Philly's Donald Smith signs promotional deal

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

Dannie Williams looks to reclaim his boxing career

Doveed Linder: In this interview, former prospect Dannie Williams (22-3, 18 KOs) talks about his background in boxing, and his upcoming return to the sport, scheduled for April 6th in his hometown of St. Louis... Dannie, we haven’t seen you in the ring since you faced John Molina, Jr. in January 2013, a bout you lost via fourth-round knockout.  What has been going on with you since that time and what is happening with you now? Dannie Williams: In that fight, it was just something that happened that I thought would never happen. But I guess it had to happen, because I wasn’t taking boxing seriously. After that, I went to jail for like six years and now I got my mind right and I’m ready to take over the boxing world.  The boxing world hasn’t seen the best of me.  They’ve seen good qualities in me, and they’ve seen the worst of me, but they haven’t seen the best yet.
 
DL: You’ve been boxing a long time.   When did you first put on the gloves?  How old were you and what were the circumstances?
 
DW: I actually started boxing at thirteen years old.  I went into a gym.  They were closing the gym and I was hooping and playing basketball. They said you have to leave unless you’re boxing. So, I lied and said I was a boxer, and I went upstairs and that’s how it started. This was Cherokee Recreation on the south side.  Then I eventually branched out and trained with Kevin Cunningham.  He was my amateur coach for years.  I turned pro with him too.  My first three fights were with Kevin. I signed with Don King and J. Prince, but then I ended up going to jail.
 
DL: You came up at a time when boxing was pretty hot in St. Louis with fighters like Cory Spinks and Devon Alexander on the rise.
 
DW: Yeah, it was a good opportunity to be around certain guys. I still didn’t take boxing a hundred percent [seriously]. I was supposed to be in the same position as those guys.  But it was a chance to see different things and new things that I probably never would have been able to see.
 
DL: You have a fight coming up at the Casa Loma Ballroom here in  St. Louis on April 6th.  What can you tell me about this upcoming bout and what do you hope it leads to?
  
DW: April 6, I fight a guy by the name of Ronald Rivas.  His record is 5-9-2, but he’s a tough fighter. He’s only been stopped about twice.  He always comes to fight, so that’s what I need to get back.  He just fought in January and I haven’t fought in six plus years, so I’m just excited to get back in there. I’ve been training my butt off.  I’ve been sparring like eight to ten rounds for a six-round fight. I’m just trying to get the ring rust off and put on a show for St. Louis .
 
DL: Is there anything you would like to say in closing?
 
DW: Stay on the look out for me.  I fight again in May and in June.  After about four tune-ups, I’ll be ready to get back in the mix and fight whoever.  For my fight in April, I’ll be at like 137, but I’m going to campaign at lightweight.  I’ve got unfinished business there.  I got to conquer the weight I started at – 135.   And then I’ll move up.  I’m putting 110% into what I got to do. Before, I was putting 110% into BS.  Now I’m putting 110% into something I love to do.  No excuses.  I’m gonna be on top.
 
NOTE: Doveed Linder is the author of RINGSIDE: INTERVIEWS WITH 24 FIGHTERS AND BOXING INSIDERS, a trilogy of books, each consisting of 24 in depth interviews with various fighters, trainers, corner men, promoters, commentators, and officials, including “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Roy Jones, Jr., Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, Kathy Duva, Angelo Dundee, Bob Arum, Emanuel Steward, Larry Merchant, Lou DiBella, Ann Wolfe, Joe Souza, J Russell Peltz, Gerry Cooney, Leon Spinks, Al Bernstein, Naazim Richardson, George Chuvalo, Steve Smoger, Winky Wright, Ronnie Shields, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Duane Ford, and Jackie Kallen.  The foreword for the first RINGSIDE book was written by Boxingtalk publisher Greg Leon, and is available on Amazon.com.
 
 
 
 
 

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

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

Conroy relishes underdog role vs. Buatsi

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

DAZN books Italian show for April 26th

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

Broadway Boxing returns to Broadway

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

WBA calls for bogus purse bid; Usyk could be stripped

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

Tevin Farmer targeting June or July return

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

Warrington-Galahad booked for June 15th in Leeds

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

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

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

Charlie Edwards wants Kal Yafai after soft title defense

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

Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame announces new inductees

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

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

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

Danny Garcia-Adrian Granados presser quotables

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

Showtime lands Wilder-Breazeale over DAZN

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

Beterbiev to defend vs. Kalajdzic on May 4th

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

Wilder-Breazeale Presser Quotables

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christina Hammer talks April 13th Super Fight With Shields

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

Adrian Granados gunning to be the first to stop Danny Garcia

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

Introducing African super middleweight Patrick Mukala

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

 

Quick quotes from Blair "The Flair" Cobbs

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

Beterbiev and Groupe Yvon Michel part ways

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

Mauricio Pintor returns with a win in Mexico City

Mauricio Pintor W10 Diego Cruz...In welterweight action from Mexico City, Mauricio “Trompas” Pintor defeated Diego “El Demoledor” Cruz by ten-round unanimous decision. The official scores were 97-93 (twice) ad 98-92. It was a very good win for Pintor, who had been out of the ring for two years following a split-decision loss to Patricio Lopez Moreno in 2017. Pintor is now 21-3-1.  Though Cruz hs never been stopped, his career is now in free fall as he is 0-4-1 in his last five, and 18-7-2 overall. source: WBC

Lawrence Okolie wants to KO Wadi Camacho

British cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie believes that a knockout win against Wadi Camacho (21-7) is a mere formality when the fierce London rivals clash at the Copper Box Arena this Saturday, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. Okolie returned to his destructive form with a third-round stoppage win over Tamas Lodi last time out at The O2 after taking criticism for messy performances against Isaac Chamberlain and Matty Askin last year. Now he is promising another big KO win in East London. [Okolie is listed at 11-0, but 13-1 is more accurate as he had three pro fights in the World Series of Boxing].
 
