Tomorrow night's ESPN main event falls out

Tomorrow night's ESPN main event falls out
Apparently Mark John Yap was unable to shut his yap... at the dinner table. The Miguel Marriaga-Mark John Yap main event, contracted for 128 pounds, was canceled by Top Rank after Yap weighed in at 136.7 pounds. Felix Verdejo vs. Will Madera has been elevated to main event status, and the card will proceed as scheduled. Coverage begins live on ESPN & ESPN Deportes tomorrow beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. That makes four straight main events that have not gone as planned for Top Rank: Yap's weight gain; Jamel Herring's positive coronavirus test; Jarrell Miller's positive PED test and Ivan Baranchyk's injury. Top Rank must be give a tremendous amount of credit for keeping these shows going despite all of this (and additional) adversity.

The Boxingtalk Interview: Jayson Velez

The Boxingtalk Interview: Jayson Velez

Ivan Montiel: I am excited about your upcoming fight on July 21st in Las Vegas vs. Oscar Valdez. I know that it’s going to be a war.


Jayson Velez: Most definitely. I told you that if this fight happened it’s going to be war.  That’s why I am preparing physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I am ready for a war.


IM: We know that you always put on a spectacular show.  Velez versus Jamie Arboleda (a controversial win for Arboleda) as of now is my fight of 2020.


JV: Yes, up till now.


IM: The last time we spoke you mentioned a possible fight with Chris Colbert. What happened?


JV: That fight with Colbert was being negotiated, we were training for him but there was not a set date.  We never received a contract and the next thing we knew, a fight with Oscar Valdez was offered. We took it.  A fight with Valdez is an emotional fight.  Colbert is not known as much as Valdez plus Oscar represents that fighting style that boxing fans love. And Puerto Rico versus Mexico is you know a boxing rivalry. 


IM: Puerto Rico versus Mexico is always great for boxing.


JV: Yes, it’s always been that way and will continue to be that way.  We have the best boxing rivalries and big hearts.  I will keep it at a professional level, nothing personal. I have respect for Mexicans.  Mexicans are family, they also support me…  all Latinos, it doesn’t matter we must support each other.


IM: This could be another fight of the year candidate...


JV: Velez versus Arboleda is fight of the year so far butthis fight also has all the ingredients to be a fight of the year candidate. The recognition will be huge, it would help my career.  


IM: I take it that you have had to make several changes in training camp since your opponent changed from Colbert to Valdez.


JV: The majority of boxers will say no, but the truth is yes, we don’t train the same for every opponent. The change influences me mentally. For example, I know that I am facing Valdez, he’s a warrior.  Arboleda was too— it wasn’t known much yet but I studied his fights.  I knew Arboleda would be tough that’s why I prepared myself extra hard for that fight.  So yes, we had to make some changes in training camp due to the change of opponent.  Valdez’s style of fighting is what I love. He comes to fight.  I was born to fight that type of fight.  As far as training for Colbert, it was a different game plan.  


IM: What’s your thoughts on Valdez versus WBC 130-pound champion Miguel Berchelt, a fight which was supposed to happen?


JV: I don’t know what happened, and I simply don’t care.


IM: What’s your thoughts on some saying that once Valdez beats you he will fight Berchelt?   


JV: I’ve heard that in the past, for example when I fought [and defeated] my friend Juanma Lopez.  Lopez was looking to finally fight Yuriorkis Gamboa but I crashed that party.  The same thing goes here with Valdez thinking that he will beat me and get a  Berchelt fight. I will crash his party.


IM: In other words, you will shut down all your critics.


JV: I do this for myself but yes, I will shut down them doubters.  People can say whatever they want, I don’t listen to what they say.  I don’t do it for them, I do it for myself.


IM: It does motivate you though


JV: Yes indeed


IM: What’s your thoughts on Valdez?


JV: Valdez is a warrior, he’s a former world champ [who is undefeated and gave up his WBO featherweight title to move up in weight], he has a set of balls.  The man keeps fighting on, he’s a warrior.  We have similar styles of fighting but I am stronger, bigger, and have a longer reach. I move better than him, too. The only advantage he has is his speed, but not by much.  I will demonstrate it on July 21st.


IM: The world of boxing knows Valdez suffered a big injury to his jaw [in a win vs. Scott Quigg] yet at the same time we know he will come to fight.  The man won’t back down.


JV: Yes, we do and that’s what I want ,a war.  I am preparing myself for a war.  Once Valdez stands in front of me, that will be his mistake.  


IM: Can you see yourself being able to stop him due to his prior jaw injury?


JV: I don’t think it will be due to his jaw, but at the same time I don’t think Valdez will be able to finish the fight on his feet.  Our styles of fighting will cause a war.  Once again, I am bigger, stronger I am simply too much for him.  If this fight ends by knockout I will be the winner.  I am better than him, I am going to destroy Oscar Valdez.


IM: Are you looking to go the distance and maybe try to drown him late or are you going to try to end it quickly?


JV: I will be going forward from the first round.  If Valdez wants to move then I will chase him, it all depends on what Oscar wants to do.  That’s what I love, that’s what boxing fans want and that’s what I am going to do. Boxing fans want to see a fight not a dance. 


IM: How’s your weight coming along?


JV: My weight is coming along very good.  I am a few pounds heavy but I still have a week left.  I plan on being 147 pounds on fight night.  I feel comfortable at 147.  Valdez’s speed will not last the entire fight.


IM: Have you ever met Valdez face to face?


JV: Once in Las Vegas but we didn’t talk much. He did seem like a good person though. I have tremendous respect for him.


IM: What’s your thoughts on not having the fans cheering you guys on due to coronavirus precautions?


JV: There’s a good and bad side to not having the fans being able to attend. The good thing is not having the pressure from the fans.  A fighter can fight with more patience and concentrate more.  Then of course there are emotional type fighters who let the public decide everything. Those guys will be affected [by the lack of a live audience].  I am not usually affected,  but yes, at times the public does get to me. It happens but I am normally a  calm fighter so I don't think it will affect me.  


IM: Will there be a face-to-face press conference?


JV: I am not sure but I don’t think there will be.There’s no public allowed at the fight so I can’t see there being an in-person press conference taking place.


IM: Any final thoughts?


JV: On July 21st, Top Rank Boxing will televise me vs. Oscar Valdez on ESPN. It will be Puerto Rico versus Mexico, Jayson Velez versus Oscar Valdez, don’t miss it.  This fight will be a war. This fight will be pure fireworks. Ivan, its always great being able to talk boxing with you, let’s talk once again after my fight.




