The Boxingtalk Interview: Buddy Harrison, part 2

The Boxingtalk Interview: Buddy Harrison, part 2
Justin Hackman: You mention you went to prison when you were 19.  Take me through the process of getting put away and what your life became after being released.
Buddy Harrison: Well, I was young and did dumb things. I got caught up in an armed robbery.  Look, a lot of people ask, “well why’d you go to prison?”  The correct response there is: I didn’t go to prison because of that charge alone, I went because I was leading a bad life. I got convicted and got 19 years.  But you think that was the first armed robbery or bad thing I did?  Of course not; it caught up with me and I got exactly what I deserved. I didn’t go to prison because of the charge, I went because I was living and operating poorly.  But let me tell you something, Justin, I wouldn’t trade it.  It was the best thing that’s happened to me. I never finished 8th grade. I went to prison at 19, and inside, I got my GED, I did college courses in there, I grew up in there.  By the time I got out, my old friends were either in prison or dead. Prison saved my life. I was in my apartment shortly after getting released and I heard gunfire, as I seemed to always do in that neighborhood.  But for some reason, at that moment, I dropped to my knees and I begged the lord to come into my life.  I remember that day so clearly.  I walked outside, in a bad neighborhood, where bad things happen, and nothing is supposedly pretty, but I looked around and suddenly everything was beautiful.  From that moment, when I wake up, I am happy; I’m happy everyday.  And it’s not because such great material things are happening, it’s because of my mentality and outlook on life.  In 2015, I had a heart attack. I have prostate cancer right now as I speak to you. But you know what?  It doesn’t bother me at all.  You accept a higher power and suddenly things change. Things look different. The cancer, the heart attack, it was a blessing. I asked the lord, “I don’t care what it takes--I don’t care if it’s prison, illness, a death, whatever it takes, let it be.  I’ll deal with it.”  Perhaps these so called misfortunes have kept me closer to the lord.  So if that’s what it took, so be it.  My main goal is I want to wind up there in heaven one day.  If it took cancer down here to end up up there, then hey, I made out.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want a death in the family, I don’t want an illness of course, but if that’s what it took for me to become closer to the lord with an eternal life in heaven, then I’ll take that. 
JH: Best of luck to you, Buddy, and let’s chat again soon.
BH: Absolutely, thanks so much.
Justin’s addendum to the reader: it wasn’t simply the words that Buddy spoke, but the way in which he spoke them that made for quite an inspiring interview.  The man believes every word he speaks, and that level of honesty can be felt.  Religious loyalties aside, whatever you or I might believe, I can always get behind genuine honesty and humility.  It was a pleasure to talk to Buddy who seems to be an individual that has become a better person as his years progress, which unfortunately seems too often a rarity in the world. 

Austin Trout: "I feel the clock ticking"

Austin Trout: "I feel the clock ticking"
Austin Trout reached the peak of his boxing career on December 1, 2012, when he outpointed future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto to establish himself as one of best fighters in the world. The subsequent 6½ years? Well, as Trout put it, “I’ve been trying to recapture that glory.” That process has been difficult for the former WBA junior middleweight champion, who faces 2012 U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card this Saturday, May 25th, in Biloxi, Mississippi, live on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes. Trout (31-5, 17 knockouts) is only 5-5 since the Cotto fight, which is hardly the record of an elite fighter. However, there are extenuating circumstances. Consider: All five of the setbacks came against elite-level opponents – current world middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez (UD), Erislandy Lara (UD), Jermall Charlo (UD), Jarrett Hurd (TKO 10) and Jermell Charlo (MD). 
Only one of the losses – the one against Lara – was one-sided. The others were competitive fights that could’ve gone Trout’s way if things had been only slightly different. And he hasn’t been fighting as often as he would’ve liked the past several years, including a 17-month layoff before the Hurd fight. The rust, he said, has added to already-tough challenges.
The near misses in the ring and the extended time out of it have left Trout feeling as if he wants to punch someone. He admits that Lara, a slick, experienced southpaw from Cuba, was the better fighter when they met in 2013. The rest? No. You can’t convince him that he deserved to lose to Alvarez or either of the Charlo brothers. And he was fighting Hurd on even terms when he ran out of gas late in the fight.
Imagine how differently Trout would be perceived had he won even one or two of those important fights. “It’s very frustrating,” he said. “I don’t believe any of those guys are better than I am. And when you lose to someone you shouldn’t lose to, frustration builds up.”
Layoffs are a part of boxing for many elite fighters for a variety of reasons but Trout has had more than his share. The 17-month hiatus was particularly long. And, even today, he will have been out of the ring almost a year when he faces Gausha (21-1, 10 KOs) in a must-win fight at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino.
He has fought only four times since 2015, which isn’t enough to keep him sharp. And he acknowledges that he has allowed himself to fall out of shape during long breaks between fights, which has forced him to devote precious time on fitness instead of strategy during his training camps.
“I’ve been fighting killers coming off these layoffs,” he said. “(Joey) Hernandez to the first Charlo fight was nine months. (Jermell) Charlo to Hurd was 17 months. I was brought back (for an eight-rounder) in February and then came back in June to fight Jermall Charlo. I needed a couple more tune-ups. I haven’t been active. And you get stagnant waiting for fights. That’s why I haven’t been able to get over the hump. That’s my fault. I should stay in camp and try to stay in shape. I have to start over every camp. The inactivity has killed me.”
In fact, Trout is very much alive at 33. He demonstrated as much against then-WBC titleholder Jermell Charlo in June, when two knockdowns – one of which he said was set up by a shove – cost him a chance to win a decision and the championship.
Trout says he has learned from his mistakes. He’s pushing his handlers to keep him more active, he has pledged to spend more time at the gym between fights and he has brought in trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr. to work with his longtime mentor and friend Louie Burke as he prepares for Gausha.
The idea is to make one more concerted run at a major title. “I don’t want to retire thinking about ‘what if,’” Trout said. “I’m 33. I’m still good. I feel I still have top-notch talent. It’s time to get it now, not later. I’m trying to do everything I feel is right for me the rest of my career. I do feel the clock ticking,” he went on. “At the end of the day the only one who is undefeated is father time. You never know when you’re going to turn old. I want to make things happen before that happens to me.”
Burke, who started working with Trout when the fighter was 10, has felt his protégé’s pain the past several years. He also thought Trout did enough to beat Alvarez and the Charlo brothers, “which could’ve pushed his career in a different direction.”
At the same time, Burke said that Trout has been able to remain a contender through all his tribulations because of his mental toughness. Burke hopes that quality and the addition of Mayweather will give him the boost he needs to recapture what he had the night he outboxed Cotto.
“I think he can do it,” Burke said. “He doesn’t have bad habits, he so tough mentally and hopefully Mayweather will find something to add. It’s like a fresh start. Maybe that’s what Austin needs.”
Press Release written by Michael Rosenthal

WBA promises free streams of big China show this Saturday

WBA promises free streams of big China show this Saturday
The WBA will continue with its live broadcast agenda through its homepage this Sunday, May 26th, with the streaming of the fight card that will be held in Fuzhou, China. The show will feature two WBA regular championship fights, with local hero Can Xu in the main event. Xu (16-2) will defend his secondary featherweight belt against Japan's Shun Kubo (13-1) in what will be his first defense since he became regular champion in January against Jesus Rojas. [Leo Santa Cruz is the WBA super champion at featherweight]. In addition, there is also Carlos "Triple C" Canizales (21-0-1) making the second defense of his secondary light flyweight title against Japan's Sho Kimura (18-2-2). [Hiroto Kyoguchi is the WBA super champion at light flyweight]. The WBA says it will also stream the fights through its social networks.

Hughie Fury returns to action Saturday in Manchester

Hughie Fury returns to action Saturday in Manchester

Hughie Fury returns to action Saturday in Manchester
Hughie Fury (21-2, 11 KOs) is back in action this weekend against Canadian Chris Norrad (17-0, 8 KOs) at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse. He's coming off a loss, having suffered a nasty cut early in October’s showdown with Kubrat Pulev. Trainer Peter Fury believes Hughie’s education is preparing him to climb to the very top of the sport. Peter said: “He’s having four fights this year. He’ll be busy. Then there’ll be three more. [He'll fight] very couple of months."
Perter, also his father, continued, “I don’t think the cut bothered him too much since the Pulev fight. He’s had the laser treatment on it and the eye looks absolutely fine. It’s all good and he’s been sparring without problems. It’s all a part of growing up and taking your instructions. A young fighter can make a fight harder than it is. He’s got lots of potential and just has to unlock it.
“Hughie went into the fight with Pulev injured. Kerry Kayes looked at it and said it would open but we had the fight and we make no complaints. He did the best he could do in a bad situation. He had no vision in one eye and still did the rounds.”
Hughie fought twice last year – his first outing was a fifth-round stoppage victory over Sam Sexton to claim the British title, then the loss to Pulev.

Tough Jamaal Davis looking to Omar Kabary Salem's momentum

Tough Jamaal Davis looking to Omar Kabary Salem's momentum
Jamaal Davis poses the toughest test of Omar Kabary Salem's young career when the two super middleweights square off in a six-round fight Saturday evening, June 15th, at the Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA. Originally from Philadelphia, the 38-year-old Davis may be in the twilight of his 33-fight career (18-14-1, 7 K0s), but he has won four of his last six bouts after ending a three-year layoff in 2017. By contrast, Salem, 21, of Brooklyn, NY, is 9-0 with 4 K0s, but his level of competition pales in comparison to Davis'. In fact, Salem has boxed only one foe with a winning record. By comparison, in his pro career, which began in 2003, Davis has been in there with Gabriel Rosado, Ossie Duran, Peter Quillen, Yuri Foreman, Joel Julio, Thomas LaManna, Patrick Majewski and Ty Brunson. That is a far cry from the men Salem has faced.
Davis moved to Harrisburg in 2017 to re-establish his career and spend time with his mother. He has has a full-time job there in a steel manufacturing plant. Most of Davis' time is spent with family and boxing. He has five kids: Alyah, 3; Riley, 6; Landen, 8; Jamaal Jr., 16; and Jabrea, 18. After work he goes to the Cameron Street Boxing Club to work out with young fighters. He regrets mistakes he made in his early boxing career when he didn't take it seriously enough, and he wants to show younger fighters not to make the mistakes he made. He is popular in Harrisburg and recently played in a local celebrity basketball tournament with pro athletes from other Harrisburg minor league teams. The Davis-Salem fight is one of eight on the June 15 card at Parx Casino. Tickets are available at Joe Hand Promotions (215-364-9000).

For all the belts: spotlight on Taylor-Persoon

For all the belts: spotlight on Taylor-Persoon
Katie Taylor says her undisputed world lightweight championship clash with Delfine Persoon at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday June 1st, shown live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports Box Office in the UK, will be the “toughest fight” of her career.  Taylor added the WBO title to her IBF and WBA crowns in March, halting Brazil’s Rose Volante in the ninth round in Philadelphia, and now the Irish sensation has the opportunity to fulfil her goal of becoming undisputed ruler when she meets long-reigning WBC champion Persoon in a very big moment for women’s boxing. Persoon has held the WBC strap since 2014, making nine defences during that time, and will look to cement herself as the number one female 135lbs fighter on the planet when she fights in America for the first time next week. Taylor has prepared for ten hard rounds with her Belgian opponent who holds an impressive career record of 43 wins and just one loss.
“It's great to have the opportunity to have the chance to become the undisputed champion,” said Taylor. “Every day in camp has been 100% focused on the task at hand so I won't sit back and think about it until I've actually achieved it as that's what I am like.
“The chance to fight for the four World titles and the Ring Magazine belt at the Mecca of boxing, MSG, I don't think you could write a better script, it's an absolute dream. Persoon is recognised as one of the best in the world pound-for-pound and has been the WBC champ now for over five years so it's the best against the best. This is huge for women’s boxing.
“This fight is going to be the toughest of my career so far, Delfine is a fantastic champion, she's got 43 wins and just one loss, she's been a long-reigning champion and she's a fantastic person. I know that this is going to be tough and that's why I've trained so hard and had a tough camp as I know that this is so big for me, not just for the immediate success but for my future plans.
“I think it's going to be a really hard fight. I've watched clips of her and she's very tall and awkward, she punches non-stop for the ten rounds and I think it's going to be a very physical fight. It's a huge challenge but the one that I've wanted. She'll bring the best out of me as I have the utmost respect for her and we're going to lay it all on the line and may the best girl win.” 
Taylor and Persoon clash on a huge night of action at MSG where Anthony Johua's three heavyweight titles are on the line against Andy Ruiz Jr.  The card is also is supported by Callum Smith defending his WBA super middleweight title against Hassan N'Dam, Josh Kelly making his US debut against Philadelphia’s Ray Robinson and Chris Algieri against Britain’s Tommy Coyle in a crunch 140-pound showdown – with more exciting undercard additions announced this week. 

Introducing Sagadat Rakhmankul

Introducing Sagadat Rakhmankul

Introducing Sagadat Rakhmankul
No Limit Mindset has signed welterweight Sagadat Rakhmankul to a managerial contract. Rakhmankul is from Taraz, Kazakhstan, and now lives in Northridge, California. He has a record of 4-1 with two knockouts. Rakhmankul is coming off a third-round stoppage over Brandon Adams (4-7-1) on March 16th in Hollywood, California. He is now being trained by Hall of Fame trainer Buddy McGirt. Rakhmankul will be in action on June 14th in Tijuana, Mexico against Daniel Armando Valenzuela (36-36-2).
The 25 year-old has a stellar amateur career that saw him go 232-26 as he won the 2010 Sattarkenov Youth Memorial Tournament, 2013 Kazakhstan National Tournament, 2014 President's Cup Tournament. He took second at 2014 Kazakhstan National Tournament and quarterfinalists 2016 Kazakhstan National Tournament. He was the champion of Kazakhstan Champion of "Spartakiada Kazakhstan", as well as Champion of International Tournament in Albania, Simkent, Almaty, Belarus, Finland, Azerbaijnan, and Kingistan.
"Saga is a special fighter. Buddy McGirt told me he had a fighter he wanted me to take a look at, and it didn't take very long for me to realize that this young man has talent that can't be taught. Buddy will add a few things to Sagadat's style that is going to make him a serious problem at 147. We are going to get him a win in June, and then bring him right back in August to keep him as busy as possible. I am excited to add him to growing list of talent," said Shane Shapiro of No Limit Mindset LLC.
"Shane Shapiro... has done so much for me in a short time with his actions, and for a person like me and where I come from, that means everything. Shane and Buddy McGirt's belief in me, give me all the confidence in training and in the fights that I will be competing for a world title in no time. I am getting high level sparring, top notch training, and a manager who allows me to put all my focus into my craft. This is a dream come true," said  Rakhmankul.

