Boxing News Stories and Press Releases



Current  USA  BOXING  NEWS Stories  and Press  Releases   



For Immediate Release:

Manny Pacquiao defeats Keith Thurman via a split decison to capture WBA Welterweigtht title

By Ron John Rinaldi

July 21 – Las Vegas, Nevada. Before a sellout crowd of over 14,000 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao, 146 1/2,  beat previously  undefeated WBA Welterweight Champion Keith “One-time” Thurman via split decision to capture his title

Pacquaio (L) dropping Thurman in round one.

Going into the bout, Manny was the favorite at -150, while Thurman was the underdog at +125. Meanwhile Pacquaio’s trainer Freddie Roach bet $5,000 oh his man, while Thurman made three bets to knock out Pacquaio in rounds 1, 2, or 7.

In an exciting give and take affair, that saw action throughout its twelve full rounds, both fights acquitted themselves well and gave the fans their money’s worth.

Pacquaio (R) and Thurman (L) squaring off with the other.

At the start of the fight Thurman, 146 1/2,  came out fast in round one scoring with straight rights to Pacquaio’s head and lefts to the body. Then with a 28 seconds remaining in the round, Manny raced after a retreating Thurman and landed a quick three punch combinations of right-left-right to the jaw that dropped Keith swiftly to the ring floor. Though it was a flash knockdown, it soon set the tone off the fight, which was that the 8 Division World Champion Pacquaio at age 40 was still a dreaded adversary to face within the ring ropes. It also gave the Filipino a 10-8 round, which would be a telling factor later during the tallying of the scores.

Pacquaio still had the speed, both hand and foot,  that he had since his younger days and even carried the punch with him as well.  Like the song he came into the ring with, Survivor’s  Eye of The Tiger, Manny never stopped punching during the bout, eventually bloodying Thurman’s nose and causing a swelling under his eyes.

Pacquaio (R) land a hard righ to the jaw of Thurman (L).

To his credit, Thurman fought like the champion he is and scored well and often with straight rights, right uppercuts and lefts hooks that landed with power on his aggressive foe. For instance he stunned Manny several times in round 7, catching the Filipino legend with jarring blows to the chin and ribs, a couple of which stunned him.

It was just that Manny threw the greater number of blows 696 to Thurman’s 571, though Thurman landed 210 to Manny’s 195. regardless, Thurman could never catch up, though he gave it his all throughout.

The judges scored it a close split decion with Manny winning by two judges’ scores of 115-112, while one judge gave it to Thurman by a score of 114-113. The USA Boxing News also scored it for Pacquaio by a score of 115-112.

Thurman (L) lands a hard left hook to the ribs.

Manny whose record upped to 62-7-2 (39 KO’s) pocketed a guaranteed $10 million plus a percentage of sales, which should bring his take up to around $20 million, said after the bout, “He [Keith Thurman] did his best, and I did my best, and i think the two of us gave the fans their money’s worth.”

Meanwhile Thurman whose record fell to a still impressive 29-1 (23 KO’s) also brought home a large guaranteed purse of $2.5 million plus a percentage of receipts, which should bring his final tally to about $8 million, was gratuitous in defeat, and said, “This was a beautiful night of boxing. Manny got the victory over me. I wish I had more output. I would love a rematch.”


Maryland Takeover: Teofimo Lopez Defeats Masayoshi Nakatani

Lopez prevails via unanimous decision in IBF Lightweight world title eliminator
 Subriel Matias KOs Maxim Dadashev in IBF Junior Welterweight world title eliminator

Teofimo Lopez (L) wins a unanimous decision in IBF Lightweight world title eliminator over Masayoshi Nakatani (R).

(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank)
OXON HILL, Md. (July 19, 2019) — Next up for Teofimo Lopez – a title shot. Lopez passed the toughest test of his young career, defeating the previously undefeated Masayoshi Nakatani via unanimous decision (118-110 2x and 119-109) in an IBF lightweight world title eliminator in front of 2,100 fans at The Theater at MGM National Harbor.

This was the first time Lopez had gone past seven rounds.

“They wanted to see me go the distance. I did 12 rounds. I’m still a champ,” Lopez said. “I just need little tune-ups. It’s part of the process. I’m thankful right now. It was my first main event. It was 12 rounds. Am I proud of it? No, but I’m proud that I showed everyone I could go 12 rounds.”

Said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum: “He has a lot to learn. It’s the tallest guy he ever fought. It was tough adjusting to it. The guy was a dangerous puncher. It was a good performance. I wanted him, when he had the guy going, to put the pedal down. The good thing that comes from this is that we know he can go 12 rounds. That’s always a question in my mind. Could he go 12 rounds, and the answer is yes.”  

Lopez (14-0, 11 KOs) will face world champion Richard Commey later this year. But against Nakatani (18-1, 12 KOs), he faced an immovable object and ultimately got the job done.

Matias stops Dadashev in junior welterweight title eliminator

Subriel Matias (14-0, 14 KOs) used a hellacious body attack to stop Maxim Dadashev following the 11th round of an IBF junior welterweight world title eliminator.

At the time of the stoppage, Matias led comfortably by scores of 109-100, 108-101 and 107-102. He is now the top contender for the world title belt held by Scottish superstar Josh Taylor.

After the fight, Dadashev was taken to a local hospital, and he is scheduled to undergo brain surgery.

“First of all, I’m very grateful for this opportunity,” Matias said. “I showed that I am not just a power puncher. I also can box. I was dominating the fight. I focused my offense on going to the body, and that’s how I stopped him from running.

“I hope that Maxim is alright. He is a great fighter and a warrior.”

— Esquiva Falcao (24-0, 16 KOs) continued his march towards a middleweight world title shot, stopping Jesus Antonio Gutierrez (25-4-2, 12 KOs) in the eighth round of a scheduled 10-rounder. Falcao scored a knockdown in the eighth, and an accumulation of punches forced referee Kenny Braslow to stop the bout.

“He was a very tough fighter. I was prepared because of that,” Falcao said. “I saw that I hurt him, and I went for the knockout. I told myself that if I want to be a world champion, I needed to knock out this guy. Bob Arum, I’m ready for my title shot! I’ll go anywhere. Japan, Brazil, it doesn’t matter.”

— Tyler McCreary (16-0-1, 7 KOs) escaped with a split decision over veteran Jessie Cris Rosales (22-3, 10 KOs) in an eight-round lightweight fight. The scores were as followed: 77-75 McCreary, 77-75 Rosales and 78-74 McCreary.

— Middleweight prospect Tyler Howard (18-0, 11 KOs) secured an eight-round unanimous decision over Jamaal Davis (18-15-1, 7 KOs) by scores of 80-72 2X and 78-73.

— Heavyweight prospect Cassius Chaney (16-0, 10 KOs) knocked out Joel Caudle (8-3-2, 5 KOs) in the first round of a scheduled eight-rounder, knocking Caudle out of the ring before finishing things off moments later.

— Washington, D.C. native Dusty Hernandez-Harrison  (33-0-1, 19 KO) thrilled the hometown fans, knocking out Colombian veteran Juan De Angel (21-12-1, 19 KOs) in the seventh round of a middleweight bout.

— In a battle of unbeaten lightweights, Rolando Vargas (3-0, 3 KOs) stopped Nathaniel Davis (1-1, 1 KO) at 1:50 of the second round of a crowd-pleasing brawl.

August 17: Jose Benavidez Jr.-Luis Collazo and Emanuel Navarrete-Francisco De Vaca Set for Inaugural Fight Card at Banc of California Stadium LIVE on ESPN

Live on ESPN & ESPN Deportes at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
Tickets starting at $25 go on sale Tuesday, July 16 at 10 a.m. PT

LOS ANGELES (July 15, 2019) — The soccer field will become a fistic battleground Saturday, August 17, as Jose Benavidez Jr. will battle former world champion Luis Collazo in a 10-round welterweight co-feature at Banc of California Stadium, the home of Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles FC.

In the other co-feature, WBO junior featherweight champion Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete will make the second defense of his title against the undefeated Francisco “Panchito” De Vaca.

Benavidez-Collazo and Navarrete-De Vaca will headline the inaugural fight card at the year-old stadium and will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The undercard, including the returns of unbeaten super lightweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr., welterweight contender Chris van Heerden, undefeated middleweight sensation Janibek Alimkhanuly and featherweight Adam Lopez, will stream live on ESPN+ — the leading multi-sport streaming service — starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zanfer Promotions and Iron Boy Promotions, tickets priced at $100, $80, $70, $60, $45 and $25 (not including applicable fees) go on sale Tuesday, July 16 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased at, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 and in person at the Banc of California Stadium box office.
“I am very focused, and I see this as a must-win fight,” Benavidez said. “Collazo has been in the game for a long time and is still a top fighter, but I am going to push him towards retirement. He looks good for his age, but trust me, youth will prevail when we fight.”
“I’m coming for everything they said I couldn’t have,” Collazo said. “Talk is cheap. I’m here to show that I’m still one of the top welterweights in the world.”
Benavidez (27-1, 18 KOs) is coming off his most notable performance to date, a spirited effort in a 12th-round TKO loss versus pound-for-pound great Terence Crawford in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Crawford-Benavidez was ESPN’s most-watched boxing event of 2018, and now, the Phoenix native has a chance to return to title contention with a victory over Collazo (39-7, 20 KOs). A native of Brooklyn, New York, Collazo held a piece of the welterweight title from 2005-2006 and has remained a top contender in the 13 years since he lost his belt via controversial decision to Ricky Hatton. Collazo has won three in a row since falling short in a title challenge to Keith Thurman, most recently edging Samuel Vargas by split decision on St. Patrick’s Day at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Navarrete (27-1, 23 KOs) has won 22 consecutive bouts dating back to 2012, but his breakthrough came last December when he upset Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe via unanimous decision to win the WBO junior featherweight title. Five months later, in Tucson, Arizona, he repeated the deed, this time knocking out Dogboe in the 12th round. A native of San Juan Zitlaltepec, Mexico, Navarrete had a reported 108-7 record in the amateur ranks and comes from a family of fighters. His uncle, Pedro Navarrete Sr., and two of his cousins, Pedro Navarrete Jr. and Johnny Navarrete, fought as professionals.
De Vaca (20-0, 6 KOs) was born in Michoacán de Ocampo, Mexico, and moved to Phoenix, Arizona, as a small child. All but one of De Vaca’s pro fights have taken place in the Phoenix area, where he has developed into one of the region’s most popular attractions. The 24-year-old boxer-puncher made his Top Rank debut last August in Glendale, Arizona, outlasting Jesus Serrano by unanimous decision in a crowd-pleasing brawl. He last fought in February at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix, where he shut out Ernesto Guerrero over eight rounds. 
“This is a great opportunity to defend my title against an exciting fighter like De Vaca,” Navarrete said. “I’ve worked hard to prove myself as a true champion, and I won’t let anyone take that away from me. It’s going to be a great night outside in Los Angeles, and whenever you have two Mexicans in the ring, you can expect a battle.”
“This is the fight of my life,” De Vaca said. “I am going to show my Mexican heart and prove to the world that I belong on the world stage. I’m not going to talk any trash. I have a lot of respect for Emanuel Navarrete, but his reign will end on August 17.”


Newark Power: Shakur Stevenson Thrills Hometown Fans

Stevenson knocks out Alberto Guevara in three

 Joshua Greer Jr. edges Nikolai Potapov by majority decision in bantamweight eliminator

Stevenson knocks out Alberto Guevara before hometown crowd in Newark, NJ.


(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank)
Newark, N.J. (July 13, 2019) — Ever since he turned pro following the 2016 Olympics, featherweight contender Shakur Stevenson wanted to return home to Newark. In front of 5,150 fans at Prudential Center, Stevenson, the WBO No. 1 contender, knocked out two-time world title challenger Alberto “Metro” Guevara (27-5, 12 KOs) in the third round of a scheduled 10-rounder.

“That was a great performance I put on for the city of Newark. Top Rank, y’all all have to give me better competition I want the IBF and WBO {titles}. I would love to go to England to fight Josh Warrington,” Stevenson said. “I surprised myself today. I was going to the body a lot. I saw him at the weigh-in. He didn’t look like he was in shape.

“There is only one way to describe tonight – amazing! Seeing all of my family, friends and everybody from the city come out to support me was incredible.”

Stevenson (12-0, 7 KOs) dominated the opening round, scored a pair of knockdowns in the second and finished things off with a knockdown in the third. It was a short, brutal and just what the crowd wanted.

Greer Jr. Edges Potapov

The knockout didn’t come, but bantamweight Joshua “Don’t Blink” Greer Jr. ultimately got the job done. Greer (21-1-1, 12 KOs), the Chicago-born bantamweight puncher, bested Nikolai Potapov by majority decision (114-114, 115-113 and 116-112) to the earn the IBF No. 2 ranking and the NABO belt.

Greer swept the 12th round on all three judges’ scorecards to secure the win in what was a tactical affair. Potapov (20-2-1, 11 KOs) snapped Greer’s seven-bout KO streak, with some ringside observers believing he did enough to pull off the upset.

“He’s very awkward with the Russian style. But at the end of the day, this is the pros. And at the end of the day, I pulled it out,” Greer said. “The booing didn’t bother me. I know I won the fight. Every time I hit him to the body, I hurt him. I didn’t get the knockout, but I got the win. Next time out, you’ll see the pillow again.”

In other action: 

— After nearly two years out of the ring, super lightweight Julian Rodriguez (17-0, 11 KOs) needed only 59 seconds to knock out Hevinson Herrera (24-18-1, 18 KOs) in front of his devoted Northern New Jersey fans. 

Rodriguez, only 24 years old, was out of the ring due to assorted injuries.

“I was very confident in my preparation, so I felt like I had to go in there and do what I had to do,” Rodriguez said. “That’s what {the fans} like about me. When they come here, they see a show.”

— Vijender Singh (11-0, 8 KOs), a three-time Olympian and the fighting pride of India, had a successful United States and Top Rank debut, knocking out Mike Snider (13-6-3, 8 KOs) in the fourth round of a scheduled eight-round super middleweight bout.

“It was excellent getting back in the ring after a long time off. It’s great to be here in the USA and get the win. It was really exciting,” Singh said. “It took me about four rounds to get back in the swing of things. I expected it to take two or three rounds, but it took me four. I felt good.”

— Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno (13-0, 11 KOs) continued his rapid rise up the lightweight ranks, knocking out Adriano Ramirez (10-4, 6 KOs) in the second round of a scheduled eight-rounder. Adorno knocked down Ramirez a pair of times in the second, and referee Sparkle Lee immediately called a halt to the bout following the second knockdown.

— Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas (14-1, 9 KOs) won his eighth fight in a row, knocking out the rugged veteran Manuel Lopez (14-4-1, 7 KOs) in the seventh round of a scheduled eight-round welterweight bout.

— Super lightweight prospect John “El Terrible” Bauza (13-0, 5 KOs) was dominant in notching an eight-round unanimous decision over Angel Sarinana (10-9-2, 4 KOs) by identical scores of 80-72.

— Vito Mielnicki Jr., a 17-year-old high school senior from Roseland, New Jersey, knocked out Tamarcus Smith (2-3, 2 KOs) in 1:16 in his professional debut. A savage right hand put Smith down and out for the count in the scheduled four-round welterweight bout.



July 19: Esquiva Falcao, Tyler McCreary and Tyler Howard to See Action on Lopez-Nakatani Undercard LIVE on ESPN+ 

LIVE and exclusively on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT

OXON HILL, Md. (July 11, 2019) — The fighting pride of Brazil, middleweight contender Esquiva “La Pantera” Falcao, has a world title shot on his mind. The next step for the 2012 Olympic silver medalist is Jesus Antonio Gutierrez in a 10-round showdown Friday, July 19 at MGM National Harbor.

Falcao-Gutierrez will be the featured bout on the undercard stream live on ESPN+ — the industry-leading sports streaming service — beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. In eight-round undercard action, middleweight prospect Tyler “Hercules” Howard (17-0, 11 KOs) will take on Philadelphia native Jamaal Davis (18-14-1, 7 KOs), and super featherweight Tyler McCreary (15-0-1, 7 KOs) will look to rebound from a March 23 draw against Jessie Cris Rosales (22-2-1, 10 KOs).

The evening will be topped by a pair of IBF world title eliminators — lightweight Teofimo Lopez versus Masayoshi Nakatani and junior welterweight Maxim Dadashev versus Subriel Matias — that will stream live on ESPN+ starting at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

“This is a great opportunity for me to showcase my skills,” Falcao said. “Nobody has seen the best of me yet, and I am working hard with Robert Garcia to improve my craft. I look at all of the middleweights out there, and I know I can compete with any of them. I fought on the biggest stage as an amateur. I will thrive when I am given that opportunity as a professional.”
Falcao (23-0, 15 KOs) turned pro in February 2014 following a storied amateur career that included an excruciatingly close 14-13 decision loss to Ryota Murata in the 2012 Olympic gold medal match (75 kilograms). A natural righty who fights as a southpaw, Falcao is a classic boxer-puncher who has never come close to tasting defeat in the paid ranks. After winning three bouts in 2018, including a pair of first-round stoppages, Falcao returned home to Brazil for the first time as a pro on March 31, shutting out veteran Jorge Daniel Miranda over 10 rounds. Gutierrez (25-3-2, 12 KOs), from Tijuana, Mexico, is an eight-year pro who is looking to rebound from a knockout loss to Steven Butler last November in Canada. Prior to the Butler defeat, Gutierrez had been on a six-bout unbeaten streak dating back to June 2016.
In other undercard action:

  • Dusty Hernandez-Harrison (32-0-1, 18 KOs), one of Washington, D.C.’s most popular young fighters, will look to thrill the home region fans in an eight-round super welterweight bout versus Juan De Angel (21-11-1, 19 KOs).
  • Top heavyweight prospect Cassius Chaney (15-0, 9 KOs) will look to extend his knockout streak to five versus Joel Caudle (8-2-2, 5 KOs) in a bout scheduled for eight or six rounds.
  • Washington, D.C. native Patrick Harris (16-0, 8 KOs) will make his third appearance at MGM National Harbor in a super lightweight bout scheduled for eight or six rounds against Donald Ward (11-10-1 5 KOs).
  • Nathaniel Davis (1-0, 1 KO), from Lusby, Maryland, will take on Rolando Vargas (2-0, 2 KOs) in a battle of unbeaten lightweights.

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets priced at $100, $75, $50 and $25 (not including applicable fees) are on sale now and can be purchased online at or in person at the MGM National Harbor.


Presser Notes and Quotes: Shakur Stevenson Ready for Brick City Homecoming

Stevenson-Alberto Guevara and Joshua Greer Jr.-Nikolai Potapov Live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET) from Prudential Center 

Undefeated super middleweight Vijender Singh to see action LIVE on ESPN+ (7 p.m. ET)

(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

NEWARK, N.J. (July 11, 2019) – It was a press conference befitting a Newark King. Mayor Ras Baraka was on hand, as well as a large contingent of media from Northern New Jersey and New York.

Shakur Stevenson, Newark’s favorite son and a 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, is ready for his homecoming.

WBO. No. 1 featherweight contender Stevenson (11-0, 6 KOs) will face Alberto Guevara (27-4, 12 KOs) in the 10-round main event Saturday evening at Prudential Center (ESPN, 10:30 p.m. ET). In the televised co-feature, bantamweight contender and proud Chicago native Joshua Greer Jr. (20-1-1, 12 KOs) will look to make it eight knockouts in a row versus Nikolai Potapov (20-1-1, 11 KOs).

The ESPN+ undercard (7 p.m. ET) will feature the U.S. debut of Indian sensation Vijender Singh (10-0, 7 KOs), the pro debut of 17-year-old New Jersey native Vito Mielnicki Jr., and local favorite Julian Rodriguez (16-0, 10 KOs), who is returning from a nearly two-year layoff.

In front of a packed Newark house, this is what the fighters had to say.

Shakur Stevenson

“It means everything to me being that this was a dream of mine to come here to the Prudential Center and fight in front of the hometown, my home crowd, family, friends. I’m happy to be here, and it means everything to me.”

“I’m not overlooking him. Honestly, I’m not going to let you {Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher} put no pressure on me either [smiles}. I feel like I’m going to go in there, box my fight and have fun. I’m going to let everything take care of itself.”

Mayor Ras Baraka

“We are extremely proud of Shakur Stevenson here in the city of Newark. I got an opportunity to see him with the young people yesterday. That was an incredible, incredible scene. You should’ve been there. The young people love him in this city. The city loves him. The kind of discipline, commitment to his craft – all of those things are amazing. Not just for him growing up from the city of Newark, but all of these young people get an opportunity to see what it takes to be a professional, what it takes to be a champion, to stand out and do the things that he’s doing.”

Alberto Guevara

“I know Shakur is a tough fighter, but I want to prove that I can do more in boxing. All of my experience will show on Saturday night.”

“I have a lot of experience as an amateur and a pro. My experience will be important in this fight.”

Joshua Greer Jr.

“This means everything to me. You asked {Nikolai} a way to beat me. The only way to beat me is to kill me because I’m not giving him nothing.”

“I work hard. I leave no stone unturned. Me and my coach work hard day in, day out. I make the sacrifices.”

