Weigh-in report from New York City

Weigh-in report from New York City
Here are the weights for Top Rank's show from Madison Square Garden in New York City: 
• Terence Crawford 146.4 lbs vs. Amir Khan 146.6 lbs (for Crawford's WBO welterweight world title - 12 Rounds)
 
• Teofimo Lopez 135 lbs vs. Edis Tatli 134.8 lbs (12 Rounds)
 
• Shakur Stevenson 125.8 lbs vs. Christopher Diaz 125.6 lbs (10 Rounds)
 
• Felix Verdejo 135 lbs vs. Bryan Vasquez 135.4 lbs (Lightweight - 10 Rounds)
 
ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes (6 p.m. EST): 
 
• Carlos Adames 154 lbs vs. Frank Galarza 153.4 lbs (10 Rounds)
 
• Edgar Berlanga 163.8 lbs vs. Samir Barbosa 160 lbs (Middleweight - 8 Rounds)
 
• Larry Fryers 140 lbs vs. Dakota Polley 139.6 lbs (Junior welterweight - 6/4 Rounds)
 
• Vikas Krishan 154.2 lbs vs. Noah Kidd 153.2 lb (junior middleweight - 6 Rounds)
 
• Lawrence Newton 118.2 lbs vs. Jonathan Garza 119 lbs (Bantamweight - 6 Rounds)
 
 

Arizona card announced for May 23rd

Arizona card announced for May 23rd
On May 23rd at Casino Del Sol's outdoor amphitheater in Tucson, Arizona, local super featherweight Alfonso Olvera (11-5-2, 4 KOs) meets Carlos "Silk" Villa (14-3-1, 6 KOs) of San Antonio, Texas in a six rounder. Middleweights Nicholas Rhoads (5-0, 2 KOs) of Tucson and Eduardo Ayala (4-0, 1 KO) of Phoenix tangle in a four-rounder. In an eight-round bout, bantamweight Max "The Baby Face Assassin" Ornelas (12-0-1, 4 KOs) takes on Mexico's Alex "Xhino" Rangel (17-9, 4 KOs).  Female lightweight champion Ikram Kerwat (9-1, 5 KOs), fighting out of Frankfort, Germany,  is scheduled to fight, but no opponent has been named. 
 

Weigh-in report from San Antonio, Texas

Weigh-in report from San Antonio, Texas
Here are the weights for Saturday night's boxing show at the Scottish RiteTheatre in San Antonio, Texas. The six-round main event will feature a middleweight showdown between Luis Villareal (4-0-1, 2 KOs) and Jimmie Strickland (3-0, 1 KO).
 
Luis Villarreal 157 pounds vs. Jimmie Strickland 154.4
 
Hector Coronado 146 vs. Jesus Angulo 143
 
Gilbert Venegas 151 vs. Adam Ealoms 152
 
Edward Ortiz 163 vs. Jesus Rodriguez 168
 
Nicholas Calamaco 200 vs. Joshua Romero 220
 
Gregory Morales 121 vs. Cesar Castro 119
 
Robert Kevin Garcia 137 vs. David Frank Garcia 133
 
Dagoberto Nevarez 166 vs. Keith Miles 160
 

Future Hall of Famer gets big KO in ice hockey game

Future Hall of Famer gets big KO in ice hockey game

Future Hall of Famer gets big KO in ice hockey game

From the looks of things, Alex Ovechkin, one of the greatest hockey players of all time, would have made a helluva cruiserweight. Earlier this week, Ovechkin, who plays for the Washington Capitals, got into a fight with young Andrei Svechnikov of the Carolina Hurricanes. Both men wore helments with visors during the fight, but that did not stop Ovechkin from knocking Svechnikov out with three or four quick right hands. Svechnikov was "rag dolled" as they say in hockey.  He was helped off the ice and did not return to the game. He is being evaluated for a concussion under NHL protocol.

Otto Wallin says he too is ready and willing to fight Joshua

Otto Wallin says he too is ready and willing to fight Joshua
Otto Wallin (20-0, 13 KOs) says he is ready to challenge Anthony Joshua for the heavyweight title on June 1st in Madison Square Garden.  The undefeated Swedish heavyweight is confident he will follow in the footsteps of countryman Ingemar Johansson, who exactly 60 years ago, in June of 1959, took New York by storm when he knocked out Floyd Patterson to take the heavyweight title back to Sweden.  Wallin, 28, is in peak condition, having just fought last Saturday night on Showtime.  That fight ended in a no decision after the first-rround due to a cut above his opponent’s eye.  Otto is ready to return to the ring immediately.  "I feel great and am ready to go," said Wallin. "I would love for it to be against Anthony Joshua." "Ottomatic" has a history with Joshua.  They fought twice in the amateurs and then sparred 200 rounds as Joshua prepared for his title-winning fight against Charles Martin.  "Some of Joshua's people told me not to unpack my bags because I wouldn't be staying long," explained Wallin. He answered their doubts with his fists and spent seven weeks in camp as Joshua's chief sparring partner. 
 
"AJ came to learn that I'm nobody's sparring partner," Wallinsaid. "I think he felt that we would one day meet again - not in a spar but a fight.  I gave him problems. We were a real test for each other.  But Anthony has character and I believe he welcomes a challenge.  AJ, tell Eddie Hearn that Ottomatic is the guy you want facing you on June 1, not Michael Hunter."
 
No final decision has been made regarding Joshua's next opponent but Wallin stands ready to play the spoiler.
 
"I grew up knowing the legend of Johannson," Wallin noted. "He came to Yankee Stadium the underdog and made history, which all these years later has affected my life. Given the chance, I will do whatever it takes to become the next Swedish immortal."
 
 

Lou DiBella: Junior Fa ready, willing and able to fight Joshua on June 1st

Lou DiBella: Junior Fa ready, willing and able to fight Joshua on June 1st
As the search continues for a Jarrell replacement continues, undefeated heavyweight Junior Fa is throwing his name into the running, making it crystal clear that he's ready to step in and face Anthony Joshua on June 1st. Fa's promoter Lou DiBella told Boxingtalk, "Junior Fa called me to let me know that he's in camp with Deontay Wilder and he's ready. He's never felt better and he's in a situation where he feels that he's already working with one heavyweight champion and he would have no problem walking into the ring in June. He'd love to do it! I haven't been bothering Eddie (Hearn) with it because I imagine they're looking for somebody that has a higher US profile, but with Junior's undefeated record and his amateur pedigree with the wins over Joseph Parker (who didn't roll over when he fought Joshua), we just want to make it clear that if there is any interest, Junior would be available. I know Junior's chomping at the bit, but I know that his time will come soon enough. We're going to keep him active and his time will come. Junior thinks seven weeks is plenty of time for him to get ready, especially since he's in camp working with Deontay Wilder."
 
GL: If Fa did wind up getting Joshua, what do you think his chances of winning the fight are?
 
Lou DiBella: "I'm biased toward Fa. I signed him because I believe he's one of the best heavyweights in the world. I think at his best he's capable of giving Joshua a difficult fight. When you get a chance to fight for the heavyweight championships of the world you take the opportunity. If the chance was presented to Junior, whether or not I thought he was ready at this second, we would jump all over it."
 
GL: Do you think he's more skilled than Jarrell Miller?
 
LD: "I think the best of Junior is more skillful than Jarrell Miller, yes.'

Hrgovic books United States debut

Hrgovic books United States debut

Hrgovic books United States debut
Croatian heavyweight Filip Hrgović (7-0, 5 KOs plus additional World Series of Boxing pro bouts) will make his American debut against Greg Corbin on Saturday May 25th at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK. The Rio 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist will face Corbin on  show headlined by former world cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, who'll be making his heavyweight bow against Carlos Takam. Hrgović returns following a one-sided points victory over Kevin Johnson in his hometown of Zagreb. Corbin, from Dallas is 15-1 with 9 KOs andis coming off a defeat against former IBF champion Charles Martin.
 
“I am pleased that my promoter Team Sauerland has made an agreement with Matchroom and DAZN that will enable me to fight in America,” said Hrgović. “I believe DAZN is the future of boxing and I’m sure they will give their viewers the best match ups in the history of the Heavyweight division. I look forward to making my American debut on May 25th. I’m very excited because the entire heavyweight division is moving to the US and the US is the best place for big fights at the moment.”
 
“I think American fans will love my style because I'm not a classic distance fighter. I’m constantly trying to fight and throwing many punches. The fans can expect some excellent fights from me.”
 
Hrgovic continued, “my opponent Greg Corbin is very good, and I think he is an excellent choice for this stage of my career. I will prepare for this fight as if it were for a World title so I’m sure it will be a great match up. It will be a good test for me because he is more experienced than me, we can see that from his record, and I believe he will come in his best possible shape so it will be an exciting match for viewers around world watching on DAZN.”
 
“I’m currently in training camp in Miami. We always train like it’s a fight for the world title. Pedro Diaz insists on discipline and hard training. He refuses to work with fighters who are not 100% focused. We share the same opinion about that. That is why we are a good team, and I think we can achieve big things together.”
 
Corbin said, “I am looking forward to getting straight back in there on May 25th. This is a chance for me to redeem myself after the Martin fight. There were a lot of distractions for me in the build-up to that one, but this time I’m fully focused on Hrgovic. There’s a lot of hype around this guy with his amateur background and his start in the pros – let’s see if he can back it up.”
 
Hrgović’s promoter Nisse Sauerland said, “American fight fans are in for a treat. On May 25th they will witness a future star of the heavyweight division. Filip Hrgović is on a fast track for heavyweight gold.”
 
The show's lead promoter Eddie Hearn, chimed in, “Filip Hrgović is an incredibly talented fighter and this could be a breakthrough year for the young Croatian. His amateur pedigree is outstanding and I share Team Sauerland’s excitement about his future – he’s going to be a real player in the division." 

Gary Russell to make annual defense vs. Kiko Martinez

Gary Russell to make annual defense vs. Kiko Martinez
WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. will defend his title against former IBF 122-pound champion Kiko Martinez at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on May 18th. The main even that night will be WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder vs. Dominic Breazeale, with Showtime broadcasting the Premier Boxing Champions show. The show will also feature unbeaten junior welterweight Juan Heraldez against former junior lightweight title holder Argenis Mendez in a ten-round attraction. [Martinez is 39-8-2. His title reign ended in 2014 but he won the European title last year].
 
The 30-year-old Russell (29-1, 17 KOs), who was born in Washington, D.C. and now lives in Capitol Heights, Maryland, will make the fourth defense of his featherweight world title on May 18 and his second career appearance at Barclays Center. Russell won his title by knocking out Jhonny Gonzalez in 2015. After stopping Patrick Hyland and Oscar Escandon, he most recently defeated previously unbeaten Joseph Diaz Jr. last May. Russell, who is trained by his father, Gary, Sr., is part of a boxing family. Two of his younger brothers, Gary Antonio and Gary Antuanne, are currently unbeaten professionals.
 
"I expect to send a message to everyone in or near my division that I’m a force to be reckoned with,” said Russell. “I want to unify against Leo Santa Cruz and I’m going to do what I have to do to get there. I’m never going to take any opponent lightly and right now, it’s my job to take care of Kiko Martinez before I worry about anything else. On May 18 you should expect to see excitement, punching power, hand speed, fast combinations and a great level of boxing IQ. I’m the best in boxing today and I prove that every time I get in the ring.''
 
"Gary Russell Jr. is one of the most skilled fighters in the sport and he'll look to stake his spot atop the featherweight division on May 18 against the always exciting former champion Kiko Martinez," said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. "The event will also feature a battle between a rising contender in the 140-pound division in Juan Heraldez going up against one of the division's toughest and most active contenders in Argenis Mendez. This is truly going to be an electric night leading up to heavyweight champion of the world Deontay Wilder in the main event." 
 
“Preceding the night’s main attraction will be Gary Russell Jr. defending his title against a tough and experienced Kiko Martinez, making for a battle that is sure to bring excitement to the fans, plus Mayweather Promotions’ young prospect Juan Heraldez will open the telecast looking to put on a show, as he continues to elevate his career to new heights,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “I’m confident that he will execute his game plan impressively and showcase his talent against a seasoned and tested Argenis Mendez, who has been in the ring with some of the top guys in the super lightweight division. The fans at Barclays and those tuning in on SHOWTIME will see a night of non-stop action come May 18.”
 
Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com and barclayscenter.com, Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP. The Heraldez vs. Mendez fight is co-promoted with Mayweather Promotions. 
 
A native of Comunidad Valenciana, Spain, Martinez (39-8-2, 28 KOs) has faced the best names in and around the featherweight division throughout his career. He won a super bantamweight world title in 2013 by stopping Jhonatan Romero and has faced the likes of Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton, Josh Warrington and Scott Quigg. The 33-year-old is unbeaten in his last four contests, including most recently defeating Marc Vidal for a European featherweight title in October. 
 
“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity to win another world title and I’m thankful and excited for May 18,” said Martinez. “Gary Russell Jr is in for a rude awakening. I have a lot of experience and I feel great at featherweight. There will be nothing better than celebrating my 50th fight with a new world title.”
 
The undefeated Heraldez (16-0, 10 KOs) continued to rise up the rankings in 2019 when he knocked out Eddie Ramirez in their February showdown. The 28-year-old from Las Vegas earned a decision victory over Kevin Watts and a stoppage of Maynard Allison in 2018. That followed up a unanimous decision victory over then unbeaten prospect Jose Miguel Borrego in his first 10-round bout in August 2017 on the Mayweather vs. McGregor undercard.
 
“I’m one of the best super lightweights in the world and I’m going to show it again on May 18th,” said Heraldez. “They keep lining them up and I’ll keep knocking them down. Mendez is good, veteran opposition, but I’m going to show I’m on a different level. This is a great opportunity to once again perform on a big stage and I’m going to take full advantage and steal the show.”
 
