Fight Junkie Boxing News From Around The Globe
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1/20 -- Errol Spence Jr V Lamont Peterson
9:00PM ET/6:00PM PT
1/27 -- Jorge Linares V Mercito Gesta
10:00PM ET/7:00PM PT
1/20 -- Xiong Jing Nan V Tiffany Teo
7:00AM ET/4:00AM PT
1/20 -- Stipe Miocic V Francis Ngannou
10:00PM ET/7:00PM PT
1/20 -- Quinton Jackson V Chael Sonnen
9:00PM ET/7:00PM PT
Spence Jr (-4000}
2016 Olympic bronze medalist Nico Hernandez will be fighting for his first professional title on Saturday, December 2, when he takes on Hungarian invader Jozsef "Little Red" Ajtai in the eight-round main event for the vacant International Boxing Association (IBA) Flyweight Championship, headlining "KO Night Boxing: Gold & Glory" at Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas.
"KO Night Boxing: Gold & Glory" is a presentation of KO Night Boxing LLC., in association with Hartman Arena, and sponsored in part by Twister City Harley-Davidson Metro PCS, Mort's Cigar Bar and Jimmy Egg.
The action will be taped live for future airing on CBS Sports Network.
The 21-year-old Hernandez (3-0, 2 KOs), fighting out of Wichita, will be fighting in a scheduled eight-round bout for the first time. His three pro fights to date were all scheduled for six rounds and each was held in Kansas, the last two in his second home, Hartman Arena.
In his last fight this past September 23rd, Hernandez was forced to fight late replacement Kendrick "Uprising" Latchman who outweighed the celebrated American Olympian by more than 10 pounds. Hernandez won a six-round unanimous decision by scores of 60-54 and 59-55 twice.
Despite being younger than Hernandez by almost a year to the day, Ajtai (19-9, 12 KOs) has already had 28 pro fights, including a full 10-round distance loss by decision last year to two-time Olympic gold medalist Shiming Zou, the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight world champion.
"By far, Nico is fighting the toughest opponent of his pro career," Hernandez' promoter John Andersen ("KO Night Boxing LLC) said. "Ajtai has much more experience as a pro than Nico, plus he went the distance against a two-time Olympic gold medalist, Zou. Ajtai is a busy fighter with a good knockout ratio (63%). This fight is going to tell us a lot about Nico, especially his power at 112 pounds.
"Nico fighting for a title in only his fourth pro fight proves that all our hard efforts of KO Night Boxing and Team Nico has paid off quickly and we're grateful that the IBA has given him this great opportunity. I didn't realize the high quality of champions the IBA has had in the past and we're proud that Nico can someday join this group. In the flyweight division, Nico may enter world title fight shot discussions earlier than I had originally thought, which was in his third year as a pro.
An impressive performance against Ajtai could position him for a world title fight next year with less than 10 fights under his belt."
"We're excited to have an American Olympian fighting for our first Americas title," IBA President J.C. Courreges added. "Nico Hernandez is an Olympic bronze medalist and we're hopeful that he will develop into an IBA world champion in the not too distant future. His amateur pedigree speaks for itself and we're very happy to have this young man fighting for the IBA Americas title."
IBA world champions during the past quarter-century include Hall-of-Famers Oscar de la Hoya, George Foreman, Roberto Duran and Arturo Gatti, as well as stars such as Roy Jones, Jr., Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosely, James Toney, Mikkel Kessler, Eric Morales, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver.
Other fights on the "Gold & Glory" card will soon be announced. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct. 24 @ 12 p.m. CT) at the Hartman Arena box office and http://www.ticketmaster.com/venue/50551?Brand=Hartman. Prices are $115.00 (VIP), $75.00, $50.00, $35.00, $25.00 and $20.00 (prices do not include service fees) .
This is an all-ages show. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. CT with the opening bout scheduled at 6:00 p.m. CT.
The young career of heavyweight contender Hasim Rahman Jr. took an unexpected turn last week, as his scheduled opponent, Joseph Coats, decided not to fight, while in the ring during the introductions and literally left the ring and returned to the locker room.
The four-round Rahman vs. Coats bout was supposed to happen at The Durham Armory in Downtown Durham, North Carolina, last Thursday, October 19. However, the debuting Coats, trained by reputable trainer Don Turner, initially refused to come out of the locker room. Forty minutes later, Coats finally agreed to get on with the fight only to leave Rahman waiting in the ring for nearly 10 minutes while chickening out for a second time.
He now faces suspension.
Event promoter Michelle Rosado (Raging Babe Events) and matchmaker J Russell Peltz (Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc.) were as perplexed as Rahman's promoter, Greg Cohen, by Coats' sudden departure.
"Russell told me in his 48 years in the sport, he NEVER saw anything like this," said Cohen. "A fighter in the ring rethinks his choice and leaves. I'm told he was out of the building before the announcer finished explaining to the crowd what happened."
Cohen says he already has the next fight scheduled for the promising slugger Rahman Jr., November 4 in Springfield, Virginia, in a co-promotion with Shabazz Brotherz Boxing Promotions.
"Junior showed class and poise in the way he handled this and he's to be commended. Sometimes in boxing, strange things happen and this is one of those times."
Former world champion Ishe Smith battles top 154-pound contender Julian "J-Rock'' Williams in a 10-round super welterweight clash that headlines Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce live from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Saturday, November 18.
In the co-feature, Lionell Thompson clashes with unbeaten prospect Earl Newman in a 10-round light heavyweight bout. Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with unbeaten prospects Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Xavier Martinez going head-to-head in a 10-round featherweight fight.
"This card is going to bring it," said Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe. "The fans will be presented with variety; veterans and prospects going head-to-head and tough fighting styles meshing come fight night. The main event between Ishe Smith and Julian Williams is going to be an exciting battle! I think Ishe and Julian are going to put on a great show. Both fighters are very tough competitors and fight with everything they have. We also have a great undercard line-up. This is going to be an all-around exciting night of boxing for the fans."
"This is the kind of show that presents something for every boxing fan,'' said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. "Ishe Smith is a former champion who still has title aspirations. He's going up against a young hungry contender on the comeback trail in Julian Williams. Earl Newman will be taking a major step up when he takes on Lionell Thompson in the co-feature and both Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Xavier Martinez will be looking to keep their undefeated records intact. It all adds up to a fun night for boxing fans.''
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are priced at $29, $39, $59, $69, $89 and $149 and are on sale now. Tickets are available at www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com or through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 andwww.ticketmaster.com.
The 39-year-old Smith (29-8, 12 KOs) won his world championship with a majority decision over Cornelius Bundrage on Feb. 23, 2013 to become the first Las Vegas-native to win a world title. He has also challenged top fighters such as Erislandy Lara and Daniel Jacobs and most recently defeated Tommy Rainone and Frank Galarza in his last two bouts.
"I took this fight just like I've taken every tough fight over the years," said Smith. "I constantly challenge myself to the best and I believe Julian Williams is one of the best in the division. If you look at my resume, all I've done is fight the best guys, in their prime, so this is nothing new to me. I've reached the point where I've seen it all. This fight will get me exactly where I need to be, closer to a world title shot."
Williams (23-1-1, 15 KOs), one of the top young contenders in the 154-pound division, is working his way back into title contention by taking on a tough former world champion in Smith. The 27-year-old Williams of Philadelphia suffered a KO loss to Jermall Charlo in his first title shot in 2016 and returned to the ring with a TKO victory over Joshua Conley in his last fight on June 30.
"We've been working hard for months and I'm ready to get back in the ring," said Williams. "I could fight tomorrow. I know this is an important fight for my career. Ishe is a veteran and he is going to bring his 'A' game to try to prove he's still got it. I'm not going to give him that opportunity. I will be victorious and show that I'm ready to fight the best in the world."
Lionell Thompson (18-4, 11 KOs) is on the trail of a 175-pound world championship and he hasn't taken the easy road, having challenge the likes of Sergey Kovalev and Radivoje Kalajdzic in his pro career. The 32-year-old out of Buffalo, N.Y. is coming off a knockout victory over Steve Lovett in his last fight on Feb. 24. The last time he fought at the Cosmopolitan, he defeated Donovan George by unanimous decision on Sept. 16, 2016.
Unbeaten prospect Earl Newman (10-0-1, 7 KOs) will be taking a big step forward in taking on his toughest competition to date in Thompson. The 26-year-old Brooklyn-native is coming off a split draw against Paul Parker on Sept. 19 after winning his first 10 pro fights.
A 2012 Olympic Silver medalist from Mongoloa, Tugstsogt Nyambayar (8-0, 8 KOs) now fights out of Carson, California. The 25-year-old turned pro in March of 2015 with a first round knockout of Gabriel Braxton. Since then, Nyambayar has stopped every opponent in his path, including most recently scoring a 10th round TKO over Jhon Gemino in February.
The unbeaten 19-year-old prospect Xavier Martinez (9-0, 5 KOs) will face his toughest test as a pro when he enters the ring on November 18. Representing Sacramento, Martinez has scored two victories in 2017 having stopped Jesus Aguinaga in September after earning a decision over then unbeaten Prince Smalls in June.
The "Path to Glory" main event was over before it had a chance to begin. In the second round, an accidental clash of heads between super bantamweights Isaac Zarate (13-3-3, 2 KOs) and Christian Esquivel (29-12-1, 22 KOs) played the part of spoiler.
Zarate, a southpaw, bumped heads with Esquivel more than half way through the second round and created a nasty gash above Esquivel's right eye. The ringside physician ruled him unable to continue, officially declaring the bout a technical draw at the 2:18 mark.
It was an unfortunate turn of events, as both boxers prior to the stoppage engaged in a thrilling back and forth display that had the crowd amped.
"We were going after it just before it happened," Zarate said. "The fans were going to get a great fight. The crowd understood what happened though. They weren't too upset about it."
In the co-feature, junior welterweight Mohammed Rodgriguez (11-4, 4 KOs) of Mexico survived an eighth round knockdown to win by split decision against Colombian Cesar Villarraga (9-4-1, 4 KOs).
Rodriguez, who had a distinct size and reach advantage, appeared to control the early rounds with Villarraga coming on strong down the stretch. Indeed, the routine action produced a fan friendly fight, but one that was difficult to score.
Rodriguez excelled with his right hand, while Villarraga scored with his counter punching ability. In the eighth round, Villarraga landed a counter left uppercut that downed Rodriguez. In the end, it was too little too late as Rodriguez earned the win with scores 76-75 twice, while one judge had it for Villarraga, 78-73.
Bantamweight Saul Sanchez (6-0, 4 KOs) of Indio, Calif., looked every bit like a top prospect after his brutal, one-punch knockout of Nestor Ramos (7-7-1, 3 KOs) of Mexico.
Sanchez, trained by Joel Diaz, landed a crushing left hook to the midsection that left Ramos rolling on the canvas in agony. Referee Jerry Cantu waived off the fight at the 2:06 mark of the opening round.
Bantamweight Daniel Guzman (2-1, 1 KO) of Los Angeles overwhelmed Mexico's Jose Mora (1-5) to win by second round knockout. Guzman came out hungry from the outset, landing strong body shots and showcasing excellent side-to-side movement.
A left hook to the body dropped Mora halfway through the second round and an equally punishing left ended his night at the 2:32 mark.
Napa's Brandon Trejo (3-0, 1 KO) notched his first knockout victory over the still winless Carlos Apodaca (0-6-1) in the "Path to Glory" show opener. Trejo, a lightweight, advanced on Apodaca behind an accurate left jab and timely body punching.
By the third round, Trejo had Apodaca worn out and quickly closed the deal with his steady attack at the 1:21 mark.
Thompson Boxing Promotions returns for its final show of the year from the Doubletree Ontario on Friday, Nov. 17. Full details will be announced at a later date.
"Path to Glory" was presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Lucas Oil, in association with Everlast.
Swedish middleweight Oliver Flodin (1-0) will face Pavel Hryshkavets (3-2, 2 KOs) in his second professional test on October 27 in Schwerin, Germany.
The 21 year-old started his paid career in style with a unanimous points victory over Hungary’s Richard Hegyi on September 30 at the Solnahallen in Stockholm.
The former amateur star will be hoping to improve to 2-0 when he fights on the undercard of the World Boxing Super Series quarter-final contest between Juergen Braehmer and Rob Brant at Schwerin’s Sport and Congress Center.
“I felt very please with my professional debut,’’ said the boxer from Jonkoping. “I had a good feeling in the ring and the plan we set before the fight worked out really well. The atmosphere in the Solnahallen was really good too.
“I’m looking forward to fighting in Germany on a World Boxing Super Series show. My training has been good and I’m in great shape. It’s going to be an amazing experience and I want to give the audience an exciting show.”
Said promoter Nisse Sauerland: “This is a great opportunity for Oliver to showcase his skills on the big stage. He impressed on his professional debut and we’re expecting an even better performance on October 27 in Schwerin.”
Tickets for the World Boxing Super Series quarter-final contest between Juergen Braehmer and Rob Brant are available online via www.eventim.de.
2 time Jr. Middleweight World Champion Demetrius "Boo Boo" Andrade weighed in for his first ever Middleweight bout at a ready 160 lbs, while opponent Alantez "Slyaza" Fox came in at a 159.5 lbs.
The 12-round Middleweight co-feature battle will take place from Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York on tomorrow's HBO "Boxing After Dark" starting at 10:05 p.m. ET/PT featuring main event Jezereel Corrales vs. Alberto Machado in a 12 round WBA Jr. Lightweight title bout.
The Andrade-Fox bout is being co-promoted by Joe Deguardia's Star Boxing®, Banner Promotions, A Team Promotions in association with Dibella
Rob Brant (22-0, 15 KOs) is confident he will beat Juergen Braehmer (48-3, 35 KOs) in their Ali Trophy quarter-final clash on October 27 in Schwerin, Germany. In fact Brant is confident he will win the whole tournament.
27-year-old Brant was born and raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota, but is now living and fighting out of Dallas, Texas. In this interview he take us back to where it all started and reveals his ambition to win the super middleweight division of the World Boxing Super Series.
“I found boxing when I was fifteen, and I started going to the gym every once in a while. I thought my father would be upset because my father played football, my brother played football and basketball so I went a bit off the beaten path when I discovered boxing. But my father was completely cool with it. He wanted me to stay focused at something other than sitting at the house. From that point I started focusing on boxing.
I got my competitive edge from my brother who is 18 months older than me. He beat me in everything growing up. I wanted to play basketball and he was really good at that so it always got to a point where I got mad and kicked the ball and went back to the house. In football he was a quarterback, I was a running back. He had pinpoint accuracy; I couldn’t catch to save my life.
