Boxing News Stories and Recent Press Releases from the Boxing Twins

Boxing News Stories and Press Releases from

The Boxing Twins

 

For Immediate Release:

Undefeated boxing prospect Lamont Powell Escaped 36-bullet shooting without a scratch Founded “Gloves Up, Guns Down” charity

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (May 5, 2020) –  Undefeated super welterweight prospect Lamont “The Blessed One” Powell, based on a near death experience 2-½ years ago in Providence, could easily have “Lucky” as his nickname.

The 26-year-old Powell was a three-time Silver Mittens champion, who compiled a 45-4 amateur record, prior to turning two years ago.  He is 5-0 (1 KO) as a professional but, due to the pandemic, he hasn’t fought since last August, when he won a 4-round unanimous decision over 14-7-1 Ricardo Garcia.

Lamont Powell

Lamont Powell

Back on that near fatal night in 2018, Lamont and his uncle were sitting in a car in front of Powell’s home, when another vehicle suddenly and surprisingly stopped near them. Two unidentified young men jumped out and starting firing automatic weapons in Powell’s direction. Thirty-six rounds were shot, one hit Powell’s uncle in the leg, but Powell somehow miraculously escaped without a scratch.

“No bullets hit me,” Powell confirmed.  “I’m blessed and the reason for that is God and my mother – we lost her (Melissa) when I was 3 – who is my guardian angel.  We were just sitting in a car, when two kids got out of a car and starting shooting our car.  They had extended clips, but I don’t know who they were, and neither do the police to this day.  My uncle was taken to the hospital and I had to start watching myself closer.”

Powell’s grandparents – Phillip Copper and Mary Ann Powell – brought him up, because his mother had passed away and his father was in and out of his life.  His grandmother is his legal guardian and his grandfather has been like a father since he was a baby.

Naturally, after his surreal experience, Powell dramatically changed his lifestyle.  Instead of running the streets and ending up like many people he knew, dead or incarcerated, Powell dedicated himself to boxing and created a charity for high-risk kids, Gloves Up, Guns Down, sponsored by Big Six Boxing Academy in Providence, where he trains with his grandfather as head coach, as well as having former U.S. Olympian boxer Jason “Big Six” Estrada in his corner.

After the shooting somebody who had been shot in the head reached out to Powell.  They met to talk about what they’d been through and soon created Gloves up, Guns Down, which “blew up” overnight, according to Powell.

“Gloves Up, Guns Down” offers at-risk youngsters an opportunity to try boxing as part of an after-school program aimed to keep kids active and out of trouble.  Kids are supplied with boxing equipment and taught valuable lessons through boxing with proper coaching and support.

“I started boxing when I was eight years old,” Powell added.  “Boxing kept me off of the streets and busy.  This is a sport outside of school that everyone can get involved in.”

Powell is promoted by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Sports and Entertainment (CES).  Burchfield clearly remembers the first time he saw Powell, because he was so impressive running a hilly 2 ½ mile course around a pond at Lincoln Woods State Park.

“I walk there often, and I’ve watched everybody struggle running those hills, including top athletes,  but I saw this kid running the hills without a problem,” Burchfield remembered.  “I later found out that he was a boxer and knew I’d never have to worry about him being in top shape. 

“Lamont came to see me with his grandfather, who has been such a big part of his life, and later Roland Estrada joined us.  I was impressed because Lamont had a full-time job, yet, he trains so hard.  I learned that he came from one of the toughest areas of Providence and ran the streets as a kid. One day, he called and asked if I would go with him to the Met School, where he was going to be speaking to about 150 kids and teachers.  He spoke about running the streets and admitted that he had done it all.  He said to me that if he could impact the lives of one or two of those kids, he’d feel happy, and that brought tears to my eyes.  He was going speak at other schools, but this pandemic has put that on hold for now. His program is No. 1 in his life, helping at-risk kids so they don’t repeat what Lamont did when he was younger.”

In the ring, Powell displays a stiff jab and, of course, tremendous conditioning.  And like most boxers, he believes that he’ll be a champion someday.

“Everything is going as planned with CES,” Powell concluded.  “My grandfather has been my head coach since day one, Jason also coaches me, and Doc. Estrada is my adviser.  Boxing came naturally to me.  I just needed to put in the hard work.  Someday I will be a champion and I can’t wait to see my grandfather in the ring holding the belt over his head, because nobody deserves that more than him.”

Burchfield has been a boxing promoter for nearly 30 years, and he agrees that Powell will be a champion someday.  “He’s definitely is on a mission to be a champion,” Burchfield added,  and he has everything needed to make that happen.  This kid has a really good story.  He can be a champion and continue helping at-risk kids have better lives.  What’s better than that?”

Powell, who also gave-away toys to children in need last Christmas at Big Six Boxing Academy, is on the boxing journey of his career that he believes will climax someday with him being crowned world champion. 

In short, Lamont Powell is the total package, in and out of the ring.  And lucky to be alive!

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Emanuel Navarrete Looks Ahead to Future at 122 and 126 Pounds

Watch as world champion Emanuel "Vaquero"  Navarrete talks fighting Naoya Inoue, unification fights & his possible move to featherweight. 

Watch as world champion Emanuel “Vaquero”  Navarrete talks fighting Naoya Inoue, unification fights & his possible move to featherweight. 

(April 20, 2020) — WBO junior featherweight king Emanuel Navarrete is the world’s busiest world champion, a 25-year-old pressure fighter who is proud to represent his Mexican heritage at the sport’s highest level. From May 2019 to February 2020, when he knocked out Jeo Santisima on the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury II card, he defended his world title five times.

The activity kept him sharp and in the spotlight, but with the COVID-19 pandemic and the recovery process from an injured right had, Navarrete is taking a breather.

From his home in Mexico, the “Mexican Iron Man” recently spoke with Lupe Contreras. This is what he had to say.

On dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic
 
“This is really complicated for me. Like you just mentioned, I’m constantly working and fighting, and all of a sudden, the pandemic arrives, and we had to put the brakes on because I was used to fighting every two months. Right now, I would’ve been in the hardest stage of my preparation for my next bout, but we are dealing with the pandemic. I haven’t let it affect me that much because I fought like 15 to 20 days before the pandemic started, but the way I was fighting, it was going to be complicated to stay as active. Like I said, at this moment I would’ve been in the final stage of my preparation, and it’s just not that way. Right now, everything is very calm. I’ve installed a few machines just to have a gym at home. I’m maintaining my conditioning, so I can be ready whenever we get back to the ring. I’ll be ready to face any fighter.”
 
On fighting underneath the Wilder-Fury II main event
 
“It was a dream come true for me. It was always one of my goals to fight in an event that big. I still think that I could be the co-main event to an event like that, but taking into consideration that I only have been champion for a year, and I’ve already been part of such a big event as Wilder vs. Fury II, I think it puts me in a great position in boxing. I feel happy because, like I said, one of my goals was to fight in an event like that, and I did after just a year as champion. That was iconic. I feel happy because that was my fifth title defense, and I did it on a PPV. That was personally a special moment in my journey as champion. We feel very proud, happy and satisfied of what we have represented in my time as a champion.”
 
On the status of his injured right hand
 
“Look, the truth is I couldn’t perform at 100 percent like I’m used to. I couldn’t perform as well, but thanks to God, everything came out well. We did the work. We won the fight. I believe that chasing the knockout, even in that condition, it personally gave me the confidence. Maybe I thought that I couldn’t do it, but I did it. The recovery was a little bit complicated because going to therapy and being in recovery, I don’t like it that much. It’s tough because I rarely get injured, but this time I got injured, and it was a little bit more severe because I had to go to therapy. It was complicated.
 
“Look, I really didn’t have anything scheduled, but even if I had something, I would’ve declined any event after the fight because of the injury. This is something that is a priority because I depend on my hands to keep on boxing and to perform well the way I’ve been doing it. There is no point in going into a fight while I’m injured. That’s why I would’ve declined to fight in any event after my last fight.”
 
On proving people wrong when he defeated Isaac Dogboe to win the title

“The only ones that have always really believed in me and motivated me were my team. That is my head coach, his son who is my second trainer, my mom, and my dad. All the others thought that it was great that I was going to be fighting for a title, but I felt that they didn’t believe in me 100 percent. The key was that I always trained for a victory. I never thought that I was going to lose or that it was good that I was going for a title. A lot of them told me that I was going to the United States but that I was going there to lose. ‘You are going for the world title. You are going to enjoy it, but you are going to lose.’ The answer or the comment always was that, ‘You are going to lose, they are going to rob you, or whatever, but you are going to lose,’ and I told them that I was going to win. My team always thought that we were coming for a victory. We never thought that I was going to lose. My preparation gave us a lot of confidence. I prepared in Tijuana, and the time I was there, I was focused and always thinking about a victory. We never thought negatively. We were always positive. I enjoyed winning that way because I showed a lot of people that were saying that I couldn’t do it, that I did do it, and I brought the world title to Mexico.”
 
On his confidence as a world champion
 
“I knew that obviously we work hard for certain things and certain goals. The moment that Bob Arum mentioned I felt like one of the stars in boxing or one of the most important champs in boxing… because representing my country on such an iconic date and in Las Vegas, it’s something a lot of people can’t say that they have done. When they gave me the opportunity to do it, it helped me a lot with my confidence because I knew that they were trusting me, that they wanted to see me for a reason. It gave me confidence because I have always thought that I must put on a good show for the people. They are the ones that choose who are the stars.”
 
On his rapid rise through the boxing ranks
 
“I believe that we have done a lot of good things in a short amount of time. I see it that way. The fans are used to watching me fight because I’ve been fighting constantly. I did five title defenses in nine months. That’s fighting every month and a half or every two months at the most. Seeing me fight constantly created that connection and love with the fans. That’s what I think. Also, I have said it, and I keep saying it because it takes me a lot. There are times that I have the fight figured out, and it becomes easy for me to get the victory. I could cruise like we say in boxing, but I’m always going for the knockout. Always! It doesn’t matter if my hands are hurt. It hasn’t happened yet, but even if I suffer a cut, or talking negatively, having my worst moment in a fight, I would still be looking to drop my opponent and go for the knockout. I believe the fans appreciate that even if I could cruise to get a victory, I always try to knock out my opponents.”
 
On the support from the fans and his promoters

“I’ve always wanted to unify titles, and you have seen that I’ve never declined any fight. I have always tried to make the unification fights happen. They haven’t happened, but it’s not because I don’t want them, or that I don’t have the interest, or that I couldn’t do them. It really is because there are a lot of things in between. And I’m OK with that because I have looked for those fights. If the unification fights haven’t happened, it’s because the other parties don’t want them. The other sides have never reached out to me, and there has never being any interest on their part.”

On the future

 
“If we get through this {pandemic} quickly, and there is interest from the Japanese fighter (Naoya Inoue), I believe it will be easier to make a fight with him than with any other fighter at 122. But it’s like I just mentioned. There is no interest from their part. He really did what he wanted at 118 and then he sent out a release saying that he was going to move up to 122, my division. When he did it, I saw the possibility of fighting him because he signed with Top Rank, but after that, he said he was going to face Johnriel Casimero. They were supposed to face each other in April. I don’t know if it will happen, but if it happens, it will have to be right after we get through the pandemic. It would have to happen right away because the truth is that I’m seriously thinking of moving up to 126, and the only thing that could keep me at 122 would be a big fight against Inoue or a possible unification against one of the champions. That is the reality of why I would stay around at 122. If it’s not that way, I will move up to 126.”

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Former Top Ranked Welterweight Contender and NY State Boxing Hall of Famer Dickie DiVeronica dies at 82

By Ron John Rinaldi

It was a sad day when the final bell tolled on former world top-ranked world welterweight fighter Dickie DiVeronica at the age of 82 after a brief illness.

Dickie DiVeronica with his family at the IBOF in 2018.

In a career that spanned three decades from 1958-1972, Veronica posted a highly respectable record of 44-13-1 (13 KO’s), including three Madison Square Garden wins against William Viera (March 20, 1959), Tommy Tibbs (October 23, 1959), and Tommy Garrison (March 20, 1964). The same ring that he fought on in Madison Square Garden now sits inside The International Boxing Hall of Fame, in Veronica’s hometown of Canastota, New York.

At one point in his career, Dickie was ranked as high as #8 in the world.

Former Top Ranked Welterweight Contender and NY State Boxing Hall of Famer Dickie DiVeronica in training.

“Dickie DiVeronica was as tough as they come and, with his crowd pleasing style, made Canastota proud every time he stepped into the ring,” released the Hall of Fame. “He was an integral part of Canastota’s long and storied boxing history, which led the village to establish the International Boxing Hall of Fame to honor the entire sport. The Hall of Fame joins Canastota and the boxing community in mourning the loss of one of our own.”

He was also one of the friendliest faces and nicest fighters in Canastota and was a major fan favorite. I personally remember seeing him for years at the Hall of Fame as a child and he always signed autographs and spoke kindly to the fans that assembled there.

DiVeronica was born in 1938 and participated in football and wrestling at Canastota High School. He began his professional boxing career in 1958 and so great was his start that he won his first 20 bouts, many of them in Syracuse. His first loss came in 1960 by decision to Jackie Donnelly in Buffalo.

Unfortunately in the prime of his career, DiVeronica was drafted into the Army in 1961, but returned to boxing in 1964.

He fought many great fighters, including Emile Griffith who stopped DiVeronica in the seventh round of a fight in Syracuse in 1969

DiVeronica was inducted into the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame in 2019, and was a frequent guest at the annual Induction Weekend at the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota.

He will be greatly missed.

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International Olympic Committee Press Release concerning the rescheduling to 2021

April 16, 2020. IOC and Tokyo 2020 Joint Statement – Framework for Preparation of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 Following their Postponement to 2021

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) met today for an Executive Project Review via teleconference.

IOC Coordination Commission Chair John Coates and Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi joined Tokyo 2020 President MORI Yoshiro and CEO MUTO Toshiro for the meeting. During the productive discussion, Tokyo 2020 and the IOC agreed on the following framework, that will govern preparations for the postponed Games: 

Governance

  • The process to deliver the Games in 2021 is overseen by a Joint Steering Committee which is led by IOC Coordination Commission Chair John Coates and Tokyo 2020 President MORI Yoshiro. The Committee will include Tokyo 2020 CEO MUTO Toshiro and IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi.
  • The meetings of the Joint Steering Committee will be held whenever necessary, in order to ensure permanent coordination and efficient decision-making.
  • Supporting this Joint Steering Committee, Tokyo 2020 and the IOC will each have their own respective task forces: the “Here we go” Task Force on the IOC side, and the “New Launch” Task Force on the Tokyo 2020 side.

Principles

  • The key elements of the planning for 2021 should replicate the existing Games Delivery Plan for 2020. Particular focus will be placed on the venues and the competition schedule, which were originally agreed by all stakeholders as the best plan for the 2020 edition. On this basis, the Japanese side including Tokyo 2020 will request that each planned venue owner organises the Games according to this schedule on the new dates in 2021. The Japanese side will also seek understanding for these preparations.
  • On the basis of Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and all Olympic and Paralympic Movement stakeholders, in conjunction with Japanese side including the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, will explore all opportunities to optimise and streamline the scope and service levels at the Games, and reduce the costs that have been caused by the postponement. The IOC and the Japanese side, including the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, will continue to assess and discuss jointly about the respective impacts caused by the postponement.
  • A number of measures addressing the potential impact of COVID-19 will be incorporated into the Games Delivery Plan for the Games in 2021.

Timeline

  • The details of planning for Tokyo 2020 in 2021 are being examined this month with a view to establishing a new roadmap for the Games by May 2020, in order to then align resources and priorities accordingly. 

Speaking after the meeting, IOC Coordination Commission Chair John Coates said, “Since the postponement of Tokyo 2020 to 2021 was agreed a few weeks ago, the strong spirit of collaboration between the IOC, the IPC, the Olympic Movement, Tokyo 2020 and the Japanese authorities has already allowed us to bring some clarity and certainty to athletes, fans and stakeholders around the world. The principles outlined today will allow us to continue in this spirit, and to answer the many questions that remain, in as efficient a manner as possible.

We believe that the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times, and that the Olympic flame can be the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. The Joint Steering Committee will give its all to ensure that this is the case.”

Tokyo 2020 President MORI Yoshiro commented, “Soon after the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Games on 24 March 2020, Tokyo 2020 established a ‘New Launch’ Task Force on 26 March and we have been working since then to create a structure capable of overcoming these unprecedented challenges. We believe that today’s new step is an important achievement in advancing over the coming year what we have prepared over the past five to six years. We will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to ensure the success of the Games.”

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The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of 3.4 million US dollars goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.

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Miguel Berchelt Ready For All-Mexican Showdown Against Oscar Valdez

CLICK HERE to watch full Q&A with Lupe Contreras

(April 15, 2020) — His message is crystal clear. WBC super featherweight world champion Miguel “El Alacran” Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs) wants all the big names. Whether it’s fellow Mexican action star Oscar Valdez, IBF champion Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, WBA champion Rene Alvarado, WBO champion and promotional stablemate Jamel Herring, or lightweight standouts Vasiliy Lomachenko and Gervonta Davis, Berchelt is itching to get back to action.
 
The Cancun native, who has made six defenses of his world title, recently spoke with Lupe Contreras. This is what he had to say.
 
On what he’s been doing during the COVID-19 pandemic
 
“We are still staying home and protecting ourselves from this bad virus that has knocked out a lot of people.
 
“We are taking care of ourselves by staying home. We are trying to stay active. We know that we have to take all the necessary precautions because we are high-performance athletes and we got to be careful.”
 
On training for a fight without knowing when he will fight again
 
“Well, it’s very difficult. Thankfully, we have the opportunity of having a stationary walker at home. I tried to run a little bit, and I do a little bit of shadowboxing, abs, push-ups. But it’s basically that. I believe it’s not the same as training in the gym, but we got to remember that we live off of staying in shape, and because of that, we must stay active.
 