Mendez (25-5-2, 12 KOs) most recently fought to a competitive split-draw against Anthony Peterson in March, running his unbeaten streak up to three fights. The 32-year-old defeated Eddie Ramirez and Ivan Redkach in back-to-back fights after losses to Robert Easter Jr. and Luke Campbell. Originally from San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic and now living in Brooklyn, N.Y, Mendez won the IBF super featherweight title with a knockout victory over Juan Carlos Salgado in 2013.
 
“This fight is do or die for me to become champion again,” said Mendez. “Anthony Peterson ran from me in our fight in March, so if Heraldez does that on May 18, I will be better prepared. If he stands and fights with me, I feel strongly that I will dominate him and make a statement to everyone that I’m an elite 140-pound fighter.”
 

Easter spending Easter getting ready for Barthelemy

Easter spending Easter getting ready for Barthelemy
Former IBF lightweight champion Robert “E-Bunny” Easter Jr. hosted a media day in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio Thursday. He was joined by the Easter Bunny ahead of Sunday’s holiday. Easter will face former two-division champion Rances Barthelemy for the vacant WBA regular lightweight title (Vasyl Lomachenko is the WBA oghtweight super champion) on Saturday, April 27th. Showtime will broadcast Barthelemy-Easter from The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.  Easter discussed his upcoming matchup before posing for pictures with the Easter Bunny. Here is what Easter had to say Thursday:
 
“I’ve put in a lot of hard work this training camp. We’ve been grinding every day. We went hard on the strength and conditioning, I’ve been swimming and doing everything possible to be in top shape.
 
“Most importantly me and my dad have been getting back on track. We had a little break after the last fight but now we’ve both got our timing down and ready for April 27.
 
“I train for every fight like it’s a big fight. This time, it really is a big fight. I train hard for every fight, no exceptions.
 
“I expect Rances to come out and fight. He’s an awkward, crafty fighter who likes to put up a fight. It’s not really about what I expect from him though, it’s about what I’m going to do in there. It’s going to be my tempo.
 
“It’s big for me to fight for a title and it’s something I put myself in position for with the way I’ve always fought. If I don’t get the knockout, I’m going to beat him down for 12 rounds. 
 
“I’ve always been a tall guy for this division and I’m ready to show everyone that I’m still trouble for anyone out there.
 
“I got the ‘Bunny’ nickname from my dad. Because both of our last names are Easter, you just cut it down to E-Bunny and that’s me. I’m excited to spend a little time not training on Easter Sunday with my family.”
 

Adrian Granados looks to shed the B-Side label this weekend

Adrian Granados looks to shed the B-Side label this weekend

Adrian Granados looks to shed the B-Side label this weekend
The life of a B-side fighter presupposes a certain degree of fatalism. Every now and again, he may surprise the oddsmakers and come up with the occasional upset. But, for the most part, he is counted on to play the specific role consigned to him by the powers that be. His job is not to win so much as it is to show up on fight night in shape and ready to put up an honest effort against the house fighter, the A-side. He understands, implicitly at the very least, that the deck is stacked against him. Welterweight Adrian Granados would know, as he has spent the past four years desperately trying to break out of the B-side mold.
 
“I’m the B-side. I’m always the B-side,” Granados quipped. “ But I don’t think of myself like that. Pretty much, honestly, I’m just tired of that. I appreciate the respect I get and that I’m a tough opponent and that I’ll give anybody problems, but I’m tired of that talk. It’s time to cash in on a big win.” Granados gets his chance against Danny Garcia this Saturday in a twelve-round welterweight main event at the Dignity Health and Sports Park in Carson, California on PBC on Fox.
 
The Garcia fight marks the third time Granados, a native of the Chicago suburb of Berwyn, Illinois, will face a top welterweight. His previous two times were a narrow, split decision loss to Adrien Broner in 2016 and a 2017 unanimous decision defeat at the hands of current WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter.
 
So, Granados has been part of a few marquee fights. But as he explains, part of the reality of being the B-side is that not only are you expected to lose but you are, on a systematic level, put at a disadvantage. “I’ve gotten some opportunities now, I’m not going to lie, but they were opportunities that had a lot going against me,” Granados said. “I fought Broner in his hometown and he had two Ohio judges. I know I won that fight and the majority of the public feels like I won that fight. I fought Shawn Porter and I know they were already talking about Porter’s next fight. I will take the ‘L,’ for that one, but I did Porter have on his bicycle and running and trying to survive there at the end. So I know I went into both fights already as the loser. I knew I had to knock those guys out and those are top level opponents.”
 
In order to start doing that, Granados first needed to look within. “I know that I’m not far off but there are some changes I had to make in training and now I’m stepping it up and I’m ready to get the win now,” said Granados, who began training out of Buddy McGirt’s gym in Northridge, California last year. “I’m tired of being known as the gatekeeper or an opponent, or a B-side fighter.”
 
To have a clearer idea of Granados’ frustrations, one must go back to November 2015 in Quebec City, when he matched up with the then hot, hard-hitting contender Amir Imam. Imam was being positioned by his promoter, Don King, to fight the WBC 140-pound champion Viktor Postol.
 
Granados, who was then a promotional free agent with two losses on his record, was supposed to be a stepping stone. He appeared to be well on his way to becoming one when Imam knocked him down in the first round. Granados, however, dug deep and applied torrid pressure en route to a stunning eighth-round TKO win.
 
“Man, that was the biggest moment of my career,” Granados recalled. “That’s kind of what put me on the map and put an alert to the 140-pound division.”
 
But the euphoria did not last long. “Ever since that fight, though, I never got another opportunity (at 140),” he said with a sigh. “It’s just politics and promoters.”
 
As Granados describes it, King had virtually stonewalled his career. King wanted to pursue a rematch, but Granados did not see the point. He wanted to move on. In fact, he had a contract in his hands to face Ruslan Provodnikov next, that is, until King, “through the dark side of boxing, pulled some strings and he actually got me out of that fight.” Instead, it would be John Molina who would go on to face (and defeat) Provodnikov.
 
“I was very upset about that,” said Granados, “Because that was a fight that I feel like I could have beat both those guys. But I was blacklisted and couldn’t get an opportunity.”
 
Granados had also inquired with the World Boxing Super Series about joining their inaugural 140-pound tournament, but they had already filled out their bracket.
 
“Pretty much after that I was on ice against all the 140 pounders, and I still am,” said Granados. “I still haven’t gotten my opportunity at 140.”  
 
Eventually, Granados would find the right people to guide him. He linked up with Journeyman Management and signed a promotional deal with Tom Brown of TGB Promotions. The first fight offered was Broner, but, of course, there was a caveat: Granados would have to move up to welterweight. Take it or leave it.
 
“I can never get fights at my weight class,” Granados said. “I always gotta take these fights at 147. The only opportunities were at welterweight. That’s why I got an extra chip on my shoulder for the Garcia fight. This fight I got a lot to prove. I have to take it out of the judges’ hands. If it’s a close fight I’ll probably get robbed or it’ll be another controversial decision.”
 
Such is life as the B-side. But Granados is not looking for pity, excuses or any more backhanded compliments. After a brief dip back to 140 last summer to face former lightweight champion Javier Fortuna; a fight cut short and ruled a no contest when Fortuna fell out of the ring in the fourth round, Granados is now ready to take on Garcia—and perhaps the other top welterweights—with renewed resolve.
 
“I know I can compete at 147,” Granados said. “I’ve been at this weight a couple of years and I feel like my body has graduated to a welterweight now. I feel like it’s going to show in this fight, as a full-fledged welterweight. I believe I’m as good as anybody out there in the world.”
 
He just needs to start winning.
 
--Written by Sean Nam
 
 
 

Days before a big fight, Andy Ruiz looks back

Days before a big fight, Andy Ruiz looks back
When heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr. steps into the ring against Alexander Dimitrenko  (41-4, 26 KOs) on April 20th, he’ll be sporting a new tattoo across his heavyweight back. Done at a no-frills tattoo parlor where décor is reserved for the skin of their clientele, it’s a message that was etched in his mind: “Victorious.” That’s Ruiz’s goal when he faces Dimitrenko Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. He'll fight on a card headlined by a welterweight match between former two-division world champion Danny Garcia vs. Adrian Granados, live on Fox and Fox Deportes. While Ruiz, 31-1 (20 KOs), strives to become heavyweight champion of the world, he’s already a winner in life. Born in Imperial, California, to Mexican immigrants, he was given a name that means warrior. Ruiz was raised in a churchgoing home with a nuclear family, a childhood that he described as neither poor nor rich. Nonetheless, he encountered multiple forks in the road. At one of those intersections of life he decided, between swings of a hammer, to become a professional boxer.
 
Imperial is a flat city with lots of beige walls and thirsty lawns. Located roughly thirty minutes from Mexicali, Mexico, this cordial city, where everyone either knows you or someone in your family, suffers from all the trappings of a border town. It’s located almost dead-center between Los Angeles and Phoenix; used as a bridge by drug smugglers and human traffickers on their way to the big cities.
 
Imperial is a relatively low-crime area, but idle time and bored youths is a recipe for trouble. “There’s lots of gangbangers near here,” Ruiz said of his hometown.
 
Around the time Ruiz was kicked out of high school for fighting, ICE, and its Homeland Security Investigations unit, initiated Operation Community Shield to combat the growth of street gangs. Imperial County was one of the first areas of focus. Ruiz, however, didn’t need any intervention from the guys in the navy-blue windbreakers. His father set him straight.
 
The elder Ruiz, a construction worker who eventually started his own business flipping homes, didn’t allow his son to mope around the streets when he wasn’t in school. He brought him to work and put a hammer in his hand. Ruiz’s stint on the construction sites didn’t last, but it was long enough for him to have learned the importance of good foundations and strong support.
 
“My father and I used to argue,” Ruiz recalled. “Because all I was thinking about was boxing.” One of those arguments ended with an ultimatum. Work or box. Choose one and do it right. Ruiz put down the hammer and headed south.
 
On the inside of his right bicep, visible when he flexes, are the words “Hecho En Mexico.” Fans of those gloves, known as “puncher’s gloves,” might be familiar with the phrase. It means made in Mexico and though Ruiz was born on the north side of that long line in the sand - this most recent line, drawn in 1848 – his roots are 100 percent La Raza.
 
Ruiz’s grandfather owned a boxing gym in Mexicali, the same gym Jorge “Maromero” Paez fought out of. It was in Mexico where Ruiz embarked on an amateur career that, over the years, saw him go 100-5.
 
When the 2008 Olympics neared, Ruiz, still residing in Mexico at the time, made a push to represent the country in the Beijing games. According to Mexican law, you can qualify for the national team if your parents were born there. But Ruiz just missed out on wearing the green jump suit in Beijing, losing a close decision in Guatemala during the qualifying rounds.
 
About an hour away from Guatemala City, during certain times of the rain season, there’s a river that flows one way on one side and, the opposite way on the other side. Like that river, Ruiz is equally as comfortable going and coming between nations, playing Banda music in his Porsche while driving along Main Street, or hanging on Avenida La Reforma, listening to the latest rap flows. “Man, I really liked Nipsey Hussle,” he said of the recently slain hip hop star.
 
Ruiz insists he isn’t looking past the experienced, 6-foot-7 Dimitrenko from Russia. A win Saturday night brings him closer to his goal of being champion—the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent. “I came closer than any of the others,” Ruiz said of his 2016 points loss to Joseph Parker where one judge scored it a draw and Parker spent the following three days sipping his meals through a straw. “I have to do better next time.”
 
But Ruiz represents much more than Mexico or California or the United States. In this era of chiseled athletes, he’s the kid on the block that always played catcher; he’s the son helping his father load lumber onto the back of the family’s truck; he’s the father fighting to keep “cheerios in my babies’ bowls.”
 
“I have to do better,” Ruiz repeated.

Ex-British champ Langford moving up to super middle

Ex-British champ Langford moving up to super middle
Former British middleweight champion Tommy Langford is moving up in weight but he thinks his Wembley opponent Lerrone Richards (11-0) is the one with somethng to prove when the pair collide for the vacant Commonwealth super middleweight title at the SSE Arena on April 27th. Langford (21-3) is on the rebuild, having moved up in weight after twice coming up short on the cards in two epic title battles with Jason Welborn. His only other setback came when he challenged for the WBO Interim world middleweight title against Avtandil Khurtsidze, who was later imprizoned for organised criminal activity in New York.
 
The 29-year-old, who took up a day job as an adult trainee electrician when remaining a full-time athlete was no long viable, is now thrilled to be back in the title picture after suspecting he wouldn’t fit the bill as an ideal opponent.
 
He was wrong on that score and Commonwealth success would near enough restore his previous standing at the higher weight. “Of course it does and I really didn’t think an opportunity would come this fast for me, having moved up in weight,” he confessed.” I thought I would kind of be kept out in the dark for quite a while because I don’t see that anybody would really pick me as an opponent.
 
Even in the fights I lost – and I really don’t believe I lost to Jason Welborn, they were fights of the year – he had the fight of his life, while the one that knocked me out was a juiced up little Georgian anyway. “Obviously I have been thrown this chance and it is an absolutely huge opportunity and I am really grateful to [promoters] Frank and Francis (Warren) for giving it to me.”
 
While Langford doesn’t consider himself anyone’s first pick on the matchmaker’s menu, much the same could be said for Richards, for whom very few have been prepared to form an orderly queue to face. “I seem to keep getting people like this that people don’t really want to fight and I say yes,” pointed out the Tom Chaney-trained Langford. “I don’t know what the crack is with Lerrone, who I have sparred and he is a very slick southpaw, but he has not really fought anybody. Is that through not wanting the fights or more that nobody wants to fight him?
 
“It is a big, big step up for him and we’ll find out what he’s really got,” added Langford, who does concede that Richards could well be a fully paid up member of the "who needs him" club. “He is really, isn’t he? He is an awkward southpaw, not a big ticket seller, hasn’t been knocking people out and is not particularly exciting for TV viewers. So who really wants to fight Lerrone? You don’t think ‘I’ll pick him’, but he is a very good operator and I wouldn’t be daft and say he isn’t. But there is a difference between the sparring arena and the fight arena and he’s not fought at championship level or remotely near the level I have fought at.”
 
