Kell Brook issues heartfelt apology

Kell Brook issues heartfelt apology
Former champion Kell Brook, caught on tape appearing to snort a line of cocaine, issued a heartfelt apology on social media: "I messed up. I hold my hands up and want to apologise to my family, gym friends & fans. It’s no secret that I struggle with mental health and I’m finding retirement really hard. I’m actively seeking the help I need to get me on the right path. Again I apologise for the hurt I’ve caused." Boxingtalk wishes Brook well in his struggles and commends him for addressing this publicly.
 

Benavidez "guarantees" early KO of Plant

Benavidez "guarantees" early KO of Plant
Undefeated former two-time WBC super middleweight champion David “El Bandera Roja’’ Benavídez (pictured) and former IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant continued their war of words at a tense press conference in Los Angeles Thursday before they settle their years-long rivalry in a twelve-round pay-per-view showdown on Saturday, March 25th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions. Benavídez and Plant met at the Conga Room at L.A. Live less than two months before their clash. Both have had title reigns at 168 pounds and both are eager to  ascend to the top of the division as they fight for Benavídez’s WBC interim title. As the two exchanged insults on stage and the barbs grew more personal, security twice had to intervene to keep them apart during the proceedings. Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday from Los Angeles:
 
DAVID BENAVIDEZ
 
“On March 25th, I guarantee that I’m knocking Caleb Plant out before round six.
 
“This has been a fight in the making for the last five years and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m at my best right now mentally and physically. On March 25, I finally get to put hands on Caleb Plant.
 
“When you’re on the ground bleeding, you’ll learn how to respect a real fighter. I’m what you want to be. You’re a chump.
 
“He had a sensational win against Anthony Dirrell and I take nothing away from that. This is the best time this fight could have happened. It was the right move for both of us. I’ve been wanting to fight him for a long time and now the winner of this fight gets to be the mandatory for Canelo Alvarez. I’m super motivated.
 
“The fans want to see a knockout. He can act like I’m not like that, but just look at my record. Look at how everyone looks after they fight me. I don’t play around. That’s what I do and he’s no different from any fighter I’ve ever fought.
 
“This is the most important fight of my career to this date. I feel like after this fight, I’m going to pass that threshold and get to where I want to be. Every fighter has one of these grudge matches that brings the best out of them. I don’t like Caleb at all, but I want to thank him for bringing the animal out of me. I’m more motivated than ever.
 
“I can’t wait to give my fans a great knockout. We know that this isn’t gonna be easy. It’s gonna be grueling. But I’m ready to get in there and knock this guy out.
 
“He knows how the canvas feels and I’m putting him back on that. You’re gonna be laying down again.
 
“You got knocked out already and I’m gonna do the same thing to you again. I’m putting you to sleep.”
 
CALEB PLANT
 
“We got a big fight on our hands. That’s what boxing needs. I want to be someone who helps deliver that to the boxing world and I’m sure Benavidez does too.
 
“After the Canelo fight, I said that I wanted to make the biggest fight possible. They came back with two-time champion Anthony Dirrell for a title eliminator. I knew I was next in line to fight the interim champ before that fight, and that meant David Benavidez. I’m in the fight that I want.
 
“You don’t have to worry about me showing up on March 25. This isn’t my first big fight. I’ve been here before.
 
“We’re both at the top of the division. This rivalry only started because we agree to disagree on who’s better. And that’s fine, he should feel like that. That’s how great fighters are supposed to feel. It’s slowly built up over time.
 
“I’m coming. We’re prepared. I’ve been at this level before and I know what it takes. From now until March 25 it’s just about who can train the hardest and keep their foot on the gas.
 
“This is an incredibly important fight and it’s perfect timing for it to happen. This kind of fight sends a message to all the other fighters that it’s time to step up and take big fights. Boxing needs fights like this. This is a legacy fight for me and my team. On March 25, I see myself getting my hand raised.
 
“I’ve fought in Las Vegas before and it’s what every kid who has ever laced up a pair of boxing gloves dreams of – fighting on the biggest stage at MGM Grand and on pay-per-view.
 
“I never said David’s a bad fighter because I have no interest in fighting bad fighters. I want to fight good fighters and make big fights. This is the best fight that could be made in the division.”
 
JOSE BENAVIDEZ SR., Benavidez’s Father and Trainer
 
“This is a big opportunity. This is going to be a great fight and worthy of pay-per-view. We’ve got a great team and I’ve had to add to it to keep up with David. I guarantee that this is going to be an exciting fight on March 25.
 
“I don’t think Plant and his team are as comfortable with this fight as we are. We’ve wanted this fight for almost five years and we pushed to get this fight.
 
“We’re so motivated to face someone like Caleb Plant. He’s a good fighter, he’s slick and he’s difficult. These are the fights that we need to get motivated. Plant can see in David’s eyes that David wants to mess him up.”
 
STEPHEN “BREADMAN” EDWARDS, Plant’s Trainer
 
“I’m proud to be in this spot to showcase our hard work against a great fighter like David Benavidez. I also feel like I have a great fighter in Caleb Plant.”
 
“I’m very excited to show what we’ve been working on when we get in the ring March 25. People say there is bad blood between them, but they will get to settle it in seven weeks. In the end, we all need each other to make these kinds of fights.”
 
“I’m glad that this was an easy fight to make. Caleb called me and said he was making the fight. So here we are and we’ve already been in camp for a couple of weeks.”
 
TOM BROWN, Promoter
 
“Some people say that the big fights never get made, but that’s just not true with PBC and SHOWTIME. This is the type of fight that makes this the greatest sport in the world.
 
“Saturday March 25 is going to be an incredible night. These are the kinds of fights that we’re in this sport for. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing two fighters in their prime and slugging it out.
 
“I believe that this fight between David Benavidez and Caleb Plant will be added to the list of epic brawls between two warriors taking it to the next level. This fight will be one of, if not the winner of Fight of the Year this year. This is one you don’t want to miss.”
 
 

Weigh-in report from Arizona

Weigh-in report from Arizona
Here are the weigh-in result from tonight's (Friday's) ESPN boxing event at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona:
 
Vacant WBO junior lightweight Title — 12 rounds
Emanuel Navarrete 129.2 pounds vs. Liam Wilson 126.3; 
 
Arnold Barboza Jr. 139.2  vs. Jose Pedraza 138.7 (junior welterweights, 10 rounds);
 
Richard Torrez Jr. 222.2  vs. James Bryant 253.4 (heavyweights — 6 rounds);
 
Undercard bouts on ESPN+ starting at 7:15 p.m. ET/4:15 p.m. PT:
 
Andres Cortes 131.2  vs. Luis Melendez 130.6 (junior lightweights— 10 rounds);
 
Nico Ali Walsh 159.8  vs. Eduardo Ayala 160.9 (middleweights— 6 rounds):
 
 Lindolfo Delgado 142.1  vs. Clarence Booth 142.4 (junior welterweights — 8 rounds); and
 
Emiliano Fernando Vargas 133.4  vs. Francisco Duque 135.4 (lightweights — 4 Rounds).
 
 

 

Final press conference quotes for Serrano vs. Cruz

Final press conference quotes for Serrano vs. Cruz

Final press conference quotes for Serrano vs. Cruz
Promoter Eddie Hearn: “Welcome everybody today, huge turnout to the mecca of boxing, Madison Square Garden [in New York City]. What an honor to be back in this incredible city. Of course, last April, a night that will go down in history as one of the greatest fights, one of the greatest events in the history of Madison Square Garden, when Amanda Serrano [pictured] faced up against Katie Taylor in a tremendous fight for the undisputed lightweight world championship. This Saturday, live on DAZN around the world, Amanda Serrano will bid to make history, to become undisputed champion against reigning world champion Erika Cruz. It’s Puerto Rico against Mexico. Of course, the co-main event as well, Alycia Baumgardner looking to become undisputed as well against Elhem Mekhaled of France in another undisputed matchup. 126- and 130-pound undisputed championships on the line this weekend.
 
“Of course, we want to thank everybody here at Madison Square Garden. Sal, and Joel, and the team. Thanks for the hospitality at the Knicks against Lakers game this week; it was a tremendous event. But it also reminds me of how great our own sport is, when we see great occasions, when we see great atmospheres, when we see great fights, and on Saturday night you’ve got a tremendous card from top to bottom. It’s going to be packed out in the Hulu Theater, massive Puerto Rican fanbase as well coming to support Amanda Serrano. Incredible card, which we’re going to be running through with you guys today. We’re going to start with three young prospects that we can’t wait to see in action.”
 
Amanda Serrano
 
“It’s going to be truly amazing. As a female fighter, I’ve been in this game a long time, I’m probably the longest-reigning world champion in the sport right now. I was always going where the opportunities were and now that I was done chasing the divisions, I said this is my time. I want to go back to where I feel the best, and that’s featherweight. We did that, and to have most of them but one, and come Saturday night, have all of them, it’s going to be truly amazing. One of the greatest journeys of my life and my career.”
 
“The confidence that I went in there with one of the best, the confidence that the arena was jam-packed, the crowd was just amazing. So, no matter where they put me, I’m going to be 100% confident.”
 
“I love the Hulu Theater, it’s my home. I’d rather fight in the Hulu Theater because the fans are right there with you. It’s so intimate and the fans are going to be celebrating with me that night.
 
“It wasn’t just this week that I was concentrating on Erika Cruz. This whole camp has only been Erika Cruz. I know she’s a tough Mexican fighter. She is the WBA champion. She has the last piece of the puzzle, I have all the rest, and we both want the same thing. We’re both world champions and that’s what we’re going to show come Saturday night. The real winners are going to be the fans because it’s going to be a fight and a fumble. It’s going to be punches and bunches, and I have all the respect for Erika Cruz for taking the fight. It’s a historic night for both of us and I just can’t wait.”
 
