Maurice Hooker out to unify division starting with Ramirez this weekend

Maurice Hooker out to unify division starting with Ramirez this weekend
Greg Leon: We're just days away from the biggest fight of your life, a unification bout against WBC champion Jose Ramirez. How's everything gone in camp? What can we expect to see from you on Saturday night? Maurice Hooker: "Everything is going good, we had a great camp and now we're in Dallas for fight week. I'm prepared and I'm ready to go on Saturday night." GL: Ramirez will be your sixth straight undefeated opponent, are all these unbeatens getting lined up out of coincidence or what? MH: "It just shows everybody that I've been looking to fight the best guys out there, the best guys I can fight. All of them have been undefeated and a lot of them have been in their hometowns. This fight here is in my hometown and I'm going to show out and give the fans a fight to remember on Saturday night. Jose's going to be ready to go like any guy who don't want to get rid of that zero, but I'm going to be going out there to take it."
 
GL: What did you think about Ramirez's last fight against Zepeda? Do you think he won that fight?
 
MH: "I don't think he won the fight, I think it should have been a draw, but I can't really go off of that. Any fighter can have a bad night and I think he did, but on Saturday it's not going to get any better for him."
 
GL: What do you consider your biggest advantage going into this fight?
 
MH: "I think I'm smarter than him inside the boxing ring. When I come into the ring I'm using my jab and he's just straight forward. I'm just the better boxer and it will show on fight night."
 
GL: What weaknesses do you see in Ramirez that you feel you're going to be able to exploit come fight night?
 
MH: "Just like in his last fight he's not going to be able to handle somebody that can box him, he's going to get hit a lot but it's going to be a good fight."
 
GL: Have we seen the best of you yet?
 
MH: "Nobody has seen the best of me yet, the best is yet to come. I only flashed a little of it here and there, but y'all going to start seeing it come Saturday night. Jose is a good guy and a good fighter and I hope he brings the bst out of me."
 
GL: You're from Texas, but he's a Mexican American. Are you confident you'll get the decision if you win the fight?  
 
MH: "I can't worry about that, it's my job to go out there and win and that's what I'm going to do."
 
GL: Other than victory do you have a prediction?
 
MH: "I'm going to go in there and take it one round at a time, but if I see a big shot I'm going to go for it and try to get him out of there."
 
GL: Who do you like in the Progais-Taylor unification? 
 
MH: "I've only seen Taylor once or twice, so I'm going to go with Prograis because he's from the USA."
 
GL: Is it a must happen that the winner of this fight face off with the winner of Prograis-Taylor?
 
MH: "Most definitely, but right now it's all about Saturday night. I think the winners need to fight each other, that's what boxing wants unified champions."
 
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans?
 
MH: "I hope everyone catches all of the action live from Dallas, Texas on Saturday night. It's going to be a good fight and you're not going to want to miss it."
 

Dillian Whyte gains WBC interim recognition

Dillian Whyte gains WBC interim recognition
Dillian Whyte 12 Oscar Rivas... British heavyweight Dillian Whyte conquered the WBC interim heavyweight belt by defeating Colombia's Oscar Rivas, at the main event in  the O2 Arena in London, England over the weekend. Whyte was leading on the cards when he got a real scare. Rivas surprised everyone by sending Whyte to the canvas in the ninth round with a crisp right uppercut. Whyte managed to survive the storm, end the round and finish stronger in the concluding rounds.The judges scored 115-112, 115-112 and 116-111, all in favor of the British fighter. Whyte is now 26-1, with his only loss to former champion Anthony Joshua. He has longbeen trying to get a fight vs. WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, but the WBC has not enforced its mandatory rules properly. The interim title should eventually get Whyte a shot, but look for the WBC to allow Wilder two more fights before demanding Wilder-Whyte. Rivas, who is now based in Canada,, heads back to the western hemisphere with a record of 26-1. source: wbc
 

David Price continues modest wining streak

David Price continues modest wining streak
David Price TKO10 Dave Allen ... Heavyweight David Price got a dominant win in an all-British contest, outclassing Dave Allen from start to finish on his way to a tenth-round corner retirement win at the O2 Arena in London. Price (25-5, 20 KOs) dictated how things went throughout the early rounds, utilizing his jab and preventing Allen (17-5-2, 14 KOs) from landing any significant shots. The hard-hitting Liverpudlian, a former Olympic bronze medalist, continued to boss the proceedings as the fight went on, proving those who doubted his stamina wrong. After a one-sided performance, trainer Darren Barker opted to pull Allen out after ten rounds. After a disappointing stretch to his career, Prce now has strung together wins over Tom Little, Kash Ali and Allen in the past seven months. source: mtk management
 

Broner to face Redkach this fall

Broner to face Redkach this fall

Broner to face Redkach this fall

Boxingtalk had been hearing rumblings that former four division champion Adrien Broner (33-4-1 24KO) could be facing Ivan Redkach in late September or sometimre In October and recently a well fed Broner confirmed the information, telling goforitradio.com that he had to "get back" at Redkach or "Shane's boy", referencing the fact that future hall of famer Sugar Shane Mosley is now training the junior welterweight contender. The bout, which will be broadcast on one of PBC's platforms. is expected to take place at 140 pounds, though with Broner one never knows if there will any last minute requests to go up a pound or three. Stay tuned to Boxingtalk for all the latest.

Hooker happy to be fighting at home in Dallas

Hooker happy to be fighting at home in Dallas
Everything is bigger in Texas – and that’s just what WBO champion Maurice Hooker plans to be as he prepares for his 140-pound unification clash with WBC conterpart Jose Ramirez on Saturday night at the College Park Center in Arlington, Texas, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK. Hooker (26-0-3 17 KOs) puts his WBO title on the line for the third time, but the first time at home since winning his title. The 29 year-old last laced them up in the Lone Star state back in August 2017. In 2018, Hooker hit the road ten months later to rip the WBO belt from Terry Flanagan in the Manchester man’s home arena, and in November "Mighty Mo" pulled off a huge win in Oklahoma, climbing off the canvas in the second round to put unbeaten local favorite Alex Saucedo away in the seventh.
 
Hooker’s second defense took him to upstate New York where Brooklyn’s Mikkel Les Pierre was seen off in a comfortable points win – setting up the chance to come home in style and take home court advantage in the biggest fight of his career against WBC king Ramirez (24-0 16 KOs).
 
“I will be a champion in boxing and in Dallas as everyone will know my name after this fight. This fight means everything to me and the same for him, I just have to go harder than him and I will come out on top. This is part of my legacy – it’s just the beginning.
 
“This is the fight that makes me a big name. I am getting better with every fight and now I have the platform in the fight on DAZN to show my boxing skills, my power, my smarts, everything – everyone will know who Maurice Hooker is after this.
 
“I so excited to have this fight in Dallas, I’m ready to come with everything I have. The crazy thing about it is that I don’t feel any pressure coming into the fight, it’s just another big fight, all my fights over the last three have been really big, so I don’t feel any pressure from fighting at home. I’m just ready to do what i do and handle my business.
 
“I [fought before] in Dallas but this fight is on a whole new level, I have the chance to unify at home. The first world title fight was in England and the others have been on the road too, but now I have the biggest fight of my life at home, so there’s a little pressure but not too much and I just have to focus on doing my job and getting the victory.
 
“It’s been crazy at home since the fight was announced. Everybody has been telling me that they are coming and telling me to put on a show. I’m confident I’ll get the win as is Jose, I’ve been watching him and it’s going to be tough in the opening rounds, but I will take over and make him adjust to me. Dallas seeing me fight as a World champion is so big for me and for the city, all the kids I’ve spoken to in the schools, the people that look up to me, can now watch me live.”
 
Hooker and Ramirez clash on a bumper night of action in Arlington, as Tevin Farmer defends his IBF 130-pound title against mandatory challenger Guillaume Frenois. Tramaine Williams takes on Yenifel Vicente at super bantamweight title and two unbeaten talents look to continue their 100 per cent KO records in Artur Biyarslanov and Houston’s Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams.
 

Salita Promotions signs England's Thomas Patrick Ward

Salita Promotions signs England's Thomas Patrick Ward
Dmitriy Salita of Salita Promotions announced the signing of UK-based super bantamweight Thomas Patrick Ward to a multi-fight promotional agreement. The 25-year-old Ward, from West Rainton, England, has already held the British super bantamweight championship. “I’m very happy about this agreement,” said Ward. “I believe I’m one of the best fighters out there and this will help me to prove it by fighting and beating the champions and top contenders.”
 
Ward made his US debut last February at the Kansas Star Casino, scoring a unanimous decision on ShoBox over Jesse Angel Hernandez (scores: 100-89, 99-90 and 98-90). He had his first fight under the Salita Promotional banner last Saturday, July 20th, winning an eight-round unanimous eight-round decision over Brayan Mairena of Chinandega, Nicaragua, at the Brentwood Centre in Brentwood, UK.
 
A natural talent, Ward had a junior amateur record of 60-4, including winning a gold medal at the European under-17 championship in Ukraine. He was voted Best Junior Boxer by the ABA. He turned professional at the age of 17 without having had any senior amateur fights. His older brother, Martin Joseph Ward, is also an outstanding professional fighter with a once-beaten record of 21-1-2, 10 KOs. The elder Ward has held the British and European super featherweight titles. 
 
Ward has another heavy hitter on his side in managerial firm MTK Global, who also handle stars of the magnitude of former champions Tyson Fury and Carl Frampton. "Thomas Patrick Ward is an outstanding fighter, and MTK Global is looking forward to working with Salita Promotions to further Thomas's career and put him in line to win a world title." said Bob Yalen, President of MTK Global. "Dmitriy and Salita Promotions have done an excellent job at handling the careers of a number of prospects and contenders, and we think that between our organizations we will have Thomas positioned at the top of the super bantamweight division at the proper time." 
 
“I am honored to enter into a promotional deal with Thomas and to work together with MTK Global which is emerging as one of the top companies in boxing,” said Dmitriy Salita. “Thomas Ward is one of the best pure technicians in boxing. His US Debut was absolutely sensational and I believe in the near future he is not only going to be world champion but a bonafied star in the UK, US and all over the world.”
 
Salita Promotions was founded in 2010 by Dmitriy Salita, a professional boxer and world-title challenger who saw the need for a promotional entity to feature boxing's best young prospects and established contenders in North America and around the world. Viewers watching fighters on worldwide television networks including Showtime, HBO, ESPN, Spike TV, Universal Sports Network, UFC Fight Pass, DAZN, ESPN+ and MSG have enjoyed Salita Promotions fight action in recent years. We pride ourselves on offering our fighters opportunities inside and outside the ring. Salita Promotions looks forward to continuing to grow and serve the needs of fight fans around the globe.
 

Benavidez: Dirrell won't go the distance on September 28th

Benavidez: Dirrell won't go the distance on September 28th

Benavidez: Dirrell won't go the distance on September 28th
Undefeated former WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez (pictured) is on a mission to get his belt back. Known as the Red Flag, Benavidez lost his title to the white powder, but has since gotten himself back together. He returned to the ring and destroyed former prospect J'Leon Love in two rounds and he's now slightly more than two months away from getting the green belt "back where it belongs". Boxingtalk spoke to Benavidez after Caleb Plant's victory and he made it clear to us that he doesn't see the current WBC champion Anthony Dirrell going twelve rounds with him. "I've been watching Anthony Dirrell since I was 13 years old and I have a lot of respect for him, but he's an older fighter and I need to get my belt back so on September 28th, he's getting knocked out," said Benavidez. Full interview with the undefeated young gun to follow shortly.