Anthony Johsua: The Politics And Pitfalls Of Becoming Undisputed Champion

Anthony Johsua: The Politics And Pitfalls Of Becoming Undisputed Champion
Heavyweight boxing is stronger now than it has been at any other point in the past 20 years. In Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, boxing’s flagship division finally has a trio comparable to Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, who competed for titles in the late 1990s. There’s one problem, though: they aren’t fighting each other. When Joshua – the WBA, WBO and IBF champion – defends his belts against Andy Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden on 1 June, much of the focus will be on a bout that isn’t even happening.  A meeting with WBC champion Wilder would provide Joshua – who is the 1/33 favourite in the boxing betting to beat Ruiz – a chance to fulfil his long-term goal of becoming the undisputed world champion. Chasing the final belt has proven extremely difficult for the 2012 Olympic gold medallist, though.
That’s because there are now more obstacles involved in winning multiple titles and organising mega-fights than ever before.
For a fight between Joshua and Wilder to be made, their respective promoters must come to an agreement. In the meantime be sure to check out Betway Boxing Betting for the best boxing betting lines available on all Joshua and Wilder bouts.
Negotiations between Eddie Hearn and Shelley Finkel – who manages Wilder – have become public and personal over the past two years, with Hearn referring derogatively to his counterpart as ‘Shirley Winkle’ on several occasions.
It’s quite common for long-held grudges between promoters who have often been in the sport for decades to jeopardise fights.
The financial benefits of staging a contest – namely a greater share of pay-per-view and ticket revenue, and the ability to secure sponsorship deals on top of that – are a clear incentive for promoters to do all they can to hold the rights.
They also decide where the fight will be staged, the size of the ring and even minor details like which fighter will take which dressing room.
But boxing agent Tim Rickson, whose clients include former British and Commonwealth middleweight champion Tommy Langford, says promoters unwilling to cede ground to their rivals can also get in the way of their own fighters’ interests.
“It’s business, but a lot of ego comes into it as well,” says Rickson, who is also the editor of British Boxing News. “That power play comes into it where they’re trying to be the biggest promoter with the biggest backing and the biggest fanbase.
“Often the fighter is willing but then sometimes the conflicting promoters' interests – and now the bigger problem, which is the TV broadcast deals – can result in the fight not being made.”
Indeed, the broadcast boom has created another obstacle for these super-fights to overcome.
There’s more money available than ever before for boxers who sign exclusive deals with broadcast companies.
In February 2019, Tyson Fury signed a five-fight, £80m American broadcasting contract with ESPN, following in the footsteps of Joshua and Wilder, who have similarly valuable deals with DAZN and Showtime, respectively.
With the big three now all tied up with separate stations, negotiations look close to unworkable.
“It's so fragmented that it's just going to be extremely difficult to bring any of those three together,” Rickson says.
“If you're ESPN and you've put £80m into a fighter, you're not going to let him have a rematch with Deontay Wilder on Showtime.
“Will ESPN say they will step down to let Showtime put it on, or vice versa? No.
“They both want the fight, they have both paid for the fight, they both deserve the fight. They aren't going to give up their rights to profit from it.”
Rival broadcasters have occasionally found common ground in the past.
When Floyd Mayweather fought Manny Pacquiao in 2015, for example, HBO and Showtime aired the bout as a joint production – the first collaboration between the networks since 2002.
The protracted negotiations pushed that fight back five years later than when it should have taken place, though. 
Pacquiao had lost twice since talks first began in 2009, meaning his one-sided defeat to Mayweather failed to answer the question of which fighter was greater at their best.
That is always the risk with super-fights. The sheer scope of negotiations that must take place can push the event further and further down the line, until its relevancy is lessened.
There’s incentive for promoters to keep their fighters away from dangerous opponents for as long as possible, too.
Allowing the hype around a fight to build only increases its financial potential, and allows fighters like Joshua and Wilder, for example, to remain undefeated for longer.
That latter point is more important now than ever, as defeats are more damaging than they were in the past.
It’s what Rickson refers to as “the Mayweather effect”.
“I think Floyd Mayweather is to blame in an indirect way,” he says.
“There’s this new influx of casual boxing fans who only get up for the big fights and aren't really purists.
“When a fighter gets a loss on his record he is now almost dismissed, which is absolutely nonsensical to a hardcore fan.
“It’s that Mayweather effect – promoters don't want their fighters to take a loss because they could be dismissed and lose a big following, which would result in fewer tickets sold and fewer pay-per-views."
Delaying big fights brings a couple of risks into play, though.
The first is mandatory challengers.
Sanctioning bodies can rule that their top-ranked challengers have earned a shot at the title, forcing a champion like Joshua to defend one of his belts, rather than go fighting for a new one.
Put these defences off, and the champion will be stripped.
The second is sheer dumb luck.
You simply can’t legislate for injuries, or opponents failing drug tests that force them out of fights.
That’s something Joshua and Hearn have had to deal with in just the past couple of months, with Jarrell Miller – who was meant to be the opponent on 1 June – testing positive for three banned substances and being replaced by Ruiz.
There’s also the chance that the opponent they have been eyeing for months will lose before a deal is done, a fate Joshua nearly suffered in December 2018 when Wilder scraped a draw against Tyson Fury.
Should Wilder’s rematch with Fury go ahead before Joshua gets his hands on the WBC champion, there’s a good chance it will be the Gypsy King – not Wilder – that he must beat to win that final belt. That would require Hearn to negotiate with British rival Frank Warren, with whom he is even less likely to strike a deal than Finkel.
Or, Joshua could lose on 1 June, leaving Ruiz as the man with three belts, chasing the fourth.
Surely not.

Regis Prograis: Josh Taylor hasn't faced a monster like me

Regis Prograis: Josh Taylor hasn't faced a monster like me
Greg Leon: So you know who you're going to be facing in the final, what did you think about Josh Taylor's victory over Ivan Baranchyk? Regis Prograis: "It was a good exciting fight, he showed a lot of heart. He got cut and he showed he could take a punch, but I seen a whole lot of holes. He actually got dropped because his glove touched the canvas from a punch and they didn't count it and he just got hit a lot. I told him bro, 'you can't get hit like that from me.' I'm not (Ivan) Barnachyk, I'm going to vary up my punches and I'm a way sharper puncher, I think I'm a way harder puncher than Baranchyk and he got hit with a lot of stuff, and I'm a totally different monster. He better go to the gym and fix all that shit they did because I'm different. He said the same thing too, he said he got hit more than he wanted to go and he's got go to go to the gym and fix some things. I'm glad I'm fighting him, when we went to Moscow I knew it was him I was going to be fighting once we passed our opposition first and that's just how it happened, so now it's down to just me and Taylor."
GL: Are you anticipating that this is going to be the most difficult fight you'll have at 140 pounds?
RP: "I think so. I do, I think so. Of course I don't think it's going to be too much of a problem, because I don't see myself ever losing. But I think this way about all my opponents and every time I go into camp for a fight, I train like it's going to be the most difficult fight ever. I train hard and get the job done kind of easy, so yes, I am expecting that this going to be the toughest fight of my career."
GL: Where do you want the fight to take place?
RP: "Somewhere neutral. I know I got on TV and talked shit and said I'd bring the fight to Scotland, but that's definitely not true. I think it should be somewhere neutral. It doesn't have to be in my hometown, it doesn't have to be in his hometown. Somewhere neutral, maybe Los Angeles, Vegas or New York, we'll see. I definitely don't think I should go to Scotland, we're both champions and I'm the number one seed so I definitely don't got to go to him and he doesn't have to come to me in New Orlenas. We'll make it somewhere neutral."
GL: Is there anything about him that concerns you at all?
RP: "Concerns me? No, not at all, but he can fight a little dirty at times. He hit Barnachyk when Baranchyk was clinching on the inside, he threw his shoulder up and hit him right after that, so something like that, but as far as his style, he's tall, long and fast, but I have the advantages in everything. I feel like I'm stronger, faster, slicker and my defense is way more superior. I just feel like I'm the superior fighter."
GL: When will the fight take place?
RP: "We don't know yet, there's no telling. Maybe in October or something like that."
GL: Are you in your prime right now? Is this as good as you can get or do you feel you're improving with every fight?
RP: "I'm improving fight by fight dawg, every fight I'm getting better and better. In my last fight I didn't get hit. Relikh was a world champion that had never been stopped and barely lost a fight and he couldn't land a glove on me besides hitting me after the bell. Everything else, he couldn't touch me. That just shows you that I'm getting better and better. People were saying I couldn't be offensive enough, or I ain't have the power, but everything they say I can't do, I show them I can when I get into the ring. I'm getting better and better and people haven't seen what I really got yet because the heart hasn't had to come out. I hope Josh Taylor can bring it out, because you haven't really seen me push myself. You haven't seen the dog come out of me. Maybe it will in this fight and I think it's going to be a helluva fight."
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
RP: "Man, first off, I'm so glad I'm in the World Boxing Super Series. It's all about the best fighting the best, and for me that's what boxing is all about. It's about the best fighting the best. You don't get this in boxing. When was the last time you got the number one and number two guys in a division fighting each other? You don't get that in divisions no more. Two undefeated champions, who are both bad motherf**kers, you just don't get that. You don't got that with the heavyweights, you don't got that with the welterweights, you don't got that with Lomachenko or Tank Davis. Me and Josh Taylor are two undefeated champions in our primes, number one and number two and we're fighting each other. This is a legacy fight and it's a huge fight. This is like a major fight and you don't get that because promoters or politics f**k up a lot of things, but with me and him you've got it. This should be a PPV fight and y'all got it coming to you next."

Korobov formally protests draw verdict vs. Aleem

Korobov formally protests draw verdict vs. Aleem

Korobov formally protests draw verdict vs. Aleem
Sampson Boxing, on behalf of middleweight contender Matvey Korobov, as part of its efforts to protest the scoring of Korobov's recent draw vs. Immanuwel Aleem, has sent a letter to the Attorney General and Governor of Virginia, requesting an investigation into what they say is a conflict of interest.  Leon Margules, attorney for Team Korobov, sent the letter on behalf of the fighter, along with several supporting pieces of evidence, to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and Governor Ralph Northam. Margules alleges is a conflict of interest in that the two Virginia-based judges, Mark D’Attilio and Brian Costello who both questionably ruled the bout a draw at 95-95, are members of the state’s Boxing, Martial Arts, and Professional Wrestling Advisory Board responsible for selecting each fight’s judges and licensing fighters.  Costello, in fact, is the Board’s Chairperson.
According to Margules, it is a conflict of interest for two members of the body responsible for appointing a fight’s judges to appoint themselves and a relatively inexperienced referee (Michelle Myers) from Virginia to officiate a nationally televised bout featuring a fighter from their home state, against Korobov, a Russian living in Florida.
Margules then questions why, of the three televised fights, this was the only one carried out like this, with non-neutral officials. 
The fight was initially scored a win for Korobov but changed to a draw much later after the boxers had left the ring. The error was attributed a mistake in adding up the scorecards. Korobov The letter also references the original scorecard provided to media, that showed Korobov as a majority decision winner, as well as the same scorecard 20 minutes later, with D’Attilio’s round 10 Korobov score scratched out and changed from a 10 to a 9, transforming the outcome to a majority draw.
A further point of contention is the judging performance of the two Virginia-based judges, who scored the fight a draw when a Korobov victory was mostly agreed upon by the boxing media and fans, post-fight.  To most, Korobov appeared to win the first seven rounds handily and hurt Aleem badly in round six before Aleem mounted a minor comeback in the last two or three rounds. At the final bell, Korobov enjoyed a sizeable advantage in landed punches (according to CompuBox statistics, Korobov landed 154 punches out of 417 thrown (37%), while Aleem landed 119 shots out of 630 [19%]). 
Respected boxing official and unofficial television judge for the contest, Larry Hazard Sr., scored the fight 97-92.  A long list of fans on social media voicing suspected corruption is also attached.
Margules’ letter also points out what many consider a missed knockdown by Referee Myers in round four, when Korobov sent Aleem down with a counter right hand only to have her rule it a foul incorrectly. Team Korobov is hoping the state will find a solution for this unfortunate situation to prevent another black eye for boxing and a “chilling effect” on fighters coming to fight in Virginia.  

Tevin Farmer targeting July return vs mandatory challenger

Tevin Farmer targeting July return vs mandatory challenger
Greg Leon: I hear you got a fight coming up, so what's the latest and greatest? Tevin Farmer: "The fight will be taking place on July 27th. My manager told me the challenger's name is Guillaume Frenois, the guy Jono Carroll fought and got a draw with [in December]. I start camp in a week and a half." [Frenois, from France, is 46-1-1. Frenois' only loss was to Devis Boschiero in 2013 and in 2016, Frenois won the European championship at 130 pounds].
GL: How was vacation? 
TF: "Vacation was beautiful man, I've been to a couple of places, I'm living life. I've been fighting this whole year you know, so now that I had time to myself, I'll come back to the gym hungry."
GL: Philadelphia added another champion last weekend with J-Rock [Julian Williams, who won the IBF/WBA 154-pound titles]. What did you think about his performance?
TF: "Yeah, that was beautiful. He put up a hell of a performance. I knew he would do it.
GL: Did you think it was going to be so dominant?
TF: I didn't even think of that, but you know what J-Rock can fight man, he can fight his butt off.
GL: You're staying busy but you haven't gotten the major fights that I know you've been looking for. At this point, have you just resigned yourself to deal with whatever they put in front of you and not even stress that, or does it bother you that you haven't gotten them? 
TF: I still want the big fights, I feel like there's so much out there as far as who the best is and isn't and when you're really the best and can't get the fights to prove it, its like damn.
GL: JoJo Diaz has been doing a lot of talking lately, what do you think about what he's been saying?
TF: Shit, he ain't even got a belt. Everybody want to talk shit when they don't got a belt just so they can get a title shot. He can get his ass kicked too.
GL: What do you know about Guillaume Frenois?
TF: "Nothing much, I just know he had like 43 or 44 figths, maybe 45, something like that. He fought Jono Carroll, but he didn't beat him, so I don't know... I'm just going to come prepared man, I know he's a lefty."
GL: How many times are you fighting between now and the end of the year? How many times are you going after July? I know you're going to tell me as many times as you want, so how many times do you want to?
TF: "If we're talking July, maybe two or three."
GL: Well, that's what it is, where's the fight going?
TF: "The fight? I think it's going to be in Texas, or California, maybe LA."
GL: Do you have a preference out of those venues, or does it not really matter?
TF: "Yeah, you know it doesn't really matter, I'm just going to show up and do my thing. Beat some butt, collect my check, and go about my business."
GL: Do you see yourself fighting home again, before the end of the year?
TF: Yeah, I think after this fight I'm going to take it back home. Hopefully I can get a unification fight, that's what I want.
GL: I know, and everyody wants to see you fight Tank [WBA super champion Gervonta Davis] and unify titles. The question is when is it going to happen?
TF: I have no idea man, I wish I could make it happen. I know on my end I can make it happen, but its the other guys.
GL: But the other guys are going to say that your guys and DAZN is being difficult, you already know how that goes.
TF: Yeah, only thing I can do this, I got one fight left with The Zone anyway. I'm thinking about signing back with them, I just hope that everything on the business side is great because I would definitely like to re-sign with DAZN. The business just has to be right you know, its nothing personal, as we all grow in life and as businessmen, all feelings aside, the business always has to make sense for everybody. Especially for the fighter because the fighter is risking it all.
GL: Well we'll leave it there Tevin, closing thoughts for the fans and we'll wrap it up.
TF: "Follow me on instagram, @tevinfarmer22, and go subscribe to my youtube channel, Life As Tevin Farmer.
(Transcribed by Javian Astacio)