ESPN main event: Mayer dominates Joseph

ESPN main event: Mayer dominates Joseph
Mikaela Mayer W10 Helen Joseph ... Ex-US Olympian Mikaela Mayer (13-0, 5 KOs) outboxed Helen Joseph (17-5-2, 10 KOs) over ten rounds in Las Vegas on Tuesday. Mayer earned a unanimous decision by scores of 100-90 (twice)  and 99-91 at the MGM Grand "Bubble." Mayer-Joseph marked the first female main event in Top Rank on ESPN history. Mayer had been out of the ring since October 26th, as she and Joseph were scheduled to fight June 9th. A positive COVID-19 test for Mayer delayed the fight, but Mayer put forth a dominating performance over the Nigerian-born Joseph. Following the bout, Mayer received a word of encouragement, and a promise, from promoter Bob Arum. “Bob said, ‘Great fight,’ and that the next one will be for the title," Mayer said. "We’ve been trying to get a world title fight for a while now. I said, ‘Don’t let Eddie Hearn outbid us.'" source: top rank

Undercard results from Las Vegas

Undercard results from Las Vegas

Undercard results from Las Vegas
Clay Collard TKO2 Lorawnt-T Nelson ... The "Cassius" Clay Collard train rolled through Las Vegas once again, as Collard knocked out Lorawnt-T Nelson in the second round of a scheduled six-round middleweight contest. Collard (8-2-3, 3 KOs) improved to 4-0 on the year, including three victories over previously undefeated fighters. He knocked down Nelson (5-4, 4 KOs) in the opening round and twice more in the second before referee Celestino Ruiz stopped the fight. “I showed my boxing skills in there tonight. I’m unorthodox, but I get the job done," Collard said. “As soon as Top Rank wants me back, I’ll be ready. Next month on ESPN, let’s go!”
Ruben Cervera (12-2, 10 KOs) picked up his second straight win, topping Clay "3rd Degree" Burns (9-9-2, 4 KOs) by six-round unanimous decision in a lightweight bout. Cervera knocked down Burns with a left hook in the opening round and prevailed by scores of 59-54 (twice) and 58-56...
Middleweight Javier Martinez had a successful professional debut, shutting out Ryan "The Lion" Burrs (2-2) over four rounds by identical 40-36 scores. Martinez, from Milwaukee, inked a multi-year professional contract with Top Rank following a strong amateur career with USA Boxing. source for all results: top rank

Twitter Chatter: Arum on Herring-Frampton

Twitter Chatter: Arum on Herring-Frampton
Promoter Bob Arum on Jamel Herring: "We were greatly saddened when Jamel Herring tested positive for COVID-19.  We expect not only him back in the ring in August, but also Carl Frampton. If they’re both victorious, we will attempt to match them against each other in the fourth quarter of 2020."

ESPN picks up German show for Saturday broadcast

ESPN picks up German show for Saturday broadcast
Live boxing is back on ESPN+ Saturday, July 18th, with the return of undefeated heavyweight Agit Kabayel in a ten-rounder against Evgenios “Achilles” Lazaridis from Seebühne Elbauenpark in Magdeburg, Germany. The event, promoted by SES Boxing, will take place in front of a limited number of fans and will mark Kabayel’s first fight under a co-promotional pact with Top Rank last year. Kabayel-Lazaridis and select undercard bouts will stream live beginning at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT.
Kabayel (19-0, 13 KOs) is a former European champion. Based in Germany, standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 230-plus pounds, Kabayel won the EBU title in February 2017 with a unanimous decision over Belgian veteran Herve Hubeaux. He defended the title three times — including a November 2017 majority decision over longtime contender Derek Chisora — before vacating it last year to make his mark stateside.
The COVID-19 pandemic delayed Kabayel’s United States debut, but he returns following a 16-month layoff to fight Lazaridis (16-2, 10 KOs), a former Greek amateur star who has won four in a row. Now based in Germany, the 32-year-old Lazaridis is a seven-year pro who, at 6’6, will have a three-inch height advantage over Kabayel.
Heavyweight Peter Kadiru (7-0, 3 KOs), who was victorious on the Tyson Fury-Tom Schwarz undercard in Las Vegas last June, will fight fellow unbeaten Ruben Wolf (5-0, 3 KOs) in an eight-rounder...
In a six-round heavyweight tilt featuring a pair of unbeatens, Collins Ojal (3-0, 2 KOs) will take on Georgij Fibich (1-0, 1 KO).

A few words with lightweight Jorge Marron Jr.

A few words with lightweight Jorge Marron Jr.

A few words with lightweight Jorge Marron Jr.
Lightweight Jorge Marron Jr. (18-1, 6 KOs) is looking to play spoiler when he fights Michael “West Texas Warrior” Dutchover (13-1, 10 KOs), on Sunday, July 26th, in the eight-round main of 3-2-1 Boxing presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions, a live pay-per-view streaming event taking place in Corona, California. The public will not be allowed to attend this event due to current health and wellness regulations.  The PPV broadcast, available at, will start at 4:30 p.m. PT / 7:30 p.m. ET., and is priced at $6.50 in the US and Canada. Here is what Marron had to say about his recent training camp.
On his recent training camp in San Diego, CA:
 “I am training like the challenger for this fight and by that, I mean, I have the mindset of an underdog looking to prove something. I am training in San Diego, CA, and all the hard work is almost complete. The sparring and road work that I put into this training camp was grueling, but I know it’s going to pay off. I’m in tremendous shape and I’ll be ready for war come fight night."
On fighting Michael Dutchover:
"Michael Dutchover is a good fighter, but he has a lot to prove to himself against me. He lost his last fight, I didn't like the way it ended with the cut, but he still lost and that is his last fight. Now he must come in off a loss and a year layoff to face me. I think this is a very tough thing for him to do. I feel that after my majority decision loss two years ago, people have written me off. I’m going to shock all my doubters with an electric performance by being victorious against Dutchover. I’m going to make it a dog fight as I have something to prove.”
On fighting on 3.2.1 Boxing PPV:
“I am genuinely happy and grateful to be fighting on pay-per-view. I have been involved with boxing my whole life, and now being involved in the main event of a pay-per-view is an accomplishment I will hold dear. The next step is to win this fight and parlay this victory to a bigger fight. I am grateful to Thompson Boxing for this opportunity and I promise to put on a fantastic show.”
On what a win will do for his career:
“A win would put me in line for one of the bigger name prospects or title contenders in the lightweight division. Michael Dutchover had a lot of buzz around him prior to his loss, and most people who know about him know he is talented fighter. I want to get a win and get a higher ranking by a sanctioning body so I can compete for a form of a title, but first things first, I have to win this fight, and that is my sole focus for right now."