I had hands of stone. It sounds good in boxing to have hands of stone, but in football it means you can’t catch anything. I was really good in own mind when it came to football, but the running joke was that my position was ‘ass back’. I would say to the coach: “Put me in the game!” And he would say: “Get your ass back!”
My father is very proud of where I am today. He is proud that I found something that I decided, that I would stick to, run with and now maybe become one of the best in the world at what I do. I get a lot of happiness out of knowing that he is so proud.
I am a very simple person. I feel that I have much more that I could ask for in life. My dream is to accomplish the things I want to accomplish. I want to be the best in the world and make the maximum amount of money, but I box because I love to box.
I hope the best for everyone in boxing, for everyone fighting to win the Muhammad Ali Trophy in the World Boxing Super Series, because I know they are going through the same things as me, the same struggles as me. I wish them the top amount of success, just not when they are facing me. I want succes for myself more than anything and that is just the competitive nature in me.
Juergen Braehmer is a veteran. He is a very good fighter. He has been in the game for so long. I am not going to be able to do anything in there that he has not seen before. This guy will not take 15-20 nervous pisses before going to the fight. He has done everything before and that has to be respected, but let us see if I can put some doubt in him. I want to beat him in every round. I want to treat every round as a fight in itself. I just have to be better and more than prepared than Braehmer.
I feel I am an underdog to win this tournament, but for every fight my odds will get better. After I beat Braehmer - and I am very confident I will beat Braehmer - I will move on to the next level. I am confident that I will win the entire tournament.
I always told myself when I started boxing: “At 27 I want to fight for a title, but I want to take my time and learn to be a pro.” I was a phenomenal point system fighter, and I have a decent amount of professional experience that will carry me in to these big fights with these gentlemen. I don’t care who they fought. They never fought me.”
Tickets for Braehmer vs. Brant are available at the Sport-und-Kongresshalle in Schwerin are available at www.eventim.de.
Featherweight Ruben Villa (8-0, 4 KOs) and junior lightweight Michael Dutchover (6-0, 4 KOs) will return to action this Saturday night on the non-televised portion of an HBO Boxing After Dark® card at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.
Villa of Salinas, California will take on 103 fight veteran German Meraz in a featherweight bout, while Dutchover of Santa Fe Springs, California via Midland, Texas, will fight Anthony De Jesus Ruiz in a junior lightweight contest.
Villa and Dutchover are co-promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions.
Both are training in Santa Fe Springs, California and are ready for their second appearances on the East Coast.
Each fighter chimed in with thoughts on their respective battles.
"Everything has gone good in training camp. I just fought four weeks ago, but I stay ready and that is the case now. I am ready for Saturday night," said Villa.
Meraz is by far the most veteran opponent that Villa has faced. He has been in the ring with 25 undefeated opponents and 9 world champions.
"I just need to be patient against him. He has over 100 fights and knows his way around the ring. If a knockout presents itself then I have to take it, but I want to display my skills."
Being on a big card has the 20-year-old Villa excited, and he is looking to endear himself to the New York fight crowd.
"I am excited to be fighting on a bigger show. It motivates me to do better and get on the broadcast someday soon. It is very exciting to be on these types of events."
This will be the ninth bout for Villa in just fifteen months.
"When I signed the plan was to be active, and that has been the case. I would like to get one more fight in this year. But first I am very excited to put on a great performance on Saturday night."
Dutchover has moved his camp from Texas to California, and the results have been very good as he heads into his bout on Saturday.
"Everything is going great. I just fought last month, and I felt good. I am ready to go back to the east coast, and put on a great show."
Like Villa, Dutchover was very impressive in his east coast debut on April 14th, and he is looking to cement himself as one of the top prospects in the junior lightweight division.
"This is nothing new. I have fought on big shows before in the amateurs. The ring is my home. As long as I am in the ring, I will do my thing and put on an impressive performance."
Even though Dutchover has very little to go on when it comes to scouting Ruiz, Dutchover is already a young veteran and is leaving no stone unturned.
"I do not know much about him, but I am prepared for anything he will bring, and then I will adjust. I have had many different sparring partners with diverse styles, so that gets me ready for any opponent."
"I planned for this, and I train hard. I am always ready when I get the call for a fight. I am glad that I have been busy, and I have been improving with each fight, and next year should be a good year in my career. I have a mentality that if I train hard, the fight is easy. When I get in the ring, I just like to have fun."
The next chapter of former UFC heavyweight title challenger Gabriel "Napao" Gonzaga starts October 28th when he makes his professional boxing debut fighting on the "New England Future 4" card, the fourth and final 2017 installment of the popular professional boxing series, "New England's Future", to be held at the DCU Center (Exhibition Hall) in Worcester, Massachusetts.
"New England's Future 4" is presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), which is owned and operated by retired three-time, two division world champion Jose Antonio Rivera and his son, Anthonee (A.J.) Rivera.
The 38-year-old Gonzaga teaches Brazilian Ju-Jitsu (BJJ) in Worcester and lives nearby in Ludlow (MA). An imposing physical fighter, the 6' 2", 260-pound Gonzaga (17-11-0, 7 KOs, 9 SUBs, 1 DEC), holds 4th degree black belt in BJJ. The highlight of his MMA career was at the 2007 UFC 70, held in Manchester, United Kingdom, in which he knocked out K-1, Pride and Rizen champion Mirko Cro Cop with a head kick in the opening round, positioning Gonzaga for his unsuccessful challenge of UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture in his next fight.
Gonzaga, who retired from MMA 1 ½ years ago, also defeated Ben Rothwell, Shawn Jordan and Chris Tuchscherer, among the more notable UFC fighters he faced in the Octagon.
Gonzago has a new opponent for his four-round bout, Tampa's pro-debuting Alejandro Esquilin Santiago, who also has a pro MMA background.
"I like challenges in my life," Gonzaga explained why he's making his pro debut. "I set new goals because I like to be competitive in sports. I have a good boxing coach who told me I should try. I was a BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) world champion and UFC title contender. I have good boxing skills and plan to put on a good show. I do have one-punch power and hit hard.
"I started boxing in 2001 and worked at it every day for two years to learn, but then I was competing in MMA. Now, I'm focused on boxing. I think boxing is the hardest part of MMA. I know you can't make mistakes in boxing and there's no time to relax. In MMA, I could relax a little at times in clinches, but the referee won't allow that in boxing. I'll probably fight more than once but not too many because of my age and I'm not really at the high-level of boxing like I was in MMA."
Gonzaga's head boxing trainer, Rocky Gonzalez, has been working with several MMA fighters, including Gonzaga, for more than a decade to help them improve their striking skills. Gonzalez freely admits that Gonzaga knew how to box before he started working with him, crediting Gonzaga's Muay Thai coach, and that boxing came naturally to the big Brazilian who has made an easy adjustment from the Octagon to the ring. Gonzalez also feels that leg positioning differences for MMA fighters switching to boxing, in terms of throwing proper punches, is somewhat overrated.
"In boxing," Gonzalez said, "fighters need their hands like their legs and elbows in MMA. Distance and timing is more important than where their legs and feet are positioned. Gabriel doesn't like sparring with headgear, so, his sparring is more like real fighting. He's been hot with some real shots but he's responded well. He's always going to have a puncher's chance and he's deceptive because he doesn't look as fast as he is.
"We didn't really plan anything but he got this good opportunity. He's always wanted to turn pro as a boxer and go from there. Gabriel is a good listener who keeps working hard to get better. When he first brought up boxing, he was contracted by the UFC, but we started talking about him boxing after the UFC released him. He knew Jose from him teaching boxing. Gabriel isn't doing this for the money. He's a competitive guy who wanted to try boxing."
Former WBU Americans and IBU North American cruiserweight champion, Vinnie "American Nightmare" Carita (16-1-1, 15 KOs), fighting out of Pembroke (MA), will take on Bolivian heavyweight champion Saul "El Fenjx Asesino" Faraff (64-23-3, 56 KOs) in the eight-round main event.
Hartford's (CT) popular Richard "Popeye The Sailor Man" Rivera (3-0, 2 KOs) meets Hansen Castillo (0-2) in the four-round, co-featured event to be contested at a 180-pound catchweight.
Many of New England's best and most popular N.E. fighters will be in action, including 2014 N.E. Golden Gloves champion Adrian "Tonka" Sosa (4-0, 3 KOs), fighting out of nearby Lawrence (MA), vs. veteran Norwalk (CT) welterweight Shakha Moore (12-23-3, 2 KOs) in a six-round match.
Also fighting on the undercard in four-round fights include 2016 N.E. Golden Gloves champio, Anthony Laureano (5-0, 3 KOs), of East Hartford (CT) vs. Bruno Dias (0-3), of Woburn (MA), New Haven (CT) Edwin Soto (10-2-2, 4 KOs) vs. Anthony Everett (1-6). of Lawrence, at a 150-pound catchweight, three-time USA Boxing Nationals champion Elvis Figueroa (2-0, 1 KO), of New Haven (CT), vs. pro-debuting Brazilian native Rene Nazare, Southbridge (MA) junior welterweight Wilfredo "El Sucaro" Pagan (2-0) vs. Patrick Leal (0-3), of Woburn (MA), at a 150-pound catchweight, Danbury (CT) junior welterweight Omar Bordoy, Jr. (2-0) vs. Schenectady (NY) veteran Bryan "The Brick" Abraham (6-30, 6 KOs), and Timmy Ramos (4-0-1, 4 KOs), of Framingham (MA) vs. Seth Basler (0-2), of Illinois.
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets, priced at $75.00 (ringside) and $45.00 (general admission), are on sale and available to purchase at the DCU Center box office, www.dcu.centerworcester.com, by contacting Jose Rivera (firstname.lastname@example.org/508.864.6954), AJ Rivera (email@example.com/774.272.2269) or any of the fighters
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., first bout 7:00 p.m. ET.
Super bantamweight Isaac Zarate (13-3-2, 2 KOs), fresh off routine sparring sessions with WBA world champion Danny Roman, looks to capitalize on his latest win against recent world title contender Carlos Carlson when he headlines the latest edition of "Path to Glory" this Friday, Oct. 20, from the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif.
Zarate faces Christian Esquivel (29-12, 22 KOs) in the 8-round main event.
Zarate, fighting out of the Los Angeles port city of San Pedro, Calif., is going up against a big puncher in Esquivel.
"I'm not worried about his power," said Zarate, who turned 26 in September. "I'm a pressure fighter so I won't give him the chance to throw anything big."
The southpaw is only now entering his prime and is peaking at just the right time. His convincing win in July against Carlson and his frequent sparring with top-flight talent such as Roman has him feeling supremely confident heading into Friday night.
"It's the perfect time to start another winning streak," said Zarate, who is trained and managed by Eddie Gonzalez. "I've had some recent setbacks, but I feel as though I've elevated my game in the last five months. I'm ready to put on a show."
To access the "Path to Glory" promotional video, please click here, or on the graphic above.
In the co-feature, junior welterweight Mohammed Rodriguez (10-4, 4 KOs) of Mexico makes his second appearance on a Thompson Boxing card when he fights Colombian Cesar Villarraga (9-3-1, 4 KOs) in a bout set for 8-rounds.
Tickets for "Path to Glory" are priced at $40, $60, & $100 and are available for purchase by calling 714-935-0900, or visiting ThompsonBoxing.com.
All six fights will be live streamed on TB Presents: Path to Glory via our Facebook page and ThompsonBoxing.com.
The livestream starts at 8:00 p.m. PT / 11:00 p.m. ET with Beto Duran as the blow-by-blow announcer and Steve Kim providing expert color commentary.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. local time with the first bout at approximately 8:00 p.m. The Doubletree Hotel is located at 222 N. Vineyard Ave. in Ontario, CA 91764 and can be reached at 909-937-0900.
Studying will be replaced by punching on Saturday night (7 p.m. ET start), November 11, when the National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA), in association with USA Boxing, presents "Collegiate Fight Night" at Maurer Auditorium (town hall on Mt. Vernon St.) in Winchester, Massachusetts.
An entertaining evening of 10 amateur bouts are scheduled as the Cadets of the United States Military Academy at West Point take on a New England all-star caliber team comprised of boxers from the Coast Guard Academy (New London, CT), University of Massachusetts, University of Connecticut, Trinity College and Harvard University.
"College boxing is not just a sport but also a high-impact leadership development activity," NCBA president Eric Buller said. "Come out and support these young men and women who face the highest levels of rigor in the classroom and the boxing gym. They will ultimately be the future leaders of our companies, communities and our nation. Each has worked hard to earn membership in the "Six-Minute Fraternity".
Two West Points Cadets from Winchester, Luca LoConte Bota and Jack Ward, will headline the event in the homecoming.
Former professional world champions "Irish" Micky Ward (Lowell) and Jose Antonio "El Gallo" Rivera (Worcester) will be special guests at "Collegiate Fight Night".
Seacoast Ticket Agency is the exclusive online (www.seacoastticket.com) and phone (1.800.382.5242) ordering ticket service for "Collegiate Fight Night". Tickets plus ($2.50 service fee) are priced at $20.00 for general admission and limited $40.00 ringside reserved. Limited $500 VIP packages are also available and include four ringside reserved tickets, including a pre-event reception at Lucias Ristorante in Winchester (cash bar), company name recognition in the event program, post and pre-event Meet & Greet with special guest boxers at Lucias. Tickets may be available to purchase fight night at the door, however, this event is expected to sell-out in advance.
The World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight Final will be held in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia in May 2018 following an agreement signed in London between World Boxing Super Series organiser and owner Comosa AG and The General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia. The date and venue for the Final will be announced in due time.
The Muhammad Ali trophy will be awarded to the winner of the contest in the final stage of the inaugural season of the World Boxing Super Series, which has seen growing worldwide attention and broadcast coverage across more the 60 countries since its launch and Gala Draw in Monaco back in July.
Turki Al-Alsheikh, President of The General Sports Authority: “This agreement is part of our broader commitment and work to develop the sport of boxing in Saudi Arabia. Having the first final of such a high profile and groundbreaking tournament take place in Saudi Arabia is a key milestone for us, and will be one of many major sports events to take place in the Kingdom next year.”
"The interest in boxing amongst the young generation is there and growing rapidly, which is why the GSA is also working to form a grassroots partnership with one of the largest international boxing federations to promote the sport. Our involvement in the Muhammad Ali trophy is the perfect way to step up our engagement in boxing, given how popular and well respected this great sporting athlete has always been.”
Roberto Dalmiglio, CEO of Comosa: “This is fantastic news, not just for World Boxing Super Series but for boxing and for the sport in Saudi Arabia. We have seen huge and growing interest in the World Boxing Super Series from fight fans, broadcasters, commercial partners and venue owners from the major boxing markets around the world. The competition to host the cruiserweight final has been fierce, and we are delighted to be able to announce the winner."