“Nobody really knows when this pandemic will be over. But we have spoken to Top Rank President, Todd duBoef, and he has been giving us updates. We hope that this will be over soon. They have been thinking about all the alternatives, and one of them could be having fights without the public. I think that could be a big accomplishment because all fighters are standing by. A lot of us make a living by just boxing. I also believe that the TV networks are looking for content because they are running low on content right now. We hope for this to end soon so we can make the {Oscar Valdez} fight happen.”
 
On Oscar Valdez and his trainer, Eddy Reynoso
 
“Yes, of course I believe Oscar is a great fighter. I respect him a lot, but now we must face each other. I think Eddy Reynoso has come to add a lot of good things to his corner. He has also done a good job with Canelo Alvarez and Ryan Garcia. Now he is doing it with Oscar Valdez. It’s an excellent team, but on my side, I’m the champion and I also have a great trainer in Alfredo Caballero. It will be a great fight between Mexican fighters and Mexican trainers.”
 
On whether Valdez’s aggressive style will work against him
 
“No, I think they will have to come up with a good strategy. It’s worth noting that Oscar has already suffered an injury on his jaw. If I’m not mistaken, it happened in his fight against Scott Quigg. He broke his jaw. That’s why I believe they are going to try to fight a smart fight. He is also moving up in weight, and I don’t think he should be trading punches with me.”
 
On fighting Shakur Stevenson
 
“Of course! He is also a great fighter. Shakur Stevenson is a former Olympian and trains alongside Terence Crawford. I believe he is a fighter with a lot of ability and is one of the best fighters that Top Rank has right now, but like I mentioned, we are waiting for the fight with Oscar. I think he is still campaigning at 126. But when he gets to 130, I would like to face him. I think he is a great fighter, and I believe the fans want to see ‘El Alacrán’ Berchelt against the best.”
 
On his change once he became champion
 
“Well, it is a great responsibility. Everyone wants to be where you are. Now you become the target, and they are coming after you. Everyone wants to literally rip your head off. They want the crown. They want the belt. You realize that you have more responsibilities by having the belt, and you got to keep showing why you are the champion. That is why I’m still the champion after three years and six title defenses. We are going to keep walking this road. Losing my unbeaten record taught me a lot, and it didn’t only make me a better fighter, but it also made me a better person.”
  
On if he wants to unify the titles
 
“Of course! I would love to. JoJo Diaz was recently crowned as IBF champion. Also, Jamel Herring and Rene Alvarado. There are some great champions in the division, but right now, all I have on my mind is to face Oscar, be victorious on this seventh title defense, and after that, whoever comes, comes for Miguel Berchelt.”
 
On fighting Vasiliy Lomachenko
 
“Of course! Right now, he is one of the top three pound-for-pound fighters in the world. I think he is only behind Canelo Alvarez. I would like to. Right now, my focus is getting through this situation of the pandemic. Then I will begin training and returning to all activities so I can face Oscar Valdez. After that, we can talk moving up to 135 to face someone like Vasiliy Lomachenko. He is a fighter that I have always wanted to face, or Teofimo Lopez.”
 
On fighting Gervonta Davis
 
“There are a lot of good fights to be made, but without a doubt, I would love to face Gervonta Davis. He is a very dangerous fighter and a lot of people would like to face him, but his promoter, Floyd Mayweather, protects him too much.”

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World Champion Jose Ramirez and Central Valley Community Leaders Join Forces to Assist Agricultural Workers 
GoFundMe page has also been set up to benefit the Central Valley’s agricultural workers

FRESNO, Calif. (April 15, 2020)— California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 last month, declaring a state of emergency ordering all individuals living in the State of California to stay home “except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors.”
 
Agriculture is considered one of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors, with agricultural workers critical to keeping our daily lives functioning. The hardworking members of the Central Valley who work in the fields, packing houses, processing plants, dairies, animal farms, and other supporting industries make up this critical infrastructure.
 
Unified super lightweight world champion Jose Ramirez and his team are partnering with area farmers, packing houses, farm labor contractors, Dr. Juan Bautista and Dr. Ignacio Guzman, County Supervisor Richard Valle, Nisei Farmers League, Waste Management, Fresno State, Super Mercado, and Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino to provide these unsung heroes with appreciation boxes that include essential household items such as toilet paper, facial tissue, detergent, cleaning supplies, other non-perishable items, and preventative health items and educational information. 

Ramirez and his team have committed to a minimum of 1,000 boxes and have a goal of producing at least 5,000 boxes. In addition, 10,000 face masks have been secured for workers and their families. 

“Agricultural workers are our neighbors, friends and the glue that holds our communities together. Without their essential work, life would be very difficult during this COVID-19 pandemic. They are at work while stores run out of toilet paper and other essential items,” Ramirez said. “These workers are fighting hard for us night and day to keep food on the shelves. They are risking everything, and we want to fight for them right now and show our support.”
 
Over the next 14 days, donations will be accepted for the appreciation boxes. Ramirez and others will be giving these boxes to the workers in person to show their appreciation and support. Also included will be a signed picture from Ramirez with a personal note and a pair of free tickets to his next fight in the Central Valley. 
 
“The Central Valley is a special place full of dedicated men and women who are out in the fields helping to sustain Americans through this trying time,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, Ramirez’s promoter. “Jose and community leaders across the Central Valley are rallying together for a wonderful cause.”
 
If you are a large or small business and wish to join this amazing cause by donating items for the creation of these appreciation boxes, please e-mail Rick Mirigian at rmirigian@gmail.com or call (559) 614-5686. 
 
For monetary donations, a GoFundMe page (Ag Workers Support Fund) has been created by The Bautista Foundation, or they can be given directly to The Bautista Foundation. No gift is too small, and 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit the agricultural workers risking their health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Unified Super Lightweight World Champion Jose Ramirez Wants All The Belts

CLICK HERE FOR FULL INTERVIEW with Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher

(April 14, 2020) — WBC/WBO super lightweight world champion Jose Ramirez is staying ready. The 2012 U.S. Olympian has not fought since knocking out Maurice Hooker last July in a title unification bout. He was supposed to fight Viktor Postol Feb. 2 in China (Feb. 1 prime time in the U.S.), but it became the first major bout to be impacted by COVID-19. The May 9 makeup date in Fresno also fell by the wayside. 
 
Ramirez is self-quarantining with his family in California’s Central Valley, but he is awaiting the call for the third — and hopefully final — Postol fight date.
 
He recently spoke with Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher. This is what he had to say.
 
CP: How have you dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic?
 
JR: “Obviously it’s the second time my fight gets postponed. There’s a lot of frustration there because of the sacrifices we go through. I’ve been training for the same fight since November. I trained through the holidays, which is always difficult.
 
“Me having my boy, I want to spend as much time with him now that he’s getting older by the second. It’s hard. I had a plan for 2020, just like any other fighter. I had a plan to fight three times. I was happy that I was going to start early and hopefully move to the {welterweight} division next year. It throws me off. It sets me back. Everything happens for a reason, I believe. Right now, we just have to stay safe. We have to go through this crisis.”
 
CP: How do you keep yourself from feeling defeated after going through two training camps {without a fight}?
 
JR: “I’m just staying focused. I’m staying optimistic with everything, with doctors, with everyone, the first responders. I think everyone is working hard to get together to go through this fast and get everything back to normal. Right now, I believe this is something that requires everyone to be on the same page, to really practice {self-isolation} so we can stop the spread of this virus.
 
“I do know that my fight will be one of the first fights back when all this is over.”
 
CP: Once the Postol fight is rescheduled, would you like to try and stay at 140 pounds and get more belts or is a move up to 147 imminent?
 
JR: “I owe it to myself to fight for all the belts just because if I were to go up to the next weight class, people will still doubt who the best 140-pounder is, just because there is another guy with two belts (WBA/IBF world champion Josh Taylor}. There are some other fighters that I didn’t get to face at 140. I really want to prove a lot of people wrong. I want to do it for myself. I know I can be the best 140 in the world. I know I can see myself with all four belts. It’s just a matter of time, and once I do that, I think that’s going to put my name more out there worldwide. It’s going to definitely make a stronger impact when I do move to 147 knowing that the undisputed champion at 140 is moving up to 147. I think that’s going to make more noise.”
 
CP: Any interest in WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford?
 
JR: “I’ll take any route that leads me to fight for a world title. Crawford is an excellent fighter, so yeah, I would definitely be honored to share the ring with him. I think I’ll show him something new. I think I’ll bring something out of him. By the time I do make that decision to move to 147 and put that extra muscle on me, on my body, I’ll be a much stronger Jose Ramirez. I can see myself developing into a better welterweight than super lightweight. I do have the height. I do have the body frame. I think once I put the extra seven pounds on, it’s going to be a huge difference in a very positive way.
 
“After Crawford, I plan to stay in the welterweight division for quite a while, definitely fight all the top names out there and see how I do. I think I have what it takes to stay at this level of competition for a long time.”
 
CP: Would you ever be up for a fight with Regis Prograis down the line?
 
JR: “Definitely. I think if the fight with Regis takes place, it might take place at 147, though, because I have (super lightweight} fights lined up. I really want to move up after that.”

____________

 

Boxing Manager Adrian Clark Joins Fight Network
World’s Leading Combat Sports Channel Will Be Launching New Boxing Programming and Relaunching Its Mobile App to Support Growth on New Platforms 
TORONTO | NEW YORK – Fight Network, a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment and the world’s premier combat sports network, announced today that author, producer and boxing manager Adrian Clark has joined the organization as a consultant to develop original programming and strategic partnerships with a focus on professional and amateur boxing content, as well as supporting social media and community growth across Fight Network’s digital and social platforms.

Clark has managed various clients, including Jerry Belmontes, James De La Rosa, Willie Monroe Jr. and Frank Galarza. Clark has also worked closely with Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller and current world welterweight champion Errol Spence. He was a certified agent for the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) from 2012 to 2014. Clark was honored by Forbes in their “30 Under 30” for 2016 in sports. Clark has also published several books, including ‘i’ A Guide for Young Entrepreneurs, Protect Yourself at All Times: A Guide for Professional Boxers, Boxing = Life and Dark Horse.

Clark launched his Protect Yourself at All Times initiative in February 2016, including a book, podcast and video blog. Everlast Worldwide, the world’s leading manufacturer, marketer and licensor of boxing, MMA and fitness equipment, partnered with Clark in 2018 to launch the first-ever Protect Yourself at All Times symposium, an educational tool for fighters and their families whose purpose is to educate and inform professional boxers on the nature of business in boxing. Clark will be developing the concept into a television series for Fight Network in addition to other original programming for the network.

“I look forward to working with Fight Network on enhancing the depth of its boxing coverage,” said Clark. “Working closely alongside my network of industry contacts and the FN Studios original production team, we will develop new programming to put the spotlight on the sweet science and topics that are often overshadowed in mainstream coverage. With its recent resurgence in mainstream popularity, this as an opportune time to bring Fight Network subscribers unprecedented coverage of their favorite boxing stars, both inside the ring and behind the scenes.”

“The rise in popularity of boxing in recent years cannot be understated,” said Ariel Shnerer, newly appointed GM of Fight Network. “With more ways to consume fights than ever before and new stars being born, the sport has experienced tremendous growth on a global scale. We look forward to collaborating with Adrian on new programming initiatives and sponsorship opportunities as we put a renewed focus on our coverage of the sport, not only through our weekly news shows and live fights, but by developing original productions that bring our viewers closer to the fights and fighters they love, as well educational programming about the business of boxing.”

International Olympic Committee Issuing Probable new Dates for the Tokyo Games

April 1, 2020.

IPC, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and Tokyo Metropolitan Government announce new dates for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Government of Japan today agreed new dates for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, in 2021. The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be celebrated from 23 July to 8 August 2021. They also agreed on new dates for the Paralympic Games, which will be celebrated from 24 August until 5 September 2021.

The leaderships of the key parties came together via telephone conference earlier today, joined by IOC President Thomas Bach, Tokyo 2020 President Mori Yoshirō, Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko and Olympic and Paralympic Minister Hashimoto Seiko, and agreed on the new schedule.

This decision was taken based on three main considerations and in line with the principles established by the IOC Executive Board (EB) on 17 March 2020 and confirmed at its meeting today. These were supported by all the International Summer Olympic Sports Federations (IFs) and all the National Olympic Committees (NOCs):

1. To protect the health of the athletes and everyone involved, and to support the containment of the COVID-19 virus.

2. To safeguard the interests of the athletes and of Olympic sport.

3. The global international sports calendar.

These new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organisation of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new dates, exactly one year after those originally planned for 2020 (Olympic Games: 24 July to 9 August 2020 and Paralympic Games: 25 August to 6 September 2020), also have the added benefit that any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum, in the interests of the athletes and the IFs. Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process. The same heat mitigation measures as planned for 2020 will be implemented.

In a call on Tuesday 24 March 2020, based on information provided by the WHO at the time, IOC President Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō concluded that the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 would be held in their complete form and not later than summer 2021. The Prime Minister reiterated that the government of Japan stands ready to fulfill its responsibility for hosting these successful Games. At the same time, IOC President Thomas Bach stressed the full commitment of the IOC to successful Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Following today’s decision, the IOC President said: “I want to thank the International Federations for their unanimous support and the Continental Associations of National Olympic Committees for the great partnership and their support in the consultation process over the last few days. I would also like to thank the IOC Athletes’ Commission, with whom we have been in constant contact. With this announcement, I am confident that, working together with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese Government and all our stakeholders, we can master this unprecedented challenge. Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel. These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel.”

Andrew Parsons, the President of the IPC, commented: “It is fantastic news that we could find new dates so quickly for the Tokyo 2020 Games. The new dates provide certainty for the athletes, reassurance for the stakeholders and something to look forward to for the whole world. When the Paralympic Games do take place in Tokyo next year, they will be an extra-special display of humanity uniting as one, a global celebration of human resilience and a sensational showcase of sport. With the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games 512 days away, the priority for all those involved in the Paralympic Movement must be to focus on staying safe with their friends and family during this unprecedented and difficult time.”

The President of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, Mori Yoshirō, said: “IOC President Thomas Bach and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee held a conference call today to discuss in detail the revised dates of the Tokyo 2020 Games. Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Hashimoto Seiko and Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko joined the call. I proposed that the Games should be hosted between July and August 2021, and I really appreciate that President Bach, having discussed this proposal with the various international sports federations and other related organisations, kindly accepted my proposal. A certain amount of time is required for the selection and qualification of athletes and for their training and preparation, and the consensus was that staging the rescheduled Games during the summer vacation in Japan would be preferable. In terms of transport, arranging volunteers and the provision of tickets for those in Japan and overseas, as well as allowing for the COVID-19 situation, we think that it would be better to reschedule the Games to one year later than planned, in the summer of 2021. Notwithstanding the postponement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games for the first time in history, and various other issues that have already been highlighted, the event schedule is the cornerstone of future preparations, and I am convinced that taking this decision promptly will help speed up future preparations. I would like to thank all the stakeholders, including the host city Tokyo and the Government of Japan, for their hard work during this short period. The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee will continue to work hard for the success of next year’s Games.”

Governor Koike Yuriko said: “In consideration of the global coronavirus outbreak, we need a certain timeframe before we fully prepare for the delivery of Games that are safe and secure for the athletes and spectators. Also, the preparation for the new dates will go smoothly, as the dates match with same timeframe as the original competition dates, corresponding with ticketing, venue staffing, volunteers and transport. Therefore, I believe that celebrating the opening of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on 23 July 2021 is ideal. The athletes, volunteers, torchbearers and local municipality governments have been concerned about the situation. Since we now have concrete new dates to aim for, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will commit all its resources, and work closely with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the national government and other stakeholders to fully prepare for the delivery of Games that are safe and secure.”

It has previously been confirmed that all athletes already qualified and quota places already assigned for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will remain unchanged. This is a result of the fact that these Olympic Games Tokyo , in agreement with Japan, will remain the Games of the XXXII Olympiad.

From Ali to Fury: Bob Arum Celebrates 54 Years in Boxing
Arum has promoted 2,079 shows starting with the March 29, 1966 heavyweight world title showdown between Muhammad Ali and George Chuvalo

(April 1, 2020) — Bob Arum started at the top, and he’s still here. A one-time practicing attorney who worked in the tax division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Arum promoted his first card on March 29, 1966. Muhammad Ali defended his heavyweight world title at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens against Canadian challenger George Chuvalo and won a 15-round unanimous decision.
 
Arum planned on staging Ali-Chuvalo in Chicago, but the Illinois State Athletic Commission banned Ali because of his “unpatriotic” remarks about the Vietnam War. So, Arum went north of the border, and Maple Leaf Gardens owner Harold Ballard welcomed Ali and Arum with open arms. Chuvalo accepted the fight on less than three weeks’ notice after original opponent Ernie Terrell pulled out, and the rest is boxing history.
 
“It was a memorable, crazy time in our country,” Arum said. “After we were kicked out of Chicago, Ballard told us we could bring the fight to Toronto, and he was a man of his word. More than 50 years later, Ali-Chuvalo in Toronto is still the most difficult promotion of my entire career.”
 
Arum wound up promoting 27 Ali fights and turned Top Rank (incorporated in 1973) into an international brand that has promoted 2,079 fight cards and 655 world title bouts in 42 U.S. states and 92 foreign or international cities. Many of the greatest fighters of the past half-century have fought under the Top Rank banner, including: Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Johnny Tapia, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Roberto Duran, George Foreman, Oscar De La Hoya, Timothy Bradley Jr., James Toney, Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez, Alexis Arguello, Michael Carbajal, Miguel Cotto, Emile Griffith, Carlos Monzón, Terence Crawford, Vasiliy Lomachenko and Tyson Fury.
 
