Stevenson, Navarrete vacate WBO titles to move up

Stevenson, Navarrete vacate WBO titles to move up
New Jersey's Shakur Stevenson and Mexico's Emanuel Navarrete have officially vacated their WBO championships and requested to become number one ranked challengers in their new weight divisions. [Both boxers are promoted by Top Rank which enjoys a close relationship with the WBO and Top Rank boxers will be heavily involved in fighting for the vacant titles]. Shakur won the vacant WBO featherweight championship last October, defeating Joet González by unanimous decision. On July 7th, Shakur wrote to the WBO to notify this sanctioning body that he was having serious difficulties making the division’s 126-pound limit. Because of this, he decided to move up in weight and requested to be ranked in the junior lightweight (130-pound) division, where Jamel Herring [also promoted by Top Rank] is the current WBO ruler.
 
WBO President Francisco Valcárcel Mulero, Esq. said that Shakur will become the number one challenger at 130 pounds. “I look forward in the very near future to fighting for another championship within the WBO,” Stevenson, silver medalist in the 2016 Olympic Games said in his e-mail to the WBO.
 
Meanwhile, Navarrete’s advisor, Guillermo Brito Rodríguez wrote to the WBO on July 11th to notify that Navarrete was relinquishing his WBO 122-pound title and moving up to the featherweight division for similar reasons. Navarrete was crowned WBO 122-pound champion in December 2018 with a unanimous decision victory over then-undefeated titlist Isaac Dogboe, of Ghana. He then knocked Dogboe out in the immediate rematch. In total, Navarrete successfully defended his crown five times.
 
In his email, Brito Rodríguez requested that Navarrete be named the top challenger at his new division, the 126-pound class vacated by Stevenson.
 
Regarding Navarrete, Valcárcel said that he will also be ranked number one contender and could face the highest available contender for the vacant title. He mentioned Irish Olympian Michael Conlan, former title holder Jesse Magdaleno, and Rubén Villa as possible opponents.
 
 
 

Austin Trout lands legal blow vs. WBO

Austin Trout lands legal blow vs. WBO
Austin Trout won a legal victory over the WBO, but in boxing terms, Trout won a round, with the fight still very much up for grabs. On Friday, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Puerto Rico, where the WBO is based, ruled that Trout will not yet be forced to go to private arbitration with his claims against the WBO.  Trout is suing the WBO for bypassing him for a vacant title shot back in 2015. When the WBO stripped Demetrius Andrade that year, it gave the title shot to lower-ranked Liam Smith and dropped Trout from the ratings. Smith wound up gettting an easy title against John Thompson, which lead to a huge payday vs. Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in 2016.
 
Trout sued, but the WBO sought to force Trout to arbitration instead of a lawsuit. But in Friday's ruling, Trout convinced the First Circuit that the WBO's arbitration rules are unfair because they allow the WBO choose the arbitrators. The court wrote, "Trout contends -- correctly -- that this provision grants the WBO exclusive control over the appointment of the arbitrators who will decide his claims. Under its plain terms, the WBO could even appoint its own employees -- including direct aides to the head of the WBO -- to the arbitration panel with no input from Trout. In consequence, Trout argues that the arbitration agreement does not provide him with a fair opportunity to pursue either his claim under the Muhammad Ali Act or his [other] claims under Puerto Rico law because the arbitrator, in virtue of the method of selection, would be inherently biased."
 
The next step is for Trout to go back to the District of Puerto Rico, where the lower court will decide whether there should be some other form of arbitration (where the WBO does not get to choose the arbitrators) or if Trout can ultimately have his day in federal court. There was no ruling on the merits of Trout's claim that he was entitled to fight for the vacant WBO championship instead of Smith or Thompson.
 
Here is the history of the  dispute:  
 
In 2015, after being excluded from the vacant WBO title bout, Trout sued the WBO in New Mexico (where Trout lives), alleging that the WBO's decision to remove him from its rankings cost him a chance to pursue a junior middleweight championship. The complaint included a claim under the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, as well as claims under Puerto Rico law for breach of contract, fraud, and negligence.
 
The WBO removed the case from New Mexico state court to United States federal court in the District of New Mexico and then, pursuant to a clause in the WBO's Championship Regulations, successfully moved to transfer the case to the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, where the WBO is based. That happened in 2017. Once the case was in Puerto Rico, the WBO moved to compel arbitration pursuant to another clause in the Championship Regulations. The District Court granted the motion and dismissed Trout's claims but allowed him to go to arbitration. Trout did not want to go to arbitration, so he appealed to the First Circuit, which granted his appeal.

Twitter Chatter: Carlos Takam

Twitter Chatter: Carlos Takam
Heavyweight Carlos Takam on Thursday's short-notice win over Jerry Forrest: "Friends.. that was physically a tough fight. Short notice is never ideal but staying ready and focused got me through and now we move on. I give my thanks to all involved and God bless you all."
 

A look back at the 43-0 career of Thailand's Samson Dutch Boy Gym

A look back at the 43-0 career of Thailand's Samson Dutch Boy Gym

A look back at the 43-0 career of Thailand's Samson Dutch Boy Gym
Born in July 1972 in Roi-Et in the northeastern part of Thailand, the boxer who came to be known as Samson Dutch Boy Gym was born with the name is Somboon Phantasi. It is common in Thailand for professional boxers to take ring names to honor the gyms they represent, or in exchange for money from a sponsor. While he is mainly known as Samson Dutch Boy Gym, the Southpaw-Puncher also fought as Samson Elite Gym, Samson 3K Battery, Samson Toyota-Thailand and a few other names. As is the case with most boxers from Thailand, Samson started out as a Muay Thai boxer, gaining a lot of ring experience and fame fighting as Saengmuangnoi Lukchapormasak (we will let this be the first and only time this name is used in this article).
 
Only 19 years old but with countless Muay thai battles and championships under his belt, Samson turned to traditional boxing and made his professional debut in February 1992, stopping curiously named Filipino Young Elmer in the first round. For some reason it would be over two years before Samson continued his boxing career, as he knocked out another Filipino, Edwin Casano, in the second round in May1994, but his return would be the start of a truly amazing journey. He was now on a fast track.
 
In June of 1994, in only his third pro fight, Samson stepped significantly up in class when he took on world-ranked Philippines champion Dan Nietes (26-6-1) in a ten rounder. Samson showed his great potential by beating Nietes by unanimous decision. His celebrity status growing, the management of Samson wasted no time in capitalizing on the Nietes victory and secured their man a September shot at the vacant WBF 115-pound title in Bangkok, against Australian champion Colin “Kid” Nelson. Samson repaid his handlers by dominating and stopping Nelson.
 
Over the course of the next two years, Samson was kept incredibly busy and defended his WBF title belt fifteen times, almost always winning by knockout. It must me said that some of the challengers were, to put it mildly, less than scary, but he also took care of quality fighters such as former WBC champion Rolando Pascua, future South African titlists Ndoda Mayende and Sandile Sobandla, undefeated Mexican contender Genaro Garcia and former world title-challenger Francisco Montiel.
 
In November 1996 Samson was pitted with Russian Alexander Makhmutov, who brought a 26-3 ledger and had lost a twelve round decision to another undefeated Thai world champion, WBA ruler Saen Sor Ploenchit, only two months earlier. Now 19-0, Samson got the job done in six rounds. Makhmutov would later win the European title twice.
 
Despite competing in a division where it is hard to get steady top-class opposition, Samson continued to fight often and always defending his WBF belt. He continued to face the occasional push-over, but he also took on true world class challengers whenever it was possible:   
 
In March 1997 Samson destroyed Mexican Cruz Carbajal in four rounds. Five years later, Carbajal won the WBO world title, and made several defenses.
 
In June 1997 Samson defended his title with a sixth-round knockout over Argentinean Hugo R. Soto (47-4-2). Less than a year earlier Soto had gone twelve rounds in a losing effort against legendary Johnny Tapia for the WBO bantamweight crown, and less than a year later he would go on to win the WBA flyweight title.
 
