomas LaManna. With fast-rising Mexican contender Eduardo Ramírez squaring off against the young exciting Mexican brawler Isaac Avelar in the co-main event, this primetime lineup is an ideal way to load up an already stacked night of boxing at Dignity Health Sports Park, leading up to the return of Andy Ruiz Jr. against Chris Arreola live on pay-per-view.”
 
Lara (27-3-3, 15 KOs) was the longest reigning 154-pound world champion before he lost a tough split-decision to Jarrett Hurd in a title unification match in 2018 that was the unanimous “Fight of the Year”. Lara returned from that fight and battled current 154-pound world titleholder Brian Castano to an exciting draw in another narrow fight that could have gone Lara’s way. Lara has since scored back-to-back triumphs with a knockout of Ramon Alvarez in 2019 to capture his current title, and a decision over Greg Vendetti in August 2020. Lara has faced a slew of the top 154-pounders in the sport, including Canelo Alvarez, ahead of his middleweight debut.
 
“I’m excited to be making my 2021 debut on a huge platform live on FOX,” said Lara, who was born in Guantanamo, Cuba and now trains in Las Vegas. “Thomas LaManna is a tall middleweight with a lot of experience and I’m taking this fight very seriously, like always. I arrived weeks ago for training camp and Ismael Salas immediately got me working on the fundamentals of boxing. At this stage in my career, I’m all-action, fighting on the inside, and letting my hands fly. I’m going to make a statement in this fight with a knockout.”
 
The Belleville, New Jersey-native LaManna (30-4-1, 12 KOs) was riding an eight-fight unbeaten streak, which included seven wins plus a draw against Gabriel Bracero, before losing to Jorge Cota in January 2020. He won back-to-back middleweight fights in January and October entering this showdown, knocking out Jorge Pimentel and Juan de Jesus Gonzalez. Prior to his two most recent knockouts, LaManna dropped a narrow decision to Brian Mendoza in August 2020.
 
“It’s been a long time coming and now I’m finally getting my chance to accomplish my ultimate dream of becoming a champion,” said the 29-year-old LaManna. “This is the land of opportunity and I’m getting mine on May 1. I’ve put my heart, blood and soul into this game. I’m the definition of the ‘American dream’. People can write me off if they want, because at the end of the day, there’s no doubt that I’m coming to win. This is my time.”
 
Fighting out of Sinaloa, Mexico, Ramírez (24-2-3, 11 KOs) has risen up the featherweight rankings with back-to-back sensational knockout victories, stopping Leduan Barthelemy in November 2019 before most recently blasting out Miguel Flores in December 2020. The 28-year-old is currently riding a streak of wins in four of his last five fights since losing to then 126-pound champion Lee Selby in 2017. He’s won 15 of his last 18 fights overall, with his only other blemishes coming in a draw against Barthelemy that was later avenged, and a decision loss to
Claudio Marrero.
 
“This fight is very important for my career because it puts me one step closer to fighting for a world title again,” said Ramírez. “But I will not be looking past Avelar, who is coming off a big win and will be coming to fight like a proud Mexican, just like I do. I will be in top shape and ready to achieve this step toward my dream of getting another chance at a world title. No disrespect to my opponent, but I will win, no matter what it takes.”
 
The 23-year-old Avelar (17-2, 10 KOs) most recently won a wide unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Sakaria Lukas in December 2020, stopping a two-fight skid that included a loss to super bantamweight world champion Stephen Fulton. The Aguascalientes, Mexico native was unbeaten in his first 16 pro fights, including a 2019 triumph over Juan Antonio Lopez in his U.S. debut. 
 
“I’m coming into this fight strongly believing that I’m going to stop Eduardo Ramírez,” said Avelar. “I’ve been hurting and stopping sparring partners during camp, so I’m fully prepared for a war. This is going to be a spectacular fight like Rafael Marquez vs. Israel Vazquez. I’ve been improving my game quite a bit in the last year. I asked for this fight, and I’m going to make Ramírez regret accepting it.”

  • __________


Former Unified Heavyweight World Champion Andy Ruiz, Jr. Makes Ring Return Against All-Action Heavyweight Chris Arreola in Main Event of All Mexican Extravaganza on
FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View Saturday, May 1 from
Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California

Former World Champion Omar Figueroa, Jr. Clashes with Abel Ramos & Sensational Contender Sebastián Fundora Takes on Hard-Hitting Jorge Cota in Co-Featured Events 
Rising Welterweight Star Jesús Ramos, Jr. Duels Olympian
Javier Molina in Pay-Per-View Opener 
Tickets Go On Sale This Friday, March 26 at 10 a.m. PT!

CARSON, CALIF. – (March 25, 2021) – Former unified heavyweight world champion Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz, Jr. will battle all-action heavyweight Chris “The Nightmare’’ Arreola in the main event of an all-Mexican boxing extravaganza on Saturday, May 1 headlining a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
 
The pay-per-view begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with an undercard stacked from top to bottom with fan-friendly, action-packed matchups, as the co-feature will see former world champion Omar “Panterita” Figueroa, Jr. clash with Abel Ramos in a 12-round welterweight bout. Sensational super welterweight contender Sebastián “The Towering Inferno’’ Fundora takes on hard-hitting Jorge “El Demonio’’ Cota in a 12-round battle and rising welterweight star Jesús Ramos, Jr., the nephew of Abel Ramos, duels U.S. Olympian Javier “El Intocable” Molina for 10-rounds of welterweight action.
 
The event is promoted by TGB Promotions. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 26 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased at AXS.com. Dignity Health Sports Park will be open to fans in a limited capacity, with all guests remaining socially distanced and subject to local and state health guidelines throughout the event.
 
The FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View is priced at $49.95.
 
“This pay-per-view card is one of the best all-action lineups that I can remember and is loaded with fighters who know nothing but delivering toe-to-toe combat. Headlining the card is the only heavyweight champion of Mexican descent, Andy Ruiz, Jr., taking on Chris Arreola, the first serious Mexican-American heavyweight contender,’’ said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Andy Ruiz Jr. shocked the sports world when he destroyed Anthony Joshua to win heavyweight titles at Madison Square Garden. No upset in recent years has been nearly as big a story as Ruiz stunning Joshua and no boxer of Mexican descent weighing more than 175 pounds had ever won a championship before him. Ruiz has re-dedicated himself and is focused on regaining the heavyweight crown and Arreola is determined to make one more run at the title.
 
“The pay-per-view undercard matchups are toss-up fights that predicate great action, featuring top young contenders, a former world champion and an Olympian. No matter what happens on May 1, boxing fans will be the real winners.”
 
Ruiz and Arreola, two Mexican-American heavyweights from Southern California, have been circling each other for years. They both had designs on becoming the first fighter of Mexican descent to win the heavyweight title. Ruiz won it and lost it, while Arreola still hungers for it. This high-stakes match will determine who remains in the hunt.
 
Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) shocked the boxing world in 2019 when he was brought in as a late replacement to face heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua and turned the tables on the champion, knocking him out in the seventh round and taking home the titles. The 31-year-old from Imperial, California lost his rematch with Joshua by unanimous decision, but has now rededicated himself to regaining the heavyweight championship.
 
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring on May 1,” said Ruiz, who is now being trained by renowned coach Eddy Reynoso. “Training with coach Eddy in his gym has been amazing. I’m around great fighters like Canelo Alvarez and we’re putting in the work so that I can look better than ever.
 
“I have known Chris Arreola since I turned professional. He’s a Mexican warrior just like me, and I expect him to come at me with everything he’s got. This is going to be an action packed event between fighters who do not go backwards. I will be smart and ready to do whatever it takes to get the win and put myself back in position to become heavyweight champion again.”
 
Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs) has a career that has spanned 17 years and he remains one of the most dangerous heavyweights in the sport. Born in East Los Angeles to parents from Mexico, Arreola has fought for the heavyweight championship three times and come up short. He began working with renowned trainer Joe Goossen before his last match against Adam Kownacki and appeared to have turned back the clock. It was a back-and-forth, up-tempo match and Goossen’s work with Arreola was on full display. Arreola acquitted himself well, but came up on the short end of the decision.

“Training with Joe Goossen is tedious, hard work,” said Arreola, whose father was a boxer who would take him to Mexico to watch the legend Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr. train. “We’re doing everything that we can so that when Ruiz and I face each other, fight fans will get treated to an all-out war between the two best Mexican-American heavyweights to ever step in the ring. This matchup should be a fan friendly fight, and I plan on winning behind all of my hard work.”
 
The 31-year-old Figueroa (30-1-1, 19 KOs) is from a fighting family along with his younger brother Brandon, the WBA Super Bantamweight Champion. Figueroa won the WBC Lightweight World Championship with a unanimous decision victory over Nihito Arakawa in a 2013 “Fight of the Year” and successfully defended the title two times before moving up to super lightweight in 2015. In his last fight in 2019, he fought Yordenis Ugas, who is currently the WBA Welterweight World Champion, losing a unanimous decision.
 
“I’ve been training with Joel Diaz for the last six weeks and doing everything necessary leading up to this fight,” said Figueroa. “This is the best shape I’ve ever been in this far out from a fight, because I now realize what I need to do differently to ensure the longevity of my career. I’m training and preparing the right way. I can’t wait to prove on May 1 that I belong with the elite fighters in this division.”
 
Abel Ramos (26-4-2, 20 KOs) is also from a fighting family. His older brother, Jesús, Sr. trains him, and his nephew, Jesús, Jr., is a spectacular welterweight prospect featured on this pay-per-view undercard. Ramos, 29, is from Casa Grande, Arizona and lost a narrow split decision to Yordenis Ugas in his last fight. He got a chance to display both his comeback ability and his punching power in his previous fight before Ugas, when he scored a last second KO victory against Bryant Perrella. Ramos was trailing on all the judges’ scorecards at the time of the knockout.
 
“This fight will be exciting because Omar’s boxing style and my boxing style match up perfectly for an action-packed fight,” said Ramos. “I expect him to put on the pressure like he always does. But I will be prepared for that and anything else he brings on fight night. A victory over Omar will put me in position to fight for a world title again. I want to earn that shot with a great performance and prove that I can beat the best fighters in the division.”
 
Fundora (16-0-1, 11 KOs) continues to rise up the super welterweight ranks and his match against the veteran Jorge Cota will be his toughest to date. He steps into the squared circle showing off the skills of a rugged boxer who is just as comfortable fighting on the inside as on the outside. The 23-year-old Fundora’s mother is Mexican and his father is Cuban, and both were boxers. He was born in West Palm Beach, Florida but now lives and trains in Coachella, California. Fundora is coming off a knockout victory over Habib Ahmed last December.
 
“I’m really looking forward to fighting Jorge Cota on this big event on May 1,” said Fundora, who at 6-foot-6 looks like he should be setting up on the wing of a basketball court rather than squaring off in a boxing ring. “I’m laser-focused because I know this will be a tough test for me. I’m sure that he will be training hard too, but I’ll be up for the challenge and I look forward to showing off my skills and fighting for all the hard-working people out there.”
 
Cota (30-4, 27 KOs) is a rugged slugger who always comes to fight. He has been in the ring with unified 154-pound world champion Jermell Charlo, former unified world champion Jeison Rosario and top contender Erickson Lubin. Cota, 33, is from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico and is coming off a powerful knockout victory over Thomas LaManna last January. With his experience and power, Cota will present a challenge yet-unseen by the rising Fundora.
 
“I am treating this fight like it is do-or-die for my career,” said Cota. “Fundora is very tall, but he can be hit. I think my style works well against his. I can’t wait to prove what I can do on May 1.”
 
Ramos (15-0, 14 KOs), the nephew of welterweight contender Abel Ramos, has paved his way to stardom in the talent-laden welterweight division with highlight-reel KOs. He has scored five-straight knockout victories following his only pro fight that went the distance, which came in a June 2019 unanimous decision over Kevin Shacks. He steadily increased the toughness of competition in 2020 and he has continued that trend in 2021. In his last fight, Ramos scored a spectacular knockout victory over rugged veteran Jesus Emilio Bojorquez in February.
 
“I’m looking to make a statement in this fight against a tough opponent in Javier Molina,” said Ramos, a 20-year-old from Casa Grande, Arizona. “We know it’s a big step up, but my team and I feel like it’s time the world sees my talent. Molina will bring out some of the many things that I’m capable of. This win would prove that I’m not just any prospect. Fight fans don’t want to miss this one, because they’re going to see an exciting glimpse of what I can do in the ring.”
 
The 31-year-old Molina (22-3, 9 KOs) also grew up in the sport, as his father was an amateur boxer. Molina was on the 2008 U.S. Olympic boxing team, while his twin brother, Oscar, represented Mexico in the 2008 Olympics. He has an older brother, Carlos, who also is a boxer. Fighting out of Norwalk, California, Molina is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Jose Pedraza last September. Before that, he scored a unanimous decision victory over veteran contender Amir Imam.
 
“I’m excited for this fight and for the opportunity to face an unbeaten prospect in Jesús Ramos,” said Molina. “A lot of people are probably counting me out, but I’m ready to prove all the doubters wrong. This is going to be a great fight that fans won’t want to miss on May 1.”

  • __________

Former Super Welterweight World Champion Tony Harrison Battles Tough Contender Bryant Perrella in FOX PBC Fight Night Main Event & on FOX Deportes Saturday, April 17 from Los Angeles

Undefeated Super Lightweight Sensation Omar Juarez to Return in Co-Main Event Against Veteran Jessie Roman
&
Exciting Rising Prospect Vito Mielnicki Jr. Kicks Off Action Beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT

LOS ANGELES (March 23, 2021) – Former WBC Super Welterweight World Champion Tony “Superbad” Harrison will enter the ring to face hard-hitting southpaw Bryant “Goodfella” Perrella in the super welterweight main event of FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes Saturday, April 17 from Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles.
 
Televised coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features undefeated rising contender Omar “El Relampago” Juarez stepping up versus veteran Jessie Roman in the 10-round super lightweight co-main event. The telecast opener will see the return of sensational prospect Vito Mielnicki Jr. against James Martin in an eight-round welterweight matchup.
 