Said Arum: “It has been one hell of a 54-year ride. I am honored to have promoted many of history’s greatest boxers. I could have never foreseen this 54 years ago. I look forward to many more memorable nights at ringside.”
 
Top Rank/Bob Arum By The Numbers:

2,079: Fight cards promoted
824: Shows on ESPN family of networks
655: World title fights promoted
517: Shows promoted in Nevada
412: Shows promoted in New Jersey
219: American cities in which Top Rank has promoted
195: Shows promoted in California
154: Shows promoted in Texas
129: Shows promoted on HBO    
92: Foreign or international cities in which Top Rank has promoted
73: Shows promoted on ABC
72: Shows promoted in New York State
69: Shows promoted in Arizona
63: Shows promoted in Puerto Rico
52: Shows promoted in Mexico
49: Pay-per-view shows promoted
47: Shows promoted in Illinois
42: States in which Top Rank has promoted boxing
41: Miguel Cotto fights promoted
41: Shows promoted in Pennsylvania
38: Michael Carbajal fights promoted
38: Shows promoted in New York City
37: Oscar De La Hoya fights promoted
36: Johnny Tapia fights promoted
35: Floyd Mayweather Jr. fights promoted
33: James Toney fights promoted
32: Erik Morales fights promoted
31: Shows promoted in Florida
28: Iran Barkley fights promoted
27: Muhammad Ali fights promoted or co-promoted
26: Foreign countries in which Top Rank has promoted, plus Puerto Rico
25: Freddie Roach fights promoted
24: Shows promoted in New Mexico
23: World heavyweight title fights promoted
22: Terence Crawford fights promoted
20: Marvelous Marvin Hagler fights promoted
20: Manny Pacquiao fights promoted
19: Juan Manuel Marquez fights promoted
14: George Foreman fights promoted
14: Shows promoted in China
13: Thomas Hearns fights promoted
10: Alexis Arguello fights promoted
10: Ray Mancini fights promoted
9: Timothy Bradley Jr. fights promoted
8: Roberto Duran fights promoted
7: Sugar Ray Leonard fights promoted
7: Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. fights promoted
5: Carlos Monzón fights promoted
5: Emile Griffith fights promoted
4: Mike Tyson fights promoted
3: Tyson Fury fights promoted
2: Larry Holmes fights promoted
1: Evel Knievel Snake River Canyon jump promoted
0: Shows (so far) promoted by Top Rank in: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming.

 

Training for the unknown 

Unbeaten Mykquan Williams

Mykquan Williams

staying in boxing shape as much as possible under pandemic conditions

MANCHESTER, Conn. (March 24, 2020) – Like most professional boxers, unbeaten super lightweight prospect “Marvelous” Mykquan Williams (15-0-1, 7 KOs) is  making the most out of a challenging situation, as he prepares for his unknown future in boxing.

The coronavirus has shutdown boxing worldwide.  Events are  suspended indefinitely, boxers restricted in terms of training, and the immediate future remains tenuous at best.

Unable to train at his gym, Manchester ROCS, which is closed due to a Connecticut state order, the 21-year-old Williams is handling this pandemic in a mature manner that belies his young age.  No whining, no ‘poor me’ feelings. 

”This is a difficult time for everybody, including those of us in boxing,”  East Hartford (CT) resident Williams said.  “There’s no boxing on TV, nobody can compete, and everybody is isolated.  It’s just unfortunate, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.  Health concerns are and should always be the top priority.”

Williams hasn’t been in action since last October 24th, when he fought to a questionable eighth-round majority draw with Tre’Sean Wiggins, in which Williams retained his World Boxing Council (WBC) United States (USNBC) super lightweight title.  Most observers felt that Williams deserved a win by decision.

Since the beginning of 2020, Williams had been training for an expected fight in the first third of the year, and he’s still training to stay in shape, albeit it not the same way as if he had a confirmed fight date.

“I’m still doing some training,” Williams explained.  “I need to stay in shape for when the call comes after boxing returns.  I’m in decent shape and when I get my next fight date, I won’t have to go from zero to get ready.  I want to maintain 50 to 60 percent shape and then finish off training on schedule for my next fight.”

“I know Mykey has still been running,” Williams’ head trainer Paul Cichon added.  “We’re going to be back training soon.  I believe everything happens for a reason.  Mykey and me had a conference call with (manager) Jackie Kallen and (promoter) Lou DiBella, and we trust that, as soon as possible, Mykey will be back in action.”

Because Williams doesn’t turn 22 until this April 6, in addition to already being a pro boxer for nearly four years, his young boxing career figures to resume quicker and stronger than for many older boxers.  Losing six months shouldn’t hinder a prospect like Williams as much as a veteran who may not have nearly as much comparable quality competitive time left in the ring.

“I’m not sure if age is that big an advantage,” Williams countered.  “If some fighters were getting burned out because they were fighting a lot, taking time off, whether it’s due to the virus or not, a break may help them come back better and stronger than when they last fought.”

Williams was a five-time national amateur champion, compiling a 45-13 amateur record, highlighted by three Ringside World titles, in addition to gold medal performances at the National PAL and National Silver Gloves championship.

“I don’t know when boxing will return,” Williams concluded, “but boxing will never die.  People will always want to see guys punching each other in the face.  Boxing is a sport rich in tradition and, right now, there is still a lot of talent coming up.”

And Mykquan Williams will be right at the head of that next wave when the boxing ban is finally lifted.

 

Health and safety paramount as IOC Executive Board agrees to Postpone the 2020 Summer Olypics 

March 24, 2020 -After weeks of speculation about whether or not the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo would go forward this summer as the world fights to contain the spread of the global coronavirus pandemic, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Japanese officials on Tuesday finally made the call to postpone the international sporting event.

IOC President Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo held a conference call to discuss their concerns regarding COVID-19 and the significant impact it is having on athletes who are preparing for the Games.

“The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating,” IOC said in a joint statement together with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee.

The officials concluded that based on information provided by the World Health Organization, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, “to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.”

The event will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Prior to this, the Olympics have only been canceled or postponed three other times—all due to war. And this isn’t the first time the event has been thwarted in Japan. World War I resulted in the cancellation of the Berlin Games, which had been scheduled to take place in 1916. A few decades later, Tokyo was set to host the 1940 Summer Olympic Games, and the 1944 Winter Olympic Games were scheduled to take place in Sapporo, Japan. Japan forfeited its right to host the Games after the outbreak of World War II, and the games were going to take place in Europe instead, but ultimately were canceled entirely.

 

Las Vegas ‘Monster’ Fight: Naoya Inoue Aims to Unify Bantamweight World Titles Against Johnriel Casimero April 25 LIVE on ESPN+ at Mandalay Bay Events Center

Inoue-Casimero to headline tripleheader on ESPN+ beginning at 9 p.m. ET
ESPN2 to televise preliminary bouts starting at 7 p.m. ET

LAS VEGAS —A five-foot-five-inch, 118-pound Japanese monster is ready to take over the Las Vegas Strip. WBA/IBF bantamweight world champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue, the three-weight world champion climbing the mythical pound-for-pound rankings, will make his Las Vegas debut Saturday, April 25 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in a unification bout against WBO bantamweight world champion and fellow three-weight kingpin Johnriel Casimero.
 
Inoue is coming off a memorable decision in the 2019 Ring Magazine and ESPN.com Fight of the Year against future Hall of Famer Nonito Donaire. This will be Inoue’s first bout under his long-term promotional agreement with Top Rank.
 
Inoue-Casimero and the 10-round bantamweight tilt featuring WBO No. 1 contender Joshua “Don’t Blink” Greer Jr. and WBO No. 2 contender Jason Moloney will stream LIVE on ESPN+ beginning at 9 p.m. ET. In the final undercard bout on the ESPN+ stream, former super featherweight world champion Andrew Cancio will take on Tyler McCreary in a 10-rounder.
 
The preliminary bouts will air live on ESPN2 (7 p.m. ET) and will include the return of former world title challenger Alex “El Cholo” Saucedo in a 10-round super lightweight bout.
 
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Ohashi Promotions, MP Promotions, TGB Promotions and SGG Sports Promotions, tickets priced at $300, $200, $100, $50 and $25 (not including applicable fees) go on sale Friday, Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased online at www.axs.com or by phone at 888-929-7849.

“The ‘Monster’ is coming to Las Vegas, and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “He is a generational talent, a fierce competitor who is ready to take the United States by storm. Casimero is a seasoned champion, and Inoue knows he’s in for a firefight at Mandalay Bay.” 
 
Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs), 26, won his first title in only his sixth pro fight, knocking out Adrian Hernandez to win the WBC light flyweight crown. He is 14-0 with 12 knockouts in world title bouts, as he defended his light flyweight title once before moving up two weight classes to knock out long-time WBO junior bantamweight world champion Omar Narvaez in two rounds in December 2014. He defended that belt seven times before setting his sights on the bantamweight division. His first three bantamweight title bouts lasted a total of four rounds, as he catapulted up pound-for-pound lists with stoppages over Emmanuel Rodriguez and Juan Carlos Payano. The Donaire bout — the final of the World Boxing Super Series tournament — was the ultimate gut check, as he suffered a broken orbital bone before prevailing in an instant classic.
 
“It is a tremendous honor and a dream come true to headline a card in Las Vegas against a great fighter like Casimero,” Inoue said. “It is my goal to be the undisputed bantamweight king, and I am coming to America to put on a great fight for the fans. I would like to thank Mr. Bob Arum and MGM Resorts for making my Las Vegas dream a reality. Now, the work begins, and I will kick off my 2020 schedule at Mandalay Bay in devastating fashion.”
 
Casimero (29-4, 20 KOs), from Ormoc City, Philippines, is a newly minted bantamweight world champion who upset South African southpaw Zolani Tete via third-round TKO last November in Birmingham England. A world traveler, Casimero has won world title bouts in Mexico, England, China, Panama and the Philippines, in addition to interim world title bouts in Argentina, Nicaragua and the United States. He is on a five-bout winning streak and is in his physical prime at 29 years old. The Inoue-Casimero winner will be one belt shy of completely unifying the division, as WBC world champion Nordine Oubaali holds the final piece of the championship puzzle. 
 
“This is my dream fight. I have traveled the world and fought in 10 countries. I’ve won world titles at 108, 112 and 118 pounds,” Casimero said. “But ever since I saw my hero and fellow countryman, Senator Manny Pacquiao, fight in Las Vegas, that has been my dream. To everyone who thinks I am the underdog on April 25, I will shock the world and show the fans who the real ‘Monster’ is in the ring.”
 
Greer (22-1-1, 12 KOs) has won 19 fights in a row, but as he heads into the most significant bout of his career, he’s made a significant change. After seeing his seven-bout KO streak ended with a pair of close decisions over Nikolai Potapov and Antonio Nieves, Greer has moved his training base from Southern California to his hometown of Chicago. He has reunited with former trainer George Hernandez and is training at Garfield Boxing Gym, the place where he developed from amateur standout to promising professional. With a world title shot in his sights, Greer is not taking chances.
 
“I know what I’ve done before, and I know that I’m capable of,” Greer said. “George is the perfect man for the job. We have great chemistry. I love being back in the gym with him. This is what separates the boys from the men. I’m just ready to show the world who I am. At Garfield, the young kids keep me hungry. They don’t care about my ranking or that I’ve fought on ESPN. Chicago keeps me humble. Thanks to Moloney for taking the challenge, and I look forward to getting busy April 25.”
 
Moloney (20-1, 17 KOs), from Australia, will be fighting for the second time away from home as he seeks a second world title shot. He fought for the IBF bantamweight world title in October 2018 in Orlando, Fla., dropping a split decision to Emmanuel Rodriguez. Moloney has fought three times since, securing a trio of knockout wins during a successful 2019. In his last bout, he blitzed Dixon Flores in two rounds on an ESPN+-streamed card that also featured his twin brother, 115-pound interim world champion Andrew Moloney.
 
“I’m extremely grateful for this big opportunity. Fighting in Las Vegas has been a dream of mine for many years, and I’m looking forward to having a very impressive win over Joshua Greer Jr. and moving another step closer to becoming world champion,” Moloney said. “April 25 is a very important day for us in Australia and New Zealand called Anzac Day. It is a day of remembrance, where we pay our respects to all those who have served and died for our beautiful country. I will do whatever it takes to win this fight, and I will dedicate this victory to all those who have served for us.”

Cancio (21-5-2, 16 KOs) had a dream start to 2019 when he knocked out Alberto Machado in February to win the WBA super featherweight world title. He stopped Machado in three rounds four months later, but he was dethroned in November via seventh-round knockout by Nicaraguan veteran Rene Alvarado. McCreary (16-1-1, 7 KOs), from Toledo, Ohio, is looking to bounce back from a unanimous decision defeat last November to former two-weight world champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton.
 
“I’m very excited to start my next chapter with Top Rank on April 25 against Tyler McCreary at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and on such an outstanding card,” Cancio said. “I know how formidable an opponent McCreary is, but I’ll be more than ready to be victorious and put on a great show for the fans when I return to battle.”
 
“It’s another big opportunity, something I couldn’t pass up,” McCreary said. “He’s a former world champion, but he’s no Carl Frampton. This is a steppingstone for bigger fights. I have to get past him to see the bigger names. I learned a lot from the Frampton fight, and that experience is the number one teacher for me.”
 
For more information, visit www.toprank.com, www.espn.com/boxing; Facebook: facebook.com/trboxing; Twitter: twitter.com/trboxing.
 
Use the hashtags #InoueCasimero and #GreerMoloney to join the conversation on social media.

RIP – NEVER FORGET! 

40th anniversary of tragic airplane crash in Poland 

22 members of Team USA Boxing perished

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 14, 2020) – One of the darkest days in American sports history occurred 40 years ago today, when Polish Airlines flight #7 that had departed John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City crashed a half-mile from Okecie Airport in Warsaw, Poland.

All 87 passengers died, including 14 boxers and eight officials on the USA Boxing team, due to a disintegration of a turbine disc in one of the plane’s engines that ultimately failed.

Team USA was traveling to Poland to compete in two international amateur boxing dual events.  The average age of the 14 boxers was only 20 ½, ranging from 27-year-old Walter Harris to 16-year-old Byron Payton.

In 1984 a statue was dedicated to the USA Boxing Team members who died in Warsaw was placed on the training grounds in Colorado Springs.  Names of the 23 members of Team USA are inscribed on the memorial.

In 1984 a statue was dedicated to the USA Boxing Team members who died in Warsaw was placed on the training grounds in Colorado Springs.  Names of the 23 members of Team USA are inscribed on the memorial.

The potential Olympic dreams of the 14 boxers were destroyed in the horrific accident.  Although most of the boxers were still in their developmental stage, outside of prospective medal challenger Lemuel Steeples, each member aspired to represent the United States in the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.  (The United States eventually led a boycott of the 1980 Olympics because of the Soviet-Afghan War.)

“I remember coming home from my boxing gym on March 14, 1980 and hearing the news of the plane crash on the evening news,” stated USA Boxing Executive Director Mike McAtee. 

“As an aspiring Olympic-style boxer I was shocked and felt a sense of loss like every American boxer, coach and official. Today we are reminded that life is precious, and every day is a blessing.  On behalf of USA Boxing’s Board of Directors, 48,000 boxers, coaches and officials and the national office staff we remember the 1980 USA Boxing Team Members and Staff.  Please keep them, their families and the worldwide Olympic-style boxing family in your thoughts and prayers.”

 “Down But Not Out… Lost But Not Forgotten”

USA Boxing Head Coach Billy Walsh remembers the crash to this day. “I remember it well, as I was a 16-year-old dreaming of the Olympics,” said Walsh. “It was massive news in Europe, a big tragedy with some of the world’s best boxers and staff wiped out. We lost a generation of great fighters, and most importantly loved ones.”

Patricia Chavis was only seven years old when she learned her father, Sgt. Elliott Chavis, had perished in the crash.  She was playing outdoors with friends when she noticed a lot of people crying as they entered and left her home.  Her mother called her inside, sat her down with people watching, and said that her father wasn’t coming back because he had been killed in a plane crash.

“She asked me if I understood and I did, because we had recently lost my great grandmother and paternal grandfather,” an emotional Patricia explained.  “I went back outside and told my friends.  They were a little older and they didn’t understand why I hadn’t stayed inside with family. It didn’t really hit me that my dad wasn’t coming home until my teenage years.  I remember sitting in bed and writing letters to him.

“Every year still affects me every March.  We usually have a family dinner with my mom and grandchildren.  They listen to stories about a man they never met.  He’s buried in South Carolina and we’ve laid flowers on his grave.  Every year on March 14th it brings back memories and we celebrate his life.”

Sgt. Chavis, who died at the age of 25, was stationed at Ft. Bragg (N.C.), where he learned to box. He was a member of the 118th Military Police Company and during his boxing career, the light heavyweight was All-Army and All-Southeastern.

“My parents married young,” Patricia continued.  “My mom told me he was always athletic.  He played football and was a pole vaulter on the track team in high school.  But I didn’t know anything about his boxing until we went to a reunion at Ft. Bragg.  Around the 30th anniversary I got in touch with some of his Army buddies when I saw on Facebook that they were having a reunion.   I went there with my mom and listened to stories they told me about his boxing career.  I found it so interesting because I hadn’t known about that.  There are quite a few memorials I’ve seen on Facebook and I try to get in touch with other family members (of her father’s teammates who died in the crash).  We’ll never forget!”   