Soro defeats late replacement in France

Soro defeats late replacement in France
Michel Soro TKO5 Anderson Prestot. ... At the Palace of Sports, in Marseille, France, Michel Soro (34-2-1) scored a technical knockout over fellow Frenchman Anderson Prestot (23-2). Soro stopped Prestot, a late replacement, in the fifth round. Soro was slated to fight for the vacant WBA regular junior middleweight championship against Magomed Kurvanov but Kurvanov was recently injured, so Soro remains the WBA mandatory contender. Julian WIlliams holds the WBA super championship in the division, but is not expected to face Soro soon. More likely, Soro will fight for the WBA's paper regular title against either Kurvanov or the winner of Erislandy Lara vs. Ramon Alvarez, a bout scheduled for August 31st. source: wba

Gamboa: "After this fight, I'm ready for anyone at 130 or 135"

Gamboa: "After this fight, I'm ready for anyone at 130 or 135"
Former featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa will look to put himself squarely back into world title contention when he faces fellow former champion Roman “Rocky” Martinez on Saturday, July 27th live on Showtime from Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore. Gamboa last fought in November 2018, when he dropped Miguel Beltran Jr. on his way to winning via unanimous decision in their ten-round fight. He took the momentum from that fight directly into camp for his matchup against Martinez.  “I feel great and I’m in the ideal condition for this fight,” said Gamboa. “It helped immensely that I fought in November 2018 and went back to the gym in late January 2019. I started training camp for this fight in early May 2019 to get me in the best shape possible for Martinez.
 
“I have to be the best that I can be, and I know that I will be. The rest will take care of itself. I am not coming off a long layoff like I was in previous years, and I’m thankful to my team that put me in this position to get right back in the ring.”
 
In Martinez, Gamboa faces another former champion who will be looking to get himself back into the world title picture. Neither fighter can afford a loss at this point in their careers, which  serves as the ingredients for a high-stakes and exciting battle. 
 
“I expect this fight to be a very cerebral fight at first,” said Gamboa. “You have two former world champions with huge amounts of experience between Martinez and I. It will build into a very entertaining bout for everyone watching. The fans are going to witness boxing at its highest level.” 
 
Amongst his wealth of experience in the ring, Gamboa has faced a litany of champions and contenders throughout his career. Heading into the fight against Martinez, Gamboa sees similarities to his past triumphs over former champions Orlando Salido and Daniel Ponce De Leon. 
 
“I see similarities in Martinez to my previous fights against Salido and Ponce De Leon,” said Gamboa. “Both were tough and rugged and kept coming forward. We all know that Martinez fits the bill as a tough fighter who will never back down. Having faced these two opponents in the past will help me a great deal in this fight.”
  
Gamboa will be fighting as the chief support to a bout featuring WBA 130-pound super champion Gervonta Davis, who defends his title in his hometown against mandatory challenger Ricardo Núñez. If Davis and Gamboa are both victorious on July 27th, Gamboa would welcome a future showdown between the two. “After I win this fight, I am ready for anyone at 130 or 135 pounds,” said Gamboa. “Gervonta Davis is a very good fighter and has done a fantastic job in his campaign as a 130-pound champion. If Gervonta happens to be the next fight, let’s throw hands and see what happens.
 
“Unlike my fight with Terrence Crawford at 135 pounds, I feel like I would be the bigger man in the ring against Gervonta. A win versus Martinez is a wonderful opportunity and I will not let it go to waste as it will catapult me to much bigger fights, which my fans deserve.”
 
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions in association with GTD Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or at the Royal Farms Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. ET to 5 p.m. ET.  
 
 

Lomachenko to face Campbell in London

Lomachenko to face Campbell in London

Lomachenko to face Campbell in London
Three-division champion Vasiliy Lomachenko will face Luke Campbell for the WBC, WBA and WBO lightweight championships on Saturday August 31st at The O2 in London, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and ESPN+ in the US. Lomachenko (listed as 13-1 but more accurately 19-1 including the Wolrd Series of Boxing professional bouts), who went 396-1 as an amateur, won gold in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and has won world titles at 126, 130 and 135 pounds in the paid ranks. He won the WBO featherweight title by dominating Gary Russell Jr. over twelve rounds. He made his lightweight debut last May, tearing the labrum in his right shoulder in the second round and rising from a sixth-round knockdown to knock out WBA champion Jorge Linares in the tenth.
 
Lomachenko added the WBO title to his collection in December 2018, scoring a pair of knockdowns in the eleventh round and ultimately winning a unanimous decision over Jose Pedraza. He last fought in April at Staples Center in Los Angeles, taking out mandatory challenger Anthony Crolla in four rounds. The Ukrainian’s punch power and supreme boxing ability have seen him rise to the top of the 135lbs division and on August 31 he will step through the ropes as a pro for the first time on UK soil.
 
Campbell (20-2, 16 KOs) is ranked number one in the WBC and landed the mandatory slot for the World title when he exacted revenge over Frenchman Yvan Mendy at Wembley Stadium, London in September 2017. Last time out, he stopped Mexico’s Adrian Young in five rounds in Philadelphia.
 
The London 2012 Olympic Gold medal star was superb in his first World title clash, being edged out via split decision against then-WBA king Linares in September 2017 in Los Angeles – with Campbell bravely pushing the Venezuelan close after losing his father in the build-up to the fight.
 
Campbell, trained by Shane McGuigan in London, now has a chance to establish himself as the number one Lightweight on the planet as he goes toe-to-toe with the highly-skilled ‘Hi-Tech’ at the famous arena in Greenwich.
 
“This is a fight for history because my goal is to unify all of the belts in the Lightweight division,” Lomachenko said. “Luke Campbell is the next challenge for me on that journey. He is an excellent fighter who I remember well from the 2012 Olympics. He has a difficult style, and I cannot afford to overlook him.
 
“It is very special for me to fight in London. I visited last year, and the response from the people was overwhelming. They respect my fighting style and are passionate about boxing. I can’t wait to put on a great show for everyone.”
 
“The best fighting the best, this is going to make one hell of a fight,” said Campbell. “I am in this sport to be the best to become a World Champion. This is what I train and work so hard for, to become a champion and fulfil my potential.
 
“He is ranked number one pound-for-pound on the planet so for me to fight a guy like that only encourages me more to be the best that I can be and it is exactly the level that I want to be at. I’m well aware of how good he is and what he is capable of doing but I’m also well aware of what I can do and what I’m going to do.
 
“I think that I can knock out anyone that I hit right, I believe that I am one of the biggest punchers in the Lightweight division. This is going to be the toughest fight of my life and I’m preparing for it, physically and mentally. This is Luke Campbell’s year, it’s my time.”
 
“This is a huge moment for British boxing,” said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Boxing. “It is an honor to bring pound-for-pound number one Vasiliy Lomachenko to the UK to challenge Luke Campbell for the WBC, WBA, WBO lightweight world titles.
 
“I truly believe Luke Campbell has a fantastic chance here on home soil to upset his fellow Olympic Gold Medallist. This will be a huge event, not just in Britain, but around the World. We’re planning another huge undercard for a special night of boxing. I cannot wait for August 31st”
 
“Vasiliy Lomachenko is a unique talent who is going to take the United Kingdom by storm,” said Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum. “Luke Campbell is an excellent fighter, but Lomachenko is in a class of his own. The fans on that side of the pond have wanted Lomachenko to return ever since he turned pro. It’s going to be a crazy, sold-out crowd at The O2, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Lomachenko has the crowd’s support.”
 
“We are absolutely thrilled to have the finest fighter on the planet heading to London,” said Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing. “This is a very special occasion and a golden opportunity for Luke Campbell. Two Olympics Champions going head-to-head and a huge bill at the famous O2. Do not miss this one off as Vasiliy Lomachenko performs his amazing talent here on our shores.”
 
 
 

Constantin Bejenaru looking to stay active following comeback win

Constantin Bejenaru looking to stay active following comeback win
Greg Leon: Congrats on your comeback victory (a sixth-round stoppage) over Jose Humberto Corral (20-25). How did it feel to finally get back in there? Can you give us some thoughts on your performance? Constantin Bejenaru: Thank you so much.  I feel very good and am glad to be back in the ring.  Corral is a tough man and he gave me a few good rounds, which is exactly what I needed after nearly two years without a fight.
 
GL: You don't get paid for overtime in boxing, but are you happy that you were able to get some rounds in following such a long layoff? CB:I’m excited to be back, I love boxing, It is something I have been doing for more than 25 years and for me, it is about much more than money. Boxing has given me an education.  It has given me discipline.  And it has given me so many opportunities.  I love the sport and have met so many good people because of the sport.
 
GL: Is there any early indications as to when your next fight might take place?
 
CB: I just fought last Friday so now is the time that my team will sit down and discuss what comes next.  I am certain that my promoter will give me the right fight to move my career forward.
 
GL: What do you feel you need to improve on moving forward?
 
CB:This fight was a good comeback fight as it not only allowed me to shake off some rust but also made me realize that there are many small things that I forgot and that I need to work on to continue to improve as a fighter.  I thank my opponent for the good rounds that he provided to me.
 
GL: Do you want to get at least another fight like this out of the way before you step it up?
 
CB:Before this fight I was not sure whether I would need one or two tune-up fights, but my body feels great so I’m ready for big fights.
 
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
 
CB: I have started a new chapter in my career. I am really motivated and I will do my best to win a world title. Stay focused because you will see many good, exciting fights from me.

Results from Long Island, NY: Gonzalez, James win

Results from Long Island, NY: Gonzalez, James win
Danny Gonzalez (18-2-1, 7KOs) went to war with Jerome Conquest... In the main event in Long Island, New York over the weekend, Danny Gonzalez (18-2-1, 7KOs) defeated Jerome Conquest (10-5, 1 KO) in a New York vs. Philadelphia battle.  From the opening bell, both fighters went for broke and the junior welterweight bout soon turned into a war.  Both Gonzalez and Conquest let their hands fly, scoring to both the body and the head.  In the second half of the fight, Gonzalez showed off his stamina and punch rate by continuously bringing the fight to Conquest. At the end of the tenth round both fighters emptied the tank and left everything they had in the ring. Gonzalez's work rate led to a clear, but tough, unanimous decision. 
 
Tyrone James TKO2 Ray Oliveira, Jr. ... In the co-feature, Tyrone James (10-0, 7 KOs) took on Ray Oliveira, Jr. (9-3, 1 KO).  Both men started the bout tactfully, trying to gain an edge over the other, but James started to press the action and exploded with a barrage of punches in the second round.  After James landed a left hand that hurt Oliveira Jr., he pounced on his opponent with a flurry of punches forcing the referee to stop the bout. James earned his fifth consecutive knockout victory at 1:47 into the second round.
 
MORE RESULTS
 
Welterweight Dennis Okoth (4-2-1, 2 KOs) upset Ronnie Austion (10-2, 7 KOs).  Austion started strong, but as the fight went on, Okoth figured out the Detroit native's movement.  Okoth applied consistent pressure and the judges scored it for Okoth by majority decision.  (76-76 Draw, 78-74 Okoth, 77-75 Okoth). This is Okoth's second upset in a row, as he defeated Dylan Moran at Star Boxing's recent Catskills Clash...
 
 
In the opening two bouts of the evening, Brooklyn native Justice Bland won his pro debut, defeating Rafael Castillo (now 1-3), of the Bronx, by unanimous decision. All three scorecrards read 39-37...
 
Jermaine Corley defeated Juan Mancila (1-1, 1 KO) in a junior middleweight bout. Corly (now 3-6, 2 KOs) won the four-round bout that saw both fighters throw caution to the wind. Corley came out on top for his second consecutive upset, by majority decision. (38-38 draw, 39-37 Corley, 40-36 Corley).
 