On May 8, 2001, Samson was taken the distance for the first time in sixteen straight fights when he outpointed undefeated Filipino Diosdado Gabi (11-0). Gabi went on to fight for world titles again, and retired in 2008 with a 30-4-1 record after sharing the ring with big name world champions such as Vic Darchinyan and Abner Mares.
 
After the Gabi fight, Samson made two more title defenses, which he also won on points. The fact that he was no longer destroying opponents in the same manner that he used to, may have influenced his decision to retire from the sport at only 29 years of age shortly after beating Alfren Bulala in April 2002.
 
Undefeated at 43-0 with 36 KOs, and with thirty-eight successful defenses of his WBF world title, the career of Samson Dutch Boy Gym must be considered a success depite no major title fights. It can be argued that he was protected by only boxing in his home country, sometimes against undeserving challengers, but at the end of the day his accomplishments speak for themselves.
 
 
 

Brad Foster retains British title

Brad Foster retains British title
Brad Foster W12 James Beech Jr. ... In the first British boxing show since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Brad Foster defended his British and Commonwealth super bantamweight championship with a unanimous decision victory over James Beech Jr.  The big story is that the 22 year-old Foster (13-0-2) has been working night shifts in a supermarket during the pandemic. Beech is now 12-1. source: bbc
 
Hamzah Sheeraz TKO6 Paul Kean... British junior middleweight Hamzah Sheeraz (11-0) scored a quick first-round knockdown on the way to another technical knockout victory. Sheeraz dominated Paul Kean (12-2) before Kean's corner ended the bout after six rounds. source: frank warren twitter
 

 

Haney leaning towards Campbell, not Tagoe, for his next fight

Haney leaning towards Campbell, not Tagoe, for his next fight
Devin “The Dream” Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) is awaiting the announcement of this next fight. I’m excited to get back in the ring,” said Haney, who holds the WBC regular title. “This has been the longest time between fights in my career. My body received a well deserved rest. I’m blessed." [Haney's options include a WBC mandatory against Luke Campbell and a WBO eliminator against Emmanuel Tagoe, but based on the following quote, it looks like he's taking on Campbell next:] "Vasyl Lomachenko [who holds the WBC, WBA and WBO championships] is a true professional and considered to be a top five pound-for-pound champion. I challenged him for the WBC lightweight world title and I didn’t get the big fight I wanted, but I got the belt I deserved by stopping Zaur Abdullaev and becoming Lomachenko’s mandatory challenger to the lightweight world title. Ironically, the big fight never happened because Lomachenko and Top Rank petitioned the WBC not to fight me and award him the franchise title. I then petitioned the WBC to elevate me from interim champion to full world champion, because Lomachenko chose not to fight me and I had previously beat the highest ranked fighter available. Let’s make this clear, you can’t win the franchise title and you can’t challenge a franchise champion. I’m 21 years old and I’m the WBC world lightweight champion and I believe in fighting mandatory challengers."
 
“At this point in my career I don’t mind mandatories at all because it forces the best fighters in my division to get in the ring with me. They can run but they can’t hide. Mandatory for me means mandatory cash. It’s good to be in a stacked division. If I can I’m going to fight all of them. I hope Teofimo Lopez beats Loma and then fights me in a unification for all the belts like he promised Mauricio Sulaiman. To me it looks like Luke Campbell is looking forward to the opportunity of getting beat up by me more than Ryan Garcia is looking forward to it. I’m guessing in Ryan’s defense, he’s never lost so he’s moving a little different and trying to stay undefeated (lol), but I don’t think Eddie Reynosa and Golden Boy really don’t want him to fight me yet. Luke is accustomed to losing big fights, we know he’s come up short more than once. I think he has more of a… “I don’t give a damn attitude” and I’m cool with that too! As far as Gervonta “Tank” Davis? I don’t like throwing water on a drowning man but leaving a stacked 135 lbs. division, to take a fight at super featherweight kind of tells you where he’s at. It’s no secret I’m a problem at 135 lbs. I know Jose Ramirez ain’t sleeping good at night either, he got Haney at 140 lbs. or Terence Crawford at 147 lbs. problems to think about. I don’t wish that on anybody. Josh Taylor is an easier fight for Ramirez then me or Bud, but it’s still a tough 50/50 fight. Ramirez is out here looking like food on the low.”
 
“This pandemic is something we’ve never seen," Haney concluded. "It’s tough on everyone around the world. We’ve all been in quarantine for the last few months, including myself, and fortunately staying at home is the best place to be. Similar in many ways to training camp. I pray to God things get back to normal soon. I’m anxious to get back in the ring as soon as the experts give the green light. I want all the smoke. Lately, I’ve been fortunate to spend a lot of time with 'TBE,' Floyd Maweather. Being compared to Mayweather is the ultimate compliment for any fighter in this era of boxing. I’m the most skilled fighter in the world right now and I'm looking forward to an opponent I can make a statement against. I’m working diligently with [WBC president] Mauricio Sulaiman and the WBC to make the big fights happen. Every decision made by the WBC hasn’t went my way, but I have a genuine love and respect for the WBC family as a whole. I’m proud to represent the WBC organization.”
 

More British bouts announced for August

More British bouts announced for August

More British bouts announced for August
Frank Warren's Queensberry Promotions announced additional bouts for the month of August which will take place at the BT Sport Studio. Super featherweight Archie Sharp (18-0, 9 KOs) is back to face recent Golden Contract semi-finalist Jeff Ofori (10-2-1, 3 KOs)... Elsewhere on the bill, there will be a clash between two undefeated MTK Global fighters, as Troy Williamson (14-0-1, 11 KOs) battles Michael McGurk (12-0, 3 KOs) at junior middleweight... Bantamweight Dennis McCann (6-0, 4 KOs) is scheduled for action too, but has no opponent yet.
 
In a main event scheduled for Saturday August 29th, super flight Sunny Edwards (14-0, 4 KOs) returns against Thomas Essomba (10-5, 4 KOs)... That card will also see Sam Maxwell (13-0, 11 KOs) back in the ring against former European champion Joe Hughes (17-5-1, 7 KOs).
 
Promoter Frank Warren said: “I’m delighted to be able to give fans more clarity as to what they can expect from the huge Summer of boxing on BT Sport. This run of shows is a fantastic opportunity for all these talents to step up and make a mark. The eyes of the world are on boxing as it comes out of lockdown and my challenge to all of these is to take this huge opportunity!”
 

MTK signs British flyweight Joe Maphosa

MTK signs British flyweight Joe Maphosa
MTK Global announced the signing of British flyweight Joe Maphosa. From Thornaby, Maphosa (11-1, 1 KO which includes a loss in the World Series of Boxing) is a former Team GB standout, having won a number of accolades during his amateur career, before going on to turn professional in 2017. His most recent win came against Moises Mojica (9-10-2) in February in Newcastle. MTK Global will be working alongside Phil Jeffries to guide the career of Maphosa, and the duo are extremely excited about the future. News on when Maphosa will have his next bout will be announced in due course.
 
Maphosa said: “I am very excited to be joining MTK Global. They are one of the biggest companies in boxing today, so it’s a pleasure to be part of a huge team MTK global are doing great work with some of the biggest names in boxing and its an honour to be on the same team as the likes of Tyson Fury, Billy Joe Saunders, Josh Taylor and Carl Frampton. I am happy with how my career has gone so far, but with signing with MTK will take me to the next level. Over the last few months I’ve been desperate to get into the swing of things. During lockdown I just had to be dedicated and continue ticking over with my training, with a lot of running, cycling and body weight training. Things are slowly getting back to normal and I can’t wait to start camp! I’m hoping to stay busy and active, and now I’ve signed with MTK I can get my career moving in the right direction. I’m in the sport to be a world champion and that’s the stage I’m aiming for, so it’s big fights and big nights ahead.”
 
Jeffries added: “I’m really excited to have Joe Maphosa joining MTK Global alongside my other boxers Lewis Ritson and Thomas Patrick Ward. I think MTK Global has a great future in boxing and are well trusted by always putting the boxers first. Since working with MTK they have done everything promised, and I’m really chuffed to have Joe joining.”
 
 
 
 

Matchroom Boxing USA names Dr. Rod Ballelosas Chief Medical Officer.

