Taylor vacates but Top Rank to retain control of WBC junior welterweight title

Taylor vacates but Top Rank to retain control of WBC junior welterweight title
World 140-pound champin Josh Taylor has vacted the WBC title, making it the second of the four major belts to slip off his waist outside of the ring. The WBC announcer that  Jose Zepeda and Jose Carlos Ramirez will be sanctioned to fight for the vacant WBC tile. Taylor, Zepeda and Ramirez are all promoted by Top Rank. Taylor still holds the WBO and IBF titles, but he recently vavated or was stripped by the WBA. Alberto Puello of the Dominican Republic and Uzbekistan's Batyr Akhmedov will fight each other for the WBA's vacant 140-pound title.
 
BOXINGTALK'S PRIOR COVERAGE
 
JUNE 30, 2022: The WBC reported today that a purse bid is back on for world junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor's WBC  mandatory defense vs Jose Zepeda. Last scheduled for June 10th, the WBC now has it calendared for July 1st. 
 
MAY 25, 2022: The WBC confirmed that the purse bid for the WBC mandatory defense between three-belt champion Josh Taylor from Scotland and Jose Zepeda from Mexico, has been rescheduled for Friday June 10th. Taylor, still recognized as the true world 140-pound champion, previously held all four major titles but has since been stripped by the WBA.
 
MAY 16, 2022: After stripping world 140-pound champion Josh Taylor of the WBA title last week, the sanctioning organization has scheduled a hearing with the representatives of the top six contenders (as ranked by the WBA) with the intention of seeking the best solution to fill the vacancy. The WBA, through its president Gilberto Jesus Mendoza, called the online hearing for this Tuesday, May 17th. The affected boxers are Alberto Puello (WBA #1 ranked), Ismael Barroso (WBA #2), Ohara Davies, Sandor Martín, (former WBA champion) Regis Prograis and Batyr Akhmedov. The hearing will be attended by WBA chief of staff Gary Shaw and a panel composed of Anthony Cardinale and Seymour Zivick. Each team will have fifteen minutes to present its case with no time extension. The panel will have five minutes after each presentation to ask questions and after a time of deliberation on each case, will present its opinion to President Mendoza, who will make the final decision.
 
MAY 14, 2022: The WBA, as it has been threatening to do, stripped world champion Josh Taylor of Scotland, of the WBA junior welterweight championship for failing to fight the underqualified Alberto Puello. Taylor, coming off a a controversial win over Jack Caterall, still holds the other three major 140-pound championships, but is expected to move up to 147 pounds in his next fight. Puello will likley be ordered to face WBA #2 Ismael Barroso for the vacant title. Yecch! The WBA stated its justification as follows: 
 
"On March 8th, the WBA ordered the mandatory fight between Taylor and WBA #1 rated Alberto Puello of the Dominican Republic. As dictated by rule C.13, the boxers had 30 days to reach an agreement but it was not completed. On April 5th, Puello’s team requested that the fight be called to a purse bid but the WBA waited until April 7th before calling the purse bid. Subsequently, on April 11th, the purse bid was ordered and scheduled for April 22nd. The purse bid was held and only TGB, Puello’s promoter, submitted a bid and thereby won the rights to organize the fight. 
 
According to WBA rule D-11, the promoter who wins the purse bid shall have all fight contracts duly signed and delivered to the WBA by no later than twenty days from the date the winning bid is awarded.  On May 3, 2022, the committee received the contract from Puello, and the deadline expired on Thursday, May 12th. 
 
WBA Rule D 15 states that if the champion fails to sign a bout contract within the required twenty-day period after the award of the bid or refuses to participate in the bout for the winning promoter, he shall be deemed to have violated these Rules and may have his title vacated. Due to the lack of response from Taylor’s team, the committee proceeded to vacate the WBA 140-pound title, understanding that the rules must be known by all fighters who fight for a championship or are champions of the sanctioning body."
 
Taylor posted the following on Twitter: "FYI, I vacated it the belt I want stripped."
 
 
APRIL 29, 2022: The WBC issued the following statement about the junior welterweight division, implying that the four sanctioning bodies have agreed to sequence the mandatory defense obligations of four-belt world champion Josh Taylor. It remains to be seen if that is a true statement, but here is the WBC's messaging: "As per prior communications and with the agreement which all 4 presidents (WBC-WBO-IBF-WBA) confirmed in the meeting held in Puerto Rico, the WBC mandatory defense is next, followed by the IBF. The WBC is hereby advising of the beginning of the free negotiations period for the Josh Taylor´s mandatory title defense versus Jose Zepeda. If no agreement is reached the WBC will conduct a purse bid on Tuesday, May 24th." [Taylor's last fight, a controversial win over Jack Caterall, was a WBO mandatory].
 
                    ***
 
APRIL 12, 2022: The WBA seems determined to get rid of Josh Taylor as its 140-pound champion. Taylor owns all four major titles but the WBA continues to press the case for Alberto Puello, the undeserving WBA  mandatory contender. The WBA has now scheduled a purse bid at a ridiculously unfavorable split for Taylor, virtually guaranteeing that Taylor will vacate the WBA title and allow Puello to fight someone else for the vacated title. As of right now, that could mean Puello vs. WBA #2 Ismael Barroso for a vacant title. Yecch! Here is the WBA announcement of the April 22nd purse bid, with only 55% of the winning bid allocated to the world champion:
 
"The World Boxing Association (WBA) Championships Committee has scheduled the purse bid for the mandatory bout between [140-pound] super champion Josh Taylor and his mandatory challenger Alberto Puello. The bidding will take place next Friday, April 22 online via the Zoom platform and will begin at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time in the United States.  The negotiation period between the Scottish and the Dominican expired without reaching an agreement and that is why the bidding was ordered under the terms indicated in the WBA rules. This Monday, the communication was sent to the parties with all the conditions of the bidding, which will have a minimum amount of US $ 200,000.00 and whose split will be 55% for the champion Taylor and 45% for the challenge."
 