“It hasn’t always been, but now it’s my mindset. I want to be undisputed champion, being the first Puerto Rican undisputed world champion. That’s my goal. Puerto Rico has had champions in all the divisions, the seven-division world champion, the youngest champion, and now, come Saturday, god-willing, become the first undisputed champion coming out of Puerto Rico. And it’s at the weight divisions where I feel my best, I’m comfortable, it’s my division.”
 
“It’s definitely going to be a great fight. Erika Cruz is a Mexican champion, she’s going to come, and I’m coming guns blazing, so it’s going to be punches and bunches and it’s going to be an amazing night. The fans are going to be the winners because it’s going to be a great night of fireworks and punches and action.”
 
Erika Cruz
 
“It’s an opportunity I’ve been looking for. On Saturday, I’m going to give absolutely everything. As a good Mexican, give absolutely everything to win. And once again, thanks to God.”
 
“To be honest, we’re not focused in any way on what people will say. We don’t pay attention to what’s said on social media. I’m just completely focused on my team. As soon as we knew the date was to be scheduled, knew that I was facing Amanda Serrano, there were no distractions. I’m just really delighted and really happy with God. I also have to say thanks to my father, who is always with me in every moment. On Saturday night it will be a historic moment for Mexico.”
 
“First and foremost, I have to say that I thank God for everything that I’ve been through. Becoming champion would mean giving that bit back to my father. He had a dream that I would go on to become world champion. I’m so appreciative of everything God has given me and all the support I’ve had from people, and I hope god-willing that I can go on to be victorious on Saturday night.”

Baumgardner hungry for undisputed status

Baumgardner hungry for undisputed status
Alycia Baumgardner says she is in the form of her life. One more win will cement her spot as one of the best women fighters on the planet as she meets Elhem Mekhaled for the world undisputed super featherweight crown on Saturday night at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, live worldwide on DAZN. Baumgardner (13-1, 7 KOs) has been on a run of victories since 2021 when she stunned IBF champion Terri Harper with a left hook to land the WBC and IBO titles in Sheffield, England in November. The Detroit star defended her title in the UK in April with a shutout win over Melissa Esquivel in Manchester, to line-up her first unification bout against American rival Mikaela Mayer.
 
While a bitter build-up sizzled without boiling over, Baumgardner kept her cool on the October 2022 fight night, putting in a career-best performance to add Mayer’s WBO and IBF belts to her own straps. Baumgardner’s rise gives her legitimate cause to claim to be a top pound-for-pound star in the sport alongside Katie Taylor, Claressa Shields and Amanda Serrano, and she is proud of the hard work it’s taken to get to this spot.
 
“Undisputed is one of those things that’s easy to say but hard to achieve,” said Baumgardner. “With hard work and dedication, you can do it, but it’s tough. You are facing the best of the best back-to-back, and that’s the journey that I am on. I am making my mark, leaving my footprint on the sport. I don’t care how she got the opportunity, but she’s in with a dog and I hope she knows that. I am ready to knock this girl out. I’m going to really hurt her; I have a lot of pent-up aggression and she’s going to know what it’s like to fight the best. It’s not personal, it’s my mentality and she will feel the power in both hands, and she’ll think, ‘damn, I am in with a beast’. If you fight me, you think you can beat me and are better than me. You don’t know me. You might see a smile on a pretty girl, but don’t get it twisted, I got the dog in me and the same hunger I had when I was eight and you cannot take anything away from me. I hustled to get here, and you aren’t taking it away from me. Elhem is hungry. She’s wanted the World title fight for a long time, and that’s great. I know my assignment though and I will put her down. Nothing changes that it’s her, it’s a challenge, she wants it, I want it. We only have two minutes, don’t give anything away and make a statement every round. I believe Elhem will come forward and I will be the sharper fighter and showing my experience, setting her up. She’s wild, her defense is a bit sloppy, so she’s going to take a punch, but can she take my punch? I don’t know, I have a different type of power, but we’ll see. It’s a KO, for sure, I can feel it. I visualize a lot and I am in the ring, I KO her, and my hand is raised, and I’ve got all the belts.”
 
The Mayer fight was huge for both fighters, coming on an all-female bill in the English capital, alongside Shields taking on her Brit foe Savannah Marshall.
 
A spicy build-up whet the appetite for the fight with Mayer, but unlike some fights that have explosive lead-ins that fizzle out, Baumgarder and Mayer served up a fight of the year contender – and that made victory all the more sweeter.
 
“It was awesome,” said Baumgardner. “A great build-up, I loved the animosity we had, I was fighting someone that I had been watching for a long time in the amateurs, and now as a pro I was in a unification with her. I know I won that fight, you don’t like it? Argue with the judges, they got it right.
 
“She is delusional and so salty. When you have everything and you are the star, and you lose it all on one night, and lose it to little ol’ AB, it hurts, stings. I just believe she got beat by one of the best fighters in the world.
 
“I’m the best in the world. No-one stops me but me. I took an early loss, brushed it off, learned from it and grew. I went to England as an underdog against Harper and Mayer and proved everyone wrong. I am here for a reason, I speak truth to power, and I know I will go down as one of the greatest female fighters of all time.
 
“The belts are cool but why am I really here? It’s because I like to fight. I like the battle. I like it when someone thinks that they can beat me. You can hit harder than me? OK take this. You hit me with a shot? Cool – boom, boom, here’s my shots. I like that. I love to prove to myself that ‘you can do anything AB, no-one can beat you but you’.
 
“I have a loss too – who cares? I picked myself up, moved forward and now look. I became World champion and beat ‘the best’ in Mayer and made it easy work. If we run it back again, I would really dog her, know that now. Now I know I have you, next time, your career might be finished, because you keep playing with me, and I don’t like that.”
 

Introducing Thai bantamweight Yuttapong Tongdee

Introducing Thai bantamweight Yuttapong Tongdee
Thai bantamweight Yuttapong Tongdee will battle F. Zaramchhana this Saturday at the SpacePlus Arena in Bangkok, Thailand. Tongdee (9-0) had two wins over the second half of last year when he defeated Ryan Ray Ponteras by unanimous decision in August then dispatched Herlan Gomez with an eighth-round technical knockout in October. India’s F. Zaramchhana (listed at 4-2) is a hungry 23 year-old who finds himself with an important opportunity for himself. He is coming off a close split decision loss to undefeated Lalrinngheta Lalrinngheta and now wants to pull off the upset as a visitor. 
 
 

Simone Federici looking to move up cruiserweight rankings

Simone Federici looking to move up cruiserweight rankings

Simone Federici looking to move up cruiserweight rankings
Italian cruiserweight Simone Federici (19-2-1, 8 KOs) will get the ball rolling on his 2023 campaign on February 5th, in Genoa. Federici, from Lazio, will be featured in a ten rounder against Lvani Lukhutashvili (10-12, 9 KOs) from the Republif of Georgia. Lukhutashvili fights a tough schedule, as four of his last seven opponents were undefeated. Federici makes his return from a unanimous decision victory in April against Lyubomir Pinchuk (then 14-3-1, 8 KOs) in Schenectady, NY. Federici, who was sidelined after the Pinchuk victory due to a hand injury, is now eager and ready to get back in the ring.
 
Federici's marquee victory occurred when he traveled to New York to face Stivens Bujaj (then 17-2-1, 11 KOs) on a Star Boxing show in Huntington, New York. Federici’s mounting pressure and  work rate over the ten-round bout. 
 
Simone had this to say about Sunday's fight, “This is an important match for me in Italy to get ready to climb the WBC ratings. After this victory I want to be back in New York.. My dream is to face [Junior] Makabu for the WBC cruiserweight title in New York. I feel good and want to thank my Uncle Franco, Armando and Boris Viale of Scuderia Italia, as well as Star Boxing and manager Luigi Camputaro. Starting Sunday against Levan begins the countdown to fighting for a world championship.”
 
Star Bozing's Joe DeGuardia added, “We named Simone the Italian Tank for good reason. He is an exciting fighter who never stops coming forward and throwing punches. We expect a big year for Simone and know that February 5th will be yet another notch in the belt towards challenging the top cruiserweights in the world.”
 

Joe Joyce to fight Zhilei Zhang on April 15th

Joe Joyce to fight Zhilei Zhang on April 15th
Joe Joyce will defend his WBO interim heavyweight title against the Chinese giant Zhilei Zhang at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday, April 15th, live on BT Sport. It will be a first defense of the belt for the ‘Big Juggernaut’ Joyce, 15-0 (14 KOs), who put himself first in line for a shot at the full WBO title with a victory over Joseph Parker in September of last year in Manchester. Tickets for the showdown go on sale at 11am on Wednesday, February 15th from ticketmaster.co.uk. With the current unified champion Oleksandr Usyk expected to fight for the status of undisputed against WBC ruler Tyson Fury this year, the 37 year-old Joyce will bolster his own heavyweight credentials by taking on the 6'6" southpaw who resides in Bloomfield, New Jersey.  ‘Big Bang’ Zhang, 24-1-1 (19 KOs) last saw action over in Jeddah in August when he fought in an IBF final eliminator against the Croatian Filip Hrgovic. The 39-year-old was declared the loser via the judges’ scorecards, but many commentators believed him to have won after dominating the early stages of the fight. The Chinese fighter now gets the opportunity to put himself in the world title frame once again on what will be a first professional visit to the capital for the southpaw.
 