The Boxingtalk Interview: Buddy Harrison, part 1

The Boxingtalk Interview: Buddy Harrison, part 1
Justin Hackman: Buddy, how’s everything going over there at Old School Boxing Gym [in Fort Washington, Maryland]? Buddy Harrison:  Good, real good.  Dusty, my son, is doing quite well; he’s looking sharp. He’s 32-0-1.  He took a long layoff.  He had gotten in trouble with the law, he had a contract dispute with Roc Nation, and around that same time, he and I had a falling out, so the point is, there was a lot that went into the layoff.  But he’s back now and looking great.  He has recently signed [a promotional contract] with a great individual named Lee Baxter out of Canada.  He and Dusty are good friends.  And if Dusty wasn’t in court right now, he’d be fighting in Toronto, but he’s got no passport.  But he’s in unbelievable shape at the moment.  He’s doing two-a-days: conditioning in the morning, then he comes to my gym in the evening for sparring.  I used to think a fighter can get everything he needs at the boxing gym, but I must admit he’s in terrific shape.  His conditioning coach knows what he’s doing.
JH: So you alluded to Dusty getting in some trouble.  Can you expand on that?
BH: Well, we live in a rough neighborhood.  People feel nervous and people tend to be involved with pistols.  Dusty helped someone out and moved a weapon to another location.  Unfortunately he got caught up in that.  He meant no harm; he was doing it for a friend.  If he could do it all over again, he’d know he can’t do that.  He thought he was doing a favor.
JH: So it’s easy to ask here if you’re me, but I must: he’s a young prospect, undefeated, a promising career ahead of him…what was he thinking?
BH: Well he just didn’t think about it.  A buddy asked to move it, he says “ Hey I’m gonna be out of town for a little bit, can you do me a favor?”  Dusty must have not put it together that it can go wrong in any way.  He had no bad intentions whatsoever.  It wasn’t stolen, it wasn’t dirty, he literally just did someone a favor and got caught up in that.
JH: There’s always something that can learned from any experience, good or bad.  What has he learned as a result?
BH: Trust me, he wishes he didn’t do that and he regrets it.  I could be mad, and I was, to be honest, but I look back and I say “where was I at his age?”  I was in the penitentiary.  But that too was a blessing to be honest.  He’s training real hard, he’s focused, and he is taking everything very seriously.
JH: What do you hope for Dusty as he moves into the next chapter in his career?
BH: Well, the problem we have right now is not so much what he is capable of in the ring; I know he can fight.  As a fighter, he’s got amazing potential.  The battle we have now is in court.  He’s been in camp with Canelo Alvarez, he’s sparred world champions, and he does well.  If he gets out of this mess, he will get his passport back, and he’ll be fighting in Canada.  But his promoter Lee Baxter can only do so much.  Dusty goes into court again Friday, and we will know more then.  He’s gonna take a plea.  So we are going to hope for a positive outcome.  And the judge is a fair man, I respect that.  He does things by the book.  We’re hoping for the best.
JH: What do you hope for long term, assuming things go well for you guys on Friday?
BH: He’s only 25.  He’s got 33 fights as a professional.  That’s a lot of fights for his age, and not to mention he was off for over two years.  With the right training camp, I’d put him in there with anybody.  And I’m real protective.  But I see how he spars, I saw how he did in his last fight.  He’s ready now.  I know that sounds a little cocky, but he’s been fighting since he was a little kid.  He’s got all the tools, and I’ll say it again: he’s ready now. 
JH: Let me ask you more about you.  You mentioned you were in prison.  Take me through that story.  What happened, and how has that experience influenced your life currently?
Stay tuned for part 2 as Buddy speaks candidly about his own past and the road ahead.

IOC committee wants Olympic boxing back in 2020-- but without AIBA

IOC committee wants Olympic boxing back in 2020-- but without AIBA

IOC committee wants Olympic boxing back in 2020-- but without AIBA

The International Olympic Committee's Executive Board has recommended that boxing remain in the Olympics for 2020 with a big hitch: the IOC Executive Board wants AIBA, the International Boxing Association, to be suspended and barred from running the tournament. The full International Olympic Committee will decide whether to accept the Executive Board recommendation when it meets on June 24-26 in Lausanne, Switzerland. The recommendation was based on AIBA's demonstrated corruption, as found by the IOC Executive Board: "the ongoing seriousness of the issues in the areas of finance, governance, ethics and refereeing and judging. Those areas of concern were already identified in 2017 and closely monitored. Since then there has been a lack of satisfactory progress." The report also recommended that the number of weight classes be cut from ten to eight for men and increased from three to five for women.

THE IOC issued the following statement: "The decision was based on the recommendations of the report of the Inquiry Committee, which was led by IOC EB Member Nenad Lalovic and which consisted of IOC Member Richard L. Carrión and IOC Member and IOC Athletes’ Commission representative Emma Terho.

The Inquiry Committee was set up by the IOC EB in  November 2018 due to the ongoing seriousness of the issues in the areas of finance, governance, ethics and refereeing and judging. Those areas of concern were already identified in 2017 and closely monitored. Since then there has been a lack of satisfactory progress.
After a thorough discussion, the IOC EB recommended to the IOC Session that boxing maintain its place on the sports program of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The Olympic Boxing Tournament Tokyo 2020, including all qualifying competitions, shall be organized following guidelines established by the IOC Executive Board.
If the above decisions are confirmed at the IOC Session in June 2019, the IOC EB also confirmed the total athlete quota for the sport of boxing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 would remain at 286 and the total number of eight men’s events and five women’s events would be maintained, as previously approved by the IOC EB in June 2017. This is the next step towards gender equality in boxing having had ten men’s events and three women’s events at both London 2012 and Rio 2016.
Additionally, the EB created a special task force, chaired by IOC Member and President of the International Gymnastic Federation (FIG) Morinari Watanabe, with the mandate to:
a. Ensure the delivery of the following boxing competitions, with a goal of increasing sustainable gender equality in all areas of the sport:
                  i. Qualification events for boxing in view of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, due to take place between January 2020 and May 2020;
                  ii. Boxing tournament at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
b. Develop a Tokyo 2020 Qualification System for boxing, including the following details to be confirmed not later than the end of June 2019:
                  i. Definition of Men’s and Women’s weight categories;
                  ii. Review of quota places allocation across the boxing events, with a goal of increasing gender equality;
                  iii. Set the criteria for the quota places distribution at the qualification events.
The EB also noted that no Tokyo 2020 qualification system has been previously confirmed by the IOC for boxing and no events have been confirmed by the IOC as Olympic qualification events. The IOC will develop a new calendar for the Olympic qualifiers, which will take place between January and May 2020.
The status of AIBA’s full recognition will in principle be reviewed after Tokyo 2020. The evolution of AIBA’s situation and progress towards compliance with the Olympic Charter and the IOC Code of Ethics are monitored through a special monitoring committee which consist of the members of the former Inquiry Committee.
'Today’s decision was taken in the interest of the athletes and the sport of boxing. We want to ensure that the athletes can live their dream and participate in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 while drawing the necessary consequences for AIBA following the recommendations of the Inquiry Committee. At the same time, we offer a pathway back to lifting the suspension, but there needs to be further fundamental change," said IOC President Thomas Bach.
The 134th IOC Session that will be taking the decision on AIBA and the sport of boxing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is scheduled to take place from 24 to 26 June 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland."
In response, AIBA released the following brief statement: " (AIBA) has taken note of the announcement made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). AIBA is currently reviewing the report from the IOC and will not make any comments until further clarification is made, however AIBA does look forward to working with the IOC in the future."

Cleveland to host quality show on June 22nd

Cleveland to host quality show on June 22nd
On Saturday, June 22nd, at Cleveland State University in Ohio, boxing will be televised on CBS Sports with a main event featuring North Carolina super flyweight Dewayne “Mr. Stop Running” Beamon (16-1-1, 11 KOs) vs. Froilan “The Sniper” Saludar (30-3-1, 21 KOs) of  the Philippines in a twelve-round showdown. In the second featured bout, Canada’s Cody “The Crippler” Crowley (17-0, 9 KOs) will take on the United Kingdom’s Navid “Nav” Mansouri (19-2-2, 6 KOs) in a twelve-round junior middleweight contest.   In other match-ups, Cleveland’s own Miguel Angel “Silky Smooth” Gonzalez (24-4, 16 KOs) will fight eight lightweight rounds against Africa’s Albinius “Danny Boy Albino” Felesianu (18-2-1, 7 KOs); and in a six-round junior welterweight scrap, Montana “Too Pretty” Love (11-0-1, 5 KOs) will face Africa’s Tshibangu “Bebe Rico” Kayembe (9-0-3, 3 KOs). 
The show is promoted by Bigger Than Life Entertainment and Mo Entertainment, in partnership with Miguel Cotto Promotions. Tickets are on sale now at or Wolstein Center Box Office on the CSU campus. 
The 33 year-old Beamon has won several regional championships in his four-year professional career, [but Saludar probably has the edge in big-fight experience].  The 33-year-old Saludar hails from Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental in The Philippines. He challenged former champ Sho Kimura for the WBO flyweight belt in July 2018. 
The 26 year-old Cody Crowley is an undefeated southpaw from Peterborough, Ontario. He was last seen in February of this year, pitching a shutout in defense of his Canadian championship  against Stuart McClellan.
The 30-year-old Navid Mansouri hails from Rotherham, Yorkshire, United Kingdom, but is currently living in Los Angeles and training at the legendary Wild Card Gym. He won the English 154-pound title in 2013 and successfully defended it three times. 
The 33 year-old Miguel Angel Gonzalez is a comebacking southpaw with victories over several quality foes in his 11-year professional boxing career, but this will be his first fight in nearly four years.
Albinius Felesianu hails from Swakopmund, Namibia. He has not lost a pro bout since 2008. 
The 24 year-old Montana Love is a southpaw from Cleveland. In July of last year, he fought to a draw vs. 12-1 Kenneth Sims Jr at the WinnaVegas Casino & Resort, in Sloan, Iowa, and live on ShoBox: The New Generation. Love was also the star of a widely viewed viral video of an infamous sparring session where he allegedly bested WBA 130-pound champion Gervonta Davis. 
The 24-year-old Tshibangu Kayembe hails from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of The Congo. He is a nine-year professional and this will be his first fight outside of Africa.
“Working with former champ Miguel Cotto and his promotions team is a great honor,” said E Jay Mathews, CEO of Bigger Than Life Entertainment. “I am very excited to present this terrific event to the fans in Cleveland and around the world on CBS Sports and Each of the match-ups is of high quality. It’s going to be a great night of boxing,” Mathews added.
Ray Leonard Jr., son of six-time world champion, Sugar Ray Leonard, along with actor and television host, Chris Spencer will provide the CBS Sports commentary. World renowned clothing designer, Karl Kani will be providing outfits for the ring girls. 
The Wolstein Center is located at 2000 Prospect Avenue in Cleveland. On fight night, the doors open at 7:00 pm and the action starts at 7:30 pm. Making A Champion is sponsored by B&M BBQ.
Bigger Than Life Entertainment and Mo Entertainment, in partnership with six-time World Champion Miguel Cotto’s Miguel Cotto Promotions will present “Making A Champion,” the first in a series of shows that will feature top prospects in their toughest challenges. 
The six-fight night of world-class boxing features dual main events that will be televised live on CBS Sports (11:00 pm ET/8:00 pm PT) and the exciting undercard will be streamed live on (7:30 pm ET/4:30 pm PT). 

More Thurman-Pacquiao, Plant-Lee quotes

More Thurman-Pacquiao, Plant-Lee quotes
Unbeaten WBA welterweight super champion Keith Thurman and eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao (pictured) squared-off for the second day in a row Wednesday, this time at a Los Angeles press conference as they previewed their pay-per-view showdown taking place Saturday July 20th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Also on hand were and unbeaten IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant and his challenger Mike Lee. Plant will make the first defense of his title against the unbeaten Lee on the same night at the same venue, but the fight will be shown for free on Fox. Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday from The Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles:
"It's easy for my opponents to talk before the fight, and I'm used to everything they say. But when we get to the ring, it changes, and it will change on July 20.
"I chose Keith Thurman because he's a great fighter, he's undefeated and because we can give a good fight to the fans. I want to make the fans happy on that night and show that I can still go toe-to-toe with any opponent.
"He said he's young, but we'll see who looks young in the ring on July 20. I'm going to let my fists say everything for me.
"We will work hard in training camp like always for this fight. We're not going to take Keith Thurman lightly or underestimate him. He's a world champion. I'm thankful for what he's been saying, because it's giving me motivation to prove that at 40-years-old, I feel 29.
"Keith Thurman is aggressive and throws a lot of punches. I'm hoping on July 20 he will follow through with what he says and fight toe-to-toe with me.
"The fans need to watch this fight because it's a once in a lifetime fight. It's going to be a Fight of the Year and full of action from start to finish. I'm ready to get it on July 20.
"Most of my opponents are bigger than me and I beat them all. When we get into the ring, it doesn't matter. This has happened before and it will happen again against Thurman.
"My experience will be very important for this fight. It's going to be useful against an undefeated fighter. I'm going to give him the experience of losing for the first time.
"I'm still having fun and enjoying the sport. I'm excited to go straight to the gym after this and start focusing on training for the fight."
"It's a blessing to be on this stage and have a fight of this magnitude. I'm an all-American fighter, an all-American champion and come July 20, I'm going to stay champion.
"Manny is a world class fighter. He's a gentleman inside and outside of the ring. I look forward to trading punches with a living legend. But one thing's for sure, he's not walking away with my title.
"All Manny does is hop around in the ring. I'm not going to lose to a bunny rabbit. He's not Tupac, but he does a little hip hop and he's not going to stop until he gets dropped.
"Manny is a world class fighter, not a world class boxer. I'm going to trip him up in the ring and he won't know what direction to turn to. I know who I am as a fighter, and it will be proven come July 20.
"I'm destroying the legend of Manny Pacquiao. His legacy ends on July 20 and mine begins. He's an inspiration to many people throughout the world and everyone respects him, but I'm respectfully going to finish him.
"This is a big fight as far as the stage goes, but it's a big fight against a little guy. He's a veteran and I've dismantled veterans in the past. I believe I would have destroyed Manny Pacquiao five years ago. I've always been ready for this fight. He's never fought someone like me with this kind of lateral movement, speed and power. I'm coming for him.
"I was in the gym four weeks ago starting some preparations. I wanted to get the ball rolling and use the momentum from my last training camp for this opportunity. Who better to showcase my skills and talent against than Manny Pacquiao? He chose me because it will be a guaranteed action fight.
"I think this is one of the best Manny Pacquiao fights in a long time. I'm going to bring it. Pacquiao did not get reminded in his last fight what it feels like to be up against a real champion. I'm the youngest, fastest, hungriest fighter that he's ever been in the ring with. July 20, it's the 'Keith Thurman show'."
"I never consider myself the A-side because my history says that I shouldn't even be here. As beautiful as the belt is, it's about more to me than that. It's about legacy for me. I've been carrying myself as a world champion since the day I started this journey, so this is nothing new to me.
"I'm the whole package. I have speed, I have footwork, I have power, I have the heart and the will to win. Until you find someone else who's all that, I'm going to keep having my hand raised.
"Where I'm from, there's confrontation every day. This is nothing new to me. There are times I was told that I wouldn't make it. Nobody paved the way for me like I'm from New York or Los Angeles. I paved my own way.
"Mike Lee is in uncharted territory. I'm curious on how he plans on beating me. Does he plan on roughing me up and trying to knock me out like my last opponent? Can he do that better than Jose Uzcategui? Is he going to try to outbox me with his hand and foot speed? Because there's no person from 160 to 175 who could do that.
"I've been committed to the same thing for the last 18 years straight. Rain, sleet or snow, I stayed committed. I'm bred for this. I was created for this. It's the only thing I've done my whole life. On July 20, I'll be keeping the thing that I've worked my whole entire life for.
"At every decision that has to be made, you can go left or you can go right. From the genesis of my being, every time it was the moment to make a tough decision, I went the same way. Because I do not bend or fold for anything. No matter what's tossed my way, this journey must go on for me. He said he has nothing to lose, but I have everything to lose.
"All the motivational videos that he watches and books that he reads, I'm the very essence and meaning of that. I'm the pinnacle of all those things he's studied. You can't learn mental fortitude in a book. Those things are earned, they're not learned."
"This is a dream come true for me. I've been through so much and there were days where I thought my dream was over. I've chased this since I was eight-years-old and I'm thankful for this chance to go after a dream that others thought I couldn't reach.
"The beauty of this sport is that it's only me and Caleb in there. Everyone else can only talk. I've been in the ring through adversity and stuck it out, because that's the kind of person I am. I know that if I come on July 20 as the best Mike Lee possible, that I can win.
"I've been in the gym working every day. Doctors told me at one point that I wouldn't fight again, but I'm still standing right here. I pushed through my pain to get here.
"I'm excited to be here in Los Angles, where we hold training camp. I'm bringing the belt back to Chicago, but Los Angeles is a second home to me.
"Today is the culmination of years of sacrifice, hard work and discipline. I'm undefeated for a reason but I feel people underestimate me and I like that. I've been underestimated my whole career. I've thrived off people say I couldn't do it.
"I respect Caleb Plant. He's the champion for a reason and I respect any fighter who can step into that ring. You have to be a different kind of animal to do that in front of all those people, and I am that animal.
"I'm coming with power, strength, speed and I'm going to give it everything I have. I'm going to become the new IBF Super Middleweight World Champion."