Weigh-in report from Australia

Weigh-in report from Australia
At the Gold Coast Convention Centre in Australia, IBF cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis (28-1, 20 KOs) weighed in comfortably below the 200-pound limit ahead of Saturday's title fight against Jai Opetaia (21-0, 17 KOs). Here are the boxers' weights for the three featured bouts:
 
IBF CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Mairis Briedis 199 pounds, 1 ounce -vs.- Jai Opetaia 198 pounds, 7 ounces;
 
Light Heavyweights - 10 Rounds
Faris Chevalier 174.5  -vs.- Conor Wallace 174.4; and
 
Junior Middleweights - 10 Rounds
Joel Camilleri 153.25 -vs.- Koen Mazoudier 153.75. 

Boxingtalk's Friday fight predictions

Boxingtalk's Friday fight predictions
Boxingtalk's Friday fight predictions, courtesy of MB Boxing Official:
 
Rene Mark Cuarto vs. Daniel Valladares (IBF minimumweight championship) … Prediction: Valladares by split decision;
 
Karim Guerfi vs. Ricardo Mercado Vazquez (featherweights) … Prediction: Guerfi by unanimous decision;
 
Daud Yordan vs. Panya Uthok (junior welterweights) … Prediction: Yordan by unanimous decision;
 
Nicholas Esposito vs. Alessio Mastronunzio (welterweights) … Prediction: Esposito by unanimous decision;
 
Edivaldo Ortega vs. Rafael Rosas (featherweights) … Prediction: Ortega by unanimous decision;
 
Victor Reyes Bernabe vs. Mario Diaz Maldonado (super bantamweights) … Prediction: Bernabe by unanimous decision;
 
Vicente Portillo Diaz vs. Jesus Lugo Garcia (lightweights) … Prediction: Diaz by early knockout;
 
Alexis Gutierrez Antonio vs. Luis Herrera Martinez (lightweights) … Prediction: Antonio by unanimous decision;
 
Ibrahim Class Mgender vs. Peter Pambeni (Lightweights) … Prediction: Mgender by late knockout; 
 
Mfaume Ahmad Said vs. Abdumonem Said (junior middleweights) … Prediction:Ahmad Said by early knockout; 
 
Mike McGoldrick vs. Matt McCallum (Super Middleweights) … Prediction: McCallum clear by unanimous decision;
 
Jack Rafferty vs. Olaide Fijabi (junior welterweights)  … Prediction: Rafferty by early knockout; 
 
Jack McGann vs. Nicola Cristofori (Super Welterweights) … Prediction: McGann close by unanimous decision;
 
Derrick Miller Jr. vs. Joe Jones (Cruiserweights) … Prediction: Miller Jr. close by unanimous decision;
 
Lisandro Barazarte vs. Kevin Piedrahita (Featherweights) … Prediction: Piedrahita by mid-round knockout; 
 
Nohel Arambulet vs. Luis Golindano (Minimumweights) … Prediction: Arambulet by mid-round knockout; 

Joyce vs. Hammer final presser quotes

Joyce vs. Hammer final presser quotes

Joyce vs. Hammer final presser quotes
Saturday’s boxing show at London's OVO Arena was supported by the final press call earlier this week before blows are traded live on BT Sport and ESPN+. Joe Joyce (pictured) and Christian Hammer, Jason Cunningham and Zolani Tete, plus Mark Chamberlain and Mark Vidal fielded the questions. Joyce said, "I’ve had a great training camp in Las Vegas again with [trainer Ismael] Salas, rehabbed the injury and I’ve been adding more tools to the arsenal. I am in a good place mentally, physically and I think Hammer is going to be a good test and a good fight. He is tough, durable and has been in there with some really good names. I am really looking forward to it, getting to work and maybe working on a few things in preparation for fights to come. I am not going to put any pressure on myself by predicting rounds. It could go the distance or I could take him out. He is a strong guy and I have seen him throw some big shots. It is a risky fight because I have got something they all want. In my experience, things don’t always happen as you plan, so when I am [in] training camp I just get myself into the best possible place and look to improve. Obviously I was preparing for [Joseph] Parker, but I just made the adjustments and I have got the experience to deliver myself to victory on Saturday night.”
 
Besides the heavyweight bout between Joyce and Hammer, the show features a super bantamweight collision between European champion Jason Cunningham and former two-weight champion Zolani Tete. Portsmouth’s Mark Chamberlain will fight Marc Videl in a lightweight encounter. A selection of additional quotes from the media event is posted below.
 
Christian Hammer: 
 
“It is my fourth time here and I am really happy to get the chance of a fight with Joyce and I am looking forward to it. I am feeling very well and I am in good shape. This is a big chance for me and I will give everything. I haven’t come here only for travel.
 
“Last time against Sanchez I received the contract only a few days before. I was there on holiday, they asked me to fight and I took the chance. For this fight I have prepared really well and I want to show everyone a good fight.”
 
Former two-division champion Zolani Tete:
 
“I would like to thank my promoter Mr Warren for giving me another opportunity and making it possible for me to be world champion for a third time. So I am taking this fight very seriously and I would never underestimate Jason. I believe it will be a great fight come Saturday night.
 
“I am definitely looking to chop Jason down. I am not going to take anything away from him as he has worked his way up. I have fought the best fighters in the world and I believe Jason is on his way up to this level. I am sharper and stronger than I have been before. I can’t wait for the night to show you this against Jason Cunningham. I’ve got more power than I have ever had.”
 
European super bantawmeight champion Jason Cunningham:
 
“Everyone seems to have it in for me! My last opponent wanted to eat me, now Zolani wants to chop me down. At the end of the day it is all talk and it is what happens on Saturday night that counts. I am ready for Zolani and may the best man win, who I believe is going to be me.
 
“It is a very big fight, it is the next level and a phenomenal fight with respect to what he has done in the past. It is intriguing because people are questioning what Zolani is going to turn up. We will find out on Saturday night and I am excited myself, ready and prepared to put everything on the line.
 