Daniel Dubois v. Richard Lartey tops the bill at the SSE Arena, Wembley on April 27th on a card that also includes the Commonwealth super middleweight title fight between Lerrone Richards and Tommy Langford, as well as the Southern Area super middleweight title clash between Zak Chelli and Jimmy Smith.  

Mayweather Promotions joins Box Fan Expo

Mayweather Promotions joins Box Fan Expo

Mayweather Promotions joins Box Fan Expo
Mayweather Promotions will host a fighter meet-and-greet at this year's 5th Annual Box Fan Expo hosted at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Boxing Expo is scheduled to take place during Cinco de Mayo weekend on Saturday May 4th, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mayweather Promotions will make its fourth appearance at this year's Expo. Last year saw thousands of fans  greeted by several Mayweather Promotions' fighters including Ronald Gavril, Andrew Tabiti, Ava Knight, Sharif Bogere, Lionell Thompson, Angelo Leo, Andres Cortes, Rolando Romero, Cameron Krael, Kevin Newman, Sanjarbek Rakhmahnov and Lanell Bellows.
 
Mayweather Promotions joins Anthony Dirrell, Julio Cesar Chavez, Riddick Bowe, Mikey Garcia, Errol Spence Jr., Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, Vinny Paz, Devin Haney, Earnie Shavers, Al Bernstein, Michael Spinks, Erik Morales, James Toney and Jessie Vargas as boxing personalities who have made a commitment to this year's Box Fan Expo
 
Based in the entertainment capital of the world (Las Vegas), Mayweather Promotions was established in 2007 by undefeated boxing icon Floyd "Money" Mayweather.  The evolution of Mayweather Promotions was born out of  Mayweather's unprecedented success in the sport. Shortly after its formation in 2007, the organization built a solid foundation by adding elite fighters and trainers to the company's roster. With a talented stable of fighters, trainers, and staff, Mayweather Promotions has blazed its own trail to unprecedented financial success and has positioned itself as the past, present, and future of sports & entertainment.
 
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 interactions such as autograph and photos sessions, 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". 
 
Box Fan Expo has been a huge success with fans and boxing industry people. 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 their brand to fans and the boxing industry.
 
For more information visit:  www.boxfanexpo.com or www.mayweatherpromotions.com , 
 

Boxingtalk's Crawford-Khan Predictions

Boxingtalk's Crawford-Khan Predictions
G. Leon: Terence Crawford by TKO in 9 or less. Amir Khan is an excellent fighter who will likely end up in the Hall Of Fame, but he's up against it in this one. I see Crawford taking a few rounds to get humming and Khan having some early success, but by round six, Crawford will have him all figured out and a left hand-right hook combination will put him away before the tenth. I will be surprised (not shocked) if Khan made it to the final bell. 
 
Scott Shaffer: Crawford by KO4. Sorry, I think Khan is well past his prime and has no shot here. He looked terrible in his last fight, in which he labored mightily over twelve rounds against Samuel Vargas. Crawford is superstar in his prime. The only reason I will not predict a TKO1 like my friend Ivan Montiel did below is that Crawford is not overly aggressive in the early rounds, and always intelligently assesses his opponent before extending himself for the stoppage. I think that process takes Crawford three rounds on Saturday and he ends it in four. 
 
Doveed Linder: Crawford by unanimous decision. Because Khan has shown a shaky chin in the past, a lot of people are expecting him to get stopped.  This is Crawford's time and I have no doubt that he'll win, but he likes to break his opponents down, not time them for the one big punch.  Khan can box, and I can see his speed and movement giving Crawford problems early on.  Not to mention, Khan will be in great shape.  But Crawford will figure him out and sweep the fight down the stretch.
 
Ivan Montiel: Crawford TKO1. No disrespect to Khan but I see Crawford knocking out Khan the same way Briedis Prescott did in 2008. Khan has not performed very well recently, including getting KO'd by Canelo Alvarez in 2016.
 
Justin Hackman: Crawford TKO10: Boxing is thriving in the post Mayweather-Pacquiao era, thanks to "special" fighters such as Vasyl Lomachenko, Errol Spence, Saul Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin and of course, Crawford, who is arguably the most skilled of them all.  How can you ever pick against a guy like that?  However, in one of my many conversations with trainer Joe Goossen, he made the point that throughout history, all special fighters look unbeatable until they're not.  Great fighters are indeed capable of beating special fighters--for every Shane Mosley, there's a Vernon Forrest.  For every Bernard Hopkins, there's a Jermain Taylor.  For every Mike Tyson, there's an Evander Holyfield.  Could Khan be this man for Terence Crawford?  History has shown us that it's possible.  But more times than not, the special fighters will find a way to beat the great fighter.  If great fighters are poison, then special fighters are the antidote.  Pound-for-pound fighters are not only skilled in their personal offensive and defensive arsenal, they are masters at disarming and nullifying their opponents' strengths, just like an antidote.  Khan's poison will not be enough to hinder Crawford's precision, timing, accuracy and ability to shift styles.  Crawford might very well face adversity especially early in this fight, but it will end with a TKO for Crawford in round ten.

Gassiev joins the heavyweight division

Gassiev joins the heavyweight division
Former cruiserweight champion Murat Gassiev has signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing USA, Ural Boxing Promotion and Warriors Boxing – and will move up to heavyweight as he prepares to fight on DAZN. The 25 year-old is moving up from cruiserweight where he landed the IBF world title in June 2016 after beating Denis Lebedev in Moscow, defending it with a third-round KO of Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in New Jersey in December 2017 in the quarter-final of the World Boxing Super Series and then adding the WBA crown with a dramatic final-round stoppage of Yunier Dorticos in February 2018. That victory led Gassiev to a final with Usyk in a grand unification battle in Moscow which the Ukrainian won over the distance, and Gassiev has mirrored moves made by Usyk, in teaming up promotionally with Matchroom Boxing USA and with streaming giant DAZN as his US broadcast platform.
 
“I am very happy to announce the beginning of cooperation between my promoters, Ural and Warriors with Matchroom Boxing USA and DAZN,” said Gassiev. “I am confident that this cooperation will bring great results. I want to make all my fans around the world happy and realize my full potential in the exciting heavyweight division.”
 
“I’m delighted to welcome Murat to the team,” said Matchroom's Eddie Hearn. “Having unified the division at cruiserweight, I feel Murat is a very exciting addition to the heavyweight division and what a fantastic time to join it. We have lots of fights ready made for him and I can’t wait to see him fighting at heavyweight very soon.”
 

Jarrell Miller issues public statement on positive PED test

Jarrell Miller issues public statement on positive PED test

Jarrell Miller issues public statement on positive PED test
Through his publicist Alvina Alston, heavyweight contender Jarrell Miller released the following statement about his positive test for a banned performance enhancing substance ahead of a scheduled, but now in-doubt June 1st heavyweight title challenge vs. Anthony Joshua: "I want to thank all of my supporters who have stood by me since day one and especially during this extremely difficult time. I have not been tuned in to social media and any other media outlets to focus and channel all of my energies into working hard with no distractions. I am absolutely devastated upon hearing the news my boxing license has been revoked in New York state and I will be vigorously appealing this decision. I have NEVER knowingly taken any banned substance and when I found out the news, I was totally shocked. My team and I stand for integrity, decency and honesty and together we will stand to fight this with everything we have. This was a voluntarily test that I was very happy to do and these results came just one week after another voluntarily test that I had taken which was completely clean. I refuse to just lie down and let my dream be taken away from me when I know in my heart that I’ve done nothing wrong. Fifteen years of hard work and I’m WARRIOR .. I don’t need a banned substance. Remember don’t believe everything you hear and see. The facts will prevail and I shall be vindicate. I don’t have anything to hide and the truth will make itself known."
 
 
 
 

DiBella Entertainment signs O'Shaquie Foster

DiBella Entertainment signs O'Shaquie Foster
DiBella Entertainment has signed super featherweight O'Shaquie Foster (15-2, 9 KOs) of Houston to a long-term promotional agreement. Foster is managed by Keith Mills and trained by Bobby Benton in his hometown.  The 25-year-old Foster was victorious in all three of his starts in 2018, highlighted by a win over then-undefeated Jon Fernandez in September on ShoBox.  Before turning pro in 2012, Foster was an accomplished amateur, compiling a record of 94-12. He was a five-time Ringside National Champion, a two-time National Junior Golden Gloves Champion, a 2011 Houston Golden Gloves Champion, a 2010 PAL National Champion, and a participant in the 2012 Olympic Trials.
 
"I want to thank DiBella Entertainment for giving me this opportunity," said Foster. "Lou DiBella is one of the biggest promoters out there and will definitely put me on the path toward accomplishing my dreams of becoming a world champion. Sometimes, on the business side of boxing, promoters and fighters are aligned with different TV networks making it difficult to secure the biggest fights that the fans want to see. What I respect most about DiBella is that he's willing to make the best fights when available. He also keeps his fighters busy and that's big for me. I want to fight all the top guys and show the fans that I'm the best pure boxer out there. My goal is to unify and win world titles in multiple divisions."
 
DiBella said, "I've been impressed with O'Shaquie for a few years, but his victory against Jon Fernandez showed that he has all the attributes of a title contender and a future world champion. He has a great trainer in Bobby Benton, who also works with Regis Prograis, and I look forward to working with O'Shaquie and his manager Keith Mills and providing them with the biggest opportunities toward a world title shot."
 
Foster's manager Keith Mills said, "We are very excited about signing with DiBella Entertainment, the best promoter for O'Shaquie. When we target ranked fighters signed to other promotions, we know there is a high possibility that those fights will happen, Toward the end of 2017, O'Shaquie moved to Houston to focus on boxing and escape certain elements. He is now under the tutelage of trainer Bobby Benton, who is an extremely talented head coach, mentor, and tactician. Bobby has been a major factor in Foster's success. We also have Aaron Navarro, who is recognized as one of the best cutmen in boxing, body attack strategist and a great head coach in his own right. I've always felt that when O'Shaquie is fully focused, he is unstoppable. His focus was very evident these past two years when he came in as the B-side on multiple fight cards and dominated. We had a great year in 2018 and now Foster has the platform to continue that momentum and push his boxing ability to the limit to become a world champion."
 

David Lemieux injures hand, withdraws from fight

David Lemieux injures hand, withdraws from fight
A hand injury has forced David Lemieux (40-4, 34 KOs) to withdraw from his 168-pound debut against London's John "The Gorilla" Ryder (27-4, 15 KOs). Lemieux-Ryder was set for May 4th at Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena as the chief support of Saul "Canelo" Alvarez's world middleweight title defense against Daniel Jacobs. Lemieux injured his right hand during a sparring session, and his doctor has recommended that he rest for eight weeks before returning to the gym.  Details for a replacement bout will be announced shortly. Alvarez-Jacobs will continue as planned on Saturday, May 4th.
 
Lemieux, a 30-year-old native of Montreal, Canada, is disappointed at his injury, but promises to return stronger than ever.  ''Training camp was going really great," said David Lemieux."I felt in tremendous shape, the strongest I'd ever felt in my entire career. But, I will be back soon. Hopefully, the fans will understand. I promise I will make it up to them once I'm healed."
 
Lemieux's manager, Camille Estephan, said,  "I'm very disappointed since he was in the best shape of his life both in the gym and in the ring. We will take the time to heal his hand and get right back in the chase for a world title."
 
"It's very unfortunate that David Lemieux's return has been postponed," said Eric Gomez, President of Golden Boy. "But this is boxing, and these things happen. We wish David a speedy recovery and look forward to his return, so he can make big waves at 168 pounds."

Introducing Yurik Mamedov, the Fighting Pride of the Yazidis

Introducing Yurik Mamedov, the Fighting Pride of the Yazidis

Introducing Yurik Mamedov, the Fighting Pride of the Yazidis

Yurik Mamedov is a welterweight with an 11-1 record fighting out of New York City. Although he was born in Russia, Mamedov is an ethnic Yazidi, a religious minority based in Iraq. Because the Yazidis have resisted attempts to forcibly convert them to Islam, they are currently being brutally persecuted by Isis. Mamedov bills himself as the fighting pride of the Yazidis and wants desparately to build a successful ring career and then leverage that success to help the Yazidi people. Mamedov discussed his efforts with Boxingtalk's Justin Hackman and here is what he had to say:  

Justin Hackman: Greetings, Yurik.  Tell me a bit about your Yazidi (sometimes spelled Yezidi) heritage and the struggle your people are currently enduring.
 
Yurik Mamedov: The Yazidi people are a community with no country.  We live in Armenia, Iraq, Turkey, Russia, Germany and of course the United States.  My parents moved from Iraq, which is the main hub or holy land for the Yazidi, to Armenia which is where I grew up.  Then I moved to the States in 2012.  The Yazidi are not Muslim.  So Isis pushes forces them all to convert against their will, or they will be killed.  I have family friends that have been killed or become sex slaves.  The daughter in this family has been kidnapped and we are unclear what has happened to her at this point.  We don’t know where she is, or if she is alive or dead.  That is my mission, to find her.  It could’ve been my sister.  And this is happening to countless families every day.  The old ladies are killed, and the young women are taken and used as sex slaves.  The Isis soldiers that kill the most Yazidis are given the sex slaves as a reward.  It is very important for me to bring awareness of this genocide through boxing. 
 
JH: What steps are you taking to bring awareness to this terrible situation?
 
YM: I’m trying to be motivation for the kids who have nothing – to show them that just because you are Yazidi, and people are against you, you can still do something with your life.  I send clothing to Iraq, Syria and Greece.  In becoming a professional boxer, they view me as a sort of idol.  So it is a special thing for them to receive gifts, even something as simple as a t-shirt.  I am also speaking at schools, at boxing gyms, in order to motivate kids and be their support.
 
JH: You’ve been living in New York since 2012.  Do you enjoy it?
 