The event will be promoted by TGB Promotions and will take place without fans in attendance at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall, an AEG venue, in downtown Los Angeles.
 
“Former world champion Tony Harrison is one of the brightest stars in the super welterweight division and will look to show that he’s ready to reclaim a world championship live in primetime on April 17,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Tony’s will and skill makes him a tough matchup for anyone at 154-pounds, but he will also have all he can handle in the very talented Bryant Perrella, who will be making his debut in the division. This exciting main event is buoyed by rising stars Omar Juarez and Vito Mielnicki Jr. competing in separate fights as part of a jam-packed night on FOX that boxing fans won’t want to miss.”
 
The pride of Detroit, Michigan, Harrison (28-3, 21 KOs) spent his early boxing career under the tutelage of the late Emanuel Steward in the legendary Kronk Gym. As a professional, the 31-year-old was still considered one of the most skilled fighters in the sport despite coming up short in his first two attempts at a world title. The third time was the charm for Harrison, who shocked the boxing world in December 2018 by outpointing long-time champion Jermell Charlo to earn the WBC title in Brooklyn on FOX. Their rematch one year later ranks among the best fights of 2019. Harrison and Charlo fought mano-a-mano until Charlo stopped him in the eleventh round to regain the belt.

“Due to the pandemic, we’ve lost a lot of people over the last year, including my father Ali Salaam, and I’m dedicating this fight and the rest of my career to him,” said Harrison. “My father was always there in my corner, and I’ll continue with him right by my side spiritually. But my brother L.J. is my head trainer now and we’re working hard to prepare for a tough fighter in Perrella. I’m coming off the longest layoff of my career, so I’m just excited to get back in action. The realest fighter in the game is coming back and I’m glad we’re going to be bringing this fight to everyone on free TV on FOX. This fight will be fireworks and I’ll be looking out for whenever it’s execution time. When I see the opportunity, I’ll knock his head off and put it on my mantle.”
 
The 31-year-old Perrella (17-3, 14 KOs) began boxing at age 15, amassing an impressive 70-9 amateur record before turning pro in 2012. Fighting out of Fort Myers, Florida, Perrella rose quickly through the pro ranks, stopping 13 of his first 14 opponents, including a second-round TKO over previously-unbeaten David Grayton in June 2016. Three months later, he suffered his first pro defeat against current welterweight world champion Yordenis Ugas. Perrella bounced back from a close loss to Luis Collazo in August 2018 with a decision victory over Breidis Prescott and a stoppage of Domonique Dolton in his 2019 campaign. In Perrella’s last bout, in February 2020, he was on the short end of a controversial, last-second knockout at the hands of Abel Ramos, in a bout where Perrella was ahead on scorecards.
 
“I’ve made big changes in my game and they will reflect a more proficient fighter when I step in against Tony Harrison,” said Perrella. “I don’t care about status or resume heading into this fight. I’m coming to do what I do best, and that’s dominate. I can’t wait to get in there and perform on April 17.”
 
Juarez (10-0, 5 KOs) has been lauded as much for his work outside the ring as he has for what he’s accomplished in it. After graduating high school in his native Brownsville, Texas, Juarez dedicated himself to giving back to the state’s youth. Still only 21, he has spoken to close to 40,000 community members and received recognition from the Texas State Senate and the Texas House of Representatives. In the ring, Juarez was a highly decorated amateur who turned pro in September 2018. He notched four wins in 2020, including a vicious first-round TKO over Raul Chirino on December 26 that signaled his readiness for the next level.
 
“Words can’t describe how blessed I am to be fighting on FOX once again,” said Juarez. “As always, I’m going into this fight against Jessie Roman with victory on my mind. This will be my toughest fight to date, and I know what needs to be done to come out on top. I left Brownsville to be in San Antonio with my trainer Rick Nunez and we have a great game plan in place. Training camp has already started, and I’ll be ready to go come fight night. April 17 can’t come soon enough. It’s go time!”
 
The 29-year-old Roman (22-4, 11 KOs) represents a significant step up in class for Juarez. A respected amateur, Roman won his first 16 pro bouts before a disputed majority decision loss to Carlos Sanchez in Sanchez’s native Mexico. He appeared headed for a potential world title shot after stopping Luis Joel Gonzalez in April 2017 and following it up with a TKO over Erick Daniel Martinez that June. However, the Garden Grove, California native was derailed by a points loss to dangerous veteran and former amateur rival Javier Molina in June 2018.
 
“After a setback comes a major comeback,” said Roman. “I know that because I always come back stronger than before. I can’t wait to square-off against Juarez and prove that once again, all while bringing a great fight for the fans to enjoy.”
 
Representing Roseland, New Jersey, Mielnicki (8-0, 5 KOs) began turning heads during an exceptional amateur career where he compiled a 147-22 record and was named the Most Outstanding Boxer of the 2011 Junior National Golden Gloves amongst many accolades before turning pro. The 18-year-old was able to add four victories to his ledger in 2020 and he kicked off his 2021 campaign with a knockout of Noe Lopez in February on FOX.
 
“Training is going great. I always stay ready so I don’t have to get ready,” said Mielnicki. “I’m glad that I’m getting right back in the ring so I can showcase my skills again. In my last fight, I introduced myself to the world on the biggest viewing platform of my career. I expect a tough strong Philly fighter in the ring with me on April 17 and I’m excited to return to FOX with another great performance.” 
 
The 23-year-old Martin (6-2) first turned pro in 2017 and won his first four fights to begin his career. Fighting out of Philadelphia, Martin has won two of his last three showdowns dating back to late 2019, and his most recent outing saw him drop a decision to unbeaten prospect Xander Zayas in February.
 
“I am going to box smart and bring the pressure,” said Martin. “I know my opponent is a good fighter and a win over him would get me a lot of notice. I look forward to showcasing all of my skills in this fight on April 17.”

#         #         #
 
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.
  • __________
  • Joey Dawejko to now take on Joe Jones on Saturday, April 3rd at The 2300 Arena in Philadelphia
    Nahir Albright back in Action
    Plus Undefeated Mark Dawson, Matthew Gonzalez, Benny Sinakin, Rasheen Brown & Tamir Smalls Highlight Massive night of Boxing
  • Philadelphia, PA (March 23, 2021) -Heavyweight favorite Joey Dawejko will now take on veteran Joe Jones in the headline bout of big night of boxing on Saturday, April 3rd at The 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pa.
    “Clash of the Titans” The card is promoted by RDR Promotions.
    Dawejko of Philadelphia, has a record of 20-8-4 with 11 knockouts.
    The 30 year-old Dawejko is a former Junior World Amateur champion, and is now a 12 year-professional who has wins over Ricardo Johnson (1-0), John Lennox (6-0), Derric Rossy (28-7), Mark Rideout (4-0-2), Enobong Umolhette (9-2), Natu Visinia (11-1), Demetrius Banks (9-1) and Kelvin Nunez (15-0).
    Dawejko is looking to get back in the win column as he is coming off a loss to undefeated contender Frank Sanchez on March 7, 2020 in Brooklyn.
    Jones of Jersey City, New Jersey has a record of 11-3 with eight knockouts.
    The 25 year-old is a eight-year professional who has a first-round knockout over previously undefeated Montez Brown (8-0) to his credit.
    In six-round bouts:
    Nahir Albright (10-1, 4 KOs) of Sicklerville, NJ battles Dante Cox (6-1, 4 KOs) of Elkridge, MD in a lightweight out.
    Benny Sinakin (6-0, 3 KOs) of Philadelphia battles Afumwa King (2-1, 1 KO) of Bronx, NY in a light heavyweight affair.
    Mike Hilton (10-0, 7 KOs) of Trenton, NJ battles Twon Smith (3-4, 2 KOs) of Oklahoma City in cruiserweight fight.
    Matthew Gonzalez (11-0, 7 KOs) of Ridgewood, New York will take Luis Eduardo Florez (25-18, 21 KOs) of Colombia in a welterweight fight.
    In four-round bouts:
    New RDR Promotions signee Mark Dawson (7-0-1, 3 KOs) of Philadelphia will take on Kevin Womack (9-20-4, 7 KOs) of Baltimore, MD in a welterweight bout.
    Rasheen Brown (6-0, 3 KOs) of Philadelphia takes on Nestor Robledo (7-11-2) Of Georgetown, Texas in a featherweight fight.
    Tahmir Smalls (2-0, 2 KOs) of Philadelphia will take on Andres Abarca (2-3) of Normandy Park, Washington in a welterweight contest.
    Jahdon Ervin of St. Clair, PA will make his pro debut against Kareem Gladney (0-3) in a middleweight bout.
    Tickets are $250 for VIP, $150 for Front Row; $100 for Ringside and $75 for General Admission and can be purchased from the fighters or emailing rricerivew@yahoo.com
    1st Bell is at 7 PM
    All Covid-19 Protocols will be followed, and masks must be worn at all times. 
  • __________

Tulsa Time: Joe Smith Jr. and Maxim Vlasov Set for Light Heavyweight World Title Showdown April 10 at Osage Casino LIVE on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+

Smith-Vlasov and Efe Ajagba-Brian Howard heavyweight bout to be broadcast live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

TULSA, OK (March 19, 2021) — If at first you can’t fight, try again.

Joe “The Beast” Smith Jr. and Maxim Vlasov are headed to the Sooner State to fight for the vacant WBO light heavyweight world title Saturday, April 10 at Osage Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

They were originally scheduled to fight Feb. 13, but Vlasov tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the weigh-in, forcing a postponement.

In the 10-round co-feature, unbeaten heavyweight contender Efe Ajagba will take on Brian “MVP” Howard.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and Tony Holden Productions, Smith-Vlasov and Ajagba-Howard will be broadcast live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ at 5:30p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT, including a trio of big-punching heavyweights: Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson and Tulsa natives Trey Lippe Morrison (16-0, 16 KOs) and Jeremiah Milton (2-0, 2 KOs).

Ticket information for this world championship event will be announced shortly.

“Joe Smith Jr. deserves this opportunity, and I know Maxim Vlasov will give him a great challenge,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “The light heavyweight division is one of the hottest in boxing, and the winner will have no shortage of lucrative opportunities.”

Smith (26-3, 21 KOs), the “Common Man” from Long Island, hopes his 2021 kicks off where 2020 concluded. Last August, he broke through inside the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble, knocking former world champion Eleider “Storm” Alvarez out and through the ropes. Smith has won three straight bouts since his first world title opportunity in March 2019, a unanimous decision loss to Dmitry Bivol. He became a household name in boxing in 2016 when he knocked living legend Bernard Hopkins through the ropes and into retirement.

“I am extremely motivated after all I have been though in my career,” Smith said. “I am proud of all I have accomplished, and I am confident I will bring the belt home on April 10 and move forward with my goal of unifying belts and proving I am the best light heavyweight in the world.”

Said Joe DeGuardia, CEO of Star Boxing, “We all worked very hard to get Smith and Vlasov back in the ring as soon as possible, not just for the fans that love to watch the ‘Common Man’ fight, but for Joe, who is very anxious to become world champion. The blue-collar banger that is Joe Smith Jr. will be ready to fight and thrill the fans. He is laser-focused and fully intends on bringing the WBO world title to Long Island on April 10.”  

Vlasov (45-3, 26 KOs), from Samara, Russia, is 3-0 at light heavyweight since moving down from cruiserweight, where he became a top contender and challenged for an interim world title. He had a banner 2019 at light heavyweight, knocking out the 14-1 Omar Garcia, avenging a previous defeat with a unanimous decision over Isaac Chilemba, and shutting out the 15-0 Emmanuel Martey over 10 rounds.

“I am ready to return to the ring and become the new WBO light heavyweight world champion,” Vlasov said. “The postponement was a minor setback, but it will be worth the wait when I have that belt around my waist.”
 
Ajagba (14-0, 11 KOs), a 2016 Nigerian Olympian, is one of world boxing’s most accomplished young heavyweights. At 26 years old, he’s already knocked out the likes of longtime contender Amir Mansour and former world title challenger Razvan Cojanu. He made his Top Rank debut last September and outlasted veteran Jonathan Rice via decision over 10 rounds. Howard (15-4, 12 KOs) is an 11-year pro who has split a pair of bouts since moving up to heavyweight. In August 2019, he knocked out 2008 Puerto Rican Olympian Carlos Negron in the first round.

  • __________

April 24: Mexican Star Emanuel Navarrete to Defend Featherweight World Title Against Puerto Rican Contender Christopher Diaz LIVE on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+

Knockout sensation Edgar Berlanga (16-0, 16 first-round KOs) to battle Demond Nicholson in super middleweight co-feature
ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ to broadcast doubleheader from Kissimmee, Fla. at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
Josue Vargas, Joseph Adorno and Xander Zayas among those scheduled to appear on the ESPN+-streamed undercard

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (March 15, 2021) — Mexican great Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete, boxing’s busiest world champion, is set to kick off his 2021 campaign by reviving a long-standing pugilistic rivalry. Navarrete will make his first defense of the WBO featherweight world title Saturday, April 24 against Puerto Rican contender Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Fla.
 
In the co-feature, super middleweight Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga, 16-0, with 16 first-round stoppages, will step up in class against Demond Nicholson in a bout scheduled for eight rounds (or much less).
 
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with All Star Boxing and Zanfer Promotions, Navarrete-Diaz and Berlanga-Nicholson will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, with undercard bouts to stream live and exclusively on ESPN+. Ticket information will be announced shortly.

“The sensational Emanuel Navarrete wanted a formidable opponent for his first featherweight title defense, and Christopher Diaz fits the bill,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “We are also thrilled to have Edgar Berlanga back on ESPN, as he is the most devastating young puncher I’ve seen in ages.”
 