Matchroom Boxing USA names Dr. Rod Ballelosas Chief Medical Officer.
Matchroom Boxing USA announced the appointment of Dr. Rod Ballelosas to the position of Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Ballelos joins the company in a consultancy role ahead of our return to live action in Tulsa, Oklahoma on August 15th, live on DAZN, and he has been immediately tasked with playing a vital role around the coronavirus protocols ahead of the event. Dr. Ballelos brings substantial and varied medical experience and expertise to the role.  He currently works across multiple Emergency Departments in the greater Las Vegas area, and has worked alongside legendary ringside physician Dr. Flip Homansky, of the Las Vegas Boxing Commission, as well as Dr. Jeffrey Davidson, medical director of UFC, and is also a part of C & C Events Company, who provide medical care for large gatherings and events such as Electric Daisy Carnival.
 
Matchroom Boxing had intended to make the appointment ahead of the pandemic striking and pausing the sport, with the role intended to ensure that Matchroom’s events and fighters have access to first-class medical expertise at all times, including throughout training camps, around events and during fight night itself.  Dr. Ballelos will provide expertise across a range of areas including correct fighter nutrition and hydration advice, anti-doping measures and head trauma/concussion protocols. In addition to those responsibilities, he will now also help shape Matchroom’s coronavirus protocols to ensure the safety of all event participants and implementation of effective testing.
 
“I look forward to working closely with Matchroom Boxing, as well as being able to get to know the boxers both medically and on a personal level to be able to give them a sense of security about their health and well-being,” said Dr. Ballelos.
 
Shaun Palmer, Chief Operating Officer of Matchroom Boxing USA and Global General Counsel commented: “The health and safety of our fighters is paramount. Dr. Ballelos will perform a critical consulting role to help us ensure we continue to maintain the very highest safety standards and best medical practices across all our events. Dr. Ballelos will also offer invaluable guidance as we deal with the unprecedented challenges posed by staging events against the backdrop of the pandemic.”
 

Takam wins one week after the death of his father

Takam wins one week after the death of his father

Takam wins one week after the death of his father
Carlos Takam W10 Jerry Forrest.... French heavyweight Carlos Takam, at 39 years old, is still a factor in the heavyweight division. Fighting in Las Vegas on short notice [due to original headliner Jarrell Miller's positive PED test], Takam got a courageous ten-round unanimous decision win over Jerry Forrest. Takam explained why the win was courageous: “My father passed away a week ago, so I came into the fight with a heavy heart. It may not have been a spectacular knockout, but most importantly, we got the win. We took this fight on short notice, but the opportunity on ESPN was too big to pass up. We knew we could beat him regardless." Takam won by scores of 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94. A former world title challenger [who lost to Anthony Joshua in 2017] and a 2004 Olympian, Takam notched his fourth consecutive win following back-to-back defeats at the hands of Joshua and Derek Chisora. Forrest (26-4, 20 KOs) closed the fight strong as the aggressor and won three of the last four rounds on two of the judges' scorecards. According to CompuBox, Takam landed 27 more power punches (84 to 57). Takam said, “I want anyone in the top five, or a title shot if that materializes.” source: top rank
 

Marriaga, Verdejo to appear in separate bouts next week on ESPN

Marriaga, Verdejo to appear in separate bouts next week on ESPN
Miguel “Escorpion” Marriaga’s quest for a fourth title shot continues inside the MGM Grand “Bubble” Thursday, July 16th, in a ten-round featherweight main event against Filipino veteran Mark John Yap. In the ten-round lightweight co-feature, Puerto Rico's Felix “El Diamante” Verdejo will fight the unbeaten Will Madera. Marriaga-Yap, Verdejo-Madera, and undercard bouts will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
 
“Miguel stayed in shape throughout the pandemic and was willing to fight anyone we put in front of him,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Felix is so close to realizing his potential, and with a great trainer like Ismael Salas in his corner, anything is possible. This is going to be an action-packed card, and both Miguel and Felix will be tested.”
 
Marriaga said, “I want to be a world champion, and a win over Yap will move me one step closer to my ultimate goal. Yap is much better than his record indicates. Neither of us will take a backward step.” Marriaga (29-3, 25 KOs) fell short in world title fights against Nicholas Walters, Oscar Valdez and Vasiliy Lomachenko, but he has knocked out four straight foes since the Lomachenko defeat in August 2017. He last saw action Dec. 7th in Pueblo, Mexico, and knocked out Alfredo Mejia Vargas with a body shot. Marriaga was scheduled to challenge Shakur Stevenson for the WBO featherweight title March 14th, but the bout was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Yap (30-15, 15 KOs) is a 13-year pro and a former OPBF (regional) bantamweight champion who has not been knocked out since 2014.
 
[The once-hyped] Verdejo (26-1, 16 KOs) is seeking his fourth consecutive win since a 2018 TKO loss at the hands of Antonio Lozada Jr. Now based in Las Vegas under the tutelage of Salas, the 2012 Olympian is coming off an ESPN-televised decision win Jan. 18th over Manuel Rey Rojas.
 
Madera (15-0-3, 8 KOs), from Albany, New York, got a nationally televised decision win over the previously undefeated Thomas Mattice in February 2019. He is 2-0-1 since the Mattice victory, including a second-round stoppage over Edgar Ramirez on Jan. 28th.
 
“July 16 marks my return to the ring against Will Madera in what will be my second fight with my new team,” Verdejo said. “This is a great opportunity to demonstrate the progress resulting from my work. I have renewed motivation to realize my dream of becoming a world champion. That is the goal."
 
UNDERCARD
 
Featherweight Martino Jules (9-0, 2 KOs), a former amateur standout from Allentown, Pennsylvania, will face Aleem Jumakhonov (8-2-2, 4 KOs) in an eight-rounder. Jumakhonov, who was born Tajikistan and now resides in Southern California, is coming off a unanimous decision over the previously undefeated Anthony Chavez... 
 
Raphael “Trouble" Igbokwe (14-2, 6 KOs), winner of two straight bouts, will fight Genc Pllana (8-1-1, 4 KOs) in an eight-rounder at super middleweight. Pllana is coming off a nationally televised decision victory over Kevin Newman II (11-1-1 at the time) and a draw against Kalvin Henderson (12-0)...
 
In a six-round welterweight tussle, Hector Madera (6-0, 3 KOs) will fight fellow unbeaten Adrian Valdovinos (5-0-1, 4 KOs)...
 
Alexis “Perro” del Bosque (17-5, 9 KOs), from Dallas, Texas, will take on an opponent to be named in an eight-rounder at lightweight. del Bosque, who has won four in a row, was scheduled to fight Joseph Adorno in the MGM Grand “Bubble” last month, but the fight was canceled after Adorno failed to make weight.

Undercard results from Las Vegas: Carlos Castro now 26-0

Undercard results from Las Vegas: Carlos Castro now 26-0
Carlos Castro TKO4 Cesar Juarez ... Phoenix 122-pounder Carlos Castro (26-0, 11 KOs) stopped Mexico's Cesar Juarez (25-9-1, 19 KOs) when Juarez's corner called off the one-sided bout following the conclusion of the fourth round. Juarez, who in 2015 lost a 122-pound title shot to Nonito Donaire, has now lost two fights in a row. “I admire Cesar Juarez as a Mexican warrior and for everything he’s given the sport. I told him it was an honor to share the ring with him," Castro said. “I want any title opportunity or an interim title shot. Whatever comes my way, I am ready. I am highly ranked and prepared for the next step.”
 
MORE RESULTS
 
In a six-round battle of undefeated junior lightweights, Joshafat Ortiz (8-0, 4 KOs) edged Joshua Orta (6-1, 2 KOs) by majority decision. Ortiz swept the first four rounds on two of the judges' cards, but won narrowly. Official scores were 57-57 and 58-56 (twice)... 
 
Nine days after losing his first professional fight, middleweight Donte Stubbs (7-1, 2 KOs) came back to take someone else's "0." Stubbs topped Fred Wilson Jr. (6-1-2, 2 KOs) by six-round unanimous decision. Stubbs scored knockdowns in the third and fifth rounds, and Wilson had a point deducted for holding in the fourth. Official scores were 58-53 (twice) and 58-54...
 