“I think stopping Wadi is a formality for me,” said Okolie. “He’s got the sort of style that will leave him open to me knocking him out. When it comes down to his skill against my skill, Wadi isn’t on my level, or on the level of the people that I’ve already beaten in the amateurs or the pros. I’m taller than him and I hit harder than him. If you break Wadi down as a fighter, I can see many different ways in which I beat him. This fight will definitely end in a knockout. He’s a southpaw but he’s also aggressive. An aggressive southpaw in against someone that is taller than them won’t end well. If he goes on the backfoot, he’s not as athletic as me with his footwork, so I’ll be able to get in and out of range a lot quicker than him. He likes to throw a lot of punches which gives opportunities for counterpunching. If I hit him with a shot that he doesn’t see coming, that’ll be a big problem for him. With Wadi being a southpaw, it’s very good practice for stepping up to the Lebedevs and other World level guys. I’m not overlooking Wadi, I’ve trained extremely hard for him and I’ll deal with him accordingly. On Saturday I’ll show him and all of the other cruiserweights in Britain what I’m about. I want to finish Wadi in a more systematic way – maybe go in southpaw and practice different pattern movements. I want to go in there and show him that he’s a practice fight for me as opposed to a 50-50 fight.”
 
Okolie vs. Camacho is a part of a huge night of action at the Copper Box Arena that includes a WBC Flyweight championship fight in which Charlie Edwards make the first defense of his crown against Spain’s Angel Moreno. 
 
Also on the card, rising light heavyweight Joshua Buatsi takes on former English Champion Liam Conroy for the vacant British title in his tenth fight... Lewis Ritson makes his debut at 140 pounds as he takes on Argentina’s German Argentino Benitez.. undefeated Irish middleweight Jason Quigley fights for the first time as a pro in the UK... Watford BantamweightShannon Courtenay makes her professional debut... and Newport Bantamweight talent Sean McGoldrick fights for the first time under new trainer Jamie Moore. 
 

Dmitriy Bivol talks Callum Johnson and potential unification bouts

Greg Leon: Congrats on your victory over Joe Smith, Jr. Can you give us some thoughts on your performance? Dmitriy Bivol: "Thank you! My initial thoughts are that many of my plans came to fruition, much of what we worked on in camp worked well in the fight.  Yes maybe I should have tried to put more combinations together, but overall I am happy with my performance!" GL: During the fight your coach said he doesn't know hoe Smith was still standing. Did his durability surprise you? Dmitriy Bivol: "Yes my trainer said that he was surprised how Smith is still on his feet. I knew, coming into this fight, that Smith is very tough, but I didn't think about it much, I just kept on doing my work."
 
GL: You were visbily buzzed at the end of the tenth round. How hurt were you? Did you fully recover by the time round eleven started?
 
DB: "Yes I did take a an overhand shot and it did somewhat effect me and my balance.  At the same time I was conscious of what was going on, I saw the punch, and most importantly I didn't lose my consciousness.  I think my mistake was that I started to relax a little early coming towards the end of the round and the bell.  After the bell I knew that I had to be focused in the next round, my trainer told me to just to recover and move around a little bit which is what I did."
 
GL: Do you feel you were fortunate that happened at the bell and not in the middle of a round?
 
DB: "I wouldn't say that I am glad that the punch landed at the end of the round, I think I should just have never taken that punch, should have never relaxed at the end of the round, that was my mistake, but all this is experience for my future career. 
 
GL: Callum Johnson has been mentioned as a possible opponent. How do you feel about that fight?
 
DB: "Callum Johnson is a strong opponent, he has shown character and power in his fight with Beterbiev and this fight.  I am looking for the biggest fights out there, if I have to fight him, I can fight him as well."
 
GL: Will we see you in a unification bout before the end of the year?
 
DB: "I would be happy to have a unification fight like this year, it's my goal! I am ready, it's all about making the fights happen, that's not up to me, I am ready!"
 
GL: What do you think about Beterbiev-Kalajdzic?
 
DB: "Beterbiev's next fight will be interesting, his opponent is a worthy opponent, we will see.  I have not seen much of the Browne-Kalajdzic fight, but I think it was close."
 
GL: When might your next fight take place?
 
DB: I am hoping to fight next in August, that's the tentative plan.
 
GL: Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?
 
DB: "I want to say thank you to all my fans and everybody who watches my fights and is happy for my victories.  I promise to further keep on working on growing my craft, I can see my potential, I promise to work hard and to only get better! Thank you!"

Cortes, Dyer training camp quotables

Undefeated Andres Cortes and once-beaten Jahmal Dyer talk about their respective training camps in advance of their eight-round junior lightweight match-up  in the ShoBox: The New Generation telecast opener on Friday, April 5th from Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas. The ShoBox tripleheader is headlined by Angelo Leo (16-0, 8 KOs) squaring off against Filipino Neil Tabanao (17-4, 11 KOs) in a ten-round junior featherweight bout and Xavier Martinez (13-0, 9 KOs) taking on John Moralde (21-2, 11 KOs) in a junior lightweught ten rounder.  Cortes (10-0, 6 KOs) was influenced by his older brother and current trainer, former three-time national champion, Luis Cortes, and started his career in boxing at a very young age. He moved up the ranks in the amateurs amassing 150 amateur fights and making it to the finals of the Youth World Championship in 2014 and 2015. He faced rising stars including Devin Haney and Teofimo Lopez before turning pro in 2016. Born and raised in Las Vegas, the 22-year-old Cortes was discovered by Floyd Mayweather at a sparring session with current WBA 130-pound super champion Gervonta Davis. He signed with Mayweather Promotions shortly after.
 