“It is a great fight,” reacted Joyce to his first defence being set. “He had a tough fight against Hrgovic but I thought he won the fight. Zhang is a big, strong southpaw who is massive, and he has been to the Olympics and all that. So, he has the experience and I think it will be a great fight.
 
“He bangs so I will have to watch out for it. As Hrgovic and I have a similar style, they had a great fight, so when we fight it should be entertaining.
 
“It will be carnage in the centre of the ring! I have lost my temper a few times in sparring and once was against a come-forward southpaw who was trying to knock me out. It was an exciting spar.
 
“I think with me and Zhang there will be real heavy punches exchanged and I am sure it will be a good fight. It will be a good preparation for Usyk or Fury, plus I haven’t fought a southpaw since I won the Commonwealth title against Lenroy Thomas.”
 
"It’s a new chapter in my career,” Zhang added. “I am always up for the challenge and when the opportunity rings the bell. Joe Joyce and I share a lot in common – we both are Olympic silver medalists, both are big punchers, and are nearly the same size. This is going to be an explosive, epic and tremendous fight. I want to thank my team and Joyce’s team for putting this together. I want all my fans in UK to show up and enjoy the event. Can’t wait to get in the ring on April 15th.”
 
“This is another cracker of a card that should be in keeping with the special night we all just enjoyed at Wembley,” said promoter Frank Warren. “We want to keep Big Joe busy while the heavyweight title scene unfolds but there can be no easy touches in a defence of his WBO interim title. Zhilei Zhang is anything but an easy touch, he is a formidable powerhouse who can consider himself unlucky not to be still an unbeaten contender following his fight with Filip Hrgovic last year.
 
“Zhang being a southpaw ticks a significant box for Joe, with Usyk being a left-hander and Tyson carrying the ability to adopt either stance. That is what we want next for Joe and hopefully it will be a huge all-British collision against Tyson.”
 
“This is a great fight for boxing and a great opportunity for Zhilei,” said Terry Lane, Zhang’s manager. “Once again, he takes on a challenge that many are running from. There will be fireworks in London on April 15th.” The undercard will be announced in due course with a host of Queensberry’s established and rising stars to be added to the bill.
 
 

New Mexico boxing update: Tapia Promotions show set for Feb. 24th

New Mexico boxing update: Tapia Promotions show set for Feb. 24th
Promoter Teresa Tapia of Tapia Promotions will promote a boxing show on February 24th at the Rio Rancho Event Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Two sons of legendary fighters are set to lace up the gloves in separate bouts.  Jose Luis Castillo Romero, son of two-time lightweight champion Jose Luis Castillo will be fighting as aprofessional and Nicco Tapia, son of boxing hall of famer Johnny Tapia is set for an amateur bout.  Lightweight Abel Mendoza (33-0) is scheduled to put his undefeated record on the line that night.  "I'm not a fighter, I'm a lover, but I fight for love'"  said Mendoza.  Also, Nico Hernandez (9-0), Jason Sanchez(15-3), and Johnny Tapia protege Josh "Pitbull" Torres(24-7-2) are set to be in action on the card.  The day prior, on February 23rd, the Round House Room 318 will play host to an event featuring Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman, beginning at 10am. Governor Lujan Grisham will officially proclaimations February 23rd as Amateur Boxing Day in New Mexico, a state with a rich boxing history.  That event will also feature weigh-ins for the Tapia Promotions event.  The opening bout is scheduled to take place the next day (Feb. 24th) at 6PM on fight night.  The event will be available for purchase on FITE.TV, with tickets are available for purchase here.  Former Boxingtalk journalist Christian Schmidt will be the ring announcer.
 

Matchroom signs Australian heavyweight Justis Huni

Matchroom signs Australian heavyweight Justis Huni

Matchroom signs Australian heavyweight Justis Huni
Australian heavyweight Justis Huni (7-0, 4 KOs) has signed a multi-year promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing. The 23-year old from Brisbane becomes Matchroom’s latest recruit from Down Under, joining a roster that includes IBF bantamweight champion Ebanie Bridges, unbeaten heavyweight Demsey McKean, featherweight Skye Nicolson and junior welterweights Liam Paro and Stevie Spark. After capturing a bronze medal at the 2019 World Championships, Huni joined the paid ranks in October 2020, picking up the Australian heavyweight title in his pro debut by stopping Faiga Opelu in seven rounds. He then halted Arsene Fosso in four rounds at the same venue two months later in his first defense.
 
Huni racked up three wins in three fights in 2021, knocking out Jack Maris in one round at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in April before outpointing Christian Ndzie Tsoye in the second defense of his Australian title in Sydney a month later. He became the first man to defeat Paul Gallen when he battered the former rugby league star before stopping him in the final round of their clash at Sydney’s ICC Exhibition Centre.
 
Huni decisioned Joseph Goodall over ten rounds at the Nissan Arena in Nathan in June 2022 and then New Zealand’s Kiki Toa Leutele at the same venue last November, also outpointing the Kiwi over ten rounds.
 
“I’m extremely proud to announce I’ve signed with the world’s premier promoter,” said Huni. “Many thanks to Mick and Fran at Tasman Fighters. Let’s get it!”
 
Hearn added: “I’m delighted to welcome Justis Huni to the Matchroom Boxing team. Justis has already become one of the biggest names in Australian boxing and is ranked in the top 15 but now we look forward to boxing him around the World and leading him to a shot at the World Heavyweight title. The signing also continues to strengthen our Australian roster with more additions expected in the coming months, we look forward to our return to this important market in the first half of 2023.”
 

De La Hoya shades WBC over Jermall Charlo special treatment

De La Hoya shades WBC over Jermall Charlo special treatment
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya takes a shot at the WBC, who is breaking their own rules by not enforcing a mandatory defense against middleweight champion Jermall Charlo, inactive since June 2021. Oscar tweeted: "Why the fack is the WBC protecting Jermall Charlo. Hasn’t made a tittle defense in 18 months and guess who’s #1? Jaime Munguia [whom De La Hoya's company promotes}. Let’s go!!"
 
 

Boxingtalk salutes Omar Henry on the tenth anniversary of his death

Boxingtalk salutes Omar Henry on the tenth anniversary of his death
Yesterday (Feb 1st) marked the ten-year anniversary of the untimely death of Omar Henry, a Chicago-born boxer of Puerto Rican and African-American descent who seemed posed for stardom before succumbing to gallbladder cancer. After scrapping his way through the poverty stricken “Wild 100s” neighborhood, and later moving to live with his older sister in Texas, Omar was 16 years old when he started his boxing journey. He trained daily at Savannah’s Boxing Gym, and would eventually go on to become a four-time Texas Golden Gloves Champion, a 2007 Golden Gloves national quarter finalist, and a member of the USA Elite Boxing Program. He amassed an amateur boxing record of 60-5 before turning pro and signing with Top Rank in 2008.
 
Despite a relatively limited ring presence (his professional record was 12-0-1 with nine KO victories), he somehow found much success in the social arena; at one point reaching over 170,000 Twitter followers and hobnobbing with the likes of Justin Bieber and President Obama. His spirited attitude and socialite adventures alone could have easily caused one to question his focus as a pugilist; but nevertheless, the upper echelon of boxing’s talent scouts knew better. After all, it was Omar’s ring talents that managed to impress the folks at Don King Productions, ultimately signing him onto the team in 2011
 
Not long afterward, Showtime Boxing executives picked Omar for a fight on ShoBox, which was scheduled for Nov 16th, 2012. With his talent and charisma, it appeared Omar was on his way, but tragically, days before the fight, Omar suddenly fell ill. Diagnosed with stage 3 gallbladder cancer, his days in the ring would take a sidestep, as he began fighting for his life - a contest he ultimately would lose. Omar passed away on Feb 1st, 2013, seven days before his 26th birthday
 
Because Omar always brought smiles and positive energy to everyone he met, it was only fitting his homegoing ceremony in Chicago felt more like a celebration than a somber affair, with hundreds of his closest friends, family, and fans meeting to honor his life and say their final goodbyes.
 
Despite passing away at a young age, Omar’s legacy continues to live on. Omar was posthumously named Universal Boxing Federation’s first ever honorary champion, validating the fighter he had the potential to become. In 2013, a Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Fighter to The End” detailing Omar’s journey won the prestigious Peter Lisagor award for sports writing. Coming soon… Fans should be on the lookout for a film project based on Omar’s rollercoaster career and the final days of his life. It’s being spearheaded by Atlanta producer Rashad Mubarak and TV 
 
 

A few words with Australia's Liam Wilson

A few words with Australia's Liam Wilson

A few words with Australia's Liam Wilson
Here is what Australia's Liam Wilson (11-1, 7 KOs) had to say at the final press conference before his battle for the vacant WBO junior lightweight title against two-division champion Emanuel "Vaquero" Navarrete (36-1, 30 KOs): “This is a chance to fulfill my dream and become a world champion. I’ve done 17 years of hard work for this moment. I’ve put in a lot of hard work. I’ve fought whoever they’ve put in front of me. I’m ready for Friday night.”
 
“I’ve taken one hard fight after another. Against Matias Rueda, I fought with one hand. I broke my hand midway through the fight. But I showed my resilience. The fight proved to myself, my country and the world that I have what it takes to become world champion and that I have to be in those fights.”
 
“This means everything. This is what me, my team, my promoter, my manager and my trainers have worked for. We’ve taken the risks and challenges, and I know that on fight night I have a tough fight ahead of me. Navarrete is a great champion, but I do plan on giving him the fight of his life. I’m going to win.”
 