YM: The thing about New York is it gave me the opportunity to do what I’m doing today.  No matter who you are, you will have the opportunity to succeed with hard work.  I am lucky to be in New York City.  But the fact that I am one of the lucky ones, I still remain sad inside because I am so emotionally invested in the pain and suffering of my Yazidi people; their struggle is my motivation.  Every bit of suffering over there drives me crazy.  I am trying to help in every way I can.  I fight for more than personal glory.  I can climb a mountain but what happens when I’m the only one celebrating at the top?  I desire to help people along the way so we can all celebrate together.
 
JH: Tell me a bit about your professional boxing career to this point.
 
YM: I turned professional at the end of 2015.  I am just staying busy all the time, getting as many fights as I can.  I had a fight just two weeks ago in Atlantic City, and now we’re looking at fighting again in May or June.
 
JH: You have one blemish on your record, a split decision loss to Marcus Beckford in December of 2017.  Was bouncing back from this your biggest challenge so far?
 
YM: Bouncing back was not so much a challenge, but more a learning experience.  I believe I won.  We got robbed in his hometown.  That pushed me even more because in my mind, I was winning it easy.  The mistake I made was to not push as hard as I could’ve late in the fight.  I took it easy in the final few rounds.  That was a big mistake on my part.  I have learned that lesson and I will not do it again.  In my mind though, there wasn’t even a second I felt I was losing—just a bad night..
 
JH: What are you motivated to achieve in 2019 and beyond?
 
YM: The only reason I’m in boxing is to be a world champion.  When I’m a world champion, I will have a bigger voice for the people that need me.  It’s more about just boxing for me.  If it wasn’t for what the Yazidi people are going through, I wouldn’t be as passionate about boxing.  Later this year I’d like to be ranked high enough to challenge for a title; I’d like to fight someone significant.
 
JH: Who do you like in the Terence Crawford - Amir Khan fight?
 
YM: Crawford is number one pound-for-pound in my view.  Khan is a GREAT four-round fighter.  He can beat anyone in a four-round fight.  If he can do to Crawford what he did to Canelo Alvarez for the first few rounds, he can win this fight.  But we all know the problem for Khan is the chin.  Crawford’s ability to shift styles, and box with variety is what I believe will get Crawford the late-round knockout.  The timing and adjustments, once he’s got you, you’re done.  Crawford will take him out.  
 
JH: Thoughts in closing, Yurik?
 
YM: Right now I’m considered the fighting pride of the Yazidi people and that means everything to me.  Boxing is my platform to bring awareness.  The pain and suffering of the Yazidi people is all the motivation I need.  I want to become a world champion, not only because I love boxing, but because I am passionate about bringing attention to the Yazidi people on the highest level.  Anyone who doesn’t know about the Yazidi, I want them to Google it, and understand what we’re going through.
 
Boxingtalk encourages all our readers to learn about Yurik’s people who are facing genocide in Iraq as you read this.  To learn more about the Yazidi people, visit: http://www.yeziditruth.org/
 
To donate to the Free Yezidi Foundation, visit their site: https://www.freeyezidi.org/
 
 

Austin Trout Not Playing, plans to stop Gausha in late rounds

Austin Trout Not Playing, plans to stop Gausha in late rounds
Greg Leon: Your bout with Terrell Gausha [21-1] was just announced for May 25th. When did training camp start? Austin Trout: "Shortly before they made the announcement we shifted it into gear, maybe a week, a week and a half ago. I'm going to be going to Vegas on Tuesday to work with Robert Garcia and Floyd Mayweather Sr so that will be another gear that I'm going to be shifting in." GL: What do you think about Gausha as a fighter? What do you think about the style match-uo? AT: "I think it's a good style match-up for myself. He's going to play into my strengths. I don't want to get too much into how our styles will mesh or what I'm going to do to him, but it's a good fight for me and it's a fight that's going to make me look good."
 
GL: In our recent interviews, you've made it clear that you were up against it with the odds stacked against you in unfavorable circumstances with Jarrett Hurd and Jermell Charlo. Do you feel that way going into this fight? 
 
AT: "I always feel like my back's against the wall. I feel like the size isn't going to hurt me in this fight like it did with Charlo and Hurd. It's going to feel good to fight somebody my size."
 
GL: Other than victory is there a prediction?
 
AT: "I don't like saying I'm going to get a knockout or be looking or a knockout, but I think I'm going to stop him in the late rounds...like the tenth."
 
GL: Is your plan for this to be your coming out party to show people that you're still here and able to compete at the highest level?
 
AT: "Absolutely. Ain't no half stepping. After another year layoff I'm jumping in there with an Olympian who has only been beaten once. This is a fight I need to win if I want to stay in the game."
 
GL: In his biggest fight to date he seemed to be a bit overwhelmed by Lara. Do you think he learned from that and will be a better fighter when you see him?
 
AT: "I'm sure he learned from that and I'm not preparing for an underwhelmed Terrell Gausha, but I do plan to overwhelm him with my skill and work level."
 
GL: Who do you like in Hurd-Williams?
 
AT: "I like Hurd. He's just a big ass tank and he can really let those hands go. His stamina is crazy and unless the weight has gotten to him, I like Hurd in that fight."
 
GL: What about the Harrison-Charlo rematch?
 
AT: "I like Harrison, I don't think Charlo is going to be able to make the adjustments he needs to make and I think Harrison is going to be able to improve on what he did last time. I think Harrison just might have his number."
 
GL: What do you want a victory over Gausha to lead to?
 
AT: "A title shot of course. If not a bigger fight."
 
GL: Bigger and better things. 
 
AT: "That's right. And I'm not giving up on my goal to get to 147 so for me this is just a stop on my way there. I'll let you know who I want when I get there."
 
GL: What do you consider your biggest advantage going into this fight with Gausha?
 
AT: "My footwork."
 
GL: What about your experience?
 
AT: "I don't need to rely on my experience and I don't want to have to rely on my experience. He's a technical fighter, but I'm planning to win by banking on the things that are physical. I think physically I'm the better fighter. I'm not just the more experienced fighter."
 
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
 
AT: "I appreciate y'all. Tune in and check me out on Fox Sports 1 on May 25th. It's going to be a great fight to let y'all know I'm back."

Ioka-Palicte: June 19th in Osaka

Ioka-Palicte: June 19th in Osaka
"Mighty" Aston Palicte (25-2-1, 21 KOs) of the Philippines will face three-division champion Kazuto Ioka (23-2, 13 KOs) of Japan for the vacant WBO super flyweight title on June 19th at Osaka Orefectural Gym in Osaka, Japan. UFC Fight Pass has the worldwide live streaming rights outside of Japan. Palicte vs. Ioka will be the first championship fight on UFC Fight Pass under a new agreement between Palicte's promoter, RJJ Boxing that will live stream up to 72 professional boxing events through 2021.
 
After Palicte, 28, knocked out his previously unbeaten Jose "Chiquiro" Martinez this past January 31st in the second round of their WBO title eliminator, the WBO ordered negotiations to begin for a rematch between reigning WBO junior bantamweight champion Donnie Nietes and Palicte. Nietes, however, relinquished his title belt rather than accept a rematch against his fellow Filipino fighter in order to pursue other fights. Nietes and Palicte fought to a twelve-round draw last September for the then vacant WBO junior bantamweight world title. Nietes eventually captured the crown last December 31 in Macao, China, when he won a split decision versus Ioka.
 
"I'd first like to thank my promoters (Keith Veltre & Roy Jones, Jr.) and manager (Jason Soong) for making this fight happen," Palicte commented. "I'm very excited for this second opportunity to fight for a world title. I and the whole team learned a lot from the last draw and made adjustments, which, I think, were very effective. Since a rematch with Nietes will probably never take place, going against Ioka, who lost to him via a split decision, is probably the closest thing to redeeming myself after that draw. We've already planned out our training camp, which includes altitude training in Baguio (where Manny Pacquiao (pictured to left running with Palicte) also trained before). More than anything, I'm very excited to get into the ring again to hopefully deliver to my RJJ Boxing family its first world title." 
 
The 30-year-old Ioka is a former WBA flyweight, WBA light flyweight, and WBA/WBC minimumweight champion. His only two losses as a professional, both by way of split decisions, have been in world title fights to Nietes and Amnat Ruenroeng, in 2014, for the IBF flyweight title.
 
"I want to thank the WBO for working with us to make this fight happen," Veltresaid. "The WBO did everything possible to make this deal move forward. I want to thank Team Ioka for working with Roy Jones Jr Promotions, in addition to being professional and doing everything in their power to accommodate us. This is a great example of everyone giving in a little bit to make a great fight happen. Roy and I are extremely happy that we will be able to bring the first ever major World Title Fight to UFC Fight Pass and we are looking forward to seeing Aston Palicte becoming the World Champion."
 
Palicte is the younger, stronger fighter in this title fight match-up, however, Iota has a clear advantage in terms of experience with a 14-2 (9 KOs) world title fight record, as well as 6-2 (3 KOs) versus present and/or past world champions, compared to Palicte's 0-0-1 mark in both of these categories.
 
Not only will a victory over Ioka make him the first world champion for his promoter, RJJ Boxing, Palicte will also join Pacquaio and Nietes, as well as Pancho Villa, Flash Elorde, and Nonito Donaire, among others, in an elite club of Filipino world boxing champion.
 
Ioka will join fellow Japanese fighters such as flyweight Kosei Tanaka and junior flyweights Hirota Kyoguchi and Ken Shiro as reigning world champions with a triumph over Palicte.

Get caught up on Crawford-Khan coverage

Get caught up on Crawford-Khan coverage

Get caught up on Crawford-Khan coverage

Boxingtalkers, get caught up on our coverage of the highly anitcipated April 20th WBO welterweight championship between undefeated champion Terence Crawford and former junior welterweight champion Amir Khan. In addition to our must read one-on-one interviews with Crawford and promoter Bob Arum, there's also one-on-ones with budding stars Teofimo Lopez and Shakur Stevenson. 

Bob Arum Expecting 700k buys for Crawford-Khan

The Bobfather Still Pulling All Of The Strings

Terence Crawford: Expect Fireworks On April 20th

Teofimo Lopez: Tatli's getting stopped in six or less

Shakur Stevenson Run Towards World Title Starts With Diaz

DIna Thorslund to defend her title in June

DIna Thorslund to defend her title in June
On June 22nd, Denmark's Dina Thorslund (13-0) will defend her WBO super bantamweight title against Australia's April Adams (11-1-1). The show tales place at the Forum Horsens in Horsens, Denmark. Two local boxers, Amer Rasinlic and Michael Nielsen, will make their professional debuts on the undercard. Nielsen, a former break-dancer, claimed gold in the featherweight (56 kg) category at the 2018 Danish Elite Championships. He is excited to be making his professional debut at the Forum Horsens. “I know many people will come and watch me fight. I have many friends who love to watch boxing, and when I box in Horsens, I tend to get really good support. My family will certainly come too as it is a great thing for them also. Being allowed to enter the Forum Horsens for my debut is a dream come true!. “I want to show that it’s never too late to go for a dream,” he says. “I became Danish Elite Champion in 2018 in just my seventh fight and after only two years of training. I’ve trained hard to achieve my goals, and others can too. “I feel honoured to have the opportunity to make my professional debut for one of the biggest promoters in the world, and at my home ground in Horsens. I am grateful to have this chance and will take it with both hands. I know that there will be a lot of support for me in Horsens. I have lived here since I came back from the Philippines in 1994. At home in Horsens, I will do everything I can to win. With so many spectators at my back, I must not lose."
 
A light heavyweight, Rasinilic had similar feelings: "I am looking forward to getting the chance to box as a professional," says light heavyweight Rasinlic. “Team Sauerland are one of the largest promotional companies in the world so this is a big opportunity for me, and to do it on the undercard of Dina Thorslund’s World title fight makes it even better."
 
Tickets for Thunder From Down Under: Dina Thorslund vs. April Adams for the WBO Female World Super Bantamweight Championship are available online via www.ticketmaster.dk or by calling (+45) 70 15 65 65. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CES returns to Rhode Island on April 26th

CES returns to Rhode Island on April 26th
Jamaine Ortiz (10-0, 5 KOs) of Worcester, Mass., headlines for the second event in a row on Friday, April 26th at Twin River Casino Hotel when he faces Brazil's Vitor Jones (15-4, 9 KOs) in an eight-round bout. Ortiz, a decorated amateur who won 100 fights and advanced to the semifinals of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in Nevada, comes off his most noteworthy achievement as a professional, a unanimous decision win over previously unbeaten Ricardo Quiroz on Feb. 23rd. Jones, returns to the United States for the second time this year and the ninth time in his career. The 25-year-old right-hander made his professional debut in 2012 under the guidance of Banner Promotions and won his first 13 fights. Ortiz-Jones headlines a Twin River Event Center show which includes the return of New England fan-favorites Ricky Delossantos, Michael Valentin, Lamont Powell, Marqus Bates, Nicholas Briggs and Victor Reynoso.
 
Unbeaten at 7-0, Delossantos faces durable Mexican featherweight German Meraz (62-54-2, 39 KOs) in an eight-round bout, the toughest test to date for the 29-year-old Pawtucket, R.I., native. Meraz's long-running career features 62 wins, including 39 by knockout. Next Friday is his fifth fight of the year and 13th since the beginning of 2018, a remarkable stretch highlighted by a three-fight win streak between last April and June. 
 
Meraz has also gone the distance with unbeaten featherweights Tramaine Williams, Irvin Gonzalez, Jason Sanchez, Ruben Villa and Gadwin Rosa, a tall order for Delossantos, who, like Ortiz, is coming off his most impressive win, outworking U.S. Army vet Javar Jones in February. 
 
Tickets are available online at www.cesboxing.com or www.showclix.com or by phone at 401-724-2253.  
 
Highlighting the undercard is a long-awaited six-round welterweight showdown between Massachusetts natives Marqus Bates (6-2, 4 KOs) of Taunton and Wilfredo Pagan (6-0, 3 KOs) of Southbridge. Pagan remained unbeaten with a win over Carlos Galindo in March while Bates won his fourth in a row via knockout in February against regional rival Jair Ramos. Next Friday is Pagan's first fight outside of Massachusetts while Bates returns to Twin River for the eighth time in nine fights. 
 