Navarrete (33-1, 28 KOs) burst onto the world scene in December 2018, battering Isaac Dogboe over 12 rounds to win the WBO junior featherweight world title. He is 7-0 since then, including five title defenses, all by stoppage. Navarrete moved up to featherweight and picked up the vacant WBO world title last October with a unanimous decision over the previously undefeated Ruben Villa. Diaz (26-2, 16 KOs) is not unbeaten, but he is battle-tested, having challenged Masayuki Ito for the WBO junior lightweight world title in July 2018. He lost to Ito by unanimous decision and has gone 3-1 since moving down to featherweight. Diaz rebounded from a 2019 points loss to Shakur Stevenson, besting former world title challenger Jason Sanchez over 10 rounds last June inside the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble.

“I am a fighter who likes to face the best, and my challenge now is to beat the tough ‘Pitufo’ Diaz,” Navarrete said. “I know he is a good fighter, and I am sure we will give a great show to the people of Florida and to those watching us fight on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+. On April 24, I will show that I am the best featherweight in the world. I will not let him take my championship to Puerto Rico. That belt will stay with me in San Juan Zitlaltepec, Mexico.” 
 
Diaz said, “I have once again been given an opportunity to become a world champion, but there is something very different this time around. I will not fail. I will bring that much-needed world title to Puerto Rico. This is my time to become a world champion. God knows how much I have sacrificed and how much I have evolved. I live today to make my family happy, and it is time to change their lives. On April 24, there is no doubt that I will become world champion, and I will see you all on April 25 when I return to my island as world champion.”
 
Berlanga broke out as boxing’s consensus 2020 Prospect of the Year, impressing fans and media with his string of first-round routs against increasingly difficult opposition. Last July, he knocked out veteran spoiler Eric Moon in 62 seconds, and less than three months later on the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Teofimo Lopez undercard, he became the first man to stop 30-fight veteran Lanell Bellows. Berlanga finished his whirlwind 2020 on Dec. 12, stopping the normally durable Ulises Sierra (15-1-2) in 2:40. Nicholson (23-3-1, 20 KOs) has won five consecutive fights since a seventh-round TKO loss to Jesse Hart in April 2018.
 
“I don’t like to make predictions, but make sure you tune in. I want to show out for the fans in attendance,” Berlanga said. “April 24 is going to be the beginning of a huge 2021 for my team. I take it one fight at a time, and this is just another step toward my goal of becoming a champion.”
 
Nicholson said, “I have the experience. When I first started, I was knocking everyone out in the first round as well. I have 20 knockouts, and that speaks for itself. If you look at his opponents, I’d knock them all out. Is he ready for the next level? He might be ready, but he won’t be ready for me.”

The undercard, which will be announced in due course, is set to feature a plethora of Puerto Rican fan-favorites: junior welterweight contender Josue Vargas, 18-year-old phenom Xander Zayas, unbeaten featherweight Orlando Gonzalez, undefeated junior lightweight Henry Lebron, big-punching lightweight Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno, and junior featherweight prospect Jeremy “Magic Hands” Adorno.

  • __________

Marques and Dominic Valle Get Opening Round Knockout Victories on Friday Night
Marques Stopped Leonidas Fowlkes
Dominic makes successful pro debut against by taking out Juan Bryand
NEW YORK (MARCH 15, 2021)–Brothers, Marques and Dominic Valle made splashes by taking out their respective opponents in the opening round of their fights on Friday night in Plant City, Florida.
Marques, a 22 year-old welterweight went to 2-0 with two knockouts as he took out Leonadis Fowlkes at 1:57.
Marques registered one knockdown from a hard right hand, and the fight was stopped after Fowlkes hit the deck.
Fowlkes, who came into the fight perfect, is now 2-1.
As an amateur, Marques  won Silver Medal at the 2018 Men’s Nationals as well as fighting in the 2020 United States Olympic Trials.
Dominic made a sensational pro debut by stopping now 14-fight Juan Bryand in just 57 seconds.
Valle landed a big flurry of punches before a left hook put Bryand down on the deck, and the fight was stopped.
Dominic won the 2016 National Silver Gloves and in 2018, he was a National Junior Olympics champion.
The Valle’s are managed by Split-T Management under the guidance of Tim VanNewhouse and are promoted by ProBox Promotions.
  • __________

March 20: Artur Beterbiev-Adam Deines Light Heavyweight Title Showdown to Air LIVE on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+ 

Beterbiev-Deines and Alexander Besputin-Maximiliano Ricardo Veron doubleheader begins at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT – Undercard to stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT

(March 12, 2021) — Boxing’s preeminent knockout artist, WBC/IBF light heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev, invites American fight fans for An Afternoon With Artur. Beterbiev’s title defense against top contender Adam Deines — Saturday, March 20 at Megasport Arena in Moscow — will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (and simulcast on ESPN+) at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT.
 
In the televised co-feature, welterweight contender Alexander Besputin returns to action in a 10-rounder against Argentine veteran Maximiliano Ricardo Veron.
 
Undercard fights will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.
 
Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs), a two-time Russian Olympian, returns to home soil for the first time as a professional. He unified world titles in October 2019 with a 10th-round TKO over Oleksandr Gvozdyk, solidifying his position as the sport’s top light heavyweight. Deines (19-1-1, 10 KOs) has won a pair of bouts since dropping a decision to Meng Fanlong and enters as the underdog looking to spoil Beterbiev’s perfect record and status as the only current world champion with a 100 percent knockout rate.
 
Besputin (13-0, 9 KOs) has not fought since November 2019, when he bested Radzhab Butaev by unanimous decision to win a version of the welterweight world title. The result was changed to a no-contest after Besputin tested positive for a banned substance. Veron (12-3-1, 4 KOs) is coming off a career-best performance in November 2019, a unanimous decision over Diego Ramirez (21-2 at the time) to win the IBF Latino welterweight belt.
 
The following bouts are scheduled for the ESPN+-exclusive portion of the broadcast:

  • Former Russian amateur standout Khariton Agrba (4-0, 1 KO), a 2019 European Games silver medalist, will fight Venezuelan veteran Jesus Cuadro (19-7, 15 KOs) in a 10-rounder for WBA Continental super lightweight strap. The 25-year-old Agrba is considered one of Russia’s top young talents, as he won more than 300 bouts in the unpaid ranks before turning pro in December 2019.
     
  • Azizbek Abdugofurov (13-0, 5 KOs) will defend his WBC Silver super middleweight belt in a 12-rounder against fellow unbeaten Pavel Silyagin (6-0 4 KOs). Abdugofurov, from Uzbekistan, is ranked fourth by the WBC at super middleweight. 

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April 3: Jamel Herring-Carl Frampton Junior Lightweight World Title Bout to Stream Live and Exclusively on ESPN+

(March 11, 2021) — Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring’s WBO junior lightweight world title defense against Belfast’s former two-weight world champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton — Saturday, April 3 from Caesars Bluewaters Dubai — will stream live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+.
 
Herring-Frampton will headline a two-bout broadcast beginning at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT. In the 10-round junior welterweight co-feature, undefeated Kazakh star Zhankosh Turarov will fight Belfast native Tyrone McKenna.
 
Undercard action will stream live on ESPN+ at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

“This is a fight that’s been in the works for a very long time, and I expect both Jamel and Carl to be at their best,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “It’s an even matchup, and I am pleased that fans in the United States can watch it live on ESPN+.”
 
Herring (22-2, 10 KOs) has made two defenses of the title he won from Masayuki Ito in May 2019, most recently defeating Puerto Rican challenger Jonathan Oquendo via disqualification last September at the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble. He was originally scheduled to face Frampton last summer in Belfast, but COVID-19 intervened. Frampton (28-2, 16 KOs), who won world titles at junior featherweight and featherweight, hopes to make history as the island of Ireland’s first three-division world champion. He has won two straight bouts since losing a unanimous decision to Josh Warrington in December 2018 for the IBF featherweight world title. In his lone ring appearance of 2020, Frampton knocked out late replacement foe Darren Traynor in the seventh round.

Undercard action streaming on ESPN+ includes:

  • Former four-weight world champion Donnie Nietes (42-1-5, 23 KOs) returns to action after more than two years away from the ring and will fight an opponent to be named in a 10-rounder at junior bantamweight. Nietes, from the Philippines, is one of four Asian fighters in boxing history to capture world titles in four weight classes.
     
  • Keyshawn Davis (1-0, 1 KOs), a former U.S. amateur standout who captured a silver medal at the 2019 World Championships, will take on an opponent to be named in a six-round lightweight bout.
  • __________

John Vera stops Cleotis Pendarvis 

In opening round  

RJJ Boxing Official Results 

 

BILOXI, Miss. (March 5, 2021) – Fort Worth (TX) middleweight John “The Phenom” Vera stopped Cleotis Pendarvis in the opening round of last night’s RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS main event at Biloxi Conference Center in Biloxi, Mexico. 

RJJ Boxing was streamed live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS®, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports.  To sign up for UFC FIGHT PASS, please visit www.ufcfightpass.com

 

Vera vs. Pendarvis suddenly and surprisingly ended midway through the opening round, when Pendarvis (21-8-2, 9 KOs), a former USBA champion, stopped throwing punches and went to his knees.  He was counted out with what is believed to be a hand injury. 

 

“Well,” Vera (20-1, 12 KOs) said after the fight, “the way my fight ended was anticlimactic.  I was feeling really good and calm in there.  I was just finding my range, establishing my jab and calculating.  He threw a jab to the body and I blocked it with my elbow.  I felt his knuckle hit my elbow. Sucked ut ended that way, but what can you do?” 

 

Vera has now won his last two fight since suffering his only loss as a professional back in 2018, when he traveled to France as a world rated fighter to take on Michel Soro (31-2-1) for the WBA Interim junior middleweight title, in which Vera lost a 12-round unanimous decision.   

 

 

In Vera’s previous fight this past in August, “The Phenom” won a 6-round unanimous decision in Las Vegas over Ravshan Hudaynazarov (17-2), a former world-rated fighter from Uzbekistan.   

 

“I would like to get in the ring as soon as possible,” Vera added.  “I wanted rounds, so it’s time to get right back in there.  I’m unscathed and in shape.” 

 

In the co-featured event, ABF West super lightweight champion Christon Edwards (12-2, 6 KOs) won a 6-round unanimous decision from Texas welterweight Jonathan Steele (9-7-1, 6 KOs) in a non-title fight. 

 

Eridson Garcia (11-0, 7 KOs), of Houston by way of the Dominican Republic, won a split decision against Jose Miguel Diaz Valenzuela (6-1, 1 KO), of Phoenix, in a battle of undefeated super featherweights.  Scoring, though, was odd as Garcia won 60-54 and 59-55, but the third judge scored it a draw, 57-57.   

 

Tennessee super lightweight Tyler “Short Fuse” Tomlin remained undefeated, improving to 10-0 (6 KOs) with a quick stoppage of overmatched Venezuelan veteran Ricardo Ocampo (12-11, 7 KOs), who was knocked out at the 53-seconds mark of round one. 

 

Official results below:  

OFFICIAL RESULTS 

MAIN EVENT – WELTERWEIGHTS 

John Vera (20-1, 12 KOs), Fort Worth, Texas 

WKO1 (1:38) 

Cleotis Pendarvis (21-8-2, 9 KOs), Lancaster, California  

CO-FEATURE – WELTERWEIGHTS 

Christon Edwards (12-2, 6 KOs), Houston, Texas 

WDEC6 (59-55, 58-56, 58-56) 

Jonathan Steele (9-7-1, 6 KOs), Duncanville, Texas 

SUPER FEATHERWEIGHTS 

Eridson Garcia (11-0, 7 KOs), Houston, Texas 

WDEC6 (60-54, 59-55, 57-57)   

 Jose Miguel Diaz Valenzuala (6-1, 1 KO), Phoenix, Arizona 

 

SUPER LIGHTWEIGHTS 

Tyler Tomlin (10-0, 6 KOs), Ashland, Tennessee 

WTKO1 (0:55) 

Ricardo Ocampo (12-11, 7 KOs), Curuzu Cuatia, Valenzuela 

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Brandon Adams Knocks Out Serhii Bohachuk in
8th Round
March 4, 2021 – Former world title challenger and winner of The Contender, Brandon Adams scored a spectacular eighth-round stoppage over previously undefeated Serhii Bohachuk to capture the WBC Continental Americas and WBO NABO Junior Middleweight titles in the main event of a Ring City USA card at the Felix Pagan Pintor Gym in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.
The was televised on NBC Sports Network.   
Adams came out strong in the early rounds as he took control by working on the inside.  In round three, he was questionably deducted a point for low blows on punches that landed on the high beltline of Bohachuck.  
Adams continued pushing on as he not only battled Bohachuk,  but a slippery ring surface.  The Watts, California native showed his championship experience as he hung tough in the middle rounds and waited for, and eventually got his moment in round eight.
In that round, Adams landed a big left hook that hurt Bohachuk along the ropes.  Adams jumped on his prey and landed another booming left hook on the chin that sent Bohachuk to the canvas.  Bohachuk got to his feet, but stumbled, and the fight was stopped at 2:47.
“It was real tough in there with the ring being wet, and the referee taking that point.  I had to dig in deep, and regardless of what was happening during that fight, it was me against them, and I had to embody that and use all of the strength that I had to connect on one of those punches from “The Cannon,”” said Adams.  
“He brought another side out of me that I knew was in me, but the people got to see it tonight.  I am a professional.  I have to figure out how to get The W,.  I am going to keep on doing what I have to do to keep winning.”
With the win, Adams, who is promoted by Banner Promotions and The Tournament of Contenders is now 23-3 with 15 knockouts.  Bohachuk, who came in perfect, is now 18-1 with 18 knockouts. 

 

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One and Only: Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor to Battle for Undisputed Junior Welterweight Crown May 22 LIVE on ESPN

Ramirez-Taylor will headline live broadcast on ESPN & ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) starting at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT

(March 2, 2021) — Two undefeated junior welterweight kings, one undisputed title. The stakes don’t get any higher.
 
WBC/WBO champion Jose Ramirez, the pride of California’s Central Valley, will fight Scotland’s IBF/WBA champion Josh Taylor for the undisputed world championship Saturday, May 22. The winner will become only the second undisputed junior welterweight champion of the four-belt era, joining pound-for-pound great Terence “Bud” Crawford.
 