Venezuelan update: Roger Gutierrez books comeback bout

Venezuelan update: Roger Gutierrez books comeback bout
Venezuela's Roger Gutierrez, the former WBA 130-pound champion, will start a new campaign on March 3rd in his native Maracaibo. Fighting for the first time since losing his title to Hector Garcia in Auguat, Gutierrez takes on his second consecutive Dominican, Henry Delgado (20-1). Warning: Delgado's record seems misleading, as he's never fought outside of the Dominican Republic and his record was compiled against extremely weak opposition. Gutierrez (26-4-1) says he has returned to the gym and feels ready to start a new path in his career. His reign commenced in January 2021, when he defeated René Alvarado, and he successfully defended the title in an immediate rematch before he lost to García.
 

Jarrett Hurd to fight for first time since June 2021

Jarrett Hurd to fight for first time since June 2021
On Saturday, March 4th, live on Showtime at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California, former unified 154-pound champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd (pictured) returns to take on Armando Reséndiz in a ten-round middleweight co-feature. Hurd has not fought since 2021 and has not won a bout since before the coronavirus pandemic. Hurd's comeback will be broadcast at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, and is headlined by a featherweight battle between Brandon “The Heartbreaker” Figueroa and Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo of the Philippines for the vacant interim WBC featherweight title. That night, Showtime will also feature a clash of unbeaten young middleweights as Amilcar Vidal and Elijah Garcia meet in a ten-round attraction.
 
The 32 year-old Hurd (24-2, 16 KOs) unified the WBA and IBF 154-pound titles in 2018, dropping longtime champion Erislandy Lara in the final round to win a close decision in a fight that was one of 2018's fights of the year. The Accokeek, Maryland native would go on to lose the titles in one of 2019’s best fights, dropping a decision to Julian Williams. Hurd first became champion in February 2017 when he stopped a former champion, Tony Harrison, in the ninth round, before defending the title against another former champion, Austin Trout.
 
Hurd will return to the ring having most recently dropped a narrow split-decision against tricky veteran Luis Arias in June 2021. “Y’all must’ve forgot, but I’m back to remind you what ‘Swift’ Jarrett Hurd is all about,” said Hurd. “I’m in a new weight class and I’m looking to dominate like I did at 154 pounds. I can’t wait to show everyone what I’ve been working on in the gym and display my talents on March 4th. I know Reséndiz is going  to make the most of this opportunity, but I’m ready to make a big statement of my own.”
 
Reséndiz (13-1, 9 KOs) made a successful U.S. debut in April 2021, entering the fight with an eight-bout knockout streak before earning a decision victory over Quilisto Madera. A 23 year-old native of Nayarit, Mexico, he now fights out of Los Angeles. After dropping a decision to veteran Marcos Hernandez in September 2021, he returned this October to dominate Heber Rondon on his way to a second-round stoppage. “I’ve been preparing very hard to take full advantage of the opportunity that I have in this fight,” said Reséndiz. “I have a great team in my corner and I know that they are getting the best out of my abilities. We’re all working toward the same goal and it’s going to result in a great fight for the fans. I’m fighting for my Mexican people and I’m not going to let them down.”

 

Zeus Network lands Mayweather PPV rights

Zeus Network lands Mayweather PPV rights

Zeus Network lands Mayweather PPV rights
The U.K. debut of Boxing Hall of Famer Floyd “Money” Mayweather will be broadcast on pay-per-view by the Zeus Network on Saturday, February 25th from the famed O2 Arena in London. Mayweather will participate in an exhibition clash against pro MMA fighter and “Geordie Shore” reality show star Aaron “The Joker” Chalmers. Mayweather will compete in front of U.K. boxing fans for the first time as he continues his exhibition tour following appearances in Japan and Dubai. Mayweather has spent time in the region throughout his career and famously defeated British superstar Ricky Hatton by TKO in 2007. 
 
PRIOR BOXINGTALK COVERAGE
 
JAN. 24, 2023:  Boxing Hall of Famer Floyd “Money” Mayweather will make his in-ring debut in the U.K. on Saturday, February 25th as he now faces pro MMA fighter and “Geordie Shore” star Aaron “The Joker” Chalmers in an exhibition bout live from the famed O2 Arena in London. It was previously announced on social media that Mayweather would face Muay Thai star Liam Harrison, but Harrison has since been forced to withdraw due to a knee injury. “I was originally supposed to face a different opponent, but injuries happen and I’m glad that Aaron Chalmers could step up so that we could give the fans what they want,” said Mayweather, who famously stopped British superstar Ricky Hatton in a 2007 welterweight title. “The fans in the U.K. have always been great to me and supported me throughout my career, so an event like this has been a long time coming. I’m excited to add more history to the O2 Arena in London.”
 
“I’ve been training with Adam Booth in the boxing gym and I’m eager to make a name for myself in the boxing world,” said Chalmers, who owns a 5-2 pro MMA record, including four Bellator outings. “I jumped on this opportunity immediately. It’s an honor to share the ring with one of the greatest fighters of all time and I’m definitely going to take advantage of it.”
 
Mayweather’s exhibition tour has seen him compete in exhibition contests in Dubai, Japan and Miami in recent years, with London now the next on his world tour of delivering memorable action in his signature “Money” Mayweather style. The event is presented by FrontRow Entertainment, who created the FrontRow series to build the sport of boxing and were behind Mayweather’s last two exhibition bouts. Additional details will be announced shortly.

Late results from MA: Vukosa gets solid regional win

Late results from MA: Vukosa gets solid regional win
Steve Vukosa W10 Donnie Palmer ... On Saturday at the Lowell Auditorium in Lowell, Massachusetts, heavyweight Steve Vukosa of Quincy, MA improved to 14-1 with 5 KOs  with a workmanlike ten-round unanimous decision win over Dorchester, MA's Donnie Palmer (12-3, 10 KO’s). Both fighters were patient and picked their spots, with Vukosa landing the more significant punches. The offical scores were 99-91 (twice) and 98-92 for Vukosa, age 45.  Vukosa had not fought since a June 2021 draw.
 
Hegly Mosqueda TKO3 Ezequiel Tevez... Venezuelan featherweight Hegly Mosqueda’s US debut was successful, as he improved to 23-0 with 18 KOs via third-round TKO over Ezequiel Tevez (13-10). Mosqueda dropped Tevez in the second with a perfectly timed counter right hand. In round 3, Mosqueda dropped Tevez with another right hand before closing the show with an uppercut to the body at 1:12. 
 
UNDERCARD
 
Multi-time New England amateur champion Jaydell Pazmino had a successful pro debut as he knocked out veteran Stacy Anderson (0-12) in two rounds at junior welterweight. Working behind his jab, Pazmino used effective combination punching and angles to keep Anderson on the defensive for most of the bout. Pazmino picked up the pressure in the second, hurting Anderson with a right hand to the body. A few seconds later, Pazmino landed a left hook that put Anderson down for the ten count. Time of stoppage was 1:12.
 
In a crowd-pleasing fight, Lowell’s very own Gabriel Morales remained undefeated with a six round unanimous decision over Ryan Venable (3-16) in a lightweight contest. Morales floored Venable in rounds 2 and 4, but the game Venable was resilient from bell to bell. Scores of the bout were 59-53 and 58-54 twice. With the win Morales improves to 6-0 (3 KO’s). 
 
Junior welterweight Harry Gigliotti of Newburyport, MA scored a hard-fought eight-round unanimous decision over durable and game Brandon Sandoval of Salem, MA. The fight saw both men ripping punches in the pocket, but Gigliotti got the better of the action. Sandoval however, refused to back down, keeping the fight in the pocket. As Gigliotti and Sandoval traded blows in close quarters, the fans were on their feet cheering loudly for both fighters.  In the end, it was Gigliotti getting the win by scores of 79-73 and 78-74 (twice). Gigliotti improved to 9-4 with 3 KOs while Sandoval drops to 2-4 with 1 KO. 
 
Springfield, MA based welterweight Carlos Gonzalez improved to 4-0, all by KO, with a first-round knockout of Trevathan Milatz (0-3). Gonzalez scored three knockdowns, the final one putting Milatz down for the 10 count at 2:11. 
 
Super middleweight Luke Iannuccilli (5-0 with 2 KOs) won an entertaining four-round unanimous decision over game veteran Sergio Castellano (11-13). In a fight fought inside the pocket from almost start to finish, both combatants were content to tradie blows, but Iannuccilli got the better of the exchanges. In round five, the Methuen, MA native dropped Castellano, but Castellano beat the count. As action resumed, the fighters picked up right where they left off. Scores were 60-53 (twice) and 59-54. 
 
Super bantamweights Alicia Pike (1-0-1) and River Tucker (0-1-1) fought to a spirited four-round draw. Both fighters provided non-stop action for the duration of the bout, giving just as good as they got. It was tough to tell who got the better of the exchanges as all three judges saw the fight differently. Scores were 40-36 (Tucker), 39-37 (Pike), and 38-38. 
 
“We had a great crowd of about 1100 fans and the fighters put on a great show,” said Mike Reyes of Reyes Boxing Promotions. “This was our second show at the Lowell Auditorium and we’re proud to call it our new home.”
 
A replay of the card is available on Reyesboxingtv.com... Reyes Boxing Promotions returns to the Lowell Auditorium June 24.
 