Reynoso (3-0, 3 KOs), a Providence, R.I., and hard-hitting light middleweight, puts his unbeaten record on the line against Miami's Yasmani Pedroso (2-5, 1 KO) in a four-round bout. Reynoso faced a tall task in February against John Williams and entered the fourth and final round needing a knockout to pull out the victory. He caught Williams with an overhand right at the 1:31 mark, sending his opponent into the ropes and prompting referee Shada Murdaugh to stop the bout.
 
Worcester's Briggs (3-0, 2 KOs) returns in a four-round bout against Latorie Woodberry (2-8-2) of Roanoke, Va. This will be Woodberry's second appearance and first since February of 2018 when he battled Bates to a four-round unanimous decision. Briggs recently upended the durable Andy Aiello in February, scoring a knockdown en route to a clean sweep on all three scorecards. 
 
Valentin (5-0, 1 KO), the 19-year-old lightweight from Providence, recently returned in February following a year-long layoff due to complications from his lifelong battle with Hirschprung's disease. Valentin edged Philadelphia's Christopher Burgos by majority decision to keep his perfect record intact and returns next Friday in a four-round bout. Also undefeated, Providence's Powell (3-0, 1 KO) steps back into the ring on the 26th in a four-round bout following an impressive win in February over Quebec's Kenny Chery.
 
Next Friday's card also features the return of New Bedford, Mass., junior welterweight Wilson Mascarenhas (0-1) and the Twin River debut of Rhode Island junior middleweight Anthony Concepcion (2-0, 2 KOs). Fighting for the first time since February of 2018, Mascarenhas faces Joseph Clark (0-0) of Franklin, N.Y., while Concepcion battles Brazil's Leonardo Ladeira (0-0), both in four-round bouts.
 

Danny Garcia-Adrian Granados workout quotables

Danny Garcia-Adrian Granados workout quotables
Former two-division champion Danny "Swift" Garcia (pictured) and his next opponent, Adrian Granados took part in a media workout Wednesday as they near their welterweight showdown that headlines Premier Boxing Champions on Fox and Fox Deportes this Saturday night from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The workout also featured Andy Ruiz Jr. and Alexander Dimitrenko, who meet in a ten-round heavyweight bout, and unbeaten Brandon Figueroa who faces Venezuela's Yonfrez Parejo in a twelve-round match for the WBA interim 122-pound title that kicks off the broadcast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Tickets for the live event can be purchased at AXS.com or at the Dignity Health Sports Park box office from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday from Churchill Boxing Club in Santa Monica:
 
DANNY GARCIA
 
"I fought in this arena when I was 6-0 so it's exciting to be back. I also won the welterweight title against Robert Guerrero in Los Angeles. L.A. has always been good to me. There's a great atmosphere and I love fighting here.
 
"I'm ready for anybody, but I'm also not looking past Granados. At the end of the day, I have to focus on Saturday night. I have to get this victory.
 
"There's a lot at stake, so I know Granados will be ready. I trained hard and I think I'm in the best shape of my life. I think I'm in better shape now than my last two fights. I can't wait to show it on Saturday night.
 
"You watch Danny Garcia fights you know I'm always swinging trying to knock people out. Expect another can't-miss fight on Saturday.
 
"I know what Granados brings to the table, but I believe in my skills and the hard work we put into camp. The plan is of course to get a knockout and look spectacular, but I'm more than ready to go 12 hard rounds."
 
ADRIAN GRANADOS
 
"This is a classic in a making. We're going to put on a show. I feel great. We've closed out camp just right and we're ready to rock and roll on Saturday.
 
"There are a lot of challenges in this fight. I have to go out there to dominate and take the fight away from him. Danny is a great fighter and there's a reason he's a big name in the sport. This is an opportunity that I'm going to take advantage of.
 
"I wasn't surprised that Shawn Porter said I was a tougher fight than Danny Garcia. I watched both fights and you could see at the end that I had Shawn running for survival. He did what he had to do to escape, but for this fight I'm taking it out of anybody else's hands.
 
"I don't think Danny is looking past me, but I know he has bigger plans. I'm here to interrupt those plans. I have my own plans. I'm going to catapult myself to where I belong and where I should have always been.
 
"My parents worked so hard to put me on the right path. I got involved with sports as a kid and never looked back. I always stayed focus on my sports and studies. The temptations were there in Chicago. I stayed true to myself and now I'm in a place where a lot of people look up to me. If I win on Saturday it can show that anything is possible."
 
ANDY RUIZ JR.
 
"This is going to be my fourth fight at this venue. I've gotten a knockout every time, so I think it's a good luck arena for me. I've had setbacks, but I'm ready for my comeback.
 
"I've been training hard for this fight to make a statement. I'm excited to get this win and do it emphatically.
 
"Dimitrenko is a veteran fighter and I know I can't take him lightly. We're going to be ready and may the best man win. I'm ready to take on all challengers.
 
"I just need to stay loose and let my hands go. I'm going to show the kind of fighter that I am. My speed and the way I use the ring will be a key.
 
"I've watched Dimitrenko's fights, and I know I just have to do what I have to do. I think it's harder for him to fight a smaller guy like me, especially one with speed and who throws combinations."
 
ALEXANDER DIMITRENKO
 
"This is an important fight for me and I'm here to win. This is nothing new to me. My job is to come here put on a great performance. I've been a pro for a long time and I'm ready for Saturday.
 
"I have more experience in big fights than Ruiz. I'm going to give my best in this fight. There's no pressure on me and I'm feeling relaxed and ready for war.
 
"My last fight against Bryant Jennings ended with a bad stoppage and I'm looking to erase that memory. A win on Saturday is important to me and I'm not looking past it. I have to do my job and we'll see what happens after that.
 
"This is my first time in Los Angeles, I've gotten to enjoy the weather a little bit but it's all business. I'm focused on fighting on Saturday, that's been the goal all camp and we're leading up to a great show on Saturday."
 
BRANDON FIGUEROA
 
"This is a moment I've been waiting for since I was a little kid. The opportunity is here, I'm ready and I can't wait to take it.
 
"I had a really good training camp. My body is ready physically and mentally. I know that Parejo is a really good fighter who's going to try to box me. I feel like once I put the pressure on him, I'm going to be able to dominate him.
 
"I think Parejo has weaknesses on his inside game, which is something I'm really good at. I feel like for my past few fights I've used that to dominate my opponents.
 
"This is my time to shine. I had a really good training camp and I'm here to take advantage of this opportunity. I'm only 22-years-old and I've worked really hard to get where I'm at right now."
 

BJ Flores serving as advisor to Kingdamon Antone

BJ Flores serving as advisor to Kingdamon Antone
Kingdamon Antoine (9-0, 7 KOs) is looking to take his career to the next level in 2019.  The featherweight defeated Raheem Abdullah (3-2) over six rounds on April 5th and plans to make a quick return to the ring on May 11th in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. Standing 5'7", Antoine has great size for the featherweight division. His advisor, BJ Flores believes that he can become a champion. "He's a good kid with a strong work ethic. He is tall for 126 pounds and I believe he can eventually fight up to 140 pounds.  He is very fast and has great reflexes," Flores stated.
 
The promotional free agent's last performance was streamed live on Facebook. Flores said that the plan is to get Antoine three to four more fights year and to eventually get him signed with a big promotional company. With the increased activity, Flores is certain that his fighter will make the move to contender. "Kingdamon is catching the eyes of some of the major promoters out there.  He is a tremendous talent and everyone in the 126 pound division will know his name very shortly," said Flores.
 
 

Crawford-Khan final presser quotes

Crawford-Khan final presser quotes
Terence "Bud" Crawford is ready for business. Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) will defend his WBO welterweight title against former 140-pound world champion Amir "King" Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. The pay-per-view undercard will feature undefeated lightweight Teofimo Lopez against Edis Tatli in a twelve-rounder, Shakur Stevenson versus Christopher Diaz in a ten-round featherweight showdown and Puerto Rico's Felix Verdejo taking on Costa Rica's Bryan Vasquez. Three days away from the Garden Party, this is what Crawford, Khan and their trainers had to say:
 
Terence Crawford
 
"I don't believe no fight that I fight is just another fight for me. I believe that all fights that I fight from here on out are for my legacy. That's why I want the biggest fights out there. Amir Khan's name came up because he was the next best welterweight in the division. I could've easily took {Luis} Collazo. He could've took another fight with Kell Brook. I could've took Collazo, but that wasn't the job that I really wanted to take. Amir Khan is a great fighter. I can't take nothing away from. He's done a lot in the sport of boxing. He has a big name. He's undefeated at the welterweight division. So why not take another step up?
 
On not getting the credit for beating certain opponents: "Sometimes it bothers me, but that just shows how dominant I am. When you got undefeated gold medalists and world champions, where before the fight a lot of writers and fans think that they're going to steamroll me or they're too big for me, and this is going to be the toughest fight of my career. After the fight, they say, 'He wasn't that good,' or 'he was a stand-up fighter,' or 'he was slow,' or 'we knew you were going to do this, we just had to hype up the fight.' So they discredit me. When you look at the fighters I've fought, most of them haven't been the same after they've fought me."
 
"I just want people to respect me for my talent and the skills that I have, and the willingness to go in there and fight any and everybody that's available."
 
Amir Khan
 
"This {fight} ranks at the top for me because fighting a world champion, Terence is very high in the pound-for-pound rankings, maybe number one or number two. So, it's just amazing for me to be in this position once again. That itself is a great motivation for me, to know that I'm fighting the best out there once again. And it makes me train harder, work harder and focus on this fight. I know that I can't make any mistakes in this fight because I could be trouble. Terence, I've been watching all the videos of his fights. I see how he breaks down fighters, how he sees openings and stuff, and I can't make those openings {easy for him}. Maybe my last performance got me this fight. To me, that wasn't the best performance. That wasn't the best Amir Khan. I'm now back with my old trainer, Virgil Hunter, where I'm happy and he trained me the best. And he knows me better than any trainer out there. We know we've done everything we have to do for this fight, and I'm going to be more than ready."
 
"I've had some good fights in the welterweight division. We fought {Luis} Collazo. We fought {Devon} Alexander. {Virgil} has brought the best out of me. Even the Canelo fight was going well until I got caught with a shot. So, I mean, whereas this fight I'm fighting someone who is my own weight, which helps. Every fight with Virgil, I've learned something from, win or lose, and he's brought the best out of me. I needed to get back with someone who could bring that respect back for the sport of boxing and also make me work harder."
 
"This is a dream come true, and hopefully on Saturday, a dream will come true, where I get my opportunity to fight for another world title and be one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. This just drives me, makes me work harder, train harder, stay focused. I know I have someone in front of me who is up there as number one. You can't deny that. He's a good fighter. I know he's training hard because he doesn't want to lose that unbeaten record, and I don't want to lose this fight because I want to achieve everything I want in the sport of boxing."
 
Promoter Bob Arum
 
"I don't have to talk about what the public is going to see from Terence Crawford. Anyone who knows anything in boxing knows a Terence Crawford comes along very seldom in a generation. I look at him {and the closest thing I can recall to him} is Sugar Ray Leonard. Terence reminds me of Sugar Ray Leonard. I'm not going to get into who would win if they fought each other because that ain't gonna happen. Terence is really something special, and I'm so delighted that we've been able to arrange this fight against Khan, who I've always been an admirer of. Tremendous, tremendous fighter. I know Amir remembers the time I spent with his family when he was in Manny Pacquiao's training camp. So I know what he brings to this party, and I am really looking forward to performances by two great fighters. A generational talent in Terence Crawford, and one of the great fighters I've seen in Amir Khan."
 
Frank Smith (CEO of Khan's promoter, Matchroom Boxing)
 
"Amir had other opportunities he could've gone down, most notably probably the Kell Brook fight. But this is the fight that Amir wanted, and you have respect that and you have to respect a man who has done what he's done in the sport, and I believe on Saturday night he's going to go in there and do a job and become a world champion once again."
 
"I think Amir, when he's in with the best fighters, that's when he looks the best. I think the test of Terence Crawford, taking on one of the best pound-for-pound fighters, one of the most respected fighters in the world, will bring him on. He has come back from those two fights {victories over Phil Lo Greco and Samuel Vargas}... I think as a welterweight, that's the strongest weight for him, and I think it's great having Virgil back in his corner. He had a great time with Joe Goossen, but I think being back with Virgil, who he's been with for a very long time, is important to him." 
 
Brian McIntyre (Crawford's trainer)
 
"It's an honor to be across the ring from Virgil Hunter, and I will tell Virgil and everyone in the world that I'll listen to him, as he {trained} Andre Ward and so many other fighters. As a student of the game, you go back and try to listen to the trainers and see what they tell their fighters in the corner... I'm glad Amir went back with Virgil Hunter because I don't want him to have no excuses when Terence starts touching him."
 
Virgil Hunter (Khan's trainer)
 
"It's been a pleasure having Amir back. It came at the right time and a good time for a fight of this magnitude, to go up against a great fighter like Terence Crawford. As coaches, we live for these opportunities. Whether we win, whether we come up short, we thrive in these settings. It's a great opportunity, and it's a pleasure to be involved in this event."
 
"He can't have a mental lapse. He has to be focused every second of every round and be able to read the adjustments that a great fighter like Crawford will make. He's {excellent} at making adjustments, and we have to be able to read those adjustments and adjust accordingly to stay competitive and try to win this fight."
 
 

Jarrell Miller fails VADA test, Eddie Hearn says Luis Ortiz would be ideal June 1st replacement

Jarrell Miller fails VADA test, Eddie Hearn says Luis Ortiz would be ideal June 1st replacement

UPDATE: In an interview with Kugan Cassius, promoter Eddie Hearn said "it don't look good" for Miller remaining the opponent for Joshua. Hearn said Miller still has the right to have a retest done, but Joshua was going ahead with the June 1st title defense because so many tickets have been sold. Hearn said Luis Ortiz would be the "ideal replacement" and that Joshua would also accept Ortiz as an opponent. 

