Peterson-Lipinets final presser quotables

Former two-division world champion Lamont Peterson and former 140-pound champion Sergey Lipinets went face-to-face Friday at the final press conference before they meet in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes this Sunday from MGM National Harbor in Maryland. Once-beaten contender Anthony Peterson also faced off against his opponent, former world champion Argenis Mendez, as the Peterson brothers prepare to fight in front of their hometown fans as the main and co-main event in a nationally televised event for the first time since 2006. Also in attendance Friday was super welterweight contender Jamontay Clark, who faces unbeaten Vernon Brown in the televised opening at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and HeadBangers Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting www.mgmnationalharbor.com/.
 
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Friday from MGM National Harbor:
 
LAMONT PETERSON
 
"I know how to keep the pressure off of myself before a fight. I know we're at the top level and I'm facing a top guy. I'm looking to capitalize on the opportunity and move forward.
 
"Lipinets is a tough guy. He only has about 15 pro fights, but he was able to move through the ranks pretty fast. That got my attention and lets you know that he's definitely coming to win.
 
"Anthony and I have fought on cards together but not on this stage for a while. I used to be nervous for him, but at this point we're veterans and we're just going to enjoy it.
 
"From day one we've treated every opponent like a champion. We always had that mindset that we had to go out there and take care of business, and that's not going to change on Sunday night.
 
"Any time I fight at home, there's a little bit more on it. It makes things easier when I'm getting through the whole progress of training camp. There's a type of home court advantage. I knew when they opened this venue, that eventually I'd fight here. I'm going to enjoy it.
 
"I never felt like I was done fighting after my last fight, but you have to be smart. After each fight I assess the whole situation before I move on. That's what I did before this one and I'm happy to be in this position."
 
SERGEY LIPINETS
 
"I'm very excited to be in this position and in this fight. I appreciate that Lamont took on this fight. He's a great fighter who I respect and I'm sure he's ready. I'm ready to make this fight goes down in history.
 
"I know that a win over Lamont will get me the big fights that I'm looking for. I want to be a champion at welterweight and that starts with making a statement on Sunday.
 
"I have a very tough opponent in front of me and I'm motivated by the challenge. I'm in this sport to be in the biggest and best fights. People say this is 50-50, so I'm excited to show why I'm better.
 
"This is a big fight. I have to get through Lamont to get to where I want to go. We'll find out Sunday if he can stop me. I know that if I do what I have to with Lamont, that will set me up."
 
ANTHONY PETERSON
 
"My brother and I are at a point in our career where we're having fun. It's like a family event. We're going to have fun and take care of business. I'm ready to put on a big performance. Don't blink.
 
"I love the rush of getting into the ring in front of my hometown, that's why I do it. The other stuff is cool, but I just love to see people excited and telling me I put on a great performance. It's an amazing thing.
 
"It's been a minute since I've been in the ring, but I've been fighting and working with guys like Shawn Porter, Jarrett Hurd, Robert Easter, Adrien Broner, Gervonta Davis and my brother. I've been in there with all the top fighters.
 
"My fire is still burning. I study boxing history and I look at guys who have gotten their breaks late in their careers, and I know I'm one of those guys."
 
ARGENIS MENDEZ
 
"I'm very happy to be here and to have this opportunity. Anthony Peterson is a very good fighter, so I'm ready to be at my best on fight night. I'm here to continue winning and leave the fans with a great show.
 
"I'm happy to fight Anthony in his hometown. I've always been willing to travel anywhere around the world for fights. It's normal to me and I'm ready for everything that comes with being the road warrior.
 
"I definitely plan on taking this out of the hands of the judges. I know that I have to do a little bit more to make sure I get the win. Anthony is a good fighter, but I've trained hard and this is my moment. I want to show the world how great I am."
 
JAMONTAY CLARK
 
"I'm in great shape and I'm war-ready. His 0 has to go. I'm ready for anything he's going to bring and I'm going to put on a great performance for everyone watching.
 
"I don't think he's faced anyone on my level and I'm ready to show it. I'm going to do my talking in the ring and put on a clinic from start to finish."
 
BARRY HUNTER, Lamont and Anthony's Trainer
 
"I want to see the dog in Lamont in this fight. I want to see the smart fighter that he's always been. I think the rest has done him a lot of good. He's got his mind and his body right. He looked at me on day one and I could tell he was ready to roll.
 
"In the amateurs Lamont and Anthony used to share cards all the time. When they first started, we also did it frequently. It's not unusual for us. It's been a while, but it's not a situation we haven't been in."

Pizarro-Wiggins clash set for April 26th

An intriguing junior welterweight contest between Branden Pizarro and Tre'Sean Wiggins will be the co-feature bout of a huge night of boxing on Friday night, April 26th as part of the 2nd installment of the Met Philadelphia Boxing series. Two titles will be on the line as Branden Pizarro will defend his NBA Intercontinental title, while Wiggins will defend his newly-won Pennsylvania State Title. The show, which will be headlined by undefeated welterweight Malik Hawkins is promoted by Hard Hitting Promotions along with Live Nation. Pizarro of Philadelphia has a record of 14-1 with seven knockouts.  The 19 year-old, is a three-year professional, and is riding a six fight winning streak.  Pizarro win the NBA Intercontinental title on November 16, 2018 with a unanimous decision over Jerome Rodriguez.  Pizarro is coming off a 1st round stoppage over Zack Ramsey on February 23rd at The Met.
 
Wiggins of Newbergh, New York has a record of 11-4-1 with six knockouts.  The 28 year-old Wiggins is a nine-year professional, and is not afraid to take on top competition.
 
Wiggins has a 1st round knockout of former world champion Jason Sosa.  Wiggins has a win over Naim Nelson.  In his last bout, Wiggins won the Pennsylvania State title with an eight-round unanimous decision over Samuel Teah (15-2) on February 23rd at The MET.

Regis Prograis workout quotables

On one of his final days of training in Southern California, WBC Diamond Super Lightweight Champion and the #1 Ranked Super Lightweight Regis "Rougarou" Prograis (23-0, 19 KOs), of New Orleans, LA, swung open the doors of his training camp to the media in Santa Monica, CA. Promoted by DiBella Entertainment, Prograis will head to Houston, TX, next week as he continues preparations for his world championship showdown against WBA 140-pound World Champion Kiryl Relikh (23-2, 19 KOs), of Minsk, Belarus, in the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series set for Saturday, April 27, at the Cajundome, in Lafayette, LA. The fight will be telecast in the United States on DAZN. 
 
REGIS "ROUGAROU" PROGRAIS 
 
"This is my biggest fight, my first true world title fight and, mentally, the biggest fight of my career. Nothing will stop me from getting this belt."
 
"I believe we will have a very big crowd on April 27. It's about a two-hour drive from New Orleans and my fans have been wanting to see me fight for a world title."
 
"Training camp is always hard, but we make it as fun as possible. I started training here for two weeks and then finish in Houston until fight week."
 
"Hopefully, at the end of this tournament, I'll be a unified world champion and have the Ali Trophy. The best fighters in the 140-pound division are in this tournament."
 
"I felt great in my first tournament fight against Terry Flanagan. It was a fun fight and I was very relaxed. It was one of my best performances."
 
"I can change my style if I have to. Whatever Relikh tries, I can beat him at it. Like always, whatever I feel like doing is going to happen. No one at 140 can stop me."
 
"After Relikh, I want the rest of the belts. Just like Terence Crawford did, I want to become undisputed champion at 140. If I become undisputed at 140, it's much better than what he did as the competition is much better right now. This batch of 140lb. champions are much more talented than who he beat to become undisputed."
 
"As long as the other belt holders don't hide behind their promoters and networks, I'll have the opportunity to become undisputed, that's my goal. I want to prove what people are saying about me being the best 140lb. fighter in the word. It's nice to have it said, but I want to prove it in the ring."
 
"I can make 140 comfortably. When I move up to 147, I'll be even stronger."
 
"Jose Ramirez almost lost his last fight. Imagine if he got hit by me with the shots that Zepeda hit him with. He would have gotten badly hurt and knocked out for sure."
 
"Relikh and I are two top five fighters fighting each other. You look at Maurice Hooker and Jose Ramirez and see their lack of competition. They're not fighting top ten guys. For me, boxing is about the best fighting the best."
 
Co-featured on April 27, four-division world champion "The Filipino Flash" Nonito Donaire (39-5, 25 KOs), of San Leandro, CA, meets South African Zolani Tete (28-3, 21 KOs) in a semi-final bantamweight match of the tournament.
 
Tickets, starting at $25, for the WBSS Super Lightweight and Bantamweight Semi-Finals are available through Ticketmaster here.

Kubrat Pulev looking to make splash in US debut; final pre-fight quotables

Pulev (26-1, 13 KOs) will take on Bogdan Dinu (18-1, 14 KOs) in the 10-round main event Saturday evening at The Hangar in Costa Mesa, California. Pulev-Dinu and the featherweight clash between former world champions Jessie Magdaleno and Rico Ramos will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The entire undercard, including the returns of top 140-pound contender Maxim “Mad Max” Dadashev and rising welterweight Chris van Heerden, will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. Pulev, who is ranked No. 1 by the IBF, is coming off a unanimous decision win over Hughie Fury. Dinu lost his last bout via fourth-round stoppage to Jarrell Miller and is looking to recharge his career.
 
Two days before they enter the ring, this is what Pulev and Dinu had to say.
 
Kubrat Pulev
 
“Dinu is a hard, tough fighter. We fought in 2007 at a world championship in his home country in Romania. We beat Dinu, but it wasn’t easy. It was a hard fight. He is a busy technical fighter who throws a lot of punches. He gets emotional inside the ring. He is a stand-up fighter, meaning he doesn’t really bend to his left and right. I have to deal with his high volume of punches coming in hard. I need to concentrate at all times in the ring, be focused and then knock him out. I want the knockout real bad. That is all I think about. Me getting my hand raised, looking down at him."
 
“After this, we want Oscar Rivas. We fought at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Rivas won that fight in a decision, and it still torments me. I want that fight bad and am asking Top Rank to do it. I saw what Rivas did to Jennings, but Rivas will pay the price for doing what he did to me at the Olympics."
 
"First, we must deal with — and get rid of —  Dinu on Saturday night and move on.”
 
Bogdan Dinu
 
On his defeat to Jarrell Miller
 
"That defeat against Miller was more meaningful than any of my wins. I feel that I jumped in at a very high level and the experience was good for me. If I could box for 12 rounds the way I boxed the first three rounds against Miller, I can beat anyone. I am prepared to do that now."
 
On what a win would mean for his career
 
"A win means everything. Pulev is the mandatory challenger in the IBF,  and with a win over him, I will be very close to getting my chance to fight for the heavyweight title."
 
"My camp has gone very well. I am 100 percent prepared, and it will show in my performance on March 23."
 
ESPN, 10 p.m. ET
 
Kubrat Pulev vs. Bogdan Dinu, 10 rounds, heavyweight
 
Jessie Magdaleno vs. Rico Ramos, 10 rounds, vacant WBC USNBC featherweight title
 
ESPN+, 6:30 p.m. ET
 
Maxim Dadashev vs. Ricky Sismundo, 10 rounds, super lightweight
 
Erick De Leon vs. Jose Luis Gallegos, 10/8 rounds, lightweight
 
Javier Molina vs. Abdiel Ramirez, 10/8 rounds, super lightweight
 
Chris van Heerden. vs. Mahonry Montes, 10/8 rounds, welterweight
 
Tyler McCreary vs. Roberto Castaneda, 8/6 rounds, featherweight
 
Bobirzhan Mominov vs. Jonathan Steele, 8/6 rounds, welterweight
 
David Kaminsky vs. Estevan Payan, 4 rounds, middleweight
 
Eric Puente vs. Alejandro Lopez, 4 rounds, lightweight.
 
Tervel Pulev vs. Mitch Williams, 8 rounds, cruiserweight
 
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets priced at $75 and $60 are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting www.socafights.com.
 
For more information visit: www.toprank.com, www.espn.com/boxing; Facebook :facebook.com/trboxing; Twitter: twitter.com/trboxing.
 
Use the hashtag #PulevDinu to join the conversation on social media.

Yunusov ready for Colon next Friday night

Three-Time Olympian, Anvar Yunusov (6-0, 3 KOs) is is looking to go big game hunting as he prepares for his main event battle with Puerto Rico's Carlos Colon (5-1, 3 KOs) in an eight-round bout that will take place next Friday night at SugarHouse Casino. Yunusov, who has been training at Philly's Next Champ "My training has been good.  I have been sparring with (IBF Super Featherweight World Champion) Tevin Farmer. It was good and tough sparring. I feel that has been getting me stronger and stronger," said Yunusov. When it comes to Colon, Yunusov does not know much, but that doesn't seem to faze the 32 year-old, who represented Tajikistan in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.
 