A few words with Mario Barrios

A few words with Mario Barrios
San Antonio, Texas' Mario “El Azteca” Barrios shared insights into his training camp with trainer Bob Santos and promised fireworks for his hometown fans when he takes on Jovanie Santiago (14-2-1, 10 KOs) on Saturday, February 11th live on Showtime from the Alamodome in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions. Barrios (26-2, 17 KOs) will face Puerto Rico’s Santiago in a ten rounder. The Showtime action is headlined by undefeated two-division champion Rey Vargas dueling top O’Shaquie Foster for the vacant WBC 130-pound championship. The 27 year-old Barrios returns to the ring after dropping his welterweight debut to former unified champion Keith Thurman in a February 2022 action fight. Following the fight, Barrios reunited with Bob Santos, who has recently trained Hector Luis Garcia and Alberto Puello to world titles. As he looks to restart his ascent in the star-studded 147-pound division, Barrios will return to the Alamodome, where he previously scored an October 2020 KO of Ryan Karl. Here is what Barrios had to say about training camp, Santiago and more:
 
On fighting at home in San Antonio:
 
"I’m always excited to give my fans back home an entertaining fight. I love where I’m from and I’m always proud to step in the ring representing San Antonio. I’m very thankful for another opportunity to fight in front of the San Antonio fans. It’s going to be an explosive night of boxing and I’m promising an action packed fight.” 
 
On his recent training camp:
 
“I have relocated my training camp to Las Vegas, Nevada, and am back working with Bob Santos. It’s been a change of pace, and coming off a bit of a lay-off, after some really big fights, it’s been refreshing resting my mind and body after two hard camps back-to-back. The change is one I think that’s going to elevate my career these next few years, because I’ll be training in the fight capital of the world.
 
“I think a lot of fighters lose motivation once they have fought on pay-per-view, but being around so many fighters who are in their prime at the Pound4pound boxing gym out here has been pushing me every day. I am thrilled with how the camp has gone, and I think people will see everything I’ve been working on come fight night. I also have my sister Selina working in my corner as well. We started this sport together and I’m thankful to still have her input in the corner. Everything has been great leading up to this fight.” 
 
On his opponent, Jovanie Santiago:
 
"I think he’s a quality fighter. He had a close fight with Adrien Broner that many say he should have won. I thought he struggled with Gary Antuanne Russell, but Gary is a great fighter. I personally think Santiago is a guy that if you take him lightly, he can make you look bad. In no way am I intending to disrespect him, but I am going to show why I have been featured on two pay-per-view main events and am a former world champion. This fight is about me ending this lay off and proving that I am at a different level, and a threat in this division. I think you will see a clear separation between us in this bout."
 
On what a win does for his career:
 
"A win puts me in the position I want to be in, which is competing for a world title. A lot of titles have become vacant as of late, and I think with a strong showing I could get in the mix with any of the world champions in the division. My goal right now is to become a two-time world champion, and that is what I am set on doing. A win essentially gives me that next step to get close to a title eliminator or the bigger names in the welterweight division. I want to perform in a way that makes my city and my team proud and continues to make the networks want to see me in bigger fights."
 

Logan Paul and KSI now business partners

Logan Paul and KSI now business partners

Logan Paul and KSI now business partners
Logan Paul and KSI fought each other in 2019, but the social media influencers turned combat sports stars are now business partners. The two co-founded the sports drink company Prime and have entered into a partnership with The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) that makes Prime the official global sports drink of UFC. Paul and KSI fought in 2019 with KSi winning by controversial decision due to a referee's point deduction. Lately, Paul has been making waves as a WWE pro wrestler, while KSI has been successfully promoting and boxing through his crossover boxing outfit Misfits Boxing. Prime will soon be integrated into UFC events, including branding in the Octagon, visibility on pay-per-view fights and listed as a presenting sponsor for weigh-ins. According to a report, the UFC fighters' corners will be referred to as "Prime hydration recovery zones."
 
PRIOR BOXINGTALK COVERAGE
 
NOV. 10, 2019: KSI W6 Logan Paul... In a rematch between two social media stars (and major bragging rights), Olajide Olatunji a/k/a KSI got knocked down but won a controversial split decision. In a surprisingly entertaining contest, both men gave honest efforts despite no prior professional boxing experience. KSI was declared the winner by split decision. He threw wild punches and was the busier man in this cruiserweight battle, but Paul landed the best punch of the six rounder. In round three, KSI seemed to drop Paul with an overhand right but referee Jack Reiss said the punch was behind the head, therefore it was not scored as a knockdown. In round four, Paul landed a big uppercut and KSI went down. Reiss, normally a top referee, had a bad night, penalizing Paul two points for a boderline foul-- Reiss felt Paul also landed a punch behind the head as KSI was on the canvas. Scores were 56-55 for Paul, overruled by 57-54 and 56-55 for KSI. A one-point penalty would have made the fight a draw, and no penalty would have made it a victory for Paul. However, KSI should have received credit for a knockdown in round three, so Boxingtalk believes the best verdict would have been a draw. Afterwards, Paul said he'd be up for a trilogy fight [they previously fought to a draw as amateurs], but KSI dashed that prospect quickly. source: dazn 
 

Alimkhanuly now willing to fight Adames

Alimkhanuly now willing to fight Adames

WBO middleweight champion Janibek Alimkhanuly has changed his tune on fighting Carlos "Bronco" Adames. In late 2022, Alimkhanuly tweeted, "Bronco, How are you? I respect you. You are a good boxer. And you know me. We had 50 rounds of good sparring. But you're not a world champion. If you want to fight me you need to get the title from Charlo. He won't fight me. If you have a championship title, I’ll gladly fight you!" Yesterday, Alimkhanuly (or whoever runs the Kazakh's Twitter account) softened his position, "I was surprised when I heard that you wanted to fight me.  Although you are not a champion and not popular, you have the courage. I respect it! I will gladly fight with you. And this fight will be easier than sparring! Be ready!"

 
 
 

Hitchins happy to be fighting at home in NYC

Hitchins happy to be fighting at home in NYC
Richardson Hitchins is back in New York for a junior welterweight bout against John Bauza at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday night, live worldwide on DAZN. Hitchins (15-0, 7 KOs) last stepped through the ropes in the Big Apple in May 2019 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and had just six fights in almost 45 months across America since that night. The 25-year old is thrilled to finally be back in front of the fans in his own city and with a renewed momentum in his career, he’s vowed to show his full arsenal and get what promises to be a big year underway in style. Hitchins believes he’s in a better place after teaming up with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom at the end of 2022. His first fight with Matchroom came in Cleveland in November against Yomar Alamo.
 
Hitchins forced Alamo to retire after dominating the Puerto Rican for eight rounds. His bout against Bauza on Saturday is the quickest turnaround in fights that Hitchins has had in four years, and he believes that his name will be on everyone’s lips to be in the big fights in one of boxing’s best divisions right now. “It’s been a while since I’ve boxed in my city,” said Hitchins. “It’s a homecoming I’ve craved for some time. That is enough to get you up for it. It’s going to be a special night and it’s the perfect venue and platform to showcase my skills and make a wider statement to the division. I just need to go out there and deliver. I’ve got the talent to do major things in the sport, but I must keep improving. Day by day, week by week, month by month, fight by fight. We’re making up for lost time and put myself into a position where I need to be. I should be in a better place by now but it’s God’s plan.
 
“It’s all changed now, I feel relevant, there’s a purpose and there’s activity. It was hard to stay dedicated before. If I had no fight in the diary, from time to time may have switched off a little in the training more so from wandering. Now I’ve got to stay on weight and on track because there’s another fight day fast approaching. Mentally, it’s refreshing. I’m dedicated to the sport, and I just want to stay busy and stay sharp.
 
“It’s one of the most competitive divisions in boxing. There’s a lot of punchers in the 140 division, Regis Prograis gets people out of there and I think that’s a realistic matchup for later this year or next. I believe I belong with the top-level guys in the division and I’m ready to show that this year.”
 
Hitchins’ clash with Bauza is part of an historic night of action at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden as Amanda Serrano returns to Hulu Theater to aim to hold all the marbles for a second time, this time at featherweight where she faces Mexico’s WBA ruler Erika Cruz.
 
Alycia Baumgardner recorded the best win of her career to date when she added the IBF and WBO belts held by bitter rival Mikaela Mayer in October in London via split decision to her WBC and IBO straps. The vacant WBA belt is the last piece of the puzzle, and French former interim WBC champion Elhem Mekhaled will look to spoil the Detroit star’s plans in her first fight in the States.
 
There’s three more female title fights on the card, as Australian featherweight Skye Nicolson (5-0) looks to take a big step towards world title action against Tania Alvarez (7-0 1 KO) and there’s another all-undefeated belt battle as Ramla Ali (7-0 2 KOs) meets Avril Mathie (8-0-1 3 KOs) fat 122 pounds, Shadasia Green (11-0 10 KOs) battles former championt Elin Cederroos (8-1 4 KOs) in an eliminator for the WBC title.
 
Yankiel Rivera (2-0 2 KOs) will be looking to make it three KOs in three in his Matchroom debut against Fernando Diaz, and Aaron Aponte (6-0-1 2 KOs) and Brooklyn’s Harley Mederos (4-0 3 KOs) complete the action against Joshua David Rivera (8-1 5 KOs) and Julio Madera (4-2 2 KOs) respectively.
 

Confused John Fury falsely accuses Jake Paul

Confused John Fury falsely accuses Jake Paul

Confused John Fury falsely accuses Jake Paul
A confused John Fury said his son Tommy will knock Jake Paul out when they fight on Feb. 26th in Saudi Arabia. The confusion came in when the elder Fury accused Paul of winning a fixed fight vs. Anderson Silva. Fury claimed Paul’s punch never touched Silva (it clearly did) and he also said Silva allowed himself to get counted out (in reality Silva got up from the knockdown and lost to Paul by decision). Here is what Fury said on social media: “Quick video to Jake Paul and company. Jake, [if] you think Tommy's not gonna show up… you're going to be very disappointed and mistaken because we're one million percent gonna be there. We can't wait to get this fight on with you mate. There's no way in the world, in this entire world, this fight ain't gonna happen pal. So if you're dreaming in your own little boy's brain thinking that we're not going to show up and Tommy's not gonna fight you mate, well, you're going to be very wrong. Be prepared to get taken out of that ring on a stretcher my friend because that's what's happening to you. You have no chance at all. I don't give you any chance whatsoever, not a remote chance, not even a puncher’s chance. Your last fight [a win over Anderson] Silva, that fake thing, well you missed him mate and he fell on the ground. I watched it time and time again on the video. Silva, you missed him and he fell down and got counted out. You're in a real fight this time, mucker, with a man who can bang with both hands, so advice to you: keep them up!”
 