“I’m dedicating this fight – my whole career, basically – to Ed Brown, who was 20-0 with 16 knockouts. He got killed in Chicago {in 2016}, and I know that we got Ed Browns everywhere, even in Newark, so I’m just bringing awareness to the situation.”

“Shakur is like a brother to me. He calls me his brother. If I call you my brother, I mean that. Him, his family, his grandfather, the way that they’ve been to me since I’ve been out here, his people, Newark. I mean, they treat me like a king out here. I wouldn’t have it no other way if Shakur was to come to Chicago.”

Nikolai Potapov

“I’ve been wanting this fight. I’ve been looking at this fight and watching {Greer’s fights}. I feel great. Everything with the weight cut has gone well, so I can’t wait to get started on Saturday night. That’s it. I’m excited.”

“I’m happy that Joshua has been following my career and that he wants to knock me out. We’ll see on Saturday night how he’s going to do it.”

“I don’t want to predict too much. He’s a very tough fighter, so there will be a lot of punches, a lot of movement. It’s going to be a very interesting fight to watch.”

Vijender Singh

“I’m happy to be here. I think it’s going to be a great show.”

“I’m focused on my boxing career and my craft. I want to fight two more times this year, keep busy and work towards a world title opportunity.”

“There are a lot of Indian people in this area, and I know they will come out to support me. It’s been a long time out of the ring for me, and I am ready.”

ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT

Shakur Stevenson vs. Alberto Guevara, 10 rounds, featherweight

Joshua Greer Jr. vs. Nikolai Potapov, 12 rounds, IBF bantamweight eliminator for No. 2. ranking

ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT

Josue Vargas vs. Manuel Lopez, 8 rounds, super lightweight

Vito Mielnicki Jr. vs. Tamarcus Smith, 4 rounds, super welterweight

John Bauza vs. Angel Sarinana, 8 rounds, super lightweight

Julian Rodriguez vs. Hevinson Herrera, 6 rounds, super lightweight

Vijender Singh vs. Mike Snider, 8 rounds, super middleweight

Joseph Adorno vs. Adriano Ramirez, 8 rounds, lightweight

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets priced at $100, $75, $50 and $25 (not including applicable fees) are on sale now and can be purchased at, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 and in person at the Prudential Center box office

Roy Jones, Jr. Boxing Promotions inks undefeated

super middleweight prospect Juan Jose Barajas

LAS VEGAS (July 1, 2019) – Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions’ growing stable of gifted fighters has expanded with today’s announcement of its latest addition, undefeated super middleweight prospect Juan Jose “Just Business” Barajas.

The 22-year-old Barajas (10-0, 7 KOs), fighting out of Victorville, California, is scheduled to make his RJJ Boxing debut August 24 at Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine, California (outside of San Diego).  Barajas’ fight against an opponent to be determined will be streamed live on UFC FIGHT PASS®.

Barajas’ last fight was his most impressive to date as a professional.  Last May in Memphis, he took a 10-round majority decision against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. protégé Lanell Bellows (18-4-3, 11 KOs).

“I am excited about fighting for RJJ Boxing Promotions,” Barajas said.  “I am happy about the direction I am going and feel confident that RJJ Boxing will put me in the bests position to reach my goals.  I am looking forward to fighting the best and showcasing my skills among the top players in the super middleweight division.  It’s time to go to work!”

Barajas, who won 27 of 30 amateur matches, is managed and trained by Michael Love.

August 3: Michael Conlan-Diego Alberto Ruiz Set for Historic Belfast Showdown LIVE on ESPN+

BELFAST (July 3, 2019) — Michael Conlan has a new opponent for his Belfast homecoming. Conlan, who was originally slated to face former Olympic nemesis Vladimir Nikitin, will take on the dangerous Diego Alberto “El Profeta” Ruiz in a 10-round featherweight showdown Saturday, Aug. 3 at Falls Park as part of the city’s annual Féile an Phobail summer festival.

Conlan-Ruiz and the 10-round middleweight showdown between Luke Keeler and Luis Arias will stream live in the United States beginning at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT on ESPN+ — the industry-leading sports streaming service — on a special international edition of Top Rank on ESPN.

“When Vladimir Nikitin dropped out due to injury, I told Top Rank and MTK Global to get me the toughest possible opponent,” Conlan said. “Ruiz is on a 10-fight winning streak, and I know he’s coming all the way from Argentina to continue his victorious ways. This is my toughest test as a professional, but if I’m going to become a world champion, I must beat Ruiz. I’ve been busy in London with my trainer, Adam Booth, and I can’t wait to put on a show on August 3.

“Maybe once I’m a world champion, I might give Nikitin a shot, but for now, I’m moving on because it was more stalling my career than advancing it in terms of the level I’m at.”

“This is the biggest fight of my career,” Ruiz said. “This is a great opportunity to prove myself as a fighter. I fought June 1, and I am going to be ready for whatever Michael brings. It won’t be an easy fight, but it is not an impossible task. I am not scared to fight on the road. That is my motivation because the pressure will be on him.”

Conlan (11-0, 6 KOs) entered the pro ranks as one of Ireland’s most beloved sporting figures, having earned an Olympic bronze medal in 2012 and gold medals at both the European and World Championships in 2015. “The Conlan Revolution” turned pro in front of a sold-out Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden crowd on St. Patrick’s Day in 2017. He won the vacant WBO Intercontinental featherweight belt last December in Manchester, England, besting Jason Cunningham via unanimous decision. In his last bout, in front of a raucous St. Patrick’s Day crowd at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Conlan defeated Ruben Garcia Hernandez over 10 rounds.

Ruiz (21-2, 10 KOs), a 25-year-old from Argentina, will be fighting for the first time away from his native country. He has won 10 in a row dating back to 2016 and is coming off a 10-round split decision June 1 over Luis Emanuel Cusolito for the vacant WBC Latino silver featherweight title. Before moving up to the featherweight ranks, Ruiz won the Argentina Boxing Federation’s bantamweight title and the WBC Latino silver super bantamweight belt. 


Unified WBO Heavyweight Champion Andy Ruiz Jr. Receives Special Commemorative Belt in Puerto Rico

Carolina, Puerto Rico – In a crowded and festive activity the World Boxing Organization (WBO), chaired by Francisco ‘Paco’ Valcárcel, Esq., awarded WBO Unified WBO Heavyweight Champion Andy Ruiz Jr. a commemorative belt in honor of his historic victory over Anthony Joshua to become the first Mexican world heavyweight champion.

Francisco ‘Paco’ Valcárcel, Esq., awarded WBO Unified WBO Heavyweight Champion Andy Ruiz Jr. the new belt.

Former WBO Super Champions Miguel Cotto, and Iván Calderón handed the special belt to Andy Ruiz Jr.

“We are here to pay a well-deserved tribute to Andy Ruiz, Jr. When he fought in Macao, I remember that I saw him chubby and I told that to his promoter at that time Bob Arum and he told me that Andy moves like a featherweight. That fight Andy won in 3 or 4 rounds and after the fight, Andy was very happy in the dressing room with our WBO NABO title. That was the first title he won in professional boxing. Andy always told me with great confidence that he was going to be WBO champion. I noticed that in the fight against Joshua, Andy was very calm and relaxed in his dressing room. He had incredible confidence until he finally won. I was very happy for his victory because he finally made history. Andy is a wonderful person. He has a wonderful personal story that we have been part of and we thank you for that because they are things that only happen once. I think that if someone deserved to be the first Mexican world heavyweight champion, that’s you for the quality of person you have. You are great motivation for many people “, stated WBO President Francisco ‘Paco’ Valcárcel, Esq.
Andy Ruiz Jr.

Andy Ruiz Jr.


“Thank you very much to everyone who is supporting me and they came here to support me. Thanks to the WBO for a very wonderful belt, very nice. I battled a lot since I was little kid and to be world champion also with a lot of sacrifice, a lot of training. Many think that I don’t train hard enough, but I train very hard. I’m very happy. Making history for being the first Mexican heavyweight world champion It’s a dream I’ve always wanted since I was a child and now I’ve achieved everything. I’m blessed, thank God for everything and now we are on vacation here in Puerto Rico, thanks to Paco (Valcárcel) and now spending time with the family, and then be ready for the rematch with Joshua. I’m still hungry to have those belts with me. All this is a dream and thanks to all the Latinos who support me. Thank you all”.

Former WBO Super Champions Miguel Cotto, and Iván Calderón handed the special belt to Andy Ruiz Jr.

One month ago, on June 1st, 2019, Ruiz Jr. defeated the now former WBO Unified Champion Anthony Joshua by 7th-round TKO at New York’s Madison Square Garden to become the first Mexican world heavyweight champion.
Participating in the event were former 4-division world champion Miguel Cotto, former 2-division WBO World Champions Iván Calderón and Juanma López, former world champions Alex Sánchez, Juan Laporte and Samuel Serrano, former WBO Jr. Flyweight Champion Angel Acosta, interim Latino WBO Heavyweight champion Víctor Bisbal, WBO Latino Jr. Welterweight champion Jean Carlos “Lobo” Torres, WBO/NABO Jr. Flyweight champion Wilfredo “Bimbito” Méndez, WBO Latino Jr. Featherweight Champion Yenifel Vicente, WBO Jr. Bantamweight Champion Jeyvier Cintrón, WBO Latino Flyweight Champion McWilliams Arroyo, and WBO ranked #7 at 122 lbs Luis “Popeye” Lebrón. Other boxers who were present included Carlos Caraballo, Edwin Valentin, Bernard Lebrón, Víctor Santillán, Alfredo Cruz, Danielito Zorrilla, Carlos Arrieta, among others.

August 10: Carl Frampton-Emmanuel Dominguez Featherweight Clash Headlines Philly Fight Night LIVE on ESPN+   

 Liacouras Center showdown to stream on ESPN+ starting at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

Tickets starting at $35 on sale now

PHILADELPHIA (July 2, 2019) — Carl “The Jackal” Frampton is on the hunt for another world title. Frampton, the former two-division world champion from Belfast, Northern Ireland, will make his first stateside appearance in more than two years in a 10-round featherweight bout against the hard-hitting Emmanuel Dominguez on Saturday, Aug. 10 at the Liacouras Center.
Frampton-Dominguez and a co-feature will stream live on ESPN+ — the industry-leading sports streaming service — beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The entire undercard, including South Philadelphia heavyweight sensation Sonny Conto (3-0, 3 KOs), Philadelphia-born featherweight prospect Donald Smith (9-0, 6 KOs) and Puerto Rican middleweight puncher Edgar Berlanga (11-0, 11 KOs), will stream on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Peltz Boxing, tickets, priced at $100, $55 and $35 (not including applicable fees), are on sale now and can be purchased at the Liacouras Center Box Office and, or by calling Peltz Boxing at 215-765-0922.

“Dominguez is a tall, young, hungry featherweight, so I’ll need to be on my game,” Frampton said. “The premise of an Oscar Valdez fight is dangling in front of me, so I want to go out and show the world that I’ve still got what it takes to be a world champion. Winning is always the most important thing, but I want to do it in style. It’s great to be boxing stateside again. And Philly, in particular, has so much boxing history. I’d like to thank MTK Global and Top Rank for giving me the opportunity. I won’t disappoint.”
“Carl Frampton is already looking ahead to an Oscar Valdez fight, which gives me added motivation,” Dominguez said. “I am not a stepping stone. I am coming to Philadelphia prepared to ruin Carl’s plans.”
Frampton (26-2, 15 KOs), a 10-year pro who compiled more than 100 victories during a standout amateur career, is on the road back to another world title opportunity following his competitive decision loss to IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington last December. Frampton won the IBF junior featherweight world title in 2014 and unified titles against WBA champion Scott Quigg via split decision in February 2016. He upset Leo Santa Cruz to win the WBA super world featherweight title in July 2016 but lost the immediate rematch six months later.

Frampton won three in a row, including an interim world title, before running into Warrington in front of a sold-out Manchester Arena crowd in one of the year’s best fights. With his sights set on Valdez, he must first defeat Dominguez (26-8-2, 18 KOs), a 25-year-old native of Aguascalientes, Mexico, who has won four of his last five, all by knockout.
For more information, visit:,;; Twitter:
Use the hashtag #FramptonDominguez to join the conversation on social media.



Lightweight Thunder: Commey Stops Beltran in 8

 Carlos Adames retains NABO and NABF super welterweight titles, decisions Patrick Day

Richard “RC” Commey (L) knocking down former world champion Ray Beltran

TEMECULA, Calif (June 28, 2019) — The young champion took the old veteran to school. Richard “RC” Commey made the first defense of his IBF world lightweight title, knocking down former world champion Ray Beltran four times en route to an eighth-round knockout in front of 2,795 fans at Pechanga Resort Casino.“Beltran showed why he was a champion. He’s a great fighter who showed it against me tonight,” Commey said. “I was happy to get the job done and defend my title for the first time.

“It looks like Teofimo Lopez is next, but he has a job to do first.”

It was all Commey (29-2, 26 KOs) from the opening bell, as the native of Accra, Ghana, knocked Beltran (36-9-1, 22 KOs) down a pair of times in the opening stanza and had him pinned against the ropes when the bell sounded to end the round.

Beltran had his moments in the fight and even appeared to hurt Commey on a few occasions, but Commey proved to be resilient and finished Beltran off with a furious combination. Beltran rose to his feet, but the referee waved the fight off.

Adames Defeats Day

Carlos “Caballo Bronco” Adames pressed the action and landed the harder punches, ultimately coming away with a 10-round unanimous decision over Patrick Day to retain his NABF and NABO super welterweight titles.

Adames (18-0, 14 KO) prevailed by scores of 97-93 2x and 98-91, as Day (17-3-1, 6 KOs) saw his six-bout winning streak snapped. The Dominican puncher wobbled Day in the final round, but Day was ultimately saved by the final bell.

Adames, who had knocked out three straight opponents coming into the fight, now has his sights set on a world title shot.

“Tonight was about getting work in. I listened to my coach, Robert Garcia,” Adames said. “This was my second fight with him, and it was about getting good rounds, and we did that. In the 10th round, he told me he was ready to go. If I had one more minute I think I would’ve finished him, but in the end, I think it was a very good performance on my behalf.”

In other action: 

— In a shocking upset, Miguel Angel Gonzalez (25-4, 22 KOs) knocked out the previously undefeated Saul “Neno” Rodriguez (23-1-1, 17 KOs) with a single left hook in the third round of a scheduled 10-round super featherweight bout. Gonzalez had previously knocked down Rodriguez with a left hook in the opening seconds of the first round.

— Lightweight prospect Raymond Muratalla (8-0, 6 KOs) knocked out Agustine Mauras (6-6-3, 3 KOs) in the opening round of a scheduled six-rounder.

— It appeared as if Elvis Rodriguez (2-0-1, 2 KOs) was on his way to victory, but an accidental head clash in the first round opened up a large gash on the forehead of Joaquin Chavez (9-18-4, 2 KOs), and the super lightweight bout was ruled a technical draw.

— Super featherweight prospect Chris “The Boy” Zavala (5-0, 2 KOs) notched a six-round unanimous decision (60-54 3x) over the previously unbeaten Prisco Marquez (4-1-1, 1 KO).

— Dmitry Yun’s professional debut was a triumphant one, as he prevailed via four-round unanimous decision over Jose Antonio Meza (6-4, 1 KO) in a lightweight contest. All three judges scored it 39-36.

— Middleweight prospect David Kaminsky, only 18 years old, improved to 5-0 with a four-round unanimous decision over Osbaldo Gonzalez (6-5, 4 KOs). All three judges scored the bout 40-36.

2019 Florida Boxing Hall of Fame inducts an esteemed group

Story by Mark Weisenmiller 

TAMPA, FLORIDA. Twenty people, from six different specialties of boxing, were inducted today into the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame Induction weekend. Additionally, two men were given Boxing Achievement Awards.

Florida Boxing Hall of Fame 2019 Inductees at announcement their induction.

The Florida Boxing Hall of Fame Class of 2019 are the following:


Eromosele Albert, Juan Arroyo, Nate Campbell, Lou Esa, Richard Hall, Lamar Murphy, Jimmy Navarro, and James Scott.


Mike Birmingham and Pete Brodsky.


Nathan Lopez Senior.


Damon Gonzalez and Sean O’Grady.



Pete Balcunas, Henry Grooms, and Chico Rivas.


Telis Assimenios, Dr. Rodolfo Eichberg, Frank Gentile,  and Dr. Mel Jurado.

Florida Boxing Hall of Fame inuctee EROMOSELE ALBERT.

The two men who were given Boxing Achievement Awards were Seminole Tribe of Florida politician Mitchell Cypress (when in the U.S. Army, he fought in matches in Germany and the United States. Decades later, as Chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, he was seminal in attracting boxing promoters to stage matches at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida) and Emile Lombardi Jr. (who began his affiliation with boxing while working as a judge before becoming a referee; he has refereed more than 50 fights).


On the evening of Friday, June 21st, the annual day of the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, 17 amateur fights were held at The Westshore Grand Hotel (whose facilities also hosted all of the other activities affiliated with this weekend’s induction ceremonies). 2018 FBHOF inductee Christy Martin came down from her home in North Carolina to attend the bouts.

Florida Boxing Hall of Fame inductee – Juan Arroyo.

All day on Saturday, vendors had tables selling boxing memorabilia; local authors signed their books (whose subjects were an array of boxing-affiliated topics); and autographs were asked for and given. From 10 to 11 am, a referee and judge seminar was conducted by Brian Garry (who was inducted into the FBHOF 10 years ago). Assisted by his wife Phyllis Garry (a long-time boxing match bell ringer and the recipient two years ago of the FLBHOF Boxing Achievement Award), his talk was divided into three sections titled, respectively, “Who Is Da Ref?,” “Purpose and Function of the Referee,” and “Ring Mechanics.” When husband Garry began and ended a section, wife Phyllis would clang a hammer on a bell. Ever the diligent worker, when the seminar started to last longer than the one hour scheduled for it (due to audience members having many comments and questions for Brian), Phyllis loudly and repeatedly hit the bell, a not-so-subtle hint to Brian to wrap up the talk.

Florida Boxing Hall of Fame inductee – FORMER HEAVYWEIGHT CONTENDER LOU ESA

Referee Garry, who officiated boxing matches at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games, had a series of bon mots during his seminar. Among them: “Remember, it is always better to stop a fight one punch before it’s too late (i.e., before a boxer gets injured)”; “The critical job of the referee is safety, safety, safety,” “Roberto Duran and Archie Moore were the two greatest defensive boxers I ever saw,” and “A boxer will try everything in the book (i.e., to score points against, and to hurt, his or her opponent).”

Garry also explained to audience members that judges can not get out of their chairs during a boxing bout; that punches on an opponent’s arms aren’t scoring (“because arms are used for defense”); that when judging a fight at home, the first thing that a television viewers should do is mute the volume, and that Garry is in favor of increasing the number of judges for a bout from three to five “because it would eliminate draws.” After this came a two-hour long podcast, done from The Westshore Grand, of a show called “The Shadow League,” which was hosted by Rhett Butler and no, this was not the same Rhett Butler of “Gone With The Wind” fame.

People commingled, ate lunch, told each other boxing stories (most of which seemed to be fact and not fiction) and then, from 1.30 to 2.30, Dwaine Simpson (Class of 2014) hosted a seminar entitled “Boxing At It’s Finest.” He has 65 years of experience in boxing; he began fighting as a young man in Florida. Simpson likes to joke and say “I had 142 professional bouts and all of them ended in knockouts except for the two that I won,” but in actuality, this man was a talented pugilist. His record, after he completed his 14 year (1956 to 1970) career, is 113 wins, 22 defeats, and seven draws. After retirement, he has stayed active in boxing as a consultant, teacher, and trainer.

Simpson began by talking about the fundamentals of boxing and he also noted that Alexis Arguello (who he knew when Alexis was a youngster) would push himself to train hard even when he was 14 years-old. The 87 year-old Simpson then talked about something that many of today’s boxing cornermen do which makes him mad: “I see the cornermen turn away from the ring and start to gaze around and look for people that they know, as though these people came to see them rather than the boxers box.”

Continuing, Simpson said, “I’m tired of seeing cornermen teach boxers either the wrong way to do things or, worse, the wrong things. If I seem to be down on boxing, it’s because there doesn’t seem to be any good teachers anymore. The first thing a trainer should teach a boxer is how to bob and weave.”

On this theme of current coaches and cornermen being inferior to those who worked in these professions in the past, next came, from 2.30 to 3.30, the seminar “The Fine Art of Coaching,” hosted by Steve Canton (FBHOF Vice President and Class of 2009). He is a long-time manager and trainer of the Florida boxing scene and was introduced by Bob Alexander (FBHOF Media and Public Relations Director and Class of 2010). “There are good fighters today,” began Canton, “but not great fighters and that’s because there aren’t that many great trainers left. The old boxing gyms are gone; now we have physical fitness centers.” For the past 30 years, Canton has run a gym in Fort Myers.

During his talk, Canton noted that only eight of the 22 FBHOF Class of 2009 inductees are still living and “four of them are in his room.” He also noted that “There are 85% more broken jaws today as compared to 30 years ago and that’s because boxers are always making sounds with their mouths. Why?”