"I just know he is from Puerto Rico.  It has been tough to find information on him, but I know he has not fought in America."
 
After fighting four times in 2018, Yunusov will be making his 2019 debut, and he feels that despite just having six fights, he is close to major fights due to his extensive amateur career.
 
"I feel everything has gone well.  I have a great promoter in Marshall Kauffman and King's Promotions.  He is the best promoter around, and he has kept me busy."
 
"This will be a great fight, and I will excite the fans.  I love to fight, and am always in good shape.  My goal is to fight Leo Santa Cruz for the world title."
 
On the stacked undercard, Erik Spring (11-2-2, 1 KO) of Reading, PA will fight Terrance Williams (5-2-1, 1 KO) of York, PA in a  eight-round super welterweight bout.
 
Also in eight-round bouts:
 
Raeese Aleem (13-0, 7 KOs) of Las Vegas fights Ramiro Robles (15-8-2, 9 KOs) of Queretaro, Mexico in a super bantamweight bout.
 
Brandon  Robinson (11-2, 8 KOs) of Philadelphia, PA fights Lawrence Blakey (5-12-2, 2 KOs) of Pennsylvania in a super middleweight bout.
 
Anthony Mercardo (12-4, 10 KOs) of Arecibo, Puerto Rico battles Andres Navarro (11-7-1, 7 KOs) of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico in a junior welterweight clash.
 
In six-round bouts:
 
Mark Dawson (5-0-1, 3 KOs) of Philadelphia will take on Jordn Morales  (3-6, 2 KO's) of Sunbury, PA in a welterweight bout.
 
Michael Coffie (5-0, 4 KOs) of Brooklyn, NY takes on Eduardo Vitela (3-3, 2 KOs) of Durango, Mexico in a heavyweight tussle.
 
Colby Madison (7-0-2, 4 KOs) of Owings Mills, MD fights Emilio Salas (5-2-1, 3 KOs) of Yonkers, NY in a Heavyweight match.
 
Javier Oquendo (3-1, 1 KO) of Philadelphia boxes Weusi Johnson (3-10) of Wilmington, DE in a super featherweight bout.
 
In four-round bouts:
 
Jordan Demko  of Reading, PA will make his pro debut against fellow debuter LaQuan Evans of Philadelphia in a middleweight battle.
 
Ryan Humberger of Philadelphia will make his pro debut against fellow 1st-timer Brent Oren of Harrisburg, PA  in a middleweight fight. 
 
 
Tickets are on sale for $100, $75, $50, and can be purchased at SugarHousecasino.com
 

Singapore update

The top two junior middleweights fighting out of Singapore – France’s Abdelelah Karroum (4-0) and Singapore’s Alexandrew David (4-0-1) – will match up against one another on April 12th at the Ring Boxing Commiunity.  The co-feature will see Singapore super featherweight Hamzah Farouk (7-0) attempt to extend his winning streak against Thailand's Paiboon Lorkham (19-11). Karroum commented: “Alexandar is a good boxer, but there will only be one winner on the night – me. I work very hard day after day and I have only one goal in mind, which is to win.” 

Like Karroum, David has put up top displays since turning professional three years ago. Despite a draw in his last boxing bout [vs. Malaysia's Keng Fai Hui, also undefeated], the 27-year-old did well against the hard-hitting Malaysian Keng Fai Hui – whose past four victories prior to facing David were all knockouts. David remarked: “This fight no doubt, will be different. I have utmost respect for my opponent, Karroum, and I expect it to be a thrilling bout, possibly going the full eight rounds. It's a great shot at the title and I'm ready to rise up and get my hands on the belt. This title will be with the fighter who's on top of his game come that night.”  

Farouk is confident of defeating Lorkham, saying: “For me, it is just like any other fight and I'm training just as hard, if not harder than ever before. I aim to be the best version of myself on that day and I want the world to start noticing my skills, speed, and power. I know my opponent is training hard to try and knock me out, but he is no threat to me. He will bring his best on that day, and so will I. I believe I am a better boxer and work harder, so I will get my hands raised in victory come fight night.”
 
Big things are in store for former Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) atomweight Kirstie Gannawayfollowing her professional boxing debut win late last year. With a detailed plan and dedicated team behind her, Gannway (1-0) will be in the boxing ring against Indonesia’s Nadya Nakhoir (0-5).
 
Looking ahead to her match and what’s in store for her in the boxing ring, she said: “My next fight is always the most important fight for me. The switch from MMA to boxing has been a tough yet insightful process. I am grateful to be working with my team at The Ring, who have built an intense and well thought out training program for me. Although I am proud to say that I have seen great improvement in my boxing game since my debut last year, I’m always focused on learning and evolving as a fighter.”
 
There will be a total of 13 fights happening throughout the night – eight professional fights and five amateur boxing bouts, where all five bouts will be TRFC Amateur title fights.  
 
Beyond looking to constantly deliver quality boxing events in Singapore, Ruchdi Hajjar, the founder of Golden Glove Asia Promotions (GGAP) and owner of The Ring Boxing Community, is committed to building up the calibre of boxers in Singapore, with 13 Singaporean fighters featuring on TRFC VI’s card.
 
Hajjar is delighted with the progression of TRFC and how the local boxing scene has grown in the past few years and said: “What we’ve achieved since we started our very first TRFC event in April 2017, has been nothing short of tremendous. The team at GGAP has been instrumental in putting together and delivering an incredible platform to promote and elevate the local boxing scene, and the results and crowds at the last TRFC speak for itself. We’ve always been committed to building up the strength and depth of local boxers in Singapore, and it’s great to see that we have 13 local boxers competing at TRFC VI. Beyond our local community, the team at GGAP is constantly working to sign top talents from all around the world, and to hopefully take TRFC abroad soon!”
 
TRFC is sanctioned by the Singapore Amateur Boxing Association and the Asian Boxing Council.
 
For more information about TRFC or any of TRBC’s events, visit www.thering.sg.

 
 

South African update

An all-South African women's featherweight clash is set for March 29th at Nongosa Jebe Hall in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, when Unathi Myekeni moves up to face Nozipho Bell at featherweight.  Bell, 8-2-1 with 3 KOs, is the South African national champion at super featherweight. She is coming off an losing but spirited challenge for the WBO title at that weight against Ewa Brodnicka (15-0) in Poland, losing a fairly close decision. Bell is moving down in weight for this fight. Myekeni is 11-4-1 with 5 KOs and is moving up from 122 pounds. She has not fought since a win in September of 2017. 
 
 

Blair Cobbs gets career best win over previously undefeated Kerosyan

Last night at The Avalon Hollywood, Prince Ranch Boxing's undefeated welterweight prospect, Blair "The Flair" Cobbs (10-0-1, 6 KOs), picked up the biggest victory of his career winning an eight-round unanimous decision over North Hollywood's Ferdinand Kerobyan (11-1, 9 KOs).  With the win, Cobbs captured the vacant Jr. NABF Title on a card that was promoted by Golden Boy Promotions who promotes both fighters. Cobbs, who hails from Las Vegas by way of Philadelphia, came in as an underdog as well as fighting in Kerobyan's hometown of Hollywood, CA. The hostile crowd was silenced from the opening round as Cobbs didn't let the rowdy fans phase him one bit.  Cobb's put on a masterclass boxing lesson outclassing Kerobyan from the southpaw stance.
 
"To be honest, I would grade myself a B- after this fight," said Cobbs. "I know people say I did good, but I haven't shown everything I can do yet. I can punch while moving my feet, pivot, jab-step, I do a lot technical stuff and I haven't had a fight that has shown my true potential. I'm happy I got the win while capturing my first regional title. I'm also glad my manager Greg Hannley, and my promoter Golden Boy Promotions, for putting me in such a great position.
 
Kerobyan was cut in the first round from what was ruled a clash of heads.  Early on it was the hand speed of Cobbs that proved to be far too much for Kerobyan. Cobbs kept attacking Kerobyan's cut with his jab as Kerobyan struggled to cut off the ring.  Cobbs had to show his Philly toughness holding off Kerobyan who surged late in the bout causing his eye to swell. In the end, Cobbs received the biggest win of his career picking up a unanimous decision over a highly touted prospect and winning the first title of his career. The judges scored the bout 79-73, 77-75 and 77-75 all in favor for Blair Cobbs.
 
"This is the type of performance we expected and is why we are so eager to work with Blair Cobbs," stated Greg Hannely of Prince Ranch Boxing. "He has the confidence and skill of a true warrior and this is just another step towards the goal of making him a world champ."
 

Hurd-Williams headed to Fairfax, VA

Unified and undefeated IBF and WBA 154-pound "Swift'' Jarrett Hurd will defend his titles against top contender Julian "J-Rock'' Williams live in primetime in Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes action on Saturday, May 11 at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia. Plus, unbeaten super lightweight contender Mario "El Azteca" Barrios battles Argentina's Juan "The Pitbull" Jose Velasco in a 10-round fight and middleweight contender Matt Korobov clashes with Immanuwel Aleem in a 10-round bout as part of televised action beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Tickets for the event go on sale Thursday, March 28 at 12 p.m. ET and can be purchased through Ticketmaster (ticketmaster.com).
 
"Jarrett Hurd has established himself as one of the breakout stars in boxing, and now he'll have a chance to showcase his talents in front of his hometown faithful," said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. "He will have a stiff test from Julian Williams, who since his only defeat has racked up win after win to show that he is still squarely in the elite class of the division. This is setting up to be a fantastic main event for viewers in primetime to enjoy on FOX and FOX Deportes. With 'Swift' making his first hometown title defense, the crowd at EagleBank Arena is sure to deliver a raucous atmosphere."
 
Hurd vs. Williams is one of the best matches that can be made in the super welterweight division as two of the division's young, hungry fighters square off on the march toward an undisputed world title.
 
Hurd (23-0, 16 KOs) has already picked up two titles with heart-pounding victories in one of the toughest divisions in boxing. He began his run when he stopped Tony Harrison for a ninth-round knockout to capture the IBF title in 2017 on FOX. He successfully defended the title with another victory when he became the first person to stop former world champion Austin Trout. The 28-year-old picked up the WBA title with by dropping Erislandy Lara and earning a split decision in the consensus 2018 Fight of the Year last April.
 
A native of Accokeek, Maryland, Hurd will be fighting in front of his hometown fans when he takes on Williams and is returning to fight in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area for the first time since a 2014 win at Constitution Hall in D.C. He most recently delivered a knockout victory over Jason Welborn in his last fight on December 1.
 
"I couldn't be happier to be fighting at home for the first time as a champion," said Hurd. "My hometown has been asking me to bring the championship back home and now I can. Julian Williams is a tough opponent and I don't see him as a stepping stone. He's crafty, technical and fundamentally sound. I want to go out and get a decisive win and show that I'm on a different level than everybody else in the division."
 
Williams (26-1-1, 16 KOs) never backs down from a challenge and he has fought his way back into contention for his second world title shot. He has ripped off four straight victories since losing to Jermall Charlo in a world championship match in 2016. Included in that run were impressive victories over former world champion Ishe Smith and contender Nathaniel Gallimore. The 28-year-old from Philadelphia is coming off a knockout victory over Francisco Javier Castro on December 1.
 
"Jarrett Hurd is a good, strong fighter that's really hot right now,'' Williams said. "This is a hometown fight for him, but Philly isn't that far from Virginia. I'm looking forward to putting on an exciting fight for all of the fans on FOX, and most importantly winning those titles and showing the world that I am the best in the 154-pound division.''
 
Barrios (23-0, 15 KOs) has grown into a brilliant super lightweight contender after starting out at 130 pounds. The 5-foot-10 fighter from San Antonio, Texas, has carried his power with him up the ladder as demonstrated by stopping his last seven opponents, including victories over Naim Nelson and Jose Luis Rodriguez on FS1. He enters the fight with Velasco after a knockout victory over Richard Zamora in his last fight on February 9.
 
Velasco (20-1, 12 KOs) picked up the nickname "The Pitbull'' early in his career because of his aggressive style. It has served the 31-year-old resident of Buenos Aires, Argentina well throughout a career in which he's only tasted defeat once. He suffered the first loss of his career in his last fight when he was stopped by Regis Prograis on July 14. He will be looking to rebound against another rising unbeaten fighter in Barrios.
 
The 36-year-old Korobov (28-2, 14 KOs) lost a hard-fought decision to Jermall Charlo live on FOX in a middleweight championship match on December 22. He was a late replacement and gave Charlo a tougher fight than many experts expected. Even though he came up short, the Russian-born fighter, who now lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, served notice to the rest of the division that he is still a threat to top 160-pounders.
 