Unlike Cortes, Dyer (9-1, 5 KOs) started boxing late in life. He was 19 when his father suggested he pick up boxing to bring some structure into his life. After a brief amateur run, the 27-year-old from Baltimore, Md. turned professional in early 2017. He trains at Charm City Boxing Gym with former boxer and now head trainer, David Sewell. Although Dyer consider boxing his full-time job, he also works the night shift at a milk factory six days a week to provide for his wife and children.
 
Here is what the fighters had to say ahead of their of their television debut:
 
How does it feel having your first televised fight on Showtime on April 5th?
 
Cortes: “It feels good, but at the same time I feel this is part of my destiny. I grew up watching ShoBox fights, and I’ve always secretly known I was going to end up there, on TV. Now that it’s actually here, I feel like this is where I’m supposed to be. The moment is here and it’s really time to shine. Tune-in on April 5th, a star will definitely be born that night.”
 
Dyer: “I am excited at the possibility of being able to showcase my boxing to the viewing audience and show people what I can do. But other than that, it’s just another day at the office. Once that bell rings, it will be me and my opponent in the ring. The crowd, the lights, and the cameras will all get drowned out by that crazy voice that has always been inside my head telling me to push, work, fight, and never give up.”
 
On the progress of training camp:
 
Cortes: “My training camp has been going really good. It’s the longest camp I’ve had. I’ve been training for about 10 weeks. You can expect me to be 100 percent come April 5th.”
 
Dyer: “Training camp has been going great so far. I am in the best shape of my life. I am a gym rat and I’m always in shape. Even when I don’t have a fight lined up, I train twice a day at the gym and run five to 10 miles every day. It’s just a routine that I have always stuck with. Plus, I just had a fight on March 2, so I have pretty much just stayed in the gym and I’m feeling very sharp.”
 
Are you doing anything new this camp or making any adjustments to prepare for this fight?
 
Cortes: “My strength and conditioning has been very strict. More so than in previous camps. I’ve been focusing on my nutrition. Everything is going to be right in place when fight night comes around.”
 
Dyer: “I have always had tough fights and have always been able to overcome challenges. Inside and outside of the ring. The only thing new about this fight is that it is my first eight-round fight. I’ve been training to go hard and to go the distance.”
 
On what they know about their opponent:
 
Cortes: “I don’t see anything special on Dyer. I just see another opponent. He’s just there for me to beat. I see that he is tough but comes with nothing special.”
 
Dyer: “I don’t know much about Andres Cortes and, frankly, had never heard of him before I was offered this fight. Since then, I have looked him up and I know he is a good fighter. But I don’t think he has ever been taken into deep waters. How a fighter deals with adversity is what distinguishes a good fighter from a great fighter. I have no doubt about my grit and determination – I have always had abnormal amounts of it. Part of it may be from my upbringing and part of it may be in my DNA. But I don’t think even Andres Cortes himself knows whether he has that kind of grit and determination because he has never been tested. I will gladly administer the test.”
 
On what a win from this fight will do for their career:
 
Cortes: “It will definitely set things higher; it will set higher standards for me. The sky is the limit from this fight on. Just to getting my name out there will bring a lot more opportunities for me.”
 
Dyer: “Winning this fight will change my life. I am approaching this fight, both mentally and in training, like it is the unified world title – like it is the fight of my life. I have been through so much and sacrificed so much both in and out of the ring to get to where I am now. This is my opportunity to finally show the world what I can do and kick open the doors to my future in boxing. I don’t plan on knocking. I plan on kicking the doors wide open. Winning this fight will catapult my boxing career and, hopefully, I can focus full-time on boxing.”

From 5 Fights On The House To 7 Figures Per Bout: The Remarkable Story Of Regis Prograis

Greg Leon: How's everything going in preparation for your April 27th bout with WBA champion Kiryl Relikh? Regis Prograis: "It's going perfect. I'm out here in LA right now and I'm starting my training camp out here and I'm most likely going to move out here after the fight. GL: What made you come to that decision? RP: "The first time I came to LA a couple of years ago I loved it and now my managers are out here, with Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg and Churchill Boxing, now everything is here for me. All of the connections, all of the right stuff is here for me. I just love the city and I have to move here, it's going to be a real good look for me."
 
GL: What are your thoughts on Relikh as a fighter?
 
RP: "He'a tough fighter and he's a come forward fighter, but I really feel like there's nothing that's going to stand in my way of winning that title. Nothing will stand in my way and this is the biggest fight of my life and I won't let anything at all stop me from getting my first official title. I mean the (WBC) Diamond Belt is an official title, but with this one I'll be considered a full blown world champion. I saw him fight one time when he fought on the Mikey Garcia-Lipinets undercard. I think he fought Barthelmy and it wasn't much of a fight because Barthelmy just ran around the ring for twelve rounds while Relikh chased him. He's a good tough fighter, but it doesn't matter to me what he is or who he is. Nothing at all will stop me for this fight at all?
 