The Saturday night dinner banquet and ceremonies began, surprisingly, on time (traditionally these things usually are not because of the large crowds which move slowly about in and out of the outlay convention and dining rooms). After a dinner of chicken, rice, and vegetables—and a dessert of a slice of thick chocolate cake, came the welcoming speech by FBHOF President Butch Flansburg. “This weekend we celebrate out second decade of existence. This is the weekend we are here to celebrate the greats and congratulations to all of the inductees,” Flansburg said.

The keynote speaker was Julio Martinez (Class of 2015) who began by asking for a moment of silence for those in the boxing world who died in the previous year. He talked fondly of being tutored as a young man by Kid Gavilan and Chris Dundee. Martinez’s speech was done in a stream-of-conscious manner.

Afterwards, the Don Hazelton Scholarship Award was given by his widow to 20 year-old Chris Samuels. The young boxer is studying finance at the University of Florida and he was grateful for the $1,000 award. Besides boxing and studying at the University, Samuels is also coping and dealing with the following: his father is disabled; his sister is ill and needs a kidney and his mother works long hours at a store to pay for everything. Young Samuels’ life, so far, reads as though it is a 21st Century version of a plot of a Charles Dickens novel. “Boxing has brought stability to my life. I don’t feel that I’m riding the wave of life; I feel like I am in control of my life,” he told an enraptured audience.

Music was provided by singer Sasha Vargas (who has two Master’s degrees, sings in six language although not simultaneously, and currently performs with the Orlando Philharmonic). Shortly after she began singing, in Cuban Spanish, the classic Cuban song “Guantanamera,” many of the Hispanics in the dining room began to boisterously joining her in singing the song.

For those who had others interest than music, they could make bids on items at a silent auction. Some of the items were a poster for a concert by Sam Cooke and The Platters; a painting by the late boxing physician Dr. Ferdie Pacheco; a 2003 program from a fight between Evander Holyfield and James Toney; a baseball signed by the New York Yankees Starlin Castro; a red boxing glove signed by John Mugabi, and a Tampa Bay Buccaneers football.

Sunday dawned hot and humid and that was the weather report for the entire weekend; women’s face make-up ran and smeared and men quickly developed sweat stains on their shirts. Inside The Westshore Grand, however, the air-conditioning kept things cool. From 8.30 to 9.30, people could have a hot breakfast (scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes) with the inductees. At precisely 11 am, the formal induction ceremony commenced and the national anthem was sung by Tristan Miller.

The room was full of people; hotel workers had to bring in extra chair to seat everybody. “This is an honor that will never be forgotten and you will never be forgotten,” Alexander told the inductees. The inductees wore red polo shirts and sat in front of the stage and when their name was called, they would walk up steps to accept their inductee plaque, pose for photographs, and then give their acceptance speech. First to be inducted were the three posthumous inductees: James Scott (Who when he was incarcerated in a New Jersey prison, once sparred with Rubin “Hurricane” Carter; Canton accepted the plaque on behalf of Scott); Pete Balcunas (a coach and trainer who coached U.S. and international programs and who died in March of 2016; his widow accepted on his behalf), and Birmingham (Butch Flansburg accepted on his behalf). Phyllis Garry clanged her boxing bell three times to honor the three posthumous inductees. The ceremony was put on the Internet by Gold Star Productions and the FBHOF has a YouTube channel; the activities of the weekend were posted on said YouTube channel.

Then came the induction of the living inductees. Promoter Nathan Lopez was the first of this group to be inducted and when he took to the stage, he received a warm applause “Wow, this is awesome !,” he gushed. “I am so proud to be part of a family that fights then makes up (he was speaking metaphorically).” The line got much laughs and then he said “You go into a ring, you fight your opponent, and then at the end, you say to him ‘You’re the champ, even though I just beat your ass.”

Trainer Pete Brodsky said “This is one of the best days of my life.” Due to his being born on Long Island, and his long time working in New York City, he speaks with a thick Noo Yawk accent. He thanks his wife Sharon and then said “Don’t ever train a fighter you don’t like.” He ended by telling the audience that his daughter and husband were currently making a film about boxing called “Sometimes you’re The Dog, Sometimes You’re The Tree.”

Long-time promoter Henry Grooms was next and this is a man whose life accomplishments ranged from being a friend to Muhammad Ali to Elvis Presley. Grooms received the loudest and longest standing ovation of all of the inductees. As he took to the stage this 86 year old man heard the strains of the song “Lean On Me” – a rather appropriate tune. He knew and was good friends with legendary trainers Emanuel Steward and Eddie Futch. He first thanked God, then his mother and father. Grooms told the audience that “I have no living relatives and have not had any for the past 25 years. I grew up in a house without water and electricity.”

How far this man has gone, and how much of the multiple facets of life, this man has seen ! He closed by saying “I’m not going to take any more of your precious time” and then took his seat on stage. Many in the audience must have felt that the inverse was true—that we were taking up much of Grooms valuable time. After he sat down, Bob Alexander said “I love you Henry but you are wrong about one thing – you have a family. We are your family,” at which point Grooms began to cry.

Rivas was next and he took to the stage to the tune of Queen’s “We Are The Champions.” He frequently broke down emotionally during his speech. Before the induction ceremony, inductees are asked which song they would like to be played while they are walking up to the stage; if they can not chose one, the audio production crew chooses a song. When Dr. Eichberg slowly made his way to the stage, a tango was played. He served as a ringside physician for decades until his retirement in 2016. He spoke with pride to the fact that “in all of the bouts I worked, none of the participants was ever seriously injured.”

Gentile was next and he was the first inductee to give much thanks to Butch Flansburg and to give warm congratulations to his fellow inductees. All three of Gentile’s sons—Frank, Jose, and Paul—are boxing referees. “Thank you for this unforgettable moment of my life,” this inductee said. Jurado, Gonzalez, and O’Grady, respectively, were the next three inductees.

Master of ceremonies Bob Alexander then proclaimed “Now we move on to our fighters.”

Jimmy Navarro was the first such inductee and Alexander reminded the crowd that he was only 26 when he decided to retire. Murphy followed. After him came Puerto Rico-born Arroyo. His record upon retirement reads 37 wins, five losses, and four draws. In his personal life, he had, and has overcome, a drug addiction.

Jamaica-born Richard Hall followed. Alexander told the audience of his horrific childhood. He was abandoned by his parents at the age of 18 months and was found wandering the streets of Kingston by a local policeman. His grandmother then took charge of him but Richard was horribly abused by her husband (i.e., Richard’s uncle). Fleeing Jamaica, he found work as a baker and eventually decided that he would try to become a boxer; Hall eventually became the lightweight champion of the world. He received a long, loud applause from his large entourage in the audience. As he took his seat on stage, audience members heard fellow Jamaican Bob Marley’s rendition of the song “One Love.”

Big Lou Esa (the man is well over six foot tall) came next. As a young man he went to a Miami gym to see his boxing hero, Muhammad Ali, train. While waiting for Ali, he saw a heavy bag , threw one punch (a left hook) that broke the chain that held the heavy bag aloft, and that was enough for Angle Dundee who saw all of this happen. He began to work with Esa. The Wayne, New Jersey-born Esa gave the shortest speech of all of the inductees.

Nigeria’s Eromosele Albert followed and this is a man who was a member of the 1996 and 200 Nigerian Olympic boxing squads. His final record is 24-6-1 and when he fought, Albert’s bouts were often broadcast on ESPN. He fought in 12 different countries, is now a coach, and the first words of his speech were Oh, boy!”

Nate “The Galaxy Warrior” Campbell, the former WBO/IBF/WBA Lightweight Champion, was the final inductee. “My dad made me promise to never back down from anyone and I carried that into the ring…I realized that being a good man is what made me a great boxer,” Campbell proclaimed.

Although Sean O’Grady was inducted in the MEDIA category, he was once a talented lightweight. “The Bubblegum Kid” had an impressive career that culminated with him defeating Hilmer Kenty on a unanimous 15-round decision (146-139, 146-138 and 147-137) for the WBA World’s Lightweight Championship on April 12, 1981 at Bally’s Park Place Casino in Atlantic City.  The O’Grady-Kenty fight was nationally televised and is one of the greatest lightweight title bouts of all-time. O’Grady retired with a terrific 81-5 (70 KO’s) record. From October 1, 1982 to August 25, 1998, the  USA Network held the popular Tuesday Night Fights and O’Grady was one of the announcers. O’Grady provided wonderful insights to the television audience with his color commentary of fights that featured the likes of Roberto Duran, Roy Jones Jr., George Foreman, Vinny Pazienza and Larry Holmes, among many others.

After a coffee-and-cake party, people went their separate ways. Many of them will not see each other until next June 21st when the 2020 FBHOF ceremonies will commence. Yet again it will be time for another summer solstice and, simultaneously, another FBHOF ceremony. The two are concurrent.

Butch and Kathy Flansburg, along with the rest of the staff of The Florida Boxing Hall of Fame are credits to the sport of fisticuffs and put on a great weekend for boxing fans each year.

For videos of the glorious 2019 Florida Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, go to their YouTube channel at:

The 2019 Florida Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend was from June 21 to June 23.

Presser Notes and Quotes: Commey and Beltran Battle for Lightweight Supremacy 

Live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes FRIDAY from Pechanga Resort Casino
Carlos Adames-Patrick Day 154-pound clash to serve as co-feature

(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

TEMECULA, Calif. (June 26, 2019) – The road to lightweight supremacy continues Friday at Pechanga Resort Casino when IBF world lightweight champion Richard Commey (28-2, 25 KOs) makes the first defense of his title against former lightweight world champion Ray Beltran (36-8-1, 22 KOs).

The winner of Commey-Beltran is expected to fight the winner of the July 19 IBF title eliminator featuring unbeaten sensation Teofimo Lopez and Japanese veteran Masayoshi Nakatani. The winner of this de facto tournament could conceivably face unified champion Vasiliy Lomachenko for all four lightweight belts in early 2020.

Beltran lost his WBO lightweight title to Jose Pedraza last August, but rebounded to stop unbeaten super lightweight contender Hiroki Okada in February.

Commey knocked out Isa Chaniev in two rounds Feb. 2 in Frisco, Texas, to pick up the vacant title.

In the co-feature, 154-pound slugger Carlos Adames (17-0, 14 KOs) will defend his NABO and NABF belts in a 10-rounder versus upstart Patrick Day (17-2-1, 6 KOs).

At Wednesday’s final press conference, this is what the fighters had to say.

Richard Commey

“Being a world champion is great. I went back home, and everyone welcomed me at the airport. It was like a hero’s welcome. It was unbelievable. I just thank God for that.”

“Every time I prepare for a fight, I don’t try to knock my opponent out. I just work hard, and it always comes as a bonus. My head trainer, Andre Rozier, always pushes me. I never try and knock out my opponent. It comes when it comes. I believe he’s a strong guy, a tough guy, and so am I. It’s going to be a good fight, but I’m the champion, and I’m going to keep my belt.” 

Ray Beltran

On fighting at the top of the sport after nearly 20 years as a pro

“I feel like I made it the hard way. Even when the sport or the boxing world didn’t believe in me, that’s when I had to believe in myself. I think that’s why I am here. I’ve been counted out. People doubted me. I think 10 years ago, boxing experts and matchmakers didn’t even think I was a top-10 fighter. Nobody gave me an opportunity. I had to go and take it. Here we are. I became a world champion, and I am fighting for another world title. It’s not about if people believe in you. You must believe in yourself.”

“I don’t want to prove nobody nothing. I want to prove to myself that it’s about what I can do. I’ve been doubted most of my career, and it doesn’t matter how much I do or what I accomplish. It’s never enough, so I’m not worried about it.”

“I came from a really rough childhood. There was no hope. I was never satisfied with what life put in front of me. The saying, ‘If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’ I say, ‘F**K that!’ I don’t want to get lemons. I want to get what I want from life. That’s my mentality.”

Carlos Adames

“I had a very good amateur record. I’m a very talented fighter, and so is Patrick Day, but there is no fighter alive that can defeat me in the ring.”

On training with Robert Garcia and adding a nutritionist to his camp

“They are a great team. I’ve been training hard with Robert and Perfecting Athletes on the nutritional part, but I also have a lot of confidence in my talent.”

“The Dominican Republic is known for having good baseball players, but I’m trying to make it known that the country has good boxers as well.”

Patrick Day

“My most recent success comes from within, my hunger, my desire. I just want to be great at something, not only in boxing but in life. And in life, I just happen to choose to box. That’s the avenue that I want to do. I’m not going to be mediocre. I suffered two defeats early in my career, so I had to {look within} and really evaluate myself.”

“This is a great opportunity. It’s an opportunity I’ve dreamed of – my opponent as well – and we’re both deserving of this opportunity. In my estimation, we are the two best 154-pounders in the world. These guys that have the belts, they’re good. It seems like Al Haymon really has his hands on the 154-pound division with all these prospects and champions, but these guys haven’t been tested yet. And they’re not the real deal. They talk big, they have the big ego and they’re really cocky, but what have they done? They’re not fighters like me and Carlos are. We’re going to set the tone, and we’re going to set an example for the 154-pound division.”

ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

Richard Commey (champion) vs. Ray Beltran (challenger), 12 rounds, Commey’s IBF lightweight world title

Carlos Adames vs. Patrick Day, 10 rounds, Adames’ NABO and NABF super welterweight titles

ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT

Saul Rodriguez vs. Miguel Angel Gonzalez, 10 rounds, super featherweight

Junior Fa vs. Dominick Guinn, 10 rounds, heavyweight

Tyler Howard vs. Luis Hernandez, 8 rounds, middleweight

Ruben Rodriguez vs. Vicente Morales , 6 rounds, super lightweight

Raymond Muratalla vs. Agustine Mauras, 6 rounds, lightweight

Elvis Rodriguez vs. Joaquin Chavez, 4 rounds, lightweight

Dmitry Yun vs. Jose Antonio Meza, 4 rounds, lightweight

Chris Zavala vs. Prisco Marquez, 6 rounds, super featherweight

David Kaminsky vs. Osbaldo Gonzlalez, 4 rounds, middleweight

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with DiBella Entertainment, tickets for this world championship event priced at $149, $129, $79, $59, and $29 are on sale now and can be purchased online at, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or in person at the Pechanga Resort Casino box office.

King’s Promotions Sign Undefeated Fighters James Martin, Jonathan Torres & Khainell Wheeler
All three fighters will be in action this Saturday night at The 2300 Arena
Philadelphia, PA (June 18, 2019)–King’s Promotions announced that the Promotional outfit has signed undefeated fighters: welterweight James Martin, bantamweight Jonathan Torres & super middleweight Khainell Wheeler.
All three will be in action this Saturday night at The 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. as Martin takes on Kashon Hutchinson (4-5, 1 KO) of Reading, PA in a six-round welterweight bout.
Torres takes on Hugo Rodriguez (0-4) of Monterrey, Mexico in a four-round bantamweight bout.
Wheeler battles pro debuting Tywaski Hendrix in a four-round super middleweight fight.
“We are excited to add these three talented fighters to our roster,” said Marshall Kauffman, President of King’s Promotions.
“I feel that Martin, Torres and Wheeler are very talented, and have big upsides.  I look forward to being able to promote them and see them grow into contenders and eventually world champions. As I have watched these young boxers, I seen tremendous growth in just a few fights, so I am excited to see what the future has for them. I am also looking forward to Saturday night where all three of them will be on display and it will be just the beginning of big things for them.” I look forward to working with Jim Deoria as well who was behind the developing of both Harry Yorgey and Ronald Cruz.  James Martin comes from a boxing family and I believe that with a young kid like that he can fight anyone on his level and win but it is my job to place him in fights that he will grow into being the best 147lb. to 154lb in the World.
Yet another fighter is looking to follow in the footsteps of his father.
Enter undefeated welterweight James Martin.
Martin, 21 years-old of Philadelphia is the son of former three-time light heavyweight title challenger, Jerry “The Bull” Martin.
He will be in action this Saturday night when he takes on Kashon Hutchinson in a six-round bout at The 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.
The elder Martin fought the whose-who of the light heavyweight division including those championship opportunities against Eddie Mustafa Muhammad,  Matthew Saad Muhammad and Dwight Muhammad Qawi.
James Martin is off to a nice start in his punch for pay career as he is 4-0 in his fledgling career.
Martin, who just signed with King’s Promotions, is still learning on the job as he continues his growth in the pro-ranks.
At just 21 years-old, Martin still knows he has a lot to learn, and he has been working on his power since his last fight, which was a unanimous decision over Rick Pyle on March 1st.
“I have been learning to sit down on my punches, and with this being my first six-round fight, I am trying to pace myself better.”
With the wealth of experience that his father can instill on his son, James is very eager to learn from the former 32 fight veteran.
“I don’t feel any pressure being his son.  He corrects me on my little mistakes, and that tightens up my style.  I guess the best thing is that he tells me to move around more and box.  I am now looking to make a name for myself.”
Torres of Bethlehem also has an undefeated mark of 4-0 with one knockout.  The 20 year-old will take on Hugo Rodriguez in a scheduled four-round bout.
Before turning pro, Torres amassed a amateur record of 53-5 and was a 2018 Pennsylvania Golden Gloves winner in the 123 pound weight class.
“This is a business no, and I want to thank my managers.Jimmy Deoria and Lemuel Rodriguez,” said Torres.  “King’s Promotions will guide me in the right path and get me to where we want to get to be.  I can fight in any style. I can adjust to any opponent, and am only 20 years old…I don’t want to rush into anything…I Just want to fight.”
“I am excited and thankful for this,” said Wheeler.  “It shows that that hard work in the gym has paid off.”
“I see King’s Promotions moving my career to where I am an six, eight, 10 and 12 round fighter”
Wheeler, 25 years old,  started boxing after his older brother introduced him to the sport by watching fights on television.
“I started liking the sport and then I wanted to show my mother that I could make her proud that I could do something before she passed away.  Unfortunately she passed away before I got to show her, but my older brother is here and he is very proud of what I have done so far.  I just want to thank everyone who has and will continue to support me.”
Wheeler began boxing at the age of 19, and had a brief amateur career that saw him go 4-0 with two knockouts.  He is managed by Jimmy Deoria and co-trained by Lemuel Rodriguez and Fernando Arroyo. 
In the main event Three-Time Olympian Anvar Yunusov (7-0, 3 KOs) of Tajakistan will take on Angel Luna (11-5-1,  6 KOs) Yamasa, Dominican Republic in a eight-round featherweight bout.
In an eight-round co-feature, returning junior welterweight Milton Santiago Jr.(17-0, 3 KOs) of Philadelphia takes on Ruben Lopez (12-14-4, 5 KOs) of Argentina.
Also seeing action in eight-round bouts:
Colby Madison (8-0-2, 5 KOs) of Owings Mills, MD takes on Robert Simms (8-3, 3 KOs) of Saginaw, MI in a heavyweight bout.
In six-round bouts:
Paul Kroll (3-0, 3 KOs) battles Hector Mercado (3-10) of Fort Myers, Florida via Veracruz, Mexico in a welterweight contest.
In four-round bouts:
Rasheen Brown (3-0) of Philadelphia fights pro debuting Lionell Tidwell  in a bantamweight bout.
Weusi Johnson (3-12-1) of Wilmington, Delaware battles Kevin Asmat (5-2, 4 KOs) of North Bergen, New Jersey in a lightweight contest.
Yunusov stops Luna in 2
Simms upsets Madison
Brown, Kroll, Torres and Wheeler remain undefeated
Philadelphia, PA (June 24, 2019)–Three-time Olympian, Anvar Yunusov remained perfect by stopping Angel Luna in the 2nd round of their scheduled eight-round junior lightweight bout.
The fight headlined an eight-bout card at The 2300 Arena and was promoted by King’s Promotions in association with Titans Boxing Promotions.
Yunosov dropped Luna with a right hook in round one.  That was followed by a flurry of punches that Luna barely survived.  It didn’t take long, as in round two, Yunusov landed a perfect straight left that deposited Luna on his back.  Yunusov jumped on Luna, and the bout was stopped at 56 seconds.
Yunusov of Philadelphia via Tajakistan is now 8-0 with four knockouts.
Robert Simms scored an upset victory as he handed Colby Madison his 1st loss by pounding out a eight-round unanimous decision in a heavyweight bout.
Madison fought through a badly swollen left eye that occurred in round five.   Simms had a bad cut over his right eye, but was able to come through by scores of 80-72 twice and 79-73.
Simms of Saginaw, Michigan is now 9-3.  Madison of Owings Mills, Maryland is 8-1-2.
Rasheen Brown stopped debuting Lionell Tidwell in the 2nd round of their scheduled four-round super bantamweight fight.
Brown landed a perfect straight left that sent Tidwell down and the bout was stopped at 1:18 of round two.
Brown of Philadelphia is 4-0 with one knockout.
2016 U.S. Olympian Paul Kroll kept his perfect mark in-tact as he scored a memorable 1st round stoppage over Hector Mercado in a scheduled six-round welterweight bout.
Kroll landed a right to the head, that sent Mercado down on his leg.  Mercado’s right leg was dangling off of his ankle, and the bout was stopped at 1:23.
Kroll of Philadelphia is 4-0 with four knockouts.  Mercado is 3-11.
Kashon Hutchinson won a six-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated James Martin in a welterweight bout.
Hutchinson scored a flash knockdown in the opening frame, and that proved to be distance as he took all cards 57-56.
Hutchinson of Reading, PA is 5-5.  Martin of Philadelphia is 4-1.
Jonathan Torres won a four-round unanimous decision over Hugo Rodriguez in a bantamweight contest.
Torres of Bethlehem, PA dropped Rodriguez in round four, and cruised to the victory by 40-35 scores.
Torres is 5-0.  Rodriguez of Mexico is 0-5.
Kevin Asmat stopped Weusi Johnson in round three of their scheduled four round junior lightweight bout.
Asmat dropped Johnson in round’s one and two, and Johnson was stopped on his feet at 2:44 of round three.
Asmat of North Bergen, NJ is 6-2 with five knockouts.  Johnson of Wilmington, Delaware is 3-13-1.
Khainell Wheeler registered his 2nd consecutive 1st round stoppage as he stopped Tywaski Hendrix in their scheduled four-round super middleweight fight.
Wheeler dropped Hendrix twice and the fight was stopped immediately upon the 2nd knockdown at 2:45.
Wheeler of Bethlehem, PA is 2-0 with two knockouts.  Hendrix of Little Rock, Arkansas was making his pro debut.