Aleem (28-1-1, 22 KOs) will have been out of the ring for nearly a year when he steps in against Korobov. The 25-year-old is coming off a sixth-round knockout victory over Juan De Angel in his last fight on May 19. Korobov presents a major challenge for Aleem of Richmond, Virginia, who suffered the first loss of his career when he was stopped by Hugo Centeno, Jr. in August 2017 on FS1, following a career-best win over then unbeaten Ievgen Khytrov.

Maurice Hooker extends with Matchroom, DAZN

Maurice Hooker has signed an extension to his co-promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing USA and Roc Nation. Hooker defended his WBO World Super-Lightweight title with a commanding points win over Mikkel LesPierre at Turning Stone Resort Casino live on DAZN earlier in the month, and the Dallas native now hopes to fight at home for the first time as a World champion following his win over the Brooklynite. Hooker punctuated his win by flooring the challenger with a body shot in the ninth round, with the game challenger hearing the final bell and scorecards of 120-107, 119-108 and 118-109 in the defending champion’s favor– and ‘Mighty Mo’ now has WBC king Jose Ramirez and potential mandatory from Britain Jack Catterall in his sights.
 
“I want the WBC title,” said Hooker. “Everyone come to DAZN! Anybody – come to DAZN. Jack Catterall came all the way over here to America to watch me fight. Just wait young grasshopper, you will get your turn.
 
“I give myself a C- in my performance. I wasn’t good but I had to push. Look, you live and you learn. If you judge me from this fight, you better not get in the ring thinking the same thing because I am coming for you.
 
“Making weight was my fault. I was in the room messing around. That was my fault. I’m learning as I go. I’m not done yet at Super-Lightweight, I want the massive fights.”
 
“I’m delighted to extend our agreement with Maurice and Roc Nation Sports,” said Eddie Hearn, managing director of Matchroom Sport. “Maurice will return this summer, most likely in Dallas, giving him three World title defenses in just seven months.
 
“We like to keep our world champions nice and busy and we want to push for unification match ups in 2019 - I believe Maurice is the best 140lber in the world right now and we look forward to helping him prove it on DAZN.”
 
“We’re excited to announce that we’ve been able to extend our co-promotional deal of Maurice Hooker with Matchroom Boxing USA,” said Roc Nation Sports boxing promoter Dino Duva. “It’s a great partnership and we look forward to working with them not only with Maurice but on other fighters moving forward. Maurice is on his way to becoming one of the biggest stars on DAZN and this deal completely solidifies that.”

Michael Hunter calls out all contenders and champion

Heavyweight Michael Hunter (16-1, 11 KOs), is calling out all top ten contenders. Hunter is riding a four-fight winning streak and now trains under the tutelage of former world heavyweight champion, Hasim Rahman, who took over as head trainer in October of 2018. On October 13, 2018, Michael Hunter traveled overseas to London, UK, and scored a 10th round TKO over previously unbeaten foe, Martin Ilunga (11-1, 8 KOs). The following month, Hunter again traveled outside of the United States to Monte Carlo, Monaco, and scored a TKO against Alexander Ustinov (34-3, 25 KOs). "I've been telling everyone I'm on a mission to become the heavyweight championship of the world, and that I would go overseas and bring back knockout victories," said a confident Michael Hunter. "I had no choice, I knew I needed knockouts, or else I wouldn't get a decision in their native land. In both fights with Ilunga and Ustinov, I dug deep and got them both out of there. I believe in myself and I know I can beat any contender, or any of the heavyweight champions out there. With Rahman in my corner, no one is going to stop me."
 
Rahman believes Hunter, who does all his training at the Prince Ranch Boxing gym in Las Vegas, has all the talent to dethrone the current heavyweight champions. 
 
"Michael hunter is the best heavyweight in the world," proclaims former two-time heavyweight world champion, Hasim Rahman. "Hunter beat every American heavyweight in USA Boxing from 2008 -2012. Michael has the heart, the speed, the DNA, and underestimated punching power to capture the heavyweight championship of the world. In addition, Mike has been in the ring with the likes of Tyson Fury, sparred with Deontay Wilder, Luis Ortiz, the Klitschko Brothers, and more than held his own with them all. There's no reason why Hunter shouldn't be considered a serious candidate for a title shot. We're willing to fight Joe Joyce, Dillan Whyte, Trevor Bryan, Joseph Parker, or any other heavyweight contender to earn a shot to all the heavyweight champs. I believe Hunter beats all current heavyweight champs right now." 
 
"I know my name is hunter, but I'm not a typical hunter with a gun." Hunter concluded. "I promise I won't shoot to kill, I'll just knock you out, and you will live to fight another day. It's hunting season!"
 
"Mike hunter is the future of the heavyweight division," said Rahman. "Any of the names I mentioned, feel free to go goodnight. Mike Hunter will defeat you and put the world on notice."
 

DAZN changes pricing for U.S. customers

DAZN is changing its price structure for United States subscribers. Instead of $9.99 per month, the streaming service will debut an annual plan that costs $99.99. Over the course of the year, that  service will average out to just over $8 a month. For those wishing to subscribe only on a monthly basis, there will be a monthly payment option, priced at $19.99. These updates will take effect March 25th, but pricing for existing subscribers will be grandfathered for one year. All subscriptions include access to an entire year of live sports, archived classic fights and original programming. DAZN delivered the news in apress release authorided by its vice president, Joseph Markowski.

 

Beibut Shumenov enlists Don King to bring fight back to Kazkhstan

Hall of Fame promoter Don King, who promoted the Thrilla in Manila featuring Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier, and the Rumble in the Jungle with Ali vs. George Foreman, is at it again. King has hooked up with WBA regular cruiserweight champion Beibut Shumenov and hopes to convince Kazakhastan's political leaders to fund Shumenov's next fight in his native land.  Shumenov will be defending his secondary title against the WBA's interim beltholder, Arsen Goulamiriam of France in the month of May. “I’m excited about the prospect of Shumenov returning home to defend his 
title and to meet both the outgoing and the new President of his country,” said King. “I’m planning to put together another great Don King Productions extravaganza.  It will be a night of boxing that Kazakhstan and the United States will not forget.” Shumenov (18-2, 12 KOs) has won four consecutive fights, the last coming July 7th last year as he stopped Hizni Altunkaya in the ninth round to win the vacant WBA regular title.  The  31-year-old Shumenov is from Shymkent, Kazakhstan and currently trains in Las Vegas, NV. Goulamiriam (24-0, 16 KOs) is a 31-year-old Frenchman, who last March stopped previously unbeaten Ryad Merhy in the 11th round to notch the interim title. He defended it last October in his homeland with a ninth-round KO of Mark Flanagan.

ESPN+ adds Saturday afternoon boxing this weekend

ESPN+ will air Saturday afternoon boxing from England this weekend. In the main event from Morningside Arena in Leicester, Sam Bowen will make the first defense of his British super featherweight title against Jordan McCorry. In the co-feature, heavyweight hopeful Nathan Gorman will fight Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson in a twelve-rounder. Bowen-McCrory and Gorman-Johnson will headline a live and exclusive stream beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT on the ESPN+ streaming service. Bowen (14-0, 10 KOs) is coming off a banner 2018 in which he knocked out Maxi Hughes in eight rounds to win the vacant British super featherweight title and then knocked out Horacio Alfredo Cabral in four. His first British title defense comes against McCorry (17-4-1, 4 KOs), who is looking to rebound from a competitive decision loss to Patrick Kinigamazi.
 
Gorman (15-0, 11 KOs) is a 22-year-old boxer-puncher who is making his 2019 debut after a successful 4-0 campaign in 2018. In his last bout, Dec. 22 in Manchester, England, he dominated former world title challenger Razvan Cojanu over twelve rounds to score a near-shutout decision. J
 
ohnson (34-12-1, 18 KOs) is a 16-year-pro who has fought many of this generation’s leading heavyweights, including Vitali Klitschko, Kubrat Pulev, Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury. He has only been knocked out twice as a pro.
 
In other action:
 
Sam Maxwell (10-0, 8 KOs) will square off against Sabri Sediri (10-0-1, 5 KOs) in a junior welterweight ten-rounder...
 
In a ten-round battle featuring a pair of unbeaten junior middleweights, CJ Challenger (9-0, 2 KOs) will fight Kyle Haywood (8-0, 1 KO).

FS1 picks up Sakio Bika comeback bout

Former WBC super middleweight champion Sakio Bika, inactive since October 2017, will face Lionell Thompson in an eight or ten-round super middleweight showdown that will be featured in PBC Prelims on FS1 action this Sunday, March 24th from MGM National Harbor in Maryland. Bika vs. Thompson replaces the previously announced Jose Miguel Borrego vs. Jerry Brown fight, after Brown withdrew from the fight.  The FS1 prelims broadcast will begin at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT also feature Brandon Quarles (21-4-1, 10 KOs) battling Kansas-native Aaron Coley (15-2-1, 7 KOs) in an eight-round junior middleweight bout, plus Baltimore's Lorenzo Simpson (2-0, 2 KOs) taking on Earl Henry (0-1-1) in a four-round junior middleweight attraction.  The evening is headlined by a battle between two former junior welterweight champions, Lamont Peterson vs. Sergey Lipinets in a twelve-round welterweight match that headlines PBC on FS1 and Fox Deportes beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. 
 
The 39-year-old Bika (34-7-3, 22 KOs) is from Sydney, Australia by way of Cameroon, Africa. He won the title with a majority decision over Marco Antonio Periban in 2013 before losing the belt to Anthony Dirrell by unanimous decision in 2014. He moved up to light heavyweight to challenge world lightheavyweight champion Adonis Stevens and lost a unanimous decision. Since then Bika has won twice, most recently defeating Geard Ajetovic by unanimous decision in October 2017.
 
Thompson (20-5, 11 KOs) has been campaigning at light heavyweight and is moving down in weight to take on Bika at super middleweight. The 33-year-old, who is from Buffalo, N.Y. and now lives in Las Vegas, defeated Derrick Findley by unanimous decision in his last fight in September. Thompson won his first 11 fights after turning pro in 2009. 
 
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and HeadBangers Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting www.mgmnationalharbor.com/. 
 
Additional action will see unbeaten Cobia Breedy (12-0, 4 KOs) in an eight-round super featherweight fight against California's Fernando Fuentes (14-7-1, 4 KOs), San Antonio's Ramon Cardenas (16-1, 9 KOs) facing Michigan's Ryan Lee Allen (8-2-1, 4 KOs) for eight rounds of featherweight action and unbeaten Maryland native Mark Duncan (3-0, 3 KOs) battling Arturo Izquierdo (5-2, 2 KOs) in a six-round middleweight attraction. 
 
Rounding out the non-televised undercard action will feature a trio of Washington, D.C.-natives as unbeaten Keeshawn Williams faces Evincil Dixon in a six-round welterweight fight, undefeated Patrick Harris steps in for an eight-round super lightweight fight against Costa Rica's Bergman Aguilar and Kareem Martin squares off against Joaquin Chavez for six rounds of welterweight action. The night will also see Cincinnati's Adrian Jerome Benton making his pro debut in a four-round junior welterweight duel against Archie Weah.
 
 
The 39-year-old Bika (34-7-3, 22 KOs) is a former WBC super-middleweight champion from Sydney, Australia by way of Cameroon, Africa. He won the title with a majority decision over Marco Antonio Periban in 2013 before losing the belt to Anthony Dirrell by unanimous decision in 2014. He moved up to light heavyweight to challenge Adonis Stevens for his and lost a unanimous decision. Since then Bika has won twice, most recently defeating Geard Ajetovic by unanimous decision in October.
 
Thompson (20-5, 11 KOs) has been campaigning at light heavyweight and is moving down in weight to take on Bika at super middleweight. The 33-year-old, who is from Buffalo, N.Y. and now lives in Las Vegas, defeated Derrick Findley by unanimous decision in his last fight in September. Thompson won his first 11 fights after turning pro in 2009. 