GL: How close did you come to pulling out of this tournament? 
 
RP: "To be honest I was never close to it. I always believed the tournament was going to happen. People close to me were telling me that we're most likely going to be pulling out of the tournament, this tournament is not happening. Of course if they were having problems for this fight, maybe I would feel different, but as far as the rest of it goes, I don't even know if Josh Taylor has an opponent yet, I don't know if Baranchyk is still in, but as far as this fight goes, I really really wanted this fight because it was against Relikh for the WBA title, the official title. Money wise I'm going to make seven figures anyway. I got a lot of offers on the table right now from other networks and stuff and I could have fought somebody lesser and made the same money for it. I want to have the title, of course I want to make the money, but I want the titles. 
 
"I feel like if I would have pulled out of the tournament this next fight wouldn't have been for the title. In the tournament this next fight is for the official title and I'm still going to make the money and that's why I kept telling my managers and my lawyer I want to stay in the tournament, let's keep pushing to stay in. My whole thing was fight for the belts and do what Crawford did at 140 and take all of the belts, omething it's hard to do in boxing because of the politics, but I feel like right now I am the best in the world at 140 and I want to take all the belts. I feel like if they gave the opportunities to fight for all of the betls at 140 right now I'd have them. If I fight Relikh, Jose Ramirez, Maurice Hooker or Baranchyk, I feel like I can beat all four of those champions right now. With the fight against Relikh, I'm glad that it's happening. That's the fight I wanted and then I'm going after all of the belts."
 
GL: It wasn't that long ago you were fighting Joel Diaz in a Shobox main for in the neighborhood of $50k. Did being under the radar for so long make it easier for you to stay grounded now that your purses have increased twenty fold?
 
RP: "Yeah. I'm really smart with my money and I've got a good financial advisor. Of course it improves your quality of life, but I don't get a big head because I love the sport. I knew the money was going to come. For people who don't know the story, I did my first five fights for free. I always knew I was good, I always knew that I would be a future superstar and I always knew the money would come, I mean I did five fights and made zero. Now I'm able to help my family and do different things, but as far as my hunger I still wake up everyday with boxing on my mind, I still go to sleep with boxing on my mind. I train my ass off everyday, I watch boxing almost every day and I ain't going to change nothing."
 
GL: That tire you beating up on will never be a Lambo tire then, that's good. 
 
RP: "I'm kind of smart with my money and from what I've been told you're never supposed to buy a Lamborhgini. You're never supposed to buy one, you know with those cars you have to be smart man."
 
GL: Yeah man, you can't be throwing house money and property money at something that depreciates the second you put it in drive.
 
RP: "Exactly..and a lot of fighters still do that dumb shit. My biggest fear is to do all this hard work I'm doing right now, grinding my ass off every day while I'm young...
 
GL: (cutting in) and putting your life on the line to be broke later, yeah.
 
RP: "It don't make no sense, but a lot of people think it's hard to do that, but it's very easy to lose all of your money when your lifestyle changes. There has to be a balance. Of course I'm not going to live the same lifestyle I once did working as a trainer for $12 an hour, but at the same time I won't go crazy with anything, there's got to be a balance to everything." 
 
GL: You've told me that you don't see anybody taking your punches for twelve rounds. Does that mean you'll be the first to stop Relikh on April 27th?
 
RP: "I don't want to predict nothing like that, but I feel like if I really apply that pressure for twelve rounds nobody could go the twelve...that's just how I feel, it's not going to happen."
 
GL: How do you feel about the fighting happening in Lafayette instead of NOLA? 
 
RP: "It was a hard decision, but I think it's going to be a good decision at the end of the day because Lafayette is halfway between Houston and New Orleans and I think a whole lot of people are going to come out so it's going to be a good decision. I don't know the history all the way, but I feel like this might be the first championship fight in Lafayette's history. I'm not sure, but I think this is the first one."
 
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
 
RP: "Keep following me. I'm in LA right now and enjoying this weather and training my ass off. Nothing is going to stop me from getting that title. I feel like nothing is going to stop me and I don't give a f**k who's in my way. This is what I've been fighting for since I first put on a pair of gloves. From that time I wanted to be a world champion and this is the shot, and nothing will stop me and I'm busting my ass in the gym every single day."

Kathy Duva: Kovalev wants to get Yarde mandatory out of the way before unifying

Greg Leon: Congrats on [WBA 175-pound champion] Dmitriy Bivol's recent victory over Joe Smith, Jr. Can you give us some thoughts on his performance? Kathy Duva: "Thank you. I thought he looked terrific, I think he did what he was supposed to do and oh my God Joe Smith Jr is one tough guy. He took a lot, but one of the things I loved about Dmitriy's performance was that in the twelfth round he was still trying to take him out when he certainly didn't have to. We like to see that kind of aggression." GL: After winning the first nine rounds and two minutes and fifty nine seconds of the tenth round, Bivol got hurt with a right hand from Smith. What are you think at that point? KD: "We're going to find out another thing about Dmitriy now. Every fighter has to have that moment where they get challenged and we have to see how they perform and he came through again doing as well as you could possibly hope for. He was back on track quickly and going for the knockout in the last round, and this is a guy who is learning on the job and these are the kind of things you usually learn about a fighter on the way up we're learning about Dmitriy in title fights."
 
GL: Where would you like to see him go from here?
 
KD: "He wants to fight again in August, so that's what we're looking for. Right now everybody is still settling up the business from the last fight and all that. I'm sure we'll have talks in the next couple of weeks and I'm sure World Of Boxing will be letting me know what direction they want to go in and we'll see."
 