Oscar Valdez heads strong Top Rank show for July 21st

Oscar Valdez heads strong Top Rank show for July 21st
 The first run of Top Rank on ESPN shows inside the MGM Grand “Bubble” in Las Vegas will conclude with former featherweight title holder Oscar Valdez (pictured) of Mexico facing Puerto Rico's Jayson Velez in the ten-round main event on Tuesday, July 21st. In the eight-round co-feature, super middleweight Edgar Berlanga (13-0, 13 KOs), who has knocked out 13 consecutive foes in the first round to begin his pro career, will look to extend the streak against Eric Moon (11-2, 6 KOs). The card will also include former junior featherweight title holder Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe (20-2, 14 KOs), on the comeback trail following back-to-back defeats to Emanuel Navarrete. Dogboe will face Chris “The Hitman” Avalos (27-7, 20 KOs) in an eight-round featherweight battle. The bouts will be televised live on ESPN & ESPN Deportes beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
“Oscar Valdez wants to fight WBC world champion Miguel Berchelt, and I know Miguel wants nothing more than to fight Oscar,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Oscar knows Jayson Velez is a serious challenge that he cannot overlook. This is a great main event, and an incredible deep card, to close out our first round of shows inside the Bubble.”
Valdez (27-0, 21 KOs) has won three fights since his March 2018 war of attrition against Scott Quigg, when his jaw was shattered in the fifth round of a 12-round championship bout. He took nearly one year off following the Quigg fight and moved up to the junior lightweight ranks last year. In his last outing, November 30 in Las Vegas, he survived a second-round knockdown to knock out Adam Lopez in the seventh.
Velez (29-6-1, 21 KOs), from Juncos, Puerto Rico, nearly won the IBF featherweight world title from Evgeny Gradovich in November 2014, but he was held to a draw. He has fought from featherweight to lightweight in recent years and March 2018 knockout victory over former champion Juan Manuel Lopez. Velez was one half of a Fight of the Year Contender in February, as he knocked down Jaime Arboleda in the twelfth round, only to lose a split decision verdict by a single point on two of the judges’ scorecards. He has never been knocked out in a career that’s spanned nearly 13 years.
Valdez said, “I’m ready for the best of the division. I want to be a two-division world champion, and the only way to do that is to beat tough fighters like Jayson Velez, who has challenged for a world title and possesses a lot of experience. Also, I’m very thankful to be fighting during this critical time where the sport of boxing is getting attention again.”
“We know there have been discussions about me challenging Miguel Berchelt for his WBC super featherweight world title, but Velez is first. I need to beat Velez first if I want to fight Berchelt, and I'm expecting a very tough fight. I want to dedicate this fight to all of the nurses and doctors who are working hard on this pandemic and to my father, Top Rank, and my manager, Frank Espinoza. I can’t wait to return to the ring.”
Said Velez, "Oscar Valdez is the greatest name I have ever had the opportunity to face. He is a young, undefeated fighter who was already a world champion and is hungry for another world title. At this stage of my career, I see each fight as if it were the last chance to achieve my dream. It's now or never. We are going to make that dream come true.”
Berlanga, the brash Brooklynite nicknamed “The Chosen One,” took care of Cesar Nunez in 2:45 last December on the Terence Crawford-Egidijus Kavaliauskas undercard at Madison Square Garden.
Moon has won four of his last five and has been knocked out only once since turning pro in July 2016. He has fought eight or more rounds five times.
Said Berlanga, “I've not really changed much about training because of the knockout streak. Training is all about improving as a boxer. I had a good amateur career, and that comes from being a good technical boxer. My focus in training has been to continue to improve my skills under my trainer, Andre Rozier, and Team Havoc.”
The card also will highlight the return of Kim Clavel, the light flyweight who won the 2020 Pat Tillman Award for Service at the ESPYs for her work as an elder care nurse in Montreal during the COVID-19 pandemic. Clavel, who is promoted by Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM), will fight fellow unbeaten Natalie Gonzalez in an eight-rounder. Clavel (11-0, 2 KOs) is coming off a career-best win last December, a decision over Esmeralda Gaona Sagahon.
Gonzalez (6-0, 1 KO) is a native of New Rochelle, New York, who was a two-time New York Golden Gloves champion as an amateur.
In additional undercard action:
Elvis “The Dominican Kid” Rodriguez (7-0-1, 7 KOs), who is coming off a highlight-reel first-round KO July 2 against Danny Murray, will face Kenya's Dennis Okoth (4-3-1, 2 KOs) in a six-rounder at junior welterweight...
Italian heavyweight Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello (7-0, 7 KOs) will aim to make it eight knockouts in as many fights against an opponent to be named in a six-rounder. Vianello, a 2016 Olympian, knocked out Don Haynesworth in one round June 9th...
Raphael “Trouble" Igbokwe (14-2, 6 KOs), winner of two straight bouts, will fight Genc Pllana (8-1-1, 4 KOs) in an eight-round super middleweight bout originally scheduled for July 16th. 

Weigh-in report from Las Vegas

Weigh-in report from Las Vegas
With the Jamel Herring-Jonathan Oquendo main event off due to Herring's ongoing coronavirus issues [the champ says he's OK], here are the boxers' weights for Top Rank's Tuesday night show  from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas:
Mikaela Mayer 131.6 lbs vs. Helen Joseph 129 lbs
(Junior Lightweight — 10 Rounds)
Clay Collard 161.7 lbs vs. Lorawnt-T Nelson 158.8 lbs 
(Middleweight — 6 Rounds)
Ruben Cervera 131.8 lbs vs. Clay Burns 133.1 lbs 
(Lightweight — 6 Rounds)
Javier Martinez 162 lbs vs. Ryan Burrs 161.2 lbs 
(Middleweight — 4 Rounds)

Eggington hoping for title shot after Cheeseman

Eggington hoping for title shot after Cheeseman

Eggington hoping for title shot after Cheeseman
Sam Eggington says his August 1st showdown with Ted Cheeseman at the top of the opening week of Matchroom Fight Camp is “all or nothing” for both men as he sets his sights on a world title eliminator at 154 pounds. Eggington (28-6, 17 KOs), a former European welterweight champion has notched four straight wins since losing to Liam Smith back in March 2019, including a win on away soil against Orlando Fiordigiglio in September. Eggington also holds a 2017 win over Paul Malignaggi.
Eggington-Cheesemanwill be shown on live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. Eggington believes that a win could propel him towards a title shot and a loss could undo all of his hard work over the past year.
The stakes are equally as high for Cheeseman who finds himself in a must-win situation following two losses and one draw in his last three fights. Everything is on the line for "The Big Cheese" and another loss could prove to be disastrous for his career. “You only have to watch Ted fight to know that he doesn’t give up when it gets hard,” said Eggington. “I have full faith in myself and if anyone can make him give up, I’ll be that guy. It’ll be a good fight while it lasts. The way we both fight, it’s going to gel for a war, but I genuinely think I’ve got enough to get the win.
“I’m confident with this fight. Eddie gave me a list of names for potential opponents and we picked him out because it’s a good fight and one we can win. It’s not a fight that worries me like others might have. I’ll make sure I walk out with the win. Any way, shape or form, I’ll get the win. I’ve never been in a position to have an argument for some sort of eliminator and I think I am now... That’s the aim once we get past Ted next month. It’s all or nothing for the both of us. That’s the way I live in general. It’s in the garden and there won’t be a crowd but that doesn’t matter to me. If I’m having a fight and it’s a packed-out arena, I want to win that fight. If I’m having a fight in an empty room, I’m having a fight and I still want to win. I’m going to bite down on my gum-shield and do anything I can to win.”
Eggington vs. Cheeseman tops Week 1 of Matchroom Fight Camp, Belfast’s big-hitting James Tennyson (26-3, 22 KOs) takes on Cardiff’s Gavin Gwynne (12-1, 2 KOs) for the vacant British lightweight Title, Chatteris talent Jordan Gill (24-1, 7 KOs) meets Watford’s Reece Bellotti (14-3, 12 KOs) in a featherweight battle, Ipswich Heavyweight Fabio Wardley (8-0, 7 KOs) steps up to take on Middlesbrough’s Simon Vallily (17-2-1, 7 KOs) for the vacant English belt and Sheffield junior welterweight Dalton Smith (5-0, 4 KOs) squares off with Liverpool’s Nathan Bennett (9-1, 2 KOs).