Next up for WBSS: cruiserweight semi-finals

Next up for WBSS: cruiserweight semi-finals

Next up for WBSS: cruiserweight semi-finals
The combatants in two of the three finals in the World Boxing Series have now been set: at bantamweight, WBA champion Nonito Donaire faces IBF champion Naoya Inoue, while at junior welterweight, WBC champion Regis Prograis will be matched against IBF counterpart Josh Taylor. No dates for those fights have been announced yet. Next up for the tournament, however, are the cruiserweight semi-final showdowns, set for June 15th at the Arena Riga in Riga, Latvia. With last year's WBSS winner, Oleksandr Usyk still holding onto the cruiserweight titles, the Muhammad Ali Trophy will go to the survivor of these two bouts: hometown hero Mairis Briedis, who will face Krzysztof Glowacki or Yunier Dorticos who will battle Andrew Tabiti for the two spots in the cruiserweight final.
“We cannot wait to find our last finalists for the Ali Trophy,” said promoter Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer. “But is it impossible to predict winners in these explosive match-ups. The throne in cruiserweight is empty and all four have the potential to be the new king. Briedis is obviously excited for the chance at redemption after dropping a majority decision to Usyk in last year’s semi-final, but he is up against a hard-hitting warrior in shape of Glowacki who has promised to bring war to Riga. Dorticos and Tabiti have a very entertaining beef right now going on at social media, and they both want to prove they are the best cruiserweight in the world. One thing is certain, we are in for another treat on June 15th.”
Tickets for the doubleheader in RIga are on sale from:

Devin Haney looking to make statement in DAZN debut

Devin Haney looking to make statement in DAZN debut
Greg Leon: The last time we had you on Boxingtalk it looked as though you'd be a part of the Wilder-Fury II PPV telecast. Quite a bit has changed since then, Fury went to ESPN so that show never happened. Now you're signed with DAZN. Talk to me about your decision to go with DAZN. Devin Haney: "Everything wound up playing out in my favor, I went with what was best for me. Of course I had a lot of multi-millionaire dollar offers on the table and we just went with the one that suited me best." 
GL: How has everything gone in preparation for Antonio Moran this weekend? 
Devin Haney: "Everything is going great. All of the hard work is done. Now it's just about making weight and getting a lot of rest."
GL: What do you know about Moran?
DH: "I know he's tall, every fight he comes to put up a good fight and he's coming to win. He's not coming to lay down so I got to bring my A game."
GL: What does a victory over him mean to you?
DH: "It would just be getting me one step closer to a world title. The WBC has mandated a tournament with me, Teofimo, and Javier Fortuna, and this win is going to get me one step closer to that world title."
GL: Do you feel disrespected that you were bypassed for a title shot in favor of Lomachenko?
DH: "I wouldn't say I feel disrespected or anything like that. It's like I said, I'm only 20 and my time will come. It's only going to give me more time to get stronger and get better."
GL: It also gives you more time to get older and grow. How much longer are you going to be able to hold 135lbs.?
DH: "Not much longer. 135lbs. is not easy for me to make. I'll make it a couple of more times if there's a title shot ahead, but if not I'm just going to move up to 140."
GL: Do you have a dietician or nutritionist on board to make the cut easier?
DH: "I don't have that, I don't need that. SNAC helps me a lot with that and cutting weight, so I just follow that."
GL: You said a couple of more times, when do you see yourself moving up to 140lbs.?
DH: "I don't know. It's like I said, if a world title is on the table and it's guaranteed, then I'll stay as long as possible, but everyday I'm getting bigger, everyday I'm getting stronger so I don't know. 140lbs. is definitely in the equation."
GL: Who will be the last man standing in the mandated WBC tourney?
DH: "C'mon now, that's a no!"
GL: Who do you like in Lomachenko-Campbell?
DH: "I think it's going to be a good fight, but I'm going with Lomachenko. Campbell will give him problems early, but once Lomachenko starts putting that pressure on him he'll break down and win easy."
GL: Do you agree with a guy who is a champion of another sanctioning body getting a mandated title fight from a sanctioning body he doesn't currently represent?
DH: "I don't agree with that at all, but I don't make the rules. It's just how it goes, my time will come and I will not dwell on that, I'm just going to focus on Antonio Moran and the future. When the time comes for me to fight for a world title I will be ready."
GL: What does it mean to you to be the first American talent that everybody wanted to work with to sign with DAZN?
DH: "It's great. I'm blessed to be a part of DAZN and Matchroom. There's plenty of work to do though, I've still got to prove that I'm real deal and that they didn't make a mistake signing me."
GL: Are you showing out in your DAZN debut or what?
DH: "Hell yeah! At first I was just the co-main, but now I'm headlining so everything is falling into place and now it's time for me to show out."
GL: Is Moran going the distance?
DH: "I don't know. I'm definitely going in there to put a beating on him and if he can take it, he will and if he can't he won't."
GL: After back to back distance fights I imagine you're trying to get somebody out of there inside them rounds.
DH: (laughs) "Yeah, you're right about that, but as long as I get the win, that's the most important thing."
GL: I'm the sure the money and the terms are sexy for the deal you just made with DAZN, but as a young blossoming star in this sport are you concerned at all that DAZN won't have you in front of as many eyeballs as the platforms you turned down to sign with them?
DH: "No. Of course it's not as big as the other platforms yet, but I'm trusting in the process and I think that in the very near future everybody is going to be fighting on the streaming apps. They believe in me and I believe in them."
GL: At what point in time will DAZN have the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world-- you?
DH: "Yo what's up with you asking me all these hard questions today G? You asking me all these tough ass questions cut that off, save that for after the fight." (laughs) 
GL: Fair enough. Here's a nice softball, what's your biggest advantage over Moran?
DH: "Speed, my speed. He's tall and I want to say he has the reach even though I'm not really sure how long his arms are. I just have the better speed with my hands and feet, he's slow on his feet and fights like a mummy."
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
DH: "Tune in on May 25th, I'm live on DAZN and I"m going to put on a great performance. I'm going to showcase my full arsenal and beat the shit out of him."

Elbiali to face Simões Saturday on FS1

Elbiali to face Simões Saturday on FS1
Light heavyweight brawler Ahmed Elbiali (18-1) will return to the ring for his first fight under trainer Justin Gamber, when he faces Marlos Simões (13-1-2) of Brazil in a ten-round showdown this Saturday night from Beau Rivage Resort Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. Elbiali vs. Simões will be broadcast on FS1 and Fox Deportes action as part of a show that begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and is headlined by former 154-pound champion Austin "No Doubt'' Trout against Terrell Gausha in a ten-round battle.  Elbiali has recently began working with a new trainer in Gamber, who also trains IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant, and he will look to show his improvement in the ring this Saturday night. Here is what he had to say about his new trainer and more:
On training with new coach Justin Gamber:
"I've been learning a lot since I started training with Justin Gamber, which was about six weeks ago. Nothing against my old trainers, I just felt I needed a new look. Justin and I work well together and I've improved tremendously. I'm learning how to relax more in the ring, which has helped me keep my power in the later rounds of sparring. Justin is a great coach and together we are going to make some noise in the light heavyweight division."
On his recent training camp:
"I've put in a lot of hard work for this training camp and I can see the difference compared to other camps I've had in the past. I'm working on the fundamentals of boxing, using my jab more and setting up my combinations. I know I have the power to knock out my opponents, but now I'm learning more how to set it up. Living and training in Las Vegas has been a big boost to my career because the sparring out here is second to none. I'm having a great training camp."
On his matchup with Marlos Simões:
"I know Simões is a durable opponent who's only been stopped once in his career. I'm expecting him to be in great shape. He's had a lot of success in the ring, so I'm preparing for a guy who can really fight. I'm just going to go in there and execute my game plan."
On when he will be ready for a world title shot:
"I want to get as many fights as possible this year and make a world title run in 2020. Of course, everything is predicated fight to fight, but that is the goal."
On making his televised return on FS1:
"Fighting on FS1 is always fun and exciting. FS1 is the platform where us fighters get the most exposure while we're coming up. You can't compare any other network to FOX, where the whole world can tune in. It's truly a blessing for me to be fighting on FS1."

BJ Flores coming out of retirement against Otto Wallin

BJ Flores coming out of retirement against Otto Wallin

BJ Flores coming out of retirement against Otto Wallin
BJ Flores (34-4-1) has been quietly enjoying retirement life. Between managing his real estate properties in Scottsdale AZ and his occasional announcing duties for the World Boxing Super Series, Flores felt like he had laced up the gloves for the final time. But then the phone rang with an offer he couldn’t refuse. He was presented with an opportunity to face an undefeated  heavyweight on national television.  The former cruiserweight contender will return to the ring on July 12th in Seattle, WA when he faces Sweden's Otto Wallin (20-0) in a bout that will serve as a ShoBox main event on Showtime. Flores was last in action in August when he came up short against another undefeated heavyweight, Trevor Bryan. With the way that fight went, Flores knows there will be doubters and rightfully so. 
“I have no excuses “said Flores. “Trevor Bryan was the better man that night and I wish him the best moving forward,” Flores stated. 
However, Flores and his newly assembled team believe July 12th will be an entirely different story. For this fight he has enlisted the services of highly regarded trainer Ibn Cason who trains heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev. He also has brought aboard Angel "Memo" Heredia who is one of the best strength and conditioning coaches in the business. Flores and Heredia have often times been seen at fights together and have shared a mutual friendship for years. Flores said the time had come to go to work with Angel. 
"Ibn Cason and Angel Heredia will have me at the top of my game. Being in camp with world class heavyweight Kubrat Pulev will also be an amazing experience. He is very good and there is a lot to learn from a guy like Kubrat. All these new additions to my team will help me surprise a lot of people on July 12th," said Flores.
"I would also like to thank Ivaylo Gotzev who helped put this together. Ivaylo has been a good friend of mine for years and he has a way of bringing people together. Kubrat welcomes me into camp with open arms. We are working extremely hard and we are both very focused.”
“This will be my first time fighting on Showtime and I plan on putting on a great show. Wallin is a good fighter. 6’6” and young, hungry and undefeated. He isn’t 20-0 for no reason. I am greatly looking forward to this opportunity.“
Flores has been a professional boxer for over 16 years. Over the course of his career he has fought several top fighters and former champions such as Tony Bellew, Danny Green and Beibut Shumenov. 
Flores believes he has far more experience in championship fights and will look to turn back the clock on July 12th. 

Richardson Hitchins back on July 27th

Richardson Hitchins back on July 27th
Greg Leon: Congrats on your victory over Alejandro Munera (4-2-3 4KO), can you give us some thoughts on your performance? Richarson Hitchins: "I did what I'm supposed to do with a guy like that. I punished him and got him out of there, I made him quit and just did what I was supposed to do. GL: Before the fight you made it crystal clear that you didn't want to fight these kind of guys no more and it was up to you to force your promoter into giving you more difficult fights. After this performance did you speak with your promoter to see if you're going to get your wish? RH: "Yes, they definitely said the next one was going to be a step up and it should be one. Put them in front of me and I'll beat them. I'm going to keep getting better as a young fighter. The guy was 4-1, but I don't put these guys in front of me. Floyd Mayweather was champion inside of two years, and when he fought his ninth fight he was in there against somebody that was 1-13. At the end of the day, does that really matter? It's about staying busy. I want to step up the competition and Leonard (Ellerbe) said they were going to step it up for me so hopefully I get what I want."
GL: Shobox sound about right?
RH: "Yes, but first I'm back on July 27th on the undercard of the Tank Davis card. Depending on how many rounds the commission gives Mayweather Promotions it could be a ten rounder, if not an eight and then I'll be back on Shobox in a ten rounder right after that. After July 27th, my next fight will be on a Shobox card."
GL: And you're hoping the July 27th fight is a step up with Shobox right behind that?
RH: "I've done my homework on this sport. A lot of fighters have taken their time with some of their opponents, even Floyd. Floyd was champion at 17-0, but he was so active and he was fighting so much that he was learning on the job. I think my promoter's job is to keep me active, I've fought three times already this year, I'm back again this summer and I'm on Shobox after that, and then it's onto bigger and better things before the end of winter."
GL: This is the movement you've been asking for.
RH: "I should be 12-0 right now and I can't blame my promoter for everything because fights have fallen off the day of or before the weigh-in and it's borderline impossible to find guys on that notice."
GL: If you know you're going to be fighting on Shobox in two fights, what's the point of taking a step up on an OFF tv fight?
RH: "Just to get me that experience. It doesn't matter who's watching because my stock is going up and my name is ringing bells. I want to show my promoters that I can handle the step up in competition, I can do the same things to guys of highter caliber. This is all about getting the comfortability because some guys won't go down with one or two shots, some guys won't quit, some guys will grab, some guys will do different things strategically so I just want to get more comfortable in there. I feel like I can handle any competition, this is boxing and I can box my ass off bro. Whoever it is on July 27th it's not going to be no different."
GL: Closing thougts for the fans.
RH: "July 27th I'm back on the Gervonta Davis undercard and I want all of my Baltimore fans to come out. I'm going to keep hitting chins, so all the fans out there keep supporting me because I'm the biggest thing coming out of New York. People might not believe it now, but I'm going to keep showing people that I'm the truth."