"I am sure that Saudi Arabia will lay on a fitting finale to the first year of the WBSS and first award of the Muhammad Ali trophy! We are proud to be working with the Saudi General Sports Authority on what will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the 2018 sporting calendar in Jeddah.”
Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer: “The Muhammad Ali trophy is going from strength to strength and, with the cruiserweight division featuring all four federation world champions, the undisputed champion will be crowned next May. We will also feature local fighters on the undercard to help promote the sport locally.“
“The Muhammad Ali name and legacy is so revered in Saudi Arabia, and Ali himself fought his greatest battles (‘The Thriller in Manila’ and ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’) in locations not normally associated with boxing, so it is fitting to bring big-time boxing to Jeddah in the name of the Greatest of All Time.”
The first fights of the World Boxing Super Series took place in September and three of the four quarterfinals in the Cruiserweight division has already taken place. 2012 Olympic Gold Medallist and current WBO World Champion Aleksandr Usyk kicked off the cruiserweight tournament by spectacularly stopping Marco Huck, a former record-breaking World Champion himself, in the 10th round in Berlin.
WBA World Champion Yunier Dorticos defeated number one ranked Dmitry Kudryashov with a sensational second-round knockout in San Antonio. Finally, hometown hero Mairis Briedis outpointed Cuba’s Mike Perez in Riga to retain his WBC world title belt and set up a semi-final clash with Aleksandr Usyk.
Next up is Russia’s IBF World Champion Murat Gassiev against Poland’s former world champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday, with the winner to face Yunier Dorticos. The venues of both semi-finals, which are expected to take place in the second half of January next year, will be announced in due course.
Team Sauerland and Sport1 GmbH have signed a ground-breaking three-year-deal to lift boxing to the next level in Germany. From 2018 onwards, Team Sauerland will exclusively deliver boxing content to SPORT1, Germany`s leading 360° sports platform, which each year will broadcast at least 20 events with German participation and a total of roundly 100 fights live and exclusive on free-TV and its digital platforms.
“Team Sauerland has been continuously on Free to Air Television in Germany since 1992. We are delighted to continue that tradition and provide the sport with a huge free-to-air presence over the next three years,” said promoter Kalle Sauerland. “With a total of at least 60 free-to-air events with German participation until 2020 we now have a perfect platform for our current stars and the next generation of boxing heroes.”
Olaf Schröder, CEO of Constantin Medien and Chairman of the Management of Sport1 GmbH: “Thanks to this extensive and exclusive partnership with Team Sauerland, SPORT1 is set to become the new home for all boxing fans in the German-speaking countries. Together with Team Sauerland, we are opening the next chapter for boxing in Germany. As the leading sports dedicated platform, we will showcase this popular sport with its present and future stars, not only with extensive live broadcasts on free-TV but also on all digital platforms, giving it even more of the spotlight.”
The deal will also change the way boxing is viewed in Germany. SPORT1 will exclusively broadcast “Team Sauerland Championship Boxing” as well as “Next Generation Boxing” and “International Boxing Nights.” Prior to all big fights, there will be exclusive countdown programming – all available on free-TV. On top of that, SPORT1.de, Germany’s leading sports platform, will sync its boxing channel with Team Sauerland´s webpage, boxen.com, to expand the digital boxing coverage in the Online, Mobile and Social Media sector.
Said promoter Nisse Sauerland: “This 360-degree approach on free-to-air television will help boxing win many new fans and make sure it stays where it belongs: among the top three TV sports in Germany. Team Sauerland’s young talent pool has never been so strong. This historic deal with SPORT1 will give our fighters never-seen-before exposure and the unique chance to fight their way to the top and win the hearts of the public.”
Mikaela Laurén (29-4, 13 KOs) believes her power could prove too much for Cecilia Brækhus (31-0, 8 KOs) when she challenges for the WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO World Welterweight titles on Saturday at the Oslofjord Convention Center in Stokke, Norway.
The Scandinavian rivals meet in a repeat of their 2010 World title contest, and Laurén, the former WBC Super Welterweight Champion, is confident she can hurt the female pound-for-pound number one and put an end to her 31-fight unbeaten streak.
“Cecilia is a very arrogant person but when she feels my power she won’t be so cocky. She might be confident now, but once I hit her, it’s going to wake her up. It’s going to scare her and then I’m going to get her respect,” said Laurén.
“She’s been in the ring with some strong fighters before like Anne Sophie Mathis and Oxandia Castillo, and in those fights you can see she’s not comfortable when she gets caught with heavy punches. I’ve got heavy punches but I’ve also got better technique than both those girls. I’m going to be cleverer in the ring.
“Cecilia has never been down before but if anyone can do it, it’s me. Klara Svensson shook her in their fight, and Klara’s not even a big puncher. She landed the heaviest punch of the fight and you could tell Cecilia was hurt.
“I’ve spoken to Klara and she’s given me some advice. She’s on my side and she thinks I can beat Cecilia. I won’t mention everything she told me but she did say that Cecilia doesn’t really punch hard, and that shows on her record. She has hardly any knockouts.
“I think she is underestimating me. Maybe she thinks I’m still the same fighter I was seven years ago, but I wouldn’t even call myself a boxer back then. I was a novice. I’ve developed so much since our first fight. I’m a completely different fighter now and she is going to see just how much I’ve improved on Saturday.
“I know it will be tough but I’m used to doing it the hard way. Cecilia has had it much easier than me. She’s had a silver spoon in her mouth. She had a big promoter behind her from her first fight. I didn’t get a promoter until after my thirtieth. I’ve had to do everything on my own, and that’s made me hungrier and even more determined to win.
“She's said I talked myself into this fight but I deserve it, and she knows it. I’ve been waiting a long time for this opportunity. This is my Olympics, and I will do everything I can to win. No one is unbeatable. Look what happened to Klitschko who she has been working with. Anyone can fall from the throne.”
Cecilia Brækhus vs. Mikaela Laurén is available to watch live and exclusive on Viaplay Pay-Per-View. For more information please visit: https://viaplay.se/ppv
Mikkel Kessler has been forced to delay his comeback after contracting Lyme Borreliosis - a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks.
The former five-time World Champion had announced his plans to come out of retirement earlier this year and was expected to make his long awaited return to the ring in November.
However, the Danish boxing icon was struck down by a mystery illness whilst in training camp, and was later admitted to hospital where following multiple tests it was revealed that he had Lyme Borreliosis.
Kessler has since been released from hospital and is currently completing a course of antibiotics. The 38 year-old is close to making a full recovery, but still suffering from symptoms including fatigue, he is yet to resume training.
“I started to feel ill around 4 weeks ago. I was tired, my muscles were aching and I was unable to train,” reveals Kessler. “At that point, I still had no idea what was causing it. I had blood tests, which showed nothing, and it wasn’t until I had a spinal fluid test that the doctors were able to identify the problem.
“I’m not sure exactly when or where I was bitten by the tick, but I’m just thankful the bacteria was caught early and hopefully there will be no long lasting effects.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed to have to delay my comeback. I want to thank my fans for their support and patience. I hope to be ready to return to the ring early next year, and I promise to repay their support with a great victory!”
“I’ve had fighters suffering from many different injuries and illnesses in the past but this is a first for me,” said promoter Kalle Sauerland.
“I know Mikkel is bitterly disappointed, but his health must come first. We are now set for March and will announce venue and opponent in the coming weeks. It will take more than a tick to stop The Viking Warrior!”
WBA super champion George Groves defeated fellow countryman Jamie Cox in the Ali Trophy quarter-final with a fourth-round knockout and paved the way for a British superfight semi-final with Chris Eubank Jr.
"We have an opportunity to put on a mega fight. I can’t wait, it’s going to be epic!” said Eubank Jr. after facing off with Groves.
Groves ended Cox's unbeaten record Saturday night as he delivered a stunning right hook body shot to floor Cox.
"I was landing big body shots on Jamie, in the end it was a right hook to the body, it's a crippling shot - I don't blame him for not getting up,” said Groves now looking forward to fighting Eubank Jr.
"It’s going to be a great fight. Eubank has always been all-action. He has improved over the years but he hasn't boxed anyone on my level. I know if I boxed like I did tonight, he doesn't stand a chance."
Cox worked furiously and fought with intensity from the first bell, but in the end he could not handle Groves’ greater power.
“He placed the shot greatly and he’s a very good champion. He prepared well, I made a mistake and he made me pay. It was a great fight until then,” said Cox.
"It was an honour being a part of this great tournament."
In the biggest fight of his career, Danny Roman (23-2-1, 9 KOs) delivered a masterful performance by knocking out WBA champion Shun Kubo (12-1, 9 KOs) in the ninth round to become the newest world champion at 122-pounds.
Roman traveled to Kubo's home country of Japan to battle the newly minted Kubo. Roman, who lives and trains in Los Angeles, made good on his prefight promise to win by knockout.
"I said before the fight that I didn't intend for this to go to the judges," Roman said. "The plan was to knock him out and take the WBA title in dominating fashion."
Roman, indeed, dominated the fight from start to finish. He won every round on every scorecard with the exception of the first round on one score sheet. He battered Kubo on multiple occasions, dropping him in the seventh and eighth rounds before finishing him off in the ninth.
"Words can't describe what I'm feeling right now," Roman said after the fight. "It's a dream come true."
"We're incredibly proud of Danny Roman," said Ken Thompson, president of Thompson Boxing Promotions. "In our eyes, Danny is the ultimate champion. He never backs down from a challenge and tonight he showed that he belongs among the best in the 122-pound division."
"We never had any doubt that Danny would win the WBA title," said Alex Camponovo, matchmaker and general manager at Thompson Boxing Promotions. "He looked unbelievable against Kubo. We believe his best years are still ahead of him. That's a scary thought for the rest of the champions in this division."
The 12-round WBA championship fight took place at the Shimazu Arena in Kyoto, Japan. Roman is trained and managed by Eddie Gonzalez and exclusively promoted by Thompson Boxing Promotions.
The World Boxing Super Series is delighted to confirm the first two reserves for the Muhammad Ali Trophy. Former WBO Cruiserweight World Champion Krzysztof Glowacki (27-1, 17 KOs) and up-and-coming German youngster Vincent Feigenbutz (26-2, 23 KOs) are on stand-by to join the tournament if one of the original 16 participants is unable to continue. “The World Boxing Super Series will follow a strict schedule,” said Roberto Dalmiglio, Comosa`s Head of Management Board. “The Muhammad Ali Trophy has been designed to crown the undisputed number one in less than 10 months and we will not accept any postponements or delays. If a fighter is unavailable to box on the proposed date, he will be replaced by a world-class reserve who has been in full training. In a physical sport like boxing, there is always the chance of an injury, so we need to be prepared. We are glad to announce the first two reserves, who are both exciting fighters, today.”
Said Glowacki: “I am ready to come into the tournament and prove the world that I am the best cruiserweight. I will be training very hard and be in perfect shape once my name is called.”
Said Feigenbutz: “The Muhammad Ali Trophy is the Greatest Prize in Boxing. I feel honored to be considered. I will train extremely hard to be ready should the opportunity present itself.”
Tomorrow night in Monaco, the Draft Gala will be held at the famed Grimaldi Forum. The live TV show (23:00 local, 5 PM ET) will be broadcasted in multiple territories and also be streamed live on www.WorldBoxingSuperSeries.com. The top four seeds, which will be set by the Comosa Board once the line-up has been completed, will select their opponents from the unseeded boxers.
In the World Boxing Super Series, 16 elite fighters – eight super-middleweights and eight cruiserweights – will battle it out in a bracket-style elimination tournament. In both divisions, there will be four quarter-finals (September / October 2017), two semi-finals (early 2018) and one final (May 2018), making for a total of 14 high-class fights.
The World Boxing Super Series is proud to announce that the winner of the IBO World Championship between Chris Eubank Jnr. and Arthur Abraham will enter the competition for the inaugural Ali Trophy. The two stars collide at Wembley Arena in London on July 15, with the final spot in the revolutionary bracket-style elimination tournament up for grabs. The winner will enter a star-studded super-middleweight competition that already features WBA Super Champion George Groves, Callum Smith, who will fight for the WBC Diamond Championship, former world champion Juergen Braehmer as well as undefeated challengers Erik Skoglund, Jamie Cox, Avni Yildirim and Rob Brant.
"I look forward to testing myself against the best fighters out there,” said Eubank (24-1, 19 KOs). “The Muhammad Ali Trophy is a great idea and I am thrilled to participate. It would be great to fight George Groves and to take his title away from him but let´s see what the draw in Monaco brings. I am taking one step at a time and right now all my focus is on the fight with Arthur Abraham. With just one win between me and the World Boxing Super Series, I am extremely motivated."
Abraham (46-5, 30 KOs) has also firmly set his sights on the Muhammad Ali Trophy. “All my focus is on the difficult and spectacular fight next week at Wembley,” he said. I have to and I will defeat Eubank in a big fight. Then things will take off with the World Boxing Super Series, which really is amazing. There are so many great fights in such a short period of time, like blow-by-blow. The boxing fans will really love it. I have been dreaming of having a tournament with the world´s best boxers. I will become the world´s best super-middleweight. This really is the Champions League of Boxing and I am really looking forward to it.”
Roberto Dalmiglio, Comosa´s Head of Management Board, believes that the winner of the hotly-anticipated clash will be a worthy addition to the Muhammad Ali Trophy. “This is great news for the World Boxing Super Series,” he said. “The tournament either gets a multiple world champion who has been a top super-middleweight for many years or an up-and-coming youngster who has the potential to dominate the division for years to come. The fans will get their worth either way. May the best man win. With nine undefeated fighters, seven belts, five world champions and three former champions the Muhammad Ali Trophy has delivered on the promise to pit the best against the best.”
Said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa´s Chief Boxing Officer: “Eubank versus Abraham is a big fight that just got bigger. With the winner going into the tournament, the stakes could not be any higher.”
On Saturday, all participants of the World Boxing Super Series will come face-to-face in Monaco to determine the quarter-final match-ups in a Live Draft Gala, which will be broadcasted in multiple territories and also be streamed live on www.WorldBoxingSuperSeries.com. During the live TV show, the top four seeds will select their opponents from the unseeded boxers. The seeding, which will be set by the Comosa Board, will be announced later today.
As the IBO Champion, Eubank Jnr. has been granted the right to represent this pairing in Monaco. “With just one week between the Draft Gala and their fight, Chris Eubank Jnr. could not come down personally but will be represented by his father Chris Eubank Senior, who would be ready select an opponent for the winner of the Abraham-Eubank fight if they make it into the top four seeds,” Dalmiglio added.