Promoted by Top Rank, Ramirez-Taylor will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (and simulcast on ESPN+) starting at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT. The location, venue, and undercard information will be announced shortly.
 
“This is the best boxing has to offer, two elite fighters in the prime of their careers colliding in a legacy-defining matchup for the undisputed championship of the world,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “It’s a true 50-50 fight, one that the fans and both fighters demanded.”
 
Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) has been a world champion since March 2018, when he toppled Amir Imam via unanimous decision to win the vacant WBC strap. Following the Imam victory, he hired noted trainer Robert Garcia, and the duo has combined to go 4-0 in world title fights. Ramirez knocked out Maurice Hooker in July 2019 to unify world titles and defended his belts last August with a majority decision over former world champion Viktor Postol. Ramirez, a proud son of Mexican immigrants who hails from Avenal, Calif., is an agent of social change in his community. He’s devoted his time and resources to myriad causes, including cancer research, water rights for area farmers, and COVID-19 relief for Central Valley field workers.
 
“I look forward to making history by becoming the first boxer of Mexican descent to hold all four major world title belts,” Ramirez said. “I dedicate this fight to the Central Valley farm workers, who are out there every day helping feed the world. This fight is big, but nothing is bigger than getting vaccinations to the farm workers right now in the Central Valley.”
 
“No excuses, no fake social media promises, no grandstanding. This is the best fighting the best at their absolute best,” said Rick Mirigian, Ramirez’s manager.  “Jose will have his hand raised in the end, solidifying his status as a Hall of Famer.”
 
Like Ramirez, Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs) fought as a lightweight at the 2012 London Olympics, where he advanced to the Round of 16. While he didn’t turn pro until 2015, “The Tartan Tornado” won the Commonwealth 140-pound title in only his seventh pro bout. Taylor toppled Postol by unanimous decision in 2018 and won the IBF world title the following year with a decision over Ivan Baranchyk. He unified the IBF and WBA titles in October 2019, edging Regis Prograis by majority decision in a brutal masterpiece. He made his first defense as a unified champion last September, blasting out mandatory challenger Apinun Khongsong in the first round. Taylor hopes to make a little history of his own as the first undisputed, four-belt Scottish champion.
 
Taylor said, “I’m excited it’s been finalized and over the line. I can’t wait to get in there for the biggest fight of my career. Fighting for the undisputed title is something all boxers dream about.”

________________

Oscar De La Hoya’s strong support primary reason  

Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez signed with Golden Boy  

LAS VEGAS (March 1, 2021) – Undefeated world light heavyweight contender and former world super middleweight champion, Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (41-0, 27 KOs), recently signed an exclusive promotional contract with Golden Boy Promotions, primarily because of the strong support he will receive from Oscar De Lay Hoya and his team.

“Ultimately,” the 29-year-old Ramirez explained, “Golden Boy understood the goals and agendas I set for myself and I felt the strong support from Oscar and his team. It’s a multi-fight deal with potential for something longer pending this first experience. From all the conversations my team and I have had with Golden Boy, I felt comfortable with them and the future opportunities that will arise from our relationship.

“Oscar is a great guy and it’s been nothing but a pleasure dealing with him and his team. As my relationship with Golden Boy continues to grow, I’m sure we (Oscar) will become closer.  He’s a champion and one of the greatest to ever lace up the gloves.  I look forward to working to him closely.”  

Ramirez’ goal is to become the undisputed light heavyweight champion world, something he will have a better shot of accomplishing with Golden Boy in his corner.

“(WBA Super light heavyweight World champion Dmitry) Bivol (17-0, 11 KOs) is someone who has always been on the radar and I have full faith in (Golden Boy matchmaker) Robert Diaz to put together the best fights for me,” Ramirez added.  “Unification has always been the goal.  I know I’m the best in the division and hope to make this happens for the history books in the near future.”

This past December, Ramirez launched his own promotional company, Zurdo Promotions, which will remain active.

“Zurdo Promotions will continue and stay active,” Ramirez said.  “Going forward, all my fights with Golden Boy will be in association with Zurdo Promotions.  I will host fights in Mexico to be a bridge between Latin America and the United States.  There’s tremendous talent in that region and I hope to use my platform to help and support the underserved fighters in Mexico.”

Ramirez, who is tentatively slated to return to the ring in May, is currently ranked No. 1 by the WBC, as well as No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, by the WBA and WBO.

________________

Diego Pacheco and Money Powell IV get big wins on Saturday Night 
Pacheco defeats Rodolfo Gomez Jr. in Miami
Powell Decisions William Langston in Atlanta

Diego Pacheco (R) defeats Rodolfo Gomez Jr. (L) in Miami

NEW YORK (March 1, 2021) -Two of Split-T Management’s super middleweight prospects gained big wins on Saturday night.
Diego Pacheco remained undefeated with a eight-round unanimous decision over Rodolfo Gomez Jr. in a super middleweight fight.
The bout, which took place at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida, was streamed live on DAZN as part of the Canelo Alvarez – Avni Yildirim card.
Pacheco has been very impressive in knocking out eight of his previous 10 opponents, showed great versatility and ring I.Q. by landing counters and some sharp right hands against the tough veteran.
Pacheco landed 117 of 382 punches; Gomez was 70 of 351.
Pacheco, 168 lbs of Los Angeles won by scores of 79-73 on all cards and is now 11-0. Gomez, 167lbs of Laredo, TX is 14-5-1.
Pacheco is under the guidance of Split-T Management’s Tim VanNewhouse and is promoted by Matchroom Boxing.
Money Powell IV won a tough six round split decision over William Langston.
The fight took place at The Buckhead Fight Club in Atlanta.
Langston was strong, and he was aggressive early on as he was looking to take out Powell with power shots.
That was not to be the case, as Powell was able to out box Langston, and slow him n down with body shots. The 23 year-old Powell out-landed Langston throughout the fight.
Powell of Fort Mitchell, Alabama is now 12-1.
________________

Two-Time Champion Anthony Dirrell & Tough Contender Kyrone Davis Battle to Split Draw in WBC 168-Pound Title Elimination Match On FOX PBC FIGHT NIGHT Saturday Night in Los Angeles

Teenage Welterweight Sensations Score Spectacular KO Victories as Jesus Ramos Defeats Jesus Bojorquez & Vito Mielnicki, Jr. Beats Noe Lopez in Televised Undercard Action

Two-Time Champion Anthony Dirrell (L) and Kyrone Davis (R) battle to a draw

LOS ANGELES (February 27, 2021) – Two-time super middleweight champion Anthony “The Dog’’ Dirrell and tough contender Kyrone “Shut It Down’’ Davis battled to a hard-fought 12-round split draw in a WBC Super Middleweight title elimination match in the main event of FOX PBC Fight Night Saturday night from the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles.
 
It was a tactical match as both boxers displayed superb skills, battling from a distance and in close quarters. Dirrell landed the more accurate shots, but Davis matched his work rate on offense. As the fight wore on it became a question of whether the wily veteran, Dirrell, would be able to drag the younger man, Davis, out into deep waters and sink him. Davis didn’t let that happen, making Dirrell work for everything he got in the fight.
 
In the end neither man was the clear-cut winner. Judge Patrick Russell scored it 115-113 for Dirrell. Judge Lou Moret scored it 115-113 for Davis and Judge Zachary Young had it 114-114 even.
 
“I thought I won the fight. I pushed the fight, hit him with cleaner punches,” Dirrell said. “He hit gloves a lot. I knew it was going to be a draw—as soon as they said it was going to be a split decision. I can’t control what the judges do and I respect them all because they have different perspectives and angles on what is happening.
 
“I was pressing the fight, I wasn’t tired at all. My jab was working. But I can’t stop what the judges think. Davis fought well. He did what he was supposed to, came in with a good game plan. He was boxing, he normally doesn’t do that. But we pressed the action.”
 
There was something extra on the line for the winner of the fight – a shot at the WBC Super Middleweight title. The 36-year-old Dirrell (33-2-2, 24 KOs), a two-time WBC 168-pound champion, had the edge in experience over the 26-year-old Davis, who was fighting for the first time at 168 pounds. The younger brother of Andre Dirrell, a bronze medalist for the 2004 U.S. Olympic boxing team, Dirrell was coming off a hard-fought loss to former champion David Benavidez. Dirrell of Flint, Michigan has cleared several hurdles in his life, including surviving cancer and a horrendous motorcycle accident. He was looking at this as his path back to the championship ranks. And he still is.
 
“I’m looking for a title. I’m not looking for just another fight. I’m looking for a big fight. That’s the plan,” Dirrell said. “I’ll take whoever has a belt, whoever we can get. I’ll take a Canelo, or a Caleb Plant.”
 
Davis (15-2-1, 6 KOs) stepped up to the biggest challenge of his career in taking on Dirrell. The most notable victory of his career had come against Marcos Hernandez in 2017. Hernandez was undefeated at the time. In the early rounds against Dirrell, Davis of Wilmington, Delaware seemed a bit hesitant, but settled in as the fight rolled to the middle rounds. He pressed the action at times, but it wasn’t enough to convince two of the judges to give him the decision.
 
“I thought I won the fight, 116-112. It was a great opportunity. They doubted me. They told me he was going to knock me out. This was supposed to be a showcase for him but it wasn’t,” Davis said. “My body felt well. I felt good. Anthony Dirrell is a two-time world champion. I really wanted to make a statement. A draw is not as bad as a loss but I really don’t like breaking even.
 
“It was my first 12-rounder so it was a little unfamiliar for me. I knew he was experienced, but I kept my composure and pushed through it. I stuck to the game plan that (trainer) Stephen “Breadman” Edwards gave me.”
 
In the co-feature, 19-year-old rising welterweight star Jesus Ramos (15-0, 14 KOs) looked sharp in scoring a stunning second-round KO victory over Jesús Emilio Bojórquez (24-3, 18 KOs). The precocious Ramos, the nephew of welterweight boxer Abel Ramos, landed a sharp right hook that dropped Bojórquez of Sonora, Mexico and opened a cut along his nose early in the second round. Bojórquez beat the count but was unsteady on his feet. Ramos opened up on Bojórquez as he was pinned against the ropes and referee Thomas Taylor stepped in and stopped the fight at 1:44 of the second round.
 
“I was surprised he got up from that right hook. I was setting it up, throwing my jab to the body,” Ramos said. “I knew he was expecting another jab but I feinted and came back with the right hook. I didn’t think he would get up but he did and then I finished the job. This was a test run [at 147]. I felt really strong, the weight cut was a lot smoother this time around. I might campaign here. I have to talk to my team and see what they think.
 
“I want to be a champion at 21 years of age. That would be next year. I want to step up the competition this year, fight guys with names, and next year fight guys like Yordenis Ugas.”
 
Ramos’s uncle, Abel, lost a split decision to Ugas last September.
 
In the televised opener, sensational welterweight prospect Vito Mielnicki, Jr. (8-0, 5 KOs), displaying good poise, patience and power, scored an impressive KO victory over Jalisco, Mexico’s Nóe López (10-4-1, 4 KOs) when referee Gerard White stopped the contest at 2:50 of the third round. In the second, the 18-year-old Mielnicki floored López when he rolled under a lazy jab and landed a lightning quick straight right hand that dropped López on the seat of his pants.
 
The 34-year-old López rose at the count of six by referee Gerald White. Mielnicki of Roseland, N.J. picked up the pace and continued to pound Noe in the third round. He landed a barrage of hard punches at will that frame, forcing White to call a halt to the assault with 10 seconds remaining in the round, handing Mielnicki the stoppage victory.
 
“I felt strong tonight. I don’t know how long I’ll be at 147, moving up may be in my future. For this fight, I give myself an ‘A.’ I got him out of there, a guy who said was a step-up, a guy who they said would carry me into the later rounds. But I expect nothing less of myself because I know I’m going to be great,’’ Mielnicki said.
 
“I’m just going to keep learning. I’m still young. I’m still 18 so we’re not in a rush. We’re going to keep building and see where that takes us. I’m 8-0 with 5 knockouts and I’m not injured or anything so I’m ready to get back in the ring as soon as possible.”
 
In other televised action, rising Dominican super lightweight prospect Michel Rivera (20-0, 13 KOs) pounded Arecibo, Puerto Rico’s Anthony Mercado (13-5, 11 KOs) and scored a TKO victory when referee Edward Collantes stopped the fight at 2:26 of the eighth round. Anthony Cuba (1-0-1, 1 KO) and Diego Elizondo (3-2-3) fought to a four-round majority draw.
 
The event was promoted by TGB Promotions.

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USA Boxing Alumni’s 1988  

USA Trials Virtual Reunion Review  

 COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (February 25, 2021) – USA Boxing and the USA Boxing Alumni Association recently held a virtual reunion via Zoom for competitors at the 1988 USA Boxing Trials.  

Among the 25 boxers who participated were 1988 Olympic gold and silver medalist, respectively, light heavyweight Andrew Maynard and light flyweight Michael Carbajal.  

The group was comprised of fighters who competed at the 1988 USA Olympic Trials, plus a few administrators, many of whom hadn’t seen nor spoken to most of the others for more than 30 years. They updated each other on what they’ve done since the 1988 USA Trials, remembered fighting each other, and looked forward to remaining in touch.  

In addition to Maynard and Carbajal, taking part in this virtual reunion were “Iceman” John Scully, who recruited the others and served as Master of Ceremonies, Darren AllenDonald “Tiger” StokesNathaniel FitchFrankie LilesThomas TateRonald SimmsJesse James LeijaEddie CookMerle ThorntonLionel Odom, Jr., Michael BenttRonald ManleySkipper KelpArthur JohnsonRobert SaltersStanley LeeCharles MurrayWilliam GuthrieAl ColeLou SavareseNick Kakouris, and Paul Vaden.  

“It’s good to see Skipper Kelp and Ronald Simms who were on our last reunion call,” said call host Mike McAtee, Executive Director of USA Boxing.  “It’s so good to see all of you from the 1988 Olympic Trials.  Scully knows everybody, so it made things easier.”  