Rigondeaux accepts WBC eliminator

Rigondeaux accepts WBC eliminator

Former world 122-pound champion and double Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux (pictured) has accepted a WBC elimiantor in his best weight class, 122 pounds. Rigondeaux (18-1) will face Mexico's Julio "Pollito" Ceja (32-3). The fight is scheduled for June 23rd at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas. The winner of the elimination bout will be in line to challenge the undefeated Rey Vargas of Mexico, who has held the WBC title since 2017. source: wbc

Philly update: Frank Nitty Trader in biggest fight of career

Philly update: Frank Nitty Trader in biggest fight of career

Philly update: Frank Nitty Trader in biggest fight of career

West Philly lightweight Frank Nitty Trader (12-2-1) heads into a crossroads fight on June 15th gainst Jerome Conquest (10-3) of Strawberry Mansion, in an eight-round contest at the Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA. The 33-year-old Trader, a graduate of West Philly High School, turned pro 11 years ago and won his first five fights, then suffered a full or partial left shoulder dislocation in his sixth fight when he outpointed Francisco Palacios, of Stamford, CT, in a six-round fight at Bally's Atlantic City. Incredible as it seems, Trader never got his shoulder fixed and he kept fighting, going 10-2-1 through April, 2014. His losses were by close decisions to Adrian Perez, of Sarasota, FL, in 2012, and to Anthony Burgin of North Philly in a 2014 fight where he knocked Burgin down.
After losing to Burgin, Trader retired and got his shoulder fixed later in 2014. 

For the next four years Trader worked as a medical supply technician, a job he still holds. He also devoted his time to raising his four kids: Nadaish, 16; Nalah, 12; Frankie, Jr., 11; Noah, 2.
It's a cliche to say life has not been easy for Trader, but his 16-year-old brother was murdered in 2005, the same year his 36-year-old father died from drugs. He is determined to find a better life for himself and his family.

He always had the "boxing bug" and with his kids watching fights on TV and asking questions, he decided last year it was time to fight and and he reunited with long-time trainer Aaron Ford.
It wasn't easy finding fights so Trader signed with manager Shaheed Purnell, who owns Barber of Falah barber shop in West Philly. Trader has since defeated a pair of Mexican lightweights--Pablo Cupol in November and German Meraz in February. The June 15 fight with Conquest (10-3) is the biggest of his career and he knows it.


Tickets for the eight-fight card are on sale at Joe Hand Promotions (215-364-9000).

Introducing Cleveland featherweight Ramiro Hernandez

Introducing Cleveland featherweight Ramiro Hernandez
Greg Cohen Promotions and Rapacz Boxing have signed featherweight Ramiro Hernandez of Cleveland to a multi year co-promotional agreement. The 30 year-old Hernandez is 14-0 with 9 knockouts and has been making his fighting home in Minnesota where his manager Jesse Garza is based. Hernandez, who currently holds the Minnesota super featherweight championship, has fought his last six fights at Grand Casino Hinckley, MN and has become one of the state's biggest ticket sellers. Hernandez will return against an opponent to be named in a featured bout at Grand Casino in Hinckley, MN on August 9th. 
Hernandez is excited about about his signing. "I trust that we have built a good relationship with each other and together we will make a huge impact in boxing!"
"I couldn't be happier to sign featherweight prospect Ramiro Hernandez with my close friend and co-promoter Cory Rapacz," said Greg Cohen.   "We have big plans for Ramiro for the second half of 2019 and look forward to him competing for a world title in the next 12-18 months. The sky is the limit for this young man and I am pleased to be a part of his team."
"We're very excited about this signing that has literally been years in the making," said Cory Rapacz. "This is all about helping a young fighter reach his potential and get the right opportunities. We're very proud that Ramiro and his team have decided to trust us with the responsibility of taking his career to the national level."
Minnesota trainer and manager Jesse Garza has brought Hernandez up through the Minnesota fight scene, "Ramiro was suggested to me by Denny Nelson.   He saw something special in him and thought we would become a great team. When I met Ramiro I too saw that something special. He was a champion to be, a diamond in the rough and a man with great work ethics and desire to learn. We have become a great team and ready to continue in our journey. We'd like to thank, Greg Cohen and Cory Rapacz for the opportunity to continue our journey to achieve our ultimate goal."

UFC FightPass features female main event

UFC FightPass features female main event
Tunisia native Ikram Kerwat, a mother of two, headlines this Thursday in the initial female boxing main event streamed on UFC Fight Pass, live from Casino Del Sol's outdoor AVA Amphitheater in Tucson, Arizona. Kerwat (9-1, 5 KOs), fighting out of Frankfurt, Germany, throws down with Simone DaSilva (15-12, 6 KOs) of Brazil in the ten-round main event. DaSilva has the distinction of going 0-9 in various title fights. In the co-feature, bantamweight Max "The Baby Face Assassin" Ornelas (12-0-1, 4 KOs) clashes with Alex "Xhino" Rangel (17-9, 4 KOs), of Mexico, in an eight-round bout.  Tucson's Alfonso Olvera (11-5-2, 4 KOs) meets Carlos "Silk" Villa (14-3-1, 6 KOs), of San Antonio, in a six-round welterweight attraction, and undefeated middleweights Tucson's Nicholas Rhoads (5-0, 2 KOs) takes on Eduardo Ayala (4-0, 1 KO), of Phoenix in a four-round match.
Kerwat is trained by living legend Roy Jones, Jr., wjo is also the fight's promoter. "Ikram is an exciting fighter with awesome power and good hand speed," Jones evaluated his protege. "She's always looking to improve, and I look forward to her next voyage towards a world title."
The 35-year-old Kerwat will be fighting in the United States for the fourth time as a pro boxer. "Fighting in the U.S. was always one of my biggest dreams," she commented. "It's amazing. I already have a fanbase and they are really awesome. I like the enthusiasm and positive energy of U.S. people. I want to give a big shout out to my family and my coach and promoter, Roy Jones, Jr., his wonderful wife, Natlyn Jones, and, of course, the RJJ Promotions team for this opportunity and their kindness."
A pro since 2015, Kerwat first met Jones at the WBC Convention three years ago in Miami. "It's an honor for me to lean from a legendary boxer like Roy," she added. "He's a boxing guru! Before I met Roy, I was a brawler, more of an aggressive fighter. Now, I'd say I learned to skillfully box. I've made a lot of improvements and I developed more, boxing-wise. I grew mentally, which is the most important part in boxing and life."
Ikram doesn't feel that she's at a disadvantage because of her opponent's edge in quality experience. "My opponent is experienced, but this means nothing to me," she remarked. "I fear nobody, but I respect all boxers who step in the ring. I do not underestimate anyone, nothing more, and nothing less. I don't look at her, I look at myself. This is only thing I have control over. I do my job, live my dream, and I have fun doing it. I enjoy every single minute of it. This next step is very important for us. Every single fight brings me a step closer to my goal, which means that every single fight is significant for my career. Fights like this even more so."
Although she had only three amateur matches, including a gold medal performance in the Berlin Championships and taking bronze in the German Championships, Ikram is positioning herself for a world title fight in the not too distant future, assuming she gets past Da Silva. "I trained myself (as an amateur) and that wasn't easy for me, because I really wasn't a trainer, but I wanted it so bad and now even more," Kerwat concluded. "I have two kids and I used to say boxing is my third child. And it's the oldest. I protest and love it, making sure that I progress and develop, getting better and better.
Undefeated Kazakhstan fighter Madiyar Asjkeyev (11-0, 6 KOs) faces Cecil McCalla (21-3, 8 KOs) to open the non-televised segment in a ten-round junior middleweight bout.
Former UFC fighter Joe "Diesel" Riggs (47-18-1, 1 NC), fighting out of Phoenix, makes his professional boxing debut versus pro-debuting Daviante Jones, also of Phoenix, in a four-round bout.
A pair of Tucson middleweights, Arturo Resendiz (2-0, 2 KOs) and Jose "Raging Bull" Pena (2-1, 1 KO), are matched in the four-round swing bout.

Showtime All Access wins two Sports Emmy awards

Showtime All Access wins two Sports Emmy awards
Showtime Sports original documentary series All Access earned two Sports Emmy Awards on Tuesday night at the 40th Annual Sports Emmy Award ceremony in New York City. These were the fourth and fifth Emmys overall for the All Access series, which debuted in 2013. Showtime Sports has now earned 12 Sports Emmy Awards in the last eight years. The original series took home the honors for Outstanding Edited Sports Event Coverage for All Access: Wilder vs. Fury Epilogue and Outstanding Edited Sports Special or Series for All Access: Wilder vs. Fury.
Accepting the awards on Tuesday was Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.  Espinoza recognized and thanked one of the main subjects, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, who was in attendance (following his first-round knockout victory on Saturday night in Brooklyn) to present multiple awards at Fredrick P. Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Espinoza also acknowledged Showtime Sports Senior Creative Director Jonathan (Jody) Heaps, one of the driving forces behind All Access since its inception, who is retiring after more than 30 years at the network.
This is the third Sports Emmy All Access has earned in the Edited Sports Coverage category. The series, which chronicles the buildup and aftermath of boxing’s biggest prizefights, has previously won for Epilogue installments following Floyd Mayweather’s wins over Canelo Alvarez and Andre Berto. 
Other nominees for Outstanding Edited Sports Event Coverage were Courtside at the NBA Finals (HBO), Mic'd Up: Super Bowl LIII (NFL Network), Road To The Super Bowl (CBS) and Tiger Woods - Return of the Roar (ESPN).  The nominees for Outstanding Edited Sports Special or Series were 24/7: The Match: Tiger vs. Phil (HBO), A Football Life (NFL Network). NFL 360: Steve Gleason (NFL Network) and UFC 25 Years in Short (UFC Fight Pass).

Keith Thurman: "I'm going to do to Manny Pacquiao what he did to Oscar De La Hoya"

Keith Thurman: "I'm going to do to Manny Pacquiao what he did to Oscar De La Hoya"
Keith Thurman will defend his WBA welterweight super championship on pay-per-view against boxing's only eight-division champion, Philippine Senator Manny "Pac Man" Pacquiao on Saturday, July 20th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased online through  Here is what the fighters had to say at a press conference Tuesday from Gotham Hall in New York City:


"I've never been scared of a challenge. I'm so excited for this fight against an undefeated champion. He's the kind of fighter that you can't underestimate. His record and successe gives me more motivation to work hard.

"I will make sure that I'm 100 percent and ready for this fight. We'll find out what happens on July 20, but it's going to be exciting. I like being the underdog for this fight because that gives me more focus in training.

"I've been careless and over confident in some fights, but this time around it's different. Keith Thurman is a good fighter and we're going to make sure the fans are happy on July 20th.

"It's a great honor for me to be fighting back in Las Vegas and on the Fox Sports pay-per-view. I'm going to take advantage of the opportunity.

"I chose Keith Thurman because he's undefeated and I want to prove that at age 40 I can still beat a great fighter like Keith.

"My time is not yet over. My journey is continuing. I'm going to prove that and more on July 20th against Keith Thurman.

"I'm the kind of fighter that I don't talk too much. I do my talking in the ring. I can do a lot of things in that ring. He can prove his words in the ring. I'm going to be a warrior on July 20 and show Keith Thurman what it's like to be in the ring with me.

"I will work hard for this fight. I haven't felt this motivated and excited since the Oscar De La Hoya fight. I feel like I'm back against the best fighters in the world.

"Our focus in every fight is on the speed and footwork, because those are advantages for me. We're going to work on avoiding Keith's offense.

"Fans should watch this fight because it's a once in a lifetime showdown. We're going to bring action and I'm confident I will be victorious."


"We're ready. This is a blessing to be here and a dream come true. I started boxing at the age of seven. I worked hard to be a champion and I've always wanted to fight the greatest names in the sport.

"Pacquiao wants a challenge and I'm very grateful to be sharing a ring with a legend. If you understand boxing history, you know that times change. I believe boxing is in a new era. Come July 20th, Pacquiao will disappear. He'll always be remembered in the sport, but I'm doing to Manny Pacquiao, what he did to Oscar De La Hoya.

"This is a big fight. I've waited 22 months to get back in the game. We had our ups and downs, but Keith Thurman is back on the rise. I'm going to make a big statement.

"This training camp is going to start this Saturday. Once I get home, it's grind time and on July 20, it's going to be my time.

"July 20th is 23 years in the making. I've dedicated myself to this beautiful sport of boxing for so long and my first trainer Ben Getty told me that I had what it takes to be a great champion. I'm truly looking forward to having another chance to show it.

"We definitely had a stretch with a lack of activity. Not everyone knows who Keith Thurman is today. You could see that I wasn't at my best in January. But on July 20th, 'One Time' is back. I'm getting ready to have one of my best training camps for this fight.

"I had the knockdown in my last fight that was a reminder of what 'One Time' is all about. We brushed the dust off and we're taking that momentum into this fight.

"I'm excited to be the guy who shows Manny Pacquiao where the exit is. He's a legend who's done great things. But I've never lost to a fighter who's lost seven times. I have no intention of losing this fight and I don't see him winning in any shape or form.

"Speed, power and overall ring IQ will be the difference. I'm one of the smartest fighters in the sport. I always find a way to win. I know Pacquiao comes in shape, but he's going to fall short of that finish line."


