The Boxing Twins News Stories and Press Releases

 

 

The Boxing Twins 

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For Immediate Release:

 

December 14: Terence Crawford-Mean Machine Welterweight Championship Fight Headlines Special Madison Square Garden Tripleheader LIVE on ESPN 


Post-2019 Heisman Trophy Presentation telecast (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m PT.) will also feature Richard Commey-Teofimo Lopez lightweight title fight and the highly anticipated Michael Conlan-Vladimir Nikitin featherweight grudge match

Tickets starting at $56 go on sale Friday, October 18 at 12 p.m. ET

 

NEW YORK CITY (Oct. 14, 2019) — Boxing’s pound-for-pound boogeyman is ready to battle the machine.
 
Terence “Bud” Crawford will defend his WBO welterweight world title against undefeated mandatory challenger Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas Saturday, December 14 at Madison Square Garden as part of a special ESPN-televised tripleheader that will immediately follow the 2019 Heisman Trophy Presentation (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). ESPN Deportes will provide the Spanish-language telecast.
 
The triple-header on ESPN and ESPN Deportes will also feature IBF lightweight world champion Richard “RC” Commey defending his title against human highlight film and Brooklyn native Teofimo Lopez. Additionally, in the 10-round featherweight special attraction, Irish sensation and New York fan favorite Michael “Mick” Conlan will battle unbeaten Russian Vladimir Nikitin in a rematch of their highly controversial 2016 Olympic quarterfinal bout.
 
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with DiBella Entertainment and MTK Global, tickets priced at $506, $306, $206, $106 and $56 (not including applicable fees) go on sale Friday, October 18 at 12 p.m. ET and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.MSG.com.
 
The undercard, with fights to be announced in the coming weeks, will stream exclusively on ESPN+, the leading multi-sport streaming service, starting at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.
 
“This is the best fight card of the year, and Madison Square Garden is a fitting venue for what will be a special night,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Terence Crawford is a generational talent, but he’ll have his hands full against the ‘Mean Machine.’ Teofimo Lopez is taking a giant step up against Commey, and it will be a tremendous fight. Mick Conlan has been asking for Nikitin since the day he signed with Top Rank. He finally gets his wish, and I know he wants to correct the tremendous injustice of the Rio Olympics.”
 
“Egidijus Kavaliauskas is a two-time Olympian and I can’t take him lightly,” Crawford said. “He’s got everything to gain and nothing to lose and that makes him dangerous. I never overlook any opponent, and this will be no exception. I’ll be ready for anything and everything he brings on December 14 when I return to my second home, Madison Square Garden, and live on ESPN.” 

“I have prepared my whole boxing career for a fight of this magnitude,” Kavaliauskas said. “Terence Crawford is an excellent fighter, but I fear no man. Nobody has seen the best of the ‘Mean Machine’ yet. I am going to shock a lot of people on December 14, but it won’t be a surprise to me. I earned this title shot. It is my time.”
 
Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs), the pride of Omaha, Nebraska, has been impeccable since turning professional, winning world titles in three weight classes and unifying all four major world titles at super lightweight. He is 13-0 with 10 knockouts in world title bouts and has knocked out his last six opponents, including Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz, bitter rival Jose Benavidez Jr. and Manny Pacquiao conqueror Jeff “The Hornet” Horn. In his last bout, April 20 at Madison Square Garden, Crawford neutralized former unified super lightweight world champion Amir “King” Khan en route to a sixth-round TKO after Khan could not continue following a low blow. Kavaliauskas (21-0-1, 17 KOs) will be the fourth undefeated fighter Crawford has faced in his last five bouts.
 
A native of Kaunas, Lithuania, Kavaliauskas represented his homeland at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, rising the professional ranks with convincing victories over perennial contenders Juan Carlos Abreu and Roberto Arriaza. Kavaliauskas has a February 2018 TKO win over David Avanesyan, who is now the current European welterweight champion. He has never been knocked down as a pro or amateur and trains out of the famed Boxing Laboratory in Oxnard, California.
 
Commey (29-2, 24 KOs) has had a career year, winning the vacant IBF lightweight title February 2 in Frisco, Texas with a devastating second-round TKO over Isa Chaniev. He defended the belt June 29, knocking down former lightweight world champion Ray Beltran down four times before stopping him in the eighth round. A native of, Accra, Ghana, he has won four in a row by knockout.

Lopez (14-0, 11 KOs), at 22 years old, is one of boxing’s budding superstars a big-punching, big-talking fighter who has become the sport’s latest viral sensation. His post-fight Fortnite celebrations and backflips are the exclamation point to his highlight-reel knockouts. He fought last year on the post-Heisman Trophy celebration telecast, knocking out Mason Menard in 44 seconds and then putting on the jersey of Heisman winner Kyler Murray. Lopez is 3-0 in 2019, most recently prevailing via 12-round decision July 19 over Japanese veteran Masayoshi Nakatani in a title eliminator.
 
“I’m very excited to fight at the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden, in my second world title defense against Teofimo Lopez,” Commey said. “My lifelong dream of becoming a world champion became a reality through many years of hard work in my homeland of Ghana through the UK, Europe and finally in the United States. I want to thank everyone on my team for making this possible. On December 14, I will put on another spectacular performance in defending my world title for my fans in the arena and those watching on ESPN and around the world.”
 
“Richard has fought all over the world for many years to achieve his lifelong dream of not only becoming a true world champion, but also becoming a boxing star, and on December 14 against Teofimo Lopez, I believe that he will successfully defend his title for the second time in spectacular fashion,” said Lou DiBella, Commey’s promoter.
 
“I’m finally back at Madison Square Garden, the place where I always wanted to win my first world title,” Lopez said. “I believe this fight will shut up all of the critics and prove to everyone that I back up my talking in the ring. I respect Commey as a champion, but when we’re in that ring, it’s going to be lights out for him. Come December 14, I am officially taking over the lightweight division.”
 
Conlan (12-0, 7 KOs), who is ranked in the top 10 as a featherweight by three of the major sanctioning organizations, is looking to avenge the final, and most controversial loss, of his amateur career. With a semifinal berth — and a guaranteed Olympic medal — on the line, Nikitin was the beneficiary of a decision most experts believe Conlan deserved. The indelible image of the Rio Olympics was Conlan’s double middle-finger salute to the judges. Conlan’s disappointment motivated him for what has been a flawless professional campaign. A proven ticket-seller at Madison Square Garden thanks to his annual St. Patrick’s Day appearances, Conlan is coming off a rousing TKO win over Diego Alberto Ruiz on August 3 in front of 10,000 hometown fans at Belfast’s Falls Park.
 
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 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. They were supposed to fight August 3 at Falls Park, but Nikitin suffered a torn biceps in training.
 
“I’m beyond excited to fight for the sixth time in my favorite venue in the world, the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden,” Conlan said. “The boxing fans in New York City have been incredibly supportive of my career, and I look forward to putting on another great show for them, as well as my Irish fans coming over for this massive holiday event.
 
“Vladimir Nikitin and I have unfinished business from the 2016 Olympics, and I can’t wait until December 14 to set the record straight.”
 
“Michael Conlan has done a lot of talking about me and our Olympic fight over the last few years. The talking finally ends December 14,” Nikitin said. “He’s bitter over our last fight and can’t accept the result. Well, my hand will be raised once again.”

 

 
Brandon Robinson takes on Martez McGregor on Friday, October 25th at The 2300 Arena
Naim Nelson and Damon Allen Jr. to appear in separate bouts
Undefeated fighters Avril Mathie, Ryan Umberger & Rasheen Brown in action 
 
Philadelphia, PA (September 26, 2019)–Brandon Robinson returns to main event status as he takes on tough Martez McGregor in the eight-round main event on Friday night, October 25th at The 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.
The show kicks off a monster weekend for King’s Promotions.
Robinson of Philadelphia has a record of 13-2 with nine knockouts.
The 31 year-old Robinson is a three-year professional who has wins over Brandon Clark (2-0), Ernest Amuzu (25-3) and is coming off a win over Devaun Lee on May 10th at The 2300 Arena.
McGregor of Maywood, Illinois has a record of 8-2 with six knockouts.
Highlighted in McGregor’s resume was a win over previously undefeated Luis Jimenez (3-0).  McGregor is coming off a tough battle with undefeated Cem Kilic on June 15th, for which McGregor was stopped by the undefeated prospect in the eighth and final round.
In six-round bouts:
Damon Allen Jr. (15-5-1, 5 KOs) of Philadelphia takes on an opponent to be named in a junior welterweight fight.
Nain Nelson (13-4, 1 KO) of Philadelphia fights Roy McGill (6-3, 3 KOs) of Harrisburg, PA in a junior welterweight contest.
Avril Mathie (3-0, 2 KOs) of Miami takes on 24 fight veteran Karen Dulin of North Kingstown, Rhode Island in a bantamweight fight.
In four-round fights:
James Martin (4-1) of Philadelphia takes on Juan Rodriguez (8-15-1, 6 KOs) of Haymarket, VA in a welterweight tussle.
Nicoy Clarke (2-4) of Jersey City, NJ fights Angel Rivera (4-1, 3 KOs) of Harrisburg, PA in a cruiserweight bout.
Ryan Umberger (2-0, 2 KOs) of Philadelphia takes on an opponent to be named in a middleweight fight.
Rasheen Brown (4-0, 1 KO) of Philadelphia fights an opponent to be named in a super bantamweight bout.
Tickets are $100, $75 and $50 and can be purchased at www.2300arena.com 

Top Super Welterweight Erickson Lubin Battles Former Title Challenger & U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha in WBC Title Eliminator Saturday October 26 Live on SHOWTIME® from Santander Arena in Reading, PA
Former World Champion Robert Easter Jr. Makes Super Lightweight Debut Against Battle-Tested Veteran
Adrian Granados in Co-Feature of Event Presented by
Premier Boxing Champions
Plus! Former World Champions Rau’shee Warren & Emmanuel Rodriguez Duel in WBC Bantamweight Title Eliminator to
Open Televised Action at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT
Tickets on Sale Now!  
READING, PA. (September 23, 2019) – Top super welterweight contender Erickson “Hammer” Lubin returns to take on former world title challenger and U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha in a 12-round WBC title eliminator on Saturday, October 26 live on SHOWTIME from Santander Arena in Reading, Pa., in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features former lightweight world champion Robert Easter Jr. making his super lightweight debut against battle-tested veteran Adrian “El Tigre” Granados in the 10-round co-featured attraction. The televised opener will see former world champions collide as Rau’shee Warren takes on Emmanuel Rodriguez in a 12-round WBC bantamweight title eliminator.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and King’s Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.com or at the Santander box office (Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.).
“Top to bottom this is a card that guarantees action featuring fighters highly motivated to make statement victories,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Erickson Lubin is fast on the track to another world title opportunity, but he’ll have to get through a veteran with a tremendous pedigree in Terrell Gausha. With exciting former champion Robert Easter making his 140-pound debut against all-action Adrian Granados, and a bantamweight duel between former world champions Rau’shee Warren and Emmanuel Rodriguez, the fans in Reading and watching in SHOWTIME are going to get their money’s worth Saturday, October 26.”
Orlando, Florida’s Lubin (21-1, 16 KOs) was one of the fastest rising contenders in boxing as he quickly raced to the top of the ladder to challenge Jermell Charlo for the WBC 154-pound championship in 2017. Since the setback against Charlo, the 23-year-old has scored three straight stoppage victories to regain his momentum toward a championship run. In February, Lubin became the first boxer to stop former champion Ishe Smith and is coming off a TKO victory over Zaharia Attou in his last fight on June 29 on SHOWTIME
“I’m extremely excited for the opportunity to showcase my talents once again on SHOWTIME,” said Lubin. “I’m focused on the task at hand, and that’s beating a world class opponent in Terrell Gausha. My plan is to put all of the belt holders in my division on notice with a victory. I’ve been in camp for five weeks with five weeks to go. I’ll be supremely conditioned and fundamentally sound on October 26. You’re definitely not going to want to miss it.”
The 31-year-old Gausha (21-1-1, 10 KOs) is a brilliant ring tactician with an impressive boxing pedigree that included representing the United States at the 2012 Olympics.  Born in Cleveland and now living in Encino, Calif., Gausha suffered the only loss on his record when he dropped a unanimous decision to long-reigning WBA Super Welterweight Champion Erislandy Lara in 2017. He most recently fought to a disputed split draw against former super welterweight champion Austin Trout on May 25.
“This is going to be an action-packed fight with me and a strong young fighter like Lubin,” said Gausha. “He’s a good test for me. Lubin will be the fourth southpaw in a row that I’ve faced and I’m ready to go again. I’m just at a point where I want to fight the best and most challenging fights possible. He called me out and I’m definitely going to be ready for him on October 26. The fans won’t want to miss it.”
A former IBF Lightweight World Champion, Easter (21-1-1, 14 KOs) won the belt with a split decision victory over current champion Richard Commey in 2016 at Santander Arena in Reading. The 28-year-old from Toledo, Ohio successfully defended the title three times before losing it to four-division world champion Mikey Garcia in a 2018 unification clash on SHOWTIME.  He is coming off a split draw against Rances Barthelemy in his last fight on April 27 and will be making his super lightweight debut when he steps in against Granados at the site of his first world championship fight.
“I’m moving up to 140 pounds and I’ve been preparing really hard for this fight,” said Easter. “Expect me to come out and be very explosive on October 26. I anticipate Granados coming to fight like he always does. He’s a fighter who always comes prepared and puts his heart into it, but I’m going to do the same thing and show that I’m ready to make a statement in this division.”
The 30-year-old Granados (20-7-2, 14 KOs) has battled a slew of accomplished junior welterweights and welterweights over the course of his career including Shawn Porter, Adrien Broner and most recently Danny Garcia in April.  The 30-year-old from Chicago will return to 140-pounds where he’s had most of the success in his career, including his 2015 stoppage of a then-unbeaten Amir Imam.
“I’m expecting a tough fight against Robert Easter Jr. on October 26,” said Granados. “Our styles mesh well. Easter is a sharp fighter and that’s why I’m giving it everything I have in training camp. I’m looking to bounce back from my last fight and show everyone that I still have a lot to give the sport of boxing. Easter is a technician in the ring but I’m a warrior and I’m going to come with everything that I have.”
Fighting out of his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, Warren (16-3, 4 KOs) is looking to climb back into the championship ranks, having won the WBA bantamweight title with a majority decision over Juan Carlos Payano in 2016. The 32-year-old lost the title to Zhanat Zhakiyanov by majority decision in 2017 and is coming off a decision loss to Nordine Oubaali in a January title clash. Warren won his first 13 pro fights after an amateur career that saw him represent the U.S. at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
“I’m ready to bounce back and prove I’m still one of the best bantamweights in the world,” said Warren. “This is a great fight for me to do that. After this fight I’m ready to get that belt back again because I miss it. I know these fighters can’t beat me when I’m at my best.”
The 27-year-old Rodriguez (19-1, 12 KOs) will also look to put himself back in position to reclaim a 118-pound belt with a win on October 26. Fighting out of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, Rodriguez won the IBF Bantamweight World Title with a unanimous decision victory over Paul Butler in 2018 and defended it successfully against then-unbeaten Jason Moloney. He most recently was stopped by unbeaten champion Naoya Inoue in their May title bout.
“I’m super excited to return in a great fight like this,” said Rodriguez. “Warren is a very good fighter and a victory over him will put me where I want to be. I’m thankful for the opportunity to get closer to reaching my goal of becoming a world champion again in 2020. I have learned from the mistakes of my loss and I’m confident.”
Banner Promotions Fighters Turn in Solid Performances Over the Weekend