In the World Boxing Super Series, 16 elite fighters – eight super-middleweights and eight cruiserweights – will battle it out in a bracket-style elimination tournament. In both divisions, there will be four quarter-finals (September / October 2017), two semi-finals (early 2018) and one final (May 2018), making for a total of 14 high-class fights.
Following his recent knockout of boxing legend BERNARD HOPKINS, Long Island fan favorite JOE SMITH JR. moved right into the mix in the light heavyweight division, boxing's deepest and most exciting.
Working full-time as a union laborer in the New York City area, Smith (23-1-0, 19 KO's) will take a short break from wielding the sledgehammer as he finalizes training for his upcoming 10-round showdown with fellow highly ranked contender SULLIVAN BARRERA, (19-1-0, 14 KO's), on Saturday, July 15 from The Fabulous Forum in Los Angeles and telecast live on HBO's Boxing After Dark (9:50 p.m. ET/PT).
Most recently a new #1 Pound-for-Pound in boxing from the light heavyweight division was heralded as ANDRE WARD defeated SERGEY KOVALEV for the second time on June 17, defending the WBA/IBF/WBO Light Heavyweight Titles. On June 3, longtime WBC Light Heavyweight Champion ADONIS STEVENSON stopped highly ranked contender ANDRZEJ FONFARA.
In addition to those two champions the division is filled with world class fighters and highly regarded contenders including ARTUR BETERBIEV, DMITRY BIVOL, OLEKSANDR GVOZDYK and ELEIDER ALVAREZ .
"It's true the division is truly heating up and I'm honored to be a part of it," said the 27-year-old Smith Jr. "The winner of my upcoming fight moves right into the top of the mix in the division."
"With my last two knockouts I have the full confidence that the sky is the limit for me in this division, I want to achieve my dream of becoming a world champion."
Smith Jr. is promoted by JOE DEGUARDIA'S STAR BOXING who has developed the heavy handed Long Island native over the last few years into a world ranked contender and holder of the WBC International Light Heavyweight Title.
"Timing is always very important when bringing along a fighter to a higher level," said DeGuardia. "We started working together a few years ago and our plan was to continue developing Joe's talents and present him with the right opportunities for success. This is a formula we've used many times in the past in building fighters the right way."
"When the opportunity came to fight Andrzej Fonfara we believed as a team that Joe was ready and he was spectacular in the first round knockout victory. The same with fighting Bernard Hopkins, it was a great opportunity and Joe put on another star making performance."
"With the Sullivan Barrera fight the stakes are even higher but we feel this is another great opportunity for Joe, back on HBO which has built many stars over the last forty years."
Known as "The Common Man", Irish-American Joe Smith Jr. burst onto the international boxing scene last June, knocking out the highly favored, former world title challenger Andrzej Fonfara in the first round of a nationally televised contest (NBC) from the Pole's hometown of Chicago.
Six months later Smith challenged future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins at the Fabulous Forum and live on HBO. Dominating the legend on December 17 through the first seven rounds, the construction union laborer Smith drilled Hopkins to the canvas and out of the ring earning the knockout in the eighth round.
Sullivan Barrera is riding a two-bout knockout streak with victories over Paul Parker on April 15 and Vyacheslav Shabaranskyy on December 16, 2016. His only loss was to light heavyweight champion Andre Ward by unanimous decision in March 2016, and Barrera is considered one of the top fighters in the stacked division.
Smith vs. Barrera is presented by Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing and Main Events. This fight is part of a sensational triple header featuring Miguel Berchelt vs. Takashi Miura, a 12-round fight for the WBC Super Featherweight World Championship and the WBA Super Featherweight World Championship with Jezreel "El Invisible" Corrales defending his title against Robinson "Robin Hood" Castellanos. Berchelt-Miura is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Zanfer Promotions and Teiken Promotions.
Tickets are priced at $25, $50, $75 and $125, not including applicable service charges and taxes, with a total ticket limit of 12 per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or the Forum Box Office (Monday through Friday 11:00 a.m. PST to 7:00 p.m. PST) at (310) 330-7300. Tickets will also be available for purchase at www.fabulousforum.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
The World Boxing Super Series is delighted to present the seventh of eight participants in the cruiserweight division. Dmitry Kudryashov has joined a star-studded tournament line-up that features the four reigning world champions Oleksandr Usyk (WBO), Mairis Briedis (WBC), Murat Gassiev (IBF) and Yunier Dorticos (WBO) as well as former champions Marco Huck and Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. The Russian Hammer (21-1, 21 KOs) enters the Muhammad Ali Trophy with a fearsome KO ratio of 94 %, with all of his 21 victories coming by the way of knockout.
“I am the Russian Hammer and I will hammer my way to four titles and the Muhammad Ali Trophy,” Kudryashov said. “The tournament is loaded with champions and former champions but nobody has a better KO ratio than me. I have a lot of respect for my fellow participants but whoever gets in my way will be knocked out.”
Roberto Dalmiglio, Comosa´s Head of Management Board, believes the stage is set for a great tournament. “Four undefeated world champions, two former champions and a KO king battling it out in a bracket-style elimination tournament – it hardly gets any better than this,” he said. “The World Boxing Super Series will set new standards in terms of quality and entertainment.”
With the addition of Kudryashov, the combined KO ratio of all participants in the cruiserweight division has gone up to 74 percent. “A KO tournament for the KO machines – this is what fans have been dreaming of for a long time,” said Richard Schaefer, Comosa`s Chairman of the Americas. “You wouldn´t want to miss a single second of the tournament, not just because of the fighters` overall quality but especially because of their punching power. With a line-up like this, any fight can be over at any second. The fans will love the Muhammad Ali Trophy.”
In what will be a historic moment, all participants will come face-to-face during the Draft Gala in Monaco on Saturday. The top four seeds will hand-pick their opponents from the unseeded boxers. “The drama begins live on stage at the famed Grimaldi Forum when these warriors will see eye-to-eye with their biggest rivals and try to select the easiest opponent,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa`s Chief Boxing Officer. “However, between four world champs, two former champs, a KO king and another high-profile challenger to be announced shortly, there will be no easy opponents. It´s intriguing to debate about who will pick whom. We can´t wait for Saturday.”
Once the quarter-final match-ups have been set, the dates and venues will be announced.
WORLD BOXING SUPER SERIES AT A GLANCE
Participants confirmed: 11 of 16
Number of world champions: 5
Number of former world champions: 3
Number of undefeated fighters: 6
Combined Record of participants: 316 wins, 14 losses, 229 KOs
Confirmed Cruiserweights (7 of 8)
Oleksandr Usyk (12-0, 10 KOs), WBO World Champion
Yunier Dorticos (21-0, 20 KOs), WBA World Champion
Murat Gassiev (24-0, 17 KOs), IBF World Champion
Mairis Briedis (22-0, 18 KOs), WBC World Champion
Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (53-3-1, 37 KOs), former IBF / WBC World Champion & IBF top-ranked challenger
Marco Huck (40-4-1, 27 KOs), former WBO World Champion
Dmitry Kudryashov, (21-1, 21 KOs)
Confirmed Super-Middleweights (4 of 8)
George Groves (26-3, 19 KOs), WBA Super Champion
Juergen Braehmer (48-3, 35 KOs), former WBA & WBO Champion
Erik Skoglund (26-0, 12 KOs)
Jamie Cox (23-0, 13 KOs)
Star Boxing announced the main event for "Rockin Fights 27", Friday, July 28th, at The Paramount in Huntington, NY. Fast rising Jr. Welterweight prospect and New York State Champion Anthony "Showtime" Karperis, 14-2 5KO'S Hicksville, NY will take on former NY Golden Glove champion Louis Cruz, 11-3 5KO'S Bronx, NY, in a 10 round Jr. Welterweight match up.
Karperis is coming off a career best effort in his last fight stopping fellow prospect Scott Burrell on March 24th at the Paramount. Karperis has won 10 of his last 11 bouts, all at the Paramount and is following in the footsteps of Star Boxing's Chris Algieri, Joe Smith, and Cletus Seldin, becoming the next big attraction developed at the Paramount. The Hicksville native has a huge fan base supporting him each fight and has steadily shown improvement from fight to fight. On July 28th Karperis will be taking on his most dangerous opponent to date in Louis Cruz.
Cruz, a former NY Golden Glove champion, a Bronx native, has never shied away from a challenge as he has taken on solid opposition throughout his career and knows he will have to be at his best when he takes on the exciting Karperis on July 28th.
Promoter Joe DeGuardia had this to say about the July 28th main event "This is what New York boxing used to be like and is supposed to be like. Two young kids, one from Long Island, one from the Bronx, putting it on the line to try and further their careers. This is a good match-up and I expect another sellout at the Paramount-- so get your tickets early".
Tickets are $50 and up and are available now at Star Boxing 718 823-2000 or by going to www.starboxing.com, the Paramount Box Office 631 673-7300, or through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1 (800) 745-3000.
"Rockin Fights" are sponsored by Legacy Advisors, Montauk Iced Tea, Modell's Sporting Goods stores, The Inn at Fox Hollow and Camelot Limousine.
Tyron Zeuge (20-0-1, 11 KOs) says Paul Smith (38-6, 22 KOs) will not take his title when they meet for the WBA World Super Middleweight Championship on Saturday, June 17 at the Rittal Arena in Wetzlar, Germany.
Zeuge captured the WBA strap with an impressive knockout victory over Giovanni De Carolis on November 5, 2016 at the MBS Arena in Potsdam. Having fought to a stalemate four months earlier, Zeuge claimed the title in style, stopping the Italian champion with just 19 seconds remaining in the final round.
The Berlin boxer then retained his belt with a technical decision against Nigeria’s Isaac Ekpo. He was ahead on points when the referee stopped the fight in the fifth round due to a cut above his right eye following an accidental clash of heads.
The 25 year-old is now set for a second defence against former British Champion Smith, who returns to Germany for a third attempt at World honours following back-to-back defeats to Arthur Abraham in September 2014 and February 2015.
‘’Paul Smith is a good opponent with a lot of experience. I’ve watched both his fights with Arthur Abraham, and I know he will be coming to win,’’ said Zeuge. ‘’However, I believe his style is well suited to mine, and I’m confident I can beat him. I’m expecting a tough fight, but I guarantee Smith will not take my title!
‘’I’ve been training hard with my coaches Juergen Braehmer and Michael Timm. We’ve prepared a good game plan, and I feel fit and strong. It gives me a lot of confidence to have so much experience in my corner. Juergen has been in my position many times before, and he knows what I to do and what advice to give.
‘’I’m excited to be defending my title. I‘ve worked really hard to get to where I am today and I will not give it up easily. I’m the last World Champion left in Germany, and while I don’t allow myself to feel any additional pressure, I know this is an important fight, not just for me, but for my countrymen too.
‘’Germany and England have always had a big sporting rivalry. I hope we can give both sets of fans an exciting fight with lots of action. Smith has tried and failed to win a World title here twice before, and on Saturday, it will be 3-0 to Germany.‘’
The WBA World Super Middleweight Championship clash between Tyron Zeuge and Paul Smith will be shown live and exclusive on SAT.1 and ran.de in Germany, and Sky Sports in the UK. Limited tickets are still available online via www.eventim.de or by calling the ticket hotline on +49 (0) 1806-570044.
Swedish light heavyweight Erik Skoglund (26-0, 12 KOs) is targeting the division's top names as he makes the move down to super middleweight.
Skoglund is currently ranked with all the major governing bodies at 175lbs (IBF #4, WBO #5, WBC #10 and WBA #11), but frustrated by a lack of opportunities, and following talks with his promoter Nisse Sauerland, the 26 year-old has decided to drop down to 168lbs.
At super middleweight, Skoglund is eager to prove himself at the highest level, and has already set his sights on the division's champions George Groves (WBA Super), James De Gale (IBF) and Tyron Zeuge (WBA Regular), plus a Scandinavian showdown with Danish boxing legend Mikkel Kessler, who has recently announced his comeback.
‘’It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while,’’ says Skoglund. ‘’I’ve always made light heavyweight comfortably. I don't have to drain fluids before a weigh-in, and I like to stay fit between fights, so I don't see any problems making super middleweight.
‘’I’ve been waiting a long time for a chance to prove myself at light heavyweight, and it’s been difficult. A lot of the belts are tied up. I’ve not been getting the opportunities I need to reach the next stage of my career, and that’s why I’ve decided to move down.
''There are more opportunities available for me at super middleweight. I’m tired of waiting for my shot at light heavyweight. I want something big now. I want the chance to prove myself against the best fighters in the division, and the chance to fulfil my potential.
‘’I know I can mix it with the top guys at super middleweight. I’ve sparred a lot of them in the past, and I’ve always been comfortable handling the situation. I’ve improved a lot since then. I've had surgery to fix a herniated disc in my back, and I feel stronger than ever.
‘’There are a lot of big fights out there for me at super middleweight. George Groves, Mikkel Kessler and Tyron Zeuge all have the same promoter as me. They are three of the top names in the division, and these are fights that should be easy to make.
‘’I'd like to fight James De Gale fight as well. I wasn’t impressed with his last performance against Badou Jack. He started well but looked tired and like he lacked power in the later rounds. I think I could do well against a guy like De Gale.
‘’I also think I would have a good chance against Groves. I’ve sparred him twice before. Once in Copenhagen before Mikkel Kessler’s rematch with Carl Froch in 2013, and then again a year later in London before his rematch his with Froch.
‘’The Kessler fight would obviously be a massive one. A big Scandinavian derby! He’s a boxing legend, and someone I’ve looked up to him since I started my career. It would be an honour to fight him, and I think it would be an interesting match-up.’’
Although there is currently no date set for his super middleweight debut, Skoglund says he can be ready in a matter of months. ''Nothing has been decided yet,’’ he said. ‘’I'm looking at a lot of different options with my promoter at the moment, but I will be ready to fight from the middle to the end of the summer.''
Skoglund's promoter Nisse Sauerland sees no issues with his fighter making the lower weight, and has tipped the Swedish star to have a big impact at super middleweight.
‘’This is an exciting development in Erik’s career. It's something we've talked about before, and now, the time is right for him to launch his attack on the super middleweight division.
''He's always been a consummate professional. He eats clean and lives right, so I have no doubt he can make the weight. I’m looking forward to sitting down with him and planning the next stage of his journey. There are a lot of big fights out there for him at super middleweight, and I believe he can become a major player in the division,'' said Sauerland.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa "T-Rex" Shields announced today that she has signed a promotional agreement with promoter Dmitriy Salita and Salita Promotions.
Already a national sports figure and role model for women everywhere, the Flint, Michigan native is in position to realize her dreams as a professional boxer.
On Friday, June 16, Shields will fight at Detroit's Masonic Temple, in her home state of Michigan, as part of Salita's Detroit Brawl series.