Twitter Chatter: Frampton consoles Herring

Twitter Chatter: Frampton consoles Herring
Former world featherweight champ Carl Frampton on Jamel Herring's second postponement due to coronavirus: "I thought my luck was bad, but Jamel Herring has got to be the unluckiest guy on the planet. Rest up Champ." [Frampton had a fight cancelled when a concrete pillar fell from behind a curtain and landed on his hand].
Herring's response: "Thank you brother. Just take care of yourself and family. Things will get better on this end champ."

Good heavyweight fight booked for Germany this weekend

Good heavyweight fight booked for Germany this weekend
Heavyweights Agit Kabayel (19-0) and Evgenios Lazaridis (16-2) will enter the ring at the Seebuhne Elbauenprk in Magdeburg, Germany this coming Saturday. According to the WBA, fans will be permitted to attend for the first time in Europe since the coronavirus pandemic began. The local authorities authorized a seating capacity of 1,000 people. Kabayel, a 27-year-old Leverkusen native, is on the upswing of his career. His opponent is the 32-year-old Lazaridis, who was born in Greece but rsides inFrankfurt, Germany. Lazaridis' two losses are to Erkan Tepper and Samuel Kadje

Arnold Barboza Jr. sticking with Top Rank

Arnold Barboza Jr. sticking with Top Rank

Arnold Barboza Jr. sticking with Top Rank
Arnold Barboza Jr., a 23-0 junior welterweight announced on Twitter that he has extended his  promotional deal with Top Rank. Barboza tweeted, "Happy to announce that my team and I have just signed a multi-year contract extension with the best promoter in the game, Top Rank boxing... I won’t disappoint. [My] plan is in place now it’s time to execute!" Barboza ast fought in November, stopping William Silva (27-3).

Mckenna, Davies continue to talk up their fight

Mckenna, Davies continue to talk up their fight
Tyrone McKenna has labeled his next opponent Ohara Davies as the Kanye West of boxing ahead of the Golden Contract tournament's 140-pound final. McKenna (21-1, 6 KOs) and Davies (21-2, 16 KOs) are the two men remaining in the tournament, and are set for a long-awaited showdown in the near future. There has been plenty of bad blood between the two men, most notably when they had to be pulled apart during a scuffle at York Hall last October, but it was a much more respectable exchange between the duo as they went back and forth during a recent interview on IFL TV.
McKenna said: “Ohara Davies is the Kanye West of boxing. People love him, people hate him. He says whatever he wants. He does what he wants and that’s part of it. He won’t change (overnight) and you’ve just got to respect him. No matter how much abuse he gets, or no matter how he talks, he’s going to be the same man tomorrow and the next day. I’m thinking more of him as a skilful fighter.”
Davies replied: “I will take that (comparison). You know, Kanye West is a very successful guy in what he does. He’s very popular in the world for his music. Like I said before, I’m going to be the person that I want to be. I’m always going to be me... Tyrone is a very good boxer. He’s in the final for a reason. He won two hard fights. A lot of people say he won’t get knocked out because he’s got a lot of heart. Where he’s came from, those Irish people have got heart and they are all tough, fighting men. This is going to be a hard fight, probably the hardest fight of my boxing career. That’s why we’ve made some changes in the team. Kevin Mitchell is now on board and he’s been pushing me every day. That’s what I need to go and win this fight.”
McKenna added: “I have to step up my game since I’m going for a war. I’m sure that’s what he wants. I’m not going to be a crowd-pleaser; I’m just going to box, stay patient and wear him out.”

Herring tests positive for coronavirus again!

Herring tests positive for coronavirus again!
Tomorrow's Top Rank on ESPN main event between WBO junior lightweight champion Jamel Herring and Jonathan Oquendo IS off after Herring [AGAIN] tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this morning. The highly anticipated Mikaela Mayer-Helen Joseph junior lightweight bout will be Tuesday's main event (ESPN & ESPN Deportes, 9 p.m. ET). [Editor's note: better safe than sorry, but this really makes you question how accurate current testing is]  Said Herring, “I’m extremely disappointed that I’m not going to be able to fight tomorrow night. As I’ve shared previously, I tested positive for COVID-19 on June 22ND after exhibiting symptoms. I quarantined and recovered as directed by my doctor. I then retested on July 3rd and my test was negative, so this result is a complete surprise. I was fully prepared to make my second title defense tomorrow night. I am hoping that my team and Top Rank can reschedule this fight soon. Thank you for all the support everyone has shown. I can’t wait to get back in the ring and perform.” 
In addition, the Luis Melendez-Eddie Vazquez bout has been canceled due to Melendez testing positive for COVID-19.
The ESPN telecast will continue as follows:
Main Event: Mikaela Mayer vs. Helen Joseph, 10 Rounds, Junior Lightweight
Clay Collard vs. Lorawnt-T Nelson, 6 Rounds, Middleweight
Ruben Cervera vs. Clay Burns, 6 Rounds, Lightweight
Javier Martinez (Pro Debut) vs. Jonathan Burrs, 4 Rounds, Middleweight

Kieron Conway vs. Nav Mansouri added to DAZN's August 14th show

Kieron Conway vs. Nav Mansouri added to DAZN's August 14th show

Kieron Conway vs. Nav Mansouri added to DAZN's August 14th show
Kieron Conway and Nav Mansouri will meet in a junior middleweight bout during week three of Matchroom Fight Camp on Friday August 14th– with the British bout broadcast live on Sky Sports and DAZN. [Separately, DAZN listed a middleweight clash between undefeated Felix Cash and Jason Welborn for the same broadcast]. Conway (14-1-1, 3 KOs) heads into the fight after a successful 2019, which saw him burst onto the scene after his hard-fought draw with Ted Cheeseman for the British title in June. Since then, he has picked up a pair of points wins over Konrad Stempkowski and Craig O’Brien, before now turning his attention to the clash with Mansouri. Rotherham star Mansouri (20-3-2, 6 KOs) is back fighting in the UK for the first time since 2017. He won the English title back in 2013 before defending it on several occasions, and now looks to add more gold to his collection when he takes on Conway.

Marcis Grundulis wins one-day welter tourney in Latvia

Marcis Grundulis wins one-day welter tourney in Latvia
Marcis Grundulis was the last man standing during the one-day Welter 8 tournament in Riga, Latvia on Saturday. The single-night tournament was co-promoted by LNK Boxing and MTK Global. The final saw Renaldas Dirse (presumed to be 3-3) going up against Marcis Grundulis (presumed to be 10-1). Grundulis was able to earn the victory and in the process has earned a slot on a future MTK Fight Night. Grundulis is just 19 years old. source: mtk press release