GL: Do you think he'll have a unification bout in 2019?
 
KD: "I can't say for sure. I think it's certainly possible, but it's not for me to say. World Of Boxing and Dmitriy are in charge of his career and I'm here to serve. Whatever they want to do I will try to help them get it done."
 
GL: How seriously do you think Dmitiry is considering moving down to 168?
 
KD: "He's not. He said it after the fight that if he got a big fight like Canelo Alvarez, then sure, he'll do it. Right now he said he's the light heavyweight champion of the world and that's where he's going to stay."
 
GL: When might we expect [WBO 175-pound champion Sergey] Kovalev back in the ring?
 
KD: "Geez, I'd like to know. I've been talking to Top Rank, we were first talking about June, now they're talking about July, maybe August. I'm hoping to get that nailed down in the next week or so."
 
GL: Will his next bout be the mandatory against Anthony Yarde?
 
KD: "I have a conversation scheduled with Frank Warren and we both seem to want to do the fight, so I think that's probably going to happen."
 
GL: From your perspective is the ideal plan for Kovalev to get the mandatory out of the way and then seek out a unification bout?
 
KD: "Yeah, I mean the mandatory is due and there's no reason not to do it now, just get it done and let him move on to the unification fights where he's going to have a lot of opportunities coming up in the next year. We prefer to get this done now so it's not standing in the way of something getting done later."
 
GL: If Sergey fought Yarde would it happen on ESPN?
 
KD: "ESPN has Sergey's next fight so I would imagine it will, unless the fight, I mean it's a mandatory and I don't know what's possible in England., but ESPN and Top Rank have the rights to Sergey's next figh and these are the conversations we're having. Top Rank is the intermediary between us and ESPN. I talk to them and ESPN has the rights to Sergey's next fight."
 
GL: Just the next fight or is it a multi-fight?
 
KD: "He signed a multi-fight contract and I'm not going to talk about how long it lasts." (laughs)
 
GL: Has Sullivan Barrera realized the error of his ways and attempted to come back to Main Events? 
 
KD: (laughs some more) "Not that I'm aware of. What can I tell you? He decided that after his contract, he would go out there and test the waters on his own, so God bless him."
 
GL: Would Main Events still be interested in working with him?
 
KD: "If we had the opportunity to work with him again of course. I'm not going to you know look...
 
GL: (cutting in) Bite your nose to spite your face since Main Events got him to where he is.
 
KD: "I understand that people always think the grass greener and then they come to find out it's not. He wanted to be a guaranteed a title fight for a certain amount of money in his next fight and we just felt that it wasn't something we could do. We told him the truth, that we couldn't guarantee that in his next fight, but we could certainly try. There are multiple champions out there and opportunities out there for him in that respect, but as people come to learn this job is a lot harder to do than it looks. If he wanted us to help him get that opportunity we would be happy to do so, but he's certainly free to go off and pursue it on his own."
 
GL: (laughing to point it's hard to ask) Closing thoughts for the fans.
 
KD: "I think the light heavyweight division is as exciting or more exciting than it's ever been right now. It's a great time to be a light heavyweight and there's a lot of money out there and a lot of opportunities out there for elite fighters so it's good time to be Sergey Kovalev and Dmitriy Bivol."

Kalvin Henderson inks with Kings Promotions

Undefeated super middleweight Kalvin "Hot Sauce" Henderson has signed an exclusive promotional contract with King's Promotions. Also announced is that Henderson has signed a multi-year extension with his manager,  No Limit Mindset LLC. "King's Promotions is known to take their fighters to the next level of their career, and that's what we are looking to do with TV fights coming soon," said  Henderson (11-0, 7 KOs) of Fort Worth Texas by way of Fayettville, Arkansas. He burst on to the scene with a seventh-round stoppage over Brandon Robinson in Robinson's hometown of Philadelphia, on December 7th in a fight that was named "Philadelphia Fight of the Year." Henderson earned a prestigious Briscoe Award for which he will be honored on April 14th. Henderson will be back in action in May.
 
"Loyalty is a big thing for me, I have been managing Kalvin since his pro debut and with this deal Kalvin demonstrated his belief in me as his manager for the critical years of his career. I am excited to get right to work with Marshall Kauffman to put a plan together for Kalvin in 2019," said Shane Shapiro of No Limit Mindset LLC.

Israil Madrimov happy to be on fast track, targeting title in "five or six fights"

Greg Leon: Congrats on your victory last week over Frank Rojas [24-3]. Can you give us some thoughts on your performance? Israil Madrimov: Thank you for reaching out. The fight went exactly as we thought. We were ready to stop Rojas in three rounds, we knew it was going to be over in the first, second or third round, but because we went out forty minutes early it took a while for me to warm up. In the first round I didn't warm up, but I started working in the second round and it came together." GL: What were you thinking when you saw how damaged Rojas was leaving the ring [carried out]  Were you greatly relieved when you learned he was stable and OK? IM: "I was really worried about him, you never want to hurt somebody like that. It just happened and it's just a reminder to myself and to everyone that boxing is a scary dangerous sport. I was worried about him, but as soon as I came by to show my support to him and his team, I saw that his eyes were open and I felt a little better after seeing him."
 
GL: You appear to be on a fast track like [WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitriy] Bivol. You're fighting ten rounds in your first two fights, when you see yourself fighting a top ranked contender or champion?
 
IM: "That's the plan. We're going to move as fast as possible, I'm already number eight in the WBA at 154 pounds, so I see myself fighting for the title at the end of 2019 or maybe in early 2020. In fight number five or six."
 