Michael Dutchover suffers 1st loss in controversial fashion

Ruben Villa Shines in win over Enrique Vivas

Petr Petrov inches towards title shot with 2nd round KO

PHILADELPHIA – September 23, 2019 – This past Friday night, three members of the Banner Promotions stable were in action and had impressive performances.

Texas lightweight Michael Ducthover (L) clocks Thomas Mattice (R) with a hard left.

In Midland, Texas lightweight Michael Ducthover (13-1, 10 KOs) took on Thomas Mattice in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation that was televised Live on SHOWTIME.
Dutchover took the fight to Mattice and was up on two of the three judges scorecards as the bout entered the eighth round.

In that round, Dutchover was cut over the left eye.  The cut was ruled from a punch, but instant replays were inconclusive on how the cut occurred, and Mattice was ruled the winner of the bout.

Petr Petrov registered his 3rd stoppage victory of the year as he stopped Dedrick Bell in the 2nd round of their main event at The Doubletree Hotel.  

Dutchover was ahead 69-64, 68-65 while Mattice was ahead on one card 67-66.

“It was a great fight.  Mattice is a warrior, but the fight was going my way,” said Dutchover.  “My body punches and uppercuts were working well, and I stunned him in the 6th round.  It was a good performance and I had the fight won.”

On the punch the allegedly stopped the fight, Dutchover did not know how the cut was opened.  “They said I got with a punch, and I guess that’s boxing.  I don’t know if it was a punch and I don’t know if it was a headbutt.  I just know that I started bleeding.  I was good, but the doctor stopped the fight.  The thing that disappointed me was that they did not let my cutman Andrew Rodriguez work on it between rounds.  In fact, after the fight was over, he worked on it for about 20 seconds, and the cut was under control.”

Dutchover showed great sportsmanship in defeat.

“I take my losses the same way I take my wins, but now I just can’t wait to get back in there.  It says that I have a loss on paper, but with my performance, I feel that I won.  I would take a rematch with him without hesitation.  But as soon as I heal up, I would take that as the 1st fight back.”

The fight took place in front of a sold out crowd in Dutchover’s hometown for which SHOWTIME analyst’s said it was the loudest they heard a venue in many years.

“Midland supported this event, and I helped bring a major event here.    It exceeded all expectations, the fans loved the fight, and they are already talking about bringing another event here.”

In the co-feature, world-ranked featherweight, Ruben Villa (17-0, 5 KOs) was very impressive in shutting out previously undefeated Enrique Vivas to retain the WBO International title.  

Villa used a variety of punches throughout the fight which included a perfect two punch combination that dropped Vivas in round two, and Villa cruised to the victory by matching 100-89 scores on all cards.  

“It was a pretty good performance.  He was confident, but we had a good game-plan which we stuck to the whole fight, and I was smart about it what I wanted to do in there,” said Villa.

“We planned that he would be more aggressive.  We know that feints and jabs would be key and they worked great.  Once I landed the jab that was followed by a left hand in round that that dropped him, I saw him begin to lose his confidence.”

Villa was very satisfied with his performance in his 3rd appearance on ShoBox.

“If you consider the tough opponent, who came in undefeated and combine it that I scored a knockdown and won all the rounds, I would say it was my best performance to date.”

Villa is very confident that major opportunities are on the horizon.

World-ranked featherweight, Ruben Villa (17-0, 5 KOs) shuts out previously undefeated Enrique Vivas to retain the WBO International title.

“I am going to take a couple of weeks off, and then get right back in the gym.  I am hopeful that by middle of next year I will get my world title opportunity.”

In Ontario, California, two-time world title challenger Petr Petrov registered his 3rd stoppage victory of the year as he stopped Dedrick Bell in the 2nd round of their main event at The Doubletree Hotel.  

Petrov dominated the action, and stopped Bell with a body shot at 2:48.

With the win, Petrov (41-6-2, 22 KOs) will look for a major opportunity, which could include a world title shot with a particular interest in fighting newly crowned WBC Interim lightweight champion Devin Haney.

“I am very proud of Michael, Ruben and Petr,” said Artie Pelullo, President of Banner Promotions.  “Michael was ahead in the fight that ended because of a situation where no one has clearly seen a punch.  If the referee would have declared it a headbutt, Michael would have won the fight as he was ahead on two the cards.  It’s just bad luck.  Michael is 21 years-old and he is terrific young fighter.  It is just a bump in the road. Ruben was outstanding, and he keeps showing us he is on his way to a world title.  He took on an undefeated fighter who was promoted by Mikey Garcia’s company.  Mikey knows talent.  Ruben won every round, and he is proving why he is one of the best at 126 pounds in the world.  Once again Petr showed that he is a true professional as he has been active, and has three straight knockouts.  A big fight is in his near future.”

Dutchover and Villa are co-promoted by Thompson Boxing.

Dutchover & Villa Photos by Emily Harney; Petrov Photo by Kyte Monroe

 

THE OSCAR DE LA HOYA FOUNDATION HOSTS BOXING EVENT FOR THE COMMUNITY AT PASADENA CITY HALL
Photos courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – The Oscar De La Hoya Foundation presented a spectacular night of professional boxing today at Pasadena City Hall to give back to the community. The proceeds from the public event will go towards the Foundation to help support programs that will benefit the youth and community of Pasadena.

Oscar De La Hoya presents a check for $100,000 to the City of Pasadena.

“I wanted to do something for Pasadena for the first time,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “So we decided to give free fights to everyone. Also, on behalf of the Oscar De La Hoya Foundation, I want to donate $100,000 to various foundations here, especially Villa Park, which I have always supported. A lot of kids have made their dreams come true by staying off the streets and by taking up a sport that will drive them to bigger and better things like boxing. On behalf of Golden Boy Promotions and myself personally, I want to thank you for opening the doors for us. Thank you for having a beautiful city, and thank you for everything.”
 
The event was televised as part of a special Friday edition of the Golden Boy DAZN Thursday Night Fights series with welterweight prospect Ferdinand “Lucky Boy” Kerobyan (12-1, 7 KO’s) of North Hollywood, CA, scoring a second-round knockout against Daniel Evangelista Jr. (20-11-2, 16 KO’s) of Mexico City, MX, in the scheduled eight-round main event. Kerobyan won with a time of 1:54 of the aforementioned round.

Daniel Evangelisat Jr. (L) and Ferdinand Kerobyan (R) trade blows.

“I want to take this time to thank God for giving me the opportunity to do what I love,” said Kerobyan. “I also want to dedicate this fight to a dear supporter who passed away. If Golden Boy wants me back in four weeks, then I’ll be ready to do it. I’m ready to come back next week.”
 
In the co-main event, Emilio “The Kid” Sanchez (19-1, 12 KO’s) of North Hollywood, CA, defeated Jose Gonzalez (23-8-1 13 KO’s) of Guadalajara, MX, via unanimous decision in an eight-round featherweight battle. Sanchez won with two scores of 77-75 and one of 80-72.

Emilo Sanchez rocks Jose Gonzalez back with a right hand.

“I was trying to figure this guy out,” remarked Sanchez. “I finally listened to my corner by the end, and you saw the result. All of this is a product of hard work, which pays off in the end. Thank you all for the support.”
 
Uzbekistani prospect Bektemir Melikuziev (2-0, 2 KO’s) scored a thunderous first-round body-shot knockout victory over Adrian Luna (22-7-1 14 KO’s) of Mexico City, MX, in a scheduled eight-round light heavyweight fight.
 
“We did as we planned tonight,” stated Melikuziev. “By my fifth fight, I want to fight for a world title.”
 
Eben Vargas (11-0, 5 KO’s) of Mexico City, MX, scored a six-round unanimous decision win against Cornell “The Hitman” Hines (5-1, 2 KO’s) of Washington, DC, in a welterweight fight. All judges scored the fight 59-55.

Bektemir Melikuziev KO-1 Adrian Luna

“I feel amazing,” explained Vargas. “It was a great experience to fight on a Golden Boy card for a second time. Beating an undefeated fighter will do a lot for me. I want to come back soon and fight in September.”
 
Jousce “Tito” Gonzalez (10-0-1 9 KO’s) of Glendora, CA, defeated Miguel Mendoza (23-17-2, 22 KO’s) of Aguascalientes, MX, via a six-round unanimous decision in a lightweight fight. Gonzalez won with scores of 59-55, 59-55 and 60-54.
 
“I give myself an ‘F’ in this fight,” said  Gonzalez. “I did poorly. I could have popped my jab more, but I hurt my shoulder early, and I couldn’t adjust. I still landed cleaner and harder shots though, so I got the victory.”

Bektemir Melikuziev KO victor.

Anthony Garnica (4-0, 3 KO’s) of Oakland, CA, scored a first-round stoppage win against Yaqub Kareem (14-12-1, 8 KO’s) of Bloomingfield, MI, in a scheduled four-round featherweight weight battle. The fight was stopped at 2:59 of the just mentioned round. 
 
“I feel great,” stated Garnica. “I have a great corner and had a great camp, so I felt confident going into the fight. I’m going to continue to work hard and improving my craft.”
 
Kerobyan vs. Evangelista Jr. was an eight-round super welterweight fight presented by the Oscar De La Hoya Foundation. The fights took place on Friday, Aug 30 at Pasadena City Hall and was open to the public. The event was streamed live on RingTV.com and on Facebook Watch via the Golden Boy Fight Night Page. The series is also available on regional sports networks around the nation.
 
For more information on future events and upcoming fights, visit www.goldenboypromotions.com and DAZN.com. Follow on Twitter @GoldenBoyBoxing and @DAZN_USA, or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing and https://www.facebook.com/DAZNUSA/. Follow on Instagram @GoldenBoyBoxing and @DAZN_USA. Follow the conversation using #KerobyanEvangelista, #ThursdayNightFights and #TNF.
  Founded in 1995, the Oscar De La Hoya Foundation annually hosts a golf tournament, a boxing gym equipment donation, Thanksgiving dinner giveaway and holiday toy giveaway, in addition to supporting the Oscar De La Hoya Ánimo Charter High School, the Cecilia Gonzalez De La Hoya Cancer Center and the Oscar De La Hoya Labor and Delivery Center and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (both located at White Memorial Hospital in East Los Angeles). Today, with the help of many partners, the foundation serves thousands of people annually.