Shields (2-0, 1 KO), of Flint, Michigan, is the only American boxer, male or female, to ever win back-to-back Olympic boxing gold medals (2012 and 2016). In only her second bout as a professional, Shields won the NABF Middleweight Championship on Showtime's ShoBox: The New Generation in the first-ever women's bout to headline a premium cable telecast. The event, held at MGM Grand Detroit, was presented by Salita Promotions.
"I thank Salita Promotions for the commitment they have shown to me," said Claressa Shields. "I promise all boxing fans that I will dedicate myself to being not only the world's #1 female boxer and #1 pound-for-pound, but also a torch-bearer for boxing and women the world over. I can't wait to get in the ring on June 16 to continue the journey."
"Salita Promotions is to be commended for their commitment to Claressa Shields," said Mark Taffet, Shields' co-manager. "Dmitriy's knowledge and expertise in Claressa's home-base market of Detroit provides the perfect complements to Claressa's once-in-a-century talent and determination to advance women's boxing and change the sport of boxing forever."
"Claressa is an outstanding world-class athlete, who has the ability to transcend sports like Michael Jordan and Serena Williams," said Dmitriy Salita. "She also has the charisma to appeal to a broad new generation of fans, who will tune in to watch her fights and will want to come to arenas to experience her performance live. Every one of her fights is a unique experience that is memorable and transcends boxing. Claressa is a rare combination of the great fighter and a sports icon that come along in every generation. The state of Michigan has been home to many, like Joe Louis, Tommy Hearns, Floyd Mayweather and now Claressa Shields. I look forward to working with Claressa on her already historic career. At only 22 years old I believe Claressa will continue to break records, set new limits and break boundaries in and out the ring."
Tickets for "Detroit Brawl" are priced at VIP $200, Box Seats are $100 and $55, Seating is $40, and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster.com.
Paul Smith (38-6, 22 KOs) is aiming to make it third time lucky when he returns to Germany to challenge Tyron Zeuge (20-0-1, 11 KOs) for the WBA World Super Middleweight title on Saturday, June 17 at the Rittal Arena in Wetzlar.
The 34 year-old had back-to-back World title bouts with Arthur Abraham in September 2014 and February 2015. Dropping a somewhat contentious points decision to the German veteran in their first fight in Kiel, followed by a more comprehensive defeat five months later at the O2 World in Berlin.
With this experience behind him, Smith believes he is now ready claim World honours as he returns to familiar territory for his third attempt against the undefeated 25 year-old Zeuge, Germany’s only current World Champion.
‘’It’s always been my dream to become World Champion,’’ said Smith. ‘’It’s what I wanted since I was a kid, and I came so close in the first fight with Arthur Abraham. The second fight, I admit I lost fair and square, but I still believe I won that first fight, and I should have already been a World Champion.
‘’But boxing is a funny game, and now, I’ve got another chance, I see no reason why I can’t win. The timing is right for me. I’ve got more experience now. I’ve been there and done it. I’ve fought at World level and I know what to expect.
‘’Zeuge is a decent fighter. Technically he is very good. He’s strong. He throws good straight shots, and stylistically he’s not too dissimilar to me, but I’ve seen some weaknesses I can expose, and with my experience, I’m confident I can win.
‘’I know this is my last chance and I’ve got to make it count. If I had won the first fight with Abraham, I would have probably retired by now, but instead, I’m going back to Germany for another shot, and this time, I’ll be taking the title home!’’
The WBA World Super Middleweight Championship clash between Tyron Zeuge and Paul Smith will be shown live and exclusive on SAT.1 in Germany and Sky Sports in the UK. Tickets are available online via www.eventim.de or by calling +49 (0) 1806-570044.
The first three star names have signed up for the inaugural season of the World Boxing Super Series. IBF Cruiserweight World Champion Murat Gassiev (24-0, 17 KOs), WBC World Champion Mairis Briedis (22-0, 18 KOs) as well as former IBF / WBC champion & IBF top-ranked challenger Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (53-3-1, 37 KOs) will all participate in the revolutionary global knock-out tournament, with five more elite fighters to be confirmed shortly. The winner will receive the GREATEST prize in boxing, the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
Boasting a combined record of 99 wins and 3 losses along with 72 KOs, Gassiev, Briedis and Wlodarczyk can´t wait to get in on and write history.
“It is an honor to be in the World Boxing Super Series,“ said Gassiev, who holds the IBF title. “This is the best fighting the best. I have never lost a fight, I am the IBF champion and I look forward to winning the other belts as well to cement my position as the best fighter in the division!“
WBC Champion Briedis is also thrilled to participate. “This is the Champions League of boxing and I am going to prove that I am the world´s best cruiserweight,” he said. “The competition will be tough, but to be the best, you have to beat the best.”
Wlodarczyk, the former IBF & WBC Champion who now occupies the number one spot in the IBF rankings, is equally confident of success. “I will stamp my authority on the division by beating the best cruiserweights out there and winning the World Boxing Super Series,” he stated. “There is a reason the winner gets the Muhammad Ali Trophy. He was the Greatest of all time, and the winner of this tournament has the right to call himself the greatest cruiserweight of our time.”
Saturday will mark the first anniversary of Muhammad Ali´s death. Roberto Dalmiglio, Comosa´s Head of Management Board, paid tribute to the GREATEST of all time. “Nobody will ever forget what Ali has achieved,” he said. “He was the GREATEST of all time because he defeated the best opponents out there. The World Boxing Super Series is all about the best fighting the best, and that is why we named the trophy after him.”
With three high-profile signings confirmed and many more to come, the stage is set for an exciting tournament. “The quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy has officially begun and we are thrilled to welcome two unbeaten world champions and a top-ranked challenger, who is a former champion, to the World Boxing Super Series,” Dalmiglio said. “They have accepted the ultimate challenge to determine the best cruiserweight in the world.”
Season 1 of the World Boxing Super Series will feature the cruiserweights and super-middleweight divisions. In each weight class, eight top fighters will battle out a bracket-style elimination tournament. There will be four quarter-finals (September / October 2017), two semi-finals (early 2018) and one final (May 2018), which makes for a total of 14 high-class fights. “We have received a massive amount of applications for both divisions,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa`s Chief Boxing Officer. “The best fighters are lining up to be in the tournament. Just like the fans, they love the format and the fact that there will only be one man standing at the end.”
Richard Schaefer, Comosa`s Chairman of the Americas, added: “We promised you the biggest names and champions in the divisions and here we are delivering. More names will follow shortly. We simply can’t wait to get the action started!”
The quarter-final pairings will be determined during the Draft Gala in Monaco in early July. In each weight class, the four top-seeded boxers (which will be determined by the Comosa Board) will select their quarter-final opponents from the four unseeded boxers. Once the pairings are set, the exact fight dates and venues will be announced. Details about the participants in the super-middleweight division will be revealed shortly.
While the main event championship showdown between reigning title-holder Greg Vendetti and challenger Khiary Gray next week at Twin River Casino promises to deliver fireworks in the junior middleweight division, the undercard of CES Boxing's Friday, June 9th, 2017Pay Per View showcase could steal the spotlight.
Next Friday's 10-fight card, promoted in association with Boston-based promotion Murphys Boxing, features three of the region's busiest, most successful fighters facing their toughest test to date in front of an expected worldwide PPV audience on FITE TV.
Tickets are priced at $47.00, $102.00, $127.00 (VIP) and $152.00 (VIP) and can be purchased online at www.cesboxing.com, www.twinriver.com, www.murphysboxing.com or www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 401-724-2253/2254 or at the Twin River Casino Players Club. All fights and fighters are subject to change. The entire event also airs live in its entirety on FITE TV for $14.99 beginning at a new start time of 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT.
Among the most noteworthy preliminary bouts is a six-round junior middleweight rematch between battle-tested New Bedford, Mass., vet Ray Oliveira Jr. (7-1, 1 KO) and the dangerous Jose Rivera (3-1, 3 KOs) of Hartford, Conn., who face one another for the second time just four months following their epic duel in February.
Oliveira, then 6-0, won by majority decision with judges Glenn Feldman and Don Trella scoring the bout in favor of Oliveira. Clark Sammartino had it a draw, 57-57.
The hard-hitting Rivera, who dabbled in mixed martial arts as an amateur before making the full-time switch to boxing, credit Oliveira for his durability, but felt he should've gotten the nod the first time around.
"I was the one landing all the punches," Rivera said. "I felt like I outboxed him, I connected the most punches and most of the punches I landed were big, clean punches.
"He just managed to take the power."
While Oliveira lost his last bout, another majority decision, this time to Maine's Casey Kramlich, Rivera enters next Friday fresh off an exciting knockout win over New Yorker Marcus Beckford, courtesy of a thunderous, right uppercut in the fourth round that caught Beckford square on the chin and sent the 12-fight vet crashing to the canvas.
Next week's rematch with Oliveira, like most of Oliveira's fights, promises toe-to-toe action with both sides likely grabbing the momentum from one another at various points throughout the night.
"I made him miss a lot the first time and the punches he hit me with were mostly to my arms as I blocked 80 percent of them," Rivera said. "Don't get me wrong, he's a good, aggressive fighter and he sure as hell comes to fight just like I do. At the end of the day, it was an awesome fight and I learned a lot from it. The rematch will be a must-watch fight."
Staying true to his word, Oliveira continues to move forward, even on the heels of a tough loss in April. The son of New Bedford legend "Sucra" Ray Oliveira, the 26-year-old junior middleweight prospect has carved his own path as one of the tougher challengers in his weight class; next Friday will be his fifth fight in the last 11 months against opponents with a combined record of 16-2-1. He expects more of the same June 9th.
"As I've told people before, I'm not a big fan of rematches. It isn't in my best interest to fight the same people over and over, but, once again, he called me out," Oliveira said. "He wanted the first fight and now he wants the rematch.
"He feels the decision was unjust, but I completely won that fight. Last time, I was a little impatient. I really wanted the knockout. I was a little mad I got called out by someone with a lesser record, so I wanted to knock him out and prove a point. It didn't happen. I was going for it too much. That's why it didn't come.
"This time, I'll relax more and take my time. If I'm a little more patient and put my punched together, I can probably get the knockout. I like Jose. We talked afer the first fight. He's a hard-working kid, but this is business. Next Friday, I'm going to take care of business. This is nothing I haven't seen before."
Perhaps the only fighter in New England busier than Oliveira, middleweight Kendrick Ball Jr. (6-0-2, 5 KOs) of Worcester, Mass., returns next Friday for the third time in 2017 and the ninth time since turning pro 13 months ago in a six-round showdown against fellow undefeated middleweight and Bloomfield, N.J., policeman Godson Noel (6-0-1, 4 KOs).
Eight weeks ago, Ball earned his second consecutive win and fifth career knockout when he stopped the game Zachary Christy, a decorated U.S. Air Force vet and Rhode Island native, in the fifth round of a scheduled six-round fight.
Despite Ball's eight-inch height advantage, the fight was still up for grabs down the stretch; the shorter Christy closed the gap by fighting effectively on the inside and led on one scorecard entering the fifth, but Ball -- a notorious slow starter -- turned up the intensity following a pep talk from his father, Kendrick Ball, between rounds and finished Christy with a trio of left hooks upstairs, scoring the knockout at the 1:19 mark.
The 24-year-old Ball faces an undefeated opponent for the fourth time next week with Noel looking to rebound from the only blemish on his record, a draw against 43-fight vet Antonio Fernandes in May of 2016.
Also making his climb as one of New England's most watched fighters of 2017, Providence, R.I., lightweight Anthony Marsella Jr. (4-0, 2 KOs) returns to action next Friday in the first six-round fight of his promising career when he faces Dallas vet Abraham Torres (3-1, 1 KO).
Marsella fights for the first time since February when he scored a dominant, unanimous decision win over 16-fight vet Francisco Medel. The resilient Torres has rebounded nicely from a loss in his pro debut with three consecutive wins, including victories over the unbeaten Antonio Castillo in February of 2016. He returned a year later, battling to a draw with undefeated Edward Vasquez in Dallas, a fight he nearly ended in the opening round courtesy of a staggering right hand, but the outcome was later changed to a no contest, keeping Torres' win streak alive.
"Stepping into my first six-round fight," Marsella said, "my opponent is on a win streak that I'm putting to an end June 9th."
Torres' team remains confident; the popular, 28-year-old lightweight has a strong following in his hometown and a reputation as a hard-working, come-forward fighter. Torres' trainer and manager, Julio DeLeon, warned the Marsella camp, "They picked the wrong fight."
Stacking the deck even further, CES Boxing and Murphys Boxing teamed to bring Twin River fight fans a dynamic main event and co-feature for next Friday's PPV extravaganza. Gray (14-2, 11 KOs), promoted by CES, and Vendetti (14-2-1, 10 KOs), promoted by Murphys founder Ken Casey, the founder of Celtic punk band the Dropkick Murphys, have been on one another's radar for the past year and a half, a rivalry that intensified when Vendetti captured the vacant New England Junior Middleweight Title in May of 2016.
Eleven months later, the two 154-pound contenders face one another in next week's eight-round main event with both Vendetti's title and 10-fight win streak on the line.
Rounding out the June 9th doubleheader, Murphys prospect Mark DeLuca (18-0, 12 KOs) of Whitman, Mass., puts his unbeaten record on the line against the dangerous Chris Chatman (14-6-1, 5 KOs) of Chicago in the eight-round co-feature. Chatman has become a New England fan-favorite in recent years with wins over regional standouts Thomas Falowo and Vladine Biosse and makes his ninth Twin River Casino appearance next Friday and fifth in a row since April of 2015.
In another hotly-contested regional showdown, New London, Conn., junior welterweight Cristobal Marrero (4-0, 2 KOs) faces fellow unbeaten Miguel Ortiz (2-0, 2 KOs) of Springfield, Mass., in a four-round bout. Both fought in April with Marrero edging Sidney Maccow by majority decision and Ortiz upending previously unbeaten prospect Jonathan Figueroa on the scorecards by unanimous decision.
The June 9th card also features the Rhode Island and Twin River debut of CES' newest protégé, 6-foot-5 Italian heavyweight Juiseppe Cusumano (10-1, 8 KOs) of Norfolk, Va. The 29-year-old Cusumano will face Wilmington, Del., native Dan Biddle (9-6, 5 KOs) in a six-round bout. Providence, R.I., super featherweight Michael Valentin makes his professional debut in a separate four-round bout against Kevin De Freitas of Somerville, Mass., who also makes his debut.