“I believe it is my time, I am on the run of my life and he doesn’t want to underestimate me.”
 
Lead Promoter Frank Warren:
 
“Joe is the WBO #1 [heavyweight contender] and we are looking for him to make a statement. He is in with a real tough guy in Christian Hammer, a real handful who, in his last fight went in with the [undefeated] Frank Sanchez and it went the distance. So He is a tough guy with a good chin. Joe has only had 13 professional fights and is in a tremendous position.
 
“Joe has got it all to do and I hate this type of fight to be honest. When Tyson Fury fought Otto Wallin in Vegas everybody thought it would be straightforward, but he got a dreadful cut and was fortunate to get to the end of the fight and not getting stopped. So anything can happen in these fights with big fellas and Joe has got it all to lose against Christian Hammer.
 
“Mark Chamberlain is certainly a big talent and is one of our gems at Queensberry. He has got to step up and this is a tough fight for him, but if we didn’t think he could do it we wouldn’t put him in there. Make no mistake, this is a quality match, but I believe he can come through this and make a statement.
 
“There is a great prize at the end for Jason Cunningham or Zolani Tete because I believe the winner at the end will get a world title fight. I really do take my hat off to Jason because, in a hard business, he is one of the guys who has done it the hard way and always been the away fighter. This fight has got something about it and it will be a cracking fight."
 
Mark Chamberlain:
 
“I feel good, ready to go and training has gone well. First of all I would like to say a big thank you to Frank for making this fight happen and believing in me, also to my team. I know he hasn’ been stopped and I am not going to go in there looking for it, but they all seem to say this and that, then on the night can’t back it up, so we will see. Expect a career best performance and we will see how he gets on in the later rounds.”
 
Marc Vidal:
 
“I feel really well, I have trained really well and this is a fight I am ready for and feel good for. Chamberlain is a very good fighter, he is at a high level, but he has never faced anything like me so he is going to be in very deep waters.”
 
Wycombe junior welterweight Henry Turner and Bexley welterweight Micky Burke Jr. will fight over six rounds, with Ashford cruiserweight Arnold Obidai having his second pro fight over four. Thetford cruiserweight Tommy Fletcher will make his professional debut in a four-round fight having recently signed to Frank Warren and Queensberry.
 

Briedis on Opetaia: "the most important thing for me is to enjoy this fight"

Briedis on Opetaia: "the most important thing for me is to enjoy this fight"
IBF cruiserweight king Mairis Briedis (pictured) was welcomed to Thursday’s press conference, and the champion (28-1, 20 KOs) spoke ahead of his title clash with Jai Opetaia (21-0, 17 KOs) at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in Australia on Saturday. Described as “the best cruiserweight in the world,” Briedis has had to wait a little longer than expected to fight with Opetaia due to issues with the coronavirus, an injury and further surgery. However, it seemed to be business as usual for the Latvian as the normal relaxed spirit was clear for all to see. Sporting a ‘Crocodile Dundee’ hat, Briedis' attentions quickly turned to his opponent.  “What I’ve seen on the tapes of Jai, he’s got good technique. He’s flexible, has good speed, and he’ll be happy fighting in his home country. What you see on tape is very different to what you see in the ring,” said Briedis. “The most important thing for me is to enjoy this fight. I like being in fights that boxing fans find interesting and exciting, it’s for them and we’ll be doing our best in the ring.
 
Addressing the comments made about the potential battle this fight could become, Briedis opted to quote the legendary Mike Tyson to make his opinions clear. “He's predicted this will be a war, but I don’t know how I will feel in the ring or how he will feel in the ring,” he said. “As Mike Tyson said, ‘All the plans change after one punch to the head’. There’s going to be a feeling out process after some dancing and punching. I wish him all the best.”
 
Opetaia is heading into this fight as the underdog according to betting odds, but he cannot be underestimated as the undefeated fighter. Ready to try and seize his moment, he feels this is his unveiling as the new face of the division. “I’ve been waiting a long time for this opportunity, I can’t wait and I feel ready. I know he’s a great fighter, but I’m a new generation of great coming through. Everything he’s done, that’s all in the past now. It’s my time.” I know this is a big step up from my past competition,” continued Opetaia. “My last fights I blew them out of the water, I was levels above, and I’m ready to become a world champion” I’m ready for those deep waters, I’m ready to dig deep. I know this is going to be a war and I’m ready for it.”
 
Wasserman Head of Global Boxing, Kalle Sauerland, sat alongside Briedis to support his fighter. With a relationship that stems back many years, Sauerland spoke of the levels to this game and why all his confidence lies with his fighter to reign supreme over Opetaia and the rest of the 200-pound division. “His belly is still very much empty and he’s raring to go, he could have quite easily stopped after winning the Muhammad Ali trophy. He signed a new deal to extend his career and he’s here to take care of business, then we’ll go off and unify again,” said Sauerland.
 
Sauerland continued, “he won the WBSS (World Boxing Super Series) the second time round after losing an epic fight against Oleksandr Usyk; a fight which people still contest the winner to this day. If you want to talk about pedigree, this is a guy who is a three-time world champion. Not once, not twice; but three times. (Opetaia) is taking a step up on Saturday night, and to give him and his team credit they’re doing it against the best of the cruiserweight champions out there. This is someone The Ring magazine recognise as the best in the division. They’ll be asking themselves the night before the fight whether they’ve been at this level before and if they’ve had their chins checked – Mairis certainly has. I can’t wait for Saturday, it’s going to be an unbelievable fight, and this will certainly not be going the full 12 rounds.”
 
With both fighters now fully fit and raring to go, Opetaia's promoter Dean Lonergan was equally full of anticipation and excitement. "This will be one of the all-time great fights we see here in Australia, with two guys who do not want to take a backwards step,” said Longergan. “I think it’ll be an all-out war. I think you’re going to see a lot of blood, a lot of gore. And you’re going to see some amazing boxing skills; it’ll be something special.”
 