 

 

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Split-T Management’s Pacheco and Sylla remain undefeated with Victories over the Weekend
NEW YORK (September 17, 2019)–Middleweight Diego Pacheco and welterweight Boubacar Sylla each registered victories over this past weekend to keep their perfect records intact.
The pair is managed by Split-T Management.
Pacheco stopped previously undefeated Tony Fernandez at 41 seconds of round three of their fight that took place at the Dignity Health Sports Pavilion in Carson, California.
Pacheco battered Fernandez for much of the bout until he was rescued by referee Zachary Young before any further damage could occur,
Pacheco is now 6-0 with five knockouts, and while most prospects get babied along, The Los Angeles native now has wins over four undefeated foes.
Pacheco is promoted by Matchroom Boxing.
Sylla of Cincinnati made it 11 straight without a defeat, as he won a split decision over tough Jermaine Corley in a welterweight bout at the Resorts World Catskills Casino in Catskills, New York. 
Corley tried to force the action, but Sylla boxed very well and was able to take the decision by scores of 59-55 twice and one card saw Corley 58-56.
Sylla is promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing.

 

Champion Jaime Munguia demolishes Challenger Patrick Allotey in 4 to retain WBO Super Welterweight Title

By Tyrone Cartwright

September 14 – Carson, California. There is something to be said about an outdoor fight.

The winner and still the WBO Super Welterweight Champion of the World – Jaime Munguia. (Photos by Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions)

With the sky surrounding the arena with a panoramic backdrop, an outdoor fight presents a magical feeling of being sent back in time to the famous outside fights in boxing history that took place in such iconic venues as Yankee Stadium, Soldier’s Field and many others from the days of the bare knucklers to the present.

WBO Super Welterweight Champion Jaime Munguia knocking down challenger Patrick Allotey. (Photos by Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions)

In the open air arena at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, a crowd of 7,311 must have shared the same nostalgic feeling when they cheered on their hero and WBO super welterweight champion Jaime Munguia before the sun, the moon, and the stars.

It was Mexican Independence weekend and the fans on hand were fortunate enough to witness the talents of the fighter who is soon becoming the number one dose of excitement in the sport of boxing. This fighter is none other than WBO super welterweight champion and knockout artist Jaime Munguia, of Tijuana, Mexico.

Allotey (R) stabbing Munguia with a left jab. (Photos by Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions)

At 22 years old, this boxing sensation is taking the sport by storm and when he entered the ring sporting an undefeated ledger featuring 26 KO’s in 33 bouts, the fans, most of who were comprised of his fellow countrymen, took notice and waited in anticipation for knockout number 27 to happen.   

And happen it did.

But it did not happen right away, for challenger Patrick Allotey, 153, hailing from Ghana, 153, who started the fight off fast behind swift and jarring combinations to the champ’s head. Wearing green trunks with black trim, Allotey, 28, who also had an impressive ledger of 30 KO’s, showed no fear whatsoever to Munguia’s punching reputation nor to the fact that most of the fans on hand were rooting for his adversary.

Munguia (L) nailing Allotey (R) with a thudding left hook to the body. (Photos by Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions)

After a close feeling-out opening stanza, in round two, the challenger banged away at Munguia with combinations to the head and jaw. Towards the end of the round Allotey even stunned the champion with a hard combination to the chin and cheekbone.

In round three things started off the same till the last minute of the round when Munguia pinned the challenger to the ring corner and belted him with a terrific right to the jaw followed by a thunderous left to the ribs that struck him like a barn door and dropped him to the canvas.

Munguia (R) knocking down Allotey (L) in round two. (Photos by Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions)

Up at “nine” Allotey tried to regroup and appeared to hold off Munguia’s constant attack until the champion nailed him with lead right combinations to Allotey’s head and body. The champion then added to his deadly arsenal, double left hooks, the true terror of the family of fistic combinations, that landed with the force of a blacksmith’s forging hammer and knocked the challenger clear across the ring, this time dropping him to the seat of his trunks. Again he bravely rose, and made it up to his feet at the count of “eight” and was thus able to make it to round four.

Little did Allotey know at the time, that his reprieve would be short-lived as the champion jumped on him and remained Punching at him all the way to the last minute of the round when he connected with a head and body combination that sent his to the ring floor for the third time in the bout. Though the game challenger again rose to his feet, his corner had rightly seen enough and threw in the towel to end the one-way proceedings.

The challenger Allotey being counted down by the referee. (Photos by Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions)

The fight ended at 2:18 of the round.

With the loss Allotey saw his record drop to a still impressive 40-4 (30 KO’s). In defeat while praising the champion, he also declared that he intended to get back to the proverbial drawing board and return promptly tothe prize ring.

With the win, Munguia (34-0, 27 KOs), who successfully defended his WBO junior middleweight title for the fifth time, was very pleased with his performance. “I feel really good fighting back in my hometown. People here cheering me on, it’s a great feeling. During the fight I felt really good. This guy was tough, you know, he was eating up all the punches but I was able to get him on the third round.”

The champion added, “The journey getting here was hard but I feel really good with these people who came to support me. This is Mexican Independence Day and I feel really good and I’m ready to go further for more.”

The champion Munguia (L) landing an overhand right to the challenger’s jaw. (Photos by Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions)

The champion also acknowledged the assistance from the former legendary champion and ring icon Erik Morales. “Thank you of course to Erik [Morales]. I learned from Erik to stay calm, but this is a combination of everyone that I work with.”

“Step by step, I’ve learned a lot from all the fighters that I’ve fought before.”

When asked if he wanted to go up to the next weight class the middleweight division, and fight the top guys  at 160 – e.g., Canelo and GGG, Munguia responded,  “First I need to get to 160, but I’m ready to go.”

The way he looked in this fight, Munguia may indeed be the future of boxing, and a force to be reckoned with in any weight class.

The fight was telecast on DAZN Streaming Network.

Next wave continuing rich Reno boxing history

Inaugural RJJ Boxing & Silver Legacy event

Co-promoted with Joey Gilbert Promotions

Event streaming live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS

LAS VEGAS (September 16, 2019) – The next wave of Reno boxers will continue its rich boxing tradition October 25 on “RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS®,” co-promoted by Joey Gilbert Promotions in association with Silver Legacy Resort Casino at THE ROW in Reno, Nevada.

The event will be streamed live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports, starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, from inside the Grande Exposition Hall at Silver Legacy.

Local boxers such as featherweight Ricardo Lucio Galvan (2-0, 2 KOs) and super lightweight Wilfred Mariano (1-0, 1 KO) are all slated to fight on the Oct. 25th card against opponents to be determined.

Organized boxing was held during the early 1880’s in small mining towns in the Northwest section of Nevada, professional boxing matches were conducted there later that century.

Hall of Fame promoter Tex Rickard and legendary heavyweight Jack Johnson first put Reno on the boxing map on July 4, 1910, when World heavyweight champion successfully defending his title against James J. Jeffries, stopping him in the 15th round at what was reportedly the only venue ever built for a single boxing event.  When President William Taft declined Richard’s offer to referee, Richards became the third man in the ring.  Boxing stars including Jake Kilrain, Tommy Burns, and Abe Attell were introduced to the reported crowd of 16,528.

Richard first brought another Hall of Fame heavyweight champion, Jack Dempsey, to Reno in 1915 for his ninth pro fight, when Dempsey stopped Emmanuel Campbell in the fourth round at Airdrome Arena.  To fight, Dempsey had to “ride the rails” from Utah to Reno, stored away on a train with hobos.  Dempsey returned three years later to knockout Jack Moran in the opening round at Moana Spring Arena.

Dempsey may have been involved in unsanctioned fights in Reno as well.  Desperate for money during the early part of his boxing career, Dempsey is infamous for walking into saloons and saying, “I can’t sing, and I can’t dance, but I can lick any SOB in the house.”

In 1982 on HBO, future Hall of Famer “Sugar” Ray Leonard successfully defended his World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight World titles at Centennial Coliseum, knocking out Bruce Finch in round three.

Reno-based Gilbert’s first three (2001-2003) and last three (2010) pro fights were held in Reno, where he had a 7-2 (6 KOs) pro record.

Gilbert commented, “Having fought as both an amateur and a professional at these same properties; THE ROW, Eldorado, Silver Legacy, and Circus Circus, which are like a second home to me and all Nevada boxing alumni, it’s really an honor to bring boxing and combat sports back to Northern Nevada, a true fight town, and to provide world class entertainment and an incredible digital production through Roy Jones JR Boxing and UFC FIGHT PASSs, in a partnership with the very casinos and environment that helped make me who I am today; I couldn’t be more delighted to be a part of this opportunity with Eldorado Resorts and UFC Fight Pass through Roy Jones Jr Promotions. I’m looking forward to a prosperous partnership with everyone involved, including the local community and all fight fans in the area.”

Hall of Fame referee Mills Lane was an adopted son of Reno, arguably the No. 1 referee in the world of boxing, during his high-profile stretch of activity.

Reno has also hosted major amateur boxing events like the 2016 NCBA (college) Western Regional Championships at the Eldorado Hotel and USA Boxing’s 2018 Western Elite Qualifier and Regional Open.  Reno will host the 2020 Western Elite Qualifier & Regional Open, March 21-28, 2020

Undefeated super lightweight prospect Kendo “Tremendo” Castaneda (16-0, 7 KOs), fighting out of San Antonio, faces Estonia-native Stan Martyniouk (20-2, 6 KOs), who lives in Belmont, California, in the eight-round main event on Oct. 25th.

The co-featured event pits undefeated Sacramento cruiserweight Blake McKernan (10-0, 2 KOs) against Francisco Rivas (15-2, 5 KOs), of Mexico, in an eight-round bout.

Undefeated WIBA World female bantamweight champion Rosalindo Rodriguez (10-0, 2 KOs), of Miami, takes on Las Vegas’ unbeaten Jamie “The Miracle” Mitchell (5-0-2, 3 KOs) in a six-round non-title fight.

Galvan is matched against Sacramento’s pro-debuting Samir McQueen, while Mariano faces an opponent to be determined.

Also scheduled to fight on the undercard in separate four-round bouts against TBAs are undefeated Las Vegas lightweight Daquan Mays (3-0, 1 KO) and Sacramento lightweight Sergio Vega (2-0, 2 KOs).

All fights and fighters are subject to change.

Tickets are available for $25, $45 and $65 and can be purchased at the Silver Legacy Box Office, Ticketmaster.com or by calling 775-325-7401 or 1-800-MUST-SEE. 

Silver Legacy Resort Casino is offering a special RJJ Boxing room rate at its hotel as well as its connected sister properties, Eldorado Resort Casino and Circus Circus Reno. Click on the respective property links for more information.

 Doors open at 5 p.m. PT, first bout 5:45 p.m. PT, and UFC FIGHT PASS starts at 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET

INFORMATION:

 

Websiteswww.RoyJonesJrBoxing.com www.SilverLegacy.com

Twitter: @RoyjonesJRfa, @RoyJonesJrOfficial, @UFCFightPass, @JoeyPromotions, @SilverLegacy

Instagram: @RoyJonesJRboxing, @RoyJonesJrOfficial, @artofmusiclv, @rivalboxinggear, @JoeyPromotions, @SilverLegacyReno

Facebook: /RJJBoxing, /JoeyPromotions /SilverLegacyResortCasino

ABOUT ROY JONES JR, BOXING PROMOTIONS: Co-founded in 2013 by 10-time world champion Roy Jones, Jr. and Keith Veltre, Roy Jones, Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions is on its way to reinventing boxing.  RJJ has already made a huge impact in the boxing community in a few short years.  Creating exhilarating content for CBS Sports, Showtime, ESPN, beIN Sports and UFC FIGHT PASS in some of the finest venues across the country, RJJ has proven it is conquering the sweet science of the sport.

Based in the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas, NV, Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions is climbing to the top at a fast pace, adding young talent to its growing stable: former multiple world  bantamweight champion Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko (36-5, 26 KOs), 2-time world junior bantamweight title challenger “Mighty” Aston Palicte (25-3-1, 21 KOs), undefeated Irish middleweight prospect Connor “The Kid” Coyle, former world-ranked junior middleweights John “The Phenom” Vera (18-1, 11 KOs), WBA #14-rated junior welterweight Kendo “Tremendo” Castaneda (16-0, 7 KOs), junior lightweight Randy Moreno (12-2, 10 KOs), WBO #8-rated bantamweights Max “The Baby Faced Assassin” Ornelas (13-0-1, 5 KOs), undefeated featherweight prospects Ray “Valentino” Ximenez (18-2, 4 KOs), Edward Vazquez (6-0, 0 KOs), undefeated super middleweight prospect Juan “Just Business” Barajas (10-0, 7 KOs), and former WBC” Youth heavyweight champion Alexander “The Great” Flores (17-2, 15 KOs).

David Benavidez Gives Boxing Fans a Taste of Training Camp

By Kirk Lang

Photos by Alyssa Lang and Kirk Lang

It was billed in a press release as his official start of training camp but David Benavidez’ challenge of WBC super middleweight champ Anthony Dirrell was still months away when he took on three sparring partners under the pavilion at the International Boxing Hall of Fame in upstate New York during the Hall’s 30th annual induction weekend.

“This is not really the start of my camp,” said Benavidez. “I still have 16 weeks left ‘til the fight. So I just came out here, enjoyed the people, got some good sparring and just enjoyed myself. I put a show on for the fans.”