Star Boxing's Joe DeGuardia had this to say about the night of fights, "'Rockin' Fights' brought Paramount fans an exciting night of action once again.  Congratulations to both Danny Gonzalez and Tyrone James on impressive victories.  We will be back at The Paramount on September 20th." source for all results: star boxing

Pacquiao hands Thurman first loss in throwback performance

Pacquiao hands Thurman first loss in throwback performance

Pacquiao hands Thurman first loss in throwback performance
Manny Pacquiao W12 Keith Thurman: In what was arguably the most entertaining, while simultaneously the most competitive Manny Pacquiao fight in years, a legend further added to his legacy as perhaps one of the greatest fighters ever in boxing, winning a split decision over a sharp, focused, and previously unbeaten Keith Thurman.  The speed of Pacquaio’s feet, hands, and head were simply too much for Thurman, which was apparent in the first round, as a charging Manny dropped Thurman flat on his back with a straight left to the body and a lightning quick right hook to the jaw.  The back of Thurman’s head seemed to hit the canvas faster than the punch itself.  Not losing his wits however, Thurman rose and instantly silenced the pro-Manny crowd with a crisp and powerful right hook upstairs of his own to stop Manny in his tracks--an exchange that could not have made for a more accurate illustration for what became an incredibly intense twelve round fight.  By the start of round 5, Thurman had begun to land thunderous combinations on Pacquiao, even perhaps briefly stunning Manny and forcing him to cover up along the ropes.  But Manny being Manny, as frequently as Thurman landed over the course of 12 rounds, he never allowed the momentum to favor the younger fighter for long.  The Filipino’s savage flurries found their mark over and over again on the head and body of Thurman, proving to be decidedly more consistent and more damaging throughout.  The official scores were closer than anticipated, but the guy who beat the other guy ended up officially winning too, by scores of 115-113 for Thurman, and 115-112 twice for Manny, who improves to 62-7-2 (39 KOs).  Keith Thurman enters the first mark in his loss column at the hands of a boxing immortal, and even after tonight’s performance in defeat, he has not relinquished his status as one of the top-tier fighters at welterweight.  He drops to 29-1 with 22 KOs. Source: PBC on Fox PPV

Pacquiao-Thurman undercard results

Pacquiao-Thurman undercard results
Yordenis Ugas W12 Omar Figueroa: Omar Figueroa looked like an aged fighter for the first time in his career from the opening bell against Yordenis Ugas.  While Figueroa has never boasted a chiseled physique, he appeared especially soft around the midsection tonight.  Ugas landed a sharp right hand over the top in round 1 that sent Figueroa backward into the ropes which held him up, therefore correctly ruled a knockdown by referee Russell Mora.  The far fresher fighter Ugas consistently got off first, last, and everywhere in between.  His punches were sharp, powerful, and frequent.  While Omar remained game, he was never able to mount the effective attack that had kept him undefeated until tonight.  Omar’s back was often against the ropes to close out the first half of the fight.  His eyes saw Ugas’ punches coming, but did not have it in him physically tonight to roll with them, let alone duck a few times.  In the seventh round, Ugas’ power combinations were so frequent that a corner or referee stoppage might be imminent.  Omar Figueroa was thoroughly shut down tonight against the younger and (tonight) the better fighter in Yordenis Ugas who swept just about every minute of this fight—a fantastic performance by the native Colombian.  While the stoppage never did come, Ugas impressively sweeps every round on every scorecard: 119-107 three times, with a meaningless point deducted for holding midway through the fight; he improves to 24-4 (11 KOs) while a faded Omar Figueroa tastes defeat for the first time tonight and falls to 28-1-1 (19 KOs).
 
Sergey Lipinets TKO2 Jayar Inson: Jayar Inson should be given credit for taking on Sergey Lipinets at the last minute to fill in for the recently injured John Molina Jr.  However, he was simply not equipped to last more than four minutes against Lipinets tonight.  The first round saw Inson moving away from the pressured attack of Lipinets.  And it was at :57 of round 2 that Lipinets landed a devastating counter left hook to the chin of Inson that dropped him instantly.  While he was on his feet at the count of eight, referee Jay Nady called a halt to the contest.  Sergey Lipinets improves to 16-1 (12 KOs) while Jaray Inson falls to 18-3 (12 KOs).
 
Luis Nery KO9 Juan Carlos Payano: Former WBC bantamweight champion Luis Nery (30-0, 24 KOs) stopped a game Juan Carlos Payano (21-3, 9 KOs) at the 1:43 mark of the 9th round.  It was a short and powerful left hook under the ribs that dropped Nery for the ten count.  It was a competitive, while not always supremely entertaining, back and forth fight, with neither fighter decisively owning the momentum until around the 7th round.  It was Nery’s pressure and sharp punching that separated him from the ultimately outgunned Payano.  This marks the 11th straight knockout for the still undefeated Luis Nery. Source: PBC on Fox PPV

Caleb Plant eats fresh in first defense, stops Lee in three

Caleb Plant eats fresh in first defense, stops Lee in three

Caleb Plant TKO3  Mike Lee: Undefeated IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant (19-0 11KO) was in total against previously undefeated Mike Lee. For reasons unbeknownst to this scribe, Lee (21-1 11KO) spent years rated in the top ten at light heavyweight and ventured down to super middleweight for this one sided thrashing in his first title fight. Plant came out slick looking to box, but quickly learned that his punches were going to have a great effect on his overmatched foe. Lee was down three times before the fight was merficully stopped in the third round.  Source: Fox

Ajagba dominates in first distance fight

Ajagba dominates in first distance fight

Ajagba dominates in first distance fight
Efe Ajagba UD10 Ali Efren Demirezen:Undefeated heavyweight up and comer Efe Ajagba (17-0 15KO) went the distance for the first time in his young career. After having only gone 17 rounds in his first sixteen fights, Ajagba was forced to work all ten round against a game as they come Ali Efren Demirezen. Both guys were in tremendous shape and threw a ton of punches for heavyweights, but in the end it was Ajagba's cleaner shots and ability to keep Demirezen at the end of his jab that were the difference. Boxingtalk scored it 98-92.  Official scores were 97-93, and 99-91 twice.

Spence-Porter booked for Sept. 28th in Los Angeles

Spence-Porter booked for Sept. 28th in Los Angeles
Welterweight champions collide when IBF champion Errol "The Truth'' Spence Jr. clashes with WBC ruler "Showtime'' Shawn Porter in a pay-per-view unification match on Saturday, September 28th at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The co-feature will pit WBC super middleweight Champion Anthony "The Dog" Dirrell against unbeaten former title holder David "El Bandera Roja" Benavidez. Tickets for the event go on sale Monday, July 22 at 12 p.m. PT and can be purchased at AXS.com. "Errol Spence Jr. versus Shawn Porter in a welterweight unification match brings to mind some of the great 147-pound clashes of the past - Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Kid Gavilan, Leonard vs. Hearns or Whitaker vs. Chavez,'' said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. "Both men are in their primes and both like to apply pressure. With that clash of styles, something has to give. In the co-feature, Anthony Dirrell doesn't want to give up the title and David Benavidez wants it back. Played out before an electric crowd at Staples Center in Los Angeles and headlining a PBC on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View, this show has instant classic written all over it.''
 
Spence vs. Porter represents a major step forward in the quest to find the best 147-pound boxer on the planet. Spence has declared that anyone who wants to make that claim will have to come through him. Porter has already faced the some of the biggest names in the division, including Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, and will make Spence back up his boast.
 
The unbeaten Spence (25-0, 21 KOs) is a young, powerful welterweight who vaulted to the top of the welterweight scene with a punishing 11th round knockout victory over Kell Brook for the IBF championship in front of Brook's hometown fans in Sheffield, England in 2017. Fighting out of Desoto, Texas, Spence has successfully defended the title three times. Most recently he scored a unanimous decision victory over three-division world champion Mikey Garcia before a hometown crowd at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on March 16.
 
"It's going to be a very exciting fight," said Spence. "Shawn is never in a boring fight and I always entertain. It will be a 'Fight of the Year' type fight because our styles mesh. Shawn Porter is a guy who tries to rough you up. That's what he's always done. With Yordenis Ugas he tried to box and he said he didn't like that style. He said he is going back to his original style. If he brings that style to me, it's going to be a great fight because I'm going to bring it right back to him.''
 
The 31-year-old Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) is a two-time welterweight champion whose high-pressure style has served him well in his rise in the 147-pound division. Born in Akron, Ohio and now living in Las Vegas, Porter won the IBF welterweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Devon Alexander in 2013. He lost the title, which Spence now has, to Kell Brook by a majority decision in 2014. Porter moved back into the championship ranks with a unanimous decision victory over Danny Garcia for the vacant WBC title in 2018. He successfully defended the title with a split decision victory over Yordenis Ugas in March.
 
"There haven't been too many fights as a professional that I've been this excited about," said Porter. "I was really excited about the Danny Garcia fight and I'm really excited about this one. Ever since Spence got a belt, I really circled this fight on my calendar. Preparation is the key. I think I have everything it takes to beat Errol Spence. I'm very confident and my team is confident in what I have to do on September 28th. We'll be ready."
 
Dirrell vs. Benavidez promises to be a hotly contested battle for the WBC Super Middleweight title. Dirrell is a two-time WBC 168-pound world champion and will bring experience, while Benavidez will bring his high-octane style.
 
The 34-year-old Dirrell (33-1-1, 24 KOs) won the WBC title for the first time with a unanimous decision over Sakio Bika in 2014. The native of Flint, Michigan lost the title the next year to Badou Jack by majority decision. He put together six straight victories after that loss to get back into position to fight for the championship again. He won the title with a technical decision victory over Avni Yildirim in February on FS1. Dirrell is the younger brother of Andre Dirrell, who won a bronze medal as a member of the U.S. Olympic boxing team in 2004.
 
"I'm going to work my butt off, putting in extra hours in the gym, because this is one of the toughest opponents I've ever fought,'' Dirrell said. "He's young and he's tough. But I'm more than ready for anything that he can bring. I bring an exciting fight. He knows that. The world knows that. He can talk, but nothing matters but what happens in the ring. I wanted this fight to be out west because I will fight anybody anywhere. It's only two people in the ring and we're going to give a good entertaining fight for the fans.''
 
Benavidez (21-0, 18 KOs) won the WBC title with a split decision victory over Ronald Gavril in 2017. Fighting out of Phoenix, Arizona, Benavidez successfully defended the title with a more convincing unanimous decision over Gavril in the rematch four months later. The 22-year-old returned to the ring to score an impressive knockout victory over veteran J'Leon Love in March on the Spence vs. Garcia PBC.
 
"I'm looking forward to reclaiming my WBC belt in my next fight against Anthony Dirrell," said Benavidez. "This fight is overdue and I guarantee I will be ready for whatever he brings to the ring. The fans are really going to enjoy this one.''