 

Brandon Figueroa to face Mark Magsayo on March 4th

Brandon Figueroa to face Mark Magsayo on March 4th
Brandon “The Heartbreaker” Figueroa (pictured) will meet Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo of the Philippines for the vacant interim WBC featherweight title on Saturday, March 4th, live on Showtime at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California. The broadcast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will also feature the return of former unified 154-pound champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd, who takes on Armando Reséndiz in the ten-round middleweight co-feature. Kicking off the telecast is an clash of unbeaten young middleweights as Amilcar Vidal and Elijah Garcia meet in a ten-round attraction. Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, go on sale tomorrow, Wednesday, February 1 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.com.
 
“Saturday, March 4th will be headlined by an explosive clash of exciting styles, as Brandon Figueroa and Mark Magsayo are sure to go toe-to-toe to secure their standing in the featherweight division,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Brandon looked spectacular in his featherweight debut last July, and Magsayo has the opportunity to regain his status after losing his title in a close fight last time out. With another certified action fighter in Jarrett Hurd stepping into the ring in the co-main event against the up-and-coming Armando Reséndiz, plus hungry young middleweights Amilcar Vidal and Elijah Garcia in the TV opener, the stage is set for a thrilling night live on SHOWTIME and at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.”
 
The 26 year-old Figueroa (22-1-1, 17 KOs) was dynamic in his 126-pound debut, swarming and dominating Carlos Castro on his way to a sixth-round TKO in July 2022. The bout was his first since a 2021 Fight of the Year against Stephen Fulton Jr., which ended in a majority decision loss for Figueroa. A native of Weslaco, Texas, Figueroa’s  relentless pressure and youthful enthusiasm helped him  become the first person to defeat former division champion Luis Nery in their championship clash prior to the Fulton fight. Figueroa added to his family’s legacy by capturing the WBC 122-pound world title against Nery, joining his brother Omar Figueroa Jr., who previously held the WBC lightweight championship. 
 
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring to do what I love,” said Figueroa. “I want to fight the best, so I’m very motivated to be up against a former champion at featherweight like Magsayo. I’m confident that we’re going to give the fans a great fight, because neither of us like to take a step back. This is my chance to really show what I’m capable of at 126 pounds and I’m just eager to dominate and prove it to the world.”
 
The Philippines’ Magsayo (24-1, 16 KOs) became the latest champion from the boxing-rich nation in January 2022 when he outpointed boxing’s then longest-reigning male world champion Gary Russell Jr. to capture the 126-pound title. Magsayo will look to move closer to regaining that title on March 4, after he lost a narrow split-decision to Rey Vargas last July, despite dropping Vargas in round nine. The 27-year-old earned his first title opportunity by knocking out former champion Julio Ceja in the 10th round of a fight he trailed on the scorecards in August 2021. Magsayo is trained by Freddie Roach in Southern California and owns 12-round decision victories over Shoto Hayashi and Ramiro Robles, in addition to a sixth-round stoppage of former title challenger Chris Avalos. 
 
“Figueroa and I both like to move forward, so everyone knows exactly what kind of fight this will be,” said Magsayo. “My goals are to give the fans the action they love and to regain my place in this division. I’m ready to face anyone they put in front of me. This is a true Mexican vs. Filipino style matchup, and I can’t wait to get back in the ring to perform once again.”
 
 

KnockOut Promotions outbids Matchroom for bridgerweight title fight

KnockOut Promotions outbids Matchroom for bridgerweight title fight
At the beginning of 2023, the first WBC bridgerweight (224-pound) champion Oscar Rivas suffered a detached retina and will be unable to fight in the near future. Consequently, the WBC designated Rivas as champion in recess until his status is more certain. The WBC Board of Governors has now voted that Alen Babic should fight Lukasz Rozanski for the vacant title with a 50-50 purse split. Rozanski's promoter, Andrzej Wasilewsky of KnockOut Promotions won the right to promote the fight with a purse bid offering of $425,000. That beat the $350,000 offer from Matchroom Boxing, who was represented by Tom Dallas. The WBC expects the winner of the fight to comply with two WBC mandatory fights!

ESPN+ to air Montreal show tomorrow

ESPN+ to air Montreal show tomorrow

ESPN+ to air Montreal show tomorrow
On a show to be streamed live in the U.S. on ESPN+ on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, super middleweight Erik Bazinyan returns in a ten rounder against Maryland's Alantez Fox at Casino de Montréal in Montreal. Bazinyan, a ten-year-pro, hopes a victory over the 6-foot-4 Fox moves him closer to a world title opportunity.  Bazinyan (28-0, 21 KOs) has spent his entire pro career in Canada after moving from Armenia at age 16. Promoted by Camille Estephan's Eye of the Tiger, Bazinyan returns to action following last June’s unanimous decision over Marcelo Esteban Coceres. Bazinyan has defeated seasoned veterans Alan Campa, Saul Roman and Scott Sigmon. Fox (28-3-1, 13 KOs) has more experience fighting world-level talent, as he is coming off a fourth-round TKO defeat in December 2021 to David Morrell for a secondary world title. Before the Morrell loss, he had a three-bout unbeaten streak.
 
UNDERCARD 
 
In a battle of slick boxing versus unrelenting pressure, Yves Ulysse Jr. (22-2, 12 KOs) steps up against Mexico’s Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela (25-3-1, 15 KOs). Ulysse, from Montreal, has won four bouts since a close loss to Ismael Barroso. Valenzuela fought last May on the Canelo Alvarez-Dmitry Bivol undercard, trading knockdowns with then-unbeaten contender Montana Love before dropping a razor-thin decision.
 
Canadian middleweight Alexandre Gaumont (6-0, 4 KOs) aims to extend his knockout streak to three against Carlos Gallego Montijo (8-4, 6 KOs).
 
Raphael Courchesne (9-1, 4 KOs) returns from a nearly 19-month layoff to fight Diego Garduno Reyes (10-1-1, 4 KOs) in a six-round welterweight tilt.
 
Welterweight Christopher Guerrero (5-0, 1 KOs) makes his 2023 debut in a six-rounder against fellow unbeaten Edwin Villarreal Flores (3-0-1, 3 KOs).
 
In a six-round junior lightweight bout, Avery Martin Duval (8-0-1, 4 KOs) looks to extend his winning streak to five against Eduardo Mota Garcia (7-1-1, 2 KOs), who has beaten two previously undefeated prospects in his last three outings.
 

Thai update: Phoobadin Yoohanngoh fights on Saturday

Thai update: Phoobadin Yoohanngoh fights on Saturday
Thailand’s Phoobadin Yoohanngoh will return to the ring this Saturday in a junior welterweight bout against India’s Vanlalawmpuia [only one name given] at the SpacePlus Arena in Bangkok. The 19-year old Thai is one of his country’s best prospects and has remained active against decent opposition. Yoohanngoh fought three times in 2022 to improve his pro record to 15-0. Vanlalawmpuia finds himself with a great opportunity and intends to take advantage of it. The 25 year-old fis listed at 6-1-1, which includes a docmented road win in his only listed fight in Thailand.
 
 

Introducing Dominican middleweight Anibal Cleto Francisco

Introducing Dominican middleweight Anibal Cleto Francisco
Kings Promotions continues to grow its roster of Dominican fighters by signing middleweight Anibal Cleto Francisco to a multi-year promotional agreement. The 22 year-old Francisco is 10-0 with 9 KOs as a professional. In his last fight on July 2nd, Cleto Francisco got a fifth-round knockout win over Venezuela's Yeison Gonzalez (16-7).  Francisco, who is trained by Roberto Peralta, is scheduled to fight on February 24th in his native country on a card promoted by Shuan Boxing. He is managed by Harry Polanco and advised by Trifon Petrov. 
 
For Francisco, signing with Kings Promotions is a dream come true. “Since I started boxing I always wanted to get the chance to go to America and compete with the best. I’m very grateful to Harry Polanco for making this opportunity a reality. Adding Trifon Petrov as my adviser and Marshall Kauffman as my promoter is the next step of my development as a professional boxer. I can’t wait to represent my country on the biggest stages in America”, said Cleto Francisco.
 
Polanco is excited to partner up with Kings Promotions. “I’ve worked with Anibal since the beginning of his professional career. He is one of the most dedicated fighters I’ve had the pleasure of working with, and I’m happy we are able to partner up with a big promoter from the United States, so we can take the next step in his career. He has a very fan-friendly fighting style, and I know the fans in the US will love him when he gets the opportunity to fight on the big stage and national television,” said Polanco. 
 

Late result: Jennifer Meza wins in Argentina

Late result: Jennifer Meza wins in Argentina
Jennifer Meza TKO4 Johana Zuñiga... In a women's atomweight fight in Argentina, Jennifer “Hormiga” Meza overcame the challenge of Venezuela's Johana Zuñiga for a career-best victory. In the city of Galvez, Meza defeated Venezuelan Zuñiga (16-5) by technical knockout in the fourth round to improve her record to  and won the Fedelatin belt of the World Boxing Association in the minimum category.  Meza (7-3) has been coming down in weight since winning the Argentine national flyweight championship in August.  Despite her aggressive style, Meza started the fight against Zuñiga with disadvantages: the difference in height, reach and experience. Zuñiga has now lost five in a row, but  Meza had never beaten an opponent with a winning record.
 