Philly's Donald Smith signs promotional deal

Southpaw featherweight Donald Smith of Southwest Philadelphia recently signed a promotional contract to join Peltz Boxing. Promotions. Smith, who turns 26 next week, has won all eight of his pro fights, five by knockout. He returns to the ring on March 30th at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia against Jose Antonio Martinez Mexico in a six-round contest. Martinez, age 35, is 11-17 with 6 K0s. He is the most experienced opponent yet for Smith, who played football and basketball at West Philadelphia High School. Smith finds time to train despite holding down a series of jobs. He is a direct care worker at an emergency youth shelter and an after care worker at Birds of a Feather. He also drives after-school buses. If that isn't enough, Smith just landed another job, this one as a warehouse worker at Coca Cola. It's amazing he found time to come into our office to sign a contract. In an era when many fighters want to be pampered, Smith is a breath of fresh air.
As an amateur, Smith was 61-9 and he boxed in the National Golden Gloves, Junior Olympic Nationals, Silver Gloves Nationals and the USA Open Class Nationals. Smith enjoys playing basketball and singing and he recently threatened to sing the National Anthem before one of his fights. I had to turn him down on that one...for now. The card March 30th show is headlined by WBC/world light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk, of Kharkov, Ukraine, defending against Doudou Ngumbu, of Kinshasa, Congo. Remaining tickets can be purchased at 2300arena.com

Dannie Williams looks to reclaim his boxing career

Doveed Linder: In this interview, former prospect Dannie Williams (22-3, 18 KOs) talks about his background in boxing, and his upcoming return to the sport, scheduled for April 6th in his hometown of St. Louis... Dannie, we haven’t seen you in the ring since you faced John Molina, Jr. in January 2013, a bout you lost via fourth-round knockout.  What has been going on with you since that time and what is happening with you now? Dannie Williams: In that fight, it was just something that happened that I thought would never happen. But I guess it had to happen, because I wasn’t taking boxing seriously. After that, I went to jail for like six years and now I got my mind right and I’m ready to take over the boxing world.  The boxing world hasn’t seen the best of me.  They’ve seen good qualities in me, and they’ve seen the worst of me, but they haven’t seen the best yet.
 
DL: You’ve been boxing a long time.   When did you first put on the gloves?  How old were you and what were the circumstances?
 
DW: I actually started boxing at thirteen years old.  I went into a gym.  They were closing the gym and I was hooping and playing basketball. They said you have to leave unless you’re boxing. So, I lied and said I was a boxer, and I went upstairs and that’s how it started. This was Cherokee Recreation on the south side.  Then I eventually branched out and trained with Kevin Cunningham.  He was my amateur coach for years.  I turned pro with him too.  My first three fights were with Kevin. I signed with Don King and J. Prince, but then I ended up going to jail.
 
DL: You came up at a time when boxing was pretty hot in St. Louis with fighters like Cory Spinks and Devon Alexander on the rise.
 
DW: Yeah, it was a good opportunity to be around certain guys. I still didn’t take boxing a hundred percent [seriously]. I was supposed to be in the same position as those guys.  But it was a chance to see different things and new things that I probably never would have been able to see.
 
DL: You have a fight coming up at the Casa Loma Ballroom here in  St. Louis on April 6th.  What can you tell me about this upcoming bout and what do you hope it leads to?
  
DW: April 6, I fight a guy by the name of Ronald Rivas.  His record is 5-9-2, but he’s a tough fighter. He’s only been stopped about twice.  He always comes to fight, so that’s what I need to get back.  He just fought in January and I haven’t fought in six plus years, so I’m just excited to get back in there. I’ve been training my butt off.  I’ve been sparring like eight to ten rounds for a six-round fight. I’m just trying to get the ring rust off and put on a show for St. Louis .
 
DL: Is there anything you would like to say in closing?
 
DW: Stay on the look out for me.  I fight again in May and in June.  After about four tune-ups, I’ll be ready to get back in the mix and fight whoever.  For my fight in April, I’ll be at like 137, but I’m going to campaign at lightweight.  I’ve got unfinished business there.  I got to conquer the weight I started at – 135.   And then I’ll move up.  I’m putting 110% into what I got to do. Before, I was putting 110% into BS.  Now I’m putting 110% into something I love to do.  No excuses.  I’m gonna be on top.
 
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, 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.
 
 
 
 
 

Kevin Johnson heads to England to face Nathan Gorman as late sub

Heavyweight hopeful Nathan Gorman (15-0) takes on the venerable American Kevin Johnson (34-12-1) at the Morningside Arena in Leicester, England on Saturday, live on BT Sport. Gorman has, unfortunately, been victim of late withdrawals of opponents this week [we're looking at you Fabio Maldonado], while the veteran Johnson was also due to have his first fight of the year but suffered an opponent withdrawal. They will now face each other and the match represents a return to the Morningside Arena for the 39-year-old Johnson, who fought in Leicester last year, taking Daniel Dubois the full ten-round distance. Johnson has a resume that features a ‘Who’s Who’ of heavyweight boxing, with him having shared a ring with the likes of Vitali Klitschko, Tyson Fury, Christian Hammer, Dereck Chisora, Manuel Charr, Anthony Joshua, Kubrat Pulev, Filip Hrgovic and Daniel Dubois with only Joshua forcing a stoppage in his 13th fight back in 2015.
 
Gorman can now look to return the compliment to Dubois, who recently stopped his last opponent Razvan Cojanu in the second round, by making a similar statement against Johnson, who forced the young Londoner to rely on the scorecards.
 
Promoter Frank Warren has made it public that the 22-year-old is just a few fights away from a collision with fellow young heavy Dubois, with the fight expected to take place before the end of the year. Both must remain in winning ways and the pupil of Ricky Hatton first has to overcome his American assignment.
 
“Probably the most durable heavyweight in the world is old Kingpin, isn’t he?” responded Gorman to news of his new opponent. “He seems to have been in with everyone so it only seems right that I should fight him too because it will be another experience and another style. I know I have been training for a different style and have only had four or five days to prepare for it, but it will be another box ticked.”
 
Gorman was fully intent on delivering a highlight reel KO in his first fight of the year, but realises the probability has diminished with Johnson being drafted in, but there remains the incentive of attempting to out-do his domestic rival. “It will be very hard with him because he can be very defensive and only two people have stopped him. It will probably be a hard night’s work but only time will tell and I’ve just got to stick to my boxing and do the business. I need to get the win, first and foremost, and come out unscathed and healthy.
 
“Of course that is the aim to better the outcome of Daniel, obviously. I’m not going in there to do the distance and I want to get him out of there, but I’ve just got to let my boxing do the talking.”
 
The Leicester show also features the British super featherweight title clash between the champion Sam Bowen and Scot Jordan McCorry. CJ Challenger and  Kyle Haywood fight for the vacant Midlands Area super welterweight title takes place on the same bill. Among the other stars in action include Sam Maxwell, Tommy Fury and Willy Hutchinson.
 

Conroy relishes underdog role vs. Buatsi

Liam Conroy (16-3-1) says he is ready to make history at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday by becoming the first ever man from Barrow-in-Furness to win the British championship. The former English Champion takes on 2016 Olympian Joshua Buatsi (billed at 9-0 but actually 10-2 including pro bouts in the World Series of Boxing) for the vacant British light heavyweight crown in East London and is determined to silence his doubters, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. Despite heading into this weekend’s domestic showdown in the form of his career with five successive stoppage wins, the bookies have the 26-year-old down as a huge underdog against rising star Buatsi, a label that he insists he will thrive off.
 
“I’m feeling brilliant,” Conroy told MTK Global. “I’m living the dream to be boxing for a British title. I’m so inspired and I think you’ll see an extra level to my boxing this weekend as a result of that.
 
“The bookies have him a clear favourite. I was insulted at first but then I look back on times I’ve done this before – I’ve had brilliant wins being the underdog. With it being on such a big scale and on such a big platform, it’s going to be even sweeter when I do it.
 
“Having so many people from Barrow there will give me a massive push. I’ve sold loads of tickets even though it’s nowhere near London. I think they’re as excited as I am!
“I’m the first Barrovian to box for the British title and I’ll be the first one to win one as well. Everyone is absolutely buzzing so it’ll be a brilliant atmosphere in there and I’ll feed off it on the night.”
 
Buatsi vs. Conroy tops a huge night of action at the Copper Box Arena. The main event sees Charlie Edwards make the first defense of his WBC flyweight title against Spain’s Angel Moreno.
 

DAZN books Italian show for April 26th

DAZN returns to Florence, Italy on April 26th when cruiserweight Fabio Turchi France's Jean Jacques Olivier (10-2, 7 KOs) over twelve rounds at the Tuscany Hall.  Turchi (16-0, 12 KOs) is coming off a seventh-round stoppage win over Tony Conquest in November. In the chief support, junior middleweight Orlando Fiordigiglio (30-2, 13 KOs) takes on Stephen Danyo (15-2-3, 6 KOs). Tuscany welterweight Allesandro Riguccini (22-0, 18 KOs), coming off a win over Andres Villaman in October will be in against Mexico’s Ivan Alvarez (28-9-1, 18 KOs) in only his second outing on home soil.
 
Rome’s former European middleweight champion Emanuele Blandamura (28-3, 5 KOs) returns to action over six rounds and former European super featherweight hampion Devis Boschiero (46-6-2, 21 KOs) fights for the first time since his loss to Martin J. Ward in November.
 
Current European middleweight official challenger Matteo Signani (27-5-3, 10 KOs), flyweight Mohammed Obbadi (18-1, 12 KOs) and Rome's junior middleweight Mirko Natalizi (3-0, 2 KOs) are also scheduled to compete on the card. Tickets will be released soon on www.ticketone.it and www.boxofficetoscana.it. For further information call 3387769949.
 
Eddie Hearn said: “I’m excited to return to Florence after another sell-out show in Milano. We’ve already seen the huge potential that Italy has to offer with our first two shows and I’m expecting another sell-out in Florence. Local hero Fabio Turchi is quickly establishing himself as a star of Italian boxing and on April 26 he takes another step towards a shot at the Cruiserweight Championship of the World.”
 
Christian Cherchi of Opi Since 82 said: “We are delighted to be back in the beautiful city of Florence for another action-packed card featuring three title fights and a host of former Champions. Our first two events in Florence and Milano were hugely successful and I’m predicting another brilliant night of boxing on April 26, shown live on DAZN.”
 
Veronica Diquattro, DAZN EVP Southern Europe, said: “After the success of the event in Milan, we are very happy to come back to the city where our adventure has started. We want to keep working in order to bring boxing back to being a popular sport in Italy through high-level fights that bring people closer to this sport that over the years has given incredible emotions and historical moments to all its fans.”

Broadway Boxing returns to Broadway

Now in year 16, DiBella Entertainment's Broadway Boxing series returns to Manhattan on Wednesday, April 10th at Sony Hall in Times Square. Ukrainian welterweight Ivan "The Volk" Golub (20-1, which includes the World Series of Boxing) will headline against Karim Mayfield (21-5-1, 11 KOs) in a ten-rounder.  Golub's last fight was a ten-round shutout decision victory against Lanardo Tyner on August 18th. Golub was a highly accomplished amateur, accumulating a 270-32 record. He became a five-time Ukrainian National champion, won bronze medals at the Junior World Championships in 2006 and at the World Championships in 2009.  Tickets are currently on sale by calling the DiBella Entertainment office at (212) 947-2577 and online through Ticketmaster. 
 
[Mayfield last fought in April 2018, a majority decision loss to undefeated Sergey Lubkovich.]
 
"I'm thrilled to bring Broadway Boxing back to New York City and to debut the series at Sony Hall in Times Square," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "On Wednesday, April 10, hard-hitting Ukrainian welterweight contender Ivan Golub will take on highly skilled veteran Karim Mayfield... The stacked undercard includes Long Island's [WBA} champion Alicia Napoleon, the Big Uzbek, heavyweight giant, Bakhodir Jalolov, as well as renowned amateur, junior middleweight brawler Hurshidbek Normatov and rising Brooklyn prospect Khalid Twaiti. We also welcome Brooklyn's former amateur standout Brian Ceballo, promoted by Tom Loeffler, to Broadway Boxing." 
 
Golub, of Brooklyn, NY, is listed at 15-1 but he also participated in the World Series of Boxing, winning all five of his bouts. He's co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc., and managed by David McWater's Split-T Management. 
 
UNDERCARD
 
WBA auper middleweight champion Alicia "The Empress" Napoleon (10-1, 5 KOs) will compete in an eight-round non-title bout. A native of Lindenhurst, NY, Napoleon won her world title with a ten-round unanimous decision versus Femke Hermans on March 3rd. Making her first defense on August 4th, the charismatic Napoleon defeated Hannah Rankin by ten-round decision. The Veteran Boxers Association honored Napoleon as the 2018 New York State Female Fighter of the Year at their annual Holiday Awards Dinner. Before her August 2014 pro debut, Napoleon competed as an amateur for nine years, winning 11 National titles, including two New York Golden Gloves championships and a National Golden Gloves title.
 