UPDATE: Dadashev to undergo brain surgery

UPDATE: Dadashev to undergo brain surgery
Subriel Matias TKO11 Maxim Dadashev... UPDATE: Scary moments followed this fight unfortunately.  Maxim Dadashev’s legs gave out under him during the walk back to his dressing room. Members of his team struggled to hold him up and moved him toward a stretcher, with Dadashev vomiting in the process.  Initial reports from ESPN stated that he was responsive to the paramedics.  The Washington Post reported Dadashev would be undergoing brain surgery, although as of late Friday night, it was unclear if the surgery had been completed. Boxingtalk.com sends its positive thoughts to Maxim and his family in this difficult and scary time. Maxim Dadashev (13-1, 11 KOs) tasted defeat for the first time in his career tonight against a relentless Subriel Matias.  From the opening bell, this fight put two contrasting styles on display: Subriel Matias was pressuring and stalking, with Maxim Dadashev laterally moving and sticking single shots to the head and body.  With all the moving and nervous energy expended by Dadashev, it appeared clear that it might be only a matter of time before a hard charging Matias could close the gap and find his range.  And sure enough, by the end of round 3, Dadashev looked plainly uncomfortable.  However, just as Matias was appearing more and more like the boss, a stream of blood began to flow from the right eye of the aggressor, result of an accidental clash of heads.  If Dadashev was looking for a drastic shift in dynamic, this might have been it.  The sight of his opponent’s blood did appear to boost the confidence of Dadashev, as he began to really sit down on his punches in round 4, a round that Dadashev plainly won.  And as Matias’ pressure lessened, so too did Dadashev’s movement, allowing him to conserve energy, get off more, and ultimately score clean power shots upstairs and down on the slowing Matias.  It wouldn’t prove easy though for Dadashev.  While Matias wasn’t cutting off the ring as effectively as he did in the first 3 rounds, his pressure never ceased.  Matias’ body shots were vicious and relentless.  Each man successfully employed his contrasting game plan and it made for an aesthetically-satisfying, back-and-forth show through 11 rounds.  Going in to the 12th, however, Buddy McGirt, trainer of Maxim Dadashev, put an end to the bone-breaking punishment that his fighter had absorbed throughout, culminating with an 11th round that some might have considered a 10-8 in favor of Matias.  Buddy McGirt made the right call and put the health and well-being of his fighter first.  Although Dadashev did not argue with his coach, that was not an indication of his level of courage in this fight.  Subriel Matias was simply too aggressive and too strong for Dadashev in the end.  A fantastic show by the still undefeated Matias who now improves to 14-0 and has stopped every opponent he’s faced. Source: ESPN+ / Washington Post
 
 
 
 

Lopez goes hard twelve against determined Nakatani

Lopez goes hard twelve against determined Nakatani

Lopez goes hard twelve against determined Nakatani
Masayoshi Nakatani’s (18-1, 12 KOs) awkward and gangly style presented some early issues for Teofimo Lopez through three rounds, making Lopez look rather human comparative to his recent fights.  But if Nakatani didn’t receive the memo regarding Lopez’s “Takeover” through three, then it was read to him at the beginning of round 4.  Lopez’s patience, precision, and power punches were the difference makers thru 6.  Yet round 7 saw a determined Nakatani who refused to lie down from the crisp and powerful combinations from Lopez.  The Japanese fighter’s chin proved durable enough to apply the pressure necessary to land some significant shots on Lopez, even if it wasn’t enough to win any of the middle rounds.  While still in control of the fight, the reality was clear for the young star: he was being tested tonight.  The final seconds of round 10 had a nice display of power combinations from both men, each landing on the other, setting the stage for what promised to be highly entertaining championship rounds.  Rounds 11 and 12 were highly competitive, yet ultimately controlled by Lopez, who wins his first twelve round decision by scores of 119-109 and 118-110 twice.  The disparity in the scorecards was not a direct representation of the action, however; this was a competitive fight, albeit won comfortably by Teofimo.  The question tonight was, which test was Lopez taking?  If it was the test of proving he could go twelve hard rounds against a durable and skilled fighter, then he passes with flying colors.  But if it was the test to prove he could beat Vasily Lomachenko, then he didn’t pass that one…not tonight at least.  Alas, he emerges victorious in a solid performance (though coined “horrible” by Lopez in his post fight interview) and now improves to 14-0 with 11 KOs.  He appears to now have a stiffer test lined up against the IBF Champion, Richard Commey (29-2, 26 KOs).  
 
 
 
**update on Maxim Dadashev: according to reports supplied by Dadashev's manager Egis Klemas, he has since lost consciousness, has been transferred to a trauma unit, and is currently undergoing emergency surgery in hopes of alleviating swelling on the brain.
 
 
 
Source: ESPN+

Undercard Results from Mayrland

Undercard Results from Mayrland
Esquiva Falcao TKO8 Jesus Antonio Gutierrez... Middleweight Esquiva Falcao (24-0, 16 KOs) of Brazil stopped Jesus Antonio Gutierrez (25-4-2, 12 KOs) in the eighth round of a scheduled ten-rounder. Falcao scored a knockdown in the eighth, and an accumulation of punches forced referee Kenny Braslow to stop the bout. "He was a very tough fighter. I was prepared because of that," Falcao said. "I saw that I hurt him, and I went for the knockout. I told myself that if I want to be a world champion, I needed to knock out this guy. Bob Arum, I'm ready for my title shot! I'll go anywhere. Japan, Brazil, it doesn't matter."
 
Dusty Hernandez-Harrison TKO7 Juan De Angel... Washington, D.C. native Dusty Hernandez-Harrison  (33-0-1, 19 KO) thrilled his hometown fans, knocking out Colombian veteran Juan De Angel (21-12-1, 19 KOs) in the seventh round of a middleweight bout.
 
MORE RESULTS
 
Heavyweight Cassius Chaney (16-0, 10 KOs) knocked out Joel Caudle (8-3-2, 5 KOs) in the first round of a scheduled eight-rounder, knocking Caudle out of the ring before finishing things off moments later...
 
Tyler McCreary (16-0-1, 7 KOs) escaped with a split decision over veteran Jessie Cris Rosales (22-3, 10 KOs) in an eight-round lightweight fight. The scores were as followed: 77-75 McCreary, 77-75 Rosales and 78-74 McCreary...
 
Middleweight Tyler Howard (18-0, 11 KOs) secured an eight-round unanimous decision over Jamaal Davis (18-15-1, 7 KOs) by scores of 80-72 (twice) and 78-73...
 
In a battle of unbeaten lightweights, Rolando Vargas (3-0, 3 KOs) stopped Nathaniel Davis (1-1, 1 KO) at 1:50 of the second round of a crowd-pleasing brawl. source for all results: top rank
 
 

One-On-One With Joe Goossen

One-On-One With Joe Goossen
Justin Hackman: Joe, you’ve got a big fight tomorrow as your fighter Sergey Lipinets takes on your former fighter, John Molina.  How was camp? Joe Goossen: I couldn’t have asked for a better camp—six days a week, great sparring, no injuries, etc.  The real key there though was the sparring.  You’ll never find someone to emulate your opponent perfectly, but we had a very close facsimile to that.  
 
JH: You trained Molina for six years and in the process created a bond that remains strong to this day.  How do you negotiate within yourself that this is my business and as a trainer, I need to exploit the insufficiencies of my former fighter in order for my current fighter to win? 
 
JG: That’s a legitimate question.  The respect factor between the Molina family and myself, as well as John and Sergey, we are all friendly towards each other.  But ultimately it is a business.  Sometimes you get thrown into situations that are seemingly uncomfortable, but when the rubber meets the road, it’s all business for me, as I’m sure it’s the same for their camp.  That’s when the sparks will fly.  In terms of exploiting John’s style, he said to me with a smile: “Joe, I know what you’re thinking!”  He knows me, how I work, and John is coming to win just like we are.  I expect to see John Molina at his best Saturday.
 
JH: You and Sergey are coming off a great win and spectacular performance over a top-notch fighter in Lamont Peterson.  Has that victory made Lipinets a better fighter?
 
JG: It was the camp going into that fight which made Sergey a better fighter.  The work and commitment he put into training allowed Sergey to perform the way he did that night against Peterson.  When I train someone, we prepare for the 10 or 12 toughest rounds in his life, and we take it to that place in camp.  So everything you saw in that performance against Peterson, I had seen already in camp.  So yes, the preparation made him a better fighter, and the same can be said of this camp.
 
JH: How does Sergey beat John Molina?
 
JG: To beat Molina, you must have a high IQ in the ring, and you must stay within yourself and not get caught up in, you know, what it is that John’s looking to do.  You gotta stay very focused, because John is a homerun hitter.  In baseball terms, he may strike out a lot, he’ll swing and miss, but John can hit homeruns.  We need to stay focused on our game plan, and that is to throw him a lot of curveballs, a lot of off-speed pitches, and fastballs as well.  But we must remain smart and focused throughout.
 
JH: So assuming you’re looking at this as a distance fight, if Lipinets gets a stoppage, would you be surprised?
 
JG: I’m never surprised what can happen in the boxing ring.  I subscribe to the theory that says you prepare for the most grueling 10 rounds you can imagine.  And if you get anything less than that, it’s a gift.
 
JH: Prediction on Pacquiao/Thurman?
 
JG: I’m going to be in the commentary booth for that one after our own fight.  So because of that, I have stayed away from any firm predictions because I don’t want to go into the fight as a commentator with any preconceived notions.  But I will say this: Keith Thurman looks to me like he’s in better shape for this than he was for the Josesito Lopez fight.  When fighters are prepared to be at their best, there is a glow about them, and I see that in Thurman right now.  Now Pacquiao, you know what you’re getting with him—he’s about as consistent as it gets.  So I foresee an incredibly close and highly competitive match.  But the size difference is palpable; I noticed that right away with these two.  There’s also the age factor—Thurman looks younger and fresher.  There’s a lot to be said for both guys.  Pacquiao can never be overlooked because we all know what he’s capable of.  And Thurman, I expect to see a much sharper version of him than we witnessed in his last fight.  
 
JH: Joe, best of luck, and it’s always a pleasure talking to you; we’ll speak after the fight.
 
JG: Thanks, Justin, sounds great.

Yordenis Ugas plans to leave no doubt against Omar Figueroa Jr

Yordenis Ugas plans to leave no doubt against Omar Figueroa Jr

Yordenis Ugas plans to leave no doubt against Omar Figueroa Jr
Greg Leon: How's everything going in preparation for your July 20th bout versus Omar Figueroa Jr. [28-0-1]? Yordenis Ugas: "The same as always, I'm excited to be getting right back into the ring with a great opporunity like this, it's just an exciting time for me. In a month's time I'm going to be in the ring with Omar Figueroa who is a former [WBC lightweight] champion and a good fighter." GL: He's an all action fighter, are you expecting this to be another crowd pleasing fight? YU: "Figueroa is an action fighter, I'm an action fighter and I feel like this is a can't miss fight. It's a can't miss match-up of styles. On July 20th, I plan on getting my hand raised in victory and regain my spot with the WBC to fight for the title that I feel I should have won a few months ago. I'm looking to get right back in there to win it."
 
GL: Did the Porter decision change your mentality at all coming into fights? Will you go balls to the wall more now?
 
YU: "To be honest I pressed the action most of the time. I feel like I could have jabbed a bit more, I probably could have fired off a few more shots. I won the fight and I feel like Porter wasn't engaging. Sometimes it's hard to let your hands go against a guy who just doesn't want to engage. Porter just wasn't letting his hands go, I expect this fight to be different. I don't think Omar Figueroa is going to be afraid to get in there and slug it out, and that's the type of fight I like, thats the type of fight I want."
 
GL: How confident are you that if you win this fight the mandatory will be enforced?
 
YU: "It's not my job to make those kind of decisions, it's my job to go in there and win the fight when they've got the guys in front of me. I think the WBC will do the right thing by me, I feel like the referee missed a knockdown that cost me the decision and I'm very happy that the WBC is giving me the opportunity to get right into the positon to fight for it again."
 
GL: What do you think about Figueroa? Have you studied him at all?
 
YU: "Obviously I've watched Figueroa, he's a high level guy who throws a lot of punches and you know he's coming to fight. I'm going to be prepared and I'm going to bring out the best you've ever seen from me on July 20th."
 
GL: Who do you like in Keith Thurman vs. Manny Pacquiao?
 
YU: "That's a great fight and it's tough to call because you don't know which version of these guys we're getting. Are we going to get this best Thurman? That's the question. Right now if I had to pick I'd say Pacquiao, but that could change before the fight."
 
GL: What about Errol Spence vs. Shawn Porter?
 
YU: "I think that's another great fight with two great world champions and I'm leaning towards Spence to beat Shawn Porter."
 
GL: You feel you beat Porter and now he's in a major unification bout. Is this the move you would've made had you gotten your hand raised?
 
YU: "I would have wanted to make the biggest fight possible, but I can't look back now because I've been through worse in my career and worse in my life, I got to keep moving forward. I know I have to beat Omar Figueroa to get to the winner of that one so we'll see how it all plays out."
 
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
 
YU: "Don't miss this fight. This is going to be the best card of the year. I know it's not the main event, but I feel like it's main event material. It's going to be a great night of boxing for the fans and I can't wait!"