Boxingtalk has been informed that undefeated heavyweight contender Jarrell Miller (pictured) tested positive for the banned substance GWO1516 ahead of his June 1st bout with undefeated WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Both Miller and his promoter Dmitriy Salita were unavailable for comment. Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn said on social media, "We have been informed by VADA that there has been an adverse finding in Jarrell Miller’s sample collected on March 20th. We are working with all relevant parties and will update with more details soon. AJ’s preparation continues for June 1st at MSG." Miller served a prior PED suspension 2014 when he was a kickboxer under the Glory promotional company. VADA immediately reports all test results to the promoters involved and commission governing the bout, in this case the New York State Athletic Commission. Click here for more information on GWO1516.

Miller's co-promoter, Dmitriy Salita was tight-liped, issuing only the following statement: "We are in the process of obtaining further information about VADA’s finding and will have more to say soon on this developing situation. In the meantime Jarrell continues to train for his June 1 fight against Anthony Joshua."

Adam Kownacki plans to return this summer; not interested in Anthony Joshua for now

Adam Kownacki plans to return this summer; not interested in Anthony Joshua for now
Editor's Note: this interview took place before the news that Jarrell Miller had failed a drug test prior to his scheduled June 1st challenge of WBA/WBO/IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Adam Kownacki's name quickly surfaced as a possible replacement to challenge Joshua, but it appears Kownacki is not interested. Respected Polish boxing source Przemek Garczarczyk tweeted that Kownacki told him, "”I have my own plan. And it's not enough time to prepare for June 1st and Anthony Joshua."  
 
Greg Leon: We haven't had you on Boxingtalk in a minute so I'm reaching out to check in. What's the latest and greatest? When can we expect you back in the ring?  Adam Kownacki: "Hopefully during the summer. I'm looking forward to getting back. I just did a little meet and greet over in Poland and it was really great because the people over there love me. Hopefully that's going to be same kind of following I'm going to get out here. I think my next fight will be even better my last fight against Gerald Washington."  
 
GL: Can you give me anything more specific than sometime over the summer? 
 
Adam Kownacki: "No not yet."
 
GL: Any short list of names yet?
 
AK: "Not yet. I would love to fight Chris Arreola, but I don't know if that's going to happen."
 
GL: We've been talking abuot you being a couple of wins away from a world title for more than a couple of wins now. From a mental standpoint has it been difficult for you to stay the course when you feel you've already earned the shot?
 
AK: "I have a good team behind me with Keith Connolly and Al Haymon. I've been pushed well so far and just with another win or two I'll be next in line."
 
GL: What do you think about WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder's upcoming defense against Dominic Breazeale?
 
AK: "I think Wilder should knock him out."
 
GL: Did you catch Jermaine Franklin's fight the other night?
 
AK: "No I didn't, but I've heard he called me out. I didn't know who he was before he called me out, but if they me that fighting him is going to bring me closer to the title fight then I'll fight him. Right now I'm ranked in the top five in more than one organization and I don't think he's ranked. I wouldn't say he's on my radar, but if they want me to fight him then why not? I don't shy away from any challenges."
 
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
 
AK: "I want to thank all of the fans for their support, I'll be back soon and I will be the first Polish heavyweight champion of the world."

Joshua's ex-Olympic foe Dychko asks to fill in on June 1st

Joshua's ex-Olympic foe Dychko asks to fill in on June 1st
Should a positive PED test exclude Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller from challenging WBA/WBO/IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua on June 1st, a man who lost to Joshua in the 2012 Olymoics, Ivan Dychko says he’s ready and willing to step in. The 28-year-old Dychko (7-0, 7 KOs), a two-time Olympic bronze medal winner, not only stands 6'9", but has fought Joshua on basically even terms: the Kazakhstani lost a razor-thin decision (13-11) to Joshua in the semi-finals of the 2012 Summer Olympics in Joshua’s homeland of England. Joshua went on to win the gold. [Editor's note: Dychko has not fought since last July when he stopped Maurice Harris in one round. Harris was winless in his five fights preceding the Dychko knockout.]
 
“He knows he didn’t beat me then and he still can’t beat me,” said a fired-up Dychko. “He got a hometown decision and ended up winning my gold medal. Now is his chance to prove he deserved his success instead of it being handed to him. I’m here in great shape and ready to go.”
 
Dychko, who went 181-18 as an amateur, says he doesn’t need 20 professional fights to be ready for Joshua. “He’s the same fighter he always was,” said Dychko. “He gets his world rocked in every fight and then his little bit of power bails him out when his opponents get tired. I know exactly how to beat him. I already did.”
 
Dychko says he’s ready and waiting for his phone to ring.  “No disrespect to Big Baby. If he ends up fighting, I am happy for him, but if Anthony Joshua needs an opponent for June 1st, I am the one who deserves this. I’ll be waiting to hear from your people, Anthony.” 
 

Golovkin to face Steve Rolls at catchweight of 164

Golovkin to face Steve Rolls at catchweight of 164
It's a whole new ballgame for Gennady "GGG" Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) who will bring his "Big Drama Show" back to New York City's Madison Square Garden for the first time in over two years ion Saturday, June 8th.  Golovkin, whose resume includes a twentyconsecutive middleweight title defenses (18 by way of knockout), will make hus DAZN debut against [unbeaten but untested] .  Steve Rolls (19-0, 10 KOs) from Toronto. The battle is scheduled for twelve rounds at a catchweight of 164 pounds.  Golovkin vs. Rolls kicks off the exclusive six-fight, three-year global partnership between GGG Promotions and DAZN, the sports streaming platform.
 
A two-city press tour, featuring both fighters, will take place next week, starting at Madison Square Garden on Monday, April 22nd and concluding in Los Angeles on Tuesday, April 23rd.   Tickets go on sale Saturday, April 20th.
 
Notably, this will be the second of two major boxing events The Garden will host on back-to-back boxing weekends – both of which will be live exclusively on DAZN.  England's Anthony Joshua will make his United States and Madison Square Garden debut in a defense of his unified heavyweight title against Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller on June 1st [that fight is in jeopardy as Miller just failed a drug test], just one week before Golovkin’s highly anticipated return on June 8.
 
"I am very excited to be returning to the ring and bringing the Big Drama Show back to Madison Square Garden.  The Garden's fans are fantastic," said Golovkin.  "I love boxing and I promise to bring the best of me to everyone who will be watching me in an all-action fight with Steve Rolls.  I am very happy that GGG Promotions has a new home at DAZN."   
 
"I want to sincerely thank DAZN and GGG himself for giving me the opportunity to challenge one of the best fighters in the world," said Rolls.  "But let me be clear: I've won national championships and represented my country, and Golovkin is just a man.  I'm coming to win this fight and put my name among the best middleweights in the world.”
 
 “Gennady Golovkin is one of the top middleweights of all-time, and as part of DAZN’s growing roster of premiere fighters and our ongoing promise to deliver the best fights to fans, we are thrilled to kick off this exciting partnership at the iconic Madison Square Garden,” said Joseph Markowski, DAZN Executive Vice President, North America. “It will surely be an electric night and just the beginning of this next chapter of Golovkin’s impressive legacy.” 
 
Golovkin, 37, has reigned supreme in the Middleweight Division for nearly a decade.  Eighteen of his record 20 title defenses came by way of knockout -- a 90% ratio -- which is sure to remain the division's highest knockout percentage for a world champion.  Golovkin's tenure as champion ended when he lost a hotly disputed majority decision in a rematch with Canelo Alvarez last September.  A dominant amateur standout and Olympic Silver Medalist before turning professional in 2006, Golovkin's career has been on a historic trajectory, including a 23-fight victory-by-knockout streak and unifying the WBC, WBA, IBF and IBO World Middleweight Titles.  Golovkin has also proven himself to be box office gold.  He has sold out the most iconic arenas of the world, including Madison Square Garden, T-Mobile Arena, O2 Arena, The Fabulous Forum, and StubHub Center.
 
Rolls, 35, making his debut at The Garden, will be looking to ice Golovkin with his version of a Canadian cold front.  In December, via unanimous decision, Rolls defeated KeAndrae Leatherwood.  Rolls has stopped four of his last seven opponents while keeping his record perfect.
 
 
 
 
About DAZN:
 
DAZN is the largest global sports streaming platform in the world. Since launching in 2016, DAZN had expanded across four continents with the service available in the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Japan, and soon to debut in Brazil. DAZN guarantees no long-term contract, no bundles, just affordable access to all the service's sports on connected devices including smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, games consoles and PCs. In the U.S., DAZN has made its mark as an attractive alternative to pay-per-view within the combat sports industry. The platform features more than 100 fight nights per year from Matchroom Boxing, Golden Boy Promotions, GGG Promotions, Bellator MMA, the World Boxing Super Series and Combate Americas. DAZN also features live MLB action each day of the season with its new daily show, ChangeUp.
 
 

Chris Colbert: "I'm the best prospect in boxing hands down"

Chris Colbert: "I'm the best prospect in boxing hands down"
Greg Leon: Congrats on your victory over Mario Briones (29-9-2). Can you give us some thoughts on your performance? Chris Colbert: "Domination. I mean this is what I do every time I step in the ring. I don't even get excited because this is what I do everytime I step into the ring, I dominate fighters whether it's me stopping them or beating the sh*t out of them." GL: The left hand was on point the other night, was there something you saw in Briones that lead to you believing that would be the weapon of choice? CC: "I've just been working on my left hand a lot in camp because I am an ambidextrous fighter. I want to just build my power with my left hand more because my right hand is really my strong hand. My left hand is weak compared to my right, but I was working on that shot in the gym and it showed during the fight. I don't do any studying or none of that, I didn't know that was going to be the shot to lay him out, I was just practicing it in camp."
 
GL: After you dropped him with the left hand, did you know that all you had to do was keep touching him and the ref was going to have no choice but to save him?
 
CC: "Yes, but I really wanted to knock him out. If it would have went the rest of that round or one more round, I would have put him flat out with the left hand."
 
GL: You've been impressive in your last several fights, when do you see yourself taking the kind of step up fight that's going to bring your career to the next level?
 
CC: "Man I've been taking step-up fights since my fourth fight."
 
GL: You know what I'm talking about, I'm talking about the kind of fight that's going to be on national television and make fans really take notice of you to the point where you're a fixture on television moving forward.
 
CC: "From my last two fights on, everything is going to be on TV. I'm going to dominate whoever they put in front of me and I don't care who it is."
 
GL: Do you have any idea when your next fight might take place?
 
CC: "July or August."
 
GL: What are your goals for the rest of this year?
 
CC: "To keep on dominating. I'm not one of these fighters who's going to be calling out this person or that one, I'll fight anybody, anywhere, anytime, any place. I'm not picky, I just want to fight and build my resume and legacy. I'm looking to become one of the greatest fighters to ever put on the gloves."
 
GL: When you see the attention guys around your weight class like Teofimo Lopez and Devin Haney are getting, do you consider yourself to be as good as those guys or better even though you're not getting the same kind of attention?
 
CC: "What type of attention are they getting?"
 
GL: Devin has been headlining on Showtime and Teofimo is about to be headlining his own card on ESPN after he fights on Saturday night for instance.
 
CC: "After my next fight I'll be headlining cards too. I feel like we're on two different sides of the street. Devin Haney has money and he doesn't have a promoter, but at the end of the day when you have money, money talks. Teofimo Lopez is on the Top Rank side and they don't have as much on their side of the street as we do with Haymon's side. We got more great fighters so there's more competition to headline on my side of the street than theirs. I would have been headlining if I was with Top Rank-- I'm the best prospect in the game hands down."
 
GL: Can you still make featherweight?
 
CC: "Yes I can."
 
GL: Is that your preferred weight? Where do you feel most comfortable?
 
CC: "I'm comfortale at 126 and 130. I plan on winning my first world title at 126, but if there's big opporunities at 130 if they make enough dollars they'll make sense."
 
GL: I've been talking to you for about five minutes and I can already tell that you're a super f**king confident athlete, but as you're aware there's no such thing as a perfect fighter. With that being said, what part of your game do you feel needs the most sharpening?
 
CC: "My power, that's it. I'm the sharpest knife in this boxing draw. The last thing I'm worried about is my brain, my sharpness and my defense. My power is the least sharp part of my game, but you don't need power to be a great fighter. Floyd Mayweather did haven't great power, but we've got the kind of power that fighters are going to respect to where they're not going to come in and try to go crazy on us."
 
GL: What do you have to do to enhance your power? Is it about sitting down on your punches?
 
CC: "More sitting down on my punches, because I punch a lot while I'm moving. I told everyone I was going to catch a knockout versus Briones and I kept my word."
 
GL: Was this performance against Briones the start of people getting to see your power?
 
CC: "I mean yeah, but he's been stopped twice before so I'm not taking too much out of it. It was bound to happen as far as I'm concerned."
 
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
 
CC: "Shout out to all my fans all across the world, I love you guys, thanks for the suppot. Keep following me, the journey continues."
 