David Benavidez (second from left) with his three sparring partners.

Benavidez, 21-0 with 18 knockouts, became the youngest ever super middleweight champion in September 2017 when, at 20 years old, he won a 12-round decision over Ronald Gavril for the vacant WBC super middleweight championship. However, a career misstep saw him test positive for a banned substance last September and he lost his crown.

At the time, Benavidez was scheduled to make the second defense of his belt against Dirrell. The title subsequently became vacant and Dirrell took possession of it in March with a victory over Avni Yildirim.

David Benavidez working out at the Boxing Hall of Fame.

The June 7th sparring in Canastota, New York, along with some shadowboxing the following day, provided a little sample of training camp life for approximately 100 boxing fans that crowded around the outdoor ring in perfect weather. Benavidez, who is intent on getting his belt back, didn’t appear to be too far from fighting weight, and looked sharp as he went three rounds a piece with a trio of local sparring partners.

David Benavidez getting ready for WBC champ Anthony Dirrell.

Benavidez, far more experienced than his opponents, clearly seemed to be holding back at times, but he also made sure to work on defensive maneuvers. However, he did let his hands go here and there, including when he positioned Syracuse, New York-based 6-foot-four-inch pro boxer Lawrence Gabriel, whose record currently stands at 3-2-1, into a neutral corner. Benavidez let the crowd know he could turn the heat up whenever he felt like it. In fact, although Gabriel has survived bullets – in 2015 he was the victim of multiple gunshot wounds while trying to stop a crazed gunman at a Syracuse bar – he couldn’t survive Benavidez. He came close though. As his third and final round with the former world champion neared its end, Gabriel got caught with a beautiful hook to the body. He rose to his feet, but needed a break and leaned against the ropes until the bell rang.

David Benavidez stretching out at the Boxing Hall of Fame.

“He’s a big puncher and he snaps every single punch,” Gabriel said. “And he gets his body into the right position to get power on all of his punches. He’s tough.”

Next up for Benavidez was the smallest of the three sparring partners – Luis “Azucar” Rojas. What Rojas lacked in stature he more than made up for in aggressiveness. Unfazed by Benavidez’ pedigree as a recent ex-world champion, he’d get in close and confidently let loose with combinations, usually to the head. Benavidez seemed to admire his opponent’s tenaciousness, but a well-placed power punch every so often let Rojas know who the real king of the ring was.

“I think he’s good,” said Rojas, who added, “I think he can be better. I’ve seen him fight before. I know he’s better than that.”

David Benavidez sparring.

Did Rojas think Benavidez was holding back?

“Sometimes,” he said.

What did he learn from his three rounds with the former champion who is still at the top of the class at super middleweight?

“That you’ve got to stay ready, all the time,” said Rojas, who admitted to not being at his peak physically at this point in the summer.

David Benavidez sparring before the Hall of Fame crowd.

The last sparring partner for Benavidez was 25-year-old Michael Rycraft, of Utica, NY. Tall and quick with his hands as well as his feet, Benavidez had to work harder in those final three rounds.

“The last one, he was the best one,” said Benavidez. “So I had to use every movement right. There could be no wasted movements.”

As good as Rycraft was, Benavidez left him with a bloody nose his corner-men had to attend to.

David Benavidez sparring before the crowd.

Rycraft seemed to appreciate the sparring, the opportunity, more so than the others that scrapped with Benavidez. He was seen talking with him and thanking him well after the sparring was over.

He told The USA Boxing News, “It’s a blessing. It’s a blessing to be in this position, to learn from a champion, a true champion, a young champion at that.”

Avid boxing enthusiast Mark Jones, of Syracuse, NY, who watched Benavidez’ nine rounds of sparring – a pre-cursor to actual training camp -believes Benavidez has the goods to defeat Dirrell.

David Benavidez in action.

“I think he’ll beat Dirrell based on his youth and the fact that Dirrell is in the post-prime phase of his career,” he said. “Benavidez has a big frame. I think he could eventually perform well at light heavyweight.”

Dirrell-Benavidez is scheduled to take place in late September in Los Angeles.

Wise decision 4 years ago has “Marvelous” Mykquan Williams

15-0 as pro instead of elite amateur

MANCHESTER, Conn. (September 9, 2019) – If not for a critical decision four years ago, 21-year-old “Marvelous” Mykquan Williams could very well be elite amateur training to compete for a spot on the 2020 USA Boxing Olympic Team, rather than the 15-0 rising star that he is today in professional boxing.

Williams (15-0, 7 KOs), who lives in East Hartford (CT), has overcome life-altering obstacles in which his father was murdered when Mykquan was only eight months old, and the family house burned to the ground when he was 10.

“Marvelous” Mykquan Williams

Ineligible to compete for a roster spot on the 2016 USA Boxing Olympic Team because he was too young, Williams had two choices: remain an amateur for four years without any guarantees of qualifying for the Olympics, or get a jump start on his professional career.  He chose the latter route and hasn’t looked back.

Williams was a decorated amateur whose style, in retrospect, is much better suited for pro boxing than the amateurs.  He had a 45-13 amateur record, highlighted by three gold-medal performances at the Ringside World Championships, in addition to capturing top honors at the National PAL and National Silver Glove championships.

“I was too young for the last one,” Williams explained his decision to turn pro when he did.” Williams explained.  I ended my amateur career after there were scoring changes.  I lost some tough decisions.  I decided to take the next step and go pro to get paid.  My style was more suitable for the pros.  I don’t throw 100 punches a round; I pick my spots when I have openings.

“I didn’t want to wait several years.  I chose to turn pro (when he was a senior at Prince Tech).  I’m already 15-0, climbing the rankings, and I’m getting paid to do this.  I was meant to do this.”

Williams is the reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) United States super lightweight champion, rated No. 5 by the United States Boxing Association (USBA), and No. 12 by the North American Boxing Federation (NABF).

Williams is promoted by Lou DiBella, managed by Jackie Kallen (pictured above to left), and trained by Paul Cichon.

“I believed that Mykey was ready to turn pro,” Kallen commented.  “Under Paul’s tutelage he was far enough advanced and eager to tackle the pros. His style was perfectly suited for the pros and at 18 years old he was ready to take the leap. His youthful good looks made him an ideal young prospect.”

My concern at that time was the Olympic Team was no sure thing,” added Cichon, who has trained Williams for the past 10 years. I had the confidence in Mykey, but the risk wasn’t worth the gain. We decided to go pro.”

Four years later, instead of competing against America’s elite amateur boxers in his weight class – Keyshawn Davis, Bruce Carrington and Dalis Kaleiopu — at the 2020 Olympic Trials and USA Boxing’s National Championships, December 7-15, in Lake, Charles Louisiana, Williams is one of the top 21-and-under prospects in boxing.

 

  Blood, Sweat & 50 Years: Padilla-Tomas Headlines Oct. 4 in Philly

By Marfus “Tyrone” Cartwright
Philadelphia, PA- Junior welterweights Victor Padilla, of Berlin, NJ, and Romain Tomas, of Brooklyn, NY, will square off in the main event Friday evening, Oct. 4, at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.
The eight-bout card, labeled Blood, Sweat & 50 Years, will celebrate the Golden Anniversary of Peltz Boxing Promotions.  The card is being promoted by Raging Babe (Michelle Rosado) with J Russell Peltz serving as the matchmaker.  First bout 7:30 p.m.  
  
Going old-school on this one, Peltz has scheduled the Padilla-Tomas fight for six rounds, harking back to the first two decades of the 20th century when all main events in Pennsylvania were limited to that distance.
The 20-year-old Padilla, originally from Vieques, Puerto Rico, is a southpaw with speed and power.  He has won all five of his fights by first-round knockout. In fact, he has only been in the ring for a total of six minutes, 29 seconds, in those five contests.  Although none of his five opponents had a winning record when he fought them-their combined mark was 17-29-1 at the time-Padilla still is considered one of the best young pros on the East Coast.  He is promoted by Lou DiBella’s DiBella Entertainment. 
The 30-year-old Tomas is originally from Emerainville in the Seine-et-Marne region of France, outside Paris.  He brings an 8-2 record into the fight with Padilla. Tomas is coming off his biggest career win, a six-round decision over previously unbeaten (7-0) Omar Bordoy in Bordoy’s nearby backyard of Hampton, NH.

“Some of the greatest fighters of all-time appeared in hundreds of six-round main events during those 20 years at the turn of the last century,” said promoter J Russell Peltz.  “In my 50 years in boxing, this marks the first time I have been involved with a six-round main event. When you’ve never done something before, often that is the best reason for doing it.
“Hall-of-Fame champions like Jack Johnson and Benny Leonard boxed six-round main events in Philadelphia during those years,” said Peltz.  “How about Stanley Ketchell vs. Sam Langford or Joe Gans taking on Jack Blackburn? I would have loved to have seen those battles. Lew Tendler, Abe Attell, Terrible Terry McGovern, Rocky Kansas, Philadelphia Jack O’Brien.  Philadelphia was the boxing capital of the country and six-round main events was the norm.
“I’m an old-school kind of guy so this is going to be fun for me.  This represents the past and Padilla vs. Tomas will give us a peek into the future.”
    
The undercard is topped by three additional six-round rematches.
Junior middleweights Roque Zapata, of Culpeper, VA, and Isaiah Wise, of North Philadelphia, meet in a rematch of their 2016 at the 2300 Arena, won by Zapata via majority four-round decision, the first loss of Wise’ career.
  
Zapata (6-2-4) also defeated Fred Jenkins, Jr., early in 2017 over six rounds in the same ring.  Wise (7-2-1, 4 K0s) last boxed 10 months ago when he knocked out Andy Gonzales, of Worcester, MA, at the 2300 Arena.
Junior welterweights Gerardo Martinez, of Coatesville, PA, and Osnel Charles, of Atlantic City, collide in the other six-round rematch.  
Martinez (4-1, 1 K0) earned a four-round majority decision over Charles (13-19-1, 2 K0s) at the 2300 Arena.  While Martinez has been idle since, Charles picked up a four-round points victory in June over Laquan Lewis, of Brooklyn, NY, at the Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA.
North Philadelphia welterweight Marcel Rivers (7-1, 4 K0s) will fight in a six round contest.
Four-rounders scheduled for Oct. 4 include:  Shinard Bunch, of Trenton, NJ, vs. Rakym Dyer, of South Philadelphia, welterweights; Christopher Burgos, North Philadelphia, vs. Tyree Arnold, North Philadelphia, junior welterweights; Vinnie Denierio, Elmira, NY, vs. Seifullah Wise, North Philadelphia, lightweights.  
Lightweight Shamar Fulton, of North Philadelphia, also will appear in a four-round contest.
Tickets to “Peltz Boxing 50th Anniversary Celebration” are priced $50, $70 and $90. They can be purchased online at www.2300arena.com or by calling 215-758-2173 and/or 215-765-0922. Doors open at 6:30 pm and first bout is at 7:30 pm.  Credential applications are due by Sept 20 and can be requested at ragingbabe.com/credentials. Blood, Sweat & 50 Years is brought to you by Rocco’s Collision and Cricket Wireless.  
Attached Photos Credit: Darryl Cobb

VASILIY LOMACHENKO KNOCKS DOWN THEN OUTPOINTS BRITAIN’S “COOL HAND” LUKE CAMPBELL, TO ADDS WBC LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE TO HIS BELTS COLLECTION

LOMA ON THE ATTACK AGAINST COOL HAND LUKE.

By Marfus “Tyrone” Cartwright

August 31.  LONDON – Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko was made to work, and he did just that.

World lightweight champion Lomachenko  knocked down thethe popular Brit Campbell in the 11th with thudding shots to his head and body.

Notwithstanding, the brave Englishman managed to be still standing at the sound of final bell, having exhibited a gallant and gutsy performance before a crowd of his faithful..

“Of course I’m happy and thank you to everyone who came to support us,” said Lomachenko (14-1, 10 knockouts) in his post-fight interview. “This is my (WBC) title, and I want to fight and unify the division.”

In a slow first round, Campbell landed the best blows in the opening round with targeting left crosses.

in the first three rounds, Campbell found a great deal of success, stabbing his vaunted adversary with spirited exchanges and fancy footwork.

In Round 4, Lomachenko was able to time Campbell’s right jab and landed swift combinations to the Englishman’s head and body. To his credit, Campbell kept his head, both literally and figuratively,  but the writing was slowly scribbling his fate along the wall.

The pound-for-pound No. 1 from Lomanchenko, of the Ukraine, turned in another impressive show in capturing the 12-round unanimous decision win over fellow Olympic champion Luke Campbell at the O2 Arena.

With the victory, Lomachenko added the vacant WBC title to his growing list of lightweight honors. Official scores were 119-109, 118-109 and 118-109.

Lee Selby to fight Ricky Burns in lightweight clash at O2 in October

Ricky Burns is Scotland's only boxer to have held titles at three weight divisions
By Marfus “Tyrone” CartwrightRicky Burns is Scotland’s only boxer to have held titles at three weight divisions

 

Welsh boxer Lee Selby will fight Scotland’s former three-weight world champion Ricky Burns on 26 October.