 

Erik Bazinyan to face Alantez Fox on Thursday

Erik Bazinyan to face Alantez Fox on Thursday
Super middleweight Erik Bazinyan (28-0) will host veteran Alantez Fox (28-3-1) on Thursday at the Casino de Montreal. Bazinyan, an Armenian-born Canadian last fought in June, a win over  Argentina’s Marcelo Coceres. Bazinyan, age 28, is a strong fighter who has knocked out four of his last five opponents. Fox, age 30, took 2022 off after losing by knockout to WBA regular title holder David Morrell in December of 2021. 
 

Martinez vs. Bornea purse bid back on for Feb. 14th

Martinez vs. Bornea purse bid back on for Feb. 14th
On November 29, 2022, the IBF ordered its super flyweight champion Fernando Martinez and mandatory contender Jade Bornea to begin negotiations for a title fight. A purse bid was ordered for January 17th. A request for an extension to negotiate was requested and approved until January 24th. But on January 27th, Sean Gibbons, who represents Martinez, requested that a purse bid be rescheduled because an agreement could not be made between the camps. The IBF has therefore ordered a purse bid for Tuesday, February 14th at 12:00 PM EST.
 
PRIOR BOXINGTALK COVERAGE: On November 29, 2022, the IBF ordered its 115-pound champion, Fernando Martinez of Argentina and Jade Bornea to begin negotiations for a mandatory title fight against Jade Bornea of the Philippines. So far, no agreement has been reached, so the IBF has ordered a purse bid for Tuesday, January 17th at noon Eastern standard time. Martinez's record is listed as 15-0 but he was 9-6 in 15 additional pro bouts in the World Series of Boxing. His title reign consists of two wins over Jerwin Ancajas. Bornea is from the Philippines and boasts a pro record of 18-0.
 

Germany to host meaningful heavyweight fight this weekend: Mourad Aliev vs. Ali Kiydin

Germany to host meaningful heavyweight fight this weekend: Mourad Aliev vs. Ali Kiydin
This Saturday at the Friedrich-Ebert Halle in Ludwigshafen, Germany, heavyweight Mourad Aliev (6-0, 4 KOs) wil clash with Ali Kiydin (16-1, 15 KOs). Mourad was born in Moscow but has lived in France since the age of six and is now age twenty seven. A talented southpaw, he won a silver medal at the 2019 European Games and a 2021 Olympian. Aliev lost to Frazer Clarke of the UK by disqualification in the Olympics. He stands six feet seven inches tall and will tower over the 31 year-old Kiydini, who is from Frankfurt and is five feet eleven and a half inches.
 
Kiydin's nickname is “Iron”, and he has considerable KO power. Ali also has a solid amateur record including wins over Ali Demirezan and Clarke, and two losses against Joe Joyce.
 
Ahmet Oner of Arena Promotions is working with Universum Promotions for this event and other projects. He promotes both of these fighters and stresses that this isn’t a David vs. Goliath type of fight. Rather, it´s a Pocket Hercules vs. Goliath match-up, because Kiydin has real power in both hands and needs an impressive win. Oner says some of the greatest heavyweights like Joe Frazier, David Tua and Mike Tyson didn´t tower over opponents, but each of them proved to be a dauntingly explosive “Tall Order.”
 
Oner said: “I hope Mourad won´t underestimate Ali, or he may be surprised. If Mourad is able to manage and handle Ali´s power in the first few rounds he might be able to get a stoppage win in the later rounds. But, if Ali comes out fast, with quick hands then he can dislodge and derail Mourad´s plans. I think it´s a good match up and it´s going to be an exciting fight for the fans.”
 

Cobb retracts cheating accusations made against Ortiz

Cobb retracts cheating accusations made against Ortiz
Welterweight Blair Cobb (pictured) retracted his recent accusations that his divisional rival Vergil Ortiz was taking performance-enahncing substances. In a social media video, Cobb said: "[I have to give you guys] a big retraction statement on all my accusations of Virgil Ortiz doing performance enhancement drugs. Initially, I thought that he was possibly a user [because he had] this illness that very, very rarely ever happens to anyone that is in boxing. It's a rare disease but it's incredibly dangerous called rhabdomyolysis. He got admitted into the hospital and thank goodness that he's safe and healthy, but initially when he got into that hospital with that extremely rare case and rare disease, I thought that he possibly was on some steroids. But I right now, I need you guys to understand that Virgil Ortiz is a is a clean fighter and I retract all my statements. I wish nothing but the best but also I still call out Virgil Ortiz and many other top name fighters. Why? Because I believe that I'm great. Whoo!"
 
PRIOR BOXINGTALK COVERAGE
 
MARCH 16, 2022: Golden Boy Promotions announcement: "Vergil Ortiz Jr. has pulled out of [this weekend's] fight against Michael McKinson after being diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis. Vergil is recovering well in hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. More information on the March 19th event will be announced shortly."
 
Vergil Ortiz Sr. added, "We are sorry to inform everyone that my son was forced to withdraw from his fight due to rhabdomyolysis. Luckily for us, I know my son so well, I could tell something was wrong with him. I took him to the emergency room and [they] caught it in time."
 

 

WBO orders Jerusalem vs. Collazo

WBO orders Jerusalem vs. Collazo
The WBO has ordered newly minted 108-pound champion Melvin Jerusalem (20-2) of the Philippines to make his first defense against mandatory contender Oscar Collazo of Puerto Rico. Collazo, only 6-0 as a pro, won a WBO eliminator this weekend, stopping Yudel Reyes (15-2) in the fifth round. The WBO gave the parties just 15 days to negotiate before it moves towards a purse bid. 
 
JAN. 7, 2023: There is a new WBO mini-flyweight champion, lightly regarded Melvin Jerusalem, who got a huge road upset against Masataka Taniguchi at Edion Arena Osaka, Japan. The Filipino Jersualem (20-2) stunned the Japanese audience with a second-round stoppage courtesy of a straight right hand that suddenly floored Taniguchi. The thirteen-month reign of Taniguchi (16-4) ended when he got up on extremely wobbly legs, and the referee stopped the bout. It was reminiscient of Kostya Tszyu's KO of Zab Judah (also in the second round). Jerusalem failed in a 2017 105-pound title fight vs. Chayaphon Moonsri a//k/a Wanheng Menayothin but had no significant wins since then. After a bad run of title fights for Filipino boxers, Jerusalem is now the lone champion from the boxing-crazed nation.

Bohachuk stops Gallimore

Bohachuk stops Gallimore

Serhii Bohachuk TKO5 Nathaniel Gallimore ... Ukrainian junior middleweight Serhii Bohachuk stopped Nathaniel Gallimore (22-7-1) at Quiet Cannon in Montebello, California over the weekend. Gallimore started the fight well, showing that he was in excellent condition, but as the fight progressed, Bohachuk’s punches began to take their toll. Gallimore’s punch production diminished with each passing round. The end came in the sixth round, when Bohachuk landed a barrage of punches while Gallimore had his back against the ropes. Referee Ray Corona decided to stop the fight seeing that Gallimore was receiving too much punishment. Bohachuk, who lives and trains in Los Angeles, improved his record to 22-1 with 22 KOs. Promoted by Tom Loeffler, Bohachuk has won his last four bouts since losing by knockout to Brandon Adams in March 2021. Gallimore has now lost four of his last five, but against top-notch competition.

 
 
 
 

Cortes wanted to fight Navarrete, settles for Melendez on the undercard

Cortes wanted to fight Navarrete, settles for Melendez on the undercard
Super featherweight Andres Cortes (17-0, 11 KOs) will face his most challenging opponent to daye when he steps in the ring with Luis Melendez (17-2, 13 KOs), from Miami by way of Puerto Rico. Cortes vs. Melendez, a ten-round bout, will take place at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona, February 3rd in support of a mian event between Emanuel "Vaquero" Navarrete and Liam Wilson. The Top Rank show will be broadcast on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. Cortes, a Las Vegas native, has thus far shown an aggressive style and knockout power. His opponent, Melendez, a seasoned veteran with heavy hands, will pose a significant challenge. "I'm excited for this opportunity to showcase my skills against a seasoned fighter like Melendez," said Cortes. "He’s a young hungry fighter with a lot of heart. He’s never been stopped and has nothing to lose. I believe that I have what it takes to come out on top, and I'm ready to prove it to the world."
 
With a victory, Cortez, intends to take on all the big names in the 130-pound division. "I've been working hard and improving with every fight," said Cortes. "My main focus is on Melendez, its not going to be an easy fight, but I’m coming out victorious. I'm ready to take on the best in the division and prove that I belong among the elite fighters. I'm not afraid of anyone, I believe in my abilities, and I know that I can beat any fighter in the division."
 
“We are on a mission to fight the best in the world,” said Luis Cortes, manager, brother and trainer of Andres. “We sought... the Navarrete fight, but his team chose the easier unknown Australian guy. Emanuel Navarrete, Oscar Valdez, Shakur Stevenson, or any other big name, we want them all in 2023. Melendez is going to be a tough fight and that is where our focus is. But I want to let it be known that we feel we are ready for anyone in the division.” 
 