Seanie Monaghan announces his retirement

Seanie Monaghan announces his retirement

Long Island light heavyweight Seanie Monaghan announced his retirement from boxing on social media: "Met with Coach Joe and we decided I’m going to Officially retire from boxing. This sport and the people I’ve met along the way have changed my life drastically for the better. The life lessons I’ve learned from Joseph Higgins will hopefully carry me a long way in the next chapters of life. I met Coach Joe as a 20 year old Long Beach Wombat with no life plans, no direction, just a wild party animal, street fighter. He instilled in me his military style, no-excuses fortitude and mental toughness. There were times we were on the track at 6:30 am when it was 8 degrees out and times we did plyos outside in 100 degrees! No excuses, we got it done, “Dues paid” he’d always say afterwards! I got ranked top 5 on the planet, met a bunch of my idols, fought all over the place from MSG 7x, Barclays, Vegas, AC even Omaha [Nebraska]! Undefeated for my first 28 fights, retired at 29-3! We did some big things! Joe is like a father to me and we’re family now. My Manager PJ did an incredible job like he does with all his business ventures. I’d also like to thank (and apologize) to my mother, my Wife, my sister and Everyone in my family for taking this ride with me. I know it wasn’t easy to watch. None of this would have been possible without all the support from every one of you guys out there! Not everyone is lucky enough to have a support system like I did! Filling up busloads of maniacs from Long Beach [Long Island] spread into meeting boxing fans who came from Canada to see me fight! At least once a day I’ll bump into somebody who knows me from boxing. It’s a great feeling that I will always cherish. Once the weather gets nicer I’ll make another announcement, it’s only right we finish this thing off with a big party in LB! " Boxingtalk wishes Seanie Monaghan a happy and successfull retirement!

Despite mandatory status, Derevyanchenko anxious for next fight

Despite mandatory status, Derevyanchenko anxious for next fight
Middleweight contender Sergiy "The Technician" Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs), of Brooklyn, NY, was victorious this past Saturday night against Germany's Jack Culcay (25-4, 13 KOs) in Minneapolis, MN. He won by unanimous decision, and scores for the bout were 116-112 (twice) and 115-113.  The victory earned Derevyanchenko, co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc., the status of mandatory challenger for the IBF middleweight title, which is currently held by Daniel Jacobs. On October 27, 2018, the former Ukrainian amateur standout lost a hard-fought twelve-round decision to Jacobs for the vacant title at Madison Square Garden.  With Jacobs now headed to a middleweight unification showdown against world champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez on May 4th, Derevyanchenko is looking to make a quick return fighting any of the top middleweights [as opposed to waiting around for an uncertain IBF title shot].
 
"I felt very good against Culcay; he was a very tough opponent, but I prevailed by listening to my corner and staying focused," said Derevyanchenko. "I'm going to take just a short time off and return to the gym. My focus is staying active and fighting the best in the middleweight division. My fight versus Danny Jacobs proved I can compete with anyone. Now it is time to win a world championship."
 
"Sergiy defeated a very game Jack Culcay on Saturday and proved that he remains one of the best middleweights in the world," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "With the win, he is now the mandatory challenger for the IBF world title, and we will continue to seek out the biggest and best opportunities for Sergiy to compete against the elite of the middleweight division ASAP."
 
 
 

Introducing British junior middleweight John Harding Jr.

Introducing British junior middleweight John Harding Jr.
British junior middleweight John Harding Jr. (6-0-1) credits boxing for turning his life around as he prepares to take part in his first major arena show on the undercard of Dave Allen vs. Lucas Browne and Derek Chisora vs. Senad Gashi at The O2 in London this Saturday. Harding grew up in South East London and found himself caught up in gang activity at a young age, resulting in lengthy spells in prison. Determined to change his lie for the better, the now 34-year-old decided to put his all into climbing the ladder in the pro ranks after his debut at York Hall in 2017.
 
Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte took Harding Jr. under his wing at the beginning of the year and set about securing his new charge a golden opportunity on Matchroom Boxing’s Easter weekend card in Greenwich – Harding Jr. says he will always be grateful for Whyte's guidance and leadership. “Everything is good,” Harding Jr. told iFL TV. “I’m just here enjoying being on this stage. It felt weird but now I’m embracing it. I was always the person on the outside looking in, but now I’ve got my chance. I’ve been working closely with Dillian and to be in this position now is just amazing. I want to prove to people that hard work can pay off. I want everyone to look at my life and know that if they work hard they can change their ways as well. Boxing has given me a lifeline.
 
“I grew up on an estate in New Cross. On the estate you grew up in a brotherhood, so you grew up inheriting rival gang activities. We thought that hustling was the only way for us to move forward in life. Other people call it drug-dealing, for us it was just survival. That’s what we grew up around and thought was normal. I ran into the law a couple of times. I’ve spent probably around five and a half years of my life in prison. It’s very hard when you’re in that position as a young person.
 
“I always dreamt I’d be the one being interviewed one day. I used to watch these guys being interviewed on a secret little mobile phone in jail! This shows the power of vision and hard work. When I stepped out with nothing, I only had that vision in my head. I was quite big, 17 stone and muscly. Now look at me, I’m a Light-Middleweight floating like a butterfly!
 
“I just kept coming to the gym, training around guys like Richard Riakporhe. I was always in the shadows of those guys, training hard. Fast-forward a while and I bumped into Dillian Whyte, who’s looked out for me since. He saw my heart and he’s brought me close and that just shows me how much of a true person he is. For him to reach out and help someone like me has changed my life and helped others too.
 
“It’s never too late to change your life. Hard work always pays off. Dillian told me to work hard. He always emphasises working hard. Even when it was his birthday he was in the gym grinding and working all day. I can’t lie, this is big for me, but Dillian has told me to be grounded. He’s a workaholic, he doesn’t stop. Focus and hard work pays off and I’m the living proof of that.”
 
Harding Jr takes part in a huge night of boxing in the Capital.
 
Doncaster fan favourite Dave Allen (16-4-2, 13 KOs) faces the biggest night of his career against Australia’s Lucas Browne (28-1, 14 KOs), Derek Chisora (29-9, 21 KOs) clashes with Senad Gashi (17-2, 17 KOs) in his first fight under new trainer Dave Coldwell, Sunderland’s ‘Pretty Boy’ Josh Kelly (8-0, 6 KOs) takes on the toughest opponent of his career to date in the form of unbeaten 17-0 Pole Przemyslaw Runowski and Ilford welterweight Conor Benn (13-0, 9 KOs) returns to the ring against Czech Republic’s Josef Zahradnik (10-2, 5KOs), Brooklyn middleweight Nikita Ababiy (3-0, 3 KOs) makes his UK debut and Watford Bantamweight Shannon Courtenay fights for the second time as a pro after her debut win at the Copper Box Arena.
 
 

Crawford-Khan workout quotables

Crawford-Khan workout quotables
WBO welterweight champion Terence "Bud" Crawford and Amir "King" Khan hosted a media workout in preparation for Saturday evening's Top Rank on ESPN pay-per-view showdown at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The undercard will feature lightweight Teofimo Lopez vs. Edis Tatli in a twelve-rounder plus featherweight phenom Shakur Stevenson will face Christopher Diaz in a ten-rounder. In another ten rounderr, Felix Verdejo seeks to return to lightweight relevance against Bryan Vasquez. Here is what the boxers had to say:
 
Terence Crawford
 
"I feel like I'm already the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Beating Amir Khan would only solidify my place in the sport. Amir Khan is undefeated as a welterweight and can't be underestimated. He has great hand speed, movement, and some power as well. I want to showcase all of my talents in this fight."
 
"I don't worry about the bigger names. My focus is on Amir Khan. He is the task at hand. I've never overlooked an opponent."
 
"I feel like a lot of times people don't give me credit for who I've beaten. I've defeated gold medalists, undefeated fighters, world champions. It doesn't matter. Before my fights, people talk about how it's going to be the hardest fight of my career. Then I beat them, and people make them seem like they were nothing. I am going to keep doing what I'm doing and keep being victorious."
 
"I am on a high level right now, and the way I beat people makes it seem like they don't belong in the ring with me. Against Khan, I will show everyone again why I'm the best fighter in the world."
 
Amir Khan
 
“I wanted this fight because I wanted to fight the best. Terence Crawford presented the greatest challenge to me at this point in my career. Listen, the Kell Brook fight was there, but fighting Terence gives me the opportunity to show I am a pound-for-pound fighter.”
 
"I'm not going to be giving all that weight away when I fight Crawford. When I fought Canelo, he was a much bigger man. This is a fairer fight in terms of weight. I am confident I can win this fight because he has never fought anyone like me. I have power, speed, and movement, and he has certainly never fought a welterweight like me. I've grown into my weight. I'm not just another number on Crawford's record."
 
"When I lose focus is when I get in trouble. Against Samuel Vargas, it wasn't even a great punch that put me down. I lost focus for a second and got caught. I've sparred with strong, heavy-handed guys this camp, and I know I can take a big welterweight punch."
 
Teofimo Lopez
 
"Training camp has been great. It's been a long time since someone has gone the distance with me, and that's not changing come Saturday night. We're working on new things in the gym, focusing on power and changing things up. I've shown people some of my arsenal, but no one has seen what I am capable of yet. Against Tatli, I will put on a show. I will steal the show."
 
"My last fight {Feb. 2 against Diego Magdaleno} showed some people can withstand my power, but at the end of the day, they all fall."
 
"There's no bad blood with Tatli and me, but I'm still going to kick his ass. I'm still going to beat him up. That I can guarantee. They bumped this fight to a 12-rounder to get me ready for a world title shot. That's coming soon."
 
"All of the hard work that my father and I have put in is starting to pay off. Fans and media have recognized my talents, but I am focused solely on what's in front of me this Saturday. Every time I fight at MSG, I take over the show, and that's the plan. I will steal the show."
 
"I don't need a Lomachenko fight to be a superstar. But I want to be the best and I want to fight the best. This is my last year at lightweight, so after I get that world title, let's make it happen!"
 
Edis Tatli 
 
"I came a long way for this fight because I know I can win. I have been in with the better fighters, and my talent will show on Saturday night."
 
"All fighters dream of fighting in America. To fight at Madison Square Garden on a card like this is a dream come true."
 
Shakur Stevenson
 
"I was ready to take the next step in my career. This is a fight I wanted. I want to show everyone I am a top fighter. The time was now to step up."
 
"My team and I know we can beat Diaz, which is why we took this fight. This is my time. This is what I've wanted since I turned pro following the Olympics."
 
"I want all the champions, but first, I have to beat Christopher Diaz."
 
Christopher Diaz 
 
"Shakur made a mistake when he accepted this fight. I'm sure he's going to be a world champion one day. He's a very good fighter, but his team made a terrible error in judgment."
 
"All fighters say this, but this was truly the best training camp of my career. This is my first fight with Freddie Roach, and we had perfect chemistry from day one. I've been sacrificing and training hard for three months. I am going to take his undefeated record. I am going to win this for my family and for Puerto Rico."
 
"I am a different fighter since moving down from 130 pounds. This is the new and improved Christopher Diaz." 
 
Felix Verdejo
 
"I know this is a very important fight for my career. I'm going against a former world champion and a great fighter. But I am ready to show the world that I'm still an elite fighter."
 
"Having my baby last year changed my life. I fight for her now. It puts things in perspective."
 
"For me, this fight is about redemption. After beating Vasquez, I want to fight for a world title."
 
Bryan Vasquez
 
"This fight means everything to me. I am going to give it my all in this ring. One thing I know is that Felix Verdejo has never faced anyone with my skills or my toughness. I want a world title shot, and beating Felix is my way to get there."
 
"To fight on a card like this is a great honor. Since signing with Top Rank last year, I have been active and improving with every fight. I am ready to put the lightweight division on notice. Felix isn't ready for me."
 
"You haven't seen the best of Bryan Vasquez. I have been in there with elite fighters, and that experience will show on Saturday night."
 
 
Tickets for this world championship event priced at $606, $406, $306, $206, $106, $81, and $56 (including facility fees) can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.MSG.com.

Q&A: Rances Barthelemy

Q&A: Rances Barthelemy
Former two-division title holder Rances Barthelemy discussed changes to his training camp as he nears a fight against former IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. taking place Saturday, April 27th live on Showtime from The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and presented by Premier Boxing Champions. At stake will be the vacant WBA regular title, secondary to Vasyl Lomachenko's WBA super championship. (Lomachenko also has the WBO title). After losing for the first time in his pro career in a 140-pound title fight against Kiryl Relikh last March, Barthelemy rebounded to stop Robert Frankel in December as he prepared to return to the lightweight division to face Easter. Since the loss to Relikh, Barthelemy made fellow Cuban and former world champion Joel Casamayor head trainer as he looks to return to the championship ranks. Here is what Barthelemy had to say from training camp at Prince Ranch Bones Adams Boxing Gym in Las Vegas:
 
Q: How has training camp gone so far?
 
A: “Everything has been going well under the guidance of Joel Casamayor and the assistance of my brother Yan Barthelemy and Oscar Vasquez. We have been training twice a day and sparring three to four times a week against solid guys like former world champion and ex-opponent Mickey Bey. Like they say, ‘iron sharpens iron’ and the quality of sparring has been tremendous help in getting me ready for April 27th. I feel better prepared both mentally and physically than I did in my most recent fights.”
 
Q: What do you make of Robert Easter Jr. and what do you know about him?
 
A: “I have seen various Robert Easter Jr fights and have been studying him very closely. He’s a great boxer who likes to use his height and reach to his advantage. He’s an ex-world champion who has fought quality opponents. He deserves all of my respect but we are very confident that we will be victorious against him.”
 
Q: Do you feel you have been able to rebound from your first career defeat?
 
A: “Most definitely, I have been able to move on and use that defeat as a lesson in my career. They say sometimes we learn more in defeat than we do in victories and that was the case in that fight. Sometimes we do not see clearly when we are winning. Bad habits or little details that need correction are overlooked when you are winning. Sometimes we do not even see them. I feel rejuvenated and we have made many important changes that were necessary for my career. You will see on April 27 that there is still much more left from Team Barthelemy.”
 
Q: What would it mean to become a champion again on April 27th? 
 
A: “We have no doubt that we’ll become champion again for a third time on April 27. This will bring my name back at the top of the sport with many potential big fights to be made. It will mean so much more to me because Cuban boxing has currently gone through a rough patch and this victory will allow Cuba to have a champion once again.”
 
Q: Any final message to your fans before your fight?
 
A: “Please make sure to tune in on April 27th. This fight will be very competitive, with two evenly-skilled former world champions looking to reclaim their status at the top of the sport. Fights like this are what make boxing great. Cuba will have a champion once again on April 27th.”
 