Caleb Plant announces title defense vs. Mike Lee

Caleb Plant announces title defense vs. Mike Lee
Undefeated IBF super middleweight champion Caleb "Sweethands" Plant (pictured) will make the first defense of his title against unbeaten Mike Lee  on Fox and Fox Deportes on Saturday, July 20th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.  The free Fox coverage will precede a pay-per-view event that also takes place at MGM Grand and is headlined by Keith Thurman defending his WBA welterweight championship against boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. To win the title, Plant (18-0, 10 KOs) turned the tables on the hard-hitting Venezuelan slugger Jose Uzcategui in their IBF championship fight in January. Going into the match the consensus was that Uzcategui was the harder puncher and that Plant would have to withstand his power to walk away with the belt. It was the 26-year-old Plant, however, who stunned Uzcategui by dropping him to the canvas twice on the way to a convincing unanimous decision. It was an emotional night for Plant, who is from Ashland City, Tenn. and now lives in Las Vegas. He had dedicated his career-best victory to the memory of his late daughter Alia, who suffered from a rare disorder that caused seizures.
"I'm more than ready to return to the ring on July 20th as the main event at MGM Grand in Las Vegas," said Plant. "I'll be defending my IBF world title in tremendous fashion and this is one fight you guys will not want to miss. I'm taking this fight just as seriously as my last opponent.  
"This guy is undefeated and looking to stay that way, but unfortunately for him, he took on the wrong challenge against the wrong guy. Come July 20th, he'll realize he's in deeper water than he's ever been in. My last fight was for Alia, but this fight I'm dedicating to my beautiful mother Beth Ann. May you Rest in Peace, Love you Momma."
"Caleb Plant put the boxing world on notice with his exciting title-winning performance in January and will look to build on that showing against an unbeaten contender in Mike Lee on July 20th," said promoter Tom Brown. "His first defense of the title will put Plant in primetime on Fox and Fox Deportes in Las Vegas and building up to the Pacquiao vs. Thurman pay-per-view event. With two undefeated fighters going toe-to-toe in this first main event of the evening, fans are in for a memorable night of action."
The 31-year-old Lee (21-0, 11 KOs) graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in business, but decided to pursue his boxing dreams rather than take a job on Wall Street. A native of Wheaton, Illinois who now lives in Chicago, Lee has made a steady climb up the ladder and has been campaigning at light heavyweight. He will be moving down to super middleweight to challenge for his first world championship. Lee is coming off an impressive unanimous decision victory over Jose Hernandez on last June 8.
"I've have dreamt of the opportunity to fight for a world title for years," said Lee. "All the years of hard work, pain and sacrifice have led me to this moment. On July 20 I will be victorious and prove everyone wrong that didn't believe I was good enough to even get here. 
"When I spent almost two years in and out of hospitals battling an autoimmune disease there were moments I never thought I could get back to this level and there were doctors who told me my fighting days were done. But I have won every fight since and I plan to prove that anything is possible if you want it bad enough. I could not have done this without my Dad, my advisor Mike Borao and my trainers Jamal Abdullah and Julian Chua." 

Callum Smith title defense added to June 1st MSG show

Callum Smith title defense added to June 1st MSG show
Callum Smith, the WBA super champion and the most legitimate of the world title holders at 168 pounds, will defend against [recycled] Hassan N’Dam on the Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. show at Madison Square Garden in New York on June 1st, live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports Box Office in the UK. Smith (25-0, 18 KOs) captured the WBA title following a stunning seventh-round knockout victory over British rival George Groves in Saudi Arabia last September in the World Boxing Super Series final. N’Dam (37-3, 21 KOs) [is Smith's former sparring partner]. N'dam has operated at world level since landing the WBA interim middleweight title in 2010. He lost on points to Peter Quillin in 2012 with the WBO middleweight crown at stake. A win over Curtis Stevens qualified the Frenchman for a shot at the IBF title in 2015, but he lost to David Lemieux.
In 2017, N’Dam took on London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Ryota Murata for the vacant WBA regular title, which he won via [undeserved] split decision. The pair rematched five months later, again on Japanese soil, where N’Dam was forced into retirement in the seventh round. N'Dam most recently defeated long-time contender Martin Murray via twelve-round majority decision in December.
“I’ve had a good camp and I’m looking forward to walking to the ring as a world champion for the first time in my career,” said Smith. “I worked so hard to get where I am and now the task is to keep hold of my titles and target those big fights. To have my first defence at Madison Square Garden is going to be special and it’s another box ticked for me personally. People call it the Mecca of Boxing and I’ve always seen it as a venue that I’d love to fight at one day. The minute that there was a chance of it happening I pushed to make sure that I could be part of this show.
“N’Dam is a good fighter... He’s only lost to three top fighters and he’s got some great wins on his record. I had him over in England to help me prepare for George Groves so we know each other well. He’s a good mover, has good footwork and can move around the ring pretty well. Experience is on his side and he’s an awkward guy to face. Saying that, he’s definitely a fighter that I should beat and get rid of if I’m on my game.
“I believe that I’m improving all of the time – I’ve even improved since winning the [WBA] title. I believe that I’m the best super middleweight in the world. There’s a few fighters in my division who probably disagree with that and rightly so. If I am the best on the planet then I should be able to get rid of Hassan N’Dam and look good doing it.”
“I am confident I will create a big surprise in New York,” said N’Dam. “It is a true privilege for me to be given the chance to fight at Madison Square Garden for the first time in my life. At this stage of my career this is a beautiful opportunity for me to be able to change division and fight for both the WBA World and WBC Diamond titles.
“I am so pleased and proud for this opportunity to be offered to me and I would like to add that even though the challenge is a big one, this does not affect my focus and my determination. Callum Smith is an excellent boxer with many qualities. As he is tall he can impose his own boxing style on most of his opponents. I have much respect for him both as a boxer and a person. I believe it will be a very tactical fight.
“Being able to say that once in my life I have fought at MSG will be a great pride. Besides, I have the experience of boxing on big shows as I have participated in many and in front of thousands of people. I have always defended my titles abroad and I am used to pressure and know how to handle it.”
“This is a huge platform and one that Callum fully deserves,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “He has established himself as the number one 168 pounder in the World and will prove it at the Mecca of boxing on June 1. N’Dam always brings the action and I believe this will be a high level fight with plenty of fire. The mega fights await Callum and he can’t afford to slip up here, I know him and Joe Gallagher have prepared diligently for this challenge and he will be sending out a statement live on Sky Sports Box Office and DAZN.”
Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing, said: “We’re very excited to add Callum Smith to a huge night at Madison Square Garden. He’s rightly regarded as the world’s best super middleweight after that win over George Groves – and we can showcase more of our best talent on the AJ bill.
“Callum has already been named as a possible opponent for Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and there are massive nights ahead of him if he defeats the proven Hassan N’Dam. It’s going to be an action-packed evening for fight fans as Katie Taylor’s undisputed World title fight and the classy Josh Kelly are also in action before AJ lights up New York in the main event.”
Smith and N’Dam clash on a huge night of action at MSG where Anthony Johua’s World title defence against Andy Ruiz Jr. is supported by Irish sensation Katie Taylor clashing with Delfine Persoon for the undisputed Women’s World Lightweight championship, New Yorker Chris Algieri against Tommy Coyle in a 140-pound showdown and Josh Kelly making his US debut against Philadelphia’s Ray Robinson – with more exciting undercard additions announced this week.

Alantez Fox ends inactivity with win, wants back on fast track

Alantez Fox ends inactivity with win, wants back on fast track
Greg Leon: Congrats on your stoppage victory over Nick Brinson (19-5-2). Can you give us some thoughts on your performance? Alantez Fox: "I heard the commentary on the fight, they gave it a B+ grade and I think that's a pretty good assessment. I got caught with some shots that I didn't need to get caught with, but at the same time, we got the job done. There's always things that we can improve and I'll be right back in the gym. I felt pretty good in there, I felt strong and I don't really think he expected me to be that strong." 
GL: Was there any rust?
AF: "Actually, no. The only thing I really felt was nerves because I hadn't been in the ring for eight months. That was it to be honest."
GL: You had him down in the first round, are you disappointed you didn't make it a very early night?
AF: "I was disappointed only because I kept hurting my right hand. My dad and my coaches kept pressing me to stay on him because he was folding and breaking down. I kept hurting my right hand throughout the fight though, I had some really bad gloves on. That one right hand I actually dropped him with, is what hurt my hand. I had to hit him and back off for a second because of the pain in my hand. I had to let it cool off before I kept going."
GL: How serious is this injury? 
AF: "It's not that serious of a hand injury. I think it was the bad gloves. The wraps were amazing, I just think it was the gloves."
GL: What kind of gloves were they?
AF: "Everlast MX. Me and my brother both don't think those are good gloves. I'm a Grant guy myself."
GL: Will this injury sideline you at all?
AF: "I talked to Lou DiBella and he's going to try to work on names. I'm looking to get at least two more in before the year closes."
GL: The last time you made 160 pounds on the button was in 2017 vs Andrade. In your last two fights you've been 162 1/2 and 163 1/4. Is there going to be any problem getting back down to 160? 
AF: "I'm not that worried. I can't lie, I'm only a little bit worried. The thing is to be given the right amount of time to prepare and focus. If I had eight weeks to do a cut as opposed to two weeks, it would be easy for me."
GL: Do you want to get another fight to get your feet fully under you or are you looking to get back into the fast lane right now?
AF: "I'm ready for the fast lane right now, there's bigger money there and I might as well start my legacy now. I want to get right back in the ring as soon as possible in the biggest possible fight."
GL: That's the fighter in you talking, but if the businessmen behind you decide to get you another fight to not only get you to the fast lane, but keep you there, are you going to be with their program?
AF: "I definitely would because the only thing it's going to do is make me more dangerous when I'm in there with upper echelon guys. If they give me more time to sharpen my tools, it's going to be be a lot worse for a lot of people."
GL: You're not 37 so there shouldn't be any extreme rush.
AF: "Exactly. It's no rush, but at the same time if they want to do the big money fight, I'm with that. If they want to give me something small again and let me sharpen up a little more, then I don't got no problem with that either."
GL: When are you hoping the next one takes place?
AF: "July or August would be great, then I could definitely have enough time to get another one in before the end of the year."
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
AF: "I just want to thank Lou DiBella and Mike Borao for constantly working to get me these opportunities. I want to thank my team, Dream Team Boxing, my team is the dream and my stable is able. Shoutout to Mykal Fox and Greg Outlaw for coming off their victories too. My stable is able. Make sure you follow me on all social media @slyazafox"

Still too soon to judge Deontay's legacy

Still too soon to judge Deontay's legacy
You really can’t judge a boxer until his career is all said and done.  Before Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) beat Sonny Liston in 1964, most people wouldn’t have guessed that he would go on to be “The Greatest.”  Bernard Hopkins wasn’t considered a future Hall of Famer till he defeated Felix Trinidad.  And it wasn’t until the later part of his career, after many years in the trenches, that the public began to give Lennox Lewis his just due.  Now, I’m not about to put Deontay Wilder in the same category as those guys just yet, but hear me out on this one.  When I first became aware of Wilder, he was about 27-0 with 27 knockouts.  My first thought was that he was probably an overhyped fighter with a padded record.  When he beat Bermane Stiverne over twelve rounds for the WBC title, I was impressed that he went the distance effectively, given the fact that he had never gone past four rounds before.  Watching him struggle with Artur Szpilka, I could see his limitations, as well as his deadly power.  Against Luis Ortiz, his fundamental flaws were once again revealed, but he responded to the situation with a strong will to win.  Tyson Fury handled Wilder with relative ease, but Wilder retaliated by knocking him down twice.  In twenty years, I think people will look back and say that Wilder was that heavyweight champion who could be out-boxed by an ordinary fighter, but it was just a matter of time before he caught them.
A lot of boxing people are critical of Wilder’s technique, because he throws wild punches and because he can’t seem to solve even the simplest puzzle in front of him.  I’m sure a lot of trainers look at what they see and believe they could improve his boxing abilities.  But it might be that the way he fights is what’s best for him.  If he took a more patient and scientific approach, he might not be as effective as he is.  Maybe his faults are a blessing in disguise?  Based on everything I’ve seen, I give him the benefit of the doubt.  These knockouts aren’t happening by accident.  Before last weekend, he said he was going to take care of business with Dominic Breazeale in dramatic fashion and that’s exactly what he did.  Deontay Wilder seems to me like a man who has control of his destiny.  His record is now 41-0-1, 40 KOs, and he does it all with power and spirit.  I must say that I’m a big fan.  He’s exactly the kind of guy who can bring heavyweight boxing back.  I don’t like the showboating or some of the comments he makes, but when it comes down to it, I think he’s a decent person outside the ring.
Wilder has made such a strong impression that people are comparing him to heavyweight champions of the past.  While he has yet to cement his legacy as a great heavyweight champion, he can’t be completely discredited when these discussions come up.  Deontay Wilder vs. Mike Tyson would be a fearsome fight for as long as it lasted.  It’s easy to say that Tyson would tear him up, but we don’t know that for sure.  At this point, you have to figure that Lennox Lewis would beat Wilder, though he would have to be very careful.  What about Wilder against Wladimir Klitschko?  Klitschko was a more skillful and intelligent fighter, but Wilder has a much stronger hunger for combat.  These would all be great matchups.  The fight I’m dying to see, like everyone else, is Deontay Wilder vs Anthony Joshua.  As much praise as I give Wilder, I would still favor Joshua to win.  At some point, Wilder’s attributes won’t be enough to make the difference in a close fight.  My opinion is that Joshua has enough skills and experience to come out on top, but it’s not a forgone conclusion.  Anything could happen in that fight. 
I’m a fan of the sweet science, and I admire fighters who can hit and not get hit, but I also love drama.  Deontay Wilder brings drama and he’s great for boxing.  He’s a gladiator in the purest sense, and it’s fighters like him that drew me to this sport.
Doveed Linder is the author of RINGSIDE: INTERVIEWS WITH 24 FIGHTERS AND BOXING INSIDERS, a trilogy of books, each consisting of 24 in depth interviews with various fighters, trainers, corner men, promoters, commentators, and officials, including “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Roy Jones, Jr., Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, Kathy Duva, Angelo Dundee, Bob Arum, Emanuel Steward, Larry Merchant, Lou DiBella, Ann Wolfe, Joe Souza, J Russell Peltz, Gerry Cooney, Leon Spinks, Al Bernstein, Naazim Richardson, Harold Lederman, George Chuvalo, Steve Smoger, Winky Wright, Ronnie Shields, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Duane Ford, and Jackie Kallen.  The foreword for the first RINGSIDE book was written by Boxingtalk publisher Greg Leon, and is available on

Three-Time Olympian Anvar Yunusov headlines Philly show

Three-Time Olympian Anvar Yunusov headlines Philly show

Three-Time Olympian Anvar Yunusov will take on Angel Luna in a eight-round featherweight bout that will headline a night of boxing on Saturday, June 22nd at The 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. The show is promoted by King's Promotions in association with Titans Boxing Promotions. Yunosuv, who represented Tajikistan in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics, now resides in Philadelphia, and has record of 7-0 with three knockouts.Luna of Yamasa, Dominican Republic has a record of 11-5-1 with six knockouts. In an eight-round co-feature, Philadelphia junior welterweight Milton Santiago Jr. (17-0, 3 KOs) takes on Argentina's Ruben Lopez (12-14-4, 5 KOs).

The 32 year-old Yunusov is coming off a eight-round unanimous decision over Carlos Colon (5-1) on March 29th in Philadelphia.  Yunusov also has a fourth-round stoppage over Mike Oliver.

Luna, 29, is an eight-year professional has a win over previously undefeated Jose Lopez (15-0-1).  Luna was stopped in his bout by Jean Carlos Rivera on July 14, 2018 in New Orleans.