Jermaine Franklin vows to come in lighter and throw more punches next time out

Jermaine Franklin vows to come in lighter and throw more punches next time out
Greg Leon: Congrats on your victory over Jerry Forrest? Can you give us some thoughts on your performance? Jermaine Franklin: "I thought I had a decent performance, I think I need to still work on my overall self control. I got a little wild sometimes, but I think I had a decent performance. There's still work to do, but that'll come in time. I think I won the fight 6-7 or 7-3. GL: So you were confident were you that won the fight when the final bell rang? Jermaine Franklin: "It's like I said, I defnitely did enough to win that fight 6-4 or 7-3, but this is boxing I have to take the split decision." GL: What do you feel like you learned in this fight? What do you like you need to do better next time out? JF: "It's all about my patience, I've been working on my patience, but I've got to keep working on it. I also got to stay busier to make it easier for the judges to score these fights. (laughs) I'm definitely going to be more patient, smarter and let my hands go more next time out."
 
GL: The last time we spoke you told me you were expecting to come him much lower than you did against Booker. Why didn't you? What needs to be changed in your camp to make sure you're going to be better next time?
 
JF: "Actually I was like 237 a few days before and then I rehydrated up to 240 for the weigh in. I'm going to come in at the 230's next time though just so I don't hear people saying anything about my weight all the time."
 
GL: Some guys can be at their most effective while heavy, do you feel like you need to lose to weight to be the best version of yourself?
 
JF: "I would say I'm most comfortable a little lighter, maybe like 225-227. I feel like I'm faster and more effective and I'm working my way down there little by little, it's just been very important for me to stay in the gym, so I'm glad I've been able to do that and I can't wait to get back in the ring."
 
GL: Was there anything about Forrest that surprised you?
 
JF: "He was a lot more active than I expected him to be. He was busier than I saw in other fights where he just looked like a slow counter puncher."
 
GL: Do you think you took him lightly?
 
JF: "I don't want to say that, but I feel like I could have been a little more prepared."
 
GL: Any early indication on when your next fight might take place?
 
JF: "I haven't gotten any date yet, but I'm looking to be back in the year before the year for sure."
 
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
 
JF: "Stay tuned. I'm still working and I'm going to be better every time y'all see me. I promise you."

Thurman-Pacquiao final presser quotables

Thurman-Pacquiao final presser quotables

Eight-division champion Manny "PacMan" Pacquiao and unbeaten WBA welterweight superchampion Keith "One Time" Thurman went face-to-face Wednesday at the final press conference before their blockbuster showdown that headlines the Premier Boxing Champions on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View this Saturday night from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Also in attendance at the press conference and going face-to-face Wednesday were welterweightsOmar "El Panterita" Figueroa and Yordenis Ugás, who meet in a 12-round WBC title eliminator, former champion Sergey Lipinets and John "The Gladiator" Molina Jr, who go toe-to-toe in a 10-round welterweight match, plus former bantamweight champions Luis "Pantera" Nery and Juan Carlos Payano, who meet in a 12-round bout. The pay-per-view begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. Prior to the press conference, the pay-per-view undercard fighters participated in media workouts along with fighters competing on FOX PBC Fight Night preceding the pay-per-view. That show is headlined by IBF super middleweight champion Caleb "Sweethands" Plant vs. fellow unbeaten Mike Lee, plus unbeaten heavyweights Efe Ajagba and Ali Eren DemirezenHere's what the fighters had to say on Wednesday: 
 
MANNY PACQUIAO
 
"For me nothing is personal. I have to do my job and there is nothing personal with him. Our job is to fight and he has to prove something, and I have to prove something. That's why I'm so motivated for this fight and this training camp. It's also my first time fighting on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View, so I'm excited to fight on Saturday.
 
"I'm just always smiling no matter what Keith says. It's easy to say things, but it's not easy to do it in the ring. I've been in this sport longer than Keith Thurman, so my experience will be the difference.
 
"This is going to be an exciting fight and a once-in-a-lifetime fight. Like he has said, there is going to be a lot of action in the ring. I respect my opponent because we both believe we can give a good fight to the fans. That's our first concern. The fans and the enjoyment of the fans.
 
"That's Thurman's style to talk a lot. Like I said, it gives me more motivation to focus, and it has helped me a lot leading up to this fight.
 
"I'm not predicting a knockout for this fight, but we did our best in this training camp. I'm focused and motivated, so we'll see. I'll do my best to make the fans happy.
   
"My feeling right now is happiness and excitement to prove that at the age of 40, I can still show my best.
 
"Boxing is my passion. I love to play basketball, but you are a team, you don't know which people are shooting, you or your teammates. Boxing is you alone. When people are cheering for you, it is for you.
 
"We did our best in training and I believe we are physically ready, as well as spiritually ready. I expect a good fight so tune-in Saturday. The way Thurman spoke today, I hope he will live up to it on Saturday."
 
KEITH THURMAN
 
"I'm looking forward to the fight. I'm looking forward to the final moment when my hand is raised. It's been a build-up and a progression my whole career toward this moment on Saturday night.
 
"Manny isn't going to do anything. With the little 'T-Rex' arms. He's about to get beat up. I get to punch a Senator in the face and he's going to feel it. If he's upset about it, he can do something about it Saturday night. It's called swing, swing, swing baby.
 
"I'm a winner in life, and to bet on myself to win in the opening rounds, it makes me do what I said earlier, which is swing, swing, swing. You've got to swing to hit a home run. You can't just sit there and pump fake all day.
 
"It's an honor to be here at MGM Grand. I'm truly looking forward to this fight. We've had a terrific, terrific training camp.
 
"I say I'm going to put him to sleep because I've got power. I want to remind the world of something. Something very simple: I'm Keith 'One Time' Thurman. I have the name for a reason. Not a short season.
 
"I feel like I've made boxing history. When I beat Danny Garcia, we were two undefeated welterweight champions. In boxing history, there haven't been many times when WBA and the WBC was unified with two undefeated welterweights. But, I don't think it's enough to really solidify a legacy. So, I do need the victory to further my own personal legacy come Saturday night.
 
"Do you understand people fight in the street for no money? I'm living a dream to be on this stage, to be on this platform, to have this camera, this camera, that camera, all in front of me.
 
"This really is the outcome of an individual living out their dream. It all comes together on Saturday night.
 
"I've been saying it over and over again, don't be surprised if Manny Pacquiao goes night-night."
 
OMAR FIGUEROA
 
"I have never prepared better than I have for this fight and I am ready to prove that Saturday night. 
 
"It means the world to me to be in this position, especially because of all of the injuries I've had and the setbacks. It's my third fight in almost four years. I am just grateful for this opportunity.
 
"Everything is going well for me including in my last fight. There's often something that happens, but thankfully this camp I have been completely healthy. We were very smart in camp. We were very careful. We sparred the rounds that felt like we needed to spar. I closed camp with 12 hard rounds and I haven't been able to do that in a while because of injuries. It just feels good mentally and all around. I don't think I have ever been in a better place. 
 
"Fighting gets my juices flowing. I feel like I was born to fight. I have been doing this for 24 years now. This is what I live for. 
 
"This camp I've felt great. I was healthy and I did exactly what I needed to do inside the ring as far as sparring and everything. I took care of my hands and my body. Mentally I'm at the best place I've ever been.
 
"My close people know that I'm taking this extremely serious. They see how I am in camp. I've been doing this for 24 years and it takes a toll on the body. For this fight, I'm healthy and everything is looking good. I'm probably on weight right now, and if not I still have more than enough time.
 
"If I stay healthy during the fight, it's not going the distance." 
 
YORDENIS UGAS
 
"I'm really happy to get a second opportunity to earn a world title shot. What happened against Shawn Porter is in the past and I'm only looking into the future, which is Saturday night. 
 
"Omar Figueroa is a very strong fighter who throws a lot of punches. I believe his fighting style in combination with mine will make a very exciting fight. 
 
"A win will put me back in contention for a world title shot, which is what I want. I see the fight as 50/50 but I am only focused on my fight, nothing beyond it.
 
"I predict that I will win. I'm going to give it all I've got. No matter If it goes the full 12 rounds, I am going to fight hard for every send.
 
"There are many other good Cuban fighters such as Erislandy Lara, Luis Ortiz and so on, but I feel as though I am the best. It's up to me to prove it.
 
"I am focused on my fight right now but either Shawn Porter or Errol Spence Jr. has a good shot of winning and I would absolutely be ready to face either one."  
 
SERGEY LIPINETS
 
"I'm very happy and I'm excited that I have this opportunity to fight on a show like this. I'm one hundred percent prepared for this fight, and I believe John is ready to fight as well. So I know it's going to end up being a great fight. 
 
"If someone were to tell me two years ago to imagine myself on this stage, I would never believe it. But, I'm here now and I'm here to make a statement. Everyone is going to be happy to see this fight. 
 
"We changed corners as you know. Joe is in my corner right now and I'm very excited. It motivates me and he gives me a new boxing game and teaches me things that I've never even thought about. When it comes to John Molina Jr., whatever he brings into the ring, we have an answer to. There's not going to be any question marks. 
 
"Well ironically, we started here in the U.S. first at Joe's gym. Finally, we came full circle and I chose to go back to Joe.
 
"Joe Goossen made me a different fighter. My defense got way better. I'm punching in a way where I'm hurting people more and that's just what Joe Goossen does.
 
"Making weight is all about discipline, what you eat, how you maintain your weight outside of the ring and that's what we do. If you are a professional athlete that's what you do. I'm still maintaining my life style.
 
"I have Joe Goossen right now as my lead trainer, so I feel very confident. Prior to the Lamont Petersons fight, he got me in the gym and gave me a new way of fighting and I believe you saw that in the fight with Lamont Peterson. I'm trying to carry on that momentum into the fight with Molina. It's going to be a great fight and no one is going to be disappointed."
 
JOHN MOLINA JR.
 
"It's very special to be a part of this platform. I love what I do. I love putting on for all of the fans and Saturday night is going to be a great night of fights.
 
"This is my job. I have been here before a million times and now it's time for me to do my job on Saturday. Lipinets has a style that excites me because of what I can do as well to make this a great fight. The fans are in for a treat.
 
"He's a tough guy and he's going to come forward. I'm not going to have to go find him. I'm very excited about the fight. He's going to be a good opponent and it's going to be a good fight.
 
"My strong points are my power and my will to win. I look to do my job and I'm always in a position to do it. I'm always in a position to showcase to the world why I'm here. 
 
"Lipinets is a tough guy and he he fared well against Mikey Garcia who's one of the best, so he's definitely a good fighter. I need to be sharp and use my experience to take advantage of him.
 
"I've been in there with the best. I've been in there with everybody. There's nothing that man can do Saturday night that's going to surprise me. So it's up to me to capitalize on that and take advantage of it.
 
"I love the fact that the fans respect my craft and what I do. Because I put my everything into this fight game. Everything that I've ever earned and that I've grinded for it. This is why I give my all every time.
 
"I am going to use my experience to my advantage and I am going to come out on top."
 
LUIS NERY
 
"I am very honored to be here especially with all of my Mexican fans and all of my fans from around the world. I am very pleased and thankful to be on such a great card with Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman.
 
"My strength and power comes from my heart. It will all be on display Saturday night.
 
"We are going to go straight at Payano. We are going to put the pressure on. We are going to go for the knockout, if it doesn't come, we had a great camp in Puerto Rico and we are ready for whatever he brings to the table." 
 
"Being on this card means a lot. First I was on the Errol Spence vs. Mikey Garcia card, now its Manny Pacquiao vs Keith Thurman. I look forward to going after (WBC 118-pound champ) Nordine Oubaali, who has the title I used to hold.
 
"I don't think Nordine Oubaali fought well at all. He's a good fighter but I don't see him doing well in the ring with me. That's my title and I'm going to win it back, 100 percent. He's the champion but that's my title and I'm ready for the opportunity and he's going to have to step his game up when he gets in the ring with me."
 