Standing at 6'7", former Olympian Bakhodir "The Big Uzbek" Jalolov (5-0, 5 KOs) is a heavyweight giant from Uzbekistan, now training out of Los Angeles, CA, and will see action in a six-round tilt. He is coming off of a second-round stoppage against Willie Harvey, on March 15, in California. Born in Sariosiyo, Uzbekistan, Jalolov was a highly accomplished amateur, compiling a record of 84-13. A four-time National champion from 2013 to 2016 and the #1 ranked amateur in the world before his pro debut, Jalolov represented his homeland at the 2016 Olympic Games and had the distinguished honor of being the country's flag-bearer at the Opening Ceremonies. As an amateur, Jalolov won gold medals at the Asian Amateur Boxing Championships in 2017, World Cup Tournament, Liventsev Memorial Tournament, Great Silk Way Tournament, and Duisenkul Shopokov Memorial Tournament in 2015, and at the World Cup of Petroleum Countries Tournament in 2014. During his amateur career, Jalolov also focused on his education, earning a Master's Degree in Sports Science.
    
Undefeated junior middleweight Hurshidbek Normatov (7-0, 3 KOs), of Brooklyn, NY, will battle in a scheduled six-rounder. A native of Uzbekistan, the 26-year-old southpaw, managed by David McWater's Split-T Management, is coming off of a thrilling sixth-round knockout of previously unbeaten Alexis Gaytan on July 21, 2018, at Foxwoods Resort Casino. As an amateur, Normatov won the 2014 European National Championships and accumulated a 190-40 record.   
 
In the super bantamweight division, Brooklyn's Khalid "Pure Gold" Twaiti (4-0, 2 KOs) will compete in a four-round bout. Fighting for the first time in 2019, Twaiti is coming off of a four-round unanimous decision against Carlos Noe Ramirez on September 29, 2018, in his home borough. He turned pro in February 2017, after compiling a 74-15 amateur record. 
 
Welterweight Brian Ceballo (7-0, 3 KOs), of Brooklyn, NY, promoted by Tom Loeffler's 360 Promotions and managed by David McWater's Split-T Management, will fight in a six-rounder. Ceballo was a stellar amateur, compiling a 206-13 record while becoming a five-time New York Golden Gloves champion. He turned pro last March and is coming off of a six-round unanimous decision victory against Randy Fuentes, at the Avalon, in Hollywood, CA.
 
Additional information on this exciting card will be announced shortly. 
 

WBA calls for bogus purse bid; Usyk could be stripped

The WBA is calling for a purse bid for a fight it knows will not happen, and should not happen. The WBA wants a purse bid for world cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk to face Denis Lebedev, whom the WBA recognizes as its "champion in recess" despite the fact that Lebedev lost to Murat Gassiev in 2016 yet the WBA continued to recognize him as a champion. Usyk, who holds the WBA super championship, one of four champions recognized by the WBA in the 200-pound weight class, is moving up to heavyweight and likely has no intentions of fighting the past-his-prime Lebedev. Still, on March 28th in Panama Cirty, the WBA will go through the charade of a purse bid for an Usyk-Lebedev fight that will never happen. According to the WBA the purse split will be distributed in 75% for Usyk, while the remaining 25% will be for Lebedev. Thankfully, Usyk is a true world champion who will not use the excuse of a bogus mandatory defense to take an easy fight. The joke is that the WBA will likely strip him for doing so. 
 

Tevin Farmer targeting June or July return

Greg Leon: Congrats on your recent victory over Jono Carroll. Can you give us some thoughts on your performance? Tevin Farmer: "I thought it was a good performance. I got the victory and that's all that matters. I mean it was a good fight, as a champion I'm going to always feel like I can get better and put on a better performance next time no matter how good I look in a fight. It was a good performance, but it wasn't an A performance because I feel like I could always get better." GL: Was there anything about Carroll that surprised you?  TF: "No, he didn't surprise me. We had a world championship fight and I expect everything coming into a world championship fight because everybody who fights me is going to be giving it their all."
 
GL: What do you feel like you need to improve on moving forward?
 
TF: "Everything. It's just my mindset and I'm going to always feel like that. I'm going to always feel that I could get better in every aspect, mentally, physically, just all across the board."
 
GL: It seemed like there was a lot of bad blood between you and Carroll in the build up and then after the fight you're bringing him out for cheese steaks. How did that happen?
 
TF: "I told him I was going to take him for a cheese steak at the press conference and I saw him as I was leaving the hotel in the morning and I said, 'what's up, do you want to go get a cheese steak?' And he was like, let's go, so we got in the car and rolled out."
 
GL: How did you feel about this guy getting in there with a full beard?
 
TF: "It was ok for real. He did trim it down a little bit though."
 
GL: When might your next fight take place? The way you've been active, I'll be expecting you to say June.
 
TF: (laughs) "Maybe June. June or July though, it's going to happen whenver I talk to my people and tell them when I want to fight."
 
GL: Who do you want to fight next?
 
TF: "The best possible opposition is what I'm always looking for. I'm just looking to keep my title and defending it against whoever they put in front of me and I think I've got a mandatory coming up."
 
GL: Can you put into words how it felt to defend your world title at home?
 
TF: "It felt good man, I mean it's something that's hard to explain. Everybody wants to be able to defend their world titles at home. Everybody that can't make it out to the fight from different states was able to come because you get all your family and friends to come see you."
 
GL: Are you looking to defend your boxing title in Philadelphia more often? Philly could use a home town champion since a lot of the other top fighters out of Philly often fight at Barclay's Center [in Brooklyn, New York] or other PBC cards all over the country."
 
TF: "It would be a great thing to open up a lane for other Philly fighters to fight on my shows and I definitely would love to be in front of my home crowd as often as I can."
 
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
 
TF: "I just want everybody to keep supporting me because I'll be back in a few months and I'm going to keep doing what I've been doing. Now I've won 23 straight fights and the next one this summer will make 24." 

Warrington-Galahad booked for June 15th in Leeds

Britain's Josh Warrington (pictured) will make the second defense of his IBF featherweight title against mandatory challenger Kid Galahad a/k/a Barry Awad (26-0) at the Leeds Arena on June 15th. It will be a hometown return for Warrington in the all-Yorkshire grudge match against his old amateur rival. Warrington, 28, outpointed defending champion Lee Selby in front of 25,000 fans at Elland Road, home of his beloved Leeds United soccer team last May. In December, he cemented his status as one of the stars of 2018 with a thrilling points win against two-weight champion, Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena. Warrington (28-0) had being eyeing a unification clash against WBO champion, Oscar Valdez but the IBF ordered him to face Galahad and purses bids were won by the champion’s promoter, Frank Warren.
 
Galahad (26-0) was born in Qatar but lived in Sheffield for much of his life and learned his skills under the tutelage of the late Brendan Ingle. He is now trained by Brendan’s son Dominic. In October, he outpointed Toka Kahn Clary in Boston in an IBF final eliminator. Galahad last boxed in December, easily outpointing Brayan Mairena over eight rounds.
 
Warrington, a former English, British, Commonwealth, European and now IBF champion, boxed Galahad twice when they were amateurs winning both contests on points.
 
He said: “All of sudden people are saying I am capable of beating every featherweight in the world and with that comes expectation. I will go into this fight as the bookies’ favorite, but I will be 100 percent focused and looking to do a job. I knew Barry when we were amateurs and he was always a decent guy, but over the last few years he seems to have changed and put on some persona to blag fans, opponents or himself. He did well at super-bantamweight, but he has beaten nobody as a featherweight and he has lost respect from me for some of his antics. I want to own all the belts and they are in touching distance. I can beat all the featherweights. I am concentrating purely on Barry, but after this I want one of the other world champions. I want champion after champion.”
 
Galahad won British, European and Commonwealth titles at super bantamweight. The 28 year-old Galahad said: “Josh’s biggest asset is that people underestimate him and he is a lot better than what he looks. He’s strong, tough, durable and mentally strong, but I have the skill, will and mental toughness to beat him. He beat me fair and square when we were amateurs, but down the line I knew I would always fight him again. This is professional boxing, different game. Why am I the man to beat him? I know mentally that I am on a different level and I have the best team in British boxing. He is going to walk onto a shot, he is going to get hurt very badly and his dad who trains him will stop the fight because he will make an emotional decision and throw in the towel around round six, seven or eight.”
 
Warrington snapped back: “That prediction makes me giggle. It is funny how these scenarios get drawn up. He isn’t in touch with reality and talking daft. It is playground stuff.
 
“He can spout off what he likes, but when the first bell goes it will be me against him and we will see how special he and his team are then.”
 
BT Sport have the live and exclusive TV rights for Warrington v Galahad in the UK.
 

Douglin: "It's win or retire and I want all the big fights"

Greg Leon: What's the latest and greatest man? When can we expect you back in the ring? Denis Douglin: "ASAP bro, I'm waiting for them to give me a call. I'm waiting on Main Events right now, but I've been training while I'm waiting on them." GL: Is there anybody out there that you're specifically targeting? DD: "Right now I'm on the title chase and I know that Al Haymon has the WBC and IBF [Haymon advises the respective super middleweight champions Anthony Dirrell and Caleb Plant], so right now I'm not focusing on any of them, I'm going after the WBO. Right now Zurdo [Gilberto Ramirez] has that belt [there was talk it was vacant but Ramirez denied he'd vacated], but he's going to be moving up to 175 and he might have to give that up. I think Billy Joe Saunders is going to fight somebody for that [if/when it becomes vacant], but I'm trying to put myself into a position where the winner has to see me."
 
GL: So have you received any time frames for your next fight?
 
DD: "They (Main Events) told me that I'll be on Sergey Kovalev's next show, but I don't think they're sure of when he's going again so we might have to do something else before that. I need to stay busy and he's not fighting till June or July."
 
GL: Is this the time where it's most difficult for you as a boxer? You haven't fought in four and half months and you don't have a firm date, so how are you supposed to be adequately preparing for something sooner?
 
DD: "Exactly right and that's the thing a lot of people don't understand, when you're training you don't want to go too hard because you don't want to be peaking too soon. I'm just working on little things and staying sharp because there's only so much I can do without having a date yet."
 
GL: Before you fought Vaughn Alexander you were in back-to-back fights with David Benavidez and Anthony Dirrell. In hindsight was that a mistake?
 
DD: "No because this is what I'm in boxing for. The only thing I regret about the Benavidez fight is not taking that camp seriously. Before the fight I was bullshitting a lot and now when I see Benavidez and hear people calling him the boogeyman, I feel like I would have won that fight if I had properly prepared. With a full training camp I think I beat him, I have what it takes to beat him, I still think he's a great fighter, but I just wasn't adequately prepared. For the Dirrell fight I feel like I won, but he's just a b*tch."
 
GL: Did the way that fight ended give you the necessary confidence to do what you did versus Alexander?
 
DD: "In all of my fights with the losses that I have I don't feel like people have beaten me, I've beaten myself. I wasnt in the shape I needed to be in and I still gave Benavidez his toughest fight. I know I'm one of the top dogs and I'm not even there yet. When I have a full camp to get ready I know I'm winning. A lot of people say I'm crazy for saying that I'm retiring if I lose another fight, but I say that with confidence because I know I ain't going to lose. I'm better than all of these dudes, I just wasn't showing it. Now I'm showing it."
 
GL: Is the one more loss and I'm done mindset helpful when it comes to keeping you sharp and disciplined?
 
DD: "Most definitely. I feel like I have one more chance and I know if I lose another fight nobody is goin to want to see me again. I like keeping myself under that pressure. I'm on some nobody wants to see you anyway so don't lose anymore."
 
GL: What did you think about Benavidez's performance the other night against J'Leon Love?
 
DD: "He looked great. He looked scary bro. He looked big, fast, strong and super impressive. I think we all expected that but I didn't think it was going to be that quick, I thought J'Leon was going to give him a little bit more. Shout out to Benavidez, but after another couple of wins I want my rematch."
 
GL: Closing thoughts from the fans. 
 
DD: "It's win or retire. I want everybody at the top and I'm not ducking anybody. I'm back and I'm looking to bring that old school fighting back to boxing. Eubank, Benavidez, Plant, Dirrell's soft ass, give me any of them."

Charlie Edwards wants Kal Yafai after soft title defense

WBC 112-pound champion Charlie Edwards says a British blockbuster with WBA 115-pound champion Kal Yafai is “on the radar”, but Edwards first has to overcome former sparring partner Angel Moreno when he defends his title for the first time at London's Copper Box Arena this Saturday, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. The 25-year-old stepped down a division to claim the WBC crown with a points win over Cristofer Rosales at The O2 in December and has already expressed his desire to become an “all-time British great” by winning world titles in multiple weight divisions. Edwards remains willing to settle his long-standing feud with the 25-0 Yafai, although Edwards questions whether the Birmingham man is willing to accept the fight.
 