GL: The welterweight division is on fire right now. Who do you think is the best welterweight in the world?
 
IM: "I think Terence Crawford is the best welterweight in the world and he's one of the best fighters in the world period. Right now I"m fighting at super welterweight [154 pounds], so if we're talking about my division I used to say Demetrius Andrade, but he moved up to 160. From these guys [stil in the division], I think everybody is on the same level and good solid fighters, but if I had to choose just one I would have to say [former WBA champion] Erislandy Lara."
 
GL: Who do you like in Crawford vs. Amir Khan?
 
IM: "I think Crawford and I don't think there's anybody at welterweight who can beat him right now."
 
GL: Any early indications as to when your next fight might take place?
 
IM: "Yes we know, I'll be back in the ring by the end of June. I think the end of June is the best time for me to come back."
 
GL: What are your goals for the rest of 2019?
 
IM: "I hope that I can make it to the mandatory position or fight for the title. I would love to fight for the title as soon as possible."
 
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans?
 
IM: "I want to thank all of the boxing fans for all of their support, it's a huge motivation for me and it helps me to move forward. I promise to everyone that I will be a fan friendly fighter and do everything I can to bring fireworks and excitement every single time I step inside the ring. No matter what, I'm going to do my best to make people love boxing again."

Barboza-Alvarado set for Loma-Crolla undercard

Undefeated junior weltewrweight Arnold Barboza Jr. is closing in on a world title shot. Mike Alvarado wants another taste of championship glory. Barboz,will take on the former WBO 140-pound champion Alvarado in a ten-round bout on Friday, April 12th at Staples Center in Los Angeles as part of the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Anthony Crolla undercard. Lomachenko-Crolla and the ten-round light heavyweight battle between longtime WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez and Tommy Karpency will stream live and exclusively in the United States beginning at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on ESPN+, the direct-to-consumer sports streaming service and ESPN itself, which will mark its one-year anniversary since launching on the day of the fight. The entire undercard, including Barboza-Alvarado, will stream live on ESPN+ starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.  Also on the card, welterweight Alexander Besputin (12-0, 9 KOs) will face Alfredo Blanco (20-7, 11 KOs) in a ten-rounder. Besputin is currently ranked #1 by the WBA.
 
Barboza (20-0, 7 KOs), from South El Monte, California,  turned pro following a 95-fight amateur career and a stint as a fullback/linebacker at South El Monte High School. He went 3-0 in 2018, including a hard-fought ten-round decision over Mike Reed (23-1 at the time). 
 
In Alvarado (40-4, 28 KOs), he is facing a modern-day action hero who has thrilled boxing fans with his willingness to go toe-to-toe. He was one half of the 2012 Fight of the Year versus Brandon Rios, won by Rios via seventh-round TKO. Alvarado scored a unanimous decision in the immediate rematch but proceeded to lose three in a row versus Ruslan Provodnikov, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Rios in the rubber match. After overcoming personal demons, Alvarado returned to the ring in March 2016 ready for one final run. Since then, he is 6-0 with 5 knockouts. In his previous bout, Oct. 13 on the Terence Crawford-Jose Benavidez Jr. undercard, he blasted out Robbie Cannon with an overhand right in the second round.
 
Tickets are available now and can be purchased by visiting AXS.com.
 
“I am excited for this opportunity. We know it’s a dangerous fight and that Alvarado possesses power in both hands, but we are going to be ready for whatever he brings,” Barboza said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve fought at home, but I am ecstatic to fight here at Staples Center. It’s a dream come true. We are also excited to fight a former world champion like Mike, and we know he is going to be at his best."
 
“Fighting on this card is an honor, and come April 12th, the world is in for an exciting show,” Alvarado said. “I’m taking full advantage of this opportunity to bring me one step closer to securing my legacy as a champion.”
 
Janibek Alimkhanuly (5-0, 2 KOs), a former amateur standout from Kazakhstan, will face the rugged Cristian Olivas (16-4, 13 KOs) in a middleweight ten rounder. Two of Olivas’ four losses have come via split decision, and he has never been knocked out as a pro.
 
 “I am training hard with Buddy McGirt, and I know that Olivas is a tough customer who will come forward and make for a great fight,” Alimkhanuly said. “It is a dream come true to fight at Staples Center, and I want to give all of the great fans in Los Angeles a spectacular show. I will show everyone what Qazaq boxing style is all about.”
 
Super middleweight and three-time Indian Olympian Vijender Singh (10-0, 7 KOs) will make his United States debut against Calvin Metcalf (9-1-1, 2 KOs) in an eight-rounder. Singh captured a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics, becoming the first Indian boxer to claim an Olympic medal.
  
Italian heavyweight Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello (2-0, 2 KOs), who represented his homeland at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will fight Lawrence Gabriel (3-1-1, 2 KOs) in a six-rounder.
 
Los Angeles native Chris “The Boy” Zavala (3-0, 2 KOs) will face Sergio Gonzales (2-2, 1 KO) in a four-rounder at super featherweight.
 
Dominican-born bantamweight prospect Elvis Rodriguez (1-0, 1 KO) will take on Kevin Luna (1-2, 1 KO) in a four-rounder.