A few words with British super featherweight Archie Sharp

A few words with British super featherweight Archie Sharp
Archie Sharp has been biding his time ready to return to the ring – and now he has the chance to do so on a huge stage. The 130-pound Sharp (18-0, 9 KOs) headlines a Queensberry Promotions show live on BT Sport on Tuesday August 20th, facing recent Golden Contract semi-finalist Jeff Ofori (10-2-1, 3 KOs). Sharp admits that he has a lot of respect for Ofori, but insists it will be strictly business on the night, as he prepares to make a big statement. Sharp said: “I am buzzing to be back out and I’m looking forward to it, being top of the bill as well is nice to hear."
He continued, “I have just been playing it by ear during the lockdown when the whole world didn’t know where it was at. Now I have got a date I am off to Tenerife with the Walsh brothers to prepare me for the Ofori fight. To be honest with you, Jeff is a very nice fella and I know him and his trainer and have nothing but respect for them. I’ve sparred Jeff and it was him who prepared me for the Lyon Woodstock fight. So we’ve done some rounds together and he is very tough. He’s boxed up at a big weight (super lightweight) against Ohara Davies, so it will be very interesting with him coming down to 130 pounds. I do know he is relentless, he comes forward, but in the last two years I have put on a lot of power and strength so it will be a good fight. I think this sort of fight, with our styles, will bring the best me out and that is why I wanted this fight because I am going to show everyone the real me. I have not really done that in previous fights. This sort of opponent will allow me to bring the best out of me. I don’t think he is the best I’ve had in terms of ability, but it toughness he is right up there for sure. It will be a very, very good fight for the fans watching and there will definitely be some fireworks. There will also be a masterclass from myself.”
Elsewhere on the bill, there will be a clash between two undefeated MTK Global fighters, as Troy Williamson (14-0-1, 11 KOs) defends his IBF European super-welterweight title against Michael McGurk (12-0, 3 KOs), plus rising star Dennis McCann (6-0, 4 KOs) is in action too.

Stevenson, Navarrete vacate WBO titles to move up

Stevenson, Navarrete vacate WBO titles to move up

Stevenson, Navarrete vacate WBO titles to move up
New Jersey's Shakur Stevenson and Mexico's Emanuel Navarrete have officially vacated their WBO championships and requested to become number one ranked challengers in their new weight divisions. [Both boxers are promoted by Top Rank which enjoys a close relationship with the WBO and Top Rank boxers will be heavily involved in fighting for the vacant titles]. Shakur won the vacant WBO featherweight championship last October, defeating Joet González by unanimous decision. On July 7th, Shakur wrote to the WBO to notify this sanctioning body that he was having serious difficulties making the division’s 126-pound limit. Because of this, he decided to move up in weight and requested to be ranked in the junior lightweight (130-pound) division, where Jamel Herring [also promoted by Top Rank] is the current WBO ruler.
WBO President Francisco Valcárcel Mulero, Esq. said that Shakur will become the number one challenger at 130 pounds. “I look forward in the very near future to fighting for another championship within the WBO,” Stevenson, silver medalist in the 2016 Olympic Games said in his e-mail to the WBO.
Meanwhile, Navarrete’s advisor, Guillermo Brito Rodríguez wrote to the WBO on July 11th to notify that Navarrete was relinquishing his WBO 122-pound title and moving up to the featherweight division for similar reasons. Navarrete was crowned WBO 122-pound champion in December 2018 with a unanimous decision victory over then-undefeated titlist Isaac Dogboe, of Ghana. He then knocked Dogboe out in the immediate rematch. In total, Navarrete successfully defended his crown five times.
In his email, Brito Rodríguez requested that Navarrete be named the top challenger at his new division, the 126-pound class vacated by Stevenson.
Regarding Navarrete, Valcárcel said that he will also be ranked number one contender and could face the highest available contender for the vacant title. He mentioned Irish Olympian Michael Conlan, former title holder Jesse Magdaleno, and Rubén Villa as possible opponents.

Austin Trout lands legal blow vs. WBO

Austin Trout lands legal blow vs. WBO
Austin Trout won a legal victory over the WBO, but in boxing terms, Trout won a round, with the fight still very much up for grabs. On Friday, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Puerto Rico, where the WBO is based, ruled that Trout will not yet be forced to go to private arbitration with his claims against the WBO.  Trout is suing the WBO for bypassing him for a vacant title shot back in 2015. When the WBO stripped Demetrius Andrade that year, it gave the title shot to lower-ranked Liam Smith and dropped Trout from the ratings. Smith wound up gettting an easy title against John Thompson, which lead to a huge payday vs. Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in 2016.
Trout sued, but the WBO sought to force Trout to arbitration instead of a lawsuit. But in Friday's ruling, Trout convinced the First Circuit that the WBO's arbitration rules are unfair because they allow the WBO choose the arbitrators. The court wrote, "Trout contends -- correctly -- that this provision grants the WBO exclusive control over the appointment of the arbitrators who will decide his claims. Under its plain terms, the WBO could even appoint its own employees -- including direct aides to the head of the WBO -- to the arbitration panel with no input from Trout. In consequence, Trout argues that the arbitration agreement does not provide him with a fair opportunity to pursue either his claim under the Muhammad Ali Act or his [other] claims under Puerto Rico law because the arbitrator, in virtue of the method of selection, would be inherently biased."
The next step is for Trout to go back to the District of Puerto Rico, where the lower court will decide whether there should be some other form of arbitration (where the WBO does not get to choose the arbitrators) or if Trout can ultimately have his day in federal court. There was no ruling on the merits of Trout's claim that he was entitled to fight for the vacant WBO championship instead of Smith or Thompson.
Here is the history of the  dispute:  
In 2015, after being excluded from the vacant WBO title bout, Trout sued the WBO in New Mexico (where Trout lives), alleging that the WBO's decision to remove him from its rankings cost him a chance to pursue a junior middleweight championship. The complaint included a claim under the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, as well as claims under Puerto Rico law for breach of contract, fraud, and negligence.
The WBO removed the case from New Mexico state court to United States federal court in the District of New Mexico and then, pursuant to a clause in the WBO's Championship Regulations, successfully moved to transfer the case to the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, where the WBO is based. That happened in 2017. Once the case was in Puerto Rico, the WBO moved to compel arbitration pursuant to another clause in the Championship Regulations. The District Court granted the motion and dismissed Trout's claims but allowed him to go to arbitration. Trout did not want to go to arbitration, so he appealed to the First Circuit, which granted his appeal.

Twitter Chatter: Carlos Takam

Twitter Chatter: Carlos Takam
Heavyweight Carlos Takam on Thursday's short-notice win over Jerry Forrest: "Friends.. that was physically a tough fight. Short notice is never ideal but staying ready and focused got me through and now we move on. I give my thanks to all involved and God bless you all."