The lightweight clash will take place at London’s O2 Arena on a card including Derek Chisora v Joseph Parker and Josh Taylor v Regis Prograis.

Selby, 32, lost his IBF featherweight title to Josh Warrington in May 2018.

After moving up two weight divisions, Selby fought on with cuts above both eyes to beat Omar Douglas in his first bout at lightweight in February 2019.

The bout against Warrington was only Selby’s second defeat in 29 professional bouts.

Cordina defeats Gwynne to keep titles

Burns lost his WBA super-lightweight title to IBF and IBO champion Julius Indongo in April 2017, then lost his next bout to Anthony Crolla.

But the 36-year-old recovered to beat Ivan Njegac and then Scott Cardle, taking his record to 43-7-1 and setting up the Celtic clash with Selby.

Boxing Road to Tokyo 2020: Qualification Events announced

August 30, 2019
The Olympic Boxing Task Force today confirmed the names of the cities to host the five Qualification Events to be held on the Boxing Road to Tokyo 2020. The Task Force also announced the creation of an Athlete Ambassador Group, as well as the collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers on the refereeing and judging process.
Qualification Events

Four Continental Events and a final World Qualification Event will be held between February and May 2020 to give boxers the opportunity to seal their places at the Tokyo 2020 boxing tournament.

The World Qualification Event will give athletes a second chance to qualify and will therefore be open only to those boxers who have not yet qualified for the Games.

“The Qualification Events represent a fair and transparent pathway to the Olympic Games with equal opportunities for all National Olympic Committees,” said Boxing Task Force Chair and IOC Member Mr Morinari Watanabe. “Everything is being done to provide world-class Qualification Events and to ensure the best possible conditions for the athletes.”

The qualifying schedule features a strong emphasis on legacy, with all five events hosted by former or future Olympic Games or Youth Olympic Games host cities or countries. 

The five Qualification Events together with planned dates are as follows:

Asia/Oceania: WUHAN, China, 3-14 February 2020

Africa: DAKAR, Senegal, 20-29 February 2020
Venue: Dakar International Expo Centre, Diamniadio

Europe: LONDON, Great Britain, 13-23 March 2020
Venue: Copper Box arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

America: BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, 26 March-3 April 2020Venue: CeNARD high-performance athletics training centre

World: PARIS, France, 13-24 May 2020

The competition venues in Wuhan and Paris will be finalised and confirmed in due course.

The full Tokyo 2020 Event Programme and Qualification System for boxing was finalised and published in June 2019 and can be found here.

While the total number of athletes (286) has been maintained from Rio 2016, the number of female boxers has been tripled for Tokyo 2020 in a major boost toward gender equality and in keeping with the enhanced quality and popularity of female boxing. The Tokyo tournament will feature 186 men and 100 women (compared to 250 men and 36 women in Rio). 

Athlete Ambassador Programme

The Task Force also announced the creation of an Athlete Ambassador Group to engage with and represent boxers. This group will provide valuable athlete input and feedback to the Task Force and promote the athlete voice and representation in boxing, for Tokyo 2020 and beyond.

The Athlete Ambassadors will comprise 10 boxers, one man and one woman from each of the five regions, providing gender equality and global representation. The 10 will be selected from among nominations received from National Olympic Committees and National Federations by 30 September. They will be joined by additional athletes elected by their peers at each of the four continental events.   

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to oversee refereeing and judging process

To ensure the successful delivery of the Olympic Qualification Events and the Olympic competition itself, the Olympic Boxing Task Force is currently finalising the appointment of PwC to independently review the process for selecting and evaluating boxing referees and judges.

The assessment will be carried out prior to, and during, the five Olympic Qualification Events and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The Olympic Boxing Task Force decided to build on the successful delivery at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, where the partnership with PwC helped ensure the credibility of refereeing and judging processes.

Background information

The creation of the Olympic Boxing Task Force by the IOC Executive Board (EB) followed the recommendation by the IOC EB on 22 May – approved by the IOC Session on 26 June – that boxing keep its place on the Tokyo 2020 programme, but that recognition of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) by the IOC should be suspended and evaluated after Tokyo 2020.

The decision was based on the recommendations of the Inquiry Committee set up by the IOC EB on 30 November 2018 over concerns about AIBA in the areas of finance, governance, ethics and refereeing and judging.

Cameron Dunkin’s NOW Boxing Promotions

Inks undefeated lightweight prospect Alejandro “Pork Chop” Guerrero

LAST VEGAS (August 29, 2019) — NOW Boxing Promotions, owned and operated by Cameron Dunkin, has announced the signing of undefeated lightweight prospect Alejandro “Pork” Chop” Guerrero to an exclusive promotional contract.

Alejandro “Pork Chop” Guerrero

For many years Dunkin was known as one of the preeminent managers and talent evaluators in boxing. The 2007 BWAA Manager of the Year guided the careers of 34 world champions.  He has launched his promotional company and is stocking it with some incredible talent such as Guerrero.

The 21-year-old Guerrero (10-0, 8 KOs), fighting out of Houston (TX), joins a growing NOW Boxing Promotions stable of gifted fighters, including a quartet of heavy-handed welterweights – Philadelphia’s Jaron “Boots” Ennis (23-0, 21 KOs), Canadian Mikael Zewski (33-1, 22 KOs), Korean-Mexican Californian Brandun Lee (15-0, 13 KOs) and Georgian Brian “The Assassin II” Norman (14-0, 13 KOs) — along with Hungarian junior middleweight Zsolt Daranyi, Jr. (15-1, 14 KOs), who lives in Toronto.

Alejandro “Pork Chop” Guerrero

“I’m really happy that I was able to work out a deal with ‘Pork Chop,’” manager turned promoter Dunkin commented.  “He is an excellent young fighter who I think has all the talent in the world.  He is as fun fighter and I think fans will have a blast when they get to know him. The working plan is to get him fighting on television.  I’d like to get him out there as soon as possible.”

Guerrero, a Mexican American boxer, was a celebrated amateur who won two junior national titles.  Under the guidance of Rudy Silva, Guerrero turned professional on June 25, 2016, knocking out Luis Caballero in the second round of their fight in Dallas.

He has gained invaluable experience sparring with Mikey Garcia, Brandon Rios and others at the famed Garcia Boxing Academy in California.

“I knew I was going to be in good hands if I signed with him (Dunkin),” Guerrero said.  “I’m going to do my best to do may part to be world champion.  I train hard. I’m looking forward to becoming a world champion.  That’s what I’ve dreamed of growing up.  I love boxing, it’s what I do.”

 

Steven Ortiz, Alejandro Salinas to headline
Xcite Fight Night 5 At Parx Casino® on Friday, Sept. 20th

August 19, 2019
Bensalem, PA-Joe Hand Promotions returns to Parx Casino® to kick off the fall boxing season on September 20th with Xcite Fight Night 5. The event will be headlined by a lightweight showcase between Steven “The Hitman” Ortiz and Alejandro “Popo” Salinas.The card is co-promoted by BAM Boxing and features matchmaking by Hall of Famer J. Russell Peltz.
This event is only for adults age 21 and older. Tickets priced at $50, $75 and $100 are on sale at Joe Hand Promotions (215-364-9000). You can also purchase tickets from the Hold My Ticket Call Center at (1-877-466-3404) and at www.parxcasino.com
Ortiz (10-0-0, 3 K0s), a Philadelphia native, won the vacant USA Pennsylvania State lightweight title in his last bout against Jeremy Cuevas in February. He’s excited to remain close to home for his return to action.
“I’m glad to be back in the ring again, after months of hard and dedicated training,” Ortiz said.
That training will be valuable, as his opponent Alejandro Salinas (10-2-0, 9 K0s) is also a state champion from Ohio. Ortiz is excited for the challenge.
“He’s a very skilled fighter and has an outstanding record,” Ortiz said. “The only difference is, he hasn’t fought anyone like me, my power, my speed. I’m very dangerous. He will soon know that. It’s going to be a great fight.”
In the co-feature, exciting prospect Omar Kabary Salem (9-0-0 4 K0s) takes his biggest step up in competition by facing former ABF USA Middleweight champion Jamaal “Da Truth” Davis (18-15-1, 7 K0s) in a super-middleweight battle.
The undercard features a classic battle between orthodox and southpaw – as well as PA versus New Jersey- as undefeated Joshafat Ortiz (6-0-0 4 K0s) takes on Andrew “Sweet Pea” Bentley (5-3-0 1 K0). That fight will take place at super featherweight.
The Bucks County native Milton “El Santo” Santiago (17-0-0 3 K0s), returns to the ring after more than 16 months away.
Super lightweights Daiyann Butt (4-0-0 2 K0s) and Tyhler Williams (3-0-0 2 K0s) are both looking to continue their win streaks at Parx Casino as they return again to Xcite Fight Night in separate fights.
   
TOP PROSPECT MICHAEL DUTCHOVER TO FACE THOMAS MATTICE IN HOMECOMING BOUT ONSHOBOX: THE NEW GENERATION FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 LIVE FROM MIDLAND, TEXAS
Ruben Villa To Face Highly-Touted Prospect Enrique Vivas

NEW YORK – August 27, 2019 – Undefeated lightweight prospect Michael Dutchover returns to ShoBox: The New Generation seeking to make a statement win in his homecoming fight against Thomas Mattice in the 10-round main event of a three-fight telecast on Friday, September 20 live on SHOWTIME (10:30 p.m. ET/PT) from La Hacienda Event Center in Midland, Texas.