Eddie Gomez Explosive In 2nd Round Stoppage over Saul Corral in Atlantic City
Gomez now looks to Fight Big Names in Welterweight Division
NEW YORK (June 21, 2019) -Split-T Management’s welterweight contender Eddie Gomez won his 3rd straight bout as he annihilated Saul Corral in two rounds of their scheduled 10-round bout at The Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
In round two, Gomez dropped Corral with a hard right.  Seconds later, it was a crushing double-left to the body that sent Corral to the canvas.  Corral was hurt, and then a clipping left sent him down for a 3rd time.  Gomez ended the fight with a devastating flurry of punches that had the referee stop the bout as Corral was falling for a 4th and final time at 1:55. 
Gomez, 146. lbs of Bronx, NY is now 23-3 with 13 knockouts.  Corral, 146.4 lbs of Douglas, AZ is 30-14.
Eddie Gomez talks 2nd Round Stoppage over Saul Corral
“Great fight, great team. I worked hard and it showed tonight. My opponent was a tough fighter, and we knew he was tough coming in. I just knew I had to do my job,” Said Gomez
Said Tim VanNewhouse of Split-T Management, “Eddie looked sensational tonight.  He once again proved he is ready for big fights.  Golden Boy has several intriguing options such as Vergil Ortiz, Jr., Anthony Young or a rematch with Rashidi Ellis.  We would welcome any of those opportunities in our next bout.”


WBO Championship Committee Resolution – Designation Of Mr. Oleksandr Usyk As Mandatory Challenger In The WBO Heavyweight Division
(Original Document Attached)
The present ruling is issued upon a petition filed on Monday, June 3rd 2019, by Mr. John Hornewer,Esq., on behalf of former Undisputed WBO, WBA, WBC & IBF Jr. Heavyweight Champion of the World Mr. Oleksandr Usyk, and Team Usyk, whereby official designation as Mandatory Challenger in the WBO World Heavyweight Division is requested.
Fernando Gaztambide 
WBO Press Officer

World-Ranked Junior Middleweight Thomas LaManna Headlines on Saturday Night, July 20th at The Carousel Room at The Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City.
Heavyweight Chazz Witherspoon in action
Undefeated  Zachary Dubnoff, Josue Rosa, Ry’Shine Collins and Shinard Bunch in action.
Isiah Seldon to take on Jordan Rosario
ATLANTIC CITY (JUNE 20, 2019)–World-Ranked junior middleweight contender Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna will be back in action on Saturday, July 20th at The brand new Carousel Room inside the Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City.

LaManna will headline a massive 10-bout card that is promoted by Rising Star Promotions.

LaManna of Milville, New Jersey (27-2-1, 9 KOs) is ranked number-11 by the WBA and number-12 by the WBO, will be making his 1st start in 2019.

The 27 year-old LaManna, who was the former New Jersey State and WBC Fecarbox Welterweight champion, is unbeaten in his last seven outings to which he as gone 6-0-1.

LaManna has wins over Kendal Mena (20-3), Matthew Strode (25-6) and in his last bout, LaManna won an eight-round unanimous decision over former world title challenger Mike Arnaoutis on November 16th, 2018 at The Showboat.

This will be the 21st fight in Atlantic City for LaManna, with this fighting being the 3rd at The Showboat.

LaManna’s opponent in the 10-round bout will be announced shortly.

Seeing action in the six-round co-feature will be perennial contender Chazz “The Gentleman” Witherspoon.

Witherspoon of Paulsboro, New Jersey has a record of 38-3 with 29 knockouts.

The 15-year veteran has a seven year winning streak that has seen him go 8-0 in that time frame.  Witherspoon has victories over Yul Witherspoon (1-0), Michael Alexander (11-0), Talmidge Griffis (24-6-3), Jonathan Haggler (18-1), Adam Richards (21-1), Ty Cobb (14-2), Nick Guivas (11-2-2), Michael Marrone (21-5) and his last bout when he stopped former world title challenger Santander Silgado on March 23rd at The Showboat.

Witherspoon’s opponent will be named shortly.

In six-round bouts:

Isiah Seldon (13-2-1, 4 KOs) of Somers Point, New Jersey takes on Jordan Rosario (3-8) of  Jersey City, NJ in a super welterweight contest.

Jaywon Woods (11-1-1, 5 KOs) of Danville, VA takes on an opponent to be named in a cruiserweight fight.

Sahret Delgado (7-0, 7 KOs) of Humacao, Puerto Rico takes on 23 fight veteran Larry Knight of Birmingham, Georgia in a heavyweight bout.

In four round bouts:

Zachary Dubnoff (2-0, 2 KOs) of Springfield, NJ will take on an opponent to be named in a super middleweight contest.

Steve Moore (1-8, 1 KO) of Orange, NJ squares off with Ricky Nuno (2-3, 1 KO) of Bethlehem, NJ in a welterweight tussle.

Josue Rosa (2-0,2 KOs) boxes Steven Lopez (0-3) in a battle between Philadelphia based bantamweights.

Robert Terry (3-0) of Jersey City, New Jersey takes on an opponent to be named in a middleweight bout.

Shinard Bunch (2-0, 2 KOs) of Trenton, NJ will fight an opponent to be named in a welterweight bout.

Tickets are now on sale for $125, $80 and $55 and can be purchased on
Dawson begins quest to reclaim 175-pound division
Former world champ and pound-for-pound great makes long awaited comeback June 29th
FORMER LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT world champion Chad Dawson, right, returns to the ring following a two-year layoff Saturday, June 29th, 2019 at Foxwoods Resort Casino to face Quinton Rankin of North Carolina in an eight-round bout. Dawson captures world titles in three major sanctioning bodies during his reign atop the 175-pound weight class in the mid-2000s and looks to reclaim that glory beginning with his comeback fight on the 29th. 
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (June 17th, 2019) — There are many reasons why some professional fighters hang on longer than most people think they should.
Some need the money. Others miss the limelight. 
Chad Dawson is simply motivated by the thrill of victory and an opportunity to reclaim his throne atop the light heavyweight division.
“If I didn’t think I had anything left, I wouldn’t be doing it right now,” said the former two-time world champion, who returns to the ring Saturday, June 29th, 2019 at Foxwoods Resort Casino after two and a half years away from the sport.
“I want to get back in the spotlight, back into contention and back into the ring with the guys who are at the top now.”
Dawson (34-5, 19 KOs), who turns 37 in July, faces North Carolina vet Quinton Rankin (15-5-2, 12 KOs) in the eight-round main event of CES Boxing’s pro-am spectacular at the historic Fox Theater. The event streams live on Facebook via FIGHTNIGHT LIVE and also includes a 10-round featherweight co-feature bout between fellow New Haven boxer Tramaine Williams(17-0, 6 KOs) and Filipino Neil John Tabanao (17-5, 11 KOs).
Limited tickets are available at $47, $77 and $157 (VIP) and can be purchased online at or, by phone at 401-724-2253 or 800-200-2882 or at the Fox Theater Box Office. All fights and fighters subject to change. 
Dawson is not the first — and he certainly won’t be the last — fighter to return to the sport following a long layoff or retirement. Comeback stories are part of the fabric of pro boxing. Everyone loves an underdog and fans are inherently drawn to the inspirational, yet cautionary, tale of an ex-fighter looking for one more shot at glory. 
Some end better than others. Sugar Ray Robinson retired at the age of 31 in 1952, only to return two years and win the world middleweight two more times before finally calling it quits in 1965 with a whopping 201 pro bouts on his resume. Former heavyweight champ George Foreman ended a 10-year layoff in 1987, returning to the ring at 38 and winning an additional 27 fights before he stunned world champion Michael Moorer with a 10-round knockout victory in 1994 at the age of 45.
Sugar Ray Leonard tried, but failed, returning to boxing after a six-year layoff at the age of 40 to face Hector Camacho Jr., who dismantled him en route to a devastating fifth-round knockout. More recently, former junior welterweight king Zab Judah, now 41, suffered a brain bleed following a knockout loss to Cletus Seldin earlier this month in his third fight since ending a four-year layoff. 
Judah’s recent setback is fresh in Dawson’s mind, yet hasn’t deterred the former two-time champ in the quest to take over the 175-pound division, a weight class he ruled swiftly and effectively during the best stretch of his career between 2007 and 2012.
In that timeframe, Dawson defended his WBC world light heavyweight title three times, including the first of two wins over legendary road warrior Glen Johnson, then captured the IBO and IBF titles by beating Antonio Tarver in 2008. The two fought again a year and it was more of the same as Dawson won by unanimous decision for the second time. Dawson then closed out the year with a second win over Johnson, re-adding the WBC belt back to his repertoire. 
A setback against Jean Pascal in 2010 forced Dawson to go back to the drawing back. Two years later, he regained the WBC title by beating Bernard Hopkins in a rematch of their first bout that ended in a no contest. 
Having beaten everyone the light heavyweight division had to offer, Dawson dropped to 168 pounds to challenge unbeaten pound-for-pound king Andre Ward in 2012, a fight that ended with a battered Dawson bowing out in the 10th round of their scheduled 12-round title bout.
The next five years, as Dawson put it, were particular hard both for he and his family. The well-wishers and support staff that stuck by him through the good times could no longer be found. The phone stopped ringing. In an effort to “stay away from the negative stuff,” Dawson relocated to his family to Nevada for a few years before returning to Connecticut in 2015. 
During that stretch, Dawson’s performance in the ring was sporadic at best. He absorbed a knockout loss to Adonis Stevenson in 2013 in an attempt to regain the WBC light heavyweight title, but then won three of his next four before another setback against Andrzej Fonfara in March of 2017.
He knows there are still naysayers who don’t think he should come back or doubt his ability to compete at the highest level, but Dawson wouldn’t be doing this if he wasn’t confident he could make another run at a world title. The time is now, he says, based on a few important factors; Ward retired two years ago after crushing former world champ Sergey Kovalev a second time, and, Dawson said, Kovalev is not the same fighter he was when he surged to a 30-0 record in capturing the WBO, WBO and IBF world title. Furthermore, Dawson is unimpressed with Oleksandr Gvozdyk, who recently pummeled Stevenson to capture the WBC title.
“There a lot of good fighters in this division, but I think a Chad Dawson in tip-top shape can beat these guys,” Dawson said.
We may soon find out, but first Dawson must get past Rankin, a scrappy underdog who enters this fight with, in his own words, “nothing to lose.” This is a good barometer for Dawson to test himself and see just how far along he is in his quest to recapture the magic that earned him a spot among the sport’s elite. 
“Honestly, it’s a fight I should win,” Dawson said matter-of-factly. “With my pedigree, my background and my experience, I should come out on top.”
While there have been detractors — mainly anonymous profiles and faceless names on social media — Dawson says he’s felt an overwhelming amount of support since announcing his comeback, perhaps a sign that he’s finally learned to block out the negativity that clouded his judgment for the last five years. Dawson recently alluded to this on social media with a lengthy post about the highs and lows athletes experience in professional, quoting Golden State Warriors power forward DeMarcus Cousins, who recently said, “We’re idolized as superstar athletes, not human beings.”
“What I went through is what all fighters go through,” Dawson said. “Boxing is a brutal sport. Some are fortunate to leave with money and some aren’t. I wanted everyone to understand where I’m coming from. We all have families to take care of — kids, wives, mothers, fathers, people who depend on us.
“We’re fighters, but we’re regular people like everyone else. When you’re on top, the phone is ringing off the hook. All that stuff stops when you take a couple of losses. When you’re not on top, people forget about you.”
With his family back in Hampton, roughly 70 miles north of New Haven, Dawson has reunited with his first promoter, Jimmy Burchfield Sr., who helped guide him to his first 17 wins as a pro, including a WBC youth world title in 2005 when Dawson was just 23 years old.
“He’s the first one who took a chance on me,” Dawson said of Burchfield. “I owe a lot of this to him. He got me in the position to be able to fight on Showtime and HBO and get the big fights that put me in position to fight for a world title. 
“What better place to be than with Jimmy and CES? I’m back home. It’d be great to finish my career with Jimmy.”
That all-important first step in less than two weeks away and Dawson feels like a new man, both physically and mentally. He’s taking his training day by day to ensure he doesn’t overdo it so that he’s in “perfect shape” come fight night.
Walking away is never easy, whether it’s boxers, baseball players or football Hall of Famers, but most know when their time has come. Dawson isn’t there yet. There’s still something left in the tank and he’s ready to put it all on display on June 29th.
“Athletes in generals, we always feel we have more to offer,” Dawson said. “We can do more regardless of what our body or mind tells us. For me, the last five years haven’t gone the way I wanted them to go. I’ve done a lot. I’ve accomplished everything I said I wanted to do in boxing. 
“Now I’m doing this for me. It’s not for anybody else. It’s not for money. I want to show everyone I still have something left.”
Manchester, Conn., super welterweight Jose Rivera (7-4, 5 KOs) battles Luca Podda (7-3, 3 KOs) of Miami in a six-round bout and Oscar Bonilla (5-3-2, 1 KO) of Bridgeport, Conn., faces Julio Perez (4-3) of Worcester, Mass., in a six-round lightweight bout. 
Also featured on the main card, New Haven female flyweight Marisa Belenchia (0-0) makes her professional debut against Delaney Owen (0-2) of Clearwater, Fla., and featherweight Nathan Martinez (3-0, 1 KOs) of Bridgeport puts his unbeaten record on the line against Minnesota’s Jose Homar Rios (2-6-1, 1 KO), both in four-round bouts. Junior welterweight Wilson Mascarenhas (1-1) of New Bedford, Mass., faces Joshua Oxendine (0-0) of Pembroke, N.C., and undefeated featherweight Jacob Marrero (3-0, 2 KOs) returns to Foxwoods for the third time in a separate four-round bout. 
Showtime for the main card is 7 p.m. ET, preceded by a 10-fight amateur preliminary card featuring Dawson’s son, Chad Dawson Jr., and the debut of Lennox Estrada, the son of U.S. Olympian and former heavyweight title-challenger Jason Estrada of Providence, R.I. 
Visit or for more information, and follow CES Boxing on Instagram at @CESBOXING
Top Rank and MTK Global Join Forces to Bring Championship Boxing to Markets Worldwide
LAS VEGAS (June 17, 2019) — Top Rank and MTK Global are proud to announce a collaboration between the companies designed to bring world-class boxing and the sport’s most dynamic fighters to territories around the globe.
The collaboration will further the global reach of MTK Global and Top Rank, as the companies develop blue-chip talent, stage events featuring championship fighters and top prospects, and market the sport worldwide.
As just the first example of this initiative, MTK Global is organizing a special event July 6 in Kazakhstan’s capital city, Nur-Sultan, including the first WBC world title bout to be contested on Kazakh soil. This boxing extravaganza — part of the nation’s celebration of Capital City Day — will stream live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+ and feature WBC bantamweight world champion Nordine Oubaali (15-0, 11 KOs) defending his title against Arthur Villanueva (32-3-1, 18 KOs).
Then, on Aug. 3, Michael “Mick” Conlan makes his triumphant homecoming against former Olympic nemesis Vladimir Nikitin in front of 10,000 fans at Belfast’s Falls Park. Conlan-Nikitin, one of the keystone events of the city’s annual Feile an Phobail summer festival, will also stream live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+.
“The true future of boxing is global. It is a sport understood by people around the world,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “We are pleased to be working with MTK Global in our mutual effort to globalize the sport on a major basis.”
“MTK Global is proud and honored to be associated with Bob Arum and Top Rank in a relationship such as this,” said MTK Global President Bob Yalen. “Top Rank has been the leading promoter worldwide for over 50 years and has been instrumental in developing and promoting some of the greatest fighters in the world over that time period. The ability of Top Rank to promote not just a fight, but its fighters, is second to none. Combining that knowledge and experience with the depth of MTK Global’s roster of world-class talent and up-and-coming prospects is a sure way to broaden the horizons of both companies. We are looking forward to working closely with Top Rank to bring world-class boxing, and to develop world-class talent, in areas where boxing is just beginning to make an impression or where it is ripe for a resurgence.”
Top Rank recently bolstered its roster with the signing of multiple MTK Global-managed fighters to promotional contracts, including lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, former unified bantamweight world champion Ryan Burnett and former two-division world champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton.
In March, Top Rank and MTK Global announced an exclusive multi-year licensing agreement to bring roughly 30 MTK Global events annually to fans in the United States on ESPN platforms, including ESPN+.
About Top Rank
Innovation has been the standard at Top Rank since it was established in 1966 by Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. The boxing industry’s leading promotional company, Top Rank has shaped, developed, and promoted the careers of top international pay-per-view superstars and Hall of Famers, including Muhammad Ali, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Aaron Pryor, Alexis Arguello, Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Miguel Cotto, Erik Morales, Terence Crawford, and Vasiliy Lomachenko. Top Rank has promoted some of the most memorable fights in the sport’s history, including 26 Ali events, Leonard vs. Hearns, Pryor vs. Arguello, Duran vs. Leonard, Hagler vs. Hearns, Leonard vs. Hagler, Foreman vs. Holyfield, Morales vs. Barrera, De La Hoya vs. Trinidad, and the most lucrative fight in boxing history, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. In addition to the previously mentioned super fights, Top Rank possesses one of the largest sports libraries, which includes nearly 10,000 fights.Known for creating strategic collaborations between athletes, sponsors, and television networks, Top Rank has been an architect of boxing’s global growth by staging high-profile events in landmark settings around the world, including Madison Square Garden, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Staples Center, Wembley Arena, Araneta Coliseum, The Venetian Macao, Yankee Stadium, Radio City Music Hall, The “Fabulous” Forum, and AT&T Stadium. Top Rank has also been the leader within the boxing industry in creating unforgettable in-arena experiences for fans and embracing 21st century technological advancements to distribute world-class fights and shoulder programming across a variety of platforms.About MTK Global
MTK Global is the world’s foremost fighter management company. Headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, it was founded in September 2012 by two-time European boxing champion, Matthew Macklin.
MTK Global delivers a wide range of support and services including career development, legal, media, endorsements and sponsorships to more than a hundred professional fighters. It provides boxing shows, events and training gyms in various locations worldwide: Marbella, Spain, London, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle, United Kingdom, Johannesburg, South Africa, Sta. Catarina, Brasil and Sydney, Australia.For general enquiries, email us at:

Kazuto Ioka stops Aston Palicte in

 10th round to become 4-division world champ

CHIBA CITY, Chiba, Japan  (June 18, 2019) – History was made today in Japan as local favorite Kazuto Ioka, (24-2, 14 KOs) stopped his Filipino challenger,  “Mighty” Aston Palicte, (25-3-1, 21 KOs) midway through the 10th round, to capture the vacant World Boxing Organization’s (WBO) junior bantamweight title, and become the first Japanese boxer to be world champion in four different weight classes.

Kazuto Ioka (R) pounds Aston Palicte with a hard right.

Ioka vs. Palicte, co-promoted by RJJ Boxing and Reason Taki Promotions, was the first world championship boxing match streamed live on UFC FIGHT PASS®.

Official Result below:


Kazuto Ioka (24-2, 14 KOs), Tokyo, Japan

WTKO10 (1:46)

Aston Palicte (25-3-1, 21 KOs), Bago City, Negros Occidental, Phillipines

(Ioka won the vacant WBO junior bantamweight title)



Split-T Management’s Sonny Conto Remains Perfect with 2nd Round Stoppage Over Daniel Infate in Las Vegas

Sonny Conto

NEW YORK (June 17, 2019) –On Saturday night,  Split-T Management’s Sonny Conto made it three consecutive stoppage wins to begin his career as he got rid of Daniel Infante in the 2nd round of their heavyweight bout that took place at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.  

Once-again, Conto was dominant as he had Infante in trouble from the opening bell.  In the opening frame, Conto wobbled Infante to the point to where Infante was administered a standing-eight count.  In round two, Conto dropped Infante, and the bout was stopped midway through the referee’s count.

Sonny Conto (R) nails Daniel Infante with a straight right.

Conto raised his perfect mark to 3-0 with three knockouts.