In a scheduled four-round welterweight fight that featured the rare double knockdown, Corey Champion (2-3, 2 KOs) knocked out Peter Cortez (2-2, 1 KO) in the opening round. Champion knocked down Cortez early in the round, then the double knockdown occurred. Champion roared back to stop Cortez in an instant undercard classic. source: top rank
 
 

Taylor-Persoon II replaces Taylor-Serrano on Aug. 22nd

Taylor-Persoon II replaces Taylor-Serrano on Aug. 22nd

Taylor-Persoon II replaces Taylor-Serrano on Aug. 22nd
The biggest rematch in the history of women’s boxing has been confirmed for Matchroom Fight Camp. [With Amanda Serrano out of the picture], Katie Taylor will defend her world lightweight championship against Delfine Persoon on Saturday August 22nd, live on Sky Sports Box Office. [As with the first, controversial Taylor-Persoon fight, all four major belts will be at stake]. Taylor (15-0, 6 KOs) completed her fairy-tale journey from Olympic Gold to undisputed world  champion with a thrilling but controversial points win over Belgium’s Persoon on a historical night at New York City's Madison Square Garden on the Joshua vs. Ruiz bill last year. [Boxingtalk scored that fight 96-94 for Persoon].
 
With the narrow decision following a bloody battle, the Irish star added Persoon’s WBC belt to her IBF, WBO and WBA titles. The 34 year-old Taylor went on to create more history in November when she dethroned WBO 140-pound title holder Christina Linardatou to become a two-weight ruler – becoming only the third Irish boxer to win world titles in two weight classes.
 
Persoon (44-2, 18 KOs) held the WBC strap for five years, making nine successful defences in that reign, before losing it to Taylor in a Fight-of-the-Year contender. Despite losing on two of the judges’ scorecards, Persoon was convinced she’d won after ten rounds of relentless action and has been lobbying for a rematch ever since.
 
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Persoon's last fight was a loss... she went back to the amateurs to try to qualify for the 2021 Olympics, where she lost her opening bout in the European qualifying tournament Nikoleta Peta.]
 
“With Amanda Serrano not taking the fight I wanted the biggest fight possible in August and I think a second Persoon fight is one that everyone wants to see,” said Taylor. “I’ve been looking forward to a rematch ever since the first fight and I’m delighted it’s been made. It was definitely very close first time around, but I felt I deserved the win and I intend to leave no doubts in the rematch.”
 
Persoon said: “I am ready to get the victory following the injustice last June in New York, not by words but in the ring – I am ready!”
 
Promoter Eddie Hearn said, “Wow! What a fight – what a night! To be honest I can’t quite believe this fight has been made, I can’t give enough credit to Katie and Delfine for agreeing to do it again,” said Eddie Hearn. “Since their epic Fight of the Year contender at MSG last year, everyone has wanted to see this once again and now we have it. I’m very proud to stage this fight especially at such a critical time for our sport – along with [the heavyweight fight between] Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin [on the same show], August 22nd will be one not to forget.”
 
Adam Smith, Sky Sports Head of Boxing Development, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to confirm Katie Taylor’s eagerly awaited rematch against Delfine Persoon, with all the world lightweight titles on the line. Katie has called for a second fight ever since that thrilling first encounter when she received the verdict, much to the dismay of Persoon.
 
“They go again on the Whyte-Povetkin bill, which just got even bigger, and Katie will be determined to end any dispute with a resounding win. I’ve been speaking to Katie over the last few days and she’s more fired up than ever to show once again why she is a pound-for-pound star of the sport.
 
“Of course, we’ve also got Whyte’s high stakes showdown against Povetkin, with Dillian risking his WBC mandatory title shot. It’s repeat or revenge for Taylor and then heavyweight fireworks in a fitting finale to Matchroom’s Fight Camp!”
 
Taylor vs. Persoon lands on the final week of Matchroom Fight Camp as Dillian Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) puts his WBC interim heavyweight title on the line against Russia’s Alexander Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs) in a battle of the left hooks... Martin Bakole (15-1, 12 KOs) returns to the ring against Russia’s Sergey Kuzmin (15-1, 11 KOs) and Luther Clay (13-1, 5 KOs) has a welterweight bout vs. Chris Kongo (11-0, 6 KOs). 
 
 

Acelino Freitas helps establish WBA Brazil

Acelino Freitas helps establish WBA Brazil
During an online press conference held by WBA president Gilberto Jesús Mendoza, on Thursday, the creation of WBA-Brazil was announced, with the support of former champion Acelino Freitas (pictured). Although few details were disclosed, Mendoza formally announced the creation of WBA-Brazil, a project that seeks the expansion of the WBA and the development of the sport in the South American country. Brazilian championship fights will be sanctioned, with further details to come. Freitas joined the WBA's organization a few months ago, and also holds the position of Director of the Athletes Committee.
 
 
 
 
 

MTK plans training facility to rival Big Bear

MTK plans training facility to rival Big Bear
MTK Global announced the launch of the new MTK Lake District training camp facility. The complex will be the UK’s answer to the renowned Big Bear Gym in America, offering boxers the chance to spend training camps in the Lake District surrounded by elite level equipment and surroundings. The boxing-focused camp will have an ABA affiliated gym, on-site accommodation, a huge outdoor training facility, hot tubs, saunas and ice baths among the benefits available. MTK Global will be teaming up with former boxer Ryan Watson to launch the new facility, and he is delighted with the initiative. He said: “Watson’s Boxing and Fitness is extremely excited for this new venture. To be teaming up with the world’s foremost boxing management company in MTK Global is an amazing opportunity.
 
“Currently we are an ABA affiliated gym and we have a large outdoor training facility which is located within the Lake District. We have hot tubs, ice tubs and saunas along with a log cabin and pods for accommodation for potential elite boxers and trainers to use. Watson’s Gym is extremely beneficial for boxers as we are one of a kind and able to cover all aspects of training to help boxers progress, thrive and become future champions. We are very proud of what we have achieved, as this is something that we have aimed for. To be able to offer a unique boxing facility is incredible, and especially being one of a kind within the UK is just phenomenal. My dad Frank is a partner in the business too, so it’s great to be working alongside him on this as well.
 
“As I have been a professional boxer and managed and trained by world class trainer Johnney Roye of MTK Manchester, I feel I have great knowledge to advise and train future boxers. My advice to any future boxers young or old coming to Watson’s Gym is to work and train hard. We promise to give our full commitment and attention in their training.”
 
MTK Global Chief Strategy Officer Paul Gibson added: “We noticed a gap in the market for boxing-specific fight camps in the UK so it is wonderful to embark on this venture with Ryan. As an old MTK Manchester fighter himself, we know he shares our values in terms of providing boxers with the best opportunities to succeed in the sport and in life. This MTK Lake District training camp is a part of that ethos with facilities and an environment that are ideal for boxers looking to focus their preparation ahead of a fight. The goal is to make it as iconic as a Deer Lake or a Big Bear and to house just as many champions as those two famous camps.”
 

Dubois, Joyce book interim bouts before their August 24th showdown

Dubois, Joyce book interim bouts before their August 24th showdown

Dubois, Joyce book interim bouts before their August 24th showdown
With a big showdown booked for October 24th, British heavyweights Daniel Dubois (pictured) and Joe Joyce will take interim fights this summer. Joyce (24-2 which includes pro fights in AIBA's World Series of Boxing) meets Germany's Michael Wallisch (20-3, 13 KOs) on Saturday July 25th in a non-title ten rounder.  Dubois (14-0, 13 KOs), the British and Commonwealth champion, will battle former German Olympian Erik Pfeifer (16-2, which also which includes the World Series of Boxing) on Saturday August 29th at BT Sport studios as part of Frank Warren’s summer series. Russian-born Pfeifer, 33, turned professional in September 2018. He last fought in November, and got a win when Adnan Redzovic retired after five rounds. The Hamburg man represented Germany at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He won a bronze medal at the 2011 World championships losing against Anthony Joshua in the semi-final. Two years later he claimed another World championship bronze. He also boxed in the World Series of Boxing and defeated French star Tony Yoka. Pfeifer has also been crowned the super heavyweight (91+ kg) championship in AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) .
 