 
 
 
Jai Opetaia, Mairis Briedis
Photo Credit: D & L Events
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Spotlight on Russell vs. Barthelemy

Spotlight on Russell vs. Barthelemy
On Saturday, July 30th live on Showtime from Barclays Center in Brooklyn New York, undefeated Gary Antuanne Russell and former two-division champion Rances Barthelemy will do battle on a Premier Boxing Champions' show. Russell will be fighting for the first time since the passing of his father and trainer, Gary Russell Sr., last month. Despite this adversity, the rising junior welterweight will look to continue the legacy of his fighting family with his brother, former WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. in his corner. Meanwhile, Cuba’s Barthelemy (29-1-1) can move closer toward his own goal of becoming Cuba’s first three-division champion with a win over the 15-0 Russell. On a media call on Thursday, the two spoke of their fighting legacies and desire to make history on July 30th. Here s what they had to say:
 
GARY ANTUANNE RUSSELL
 
“My father cornered the market when it came to a lot of this, not just in boxing, but as a leader and a teacher. We don’t want anything he did to go in vain. We want to keep this legacy going on. He knew what he was doing with this machinery and with our legacy.
 
“He gave us a cerebral insight on not just the world, but boxing. We’re going to take it and run with it at this point. Life has a road that demands not just excelling, but evolution. That’s part of life. We’re going to carry this legacy and information and build off this foundation he left for us.
 
“As far as our training methods, nothing is different. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. We’re trying to do everything as close to usual as possible. The only difference is my dad’s voice and foul language isn’t here for inspiration. We have to work with what he left us and keep sharpening our tools.
 
“We have to keep going forward, period. We can’t take a step back. Because that would make all the sacrifices we’ve made and that our father made, be in vain. We can’t go backwards. As far as training, we’re busting our tails as usual. We’ll be in here in the gym on the 4th of July. 
 
“A win on July 30 brings us closer to our family goal. We’ve been knocking at it individually, but we accomplish things as a whole, as we should. Beating an opponent of this caliber gets me closer to that family goal.
 
“As an individual, I just want to wipe out the division. I want all the titles. I’m a superstar, but I’m very humble. There are things that people need to know. I need to spread my wisdom and showcase my talent. I’m definitely going to flourish in my goal and the benefits that it brings. The sky is the limit for me.
 
“I’m delivering a showcase of excellence, fireworks and a victorious night for me, as usual. We’re keeping that train going and we’re trying to keep that knockout record unblemished.
 
“If you don’t come into this ring with some type of confidence, then you shouldn’t be in this profession. He should be saying things about knocking me out. But my mentality hasn’t changed. This is just another steppingstone.”
 
RANCES BARTHELEMY
 
“I want to extend my condolences to the Russell family. I know Gary and the entire family were always united and very close. I remember being in your city and seeing how close you guys were. My heart goes out to you. As far as the fight goes, I don’t see Gary’s situation as being advantageous to me. I hope that Gary can be at 100 percent so that we can give the fans a great fight.
 
“I have to redeem myself. I have a very bad feeling about my last fight and I’m just thankful to Showtime for giving me this opportunity and allowing me to showcase my skills and to show the fans that I’m still here and that I’m ready to take what’s mine.
 
“I still have the hunger. I have two things in my head right now. The first one is redemption, like I said before. The second one is that I want to become the first three-division champion from Cuba. That is my obsession. I pace around the room sometimes just thinking about it and how bad I want to accomplish it. It keeps me up at night. But first, I have to focus on July 30 and stay focused on what I really, really want to accomplish.
 
“I’m as hungry as ever and I want to emphasize that point. I still strive for more, and I want more, and I’m still capable of so much more than what others think I am.
 
“I don’t see it like I’m being used as a steppingstone, but rather, I see this as an opportunity, because I can redeem the last fight that I had, which left a very, very sour taste in my mouth. I want to show that I can still be someone who can be counted on in this division to make history out there.
 
“I need this win to secure my history. Time is running out. I need to go in there and leave blood, sweat and tears in the ring to make sure I can achieve my dreams and my goals and everything that I want to accomplish.
 
“I want to continue to work on my conditioning and be ready to take on the power from a young and explosive fighter like Gary Antuanne. Our styles clash perfectly. Gary is someone who comes forward and likes to be very offensive, while I’m more of a counter-puncher. So, what they’re going to see is a kind of art inside the ring and you’re not going to want to miss it.”
 
GARY RUSSELL JR., Gary’s Brother and Trainer
 
“I’ve fallen right in suit as far as training. It’s something I was always doing anyway and was side by side with my father and coaching my younger brothers. It’s easier for me because of the way my father prepared me for this opportunity. We are using everything that has happened to us as fuel and are 110% prepared for whatever comes our way. We are focused and nothing is going to get in the way of what we need to accomplish. I got the surgery on my shoulder on April 1st. I’m in recovery and I’m getting physical therapy. I don’t know when I’ll be back. We don’t know. As of now that’s all I can say. I’m focused on my younger brother and getting some good physical therapy at the same time.”
 
GARY RUSSELL JR., Gary’s Brother and Trainer
 
“I’ve fallen right in suit as far as training. It’s something I was always doing anyway and was side by side with my father and coaching my younger brothers. It’s easier for me because of the way my father prepared me for this opportunity. We are using everything that has happened to us as fuel and are 110% prepared for whatever comes our way. We are focused and nothing is going to get in the way of what we need to accomplish.
 
“I got the surgery on my shoulder on April 1. I’m in recovery and I’m getting physical therapy. I don’t know when I’ll be back. We don’t know. As of now that’s all I can say. I’m focused on my younger brother and getting some good physical therapy at the same time.”