Below is a complete list of the 1980 U.S. Boxing Delegation who died in the aforementioned plane crash in Warsaw:

 

 

The 1980 United States Boxing Delegation to Warsaw, Poland, March 14, 1980

 

BOXERS

 

Kelvin Anderson                               Heavyweight                           Hartford, CT

Elliott Chavis                                     Light Heavyweight                  U.S. Army / Ft. Bragg, NC

Walter Harris                                     Light Heavyweight                  San Francisco, CA

Andrea McCoy                                  Middleweight                           New Bedford, MA

Byron Payton                                    Light Middleweight                  Troup, TX

Chuck Robinson                               Light Middleweight                  Port Townsend, WA

Paul Palomino                                   Welterweight                           Westminster, CA

Lemuel Steeples                               Light Welterweight                  St. Louis, MO 

Byron Linsay                                     Light Welterweight                  San Diego, CA

Gary Tyrone Clayton                        Lightweight                              Philadelphia, PA

Jerome Stewart                                 Bantamweight                         U.S. Navy / Norfolk, VA

George Pimentel                               Flyweight                                 Elmhurst, NY

Lonnie Young                                    Flyweight                                 Philadelphia, PA

David Rodriguez                               Light Flyweight                        Pomona, CA

 

OFFICIALS

 

Joseph F. Bland                                Team Manager                       High Point, NC

Col. Bernard Callahan                      Referee/Judge                        Carlisle, PA

Thomas “Sarge” Johnson               Head Coach                            Indianapolis, IN

John Radison                                    Referee/Judge                        St. Louis, MO

Junior Robles                                    Assistant Coach                     National City, CA

Steve Smigiel                                    Interpreter                               Boca Raton, FL

Delores Wesson                                Team Assistant                       Ocean Springs, MS

Dr. Ray Wesson                                Team Physician                      Ocean Springs, MS

           

 Go to www.USABoxing.org to watch a short video tribute

Memorial messages and letters of condolence were sent from friends and boxing organizations from around the world, including U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, Executive Director Col. F. Don Miller, Montana AAU, Oklahoma Boxing Association, Amateur Basketball Association of the USA, Salina Boxing Team, South Texas AAU, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Diving, U.S. Swimming, Wisconsin AAU, Wrestling Division of AAU, National AAU Boxing Committee, National AAU, Florida Boxing Commission, Hawaii AAU, U.S. Soccer Federation, Jacksonville (FL) Sports and Entertainment Commission, Georgia Amateur Boxing Association, WSOC Television, Alleghany Mountain Association, U.S. Olympic Training Center, Mack Truck, Inc., Southwestern AAU Boxing Commission, U.S. Olympic Committee, West Nally Group, Charlotte Motor Speedway, AAU Regional Coordinator, Council of Social Work Education, National Rifle Association of America, and Davidson County Department Boxing Team,

Also from the Greek Boxing Federation, Mexican Boxing Federation, New Zealand Boxing Association, Canadian Amateur Boxing Association, Nova Scotia Branch of Canadian Amateur Boxing Commission, Ontario Boxing Association, Ambassador of Poland, Polish Boxing Association, AIPS Boxing Commission, Canadian Amateur Boxing Association, Heretaunga Boxing Club of New Zealand, International Bobsled and Tobogganing Federation, Italian Boxing Federation, LOT Polish Airlines, La Crosse Amateur Boxing Club, Polish Olympic Committee, AIBA, Champion D’Afrique Magazine, African AIBA Board and Tunisian Boxing Federation, Venezuelan Boxing Federation, German Amateur Boxing Federation, Amateur Boxing Federation of England, Israel Sports Federation, Portuguese Amateur Boxing Federation, Romanian Boxing Federation, Rotunda A.B.C., Amateur Boxing Federation of Thailand, National Advertising Benevolent Society, Turkey Boxing Federation, AIBA France, El Salvador Boxing Federation, German Democratic Republic Boxing Association, Danish Amateur Boxing Union, Guatemalan Amateur Sports Federtion, Israel Olympic Committee, Oceana Boxing Federation, Nigeria Boxing Association, Old Actonian Association Amateur Boxing Club, Seychelles Amateur Boxing Federation, Council of Ministers of Cuba, Hungarian Boxing Federation, Norwegian Amateur Boxing Association, International Amateur Boxing Association, Claridad, Peru Amateur Boxing Association, Dominican Republic Department of Education, Health and Recreation, Panamanian Boxing Federation, Head of the Cuban Interests Section.

In 1984 a statue was dedicated to the USA Boxing Team members who died in Warsaw was placed on the training grounds in Colorado Springs.  Names of the 23 members of Team USA are inscribed on the memorial.

Fresno Fisticuffs: Jose Ramirez-Viktor Postol Set for Save Mart Center Super Lightweight Title Showdown May 9 LIVE on ESPN 

Special edition of Top Rank of ESPN to begin at 10 p.m. ET
Jose Pedraza-Javier Molina super lightweight fight will open ESPN telecast

FRESNO, Calif. (March. 9, 2020) — It took a little longer than expected, but WBC/WBO super lightweight world champion Jose Ramirez, the pride of California’s Central Valley, is set to return. Ramirez will defend his titles against mandatory challenger and former world champion Viktor “The Iceman” Postol Saturday, May 9 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, a short drive from Ramirez’s hometown of Avenal. Ramirez and Postol were set to fight Feb. 1 in China, but the bout was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
 
Ramirez-Postol and a 10-round super lightweight battle between former two-weight world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza and surging 2008 U.S. Olympian Javier “El Intocable” Molina will be televised LIVE on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10 p.m. ET, with the undercard bouts scheduled to stream in English and Spanish on ESPN+ starting at 7 p.m. ET.
 
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with TGB Promotions, tickets priced at $206, $131, $96, $66 and $31 go on sale Tuesday, March 10 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased at the Save Mart Center box office, Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.
 
“We are pleased that Ramirez and Postol will finally fight May 9 from the great city of Fresno,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Viktor is a worthy mandatory challenger who earned his title shot, and Jose will be fully prepared to make a statement. And for Jose, this could be his last fight in Fresno for a long time, so I expect the Central Valley faithful to fill up the Save Mart Center for a special evening.”
 
Ramirez (25-0, 17 KOs) is one of two unified junior welterweight champions. He won the WBC world title in March 2018, prevailing via 12-round shootout against Amir Imam in New York City. He defended that belt twice before stepping up to fight Maurice Hooker in a highly anticipated title unification bout. In one of the best fights of 2019, Ramirez knocked out Hooker in six rounds. A 2012 U.S. Olympian, Ramirez has headlined at Save Mart Center five times previously and has drawn a total of 65,794 fans through the arena’s turnstiles. Last time he fought at Save Mart Center — February 2019 against Jose Zepeda — he drew a career-high turnout of 14,034.
 
“It is always a blessing to fight at Save Mart Center in front of my loyal fans,” Ramirez said. “I prepared for Postol once, and I will be in top form May 9. My trainer, Robert Garcia, will have me ready for whatever he brings to the table. He is a former world champion who I cannot underestimate.” 
 
Postol (31-2, 12 KOs) has spent the majority of his 12-year career as a super lightweight and nearly a decade at, or near, the top of the division. He stunned the boxing world in October 2015 when he dethroned Lucas Matthysse via 10th-round KO to win the WBC world title. In his next fight, he was blunted over 12 rounds by Terence Crawford in a unification bout. He is 3-1 since the Crawford defeat, dropping a 2018 decision to Josh Taylor, who is now the division’s other unified champion. He earned the WBC’s mandatory shot at Ramirez in April with a unanimous decision over Mohamed Mimoune.
 
“I am glad the new fight date is set. I’m already in gym, and camp is going really well,” Postol said. “I was ready to fight on Feb. 1 and now I’m focused on May 9. The fight is taking place in his hometown, but that does not bother me because I have the experience to fight on away soil. I am looking forward to become a champion again.”
 
Pedraza (26-3, 13 KOs), from Cidra, Puerto Rico, held the IBF junior lightweight world title from 2015-2017 and then upset Ray Beltran in August 2018 to capture the WBO lightweight world title. He came up short in a valiant effort against Vasiliy Lomachenko in a toe-to-toe unification bout in December 2018 before knocking out Antonio Lozada Jr. in nine rounds the following May. Pedraza then moved up to 140 pounds last September and was outboxed by southpaw spoiler Jose Zepeda. He’s taking another shot as a super lightweight, this time against Molina (22-2, 9 KOs), a native of Norwalk, Calif. Molina, winner of five in a row, is coming off a pair of signature victories.

Last November, he knocked out Japanese veteran Hiroki Okada in just 65 seconds in an ESPN-televised co-feature. He followed that up with gritty eight-round decision over Imam on the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder II undercard.
 
“This May 9 fight against Javier Molina will be crucial for my career. This is a crossroads fight, and I will do everything in my power to return to the winning route against a world-class opponent,” Pedraza said. “I know Molina very well. I saw him fight while we were at the 2008 Olympics in China. He is coming off a couple of big wins and is looking for a world title shot at 140. I’m also looking for a world title shot at super lightweight, and that makes this fight a significant and interesting one. I’m working extremely hard because I know that to get a world title opportunity, I can’t have another loss on my record. I will get a big win against Javier Molina on May 9, and after that, the ‘Sniper’ will aim for a world title at 140.”
 
“I’m happy to get right back in the ring with another tough opponent. With a win over Pedraza, I feel like it should definitely set me up for a title shot next,” Molina said. “I’m excited to be on ESPN once again and continue to get that exposure. I’m just ready to go. 2020 will be my year.”

 

Shakur Stevenson and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka Team Up to Inspire “Brick City” Youth

Stevenson to defend WBO featherweight world title Saturday against Miguel Marriaga LIVE on ESPN (10:30 p.m. ET) from Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden

(Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

NEWARK, N.J. (March 12, 2020) — WBO featherweight world champion Shakur Stevenson was born and bred in Newark, a.k.a. “Brick City,” the oldest of nine children who dreamed of one day becoming a world champion and using his platform to give back to his community.

Stevenson, who won the title last October, will defend his belt for the first time Saturday from Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden against Miguel Marriaga (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). He joined forces with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka on Wednesday at the city’s Rotunda Recreation & Wellness Center to talk to a large group of local children about his journey from hometown kid to Olympic silver medalist and world champion.

Stevenson autographed posters, took photos, and gave each child an official Team Stevenson headband. Three days before his bout against Marriaga, Stevenson was all smiles and laughs, a champion embracing his celebratory homecoming.
 
“When I was younger, I didn’t have anyone to come and do something like this for me,” Stevenson said. “This means a lot to me. That’s why I enjoy coming here, and I will always try to come back to where it all started. You all make me feel good, and when I do something good, I do it for Newark.”
 
“Shakur Stevenson is a Newark native who has brought honor, Olympic glory, and a world championship to our city,” Mayor Baraka said. “Now he is bringing an inspiring message of hope, good sportsmanship, and empowerment to Newark’s youth, as a role model and exemplar. He defines the strength of Newark, and we are proud of him.”

UNDEFEATED HEAVYWEIGHT PROSPECTS ELVIS GARCIA AND SAHRET DELGADO BATTLE IN CO-FEATURE TO PHILLY SPECIAL

AT 2300 ARENA ON FRIDAY, MARCH 27

 Garcia photo credit:  DiBella Entertainment     Delgado photo credit:  Daryl Cobb

Bout will be aired Live on Impact Network

PHILADELPHIA, PA —Unbeaten heavyweight prospects Elvis “Semental” Garcia, of Jalisco, Mexico, and Sahret “The Hammer” Delgado, of Humacao, Puerto Rico, square off in an attractive eight-round co-feature on the Philly Special fight card, scheduled for Friday, March 27, at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.

The Raging Babe card is topped by the highly anticipated Philly vs. Philly matchup: Stevie Ortiz vs. Damon Allen, in a 10-round bout for Ortiz’ Pennsylvania State Lightweight Title. The card will be televised live on the Impact Network. Garcia vs. Delgado is presented in association with DiBella Entertainment.

“I’m excited to announce that we’ve added a great co-feature to Raging Babe’s Philly Special, in association with DiBella Entertainment. Mexican American Elvis Garcia takes on Puerto Rican Sahret Delgado in a rare clash of rising, unbeaten heavyweight prospects. Both fighters are coming in with stellar amateur backgrounds,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Prior to this training camp, Elvis worked as one of Anthony Joshua’s chief sparring partners for the Andy Ruiz rematch and Delgado has a great corner behind him, lead by coach Chino Rivas, who also trains Stevie Ortiz and Tevin Farmer.”

The 30-year-old Garcia, now living in Indio, CA, is 8-0, 5 KOs, as a pro. Trained by Joel Diaz, Garcia returns to the ring following a victory against Hugo Trujillo in Hollywood, CA.

Garcia also gained invaluable experience working as the “secret weapon sparring partner” that promoter Eddie Hearn referred to with regard to Anthony Joshua’s preparation for his rematch against Andy Ruiz last year. Joshua went on to decisively defeat Ruiz to regain his world title belts.

Prior to turning pro nearly three years ago, Garcia was an outstanding amateur with a record of 85-10, 42 KOs. After winning gold at the Washington State Golden Gloves, as well as a silver and two bronze medals at the USA National Tournaments, Garcia moved to Tijuana, Mexico, where he won the Mexican National Championships and the Mexican Golden Gloves Tournament twice.

The 25-year-old Delgado, living in Berlin, NJ, is 8-0, 7 KOs, as a pro. In his last fight on October 4, at the 2300 Arena, Delgado outpointed Joel Caudle over four rounds. Now trained by Chino Rivas, Delgado is a stablemate of headliner Steven Ortiz and former junior lightweight world champions Tevin Farmer and Jason Sosa.  

Delgado was a standout amateur in Puerto Rico with over 215 bouts as part of his six-year term with the Puerto Rican Olympic Team. He was the country’s National Youth Champion for three straight years and also won gold at international tournaments in Ecuador, Dominican Republic and Trinidad & Tobago.

The card kicks off at 7:30pm ET on Friday, March 27. Tickets, priced at $50, $75 and $125, are on sale now, and can be purchased by visiting 2300arena.com or by calling (267) 273-0945.

March 17: Top Prospects Josue Vargas, Julian Rodriguez, Paddy Donovan and Christopher Zavala added to Michael Conlan’s St. Patrick’s Day Garden Party

Undercard to stream LIVE on ESPN+ at 5 p.m. ET.

Tickets on sale NOW 
Sign up and view on ESPN+ at ESPNplus.com or in the ESPN App

NEW YORK CITY (March 8, 2020) — Before Irish sensation Michael “Mick” Conlan enters the ring against Colombian slugger Belmar Preciado in front of a raucous St. Patrick’s Day crowd at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden (ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET), many of the sport’s brightest young stars will look to steal the holiday spotlight.
 
Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas will make the first defense of his IBF North American 140-pound belt Tuesday, March 17 against Salvador Briceno in a 10-rounder. Vargas (16-1, 9 KOs), from the Bronx, N.Y., has won 10 consecutive bouts since an October 2016 disqualification defeat. Briceno (17-5, 11 KOs), from Guadalajara, Mexico, has won two of three since pushing undefeated prospect Gabriel Flores Jr. the distance last June in Reno, Nev. 
 
Vargas-Briceno, along with the returns of top prospects Julian “Hammer Hands” RodriguezPaddy “Real Deal” Donovan and Christopher “The Boy” Zavala, will stream live on ESPN+ starting at 5 p.m. ET.
 
“I’m excited to be fighting in my hometown on such a stacked card,” Vargas said. “It’s an honor to defend my belt in front of my friends, family and biggest supporters. I can’t wait for another spectacular fight night and to put on a show for everyone who will be watching on ESPN+.”
 
Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KOs), the fighting pride of Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., will face former top prospect Dannie Williams (24-3, 18 KOs) in an eight-rounder at super lightweight. Rodriguez fought three times in the last five months of 2019 after nearly two years out of the ring due to assorted injuries. Williams, from Saint Louis, returned to the ring last April following more than five years away from it. He last fought in January, notching a 10-round decision over Andre Keys (12-1 at the time).
 
Donovan (3-0, 2 KOs), a 13-time national amateur champion from Limerick, Ireland, will be making his American debut in a six-round welterweight contest against Gregory Young (4-3, 1 KO). Donovan is trained and managed by former middleweight world champion Andy Lee.
 
“I can’t wait for my U.S. debut. I learned so much from training alongside Tyson Fury recently,” Donovan said. “I’m taking that experience into this fight. Thank you to Top Rank for putting me on this card. Conlan’s St. Patrick’s Day cards are always exciting, and I’m happy to be part of the festivities.”

Zavala (6-0, 3 KOs), a 20-year-old from Long Beach, Calif., will fight Rennard Oliver (7-2-3, 0 KOs) in a six-rounder at super featherweight. Oliver has never been knocked out as a pro and is coming off a draw against Raul Manrique Jr. (4-0 at the time).

In other action on the undercard stream:

  • Feargal McCrory (11-0, 5 KOs), one of Ireland’s top young prospects, will make his United States debut against the durable Juan Tapia (9-3, 3 KOs) in a six-rounder at super featherweight. Tapia, who has fought the likes of current WBO featherweight world champion Shakur Stevenson, has never been knocked out as a pro.
     
  • Matthew Tinker (2-0, 2 KOs), from Scarborough, England, will face Esai Herrera (2-1, 1 KO) in a four-rounder at light heavyweight. Tinker has scored a pair of first-round knockouts to begin his career. 

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets priced at $200, $100, $70, $40 and $30 (not including applicable fees) are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.MSG.com.
 
For more information, visit www.toprank.comwww.espn.com/boxing; Facebook:facebook.com/trboxing; Twitter: twitter.com/trboxing and twitter.com/ESPNRingside; IG:instagram.com/espnringside/

 

Son of Sandman Jarel Pemberton added

to “Fight Night In Framingham” card 

Fighting Life  charity event,

 March 20th at Sheraton Hotel

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (March 2,  2020) – The son of Sandman, Jarel “Sandman” Pemberton, returns to the ring for the first time in nearly two years on the “Fight Night In Framingham” card, presented by Shearns Boxing Promotions (SBP), March 20, at Sheraton Framingham Hotel in Framingham, Massachusetts.