Dubois, 22, said: “The delay until October for the fight against Joe has given me more time to get things right and the Pfeifer fight is a bonus. It’s a shame that fans can’t attend, but I’m not moaning. A lot of fighters aren’t going to get work for months.  Hopefully Joe does the business on Wallisch and we give fans something to look forward when we finally meet later in October. It’s great to have an outing so I can blow away the cobwebs. When fight night comes it will have been more than seven months since my last contest. I’ve never had a layoff that long since I started boxing. I want to deliver a big performance and then it will be all systems go to KO Joe in October.”
 
Dubois warned: “Everyone knows how serious I am. Throughout the lockdown I haven’t stopped training at home with my brother and sister. There was no messing. As soon as we were allowed to go into the gym I was back with my trainer Martin Bowers, and being in a familiar environment makes things more comfortable. Frank Warren told me a while back there might be a chance of a fight on a TV studio show, and when the chance came I didn’t hesitate. Pfeifer has come along at relatively short notice, but we have more than enough time to prepare.”
 
And with the Pfeifer fight his biggest immediate concern, there will be little thought of Joyce for now. “It is no concern of mine how he looks in his warm-up. I just have to concentrate on myself and not worry about his performance.”
 
 
 

Shakur Stevenson says he's done at 126 pounds

Shakur Stevenson says he's done at 126 pounds
WBO featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson says he's done at 126 pounds. He tweeted: "Idc [I don't care] who [is] at 130. This [is] my weight class now. I was moving up before [Stevenson's predecessor, Oscar Valdez] even said my name. If he [is] really knocking, tell him to fight me at a catch weight so I could ice him!!! Difference between me and Valdez is Valdez said he can make the weight for [IBF champion Josh] Warrington and [former WBA champion Leo [Santa Cruz] but couldn’t make the weight for me!"

Weigh-in report from Las Vegas

Weigh-in report from Las Vegas
Here are the boxers' weight for Top Rank's Thursday show from the MGM Grand "Bubble" in Las Vegas (ESPN & ESPN Deportes will televise beginning at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT):
 
Carlos Takam 245.7 lbs vs. Jerry Forrest 225.6 lbs
(Heavyweight — 10 Rounds)
 
(Note: Takam was about 235.5 when he fought Anthony Joshua in 2017 but he has lost eleven pounds since his last fight, a win over Fabio Maldonado. Forrest is three pounds heavier for his 2019 fight against Jermaine Franklin, the most important fight of his career). 
 
Carlos Castro 123.8 lbs vs. Cesar Juarez 124.4 lbs 
(Junior Featherweight — 10 Rounds)
 
Joshafat Ortiz 130.8 lbs vs. Joshua Orta 132.7 lbs 
(Junior Lightweight— 6 Rounds)
 
Fred Wilson Jr. 159 lbs vs. Donte Stubbs 159.5 lbs 
(Middleweight— 6 Rounds)
 
Peter Cortez 147.5 lbs vs. Corey Champion 147.6 lbs 
(Welterweight— 4 Rounds)
 

Spotlight on Ortiz-Orta battle of unbeatens

Spotlight on Ortiz-Orta battle of unbeatens

Spotlight on Ortiz-Orta battle of unbeatens
Tonight (July 9th) from the Grand Ballroom at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, DiBella Entertainment's Joshafat "The Truth" Ortiz (7-0, 4 KOs) will take on Joshua Orta (6-0, 2 KOs), in a battle of undefeated junior lightweights scheduled for six rounds. The fight will air live on ESPN as part of the undercard to Jerry Forrest's heavyweight bout against Carlos Takam. Ortiz was born in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico, but moved to the US at age four and was raised by his mother in Reading, PA. He was first introduced to boxing as a child, as his father, uncle and brother were all amateur fighters. Ortiz compiled an amateur record of 42-7, and was a three-time Pennsylvania Golden Gloves champion, before turning pro in May 2017. Trained by Rashiem Jefferson and managed by Felipe Gomez, he is coming off a six-round unanimous decision victory against Andrew Bentley, on September 20, 2019.
 
Orta, from Springfield, MA, turned pro in August 2018, but has been boxing since age 12 and was a Western New England Golden Gloves champion as an amateur. He is trained by Michael Rodriguez and Jose Ortiz out of Springfield's Central City Boxing & Barbell Gym. In his last fight, Orta earned a majority decision win against the previously undefeated Michael Valentin on November 23, 2019.
 
"I'm excited to be able to showcase my skills on such a huge platform. I feel very blessed and I'll be sure to take full advantage of the opportunity. Orta is a good fighter, but he'll be the one leaving the ring with his first loss," said Ortiz. "I'm very thankful for my whole team and promoter Lou DiBella, as well as Top Rank, for making this happen."
 
"This is a great opportunity for Joshafat Ortiz and I'm thrilled that he'll get to return to the ring in front of a national audience on ESPN," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "Orta is talented, undefeated and will provide a big test, but I am confident that Ortiz will prove he is a prospect on the rise and one to watch. Both combatants stayed in shape and took this fight on short notice. Good for them."
 

Twitter Chatter: "Big Baby" Anderson says he'll fight on July 21st

Twitter Chatter: "Big Baby" Anderson says he'll fight on July 21st
Heavyweight Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson (4-0), who notched a KO win on June 9th, was scheduled to fight again tonight (July 9th), but he tweeted that he won't see action tonight: "Sad to say my fight has been postponed until July 21st. Not what I wanted to hear but we are not cancelled and that’s what matters. The fight will go on. Stay tuned and supporting."
 

Cutman thanks Tyson Fury for his generosity

Cutman thanks Tyson Fury for his generosity
WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (pictured) displayed his kindness yet again by reaching out to his cutman, Jorge Capetillo, and helping to ease some of Capetillo's financial burden in light of the coronvirus pandemic. Capetillo was widely praised by many for his work in keeping Fury’s two deep cuts under control during his tense encounter with Swedish challenger Otto Wallin in September 2019. Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) went on to earn a unanimous decision victory over Wallin, setting him up for his blockbuster rematch with then American champion Deontay Wilder, who he stopped sensationally via seventh-round TKO in February.
 
Capetillo has now revealed the kind gesture that Fury has offered him, and is extremely grateful for the help of the "Gypsy King." Captillo, who is from Mexico, told Sky Sports: “Tyson is still very grateful. When he knew we were locked down because of COVID-19 and my gym was closed, he texted me and said: ‘Is there anything I can do to help?’ He is still taking care of me. He sent me money. I was supposed to be with Jessie Vargas in New York on March 14 but the fight was cancelled and I came home with empty pockets. I was scared, I didn’t know what to do. He knew Jessie’s fight was cancelled. He asked about my family and what he could do. He said: ‘I’ll sort out some money for your family so you can be good’. Such generosity for me and my family. He is a great man, so humble. He had the time to ask how I was doing with my family during this crisis.”
 
 

Coronavirus claims the life of Nicaraguan Boxing Federation president

Coronavirus claims the life of Nicaraguan Boxing Federation president

Coronavirus claims the life of Nicaraguan Boxing Federation president
The WBA reports the death of Diogenes Cardenas, president of the Nicaraguan Boxing Federation. The cause of death was reported as the coronavirus. According to the WBA, "Cárdenas was a man who loved boxing and worked for the Nicaraguan fighters. He won the appreciation of [the local Nicaraguan boxing] associations, who had voted for him to be president in 2018, Cardenas'  third consecutive term." Boxingtalk sends its condolences to the friends and family of Diogenes Cardenas.
 