“Sonny looked terrific on Saturday night,” said Tim VanNewhouse of Split-T Management.  “He is progressing very nicely.  He is very composed and we expect big things from Sonny in the heavyweight division.”

Sonny Conto (knocks out Daniel Infante in round two.

The 23 year-old Conto was a two-time Pennsylvania Golden Gloves Champion as well as a Silver Medalist in the 2018 National Golden Gloves and a Bronze Medalist in the 2017 National Golden Gloves.  


Cletus “Hebrew Hammer” Seldin pounds out former champ Zab “Super” Judah to win vacant NABA super lightweight title

Story by Kirk Lang

Photos by Al Derouin and Star Boxing

Cletus “Hebrew Hammer” Seldin (L) looks for an opening against former champ Zab “Super” Judah

Cletus “Hebrew Hammer” Seldin (L) looks for an opening against former champ Zab “Super” Judah

June 7, 2019 – Verona, NY – Turning Stone Resort Casino. In a fight pitting a young lion against an aging former champion, the script did not go according to plan for the 41-year-old pugilist.

Unable to turn back the hands of time, Zab “Super” Judah, a six-time world champion, was stopped in the 11th round after taking a barrage against the ropes from Cletus “The Hebew Hammer” Seldin, whose goal in every fight is to land at least 100 punches a round. Seldin won the vacant NABA super lightweight title with his biggest career victory to date.

Cletus “Hebrew Hammer” Seldin (L) goes after Zab “Super” Judah

Judah immediately protested the stoppage by referee Charlie Fitch – with his facial expression – but later elected to check himself into a local hospital after nearly collapsing in his dressing room. The official time of the stoppage was 1:40. Judah reportedly suffered a brain bleed and spent the remainder of the weekend in hospital care (he went in on Friday night). He would finally check out on Monday.

Cletus “Hebrew Hammer” Seldin (R) rips a right to the ribs of Zab “Super” Judah (L)

Seldin-Judah was one of those youth versus experience match-ups, the kind of test the younger man has to pass in order to prove he can take his career to the next level. Seldin passed with flying colors, but many did not predict such an easy victory, even against a 41-year-old version of Judah, who years ago impressed with titles at junior welterweight and defeated Cory Spinks for the undisputed welterweight crown.

Seldin came out fast in the opening round as Judah tried to keep him at bay with his right jab. As early as the second half of the second round, Judah resorted to holding in an attempt to blunt Seldin’s attack. The third round saw chants of “Ju-dah, Ju-dah,” an attempt to inspire Zab as Seldin was amping up his punch output. Seldin blasted Judah with an overhand right ten seconds before the bell that wobbled his legs. Fortunately for Judah, Seldin did not have adequate time to mount a follow-up attack.

 Buddy McGirt Jr. (L) stabs David Papot (R) with a hard right.

Seldin stayed on his rival round after round, with rights, left hooks and solid uppercuts. Cletus did not throw every punch with bad intentions, but stayed busy, was racking up points on the judges’ scorecards and had a plan to wear Judah down. Over the first four rounds Judah, 44-10 (30), of Brooklyn, NY, looked fairly competitive, however, in the fifth Seldin, 24-1 (20), of Long Island, NY, looked like he was beginning to take over and turn the tide more in his favor. Seldin, 138 ¼, continued to apply pressure and in the sixth round forced Judah, 138 ¼, to fight with his back against the ropes a few times. The seventh round saw a mini-comeback by the former champ. He made good use of his legs, not giving Seldin an easy target, and little more than halfway through the frame, he caught Seldin with a nice left uppercut and immediately followed that up with a straight left. Seldin would re-establish control in the 8th round, burrowing in chest to chest, thus giving Judah little opportunity to fight at his preferred distance and land his quicker hands.

Judah (L) goes on the offensive.

Chants of “Ju-dah, Ju-dah” were heard once again, this time at the start of the 11th frame, but Seldin was all over the former champion like flies on poop. A right hand seemed to make Judah’s legs a bit unsteady and a succession of shots upstairs forced referee Charlie Fitch to jump in and wave the fight off.

“This was a big opportunity for me,” said Seldin, a knockout artist who had never experienced an 11th round before. “I love 12 rounds. I want those championship rounds. I want to fight those championship fights.”

In the co-main event, Buddy McGirt Jr., 159 ½, of Vero Beach, FL., and David Papot, 156, of Paris, France, battled to a 12-round draw in a bout contested for the  WBO International and WBA Intercontinental middleweight belts.  Considering Papot was undefeated in 22 bouts, it was a pretty good showing for the fairly inactive McGirt, who only had one fight in 2018 (16 months ago in February) and then a single fight in 2017. Prior to that, he had not fought since October 2015. He was likely inspired to get on the Turning Stone card out of respect for his father Buddy McGirt Sr. who would be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame one exit away in Canastota two days after fight night.

McGirt began the bout strong, displaying a stiff right jab over the first four rounds.  In fact, in the opening frame he bloodied Papot’s nose. Before the third round was over, he had caused swelling around both of Papot’s eyes. Papot, 22-0-1 (3), began to have more success around the latter half of the fourth round and he took more chances and got more aggressive in the fifth stanza. In the sixth round, McGirt , 27-3-2 (14), was not using his legs like he had in earlier rounds, which allowed Papot to get close and fire away. He seemed to briefly rock McGirt with two lefts to the head at one point. Before the round was over, McGirt’s nose was bleeding and he had a mouse under his left eye.

Papot would land a ton of power shots in the seventh frame. Fortunately for McGirt, Papot is not a “puncher,” as only three of his 22 wins have come by knockout. McGirt seemed to get a second wind in the 8th round and in the 9th round Buddy’s uncle Daniel McGirt was yelling for his nephew – from the press area – to go “downstairs” and attack “the liver.” McGirt was impressing with some serious head shots but his uncle wanted him to vary his attack. The 10th frame featured some crowd-pleasing ebb and flow. McGirt seemed to take the 11th round as he focused on keeping Papot at arm’s length. It appeared Papot deserved the 12th and final round by being a little more aggressive. In the end, nobody lost, but nobody picked up the two vacant titles up for grabs. One judge saw it 117-111 for Papot; another had it 115-113 for McGirt and judge John McKaie had it even, 114-114.

Alcibiade Duran Galvan, AKA Roberto Duran Jr., won a four-round split-decision over previously unbeaten Jonathan “The Boogie Man” Pierre

Alcibiade Duran Galvan, AKA Roberto Duran Jr., won a four-round split-decision over previously unbeaten Jonathan “The Boogie Man” Pierre.

In the night’s “special attraction,” Alcibiade Duran Galvan, AKA Roberto Duran Jr., won a four-round split-decision over previously unbeaten Jonathan “The Boogie Man” Pierre. Interestingly, Duran is trained by Vinny Paz (formerly Pazienza), who twice defeated his legendary father when Duran Sr. was past his prime.

Duran, 147, of Plantation, FL, pressed the action in the opening frame – even though he was not always busy with his hands – but Pierre, 146, of Vero Beach, FL, proved an elusive target.

Alcibiade Duran Galvan, AKA Roberto Duran Jr., (R) jabs Jonathan “The Boogie Man” (L).

Thirty seconds into the second round, Pierre landed a solid straight right hand. It was not until halfway through the frame that Duran began to find some steady success with his own right hand. His overall punch output increased as the round wore on.

By the third round it was clear Pierre had the better footwork and appeared to possess the faster hands, but Duran, constantly in pursuit, landed the harder punches. Duran’s best shot of the night might have been the lead right he cracked Pierre with halfway through the fourth and final round.

All three judges scored the fight 39-37 for Duran. Duran improved to 3-0 (2) while Pierre drops to 3-1.

Alcibiade Duran Galvan, AKA Roberto Duran Jr., avoids the shots from Jonathan “The Boogie Man”.

“It was pretty close,” admitted Duran. “My opponent had constant movement. He moved around the ring good and avoided being in the pocket with me. I knew he was quick and was going to be on the move so I had to be cautious and not fall for his counters.”

Duran added, “That’s why I limited myself on throwing more punches, which I should have been doing but this was a chess game type of fight. I landed enough punches. I was putting the pressure and I had a great defense.’


Rankin confident he can capitalize on Dawson’s “flaws”

Charlotte-based southpaw ready to embrace the spotlight in biggest fight of his career

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (June 13th, 2019) – NORTH CAROLINA NATIVE Quinton Rankin is less than three weeks away from the opportunity of a lifetime Saturday, June 29th, 2019 at Foxwoods Resort Casino when he faces former two-time world light heavyweight champion “Bad” Chad Dawson of New Haven, Conn., to headline CES Boxing’s pro-am extravaganza at the historic Fox Theater. Rankin only has 22 fights on his resume, but has worked alongside some of the sport’s top fighters in several different championship training camps through the years, which he thinks will help elevate his game to the next level when he stands toe-to-toe with Dawson on the 29th. 

There’s more to Quinton Rankin than what you see on the surface. Peel back the layers and you’ll find Rankin boasts more wisdom and experience than professional boxers with twice as many fights on their resume.
The 32-year-old southpaw from North Carolina is just 16 days away from the biggest fight of his career, an eight-round showdown against former two-time world champion “Bad” Chad Dawson of New Haven, Conn., Saturday, June 29th, 2019 at Foxwoods Resort Casino’s historic Fox Theater, headlining a stacked pro-am card promoted by CES Boxing.
Limited tickets are available at $47, $77 and $157 (VIP) and can be purchased online at or, by phone at 401-724-2253 or 800-200-2882 or at the Fox Theater Box Office. All fights and fighters subject to change
The tale of the tape paints a tall order for Rankin (15-5-2, 12 KOs); at the height of his career, Dawson (34-5, 19 KOs) was the king of the light heavyweight division, winning the WBC, IBF and WBO world titles and earning his spot among the all-time greats with convincing wins over Bernard HopkinsGlen Johnson and Antonio Tarver during an unparalleled seven-year run. 
Rankin has never faced anyone as established as Dawson, but he’s bottled up all the knowledge he’s gained from having worked in a number of elite training camps through the years helping champions and challengers in various weight classes prepare for big fights. He recently spent time with former WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez in advance of Ramirez’s knockout win over Tommy Karpency in April and has also worked with Thomas Williams Jr.Andre Dirrell and former WBC youth champion John Jackson
In an ironic twist of fate, Rankin also sparred with pound-for-pound king Andre Ward to help Ward get ready for his own fight against Dawson in 2012. Three or four years ago, Rankin admits he wouldn’t have felt comfortable stepping into the ring against a fighter of Dawson’s pedigree, but now considers himself a much different fighter after working alongside some of the sport’s best, both past and present.
“I’m 100-percent confident I can beat Chad Dawson and will do it in impressive fashion,” Rankin said. “I’ll be able to capitalize on Chad’s flaws. A lot of fighters have seen his flaws and capitalized on them. 
“The problem with me is they only have footage from three years ago. I’m a different fighter now. He’ll have a problem adjusting to the new me. Mentally, he isn’t counting on how tough I am. I’ve seen him mentally crushed under pressure.”
This is by far Rankin’s toughest test in eight years as a professional. His most notable win came in April when he upended 11-1 Columbian light heavyweight Neller Obregon by fourth-round knockout. He’s also faced unbeaten New Haven prospect Charles Foster, top-10 world-rated Russian Medzhid Bektemirov and former title-challenger Mike Gavronski. None of those fights, he says, taught him as much as he learned while spending time in Ward’s camp in 2012. At the time, Ward was 28 years old on the brink of keeping his perfect record intact and defending his WBA and WBC super middleweight titles for the fifth time.
“I realized I had a lot of work to do as far as stamina is concerned,” Rankin said. “Skill-wise, I didn’t feel like I was out of my element, but from a conditioning standpoint, Ward is out of this world. 
“He doesn’t razzle-dazzle you with speed like Roy Jones. He’s just a workhorse. Once you fade, he’s picking it up, and that’s when you realize, ‘Man, this dude is in shape.’ That’s how he beat [Sergey] Kovalev — his conditioning was better.”
Rankin stepped his game up after working with Ward and also stepped up the level of competition over the next few years, but as a relatively unknown southpaw from North Carolina — historically not a breeding ground for championship-level fighters — he’s still often pigeonholed as just another fringe contender in an exceedingly deep talent pool. He’s had to earn respect the hard way, carrying that underdog mentality into each fight, whether in the ring or in the gym.
“Every time I got into a camp, they say, ‘Damn, you don’t fight like a North Carolina fighter,'” Rankin said. “I’m a future world champion. A lot of people don’t understand that. No one ever protected me. They just throw you to the wolves, but when you throw someone to the wolves, they become a wolf. 
“Yeah, I took some losses, but I don’t plan on losing anymore.”
The opportunity to fight Dawson is a dream come true. Rankin admits he’s followed Dawson’s career closely through the years and has even taken elements from his style and implemented them into his own repertoire. 
“To get a chance to get in there with him is an honor, but, like I told my brother, ‘I love you, but when you put those gloves on, I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do.’ 
“It’s not hard for me at all. I always come with respect, but I’m coming to put my gloves on you. We can touch gloves at the beginning and in the end, but in between that I’m trying to hurt you.”
Rankin and his wife have three children — an 11-year-old daughter, and two boys, ages 2 and 10 — and the southpaw works as a boxing trainer at the TITLE Boxing Club on Ayrsley Town Boulevard in Charlotte, which he says keeps him sharp in between fights.
“Teaching someone who isn’t trying to compete gives me a different perspective of intellect. It has actually risen my boxing IQ,” Rankin said. “You have to sometimes break things down for them and verbalize the fundamentals, and if I’m not doing things right I have to correct myself. It keeps me honest.”
Rankin’s bold persona and humble, yet confident, attitude adds a whole new layer of intrigue to the June 29th showcase at Foxwoods. What many have billed as the “homecoming” for Dawson, who hasn’t fought in two and a half years, could be the coming-out party for the underrated Rankin, who is ready for his closeup on boxing’s biggest stage.
“I have nothing to lose,” he said. “If I beat this guy, my whole life changes.”
The co-feature June 29th pits unbeaten New Haven featherweight Tramaine Williams (17-0, 6 KOs) against Filipino challenger Neil John Tabanao (17-5, 11 KOs) in a 10-round bout. Manchester, Conn., super welterweight Jose Rivera (7-4, 5 KOs) battles Luca Podda (7-3, 3 KOs) of Miami in a six-round bout and Oscar Bonilla (5-3-2, 1 KO) of Bridgeport, Conn., faces Julio Perez (4-3) of Worcester, Mass., in a six-round lightweight bout. 
Also featured on the main card, New Haven female flyweight Marisa Belenchia (0-0) makes her professional debut against Delaney Owen (0-2) of Clearwater, Fla., and featherweight Nathan Martinez (3-0, 1 KOs) of Bridgeport puts his unbeaten record on the line against Minnesota’s Jose Homar Rios (2-6-1, 1 KO), both in four-round bouts. Junior welterweight Wilson Mascarenhas (1-1) of New Bedford, Mass., faces Joshua Oxendine (0-0) of Pembroke, N.C., and undefeated featherweight Jacob Marrero (3-0, 2 KOs) returns to Foxwoods for the third time in a separate four-round bout. 
Showtime for the main card is 7 p.m. ET, preceded by a 10-fight amateur preliminary card featuring Dawson’s son, Chad Dawson Jr., and the debut of Lennox Estrada, the son of U.S. Olympian and former heavyweight title-challenger Jason Estrada of Providence, R.I. The main card streams live on Facebook via FIGHTNIGHT LIVE.
Visit or for more information, and follow CES Boxing on Instagram at @CESBOXING. 

The Newest Vegas Strip Headliner: Tyson Fury

Fury to defend lineal heavyweight crown against undefeated challenger Tom Schwarz SATURDAY at MGM Grand Garden Arena beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT LIVE on ESPN+

Tickets available at

(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

LAS VEGAS (June 12, 2019) – Ten minutes before the press conference was set to begin, Tyson Fury waltzed onto the stage at the David Copperfield Theater and started the proceedings early. The Tyson Fury Show had officially hit the Vegas Strip.

Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) will defend his lineal heavyweight title against undefeated German challenger Tom Schwarz (24-0, 16 KOs) Saturday at MGM Grand Garden Arena, live on ESPN+ (10 p.m. ET).

He commented on his challenger’s good lucks and engaged in a pose-off with his adversary before the formal press conference got underway.

This is what the main event participants and Top Rank chairman Bob Arum had to say.

Tyson Fury

On the response of the American people to him

“I feel like the crowd has warmed to me. Everyone has been very welcoming. The American people, all different types of people, have been coming up to me, people from all over the world here in Vegas. People who don’t speak English, people who don’t even watch boxing. It’s quite humbling, to be honest. It’s a very great experience to be here, Las Vegas, MGM Grand. It’s where all the great fights happen. Seeing your face on all the movie screens and posters is great.”

“I believe the fight with Wilder only helped my profile here in the United States, and here we are again, only a few days away from the biggest fight of my life.”

On his public battle with mental awareness

“I talk about mental health a lot because it’s very important to me. Only 18 months ago, I was in a very, very dark place. I just wanted to prove to people that there is a way back. You can come back from anything. Nothing is impossible, and if you’d seen me a time ago when I was very heavy and very unwell… I love to inspire people. to get better and change their lives as I did mine. And I’m living proof that anyone can change.”

“I was down and out. I have my family right here, and even those guys thought I was gone. There was no return for ‘They Gypsy King.’ No more. He was finished. I dusted myself off, got back on the road, got back mentally well, and me, {trainer} Ben {Davison} and the whole team, we worked very hard for a long time to get to this position.”

“I am living the dream. That’s why I’m so happy, so positive all the time. I’m one of the only people who is living what they want to do. There is nothing else that I wanted to do. As a kid, I wanted to be heavyweight champion of the world. So now, everything is a bonus. I wake up every day, enjoy life, and take life as it comes.”

Tom Schwarz 

“Training for this fight was very good. We had hundreds of sparring partners to prepare for this big fight. My time is now!”

On adding Roberto Norris to his corner

“He makes me train harder and that has made me a stronger fighter. I have also learned new boxing skills with him. He has taught me the American style.” 

“Top Rank is a great company and Bob Arum is the God of all promoters. We also know Frank Warren very well. He is a great promoter, too. The eyes of the world will be on Las Vegas this Saturday night and for that, I’m very honored and excited. It will be a great fight and I’m coming to win it and shock the world.”

Bob Arum

“I am absolutely delighted with this reception. The job of a promoter, as Frank {Warren} would attest, can be very difficult. Once in a while, many times, you get guys who are reluctant to speak to the press. You gotta give them scripts as to what to say. With Tyson Fury, all you have to do is get him into place so that he can meet with the press, he can meet with the public. You don’t have to tell him what to say because he knows how to reach the public and reach the press. It’s really been a delight to do this promotion. I’m a big fan of German boxing, and I know Tom – who many of you have not heard of – is a tremendous fighter. Our matchmakers went over the tapes of his 24 victories and some of his amateur tapes, and we realize what a tremendous fighter he is.”

ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

Tyson Fury (champion) vs. Tom Schwarz (challenger), 12 rounds, Fury’s Lineal world heavyweight title,

Jesse Hart vs. Sullivan Barrera, 10 rounds, light heavyweight

ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT

Mikaela Mayer vs. Lizbeth Crespo, 10 rounds, super featherweight

Andy Vences vs. Albert Bell, 10 rounds, Vences’ WBC Continental Americas super featherweight belt

Isaac Lowe vs. Duarn Vue, 10 rounds, Lowe’s WBC International featherweight belt

Guido Vianello vs. Kennan Hickman, 6 rounds, heavyweight

Peter Kadiru vs. Juan Torres, 4 rounds, heavyweight


Sonny Conto vs. Daniel Infante, 4 rounds, heavyweight

Cem Kilic vs. Martez McGregor 8 rounds, super middleweight

FURY vs. SCHWARZ, the 12-round fight for the lineal heavyweight championship of the world, is presented by Top Rank in association with Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions and SES Boxing, and is sponsored by Geico. 

FURY vs. SCHWARZ will take place Saturday, June 15, beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT at MGM GRAND GARDEN ARENA, and will be produced by Top Rank and ESPN and streamed live on ESPN+.

Tickets priced at $500, $300, $100 and $50 are on sale now can be purchased online through, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts box office.

For more information, visit:,; Facebook:; Twitter:
Use the hashtag #FurySchwarz to join the conversation on social media.