JUAN CARLOS PAYANO
 
"I am very honored to be on this card. It is a very exciting card with both Pacquiao and Thurman, which will be a great fight. I am honored to be able to be fight for the chance to become world champion again.
 
"My goal is to become champion once again. I am very prepared and have worked extremely hard over the years for this chance.
 
"This is going to be a great fight for the fans and that's what I'm all about. I have the skills and the determination to beat any fighter in the division. I have to show my improvement on Saturday.
 
"It is no secret that Nery is a power puncher, but it is not the first power puncher I have fought and it certainly won't be the last. On Saturday night two warriors are going to get up there but only one is going to walk out victorious. I look forward to being the victorious one."  

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 AXS.com, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts International box office. Plant vs. Lee is presented by Sweethands Promotions and TGB Promotions.

Following comeback win Eric Hunter wants to stay busy

Following comeback win Eric Hunter wants to stay busy
Greg Leon: Congrats on your recent comeback victory over German Meraz. How did it feel to shake the rust off? Can you give us some thoughts on your peformance? Eric Hunter: "I felt good. I was dealing with certain stuff before the fight, I had a little arm problem and I twisted my foot in the fight, but it was cool though. It felt great though to finally be back in the ring and get some of this rust off. GL: Are these injuries the kind that could delay or postpone your next fight? Eric Hunter: "Oh no, no, no. I want to be back in the ring as soon as possible." 
 
GL Why were you off for so long? Weren't you a promotional free agent this whole time? 
 
EH: "It is what it is. I don't want to be on here and say this or that about anybody. I ain't trying to focus on yesterday-- it's all about what's coming today and tomorrow.  I'm just glad I got the win and I want to get right back in the ring asap, like next week if I could."
 
GL: Will you be campaigning at featherweight or 130?
 
EH: "I will be fighting at 126. I could make 126 easy, but I could also fight at 130 if I get a major opportunity up there."
 
GL: How did you and Dmitriy Salita link up?
 
EH: "He offered me an opportunity to get back in the ring and I took it, it was pretty simple. I've heard good things about him and I'm expecting him and my manager to deliver me the fights and keep me busy."
 
GL: How many more fights before you feel like you're ready for a top ten guy in the division?
 
EH: "Another couple for sure. I'm trying to do everything right this time around, there's no rush. I just need to be active and stay busy, having that next date in my pocket will keep me motivated and I just want to stay busy and get fully sharpened up before I get in there with one of the best in the divison. I still got some work to do, I've been off three years and I feel sharp, but that guy I fought is the kind of guy I should be getting rid of in a round or two."
 
GL: Is there any early indication when your next fight might take place?
 
EH: "I don't know anything yet, but I want them to get me something as soon as possible. You know how the game is, to be sharp you got to be busy and I want to be razor sharp when we get to the big fight, because I'm out here doing this to win the big fights."
 
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
 
EH: "I'm back in the win column and as long as I stay busy, when the time comes I'm going to be ready to take anybody's belt at 126 pounds."

Roach talking big says Thurman can either run like Broner or get pushed around like Matthysse

Roach talking big says Thurman can either run like Broner or get pushed around like Matthysse
Freddie Roach, Manny Pacquiao's Hall of Fame trainer, was in a lyrical mood on Wednesday after Senator Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) go through a light workout before heading over to the final press conference.  Pacquiao, age 40, boxing’s only eight-division world champion and the reigning Fighter of the Decade, is just two days away from challenging undefeated WBA welterweight super champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs), from Clearwater, Florida.  The Pacquiao – Thurman welterweight world title attraction headlines a PBC on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View event, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, this Saturday, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
 
“Thurman is ten years younger than Manny and Manny is the one who has been more active.  This will be Manny’s third world title fight in 12 months!  The pressure is all on Thurman to perform.  I think he will make a show of it early and come after Manny.  That’s when reality will set it,” said Roach.  “Thurman will try to keep up with Manny’s pace and that’s when ‘One Time’ finds out what it’s like to fight All Time.  Thurman will then be faced with an unenviable choice.  Does he run away from an old man like Broner, or get pushed around the ring by an old man, like Matthysse?  Manny will have the Fighter of the Year award wrapped up after this one.”
 
A bemused Manny laughed out lout after hearing Freddie…but he didn’t disagree.
 
“There is a big percentage that this fight will not go twelve rounds.  That is not a prediction, just my analysis.  If he goes toe-to-toe with me that will be lovely.  It will make it a shorter fight.” said Manny.  “Keith Thurman is a good fighter.  His record shows that.  His record also shows who he has fought.  His era of opposition is a lot different than mine.  The difference between the mentality of my era compared to Keith Thurman’s is I have a strong passion for the sport of boxing and he seems to have other interests.  I still have something to prove at age forty.  This is not about my legacy.  It is about adding an important milestone to my résumé.  It is about proving that at forty I can still fight anyone, that I am still relevant in boxing.  I have pushed myself to the limit in training camp and I am prepared to push myself to the limit on July 20.  Keith Thurman has talked a good game.  We will see how far he is willing to push himself on Saturday night.”  

Omar Figueroa talks about Saturday's fight vs. Yordenis Ugas

Omar Figueroa talks about Saturday's fight vs. Yordenis Ugas
Justin Hackman: Omar, how's everything going days ahead of your [WBC welterweight elimination] fight with Yordenis Ugas [this Saturday in Las Vegas on the Fox pay-per-view broadcast]? Omar Figueroa: Everything is going amazingly well. I can honestly say that this is one of the best camps ever, maybe the best. My conditioning, my weight, my whole camp from start to finish was amazing. 
 
JH: You once told me that you like to feel what kind power your opponent is bringing to the table. Will this fight be any different for you?
 
OF: Well it's not that I specifically like to get hit, but I like to know where I'm at, and what kinds of shots I can take. I'm not going to purposefully take shots, but you will see the same aggressive Omar Figueroa coming to trade.
 
JH: Is this the toughest test of your career?
 
OF: Maybe. But it's not as though that has been something I've been focused on necessarily. I am focused on myself and what I need to do to win. My hands feel great, my body feels great, and I'm ready to go. 
 
JH: So what do you need to do to beat Yordenis Ugas on Saturday? 
 
OF: I come into every fight the same. Are you gonna trade with me, or am I gonna have to chase you down? I'm prepared for both. Either way, I know I'm capable of beating any fighter on any night. It's gonna be a great fight.
 
JH: Closing thoughts? 
 
OF: I appreciate your support as always, and get ready for a great performance.
 
 
 

Warriors signs Cuban light heavyweight Osvary David Morrell Gutierrez

Warriors signs Cuban light heavyweight Osvary David Morrell Gutierrez
Warriors Boxing of South Florida and Russia-based Ural Promotions have signed light heavyweight Osvary David Morrell Gutierrez of Cuba to a long-term promotional contract.  The 21-year-old Morrell Gutierrez is [touted by Warriors and Ural] as one of the most promising fighters to ever come out of Cuba. Among his many amateur distinctions, he was a 2017 Cuban National Champion, a 2016 AIBA World Youth Champion in St. Petersburg, Russia, named “Best Boxer of the Tournament” and a 2018 India Open International Boxing Tournament in New Delhi, India.  Morrell Gutierrez finished his amateur career with an astounding record of 130-2, having only lost to a close fight to Olympic gold medalist Julio César la Cruz and to Canada’s Harvey David O'Reilly in Canada, a loss which he later avenged.
 
Warriors Boxing Chief Operating Officer, Luis DeCubas can’t heap enough praise on the young phenom. “Most people that know Cuban boxing think this is the best kid to ever come out Cuba. I really believe he will take over the super middleweight and light heavyweight divisions,” said DeCubas. “This is a great signing and I’m very proud to be involved with him and Ural Promotions on this.”
 
DeCubas, who has worked with many top fighters of the last thirty years, says Morrell Gutierrez is on another level.  “He’s special. He’s like Vasyl Lomachenko with power. He has perfect timing and great footwork and he can crack. Bob Arum thought enough of Lomachenko to put him in a world title fight in his second fight. This guy is the same thing. Five fights and he can be in with a top-10 guy. He’s like a Sugar Ray Robinson type of fighter and a nice-looking kid on top of it. He is going to be a star of the highest order in boxing.”
 
Morrell Gutierrez arrived yesterday in Miami and is going to live and train there for his professional debut, which will probably be some time in August. “I am now signed with the team I needed to become a world champion from Cuba,” said Morrell Gutierrez. “I have been dreaming of coming to the United States to become world champion since I started boxing. I am very honored, and I will make all of Cuba proud of my accomplishments.”
 
Warriors Boxing President Leon Margules said Morrell Gutierrez won’t need long to make his mark in boxing. “This is the kind of fighter who comes along once in a generation. You don’t go 130-2 as an amateur in Cuba unless you are an extraordinary talent. We are going to help Osvary become a superstar in the sport in quick fashion. He’s not going to need the kind of warm-up fights that other prospects do. He’s already one of the best fighters in his division and he’s only going to get better and stronger as he matures. It’s exciting to be involved in this from his very first fight.”
 
 

Kovalev thrilled to be defending in Russia

Kovalev thrilled to be defending in Russia
WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) will be fighting in Chelyabinsk, Russia-- his hometown-- for the first time in his pro boxing career on Saturday, August 24th at the Traktor Arena. Kovalev takes on WBO mandatory challenger, Anthony Yarde (18-0, 17 KOs) of the UK. This will be Kovalev's 16th consecutive world title bout, more than the three other light heavyweight champions combined. The fight will be seen on Match TV in Russia, BT Sport in the UK and US distribution information will be released soon.
 
A three-time champion, Kovalev, explained the significance of this fight. "I am thrilled to fight for the first time in my home town of Chelyabinsk. It is a dream to defend my WBO title in front of all my friends and family back home. Thank you to Igor Altushkin, Egis Klimas and Main Events for making this dream a reality and thank you to Anthony Yarde for agreeing to fight in my backyard."
 
Yarde, replied, "I am more than happy to achieve my goal in Russia and I think it is only right that a great world champion such as Kovalev is given the opportunity to defend in his home country. He has earned that right. What I know is that on Aug. 24th, another world title belt will be under British ownership and I will have done it the hard way-one that nobody will be able to question."
 
He continued, "This is my time and I am going to show the world what I am all about. Everything has fallen perfectly into place for me. This will be my coronation as world champion and I am going to realize my dream by beating the most decorated of the current world title holders."
 
"We are so pleased that Sergey, one of boxing's greatest all-time road warriors, will finally get the chance to defend his title in his own hometown, where he grew up and where his most-devoted fan base resides," said promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events. "I can only imagine how excited Sergey's friends and neighbors will be to finally get the chance to see him perform in person. We are most grateful to Igor Altushkin, RCC Promotions, Queensberry Promotions and Anthony Yarde for making this great event possible."
 
Kovalev's long-time manager and friend, Egis Klimas added, "Sergey has wanted to fight in his hometown for a long time. But he has always been the one to go and fight in another fighter's backyard. Now that he is back where he rightfully belongs, on top of the light heavyweight division, it is exciting that he finally gets this opportunity. Thank you to RCC Promotions, Igor Altushkin, Queensberry Promotions and, of course, Anthony Yarde for making this fight possible."
 
"It is a fantastic opportunity for Anthony and he has earned his shot by working his way to the No.1 spot in the rankings. He has showed what he is all about by being prepared to go into Kovalev's backyard and it demonstrates the confidence he has in his own ability," explained Yarde's promoter, Frank Warren. "Everybody knows Kovalev is a tremendous puncher and a fearsome presence in the ring. It is something we first saw over here when he fought Nathan Cleverly, and he has continued to operate at the very highest level. Anthony possesses tremendous self-belief and we back him to come away with the spoils. But whatever does happen in the fight, it is one that he will take a lot of valuable experience from."
 