 
 
 

Zepeda takes care of business in ESPN main event

Zepeda takes care of business in ESPN main event
Jose Zepeda W10 Kendo Castaneda...  Junior welterweight contender Jose "Chon" Zepeda (32-2, 25 KOs) outboxed Kendo "Tremendo" Castaneda (17-2, 8 KOs) in Las Vegas on Tuesday, rolling to a unanimous decision victory. Official scores were 98-92 (twice) and 97-93. The ESPN-televised bout was held in Top Rank's "Bubble"- the MGM Grand Conference Center Grand Ballroom. Zepeda, from La Puente, California, is 2-0 with a no contest since his close majority decision loss to current WBC/WBO world champion Jose Ramirez. Zepeda's other loss is to former lightweight titlist Terry Flanagan. Zepeda said afterwards, “He [Castaneda] was a late replacement [for a more formidable opponent Ivan Baranchyk], but he was tough in there. I didn’t take Kendo lightly because I knew what he was capable of. He had only one loss by decision coming into tonight. Anybody with a belt at 140 pounds is who I want to fight. A championship fight is my goal, and that is what I am working towards.  source: top rank

Big road win for Mexico's Luis Alberto Lopez

Big road win for Mexico's Luis Alberto Lopez
Luis Alberto Lopez W10 Andy Vences... In the Las Vegas co-feature, Mexican junior lightweight Luis Alberto Lopez (21-2, 11 KOs) authored the most significant win of his carer, edging the better-known Andy Vences (23-2-1, 12 KOs) via ten-round split decision. A Lopez uppercut early in the sixth round stunned Vences, but he was able to weather the onslaught and survive the stanza. Vences appeared to rally in the bout's latter stages, but it was too little, too late. “I felt I won the fight with my pressure. It was a close fight, but I was confident I did enough after the final bell sounded," Lopez said. "Credit to Vences. I thought he was knocked out earlier in the fight, but he came back like a warrior.”
 
Said Vences, “I thought I won a close fight, but I am not going to complain about the decision. It was a good, close fight. No excuses. I prepared well for ten hard rounds.”
 
UNDERCARD
 
Lightweight Andres Cortes (13-0, 7 KOs) survived a fourth-round knockdown to top Alejandro Salinas (10-4, 9 KOs) by eight-round unanimous decision. The scores were as follows: 79-73, 77-74 and 76-75. Cortes swept the last three round on all of the judges' cards...
 
Gabriel Muratalla (4-0, 3 KOs), the fighting preschool teacher from Fontana, California, bested Las Vegas native Sergio Lopez (4-6-3, 0 KOs) by unanimous decision. Scores were 40-36 (twice) and 39-37 over the four-round bantamweight bout. Muratalla was making his second "Bubble" outing following his first-round stoppage over Fernando Robles on June 11th...
 
Genaro Gamez (10-1, 7 KOs) rebounded from his first career defeat with a first-round knockout over Reymond Yanong (11-6-1, 9 KOs) in a welterweight contest...
 
Lightweight Eric Puente (3-0) edged Diego Elizondo (2-2-2) via majority decision by scores of 38-38 and 39-37 (twice). Puente was a 2016 National Youth Open Champion, a member of Team USA, and had a good chance to become a member of the 2021 United States Olympic Team before he decided to turn pro. source for all results: top rank press release
 

Jarrell Miller says his situation is part of God's plan for him

Jarrell Miller says his situation is part of God's plan for him

Jarrell Miller says his situation is part of God's plan for him
With his heavyweight career in shambles due to multiple positive PED tests over the years, including one last month, Jarrell Miller issued an Instagram post attributing his situation to a higher power:  "God, Allah has a plan for us all. I never question the Creator’s plan for my life. I will remain strong, confident and continue moving forward on this difficult journey but one that I am definitely built for. To my family, team, friends and fans. I thank you for your continued love and support through this tough time. I love you guys for genuinely standing with me. I’ve seen and heard several individuals calling for me to be banned from boxing... Such fools! I have a lot to say on that sh*t but it’s a conversation that I’ll revisit at another time."
 

Coronavirus KOs Kazakhstan card

Coronavirus KOs Kazakhstan card
The upcoming MTK Fight Night event in Kazakhstan has been postponed due to Kazakhstan going back into a country-wide lockdown. The show was set to take place behind closed doors in Almaty on July 18th, and feature the professional debuts for amateur stars Tursynbay Kulakhmet and Talgat Shaiken, plus the likes of Abay Tolesh, Berikbay Nurymbetov, Arman Rysbek and more. Due to rising COVID-19 cases, Kazakhstan has been placed on a lockdown that is set to last at least two weeks, meaning the event will take place at a later date.
 
Head of MTK Kazakhstan Askar Salikbayev said: “In this situation, it is a big pity for the athletes who were preparing for this event. We had matched the fighters well, and each bout attracted a lot of interest among the fans. There was an unprecedented buzz around the event. Boxers, in addition to exhausting training, were also cutting weight for the 18th, so it is a massive shame. As for the new date of the event, we will proceed with the decision of the interagency commission after two weeks of quarantine, and then we will make a decision. We’re thinking of all citizens of our country and the entire planet, and we really hope everyone stays safe.”
 

Herring-Oquendo back on for July 14th

Herring-Oquendo back on for July 14th
Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring (pictured) and Mikaela Mayer, both of whom are healthy following recent positive COVID-19 test results that delayed their fights, are primed for their “Bubble” debuts. U.S. Marine veteran Herring will make his second WBO 130-pound title defense against Puerto Rico's Jonathan “Polvo” Oquendo on Tuesday, July 14th, at the MGM Grand Conference Center — Grand Ballroom. In the co-feature, undefeated 2016 U.S. Olympian Mayer will fight Helen Joseph in a ten-round junior lightweight showdown.  The undercard will feature an encore from “Cassius” Clay Collard, who will fight LT “Smash” Nelson in a six-round middleweight bout. Collard, 3-0 in 2020 (all against previously undefeated fighters), took the “0” from David Kaminsky on June 18th. Herring-Oquendo, Mayer-Joseph, Collard-Nelson, and additional undercard action will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. 
 
“Jamel and Mikaela wanted to come back as soon as possible, and we were happy to oblige them,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “They are healthy and ready to put forth tremendous performances.”
 
Herring (21-2, 10 KOs) makes his 2020 debut following a banner 2019 that saw him upset Masayuki Ito to win the title, and outpoint Lamont Roach Jr. in front of more than 7,000 fans at an outdoor baseball stadium in Fresno, Calif. Herring and Oquendo were set to fight on July 2nd but Herring’s COVID-19 results delayed the fight 12 days. Herring, the 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing team captain, is 5-0 since inking a multi-fight deal with Top Rank. 
 
Herring said, “I am back, healthy and 100 percent ready to defend my world title. Oquendo is a tough opponent who realizes this is his last chance to win a world title. He’s coming for what I have and I’m not going to cut any corners. I will return home to celebrate with my family and my belt.”
 
Oquendo (31-6, 19 KOs), from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, lost to Jesus Cuellar at featherweight in December 2015 and is 5-1 since moving up to junior lightweight. He earned the title shot following last November’s shutout decision win over Charles Huerta, which came off the heels of a controversial decision loss to Roach Jr. 
 
Oquendo said, “We know Jamel is a slippery, tall, left-handed fighter who has an advantage in range, but we are working for that and we know that we will have no problems. My company knows how hard I fight and how hard I train. Fans like Jonathan Oquendo because he makes for great fights.”
 
Mayer (12-0, 5 KOs) closed out her 2019 campaign last October with a sixth-round stoppage over Alejandra Soledad Zamora. The Los Angeles native is on track for a world title shot this year, but she must defeat Joseph (17-4-2, 10 KOs), a native of Lagos, Nigeria, who is coming off a competitive decision loss to former lightweight champion Delfine Persoon.
 
Mayer said, “After having two fights canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am relieved and excited to be back and grateful to Top Rank for getting me back on a card so quickly. I'm not the fighter you last saw in October. I’ve had three camps to peak myself and grow as an athlete. A whole new fighter is stepping in that ring on July 14, so I hope Helen is ready.” 
 
In undercard action:
 
Puerto Rican featherweight Luis Melendez (8-1, 6 KOs) will take on Edward “Kid” Vazquez (7-0, 1 KO) in an eight-rounder. Two of Vazquez’s last three wins have come against previously undefeated opponents, while Melendez has won six in a row since the lone defeat of his career...
 
Colombian puncher Ruben “El Tigrillo” Cervera (11-2, 10 KOs) will fight Clay “3rd Degree” Burns (9-8-2, 4 KOs) in a six-rounder at lightweight. Cervera was stopped by Miguel Marriaga last May, but he returned with a knockout win over Luis Carlos Lugo in October. Burns made a notable “Bubble” impression on June 25, losing an action-filled split decision to Reymond Yanong...
 