Sweet Six: Oscar Valdez Decisions Jason Sanchez

Valdez defeats Sanchez by unanimous decision, defends WBO featherweight title for the sixth time

Gabriel Flores Jr. defeats Salvador Briceno, improves to 14-0

(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank)
RENO, Nev. (June 8, 2019) — For the third time in his WBO featherweight world title reign, Oscar Valdez turned away the challenge of a previously undefeated fighter. Valdez, a two-time Olympian for his native Mexico, defeated Albuquerque product Jason Sanchez via unanimous decision to defend his world title for the sixth time.
The scores — 118-109 2x and 117-110 — were reflective of the action, but Sanchez, appearing in his first world title contest, made the longtime champion work for the victory.
Valdez (26-0, 20 KOs) knocked down Sanchez with a lead left hook to open the fifth round and played the role of boxer-puncher throughout the evening.
Sanchez (14-1, 7 KOs) was game, but he did not have an answer for Valdez, who has become a less of a brawler and more of a defensive-minded, catch-and-shoot tactician under the guidance of trainer Eddy Reynoso.
“I hope {to fight at featherweight again}. I also have to listen to my body. We’re going to see what’s best,” Valdez said. “Sometimes I get tired in there, and I’m not sure if it’s because of the weight loss. We’ll talk about {my next move} as a team and will do what is best. I want to fight everybody at 126, 130. Let’s do it.”
“Sanchez lacked experience, but he showed tremendous guts. Oscar Valdez fought him back and showed his championship heart,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “We’re going to look for a fight later on in the year between Valdez and Carl Frampton if Frampton is successful in his next fight.”Flores Jr. improves to 14-0Gabriel Flores Jr., 35 days removed from his last ESPN appearance, authored quite the encore. Flores (14-0, 6 KOs), the Stockton, California, native who packed more than 10,000 fans into the Stockton Arena on May 4 for his third-round knockout over Eduardo Pereira Reis, made the short drive to Reno and outfought Salvador Briceno to earn an eight-round unanimous decision (79-73 and 78-74 2X) in the co-feature.
Briceno (15-4, 9 KOs), from Guadalajara, Mexico, saw his two-bout winning streak come to an end, while Flores improved to 3-0 in 2019.
At 19 years of age, Flores cemented his status as one of boxing’s sublime teenage talents.
“I want to fight in the next two, three months. If they want me to fight next month, we can talk about it,” Flores said. “I am only 19, and I am only getting better. I’m staying busy and fighting better opponents. Top Rank is developing me perfectly, and it’s about fighting all different types of fighters to get me ready for the championship level.”In other action:— Light heavyweight contender Michel Seals (23-2, 17 KOs) took matters into his own hands, knocking out veteran Christopher Brooker (14-7, 5 KOs) with a single right hand at 2:00 of the second round. Seals has won three in a row since a controversial disqualification loss.“He’s a tough guy. I did my homework on him,” Seals said. “I knew he was crafty, so I had to take my time. I knew I was going to walk him into something.”— Robson Conceicao, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist for his native Brazil, improved to 13-0 with an eight-round unanimous decision over Carlos Ruiz (16-7-2, 6 KOs). Ruiz, who has fought the likes of Shakur Stevenson and former world champion Hozumi Hasegawa, has never been stopped as a pro. The judges scored the bout as followed: 80-72 (2x) and 79-73.

— Diego Elizondo (2-0-2, 0 KOs) and Sergio Vega (2-0-1, 2 KOs) fought to a four-round draw in a crowd-pleasing lightweight bout. All three judges scored the contest 38-38.— Reno native JJ Mariano had a successful pro debut, scoring a fourth-round TKO over William Flenoy in a super lightweight bout. Flenoy (0-1) injured his shoulder and was unable to continue.

Split-T Management Fighters Chales Conwell and Brian Ceballo Shine at Madison Square Garden
NEW YORK (June 10, 2019) –Split-T Management young stars, Charles Conwell and Brian Ceballo gained the biggest wins of their careers with very impressive performances this past Saturday night as part of the Gennady Golovkin – Steve Rolls undercard at Madison Square Garden.
2016 U.S. Olympian Charles Conwell remained perfect with a 10-round unanimous decision over Courtney Pennington to win the USBA Junior Middleweight championship.   
In round two, the 21 year-old Conwell hurt Pennington with a left hook. In round six, Conwell continued to batter Pennington as he landed a hard combination along the ropes that featured a solid left hook and flush right.  In round eight, Pennington suffered a cut over his right eye from a left-right combination from Conwell.  In round ten, he stunned Pennington again with a right hand.
Conwell, 153.4 lbs of Cleveland won by scores of 97-92 twice and 96-93, and is now 10-0. Pennington, 152 lbs of Brooklyn is 12-4-3.
“I’m very happy with my performance. Pennington was a tough fighter, but we got the victory,” said Conwell. “Now it’s back to the gym to continue learning and growing as a fighter. It was an honor to fight at Madison Square Garden for the first time. Thanks to my promoter Lou DiBella for bringing me here and I hope to return in the near future.”  
Conwell is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Holden Promotions.
Five-time New York Golden Gloves winner Brian Ceballo turned in the best performance of his career and took an eight-round unanimous decision of Bakhtiyar Eyubov in welterweight contest.
Ceballo landed hard jabs and string right hands from the opening bell. .  Ceballo was very accurate with his shots.  The 25 year-old Ceballo looked very sharp as he landed crisp power shots in between Eyubov’s wild attempts to inflict on the Brooklyn native.  Ceballo continued to land sweet combinations that befuddled Eyubov.  In round eight, Ceballo hurt Eyubov was a nice body shot.  The two battled toe-to-toe down the stretch with Ceballo landing more, as he busted up Eyubov’s face with flush shots that thrilled Ceballo’s hometown crowd at The Garden.  
Ceballo of Brooklyn NY won by scores of 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74 to raise his perfect mark to 9-0. Eyubov of Kazakhstan is 14-1-1. 
Ceballo will now be looked up as one of the best prospects in the welterweight division with the win over the acclaimed Eyubov.
“We did what we had to do to win tonight. He was a tough opponent. We knew that. We took this step up. We had another opponent lined up and (promoter) Tom Loeffler said “If you want to be on this card, you have to take this bout.” We did not even hesitate. We said if it’s on DAZN, its on the biggest platform, it’s time to showcase our skills, and I think we did that tonight,” said Ceballo.
“We have a big amateur pedigree. I had 219 amateur fights, and I fought all over the world, and we jumped on this opportunity because it was right on all angles. We needed a bigger step up then our last opponent where we got a 3rd round stoppage. We said this is the platform to do it here at the Mecca of Boxing Madison Square Garden and on DAZN. We work so hard in the gym on how to take shots. We are here for the long run. We have to sit back and talk to our team. Weather we take another step up.”

21-year-old bantamweight & UNLV student

Max “The Baby Faced Assassin” Ornelas moves up to No. 8 in WBO ratings

LAS VEGAS (June 11, 2019) – One of the preeminent 21-and-under professional boxers in the world, unbeaten bantamweight Max “The Baby Faced Assassin” Ornelas, has moved up three slots to No. 8 in the World Boxing Organization ratings.

The Las Vegas-based Ornelas (13-0-1, who is celebrating his 21st birthday today (June 11), is coming off a sensational second-round stoppage of Mexican super bantamweight Alex “Xhino” Rangel (17-10-4, 4 KOs) in the co-featured event this past May 23rd in Tucson, Arizona.

The quiet, unassuming yet dangerous Ornelas is a criminal justice major at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, as well the reigning North American Boxing Association (NABA) United States bantamweight champion.

Ornelas’ parents insisted that Max attend college as a prerequisite for him to become a prizefighter, and this fall he will start his sophomore year. 

A consummate boxer who was born in California, Ornelas was 38-5 as an amateur boxer, highlighted by his bronze medal-winning performance at the National PAL Championships. He was also rated in the 123-pound division as high as No. 2 in the United States.

Understandably late for the official weigh in for his first pro fight, due his high school graduation, Ornelas made his successful pro debut June 10, 2016, at home in Las Vegas, in which he knocked out Robert Ledesma in the first round.  The following day Ornelas turned 18 and he signed a promotional contract with Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions, which immediately put Ornelas on the fast track at a throwback pace, fighting nine times during his first full year as a professional.

The lone blemish on Ornelas’ otherwise perfect pro record is a two-round technical draw against 6-0 Leopoldo Martinez, which Ornelas avenged three months later in a rematch by stopping Martinez in the fifth round.

Ornelas captured the vacant NABA USA bantamweight title April 20, 2018, taking an eight-round unanimous decision over 12-3 Juan Antonio Lopez.

Ornelas is the highest-rated American-born bantamweight in the WBO rankings.



Twitter: @RoyjonesJRfa, @RoyJonesJrOfficial, @UFCFightPass, @KeithVeltre, @Ornelas_Max

Instagram: @RoyJonesJRboxing, @artofmusiclv, @rivalboxinggear, @KeithVeltre,

Facebook: /KeithVeltre,

 Fighting Marine Jamel Herring Captures World Title

Herring upsets WBO junior lightweight world champion Masayuki Ito
Jose Pedraza stops Antonio Lozada Jr. in 9

(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank)

 KISSIMMEE, Fla. (May 25, 2019) — U.S. Marine Corps veteran Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring completed his Hollywood story, upsetting WBO junior lightweight world champion Masayuki “The Judge” Ito via unanimous decision Saturday evening in front of a sold-out crowd of 2,912 at Osceola Heritage Park.Herring (20-2, 10 KOs), who prevailed by scores of 116-112 and 118-110 2x, accomplished the dream on Memorial Day weekend in front of a host of active and reserve U.S. Marines.

Jamel Herring (R) upsets WBO junior lightweight world champion Masayuki Ito (L).

“I want to dedicate this fight to my daughter, Ariyanah, who passed away from SIDs. Tonight would have been her 10th birthday, and I dedicate this title to her,” said Herring.  “Ito was a tough competitor, but I always believed I could win a world title. This is a dream come true, and to do this on Memorial Day weekend makes it even sweeter.”

Ito (25-2-1, 13 KOs), who was making the second defense of his world title, never could quite figure out the southpaw puzzle of Herring.

Ito had some success in the early rounds, but in the end, it was Herring who closed the show stronger.

Said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum: “When we signed Jamel, a lot of people had their doubts, but he showed the heart of a world champion. He’s a true Marine and an American hero. We are so proud of what this young man has accomplished.”

Pedraza back in win column

Former two-division world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza is on the hunt again.

Pedraza (26-2, 13 KOs) knocked out Mexican veteran Antonio Lozada Jr. in the ninth round to win the vacant WBO Latino lightweight title. Lozada (40-3-1, 24 KOs) had not tasted defeat in nearly six years, while Pedraza rebounded from a game effort in a decision loss to Vasiliy Lomachenko last December.

Pedraza knocked down Lozada with a counter left hand, which spelled the beginning of the end for Lozada, who made his name in March 2018 with a stunning 10th-round knockout of the previously unbeaten Puerto Rican star Felix Verdejo.

“I would like to be world champion again at 135, maybe make a title defense and then move up to 140,” Pedraza said. “Lozada was a tough opponent who came to fight with all of his heart. He was a great test for me, and I passed it with flying colors. I can’t wait to see what is next.”

In other action:

— In a battle for the vacant WBO international junior bantamweight title, Koki Eto (24-4-1, 19 KOs) and Jeyvier Cintron (10-0, 5 KOs) fought to a no-contest after it was determined that a headbutt knocked out Cintron. The Florida State Athletic Commission reversed the initial decision of a first-round knockout for Eto, leaving the title vacant.

— Featherweight Adam Lopez is a contender now. The Glendale, California, native overcame a slow start to knock out Jean Carlos Rivera (15-2, 10 KOs) in the seventh round. Lopez battered Rivera against the ropes with a furious combination to end the sixth. Rivera slumped back to his corner and somehow came out for the seventh. Smelling blood in the water, Lopez (13-1, 6 KOs) pounced, forcing the referee to stop the carnage.

“I started a bit slow, but I listened to my corner and made adjustments,” Lopez said. “I knew he had trouble making weight, so I kept pressing him. I saw my opportunity and took full advantage of it.”

— Middleweight sensation Edgar Berlanga (11-0, 11 KOs) did it again, scoring his 11th straight first-round knockout to begin his career. Gyorgy Varju (7-5, 4 KOs) lasted only 43 seconds, as a right-left combination floored the Hungarian for the count.

“Felix Trinidad called me just before I walked to the ring. That’s all the motivation I needed,” Berlanga said. “I hope I made him proud.”

— It was brief, and it was stunning. Jose Cardenas (17-4, 14 KOs) scored a devastating one-punch knockout over 2016 U.S. Olympian Antonio Vargas (10-1, 4 KOs) at 1:53 of the opening round of a scheduled eight-round bantamweight bout. A right hand put to the point of Vargas’ chin knocked him face-first to the canvas.

— Marco Diaz (2-0, 2 KOs) needed only 50 seconds to knock out Edgard Figueroa (3-2, 1 KO) in a scheduled four-round featherweight bout.

— Puerto Rican super featherweight prospect Henry “Moncho” LeBron (9-0, 7 KOs) needed only 2:43 to knock out veteran Luis Ruiz Lizarraga Jr. (6-13-1, 2 KOs). Lizarraga’s corner signaled to the referee to stop the fight.

— Puerto Rican featherweight prospect Orlando Gonzalez (11-0, 8 KOs) made it look easy, knocking out Roxberg Patrick Riley (13-2, 7 KOs) in the third round. Gonzalez ended matters with a right hook. Riley got to his feet but stumbled into the ropes, forcing the referee to stop the fight.

— Steve “So Cold” Nelson improved to 14-0, knocking out Victor Darocha (8-5-1, 6 KOs) in the seventh round of a scheduled eight-round light heavyweight bout.— Former super flyweight world champion Carlos Cuadras (38-3-1, 27 KOs) rolled to an eight-round unanimous decision over Daniel Lozano (15-7, 11 KOs) in a bantamweight contest. Scores were 80-72 2x and 79-73.

June 15: Jesse Hart-Sullivan Barrera Light Heavyweight Clash Set for Fury-Schwarz Co-Feature at MGM Grand

Fury-Schwarz and Hart-Barrera to stream LIVE and exclusively on ESPN+ starting at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST
Mikaela Mayer, Guido Vianello and Sonny Conto to see action on ESPN2/ESPN Deportes undercard broadcast beginning at 7:00 p.m. EST/4:00 p.m. PST

Tickets starting at $50 available now at

LAS VEGAS (May 29, 2019) — Jesse “Hollywood” Hart and Sullivan Barrera understand high stakes and are coming to Las Vegas, intent on cashing in with a potential world title shot on the line. Hart and Barrera will square off in a 10-round light heavyweight bout Saturday, June 15 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Hart-Barrera will serve as the co-feature to lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury’s title defense against unbeaten German challenger Tom Schwarz.

Fury-Schwarz and Hart-Barrera will stream live in the United States exclusively on ESPN+ — the leading multi-sport streaming service – beginning at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST.

The undercard will be televised on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes beginning at 7:00 p.m. EST/4:00 p.m. PST and will showcase undefeated 2016 Olympian Mikaela Mayer (10-0, 4 KOs), who will fight former world title challenger Lizbeth Crespo (13-4, 3 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight bout.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions and SES Boxing, tickets priced at $500, $300, $100 and $50 are on sale now can be purchased online through, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts box office.

On June 15, I’m coming to knock him out,” Hart said. “I refuse to lose. This is a legacy fight. I want the big names. I need a big name, and Barrera is the name. I don’t want to just win and coast to some boring decision. I’m coming to prove to the world that I can fight with these bigger guys. After I knock Barrera out, I’m coming for all the champions. The light heavyweights better watch out because ‘Hollywood’ Hart is here.”

“I am excited to face Jesse Hart, a great fighter who has also been in there with world champions,” Barrera said. “This is a must-win fight. Simple as that. Camp has been great for me, and I am looking forward to June 15. It’s going to be a great card, and I am going to show everyone in Las Vegas and watching on ESPN+ what I’m truly made of.”

Hart (25-2, 21 KOs) had two cracks at the WBO super middleweight world title, losing a pair of close decisions to longtime champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez. The Ramirez rematch, which took place last December in Corpus Christi, Texas, was a bruising affair that saw Hart rally in the second half before losing a majority decision. Eleven of Hart’s last 12 victories have come via knockout, and he hopes to carry that power up to the light heavyweight ranks. The Philadelphia native fought on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao undercard in 2015 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, knocking out Mike Jimenez in six rounds.

Barrera (22-2, 14 KOs), from Cuba, defected to the United States in 2009 and turned pro later that year. The Miami-based bruiser won the first 17 bouts of his career before dropping a decision to pound-for-pound great Andre Ward. A perennial contender, Barrera holds victories over Joe Smith Jr., Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, Karo Murat and former super middleweight world champion Jeff Lacy. He challenged Dmitry Bivol for a light heavyweight world title last year and fought valiantly before being stopped in the 12th and final round.

Mayer is one of female boxing’s rising stars and has dominated her opposition as a professional. She went 6-0 in 2018, winning the NABF belt on August 25 with a shutout decision over the previously undefeated Vanessa Bradford. She made her 2019 debut February 15 in Hinckley, Minnesota, outclassing Yareli Larios over eight rounds. Crespo fought IBF featherweight world champion Jennifer Han in February 2018, dropping a tightly contested unanimous decision.

“It’s been a dream of mine to see women fighting alongside marquee names like Tyson Fury, and I’m grateful to be fighting at the MGM Grand on June 15,” Mayer said. “There’s still a lot the world hasn’t seen when it comes to my style and I’m ready to show everyone something special.”

In addition to Mayer-Crespo, the ESPN2/ESPN Deportes undercard broadcast will also include the following fights:

  • Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello (3-0, 3 KOs), a 6-foot-6 heavyweight who represented his native Italy at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will return in a six-rounder.
  • Featherweight Isaac Lowe (17-0-3, 6 KOs), a stablemate of Fury’s, will fight an opponent to be named in a 10-rounder.
  • Top super middleweight prospect Cem “Champ” Kilic (13-0, 8 KOs) will see action in an eight-rounder against an opponent to be determined.
  • Sonny Conto (2-0, 2 KOs), as big-punching heavyweight from Philadelphia, will make his Las Vegas debut in a four-rounder. Conto’s two professional fights — both first-round knockouts — have lasted a total of 3:30.
  • German heavyweight prospect Peter Kadiru (3-0, 1 KO) will fight an opponent to be named in a six-rounder.

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Use the hashtags #FurySchwarz and #HartBarrera to join the conversation on social media.


Saturday: Jay Harris to Battle Angel Moreno for European Flyweight Title LIVE on ESPN+

Latest edition of #MTKFightNight to begin streaming at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT

(May 28, 2019) — One of Wales’ premier talents, Jay Harris is ready to take the next step. The unbeaten Harris will battle former world title challenger Angel Moreno in a 12-rounder for the vacant European flyweight title Saturday from Vale Sports Arena in Cardiff, Wales.
Harris-Moreno will headline an #MTKFightNight card on ESPN+ — the leading multi-sport streaming service — Saturday, June 1, beginning at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT.
Harris (15-0, 8 KOs), from Swansea, Wales, is a six-year pro who captured Commonwealth flyweight honors in February 2017 with a hard-fought unanimous decision over Thomas Essomba. He defended that belt in November 2018, overcoming a cut left eye to knock out Ross Murray in the third round. Moreno (19-3-2, 6 KOs), from Madrid, Spain, is a former European flyweight champion who has fought at the upper reaches of the sport. He challenged WBC flyweight world champion Charlie Edwards on March 23, dropping a unanimous decision at Copper Box Arena in London.

In other action scheduled for the ESPN+ stream:

  • Craig Evans (19-2-2, 3 KOs) will make the first defense of his WBO European lightweight title in a rematch against Stephen Ormond (27-5, 13 KOs). The two locked horns in June 2017, as Evans knocked down Ormond twice in the 10th and final round of an action-packed fight to win a unanimous decision.
  • Sultan Zaurbek (6-0, 4 KOs), the big-punching southpaw lightweight prospect from Kazakhstan, will see action in a six-rounder against an opponent to be named. This will be the fourth bout of 2019 for Zaurbek, who was last seen knocking out Chenghong Tao in Dubai on April 5.
  • Zhankosh Turarov (22-0, 15 KOs) will return from a nearly two-year layoff to face Richmond Djarbeng (29-3-1, 23 KOs) in an eight-round super welterweight bout.

Use the hashtags #MTKFightNight and #HarrisMoreno to follow the action on social media.


By Bernard Campbell

The “Bronze Bomber” bombs away in Brooklyn


Deontay Wilder KO’s Dominic Breazeale in 1 to retain WBC Heavyweight Championship

The setting was set Saturday Night, May 18 for the continuing saga of Deontay Wilder, 41-0 -1 (40 KO’s) the WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World.

Wilder fought to defend his laurels against the relatively unseasoned and marginal opponent Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale, 20-2 (18 KO’s) at The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Wilder (R) knocking Breazeale down in round 1.

Breazeale, of Glendale, CA, somehow got the #1 nod as the mandatory surprisingly without ever even beating a top ten Heavyweight Contender throughout his career.

Notwithstanding, the crowd appeared to be filled to capacity to its near limit of 19,000.

Wilder (R) smashing Breazeale (L) with a hard right.

From my vantage point there were droves of people coming in groups and I estimated about 5,000 tickets were probably provided as complimentary. That means in reality 20% of the fans that attended were receiving freebies. The fight card overall was a paltry one  – offering a showcasing of the Featherweight Champion Gary Russell Jr., 30-1 (18 KO’s) defending his title against past his prime, former Junior Featherweight Champ Kiko Martinez, 39-9-2 (28 KO’s). After smashing Kiko’s face in, Russell won by a 5th-round TKO.