 
 

WBC creates meaningless interim heavyweight title

WBC creates meaningless interim heavyweight title
The WBC confirmed that Saturday’s bout between Dillian Whyte and Oscar Rivas at The O2 in London, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US, will be contested for the WBC interim heavyweight championship. The winner of the bout will become mandatory challenger for the championship, currently held by Deontay Wilder. [We thought Dillian Whyte was named the mandatory on more than one prior occasion]. 
 
Whyte (25-1 18 KOs), called "The Body Snatcher" hails from Brixton in London. He put Derek Chisora away in style in his last outing, the pair thrilling the Greenwich crowd in their rematch in December – before icing  Chisora in the eleventh round.
 
Rivas (26-0 18 KOs) is yet another dangerous challenger for Whyte, and the Colombian comes into the bout on the back of his biggest win in the paid ranks. Rivas traveled to Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York in January and KO’d Bryant Jennings in the final round of their clash.
 
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “I’m very happy that we have reached an agreement with the WBC and this makes Saturday night even more important. Dillian Whyte has faced all comers in reaching his WBC #1 position and now he stands just one more test away from a shot at the WBC world title – it’s all on the line this Saturday at The O2.”
 

Pernell Whitaker memorial details

Pernell Whitaker memorial details
On Saturday, July 20th, friends and family will gather at the Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia to bid farewell to boxing legend Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker. The viewing will be open to the public between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. for fans to come and pay their respects to the Olympic Gold Medalist, International Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee, four-weight class world champion and former pound-for-pound king. 
 

Teofimo Lopez media quotes

Teofimo Lopez media quotes
Lightweight Teofimo Lopez is on the fast track to a world title shot. Standing in his way is a fellow unbeaten, Masayoshi Nakatani of Japan, the longtime OBPF lightweight titlist who represents the stiffest test of Lopez's young career.  Lopez (13-0, 11 KOs) and Nakatani (18-0, 12 KOs) will meet Friday in Maryland in an IBF title eliminator, with the winner assured a shot at IBF champion Richard Commey later this year. The stakes are high, and Lopez, who has never gone past seven rounds as a pro, might have to go significant professional rounds for the first time.  Lopez has knocked out his last five opponents, most recently stopping Edis Tatli in five rounds April 20th.  Two days before his first main event as a pro, at a media workout at Old School Boxing, this is what Lopez had to say:
 
On Friday's fight: “I see myself as a performer in the ring, and I am coming to the MGM National Harbor to put on a show. I have respect for Nakatani because he is undefeated like me, but nobody is going to stand in my way.”
 
On the future:  “This is what my father and I have worked for since I started training as a young kid. He envisioned this type of success for me, and here we are, headlining a card on ESPN+ one win away from a world title shot. We all know what is at stake on Friday. But if you think too far ahead, you get careless. Nakatani is my only concern right now. After Friday night, we can talk about the future. Nakatani has been fighting 12-rounders since before I turned pro, so he has a lot of valuable experience. I believe my talent will outweigh his experience. I say this before all of my fights — I go in there to take over the show. I’m a main event fighter now, and that won’t change. When people watch me fight, they put down their phones because they don’t want to miss anything. For the boxing fans living in the Northeast, come down and watch me fight. And if you can’t make it down, check out the best show of the weekend on ESPN+.” 
 
On his role as an entertainer: “I do all of that stuff — the backflips and the Fortnite celebrations — because I want to entertain. I want people to remember my name. I’m a fighter, but I am also an entertainer. That’s been lost in today’s game. I’m unique in the sport of boxing.”
 
On his recent weight struggles:  “The weight is not an issue. I’ve been working with a new nutrition team, Perfecting Athletes, and they have made all the difference. I’ll be able to make lightweight for a few more fights.”
 
Lopez-Nakatani and the IBF junior welterweight eliminator between unbeatens Maxim Dadashev and Subriel Matias will stream live on ESPN+ starting at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The middleweight clash between Esquiva Falcao and Jesus Antonio Gutierrez will be the featured bout on the undercard stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. 
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com or in person at the MGM National Harbor.
 

Spotlight on Ladarius Miller

Spotlight on Ladarius Miller
Lightweight Ladarius “Memphis” Miller shared his thoughts as he nears his showdown against former WBA 130-pound super champion Jezzrel Corrales (23-2, 9 KOs), which takes place Saturday, July 27th at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, with Showtime broadcasting live. The 25-year-old Miller (19-1, 6 KOs) recently scored a first-round knockout of Daulis Prescott in February and will look to keep the momentum going into his fight on July 27. "Building off of my last camp and fight, which was on the Gervonta Davis vs. Hugo Ruiz card, and bringing that energy into this camp has really helped,” said Miller. “My goal is to do everything better, go harder, and add a few things that will help to better prepare me but also to work smarter. 
 
“The main thing is we’ve been working hard and going the extra mile. Whether it’s more rounds on the bag and in sparring or extra miles during my runs. I’ve sparred with some veterans who have helped me tweak little things here and there. I had the chance to work with some of the younger top-level guys.”
 
Originally from Memphis but living and fighting out of Las Vegas, Miller is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and has been supported by advice from all-time great Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe. "Floyd has come in the gym a few times and watched me work and gave me some pointers while I was working the bag. He's always helped me throughout my career to get better as a fighter,” said Miller. “Leonard always makes the time to give me motivation any time he sees me. They both watch me to see how I’m developing as a fighter and keep me focused.”
 
“Ladarius continues to mature inside and outside of the ring and he has a bright future ahead of him,” said Ellerbe. “I’m really excited to see him take advantage of this opportunity on this huge Showtime platform. I’m looking forward to watching him go to work and do his thing.”
 
Since suffering a decision loss in 2016, Miller has won 10 fights in a row, adding five knockouts to his resume, plus a victory over current world champion Jamel Herring. By facing a steady slew of veterans and contenders, Miller is in position for a world title fight in the not too distant future. "I’ve faced many of the toughest contenders in my division,” said Miller. “It shows that I can be one of the best in my weight class as long as I continue to work hard. Having said that, preparing for a guy like Corrales who's also a former world champion isn't anything new for me, but I don't look past him as an opponent.”
 
Corrales represents perhaps the toughest test of Miller’s career and gives him a chance to make another statement on his climb towards his world championship goal. Corrales won a 130-pound title with a shocking win over longtime champion Takashi Uchiyama and made two successful defenses of his title before losing it in 2017. He has since moved up to the lightweight division and bounced back with a knockout victory in April. 
 
"I’ve watched a few fights,” said Miller. “I’ve seen a few mistakes he’s made and I know what he does well. I’m really prepared for this fight. I know I’m going to win. I’ve prepared myself to perform at my highest peak. Whatever he decides to show in the ring, I’m prepared for it all. I can see myself getting closer to my dream and goal of becoming a world champion is motivation enough,” said Miller. “Each morning I wake up and it’s the first thing on my mind and it’s the last thing on my mind when I go to sleep. No matter how tired I may get in camp, knowing what’s right in front of me is the motivation. These are life-changing opportunities ahead for me and I want that title shot and I’m going to get it." 
 
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions in association with GTD Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or at the Royal Farms Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. ET to 5 p.m. ET.  
 

Star Boxing returns to Long Island this Friday

Star Boxing returns to Long Island this Friday
Star Boxing held its official press conference ahead of its Long Island, New York show at The Paramount, this Friday, July 19th.  In the main event, Danny "El Gallo" Gonzalez is set to make his tenth appearance at The Paramount, and fight in his fourth main event.  Danny had this to say about Friday night's bout against Jerome Conquest: "I want to thank Joe for having me on the card.  I am excited for Friday. The energy at The Paramount is one of a kind and brings something out in me.  I'm looking to make a statement and that's my goal in this fight." Danny continued speaking on his childhood, "I'm looking to make a statement and that's my goal in this fight.  Anyone can do anything in life. I was 250 lbs., fat and out of shape with no self-esteem.  I used that as fuel, and I am here today, and I am doing pretty good right now."
 
In the co-feature, undefeated junior midleweight Tyrone James will be making his eighth appearance at The Paramount in a six-round bout against Ray Oliveira Jr.  James is ready to bring the energy Friday night, saying,, "Since we are still in July there is going to be fireworks.  I'm coming for the knockout and if it happens it happens, but I promise you will see a great show. I want to thank God, Star Boxing and Joe DeGuardia for this opportunity."
 
Finally, super bantamweight Justice Bland took to the podium. Bland will be making his pro debut against Bronx native, Rafael Castillo in a four-round bout.  As an amateur standout, Bland was not shy about the feeling of making his pro debut, "I have jitters, but they are good jitters.  I am ready to show everyone what I have.  I am a Brooklyn kid, and I am just happy to be on this card and I am blessed to be here."
 
In the opening bout of the night, Juan Mancilla of East Hampton will be taking on Jermaine Corley of Mount Vernon in a four-round super welterweight bout. Also on the card, is the return of  amateur standout Ronnie Austion, who will be in a welterweight Championship against Dennis Okoth.
 

Nevada HOF ceremonies to be hosted by Al Bernstein and Cynthia Conte

Nevada HOF ceremonies to be hosted by Al Bernstein and Cynthia Conte
The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame announced that this year's Induction Ceremony on August 10th at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas will be hosted by Al Bernstein and Cynthia Conte.  Bernstein who is already inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, also hosted the event in 2017. Conte is making her first appearance. 
 
Bernstein has had a legendary broadcasting career in Boxing. In his 39th year of television work, he is perhaps the most recognizable and respected commentator in boxing. He has called many of the most famous fights in boxing history. In 1980, Bernstein joined ESPN as boxing analyst for the Top Rank Boxing series. He stayed at ESPN until 2003, and during that time he also worked as a reporter for SportsCenter, covering major boxing matches, Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NFL Draft. He also wrote and hosted the series "Big Fights Boxing Hour" for ESPN Classic. In 1992 and 1996, he served as the boxing analyst for NBC's coverage of the Summer Olympic Games. From 1999-2002, he was a sports anchor for KVVU news in Las Vegas. Since 2003, Bernstein has served as the boxing analyst on Showtime for Showtime Championship Boxing. In 2012 he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and he was inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame as one of the inaugural inductees in 2013 in the Media category.
 
Conte is a Los Angeles boxing reporter, in-ring interviewer and host. Over the past three years, she has been doing on-camera interviews, post-fight interviews in the ring and hosting live boxing shows. Conte's worked with Ring TV/ Ring Magazine for 3 ½ years. Conte's first mega fight was Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs. 

Alvarez maneuvers to avoid GGG

Alvarez maneuvers to avoid GGG
Golden Boy and world middleweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez have made the strategic decision to postpone their typical September fight. The decision was made in an effort to secure the right opponent and to do justice to the level of promotion required for a boxing star of his magnitude.  Though Canelo typically fights in May and September, it is not without precedent to fight later in the year as Canelo did fight in December of 2018 in Madison Square Garden. Canelo’s next fight will now take place later in 2019.
 
“As a Mexican, it’s a responsibility and an honor to represent my country in both May and September,” said Alvarez. “Those are my dates. However, as a world champion in multiple weight classes [Editor's note: that is not true, Alvarez holds a secondary title at 168 pounds, but he is the world champion at 160 pounds], I also have the responsibility of delivering the most exciting and competitive fights possible. That’s why Golden Boy and my team have decided to postpone the date in order to do right by my fans by promoting the best fight possible and with the best opponent possible.”
 
[Editor's note: Alvarez has two controversial wins over former champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin, with most fans feeling GGG deserves a thrid fight. Both men are now under contract with the same streaming service, DAZN, but Alvarez apparently does not want any more smoke from GGG and currently has no toher viable options that will satisfy DAZN.]