Junior lightweight William Villa (4-0) will face Eduardo Sanchez (2-2) in a four-rounder. 
 
 

Saunders says he can't be ready for Alvarez by September

Saunders says he can't be ready for Alvarez by September

According to MTK Global, WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders had this to say about a possible fight vs. Saul "Canelo" Alvarez: “I’m not ready in September. You can say to me, ‘Billy Joe, a billion pounds [dollars], but you’re not ready and you’re going to get beat.’ I would say keep it. Let me get ready, let me win and I will fight for free. I’m nobody’s stepping stone. I’m not another belt for Canelo. They want to try mind games; that don’t work with me, I play the biggest mind games in British boxing.”

While the Canelo fight appears to be out of the reckoning for now, Saunders has another target in his sights, insisting that he has a score to settle with WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs). Saunders added: “That’s the fight I would want, I would love the fight. There’s unfinished business with me and him (Andrade). “I think he’s a non-top fighter. When it’s gone his way he looks good, when not his way he can’t get going. When I fight him, we both have skills. It’ll be my heart vs. his heart.”
 
 

WBO orders Garcia-Tagoe eliminator

WBO orders Garcia-Tagoe eliminator

The lightweight title picutre continues to get complicated, but at least the latest development recognizes a deserving boxer who has been lost in the shuffle for a while. The WBO has ordered an elimination bout between little-known but absolutely deserving Emmanuel Tagoe of Ghana and social media star Ryan Garcia of California. Tagoe is 31-1 and deserving of the eliminator. He has held the IBO world title and fought the best competition he could import into  Ghana, including former title holders Mzonke Fana and Paulus Moses. Tagoe's only loss came in his first pro fight (in 2004). 

As for Garcia, he now has a choice to make... fight Tagoe in a WBO eliminator or fight Luke Campbell for the WBC interim title (which is a third-rate title). The WBC already has a secondary paper champion in Devin Haney, with the WBC recognizing Vasiliy Lomachenko as "franchise champion." Lomachenko, who also holds the WBO and WBA championships is set to fight IBF title holder Teofimo Lopez in a true world championship fight. 

The stacked lightweight division can be summed up as follows: Lomachenko holds the WBA, WBC and WBO championships. Lopez holds the IBF championship and will likely unify with Lomachenko in the fall. Javier Fortuna will fight former WBA title holder Jorge Linares for a fourth bogus WBC belt, the "diamond championship." Gervonta "Tank" Davis holds a WBA regular title, and Haney holds a WBC regular title. Haney is doing a lot of talking but has yet to beat a true contender. Garcia can chose between Campbell for a WBC interim title or Tagoe for the WBO eliminator, with the WBO presenting a clearer path to a world title shot.

Amir Khan, WBA to advance pro boxing in Pakistan

Amir Khan, WBA to advance pro boxing in Pakistan

Former champion Amir Khan will work with the WBA to develop professional boxing in Pakistan. The WBA released the following statement: "One of the WBA's main objectives has been to promote the sport around the world. Thus, Amir Khan’s proposal to bring boxing to Pakistan with the support of the pioneer organization is a project that is taken very enthusiastically. The Pakistani-born British fighter participated in the WBA 99th Convention during a chat with fans via Zoom. Khan said, 'I started my academy in Pakistan. I have had the support of the local federation and now I want to do professional events with the help of the WBA.' The fighter wants to support the Pakistani youth through sports and make significant professional events. The WBA has been discussing several points with Khan and has agreed to put the plan into action as soon as possible. For the oldest organization in world boxing, it is an honor to reach the most remote places with boxing, to be part of such important projects in many countries, and to benefit the athletes."

 

 

San Antonio's Barrios siblings help out COVID responders

San Antonio's Barrios siblings help out COVID responders
San Antonio, Texas boxing siblings Mario Barrios (25-0) and Selina Barrios (6-1) found themselves with some down time due to the coronavirus pandemic, so they joined forces with promotional company Davies Entertainment and a few other boxers to feed first responders fighting on the front lines of the pandemic, people such as doctors, nurses, police officers and fire fighters.  “I felt super motivated to do it,” said Mario Barrios, who holds the WBA regular title at 140 pounds. “It wasn’t even a question—as soon as I found out about it, I wanted to jump on board. With everything being so down, what better way to give back to the people who were putting everything on the line? The way everything was unraveling, with the whole lockdown, there was a lot of panic and people didn’t know what was going on. But the first responders were still going out there every day and providing for people and really keeping the city going. I thought I might give back to the people that are risking so much.”
 
“We teamed up with Davies Entertainment here in San Antonio,” Barrios explained to the Premier Boxing Champions website. “I was able to join them in taking the first responders breakfast. Black Rifle Coffee pitched in and donated all the coffee, and we had food catered from a couple different places. I got to talk to a lot of them—we all bonded a little bit. We were social distancing and everything, so no hugs, but they were very appreciative. It felt really good to be able to give back and do that for them. It was a great turnout and it was incredible to see the smiles on all the first responders’ faces.”
 
 

Weigh-in report from Las Vegas

Weigh-in report from Las Vegas
Here are the weigh-in results for Tuesday night's Top Rank show from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (ESPN & ESPN Deportes will televise at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT):
 
Jose Zepeda 143.9 lbs vs. Kendo Castaneda 143.9 lbs
(Junior Welterweight — 10 Rounds)
 
Andy Vences 129.5 lbs vs. Luis Alberto Lopez 128.2 lbs 
(Junior Lightweight — 10 Rounds)
 
Andres Cortes 132.5 lbs  vs. Alejandro Salinas 132.4 lbs 
(Lightweight  — 8 Rounds)
 
 Gabriel Muratalla 118.9 lbs vs. Sergio Lopez 119.1 lbs 
(Bantamweight— 4 Rounds)
 
Genaro Gamez 146 lbs vs. Reymond Yanong 141.8 lbs 
(Welterweight— 8 Rounds)
 
Eric Puente 135 lbs vs.  Diego Elizondo 135.9 lbs 
(Lightweight— 4 Rounds)
 

Culcay-Baraou booked for Aug. 28th in Berlin

Culcay-Baraou booked for Aug. 28th in Berlin
Team Sauerland’s junior middleweight Abass Baraou (9-0, 6 KOs) will stepup to challenge Jack Culcay (28-4, 13 KOs) in a 50/50 clash on August 28th at the Harvel Studios in Berlin. The fight, already being billed as the "Fight of the Year" in Germany, will see Baraou fight under the tutelage of esteemed trainer Adam Booth for the first time, having linked up with the Englishman in early March.
 
Baraou kicked off the year with a four-round demolition of Mexico’s Abraham Juarez in Hamburg on January 25th, and the 25-year-old was scheduled to take on Nick Klappert (28-3, 15 KOs) on April 4th in Hamburg, Germany, a fight was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
 
“I am really looking forward to the fight and I'm more than ready” said Baraou. “I would also like to thank the Sauerland team for the trust they have placed in me. Jack is a big fighter with a lot of experience, but I'm sure I can and will beat him. I will leave nothing to chance on the way to becoming number one in Germany."
 
A former WBA interim belt holder, Culcay makes a quick return to the ring having claimed a unanimous decision victory over Howard Cospolite on June 12th, and the 34-year-old Berliner is confident he will remain Germany’s #1 rated 154-pounder. 
 
“It will be a great battle for the fans and a tough battle between the best super welterweight fighters in Germany,” said Culcay. “I am number one in the German rankings and it will stay that way even after the fight. Thank you Agon Sports & Events for fulfilling my wish. Let’s win this together!”
 
Team Sauerland promoter Nisse Sauerland is looking forward to seeing Germany’s #1 rated junior middleweight take on #2, with the winner of the fight being elevated to number 2 in the IBF world rankings. “I am very pleased that Agon and the Sauerland team were able to work together to make such a great fight,” said Sauerland. “It's admirable that Abass has the courage to face a world-class boxer like Jack in just his tenth fight. Jack was previously a Team Sauerland fighter so we know what a great fighter he is.”
 