Undefeated heavyweight Christian Thun added to ProBox show

Undefeated heavyweight Christian Thun added to ProBox show

Undefeated heavyweight Christian Thun added to ProBox show
German heavyweight Christian Thun (8-0, 6 KOs) is set it to return in an eight-round bout against Curtis Harper (13-8, 9 KOs) on July 9th at ProBox Events Center in Plant City, Florida.  Thun tops off an undercard portion that supports the main event between Panamanian junior welterweight Cesar “Rainman” Francis (10-0, 6 KOs) and former 135-pound title holder Raymundo Beltran (37-9-1, 23 KOs). The main card will be streamed live globally on ProBox TV beginning at 7:00 p.m. PT/4:00 p.m. ET.  Thun is a native of Ennepetal, Germany who debuted as a professional in March 2018.  The 30 year-old puncher has maintained a 75% knockout ratio by scoring wins in different parts of the world, including Monaco, Spain, the United States and in his home country.  
 
The following undercard bouts are also scheduled to take place on the same show: Brandon Glaton (15-0, 12 KOs) of Atlanta, Georgia will take on Deshon Webster (12-5-3, 6 KOs) of Lenexa, Kansas in an eight-round cruiserweight bout... Julio Solis (7-0, 6 KOs) of Caguas, Puerto Rico will fight Christian Otero (4-1, 2 KOs) of New York City in a super featherweight battle scheduled for six rounds... Marques Valle (4-0, 4 KOs) of Lutz, Florida will face off against Shawn West (7-2-1, 4 KOs) of Davenport, Iowa in a six-round battle in the welterweight division... Dominic Valle (3-0, 3 KOs), brother of Marques, will return in a four-round featherweight tilt against Manuel Guzman (8-5-1, 5 KOs) of Nicaragua and... middleweight Darrelle Valsaint (4-0, 3 KOs) of Orlando, Florida will participate in a six-round fight. 
 
 
 
 

Yakima Legends Casino to host RJJ Boxing show

Yakima Legends Casino to host RJJ Boxing show
RJJ Boxing returns to the Great Northwest for the first time in more than two years on July 14th, with a UFC Fight Pass show headlined by former USA amateur standout Quinton Randall (9-0-1, 2 KOs), at Yakima Legends Casino in Toppenish, Washington. The 3 -year-old Randall, fighting out of Houston, faces Ivan “Cobra” Pandzic (14-1-1, 8 KOs) in the eight-round main event. Randall captured a gold medal at the 2016 USA Nationals, silver at the 2017 USA Nationals and 2017 Pan American Games, and he reached the quarterfinals of the 2017 World Championships. In an eight-round supporting bout, local middleweight Andrew Murphy will put his undefeated record on the line against Isiah Jones (9-6, 3 KOs) of Detroit.
 
 “We’re excited to returning to Yakima Legends Casino,” RJJ Boxing president Lisa Veltre said. “The staff is great to work with and boxing fans there are passionate, especially about Northwest-based boxers like Andrew Murphy, who is trained by Hall of Famer Roy Jones, Jr. Headliner Quinton Randall is a rising star who is in tough against Ivan Pandzic.”
 
“I’m very delighted to be training Andrew Murphy,” Jones added. “It’s so good to be bringing him back to his hometown for his first title fight. It’s a small title but it’s still a title. I’m very happy to be part of his journey with him and look forward to big things from him in the future.” 
 
 ADDITIONAL BOUTS
 
Washington state intra-rivals William Hernandez (8-2, 5 KOs), of Burien, and Wapato's Magarito Hernandez (2-2-1) – no relations – throwdown in an eight-round junior welterweight bout, while middleweights Joseph Aguilar (2-0-1, 1 KO) and Alarenz Reynolds (1-1) battle in a four-round match to open the UFC Fight Pass live stream.
 
Fighting prior to the stream will be welterweight Chris Johnson (7-0, 1 KO) vs. Devonte McDonald (1-1), lightweight Bryan Sanchez (1-0, 1 KO) vs. pro debuting Dyllon Cervantes, and light heavyweight Nick Mills (3-0, 2 KOs) vs. Kelton Hall (2-1, 1 KO).
 
 
 

South African update

South African update
On July 8th at the Steve Tshwete Banquet Hall in Middelburg, South Africa, female super bantamweights get the spotlight as Matshidiso Mokebisi fights undefeated Katie Healey from England. Mokebisi enters the fight at 15-9-1, and has a clear advantage in experience over Healey (4-0 ), but she is considered a major talent. In the co-featured, make super bantamweight Thato “Captain Charisma” Bonokoane (12-5-3) will be in against Filipino southpaw Jhaleel Payao (17-1). Bonokoane last fought in April with a unanimous decision over Innocent Mantengu. Televised live in South Africa by SABC Sport, the doubleheader will be promoted by J4Joy Boxing Promotions.
 
 
 

ESPN+ picks up Joyce and Briedis cards for Saturday

ESPN+ picks up Joyce and Briedis cards for Saturday

ESPN+ picks up Joyce and Briedis cards for Saturday
Two world-class boxing events will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ Saturday, July 2nd. The action kicks off from Australia in the early morning hours (5 a.m. ET/2 a.m. PT), as IBF cruiserweight champion Mairis Breidis defends against unbeaten Jai Opetaia at Gold Coast Convention Center in Broadbeach. The action continues from the OVO Arena Wembley in London (2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT), as heavyweight contender and 2016 Olympic silver medalist Joe Joyce faces veteran Christian Hammer. Breidis (28-1, 20 KOs), a native of Riga, Latvia, has won five bouts since losing a razor-thin decision to Oleksandr Usyk in January 2018. The 37-year-old puncher won the IBF belt in September 2020 with a majority decision over Yuniel Dorticos, then defended it last October in Riga with a third-round TKO over Artur Mann. Opetaia (21-0, 17 KOs), a 2012 Olympian from Sydney, has fought most of his career in Australia. The 26 year-old has knocked out his last three foes and is taking a major step up against Breidis.
 