“He’s on the radar, 100 percent,” said Edwards. “It could be next, because I would have it next, but I know he won’t, so it probably won’t be next. I don’t think he wants to entertain me at all. He made that pretty clear during the year when I was trying to call for the fight. I’m focusing on my own path. These big fights will come now I have a world title and when they do I’ll be ready. I’m ready now to fight anyone and everyone. I’m ready to build a legacy, and have proper fights. To become a British great I’ll have to win world titles at multiple weights, and that’s exactly what I’ll do. When I moved down to flyweight, I stated to [promoter] Eddie Hearn that I’m ready for anyone and everyone, and that’s why he gave me the #1 flyweight in the division, and I went and did the performance that I did, and now I’m the #1. I know I possess the self-belief and skill to become a champion in the super flyweight division.”
 
Edwards vs. Moreno tops a huge night of action at the Copper Box Arena. Also on the card: rising light heavyweight Joshua Buatsi takes on Liam Conroy for the vacant British title in his tenth fight... London cruiserweight rivals Lawrence Okolie and Wadi Camacho collide with the British and Cruiserweight titles on the line.. Lewis Ritson makes his debut at 140 pounds as he takes on Argentina’s German Argentino Benitez.
 
Also: Undefeated Irish middleweight Jason Quigley fights for the first time as a pro in the UK, Watford bantamweight Shannon Courtenay makes her professional debut and Newport bantamweight Sean McGoldrick fights for the first time under new trainer Jamie Moore.

Marco A. Barrera added to Box Fan Expo line-up

Former multi-division champion and all-time great Marco Antonio Barrera will appear, and hold a meet and greet for his fans at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the 5th Annual Box Fan Expo on Saturday May 4th from 10a.m to 5pm, during Cinco De Mayo weekend. The Boxing Expo will also coincide with the highly anticipated world middleweight championship fight between Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Danny Jacobs, that will take place later that evening at the T-Mobile Arena. Barrera will make his third appearance at this years' Expo and will be signing gloves, photos, personal items and memorabilia. Barrera will also have merchandise to sell.
 
Barrera joins Juan Manuel Marquez, Vinny Paz, Devin Haney, Earnie Shavers, Al Bernstein, Michael Spinks, Erik Morales, James Toney and Jessie Vargas as an early commitment to this year's Box Fan Expo, with many more Top Boxing stars to be announced.
 
About Marco Antonio Barrera
Barrera is a Mexican former professional boxer who competed from 1989 to 2011. He held multiple world championships in three weight classes, including the true world featherweight championship. He held the WBO 122-pound title three times from 1995 to 2001; the WBC super featherweight title from 2004 to 2007; and the IBF super featherweight title from 2005 to 2006. Additionally, he held the IBO featherweight title in 2001. Barrera is well known for his trilogy with fellow Mexican legend Erik Morales, as well as his two fights with Manny Pacquiao, and rivalry with Juan Manuel Marquez. ESPN ranked Barrera as number 43 on their list of the 50 greatest boxers of all time. Barrera was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2017.
 
About Box Fan Expo
Box Fan Expo allows fans to meet-and-greet boxing superstars of today, current and former world champions, legends of the sport and other boxing celebrities. Fans can expect to experience various interactions such as autograph and photos sessions, FaceOff with your favorite boxers, pictures with the Ring Card Girls, Live DJ Music, chance to win prizes, purchase merchandise and memorabilia from different booths Exhibitors, "ALL UNDER ONE ROOF".
 
Many boxing stars have attended the last four Expos such as Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns, Marco Antonio Barrera, Roy Jones Jr., Andre Ward, Mikey Garcia, Marcos Maidana, Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, Errol Spence Jr., Sergio Martinez, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Tim Bradley, Deontay Wilder, Amir Khan, Shawn Porter, Fernando Vargas, Zab Judah, James Toney, Jessie Vargas, Vinny Pazienza, Mia St.John, Leo Santa Cruz, Badou Jack, Terry Norris , Riddick Bowe , Earnie Shavers, Leon Spinks, Danny Jacobs, Abner Mares, Jorge Linares, Brandon Rios and many more...
Exhibitors include: boxing promoters, gear, apparel, equipment, energy drinks, supplement products, broadcasting media, sanctioning bodies, and other companies who wish to participate will once again have a chance to showcase 
 
Tickets to the Box Fan Expo are available online at: 
 

Danny Garcia-Adrian Granados presser quotables

Former two-division champion Danny "Swift" Garcia (pictured) and his next opponent Adrian Granados previewed their Premier Boxing Champions on Fox showdown at a press conference in Los Angeles Tuesday as they prepare to square off on Saturday, April 20th from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Tickets for the live event are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at AXS.com or at the Dignity Health Sports Park box office. The April 20th broadcast begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr. taking on Alexander Dimitrenko in a ten-round bout in the co-feature as well as unbeaten Brandon Figueroa battling Venezuela's Yonfrez Parejo in a 12-round match for the WBA interim belt at 122 pounds. Here is what the press conference participants had to say Tuesday from the Palms Restaurant Downtown L.A.:
 
DANNY GARCIA
 
"I've been training hard. I've seen Granados fight a few times and I know what he can do. I'm excited to be back in Los Angeles, because this is where the stars fight. This is another fight that can get me to where I want to go in my career.
 
"My mentality is that I have to stop Granados. Nobody has stopped him and I have to do that to make a statement. He's never fought a counter puncher like me and I'm definitely the hardest puncher he's faced. I'm going to showcase everything to get the stoppage.
 
"This is another fight for my legacy. There have been a lot of great fights in my career and this is another important one for me. I know he's coming to fight, but I'm looking to make this one of my easiest wins.
 
"He's a tough and aggressive fighter who likes to throw a lot of punches. He's hungry, and that's the type of guy that you have to watch out for. I've got to handle my business against Granados before I look to any bigger fights.
 
"This is a big platform for me to perform on. I'm going to show the world why I'm one of the best fighters in the world.
 
"I plan on winning with style. I'm going to bring a lot of skill, a lot of will, a lot of power and I'm going to entertain my fans. April 20 will be the 'Danny Garcia Show.'"
 
ADRIAN GRANADOS
 
"This is going to be a great fight. We're two fighters who bring it. I'm coming for a victory in dominating fashion. This is the fight that I've wanted for a while now.
 
"I haven't had the easiest road and that's why I'm looking to get my respect in this fight. I'm looking forward to this. It's going to be a barnburner. May the best man win.
 
"If he's underestimating me it will definitely be a big mistake on his part. I don't think he will though. I think he realizes now he's in for a fight. If he didn't know me before, he does now. I'm going to give him a piece of my mind April 20.
 
"I was never taken care of coming up. I always had to work harder to get to where I'm at. Danny and I basically had the same accolades in the amateurs, and I always gave him kudos for what he's done in his whole career, but he doesn't know what I've gotten through to get here.
 
"I'm coming to get my respect in this fight. I'm going to make Danny fight and see what he's made of. I've always had a chip on my shoulder but being able to take out a fighter like Danny is motivating me to another level."
 
TOM BROWN, President of TGB Promotions
 
"Premier Boxing Champions has made a major commitment to bringing some of the best and biggest fights to Southern California. We started with the Wilder vs. Fury heavyweight title fight downtown in December and we're back again in April at the Dignity Health Sports Park. This is the premier outdoor boxing venue in the United States and we have a great show there on April 20.
 
"Danny Garcia is a throwback fighter. A first-ballot Hall of Famer in my opinion. At 140-pounds he took on the best in the division and never backed down from a challenge. Danny was a 2-1 underdog when he fought Lucas Matthysse, and we knew what happened after, he proved the doubters wrong. I'm so excited to have him back in California on this great card.
 
"Adrian Granados could arguably be sitting up here with a record of 27-1, since all but one of his losses have been by split or majority decision, and usually it's in his opponent's backyard. He's a battle-tested veteran who's made a name for himself bringing action-packed fights to the fans. When we announced all the PBC on FOX fights, this is the one that I circled."
 
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of President of Mayweather Promotions
 
"This is going to be a terrific fight. I've really been looking forward to this fight because I've known these guys for a long time. Styles make fights and in this particular matchup, we have two fighters who are all action.
 
"Danny has shown that he's an elite fighter, because he's beaten a number of great world champions. Adrian Granados always comes to fight. He's never ever in a boring fight. The styles mesh so well, with Danny being a world class counter-puncher and also being a superb boxer. Granados is going to force Danny to fight on the inside a lot more than usual.
 
"I think this fight is going to bring the best out of both Danny and Adrian. They've both fought a number of very good fighters and been in involved in numerous debatable decisions. They're going to have to leave it all in the ring come April 20."

Showtime lands Wilder-Breazeale over DAZN

Showtime announced that it will broadcast WBC heavyweight champion's Deontay Wilder's mandatory title defense against Dominic Breazeale on May 18th fron Brooklyn, New York's Barclay Center.  The good news is the fight will be shown on "regular" Showtime, not pay-per-view. The bad news is that by sticking with Showtime, Wilder and his team have apparently declined a very lucrative offer from Showtime competitior DAZN, which was reportedly a three-fight deal for Wilder to fight Breazeale then a two-fight unification series vs. IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. The decision to remain with Showtime does not bode well for heavyweight unification this year, but after Wilder-Brezeale in May and Joshua vs. Jarrell Miller in June, there is no doubt discussions will recommence between the representartives of Joshua, Wilder and former champion Tyson Fury, who is also planning an interim fight after a draw vs. Wilder last year. Wilder-Breazeale was announced at a press conference today, with Wilder saying about the lightly credentialed Breazeale, "I consider a mandatory like flies, they are always buzzing in your ear. This is gonna be a massacre," Few boxing experts would disagree.

Beterbiev to defend vs. Kalajdzic on May 4th

[After securing his contractual freedom from Canadian promoter Groupe Yvon Michel] IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev signed a long-term pact with Top Rank and will defend his title against Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic on Saturday, May 4th at Stockton Arena in Stockton, California.  Beterbiev-Kalajdzic will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (Spanish)  “I am very excited to defend my IBF light heavyweight title on May 4th against a high-quality opponent like Radivoje Kalajdzic,” Beterbiev said. “This will be a great fight, and I can't wait to get in the ring and show once again why I am the best 175-pound boxer in the world."
 
Beterbiev (13-0, 13 KOs), a 34-year-old native of Russia, turned pro in 2013 following an amateur career that included a pair of European Championships gold medals and a gold medal at the 2009 World Championships. In only his sixth pro bout, he knocked out former world champion Tavoris Cloud. He won the IBF crown in November 2017 with a fourth-round stoppage over Enrico Kölling in Fresno, California. Beterbiev defended his belt the following October, recovering from a second-round knockdown to stop Callum Johnson in the fourth.
 
Kalajdzic (24-1, 17 KOs) has won three in a row since a controversial split decision loss to Marcus Browne, including a fifth-round stoppage over then-unbeaten Travis Peterkin.
 
“I’m thrilled to get this opportunity to challenge for a world title against a great fighter like Artur Beterbiev,” Kalajdzic said. “It will be a very exciting fight. Both of us hit hard, so expect fireworks. I am focused on securing a victory and will take full advantage of this shot. A win opens so many doors for me and will change my life. On May 4, the light heavyweight division will have a new world champion." 

Wilder-Breazeale Presser Quotables

WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (pictured) and mandatory challenger Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale went face-to-face Tuesday at a heated press conference to officially announce their heavyweight title showdown taking place Saturday, May 18th live on Showtime from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 22 at 10 a.m. ET and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com, or by calling 800-745-3000. Here is what the press conference participants had to say Tuesday from Barclays Center:
 
DEONTAY WILDER
 
“It’s a pleasure to be back here in Brooklyn. Barclays Center is very close to my heart. I’ve been here so many times and I have a real connection to this arena. I’ve had some of my most memorable moments in the ring here.
 
“It’s always great to get a mandatory out of the way. They’re like flies buzzing in my ear. I just want to get them out of the way so I can do great things for the heavyweight division. I want one champion, one face, one name, but you need a lot of cooperation to make that happen.
 
“I want to prove to the world that I’m the best. That’s what I believe in my heart. Until someone proves me wrong, I will continue to believe that. Breazeale is the next man in line. I can’t wait for this one.
 
“I’m just going to show everyone on May 18. The way I feel right now, the fight could be this week. The champion must always be ready for whatever a challenger can bring.
 
“I hope he’s training his hardest. I’m glad he has Virgil Hunter on his side to show him something new. Every man I’ve faced; they’ve landed on the canvas. I’m going to continue to do that on May 18th.
 
“No man who gets in the ring will be able to defeat Deontay Wilder. I hold the keys to the heavyweight division. No fighter is doing what I’m doing. I’m trying to give the fans something they’ve never seen before.
 