“Fight Night In Framingham”, the first pro boxing event ever in Framingham, is being held for the benefit of Fighting Life, an after-school youth boxing and academic empowerment program, available 100-percent free of charge, to students beginning in elementary school through high school education. 

The 28-year-old super middleweight Pemberton (3-0, 1 KO), fighting out of Revere, MA, is the son of one of New England’s all-time favorite boxers, Scott Pemberton (29-5-1, 24 KOs), the former NABF and IBU World super middleweight champion.  Pemberton was a blood-and-guts, highly entertaining type fighter best remembered for a pair of Fight of the Year candidates versus Omar Sheika.

Scott named his son, Jarel, after Superman’s father, but he never forced him into boxing.  “Me boxing had a lot to do with him,” Jarel said, “but he never pushed me into boxing.  I did go to a lot of his fights when I was young. 

“Dad saw a Superman movie and named me Jarel after Superman’s father.  I think it’s a great name, it kind of shaped my life because I’m a real comic-book nerd today.”

Jarel played football and basketball at Dartmouth (MA) High, where two of his teammates went on to play in the National Football League, Jordan Todman and close friend Arthur Lynch.  Jarel joined the U.S. Marines and he did two tours in Afghanistan as a machine gunner.  He didn’t start boxing until after he was honorably discharged, turning pro at 27.

“I wish I started boxing when I was a kid,” he added, “but I didn’t box until after I got out of the military.  People tell me I hit hard; I do have natural power.”

Pemberton, who is on the permanent reserve list to become a Revere Firefighter, is ready to get back in the ring on a regular basis, especially after being out of the ring nearly two years.

“I’m back in boxing for the long run,” he admitted.  I’d like to fight a few times in the next few months.  I’m getting in top shape for this fight and that’s a lot better than getting beat up in training by (22-0, 14 KOs welterweight from Lynn, MA) Rashidi Ellis.  I’m bigger than him but he’s so fast.”

Pemberton is matched against veteran Texas fighter Larry “Slomoshun” Smith (10-43-1, 7 KOs) in a 4-round bout.

Two unbeaten pro “graduates” of the Fighting Life Boxing Program, super featherweights Timmy Ramos (5-0-2, 5 KOs) and Nelson “Chino” Perez (2-0, 2 KOs), are fighting in the main event and co-feature, respectively. 

Ramos, fighting out of Framingham, was a two-time New England Golden Gloves champion as an amateur. He is in the 6-round, main event against super  Carlos Marrero, III (2-3-1), of Bridgeport, Connecticut. 

 Perez, who comes from nearby Marlboro, is another New England Golden Gloves champion. He faces an opponent to be determined in the 6-round co-featured event. Perez faces Indianapolis lightweight DeWayne Wisdom (7-52-2, 3 KOs).

Boston heavyweight Tracey Johnson (4-7-6), whose brother is past Olympian and reigning WBO super middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade, faces Larry “Hitman” Pryor (11-22-5, 5 KOs) in a 6-round bout.

A pair of quality MMA fighters, Albania-born super middleweight Kastriot “Slaughterhouse” Xhema, fighting out of Greenwich, CT, makes his pro boxing debut against Framingham favorite, Brazilian-born Saul “The Spider” Almeida (0-10-3, 20-11 in MMA) in a 4-rounder.  

Also fighting on the undercard, all in 4-round bouts, is Southbridge, MA welterweight Wilfredo “El Sucaro” Pagan (6-1, 3 KOs) vs. Tyrone “Hands of Stone” Luckey (9-12-4, 7 KOs),  Worcester, MA super featherweight Ranse Andino (1-1) vs. Henry Garcia (0-5-1), of New Bedford, MA, and pro-debuting Hartford, CT super flyweight Angel Gonzalez, Jr. vs. Steve Lopez (1-4) of Philadelphia.  Gonzalez is a decorated amateur boxer who is a three-time New England Golden Gloves, two-time Ringside National and 2014 National PAL champion

All fights and fighters are subject to change.

Tickets prices are $75,.00 ringside (rows 1-3), $60.00 (seated), $45.00 standing room, and VIP tables (of 10) for $1000.00 and may be purchased HERE, at UpperKuts gym, or from any of the local fighters on the card.   

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. ET, first fight at 7 p.m. ET.

Street Light Ventures is the presenting sponsor.  Other sponsors include Bernardi Auto Group, East Coast Herbalist, Tecate, Ashwood Advisors LLC and A Affordable Insurance.

 

 

Ruben Villa Closing In on Title Shot as He is Now Ranked #2 By The WBO
PHILADELPHIA, PA / ORANGE, CA- March 2, 2020 – The accolades continue to come in for undefeated featherweight Ruben Villa (18-0, 5 KOs) as he is now ranked #2 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO).
The new position has the Salinas, California native inching ever closer to a world title opportunity against amateur rival Shakur Stevenson.  Villa and Stevenson split four bouts in their amateur career.
“Now to be ranked #2 by the WBO shows that the hard work is paying off. I am looking to face any champion.  I am just being patient, and when my time comes, I will be ready for that opportunity,” said Villa.
Villa is co-promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing.

For regular updates on our fighters, events, and promotions, please like the  Banner Promotions Facebook Page, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter@BannerBoxing.

Photo by Emily Harney / Banner Promotions

DEONTAY WILDER VS. TYSON FURY II FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES & PHOTOS

WBC Heavyweight World Champion Wilder & Lineal Champion Fury Square Off Before Highly Anticipated Rematch This Saturday, February 22 Headlining Historic Mega PPV Event Live from the 
MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas

Click HERE for Photos from Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Click HERE for Photos from Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

LAS VEGAS (Feb. 20, 2020) — Unbeaten WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and undefeated lineal heavyweight champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury nearly came to blows at a heated final press conference Thursday as they previewed their highly anticipated rematch headlining a historic mega PPV event this Saturday, February 22 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
 
Wilder and Fury exchanged words and shoves on stage, just two days before they reignite their rivalry in the ring for the most eagerly awaited heavyweight showdown in decades.
 
Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased at www.mgmgrand.com or www.axs.com. The event is promoted by BombZquad Promotions, TGB Promotions, Top Rank and Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions. A Premier Boxing Champions presentation.
 
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Wednesday from the MGM Grand Garden Arena:
 
DEONTAY WILDER
 
“I truly realized my power during my current knockout streak. I looked at my record and realized I was running through guys and knocking them out. You don’t just go in and knock a human out based on will, you really have to have the power to do so, and through that I realized I had something different. I am just applying my service to my greatness and I am going to use my power up until I can’t use it anymore.”
 
“My power is God-given; I don’t have to do anything at all. I don’t have to lift weights or do a special type of cardio; it’s born with me. It’s an amazing feeling to have it and to be in this position, out of all the things I could be doing, God placed me in this position. As fighters, we are free in this sport, we say as we please with less consequences, so when I use my platform, I use it well. If people see what I do in my occupation and see that I bring the greatness out of myself, then that will translate to people that look up to me.”
 
“Anything is possible in the ring, but it comes down to if he can back up his words. That is where your preparation for the fight comes out. One thing for sure, though, I am a great fighter on my back foot. That’s when I’m able to really time you and set you up, and have you run into my own traps. He has a lot of things going on in his camp so that tells you how nervous he is.”
 
“I don’t believe anything Fury says. I think he is just trying to butter me up and use a lot of mind games. He did that in the first fight to try and steal rounds, so we were lucky that we had experienced judges that weren’t influenced by that. I am not concerned with what I says, I am more focused on what he does. I am a man of action.”
 
“I am planning for everything, but I think when coming forward doesn’t work for him, he will resort to what he knows. He may try to come forward at first, but once he feels my power, that will stop quickly.”
 
“Round 12 has been in his mind since day one, that’s why he ran away from the rematch. In the back of Fury’s mind, he will think about how I gave him a concussion and how he had no idea how he even got on the ground.  So, I do believe that round is in his head, and if he says otherwise, he is lying.”
 
“I deserve to be here because of the talent I have and what I am able to do.  I have been knocking guys out for 12 years, so this is nothing new to me.  I mean what I say, and I say what I mean, and I am exactly where I am supposed to be.”
 
“You can see that we’re both emotionally invested in this. We both want to give you all the best of us. Come Saturday night, we’re going to release all of our energy in the ring and it’s going to stay there.
 
“This is the moment I’ve been waiting for, and I’m sure he’s been waiting as well. There are so many odds looking in and helping to put the heavyweight division on notice. This division has had tremendous action these last few years. Our first fight was amazing, and this is going to be an even more intense.”
 
TYSON FURY
 
“Wanting to go head to head with him is a bold move, but we fight fire with fire. When I went at him in the first fight, though, he could not contain me. If I start doing that in round one, then he will be gassed by round five and hanging on for dear life, if he even gets that far.”
 
“The 12th round of our first fight was a good round, and credit to Wilder, he got me with two of the best punches I have ever seen thrown in a 12 round heavyweight fight. As we have seen, that has become very famous, the ole’ knockdown of the Gypsy King was very active online and all over the world. But the thing Wilder must be thinking is, I hit that guy with my hardest punch in round 12, and he got up. What do I have to do to keep him down?”
 
“The biggest puncher who ever lived should have to problem opening my cut up.  He could not keep me down in the 12th round, so now I want to see if he is able to get up off the floor.  I don’t think he has the guts to get up.”
 
“I gave Wilder the biggest payday of his life and brought him to the biggest stage. Deontay owes me everything, I brought him to this level, and this is his second fight at the top.”
 
“He’s going to try to and the right hand. If I’m stupid enough to get hit with it, I deserve to lose. I hit the floor last time, but I showed that I’m truly a fighting man. If he can’t finish me, I’m going to eat him up.
 
“Kenny Bayless is a top referee; he has refereed me before and he did a good job. I have no objections with the referees and judges, whoever they are they are, they will do a good job.”
 
“It’s been no secret that I’m looking for a knockout. That’s why I hired SugarHill and went back to Kronk. He gets you to sit down on that big right hand, and that’s the game plan.”
 
“What I did last time clearly was not good enough, and what better club to go to than Kronk? I know they can bring out of me exactly what I need for this fight.”
 
JAY DEAS, Wilder’s Co-Trainer
 
“We don’t worry about weight. We don’t even use the scale at the gym. As long as he’s training hard and eating well, which he always is, the weight just is what it is. He’s a freak of nature, so we’re not worried about what the other guy brings as far as his weight. Deontay has always been the lighter guy. It’s normal for us. It’s usually advantageous for us.”
 
“Sugar is a great trainer, so we are ready for the best Tyson Fury. When Deontay wins this fight, he will get the credit for beating Tyson at his absolute best. I don’t want any talk about anything else. I want both guys at their best, and I think that’s what we’ve got.”
 
“Its fight week, this is what is supposed to happen. This is what happens when you have the two best heavyweights in the world, both undefeated and highly motivated. I wouldn’t expect anything less than this type of energy.
 
SUGARHILL STEWARD, Fury’s Trainer
 
“Tyson Fury is a very tall heavyweight, so we believe that he can carry more weight, along with his power. He’s a big, strong heavyweight and extra weight won’t hurt him. He still moves around just like a super middleweight. Plus, he still has the ring IQ to set things up. We’re just adding some punching power to his arsenal.”
 
“I am excited watching the fighter’s reactions today. Up until now it has been quiet and subtle.  Today you saw the mood swings, and all the hard work the fighters have put into their training camps. Emotions are going up, and emotions are going down, but this is what big-time boxing is.  Both of these fighters have a chip on their shoulder and are expressing themselves as they should.”
 
“I feel as if I have done everything he asked for. He wanted to be better technically, more aggressive, and be a big dominant heavyweight.”

# .#  #

 ABOUT DEONTAY WILDER VS. TYSON FURY II
Wilder vs. Fury II will see the highly anticipated rematch between unbeaten WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and undefeated lineal champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury as they headline a historic, mega PPV event Saturday, February 22 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
 
The Wilder vs. Fury II PPV begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features former heavyweight world champion Charles Martin squaring off against former title challenger Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington for a 12-round IBF Heavyweight Title eliminator in the co-main event. WBO Junior Featherweight World Champion Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete, a.k.a. “The Mexican Iron Man” will defend his title against Filipino contender Jeo Santisima in the PPV featured bout. Plus, in the PPV opener, super welterweight sensation Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora will face 2016 Australian Olympian Daniel Lewis in a 10-round battle of unbeatens.

 

Atlantic City Favorites Anthony “Juice” Young Plus DeCarlo Perez as well as undefeated Thomas Velasquez added to Huge Fight card on Saturday, March 7th at Ballys Atlantic City Hotel and Casino
Derrick Webster takes on Gabriel Pham in a South Jersey Super Middleweight Showdown in the main event 

Atlantic City, NJ (February 20, 2020)– Some more local flavor has been added  to an already terrific night of boxing that will take place on Saturday, March 7th at

Ballys Atlantic City Hotel and Casino.
Atlantic City natives in welterweight contender, Anthony “Juice” Young plus super middleweight DeCarlo Perez pas well as undefeated super featherweight Thomas Velasquez will be added to an impressive lineup that will be headlined by a eight-round South Jersey Super Middleweight Showdown between Derrick Webster and Gabriel Pham.
Young has a record of 21-2 with eight knockouts.  The 32 year-old Young is a nine-year professional who has wins over Jose Javier Calderon (4-1) and his last bout when he burst into contendership when he stopped former junior middleweight world champion Sadam Ali (27-2) in three rounds on May 4th in Las Vegas.
Young will be making his 13th appearance in Atlantic City.
Perez has a record of 17-6-1 with five knockouts, will be competing in a six-round super middleweight bout.  The 28 year-old Perez is a 10 year-professional who has wins over Shamone Alvarez (21-5), Dante Moore (8-0-2), Jamar Freeman (9-1-2), Marcus Willis (13-3-2), Tyrone Bruns (22-2-1), Jesse Nicklow (24-5-3), Juan Ubaldo Cabbrera (23-0), Lanell Bellows (16-1-1),.  In his last bout, Perez won an eight-round unanimous decision over cross-town rival Antowyan Aikens on September 8, 2018 in Atlantic City.
Perez will making his 10th hometown start.
Velasquez of Philadelphia has a record of 9-0-1 with five knockouts.  The 24 year-old Velasquez is a five year professional, has  Grashino Yancy (1-0).  In his last bout, Velasquez battled to a draw with Tyrome Jones on September 19, 2017 in Bethlehem, Pa.
Opponents for Young, Perez and Velasquez will be announced shortly
Besides those four aforementioned bouts, Isiah Seldon (13-3-1, 4 KOs) of Atlantic City fights Darryl Bunting (4-6-2, 2 KOs) of Asbury Park, NJ in a six-round super middleweight fight. 
Jeremy Cuevas (12-1, 9 KOs) of Philadelphia takes on an opponent to be named in an lightweight bout.
Christian Tapia (10-0, 9 KOs) of Coamo, Puerto Rico fights Carlos Colon (5-2, 2 KOs) of Hatillo, Puerto Rico in a super featherweight contest.
Jan Carlos Rivera (4-0, 4 KOs) of Philadelphia takes on an opponent to be named in a super lightweight contest.
In four-round bouts:
Benny Sinakin (5-0, 3 KOs) of Philadelphia takes on Francisco Neto (1-8, 1KO) of Woburn, Mass. in a light heavyweight contest.
Jeff Lentz (5-1, 1 KO) of Lanoka Harbor, NJ takes on an opponent to be named in a middleweight fight.
Tickets are on sale now for $100 for VIP, $65 for Ringside and $50 for VIP and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com  and at The Caesars Box Office.

March 28: KO King Artur Beterbiev to Defend Light Heavyweight World Titles Against Meng Fanlong Live on ESPN 

The Quebec City showdown will air live on ESPN starting at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

QUEBEC CITY, Canada (Feb. 15, 2020) — WBC/IBF light heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev, boxing’s reigning knockout king, will look to make it a Sweet 16 north of the border. Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs), the sport’s only current world champion with a 100 percent KO rate, will defend his titles against IBF No. 1 contender Meng Fanlong Saturday, March 28 from Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada.

The Russian-born Beterbiev has made his home in Montreal for several years and will fight in his adopted home country for the first time as a world champion. This is title defense number four for Beterbiev, who unified titles last October with a sensational knockout victory over Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk.
 
Beterbiev-Fanlong and a co-feature will be televised LIVE on ESPN beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The undercard will stream on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Groupe Yvon Michel, Roc Nation Sports and Gestev, tickets priced ($CA) at $542, $330, $275, $137, $104, $75 and $55 (including fees and taxes) go on sale Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 10 a.m. ET and are available via www.ticketmaster.ca and in person at the Videotron Centre box office.
 
“Artur Beterbiev is uniquely motivated to put on a show for his Canadian fans, as he returns to Canada as a unified world champion,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Like Artur, Meng was a tremendous amateur. He’s fought around the world and will not be intimidated as a challenger in foreign territory.”
 
“Team Meng has waited a very long time for his opportunity, and now his time is here,” said Dino Duva of Roc Nation Sports and Meng’s promoter. “Artur Beterbiev is one of the best fighters in the world, and that’s what will make this fight so special for Fanlong. I sincerely believe Fanlong will win and make history. I cannot wait for March 28 in Quebec City.”
 
Beterbiev was a standout Russian amateur who competed for his homeland at the 2012 London and 2008 Beijing Olympics, but he moved to Montreal to begin his professional career. A seven-year pro, Beterbiev fought 10 of his first 11 bouts in the province of Quebec, building a devoted fanbase in his new home. He knocked out Enrico Koelling in 12 rounds to win the IBF light heavyweight world title in November 2017. Two successful title defenses followed before he met WBC world champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk last October. In one of the best fights of the year, Beterbiev stopped Gvozdyk in 10 rounds to unify the belts.
 