The event will take place on August 28th at the Havel Studios in Berlin and there will be further announcements shortly.
 

Ocampo-Garcia bout falls out at last minute

Ocampo-Garcia bout falls out at last minute
A weekend bout in Mexico between Carlos Ocampo (27-1-0, 17 KO's) and Jorge Luis García (18-2-0, 16 KO's) was canceled at the last minute due to a positive coronavirus test for Garcia's trainer, Gilberto Andrés Valenzuela. The cancellation was made by the promotional company, Zanfer, in consultation with WBC medical officials. The good news is that Valenzuela is said to be asymptomatic and in good health. Ocampo is best known for getting destroyed in one round by IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence. source: record.com.mx

Japanese update: Inoue draws interest from Navarrete at 122 pounds

Japanese update: Inoue draws interest from Navarrete at 122 pounds
WBO 122-pound champion Emanuel Navarrete has made it clear that a fight against Japanese superstar Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue is something that would keep him at 122 pounds for the moment. Inoue is the WBA/IBF 118-pound champion. The Mexican champion adds that Inoue, known as "Monster" would have a hard road to victory against him because Inoue is, in Navarrete's words, "soft." Navarrete (32-1, 28 KOs) is coming off a stay-busy fight, defeating Uriel López on June 20th in Mexico City to secure his sixth victory since December 2018, when he beat Isaac Dogboe to become a champion. “I would do well against Inoue, thanks to my ferocity and dedication. You guys saw Dogboe, who I can’t say is Inoue, but he was greatly feared at super bantamweight at the time and when I was told about the fight, I took on the challenge knowing he had flaws and shortcomings. I used my ferocity, my will and my come-forward punching,” said Navarrete to ESPN Deportes.
 
“Inoue, and I say this with much respect, I do not see a lot of possibilities of him winning [against me], I view him as very docile, soft. I don’t think he can take what Dogboe put up with, and so it’s like a bonus. [Inoue] is fast and has good combinations, but Dogboe connected on me and he did not hurt me. Comparing them, I don’t give Inoue as many possibilities [to win]. ”
 
Inoue (19-0, 16 KO) is considered to be one of the best boxers in the world. He was scheduled to face WBO 118-pound champon John Riel Casimero in a unification fight before the coronavirus pandemic hit. That contest would have been his first under a promotional deal with Top Rank.
 

Jackie Nava returns with a win at age 40

Jackie Nava returns with a win at age 40
Jackie Nava W10 Estrella Valverde... Mexico's Jackie Nava (36-4-4) got her first win since 2018 by dominating contender Estrella Valverde (18-6) over ten rounds in Mexico City. Nava won the all-Mexican battle by wide unanimous decision, Nava's first ring action since a May 2019 draw vs. Marcela Eliana Acuna. Nava, age 40, was a WBA bantamweight champion and a WBC/WBA super bantamweight champion. source: espn deportes
 

Promoter Lee Eaton touts MTK Fight Night events

Promoter Lee Eaton touts MTK Fight Night events
British promoter Lee Eaton is counting down the days until boxing returns – after three MTK Fight Night events were recently announced for later this summer. Boxers from around the UK and Ireland will be in action on the shows, which will be broadcast in the US on ESPN+ and worldwide on IFL TV. on August 11th, August 25th and September 1st, and Eaton is excited to see it all unfold. Eaton said: “I’m buzzing that it’s finally been announced. On the first card, Maxi Hughes will come and give it his all against Jono Carroll so that will be a very good fight. We have Sean McComb against Siar Ozgul too. They’re former sparring partners and both men will fight anybody. I’ve always raved about Sean McComb since his debut.
 
“Craig MacIntyre vs. Darren Surtees is a brilliant fight. Surtees would probably be the favourite as he’s mixed with better company,  but MacIntyre was a good amateur. It’s refreshing that these boys are jumping straight in. Craig has been out for a long time, but now he’s coming back and having a proper fight,
 
“Pierce O’Leary against Harry Limburn is on that show as well, and Harry is a good boxer. Pierce is with a new coach in Al Smith, so it’s their first fight together and we’ll see how Pierce copes stepping up a level.
 
“On August 25th it’s Lewis Crocker against Louis Greene which is an absolute barnstormer of a fight. It’s a blinding fight and I don’t know if we’ll see the final bell.
 
“There’s Lee McGregor vs. Ryan Walker, and they’ve had a bit of beef on social media. When I spoke to Ryan Walker’s team they jumped at the chance for this fight.
 
“It’s not at bantamweight as this fight is at 122lbs, but if Ryan can pull off the win, he’ll be guaranteed a British and Commonwealth title shot, so he’ll be well up for it.
 
“Kieran Gething was offered the Gary Cully fight and jumped at it, so I can’t wait for that. James McGivern’s debut is then probably going to be against someone with a winning record too. Jamie Conlan has high hopes for him, and we’ve been looking at opponents who are 7-0 and 8-0, so he’s ready to go.
 
“On September 1 it’s Akeem Ennis Brown against Philip Bowes in a top fight, plus Dan Azeez against Andrew Sterling. Darren Tetley vs. Liam Taylor is an absolute cracker too.
 
“MTK Global have done a blinding job getting the fights together. It’s three great cards and we’re really looking forward to being back.”
 

Alexander Besputin in trouble for doping

Alexander Besputin in trouble for doping
Even when the WBA tries to do right a wrong, the organization creates further corruption. The WBA Championship Committee decided to take the WBA regular welterweight title from Alexander Besputin, who was suspended for six months due to testing positive in an anti-doping test. [Manny Pacquiao is the WBA super champion at welterweight]. That's a good move. Here's the problem: Besputin tested positive after beating fellow Russian Radzhab Butaev for the  secondary belt. Now that the result of that bout is tainted, the only fair and reasonable solution is to have Butaev fight for the once-again vacant title against the highest ranked contender, Yordenis Ugas. Instead the WBA will give the deserving Ugas a lay-up for the secondary title against Abel Ramos. The winner of Ugas vs. Ramos will then have to defend vs. Butaev. Verdict: unfair to Butaev, who has now been cheated twice- once by Besputin, once by the WBA.
 

WBA creates another title mess, this time at 122 pounds

WBA creates another title mess, this time at 122 pounds
The WBA recognizes Murodjon Akhmadaliev as its super champion at 122 pounds. (Akhmadaliev also has the IBF championship). The WBA also recognizes Brandon Figueroa as its regular champion at 122 pounds. The WBA also recognizes Ronny Rios as its gold champion at 122 pounds, which means, according to the WBA, Rios is supposed to get the next title challenge. However, the WBA Championship Committee seemed to reneg on its obligation to Rios by approving Figueroa for a very soft defense against Damien Vazquez instead of Rios. Vazquez is hardly worthy: his last two fights were a draw with a boxer who was 9-10-3 at the time, then a win over someone whose record was 24-43-3. The WBA tried to placate Rios, but in doing so will muddy the title picture by allowing Rios to fight TBA for the newly created the interim belt. So that's multiple belts, with none of the four beltholders fighting each other.

Introducing British super bantamweight Shabaz Masoud

Introducing British super bantamweight Shabaz Masoud
MTK Global announced it has reached a co-management deal with British super bantamweight Shabaz Masoud (7-0, 1 KO). The 24-year-old will now be co-managed by Ben Davison under MTK Global, alongside existing manager Mervyn Turner, who has guided Masoud’s career so far. News on Shabaz’s first bout as an MTK Global fighter will be announced in due course.
 
Masoud said: “I’m delighted to have been able to get this over the line. I know with the right team I can go all the way and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. I have great relationships with Ben Davison and Mervyn Turner. I respect them both massively. MTK Global are the biggest management company in the world too, so I’m certain that we have the perfect combination for success.”
 
Ben Davison added: “I’m over the moon to be working alongside Mervyn Turner and Asgar Tair with Shabaz, who is someone I’ve always been very impressed with. MTK Global, Mervyn, myself, Asgar and all of our team see great potential in Shabaz in so many areas, so it’s exciting times ahead.”
 
Mervyn Turner added: “I’m extremely proud to get this deal done for Shabaz. He has shown in his career so far that he is a star for the future and he now has a fantastic platform to achieve his goals.”