Santiago, now 22 years-old, turned professional at the age of 17 after receiving a special waiver to turn pro.  Santiago had an amateur record of 184-12 ,and won a staggering 59 tournaments. Santiago is coming off a six-round unanimous decision over Jorge Luis Munguia on May 11, 2018 at The 2300 Arena.

Lopez Santa Fe, Argentina has a record of 12-14-4 with five knockouts. The 36 year-old is an eight-year professional. Lopez  has a wins over previously undefeated Diego Baez (5-0).  Lopez is coming off a decision loss to Frank De Alba on May 3rd in Bethlehem, PA.

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.

Clarence Booth (17-4, 9 KOs) of Saint Petersburg, FL fights Gabor Gorbics (26-17, 16 KOs) of Budapest Hungary in a welterweight fight.

In six-round bouts:

James Martin (4-0) of Philadelphia fights Kashon Hutchinson (4-5, 1 KO) of Reading, PA in a welterweight contest.

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 Zoltan Horvath (2-1, 1 KO) of Szekesfeherver, Hungary in a bantamweight bout.

Romuel Cruz (3-0-1, 1 KO) of Philadelphia takes on Jonathan Conde (1-2, 1 KO) of Miami, Florida in a featherweight bout.

Tickets can be purchased at  


For More information and credentials, Please contact: Marc Abrams at or 856 287 7611 



Algieri hopes win over Coyle leads to date with Hooker

Algieri hopes win over Coyle leads to date with Hooker
Ex-WBO 140-pound title holder Chris Algieri hopes that a win over Brit Tommy Coyle at Madison Square Garden in New York on June 1st will move him a step closer to a shot at getting his title back (the WBO title is now held by Maurice Hooker. Algieri (23-3, 8 KOs) knows that a win could land him the opportunity to reclaim his title.
The New Yorker, who is promoted by Star Boxing, won his title by battling back from a pair of first-round knockdowns to outbox and upset Ruslan Provodnikov in 2014. He vacated his belt when he stepped up to welterweight to face modern legend Manny Pacquiao in a losing effort later that year. "Winning this fight, which is all that me and my team plan on doing, puts us in a very good position for some of the top guys in the division," said Algieri. "Potentially a world title fight with the current WBO champion Maurice Hooker who holds the title that I never lost in the ring. That's what I have in my sights. I still feel like part of that belt is mine. That's not to take anything away from the current champion Hooker, he earned it and he fought his ass off to get to the position that he's in. I feel like I need another crack at that title because essentially part of it is me."
Coyle (25-4, 12 KOs) produced a typically bullish performance as he outfought Ryan Kielczweski over ten rounds on his American debut in Boston in October last year. Coyle is renowned for his toughness but Algieri says he is prepared to take the Hull fighter into the trenches to get the win next week. "You know what you're going to get with Tommy Coyle. He's going to come over here in great shape and give it his all. He's a tough guy and he comes to fight. He's a blood and guts kind of guy, a kind of guy that I can get excited for. This is going to be a fun fight to watch and it's going to be a fun fight to be in!
"You've got a guy like him who's going to come forward. He's going to be throwing and he's going to be fighting and he's going to be hungry. Then you've got a guy like me who's a master boxer who's going to go out there and use his skills. At the same time, I've shown my ability to be tough, I've shown my ability to be gritty, and when I need that I can always tap into it."
Algieri and Coyle clash on a huge night of action at MSG where Anthony Johua's WBA/WBO/IBF heavyweight title defense against Andy Ruiz Jr. is supported by Katie Taylor clashing with Delfine Persoon for the undisputed Women's world lightweight championship, Callum Smith defending his WBA super middleweight titles against Hassan N'Dam and Josh Kelly making his US debut against Philadelphia's Ray Robinson - with more exciting undercard additions announced this week. 

Raquel Miller Beasting Her Way Into Title Picture

Raquel Miller Beasting Her Way Into Title Picture
Greg Leon: Congrats on your victory over Erin Toughill (7-5-1). Can you give us some thoughts on your performance? Raquel Miller: "Thank you I thought I had a solid performance, I had fun in there, I was relaxed, I went in there and boxed and had some fun. I got to bang a couple of rounds, I had some fun in there." GL: This was your first knockout in a couple of years. How did it feel to get somebody out of there inside the distance? RM: "It was fun, it was definitely good. I was shocked honestly, because I dropped her right after the opening bell and it took us both down. It was a good fight. She was game and came to fight, she had her moments in the fight, but I had fun in there though."
GL: What do you want this win to lead to?
RM: "A world title fight. I'm definitely checking for Maricela Cornejo [first]. She said I'm scared so let's make it happen. I'm talking to my team and it's a fight that makes sense for us, so it's onward and upward. We're excited, we're ready, we're working, we're in the gym and there isn't a better time to make it happen."
GL: How does a fight with you and Cornejo play out?
RM: "I'm going to stop her if she gets in that ring with me. It's going to be a fun fight, I'm going to enjoy it, but I'm getting in Cornejo's ass if she gets in that ring with me."
GL: Cornejo went the distance with Toughill, does it give you an extra sense of satisfaction knowing that you got her out of there inside the distance?
RM: "I tend to think that styles make fights, I'm not a person who looks at 'this person did that against that person.' I just believe that styles make fights and I just brought my A game to Toughill and I don't really worry about their fight. I just know that when I get in there with Cornejo, my hand is going to be raised in victory."
GL: What did you think of Claressa Shields' win over Christina Hammer?
RM: "I thought that it was a good fight, I thought that it was entertaining, I think that Christina Hammer is very talented, Claressa is talented and I'm looking forward to fighting both of them. When I watched the fight, I learned some things from both sides, but I think it was a tremendous fight for women's boxing and both ladies put on a helluva show."
GL: Did Hammer get exposed as a fighter who could only throw straight punches?
RM: "I think that Hammer hadn't really faced the level of opposition that she was going to face against Shields. I think that showed a lot in the fight, she relied a lot on straight punching in her other victories, but you've got to have more in your arsenal than just straight punches to be able to overcome adversity when you get to that level."
GL: This is boxing so things don't always go as you plan, but if you could write the script would it be Cornejo and then Claressa?
RM: "In a perfect world, I would fight Cornejo next, I would fight [WBA champion] Hanna Gabriels at 154 and take her title and then move up to 160 and take care of Shields."
GL: Would you be disappointed with anything less than a title fight moving forward?
RM: "I'm just going to be thankful for the movement to be honest with you. As women we don't really get that many opportunities, so I'm going to trust my team. Of course I'm very vocal with my team, and active in my career period. If it's not just title fights I'm not going to be super angry, but I do expect to keep taking step up fights against more experienced girls, more game girls. We're here now."
GL: I know it's the day after the fight, but is there any early indication as to when your next fight might take place?
RM: "There's no contract signed, but that is the chatter. There's other women out here who are equally talented to Cornejo. If it's not Cornejo and it's someone else like Tori Nelson or Kali Reiss, I'm happy because I'm going to get that title regardless. There has been some conversation between me and Cornejo and I'm hoping we can definitely make that fight happen for California."
GL: Two more fights before the end of the year?
RM: "Definitely so. I'm just trying to stay active and stay busy because I've got things to do and points to prove, with missions to accomplish."
GL: Gotta stay Pretty, gotta stay Beasting.  Closing thoughts for the fans.
RM: "You know what time it is. I want to thank you guys for supporting me, thank you for following me on this journey. One step up, onward, upward and it's going to be 'and the new' very soon. Thank you for all the support and the love, I appreciate you guys."

Haney:"the other lightweights better catch me now because I am only going to get stronger and faster"

Haney:"the other lightweights better catch me now because I am only going to get stronger and faster"
Devin Haney is ready to take the next step towards his goal of dominating the sport as he prepares to face Antonio Moran at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland on Saturday May 25th. Haney (21-0 13 KOs) went straight into main-event action after he penned a co-promotional deal with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing USA - and the lightweight is planning to put on a display that makes his case for world title credentials on the DAZN broadcast. CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR G. LEON'S INTERVIEW WITH DEVON HANEY.
"The Dream" will have his hands full against Moran (24-3 17 KOs) who was edged out by former two-division champ Jose Pedraza in June, but Moran returned to winning ways in December with a second round KO in Mexico.
Haney sayd he will not let his journey be derailed before he's hit the heights he believes his talent can take him. "There's nothing to stop me from getting to number one, it's just time," said Haney. "Timing is everything and my time is going to come. I am only 20 years old, the other lightweights out there better catch me now because I am only going to get stronger and faster so the top guys need to fight me now.
"Boxing is something that I love so it doesn't feel like a job to me, but the job is not done, I want to be a multi-weight champion and I want to rule the sport as a pound-for-pound star. When I am the face of boxing down the line, who knows what will happen, but right now those big goals are keeping me motivated.
"Getting the fights I want has been a challenge, a lot of guys have turned me down, saying there's no point or not making enough money, so that's been a real challenge. It's me versus me, when I am in the gym I am so far ahead of a lot of guys that it's me challenging myself, pushing myself, seeing how far I can go rather than seeing how far I can outrun another guy - how fast can I push myself?
"The landscape is very interesting right now. A World title is very important to me, over money and anything else, being World champion is the ultimate goal. To be a World ruler at 20 would be history, the youngest in the game. My ring IQ at my age is crazy, I'm able to adapt and adjust, I've been in there with so many great fighters like Floyd Mayweather, Shawn Porter, Amir Khan, and I'm able to adjust.
"When I first met Eddie and the Matchroom Boxing team it felt like the perfect fit. Me and my team spoke with Eddie about what we wanted and we were able to make it fit. Eddie recognizes me as a promoter, they are willing to work with me and build my brand and company at the same time.
"A lot of other promoters didn't recognize me as a promoter, they just wanted to give me money and buy me out. Matchroom Boxing see me as a top fighter that they want to get behind, I would be important elsewhere, but Eddie made it clear that they are going to push me and get behind me."
Haney's clash with Moran is part of a huge night of action in Maryland where rising heavyweight Croatian talent Filip Hrgovic taking on Gregory Corbin on his US debut... more heavyweight interest as Michael Hunter tackles Gregory Corbin... and WBC 140-pound title holder Jessica McCaskill looks to unify the division against WBA champion Anahi Sanchez.

Joshua says he's not overlooking Ruiz

Joshua says he's not overlooking Ruiz
IBF/WBO/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua insists he hasn’t underestimated Andy Ruiz Jr. “one bit” ahead of their title clash at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday June 1, shown live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports Box Office in the UK. Ruiz, a California-based Mexican, is in his second world title tilt, having Joseph Parker to the limit in the Kiwi’s hometown in December 2016, being edged out by the finest of margins via a majority decision for the then-vacant WBO title. Joshua heads into his highly-anticipated US debut as a heavy favourite with many bookies but the British sensation says he is all too aware of the threats posed by his latest challenger, who he feels is deserving of a second World title shot after stepping up to the plate when others shied-away.
“It’s not about what you look like, it’s a craft, a skill, and what’s in your heart and your head matters in the end,” said Joshua. “Andy has shown he has all that, he can fight and box, that’s what matters. I think Andy is a great challenger and will bring it on June 1.
“All I’ve heard is ‘AJ will smash him in a round’. From the outside they think that anyone can box, so how is the guy that doesn’t look like a fighter able to box? I always say that if you put ten bodybuilders in the ring, not one of them could fight for a regional title in boxing.
“Take me out of my body but keep the same attributes and height, same jab, same chin, same heart and same mind, but I looked different – I’d still get to the same position I am in because it’s what is within you that makes a champion, your genetics, and his genetics are the same – and he took the fight!
“He’s keen, he’s game and you cannot knock him. He can fight and he’s got hands. He gave a World Champion in Joseph Parker lots of problems, and when you look at the fight the Parker gave Whyte when people are saying Whyte can beat Wilder, Fury and me, Andy is championship level for sure, and I have not underestimated him one bit.”
Joshua and Ruiz clash on a huge night of action at MSG with Irish sensation Katie Taylor clashing with Delfine Persoon for the undisputed women’s world lghtweight championship; New Yorker Chris Algieri against Tommy Coyle at 140 pounds; and Josh Kelly making his US debut against Philadelphia’s Ray Robinson – with more exciting undercard additions announced this week.

Thurman-Pacquiao tickets on sale

Thurman-Pacquiao tickets on sale
Boxing's only eight-division champion, Philippine Senator Manny "Pac Man" Pacquiao (pictured) returns to challenge Keith "One Time" Thurman for Thurman's WBA welterweight super championship in a pay-per-view event on Saturday, July 20th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. [While the other pay-per-view bouts have not yet been announced,] preceding the pay-per-view is a Fox PBC Fight Night at the same venue headlined by undefeated IBF super middleweight champion Caleb "Sweet Hands'' Plant making his first title defense against unbeaten Mike Lee. Tickets for the event, which is promoted by MP Promotions, Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased online through, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts International box office.
Possessing speed, power and tremendous boxing skills, Thurman represents the most dangerous challenger that the future Hall of Famer Pacquiao has faced in his recent ring appearances. This high-stakes match will firmly give the winner a claim for the top spot in one of boxing's deepest and most talented divisions.
"Senator Pacquiao is thrilled to be back in 'Viva Las Vegas,' fighting at the best venue for boxing -- the MGM Grand Garden Arena. This is where the Pacquiao vs. Thurman world welterweight championship belongs,'' said Sean Gibbons, President of MP Promotions.  "We're excited to be working with our partners at PBC, Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions. Manny is fighting in the biggest fights on a global scale and it doesn't get any more global than FOX Sports Pay-Per-View. Fans have always enjoyed watching Pacquiao and Thurman compete in the ring and we are confident they will, once again, give boxing fans worldwide everything they're expecting, and more. God bless Manny and Keith for stepping up to give us this fight!'' 
"We're looking forward to working with our partners in bringing yet another blockbuster back home to MGM Grand here in Las Vegas," said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. "This fight is a tremendous opportunity for both guys in terms of where they are in their respective careers. Pacquiao is currently the biggest name in the sport and Thurman is a young skilled undefeated fighter in the prime of his career, making for a compelling matchup. I know both fighters will be ready for the challenge that lies ahead of them come July 20, and I can't wait to see this one go off."
"This will be a sensational matchup between two great fighters and we're looking forward to hosting this championship event at MGM Grand in July," said Richard Sturm, President of Las Vegas Live Entertainment and Sports. "Fans have always enjoyed watching Pacquiao and Thurman compete in the ring and we are confident they will, once again, give boxing fans worldwide everything they're expecting, and more."
"Fox Sports is thrilled to present our second Premier Boxing Champions Pay-Per-View featuring one of boxing's biggest stars, Pacquiao, facing the champion Thurman, who wowed nearly three-million viewers live on Fox in January with his latest title defense," said Bill Wanger, Fox Sports EVP, Programming, Live Operations and Research. "This promises to be a can't miss night of boxing with an unprecedented Fox Sports PBC doubleheader, as we open the evening with the Fox PBC Fight Night, headlined by newly crowned champion Plant defending his title against the undefeated Lee. Plant set the FS1 viewership record for a boxing show in January when he won his title, and we're sure this match up will deliver even bigger audiences leading into the Pacquiao vs. Thurman Pay-Per-View."
A three-time Fighter of the Year and the Boxing Writers Association of America's reigning Fighter of the Decade, Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), who hails from Sarangani Province in the Philippines, is the only sitting Congressman and Senator to win a world title. After serving two terms as Congressman, Pacquiao was elected to a Philippine Senate seat in May 2016, capturing over 16 million votes nationally. Pacquiao's boxing resume features victories over at least seven current and future Hall of Famers, including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez.
In his last match on January 19th, Pacquiao defeated former four-division champion Adrien Broner, scoring a 12-round unanimous decision in the 70th match of his illustrious career. It was his first time fighting in the U.S. in two years. Before that, he scored an impressive knockout over Lucas Matthysse to win his secondary version of the WBA welterweight championship in Malaysia last July 15.
"All my life I have confronted challenges -- in life, in politics, and inside the ring," said Pacquiao.  "Keith Thurman is the type of challenge I crave as a fighter. He is the biggest and best test. That is why I want to fight him. We are going to give boxing fans an exciting fight and a great night." 
The 30-year-old Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) is the longest reigning welterweight champion in boxing, having collected his WBA title with a stoppage victory over Diego Chaves in 2013. He has successfully defended that title eight times and became a unified welterweight champion when he defeated Danny Garcia by split decision to win the WBC title. Plagued by a litany of injuries, including bone chips in his right elbow that had to be surgically removed, Thurman was out of action for nearly two years before getting back into the ring with a hard fought victory against Josesito Lopez in January on FOX. 
Having taken up the sport when he was in grade school, the Clearwater, Florida native blossomed under the tutelage of his first trainer, Ben Getty, to become an outstanding amateur. Though Getty has passed away, Thurman still carries those boxing and life lessons with him whenever he steps into the ring with his current longtime trainer Dan Birmingham. His power punching earned him the nickname "One Time.'' 
"I'm extremely excited for this opportunity to get a fight that I've wanted for a long time,'' said Thurman. "The right circumstances have aligned for it to happen now and I'm grateful for that. Me and my team are looking forward to it. It's going to be an honor to be in the ring with Manny Pacquiao. It's going to be fun to go back to MGM Grand in my first pay-per-view with FOX Sports. I believe that Ben Getty would be very proud of what I've been able to accomplish. He said I'd be able to dominate the welterweight division and be a multi-million-dollar fighter and a star in the sport.
"Manny Pacquiao is beatable. He's been beaten before in his career. He's a fan favorite and a legend. For me his boxing tactics are predictable. He fights in spurts and you have to take advantage of that. You have to be respectful of his power. But I believe my movement, athleticism and ring knowledge will be able to present him something he's not seen in all his years of boxing.''