A look back at the 43-0 career of Thailand's Samson Dutch Boy Gym

A look back at the 43-0 career of Thailand's Samson Dutch Boy Gym

A look back at the 43-0 career of Thailand's Samson Dutch Boy Gym
Born in July 1972 in Roi-Et in the northeastern part of Thailand, the boxer who came to be known as Samson Dutch Boy Gym was born with the name is Somboon Phantasi. It is common in Thailand for professional boxers to take ring names to honor the gyms they represent, or in exchange for money from a sponsor. While he is mainly known as Samson Dutch Boy Gym, the Southpaw-Puncher also fought as Samson Elite Gym, Samson 3K Battery, Samson Toyota-Thailand and a few other names. As is the case with most boxers from Thailand, Samson started out as a Muay Thai boxer, gaining a lot of ring experience and fame fighting as Saengmuangnoi Lukchapormasak (we will let this be the first and only time this name is used in this article).
Only 19 years old but with countless Muay thai battles and championships under his belt, Samson turned to traditional boxing and made his professional debut in February 1992, stopping curiously named Filipino Young Elmer in the first round. For some reason it would be over two years before Samson continued his boxing career, as he knocked out another Filipino, Edwin Casano, in the second round in May1994, but his return would be the start of a truly amazing journey. He was now on a fast track.
In June of 1994, in only his third pro fight, Samson stepped significantly up in class when he took on world-ranked Philippines champion Dan Nietes (26-6-1) in a ten rounder. Samson showed his great potential by beating Nietes by unanimous decision. His celebrity status growing, the management of Samson wasted no time in capitalizing on the Nietes victory and secured their man a September shot at the vacant WBF 115-pound title in Bangkok, against Australian champion Colin “Kid” Nelson. Samson repaid his handlers by dominating and stopping Nelson.
Over the course of the next two years, Samson was kept incredibly busy and defended his WBF title belt fifteen times, almost always winning by knockout. It must me said that some of the challengers were, to put it mildly, less than scary, but he also took care of quality fighters such as former WBC champion Rolando Pascua, future South African titlists Ndoda Mayende and Sandile Sobandla, undefeated Mexican contender Genaro Garcia and former world title-challenger Francisco Montiel.
In November 1996 Samson was pitted with Russian Alexander Makhmutov, who brought a 26-3 ledger and had lost a twelve round decision to another undefeated Thai world champion, WBA ruler Saen Sor Ploenchit, only two months earlier. Now 19-0, Samson got the job done in six rounds. Makhmutov would later win the European title twice.
Despite competing in a division where it is hard to get steady top-class opposition, Samson continued to fight often and always defending his WBF belt. He continued to face the occasional push-over, but he also took on true world class challengers whenever it was possible:   
In March 1997 Samson destroyed Mexican Cruz Carbajal in four rounds. Five years later, Carbajal won the WBO world title, and made several defenses.
In June 1997 Samson defended his title with a sixth-round knockout over Argentinean Hugo R. Soto (47-4-2). Less than a year earlier Soto had gone twelve rounds in a losing effort against legendary Johnny Tapia for the WBO bantamweight crown, and less than a year later he would go on to win the WBA flyweight title.
On May 8, 2001, Samson was taken the distance for the first time in sixteen straight fights when he outpointed undefeated Filipino Diosdado Gabi (11-0). Gabi went on to fight for world titles again, and retired in 2008 with a 30-4-1 record after sharing the ring with big name world champions such as Vic Darchinyan and Abner Mares.
After the Gabi fight, Samson made two more title defenses, which he also won on points. The fact that he was no longer destroying opponents in the same manner that he used to, may have influenced his decision to retire from the sport at only 29 years of age shortly after beating Alfren Bulala in April 2002.
Undefeated at 43-0 with 36 KOs, and with thirty-eight successful defenses of his WBF world title, the career of Samson Dutch Boy Gym must be considered a success depite no major title fights. It can be argued that he was protected by only boxing in his home country, sometimes against undeserving challengers, but at the end of the day his accomplishments speak for themselves.

Brad Foster retains British title

Brad Foster retains British title
Brad Foster W12 James Beech Jr. ... In the first British boxing show since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Brad Foster defended his British and Commonwealth super bantamweight championship with a unanimous decision victory over James Beech Jr.  The big story is that the 22 year-old Foster (13-0-2) has been working night shifts in a supermarket during the pandemic. Beech is now 12-1. source: bbc
Hamzah Sheeraz TKO6 Paul Kean... British junior middleweight Hamzah Sheeraz (11-0) scored a quick first-round knockdown on the way to another technical knockout victory. Sheeraz dominated Paul Kean (12-2) before Kean's corner ended the bout after six rounds. source: frank warren twitter


Haney leaning towards Campbell, not Tagoe, for his next fight

Haney leaning towards Campbell, not Tagoe, for his next fight
Devin “The Dream” Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) is awaiting the announcement of this next fight. I’m excited to get back in the ring,” said Haney, who holds the WBC regular title. “This has been the longest time between fights in my career. My body received a well deserved rest. I’m blessed." [Haney's options include a WBC mandatory against Luke Campbell and a WBO eliminator against Emmanuel Tagoe, but based on the following quote, it looks like he's taking on Campbell next:] "Vasyl Lomachenko [who holds the WBC, WBA and WBO championships] is a true professional and considered to be a top five pound-for-pound champion. I challenged him for the WBC lightweight world title and I didn’t get the big fight I wanted, but I got the belt I deserved by stopping Zaur Abdullaev and becoming Lomachenko’s mandatory challenger to the lightweight world title. Ironically, the big fight never happened because Lomachenko and Top Rank petitioned the WBC not to fight me and award him the franchise title. I then petitioned the WBC to elevate me from interim champion to full world champion, because Lomachenko chose not to fight me and I had previously beat the highest ranked fighter available. Let’s make this clear, you can’t win the franchise title and you can’t challenge a franchise champion. I’m 21 years old and I’m the WBC world lightweight champion and I believe in fighting mandatory challengers."
“At this point in my career I don’t mind mandatories at all because it forces the best fighters in my division to get in the ring with me. They can run but they can’t hide. Mandatory for me means mandatory cash. It’s good to be in a stacked division. If I can I’m going to fight all of them. I hope Teofimo Lopez beats Loma and then fights me in a unification for all the belts like he promised Mauricio Sulaiman. To me it looks like Luke Campbell is looking forward to the opportunity of getting beat up by me more than Ryan Garcia is looking forward to it. I’m guessing in Ryan’s defense, he’s never lost so he’s moving a little different and trying to stay undefeated (lol), but I don’t think Eddie Reynosa and Golden Boy really don’t want him to fight me yet. Luke is accustomed to losing big fights, we know he’s come up short more than once. I think he has more of a… “I don’t give a damn attitude” and I’m cool with that too! As far as Gervonta “Tank” Davis? I don’t like throwing water on a drowning man but leaving a stacked 135 lbs. division, to take a fight at super featherweight kind of tells you where he’s at. It’s no secret I’m a problem at 135 lbs. I know Jose Ramirez ain’t sleeping good at night either, he got Haney at 140 lbs. or Terence Crawford at 147 lbs. problems to think about. I don’t wish that on anybody. Josh Taylor is an easier fight for Ramirez then me or Bud, but it’s still a tough 50/50 fight. Ramirez is out here looking like food on the low.”
“This pandemic is something we’ve never seen," Haney concluded. "It’s tough on everyone around the world. We’ve all been in quarantine for the last few months, including myself, and fortunately staying at home is the best place to be. Similar in many ways to training camp. I pray to God things get back to normal soon. I’m anxious to get back in the ring as soon as the experts give the green light. I want all the smoke. Lately, I’ve been fortunate to spend a lot of time with 'TBE,' Floyd Maweather. Being compared to Mayweather is the ultimate compliment for any fighter in this era of boxing. I’m the most skilled fighter in the world right now and I'm looking forward to an opponent I can make a statement against. I’m working diligently with [WBC president] Mauricio Sulaiman and the WBC to make the big fights happen. Every decision made by the WBC hasn’t went my way, but I have a genuine love and respect for the WBC family as a whole. I’m proud to represent the WBC organization.”