Salem, Mass., junior welterweight Matt Doherty (6-3-1, 4 KOs), fresh off a big knockout win over Julio Perez in February, faces Providence's Cido Hoff (1-1-1) in a four-round bout, and Pawtucket, R.I, featherweight Ricky Delossantos (1-0) battles Orange, N.J., native Malcolm Simms (0-0-1), also in a four-round bout.
Fight fans can stream the event live on their television by downloading the FITE app free from iTunes or Google Play and using the instant stream-to-TV function for full-screen viewing, or watch online from any device at www.fite.tv. The FITE app also works with any Wi-Fi connected TV, iOS and Android devices, as well as streaming devices such as Roku, Chromecast and more. Replays will be available for those unable to watch live.
Popular heavyweight Sonya "The Scholar" Lamonakis takes on Laura "Lady Ram" Ramsey for the vacant Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) World title, on Saturday night, June 10, in the eight-round "New England's Future 3" co-feature at the DCU Center (Exhibition Hall) in Worcester, Massachusetts.
"New England's Future 3" is presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), which is owned and operated by retired three-time, two division world champion Jose Antonio Rivera and his son, Anthonee (A.J.) Rivera.
Undefeated prospect Irvin Gonzalez (6-0, 6 KOs), 21, headlines at home in his first scheduled eight-round bout, versus Raul Lopez (10-2-1, 5 KOs), of Bronx (NY), for the vacant UBF All-American super featherweight championship.
"I am excited to be able to have our first world championship boxing match on our 'New England's 3' boxing event," promoter Jose Rivera commented. "It's special because it's a women's World Heavyweight title fight with veterans like Sonya and Laura, who also have some hostilities towards one another. They've both earned this opportunity to fight for the UBF Women's World Heavyweight Championship. I expect fireworks and know fans will be in for a treat."
Pro boxing returns to the DCU Center for the first time in 11 years, when promoter Jose Antonio Rivera defeated Alejandro Garcia, by way of a 12-round unanimous decision, for the World Boxing Association (WBA) World super welterweight title.
Born in Greece, Lamonakis (10-2-2, 1 KO), who grew-up in Turners Falls (MA), is a teacher in New York City. She is a Springfield College graduate and has two Master's Degrees. "I'm honored to be fighting in the first world title fight in Worcester since Jose Rivera," Lamonakis said. "I'm from Massachusetts and I fought twice at Mechanics Hall (in Worcester, including her pro debut in 2010). I heard Jose was promoting shows in Worcester, so I called to say I'd like to fight for a world title on one of his cards. I think he saw me fight before and he quickly agreed.
"This is still a make-dominates sport. I tell young girls to box as a side job. I have two Master's Degrees and I'm a full-time teacher in New York. Boxing is my hobby. Very few women can make enough money boxing to make a good living. I don't know if it's because I was born in Greece and boxing is in my blood, but I love this sport and that's what keeps me going. I guess I was born to fight. I enjoy getting in the ring. I've gotten a lot from boxing and now I'm giving back to amateurs in New York City as president of a youth organization."
Lamonakis; is a former International Boxing Organization World and New York State female heavyweight champion. Her opponent, Ramsey (10-7, KOs), as a two-time world title challenger is hoping the third time is the charm for her. They have history together and this fight nearly happened a few years ago.
"I beat her daughter (Alysia Williams-Stevenson) in my second pro fight," Lamonakis explained. "She said she's see me and now, seven years later, we're fighting. She's a little older than me and I needed more fights before I fought her. We were supposed to fight a few years ago in Aruba but a hurricane cancelled the show."
In an eight-round Special Cruiserweight Attraction, Pembroke (MA) fan favorite Vinnie "American Nightmare" Carita (16-1-1, 15 KOs) meets Brazilian knockout specialist Marcelo Leonardo "Queizada" Da Silva (22-4, 17 KOs).
Fighting on the undercard, all in four-round bouts, are Worcester welterweight Andy Gonzalez (6-1, 5 KOs) vs. TBA, Lawrence (MA) junior welterweight Adrian "Tonka" Sosa (2-0, 2 KOs) vs. Buffalo's Jack Grady (0-5-1), Worcester featherweight Ranse Andino (1-0) vs. Woburn (MA) Gilvan Santos (0-3), Springfield (MA) junior middleweight Derrick "Double Impact" Whitley (1-0) vs. Norwalk (CT) veteran Shaka Moore (12-22-3, 2 KOs), Worcester's pro-debuting Bobby Harris III vs. Woburn (MA) super middleweight Rodrigo Almeida (1-6), Southbridge (MA) junior welterweight Wilfredo "El Sucaro" Pagan (1-0) vs. Lawrence's Anthony Everett (1-5), Worcester's Bryan Daniels (4-0, 2 KOs) vs. Florida's Christopher "The Archbishop" Boykins (1-8) at a 205-pound catchweight, Hartford's (CT) Richie "Popeye The Sailor Man" Rivera (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Brazilian Nathan Schulte (0-2) at a 180-pound catchweight, and Worcester's pro-debuting Neal Sullivan vs. Framingham (MA) super middleweight Saul Almeida (0-8).
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets, priced at $75.00 (ringside) and $45.00 (general admission), are on sale and available to purchase at the DCU Center box office, www.dcu.centerworcester.com, by contacting Jose Rivera (firstname.lastname@example.org/508.864.6954), AJ Rivera(email@example.com/774.272.2269) or any of the fighters
Doors open at 6 p.m., first bout 7 p.m. ET.
LEADING super-middleweight contenders Darryl Williams and Mark Heffron have begun training under British boxing legend Ricky Hatton at his gym in Hyde, Greater Manchester.
The unbeaten pair both have fights on the horizon and believe The Hitman is the right trainer to take them to the next level.
Londoner Williams, 15-0 (6 KOs), is preparing to defend his English title in a rematch with Jahmaine Smyle at the Copper Box Arena on July 8, while Heffron, 15-0 (13 KOs) will square off with Bartlomiej Grafka at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse three weeks earlier on June 17.
“I’m over the moon that two of the best super-middles have chosen to join my gym and I think it says a lot about the work myself, Mike Jackson and Blain Younis have been doing with our lads over the past couple of years,” Hatton said.
“Darryl is a really exciting boxer and his first fight with Smyle is probably the British fight of the year so far. Everyone knows how much I liked a tear up during my career, but I’ll be aiming to add a few more subtleties to his game.
“As for Mark, what more do you need to say about him than ‘pure power’. He’s had a bit of a stop-start career, but he’s really on it now and anyone who can put away 13 of 15 opponents has to set pulses racing.
“I also train Jake Haigh and Chris Blaney so the gym is brimming with talent at middleweight and super-middleweight and I think the sparring sessions alone are going to be something else.”
The undercard has been announced for promoter Dmitriy Salita blockbuster "Detroit Brawl" on Friday, June 16, 2017, at the Masonic Temple in Detroit and it features an impressive mix of local and international prospects in high-stakes match-ups.
Thus far, five exciting bouts are scheduled in support of the eight-round main event featuring two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa "T-Rex" Shields (2-0, 1 KO) of Flint, Michigan, taking on Mery Rancier (7-8-3, 5 KOs) of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, for the WBC Silver Super Middleweight Championship and the 10-round co-main event between undefeated Detroit cruiserweight Demetrius Banks (9-0, 4 KOs) and Detroit via Russia's Alexey Zubov (14-1, 9 KOs).
Tickets for "Detroit Brawl" are priced at VIP $200, Box Seats $100, Floor Seating $100 & $55, and balcony seating $40, and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster.com.
In the night's main supporting bout, undefeated welterweight pulverizer Bakhtiyar Eyubov (12-0, 10 KOs) of Aktjubinsk, Kazakhstan, will look to stay busy waiting for his next high-profile step, as he attempts to inflict his crowd-pleasing style on always-tough Cesar Soriano (27-35-1, 16 KOs) Iztacalco, Mexico, over six rounds.
In another of the chief supporting bouts, Detroit's rising talent and "Great Lakes King" Ja'Rico O'Quinn (6-0, 5 KOs) returns to action in a six-round bantamweight brawl against David Martino (2-2, 2 KOs) of San Felipe, Mexico.
Also scheduled is an all-action six-round super welterweight battle between Antonio Urista (7-2, 2 KOs) of Lansing, Michigan, and highly decorated former amateur star Serdar Hudayberdiyev (3-0, 2 KOs) of Turkmenabat, Turkey.
Opening the night will be a six-round super lightweight tilt between Staten Island, New York via Kazakhstan's Dimash Niyazov (10-0-3, 4 KOs) and Grand Rapids, Michigan, veteran Ramon Guevara (10-24-2, 6 KOs); as well as a four-round welterweight bout between undefeated Jacob Bonas (2-0-1, 1 KO) of Bellville, Michigan, and Clinton Township, Michigan's Tony Brooks (1-1).
"This is an exciting show from top to bottom," said promoter Dmitriy Salita. "Every fight has been chosen for its excitement level. I am proud to be presenting it to the boxing savvy fans of Detroit, America's comeback city and home for world-class boxing."
More fights, opponents and rounds will be announced shortly. On fight night, doors open at 7:00 pm and the fights begin at 8:00 pm.
Charles Conwell, a 2016 United States Olympian, will fight as a professional for the second time on May 18 as part of the special One-Night-Only return of DiBella Entertainment's Broadway Boxing to New York from the Paramount Theater on the campus of LIU-Brooklyn.
Conwell (1-0, 1 KO) will take on Daniel Szoros (2-1, 2 KOs), of Hungary, in the co-feature. In the main event, local favorite Heather "The Heat" Hardy (19-0, 4 KOs) fights Hungary's Edina Kiss (14-3, 8 KOs) in a rematch of their March 4 battle.
Fans can receive a 10% discount on tickets now through May 12 or until supplies last by visiting dbe1.com and using promo code USA at checkout.
It is a quick turnaround for Conwell, 19, who knocked out Jeremiah Page (3-4, 2 KOs) in 41 seconds in his professional debut on April 21, at Buffalo Run Resort and Casino in Miami, Oklahoma. Conwell is co-promoted by Tony Holden's Holden Productions and managed by David McWater's Split-T Management.
"I am so excited to fight in New York City," said Conwell. "I will always represent Cleveland and I love the fans in Oklahoma, but New York is a city where stars are born. New York will become a second home for me on way to a world championship."
"Charles Cowell will be one of the most active prospects in boxing. Tony Holden and I have plans to fight Charles all over this country, but I can't wait to watch him make a splash in New York on Broadway Boxing," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "This is a United States Olympian and I hope the local fans and boxing media respond accordingly."
Broadway Boxing returns to New York for the first time since June 2016, on a One-Night-Only basis due to the insurance requirements imposed on boxing promoters by the New York legislature in August of last year.
"The insurance requirements in New York have kept DiBella Entertainment's flagship series and almost all club shows out of New York for the past year because they just aren't financially viable," said DiBella. "But the public clamoring has been too great to ignore; we are going to plant our flag for one night and we hope boxing fans come out and support live boxing featuring homegrown and world class talent."
Tickets for Broadway Boxing at Paramount Theater at LIU-Brooklyn, promoted by DiBella Entertainment and presented by Nissan of Queens, Azad Watches, OPTYX, and Christos Steak House, are priced at $150 ringside, $85 floor seats and $45 general admission. Tickets can be purchased through Complete Ticket Solutions at 888-612-4191, or by visiting www.dbe1.com or https://tickets.completeticketsolutions.com/DEI/Online/default.asp. Doors open at 7:00pm, with the first bout scheduled for 7:30pm.
The Swedish ‘Golden Boy’ Oscar Ahlin (13-2, 11 KOs) will face Ermin Avdic (10-2, 7 KOs) in a six-round contest at the Sporthallen in Sundsvall on April 22.
Ahlin makes his comeback after almost a year out of the ring following his defeat to British boxer Patrick Mendy, and subsequent foot injury. The 27-year old, now back to full fitness, says he is happy to be facing another tough test on his return.
“Most guys would chose to have very easy fights after being out of the ring for so long, but not me,’’ says Ahlin. ‘’This guy I‘m fighting has a good record and he’ll be coming to fight and to win, but of course, it will be me getting the victory on fight night!
“It’s been a frustrating 12 months for me, and it’s been way too long since my last fight. I just cannot wait to get back in there and remind everybody of what I can do.’’
Said promoter Nisse Sauerland: ‘’It’s great to have Oscar back in action. He has huge potential and the ability to go a long way in this sport. He’s had some setbacks on the way but we believe his journey is only just beginning. However, he will need to be at his best to get the decision against Avdic.’’
Ahlin meets Avdic on the undercard of Otto Wallin’s WBA Continental Heavyweight title clash with Gianluca Mandras, which also features an action-packed undercard with fights for Swedish stars Mikaela Laurén, Rocco Wadell, Hampus Henriksson, Kennedy Katende and Patricia Berghult, plus Icelandic heavyweight Gunnar Kolbeinn Kristinsson.
Tickets for the Nordic Fight Night are available online via www.biljettforum.se or by calling the ticket hotline on 0771-130 150. All the action will be shown live and exclusive across Scandinavia on Viaplay Fighting. For more information, please visit www.viaplay.se/fighting
Coach Joey Gamache says Otto Wallin (17-0, 11 KO) is “one of the best boxers he has ever trained” and insists he is ready to capture his first title when he takes on Italian Champion Gianluca Mandras at the Sporthallen in Sundsvall on April 22.
In the first professional boxing event to ever take place in Sundsvall, hometown hero, Wallin, is looking to claim the WBA Continental Heavyweight title; and Gamache believes the 26 year-old has the necessary tools to secure victory.
“Otto is so ready for this fight,’’ said Gamache. ‘’He’s an absolute animal in the gym. His work ethic is incredible and he’s been training so hard. He’s so multi-talented. He’s got a great jab, he’s a great body puncher, and he’s a great student of the game.’’
Gamache, a former two-time World Champion, goes on to compare Wallin to two of boxing’s all-time greats, Willie Pep, who boasts a record of 229 career wins, and fellow southpaw Pernell Whitaker, a former four-weight World champion.
“Otto’s skills remind me of some of great fighters like Willie Pep and Pernell Whitaker. He’s got absolutely everything, all the tools you could ask for,’’ he says.
“Without doubt, he is one of the best I have ever trained.”
When asked for his thoughts on Wallin’s opponent, Gamache says he expects Mandras to provide a tough test for the Swedish heavyweight, and that they have prepared for an aggressive approach from the Italian boxer.
“There’s not much film on this guy, I’ve only seen three of his fights, but I do know that he’s hungry and he comes to fight,’’ he said.
“I’ve also heard he’s coming over here to look for the KO, and that’s great news for us. It means Otto is facing a good test against a hungry opponent, which is just what he needs. It will also create opportunities and openings for Otto. This will play right into our hands and will bring the best out of Otto.