Sparrow beats Lundy in all-Philly showdown

Avery Sparrow W10 Hank Lundy... Avery Marcus Sparrow dared to be great and it paid off for him last Friday evening at The Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University. The 25-year-old brash upstart (now 10-1-1) moved up in weight from junior lightweight to lightweight and took on 35-year-old veteran Hank Lundy (29-8-1) in one of those old-fashioned crosstown match-ups which dot the landscape of Philadelphia's storied boxing history. Sparrow, coming off a one-year layoff due to a drug suspension (for marijuana, really?) scored a pair of knockdowns in the second round, survived a rough ninth when Lundy hurt him to the body and finished with a brilliant tenth round to earn a majority decision win. Hopefully, Sparrow punched his ticket back into the world rankings at 130 pounds. When it was over, Sparrow and his best friend in boxing both needed a rest on the dressing room floor. Hats off to Hank Lundy, who showed he's got plenty of fight left in him. source: russell peltz social media
 

Conlan pitches shutout in front of packed house at MSG's Theater

Michael Conlan UD10 Ruben Garcia Hernandez: Undefeated featherweight sensation "Irish" Mick Conlan improved to 11-0 6KO's after totally dominanting Ruben Garcia Hernandez (24-4-2 10KO) over the ten round distance. Conlan switched from southpaw to orthodox throughout the bout and landed tremendous straight left hands to the body from the southpaw stance and many chopping right hands as a righty. Conlan did everything but drop and stop Hernandez, who showed tremendous ability to take a beating. It looked as though Conlan could have gotten him out of there had he decided to put his foot on the gas. Official scores were 100-90 on all three cards. Source: ESPN+ 

Frampton joins Top Rank / ESPN alliance

Former two-division champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton and Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions have signed a multi-fight promotional pact with Top Rank in what is the latest collaboration between Top Rank, MTK Global and Queensberry Promotions. Frampton, who will campaign as a featherweight, will bring one of the biggest names in one of boxing’s deepest divisions to ESPN platforms in the United States. Top Rank, MTK Global, and Queensberry Promotions will announce Frampton’s next fight shortly. “It’s wonderful news that Carl Frampton has joined us at Top Rank,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “He is the epitome of a true warrior, and we are proud to be promoting him as he works toward becoming the featherweight champion of the world once again.”
 
"It’s an honor for me to be teaming up with Top Rank for what will be the last chapter of my career,” Frampton said. “A credit to my management team, MTK Global, on being able to get me a deal with the biggest boxing promotional company on the planet. It also makes a fight, at some point in the future, with WBO champion Oscar Valdez a real possibility. My goal, at this stage of my career, is still to become a world champion, and I feel I’ll reach my goal with MTK and Bob Arum's Top Rank in my corner.”
 
Said Jamie Conlan, Professional Development Manager for MTK Global: “Carl Frampton is one of the most gifted boxers the island of Ireland has ever produced and now he’s has linked up with Top Rank, one of the best promotional companies in the game. This partnership will give Carl fantastic opportunities to showcase his talents on the international stage as well as strengthen his quest to become world champion again. MTK Global are delighted to have been a part of this big move for Carl.”
 
“I’m delighted that we’ve reached an agreement with Top Rank to co-promote Carl,” Warren said. “The enormous platform offered by ESPN in the USA is the perfect place for Carl to showcase he still has everything to offer at the top level. We fully share Carl’s belief that he can become a world champion again. He showed tremendous heart against Josh Warrington in December, and they could well end up meeting again down the line in a huge unification. UK fans can look forward to watching every step of Carl’s American adventure live on BT Sport.”
 
Frampton (26-2, 15 KOs) is a 10-year pro who has fought a who’s who of this past generation’s greatest fighters at 122 and 126 pounds. He won the IBF junior featherweight world title over Kiko Martinez in September 2014, defended that belt twice, and then unified with a well-earned split decision victory over Scott Quigg on Feb. 27, 2016. In his next fight, he moved up to featherweight and took Leo Santa Cruz’s unbeaten record away via majority decision. He lost a tightly contested bout to Santa Cruz in the immediate rematch and then reeled off three consecutive wins until his last bout, a unanimous decision defeat to IBF featherweight champion Warrington in one of the best action fights of 2018.
 
 

Relikh-Prograis tickets on sale

American and New Orleans native Regis Prograis (23-0, 19 KOs) faces Belarusian Kiryl Relikh (23-2, 19 KOs), who is training in Miami, in a World Boxing Super Series 140-pound semi-final and American-Philippine Nonito Donaire (39-5, 25 KOs) meets South African Zolani Tete (28-3, 21 KOs) in a bantamweight semi-final. Tickets are available from TicketMaster.com  “Fighting in Lafayette is a perfect situation for me because it’s halfway between my two homes Houston and New Orleans,” said Prograis. “I can’t wait to come out and put in a historical event.” The magnificent doubleheader opens the semi-final stage of the World Boxing Super Series and the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy in the 140lb and 118lb edition of the tournament.
 
“We are thrilled to bring the Ali Trophy lights to Lafayette kickoff the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer. “The fans in Lafayette and around the world can look forward to two unbelievable blockbusters with the best production in the game all on one night.
 
“The WBSS is about the best fighting the best and to serve up Fight of the Year contenders in the quest for the Ali Trophy and the supreme international superstars involved in this doubleheader at the Cajundome on April 27 will deliver just that.”
 
Tickets for the  WBSS semi-finals in Lafayette on 27 April are available now from $25 via TicketMaster.com here.
 