 “I did pretty well,” Russell said. “We stayed behind the jab, and he couldn’t get past it. We knew that intellect over athleticism would get it done. We want Leo Santa Cruz. We want to make this fight happen,” Russell said. “The fire is all the way hot on this side of the field. You will get burned. I would love for that fight to happen this year. Let’s make it happen.”

Two of Russell’s brothers also were on the bill, as well as an interesting heavyweight match between Cuban Heavyweight Olympian Robert Alfonso 18-0-1 (8 KO’s) and native of Georgia Iago Kiladze 26-4-1 (18 KO’s), which ended in a majority draw.

Since the Barclays Center opened in 2012, it has become the jewel of the Downtown Brooklyn which is the centerpiece of the former downtrodden and now revitalized area in the borough.

Wilder (R) dropping Breazeale to canvas.

The contest was easy money in the bank for for Wilder, who retained his title for the 9th time. Wilder, 223 ¼, also had acknowledged that Fury was under severe psychotropic medication protocol to treat his condition which compromises the body. But low and behold, Fury pulled a draw and some feel beat Wilder, surprising and shocking the boxing world.

Unlike the Fury bout, Wilder’s match with Breazeale, 255 ¼, was extremely predictable. After a slow ring walk, the champion entered the ring dressed as a cross between Darth Vader and Emmett Kelly.

Forty-Five punches were actually thrown in the fight, including an unchecked jab with little resistance, and a weak counter attack by the challenger. Suddenly, with less than two minutes ticked into the fight, Wilder lashed out with a swift jab that jolted Breazeale.

Before the challenger could even get his head straight, he was immediately blasted by an overhand right hand that crashed upon his skull, dropping him hard upon the canvas.

Wilder (L) stabbing Breazeale (R) with a thudding left jab.

 While Breazeale was stretched out on Queer Street, referee Harvey Dock began his count. At seven, the challenger attempted to rise, but was too late as Dock soon tolled the fatal ten.

Breazeale still had not pulled himself totally erect, thereby, the challenger was counted out at the 2:17 mark of Round 1.

Simply put, Breazeale had no business being in there, as a matter of fact, he had no business ranked in the top ten. He was lumbering, tentative and lacked severe defensive skills.

During the match, I had a chicken platter with fries and a coke from the concession stand. It resulted in me forking over 25 smackeroos for the privilege of seeing Wilder bomb out another foe.

The bout’s promoter was Tom Brown (TGB Promotions), and the fight was aired on both Showtime and Sky Sports.

“Everything just came out of me tonight,” Wilder remarked after the brief, but brutal battle. “I know it’s been a big build-up to this fight. There was a lot of animosity, a lot of chaos. There was a lot of hatred between us and there were a lot of words that were said. It just came out tonight, and this is what makes boxing so great.” 

Wilder (R) going on the attack against Breazeale (L) .

The undefeated champion added, “I had so much inside I had to endure and that I had to overcome, even with the training. There were many times my body was hurting. I just told Breazeale I love him and of course I wanted to see him go home to his family. I know we say some things we don’t mean sometimes, but then when you get into a fight and you settle your differences as men and you hold these gloves, this is what the sport is all about.


Rio Revenge? Michael Conlan to face Olympic Nemesis Vladimir Nikitin August 3 in Belfast

Conlan-Nikitin to stream LIVE in the United States on ESPN+ 

BELFAST (May 14, 2019) —Michael “Mick” Conlan’s amateur career ended in controversy and a pair of middle fingers. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Conlan appeared to have bested Russian standout Vladimir Nikitin in the 56-kilogram quarterfinals. The judges disagreed, and Conlan responded with a memorable double middle-finger salute.
Almost three years to the day since Conlan flashed those digits, the Olympic rivals will run it back in the paid ranks, this time on Irish soil.
Conlan will face Nikitin in a 10-round featherweight bout Saturday, Aug. 3 in a massive outdoor fight at Falls Park in his home city of Belfast. Conlan-Nikitin will take place as part of the annual Féile an Phobail, Europe’s largest community festival.
Conlan-Nikitin will stream live in the United States beginning at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT on ESPN+, the leading multi-sport streaming service, on a special international edition of Top Rank on ESPN.
“This is the opportunity for Mick Conlan to right what most observers felt was an injustice,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “That being said, Nikitin is a real aggressive fighter, and he believes that a victory over Conlan in August would cement the one he was given in the Rio Olympics.”
“I am delighted that I will be fighting Vladimir Nikitin in front of 10,000 fans,” Conlan said. “This is literally home turf for me and it is absolutely huge. I am West Belfast and Falls Road born and bred so this means everything to me. Vladimir Nikitin and I have unfinished business from the 2016 Olympics, and I can’t wait to set the record straight.”
“When I turned professional last year, the man I wanted to fight most was Michael Conlan,” Nikitin said. “Michael has said a lot of things since the Olympics about how he was robbed of a medal. Well, I am coming to his hometown during their biggest festival to show everyone my Olympic victory was not a fluke. This is going to be repeat, not revenge. Conlan will regret pushing for this fight. I beat him twice in the amateurs and will do the same as a pro. It will feel even sweeter to beat him in his hometown. Belfast, here I come!”
“The fight with Vladimir Nikitin has been talked about for a long time now, and MTK Global and Top Rank have worked extremely hard along with Féile an Phobail to make it happen,” said Jamie Conlan, Professional Development Manager, MTK Global. “Michael Conlan is coming home for one of the biggest fight nights Belfast will have ever seen.”
Conlan (11-0, 6 KOs) entered the pro ranks as one of Ireland’s most beloved sporting figures, having earned an Olympic bronze medal in 2012 and gold medals at both the European and World Championships in 2015. He was favored to win Olympic gold in 2016, but Nikitin and the judges thwarted those plans. “The Conlan Revolution” turned pro in front of a sold-out Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden crowd on St. Patrick’s Day in 2017. He won the vacant WBO Intercontinental featherweight belt last December in Manchester, England, besting Jason Cunningham via unanimous decision. In his last bout, in front of a raucous St. Patrick’s Day crowd at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Conlan defeated Ruben Garcia Hernandez over 10 rounds.
Nikitin (3-0, 0 KOs) did not turn pro immediately following the 2016 Olympics, electing to fight as an amateur throughout 2017. He signed a professional contract in 2018 with Top Rank, in large part because he wanted to face Conlan as a pro. Nikitin’s come-forward style has translated to the pro ranks, as he’s won a trio of clear-cut unanimous decisions. He has fought on the same card as Conlan twice as a professional. The message was clear: Conlan and Nikitin were destined to meet again.
It will finally happen, in front of more than 10,000 of Conlan’s rowdiest supporters. Will it be Rio Revenge or another shining moment for Nikitin?

June 28: Richard Commey to Defend Lightweight World Title Against Former Champion Ray Beltran

Live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes from Pechanga Resort Casino
Carlos Adames-Patrick Day 154-pound clash to serve as co-feature

TEMECULA, Calif (May 16, 2019) — Something has to give. IBF lightweight world champion Richard Commey is one of the division’s biggest punchers. For his first title defense, he’ll face a rugged ex-champion who hasn’t been knocked out in more than a decade.
Commey will defend his belt against former WBO lightweight world champion Ray Beltran in the Top Rank on ESPN main event Friday, June 28 at Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California. In the 10-round co-feature, undefeated Dominican puncher Carlos “Caballo Bronco” Adames will defend his NABO and NABF 154-pound belts against Patrick Day.
Commey-Beltran and Adames-Day will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The undercard will stream live on ESPN+, the leading multi-sport streaming service, beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with DiBella Entertainment, tickets for this world championship event priced at $149, $129, $79, $59, and $29 are on sale now and can be purchased online at, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or in person at the Pechanga Resort Casino box office.
“I’m honored to be headlining an ESPN show as a world champion and to be fighting former world champion Ray Beltran, whom I have the utmost respect for,” Commey said. “This is an opportunity for me to show the American public that I’m here to become the undisputed lightweight champion of the world. The path is set, and come June 28, I’ll be ready to rock ‘n’ roll.”
“I’m excited about this fight with Richard Commey. I’ve been the WBO champion, and I intend to be the IBF champion on June 28,” Beltran said. “I expect a tough fight, but that’s the kind of fight I like. We are both very experienced, so it will come down to who is willing to lay his heart on the line that night. After losing my title to Jose Pedraza, I think some people thought I was done, but I always come back and prove that I belong. I’m excited to announce that Freddie Roach is back in my corner after all these years. When I was working with Manny Pacquiao, I saw what Freddie can do, both in camp and in the corner. I’m grateful to Top Rank and ESPN for having me back. The only thing I want for my birthday (July 23) is the IBF world title.”

“Richard Commey, the pride of Ghana, is a physically imposing, hard-punching lightweight champion,” said Lou DiBella, Commey’s promoter. “We’re thrilled that his first defense will be a high-profile fight against tenacious former world champion Ray Beltran. Richard wants to be a unified champion and a star. On June 28, he has an opportunity to raise his profile worldwide.”
Commey (28-2, 25 KOs) blew away Isa Chaniev via second-round TKO Feb. 2 in Frisco, Texas, to win the vacant IBF world title. He had previously challenged Robert Easter Jr. for that belt, dropping a razor-thin split decision in September 2016. His only other loss came via split decision less than three months later to Denis Shafikov in Shafikov’s home country of Russia. Since then, he has won four in a row and is fully recovered from a right knuckle injury suffered during the Chaniev fight. A proud native of Accra, Ghana, Commey hails from the same neighborhood that produced former world champions Ike Quartey, Joshua Clottey, David Kotey, Alfred Kotey, Joseph Agbeko and the legendary Azumah Nelson.
Beltran (36-8-1, 22 KOs), the former sparring partner to the stars, realized his world championship dreams in February 2018, besting Paulus Moses by unanimous decision to win the WBO lightweight world title. His title reign was short-lived, as he was defeated by Jose Pedraza via unanimous decision last August. Beltran rebounded from that setback, returning in February to knock out then-unbeaten 140-pound contender Hiroki Okada in the ninth round.
Adames (17-0, 14 KOs) has won three straight bouts by knockout since electing to campaign at 154 pounds. A former amateur star from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Adames grew up with 35 siblings and turned to the sport at the age of 12 after an older brother took him to a gym. In his last bout, April 20 on the Terence Crawford-Amir Khan undercard, he blew away perennial contender Frank Galarza in four rounds. Day (17-2-1, 6 KOs), from Freeport, New York, has won six in a row, including two wins against previously unbeaten fighters. He made a statement Feb. 2 in Frisco, Texas, outboxing Ismail Iliev (11-0-1 at the time) over 10 rounds.
“This fight represents a big step in the right direction for me and my career,” Adames said. “I am thrilled with this opportunity, and as I have always promised to my people of the Dominican Republic, I will be the next world champion from the island and the new face of Dominican boxing.”
“Time to show the world who Pat Day is,” Day said. “These are the fights I dreamed of on my way to top 10 contention. Now that I am here, I intend to advance to a world title. I respect what Carlos brings to the table, but he has never fought a guy like me. I am focused on winning and looking good doing it.”
The action-packed ESPN+ stream will include the following bouts:

  • Saul “Neno” Rodriguez (23-0-1, 17 KOs) will take on Miguel Angel “Miguelito” Gonzalez (24-4, 21 KOs) in a super featherweight bout scheduled for 10 rounds. Rodriguez has notched a pair of knockout wins since returning from a nearly two-year layoff.
  • Middleweight prospect Tyler Howard (17-0, 11 KOs) will face the upset-minded Manny “Shake Em’ Up Woods (16-8-1, 6 KOs) in an eight-rounder.
  • Ruben Rodriguez (6-0, 2 KOs), a 22-year-old super lightweight prospect from Indio, California, will fight Vicente Morales (2-2-2, 1 KO) in a six-rounder.
  • Raymond Muratalla (7-0, 5 KOs) will look to extend his knockout streak to three against Javier Martinez (4-6, 3 KOs) in a lightweight fight scheduled for six rounds. 
  • Super featherweight sensation Christopher “The Boy” Zavala (4-0, 2 KOs) will fight Prisco Marquez (4-0-1, 1 KO) in a four-rounder.
  • Middleweight prospect David “Lion of Zion” Kaminsky (4-0, 2 KOs), an 18-year-old from Israel, will face veteran Osbaldo Gonzalez (6-4, 4 KOs) in a four-rounder.
  • 2016 Australian Olympian Daniel Lewis (1-0, 1 KO) will see action in a six-round middleweight contest in his Top Rank debut.
  • Super lightweight prospect Elvis Rodriguez (2-0, 2 KOs) will face an opponent to be named in a four-rounder.

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Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield Reunion

Bowe – Holyfield I

By Robert Alexander

  How awesome to hang out with and introduce two of the greatest Heavyweight Champions of all time. Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield fought three of the most exciting fights in boxing history, both won Olympic medals for the USA, both are Hall of Famers.

Riddick Bowe (L), Famed Announcer Bob Alexander (C) and Evander Holyfield (R)

Bowe-Holyfield 3

Thanks to Steven Rothman of The Fighting News and the lovely Mary Carter for the photos.

6 Nov 1993: Evander Holyfield III lands a left on Riddick Bowe during a bout in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bowe won the fight. Mandatory Credit: Holly Stein /Allsport

It was also great to see so many Florida Boxing Hall of Fame inductees at the Heavyweight Factory show last Friday in Hollywood, Florida including James Warring, Santos A. Perez, Henry Rivalta, Chico Rivas, Jorge Rubio, Ramiro Ortiz, Walter Alvarez, Frank Santore Jr, and Roberto Quesada.

May 11: Gaibnazarov vs. Fox Featured on Berchelt-Vargas 2 Undercard

Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sanchez, and Carlos Castro to see action in separate bouts
LIVE on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT

TUCSON, Ariz. (May 1, 2019) — Fazliddin “Fayzi” Gaibnazarov is on the fast track to world title contention. Gaibnazarov, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist for his native Uzbekistan, will face the toughest — and tallest — test of his career against the 6-foot-3 Mykal “The Professor” Fox in a 10-round super lightweight showdown from the Tucson Arena. Fox will have a roughly nine-inch height advantage over Gaibnazarov.
Gaibnazarov-Fox will headline an action-packed slate of fights on ESPN+ — the leading multi-sport streaming service — beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.
The main card, dubbed “Twice as Nice,” will feature a pair of world championship rematches and will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. ET. WBC super featherweight champion Miguel “El Alacrán” Berchelt will make the fifth defense of his belt against Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas in a rematch of their 2017 Fight of the Year contender, won by Berchelt via 11th-round knockout. In the co-feature, WBO junior featherweight champion Emanuel Navarrete will look to repeat the deed against Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe in a rematch of their Dec. 8 bout, won by Navarrete via unanimous decision.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Peltz Boxing Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions, tickets priced at $102, $77, $52 and $27 can be purchased at any Ticketmaster outlet, online at, by phone at (800) 745-3000, or at the Tucson Convention Center ticket office. 
“I want the best fighters at 140 pounds, and I want them soon,” Gaibnazarov said. “Fox is a step up for me, but I always rise to the occasion as my opposition gets better. I fought and beat the world’s best fighters as an amateur, and I will do the same as a professional. 2019 is going to be my year.”
“Most guys would take a step down in competition after a loss, but there is nothing to gain from that. Gaibnazorov is not to be taken lightly but neither am I,” Fox said. “I’m looking to secure a win and get back on the ball. An undefeated Olympian is a hell of a choice to try and do that with, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Plus, the list of guys who will fight me, despite losing, is very short. I’m grateful and looking forward to doing battle with an Olympian.”
Gaibnazarov (7-0, 4 KOs) turned pro in 2017 following a storied amateur career that included a pair of Olympic berths, the gold medal in 2016 and victories over the likes of current promotional stablemate and WBC super lightweight champion Jose Ramirez. He turned pro in scheduled eight-rounders and has yet to be seriously challenged in the paid ranks. After going 3-0 in 2018, he made his 2019 debut on Jan. 19 in Verona, New York, stopping Ricardo Garcia in four rounds.
Fox (19-1, 5 KOs), a native of Forestville, Maryland, has befuddled most of his professional opponents with his long southpaw jab. In his last outing, Feb. 15 in Mulvane, Kansas, the upset-minded Fox was on the short end of a 10-round unanimous decision to top prospect Shohjahon Ergashev. Despite a pair of 98-92 scorecards, many ringside observers believed Fox did enough to earn a draw.
In other action on ESPN+:

  • Albuquerque native and top featherweight prospect Jason Sanchez (14-0, 7 KOs) will face former world title challenger Adeilson Dos Santos (19-6, 15 KOs) in an eight-rounder.
  • Phoenix native Carlos Castro (22-0, 9 KOs) will defend his WBC Continental Americas super bantamweight belt in a 10-rounder against Mario Alberto Diaz (18-2, 7 KOs). Castro is coming off an upset win over former world title challenger Genesis Servania in February.
  • Three-time world title challenger Miguel Marriaga (27-3, 23 KOs) returns to action in an eight-round featherweight bout against Naciff Martinez (23-10-3, 9 KOs).
  • Super lightweight prospect Miguel Parra (16-1-1, 11 KOs) hopes to make it eight wins in a row versus David Morales (13-10, 13 KOs) in an eight-rounder.
  • Tucson-based middleweight prospect Manny Guajardo (4-0, 0 KOs) will look to impress the hometown fans in a four-rounder against Jonathan Espino (2-3, 2 KOs).
  • In a four-round welterweight rematch featuring a pair of local favorites, Nogales’ Judas Estrada (1-1-1, 1 KO) will face Tucson’s Christopher Gonzalez (3-0-1, 0 KOs). Estrada and Gonzalez fought to a draw last November in a crowd-pleasing brawl.
  • Phoenix native Carlos Velasquez (1-0, 0 KOs) will face an opponent to be named in a four-rounder at lightweight.

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Former Unified Bantamweight World Champion Ryan Burnett Joins Top Rank Stable

Burnett to make ring return May 17 against Jelbirt Gomera on ESPN+


(April 29, 2019)— Top Rank is proud to announce the signing of former unified bantamweight world champion Ryan Burnett to a multi-fight promotional pact in what is the latest collaboration between Top Rank and Burnett’s management group, MTK Global.
Burnett (19-1, 9 KOs) will make his ring return May 17 against Jelbirt Gomera in a 12-rounder for the vacant WBC International super bantamweight title in his hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Burnett vs. Gomera will headline a card that will stream live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+.
Burnett plans on campaigning as a super bantamweight moving forward and has his sights set on becoming a two-division world champion before the end of the year.
“It is a dream come true to sign with Top Rank,” Burnett said. “I’ve spent years learning and perfecting my craft, becoming world champion and then unified world champion. On May 17, I begin my quest to become world champion again. Teaming up with the biggest players in the game in Top Rank, ESPN and MTK Global will only strengthen my drive and determination to achieve this.
“With these guys behind me, there’s only one way ahead for me, and that’s straight to the top.”
“We’re proud and excited to be part of another huge deal involving Top Rank and ESPN, and this is something Ryan deserves,” said Jamie Conlan, Professional Development Manager, MTK Global. “As the boxing world already knows, Ryan has a special night upcoming when he headlines an #MTKFightNight in his home city of Belfast, live on ESPN+ on May 17. It’s great the partnership won’t stop there. As someone who’s already unified a division, we believe we’re talking about an elite fighter, and elite fighters should fight on elite platforms. This agreement ensures that happens, and once again, MTK Global are delighted to play our role.”
Said Adam Booth, Burnett’s trainer/manager: “I am relieved and excited that on May 17 Ryan will start his journey back to being world champion. It was essential for us to look at the options and which relationships would maximize the opportunity for him to achieve this. That’s why Ryan is now working with Top Rank, MTK Global and ESPN.”
Burnett turned pro in 2013 and won the British bantamweight title in November 2015 with a shutout 12-round unanimous decision over Jason Booth. He captured the IBF bantamweight title on June 10, 2017, with a unanimous win over Lee Haskins. Four months later, he added the WBA super world bantamweight title to his collection, outclassing Zhanat Zhakiyanov over 12 rounds.
Burnett’s world championship run ended last November under freakish circumstances against four-division champion Nonito Donaire, when he suffered a torn oblique while throwing a right hand and was forced to retire on his stool following the fourth round.


LAS VEGAS (April 24, 2019) — Here comes the “Gypsy King.”

Tickets for the Las Vegas debut of lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury — Saturday, June 15 at MGM Grand Garden Arena — will go on sale TOMORROW, April 25 at 10 a.m. PST/1 p.m. EST/6 p.m. GMT.

Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs), who defeated long-reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 to win the crown, will defend his title against unbeaten German contender Tom Schwarz (24-0, 16 KOs).

Fury-Schwarz will be available live in the United States exclusively on ESPN+ — the leading multi-sport streaming service – beginning at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST.

The event will be promoted by Top Rank, in association with Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions and SES Boxing.

Tickets priced at $500, $300, $100 and $50 can be purchased online through, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts box office.

Richard Sturm, President of Las Vegas Live Entertainment and Sports, said, “We look forward to hosting the Fury-Schwarz heavyweight fight at MGM Grand on June 15. These two exciting fighters, known by boxing fans worldwide, will be sure to put on a blockbuster event this summer.”

Fury will be making his first ring appearance since a draw last December 1 versus WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. Despite being knocked down twice, including the 1-2 combination felt around the world in the 12th round, most ringside observers believed Fury did more than enough to win the fight.