“Thanks to everyone for being on this zoom,” added Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Director.  “We started the USA Boxing Alumni Association in 2017.  We’ve had gatherings across the country, but this year and last have been different. We did a reunion with boxers who competed at the 1992 USA Olympic Trials back in early November. USA Boxing is stronger with alumni involved.  We hope to see you at tournaments this year.  Thanks again to John Scully who knows everybody in boxing.”  

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20-1 California super flyweight Rocco Santomauro signs with  

Ryan Roach’s Fighter Locker  

BOSTON (February 23, 2021) – Ryan Roach’s Fighter Locker has announced it has signed California super flyweight Rocco “So Cal Kid” Santomauro (20-1, 6 KOs) to an exclusive managerial contract.  

Rocco Santomauro

The 33-year-old Santomauro, fighting out of Apple Valley, CA, is riding a 7-fight win streak since suffering his only loss as a professional to then 14-0 Diego De La Hoya nearly five years ago.  

“I’m 33,” Santomauro said, but I definitely feel I’m in my prime.  My skill level is at its best and I’m always improving. When it comes to getting in there with top guys, I’ve been in the ring with many world champions, outside of fights, and I’ve more than held my own.  It’s all a matter of timing and I feel mine is here.  I believe I’m very close to a major fight right now at super flyweight.  It’s all a matter of getting myself in the right position and I feel like, right now, I have the right team to do so with Ryan Roach and Fighter Locker backing me.  

“I signed a managerial contract with Ryan and his Fighter Locker because I knew it was a good move.  After managing myself the last year and a half, I knew I needed trustworthy help to get to the next level.  Ryan and I were friends on social media. I was aware he was signing fighters with Fighter Locker, so I began to watch and study him to see how he was with his fighters.  Having liked what I saw – Ryan being there for his fighters and building a good relationship with him talking from time to time — we were able to come to an agreement to take me to that next level and get a major fight.”  

“I’m excited to add such a veteran fight to our stable,” Roach commented.  “Rocco checks all the boxes in terms of what a manager looks for in a fighter.  He has great ring IQ.  He’s fast with great defense, and Rocco a very energetic fighter.  He is close to a world title shot; one or two more fights and we will be fighting top super flyweights.  Rocco has what it takes to beat those guys.”  

The son of an Italian father who wanted his son to be an “animal,” Rocco was born with a fighting spirt, aggressive in nature as a child, and inspired by Rocky Marciano.  Rocco got into boxing, in large part, due to following in the footsteps of his older brother, who was a decorated amateur boxer.  He first boxed because of his brother, then through a local boxing club in Hesperia (CA), in addition to practicing at home as he watched his favorite fighters on ESPN Classic.  

Santomauro’s amateur career never really took off.  He lived in an area with very little boxing, and needed to travel to box, which resulted in him deciding when he was older to take control of his boxing career by moving to Las Vegas.  He developed his skills there and decided in 2009 to turn pro after suffering what he felt was a bad decision at the USA Nationals.  

An energetic boxer who is a smart, aggressive counter puncher, Santomauro also checks in on the body, and brings excitement into the ring.  His best fight to date was his most recent (Nov. 7, 2020), when he stopped Christian Omar Henriques (10-4-2) in the sixth round of their fight in Tijuana.  

“I was backed by Fighter Locker and my team,” Rocco noted.  “I went in focused and mentally trained properly to do what I had to do against a game, younger opponent with a winning record. I knocked him out!  We did it intelligently and were able to hit all the marks performance-wise.”  

Training and fighting during a pandemic have been challenging, to say the least, and being a super flyweight only compounds the problem.  

“It’s been very difficult getting fights as an American super flyweight,” Santomauro added, “especially coming down in weight from featherweight and then junior featherweight.  Nobody was willing to give me the opportunity, nor did they think I could fight at that weight class having debuted as a junior lightweight.  I was basically put on the shelf, turned down left and right as a free agent with 14-1 record at that time.  I reached a 1 ½ year layoff, getting only lowball offers against short notice opponents.  My trainer, Julian Chua, and I decided it would be smart to start fighting in Mexico, where there were super flyweights to fight.  

“Training during the pandemic has been absolute hell for me, closed out of almost all gyms but grateful for being able to visit, from time to time, the Wild Card Boxing Gym and Churchill Boxing Club.  But that wasn’t what I was used to.  I had to do a lot of what I call ‘Rocky 4’ training on my own to stay fit.  I was also lucky enough to build good relationships in Mexico with my promoter, so I was blessed to always have the option of staying busy in Tijuana.  And I did.”  

Now, Roach and Fighter Locker have Santomauro’s back, and his future is promising.  

Fighter Locker’s growing stable of gifted boxers includes, Troy, NY ABF American West super lightweight Ray Jay “The Destroyer” Bermudez (12-0, 9 KOs), Toronto, Canada welterweight West Haven, CT super welterweight Jimmy “Quiet Storm” Williams (16-5-2, 5 KOs), super middleweight “The Amazing” Shawn McCalman (6-0, 4 KOs), U.S. Army super bantamweight Daniel Bailey, Jr. (2-0, 1 KO), lightweight Leonel de los Santos (2-0, 2 KOs),, a 2-time Dominican Republic Olympian, pro-debuting Boston featherweight Troy Anderson, Jr., pro-debuting Dominican Republic welterweight Juan Solano, and Salt Lake City, Utah brothers, super lightweight Ignacio Chairez (7-0-1, 4 KOs) and lightweight Gabriel Chairez (3-0, 2 KOs).  

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Split-T Management Fighters Score Three Knockouts on Saturday Night

NEW YORK (February 22, 2021) -Three fighters under the Split-T Management banner registered knockout victories on Saturday night.
At Caribe Royale in Orland, Florida, welterweight Ivan Golub continued his ascent towards a major fight as he stopped Luis Eduardo Florez in round six of their scheduled eight-round bout.
In round two, Golub dropped Florez with a body shot combination.  In round three, Florez began to swell over his right eye.  In round five Golub dropped Florez with a a right hook.  Golub sent Florez down again in the round when he landed a barrage of punches that was punctuated by a right hook to the side of the head.  Golub continued his two-fisted assault in the sixth round, as he continued to beatdown Florez until another right hook put the Colombian down to a knee and the fight was stopped at 1:58
Golub of Brooklyn, NY notched his sixth consecutive victory and third straight stoppage to raise his record to 19-1 with 15 knockouts.  Florez of Colombia is now 25-18.
Golub is promoted by DiBella Entertainment.

At the MGM Grand Conference Center, AKA “The Bubble”, Javier Martinez made short work of Billy Wagner by stopping him in the opening round of their four-round middleweight bout.

Martinez landed a booming right hook that buckled Wagner, and three ripping punches later, the fight was stopped at 1:51.

Martinez, 161 lbs of Milwaukee, WI is 3-0 with one knockout. Wagner, 160 lbs of Great Falls, MT is 3-2.

Omar Rosario stopped Uriel Villanueva in round two of their scheduled four-round junior welterweight bout featuring undefeated fighters.

In round two, Rosario dropped Villanueva with a left hook to the body. Seconds later, It was another left hook to the body that sent Villanueva to his knee and he did not beat the count of 10 at 2:38.

Rosario, 140 lbs of Caguas, PR is now 3-0 with one knockout. Villanueva, 140 lbs of Anaheim, CA is 1-1.

Martinez and Rosario are under the guidance of Tim VanNewhouse, and are promoted by Top Rank.
**Waldo Cortes was forced to withdraw from his bout against Split-T Manaagemnet heavyweight prospect Sonny Conto due to medical reasons.
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Janelson Figueroa Bocachica Remains Undefeated with Decision Win Over Mark Reyes Jr. on ShoBox: The New Generation®
February 18, 2021 –  Janelson Figueroa Bocachica remained undefeated by winning an 10-round majority decision over previously perfect Mark Reyes Jr. in the headline bout of a ShoBox: The New Generation show at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The show was televised Live on Showtime®. 
The fight was fought at a quick pace throughout the affair that saw Bocachica take the lead on the exchanges, and was able to catch Reyes was some solid combinations around the counter attempts of Reyes.  

Bocachica showed a great chin, as Reyes landed some solid counters, mostly with the left hook.  Those punches were sandwiched  in between Bocachica landing two or three solid shots of his own.  Bocachica was able to control the action at distance, but he wanted to put on an entertaining fight, and he was able to win by scores of 97-93, 96-94 and 95-95.

Janelson Figueroa Bocachica slugging Mark Reyes Jr. with a hard right on the jaw.

“I felt like I had a unanimous decision but I just need to go back and watch the tape,” said the 22-year-old Bocachica. “I felt like it was an easy victory and I took him to school.”  
“He had a short temper and he came out talking trash so you know I had to talk my trash back,” continued Bocachica. “But it was all part of the game plan to get him emotional in the ring and it worked in my advantage.”
With the win, the native of Detroit raised his perfect mark to 17-0.  Reyes of Tampa, Florida is 14-1.  
Bocachica is managed by Split-T Management and promoted by King’s Promotions.

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RC Thunder: Richard Commey Stops Jackson Marinez 

Adam Lopez Retains NABF Featherweight Title

Jared Anderson KOs Kingsley Ibeh in 6

LAS VEGAS (February 13, 2021) — Welcome back, Richard Commey. Fourteen months after losing his IBF lightweight world title to Teofimo Lopez, Commey made an emphatic statement, knocking out Dominican contender Jackson Marinez in the sixth round Saturday evening from the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble.

Commey (30-3, 27 KOs) knocked down Marinez (19-2, 7 KOs) twice in the sixth round of a competitive fight that had the judges split at the time of the stoppage. The second knockdown, courtesy of a right hand, prompted Kenny Bayless to call off the fight.

Sitting (and standing) ringside cheering on Commey was Lopez, the undisputed lightweight champion. 

Commey said, When I first started, I started very slow because I’ve been away for more than a year, so I had to take my time a little bit just to get my rhythm. My corner was telling me to do something. They saw that punch that took him down.

LAS VEGAS, NV – FEBRUARY 13: Richard Commey knocks down Jackson Marinez during their fight at the MGM Grand Conference Center on February 13, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

“After our fight, I saw {Teofimo} in the lobby and we chatted and hugged. He always liked me, and it’s pure love. For him to come down to my corner, it was motivating. It showed tremendous love, and that’s how it’s supposed to be. We gotta love each other, regardless of where you’re from or who you are. I appreciated {his support}.

Lopez Edges Sanchez

Adam Lopez is known for his all-action slugfests, but this time, he boxed, moved and ultimately picked up the most significant victory of his career. After dropping the first three rounds on all three judges’ scorecards, Lopez adjusted and edged former world title challenger Jason Sanchez (15-3, 8 KOs) via majority decision (95-95, 96-94 and 97-93) over 10 rounds to retain his NABF featherweight title.

Lopez (15-2, 6 KOs) has now won two straight since a controversial TKO loss to Oscar Valdez, while Sanchez dropped his second consecutive Bubble bout.

Lopez said, “I was 100 percent confident that I had won the fight. I felt l won most of the rounds. I noticed he tried to get the momentum, and I picked it up and got back to what was working. {Trainer} Buddy {McGirt} had to snap it out of me and get me back to my game plan, and once I did, it was like butter. It was easy.

LAS VEGAS, NV – FEBRUARY 13: Adam Lopez (R) and Jason Sanchez exchange punches during their fight at the MGM Grand Conference Center on February 13, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

“I know I have defense. I can box. I wanted to show that tonight. Jason is a tough opponent, but I wanted to show I could control things by moving and boxing more.”

Anderson Ices Ibeh

Heavyweight hopeful Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson had never been pushed as a professional. Enter Kingsley Ibeh (5-2-1, 4 KOs), the Bubble veteran who had designs of pulling off the upset. But in the sixth and final round, Anderson (8-0, 8 KOs) hit the sweet spot of Ibeh’s chin with a left hook and knocked him out cold.

Prior to the Ibeh bout, Anderson had never been past the fourth round. In round six, he made his statement, loud and clear. 

Anderson said, “We worked day and night for this. While they sleep, we’re working.
 
“We will keep fighting prospects and people who say they can’t be beat. I am here to fight the best. Since everyone wants it, why not give it to them?
 
“I wanted the Ibeh fight because I saw him push many prospects. The knockout came, and I made a statement.”

In undercard bouts:

Lightweight: Eric Puente (5-0) UD 4 Sergio Vega (2-1-1, 2 KOs), Scores: 40-36 3x. San Diego native Puente cruised to his fifth unanimous decision in as many pro fight, topping the previously unbeaten Vega in his third Bubble appearance since last July.

Welterweight: Jahi Tucker (3-0, 2 KOs) TKO 2 Eric Rodriguez (1-2, 1 KO), 1:50. Tucker, the 18-year-old prodigy from Long Island, put forth his most devastating performance to date, knocking Rodriguez down for the 10-count with a left hook to the liver. 

Middleweight: Troy Isley (1-0) UD 4 Bryant Costello (1-2, 1 KO), Scores: 40-36 3x. Former U.S. amateur standout Isley turned pro with pound-for-pound great Terence “Bud” Crawford in his corner and shined en route to the shutout. 

Isley said, “It felt good to get in there and get it out of the way, get some rust off. Going four rounds lets me know that we rehabbed properly {from shoulder surgery} and did everything we needed to do to get back.”

Bantamweight: Floyd Diaz (1-0) UD 4 Fernando Macias (1-2), Scores: 40-36 3x. Las Vegas-born prodigy Diaz flashed the blinding hand speed that made him a social media sensation and shut out Macias in a crowd-pleasing professional debut.

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Richie “Popeye Te Sailor Man” Rivera finds new home in Orlando  

Returns to ring Feb. 12th in Orlando on Christy Martin-promoted card  

ORLANDO, Fla. (February 4, 2021) – It seems only appropriate that undefeated cruiserweight Richie “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera (18-0, 13 KOs) has found a new home in Orlando (FL), although his heart remains in his native Hartford (CT), since he followed his partner/head trainer Tony Blanco there nearly six months ago,   

“I recently went to Universal Studios and it’s definitely Popeye-friendly,” the charismatic Rivera reported.  “They had Popeye rides, souvenirs and novelties.  I felt like it’s my part of town.”  