“I’m very much looking forward to defending my IBF and WBC titles against mandatory challenger Meng Fanlong on March 28 in beautiful Quebec City,” Beterbiev said. “I’m training hard, improving every day, and I intend to perform at my best in front of my Canadian supporters!”
 
Fanlong (16-0, 10 KOs), from Chifeng, China, was a 2012 Olympian who advanced to the round of 16 before turning pro in January 2015. He is an experienced road warrior, as he traveled to Monaco and knocked out former British light heavyweight champion Frank Buglioni in November 2018. Last June, in a world title eliminator, he survived an eighth-round knockdown to secure a unanimous decision over the then-unbeaten Adam Deines. He stayed busy last October in New Jersey with a second-round stoppage over Gilberto Rubio. Fanlong is aiming to become the first male Chinese boxer above featherweight to capture a world title.
 
“I am truly honored to be fighting Artur Beterbiev for the light heavyweight championship,” Fanlong said. “I have worked hard to earn the mandatory position, and I plan on being the first Chinese light heavyweight champion in history. This is just the beginning.”

 

ISAAC CRUZ SCORES UPSET WIN OVER SHOBOX: THE NEW GENERATION VETERAN THOMAS MATTICE FRIDAY ON SHOWTIME®
Ra’eese Aleem Wins Via TKO Over Adam Lopez; Montana Love and Joseph Jackson Earn Impressive Unanimous Decision Victories At 2300 Arena in Philadelphia
Catch The Replay Monday, February 17 At 10 p.m. ET/PT On SHOWTIME EXTREME®
Click HERE for Photos; Credit Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME
PHILADELPHIA – February 14, 2020 – Undefeated 21-year-old lightweight prospect Isaac Cruz stunned ShoBox: The New Generation veteran Thomas Mattice in a closely contested majority decision win in the ShoBox main event Friday night from 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pa. Watch the fight highlights HERE

Isaac Cruz (R) stuns Thomas Mattice (L).

Cruz, of Mexico City, rode his superior work rate, a lethal body attack, and his ability to neutralize Mattice’s jab to the victory. The judges scored the fight 95-95 and 96-94 twice.
Cruz threw an average of 69.4 punches per round, compared to 57.8 punches per round for Mattice. The much shorter Cruz, standing at 5’4″ ½, was fearless from the opening bell and held an 82-31 advantage in body punches connected. Mattice, 5’8″ ½, was also out-jabbed 34-30. Making his sixth appearance on ShoBox, Cleveland’s Mattice was hampered by another slow start, a theme in his previous appearances on the prospect development series. Through the first two rounds, Cruz held advantages of 49-15 in overall punches landed and 39-8 in power punches connected.
“We were going for the knockout but it didn’t come up so we’ll take the decision,” said Cruz. “I thought I won all 10 rounds. I don’t know what fight the judges were watching. Round one to 10 I dominated and I was never hurt.”
A strong finish in the 10th and final round was not enough for Mattice to salvage a draw.
“I came up short,” said Mattice. “He was the better man. He could hit a little bit. I started out a little slow, trying to see what he had. He jumped out to an early lead and I was just trying to get familiar with his power. I have no excuses. He was the better man tonight.”  
In the co-featured bout, Ra’eese Aleem (16-0, 10 KOs) burst onto the scene in his national television debut, putting on a boxing clinic by scoring a fourth-round TKO in a scheduled eight-round super bantamweight bout over San Antonio’s Adam Lopez (19-4-2, 9 KOs).
Aleem, from Muskegon, Mich., proved to be overwhelming for Lopez, who was making his record eighth appearance on ShoBox. From the opening bell, Aleem attacked from all angles as a reactive and slower Lopez was unable to cope with the wide array of punches. The 29-year-old Aleem held a commanding 92-11 advantage in overall punches, including a lopsided 61-7 power punches advantage.
With blood dripping from his nose and scalp, Lopez’s corner asked referee Gary Rosato to stop the fight at 1:31 of round four. Watch the TKO HERE
“I put in a lot of hard work,” said Aleem, who now lives and trains in Las Vegas. “I didn’t see any film on the guy but knew he was a tough Mexican fighter. Once we got in there, I could see the speed difference. I could see his punches coming. I did rush some punches and made some mistakes. But it was good and I kept my hands up and my speed and movements were good. And I’m glad I stopped him. I didn’t want to go the distance.
“I want a world title fight and I’m knocking on the door. I’m hungry and I’m ready. I know Danny Roman just lost the title. Brandon Figueroa, whoever is there in the top-10 I’m ready for. I’m hungry and I’m coming and I want that fight.”
In the second fight of the four-fight telecast, Cleveland’s flashy unbeaten super lightweight Montana Love (13-0-1, 6 KOs) improved his record to 2-0-1 on ShoBox, putting in a professional display en route to a unanimous decision over Jerrico Walton (16-1, 7 KOs), who fights out of Houston by way of New Orleans. The judges scored the fight 78-74 and 77-75 twice. Watch fight highlights HERE
“I think Love did enough to win,” said SHOWTIME Hall of Fame analyst Steve Farhood. “The rounds he won, he won more convincingly. Love did the serious damage in the fight.”
Walton, with noted trainer Ronnie Shields working his corner, threw slightly more punches than Love, but in a fight decided by big moments, Love had more of them, especially in the late rounds. Love was more accurate on his power punches (43 percent to 21 percent) and in body shots (56-23). The southpaw also hurt Walton on two separate occasions, but the 29-year-old did enough to hang on and survive the rounds.
“I give my performance a C-plus,” said the 25-year-old Love. “I could have been more active in there. I didn’t get hit a lot and I hurt him a few times but I let him off the hook.
“I was getting off good shots, and the thing I’m mad about is that the fight should not have gone the distance. I’m ready for whatever’s next. My team is trying to get me to 135 pounds.”
Walton was making his national television debut. “I think the fight was closer than it was scored; I think it was at least a draw,” he said. “I don’t think the fight was 78-74. I’m very disappointed but I’m not going to stop. They’re going to see me again. This is only going to push me harder.”
With his first career loss, Walton became the 191st fighter to lose his undefeated record on ShoBox, boxing’s ultimate proving ground.
In a battle of unbeaten super welterweights making their ShoBox debuts in the telecast opener, North Carolina’s Joseph Jackson (16-0, 12 KOs) handed Derrick Colemon, Jr. (11-1, 8 KOs) his first career loss. Jackson overcame a slow start to earn the unanimous decision. The scores were 77-75, 80-72, 78-74. Watch the decision HERE
The younger and more aggressive Colemon of Detroit started strong, controlling the first three rounds before the savvier and more mature Jackson commanded the second half of the bout. In rounds six through eight, Jackson out-landed Colemon 76-19 overall and 50-9 on power punches. Jackson’s movement and activity frustrated and tired Colemon, who went past five rounds for the first time in his career. Farhood scored the first three rounds in favor of Colemon and the final five rounds for Jackson.
“We just dug deep and got the job done,” said the 31-year-old Jackson. “I’d give my performance an eight out of 10. I know I can show better. I had about 40 people come out from Greensboro, N.C., and support me.
“I’ll fight whoever they put out in front of me next. It’s SHOWTIME and my first televised fight and first fight outside of North Carolina so it was important to put on a show.”
Friday’s fights were promoted by King’s Promotions in association with GH3 Promotions. The full telecast will replay on Monday, February 17 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available on SHOWTIME ANYTIME® and SHOWTIME on DEMAND®.
The four-fight telecast was the third of four ShoBox presentations over six weeks showcasing some of boxing’s brightest young prospects in their toughest tests to date. Hall of Famer Barry Tompkins called the action from ringside with fellow Hall of Famer Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

Famed Manager Jackie Kallen predicts unbeaten Mykquan Williams will be her 6th world champion

MANCHESTER, Conn. (February 12, 2020) – Women’s pioneer Jackie Kallen, the first and arguably most successful female manager in the boxing history, strongly believes unbeaten 21-year-old “Marvelous” Mykquan Williams (15-0-1, 7 KOs) will develop into her sixth world champion.

Mykquan Williams

Williams, fighting out of East Hartford, CT, is the reigning the World Boxing Council (WBC) United States super lightweight champion.

“Mykey has a lot of the qualities as some of the greats in boxing,” Kallen said.  “He has some of the flash and speed of fighters like Ray Leonard, and the training habits and dedication of Thomas Hearns and Mike Tyson.  He also has a killer smile and good looks like Hector Camacho, Sr.

“Mykey can go all the way to a world title.  He has the speed, attitude, and heart, along with exceptional boxing ability.  He has been groomed perfectly by his trainer, Paul Cichon, who has kept Mykey true to his style, working hard to perfect his skill.  Mykey trains hard, eats right, and takes the game seriously.”

“Jackie’s very experienced and knowledgeable in boxing,” Williams remarked.  “She’s worked with some great, world-class fighters, so she knows the route to take for me to get there.”

Cichon added, “I sought out Jackie as our manager because of her love for the sports, as well as the knowledge of that she brings to the table.  She’s very well respected, as she certainly deserves to be.”

Boxing has dramatically changed since Kallen covered her first fight for a Detroit daily newspaper in 1978.  The card showcased Hearns and Mickey Goodwin.  She became an instant fan and wrote about boxing on a regular basis.  A legendary trainer/manager based in Detroit, Emanuel Steward, hired her as a publicist for his famed Kronk Gym.  Some of her best friends to this day are fighters who she worked with back then.  She and Hearns still get together.

After serving as Kronk’s publicist for a decade, Kallen decided to branch out and she started managing fighters.  Her first client was heavyweight Bobby Hitz, who today is a successful promoter and restaurateur in Chicago.  She went on to manage a group of Who’s Who fighters, including world champions James Toney, Bronco McKart, Tom “Boom Boom” Johnson, Pinklon Thomas and Nonito Donaire.

Kallen, who overcame sexism in the boxing industry, is best known, perhaps, for her working relationship with Toney, largely because her life during that period was the inspiration for the popular 2004 movie, Against the Ropes, starring Meg Ryan as Kallen.

“Boxing today is a totally different animal,” she explained. “That’s not to say it’s better or worse, just different.  There used to be more gyms in every city, heavy amateur programs, lots of shows on television networks, and enough local club shows to keep a young fighter active.  I had guys back then who fought 8 to 10 times a year, which, of course, is almost impossible in 2020.

“There wasn’t as much information available on opponents either.  If you were lucky, you could buy a tape. If the fighter hadn’t been on television, though, you were out of luck.  There was no Internet, so there was nothing like BoxRec to check opponents’ records.  You just had to believe the matchmaker.  I had fighters expecting to fight a 14-4 guy who found out at the weigh in that he was actually 16-0.”

Boxing, likely the second-oldest profession, has continued to survive, albeit often on a roller-coaster ride.

“Today’s fighters are not as quick to fight each other as they were in the days of Hearns/Hagler/Leonard/Duran,” Kallen noted.  “Back then, fighters wanted to really fight to be the best they could be.  I see fighters today being more analytical and taking less chances.

“There are also more sanctioning organizations today.  Back then it was most the WBA, WBC and IBF.  Not to mention there was never one person who managed dozens and dozens of boxers at the same time.  The game has definitely changed!”

Kallen, though is still heavily invested in the sport she loves.  Confident Williams will be her next world champion, her dream is to be inducted into the Hall of Fame with Toney.

“In 1992,” Kallen concluded, “I was named ‘Manager of the Year’ and my love for the sport has never waned.  As long as there is talent out there needing guidance, I will stay active.”

 

Garden March: Shakur Stevenson-Miguel Marriaga and Michael Conlan-Belmar Preciado Headline Separate Hulu Theater at MSG Shows March 14 and March 17

Stevenson to defend WBO featherweight world title against Marriaga as part of ESPN-televised doubleheader Saturday, March 14 starting at 10:30 p.m. ET

Conlan-Preciado and Mikaela Mayer against former world champion Melissa Hernandez top special St. Patrick’s Day bill LIVE on ESPN+ beginning at 8 p.m. ET

NEW YORK CITY (Feb. 11, 2020) — Shakur Stevenson, the 22-year-old phenom on the cusp of pound-for-pound greatness, will make the first defense of his WBO featherweight world title Saturday, March 14, against three-time world title challenger Miguel “Escorpión” Marriaga at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
 
Three days later, Irish featherweight Michael “Mick” Conlan will make his annual St. Patrick’s Day pilgrimage at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in a 10-rounder against hard-charging Colombian veteran Belmar Preciado.
 
The Stevenson-Marriaga co-feature will see former junior featherweight world champion Jessie Magdaleno fight the unbeaten Sakaria Lukas in a 10-round featherweight showdown. Stevenson-Marriaga and Magdaleno-Lukas will be televised LIVE on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.
 
Conlan-Preciado and a 10-round female super featherweight showdown between the unbeaten Mikaela Mayer and former featherweight world champion Melissa Hernandez will stream live in English and Spanish on ESPN+ beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
 
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets for the Stevenson-Marriaga and Conlan-Preciado cards are priced at $200, $100, $70, $40 and $30 (not including applicable fees) and go on sale Friday, Feb. 7 at 12 p.m. ET. Tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.MSG.com.
 
For a limited time, when purchasing a ticket online to one of these cards, you will then be given the option to purchase discounted tickets to the other event.
 
“What a great two nights of boxing on ESPN and ESPN+, as we get to see Shakur Stevenson defend his title against the big-punching Marriaga and Mick Conlan continue one of boxing’s great traditions,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “New York is going to turn out in force to watch two of boxing’s great young stars.”
 
Stevenson (13-0, 7 KOs), the pride of “Brick City”, Newark, N.J., was the first male boxer from the 2016 Rio Olympics to win a professional world title. Last October, he bested Joet Gonzalez via unanimous decision to win the vacant WBO featherweight world title. The Gonzalez win punctuated a banner year for the Olympic silver medalist, who also defeated former world title challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz on the Terence Crawford-Amir Khan PPV undercard. Last July, he headlined an ESPN telecast in front of an adoring hometown crowd of more than 5,000 at Prudential Center, knocking out Alberto Guevara in three rounds.
 
“We’ve been trying to make this fight with Miguel Marriaga for a long time now,” Stevenson said. “I wanted a strong opponent for my first title defense. He’s been in the ring with multiple world champions, and I am ready to prove that I am the best featherweight in the world. This is my fourth fight at Madison Square Garden, but my first as a world champion, and it will be my best performance yet. I know all of my East Coast fans will come out and support on March 14.”
 
Marriaga (29-3, 25 KOs), one of the division’s hardest punchers, is hoping the fourth time’s a charm. He fell short in previous world title challenges against Vasiliy Lomachenko, Oscar Valdez and Nicholas Walters, but he’s riding a four-bout winning streak (all by KO). He last fought in December 2019, knocking out Alfredo Mejia Vargas with a body shot. A native of Arjona, Colombia, he’s been scouting Stevenson as a potential foe.
 
“I always wanted this fight, and the time is right now that he’s a world champion,” Marriaga said. “He speaks often about how people are ducking him, but here I am. Colombia will have a new world champion March 14.”
 
Magdaleno (27-1, 18 KOs) is 2-0 as a featherweight since losing his junior featherweight world title to Isaac Dogboe in one of the best fights of 2018. A native of Las Vegas, he is coming off a unanimous technical decision over Rafael Rivera last August in Los Angeles. Lukas (23-0, 16 KOs), from Namibia, is one boxing’s best-kept secrets, a nine-year pro who has three knockouts in his last four fights.
 
“The guys people don’t know about are the dangerous ones,” Magdaleno said. “With the mindset I have now, I don’t think anybody can beat me. “My trainer {Jorge Capetillo} and I are looking ahead. I’m just waiting on what’s next, but we have to take care of business against Lukas first. Once we do that, I have every right to call out all of the champions.”
 
“There is a Desert Storm coming to New York in the name of Sakaria Lukas, and this storm is targeting the destruction of Jessie Magdaleno,” Lukas said.
 
Conlan (13-0, 7 KOs) has made Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden his professional home, as he turned pro in front of a sold-out St. Patrick’s Day crowd there back in 2017. In the years since, he has graduated from prospect to contender, as he’s the No. 1 contender for the title held by Stevenson. He went 3-0 in 2019, including a decision win in December over Olympic nemesis Vladimir Nikitin. Preciado (20-2-1, 13 KOs) will be making his third ring appearance outside of his native Colombia, and he has won two in a row since a KO loss to former world title challenger Hiroshige Osawa. 
 
“I’m honored to return to the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden, and fight for the fourth straight St. Patrick’s Day,” Conlan said. “I know how tough Preciado is, but this fight is a great test as I continue on my path towards becoming a world champion. Fighting in New York City is very special for me. The fans have been very supportive right from the beginning at my pro debut on St. Patrick’s Day in 2017, and I look forward to putting on another tremendous show for them this year.”
 
“The fans will be there to see Conlan, but mark my words, they will remember me,” Preciado said. “I am more than just another ‘opponent.’ When I win, I won’t be surprised. I am prepared for a hard 10 rounds.”
 
Mayer (12-0, 5 KOs), who turned pro in August 2017 after representing the United States at the 2016 Rio Olympics, has been dominant in the paid ranks. One of the 130-pound division’s top contenders, she last fought Oct. 26 on the Shakur Stevenson-Joet Gonzalez undercard, knocking out Alejandra Zamora in six rounds. Hernandez (23-7-3, 7 KOs), winner of four of her last five, won the WBC female featherweight world title in 2012. Last April, she dominated then-unbeaten Selina Barrios over eight rounds.
 
“I’m excited to be fighting again in New York City, especially on St. Patrick’s Day at Madison Square Garden,” Mayer said. “I love that I’m going up against a former world champion because it’s going to make for a very competitive, exciting event. I’m also happy to be on a Mick Conlan card. He has a huge Irish and European fan base whom I hope to impress and turn into fans. See you at MSG!”