“With that said, Otto will need to stay calm, relaxed, stick to the game plan and stick to his boxing. He can’t go out there looking for the KO just to try and impress his hometown fans. The KO is more likely to come if he sticks to the plan and takes the opportunities when they come.”
Otto Wallin headlines his hometown arena with a WBA Continental title fight against Italian Champion Gianluca Mandras, while Swedish stars Mikaela Laurén, Oscar Ahlin, Hampus Henriksson, Kennedy Katende, Rocco Wadell and Patricia Berghult fight on the undercard, alongside Icelandic heavyweight Gunnar Kolbeinn Kristinsson.
Tickets for the Nordic Fight Night are available online via www.biljettforum.se or by calling the ticket hotline on 0771-130 150. All the action will be shown live and exclusive across Scandinavia on Viaplay Fighting. For more information, please visit www.viaplay.se/fighting
Former two-time Olympian Kennedy Katende (1-0) is enjoying World-class sparring ahead of his upcoming fight on April 22 at the Sporthallen in Sundsvall.
The 32 year-old, who is currently based in New York, has been gaining valuable rounds in the gym with top American pros Joe Smith Jr, the current WBC International Light Heavyweight Champion, who defeated living legend Bernard Hopkins in his last bout, and fellow World ranked light heavyweight contender Sean Monaghan, who is undefeated in his twenty-eight professional fights.
‘’It’s been great to have the opportunity to spar with Sean and Joe,’’ said Katende. ‘’They both liked the work when I first sparred them, so they keep inviting me back. I was Joe’s sparring partner for eight weeks before his fight with Hopkins.’’
Katende, who returns to his hometown of Sundsvall for his second professional bout, believes this experience will prove vital to his development, as he looks fast track his career and secure a title shot within the next 12 months.
“This experience has been great for me. Joe and Sean have both been very supportive and praised me a lot for my speed and footwork. Their coaches say it's going to be fantastic to follow my career, and within a year, I would expect to be up there with these guys. I can already go toe-to-toe with them for 10 rounds!
“I’ve improved so much as a result of good quality sparring. I’m feeling better and better every time I spar with these guys,’’ he says.
“I want to be fighting for titles myself within 12 months, and this experience has given me the confidence to go out and achieve that!”
Katende boxes as part of an action-packed show in Sundsvall, which is headlined by hometown hero Otto Wallin, who challenges Italian Champion Gianluca Mandras for the WBA Continental Heavyweight title clash, and features fights for Swedish stars Mikaela Laurén, Oscar Ahlin, Hampus Henriksson, Rocco Wadell and Patricia Berghult, plus Icelandic heavyweight Gunnar Kolbeinn Kristinsson.
Tickets for the Nordic Fight Night are available online via www.biljettforum.se or by calling the ticket hotline on 0771-130 150. All the action will be shown live and exclusive across Scandinavia on Viaplay Fighting. For more information, please visit www.viaplay.se/fighting
Norwegian cruiserweight Kai Robin Havnaa (9-0, 8 KO) will box on the undercard of Kubrat Pulev’s WBA Intercontinental Heavyweight title fight with Kevin Johnson on Friday, April 28 in Arena Armeec in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Havnaa is back in action following an impressive fourth round stoppage victory over Lars Buchholz at the Oslo Spectrum on February 24, and the 28 year-old, who will fighting an eight-round contest, says he is looking forward to showcasing his skills in front of a new audience in Sofia.
‘’I cannot wait to fight in Bulgaria,’’ says Havnaa, who has previously boxed in Denmark, Germany and Norway. ‘’This will be the fourth country I have fought in as a professional. It’s giving me great experience and helping me to improve.’’
Having won all of his last eight fights inside the distance, Havnaa, the son of former WBO World Champion Magne Havnaa, reveals he will be looking for a ninth knockout win.
‘’I want to get my ninth stoppage and extend my KO streak,’’ he says. ‘’The Bulgarian fans can expect to see a top trained and hungry Norwegian who is coming for the victory.’’
Kubrat Pulev returns to Sofia following a hugely successful homecoming show against Samuel Peter on December 3, and will defend his WBA Intercontinental Championship against former World title challenger Kevin Johnson.
Tickets for the WBA Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship clash between Kubrat Pulev and Kevin Johnson on April 28 in Sofia are available online via www.eventim.bg.
Mikaela Laurén’s (28-4, 13 KOs) World title opponent Ewa Piatkowska (10-1, 4 KOs) has been ruled out of their scheduled contest on April 22 in Sundsvall with a back injury.
Laurén was due to challenge Piatkowska for the WBC Female World Super Welterweight Championship at the Sporthallen, with the Stockholm fighter eager to regain the title she was forced to vacate when moving down in weight to face domestic rival Klara Svensson.
Piatkowska had won the vacant belt with a unanimous points victory over Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes, and was to set to travel to Sundsvall to make her first defence against Laurén, when her management contacted Team Sauerland to inform them of the injury.
‘’We are of course bitterly disappointed for Mikaela,’’ said promoter Nisse Sauerland. ‘’She had been training hard for this fight and was ready to reclaim her title. Unfortunately, she will have to wait a little longer before she can get her hands on Piatkowska. However, she will still fight on April 22 in Sundsvall. We’re currently looking at a few different options and will make an announcement on a new opponent as soon as possible.’’
Laurén took to social media to express her disappointment with Piatkowska's withdrawal. ‘’You can run Ewa Piatkowska but you can't hide,’’ she said. ‘’A true champion doesn't run and definitely doesn't come up with bullshit excuses.’’
Further information regarding a replacement opponent for Laurén will be communicated shortly. Heavyweight hope Otto Wallin headlines the show with a WBA Continental title fight against Gianluca Mandras, while Swedish stars Oscar Ahlin, Kennedy Katende, Rocco Wadell, Hampus Henriksson and Patricia Berghult return to action.
SAM EVANS will return to a venue that feels “like home” when he appears on Black Country Boxing’s ‘Next Chapter’ bill on Friday May 5.
The Ricky Hatton-trained prospect stormed to his ninth victory with a one round blow out of Sylwester Walczak in February.
And he’s keen to continue where he left off at Walsall FC’s Banks’s Stadium, the place where he started his journey in the paid ranks just 18 months ago.
Evans, 21, had three of his first professional outings at the venue and has even been introduced to fans on the pitch during a Walsall game.
“I’m looking forward to going back to Walsall’s football ground because I haven’t fought there for a year and it’s like a second home to me,” he said.
“I’ve had a couple of fights in Stoke shown on BoxNation, which is great, but there’s nothing like fighting at home in front of your own fans.
“I don’t have any idea who I’ll be against yet, but I’m sure Ricky and the team will find me the best opponent to bring me on and take me up a level.
“While I’m still young and learning, I’m keen to start boxing for titles in the next year so I can’t slip up now. I’ll be ready for whoever is available on May 5.”
Ricky Hatton added: “We call Sam ‘The Quiet Man’ because you barely hear a peep out of him most of the time.
“He just comes to the gym every day, takes on board what we tell him, and gets on with putting it into practice, but believe you me people will be hearing from him soon when he starts knocking on the door for titles.
“At this stage it’s all about development. He’s still only 21. When the time is right I’ll let him off the leash.”
Walsall duo, super lightweight, Luke Paddock, and bantamweight debutant, Humza Ali, are joined by Stoke cruiserweight, Luke Caci, Swadlincote super lightweight, Connor Parker, Wolverhampton bantamweight, Kyle Williams, and West Bromwich welterweight, Tommy Loach.
Standard tickets priced at £30, are available by calling 07585 906792. £60 VIP tickets for tables of ten, with two-course meal, are available by calling Walsall FC Box Office on 01922 651 414/416.
The weigh-in and aftershow take place at Grosvenor Casino Walsall, Bentley Mill Way, Walsall WS2 0LE (just off junction 10 of the M6). Grosvenor Casino Walsall will have a presence at the football club on the evening and have linked up with local taxi firm, Yellow Taxis, to supply a number of free taxis to take guests from the Banks’s Stadium to the casino post-fight.
Like most boxers, Ray Oliveira Jr. has one eye on his upcoming Friday night with the other focused firmly on the more important battles he'll face in the real world outside of the ring.
The 26-year-old New Bedford, Mass., junior middleweight has successfully created his own legacy in the sport out from underneath the shadow of his legendary father, "Sucra" Ray Oliveira, developing into one of the region's most respected fighters in his weight class for taking on any and all comers.
Now Oliveira Jr. (7-0, 1 KO) is in the biggest fight of his life, balancing boxing with classwork as he aims for his master's degree while continuously climbing the ladder among the elite in the 154-pound division.
Oliveira Jr. faces another test -- this time, out of the classroom -- Friday night at Twin River Casino when he battles fellow undefeated junior middleweight Casey Kramlich (6-0-1, 3 KOs) of Portland, Maine, in what figures to be the toughest match of his career in the six-round co-feature of CES Boxing's Nick DeLomba-Jimmy Williams World Boxing Council championship showdown.
After handing Andy Gonzalez and Jose Rivera their first career losses, Oliveira Jr. hopes to do the same to Kramlich, who has knocked out three of his last four opponents.
"I love the tough fights. That's what I'm all about," Oliveira Jr. said. "People always ask, 'When are you going to knock some guys out?' I don't care. I want to fight. If we're fighting it out, that's what I love. It's in my blood.
"I work so hard, train, sacrifice food and family time, so I want to make it worth it. I spend two friggin' months in the gym. I don't want to spend two minutes in the ring. Some people are different. They want to get in there, get out, get their money and get their record up. I want my rounds. I want guys who can fight. I want to challenge myself, too."
Kramlich promises to bring the action. Oliveira Jr. remembers his opponent from his amateur days in Maine fighting out of the Portland Boxing Club. He describes Kramlich is a "dedicated, hard worker," who's "coming to handle his business."
"I'm training to kick his ass," Oliveira Jr. said, "and I know he's training to do the same."
"It's going to be a great fight April 7th," Kramlich said. "Two young, hungry undefeated fighters battling it out to see who's the best. That's what the sport is all about. I've had a great training camp and I'm sure Ray has as well, but come fight night I'll be ready to display my skills and put on the best fight of my pro career so far and come out on top with the victory."
Outside of the ring, Oliveira Jr. is working equally hard to ensure a future beyond his fighting days for himself and his 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter. He's studying for his master's degree in sports facility management and hopes to one day open his own learning center in New Bedford for athletes -- a "university," as he describes it -- similar to a resort where clients can live and focus solely on their training, diet and other important details intertwined with being an elite, world-class athlete. He's actually started scouting warehouses and possible locations.
"I want it to be in my city. I want to help my city," said Oiveira Jr., who recalls not being able to afford gym memberships as a kid or having someone willing to train with him.
"I know there are kids with tons of talent all over my city who don't get recognized. No one is in a rush to go to New Bedford to see what's out there. I want to give people an opportunity to make something of themselves and not have to shop around the world to find it."
The idea isn't new; Oliveira Jr. says he's thought about it for "years," but felt he needed to back to school in order to complete his education, not only to fulfill his own dream, but to set a better example for his kids, too.
"I myself got halfway through ninth grade and then they sent me to night school for 10th grade because I used to get in trouble," he recalls. "I was intelligent, but I never finished.
"I'd tell my kids all the time how important school is and yet time would go by and I wouldn't do anything. I told myself this year I have to bust my ass and take it all on before it's gone.
"I thought I'd fail. I thought I wouldn't be able to handle it. Turns out I love school."
The greater challenge outside of the classroom is balancing school with boxing and handling the demands of his father, who's back in his corner as his head trainer following a brief hiatus. While it's a delicate balancing act, the one thing the Oliveiras know how to do better than anyone else - aside from winning - is handle each other.
"He knows me. He knows how I fight. I've had others who've worked my corner, but it's just not the same," Oliveira Jr. said. "They can give me direction, but they don't know how to apply it to me. Despite not being around each other while I was growing up, he knows how to reach me in certain ways.
"Sometimes he's just tough. I'm juggling a lot of things, and if I miss a day, he lets me know. I get frustrated because I'm the one dealing with it, but I know he's right. You can't allow any excuses. If you have a trainer who accepts excuses, you need a new trainer. I get pissed, but I'm glad he does it. I don't want to slack and I know he won't allow it."
While it's a grind now, Oliveira Jr. is confident the hard work will pay dividends down the road when he finishes school and accomplishes his goals in and out of the ring.
"I want to be a champion, but I want to do something with my life. I want to show my kids you don't just have to be great at one thing," he said. "My son has eight different things he wants to be when he grows up. My daughter loves soccer and wants to be the fastest girl in the world. That's what she told me. I told my kids to do it all, otherwise you'll spend 10 years thinking about what you want to do instead of doing it."
First thing's first, Oliveira Jr. must now focus on Friday night and what figures to be another back-and-forth war with Kramlich, similar to his entertaining, edge-of-your-seat fights against Rivera and Matt Probin in December. The challenge is what motivates him to continue fighting, whether it's in the ring or in the classroom.
"I love when they say, 'This is going to be a tough fight,' because I don't want an easy fight," Oliveira Jr. said. "I want guys who will challenge me and make me better and, most of all, prepare me for that title fight when I fight one of those big dogs.
"I don't want to question whether I'm ready. I don't just want to be a world champion. I want to be pound-for-pound the best and if I'm going to do that, I've got to fight the ones who can fight it out with me."
Tickets for April 7th are priced at $47.00, $102.00, $127.00 (VIP) and $152.00 (VIP) and can be purchased online at www.cesboxing.com, www.twinriver.com or www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 401-724-2253/2254 or at the Twin River Casino Players Club. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
The event also airs live in its entirety on FITE TV Pay Per View for $14.99 beginning at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT. Fight fans can stream the event live on their television by downloading the FITE app free from iTunes or Google Play and using the instant stream-to-TV function for full-screen viewing, or watch online from any device at www.fite.tv. The FITE app also works with any Wi-Fi connected TV, iOS and Android devices, as well as streaming devices such as Roku, Chromecast and more. Replays will be available for those unable to watch live.
In addition to the highly-anticipated championship main event, April 7th features an eight-round female welterweight showdown between Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes (16-4-2, 1 KO) of Marshfield, Mass., and Mexican challenger Paty Ramirez (11-3, 5 KOs), plus a New England Lightweight Title bout between Springfield, Mass., vet Zack Ramsey (7-1, 3 KOs) and unbeaten Augusta, Ga., native Divante Jones (9-0, 6 KOs).
Joining Aleksandra Lopes on April 7th is her stepson, Arturo Lopes (1-0), who ends an eight-year layoff in his return bout against Taunton, Mass., welterweight Marqus Bates (1-1, 1 KO). The Lopeses fight April 7th in honor of the late Manny Lopes, a former CES standout who passed away in December and will be inducted into the CES Ring of Honor.