Other streaming action from Australia:
 
Isaac Hardman (12-1, 10 KOs) vs. Beau Hartas (6-1, 4 KOs), 10 rounds, middleweight
 
Dana Coolwell (7-2, 5 KOs) vs. Lorenz Ladrada (11-2-1, 3 KOs), 8 rounds, featherweight
 
Taylah Robertson (5-1, 1 KO) vs. Yoselin Fernandez (11-1, 5 KOs), 10 rounds, junior bantamweight
 
Faris Chevalier (13-1, 7 KOs) vs. Conor Wallace (8-1, 6 KOs), 10 rounds, light heavyweight
 
Joel Camilleri (22-7-1, 10 KOs) vs. Koen Mazoudier (9-2, 4 KOs), 10 rounds, junior middleweight
 
 
Joyce (27-2 including the World Series of Boxing), the WBO #1 contender, knocked out former WBC champion Bermane Stiverne and won a points verdict over Bryant Jennings both in 2019. He came from behind to stop then-unbeaten Daniel Dubois in November 2020. Last July, he knocked out Carlos Takam in six rounds.
 
Hammer (27-9, 17 KOs) is a 14-year pro who has fought the likes of Tyson Fury, Luis Ortiz, Alexander Povetkin, and Tony Yoka, Joyce’s Olympic nemesis.
 
Other streaming action from London:                                                                       
 
Nathan Heaney (15-0, 6 KOs) vs. Nizar Trimech (9-3-2, 4 KOs), 10 rounds, middleweight
 
Jason Cunningham (31-6, 7 KOs) vs. Zolani Tete (29-4, 22 KOs), 12 rounds,
Cunningham’s Commonwealth junior featherweight title
 
Callum Johnson (20-1, 14 KOs) vs. Igor Mikhalkin (24-3, 11 KOs), 12 rounds, light heavyweights
 
Mark Chamberlain (10-0, 7 KOs) vs. Marc Vidal (13-2-5, 5 KOs), 10 rounds, lightweights.
 

Boxingtalk salutes Mikey Garcia on his retirement

Boxingtalk salutes Mikey Garcia on his retirement
Boxingtalk salutes former four-division champion Mikey García who announced his retirement from the sport at the age of 34. Born in Ventura, California, Garcia made his announcement announced on social media, modifying his personal Instagram account ny writing in his profile information: “Retired World Champion 126, 130, 135 and 140 lbs.” It has been almost sixteen years after his professional debut in July 2006 against Domingo Herrera Mendoza. In 2013, Garcia got his first title, the IBF featherweight crown with a controversial win over Orlando Salido. Garcia did not come out for round nine, but the bout was allowed to go to scorecards where Garcia won a technical decision. Later that year, Garcia captured the WBO super featherweght title by defeating Roman Martinez. He took a long layoff due to a contractual dispute with his promoter, Top Rank, and lost his title due to inactivity. However, with one tunr-up in 2016, he gained the WBC lightweight championship with a stoppage of weak champion Dejean Zlaticanin. In 2018, he became IBF junior welterweight champion by defeating Sergey Lipinets. He tried for a fifth divisional championship but lost to Errol Spence in 2019. The last time he fought was in October 2021, when he lost to Sandor Martin by majority decision. Leaving the sport with a record of 40-2 with 30 KOs, Garcia also had notable wins over Adrien Broner, Robert Easter, Jessie Vargas, Juan Manuel Lopez and other ex-title holders.
 
 

 

Boxingtalk's Thursday fight predictions

Boxingtalk's Thursday fight predictions
Here are Boxingtalk's Thursday fight predictions, courtesy of MB Boxing Official:
 
Georges Ory vs. Hugo Guarneros (Vacant IBO super flyweight title) … Prediction: Guarneros by unanimous decision;
 
Emmany Kalombo vs. Rayton Okwiri (junior middleweights) … Prediction: Kalombo by late knockout;
 
Thulani Mbenge vs. Idd Pialari (welterweights) … Prediction: Mbenge by mid-round knockout
 
Jabulani Makhense vs. Paul Kamanga (welterweights) … Prediction: Makhense by unanimous decision; and
 
Sikho Nqothole vs. Selemani Bangaiza (super flyweights) … Prediction: Nqothole by mid-round knockout.
 

 

WBC puts Taylor vs. Zepeda purse bid on calendar for Friday

WBC puts Taylor vs. Zepeda purse bid on calendar for Friday

WBC puts Taylor vs. Zepeda purse bid on calendar for Friday

The WBC reported today that a purse bid is back on for world junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor's WBC  mandatory defense vs Jose Zepeda. Last scheduled for June 10th, the WBC now has it calendared for July 1st. 

 
PRIOR BOXINGTALK REPORTING: MAY 25, 2022: The WBC confirmed that the purse bid for the WBC mandatory defense between three-belt champion Josh Taylor from Scotland and Jose Zepeda from Mexico, has been rescheduled for Friday June 10th. Taylor, still recognized as the true world 140-pound champion, previously held all four major titles but has since been stripped by the WBA.
 
 
MAY 14, 2022: The WBA, as it has been threatening to do, stripped world champion Josh Taylor of Scotland, of the WBA junior welterweight championship for failing to fight the underqualified Alberto Puello. Taylor, coming off a a controversial win over Jack Caterall, still holds the other three major 140-pound championships, but is expected to move up to 147 pounds in his next fight. Puello will likley be ordered to face WBA #2 Ismael Barroso for the vacant title. Yecch! The WBA stated its justification as follows: 
 
"On March 8th, the WBA ordered the mandatory fight between Taylor and WBA #1 rated Alberto Puello of the Dominican Republic. As dictated by rule C.13, the boxers had 30 days to reach an agreement but it was not completed. On April 5th, Puello’s team requested that the fight be called to a purse bid but the WBA waited until April 7th before calling the purse bid. Subsequently, on April 11th, the purse bid was ordered and scheduled for April 22nd. The purse bid was held and only TGB, Puello’s promoter, submitted a bid and thereby won the rights to organize the fight. 
 