The road to Lafayette
 
Prograis-Relikh:
October 7 in Yokohama, Japan Kiryl Relikh defeated Russia’s Eduard Troyanovsky by a unanimous decision, with all judges scoring it 115-113 in
 
favour of ‘Mad Bee’, to reach the semi-final, while tournament No.1 seed Regis Prograis advanced in more dominant fashion on October 27 in New Orleans, also via a unanimous decision, over the UK’s Terry Flanagan. The judges had it 119-108, 118-109, 117-110 for ‘Rougarou’.
 
“I know Relikh is a tough and strong fighter and I never look over an opponent but I have no doubt in my mind that I will win,” said Prograis. “I’m looking very much to the semi-final and the quest for the Ali Trophy,” said WBA Champion Relikh. “When I fight the fans will get the money’s worth. I predict just like all of my fights a win for me.”
 
Donaire-Tete:
October 13 in Ekaterinburg, Russia Zolani Tete outpointed Russia’s Mikhail Aloyan with scores of 114-110, 114-111 and 114-111 for the ‘Last Born’, when he booked his place in the semi-final. Nonito ‘The Filipino Flash’ Donaire, a four-division world champion, won his quarter-final on November 3 in Glasgow, Scotland as No.1 seed, Northern Ireland’s Ryan Burnett, was forced to retire from the fight after four rounds of action due to a lower back injury.
 
“Tete is a formidable opponent and we have been preparing since the last fight. I’m even more excited with it being in the U.S. and won’t waste the opportunity to show the crowd what we’ve been working on,” said Donaire, WBA titleholder.
 
“Nonito Donaire is a true champion and has had a lot of success against my fellow countrymen like Moruti Mthalane and Jeffrey Mathebula in the past, but that stops here,” said WBO Champion Tete. “I respect Nonito, but I have a lot of faith in my own boxing ability and I will come out victorious when we fight.”
 
Fans in the U.S. and Canada can watch all the Ali Trophy semi-finals LIVE, exclusively on DAZN.
 
WBSS Season 2 Semi-Finals:
 
Bantamweight
 
Nonito Donaire vs Zolani Tete – 27 April, Cajundome, Lafayette, LA, USA
Naoya Inoue vs Emmanuel Rodriguez – 18 May, SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Scotland
Super-Lightweight
 
Regis Prograis vs Kiryl Relikh – 27 April, USA, Cajundome, Lafayette, LA, USA
Josh Taylor vs Ivan Baranchyk – 18 May, SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Scotland
Cruiserweight
 
Mairis Briedis vs Krzysztof Glowacki – 15 June, Arena Riga, Riga, Latvia
Yunier Dorticos vs Andrew Tabiti – 15 June, Arena Riga, Riga, Latvia 

Post Fight Interview: David Benavidez

Greg Leon: Congrats on your victory over J'Leon Love [a second-round stoppage]. Can you give us some thoughts on your performance? David Benavidez: "I felt good, I just seen the replay. It was cool. I wish I would have taken my time a little bit more, but I'm always going to be my biggest critic. If I would have kept a little bit more distance, I think the knockout would have been more impressive, but overall it was a B+ performance and I know there's room for improvement." GL: Love is known as a guy who looks to box and he often gives up a bunch of ground for no reason. Were you surprised when he came out aggressively looking to take the fight to you? "I wasn't surprised at all because for some reason when people fight me they confuse me for something else. If he would have ran I would have found him, I feel good and I feel blessed to have gotten this opportunity if front of this type of crowd it's just a blessing."
 
GL: What kind of statement do you feel you made last night?
 
David Benavidez: "I made a big statement. I just feel like it's my time to come back. I did it in an impressive way and I got a great knockout. I felt strong in there and I'm just ready to get in there with the best right now."
 
GL: Anthony Dirrell seems the fight you want the most. Is that accurate?
 
DB: "Yes sir. That's the fight I want next and that's what I'm waiting for."
 
GL: How does that fight play out?
 
DB: "I don't know. To be honest I always want to go in there looking for the impressive victory. I will go into that fight ready to go all twelve rounds. I know Anthony Dirrell is a world class fighter and if I could knock out a world class fighter that would say a lot about me and I would be excited."
 
GL: Do you think the stoppage tonight was good? Should the referee have allowed Love to continue?
 
DB: "I didn't want to hurt him more than I had to do. When I hit him with that right hand, he didn't look too good and if I would have gotten more distance on my punches it could have been bad for him. I'm glad they stopped it when they did."
 
GL: When are you back in gym? When do you want back in the ring?
 
DB: "I just got done with a three month training camp so I'm going to take a two week break to the Virgin Islands and then I'll  come back home and we'll see what it's looking like."
 
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans?
 
DB: "I just want to thank everyone for all their support, I'm back and I'm here to stay. I'm going to continue to look to fight the best and show everybody that I'm the best fighter in my division."
 

Spencesational: Errol Spence punishes Garcia over distance

Errol Spence UD12 Mikey Garcia: Size mattered tonight as undefeated IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence (25-0 22KO) dominated previously unbeaten four division champion Mikey Garcia (39-1 30KO) over the twelve round distance in front of a crowd of nearly 48,000 at AT&T Center in Arlington, Texas. Spence was razor sharp, he couldn't miss with his jab and his left hand found its mark more times than not to both Garcia's head and body. Garcia deserves a ton of credit for going the distance with a tremendous welterweight, but he clearly bit off more than he can chew as he dared to be great. Spence punished Garcia down the stretch and the fight should have been stopped after the ninth round to save him from further punishment. Official scores were 120-108 twice and 120-107. Boxingtalk also scored it 120-107.  After the bout Spence called Manny Pacquiao to the center of the ring and made it clear he wants him next. Pacquiao agreed and the crowd booed.