Michael Dutchover

Michael Dutchover

The fast-rising Texan prospect Dutchover (13-0, 10 KOs) returns for his second consecutive test on ShoBox after making an impressive debut in May with a first-round knockout. The 21-year-old prospect will face his toughest test to date in ShoBox veteran Mattice (14-1-1, 10 KOs), a fearless five-year pro that has displayed promising boxing skills in previous appearances on the developmental prospect series.
In a battle of undefeated featherweight prospects, two-time Junior Olympic National Champion and two-time Golden Gloves Champion Ruben Villa (16-0, 5 KOs) will face Garcia Promotions’ most coveted prospect, Mexico’s Enrique Vivas (17-0, 9 KOs) in a 10-round matchup. In the opening bout, undefeated welterweight prospect Brandun Lee (14-0, 12 KOs) will face an opponent yet to be named.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing in association with GH3 Promotions, Garcia Promotions and Now Boxing Promotions, are priced at $120, $100 and $80 and can be purchased online at www.haciendamidland,com or by calling 432-563-3737.
“We were able to put together one of the best ShoBox cards we’ve seen so far this year thanks to the collective efforts of five promoters that didn’t shy away from matching their prospects tough,” said Gordon Hall, Executive Producer of ShoBox: The New Generation. “We get to see unbeaten Michael Dutchover making his hometown debut in a step-up fight against the talented Thomas Mattice, a match of unbeaten prospects in Villa vs. Vivas and the series debut of a top prospect and former amateur standout Brandun Lee. September 20, is without any doubt, the classic example of what ShoBox is all about.”
“We are excited to once again be able to showcase Michael Dutchover and Ruben Villa on ShoBox,” said Artie Pelullo, President and CEO, Banner Promotions.  “It will be a great experience for Michael to fight at home and continue his ascension up the ranks.  Ruben is ranked very high, so we expect a great performance as he continues to position himself for a world title.”
“In a lot of ways this is a coming out party for Michael, but anyone that has followed his career knows he boasts world championship talent and has the dedication to get to the top,” said Ken Thompson, President of Thompson Boxing. “Also on the card is Ruben, another supremely talented youngster that will also be in the mix for a world title shot in the near term. Boxing fans who tune in on SHOWTIME are going to see two incredible talents.”
Dutchover, of Santa Fe Springs, Calif. by way of Midland, Texas, started boxing at the age of eight, compiling a notable amateur record of 130-17. He was a runner-up at the 2016 National Golden Gloves and a Bronze Medalist in the 2016 Olympic qualifiers, turning pro shortly afterwards. Dutchover, who boasts a 77 percent KO ratio, has knocked out his last five opponents including durable prospect Rosekie Cristobal in his last outing in just 109 seconds.
Dutchover will wear former NFL running back and legendary Texas Longhorn player Cedric Benson’s jersey to the ring on fight night. Benson, who also played football for the renowned Robert E. Lee High School in Midland, was fatally injured in a motorcycle accident on August 17.
“Mattice is a talented fighter, he will bring out the best in me,” said Dutchover, who is excited to headline in his hometown. “Fighting at home means everything to me. I have fought mostly in California and on the East Coast. This homecoming is overdue. Like Friday Night Lights, I will be the next big thing from Midland, Texas.  I will have my teachers, coaches and classmates there on fight night. I am ready for a big outing.”
Mattice, who is making his fifth start on the series, is looking to rebound after last minute opponent, Will Madera, handed him his first defeat in his last ShoBoxappearance. Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, the 28-year-old lightweight fought to a split-draw in an immediate rematch with Zhora Hamazaryan in September 2018 after winning a controversial split-decision in their first bout. Prior to his back-to-back fights with Hamazaryan, Mattice had won six consecutive bouts via knockout. He scored a decision over Angel Sarinana in his last start in May.
“I am focused and confident,” said Mattice. “I haven’t watched much on my opponent. I let my team watch and develop the best possible game plan. I know he is a durable guy but I’m coming to win. This is my fifth ShoBox appearance and I feel that shows people recognize my talent and hard work.”
“Since day one Thomas Mattice has put his character on the line letting everyone know he doesn’t duck anyone,” said Mattice’s promoter Vito Mielnicki, President of GH3 Promotions. “It’s a crossroads fight for both fighters; Mike [Dutchover] is young and hungry and has never been in a top-level fight but has the pedigree, and Thomas has been tested and proven he belongs. It’s going to be the fight of the night. I predict Thomas will win by KO.”
The 22-year-old Villa of Salinas, Calif., returns for his third consecutive test on ShoBox after scoring a unanimous decision over Luis Alberto Lopez in May and outclassing then-unbeaten Ruben Cervera in January. Villa, who started boxing at the age of five, owns victories over Shakur Stevenson, Devin Haney and Gary Antonio Russell as an amateur (166-17). He turned pro in 2016 and is considered by many a prospect to watch. He hopes to continue his rapid ascension in the featherweight ranks with an exceptional showing against the undefeated Vivas.
“I am looking forward to performing in front of the fans in Texas,” said Villa, “I sparred with Enrique Vivas in the past, he’s an aggressive fighter. My team and I put together a good game plan and I’m going to follow it. I think a win here will position me a step closer to a title shot. I hope to be in a title eliminator or championship fight within the next 12-to-18 months. I have my eye on the vacant WBO belt.”
Vivas of Texcoco, Mexico, is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Jose Estrella in his United States debut in June. He started training in martial arts and kickboxing from an early age, turning to the sweet science at 17, after a motorcycle accident. As an amateur, he won national, regional and state championships, amassing a 93-7 record. He turned pro in late 2014 and has stayed very active, fighting three-to-five times per year. Nicknamed “El Ejecutor” (The Executioner) for his devastating combinations, the 25-year-old has built his undefeated record against limited opposition and a victory over a gifted prospect like Villa can catapult his rise through the ranks.
“I am very happy I got this opportunity,” said Vivas, who is making his television debut on September 20. “Ruben Villa is a very strong southpaw with a lot of experience. He is one of the best featherweights out there. I’m up for the challenge. All of the struggles I have been through in my life have led me here, to this fight. When I fight, I let it all out. It will be a very exciting fight. Don’t miss it.”
“I’m very excited for Vivas’ debut on ShoBox,” said four-division champion Mikey Garcia, who is the President of Garcia Promotions. “This is a 50-50 fight. When we agreed to this matchup, we made the decision with a premise in mind that we firmly believe in: We fight the best to be the best. That is and will continue to be the foundation of Garcia Promotions.”
Super lightweight prospect Lee, of Coachella, Calif., turned pro at 17 after a stellar amateur run (196-5). He has sparred with Mikey Garcia, Devin Haney and Mauricio Herrera. Trained by his father Bobby, the 20-year-old has built up an 86-percent knockout ratio. A very active fighter, he has fought Pablo Martinez and Jorge Munguia. A definitive win on his TV debut would help put his name on the map.
“I am very excited and grateful for this opportunity to fight on national television,” said Lee. “I am young and any good performance will boost my career in a positive way, whether it is a knockout or decision. I am a boxer-puncher and I can adapt to anything in the ring. I am looking forward to showcasing my skills on national television.”
“I can’t describe how excited I am about Brandun Lee,” said Now Boxing Promotions’ Cameron Dunkin, Lee’s promoter. “He was 196-5 as an amateur and won 16 National Championships. He is truly gifted and very talented. He’s of Korean heritage and his fan base is huge. They really support him. He has an amazing future.”
Barry Tompkins will call the action from ringside with boxing historian Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Chuck McKean producing and Rick Phillips directing.
 

Top Rank Signs Unbeaten Puerto Rican Featherweight Orlando Gonzalez

(Aug. 20, 2019) — Top Rank has signed undefeated Puerto Rican featherweight sensation Orlando “Zurdo de Oro” Gonzalez to a multi-year promotional agreement.

From Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, Gonzalez is 12-0 with eight knockouts, most recently scoring a six-round unanimous decision Aug. 2 over Aldimar Silva in Kissimmee, Florida.
 
He is the older cousin of unbeaten super featherweight prospect and fellow Top Rank signee Henry “Moncho” Lebron.
 
“Signing with Top Rank represents the best opportunity for my career and to expose my talent to the world,” Gonzalez said. “I have enough experience because I had 178 amateur fights. I achieved a lot during my time with the Puerto Rican national team, which prepared me to become a professional.
 
“In my last fights, I have had to implement a rigorous, strong and high-pressure style. However, I am ready when I have to demonstrate my technical arsenal.
 
“Now, more than ever, fans can expect the best from me. Everything has been part of a plan, and thank God my time has come to shine on the biggest stages.”
 
Said Top Rank matchmaker Brad Goodman: “Orlando is a very well-schooled young fighter who we expect big things from in the coming years. Like Henry Lebron, we believe Orlando has everything it takes to become a world champion.”
 
A three-year pro, Gonzalez turned pro following a 162-16 amateur campaign that included a gold medal at the 2012 Pan American Youth Championships. Gonzalez is a versatile southpaw who made his most emphatic statement May 25 on the Jamel Herring-Masayuki Ito undercard, knocking out Roxberg Patrick Riley (13-1 at the time) in the third round.

 

 

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Lake Charles to Host 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (August 26, 2019) — USA Boxing and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee have awarded the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing to Lake Charles, Louisiana. Scheduled for Dec. 7-15, 2019, the trials will be held at the Lake Charles Civic Center, with the finals taking place at the Golden Nugget Lake Charles Hotel. In conjunction with the Trials, the 2019 USA Boxing National Championships will be held to determine USA Boxing’s junior and youth high performance teams for 2020.

The 13 boxers who win their Olympic weight-class will advance to next year’s Olympic Qualifying Events taking place January– May 2020 to box for their spot to represent Team USA at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

“The 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing will be the culmination of what began last December,” said Mike McAtee, USA Boxing Executive Director. “This event will feature the 104 best boxers in the nation, boxing for 13 spots, as well as over 700 boxers that will be our future 2024 and 2028 Olympians.”

This December will mark the first time Lake Charles will hold the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing. The state of Louisiana has hosted numerous boxing events throughout the years, including the National Golden Gloves tournament in 2017.

“USA Boxing is tremendously excited to join with Lake Charles to bring the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing to the Gulf Coast,” stated USA Boxing Events Manager Michael Campbell. “The city’s warm hospitality and Southern charm, great people, climate and culture make for a perfect for our next generation of champions and give our boxers, coaches and officials a special experience.”

“Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana [BD1] are honored to host the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials for Boxing and USA Boxing National Championships. Our destination is looking forward to showing these gifted athletes our unique brand of Southern Hospitality. The community is so excited to be part of history-in-the-making as this prestigious event will be the focus of sports fans this December,” said Kyle Edmiston, President/CEO of the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau.  

“This is my third Olympic Trials, and to have it in the state where I started boxing is very exciting,” stated 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials champion and 2019 Pan American Games silver medalists Virginia Fuchs. “I feel like I am bringing back all my success to where I started, in front of everyone who was with me from the very beginning. It’s truly something special.”

Tickets for the finals will go on sale to the general public in the coming weeks, with more information posted on usaboxing.org.

The local partners for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing are the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB.

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for all sports are a collaborative undertaking between the USOPC, National Governing Bodies and the local organizing committees.

Recent sites for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing include: 2016, Reno, Nevada, (men) and Memphis, Tennessee, (women); 2012, Mobile, Alabama, (men) and Spokane, Washington, (women); and 2008, Houston(men).

 Three Brutal Rounds: Navarrete Stops De Vaca

Jessie Magdaleno scores technical decision over Rafael Rivera in the co-feature

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 17, 2019) — Emanuel Navarrete was already a champion. He is now one of the sport’s elite. Navarrete knocked out the previously unbeaten Francisco “Panchito” De Vaca in three rounds Saturday evening in front of 3,944 fans in the first-ever boxing card at Banc of California Stadium.

Navarrete (28-1, 24 KOs), who upset Isaac Dogboe to win the title and then defeated him in an immediate rematch, knocked down De Vaca (20-1, 6 KOs) in the second round and forced the referee to stop the fight after dishing out a sustained beating in the third.

“I want to thank my supporters, and second of all, I want to continue the tradition of Mexican boxing in Los Angeles. `I want to fill arenas and follow in the footsteps of Mexican legends,” Navarrete said. “I’m talking to {Top Rank} about fighting September 14 on the Tyson Fury card in Las Vegas. I want to thank Bob Arum and Zanfer Promotions for the opportunity.”

Said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum: “He’s Mexican. He’s proud to be Mexican. September 14 is Mexican Independence Day Weekend, and the best fighter in Mexico will be there defending his title.”

Magdaleno Topples Rivera

Former junior featherweight world champion Jessie Magdaleno is ready to take on the featherweight titans. In his second bout since moving up in weight, Magdaleno scored a ninth-round technical decision over Rafael Rivera after an elbow opened up a gash on the bridge of Magdaleno’s nose. 

Magdaleno knocked down Rivera early in the ninth round and prevailed by scores of 89-81, 89-81 and 88-82.

“These things happen. It’s part of the sport,” Magdaleno said. “I have a lot of respect for Rivera. He is a warrior. I felt very good. I felt strong. I would say better than ever. I want a world title. I’m ready.”

— Super lightweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr. (22-0, 9 KOs) dished out a sustained beating to Ricky Sismundo, and Sismundo’s corner stopped the bout following the conclusion of the fourth round,

“I want a world title shot now,” Barboza said. “I want to challenge all the champions. It doesn’t matter who it is, or where it takes place. All I want is to face Ramirez, Prograis, or Taylor, and I want it now!”

— Welterweight contender Chris van Heerden (28-2-1, 12 KOs) continued his march up the rankings, overcoming a bad a cut to defeat Aslanbek Kozaev (33-3-1, 8 KOs) via eight-round unanimous decision (79-73 2x and 78-74). van Heerden has won five straight since a 2015 defeat to Errol Spence Jr.

“Listen, it was a tough, hard fight, but I got the victory. Hopefully, the cut doesn’t keep me out of action too long. I’m starting to get more active, and before long, I will be ready to fight any of the top welterweights.”

— Top middleweight contender Janibek Alimkhanuly (7-0, 3 KOs) defended his WBC Continental Americas and WBO Global middleweight titles with a fifth-round stoppage over Canadian veteran Stuart McLellan (27-4-3, 11 KOs). 

— Javier Molina (20-2, 8 KOs), a 2008 U.S. Olympian, won his third consecutive bout, grinding out an eight-round unanimous decision (79-73 2x and 78-74) over Manuel Mendez (16-6-3, 11 KOs).

— Lightweight prospect Dmitry Yun improved to 2-0 with a six-round unanimous decision over veteran Javier Martinez (4-7, 3 KOs) by scores of 57-54 2x and 56-54.

— Super lightweight prospect Elvis Rodriguez (3-0-1, 3 KOs) made quick work of Jesus Gonzalez (6-3, 2 KOs), knocking him out  at 1:42 of the opening round.

(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank)

 

 

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All Time Great Jose Angel “Mantequilla” Napoles has died

August 16, 2019 

It is with  profound sorrow,  that we report that Jose Angel “Mantequilla” Napoles Colombat died today, and with his the passing, a golden era of the world welterweight championship closes full circle.  

Typical of the man, who was the bravest most courageous of fighters, that although he had been affected by various illnesses for some time, he bravely battled on, attending  WBC events, always smiling and being greeted by his many friends and fans, who admired him as a fighter and as a man.  Today that struggle came to an  he came to the end. with his children and grandchildren at his bedside in Mexico City.   

“Mantequilla” was born on April 13, 1940 in Santiago de Cuba, but as a young man he traveled to Mexico, and was soon  thrilling fans with his lion hearted power and steadfast courage, so much so that they promptly adopted him as one of their very own.  

The then president of Mexico, Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, granted him Mexican nationality, exactly one day after he was crowned world welterweight champion, by defeating Texan Curtis Cokes on points, on April 18, 1969, at the Inglewood Forum, in a promotion by George Parnassus. 

During his career, “Mantequilla” defeated the best fighters of his era, including  Curtis Cokes, Emile Griffith, Ernie Lopez and Alfredo Urbina.  

On December 6, 1975, in a titanic fight, he lost the world crown against Briton John H Stracey. During his career he hammered and shaped a tremendously  impressive record of 81 wins with 54 knockouts and just 7 losses. Jose Napolis is forever revered as one of the Fifty Plus KO Elite.  

John H Stracey said: “I`m so very proud to have shared a ring with the Great Jose Napolis.  What a magnificent fighter he was and what a great champion.  Look how long he reigned as a champion.  This is such a sad day.”  

In his chosen professionalism, he was directed and guided by Cubans Cuco Conde and Kid Rapidez, manager and coach respectively. 

José Angel was a close friend of Don José Sulaiman and Mauricio Sulaiman, Presidents of the WBC, who were always took care of him and his health. 