According to WBA rule D-11, the promoter who wins the purse bid shall have all fight contracts duly signed and delivered to the WBA by no later than twenty days from the date the winning bid is awarded.  On May 3, 2022, the committee received the contract from Puello, and the deadline expired on Thursday, May 12th. 
 
WBA Rule D 15 states that if the champion fails to sign a bout contract within the required twenty-day period after the award of the bid or refuses to participate in the bout for the winning promoter, he shall be deemed to have violated these Rules and may have his title vacated. Due to the lack of response from Taylor’s team, the committee proceeded to vacate the WBA 140-pound title, understanding that the rules must be known by all fighters who fight for a championship or are champions of the sanctioning body."
 
Taylor posted the following on Twitter: "FYI, I vacated it the belt I want stripped."
 
 
APRIL 29, 2022: The WBC issued the following statement about the junior welterweight division, implying that the four sanctioning bodies have agreed to sequence the mandatory defense obligations of four-belt world champion Josh Taylor. It remains to be seen if that is a true statement, but here is the WBC's messaging: "As per prior communications and with the agreement which all 4 presidents (WBC-WBO-IBF-WBA) confirmed in the meeting held in Puerto Rico, the WBC mandatory defense is next, followed by the IBF. The WBC is hereby advising of the beginning of the free negotiations period for the Josh Taylor´s mandatory title defense versus Jose Zepeda. If no agreement is reached the WBC will conduct a purse bid on Tuesday, May 24th." [Taylor's last fight, a controversial win over Jack Caterall, was a WBO mandatory].
 
                    ***
 
APRIL 12, 2022: The WBA seems determined to get rid of Josh Taylor as its 140-pound champion. Taylor owns all four major titles but the WBA continues to press the case for Alberto Puello, the undeserving WBA  mandatory contender. The WBA has now scheduled a purse bid at a ridiculously unfavorable split for Taylor, virtually guaranteeing that Taylor will vacate the WBA title and allow Puello to fight someone else for the vacated title. As of right now, that could mean Puello vs. WBA #2 Ismael Barroso for a vacant title. Yecch! Here is the WBA announcement of the April 22nd purse bid, with only 55% of the winning bid allocated to the world champion:
 
"The World Boxing Association (WBA) Championships Committee has scheduled the purse bid for the mandatory bout between [140-pound] super champion Josh Taylor and his mandatory challenger Alberto Puello. The bidding will take place next Friday, April 22 online via the Zoom platform and will begin at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time in the United States.  The negotiation period between the Scottish and the Dominican expired without reaching an agreement and that is why the bidding was ordered under the terms indicated in the WBA rules. This Monday, the communication was sent to the parties with all the conditions of the bidding, which will have a minimum amount of US $ 200,000.00 and whose split will be 55% for the champion Taylor and 45% for the challenge."
 

Brandon Figeuroa training camp report

Brandon Figeuroa training camp report
Former champion and fan-favorite Brandon “The Heartbreaker” Figueroa expects to showcase his power and speed when he moves up in weight and makes his 126-pound debut against Carlos Castro in a WBC featherweight eliminator live on Showtime on Saturday, July 9th from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.  “We’re looking to make a statement on July 9th,” said Figueroa. “Me not worrying about squeezing to make 122 pounds and really killing myself at the end of camp just makes me more relaxed mentally. I feel fresher heading into this fight and I just can’t wait to showcase that. I’m going to be a lot stronger and more explosive. If people were impressed with my conditioning at 122, just imagine what it’s going to be like at 126. Everyone is going to see a better version of myself.”
 
After winning the WBC 122-pound championship by becoming the first person to defeat Luis Nery in May 2021, Figueroa followed up with a 122-pound unification loss against Stephen Fulton Jr. last November that was recognized as one of the best fights of the year. Although Figueroa lost a narrow majority decision in a fight that warranted a rematch, he stuck with his decision to move up in weight. “The decision to move up in weight had been made way before the Fulton fight,” said Figueroa. “That has been in the works for a long time. We were just waiting for the right opportunity to move up. After the Fulton fight, I knew that I was going to move up no matter what happened in that fight.”
 
Figueroa still has his sights on a rematch with Fulton and says that it will be better for all involved when it happens at featherweight. “I believe it will be better for both of us to do the rematch at 126 pounds,” said Figueroa. “The Fulton rematch is something that has to happen. It has to happen for the fans, for me and Fulton, and to give everyone another ‘Fight of the Year’.”
 
Although he was disappointed in the judges’ ruling in that memorable fight, Figueroa has been able to take positives from the experience and plans to use those improvements on July 9 and going forward. “I learned a lot from the Fulton fight and grew a lot because of it,” said Figueroa. “I took the good from the bad and kept moving on. We went back to the drawing board and saw some things that we did like from that fight and saw places where we could improve. I’ve been working on adapting. I’ve learned to be a little more patient, more technical, to use my distance better and capitalize on my shots.”
 
For this fight, the Weslaco, Texas native has held his training camp in San Antonio, where he’s been able to receive sparring from fighters including super flyweight regular champion Joshua Franco. He has also been training alongside his brother, former WBC lightweight champion Omar Figueroa Jr., a setup that has added to his motivation in camp. “This is something that I’ve been dreaming of since I was a kid,” said Figueroa. “We’ve trained together in California before but being back closer to home and working alongside my brother is amazing. It’s us against the world. It’s a beautiful opportunity for our family to get even closer and be a unit together. This has been my favorite training camp so far.”
 
In his featherweight debut, Figueroa will take on the experienced Castro, who was unbeaten in his first 27 pro fights before dropping a split-decision to Luis Nery in February. Castro’s journey to fight night mirrors Figueroa’s in that they’re both coming off  their first career defeats and are moving up in weight. For Figueroa, he believes this will only add to the excitement for everyone watching.
 
“Castro is a great fighter,” said Figueroa. “He’s patient and very technical. There are some things that I have to do to take that away from him and put the pressure on him, like I do so well. I know he’s going to come to fight with a lot to prove. We’re both coming off fresh losses and moving up in weight, so I know we’re stepping into that ring to make a statement.”
 