More British bouts announced for August

More British bouts announced for August

More British bouts announced for August
Frank Warren's Queensberry Promotions announced additional bouts for the month of August which will take place at the BT Sport Studio. On August 20th, super featherweight Archie Sharp (18-0, 9 KOs) is back to face recent Golden Contract semi-finalist Jeff Ofori (10-2-1, 3 KOs)... Elsewhere on the bill, there will be a clash between two undefeated MTK Global fighters, as Troy Williamson (14-0-1, 11 KOs) battles Michael McGurk (12-0, 3 KOs) at junior middleweight... Bantamweight Dennis McCann (6-0, 4 KOs) is scheduled for action too, but has no opponent yet.
In a main event scheduled for Saturday August 29th, super flight Sunny Edwards (14-0, 4 KOs) returns against Thomas Essomba (10-5, 4 KOs)... That card will also see Sam Maxwell (13-0, 11 KOs) back in the ring against former European champion Joe Hughes (17-5-1, 7 KOs).
Promoter Frank Warren said: “I’m delighted to be able to give fans more clarity as to what they can expect from the huge Summer of boxing on BT Sport. This run of shows is a fantastic opportunity for all these talents to step up and make a mark. The eyes of the world are on boxing as it comes out of lockdown and my challenge to all of these is to take this huge opportunity!”

MTK signs British flyweight Joe Maphosa

MTK signs British flyweight Joe Maphosa
MTK Global announced the signing of British flyweight Joe Maphosa. From Thornaby, Maphosa (11-1, 1 KO which includes a loss in the World Series of Boxing) is a former Team GB standout, having won a number of accolades during his amateur career, before going on to turn professional in 2017. His most recent win came against Moises Mojica (9-10-2) in February in Newcastle. MTK Global will be working alongside Phil Jeffries to guide the career of Maphosa, and the duo are extremely excited about the future. News on when Maphosa will have his next bout will be announced in due course.
Maphosa said: “I am very excited to be joining MTK Global. They are one of the biggest companies in boxing today, so it’s a pleasure to be part of a huge team MTK global are doing great work with some of the biggest names in boxing and its an honour to be on the same team as the likes of Tyson Fury, Billy Joe Saunders, Josh Taylor and Carl Frampton. I am happy with how my career has gone so far, but with signing with MTK will take me to the next level. Over the last few months I’ve been desperate to get into the swing of things. During lockdown I just had to be dedicated and continue ticking over with my training, with a lot of running, cycling and body weight training. Things are slowly getting back to normal and I can’t wait to start camp! I’m hoping to stay busy and active, and now I’ve signed with MTK I can get my career moving in the right direction. I’m in the sport to be a world champion and that’s the stage I’m aiming for, so it’s big fights and big nights ahead.”
Jeffries added: “I’m really excited to have Joe Maphosa joining MTK Global alongside my other boxers Lewis Ritson and Thomas Patrick Ward. I think MTK Global has a great future in boxing and are well trusted by always putting the boxers first. Since working with MTK they have done everything promised, and I’m really chuffed to have Joe joining.”

Matchroom Boxing USA names Dr. Rod Ballelosas Chief Medical Officer.

Matchroom Boxing USA names Dr. Rod Ballelosas Chief Medical Officer.
Matchroom Boxing USA announced the appointment of Dr. Rod Ballelosas to the position of Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Ballelos joins the company in a consultancy role ahead of our return to live action in Tulsa, Oklahoma on August 15th, live on DAZN, and he has been immediately tasked with playing a vital role around the coronavirus protocols ahead of the event. Dr. Ballelos brings substantial and varied medical experience and expertise to the role.  He currently works across multiple Emergency Departments in the greater Las Vegas area, and has worked alongside legendary ringside physician Dr. Flip Homansky, of the Las Vegas Boxing Commission, as well as Dr. Jeffrey Davidson, medical director of UFC, and is also a part of C & C Events Company, who provide medical care for large gatherings and events such as Electric Daisy Carnival.
Matchroom Boxing had intended to make the appointment ahead of the pandemic striking and pausing the sport, with the role intended to ensure that Matchroom’s events and fighters have access to first-class medical expertise at all times, including throughout training camps, around events and during fight night itself.  Dr. Ballelos will provide expertise across a range of areas including correct fighter nutrition and hydration advice, anti-doping measures and head trauma/concussion protocols. In addition to those responsibilities, he will now also help shape Matchroom’s coronavirus protocols to ensure the safety of all event participants and implementation of effective testing.
“I look forward to working closely with Matchroom Boxing, as well as being able to get to know the boxers both medically and on a personal level to be able to give them a sense of security about their health and well-being,” said Dr. Ballelos.
Shaun Palmer, Chief Operating Officer of Matchroom Boxing USA and Global General Counsel commented: “The health and safety of our fighters is paramount. Dr. Ballelos will perform a critical consulting role to help us ensure we continue to maintain the very highest safety standards and best medical practices across all our events. Dr. Ballelos will also offer invaluable guidance as we deal with the unprecedented challenges posed by staging events against the backdrop of the pandemic.”

Takam wins one week after the death of his father

Takam wins one week after the death of his father
Carlos Takam W10 Jerry Forrest.... French heavyweight Carlos Takam, at 39 years old, is still a factor in the heavyweight division. Fighting in Las Vegas on short notice [due to original headliner Jarrell Miller's positive PED test], Takam got a courageous ten-round unanimous decision win over Jerry Forrest. Takam explained why the win was courageous: “My father passed away a week ago, so I came into the fight with a heavy heart. It may not have been a spectacular knockout, but most importantly, we got the win. We took this fight on short notice, but the opportunity on ESPN was too big to pass up. We knew we could beat him regardless." Takam won by scores of 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94. A former world title challenger [who lost to Anthony Joshua in 2017] and a 2004 Olympian, Takam notched his fourth consecutive win following back-to-back defeats at the hands of Joshua and Derek Chisora. Forrest (26-4, 20 KOs) closed the fight strong as the aggressor and won three of the last four rounds on two of the judges' scorecards. According to CompuBox, Takam landed 27 more power punches (84 to 57). Takam said, “I want anyone in the top five, or a title shot if that materializes.” source: top rank