So Paulie is actually going through with this bare knuckles boxing thing

So Paulie is actually going through with this bare knuckles boxing thing
Former boxing champion Paulie "The Magic Man" Malignaggi (pictured) and UFC veteran Artem "The Russian Hammer" Lobov went face-to-face Monday at a heated press conference in New York to promote their bare knuckles fight on Saturday, June 22nd, a pay-per-view event from Florida State Fairgrounds Entertainment Hall in Tampa, Fla. [NOTE: What the press release does not tell you is that Malignaggi spit in Lobov's face]. Also squaring off Monday before they battle on BKFC 6 were UFC veteran Chris Leben and longtime Bellator standout Brennan Ward. The June 22nd show will also feature Reggie Barnett against Johnny Bedford in a showdown for the BKFC Lightweight Championship. Here is what the press conference participants had to say Monday:
"I've always been known as one of the toughest guys in boxing. Lobov is known as a punching bag with a loud mouth.
"If I had it my way, I'd knock him out in the last round. I want to pummel him from start to finish. He's going to come out trying hard, and then he's going to get gun shy. He's going to hesitate to even take a step.
"I'm always looking for my next challenge. I wasn't planning on this, but it was sold to me, and it appealed to me. Artem is a punching bag and I usually hit that for free.
"I never lie, because I don't have to fear anyone. You only lie because you're afraid. Why are Lobov and his team lying? You know why. I don't care what they think. I'm going to put this guy out next month.
"As I train, I realize that my hands are like razor blades. Get a good look at Lobov's face, because next month I'm going to make it look like a road map with lines all over it."
"I feel I have the upper hand in this fight. With age, it's easier to get knocked out. He's never hurt anybody in the ring, so it's going to be a bad matchup for him.
"I see me stopping him. He doesn't want it anymore. In order to be a fighter and really compete, you have to have the fire. His fire is long gone.
"My strategy is to come in there and shove my fist down his throat. It's personal now with the way he's been talking and acting. I'm going to put him away.
"Paulie likes to hide behind the jab and feint. He never lets his hands go. He just hides and tries to make it to the end of the fight.
"I'm going to let it all go in that ring on June 22nd. I'm going to be the Russian Hammer from the start until the finish. I want to meet him in the ring and put him away like true warriors do.
"I never wrap my hands. Not when I spar, not when I hit the bag or anything. It's made them tougher. They may not look pretty, but they do a lot of damage.
"It's game over for Paulie. I heard he's known as the Magic Man, but I just hope he doesn't disappear before the fight."
"Bare knuckle is definitely an exciting sport. It's all of the good stuff. Two guys going toe-to-toe. It's what I do best and it puts me in a dangerous position to hurt my opponents. When I first saw BKFC I felt like this sport was made for me.
"You can't really cover up without the glove as a shield in bare knuckle, so it changes how you defend. But it also changes how you hit and where your range is at.
"I think this sport was made for me and it's going to show in the fight. We're both heavy hitters. Brennan will be my toughest BKFC opponent to date and I'm not taking him lightly. I'm riding a resurgence and it's not going to stop.
"I'm pulling out all the stops and doing everything I can to prepare. Because on June 22, I'm knocking him out."
"Training camp has been going great. I'm really excited because I've been waiting to do a bare knuckle fight for a while. I knew right away that this was for me.
"I think I have a great skillset for bare knuckle. I'm quick and quick on my feet. I'm strong and have heavy hands. I'm able to brawl or box.
"It's basically a normal training camp for me, but with more boxing than ever. I've always boxed a lot anyway, so it's something that's come natural for me.
"I'm a different fighter than who Leben has fought in BKFC. This sport is so well-suited for me. I just want to brawl. I wasn't as into the other disciplines in MMA, so when BKFC came around, I was ready to sign on.
"I think I'm going to be a force to be reckoned with at BKFC. I'm going to find a nice home and do work in the ring."
DAVID FELDMAN, BKFC Founder & President
"This event is getting the kind of coverage it truly warrants. This is going to be a stacked pay-per-view event from top to bottom.
"The main event here is a highly anticipated battle. This is the biggest bare knuckle fight in history.
"We're really happy with what we've been able to build. If you've seen any of our events, you know that it's non-stop action from the start. We're proud of what we've delivered to fight fans.
"People originally said that Artem had no chance against Paulie, but once they saw Artem in his first BKFC fight, fans can see that this might be tougher than anticipated. This is different than boxing and different than MMA. Getting hit with that bare knuckle is different than anything you've experienced before.
"I'm so excited to bring this fight to Florida and bring this fight to their fans. June 22 live on pay-per-view, this is one you surely do not want to miss."

Introducing Olympic hopeful Keyshawn Davis

Introducing Olympic hopeful Keyshawn Davis
Team USA lightweight Keyshawn Davis has been preparing all of his young life to represent his country in the Olympics. If everything goes as planned and remains on schedule, the Norfolk, Virginia native will be boxing for gold next year in Japan [assuming boxing continues as an Olympic sport]. The 20-year-old Davis, who sports a 110-15 amateur record, is racking up medals at such a torrid pace that he desperately needs to expand his display case. He is a two-time Elite National (2017-18) and two-time National PAL (2013-14) champion, as well as a gold medalist at the 2017 Eastern Elite Qualifier, 2017 Youth Open and 2017 National Golden Gloves.
Internationally, he's done some serious damage, too. The highlight of his amateur career, to date, is winning gold at last year's Strandja Tournament in Bulgaria. Davis recently captured silver at the 2019 Pan-American Games Qualifier in Nicaragua, in addition to the 2018 Chemistry Cup in Germany.
"I won my first International gold medal in Bulgaria," Davis agreed with it being the highlight of his amateur career. "I was also selected as the Most Outstanding Boxer."
His victory at the 2018 USA Nationals qualified him for the 2020 Olympic Trials for Boxing, while his silver at the Pan American Games Qualifier qualified him for the Pan American Games (July 27-August 2) in Lima, Peru. This year he will also be competing at the Elite Men's World Championships (Sept. 7-21) in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
"Qualifying for the Olympic Trials really wasn't much of an accomplishment for me because it was expected," Davis noted. "For me it was to get on Team USA, again and this is my second year on the team.
"There's no real competition for me to qualify for the USA Olympic Boxing Team. My last fight in The Nationals was a little bit of a challenge (vs. Dalis Kaleiopu), because I slipped and got up."
At the Pan American Games, Davis could very well face the Cuban boxer who defeated him by a score of 3-2 at the Pan American Games Qualifier, Andy Cruz, setting up a possible rubber match between the two elite boxers next year at the Olympic Games.
"There's a very good chance we'll fight again at the Pan-Am Games, most likely in Japan, as well," Davis added. "We have to win two rounds to qualify for the finals and for me to get my revenge. Cruz has a lot more International experience than I do. He's 26 years old and World Champion in our weight class."
 Davis started boxing when he was nine when, tired of Keyshawn and his two brothers fighting each other and in school, his mother asked if they wanted to go to the gym to learn how to box. They did and today, his older (Kelvin) and younger (Keon) brothers are also amateur boxers.
Not long after that he met Troy Isley, who is a fellow member of Team USA, and today they're as close as brothers.
"I met Troy way back, after I first started boxing," Davis remembered. "We'd meet up at the Nationals and other tournaments and hang together with my brothers. My coach retired, so I went to Troy's gym (Alexandria, VA) and started working with Coach Kay (Koroma, USA Assistant National Boxing Coach). We're getting close to our dream (representing the USA in the Olympics) that started so long ago that it seems unreal to be getting close. You can expect two boxers from Virginia to come back from Japan with gold medals. We're like brothers."
"Coach Kay first cornered me when I was 13. He's a great coach who wants us to succeed in life, not just in the ring. He wants the best for us. We have one of the best U.S. boxing teams in a long time and it's going to show in Japan. We always help each other out and this is a very exciting time for us right now."
Another close friend of Keyshawn's is, 2018 Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson, who has been through what Keyshawn is approaching, and is now at the level as a professional prospect in which Davis aspires to reach.
"Shakur has always supported me," Davis continued. "We talk a lot. Honestly, it's hard for me not to think about turning pro, because my amateur career will be over after the Olympics. I've always been taught to have a plan, so I've been preparing, business-wise, looking into my options (manager and promoter), and to stay on the right track from the amateurs to pros."
If he wasn't a boxer, Davis figures he'd be a realtor, but he's thoroughly enjoying the life as a boxer.
"This has been a great experience," Davis spoke about his amateur boxing career, "especially this year getting ready for the Pan AMs. I've had opportunities to travel and meet people, but the best part is being part of a team like this. Boxing is an individual sport but, outside the ring, we're always pushing hard for each other.
"I thank God every day when I get up for putting me in this position. All I want to do is provide for me and my family. At my age, I'm ahead of the game."

Ghana boxer gets Scotland assignment

Ghana boxer gets Scotland assignment

According to Ghana Web, Ghanaian welterweight Justice Addy (16-5-1) has booked his trip to Livingston, Scotland to face comebacking Lee McAllister on June 15th. McAllister (35-3) had his last significant fight in 2012, a loss to Denis Shafikov. McAllister got an easy win in 2013 but hasn't fought since and is now age 37. Addy's last fight was a loss to Joseph Lamptey in December for Ghana's lightweight championship.


Late results: Duno wins in Indio, California

Late results: Duno wins in Indio, California
Romero Duno W9 Juan A. Rodriguez... Filipino lightweight "Ruthless" Romero Duno (20-1, 15 KOs) defeated Mexico's Juan Antonio "Mozo" Rodriguez (30-8, 26 KOs) via ninth-round technical split decision on Thursday in Indio, California. Duno won with scores of 85-84 and 86-83, while one judge scored the fight 85-84 for Rodriguez. "The referee asked me if I could see," said Rodriguez. "I said that it was hard for me to see, so they stopped the fight. I didn't have enough time to prepare, but that doesn't affect what happened. After all the head-butts and low blows, I guess the better man won."
Manny Robles III W10 Rigoberto Hermosillo... In the co-feature at the Fantasy Springs Casino, Los Angeles featherweight Manny "Chato" Robles III (18-0, 8 KOs) defeated Rigoberto Hermosillo (11-1-1, 8 KOs) of Mexico via majority decision in a ten-round slugfest. Robles won with scores of 97-92 and 96-93, while one judge scored it 95-94 for Hermosillo. "Rigoberto Hermosillo was a tough opponent," said Manny Robles III. "I take my hat off to him. But I felt I got the victory. I landed harder shots, and I landed more throughout the fight. I was smarter in there than he was."
Genaro "El Conde" Gamez (9-0, 6 KOs) of San Diego, Calif. beat Daniel Evangelista (20-10-2, 16 KOs) of Mexico City, in the first round of an eight-round junior welterweight fight. Gamez won via knockout with time 2:43 of the aforementioned round. Gamez said afterwards,  "I feel excited. I got the knockout. We don't usually go for it but we got it. Of course I can still make 135 if there's a championship fight. There were personal things in the past, and that's why I was inactivate. But that's behind me, and I'm coming back stronger."
Carlos "The Solution" Morales (18-4-3, 7 KOs) of Los Angeles, Calif. defeated Pedro Navarrete (30-24-3, 19 KOs) of San Diego, Calif. via knockout in a scheduled eight-round lightweight bout. Morales stopped Navarrete at 2:02 of the fifth round.
Sean "Sugar Rush" Garcia (4-0, 2 KOs) of Victorville, Calif. scored a second-round technical knockout victory against Martin Cardona (26-20, 18 KOs) of Tucson, Arizona in a featherweight battle. The fight was stopped at the end of the aforementioned round after Cardona refused to leave his stool to continue. "This is great. I've been waiting for this moment for a long time," said Sean Garcia. "I'm ready for a promoter to take my career to the next level."
Mexico's Dihul Olguin (14-12-3 9 KOs) defeated Tenochtitlan "T-Dog" Nava (7-2, 1 KOs) of Los Angeles, Calif. via majority decision in a six-round super featherweight fight. Olguin won with scores of 56-58 and 55-59, while one judge scored it a 57-57 draw. Olguin said later, "I won this fight with a broken hand. I'm proud that I could get the win with just one hand."
Kevin Anton (1-0, 1 KOs) of Palmdale, Calif. defeated Lashawn Alcocks (1-6) of Queens, New York via knockout in the second round of a welterweight fight.  "It feels amazing to make my pro debut," said Kevin Anton. "It's been a long time coming. We're finally here, and we're going to make some noise. source for all results: golden boy press release