Due to financial strains associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hartford Boxing Center (HBC) was closed by the state March 15 and it never reopened. Blanco and his family traveled south to the Sunshine State, where he opened the Orlando Boxing Club (OBC at 7335 Lake Underhill Road in Orlando, Florida).  Soon after “Popeye” packed his bags and joined Blanco.  

“The business was bleeding, and I have a family to support,” Blanco explained.  “We’ve more or less brought Hartford Boxing Center to Orlando, where there are so many opportunities for us.  It is what it is, there was no other way to survive.  We’ve turning a negative into a positive.  

“It was a cool ride alongside the Hartford community.  We were sad to announce the Hartford Boxing Center had closed its doors.  We are deeply indebted to Hartford for giving us the opportunity to meet such a loving community that made us feel like family.  We will miss each and every one there and, hopefully, we left our legacy there in good standing with everyone.  We hope everybody stays safe, healthy and continues their goals and dreams The fight continues!”  

Florida’s weather alone has advantages over Connecticut, in addition to no state tax, and “Popeye” has taken full advantage as he marches towards the top of the cruiserweight division.   

“I’ve taken it all in,” he commented.  “Down here I’m able to run in weather when it isn’t freezing or in the snow, although that did make me more of an animal.  But it was harder training in Hartford and there are so many reasons not to run and train there.  Not in Orlando where I have nothing but quality runs and workouts. I get solid sparring here in Orlando with partners who have different styles and I EVEN went over to the gym owned by my idol, Roy Jones, Jr., in Pensacola.  

“It’s especially difficult being here during the pandemic with so many of my family and friends back in Hartford.  I’m still showed a lot of love back there where I have my roots.  Florida is awesome, but I still have a lot of living left, so we’ll need to wait to see what’s ahead for me in the future.”     

Meanwhile, Rivera and Blanco found a strong ally and friend in Hall of Famer Christy Martin, who is now a boxing promoter in Florida and North Carolina.  Rivera’s last fight was this past August 15th in Daytona Beach (FL) on a Martin-promoted card, in which he knocked out Ryan Soft in the opening round.  

“Popeye” is scheduled to fight on her February 12th show in Orlando against veteran Mexican fighter Ulises “El Cirillo” Jimenez (24-26-1, 18 KOs) in an 8-round featured bout.  

“This will be the fifth time I’ve fought on one of her cards,” Rivera noted.  “She’s awesome.  Boxing is a little cutthroat, but I felt comfortable with Christy right away. She doesn’t need to have me fighting on her cards.  I’m blessed to have her continue to watch after me. I’m also blessed to have a promoter like Joe DeGuardia (Star Boxing), especially during this pandemic, because he doesn’t have to let me fight on cards that he doesn’t promote like on February 12th.”  

The feeling between Martin and Team Popeye is mutual.  “I really like Popeye and Tony,” Martin offered.  “He understands that this isn’t all about fighting. Fighters need to market themselves. and everybody here loves Popeye.  After each fight he goes to talk to fans, especially kids, sign autographs for them and pose for pictures.  There’s nothing like being here in Florida.  It’s the best for training.  Good weather all around and coming from the north like him, no excuses to work-out because of the cold. He’s improved the basic stuff since I first watched him.  He’s keeping his head up, improved his power, and is more relaxed in the ring.  He’s certainly headed in the right direction.  He hasn’t been in any battles and I think he’s getting ready to take a big leap into a title fight.”  

Rivera has benefitted from being promoted by DeGuardia in several ways, including his role as a regular sparring partner for Star Boxing light heavyweight Joe Smith, Jr. (26-3, 21 KOs), who is preparing for a Feb. 13th showdown with Maxim Vlasov (45-3 (26 KOs) airing on ESPN live from The Bubble in Las Vegas.  They will fight for the vacant World Boxing Organization Light Heavyweight Championship of the World.  

“’Popeye’ is a colorful character and an exciting fighter who has a very entertaining style,” DeGuardia remarked.  “He has a great way about him.”  

When asked about putting “Popeye” on Christy’s show, DeGuardia stated: “Every decision is unique and made with a view towards what’s best for both the promoter and fighter.  Does it make sense? Is it good for Star Boxing and our fighters?  If it fits, I have no problem having our fighter on somebody else’s card.  This makes sense for everybody.  Christy gets a good, featured fighter on her card, hopefully ‘Popeye’ gets a win, and our fighter stays busy.  While in this COVID-19 pandemic a few good wins for your fighter is a good thing,”  

His heart may always be in Hartford, but ‘Popeye” Rivera has found a new home in Orlando, and his boxing career continues to rise.  

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Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Artur Beterbiev Set for Ring Return March 20 Against Adam Deines
Beterbiev-Deines to headline card that will air LIVE on an ESPN platform from Megasport Arena in Moscow

 

(January 23, 2021) — The wait is over. WBC/IBF light heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) will fight top contender Adam Deines in a special Russian homecoming Saturday, March 20 at Megasport Arena in Moscow.
 
Beterbiev represented Russia at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and moved to Montreal to begin his pro career in 2013. Nearly eight years after turning pro, he will fight in Russia for the first time, and for the first time since unifying world titles in October 2019 with a scintillating 10th-round knockout over Oleksandr Gvozdyk.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Patriot Promotions, Beterbiev-Deines will air live on an ESPN platform, with additional details to follow.

“At long last, Artur Beterbiev will defend his world titles as he looks to kick off his 2021 campaign in devastating fashion,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “We have big plans for Artur, but he must first take care of business in Moscow.”

Beterbiev said, “I am excited to finally have a date for the fight. Now that COVID-19 and the injury are behind me, I am able to prepare well and put on a great show for boxing fans.”
 
Beterbiev and Deines (19-1-1, 10 KOs), who is ranked No. 6 by the IBF, have been scheduled to fight twice before. A proposed Oct. 23 date was scuttled after Beterbiev suffered a rib injury in training, and the Jan. 30 makeup date was postponed after Beterbiev tested positive for COVID-19. Deines, who turns 30 on Feb. 8, has won a pair of bouts via stoppage since the lone loss of his career, a June 2019 unanimous decision to Meng Fanlong in Macau, China.

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41-0 Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez all in for WBC Interim

World light heavyweight clash with “Sir” Marcus Browne  

Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez

LAS VEGAS (January 14, 2021) — The first super middleweight world champion of Mexican decent, undefeated Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (41-0, 27 KOs) is all in for a potential World Boxing Council (WBC) Interim light heavyweight World title fight against 2012 U.S. Olympian “Sir” Marcus Browne (23-1, 16 KOs).

The WBC ordered Ramirez vs. Browne this past Monday because reigning WBC light heavyweight World champion Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) hasn’t defended his title since capturing it October 18, 2019, due to getting COVID-19 during training camp, as well as for other pandemic related restrictions.  Beterbiev is also the reigning International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heavyweight World champion.

Ramirez is the No. 1 light heavyweight contender in the WBC ratings, while Browne is ranked No. 4. Team Zurdo and Team Browne have until February 5th to work out a deal before it’ll go to purse bid.  Martinez is promoted by his own company, Zurdo Promotions, while Browne is represented by PBC.

“This is an interesting opportunity and I’m ready to fight anyone in the light heavyweight division to leave my mark on the sport,” Ramirez said.  “I know Marcus has been out of the ring for a while, but he’s a U.S. Olympian and still one of the best in the game.  I know he’s wanted this fight for a while and hopefully we can make something happen.

“In addition, it’s always been my dream to get the green belt (WBC) and bring it back to Mexico.  I have a lot of respect for the WBC and Mauricio Suliman and I am grateful for all their love and support throughout my career.”

Last month, Ramirez fought for the first time in 20 months, stopping defending champion Alfonso “El Tigre” Lopez (32-4, 25 KOs) in the 10th round of the “Battle of Rio Grande” main event, which marked the debut of Zurdo Promotions.

The 29-year-old Ramirez became the first Mexican fighter to capture a world super middleweight crown in 2016, when the ultra-gifted, athletic southpaw pitched a complete shutout against defending title holder “King” Arthur Abraham (44-4), winning each round for a 12-round unanimous decision (120-106 X 3) to become the World Boxing Organization (WBO) world champion.

Ramirez successful defended his WBO title five times against 33-4-1 Maksym Bursak (DEC12), 22-0 Jessie Hart (DEC12), 25-0-1 Habib Ahmed (25-0-1), 23-0 Roemer Alexis Angulo (DEC12), and Hart again in a rematch (DEC12).  “Zurdo” moved up to the light heavyweight division in 2019, destroying 29-6-1 Tommy Karpency, who was unable to continue fighting after four rounds.

A talented southpaw as well, Browne was a decorated U.S. amateur out of New York City, who won gold medals at the 2010 U.S. National PAL Championships and 2012 U.S. National Championships, prior to representing the U.S. at the Olympic Games in London.

Browne, 30, is a past WBA Interim light heavyweight World champion.  He has beaten a pair of word champions, 22-1-3 Badou Jack (DEC12) and 25-7-1 Gabriel Campillo (25-7-2).  Other notable opponents he has defeated include 21-0 Radivoje Kalajdzic (DEC8), 20-2 Thomas Williams (KO6), 28-0 Sean Monaghan (TKO2), and 18-1-1 Lenin Castillo (DEC10).  Browne’s last fight was August 3, 2019, when he suffered his first loss as a professional to former world champion Jean Pascal (33-6-1) via an eight-round technical decision, after Browne suffered a severe cut over his left eye from an accidental head-butt.

“There are always challenges to making a fight become reality,” Ramirez concluded, “but me being both the fighter and sole promoter, I’m flexible on the common problems that takes to make a fight.  I’m not sure how much time Marcus will need to be ready, but both time and location can be determined when the other preliminary items are agreed upon.  If it goes to a purse bid, I’m ready for the process and, hopefully, this fight can happen for both of us.” 

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Jan. 20th ShoBox debut career-changing opportunity for  

Unbeaten super lightweight   “Marvelous” Mykquan Williams  

HARTFORD (January 8, 2021) – Last month, hours after receiving the disappointing news that his first fight in 14 months had been scraped, unbeaten East Hartford (CT) super lightweight prospect “Marvelous” Mykquan Williams (15-0-1, 7 KOs) received word that instead of fighting in relatively obscurity in Cancun, he would be making his ShoBox: The New Generation” debut, January 20th at nearby Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.  

Williams, 22, will headline against undefeated Columbian knockout artist Yeis Gabriel “El Tigre” Solano (15-0, 10 KOs) in the 10-round main event on SHOWTIME, airing live at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m., to kick off ShoBox’s 20th season.  Mohegan Sun is only a 45-minute drive from Williams’ home, but his fanbase won’t be there rooting him on, unfortunately, because COVID-19 restrictions ban attendees.    

ShoBox is renowned for building future world champions, 83 to date and counting, including Andre Ward, Errol Spence, Jr., Nonito Donaire, Deontay Wilder, and Williams’ fellow Nutmeg State fighter, Chad Dawson.  

“I was upset to learn a week before my fight in Cancun that it was canceled,” Williams explained.  “I’ve been out of the ring for a while. I had trained hard and was in the zone.  But the same day I found out that my fight in Cancun had been canceled, I learned that I’d be fighting on ShoBox at Mohegan Sun.  It was a curse and blessing.  The opportunity to fight on ShoBox only a few weeks later, on a bigger and better platform, is a great opportunity for me.   

“At least I don’t have to travel now and my opponent’s coming in, I believe, from California where he’s training.  Fighting on ShoBox completely elevates my exposure.  I have a chance to show the nation, if not the world, who I am and how good a fighter I am.  I’ll be showcasing my skills on a great platform.  It just came about.  I think I’m the B side fighter, but that doesn’t bother me.”  

Williams’ head trainer since he was an amateur and throughout his 4 1/2-year pro career is Paul Cichon.  “This is like a blessing in disguise,” Cichon commented.  “We went from losing the fight in Cancun and to Mykey now fighting in the main event on ShoBox, It’s great for Mykey and our team.  This change is perfect for us.  If Mykey performs like he thinks he will, doors will open-up for him once the gates open for boxing, after he beats this kid who has a good record.  This is the right time!”  

The 28-year-old Solano is a southpaw who is a former World Boxing Association (WBA) Fedebol lightweight champion.  He’s fought only once outside of Columbia or Mexico, back on September 6, 2019 in his most recent action, when he won an 8-round split decision against 20-1 Elias Damien Araujo in Iowa.  Solano’s other 14 opponents had an accumulative record of 67-227-12.  

“Mykey has fought better opponents,” Cichon noted.  “Solano is a strong southpaw with a 15-0 record and 10 knockouts.  We expect him to come out blazing.  I don’t think he’s fought anybody of Mykey’s caliber.  Mykye has been moved much better.”  

“I don’t know too much about him other than he’s a lefty and coming up in weight,” Williams added “They wanted to fight at 135 and agreed to fight at 138.  I don’t have any issues fighting southpaws.  I’ve fought five left-handers.”  

Williams had been frustrated but he became more patient in terms of being unable to fight during the pandemic.  Because he turned pro at 18, he’s had 16 pro fights to date, and he’s still only 22, and experiencing a lost year doesn’t adversely affect him as much as older fighters.  

“I’m still young and don’t think about running out of time,” Williams concluded.  “There’s nothing we could have done differently during the pandemic.    

Williams is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and managed by veteran Jackie Kallen.  

“I am thrilled that Showtime is giving Mykquan this opportunity to show the boxing world what he can do,” Kallen remarked. “This is his coming out party and I think he’ll now begin to make some serious noise in the 140-pound weight class. This is an important step on his journey toward a world title. I’m very excited and proud of him.”  