“Enjoy this one, because it’s going to be a massacre. May 18 will be a beautiful day for me and a beautiful day to see what I’m planning to do for the sport of boxing.”
 
DOMINIC BREAZEALE
 
“I’m super excited for this. I’ve been waiting over a year and a half for a shot at this title. I’ve got three knockouts here at Barclays Center and I can’t wait for another.
 
“I’m a great fighter but there are always things to be learned. I’ve learned a lot already with Virgil Hunter. I bring something that everyone wants to see from heavyweights, and that’s trouble. I’m going to bring pressure and action.
 
“I’m sick of seeing this guy walking around with his belt. I’m going to put him down. People are going to be rising to their feet when I knock him down.
 
“I’m so excited to get this fight. I’ve been on Deontay’s undercards and I steal the show every time. Deontay does nothing right in the ring. He looks like a circus-act. All he does is talk. But there’s nothing he can say on May 18.
 
“Deontay loves to hear his own voice. All he does is talk and talk. It’s time to get in the ring. Nobody can get in there and save him. It’s just me and him. Leather on leather. We’ll see who lands first. Hopefully he gets off the canvas.”
 
VIRGIL HUNTER, Breazeale’s Trainer
 
“It’s a pleasure to be here at Barclays Center for a heavyweight championship fight. We have a monumental task to try to overcome. Dominic and I connected last month and after a few workouts, we saw we had a good fit and an understanding of what needs to be done.
 
“Dominic works hard, he’s very determined and he knows that this is his opportunity and he can’t let it slip away from him. He also knows the risk at hand. We’re looking forward to May 18.”
 
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, President Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.
 
“We are thrilled to be bringing you Deontay Wilder vs. Dominic Breazeale on Showtime. It would be an understatement to say that there has been a lot of speculation regarding Deontay’s future. We’re proud to have him on Showtime. It was critical for Deontay, for the sport and his fans, that this fight be available not on pay-per-view... Because of his insistence, that’s the primary reason we’re standing here today.
 
“Showtime is where this fight belongs. We’re the home of the biggest fights and best talents, month in and month out. This is where a heavyweight title fight belongs. This will be Deontay’s 12th appearance on Showtime and or Showtime pay-per-view and we’ve built something special.
 
“Recently ESPN named its World Fame 100, which lists the most talked about athletes in the world. Deontay is ranked 34, two slots behind Tom Brady and higher than any other active boxer in the sport. He’s a bonafide superstar, there is no question.
 
“Dominic Breazeale is big, strong, experienced and powerful. Above all, he’s motivated. It’s no secret that there is a personal rivalry between these two fighters. This will not be a friendly promotion. There is genuine animosity. This is a premium fight and this is the heavyweight championship on May 18th.”
 

Ancajas-Funai title fight booked for May 4th in Stockton, CA

On May 4th in Stockton, California, Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas of the Philippines will make the seventh defense of his IBF junior bantamweight title against Japan's Ryuichi Funai.  And, in a six-round lightweight bout on the same show, 8-year-old Stockton native and prospect Gabriel Flores Jr. will face off against Eduardo Pereira. The main event that night will have IBF 175-pound chamnp Artur Beterbiev defending against Radivoze Kalajdzic.  All three fights will be shown on ESPN with the remaining bouts to be streamed live on ESPN+, the direct-to-consumer sports streaming service.
 
“Top Rank is really excited to bring big-time boxing to Stockton on May 4th,” said promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank. “The light heavyweight championship between Beterbiev and Hot Rod will be a thrilling brawl. Gabriel Flores Jr. will have the opportunity to perform before his hometown fans, and we welcome Jerwin Ancajas back in a great fight against Funai
 
Ancajas (30-1-2, 20 KOs), a 27-year-old Filipino native, has been active, defending his belt three times apiece in 2017 and 2018. Unbeaten in 18 fights dating back to 2012, Ancajas is coming off a competitive draw versus Alejandro Santiago and is seeking to rebound against Funai (31-7, 22 KOs), who has won seven consecutive fights.
 
A native of Tokyo, Funai is a former Japanese super flyweight champion who earned top contender status last June with an eighth-round KO over Warlito Parrenas. In his last bout, he knocked out Victor Emanuel Olivo in the second round to extend his KO streak to three.
 
“I was hard at work three weeks after my last fight with Santiago,” Ancajas said. “I am going to be in the best shape in my upcoming fight with Funai. Coming off my last fight, I really want to give a great performance and defend my world title in style for the fans in Stockton and everyone watching on ESPN.”
 
“I am excited for this opportunity to challenge for a world title and to make my professional debut in America,” Funai said. “I know I have the experience and the skills to become the new IBF champion of the world. Jerwin and I respect one another, but this is boxing, and I am going to fight my heart out.”
 
 
Flores (12-0, 5 KOs) was one of the great U.S. amateurs in recent memory. He signed with Top Rank in 2016 at the age of 16. He became the youngest fighter ever to sign a pro contract with Top Rank and will turn 19 three days before his bout against Pereira. He went 6-0 in 2018 and last fought on Feb. 10, cruising to a six-round unanimous decision over Alex Torres Rynn. Flores is returning home to raise awareness for bullying in his community, a cause that is near and dear to his heart. 
 
“I was born and raised in Stockton, and it is the city I still call home. To get the opportunity to fight at the big arena in front of my friends, family, and biggest fans is a dream come true,” Flores said. “This is only the beginning of my journey. One day, I will fill up that arena as a world champion. I am excited to use my platform to show kids that bullying is unacceptable and that we must treat everyone with dignity and respect.”
 
"This fight card in Stockton is two-and-a-half years in the making,” said Rick Mirigian, event organizer and Flores’ adviser. “This gorgeous arena sits on the waterfront, and Stockton is a real fight town. Look for fireworks from Flores Jr. in his homecoming in what will be the biggest televised sporting event the city has ever seen.”
 
Flores (12-0, 5 KOs) was one of the great U.S. amateurs in recent memory. He signed with Top Rank in 2016 at the age of 16. He became the youngest fighter ever to sign a pro contract with Top Rank and will turn 19 three days before his bout against Pereira. He went 6-0 in 2018 and last fought on Feb. 10, cruising to a six-round unanimous decision over Alex Torres Rynn. Flores is returning home to raise awareness for bullying in his community, a cause that is near and dear to his heart. 
 
“I was born and raised in Stockton, and it is the city I still call home. To get the opportunity to fight at the big arena in front of my friends, family, and biggest fans is a dream come true,” Flores said. “This is only the beginning of my journey. One day, I will fill up that arena as a world champion. I am excited to use my platform to show kids that bullying is unacceptable and that we must treat everyone with dignity and respect.”
 
"This fight card in Stockton is two-and-a-half years in the making,” said Rick Mirigian, event organizer and Flores’ adviser. “This gorgeous arena sits on the waterfront, and Stockton is a real fight town. Look for fireworks from Flores Jr. in his homecoming in what will be the biggest televised sporting event the city has ever seen.”
 

Hank Lundy: Give me just one more fight and I'm done

Philadelphia warrior Hank Lundy after losing to Avery Sparrow over the weekend:  "I just want one more fight and that will be it for me.  It’s been 14 years of going to war for me and it’s been a great and wonderful ride and career. Damn, [I'm] 35 years old now and still have more in the tank but it’s time to give back some of this knowledge and experience to the next Hank Lundy or youngin' coming up.Thank you all for your love and support."

Ugas On Fighting Spence: "I have the height, the length and the power to hurt him"

Greg Leon: Congrats on a fantastic fight versus Shawn Porter. Personally I thought you won the fight [it was ruled a draw]. I know you feel you won the fight, unfortunately the judges didn't agree. Can you give us some thoughts on your performance and ultimately the decision? Yordenis Ugas: "I felt that it was a good fight between two great fighters. I definitely feel I won the fight, I think all of the fans there thought I won the fight and when I was at the fighs last weekend all I heard from the fans was that I won the fight. I didn't hear anything other than I got robbed and should be champion. I think that fight put a stamp on me that now everybody knows I'm one of the top fighters at welterweight. I'm trying to take the positive out of it."
 
GL: Jack Reiss is considered one of the best referees in the world and rightly so, but he clearly missed a knockdown in this fight. It looked like you knocked down Porter. What are your thoughts on that?
 
YU: "I feel like I got robbed three times. One judge had it 98-92 which is just amazing and I feel Jack Reiss missed a big knockdown that would have won the fight for me. I also think that judge (Max DeLuca) awarding him the final round was crazy. It was just suspect to me."
 
GL: I thought you lost the first two rounds before you got cooking. Do you regret not getting off to a faster start?
 
YU: "It's a twelve round fight and this was really my first big, big fight and I just wanted to get settled into the action and establish myself as the stronger guy and wear him down. If I lost the first two that's cool though because I know I won seven of the next ten."
 
GL: What did you think about Errol Spence's win over Mikey Garcia?
 
YU: "I was there and it was just a tremendous atmosphere. It was unbelievable, the fans were great, all the fights were knockouts and then the main event was what I thought it would be. Spence was too big and too strong, but I thought Garcia was going to look to engage him more. This just wasn't his night, Mikey is a great fighter himself still, but I think Errol Spence showed that he's the best guy in the division right now."
 
GL: So Spence is the best right now?
 
YU: "I think you have to give him that right now, but I don't think he's going to be in any rush to fight me. I feel like him and me would be a war. I also have the length and height and with my power I'd be able to hurt him. I think this could be like a Hagler-Hearns fight from the first bell. That's really the fight I want."
 
GL: If you can't get that, who do you want to fight next? When will your next fight be?
 
YU: "I leave that to my team, I've got a great team behind me. We've reached out to the WBC asking them for an immediate rematch based on the knockdown that was missed and the Max DeLuca card. I think the WBC is a credible organization and I think the right thing to do here is to order the immediate rematch. I know Mauricio Sulaiman is an honorable man so that's what we expect to happen."
 
GL: When might your next fight take place?
 
YU: "I'm just ready to go, I'm ready to go. I'm waiting for the phone call, but I want to get the biggest fight out there. If it's not the rematch, I just want the biggest fights."
 
GL Wha do you feel you could have done better against Porter?
 
YU: "I think I could control my emotions a bit more. There was a couple of times where I got wreckless because I had no respect for his power. I could have used the jab more instead of just running in on him. I felt like I could just step to him which I did and I feel like I won that fight clearly. PBC and Fox did a poll and 80% said I won the fight and that says it all."
 
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
 
YU: "I just want to thank you G for always looking out. I want the fans to keep on the lookout because me and my team are only looking to make the best fights possible. I'm on the map now and I'm going to be here for a long, long time."

Christina Hammer talks April 13th Super Fight With Shields

Greg Leon: Congrats on your second-round stoppage over Elene Sikmashvili [8-8] in your comeback bout. Can you give us some thoughts on your performance? Christina Hammer: The most important thing about this fight was to have a full training camp and get back in the ring after my brief Illness. I felt very good in training camp and in the fight and wish the referee would have let the fight go longer. He saw Elene was taking a lot of clean punches and didn’t want to take any chances with her. GL: What do you feel helped you shake off the rust more, the time in the gym or the two rounds the fight went? CH: "The training was the most important part as I had a full training camp at championship level. The fight was also important to see the punches coming from an opponent in the ring with no headgear and small gloves."
 
GL: Congrats on finalizing the April 13th mega-fight against Claressa Shields for all the marbles. What does this fight mean to you?
 
CH: "This fight means a lot to me because it is for all the titles and the biggest fight in women’s boxing history. This is the type of challenge that I have always wanted in my career and I will show why I’m the best middleweight champion in the world."
 
GL: What kind of an impact do you think this bout will have for women's boxing?
 
CH: "Anytime there is a female championship fight as the main event on TV, it helps women’s boxing a lot. This fight vs Claressa feels like the biggest female fight I have seen because of the media and fans talking about it. The more exposure we get, the bigger the sport will become and I hope we can inspire young girls to consider boxing as a sport, that would be the ultimate goal."
 
GL: What do you think of Claressa's performances in her last couple of bouts?
 
CH: "Claressa is a Champion and has shown that she is very talented in the professional boxing, not just the amateurs. It will be a great matchup in the ring."
 
GL: Do you feel any pressure to make sure this is a fantastic fight since anything less may have a negative effect on women's boxing?
 
CH: "I think we are setting an example for boxing, not just women’s boxing. Two undefeated champions fighting each other is rare in boxing. You can never predict how the styles will match in the ring, but I think we should see a lot of action because we both want to win this fight badly."
 
GL: Will do you adding anything new to your training routine for this fight?
 