Marriaga, Verdejo to appear in separate bouts next week on ESPN

Marriaga, Verdejo to appear in separate bouts next week on ESPN
Miguel “Escorpion” Marriaga’s quest for a fourth title shot continues inside the MGM Grand “Bubble” Thursday, July 16th, in a ten-round featherweight main event against Filipino veteran Mark John Yap. In the ten-round lightweight co-feature, Puerto Rico's Felix “El Diamante” Verdejo will fight the unbeaten Will Madera. Marriaga-Yap, Verdejo-Madera, and undercard bouts will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
“Miguel stayed in shape throughout the pandemic and was willing to fight anyone we put in front of him,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Felix is so close to realizing his potential, and with a great trainer like Ismael Salas in his corner, anything is possible. This is going to be an action-packed card, and both Miguel and Felix will be tested.”
Marriaga said, “I want to be a world champion, and a win over Yap will move me one step closer to my ultimate goal. Yap is much better than his record indicates. Neither of us will take a backward step.” Marriaga (29-3, 25 KOs) fell short in world title fights against Nicholas Walters, Oscar Valdez and Vasiliy Lomachenko, but he has knocked out four straight foes since the Lomachenko defeat in August 2017. He last saw action Dec. 7th in Pueblo, Mexico, and knocked out Alfredo Mejia Vargas with a body shot. Marriaga was scheduled to challenge Shakur Stevenson for the WBO featherweight title March 14th, but the bout was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yap (30-15, 15 KOs) is a 13-year pro and a former OPBF (regional) bantamweight champion who has not been knocked out since 2014.
[The once-hyped] Verdejo (26-1, 16 KOs) is seeking his fourth consecutive win since a 2018 TKO loss at the hands of Antonio Lozada Jr. Now based in Las Vegas under the tutelage of Salas, the 2012 Olympian is coming off an ESPN-televised decision win Jan. 18th over Manuel Rey Rojas.
Madera (15-0-3, 8 KOs), from Albany, New York, got a nationally televised decision win over the previously undefeated Thomas Mattice in February 2019. He is 2-0-1 since the Mattice victory, including a second-round stoppage over Edgar Ramirez on Jan. 28th.
“July 16 marks my return to the ring against Will Madera in what will be my second fight with my new team,” Verdejo said. “This is a great opportunity to demonstrate the progress resulting from my work. I have renewed motivation to realize my dream of becoming a world champion. That is the goal."
Featherweight Martino Jules (9-0, 2 KOs), a former amateur standout from Allentown, Pennsylvania, will face Aleem Jumakhonov (8-2-2, 4 KOs) in an eight-rounder. Jumakhonov, who was born Tajikistan and now resides in Southern California, is coming off a unanimous decision over the previously undefeated Anthony Chavez... 
Raphael “Trouble" Igbokwe (14-2, 6 KOs), winner of two straight bouts, will fight Genc Pllana (8-1-1, 4 KOs) in an eight-rounder at super middleweight. Pllana is coming off a nationally televised decision victory over Kevin Newman II (11-1-1 at the time) and a draw against Kalvin Henderson (12-0)...
In a six-round welterweight tussle, Hector Madera (6-0, 3 KOs) will fight fellow unbeaten Adrian Valdovinos (5-0-1, 4 KOs)...
Alexis “Perro” del Bosque (17-5, 9 KOs), from Dallas, Texas, will take on an opponent to be named in an eight-rounder at lightweight. del Bosque, who has won four in a row, was scheduled to fight Joseph Adorno in the MGM Grand “Bubble” last month, but the fight was canceled after Adorno failed to make weight.

Undercard results from Las Vegas: Carlos Castro now 26-0

Undercard results from Las Vegas: Carlos Castro now 26-0
Carlos Castro TKO4 Cesar Juarez ... Phoenix 122-pounder Carlos Castro (26-0, 11 KOs) stopped Mexico's Cesar Juarez (25-9-1, 19 KOs) when Juarez's corner called off the one-sided bout following the conclusion of the fourth round. Juarez, who in 2015 lost a 122-pound title shot to Nonito Donaire, has now lost two fights in a row. “I admire Cesar Juarez as a Mexican warrior and for everything he’s given the sport. I told him it was an honor to share the ring with him," Castro said. “I want any title opportunity or an interim title shot. Whatever comes my way, I am ready. I am highly ranked and prepared for the next step.”
In a six-round battle of undefeated junior lightweights, Joshafat Ortiz (8-0, 4 KOs) edged Joshua Orta (6-1, 2 KOs) by majority decision. Ortiz swept the first four rounds on two of the judges' cards, but won narrowly. Official scores were 57-57 and 58-56 (twice)... 
Nine days after losing his first professional fight, middleweight Donte Stubbs (7-1, 2 KOs) came back to take someone else's "0." Stubbs topped Fred Wilson Jr. (6-1-2, 2 KOs) by six-round unanimous decision. Stubbs scored knockdowns in the third and fifth rounds, and Wilson had a point deducted for holding in the fourth. Official scores were 58-53 (twice) and 58-54...
In a scheduled four-round welterweight fight that featured the rare double knockdown, Corey Champion (2-3, 2 KOs) knocked out Peter Cortez (2-2, 1 KO) in the opening round. Champion knocked down Cortez early in the round, then the double knockdown occurred. Champion roared back to stop Cortez in an instant undercard classic. source: top rank

Taylor-Persoon II replaces Taylor-Serrano on Aug. 22nd

Taylor-Persoon II replaces Taylor-Serrano on Aug. 22nd
The biggest rematch in the history of women’s boxing has been confirmed for Matchroom Fight Camp. [With Amanda Serrano out of the picture], Katie Taylor will defend her world lightweight championship against Delfine Persoon on Saturday August 22nd, live on Sky Sports Box Office. [As with the first, controversial Taylor-Persoon fight, all four major belts will be at stake]. Taylor (15-0, 6 KOs) completed her fairy-tale journey from Olympic Gold to undisputed world  champion with a thrilling but controversial points win over Belgium’s Persoon on a historical night at New York City's Madison Square Garden on the Joshua vs. Ruiz bill last year. [Boxingtalk scored that fight 96-94 for Persoon].
With the narrow decision following a bloody battle, the Irish star added Persoon’s WBC belt to her IBF, WBO and WBA titles. The 34 year-old Taylor went on to create more history in November when she dethroned WBO 140-pound title holder Christina Linardatou to become a two-weight ruler – becoming only the third Irish boxer to win world titles in two weight classes.
Persoon (44-2, 18 KOs) held the WBC strap for five years, making nine successful defences in that reign, before losing it to Taylor in a Fight-of-the-Year contender. Despite losing on two of the judges’ scorecards, Persoon was convinced she’d won after ten rounds of relentless action and has been lobbying for a rematch ever since.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Persoon's last fight was a loss... she went back to the amateurs to try to qualify for the 2021 Olympics, where she lost her opening bout in the European qualifying tournament Nikoleta Peta.]
“With Amanda Serrano not taking the fight I wanted the biggest fight possible in August and I think a second Persoon fight is one that everyone wants to see,” said Taylor. “I’ve been looking forward to a rematch ever since the first fight and I’m delighted it’s been made. It was definitely very close first time around, but I felt I deserved the win and I intend to leave no doubts in the rematch.”
Persoon said: “I am ready to get the victory following the injustice last June in New York, not by words but in the ring – I am ready!”
Promoter Eddie Hearn said, “Wow! What a fight – what a night! To be honest I can’t quite believe this fight has been made, I can’t give enough credit to Katie and Delfine for agreeing to do it again,” said Eddie Hearn. “Since their epic Fight of the Year contender at MSG last year, everyone has wanted to see this once again and now we have it. I’m very proud to stage this fight especially at such a critical time for our sport – along with [the heavyweight fight between] Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin [on the same show], August 22nd will be one not to forget.”
Adam Smith, Sky Sports Head of Boxing Development, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to confirm Katie Taylor’s eagerly awaited rematch against Delfine Persoon, with all the world lightweight titles on the line. Katie has called for a second fight ever since that thrilling first encounter when she received the verdict, much to the dismay of Persoon.
“They go again on the Whyte-Povetkin bill, which just got even bigger, and Katie will be determin