Introducing super middleweight Harley "Heavy Hands" Burke

Introducing super middleweight Harley "Heavy Hands" Burke
Star Boxing has announced the signing of Irish-born, New York-based super middleweight Harley "Heavy Hands" Burke (7-0, 6KOs). On March 4th, Burke will be making his Star Boxing debut in a six-round  vs Oregon's Joseph Aguilar (4-1-1, 2 KOs) at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City, New Jersey. Harley was born in Galway, Ireland, but it wasn’t long until he and his parents moved to the United States looking for new opportunity. Setting up shop in Yonkers just outside of New York City, Harley was raised in New York, but will never forget where he came from. “I am extremely proud of my Irish American heritage,” he said. “Leaving a legacy as an Irish American fighter is one of my main motivators.” 
 
Harley laced up his gloves for the first time at the age of 11 and competed in his first amateur bout at the age of 13. He fought in the New York State Golden Gloves, but always had his sights set on fighting professionally. Having a love for the sport of boxing, Harley did whatever he could to be around it. This passion led to a stint as an intern for promoter Joe DeGuardia during Harley’s senior year of high school. Having worked two of Star Boxing’s fight cards in Long Island, Harley knew he wanted to be a professional boxer.  
 
Outside of the ring Harley is a go-getter. He graduated from Archbishop Stepinac High School in 2013 and has worked as a construction laborer while building a clientele for his now successful personal training business over the last ten years. In 2022 he began his own pressure washing company.  In the ring, like a pressure washer, Harley drowns you with pressure and demolishes you with his power. He turned pro in 2019 and stayed busy finding fights where he could during the pandemic. He won his last bout in July. against Brandon Maddox, by unanimous decision.  
 
"Signing with Star Boxing is a dream come true for me," said Harley. "In 2013 during my senior year of high school I interned for Star Boxing. Ten years later I’m signing a multi-year deal with them. It all comes full circle. My main goal since turning professional 4 years ago was to sign with a prominent promoter. Joe DeGuardia’s track record speaks for itself. He’s built world champions. I’ve got the right man backing me, now it’s on me to go and perform. I want to bring big nights of boxing to NYC. I can’t wait.” 
 
Star Boxing CEO Joe DeGuardia had this to say about the signing, “You truly never know where talent will spring from. Harley was an intern for Star Boxing back in 2013, and I would have never guessed a decade later we would be signing him as an undefeated professional fighter. We are excited for what Harley brings to the ring and admire his accomplishments outside of the ring as well.  We are confident that his talent and character will define his success as he continues to develop into bigger fights. It all starts for Harley on March 4 at White Eagle Hall, so be sure to get your tickets and come support.” 
 

Frank Warren: the pressure is on Tommy Fury

Frank Warren: the pressure is on Tommy Fury
Promoter Frank Warren wrote: "Saudi Arabia awaits the arrival of our man Tommy Fury and his rival Jake Paul for their long-awaited grudge match on February 26th and I am delighted that Tommy is finally getting the opportunity to settle a social media driven feud and earn some life-changing money into the bargain. There will be a lot of pressure on Tommy heading into the fight, what with carrying the family name into Jake’s first venture into taking on a boxer. I’m pretty sure Jake won’t hesitate to crank up the heat as the fight draws closer and I suspect we will be in for a compelling spectacle in the Saudi sunshine."
 
Last weekit was announced that Paul, the social media superstar, will at long last face the undefeated Fury, the younger brother of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. The fight wil happen in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Sunday, February 26th on a show that will also feature former super middleweight champion Badou Jack challenging WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu. The card will also showcase MVP's undedeated Ashton "H2O" Sylve, who is set to face Maxwell Awuku (48-5-1, 33 KOs) of Ghana. Paul vs. Fury will stream live on ESPN+ pay-per-view (2PM ET / 11AM PT).
 
Paul and Fury were originally slated to face off in December 2021, but Fury withdrew from the bout because of a medical issue. Paul went on to record a one-punch knockout of Tyron Woodley, who stepped in as a late replacement for a rematch of the pair’s August 2021 clash. Paul is giving Fury another chance next month so he can silence the critics who claim he has yet to fight a professional boxer. The 26-year-old Cleveland native started his pro boxing journey in January 2020 and will go head-to-head with Fury, a more experienced boxer from a prominent boxing family.
 
Paul boasts a professional record of 6-0 with 4 knockouts. His latest win was against MMA legend Anderson Silva, and he dropped Silva in the eighth round. Paul began his pro career in January 2020 against British YouTube star AnEsonGib and a subsequent, jaw-dropping knockout of former NBA star Nate Robinson in November 2020. From there, “The Problem Child” rang up a first-round KO of former MMA champion Ben Askren in April 2021 and two wins over Woodley, including a vicious knockout which won him ESPNRingside’s 2021 Knockout of The Year. 
 
“The moment of truth has finally arrived,” said Paul. “On February 26th, I will get in the ring with a ‘real boxer,’ an 8-0 fighter from a storied fighting family and show the world the truth about who Jake Paul, the boxer really is.”
 
Hailing from Manchester, England, Fury began boxing at the age of 12. He had 12 amateur fights, winning two regional titles and reaching the U.K. national final in 2016. Fury made his professional debut in 2018, winning by decision. He then knocked out his next four opponents, drawing attention from the boxing world. In 2021, he fought three times, including his U.S. debut on Paul’s undercard, earning his seventh victory against Anthony Taylor. He most recently shut out Daniel Bocianski over six rounds last April on the Tyson Fury-Dillian Whyte undercard. Fury, a former Love Island reality TV star, is ready for the biggest moment in his professional boxing career. 
 
“Jake Paul has already achieved more than anyone thought possible when we started this journey three years ago. Six professional fights, five pay-per-views, over $150 million of revenue generated and viral moment after viral moment,” said Nakisa Bidarian, co-founder of Most Valuable Promotions. “Jake is an undeniable pay-per-view star and we are delighted to collaborate with Top Rank and ESPN+ to distribute this massive event between two of boxing’s biggest names to millions of homes in the United States. Thank you to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its Ministry of Sport and Skill Challenge Entertainment Enterprises for their vision and commitment to putting on this event.”
 
​​"Jake Paul and Tommy Fury have fan bases that extend far beyond the world of boxing,” said Top Rank President Todd duBoef. “We are thrilled to partner with MVP and distribute this event on pay-per-view in the U.S., including ESPN+ PPV as the exclusive digital platform."
 
"We are very excited about the upcoming event featuring Jake and Tommy in Riyadh and look forward to welcoming them to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” stated Chairman of Skill Challenge Entertainment, His Highness Prince Khaled bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. 
 
"With the consumption of YouTube content per capita in Saudi Arabia remaining one of the highest in the world, the highly anticipated bout featuring one of its most renowned personalities-turned-boxer, Jake Paul, will be amongst the most-viewed events globally. The excitement of this being his biggest challenge to date is very appealing as he takes on a legitimate boxer in Tommy Fury,” he added.
 

Boxing returns to Corpus Christi area

Boxing returns to Corpus Christi area
After nearly five years, Reyna Promotions is returning to the Corpus Christi, Texas area.  "Battle in the City" will take place February 18th at the Robstown Fairgrounds. Nine bouts are scheduled to take place in all.  Boxers from all over the state of Texas are set to be showcased.  One tough hombre will appear on the show is Ron Guerrero (23-22-3), a veteran of Cedric Kushner's Heavyweight Explosion who has been active since the 1990s. Guerrero, who has been in the ring with Tony Thompson, Jameel McCline, Frans Botha, Ray Austin and many more is set to have his farewell fight in front of his hometown fans against Corey Barlow (3-5-2) of Austin, Texas in a six rounder.  The co-feature will be Sammy Castaneda (9-0-1) of the Rio Grande Valley taking on Bryan "B-Smooth" Springs (3-6-2) of San Antonio in a six-round junor welterweight showdown.  The main event will see local product Mark Beuke (10-3) taking on Adam Ealoms (6-23-3) of Bryan, Texas in a six-round middleweight showdown.  The event will be available on pay-per-view at DFTVsportswest.com. Former Boxingtalk.com journalist Christian Schmidt is set to be the ring announcer. For tickets call (361)249-0449, (361)288-9319, or (361)434-7750.     
 

Schofield moving up in the lightweight division

Schofield moving up in the lightweight division
Floyd Schofield W10 Alberto Mercado... Texas lightweight Floyd Schofield defeated Puerto Rico's Alberto Mercado by wide unanimous decision on Saturday on Golden Boy Promotions' show at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, California. All three judges scored the ten-round contest 100-89 in Schofield's favor, a verdict that improved his pro record to 13-0. Schofield is only twenty years old. Mercado is now 17-5-1, with three losses in his last four, although the other two losses were to world-class boxers. 
 
 
 

Erika Cruz completes training camp for unification bout

Erika Cruz completes training camp for unification bout
Last Saturday, WBA featherweight champion Erika Cruz completed her training camp before traveling to New York City, where she will face Amanda Serrano, who holds the WBO, IBF and WBC titles.  “Dinamita”, as Cruz is known, knows that she is facing a big challenge, in which she is an underdog going against a legend. However, the Mexican Cruz she is not afraid of that: “I know I am not a favorite. They think we are going to finish the ten rounds solely to get paid... but I trained to beat Amanda Serrano.” Cruz added: “I have been preparing for a fight of this magnitude for more than ten years and I will give my best, I want to repeat [Mexican boxing legend] Salvador Sanchez’s feat”.
 
Cruz agrees that Serrano handles the psychological aspect of boxing very well. However, she believes she is just as strong mentally. In her last training session, the WBA featherweight champion was surprised when her team sent a mariachi band to the gym to wish her luck. “I know this is the result of being a good person, a good friend, a good daughter. My people are enough for me to know that I have everything to win, they know that we have the necessary weapons to beat Amanda Serrano,” Cruz said.