The Telmex-Telcel Ring Program, under the leadership of Don Carlos Slim, granted him a lifetime pension and the services of the Mexican Social Security Institute. 

The World Boxing Council is in deep mourning with the departure of one of the very greatest welterweight champions of all time and one of the most beloved people in this sport. A fierce competitor in the ring, he was a kind gentleman outside of it.   

Rest in Peace Dear champion! Thank you for the wonderful everlasting memories.

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  • NOTABLE EVENTS IN JOSE NAPOLES’ LIFE

Napoles’ amateur record has been listed as 113-1 and 114-1.

According to BoxRec and Cyber Boxing Zone, Napoles defeated Diwaldo Ventosa by a ten-round decision on February 20, 1960. However, some sources have claimed that Napoles lost to Ventosa. In the August 1969issue of The Ring, Napoles insisted that it was his cousin, Israel Napoles, who had lost to Ventosa. According to BoxRec, Ventosa defeated Israel Napoles by a six-round decision on June 13, 1959.

After Cuban president Fidel Castro banned professional boxing in 1961, Napoles defected to Mexico, where he was adopted as a national hero.

Napoles stopped Curtis Cokes after thirteen rounds to win the World Welterweight Championship on April 18, 1969.

On October 17, 1969, Napoles defeated former World Welterweight Champion and World Middleweight Champion Emile Griffith by a fifteen-round unanimous decision to successfully defend the World Welterweight Championship.

Napoles lost the World Welterweight Championship to 9-1 underdog Billy Backus on December 3, 1970. The fight was stopped in the fourth round due to a cut over Napoles’ right eye.

On June 4, 1971, Napoles regained the World Welterweight Championship by stopping Billy Backus in eight rounds.

On November 1, 1970, the New York State Athletic Commission suspended Napoles and withdrew its title recognition because he and his manager, who was also suspended, failed to fulfill a contract with the Canastota Boxing Club in Syracuse, New York. The contract stated that Napoles would have to engage in a bout against an opponent to be selected by the Canastota Boxing Club within 120 days of his rematch with Billy Backus on June 4, 1971, providing that Napoles regained the title. Napoles remained the World Boxing Association and the World Boxing Council World Welterweight Champion.

Welterweight Champion Billy Backus (R) missing with a left in his rematch with Jose Napoles (L) before 15,000 fans on June 4, 1971 at the Forum in Inglewood, California. Backus previously won the title against Napoles by TKO  on December 3, 1970.

On December 14, 1971, Napoles defeated Hedgemon Lewis by a fifteen-round unanimous decision to retain the World Welterweight Championship. Lewis would defeat Billy Backus by a fifteen-round unanimous decision to win the vacant New York State World Welterweight Championship on June 16, 1972.

Napoles challenged World Middleweight Champion Carlos Monzon on February 9, 1974, and was stopped after six rounds.

On August 3, 1974, Napoles stopped Hedgemon Lewis in nine rounds to retain the World Welterweight Championship.

Napoles was stripped of the WBA World Welterweight Championship on May 16, 1975, for failure to sign for a fight against the WBA’s No. 1-rated welterweight contender, Angel Espada. Napoles remained the WBC World Welterweight Champion.

Napoles retired after losing the World Welterweight Championship to John H. Stracey by a sixth-round TKO on December 6, 1975.

Napoles made three successful title defenses during his first reign as World Welterweight Champion, and he made ten successful defenses during his second reign.

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Amir Imam Signs With Top Rank

Imam to make Top Rank debut later this year

(Aug. 15, 2019) — Amir Imam, a former super lightweight world challenger known for his explosive knockouts, has signed a multi-year promotional agreement with Top Rank.

Imam (21-2, 18 KOs) has been out of the ring since March 17, 2018, the evening he challenged Jose Ramirez for the vacant WBC super lightweight world title. He lost via unanimous decision in a brutal toe-to-toe battle to Ramirez, who is currently the unified WBC/WBO 140-pound world champion.

Imam will campaign at either super lightweight or welterweight, and he recently enlisted the services of South Florida-based manager Peter Kahn. He is expected to make his long-awaited ring return later this year.

“I am grateful to have joined the best promotional company in boxing. I have learned a lot from my past fights and have made positive changes that will allow me to succeed as I move forward to my goal of becoming a world champion,” Imam said. “I’m eager to get back into the ring before the end of the year and showcase my skills as part of the Top Rank team. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for me.”

“Amir Imam is a naturally gifted fighter who can best be defined as potential unrealized to this point in his career,” Kahn said. “He has the physical and mental tools to be a world champion. He’s a perfect fit for Top Rank. Whether Amir continues to campaign at super lightweight or welterweight remains to be seen, but the fans will see a rejuvenated, well-prepared Amir who is on a mission to be a world champion.”

Imam, from Albany, New York, knocked out 12 out of his first 13 opponents in the paid ranks, and won an eight-round unanimous decision in 2014 over Yordenis Ugas, who is currently one of the welterweight division’s top contenders. He scored highlight-reel knockouts over Jason Robinson and Fidel Maldonado before being stopped in shocking fashion by Adrian Granados in 2015. Imam rebounded with three consecutive knockout wins before locking horns with Ramirez in a memorable clash at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

August 24: Kovalev-Yarde Headlines Special Afternoon of Boxing on ESPN+

WBO light heavyweight championship showdown to stream LIVE from Russia beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT

(Aug. 14, 2019) — WBO light heavyweight champion and future Hall of Famer Sergey Kovalev will face off against his hard-hitting mandatory challenger, Anthony Yarde, in a highly anticipated showdown Saturday, Aug. 24 from Traktor Arena in Kovalev’s hometown of Chelyabinsk, Russia.
 
Kovalev-Yarde will stream live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+, the leading multi-sport streaming service, beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT. The stream will also showcase the co-feature bout between unbeaten cruiserweight contender Aleksei Papin (11-0, 10 KOs) and former world title challenger Ilunga Makabu (25-2, 24 KOs). Fans in the U.S. can sign up at www.ESPNplus.com or on the ESPN App.
 
“I am thrilled to fight for the first time in my hometown of Chelyabinsk,” Kovalev said. “It is a dream to defend my WBO title in front of all my friends and family back home. I am also thankful ESPN+ will show the fight to my fans in the U.S. Thank you to Igor Altushkin, Egis Klimas, Main Events and Top Rank for making this dream a reality, and thank you to Anthony Yarde for agreeing to fight in my home.”
 
“Sergey has done just about everything a professional fighter can do, other than fight in his own hometown,” said promoter Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events. “One of the sport’s greatest road warriors, Sergey will finally get the chance to salute his legion of fans in Chelyabinsk, where he grew up. It will be an exciting, long overdue homecoming for Sergey. And I am so happy to confirm that Sergey’s many fans in the U.S. will be able to watch this great event only on ESPN+. I wish to thank Igor Altushkin, German Titov and everyone at RCC for making this all possible. I also wish to thank Bob Arum and Top Rank for their continued support.”
 
Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) is a veteran of 15 world title bouts and has won the light heavyweight world title on three occasions. A former unified champion, he revived his career in February by scoring a wide points win over Eleider Alvarez, the man who’d knocked him out less than six months prior. One of this generation’s most decorated champions, Kovalev holds victories over Jean Pascal, Nathan Cleverly and living legend Bernard Hopkins. In Yarde (18-0, 17 KOs), he faces a London native with a giant hand who is taking a giant step up in competition. Yarde has won his last 16 bouts by knockout, most recently stopping Travis Reeves in five rounds in a bout that streamed on ESPN+. This will be only his second pro bout outside of England.
 
For more information, visit: www.toprank.comwww.espn.com/boxing; Facebook:facebook.com/trboxing; Twitter: twitter.com/trboxing.
 
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Encore: Lineal Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury Returns to Las Vegas September 14 Against Otto Wallin Live on ESPN+

Tickets for the showdown at T-Mobile Arena go on sale Friday, Aug. 16

LAS VEGAS (Aug. 13, 2019) — The Las Vegas Strip’s most electrifying act is returning for a repeat engagement. Less than three months since his second-round destruction of Tom Schwarz at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Tyson Fury, a.k.a. “The Gypsy King,” will defend his lineal heavyweight championship versus the undefeated Otto Wallin Saturday, Sept. 14 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
 
This will be the fifth defense of the lineal crown for Fury, who upset future Hall of Famer Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 to claim heavyweight supremacy.
 
Fury-Wallin will stream live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+, the leading multi-sport streaming service, with the main event to begin at 11:00 pm ET (undercards beginning at 7:30 pm ET). ESPN+ is available via the ESPN App on mobile and connected devices, on ESPN.com and ESPNplus.com.
 
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions and Salita Promotions, tickets for Fury vs. Wallin start at $105 and go on sale Friday, Aug. 16 at 10 a.m. PT. Tickets are also available for purchase online at www.axs.com or by phone at 888-929-7849.

“Tyson Fury electrified Las Vegas last time he fought, and he is set to do it again against a tough kid in Otto Wallin,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Tyson knows what’s at stake, and I expect him to have another masterful performance. He is the best heavyweight in the world and is only beginning to show everyone what he’s capable of.”
 
“I am pleased to be back in Las Vegas. I loved my time there in my last fight and I am going to put on a show at the T-Mobile Arena,” Fury said. “Otto Wallin is a world-ranked fighter and is tall, something we want with the Deontay Wilder rematch around the corner. He is also a southpaw, which will bring its own obstacles, but I will be fully focused to get this job done because the rematch needs to happen.”
 
“I’m delighted that Tyson is boxing in Las Vegas again after his previous success,” Frank Warren said. “It is another undefeated boxer he is facing and a contest where a victory will set up the Deontay Wilder rematch. Otto Wallin knows this is his big chance, and Tyson will not be underestimating him.”
 
“This is the type of fight I’ve been waiting for since I was a kid and my father started showing me some boxing moves in our kitchen,” Wallin said. “I’ve made a lot of sacrifices to get to this point and I’m very happy it’s starting to pay off. I want to thank my team and my supporters for making this happen.

“I know I’m an underdog in this fight, but I’m ready for this opportunity and I’m going to grab it with both hands. Anybody can get beat and especially in the heavyweight division. I like the fact that I have everything to gain and Tyson has everything to lose.”
 
“Otto Wallin is an example of what happens when you combine dreams and hard work,” said Dmitriy Salita, Wallin’s promoter. “He grew up in a small town in Sweden, worked hard and dreamed big! He plans to follow in the footsteps of countryman Ingemar Johansson and score the big win against lineal world heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury. It will be an exciting fight from the opening bell, which I believe will end in a historic upset in Las Vegas.”
 
“Tyson Fury is arguably the top heavyweight and most entertaining fighter in the world,” said Russell Wolff, executive vice president and general manager, ESPN+. “He put on a show the last time he was on ESPN+ and we look forward to another with this fight. With 29 boxing world title fights in under 18 months, and several more on the horizon, ESPN+ is a home for fight fans and the top sports streaming platform in the US.”

Richard Sturm, President of Las Vegas Live Entertainment & Sports, said, “We look forward to hosting this international championship fight on September 14 at T-Mobile Arena with two of the sport’s top heavyweights.  Additionally, it will be an exciting weekend for the entire city as Las Vegas hosts multiple events celebrating Mexican Independence Weekend.”
 
Fury (28-0-1 20 KOs) is in the midst of one of sport’s most remarkable comebacks, a Hollywood script turned reality that has seen him battle back from substance abuse and mental health issues to reclaim his spot atop the sport. After nearly three years out of the ring following the Klitschko triumph, Fury returned in June 2018 and won a pair of fights before his controversial draw versus WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. Six months after the Wilder fight, he made short work of Schwarz (24-0 at the time) and will once again fight an undefeated challenger.
 
Wallin (20-0, 1 NC, 13 KOs), from Sundsvall, Sweden, is looking to become the second Swedish heavyweight champion, as Ingemar Johansson held the crown from 1959-1960. Wallin, 28, made his United States debut in April 2019, a no-contest against Nick Kisner after Kisner suffered a cut due to an accidental headbutt in the opening round. A six-year pro, Wallin defeated Adrian Granat (15-1 at the time) by 12-round unanimous decision in 2018 to capture the European Union heavyweight crown. 
 
For more information, visit: www.toprank.comwww.espn.com/boxing; Facebook:facebook.com/trboxing; Twitter: twitter.com/trboxing.
 
Use the hashtag #Fury Wallin to join the conversation on social media.

 Camden’s Finest: Sosa Knocks Out Rhodes

Robeisy Ramirez Stunned in Pro Debut

Sosa (R) Knocks Out Rhodes (L).

 

PHILADELPHIA (Aug. 10, 2019) — The road back to a world title just got clearer for Jason Sosa. The Camden, New Jersey native and former super featherweight world champion stopped Lydell Rhodes in seven rounds to win his third in a row in front of 1,723 fans at the Liacouras Center.

Sosa scored three knockdowns in all, with Rhodes’ corner indicating their fighter had enough.

Sosa (23-3-4, 16 KOs) lost back-to-back bouts to Vasiliy Lomachenko and Yuriorkis Gamboa in 2017, but with the dominating win over longtime contender Rhodes, he thrust himself back into the world title conversation.