Schwarz, the WBO No. 2 heavyweight contender, is one of Europe’s leading heavyweights and has not gone the distance in his last six fights. He has fought all but two of his bouts in his native Germany and will be making his United States debut against Fury. In his last fight, March 2 in Magdeburg, Germany, he knocked out Kristijan Krstacic in two rounds.

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Box Fan Expo is the ultimate fan experience event that gives boxing fans the opportunity to meet-and-greet top fighters, current and former world champions, boxing celebrities and industry people in an up-close personal setting.

Tickets On-Sale Now at EventBrite
Las Vegas (April 27, 2019) – Boxing’s Two-time former Heavyweight World Champion Riddick Bowe has confirmed that he will appear at the fifth annual Box Fan Expo on Saturday May 4, 2019 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Bowe will hold a meet and greet with his fans at the Box Fan Expo at the American Boxing Association (ABA) booth. The Expo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., during Cinco De Mayo weekend. The Boxing Expo will also coincide with the highly anticipated fight between Canelo Alvarez vs Danny Jacobs, that will take place later that evening at the T-Mobile Arena.
Tickets to the Box Fan Expo are available at Eventbrite – will make his 2nd appearance at this years’ Expo and will be signing gloves, photos and personal items for his fans to enjoy. Boxing Fans will have an opportunity to also take pictures with this Boxing Legend also Known as “Big Daddy”.
Bowe joins Mikey Garcia, Errol Spence Jr., Marco Antonio Barrera, Mia St,John, Juan Manuel Marquez, Vinny Paz, Devin Haney, Earnie Shavers, Al Bernstein, Michael Spinks, WBC, Erik Morales, James Toney and Jessie Vargas as an early commitment to this year’s Box Fan Expo, with many more Top Boxing stars to be announced.
About Riddick Bowe
Riddick Bowe is an American former professional boxer. He reigned as the undisputed heavyweight champion in 1992, and as an amateur he won a silver medal in the super heavyweight division at the 1988 Summer Olympics.
After turning professional in 1989, Bowe went on to become a two-time world heavyweight champion. In 1992 he won the undisputed WBA, WBC, and IBF titles by defeating then-unbeaten former undisputed cruiserweight champion Evander Holyfield. That same year, Bowe was named Fighter of the Year by The Ring and the Boxing Writers’ Association of America. Bowe vacated the WBC title later that year in protest, instead of defending the title against their number one contender, Lennox Lewis. This left the undisputed championship fragmented until 1999. In a rematch with Holyfield in 1993, Bowe narrowly lost the WBA and IBF titles in what would be his only professional defeat.
He later regained a portion of the world heavyweight championship in 1995, defeating Herbie Hide for the then-fledgling WBO title. In doing so, Bowe became the first boxer in history to win the titles of all four major sanctioning bodies-the WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO-and remains the only heavyweight to do so. Later that year, Bowe vacated the WBO title in order to fight Holyfield for a third time, and won decisively by being the first boxer to stop Holyfield. In 2008 Bowe retired from the sport with an impressive record of 45-1. Many Boxing experts consider Bowe as one of the greatest Heavyweight of all time. In 2015, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
About American Boxing Association
The American Boxing Association also known as the “ABA”, was created in 2012 by founder Dean Smith, who created the only “Made in the USA” National governing and Sanctioning body, that support’s American Fighters. The ABA allow American fighters to fight and defend a national title, with a sense of National pride. For more info go to:
About Box Fan Expo
Box Fan Expo is the ultimate boxing fan experience event, which allows fans to meet-and-greet boxing superstars of today, current and former world champions, legends of the sport and other boxing celebrities. Fans can expect to experience various interactions such as autograph and photos sessions, FaceOff with your favorite boxers, pictures with the Ring Card Girls, Live DJ Music, chance to win prizes, purchase merchandise and memorabilia from different booths Exhibitors, “ALL UNDER ONE ROOF”. You won’t want to miss this must-attend Expo! Box Fan Expo has been a huge success with fans and boxing industry people. Many boxing stars have attended the last four Expos such as Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns, Marco Antonio Barrera, Roy Jones Jr., Andre Ward, Mikey Garcia, Marcos Maidana, Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, Errol Spence Jr., Sergio Martinez, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Tim Bradley, Deontay Wilder, Amir Khan, Shawn Porter, Fernando Vargas, Zab Judah, James Toney, Jessie Vargas, Vinny Pazienza, Mia St.John, Leo Santa Cruz, Badou Jack, Terry Norris , Riddick Bowe , Earnie Shavers, Leon Spinks, Danny Jacobs, Abner Mares, Jorge Linares, Brandon Rios and many more…
Exhibitors include: boxing promoters, gear, apparel, equipment, energy drinks, supplement products, broadcasting media, sanctioning bodies, and other companies who wish to participate will once again have a chance to showcase their brand to fans and the boxing industry.
Tickets to the Box Fan Expo are available online at: 
Throughout the next several weeks leading up to the event, there will be weekly updates on the many stars that will commit their appearance at the Boxing Expo. And for anyone in the Boxing industry or other Exhibitors (non-industry), who would like to be involved and reserve a Booth, contact Box Fan Expo:

Telephone number: (514) 572-7222 or Las Vegas Number (702) 997-1927

For any inquiries please email:

For More information on Box Fan Expo visit:

Follow Box Fan Expo on Twitter and Instagram: @BoxFanExpo

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May 25: Masayuki Ito-Jamel Herring Junior Lightweight Title Showdown Headlines Memorial Day Weekend Card on ESPN

Live from Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida
Jose Pedraza-Antonio Lozada Jr. to serve as lightweight co-feature
Coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

KISSIMMEE, Fla.  (April 25, 2019)— Masayuki Ito won the WBO junior lightweight title last July in Kissimmee, Florida. For title defense number two, he’s returning to the city of his greatest triumph.  

Ito, who recently signed a long-term co-promotional contract with Top Rank, will defend his title against 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing team captain and U.S Marine Corps veteran Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring Saturday, May 25 at Osceola Heritage Park. Ito-Herring will headline a special Memorial Day weekend edition of Top Rank on ESPN beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. In the 10-round lightweight co-feature, former two-division world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza looks to get back in the win column against Antonio Lozada Jr.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with All Star Boxing and Teiken Promotions, tickets to this world championship event go on sale Friday, April 26 at 10 a.m. ET. Priced at $100 (ringside) and $50 (general admission), including all taxes and facility fees, tickets may be purchased online via, charge by phone at 800.745.3000 or in person Osceola Heritage Park box office (open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. and on event days). For more information:

“I am excited to return to the United States to defend my world title,” Ito said. “I will be at my best, as I know Herring is a tough and experienced fighter. While I ultimately want to unify the 130-pound division, Herring is the task at hand. There is no sense in talking about the future until I take care of business on May 25.”
“I need to thank my management team and Top Rank for this opportunity,” Herring said. “Not only is this fight landing on Memorial Day weekend, but May 25 would’ve been my daughter Ariyanah’s 10th birthday. She passed away from sudden infant death syndrome, and I am dedicating this fight to her.

“I have tremendous respect for Ito, but I plan on being his most difficult challenge. I don’t want to release too much of the game plan, but I won’t be bullied like his last two opponents once the bell rings.”

Ito (25-1-1, 13 KOs) claimed the vacant WBO junior lightweight title with an upset decision win over Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz at the Kissimmee Civic Center. The Diaz fight marked Ito’s United States debut and the first time he’d fought away from his native Japan. He returned home for his first title defense on Dec. 30, scoring a seventh-round TKO over Evgeny Chuprakov.

Herring (19-2, 10 KOs), who served two tours of duty in Iraq as a field electrician, turned pro in December 2012 and won the first 15 bouts of his career. He lost a pair of fights as a lightweight, including a razor-thin decision to Ladarius Miler in August 2017. Following the Miller defeat, Herring signed on with Top Rank, hired trainer/manager Brian McIntyre and moved down to 130 pounds. Since then, he is 3-0, including an ESPN-televised decision victory over John Vincent Moralde last September on the Jose Ramirez-Antonio Orozco card in Fresno, California. In his last bout, Dec. 14 in Corpus Christi, Texas, he notched a clear points decision over Adeilson Dos Santos.

Pedraza (25-2, 12 KOs) won the IBF junior lightweight title in 2015 and made a pair of title defenses. Following a 2017 TKO loss to Gervonta Davis, he moved up to the lightweight division. In his third bout at lightweight, he won a unanimous decision over Ray Beltran to claim the WBO title. Less than four months later, he faced off against WBA champion Vasiliy Lomachenko to unify world titles. He was competitive, but Lomachenko scored a pair of 11th-round knockdowns to secure the unanimous decision. Lozada (40-2-1, 34 KOs) burst onto the world stage last March, knocking out highly touted prospect Felix Verdejo in the 10th and final round. Since then, he is 1-0-1, including a disputed draw versus Hector Ambriz.

“I feel very happy because on May 25 I will be fighting in a big world championship event where I will be facing a great Mexican warrior like Antonio ‘Cañitas’ Lozada in front of my people in Kissimmee,” Pedraza said. “I know I will get all that affection and support of all the Puerto Rican fans. They can’t miss this great card. I want them to enjoy it and leave the venue happy.
“I’m more than ready to get back in the picture for a world championship opportunity.”

The entire undercard will stream live in the United States exclusively on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT and will showcase a host of prospects in competitive matchups.

  • In a 10-round crossroads bout featuring a pair of one-loss featherweight prospects, Adam Lopez (12-1, 5 KOs) will face off against Puerto Rican puncher Jean Carlos Rivera (15-1, 10 KOs). Lopez has won four in a row, while Rivera is looking to rebound from a unanimous decision loss last October to the unbeaten Jason Sanchez.
  • Jeyvier Cintron (10-0, 5 KOs), one of the sport’s fastest-rising 115-pound prospects, will face his toughest test to date against former interim flyweight world champion and one-time super flyweight world title challenger Koki Eto (24-4-1, 19 KOs) in a 10-rounder. Cintron represented his native Puerto Rico at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, becoming the first two-time boxing Olympian in his nation’s history.
  • Steve “So Cold” Nelson (13-0, 10 KOs), a stablemate of pound-for-pound king Terence “Bud” Crawford, will take on Victor “The Spartan” Darocha (8-4-1, 6 KOs) in an eight- round super middleweight bout.
  • NABO junior welterweight champion Yomar “The Magic” Alamo (16-0, 12 KOs) will defend his belt in a 10-rounder against an opponent to be determined.
  • Antonio Vargas (10-0, 4 KOs), who represented the United States at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will fight Jose Maria Cardenas (16-4, 13 KOs) in an eight-round bantamweight bout.
  • Middleweight dynamo Edgar “Pachanga” Berlanga (10-0, 10 KOs) will look to make it 11 first-round KOs in as many fights against Hungarian veteran Gyorgy Varju (7-4, 4 KOs) in an eight-rounder.
  • Super featherweight prospect Henry “Moncho” LeBron (8-0, 6 KOs) will seek to extend his knockout streak to three versus Luis Ruiz LizarragaJr. (6-12-1, 2 KOs) in a six-rounder.

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Terence Crawford successfully defends WBO welterweight title after Amur Khan surrenders after low blow

Crawford (L) catching a hard left hook from Khan (R).

April 20 – New York City, NY. Top Rank, Inc. led by Bob Arum, demonstrated once more that after over half a century of promoting, they are still a dominating force in pugilism. On Easter Weekend in New York City, an impressive crowd of 14,091 fans turned out to see a Nebraska fighter take on an English adversary.

WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford, of Omaha, Nebraska, appears to be heading up the steps of super stardom. He first arrived on the big stage when he outpointed the popular Ricky Burns on March 1, 2014 for the WBO World Lightweight Championship. After two successful title defenses, Crawford bludgeoned Thomas Dulcimer on April 18, 2015 to win the vacant WBO World Super Lightweight crown. Terence then defended his laurels six more times, also scooping up the WBC Super Lightweight title belt in the process, before he moved up to TKO the conqueror of Manny Pacquiao, Jeff Horn, on June 9, 2018 to capture the WBO World Welterweight Championship.

Crawford (L) and Kahn (R) battling away each other.

Crawford (L) and Kahn (R) battling away each other.

Crawford is a busy fighter and four months later he stopped Jose Bedridden Jr. in a barn burner on October 13 to retain his 147-pound belt for the first time.

Crawford (L) landing thudding combinations to Khan (R).

The problem Crawford has faced, however, is that he had not beaten many household names to enhance his reputation. He needed a known opponent to take him up another rung of the ladder. That unlikely foe turned out to be Amur “King Khan” Khan, the former super lightweight king.

At one time, Khan, of Bolton, Lancashire, UK, was a hero in Great Britain. He defeated the great Marco Antonio Barrera on a technical decision (due to a clash of heads) on March 14, 2009, and four months later outpointed Andriy Kotelnik to win the WBA Super Lightweight Championship. Over the next three years he defended his belt five times against tough characters as Dmitiy Salita (TKO-1), Paulie Malignaggi (TKO-11), Marco Maidana (W-12), Paul McCloskey (TD-6) and Zab Judah (KO-5 and also capturing the IBF World Super Lightweight Crown) before being dethroned by Lamont Peterson on a 12-round split decision on December 10, 2011.

The loss to Peterson was a disputed one, but when he was destroyed in four rounds by Danny Garcia in his next outing on July 14, 2012, it appeared to be the end of Khan’s rising boxing star.

After two points wins over Luis Collazo (wining the WBA Int’l Welterweight Title and vacant WBC Silver Welterweight Belt) and Devon Alexander in 2014, Khan inexplicably moved all the way up to the middleweight division to take on the power punching WBC World Middleweight king Saul Alvarez, where he was punished and KO’d in the sixth round.

Kahn (L) covering up from Crawford’s right hand.

Once more Khan tried to rise from the ashes and captured a pair of wins over Phil Lo Greco and Samuel Vargas in 2018 to place himself in the #2 position in the WBO World Welterweight Rankings.

Although most believed that Khan was in way over his head against the likes of Crawford, there were still some believers out there (mostly in Great Britain) that Khan’s once vaulted punching power could pull off a miracle. Sadly miracles are in short supply in New York City boxing rings.

The two fighters entered the ring in Madison Square Garden in top shape, but right from the outset, the difference in the two fighters’ power was obvious. Crawford, 146.4, appeared to hurt the challenger with every punch he landed. Khan fought cautiously, while Crawford pounded away with both fists. Suddenly in the opening frame, the champion smashed a mighty right to the head of Khan that froze him for a brief millisecond before a left hook to the face send him toppling to the canvas.

Bravely rising, Khan appeared okay as he moved away from the walloping shots of Crawford. Amir tried to land a few lefts and rights to hold off the champion, but was tagged at the end of the frame with a crunching right hand that staggered him.

After the beating in the opening round, Khan appeared to have removed the cobwebs from his rattled brain and attacked with jolting combinations. Crawford, however, would then retaliate with a barrage of leather with punches coming from all angles possible, battering away at the Brit’s arms, body and head. Khan, 146.6, kept his composure and managed to score with some telling shots. Near the end of the session, Amir rocked Crawford with a vicious right hand that knocked the champion into the ropes. The right hand wallop was the best punch of Round 2 and won the round for the Brit on one of the judges’ scorecards.

Crawford (R) and Kahn (L) attacking each other.

The third round was another close frame as it appeared the champion was biding his time and content to counter off the Brit’s crackling combinations. Khan was still quite cautious, but scored well with some solid blows. This was another frame where one judge awarded the stanza to the challenger.

Rounds four and five saw Crawford land effectively with his southpaw right jab and hammered away at the challenger’s ribs and head. Khan would lunge in with a three-punch combination, but then the champion would open with both fist flailing and drive Khan across the ring.

Going into the sixth round the scorecards had Crawford ahead by tallies of 49-45 (twice) and 50-44. Early in Round 6, Crawford swung for the fences with a mighty left hook. Unfortunately his blow landed too far south and crashed into the groin of Khan, which sent the Englishman collapsing to the canvas. Amir then managed to make it to his feet, wearing of mask of pain on his face.

As referee David Fields questioned Khan and offered to give him time to recover, the challenger first adjusted his protective cup, and then made a comment that he was unable to fight. Because Khan refused a respite to recover, and instead decided he could not longer continue, Fields had no choice but to declare Crawford the winner by a 6th-round TKO at the 0:47 mark.

The Garden erupted in boos with the apparent surrender by Khan. Up until the low blow, Crawford may have been in control, but it was a rather enjoyable scrap.

Khan (L) going on the offensive against Crawford (R).

“I feel like I was touching him [Khan] more and I was picking up the intensity,” said Crawford (35-0, 26 KO’s). He was looking for a way out. I hit him on top of the leg and he got his way out and his coach stopped the fight.”Khan (33-5, 20 KO’s) remarked, “I want to apologize to all of the fans. The fight was just getting interesting. I could feel the pain in my stomach and legs, and said, ‘I can’t move’ to the referee and my corner. There was no point taking five minutes out, I could not continue. I am not one to give up. I was hit by a hard shot below the belt. I couldn’t continue as the pain was too much.”

At the press conference, Crawford clearly thought that Khan had quit. When the following exchange took place:
Crawford – “You didn’t quit? Tell everything – the truth!”
Khan – “No, I didn’t.”
Crawford – “Then what happened?”
Khan – “I was hit with a low blow.”
Crawford – “Your leg?”
Khan – “In the leg? It was in the balls! I’ve not seen the video of it, but it was a low blow.”
Crawford – “It was low.”
Khan – “If you guys think I quit, no problem. I never quit from a fight. It was a great fight and Crawford beat me.”

The challenger’s trainer Virgil Hunter explained, “The crowd will always be bloodthirsty and want to see a dramatic ending, but you have to look out for the safety of the fighter. He’s not the kind of fighter to make things up. I believe he was incapacitated.”

Crawford (L) landing inside shots to Khan (R).

The problem is that Hunter was not one of those fans in attendance who paid from $56 to $606 to view the fight. Khan refused to take advantage of a five-minute rest in an effort to recover from the low punch. Instead, he waved the white flag and that was it for the evening.Regardless, the crowd witnessed an impressive performance from Crawford who thrilled the fans with a great first-round knockdown, along with incredible power shots throughout the battle. Khan, 32, may be through with his time in the big-time spotlight, while Crawford, 31, has many exciting challenges ahead.

Crawford expressed a desire to take on IBF World Welterweight King Errol Spence Jr. in the near future.

Crawford knocking Khan down in round 1

The undercard featured the following:
Bantamweight Lawrence Newton (12-0, 7 KO’s), of Deerfield, FL, oupointed Jonathan Garza (7-3, 2 KO’s), of Eagle Pass, TX, over six rounds.

Super Welterweight Vikas Krishan (2-0, 1 KO), of Haryana, IND, won a unanimous 6-round decision over Noah Kidd (3-2-1, 2 KO’s), of Jefferson City, MO.

Super Lightweight Larry Fryers (10-1, 3 KO’s), of Clones, IRL, decisioned Dakota Polley (5-3, 2 KO’s), of St. Joseph, MO.

Power punching, undefeated middleweight Edgar Berlanga (10-0, 10 KO’s), of New York City, NY, made short work of veteran Samir Barbosa (37-16-3, 26 KO’s), of Rio Grande, BRA, with a first-round TKO at the 0:46 mark.

Shakur Stevenson (L) outboxing Christoper Diaz (R).

Shakur Stevenson (L) outboxing Christoper Diaz (R).

In a battle for the vacant NABF/NABO Super Welterweight Title, Carlos Adames (17-0, 14 KO’s) bludgeoned Frank Galarza (20-3-2, 12 KO’s), of Brooklyn, NY, in four rounds after dropping Galarza with a whipping left hook.

Teofimo Lopez (L) jabs at former two-time EBU European Union Lightweight king Edis Tatli (L).

Teofimo Lopez (L) jabs at former two-time EBU European Union Lightweight king Edis Tatli (L).

Lightweight Felix Verdejo (25-1, 16 KO’s), of San Juan, PR, defeated Bryan Vasquez (37-4, 20 KO’s) over ten rounds.

Former Olympic Silver medalist Shakur Stevenson (11-0, 6 KO’s), of Newark, NJ, easily outboxed Christoper Diaz (24-2, 16 KO’s), of Barranquitas, PR, to win the IBF Intercontinental and NABO Featherweight Title Belts by scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92. The southpaw Stevenson a a crafty, cocky and slick fighter that surely has a bright future. “I want to fight all the champions,” said Stevenson. “I’m the smartest boxer in boxing today.”

Teofimo Lopez doing a backwards flip after stopping Edis Tatli.

The popular NABF lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez (13-0, 11 KO’s), of Brooklyn, NY, KO’d former two-time EBU European Union Lightweight king Edis Tatli (31-3, 10 KO’s), of Helsinki, FIN, with a wicked left hook to the ribs that sent the challenger down and out in the fifth round.

Edis Tatli is counted out.

All in all, Top Rank put on a fun night of boxing by having girls shoot t-shirts to the fans with air guns, provide games where audience members adorned with boxing gloves had to put on a Top Rank shirt the fastest to win, and also trivia contests given to some fans with Top Rank t-shirt prizes.