 

 

GH3 Promotions Fighters in Action This Weekend
Five Fighters to compete In Philadelphia on Friday and one more on Saturday in Nashville
Nutley, NJ (February 11, 2020) — Six members of the GH3 Promotions stable will be in action this weekend, as the company will have three fighters featured on ShoBox: The New Generation card on SHOWTIME (10 PM ET/PT)  on Friday night from the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.
In the main event, GH3’s Thomas Mattice (15-1-1, 11 KOs) of Cleveland, Ohio takes on Isaac Cruz (18-1-1, 14 KOs) of Mexico City in a 10-round lightweight bout.
In the co-feature, Adam Lopez (19-3-2, 9 KOs) of San Antonio, Texas battles undefeated Raeese Aleem (15-0, 9 KOs) of Las Vegas in an eight-round super bantamweight contest.
Opening up the television portion of the card will be Derrick Colemon Jr. (11-0, 8 KOs) of Detroit taking on fellow undefeated fighter Joseph Jackson (15-0, 12 KOs) of Greensboro, N.C., in an eight-round super welterweight bout.
Before the camera’s begin rolling, undefeated heavyweight Norman Neely (5-0, 5 KOs) of Paterson, N.J., takes on Jersey City’s Nicoy Clarke (2-5) in Neeley’s first scheduled six-round bout.
Also Friday night in Philadelphia, middleweight Ian Green (12-2, 9 KOs) of Paterson, N.J., takes on Ray Barringer (6-3, 4 KOs) of Cleveland, Ohio in a six-round middleweight fight.
Saturday night in Nashville, Tenn., former National Golden Gloves champion and undefeated Roney Hines (7-0, 5 KOs) of Cleveland battles Johnnie Langston (8-1, 3 KOs) of Sarasota, Fla., in a six-round heavyweight bout.
“We have all our guys in tough this weekend,” said Vito Mielnicki of GH3 Promotions. “I am really looking forward to seeing these fights, and how our fighters perform. A couple of the guys, namely Mattice and Lopez are on the cusp of some big opportunities. I think Colemon has a chance to establish himself as a top prospect.  Green has won on ShoBox before and wants to get back there.  And the two big heavyweights, Hines and Neeley, are taking the next steps on becoming top-prospects themselves.”
Banner Promotions Signs Undefeated Heavyweight Isaac Munoz Gutierrez to a Co-Promotional Deal with United Promotions
Philadelphia, Pa. – February 11, 2020 – Banner Promotions has signed undefeated heavyweight Isaac Munoz Gutierrez to a co-promotional deal with United Promotions.
Gutierrez, 27 years-old of Torreon Coahuila de Zaragoza, Mexico has a record of 12-0-1 with 10 knockouts.
“We are happy to bring Isaac to Banner Promotions.  He is a very good prospect that was brought to my attention by Don MacDonald of United Promotions.  I have seen him and he has good power. I feel that he will make waves in the heavyweight division,” said Banner Promotions President Artie Pelullo.  
“I feel very happy to sign with Banner Promotions. Being with a big company will be great for my career.  With Banner and United Promotions, I feel my career can go to big heights, and I am grateful for that,” Said Gutierrez.
“I have known Artie Pelullo for 25 years, and I know what he can do.  I feel Artie and Banner Promotions is the promoter that will make the inroads for Isaac in the heavyweight division,” said Don MacDonald of United Promotions.
Gutierrez was 220-20 as an amateur, and was a multi-time Mexican National champion, and was part of the Mexican National boxing team for two years.  Gutierrez competed in the World Series of Boxing.
Gutierrez turned professional on September 9, 2011 with a 1st round stoppage over Misael Jossy Chavez.  Gutierrez has established himself as a power puncher, and is coming off a 1st round stoppage over Jesus Alberto Martinez Torres on September 7th.
“We are extremely happy to sign with Banner Promotions.  This is exactly what we wanted, and need for Isaac’s career.  I have known about Banner Promotions and Artie Pelullo for a long time, and I know he can get Isaac to the top level,” said Gutierrez manager, Manuel Garrido.

For regular updates on our fighters, events, and promotions, please like the  Banner Promotions Facebook Page, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter @

 

1988 Olympic gold medalist

“Merciless” Ray Mercer

Looks back at his Olympic experience

Ray Mercer Olympic Champion

Ray Mercer Olympic Champion

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (February 11, 2020) – Thirty-two years after he captured an Olympic gold medal, “Merciless” Ray Mercer fondly remembers his Olympic experience like it was last month.  Mercer, who is the only American heavyweight champion to knock out all of his Olympic opponents, went on to become world heavyweight champion as a professional for our “heavyweight double.”

For Mercer, it all started in Germany, where his U.S. Army unit was based. Offered a chance to avoid a 30-day field exercise, Mercer accepted an offer to serve as a sparring partner for the post’s heavyweight boxing champion.  Despite never having put on a pair of gloves before, Mercer was a quick learner who was naturally strong, and he rapidly developed into the 1985 U.S. Army and Inter-service heavyweight champion.

The World Class Athlete Program (WCAP), in which qualified athletes have an opportunity to train fulltime for the Olympics, didn’t exist back then, nor the Olympic qualifier rules of today.  Mercer defeated future world heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison in the opening round of the 1988 Olympic Trials and another future world heavyweight titlist, Michael Bentt (5-0) in the championship final.  At the 1988 USA Olympic Box-offs at famed Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Mercer won a split decision (3-2) over Bentt, but Mercer had already qualified to fight in the Olympic Games by being the U.S. Armed Forces champion.

“When I was in the Army, I had to win in the service, maintain things, and go to the next step,” Mercer remembered.  “I had to beat some good fighters on my way to the Olympics, and I was in the best shape of my life.  There was more discipline in the amateurs than the professional ranks. The final year before the Olympics, I left my home unit, traveled a lot to fight, and stayed in my trainer’s house instead of living in the barracks.

Mercer made history at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, when he became and remains the only Olympic heavyweight champion from the United States to knockout all four of his opponents:  Rudolf Gavenciak (Czechoslovakia – RSC3), Luigi Gaudiano (Italy – KO1), Arnond Vasnderlyde (Netherlands – RSC2) and Baik Hyun-Man (South Korean – KO1).

“I knew I had to knockout the South Korean in the final,” Mercer admitted.  “I just wanted to do what I could to be the Olympic gold medalist.  I don’t think I used a jab.

“Winning the Olympic gold medal resulted in some big-time changes for me.  I became a celebrity, a household name, and it allowed me to make money as a professional. The best thing that ever happened to me was winning the Olympic gold medal, even more than winning the world title as a pro.  Nothing compared to becoming an Olympic gold medalist.  I accomplished my dream.  I had never dreamed of going pro, until after I won the gold medal.

RayMercer vs Tommy Morrison

“It was really important to win that gold medal.  I fought with my heart; no money was involved, celebrated so hard that night (after winning the gold medal) that I lost my medal for a few hours.  My dream had come true, my hands were shaking, and I lost my medal. What a night!”

Mercer offers members of the 2020 USA Boxing Olympic Qualification Team one bit of advice, “Keep fighting, follow your dream and take that last step.”

Mercer, who was born in Jacksonville, Florida, made his much-anticipated pro debut in 1989, stopping Jesse McGhee in the third round of their fight in Atlantic City. “Merciless” won his first 18 pro fights, including a ninth-round knockout of Francisco Damiani, followed by a successful defense against Morrison, who was stopped in the fifth round.

During his 19-year pro career, Mercer compiled a 36-7-1 (26 KOs) record, defeating four world champions in Damiani, Morrison, Tim Witherspoon and Ossie Ocasio.  Five of his eight career losses were to world champions: Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko, Larry Holmes, Evander Holyfield and Shannon Briggs. 

“Ray represents everything that makes USA Boxing proud,” said Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Director.  “As an Army veteran, Olympic gold medalist, and heavyweight champion of the world, he has demonstrated excellence and professionalism that reflects the best of what USA Boxing has to offer.”

USA Boxing Announces 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Qualification Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (February 1, 2020) — USA Boxing announced today the 13 boxers who will represent Team USA at the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games Tokyo Boxing Qualification Events, as well as the 13 alternates. A full list can be seen below. 

The team was announced following the two-stage qualification process that began in December at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing in Lake Charles and concluded at the recent 2020 Strandja Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria. The full athlete selection procedure can be seen here.

“First of all, this was a very difficult decision,” stated USA Boxing Head Coach Billy Walsh. “Some of these boxers were neck and neck between training camp and the 2020 Standja Tournament.”

“We feel the 13 boxers that earned their place on the Olympic Qualification Team will be the best team to represent Team USA at the upcoming qualifiers, as well as have the best opportunity to qualify a full team to the 2020 Olympic Games Tokyo.”

All 13 boxers will have two chances to punch their ticket to Tokyo. The first will take place at the America’s Qualification tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 26 – April 3. Boxers who do not qualify in Argentina will have one final opportunity at the World Qualifier in Paris, France, May 13-24. Click here for more information on how boxers qualify

The boxers, as well as several training partners, will return to the United States Olympics and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Feb. 5 for their next training camp. 

Follow USA Boxing on social media to stay up to date on training and news of the Olympic Qualification Team. 

USA Boxing Olympic Qualification Team
51 kg: Virginia Fuchs, Houston, Texas
52 kg: Anthony Herrera, Los Angeles, Calif.
57 kg: Andrea Medina, San Diego, Calif.
57 kg: Bruce Carrington, Brooklyn, N.Y.
60 kg: Rashida Ellis, Lynn, Mass.
63 kg: Keyshawn Davis, Norfolk, Va.
69 kg: Oshae Jones, Toledo, Ohio
69 kg: Delante Johnson, Cleveland, Ohio
75 kg: Naomi Graham, Fayetteville, N.C.
75 kg: Joseph Hicks, Grand Rapids, Mich.
81 kg: Rahim Gonzales, Las Vegas, Nev.
91 kg: Darius Fulghum, Houston, Texas
91+ kg: Richard Torrez Jr., Tulare, Calf. 

USA Boxing Olympic Qualification Team Alternates
51 kg: Christina Cruz, Hell’s Kitchen, N.Y.
52 kg: Abraham Perez, Albuquerque, N.M.
57 kg: Lupe Gutierrez, Sacramento, Calif.
57 kg: David Navarro, Los Angeles, Calif.
60 kg: Amelia Moore, Alexandria, Va.
63 kg: Ernesto Mercado, Pomona, Calif.
69 kg: Briana Che, Madison, Wisc.
69 kg: Freudis Rojas Jr., Dallas, Texas
75 kg: Morelle McCane, Cleveland, Ohio
75 kg: Javier Martinez, Milwaukee, Wisc.
81 kg: Atif Oberlton, Philadelphia, Pa.
91 kg: Jamar Talley, Camden, N.J.
91+ kg: Antonio Mireles, Des Moines, Iowa

INFORMATION:

www.usaboxing.org

Twitter: @USABoxing

 

 

EXPLOSIVE HEAVYWEIGHT SHOWDOWN, JUNIOR FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT & BATTLE OF UNBEATEN RISING CONTENDERS ADDED TO WILDER VS. FURY II PPV UNDERCARD 

Former Heavyweight Champion Charles Martin Battles Former Title Challenger Gerald Washington in Title Eliminator in Co-Main Event
Junior Featherweight World Champion Emanuel Navarrete Defends His Title Against the Philippines’ Jeo Santisima in PPV Featured Bout & Super Welterweight Sensation Sebastian Fundora Opens PPV in Battle Against 2016 Australian Olympian Daniel Lewis 
Saturday, February 22 in Historic Mega PPV Event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (Jan. 30, 2020) — Three exciting, high-stakes showdowns have been added to the PPV undercard for the historic, mega PPV event headlined by the highly anticipated rematch between unbeaten WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and undefeated lineal champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury taking place Saturday, February 22 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
 
In the co-main event, former heavyweight world champion Charles Martin will square off against former title challenger Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington in a 12-round IBF Heavyweight Title eliminator. The PPV begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and includes the PPV featured bout as WBO Junior Featherweight World Champion Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete, a.k.a “The Mexican Iron Man” defends his title against Filipino contender Jeo Santisima. In the PPV opener, super welterweight sensation Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora will face 2016 Australian Olympian Daniel Lewis in a 10-round battle of unbeatens.

 

Hard-hitting 115-pound prospect Ricardo “El Niño” Sandoval (17-1, 12 KOs) of Riverside takes on Filipino contender Raymond “Tornado” Tabugon (22-11-1, 11 KOs) in a 10-round main event of the February 6th edition of Thursday Night Fights at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino’s Special Events Center. The event will be co-headlined by Oscar “El Jaguar” Negrete and Alberto “Impacto” Melian in a 10-round battle for the vacant WBA International Bantamweight title.

The Fantasy Springs Resort Casino is located at 84-245 Indio Springs Dr, Indio, California.

Former heavyweight champion Michael “Double M” Moorer will be the special VIP guest for the event. He’ll be in attendance to meet fans, sign autographs and take pictures inside the Special Events Center. The meet-and-greet is open to the public with the purchase of a ticket to the event.

 

Big Baby is Back: Top Rank Signs Jarrell Miller to Promotional Agreement

Miller to return on Top Rank on ESPN platform in 2020 

(Jan. 29, 2020) — Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, the big-talking, undefeated, 300-plus-pound heavyweight who hails from Brooklyn, has signed a multi-fight promotional deal with Top Rank. Miller, who is co-promoted by Greg Cohen Promotions and Salita Promotions, will make his Top Rank on ESPN debut in 2020.

“Jarrell Miller is serious about coming back, doing things the right way and becoming heavyweight champion of the world,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “He is one of boxing’s most unique and exciting characters, but most importantly, he can fight.”

“Minor setback for a major comeback. I’m coming for everything and everyone. No one is safe. Say hello to the bad guy,” Miller said. “Everyone wants to portray the superhero. We don’t live in a sunshine world. I’ll never be the superhero. In my world, the majority of the time, the villain wins.”

“I couldn’t be happier that after months of hard work and perseverance, we were able to make this deal a reality,” said Greg Cohen, CEO of Greg Cohen Promotions. “Top Rank is the perfect partner and ESPN the perfect platform for Jarrell to realize his full potential and become the dominant force in the heavyweight division. Time for Big Baby to get back in the ring!”

“Top Rank was my first promoter when I was fighting, so I know firsthand that Bob Arum and his team will create the right opportunities for Jarrell,” said Dmitriy Salita, President of Salita Promotions. “Top Rank promotes many of the top heavyweights, including Tyson Fury, and Jarrell fits right in with all of the big names in the division. Since I started promoting Jarrell as a six-round fighter, I have been saying that he would be the next heavyweight champion from Brooklyn. Working with Top Rank, I am confident he will have the chance to realize that goal.”

Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs) is one of boxing’s most polarizing figures, a combination-punching heavyweight who also went 22-2 as a professional kickboxer. Under the Marquess of Queensberry rules, he has won 19 consecutive bouts since a four-round draw in his fifth professional fight. From 2017-2018, he rose the ranks with dominant wins over Gerald Washington, Mariusz Wach, Johann Duhaupas and Tomasz Adamek, all of whom had previously challenged for a heavyweight world title. He last fought in November 2018, knocking out Bogdan Dinu in four rounds.

Miller signed to fight Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden for the unified heavyweight title last June, but he failed multiple VADA tests and was denied a license by the New York State Athletic Commission. Now, armed with a new long-term deal, Miller is determined to reclaim his status as one of the world’s best big men.

The China Throwdown: Esquiva Falcao—Ainiwaer Yilixiati Middleweight Clash Set for Ramirez-Postol Co-Feature February 1 LIVE on ESPN

Two-fight telecast to begin at 10 p.m. ET
ESPN+ undercard stream to start at 8 p.m. ET

HAINAN, China (Jan. 28, 2020) — Undefeated Brazilian middleweight contender Esquiva “La PanteraFalcao will look to turn back Chinese contender Ainiwaer Yilixiati in a 10-round middleweight fight Saturday, Feb. 1 at Mission Hills Haikou in Haikou, Hainan, China. Falcao- Yilixiati will serve as the co-feature to the highly anticipated bout between WBC/WBO junior welterweight world champion Jose Ramirez and former world champion Viktor “The Iceman” Postol (ESPN, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).
 
The undercard will stream on ESPN+ beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
 
“We’ve promoted Falcao since the beginning of his career, and this is his opportunity to showcase his tremendous ability in front of a large audience on ESPN,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum.
 
“2020 is the year I challenge for a world title, but my journey continues in China against a very tough opponent,” Falcao said. “This is a chance to show I can compete with all the middleweights, and at 30 years of age, I am in the prime of my career. My amateur career took me all over the world, and I can’t wait to travel to Haikou to put on a show for the Chinese people, my fans back home in Brazil and everyone watching on ESPN.”
 
Falcao (25-0, 17 KOs), a 2012 Olympic silver medalist, turned pro following a stellar 215-15 amateur run that also included a bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships and a gold medal in 2012 at the prestigious Cheo Aponte Tournament. He turned pro under the Top Rank banner in 2014 and is now ranked in the top 15 by three of the four major sanctioning organizations. A southpaw boxer-puncher, Falcao went 3-0 in 2019 with knockout wins over Manny Woods and Jesus Antonio Gutierrez, in addition to a decision win in Brazil against Jorge Daniel Miranda. Yilixiati (17-1, 12 KOs) has won seven in a row, including a pair of victories since moving down to the middleweight ranks.
 
In live action on the ESPN+ undercard stream:

  • Unbeaten Chinese prospect Yongqiang Yang (13-0, 10 KOs) will face Filipino veteran Jhon “The Disaster” Gemino (21-12-1, 11 KOs) in a 12-rounder for the WBO International 130-pound belt. In July 2018, Yang knocked out the big-punching Harmonito Dela Torre in two rounds on the Manny Pacquiao-Lucas Matthysse undercard, and he most recently stopped JR Magboo in two rounds to win the WBO Global lightweight title.
     