CH: "I always train very hard and there will be no difference for this fight. I started my camp in high altitude training again, the only difference is more snow than normal. This actually makes it much harder to make it up the mountains, but this gives me extra motivation to succeed, regardless of the circumstances."
 
GL: Do you have any closing thoughts for the fans?
 
CH: "It will be great to see everyone in the arena or watching around the world, we will put on a great fight for the fans and I appreciate all the support I get from the fans around the world."

Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame announces new inductees

A diverse array of boxing greats will be honored with induction into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame during the 7th Annual Induction Weekend on August 9th and 10th at Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa in Las Vegas.  The Inductees were announced at a press conference hosted by NVBHOF Founder Rich Marotta and 2014 NVBHOF Inductee, "Colonel" Bob Sheridan. CEO and President Michelle Corrales-Lewis said, "I'm extremely excited about this year's Class. I feel it's one of our most glamorous ever!" The list of inductees includes:
 
Non-Nevada Resident Boxers
 
BERNARD "THE EXECUTIONER" HOPKINS: The magnificent "Executioner" won multiple world titles in the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions including 20 successful defenses of 160 pound title. Hopkins was the first male boxer to simultaneously hold world titles from four sanctioning bodies and became the oldest boxer ever to win a world championship fighting in his 50's.
 
JUAN MANUEL "DINAMITA" MARQUEZ: Considered one the greatest Mexican champions of all time. A superb counter-puncher and technician and was willing to slug it out as well, hence his nickname "Dinamita". Marquez engaged in an iconic 4-fight series With Manny Pacquaio, all of them in Las Vegas, and won World Titles in 4 divisions.
 
RONALD "WINKY" WRIGHT: Master ring general who could use all 20 feet of the ring to out-think, out-maneuver and out-hustle his adversaries. Strong resume included Wins over Trinidad, Mosley and Quartey.
 
HUMBERTO "CHIQUITA" GONZALEZ: One of the hardest punching lighter-weight boxers at 108 lbs ever. Won 2 of 3 in epic trilogy with Michael Carbajal, losing only a sensational Vegas battle in which he scored two knockdowns.
 
VINNY "THE PAZMANIAN DEVIL" PAZ: The Pazmanian Devil, winner of multiple world titles and a 1994 decision over Roberto Duran in Las Vegas. His unique story includes an incredible comeback from auto accident resulting in a broken neck, chronicled in the movie "Bleed for This".
 
"TERRIBLE" TERRY NORRIS: The true epitome of "boxer-puncher" was a Las Vegas regular With 14 fights in Nevada. Possessor of great hand and foot speed, he KO'd champs like John Mugabi, Donald Curry, Meldrick Taylor, and Simon Brown among others and won a Decision over the legendary Sugar Ray Leonard.
 
"SCHOOLBOY" BOBBY CHACON (Posthumous): Immensely popular champion who engaged in Fight of the Year in both 1982 vs Bazooka Limon and '83 vs Cornelius Boza-Edwards.
 
Nevada Resident Boxers
 
JOEL "EL CEPILLO" CASAMAYOR: Fought 12 times in Nevada. A clever, wise fighter who knew all the tricks. He held the WBA 130 pound and WBC 135 pound world titles. Won 2 of 3 in epic trilogy with Diego Corrales. Had nearly 400 fights as an amateur and won 1992 Olympic Bantamweight Gold Medal in Barcelona with victory over Wayne McCullough. Would've been 1996 Olympian as well but defected from Cuba just before Olympics. Longtime resident of Las Vegas, now working training kids.
 
WAYNE "POCKET ROCKET" McCULLOUGH: One of Ireland's most famous and popular fighters and lived in Las Vegas throughout and after his career. He had storied amateur career of about 350 fights. Made it to finals of 1992 Olympics where he lost decision to Joel Casamayor. He returned to Ireland with Silver Medal as major hero. After just two years as pro, traveled to Japan and pulled off difficult assignment of defeating Yasukio Yakushiji to win the WBC Bantamweight Title. Career included wins over Johnny Bredahl, Joe Luis Bueno and Victor Rabanales.
 
HASIM "THE ROCK" RAHMAN: Longtime Las Vegas Resident held both the IBF and WBC Heavyweight title, and had two stints as WBC King. His first fight vs Lennox Lewis proved his biggest win with a stunning KO win in South Africa. Notable wins over Maskaev and Barrett, draws with Toney and Tua. Fought 5X in NV, including his 1994 pro debut at Caesars Palace.
 
LEROY "IRISH" HALEY (Posthumous): Fought an awesome 49 times in Nevada, more than any current or past NVBHOF Inductee. He won the WBC 140lb title in 1983, defeating outstanding champion Saoul Mamby and repeated victory later in the rematch. He lost the title outdoors at Caesars Palace to Bruce Curry. He lived in Las Vegas throughout his career.
 
Non-Boxer Participants
 
FLOYD MAYWEATHER SR.: Best known for training his son Floyd Jr, and Oscar de la Hoya. He is well known for teaching defensive techniques. He also has trained Chad Dawson, Laila Ali and Ricky Hatton. He also had successful pro boxing career with 28-6-1 record.
 
DUANE FORD: A longtime judge in NV and now President of North American Boxing Federation (NABF). Resides in Las Vegas. He judged over 600 fights including some of the biggest bouts in Las Vegas such as Hagler vs Antuofermo 1, De La Hoya vs Mosley 2, Morales vs Barrera 1, Wright vs Mosley 2 and Hopkins vs Taylor 1.
 
DAN GOOSSEN (Posthumous): President of Goossen-Tudor Promotions, previously President of America Presents and Ten Goose Boxing. He served as VP at Top Rank when he resided in Las Vegas. He promoted the Ruelas Brothers, Michael Nunn, James Toney, Terry Norris, Chris Arreola, Andre Ward and briefly Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather Jr. He died 2014
 
DR. EDWIN "FLIP" HOMANSKY: Ringside physician for more than 20 years. NV State athletic Commissioner, Chairman NSAC Medical Board.
 
MARC RISMAN: He was the attorney for Joe Louis and has represented many in boxing, including NVBHOF inductees and nominees with legal matters. Also managed Virgil Hill, Trevor Berbick and Engels Pedroza. Marc has always been a huge advocate for the sport of Boxing throughout the community.
 
 
The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame is an IRS 501 (c)3 charity and all donations are tax deductible. The Hall's charitable contributions over the seven years since its formation have helped many Nevada based boxing-related charities and organizations.  Our focus remains on building a museum to honor the sport of boxing and developing programs in the community to help at risk youth as well as anyone with medical conditions who can benefit from the positive attributes of boxing.  Donations are welcome.
 

Adrian Granados gunning to be the first to stop Danny Garcia

Greg Leon: How's everything going in preparation for your April 20th bout with [former champion] Danny Garcia? Adrian Granados: "Everything is going good. I started camp in Culiacan Sinaloa, Mexico and then I shifted over to Los Angeles to finish now. Things have been going great and we're pushing through. I'll be ready and coming to fight like always and I plan on getting a win in this fight. This is definitely a must win for my career and keeping things on the up and up and I plan on making the most of this opportunity." GL: Are your days at 140 over? Why haven't you been fighting there? Is it a matter of the big offers only coming at welterweight? AG: "I can still make the weight, I've always wanted to stay at 140, but the offers I'm getting at 147 are pretty much offers I can't turn down. I'm just kind of in that position where I can't just turn it down."
 
GL: Why haven't you fought in the last six months?
 
AG: "I fought in Mexico and then I've just been waiting for this fight to materialize. I've been in the gym constantly though so I'm not concerned about being rusty or anything like that. I feel really sharp right now."
 
GL: What are your thoughts of Garcia as a fighter?
 
AG: "He's a great fighter, he's got good power and great counter punching skills. I think it's going to be a great fight and I think our styles are going to mesh greatly for the fans and I think it should be a fireworks fight."
 
GL: What did you think about this fight vs. Shawn Porter [which Porter won for the vacant WBC title]?
 
AG: "I was impressed by Porter. I think he outboxed him and turned it up when he had to. I think I did a lot better against Porter than Garcia did."
 
GL: Do you plan on applying some of the tactics that Porter was successful with?
 
AG: "Somewhat of an idea like that, but the measurements are a little different because I'm actually taller and longer than Danny, so I'll be mixing it up as well. I've got a lot of different intangibles and I plan to throw a lot of curve balls at Danny all night."
 
GL: Other than victory do you have a prediction?
 
AG: "I would definitely love the stoppage and I'm looking for a solid win. I need a formidable win on my resume and I'm getting it with this fight."
 
GL: What would a win in this fight mean to you?
 
AG: "Everything. It would open a bunch of doors and definitely let the boxing public know I'm still alive."
 
GL: Do you intend on blocking out whatever his father is sure to say? How do you plan on dealing with is father's mouth?
 
AG: "We're ready for it. We're not really talkers, but if we need to go there we can go there. I've got myself and George Hernadez. I think it's unfortunate my dad won't be there at the press conference (later today) I really wanted him to be there, but he's a working man and he likes sticking to what he does. Either way George and I will be ready for whatever Mr. Garcia has."
 
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans?
 
AG: "Much love and respect to everyone that's been keeping my spirits high and continuing to support me through this down time."

Introducing African super middleweight Patrick Mukala

Banner Promotions announced the signing of super middleweight Patrick Mukala to a promotional contract. Mukala, from the Democratic Republic of The Congo,  has a record of 11-1-1 with 10 knockouts. The 25 year-old began boxing at the age of 15 after watching a film of the famous "Rumble in the Jungle" fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. "The fight took place in my country (formerly known as Zaire), since seeing seeing that fight, it really motivated me to be the face of boxing in my country, and then the whole world," said Mukala.
 
Mukala had an amateur record of 65-5 and he was an eight-time regional champion. Mukala turned professional on April 28, 2014 with a first-round stoppage over Vhonani Netshidamboni.  Mukala has wins over Page Tshesane (20-4-3), Faizel Malinga (6-1), Renson Hobyani (6-1) and Daniel Lartey (6-0).  
He defended that title twice.
 
"My country hosted that legendary fight with Ali and Foreman.  I believe that wasn't by chance.  For me it is a sign that a Congolese boxer can achieve big things in boxing.  I want to say thanks to Banner Promotions to offer me this opportunity to follow my American dream and achieve my ultimate dream to become a world champion."
 
"We are very excited to add Patrick to our roster.  He is a very exciting young fighter, who has power in both hands.  We will announce his first fight with us very shortly," said Artie Pelullo, President of Banner Promotions.
 
Mukala is trained by Asheley Fourie, and is managed by Marcel Tshiyoyi.

 

Quick quotes from Blair "The Flair" Cobbs

Welterweight Blair "The Flair" Cobbs (9-0-1 6KOs) will square off against also-unbeaten Ferdinand Kerobyan (11-0 6 KOs) in an eight rounder that will serve as the chief supporting bout for to the ten-round fight between Filipino lightweight Mercito "No Mercy" Gesta (32-2-2, 17 KOs) and Mexico's Juan Antonio "El Mozo" Rodriguez (29-7, 25 KOs). This card will be the inagural edition of the Golden Boy DAZN Thursday Night Fights series. The event will be streamed live only on RingTV.com stream beginning at 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET. Here is what Blair Cobbs had to say about his upcoming fight with Kerobyan.
 
On his matchup against Ferdinand Kerobyan: "This is going to be a great fight between two undefeated fighters. He's very aggressive and throws a lot of punches. I'm coming into his backyard where he's fought many times. I feel I'm the superior boxer and I'm going to prove that I'm the better man when we step in the ring. I know he was a decorated amateur and he'll be the best fighter on my résumé, but I'm confident in myself, my will to win will be the key to victory."
 
On his recent training camp: "Training camp has been great. The work I've been getting has been with some of the top fighters in Las Vegas. Right now, I'm in the best shape of my life as my strength and conditioning has been tremendous. My team and I have a game plan we feel will work against an aggressive fighter like Kerobyan." source: Prince Ranch Boxing
 
 
 
 

Beterbiev and Groupe Yvon Michel part ways

Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) and IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev announced today that they have reached an agreement to end their promotion contract. This agreement also puts an end to all legal proceedings between GYM and Beterbiev. Yvon Michel said, "in recent months it has become clear to us and Artur that a good-faith negotiated solution would be preferable to the consequences of prolonged judicial proceedings. We are proud of the work we have done with Artur during our time together and we wish him the best success in the pursuit of his career."
 Beterbiev said,  "I am relieved and happy to now be able to focus 100% on my training and my performances in the ring. I want to thank Yvon and all members of the GYM team for their efforts and support in developing my career since arriving in Canada in 2013". GYM, Artur Beterbiev and their respective representatives will make no other comments regarding the agreement that is the subject of this announcement.