Showtime's coverage will also feature former WBC 140-pound titlist Viktor Postol taking on France’s Mohamed Mimoune in a WBC eliminator, while rising heavyweight Efe Ajagba looks to remain undefeated against once-beaten Michael Wallisch iof Germany in a ten-round heavyweight attraction.  Tickets can be purchased at www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com or through Ticketmaster.
 
 

Anthony Dirrell added to Box Fan Expo line-up

Anthony Dirrell added to Box Fan Expo line-up
WBC super middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell will appear at the fifth annual Box Fan Expo on Saturday May 4th at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Dirrell will meet and greet with fans at the Box Fan Expo store booth. The Expo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., during Cinco De Mayo weekend, coinciding with the worldmiddleweight championship fight between Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Danny Jacobs that will take place later that evening at the T-Mobile Arena. Tickets to the Box Fan Expo are available at Eventbrite - https://boxfanexpo.eventbrite.com 
 
Dirrell will make his first appearance at this years' Expo and will be signing gloves, photos, personal items. Boxing Fans will have an opportunity to also take pictures with him. Dirrell joins Julio Cesar Chavez, Riddick Bowe, Mikey Garcia, Errol Spence Jr., Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, Vinny Paz, Devin Haney, Earnie Shavers, Al Bernstein, Michael Spinks, Erik Morales, James Toney and Jessie Vargas as commitments to this year's Box Fan Expo.
 
Anthony Dirrell is a two-time and current WBC super middleweight champion, having held the title since February 2019 and previously from 2014 to 2015. He is the younger brother of 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Andre Dirrell, who is also a professional boxer.
 
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 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.
 
Box Fan Expo has been a huge success with fans and boxing industry people. 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 their brand to fans and the boxing industry.
 
Tickets to the Box Fan Expo are available online at: https://boxfanexpo.eventbrite.com
 

Bob Arum expecting 700,000 buys for Crawford-Khan

Bob Arum expecting 700,000 buys for Crawford-Khan
Greg Leon: Congrats on a great card the other night. Vasyl Lomachenko looked as deadly as he's ever looked [stopping Anthony Crolla]. Can you give us some thoughts on his performance, the card as a whole and ultimately the injury he suffered? Bob Arum: "I thought that Gilberto Ramirez looked terrific in going up to light heavyweight [defeating Tommy Karpency], and Lomachenko, I mean what can you say? I've never seen anything like that. It's almost like he's a magician in there because he's fighting world class fighters. Crolla is a decent lightweight, a former [WBA] champion and a solid pro and he made him look like an amateur."
 
GL: No, he made him look like he's never put on boxing gloves before. BA: "Exactly! I agree with you. I've never seen anything like Lomachenko, never. Now that his shoulder was 100%... you know he didn't tell me, but the doctor told me that when he did his last fight with Pedraza he wasn't allowed to throw a right hook. He was all healed, but the doctor said not to throw the right hook because when you hurt it before, you can hurt it again. This time he had permission to throw the right hook and that's what he knocked the guy out with."
 
GL: Do you think his hand injury had anything to do with the gloves? I know all of the top guys with Egis will be wearing Venum because they've made a deal. I know that hand injuries happen frequently in boxing regardless of who makes the gloves, but it's his first fight with Venum and he suffers a hand injury so I think it's a viable question.
 
Bob Arum: "It is a viable question and I don't know what the answer is. I talked to Egis and the doctor and I'll tell you exactly what the doctor said. He had a broken knuckle, a little crack and the ligament was dislocated so he went to see Steve Shin, who treats all of the hand injuries for all of my fighters. He's a big hand expert and they numbed his hand, relocated the ligament and put him in the cast for the cracked knuckle. The doctor doesn't want him to hit anything or use the hand for six weeks. Then he can use it lightly after that, so we figure right now he'll be 100% ready to go after eight weeks when he's able to use it, which will be in September."
 
GL: I was joking with Egis the other day, I said it seems like the boxing gods don't want to see Loma [unify his WBA and WBO titles] vs. [IBF lightweight champion Richard] Commey. The fight was on tap, Commey hurts a knuckle and the fight doesn't happen. Now Loma makes the mandatory against Crolla...
 
BA: (cuting in) "The truth is we were thinking about maybe having him go in August, so it's not a big deal it's basically a one month setback, if that, because we weren't sure that we would go in August anyway."
 
GL: Is the plan to have him come back in September with Commey?
 
BA: "There's a lot of ways to go here. We're going to talk to Lou [DiBella who promotes Commey] We know Commey is talking about making a title defense before he fights Loma or Teo(fimo) Lopez. He might end up with Teofimo too, we'll see. We don't know what Garcia is going to do. Is he going to stay at 135? If not, maybe Loma fights (Luke) Campbell for the WBC title. There's a lot of possibilities."
 
GL: What was it like working with Eddie Hearn on this promotion?
 
BA: "Eddie is a professional for chrissakes. First of all, he sends over a fighter like Crolla with a manager and trainer like Gallager and they behave like professionals. They're at press conferences when they should, they do interviews when they should, they do media workouts when they should. They're 100% people. Eddie really didn't have to do any work on the promotion."
 
GL: Good thing, since he doesn't know dick about promoting in the US?
 
BA: (laughs) "Well that's right he knows dick about it. But I admitted the other night to the writers that I equally know dick about promoting in England."
 
GL: When you made the remark that fight landed on ESPN because Eddie didn't want to start a war he can't win. Reading between the lines that sounded like he better never f**K with us and play nice if he wants ESPN to help him with his major events like Canelo and Joshua bouts.
 
BA: "Well it's not so much play nice, but you don't go to a purse bid and get one of our fighters stripped because you're going to purse-bid and the fighter is not going to fight on DAZN because his contract provides that he's got to fight on ESPN. You don't do that to us and we're not going to do that to you. Find out what's a resonable purse that your guy wants and we'll pay him, so it worked out amicably there."
 
GL: We're less than a week away from the mega-event headlined by Terence Crawford vs. Amir Khan with a fully loaded undercard. Tell us all about it.
 
BA: "We're very excited. We had Teofimo around for a couple of days reminding us that he's the greatest fighter in the world and he'll be fighting on that card. Shakur and Terence have been training in Colorado Springs and I hear they're in fabulous shape. I got a text message from Memo Heredia who is the strength and conditioning coach for Felix Verdejo and he's in great shape. Christopher Diaz, I spoke to him and he's in great shape so we're lock and loaded and ready to go."
 
GL: I asked what your expectation was for this card PPV wise and you told me to ask you again the week of the fight after you see how ESPN puts its megaphone behind it. Now that we're here, what's your expectation for the fight? 
 
BA: "The truth is when we started and first rolled it out I was hoping for 350k, but now I really think we have a helluva shot to break 7(00)k buys. You're going to see commericals that Disney is rolling out talking about the Crawford-Khan fight and the Avengers movie coming out a week later, with the Avengers fighting some gang...I don't know who the hell it is, but they're expecting it to be the biggest movie of the year. The whole advertising campaign this week for the Avengers is intermixed with Crawford and Khan, and if you put ESPN on you'll see big features on the fighters on the card. On ESPN+ there's a tremendous piece on Teofimo called the prospect and they're about to put on another one with Shakur Stevenson. ESPN and Disney are really going crazy promoting this. We had a big talk with the satellite dishes and the cable companies and they're in a state of panic because UFC has taken all of its PPV through ESPN+ for a big guarantee and we told them that if they don't produce for us on this one then we're going to do the same thing with our PPV's. They don't want to lose the boxing franchise now that they've lost the UFC franchise which means a lot because UFC was doing ten to twelve events a year on PPV. Whether you have cable or DirectTV you're going to be bombarded by them to buy the fight."
 
GL: In your opinion does Crawford-Khan doing more buys than Spence-Garcia eliminate any doubt that Crawford is the A side of any Spence fight?
 
BA: "No, it's got nothing to do with it. You couldn't expect Spence and Garcia to do the numbers this fight will because they didn't have the marketing support that we had with ESPN. Fox is new and Fox is also a mixed entity, they've got entertainment and sports. It's not like ESPN who has five channels and can go around the clock pushing an event. They would tell me it's not a fair comparison and they would be right."
 
GL: Earlier you said Teofimo Lopez was telling everybody he's the best fighter in the world and that's a good thing because after the way Loma just looked it's going to be hard to find top guys who want to run towards him and want him the way Teofimo seems to.
 
BA: "I don't know what they're seeing, I'll tell you that frankly. Teofimo is a great, great fighter, but I remember when we signed Tyson Fury, the father called me up and know if he could match Teofimo against Tyson Fury...and I only think he's being facetious."
 
GL: Shakur is getting ready for a step up bout against Christopher Diaz and the footage from the incident last year comes out the worst possible time. Does it concern you that this may be a distraction to Shakur?
 
BA: "I don't think it's going to be a distraction for Shakur. The incident itself, you're right took place almost a year ago. We took it very, very seriously. We spoke to Andre Ward who is a very solid guy and the co-manager. We spoke with the grandfather, we spoke with Coach K, we spoke with Shakur. He's learned his lesson and everyone has assured us that nothing like this will ever happen again. The release of that video, which I had never seen before really brought home how stupid and uncalled for that incident was, but we had already taken steps with the young man to assure ourselves that it would never happen again."
 
GL: How does it feel to have this in house competition where lots of people consider Loma pound for pound best and he looks the way he did against Crolla, further cementing his status as king to having Crawford, considered pound for pound best in the eyes of many as well looking to further his position?
 
BA: "It is good to have two great fighters like that and I look at who's the best pound for pound fighter as being sort of ridiculous. Who's the most valuable player on a football team? The guy who gets 20 sacks disrupting the other team's offense or the QB throwing for a gazillion touchdowns? Who's the most valuable? They're different. Lomachenko is the greatest technical fighter I've seen, I've never seen anything like it and Terence Crawford is the second coming of Sugar Ray Leonard for me. Who's better? They're different."
 
GL: Anything you can tell me that nobody has reported yet?
 
BA: "Well, let me see...I think that (Zurdo) Ramirez is coming to New York and I want to sit him down with you. I don't want to hold anybody up in the super middleweight division, so he's either going to let us know if he wants to go back down to super middleweight or stay at light heavyweight. My guess is that he's going to stay at light heavyweight in which case we'll get him a title fight or a fight with a guy like (Eleider) Alvarez. I don't know how he was ever 168 pounds. He weighed in at 175 for the fight, but he came in at 195 pounds for the fight. He's a big sonofabitch. He fought at light heavyweight and Karpency looked like the smaller guy."
 
GL: Jesse Hart told me he may be fighting Eleider Alvarez.
 
BA: "Jesse is going to fight on June 8th and we're going to evaluate and meet with Jesse. If Zurdo decides to stay at light heavyweight, we're going to explore the options with the WBO and Jesse to see if Jesse can fight for the vacant title."
 
GL: Closing thoughts.
 
BA: "We're really excited to be in New York with this great show. Everybody in LA is buzzing about the Loma card that we put on the other night. The production was like nothing ever seen before, the in arena production. We had 10,000 people in there and the place was buzzing. There was a lot of Hollywood celebrities there, everybody said that they had never seen a production like the one that went on in Staples on Friday and I told everybody just wait till you see what we're going to do at the Garden. You know enough to evaluate the fights for yourself, but I'm talking about the production. It's going to be like nothing you've ever seen before, it's going to be absolutely thrilling. Boxing now, with the help of ESPN and the funds that we're putting into the production, is being presented like a real major league sport. The fights depend on the efforts that the fighters put out and I'm convinced that the fighters are going to put on a great effort, but people are going to see a fantastic production whether they're in Madison Square Garden or watching on ESPN PPV."

Katie Taylor, Delfine Persoon to unify all four lightweight belts

Katie Taylor, Delfine Persoon to unify all four lightweight belts
Katie Taylor-- who holds the WBA, WBO and IBF lightweight titles-- will face WBC champion Delfine Persoon for the undisputed world women's lightweight championship on Saturday June 1st at Madison Square Garden in New York, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK. The winner will becoe the third woman, and sixth boxer ever-- to hold all four major sanctiong body titles simultaneously.  Taylor (13-0, 6 KOs) last fought in in March, stopping Rose Volante for the WBO belt in the ninth round in Philadelphia, a sixth win inside the distance for the Irish sensation after the former amateur star won her first World title in just her seventh pro outing. The Belgian Persoon (43-1, 18 KOs) has held the WBC belt for five years and made her ninth defense vs. Melissa St. Vil last month.  
 
The 32 year old Taylor takes on Persoon on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight title defense against Jarrell Miller in the Big Apple, making it the third time Taylor has boxed on the same bill as her fellow London 2012 Olympic gold medal winner Joshua.
 
“It’s great that she has finally signed for the fight and I’m delighted that Eddie has been able to make it,” said Taylor. “After my fight last month I went back home for a week but then it was straight back to Connecticut to start the hard work in training camp for this fight. When I turned professional my first goal was to win a world title but then my next priority was to become undisputed champion so obviously this fight gives me the opportunity to do that so it’s massive for my career. Women’s boxing is in such great place right now and these are the kind of super fights that will really take it to new heights. Persoon is recognized as one of the best in the world pound for pound and has been the WBC champ now for over five years so it’s the best against the best. Madison Square Garden seems like the perfect setting for a fight of this magnitude.”
 
Persoon said, “This is a very unique opportunity for me and I’m thankful we’ve got the fight made, I did not have the opportunity to participate in the Olympic Games and now I get the chance to compete with the Olympic champion in Katie Taylor. I expect this will be a very tough and honest fight, and that the best boxer may win this title fight – and I expect that to be me.”
 
“This is it – this is everything, the absolute pinnacle of the sport,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “The dream is on, the undisputed championship and I can’t wait to see this fight on June 1st. This is the toughest test of Katie’s amateur and pro career, two pound-for-pound greats putting it all on the line at the mecca of boxing – the atmosphere is going to be something else.”
 
Tickets for the huge night of World title action in New York are on sale now via Madison Square Garden and StubHub (www.stubhub.com). Tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.MSG.com.