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Split-T Management Year in Review

NEW YORK (January 8, 2021)–In 2020, Split-T Management continued to reign supreme as the top management company in boxing.
With nearly 70 top fighters under contract, the New York based outfit headed by David McWater, continued to produce the best fighters in the sport culminating in the undisputed Lightweight World Champion Teofimo Lopez winning both The Ring Magazine and The Athletic’s 2020 Fighter of the Year award.
While 2020 saw only 13% of the total number of fights it had seen in 2019, Split-T outperformed the industry in featuring its fighters in 40% of the bouts it had participated in the year prior. Split-T Management fighters amassed a record of 44-6-1, winning four world titles and four more regional titles, with fights televised or streamed on all of the major boxing platforms such as ESPN/ESPN+, SHOWTIME, DAZN, NBC Sports and FOX.
Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) scored the sport’s biggest win of the year when he won a unanimous decision over top Pound-For-Pound fighter Vasiliy Lomachenko on October 17th in Las Vegas. With the win, Lopez captured the WBO, WBA and WBC Franchise titles to go along with his IBF championship.
It was a brilliant performance from Lopez, who outboxed what many believed was the top talent in the sport. The win, which amassed over 4 million viewers on ESPN, took Lopez from being a star to superstardom, and will look to compete in the biggest events as the calendar turns to 2021.
Less than a month later, Kali Reis captured the WBA Junior Welterweight championship under the guidance of Split-T’s Brian Cohen, earning a 10-round unanimous decision over Kandi Wyatt in Saint Petersburg, Florida. In capturing this title, Reis joined middleweight Raquel Miller as well as fellow junior welterweight world champions Mary McGee and Christina Linardatou as current female World Champions under Brian Cohen and the Split-T Banner,
Former IBF Junior Welterweight Champion Ivan Baranchyk earned The Ring Magazine and The Athletic’s 2020 Fight of the Year. Baranchyk’s October 3rd eight-knockdown thriller with Jose Zepeda was broadcasted on ESPN+ had fans in awe in one of the brutal and exciting fights in recent memory. Baranchyk displayed both the renowned heart and tenacity that has made him beloved by fans. 
2020 was a year in which many of Split-T’s top prospects made the transition to bonafide World Title contenders.
At the head of that list is 23-year-old super welterweight Charles Conwell. Conwell (14-0, 11 KOs), a 2016 United States Olympian, registered three big wins in 2020. Two of those were stoppages over undefeated opponents (Wendy Toussaint and Madiyar Ashkeyev) in fights that were showcased on SHOWTIME and NBC Sports respectively. Conwell, the USBA and WBC USNBC Welterweight Champion, is ranked #8 by the IBF and has put the entire division on notice with his thudding power and brick wall-like defense. 
Split-T’s lead Agent Tim VanNewhouse roster of clients continued their growth and embarked on an impressive 12 fight win streak, highlighted by the continued ascendance of highly rated contender Abraham Nova, who is knocking at the door for a World title shot in 2021. 
Nova is ranked as the #4 Super Featherweight with the WBA and #7 with the WBO. In 2020, Nova went 2-0 with wins over Pedro Navaratte and Avery Sparrow each on ESPN+.
Brian Ceballo also emerged as a rising contender in the welterweight division. Ceballo of New York City was very impressive in his only outing of the year when he won a 10-round unanimous decision over the tough Larry Gomez to win the WBO Intercontinental Title and raise his perfect record to 12-0 with six knockouts. 
Middleweight teenager Diego Pacheco continues his rise and reaches 10-0 with 8 Ko’s. Pacheco went 2-0 with wins over Oscar Riojas and Juan Mendez each broadcasted on DAZN.
VanNewhouse’s streak doesn’t end there. He’s racked up big hits this year with the debuts of many of his recent signees from the 2020 Olympic Class – David Navarro, Javier Martinez, Omar Rosario, Marques Valle, Kahshad Elliott & Asa Stevens; complimenting Split-T’s deep commitment and support to the amateur program. 
 This year also witnessed the debuts of amateur standouts Haven Brady Jr and Morris Young Jr. Brady was featured twice on ESPN+ telecasts, recording knockouts in both bouts while still only 18 years old. 
2020 also marked the continued ascent of major prospects in heavyweights Stephan Shaw and Sonny Conto, super-middle Isaiah Steen, middleweight Tyler Howard, and junior lightweight Otha Jones III. Rounding out this pack of prospects is welterweight Janelson Bocachica who improved to 16-0 (11Ko’s). 
Bocachica’s year was highlighted by his sensational stoppage win over recently undefeated Nick Flauz (9-1). The fight was aired live on Showtime apart of it’s ShoBox series. 
2021 looks to be the year that fighters such as Christopher Pearson, Ray Robinson and Willie Monroe Jr. inch closer to world title shots and bigger fight opportunities for Ievgen Khytrov, Ivan Golub, Erick DeLeon and many others on the Split-T roster. 
A Split-T Management fighter was involved in boxing’s “Feel Good Story of The Year”.
 Super Middleweight and Toledo Firefighter DeAndre Ware was moments away from weighing-in for his September 5 bout with Stephen Nelson, when Top Rank’s event coordinator Pete Susens suddenly collapsed. Eyewitnesses painted a bleak picture as to Susens’ condition. That’s when Ware jumped into action by performing chest compressions and revived Susens. 
McWater, who was recently nominated for the prestigious BWAA Cus D’Amato Manager of the Year Award, continues to build a diverse, talented team, combined with decades of experience in the fight game. 2020 saw the valuable addition of multiple new members to the Split-T team. 
Ron Rizzo, who has worked in multiple capacities across the sport for over two decades, most recently as VP of DiBella Entertainment and Producer for the long-running Broadway Boxing series and as a director for the New State Athletic Commission prior to that, joined Split-T as their Chief Operations Officer in February. Split-T also added prominent female boxing manager Brian Cohen and Brendan Segalas as associates to the firm. Cohen is one of the most respected figures in women’s boxing, having guided an astounding thirty female fighters to World Championships. Segalas has an investment background and a Masters Degree in Sports Business Management from New York University. In September, he brought in his first client, highly touted Greek middleweight Andreas Katzourakis. Segalas recently passed the Major League Baseball Player Agent certification exam along with CEO David McWater and they will work to expand and build on Split-T’s baseball division. 
In addition, with the increasing importance of social media in the sports industry, Split-T brought on Ryan Rechten to serve as the company’s Social Media Manager to help it’s clients engage with existing fans, new audiences and develop influencer opportunities outside of the ring. Additionally, Rechten brought in his first client to the company Willie Monroe.
This dynamic group of industry professionals will fulfill Split-T’s initiatives across the sport for many years to come. 
2020 was not the most ideal year, but with the calendar flipping to 2021, Split-T Management will continue to grow into the powerhouse and premier management company in the sport. 
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 WBA Interim Super Middleweight Champion David O. Morrell Jr. stops Mike Gavronski in 3 Rounds
Fort Lauderdale, FL (December 29, 2020) -WBA Interim Super Middleweight champion David O. Morrell Jr. beat up Mike Gavronski on his way to a 3rd round stoppage in a scheduled 10-round bout at The Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles.
The fight was the main event of card that was seen live on FOX.
Morrell is promoted by Warriors Boxing Promotions and Ural Promotions.
At the end of round one, Morrell landed a big combination that was punctuated by a straight left that sent Gavronski down to the canvas. Morrell continued to batter Gavronski with some hard uppercuts and straight lefts. Finally in round three, Morrell landed another blasting left uppercut that forced referee Jack Reiss to stop the bout at 2:45. 
Morrell, 170 lbs of Minneapolis, MN is 4-0 with three knockouts. Gavronski, 167.4 lbs of Bellevue, WA is 26-4-1.
“The first time I saw a video of David Morrell fighting, he was 17 years old
and competing against the 2 time gold medal winner De La Cruz. Having worked
with 23 worlds champions including Roberto Duran, I knew David was going to
be a great one. He continues to show why he is already capable of competing
with the very best in the world.” Quote from Warriors COO Luis DeCubas, Sr.
Even though the fight took place at 170 lbs.,  Morrell Jr. will remain the WBA Interim Super Middleweight World champion.
Morrell, who only accepted the fight on December 4th, did not want to pass up an opportunity to headline on a major network. Morell – Gavronski was scheduled as the main event.  Morrell and his team had informed event organizers that there was a possibility that the fight would need to take place above the 168-pound limit, as he was not in training camp, and had only three weeks to prepare.  A new agreement for an 170-pound bout was consented to by all sides.
Morrell will continue to campaign in the hotly contested super middleweight division, he will look to fight any of the top contenders.
Photos by Sean Michael Ham / TGB Promotions

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Split-T Management ‘s Charles Conwell and Stephan Shaw Remain Perfect with wins in Los Angeles
Conwell stops Ashkeyev in battle of Undefeated Junior Middleweights on NBC Sports Network
 Shaw Decisions Pinchuk on Twitch 
 

 

Los Angeles, CA  (DECEMBER 18, 2020)–Split-T Management fighters Charles Conwell and Stephan Shaw kept their perfect resumes intact with big wins on Thursday night at the parking lot of the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California.
The fight card was the 3rd installment of of the Ring City USA series on NBC Sports Network.
In the main event world-ranked Conwell took out Madiyar Ashkeyev out after round nine of their scheduled 10-round junior middleweight bout 
Conwell, who defended his USBA and captured the WBC USNBC Junior Middleweight titles, beat up Ashkeyev throughout the contest as he pounded away at the body and landed heavy shots upstairs. Ashkeyev had a lot of swelling over his left eye from the constant offense of Conwell. Referee Jack Reiss stopped the bout in between rounds nine and 10.
It was a solid all-around performance from Conwell, who should improve on his to number-eight ranking by the IBF.
“I felt good tonight,” Conwell said. “I’m getting more and more comfortable in the ring and more comfortable with the experience I continue to get.”

“I think I’m the only undefeated contender fighting,” Conwell continued. “And I think that means a lot – I’m making great progress and I’m ready for a bigger payday. The more I fight, the better I get. I’m only 23-years-old and I want to keep fighting.”

Conwell, 154 lbs of Cleveland, OH is 14-0 with 11 knockouts. Ashkeyev, 154 lbs of Kazakhstan is 14-1
Conwell is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Holden Productions.
Stephan Shaw remained undefeated with an eight-round unanimous decision over Lyubomyr Pinchuk in a heavyweight bout.  
Shaw dominated the fight by using a pinpoint jab to set up some solid right hands.
Shaw, 235 lbs of St. Louis, MO won by scores of shutout scores of 80-72 and is now 14-0. Pinchuk, 223 lbs of Lviv, UK is 12-2-1.
Shaw is promoted by DiBella Entertainment

Photos from Tom Hogan/Ring City

Photos from Tom Hogan/Ring City

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Terence Crawford demolishes former Champ Kell Brook to retain WBO Welterweight Title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas


By Alex and John Rinaldi

LAS VEGAS —  It is common knowledge that the state of Nebraska’s most widely known and grown crop is corn, which is used to feed livestock and poultry, as well as make the industrial chemical known as ethanol.

After the corn is grown and harvested – the next most important part of the process is the husking of corn, which is the removal of its outer leafy-like layers leaving remaining only the cob or seed rack of the corn. This husking is not only part of the process, it also becomes a communal ritual in some parts of the state.

That is why the University of Nebraska football team is famously known as the Cornhuskers.

It is equally well known that the WBO Welterweight Champion Terence Crawford also happens to hail from Nebraska.

But make no mistake about it, the closest Crawford  will ever come to being a Cornhusker is when his fists crash through his opponents’ layers of defense with the goal of turning their battered, smashed faces into cornbread.

Terence Crawford (L) pounds Kell Brook (R) with a hard left to the ear.

And like the Grim Reaper the only thing Crawford is reaping lately is pain and destruction.

Defending his WBO welterweight title for the fourth time, on November 14, Crawford knew that his opponent was not some undeserving or unqualified challenger. Instead staring at him from the other side of the ring stood Kell Brook, from Sheffield England, who had previously won the IBF welterweight title from Shawn Porter in 2014, then defended it successfully three times until losing it to Errol Spence three years later in 2017.

Brook, 147,  also had three things going for him: One, lack of fear of any man; Two,  the skills and desire to win back the welterweight title, and, Three,  knockout powered fists that caused 27 men in his 39 wins to never hear the sound of the final bell.

Still the WBO Welterweight Champion of the World - Terence Crawford.

Still the WBO Welterweight Champion of the World – Terence Crawford.

Besides that, the Brit looked be chiseled out of the same Brimham Rocks found near his hometown of Sheffield. In short, he looked to be in wonderful condition and ready to take on his American adversary.

Though the odds makers had him a +1100 chance to win, by fight time, when the English money finally made its way to the Las Vegas Strip, the odds in Brook’s favor increased to +700.

As for Crawford, 146.4, who entered the ring at odds of -225 to retain his title by knockout, and wearing black trunks with gold trim, he had one thing on his mind – a mission as old as the wars of men and might, to seek and annihilate his challenger before the bell tolled 12.

A few minutes later, when the bell rang loud in the near COVID deserted MGM Bubble, Brook started the fight confident behind left jabs and rights to the head and body.  When Crawford, a natural southpaw, came out initially as a righty, Brook took advantage of this to score often with the left jab.

In round two, Terence switched back to lefty and began landing some hard right jabs and combinations. Brook, meanwhile, connected well with straight rights to attack Crawford’s southpaw stance and even managed to pull out of his arsenal an uppercut or two.

The give and take continued in round three, when Brook, wearing white trunks with blue and red trim, continued throwing punches to Crawford’s head and midsection. This time the champion began to pick up the pace, and even stunned Brook with a hard right to the chin near the round’s end.

That right hand punch would prove to be a harbinger of things to come, and like a firestorm tearing up a prairie, it would soon spell doom to anyone in its path.

For the challenger Brook, that doom came for him in round four.

After a fairly close beginning of the round, at around the 2:17 mark, Brook went to throw a left jab…then it happened.

Like meteor on target to strike planet Earth, Crawford countered over the left with a right cross that collided with Brook’s jaw and crushed it as if struck by a cinder block thrown off the top of a farm silo.

Immediately Brook, who never actually saw the punch coming or landing, flew across the ring and into the ropes. Though the ropes at first appeared to be protecting him from falling to the canvas, at the same time it also trapped him like a spider’s web.  