“It was pretty satisfying. I think we did everything we were supposed to do tonight,” Sosa said. “There’s room for improvement, but we’re a top contender now once again. We never left. I need a title. I want to call out {Miguel} Berchelt and get that WBC belt.

“Don’t forget about me. I’m here. I ain’t going nowhere. I’m a warrior, baby. I come to fight. I put on good fights. The fans see me and appreciate me. I come out every night and do it for them.”

Ramirez Stunned in Pro Debut

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez lost a four-round split decision to Adan Gonzales in one of the biggest upsets in recent boxing history. Gonzales (5-2-2, 2 KOs) knocked down Ramirez in the opening seconds of the first round to propel him to the win.

“When they announced a split decision, I knew I better have won that fight or something would have seriously been wrong,” Gonzales said. “I attacked him from the start, and I got the win. You ain’t seen the last of me.”

Said Ramirez: “I feel like I won that fight. He may have been throwing more, but I was the one landing the cleaner punches. This is a setback, but trust me, I will be back.”

KO King Berlanga Continues to Shine

Middleweight sensation Edgar Berlanga (12-0, 12 KOs) made it 12 first-round knockouts in as many fights, stopping the usually durable Frenchman Gregory Trenel (11-5-2, 3 KOs) in 2:24. Trenel had never been knocked out in 17 previous professional fights.

“We went over the tape in the gym. It’s just repetition. We go over the same things, and each time we fight, we execute. He was a tough opponent. He took a good shot. He didn’t go down. He didn’t want to go down. 

“I felt the love from the crowd and my friend Fat Joe walked me to the ring. It was a great night. I’m proud to represent my Puerto Rican people.”

— South Philadelphia heavyweight prospect Sonny “The Bronco” Conto (4-0, 3 KOs) went the distance for the first time as a pro, shutting out Guillermo Del Rio (2-3-1, 2 KOs) over four rounds. Conto knocked down Del Rio in the fourth round and prevailed by identical scores of 40-35.

“You can’t load up on every punch in there,” Conto said. “This fight showed me how to be patient and work on the things that are going to get me to the next level.

“I’m used to being in there with guys who don’t go anywhere. I’ve sparred great fighters like Tyson Fury. That prepared me for a fight like this.”

— In a spirited battle of unbeaten welterweights, Paul Kroll (5-0, 4 KOs) defeated Shinard Bunch (2-1, 2 KOs) by unanimous decision (58-56 2X and 59-55). 

— Philadelphia native and featherweight prospect (10-0, 6 KOs) cruised to a six-round unanimous decision over Raheem Abdullah (3-3, 0 KOs) by scores of 60-52 and 59-53 2x.

— Jeremy “Magic Hands” Adorno improved to 2-0 with a third-round knockout over Fernando Robles (2-2, 0 KOs) in a super bantamweight contest. Adorno, a southpaw, scored the KO with a left hand to the body.

 

Belfast Bash: Michael Conlan Scores KO

Conlan stops Diego Alberto Ruiz in 9 in front of sold-out Falls Park crowd

BELFAST (Aug. 3, 2019) —The sold-out crowd of around 10,000 at Falls Park came to see Michael Conlan put on a memorable show. Conlan, Belfast’s featherweight fistic superhero, stepped on the gas late and knocked out veteran Diego Alberto Ruiz in the ninth round of a scheduled 10-rounder Saturday evening under the lights. 

With the win, Conlan (12-0, 7 KOs), who is ranked in the top 10 by two of the major sanctioning organizations, moved closer to a world title shot.

Michael Conlan knocking out Diego Alberto Ruiz.

Michael Conlan knocking out Diego Alberto Ruiz.

It was the second hometown bout of Conlan’s professional career, but this one was a particularly special occasion. The fight card was one of the premier events of the annual Féile an Phobail summer festival in West Belfast.
 
Ruiz (21-3, 10 KOs) attempted to move forward, but he was thwarted by the movement of Conlan, who alternated from orthodox to southpaw at times throughout the fight. Just as it appeared Ruiz was destined to go the distance, Conlan turned up the heat, knocked him down, and then forced a corner stoppage.
 
After the fight, this is what Conlan had to say:
 
“I am a very adaptable fighter. I can box, and I can push the pace. In the end, I got the finish, so I’m happy that I figured it out. I worked it out and answered questions of myself. When he was hurt, I got the finish.”

Michael Conlan

“Before the fight, I was really nervous, I’m not going to lie. I wasn’t even acting like I wasn’t nervous. I was just myself. I was nervous today. I didn’t know what to expect. When I started my ring walk, that’s the stuff I live for.”

“{The atmosphere} didn’t scare me as much as I thought it would. The first two songs were unbelievable, and when the Red Hot Chili Peppers (“Can’t Stop”) kicked in for my ring walk, I said to myself, ‘This is the reason I picked that song.’”
 
“I’m prouder that I got the finish. I can box people and I want longevity in my career, but to get the finish was extra special, and I’m really happy I did.”

“I’m ready for a world title soon. This time next year, I want to have a world title around my waist.”

 

Texas Triumph: Jose Ramirez KOs Maurice Hooker to unify WBC / WBO super lightweight world titles

The unbeaten champion unified titles by knocking out Maurice Hooker in the sixth round

(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank)
 

ARLINGTON, Texas (July 27, 2019) — Mission accomplished for José Ramírez. The undefeated World Boxing Council (WBC) champion arrived in enemy territory with the objective of adding the World Boxing Organization (WBO) title to his collection, and he did it.

Ramírez (25-0, 17 KO’s), of Avenal, Calif., blasted then-undefeated champion Maurice Hooker with a stoppage at 1:48 of the sixth round in a unification clash that took place at College Park Center. Now, Ramirez will set his sights on unifying all the belts at 140 pounds.

“I am ready to face everyone in the 140-pound division,” said Ramirez. “Every time I trust more and more in my abilities. I just took the title from a great, undefeated champion. I was determined to get out of here with two world titles, and I did it. I want to face the best fighters in the division. I want all the titles. That is my goal,”

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

By Ron John Rinaldi

July 21 – Las Vegas, Nevada. Boxing has a strange and twisted history when an old legendary fighter comes up against some young gunslinger. First, the younger fighter wants to knock the older fighter’s block off so he can carry the torch and force the older fighter into the bastions of yesterday and retirement. Second, the younger one feels that “today” is his time and that the older champion is a mere member of the old guard soon to be replaced by the new guard, namely himself.

Great fighters like Davey Moore, and later Iran Barkley, once shared the identical thought about Roberto Duran in the 1980’s, and Duran proved them both sadly wrong.

In this fight, the undefeated 30 year old champion Keith Thurman had the same thought in mind. This was made apparent in the pre-fight press conferences leading up to the fight where Thurman kept declaring that he, and not Pacquiao, was the best welterweight out there, and that the 40 year old ring great no longer deserved to be at the top of the welterweights. “I want to show the world that I deserve to be at the top,” exclaimed Thurman. So much so that Thurman made three bets to not only win, but to knock out Pacquiao in rounds 1, 2, or 7.

The famed gunfighter Wyatt Earp once famously said, “When you have to choose between fact and legend print the legend.”  But that underlies the fact that their legend actually derives from iconic morsels of pure and real fact. The same goes for the legendary fighter and modern day gunslinger Manny Pacquiao. 

Like Davey Moore and Iran Barkley before him, Thurman painfully learned that sometimes it is easier to can a live alligator than it is to beat a legend. This is especially true for that young great fighter when he squares off against a legend who happens to strike lightning one more time again, and returns to his once lethal greatness.

Well, that happened here 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.

Pacquiao (L) dropping Thurman in round one.

Going into the bout, Manny was the favorite at -150, while Thurman was the underdog at +125. Meanwhile unlike Thurman, Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach wisely bet $5,000 on his man.

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

Pacquiao (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 Pacquiao’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 Pacquiao 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 when the time came for the tallying up of the scores.

Pacquiao 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 actually stunned him.

It was just that Pacquiao 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. But his “all” on this night did not add up to be enough.

The judges scored it a close split decision 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 Pacquiao by a score of 115-112.

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

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.”

 

Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Robeisy Ramirez to Make Pro Debut August 10 in Philadelphia LIVE on ESPN+

Ramirez to debut on undercard stream of Carl Frampton-Emmanuel Dominguez main event on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT

 

PHILADELPHIA (July 17, 2019) — Robeisy Ramirez, one of the greatest Cuban amateur boxers ever, has a date for his long-awaited professional debut. The two-time Olympic gold medalist will take on an opponent to be named in a featherweight contest Saturday, Aug. 10 at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia on the undercard of Carl Frampton’s featherweight battle against Emmanuel Dominguez.

The Ramirez fight will stream live as part of the undercard broadcast on ESPN+ — the industry-leading sports streaming service — beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Peltz Boxing and Queensberry Promotions, 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 www.liacourascenter.com, or by calling Peltz Boxing at 215-765-0922.

“I started boxing when I was 10 years old,” Ramirez said. “After winning two Olympic gold medals, I knew I wanted to join the world of professional boxing. I hope I can achieve the same success professionally that I did as an amateur, and I believe that Top Rank will provide me with the path to fulfill my dreams.
“I am 25 years old with a lot of experience fighting the best fighters in the world. This is the first step on my journey to a professional world title.”

Ramirez, from Cienfuegos, Cuba, won the second of his gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, edging current promotional stablemate Shakur Stevenson in the final. He made history at the 2012 London Olympics when, at the age of 18, he became the youngest men’s Olympic boxing champion in 32 years. Ramirez defected from Cuba last year while at training camp in Mexico and is ready to bring his amateur pedigree to the paid ranks.

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 Ticketmaster.com, 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.

 

CLICK HERE for PHOTOS
(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 ticketmaster.com 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)

• CLICK HERE for PHOTOS
(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 Ticketmaster.com, 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.

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 www.liacourascenter.com, 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: www.toprank.com, www.espn.com/boxing; Facebook:facebook.com/trboxing; Twitter: twitter.com/trboxing.
 
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:

Fighters

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

Trainer/Manager

Mike Birmingham and Pete Brodsky.

Promoter

Nathan Lopez Senior.

Media

Damon Gonzalez and Sean O’Grady.

 

Participant

Pete Balcunas, Henry Grooms, and Chico Rivas.

Official/Commission

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).

Florida Boxing Hall of Fame inductee – SEAN O’GRADY IN HIS TITLE WINNING EFFORT AGAINST HILMER KENTY.

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: https://www.youtube.com/user/FBHOF1#p/u.

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
TICKETS ON SALE NOW

(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 Ticketmaster.com, 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.

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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 www.rspboxing.com
CES MEDIA ALERT
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 www.cesboxing.com or www.foxwoods.com, 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 www.cesboxing.comwww.twitter.com/cesboxing or www.facebook.com/cesboxing 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: hello@mtkglobal.com.

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:

WBO WORLD JUNIOR BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

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)

 

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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.’

 

CES MEDIA ALERT
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 www.cesboxing.com or www.foxwoods.com, 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 www.cesboxing.comwww.twitter.com/cesboxing or www.facebook.com/cesboxing 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 AXS.com

• CLICK HERE for PHOTOS
(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

SWING BOUTS

Sonny Conto vs. Daniel Infante, 4 rounds, heavyweight

Cem Kilic vs. Martez McGregor 8 rounds, super middleweight

ABOUT FURY VS. SCHWARZ
 
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 axs.com, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts box office.

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

CLICK HERE for PHOTOS
(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.

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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.

INFORMATION:

Websites:   http://www.RoyJonesJrBoxing.com,

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 AXS.com

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 axs.com, 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.

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

Sign-up to ESPN+ at www.espnplus.com.

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
TICKETS ON SALE NOW

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 Ticketmaster.com, 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.

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

 

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 www.Ticketmaster.com, 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.

For more information, visit: www.toprank.comwww.espn.com/boxing; Facebook:facebook.com/trboxing; Twitter: twitter.com/trboxing.
 
Use the hashtags #BercheltVargas2 and #NavarreteDogboe2 to join the conversation on social media.

 

 

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 axs.com, 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.

To subscribe to ESPN+, visit www.espnplus.com.

 

2-TIME HEAVYWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION
RIDDICK BOWE CONFIRMED FOR 5TH ANNUAL
BOX FAN EXPO, DURING CINCO DE MAYO
WEEKEND, SATURDAY MAY 4, IN LAS VEGAS

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 –
http://boxfanexpo.eventbrite.com/Bowe 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: http://Ababoxing.us
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: boxfanexpo@gmail.com

For More information on Box Fan Expo visit: http://www.boxfanexpo.com

Follow Box Fan Expo on Twitter and Instagram: @BoxFanExpo

Follow Box Fan Expo on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/BoxFanExpo

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 ticketmaster.com, 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: www.ohpark.com.

“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.

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

Use the hashtag #ItoHerring to join the conversation on social media.

Terence Crawford successfully defends WBO welterweight title after Amur Khan surrenders after low blow
STORY BY JOHN RINALDI
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALEXANDER RINALDI

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.

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