Worcester, Mass., lightweight Jamaine Ortiz (3-0, 2 KOs), fresh off a hard-fought win over unbeaten Canton Miller in February, faces another undefeated challenger in a four-round bout against Glenn Mitchell (2-0, 2 KOs) of Steubenville, Ohio, and Lynn, Mass., welterweight Khiry Todd (2-0, 2 KOs) battles Philadelphia's Vincent Floyd (2-2-1) in a four-round bout.
Junior welterweight Jonathan Figueroa (2-0, 1 KO) of Hartford, Conn., returns to Twin River to face Springfield's Miguel Ortiz (1-0, 1 KO) in a four-round showdown between two rising New England prospects and amateur standouts Ricky Delossantos of Providence, R.I., and Philip Davis of Worcester make their professional debuts against one another in a four-round super featherweight bout.
Junior welterweight Cristobal Marrero (3-0, 2 KOs) of New London, Conn., by way of Worcester, returns for the first time since December in a four-round bout against New York's Sidney Maccow (4-4, 3 KOs).
NATHAN GORMAN bolstered his experience and passed his toughest test to date with a comprehensive ten round points victory over Dominic Akinlade on Saturday night.
Gorman, boxing in his ninth professional contest at the tender age of 20, took charge of the contest early with clever use of the jab on the backfoot.
Akinlade pressed forward through each of the ten sessions and was always dangerous with single right hooks, but Gorman’s cleaner counters were the order of the day for referee Jeff Hinds, who scored the fight 100-92.
The victory earned Gorman the right to contest both the English and IBO International heavyweight crowns while also giving him his first taste of boxing beyond five rounds.
With wins over the likes of Adam Machaj and Tom Little, Londoner Akinlade is a sizable scalp for any boxer and Gorman’s trainer Ricky Hatton believes the bout will prove to be a crucial step in his charge’s education.
“I’m very proud of the way Nathan performed,” Hatton said. “He boxed coolly throughout, listened to what I told him in the corner and completed ten rounds for the first time.
“I think some fans were expecting to see Nathan blast Dominic out early like he has with a couple of his recent opponents, but we knew it was always going to be a long fight and those rounds will stand him in good stead for the future.
“People forget he’s only 20 and he’s still very much a work in progress. Wins like this provide the building blocks for him to get where I expect him to and that’s the very top.”
Gorman will now some time away from the gym as his wife Natalie is expecting their first child in the next few weeks.
An announcement on his next fight will be made later in the spring.
Popular Massachusetts heavyweight Vinnie "American Nightmare" Carita was too much for former South American champion Gilberto Matheus "El Magico" Domingos in last night's "New England's Future 2" main event at Worcester Palladium. A capacity crowd of 1,700 rocked the vintage venue from start to finish.
"New England's Future 2" was presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), which is owned and operated by retired three-time, two division world champion Jose Antonio Rivera and his son, matchmaker Anthonee (A.J.) Rivera. Rivera announced that "New England's Future 3" will be held June 10th at DCU Center, Exhibition Hall, in Worcester.
Carita (16-1-1, 15 KOs), fighting out of Pembroke (MA), unleashed a relentless body attack on his Brazilian foe, Domingos (22-7, 20 KOs), who was unable to answer the bell for the second round due to damaged ribs.
"I was hoping to get in more rounds but unfortunately I didn't get 'em tonight," Carita (pictured to the right) commented. "Based on his record, I thought he'd be more competitive, but that fell short. I keep stepping up (quality of his opponents) but they haven't lasted with me."
The feel-good story of the evening was the long awaited return of Manchester (CT) lightweight Matt "Sharp Shooter" Remillard (24-1, 13 KOs), who was incarcerated five years and hadn't fought in six. Remillard pounded his opponent, Augustine "Ruthless" Mauras (6-2-3 3 KOs), whose toughness showed throughout the contest as Remillard pounded his Lawrence (MA) opponent to the body and head en route to a eight-round unanimous decision (80-71, 79-72, 78-73) in the co-feature. Mauras was deducted a point in the fourth round for headbutting.
"I was a little rusty but I got better as the fight went on," Remillard said. "He's a tough kid who was slippery inside. If the fight went a little longer, I think I would have gotten him out of there."
Worcester heavyweight Bryan Daniels (4-0, 2 KOs) remained undefeated, dropping "Money" Mike Sawyer (7-8, 5 KOs) four times in the opening round, the last coming on the end of a vicious left-hook, resulting in referee Mike Ryan immediatelty stopped the contest without counting.
Dorchester (MA) heavyweight Donnie "Big Nasty" Palmer (9-1-1, 8 KOs) outclassed Bobby Favors (1-4, 1 KO), of Cleveland, on his way to a first-round technical knockout win. Palmer has comeback from being shot in the stomach last summer by his sister's abusive boyfriend. He recently served as a sparring partner for Wladimir Klitschko.
Hartford junior welterweight Anthony Laureano (3-0, 2 KOs), a 2016 New England Golden Gloves champion, continued to impress with a third-round technical knockout victory over battled-tested upstate New Yorker Bryan "The Brick" Abraham (6-25-1, 6 KOs).
Hot junior welterweight prospect "Marvelous" Mykquan Williams (6-0, 4 KOs), the 18-year-old high school senior from Manchester (CT), lived up to his nickname with an explosive first-round knockout of Mexican veteran fighter Israel "Tigre" Rojas (10-16, 3 KOs).
Three-time USA Boxing Nationals champion Elvis Figueroa (1-0, 1 KO), from New Haven (CT), turned in a strong professional debut, stopping Brazilian super middleweight Devision Ribiero (0-4), who was unable to continue after two rounds.
Worcester welterweight Andy Gonzalez (6-1, 5 KOs) cruised to a four-round unanimous decision over a game Antonio Chavez Fernandes (7-30-4, 2 KOs), of Brockton (MA).
Lawrence (MA) featherweight prospect Adrian "Tonka" Sosa (2-0, 2 KOs), thre 2015 New... England Golden Gloves champion, knocked out Oscar Diaz (0-11), of Hartford, midway through the opening round.
Pro-debuting Luis "Pancho" Santiago (0-0-1), fighting out of Springfield (MA), and Alex Montes (1-2-1), of Lawrence (MA), fought to a hard-fought four-round draw.
Springfield junior middleweight Derrick "Double Impact" jjjas (10-16, 3 Whitley (1-0) won his pro debut in an entertaining opener with a four-round unanimous decision over Anthony Everett (1-5), of Lawrence.
Danish boxing legend Mikkel Kessler (46-3, 35 KOs) announced his plans to return to the ring at a press conference today at the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers Hotel.
The former five-time World Champion, who retired following his May 2013 rematch with Carl Froch at the O2 in London, will make a sensational comeback later this year with a date and opponent to be confirmed.
‘’I want to prove that I can become the best again. The goal is to become World Champion for the sixth time,'' said 'The Viking Warrior'.
‘’I’ve always said that if I wake up one day and the motivation is there, I’ll take the chance, and now, the timing is right. I still have a great team around me with a chef, physical trainer, therapist and boxing coach. The desire is still there, and I’m ready to make it happen.
‘’I’m older, and so is my body, but I’ve kept in shape, and I’m still in weight. I’m 100 per cent motivated to do this. I’ve missed the training camps, and I’ve missed the focus you get from boxing - to have one goal, and to do your best to achieve it.
‘’It’s not about the money; it’s about doing what my heart tells me to do. I’ve always love big challenges, and this is a chance to really test myself.
‘’We’ve not decided on a date or an opponent yet. I’m just looking forward to fighting in front of my fans again. For me, it has always been about the fans, and I promise to do everything I can to ensure they get to see entertaining fights.’’
The 38 year-old was joined at today’s press conference by promoter Kalle Sauerland.
‘’For Mikkel it has always been about honour and not money when he steps into the ring,'' said Sauerland. ''He has beaten the best, and we believe he can come back to a level where he is ready to conquer the World again.’’
Now that sanction has officially been granted, the next fight for red-hot undefeated super middleweight David "El Bandera Roja" Benavidez will be an eliminator for the #2 mandatory challenger spot in the WBC's world rankings against highly regarded contender Rogelio "Porky" Medina, of Sonora, Mexico.
WBC #1-rated Callum Smith and WBC #2-rated Anthony Dirrell will fight for the vacant 168 WBC Championship (tentatively scheduled for May), the winner of that fight must then face undefeated WBC #3 contender, Avni Yildirim, from Turkey. The champion at the end of those two fights will be mandated to face the winner of the Benavidez vs. Medina eliminator.
For Benavidez (17-0, 16 KOs), who served as chief sparring partner for middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin's recent preparations to face Danny Jacobs, news of the fight with Medina is a welcome development.
"This is the biggest opportunity of my life and I'm not going to let it go to waste," said Benavidez. "I'm going to destroy this guy like I do everybody else. I have never trained this hard for a fight and I feel that, come fight time, I'll be extremely strong and do it up."
Considered a boxing prodigy by many, the 20-year-old Benavidez, who turned professional at age 16, is the brother of former interim WBA World Super Lightweight Jose Benavidez, and has been trained since age two by his father Jose Benavidez Sr.
Father/trainer Jose says everyone on Team Benavidez is aware of what's at stake against the formidable Medina, who lost a controversial decision to IBF World Champion James DeGale's last year, in a fight that many felt Medina won.
"We are excited and working really hard," he said. "This is the toughest fight of his career, so we're taking it super serious. This is a big opportunity for us to shine and look good and go to the next level. We were training with Golovkin here in Big Bear (California) and we've decided to stay here and keep training until the fight."
"I know he's a tough fighter and he's been in a lot of wars, and he has a lot of experience, but I'm very motivated for this fight," continued David. "We have a month and a half in training with Golovkin in camp already. Camp with him is hard work and training here in Big Bear gets you to the next level. The hard work I'm doing here will definitely get me this win."
Promoter Lewkowicz says any remaining questions about young Benavidez will be answered in this fight.
"This is the final test for David Benavidez," said Lewkowicz. "If he does to this guy what he did to so man other fighters, it will be time for the world to acknowledge that David is going to be a star in boxing. This test will show everyone that he is truly everything we've been saying he is since he was a teenager. I am proud of the hard work he is doing and look forward to this great victory."
Date and site for the fight are being negotiated. More details to follow.
Anyone who knows boxing understands the history and prestige of the famed green belt, the coveted prize for winning a World Boxing Council (WBC) championship.
Established in 1963, the WBC has reigned supreme as one of boxing's elite sanctioning bodies, representing 164 countries and sanctioning more than 2,000 world championship bouts, many under the guidance of former late president Jose Sulaiman.
The WBC also pioneered rule changes to further ensure the safety of fighters, among them the reduction of world championship bouts from 15 rounds to 12 in the early 1980s.
On Thursday night, Nick DeLomba and Jimmy Williams shared a rare opportunity to embrace the WBC's history, which becomes a part of their future Friday, April 7th, 2017 when they face off for the WBC's USNBC Welterweight Title at Twin River Casino.
CES Boxing president Jimmy Burchfield Sr., a longtime ally of the WBC who promoted its first USNBC championship 12 years ago, presented both fighters with a lavish, black suitcase emblazoned with the WBC logo Thursday at Lock 50 in Worcester, Mass., the first leg of CES' multi-city press tour to promote the upcoming DeLomba-Williams showdown.
Upon Burchfield's encouragement, they popped the gold brass locks on top and flipped the lid to reveal the distinguished WBC championship belt, complete with a stunning gold centerpiece featuring the sanctioning body's logo adorned with flags of all 164 member countries.
"Lift that belt up," Burchfield said as DeLomba (11-1, 2 KOs) and Williams (12-0-1, 5 KOs) reached into the suitcase. "That's the green belt. This is the real thing.
"Not only is this about what it means to win that belt, it's where it takes you."
The history of the USNBC championship is undeniable; nine current or former title-holders have gone on to win world titles and twenty-eight others have gone on to fight for a major world championship. Likewise, each of the five current USNBC title-holders are ranked among the top 40 in the world in their respective weight class.
The USNBC championship is an important first step, but, as Burchfield noted, it's up to the winner to carve his own path. The 10-round DeLomba-Williams championship bout headlines a star-studded 11-fight card April 7th, CES Boxing's second show of 2017 in its year-long 25th anniversary celebration.
Tickets for April 7th are priced at $47.00, $102.00, $127.00 (VIP) and $152.00 (VIP) and can be purchased online at www.cesboxing.com, www.twinriver.com or www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 401-724-2253/2254 or at the Twin River Casino Players Club. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Robert Helenius (24-1, 15 KOs) and Dereck Chisora (26-7, 18 KOs) are set for a huge heavyweight rematch on May 27 at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland.
There is a lot of the line for both men, in what promises to be the biggest fight on Finnish soil in recent history, with both the WBC Silver World Heavyweight title and a shot at the current WBC World Champion Deontay Wilder up for grabs.
Helenius holds a controversial split decision win over Chisora from their all action showdown in December 2011, which many believed the British boxer did enough to win. However, the Finnish fighter says this time the decision will be left in no doubt.
‘’Chisora is a good fighter and I’m expecting a tough fight, but I’m very confident I will win,’’ said the 33 year-old. ‘’Before our first match, I injured my right shoulder and had to fight for twelve-rounds with just one arm. If I was able to beat him with one arm, I don’t see any problems beating him when I have two.
‘’I am in great shape now, and I feel stronger than ever. It’s been a long road back since my shoulder operation, and I’ve been waiting a long time for an opportunity like this. I believe I am ready, and after I beat Chisora, I will be in a good position to challenge for the World title.’’
‘’I’m looking forward to going back to Helsinki and putting on another great show for the fans,’’ said Chisora. ‘’It’s a beautiful city with a lot of beautiful people. We had a lot of fun last time, and everyone knows who really won that fight. He can make all the excuses he wants, but that won’t help him on May 27.
‘’I feel like this is my time, I’m in my prime, and I can’t wait. I might be relaxed now, but when I leave London, I’m going to war. When I get on that flight I become a different person. Mr. Nice Guy is gone. It brings the vicious side out in me, and he’d better be ready!’’
‘’We’re delighted to be bringing this huge heavyweight attraction to Helsinki,’’ said promoter Nisse Sauerland. ‘’The first fight between Robert and Dereck was something special, and this promises to be even better. They’ve got unfinished business, and on May 27, they’ve finally got the chance to settle the score.’’
Tickets for the WBC Silver World Heavyweight Championship clash between Robert Helenius and Dereck Chisora will go on sale Monday, March 27 at 9.00 (EET) and are available online via www.ticketmaster.fi or by calling the ticket hotline on 0600 10 800.