Seeing Brook helpless and hurt, Crawford pounced on him with a hard flurry of punches until the referee Tony Weeks interceded to give the British challenger a merciful eight count.

With his eyes still rolling in his head like gumballs, and his face taking on the gray mask of a man about to take the long walk down the hall to the electric chair, Brook bravely continued the fight.

Unfortunately for Brook, Crawford not only wanted to continue the fight – he also wanted to end it.

And end it he did.

His punches shot out like bullets from a Tommy Gun, consisting of a right to the head, followed by three jarring left hooks, culminating with one final right hand that put Brook somewhere between an ether forced sleep and the curved resting bench of a guillotine.

Thankfully Weeks saw enough and jumped in to save both Brook and his career in the fight game.

The time of the stoppage was 1:14 of round four.

Although Brook (39-3, 27 KOs) was leading on two of three judges’ cards entering the fourth round, it was Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs)  who ended Brook’s challenge forever.

Crawford, who pocketed a cool $4 million for his night’s work,  has now won eight straight fights by knockout dating back to July 2016.

As for  Brook, the first thing he said to his corner after the fight was, “What happened?”

Well, Terence Crawford happened…and he keeps on happening fight after fight.

“I already said who I want {next}. I want Pacquiao. I want to revisit that fight,” Crawford said. “That was a fight that should’ve happened right now. But being that the pandemic happened, and they weren’t going to allow fans in the Middle East, they had to put a hold to that. Everything was 95 percent done. We had the venue. The money was almost there. It wasn’t quite there. That was the only thing we were waiting on.

“Kell is a tremendous talent. He came and he tried to take my title. He was in shape. He made the weight. There were no excuses to be put on the table. He came off of three wins.”

Added Brook, “Never in my career, nobody has ever done that to me in sparring or anything.
 
“It was one of them… I got caught with a shot I didn’t see. I’m gutted because nobody could’ve gotten me in better condition. I was bang on the limit. Maybe I could’ve been a bit more relaxed and loose and let the shots go.”

The only saving grace for the game and talented brooks was that he went home $2 million richer.

Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said, “Terence Crawford showed, once again, why he is the best welterweight in the world. It was a dominating performance over a very good fighter in Kell Brook. Terence ranks up there with all the great welterweights I’ve promoted.”

Franco-Moloney 2 Ends in Controversy

In one of the strangest events in recent boxing history, Joshua Franco, of San Antonio, Texas,  and Andrew Moloney, of Melbourne, Australia,  fought to a no-decision thereby permitting Franco to retain his WBA jr. bantamweight title.

In a fight that saw Moloney, 114.7,  stabbing his jab at the Champion Franco, and throwing punches in bunches to his head and midsection, the Australian appeared dominant and on the top of his game. 

Then trouble emerged after Moloney connected with some hard blows to the right eye of Franco, 114.5, The champion’s eyed swelled almost immediately prompting referee to  Russell Mora to seemingly incorrectly rule that there was an accidental headbutt. 

In round two, Moloney, (21-1, 14 KO’s) who was trying to avenge the loss of his title to Franco last June, continued his two-fisted assault as Franco battled heroically through his quickly closing eye. At the end of the round, the ring doctor stopped the fight.

After a 26-minute replay review, controversy reigned supreme. WBA super flyweight world champion Joshua Franco, (17-1-2, 1ND, 8 KO’s) retained title via no decision over Andrew Moloney. Franco dethroned Moloney back in June via unanimous decision, and in the rematch, Moloney controlled the first two rounds before the bout was stopped. The injury sustained by Franco in the first round caused the fight to be halted following the conclusion of the second.

Joshua Franco sporting the closed right eye that ended the fight.

Moloney said, “They took this away from me. The injury was caused by a punch. I can’t believe this.
 
“I was in control of the fight and on my way to a clear victory. I deserved this win. I landed 50 punches on that eye. It was not even close.”
 
Added Arum, “This is an absolute disgrace. There was no head butt.  Andrew Moloney should be the new champion.”

In undercard bouts:

Bantamweight: Joshua Greer Jr. (22-2-2, 12 KOs) Majority Draw 8 Rounds Edwin Rodriguez (11-5-2, 5 KOs). Scores: 77-75 Rodriguez and 76-76 2x. Noted spoiler Rodriguez nearly pulled another upset, but Greer closed the bout strong to salvage the draw. Rodriguez is 2-0-2 in his last four fights, all of which came against undefeated fighters.Middleweight: Tyler Howard (19-0, 11 KOs) UD 8 KeAndrae Leatherwood (22-8-1, 13 KOs). Scores: 77-73, 77-74 and 76-74. “Hercules” Howard returned from a nearly 18-month layoff to pick up the most significant victory of his career. In a closely contested bout, Howard dropped Leatherwood in the closing stages of the eighth round to clinch the decision.

Joshua Greer Jr. (R) lands a right to the jaw of Edwin Rodriguez (L).

Featherweight: Duke Ragan (3-0, 1 KO) UD 4 Sebastian Gutierrez (2-1-1). Scores: 40-35 2x. Ragan, a top prospect from Cincinnati, Ohio, cruised to the win after knocking down Gutierrez in the second round.

Bantamweight: Vegas Larfield (2-0, 2 KOs) TKO 3 Juan Alberto Flores (2-1-1), 1:07. Larfield, who trained with Andrew Moloney to prepare for this bout, made a memorable American debut, scoring two knockdowns in the third round. Entering the third round, two judges had the fight even, while the third had Flores ahead 20-18.

Lightweight: Raymond Muratalla (11-0, 9 KOs) TKO 3 Luis Porozo (15-5, 8 KOs), 2:40. Muratalla upped his KO streak to six with a statement-making performance over the former Ecuadorian Olympian. Muratalla, who is trained by Robert Garcia, notched a pair of knockdowns in the third round.

Photos courtesy of  Top Rank

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Terence Crawford vs. Kell Brook: Top Boxing Telecast Across all TV Networks since January 2019

Saturday’s Top Rank on ESPN saw pound-for-pound king Terence Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) retain his WBO welterweight world title with a fourth-round TKO over former welterweight world champion Kell Brook, in a main event from the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.  The fight delivered big on viewership, ranking as the top boxing telecast across all TV networks since January 2019.
 
Top Things to Know
  • Crawford vs Brook averaged 1,758,000 viewers, making it the most viewed boxing telecast across on all TV networks since January 2019.
  • The main event was also the most viewed boxing telecast on cable since December 2018 (Lomachenko vs. Pedraza on ESPN: 1,889,000)
  • The fight rating peaked during the 11:45 p.m.-12:00 a.m. ET quarter hour with 2.1 million viewers
  • Through seven Saturday night telecasts on ESPN so far this year, Top Rank on ESPN has averaged 1,033,000 viewers, up 44% from 11 Saturday night telecasts in 2019
  • Adults 18-49 are up 54% year-over-year
  • Crawford vs. Brook ranked No. 1 as the most socially engaged boxing telecast across TV over the last two years, with over 306,000 total social interactions across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
  • Crawford vs. Brook had a strong performance on social media, becoming the most socially engaged telecast across TV over the last two years, with over 306,000 social interactions across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
  • Lomachenko vs. Lopez and Crawford vs. Brook have been the most socially engaged boxing telecasts across TV in consecutive months over the last two years.
  • Top Rank on ESPN has featured an action-packed fall schedule highlighted by some of the leaders of boxing’s electric youth movement, including stunning performances by the new undisputed lightweight king Teofimo Lopez, WBO female junior lightweight world champion Mikaela Mayer and WBA/IBF unified bantamweight world champion Naoya Inoue. Rising star Shakur Stevenson, the undefeated former featherweight world champion from Newark, N.J., is set to close out the year in a 10-round junior lightweight main event against Toka Kahn Clary, Saturday, Dec. 12, from MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
 Source: Nielsen, Nielsen Social Content Ratings 

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Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe, Shawn Porter and Ryan Garcia lead boxers in win over UFC on television’s Celebrity Family Feud
By Ron John Rinaldi

LOS ANGELES – The iconic television Family Feud, hosted by Steve Harvey, scored a knockout when present and past WBC Champions competed against their fellow combat sport adversaries in the UFC to the delight of the live crowd on hand.

The WBC team consisted of present WBC Silver Lightweight Champion Ryan Garcia (20-0, 17 KO’s), former WBC and IBF Welterweight Champion Shawn Porter (31-3-1, 17 KO’s), retired legendary former Heavyweight Champions Evander Holyfield (44-10-2-1NC, 29 KO’s) and Riddick Bowe (43-1-1NC, 33 KO’s), as well as WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman.

Surprisingly the weak link on the team happened to be Sulaiman, while the four boxers soared to victory with their answers.

In an interesting note, the day before the fighters were to appear as part of the boxing team for Family Feud, Shawn Porter somehow happened to be watching his Family Feud teammate Ryan Garcia’s boxing KO Francisco Fonseca on February 14, and wondered how the young boxer could have a fight and somehow be able to make the taping of the show the very next day.

“I was in denial,” Porter told ESPN. “I’m like, ‘He ain’t gonna be there. He’s fighting the night before.’ The second thought: ‘Is he that bold to schedule two things?’ My thought was, I hope to see him there.”

Not surprisingly, Garcia, who happens to be one of the new shining stars in boxing, Garcia knocked out Fonseca at just 1:20 of the second round and then, about 15 hours later, helped lead Team WBC to a dominant 522-37 victory over Team UFC on Feb. 15.

Garcia, Holyfield, Bowe, Porter, and Sulaiman.

The fight was in Anaheim, California. The show was filmed in the Fairfax district of L.A. and aired Thursday night on October 29 on ABC.

“We got the [early] knockout,” Garcia said afterward. “Two days in a row, [early] knockout.”

Forrest Griffin did not get Team UFC off to a good start on “Celebrity Family Feud,” much to the amusement of Henry Cejudo. “Giraffe”? What was Griffin thinking?

Team UFC was headed by former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin, and also featured Henry Cejudo, who was UFC men’s bantamweight champion at the time, and former women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm  along with welterweight Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, and strawweight champion Michelle Waterson. 

Belt featuring host Steve Harvey’s face on it

With the victory, the WBC boxers earned $25,000 for the Andy Vargas Foundation, a youth scholarship program in Los Angeles. The UFC team won $5,000 for the Jimmy V Foundation for cancer research.

Prior to the beginning of the Feud contest, the boxers presented Steve Harvey with an authentic WBC World Championship Belt featuring his name and likeness on it.

The UFC team also presented Harvey with the UFC championship Belt

The UFC team had a slow start and struggled to gain back any momentum. In the first showdown, between Garcia and Griffin, the ex-UFC fighter hit the button first and was asked to name a top answer for the question: “What animal does your wife turn into as soon as you come to bed?” Griffin stupidly answered “giraffe,” which was not on the board. Garcia said “bear” — the No. 1 answer, which allowed Team WBC to take control.

“That’s where it went wrong,” Griffin said with a laugh. “You have to set the tone as the team captain. We had a fumble on the opening kickoff. That’s pretty much what happened. … I don’t know where that came from, but I wish it went back there.”

Next to the UFC fighters, the WBC boxers looked liked Rhodes Scholars, especially Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe who proved to be the funniest contestant with the best answers.

But it was Bowe who delivered the most telling blow of the episode when host Steve Harvey asked: “Some guys are so lonely they’ll go out on a date with their who?”

Cool as you like, the man known as Big Daddy replied: “Joe.”

And Harvey fell straight into the trap.

“Joe, who?” he replied.

“Joe Mamma,” Bowe said.

Harvey let out an hysterical, stunned reaction as the players from both teams erupted in laughter.

UFC strawweight Michelle Waterson was ready for battle, but welterweight boxer Shawn Porter and his WBC teammates had the last word on "Celebrity Family Feud."

UFC strawweight Michelle Waterson was ready for battle, but former welterweight champion Shawn Porter and his WBC teammates had the last word on “Celebrity Family Feud.”

Joked Thompson: “As soon as ‘giraffe’ came out of his mouth, we were like, ‘OK, we’re screwed.'”

Bowe was arguably the MVP for Team WBC, quick with a joke and answers, including a showdown victory over Holm.

“Family Feud” host Steve Harvey told the studio audience that in Las Vegas five years ago he bet $10,000 on Holm to beat Ronda Rousey at UFC 193. Holm, of course, knocked Rousey out. “I told everybody she was gonna whoop Ronda Rousey,” Harvey said.

Waterson said she’s a lifelong fan of “Family Feud” and was hoping to get more time to hang out with Harvey on set. “I want a rematch,” she said.

Team WBC would beg to differ. Garcia stole the show, guiding his team to victory just hours after a highlight-reel knockout in a boxing ring.

“Life is good,” Holyfield said. “One has to take advantage of the opportunity — and he did. Bam.”

Host Steve Harvey with the contestants and the belts.

Host Steve Harvey with the contestants and the belts.

All in all, it was great to see the boxers take part in the show.  Steve Harvey, a lifelong boxing fan, proved to be a genuinely thrilled to see his boxing heroes, as well as was generally touched when he was presented with the WBC Belt.

Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) is next scheduled to fight Luke Campbell in Indio on Dec. 5 for the WBC interim lightweight title.

Ryan Garcia, center, waives to the studio audience as the professional boxer from Victorville stands next to host Steve Harvey, left, and teammate Evander Holyfield on the set of "Celebrity Family Feud," which aired Thursday night, Oct. 29, 2020, on ABC.

Ryan Garcia, center, waives to the studio audience as the professional boxer from Victorville stands next to host Steve Harvey, left, and teammate Evander Holyfield on the set of “Celebrity Family Feud,” which aired Thursday night, Oct. 29, 2020, on ABC.

Earlier this month, he said he’s been “eagerly waiting” to get back to the sport he has dominated to this point. 

“It’s been a tough year for everyone, but I’m excited to bring the fans an escape for the night … or based on my track record, a few minutes at most,” Garcia said of his upcoming bout. “Luke’s record speaks for itself, but I’m ready to prove the doubters wrong. This is my era now, and Dec. 5 is just the start of it.”