Remembrances of Pernell Whitaker

Remembrances of Pernell Whitaker
In recent years, I have had the privilege of interviewing numerous people affiliated with Main Events, the promotion company who promoted former 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist and four-division world champion Pernell Whitaker.  Whitaker was struck by a car last Sunday, passing away at age 55.  Below are a few quotes about Whitaker, from people who knew him well.
 
KATHY DUVA, promoter
 
“We told Pernell before the fight (against Julio Cesar Chavez) that you’re going to know you’re winning when it gets so quiet in the arena that you can hear a pin drop.  That was what we kept telling him as he was walking into the ring – “Pin drop!  Pin drop!”  That’s what we were waiting for and then the moment came.  It got so quiet in that arena that you could hear a pin drop.  We were fairly confident that he was winning the fight.  Mexican fans know their boxing.  They’re not just out there rooting for their guy.  If you win, they’ll respect you.  Everybody knew “Pete” had beaten Chavez.  There were like eighty thousand people in the Alamo Dome and they all booed the decision [officially a draw, but universally agreed that Whitaker was robbed].  
 
When the fight was over, we all went out for a meal at a Mexican restaurant.  “Pete” wasn’t with us, but the rest of the team was there and we were all wearing “Team Whitaker” jackets.  The place got really quiet and then suddenly everybody stood up and cheered.  They were yelling, “Your guy won!  He was robbed!”  That took a little of the sting away, but not too much.  “Pete” was very upset.  Everyone was telling him, “You won!  You won!”  He said, “Yeah, but that record book is not going to say that.”  The cover of Sports Illustrated said “Robbed” and had his picture on it.  It was big news.  Chavez’s people never gave us a rematch.  They just got as far away from Pernell Whitaker as they could.
 
After every fight, I would bring Pernell his beer while he was doing his post fight press conference.  That was the rule.  I had to get him his beer.  I would walk over and say, “I saw you got hit twice.”  He would say, “No, I got hit three times.”  That would be a lot, for Pernell to get hit three times.  He never let anyone hit him.  He just frustrated the hell out of them.  And he made it fun.  Guys who are defensive like him can be boring, but I never found him boring.  I thought he was wildly entertaining.  He was always on the edge of danger.  
 
I’ll never forget his fight with Roger Mayweather.  It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.  The elastic on Mayweather’s trunks broke, so “Pete” started tugging on his trunks.  Finally, he pulled them all the way down and they landed on Roger’s ankles.  “Pete” went to a neutral corner and he started having a conversation with Jim Lampley, rather than paying attention to what he was doing.  Then they waved him back in and Mayweather knocked him down!  And then he got up and won the fight!  He was just such a master at what he did.  He was the boss.  He orchestrated everything that happened in that ring.  It was like watching poetry.  It really was.”
 
JOE SOUZA, cutman
 
“Whitaker was a man within himself.  He was such a professional.  He was the type of person who didn’t like people falling all over him.  I remember one time he walked into my gym in San Fernando downtown and people were all over him.  He said, “Hold it!  I’m here to train.  When I get done training, I’ll sign all the autographs you want.  Right now, I’m here to train.”  That was it and that’s what I liked about him.”
 
ROGER BLOODWORTH, trainer
 
“When I started working for Main Events, they had some very good fighters – Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, Meldrick Taylor, John John Molina…  While I was there, I worked with George Benton, who was the head trainer.  Ronnie Shields and I were the assistants.  I learned a lot from the other trainers, and I also learned from the fighters.  One fighter who taught me a lot was Pernell Whitaker.  Pernell was the kind of guy who, until he really knew you, he kind of left you alone.  But I liked him a lot and we got along good.  The more time I spent around Pernell, the more I learned about boxing.  That boy could fight.  He’s one of the best I’ve ever seen.  People talk about these young guys who are coming up now like Vasyl Lomachenko, who is a damn good fighter.  But I’m telling you, he’d have his problems with Pernell.  He just amazed me with what he was able to do.  I’ve never met another fighter who had as much ability as he did.”
 
MARK BRELAND, former 1984 Olympic teammate
 
“Me, Pernell Whitaker, Meldrick Taylor, Tyrell Biggs – all of us had always been in different tournaments together (before the Olympics).  We had traveled together and we were already like a team.  There was no jealousy with anybody.  Everybody wanted everybody else to win, and we gave it our all.  Today, if any of us see each other, we just start laughing.  Not for any reason.  We just laugh, probably because of all the stupid stuff we might have done back in the day.  We had a lot of fun back then.”
 
 
MAX KELLERMAN, longtime boxing commentator
 
"The best lightweight I ever saw passed away today. Yes, that includes Roberto Duran, Floyd Mayweather, Ike Williams, and anyone else you want to mention. RIP Pernell Whitaker." 
 
***

ABOUT PERNELL WHITAKER: One of the greatest boxers of recent decades, and perhaps the greatest lightweight and the greatest defensive boxer of all time, Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker died over the weekend in Virginia when he was struck by a car. Whitaker, age 55, is a Hall of Famer who fought the very best and compiled an endless resume of amazing boxing accomplishments. He won Olympic gold in 1984, and then embarked on a 17-year pro career that saw him become the undipsuted world lightweight champion and win additional world titles at 140, 147 and 154 pounds. Over the course of his illustrious career, Whitaker defeated Azumah Nelson, Roger Mayweather, Greg Haugen, Freddie Pendleton, Jorge Paez and Jose Luis Ramirez at lightweight, passed through 140 pounds where he picked up a title vs. Rafael Pineda, then moved up to welterweight where he defeated Buddy McGirt twice.

In 1993, Whitaker easily outboxed the great Julio Cesar Chavez (who was 87-0 at the time) in a welterweight unification super fight in front of 90,000 fans in San Antonio. However, the verdict was wrongly-- and likely corruptly-- changed to a draw by the WBC just beofre bein g read to the crowd, thereby preserving Chavez's undefeated record in name only. Whitaker's performance vs. Chavez was properly viewed by fans and media alike as a win and it rightly garnered him pound-for-pound recognition as the sport's very best. Whitaker continued winning for another four years, including a 1995 154-pound title win against Julio Cesar Vasquez. By 1997 and 1999, respectively, Whitaker took on the young lions of boxing's next generation, losing very competitive fights to hall of famers Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad.  His last fight was in 2001, a fight that saw him break a bone in his shoulder and retire for good.

 
NOTE: 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 Amazon.com.
 

ESPN+ reveals line-up for Saturday's British show

ESPN+ reveals line-up for Saturday's British show
British welterweight hopeful Michael “The Problem” McKinson (16-0, 2 KOs), a native of Portsmouth, England, will take on Russia's Evgeny Pavko (18-2-1, 13 KOs) in a ten-rounder on the next edition of MTK Fight Night this Saturday from the Brentwood Centre in Brentwood, England. McKinson-Pavko will headline a scheduled four-bout card that will stream live on ESPN+.
 
“This is a good bout,” McKinson said. “Nobody in Britain wanted to fight me, so we’ve had to go the harder route and take on a dangerous Russian.”
 
McKinson, a slick southpaw, is taking a step up in competition. He last fought March 9th at the Brentwood Centre, outboxing Ryan Kelly over ten rounds.
 
Pavko (18-2-1, 13 KOs), from Kopeysk, Russia, is 2-0 since moving up from the 140-pound division. Unbeaten in three career fights outside of Russia, Pavko has not fought in seven months. Last December, he stopped the previously undefeated Fedor Vinogradov on cuts following the fifth round.
 
In other action scheduled for ESPN+, British welterweight Shaquille “The Black Mexican” Day (12-0, 2 KOs) will fight countryman Louis Adolphe (10-1, 1 KO) in a ten-rounder for the vacant Southern Area welterweight strap. Day has knocked out two of his last three opponents... Former amateur star Chantelle Cameron (10-0, 7 KOs) will make her third ring appearance of 2019 versus Anisha Basheel (8-5, 8 KOs) in a ten-round WBC lightweight eliminator for the belt currently held by undisputed world champion Katie Taylor. Basheel has won eight straight fights by knockout since beginning her career 0-5 and is coming off a first-round stoppage over Sam “SJ” Smith for the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title... Thomas Patrick Ward (26-0, 4 KOs) will look to notch his second win of the year against Brayan Mairena (10-12-1, 4 KOs) in an eight-round featherweight tilt. 
 

Devin Haney volunteers time with the elderly

Devin Haney volunteers time with the elderly
Yesterday at the San Francisco Senior Center, undefeated lightweight Devin "The Dream" Haney (22-0, 14 KOs) spent his day feeding the elderly. Devin, who is looking to get back in the ring in September, feels it's important to give back financially as well as spend quality time with those less fortunate.  "Today was a very special day for me because I had a great time serving the elderly at the San Francisco Center.  I want to thank all the veteran volunteers and staff for showing me the ropes.  I'm extremely humbled by the Seniors.  The seniors gave me a much better perspective on life after hearing all their heartfelt stories.  I believe taking care of the elderly is something they deserve, so sharing quality time and catering to them is very important to me.  Life is a blessing but we will all get old one day.  Me, my father, and brother, served food as if we were working at one of our favorite restaurants.  We laughed and everyone shared so many different kinds of experiences. It was really cool.  I will be going back real soon." 
 
San Francisco Senior Center (SFSC) is the oldest nonprofit senior center in the nation, founded in 1947.  We serve nearly 2,000 people of diverse backgrounds and cultures each year at two locations, Aquatic Park Center and Downtown Center.  (SFSC) offers a variety of services from daily, low-cost, nutritious lunches and comprehensive social services to healthy living programs and continuing education. SFSC encourages socialization, independence and living well.
 
 
 

Riakporhe ready for Billiam-Smith

Riakporhe ready for Billiam-Smith
British cruiserweight Richard Riakporhe (-0) says he will beat Chris Billam-Smith (also 9-0) “in every department” at London's O2 Arena on Saturday July 20th, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US. With just nine fights to his name, the 29-year-old expects to become even more of a problem in his division once he has further refined his skills with trainer Mark Tibbs. “It’s real power that I possess, it’s very genuine,” said Riakporhe. “You do not want to get hit, but now all these other fighters, they are going to start taking risks, because I’m boxing now, I’m not just relying on my raw power. The more risks they take, the more dangerous the fight is going to be for them, and they’ll get knocked out.
 
“I believe I’m the most dangerous, because I have the power and I have transferred my intelligence into the ring. You have to be wary of a fighter like me and I’m dangerous throughout the fight, from the first bell, until the last. You have to be focused throughout the fight. Any mistake you make, I’ll capitalise on it. Just one, that’s all I need.”
 
Trained by Shane McGuigan alongside British champion Lawrence Okolie, Billam-Smith shares an identical record of 9-0 (8 KOs) and has also predicted a KO win in this weekend’s crunch Cruiserweight showdown, but Riakporhe holds no fear of ‘The Gentleman’ and is extremely confident that he will get the job done.
 
“I think Chris Billam-Smith is a good fighter, it’s just that there’s levels in this game and I feel that I’m on another level. He brings good boxing skill, he’s got a good coach in his corner, but once that bell rings he’s going to understand that there’s different levels of fighting. I don’t think he has been up against an opponent like me.
 
“All my fights and history shows that I have abnormal power and that’s likely to bring issues when we fight for sure, but we’re not only going to rely on that. We’re going to outbox him and beat him in every department. I just can’t wait to get in there and get to work. I’ve got tons of potential and fight after fight I’m learning news things. I’ve taken these big tests, I came into all these fights as the underdog, and my resume is looking quite impressive.”
 
Riakporhe vs. Billam-Smith supports three big heavyweight contests in London. Main event sees Brixton’s Dillian Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) risk his number one spot in the WBC against Colombian Oscar Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs), Doncaster fan favourite Dave Allen (17-4-2, 14 KOs) tackles Liverpudlian heavyweight David Price (24-6, 19 KOs) in a must-win domestic showdown, and Derek Chisora (30-9, 21 KOs) tangling with Artur Szpilka (22-3, 15 KOs).