  • Rising Chinese lightweight Jianhao Diao (2-0, 2 KOs) will take on Eduardo “The Nightmare” Mancito (18-10-2, 9 KOs) in a six-rounder.
     
  • Korean super middleweight prospect Sung Jae Jo (11-0, 8 KOs) will fight Zulipikaer Maimaitiali (12-2-1, 8 KOs) in a 10-rounder for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific title.

 

SATURDAY: Sensational Super Lightweight Sean McComb Headlines #MTKFightNight Card Against Mauro Maximiliano Godoy LIVE on ESPN+

Live stream from Ulster Hall in Belfast to begin at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT

(Jan. 28, 2020) —The 2020 premier of #MTKFightNight on ESPN+ will feature super lightweight sensation Sean McComb in a 10-round test Saturday against veteran Mauro Maximiliano Godoy from Belfast’s historic Ulster Hall.
 
McComb-Godoy will headline an action-packed fistic afternoon beginning at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT on ESPN+. The card will also be available in Spanish on ESPN+.

McComb (9-0, 4 KOs), also known as “The Public Nuisance,” will be making his eighth ring appearance in Belfast, where he has become a fan-favorite due to his outgoing personality and go-for-broke style. He went 4-0 in 2019 and was featured on the ESPN+ stream of Michael “Mick” Conlan’s Belfast homecoming card last August. In his last bout, he recovered from a fourth-round knockdown to easily outpoint Emiliano Dominguez Rodriguez over eight rounds. Godoy (32-5-1, 17 KOs), from Argentina, has won two of his last three and previously held the South American super lightweight title.
 
In other action on the ESPN+ stream:

  • In a 10-round battle for the vacant Irish lightweight title, Gary “The Diva” Cully (9-0, 4 KOs) will fight Belfast native Joe “The Dragon” Fitzpatrick (10-0, 7 KOs), who has won three in a row by knockout.
     
  • 2016 Irish Olympian Davey Oliver Joyce (11-1, 8 KOs) will look to bounce back from his first career defeat against former IBF bantamweight world champion Lee Haskins (36-4, 14 KOs) in a 10-rounder for the WBO European junior featherweight title. Joyce will be moving down from featherweight for this fight, while Haskins has won two straight since losing his world title to Ryan Burnett in June 2017.
     
  • Belfast native Lewis “The Croc” Crocker (10-0, 6 KOs) will fight former British title challenger John Thain (17-4, 1 KO) in an eight-round welterweight tilt.

For more information, visit www.toprank.comwww.espn.com/boxing; Facebook: facebook.com/trboxing; Twitter: twitter.com/trboxing

Mike Hilton Remains Undefeated with Unanimous Decision over Baldimir Hernandez in Trenton, New Jersey
 
Bunch, Julan, Thomas and Sowirko all register Knockout Victories
Undefeated Mike Hilton

Undefeated Mike Hilton

Trenton, NJ (January 27, 2020) – Mike Hilton remained undefeated with a six-round unanimous decision over Bladimir Hernandez in the main event of the inaugural ChampBox fight card promoted by Silver Bow at the Cure Insurance Arena in Trenton, New Jersey.
Hilton of Trenton, NJ won by scores of 60-54 on all cards to raise his record to 10-0. Hernandez of Chihuahua, Mexico is 20-15.
Shinard Bunch annihilated Fabian Lyimo in 35 seconds of their scheduled six-round welterweight bout.
Bunch dropped Lyimo in the opening seconds with a vicious left hook. Lyimo, who was in trouble, and was stopped on a follow up flurry.
Bunch of Trenton is 7-1 with six knockouts. Lyimo of Tanzania is 23-12-2.
Frederic Julan remained undefeated with a 2nd round stoppage over Fidel Munoz in a scheduled six-round light heavyweight bout.
In round two, Julan dropped Munoz with a right hook that had him down for referee Alan Huggins 10-count at 38 seconds.
Julan of Brooklyn, NY is 12-0 with 10 knockouts. Munoz of Barranquilla, COL is 39-22-1.
Chris Thomas blew out Engelberto Valenzuela in round one of a scheduled six-round light heavyweight bout.
Thomas came out and was all over Valenzuela and dropped him in the corner. Thomas dropped him for a 2nd time with a perfect right to the head and the fight was stopped at 1:13
Thomas of Toms River, NJ is 15-1-1 with 10 knockouts. Valenzuela Sonora. MEX is 12-17.
LaQuan Evans won a four round unanimous decision over Alberto Delgado in a middleweight bout.
Evans of Philadelphia won by scores of 40-36 on all cards and is now 3-1. Delagado of Roanoke, VA is 1-10-4.
Jakub Sowirko remained undefeated by stopping Mike Moore in the final round of their crusierweight bout.
The time of the stoppage was 32 seconds for Sowirko of Trenton who is now 2-0 with one knockout. Moore of Bristol, PA is 1-2.
Photo By Daniel Cork

    

Ruben Villa Camp Notes
World-Ranked Featherweight Contender Headlines against Alexei Collado on January 31st on ShoBox: The New Generation and Live on SHOWTIME® (10 PM ET/PT)
Ruben Villa

Ruben Villa

Philadelphia / Orange, Ca. – January 28, 2020 – Undefeated featherweight and world-ranked Ruben Villa (17-0, 5 KOs) is winding down his training for his 10-round showdown with Cuban knockout artist Alexei Collado (26-2, 23 KOs), this Friday night at the Hirsch Memorial Coliseum in Shreveport, Louisiana. The bout will headline a three-fight telecast on ShoBox: The New Generation and live on SHOWTIME (10 PM ET/PT).  
Villa has been working hard just outside of his native Salinas, California. 
“Training camp has been good. I have been training in Prunedale which is a little bit outside of Salinas, but its close enough, so in a way I am home, but I am not at home.”
 In Collado, he is facing a tough veteran, who has an impressive knockout ratio.
 “Collado is a real strong aggressive guy. He is a veteran. I have to be cautious because of his power and play it very smart on our end.” 
With a winning performance on January 31st, Villa can see himself in the middle of the featherweight title chase as he looks to improve on his number-five ranking by the WBO. 
“I feel like I’ve proven myself with the last couple of fights. I feel like I belong in the top-five if not higher. I feel that a win will set me up for bigger and better things. ”   
Villa has been more them grateful to accelerate from prospect to contender on the series that has showcased more than 75 world champions.
“Another main event on ShoBox. I am excited to showcase my talents in Louisiana again. It’s motivation to prove myself to people that I should be the main event.”
“I am usually just real focused. I know the featherweight division is stacked, but I am really just focused on what is in front of me and focused for the fight. After we are finished on January 31st, my team and I can figure out what is next; however, I feel that I am close to competing for a world title.”
 Villa is promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing.
Undefeated Ukrainian and 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist Taras Shelestyuk (17-0, 10 KOs) meets Argentina’s Luis Alberto Veron (18-1-2, 9 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight matchup in the co-featured bout. The televised opener features an eight-round lightweight bout pitting ShoBox veteran Zhora Hamazaryan (9-1-1, 6 KOs) of Armenia  against Sulaiman Segawa (13-2, 4 KOs) of Uganda.
The event is promoted by Banner Promotions, Thompson Boxing and Bishop Promotions LLC. Tickets can be purchased at  www.Bishoppromotions.com and prices are $20-$100.  
CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS BY BRETT OSTROWSKI / MJS ENTERTAINMENT

IOC Boxing Task Force – Asian/Oceanian Tokyo 2020 boxing qualifying event to be held in Jordan in March

The IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) announced today that the Asian/Oceanian Tokyo 2020 boxing qualifying event will be held in Amman, Jordan, from 3 to 11 March 2020.

The event, originally planned to take place in Wuhan, China, from 3 to 14 February 2020, was rescheduled after yesterday’s joint decision by the BTF and the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) to cancel the competition due to the developments regarding the coronavirus outbreak reported in the Chinese city. 

After a careful review of all alternatives, the BTF approved the proposal of the Jordan Olympic Committee (JOC) today, in order to confirm the competition dates and location as soon as possible, in the best interest of the athletes preparing for the qualifier.  

Logistical and operational details will be shared with National Olympic Committees (NOCs), National Federations and officials in the coming days. 

The BTF would like to thank all the NOCs that offered their support to re-organise the competition at such short notice.

 

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Abraham Nova Takes out Pedro Navarrete in Four Rounds

NEW YORK (January 21, 2020) – This past Saturday night, Split-T Management’s world-ranked junior lightweight contender Abraham “Super” Nova was explosive in stopping veteran Pedro Navarrete in the 4th round of their scheduled eight-round bout at The Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.

In round two, Nova landed a perfect left hook to the body that sent Navarrete to the canvas.  In round three, it was an overhand right to the head that put Navarrete to the on the deck.  In the opening seconds of round four, Nova landed three left hooks that dropped and eventually stopped Navarrete at 35 seconds.
Nova, of Albany, New York, is ranked number-seven by both the WBA and WBO  is 18-0 with 14 knockouts.  Navarrete, who has fought three future world champions and five more foes that competed for world titles, is now 30-25-3.
Nova was making his Top Rank debut and is co-promoted by Murphy’s Boxing and 12 Rounds Promotions.

DEONTAY WILDER VS. TYSON FURY II LOS ANGELES PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES & PHOTOS

Unbeaten WBC Heavyweight Champion Wilder & Undefeated Lineal Heavyweight Champion Fury Preview Highly Anticipated Rematch Taking Place Saturday, February 22 in FOX Sports PPV & ESPN+ PPV from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas

LOS ANGELES (January 13, 2020) – Unbeaten WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and undefeated lineal champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury continued their war of words and previewed their much anticipated rematch at a Los Angeles press conference on Monday before they square off Saturday, February 22 in a historic, joint FOX Sports PPV & ESPN+ PPV from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
 
Wilder vs. Fury II will come 14 months after their thrilling first fight that saw Wilder retain the title via split draw, after Fury miraculously rose from a 12th round knockdown to finish the fight. It is one of the most memorable moments in recent heavyweight history, and on February 22 the two undefeated titans will take their war of words back into the ring to stake their claim as the best heavyweight in the world.
 
Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased at www.mgmgrand.com or www.axs.com. The event is promoted by BombZquad Promotions, TGB Promotions, Top Rank and Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions. A Premier Boxing Champions presentation.
 
The charismatic stars put their magnetic personalities on display at the press conference, each laying claim to a rightful victory in their first contest, while also declaring their intent on finishing the rematch with an emphatic knockout victory. Here is what the press conference participants had to say Monday from The Novo by Microsoft at L.A. Live:
 
DEONTAY WILDER
 
“It’s great to be back for another big event. This is the biggest title fight of this era for sure and I can’t wait. I’m always in my element. I’m always in the zone. Right now I just can’t wait for February 22.
 
“My body feels like its walking into the sixth week of camp instead of the third week. It’s been amazing to have the quick turnaround after the Ortiz fight in November. I’m coming in shape. I put shape on top of shape and it’s allowed me to prepare even harder for Fury.
 
“We all know in rematches I’m always sharp because I’ve been in there before and I know what my opponent is capable of doing and what they plan on doing. I’m prepared more than ever for this fight.
 
“I knocked him out the first time we fought. I told him two years ago I was going to baptize him. Rising up is part of the baptism. But this a different story. This is unfinished business. Because he’s in WWE I’m going to make sure he gets knocked out of the ring, I might even come down with a flying elbow from the top rope.
 
“Fury not wanting the rematch me immediately definitely made this fight bigger. We had two warmups. I had a lot more dangerous road than he had though. He played it safe, while I went to the mountain top and climbed it. I’m building for my legacy.
 
“If he beat me, then why all the new trainers? Every day it changes. Firing and hiring. He wants to talk about being out of shape the first time, but he was in great shape. He spent 100,000 pounds on all those camps. I still to this day have the same people with me and I don’t need to change it.
 
“When you’re facing power there’s no way around it. You can’t prepare for that. You just have to hope that when it lands, it doesn’t do that much damage. He doesn’t even know how he got on the ground or how he got up in the first fight. He’s been dealing with feeling ever since the end of the first fight.
 
“I’m going to do exactly what I said I would do. I’m going to knock him out. I’m the lion. I’m the king of the jungle. I’m going to rip his head off his body. Everyone sit tight and buckle up. It’s going to be a fun ride on the way to giving everyone the best fight you’ve seen in your lives.
 
“This is a major fight for the public and everyone should be excited. It doesn’t’ get any better than this. Two giants and two champions, putting it all on the line for everyone’s entertainment. We’re leaving it all in the ring to see who is the king.
 
“There’s so many things that go through my head as I take my time to adjust and time my opponent’s movements. I’m building the data I need to set him up for that perfect punch. There’s a lot of things that come with skills. Not just the average fundamentals. There are a lot of different things and that’s what makes boxing what it is. My ring IQ is very high and that’s how I set them up. I know everything he wants to do. He gave me 100% of him already.
 
“He believes in his heart that he’ll knock me out. I always teach people to speak it, believe it and receive it. The magic of it all is in the belief. Though he’s saying those things, I don’t feel in his energy that he believes that. I feel like he’s nervous because of what happened the first time.
 
“I just learned from the first fight that I need to be calmer. I’m going to be a lot more patient in this fight, just like in the second Luis Ortiz fight. The object of boxing is to win, not just to win rounds. And I win in devastating fashion.”
 
TYSON FURY
 
“The consensus is either he knocks me out, or I win on points. Usually when people have that opinion, it goes the opposite way around. Expect him to box and me to be looking for the knockout.
 
“He thinks I’m going to come out herky-jerky with my famous style, but I want him to meet me in the center of the ring and have a slugfest, best man wins. I didn’t have the gas to finish him in the last fight, but this time I can turn that screwdriver until he’s gone. Let’s make it a Marvin Hagler vs. Tommy Hearns type of fight. I’ll meet you Inthe middle of the ring on February 22. Just watch out for the right hand, because you’re going to sleep in two rounds.
 
“We finally have the rematch and I can’t remember a bigger heavyweight fight in a long time. Maybe Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson was the last big one like this and that was another U.S. vs. U.K. showdown.
 
“Deontay Wilder hasn’t been returning my calls or messages since I beat him last time. He’s trying to keep his distance. He didn’t want to be around me so I can get in his head. But I don’t think you can really get in anyone’s head. At the end of the end of the day, it’s just talk. It doesn’t really matter what we say. It matters what happens on February 22.
 
“What’s going to happen in this fight is that I’m going to get what I rightfully won last time. I’m going to get the green belt and keep my lineal title. And if he wants to rematch me after, I’ll beat him again. I’ve already beat him once, and I know I can beat him three times in a row.
 
“I’m going to win, that’s what I do. Deontay Wilder can make all the excuses he wants to make. Everyone on his team can tell him he won that fight, but as a fighting man, you know when you win and lose a fight. I’m going to go out there give him a boxing lesson and knock him out.
 
“You’re never a finished article, you can always improve. I like to keep freshening things up every now and again. I don’t make excuses. I won fair and square and we get to do it again. I’m ready for a fight today.
 
“I’m the best of my era and I took that title from Wladimir Klitschko. Nobody disputed he was the best and I took that from him, until someone beats me, that’s my title.
 
“He’s going to try to and the right hand. If I’m stupid enough to get hit with it, I deserve to lose. I hit the floor twice in the first fight, but it’s all about how you respond, I’m a fighting man. If he can’t finish me, I’m going to eat him up.
 
“I’m looking for a knockout. That’s why I hired Sugarhill. He gets you to sit down on that big right hand. That’s what I’m looking for. There’s the game plan. If I wasn’t looking for a knockout, I would have sharpened up what I did in the last fight. I’m not coming for that. I’m looking for my 21st knockout.
 
“When I get him in there again, I’m going to make him feel the fury. I’ve never been as sure of anything in my whole life. As sure as I was this morning putting this suit on. 100 percent he can’t win He’s got a puncher’s chance like anyone else. I’m much sharper and more fit now. I’m ready to rumble right now. I hope he train hard and goes to bed sleeping thinking about me.”
 
TOM BROWN, President of TGB Promotions
 
“On February 22, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, it’s going to be bombs away. We have two superstars here. The best two heavyweights in the world. Both fighters are going to show a lot of passion at this press conference and all the way leading up to this fight because there is so much at stake.
 
“These are the best in boxing. There is nothing like a big heavyweight championship fight. We have the undefeated hardest punching, the most feared heavyweight in the world and I believe one of the all-time great heavyweights in Deontay Wilder.
 
“There is a reason Fury and his team didn’t want the immediate rematch right after the first fight. He’s taken a couple of tune-up fights instead because he felt that power on December 1. That’s not going to change this time, he can just ask Luis Ortiz.
 
I was lucky enough to promote the first fight and I believe we have something special in this rematch. I look forward to a fantastic fight on February 22 and we’ll see everyone there.”
 
TODD DUBOEF, President of Top Rank
 
“We talk about boxing having a renaissance, but it’s really about the heavyweight division. That’s what is going to create that renaissance more than anything right now.
 
“Tyson is so true, so gritty and he backs it up with everything he does. When you combine it with Deontay Wilder, you have two great personalities. This is really the beginning of the next super heavyweight run for the sport of boxing.”
 
SUGARHILL STEWARD, Fury’s Trainer
 
“This fight here is one of those fights that you don’t want to miss. The first one was one not to miss as well and I’m sure you all watched the replay. You have two great champions here going at each other. Both fighters left the ring still undefeated last time and still wanting to settle the store. On February 22, the score will be settled.
 
“The heavyweight division is still the biggest and most powerful division in boxing. It always will be. Everyone wants to see the fighters throwing the big blows. Wilder is one of the hardest hitters in history and Tyson is one of the best boxers. I’m happy to be training. with Tyson Fury. It’s been about 10 years since we trained together. He trained with me and Emanuel Steward and I’m here to complete what Emmanuel started.”