With a victory on July 9th, Figueroa can move himself into a position to challenge the winner of the night’s main event between unbeaten WBC Featherweight World Champion Mark Magsayo and undefeated former world champion Rey Vargas. Figueroa offered up his thoughts on that fight and promised that no matter who he eventually faces, he’ll be ready to deliver another of his signature fan-friendly performances.
 
“The main event is going to be a good, close fight,” said Figueroa. “It just comes down to who’s smarter. If Magsayo puts the right pressure on, he can win. If Vargas keeps his distance well and boxes him, I feel like Vargas will win. It’s a matter of who the smarter fighter is and who adapts better in the ring.
 
“I think me fighting whoever wins the main event would be a very exciting fight. It would be fireworks. Every time I’m in the mix, I come to fight at 110%. I don’t back down. With either fighter, it would be an amazing night of boxing.”
 

Crawford's lawsuit vs. Top Rank heads back to state court

Crawford's lawsuit vs. Top Rank heads back to state court

WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford won a very minor legal victory over Top Rank today when a federal court in Nevada granted Crawfor's request to send the case back to state court. Crawford originally sued Top Rank in Nevada state court in January, making explosive allegations of racial discrimination. Top Rank took the case to federal court, but today, that move was reversed when remand was granted back to the original court. However, more than three months has now passed by without any actual litigation on the issues of the lawsuit, and Crawford still does not have a fight scheduled, so this is: (a) not a big story; and (b) a hollow victory for Crawford.

PRIOR BOXINGTALK COVERAGE

MARCH 2, 2022: After being sued by WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford in Nevada state court, Top Rank is trying to have the lawsuit moved to federal court. In a court filing, Top Rank made the following statement: "This is a contract case, where a boxer accuses his former promoter of not offering him enough bouts and falsely promising to land a specific fight. Yet Crawford laced a typical commercial complaint with irrelevant, salacious, and false allegations that Top Rank is racist. Crawford filed [his complaint with the court] but did not serve Top Rank or its registered agent. Nor did Crawford provide a “soft copy” to Top Rank’s General Counsel, with whom Crawford dealt with in the recent past. Instead, Crawford apparently sent the complaint to the New York Post, along with a quote about the sensational and untrue racism claims. Top Rank was not monitoring the court docket for complaints by Crawford or anyone else. Rather, Top Rank learned about Crawford’s complaint when the New York Post emailed it to Top Rank’s founder Bob Arum requesting comment. The Post published an article an hour later with an incendiary quote from Crawford’s counsel. Crawford did not serve Top Rank directly or through its registered agent of process that day, or the next, or the next. Betraying his real desire to litigate this matter in the press room, not the courtroom, Crawford waited 12 days to serve Top Rank [with the legal papers], including nine days after Top Rank removed the case to federal court."

JAN. 13, 2022: According to the New York Post, WBO welterweight champion Terence "Bud" Crawford has sured his former promoter Bob Arum and his company, Top Rank, for breach of a promotional contract. The complaint, filed in Nevada state court, also contans allegations of racial disrimination. The contract between Top Rank and Crawford expired after Crawford's recent win over Shawn Porter and Crawford is now a free agent. His lawsuit reportedly seeks $10 million in damages. Crawford accuses Arum and his company, Top Rank, as follows: “it is painfully clear that Top Rank, and especially Arum, judges people based on their race. Arum’s sordid history with athletes of color, especially Black fighters, and his bias favoring white and Latino fighters is well-documented and known throughout the boxing world.”
 
Top Rank executive Bruce Trampler was quick to come to his employer's defense, tweeting back at a Crawford fan, "the so-called Top Rank 'slave ship' paid Bud tens of millions of dollars for his fights but you’re a critic because [the ther welterweight champion, Erroll] Spence didn’t want to fight Crawford.  Bud is a multi-millionaire 'slave.'  You should be so fortunate."
 

Avery Sparrow in tough vs. William Foster III

Avery Sparrow in tough vs. William Foster III

Avery Sparrow in tough vs. William Foster III
On Saturday night July 23rd, Philadelphia super featherweight Avery Sparrow (11-3 with 4 KOs) and undefeated William Foster III will headline an eleven-bout card at The Fillmore Philadelphia promoted by Hard Hitting Promotions. In the co-feature, super featherweight Christian Tapia takes on undefeated Fernando Romero in a ten-round battle of undefeateds. Sparrow of Philadelphia has a record of 11-3 with four knockouts. The 28 year-old Sparrow is an eight-year professional who has big wins over Anthony Burgin (10-2), Isaelin Florian Hernandez (6-0), Joey Laviolette (6-0), Jose Lopez (19-1-1) and Hank Lundy (29-7-1). In his last bout, Sparrow stopped Matt Conway to win the Pennsylvania state title on January 15th in Conway's backyard in Cheswick.
 
Foster of New Haven, Connecticut is 14-0 with nine knockouts. The 28 year-old is a seven-year pro with wins over Suliman Segawa (10-0), Angel Suarez (8-2), Jahmal Dyer (9-2) and Donald Smith (10-0). In his last bout, Foster took an eight-round split decision over Edwin De Los Santos (13-0) on January 7th on a ShoBox: The New Generation card.
 
Tapia of Coamo, Puerto Rico has a record of 14-0 with 12 knockouts. The 28 year-old is a five-year veteran who boasts a second-round stoppage over Mason Menard (36-5). He then stopped Iron Alvarez (14-0). In his last bout, Tapia won a ten-round unanimous decision over Luis Lebron (18-2-1).
 
Romero of Puebla, Mexico is 11-0 with 10 knockouts. The 22 year-old Romero is a four-year professional and is coming off a first round stoppage over Victor Valencia Diaz on October 16, 2021 in Mexico. This will be the United States debut for Romero as all of his fights have been in Mexico.
 
In six-round bouts, Jan Carlos Rivera (5-1, 4 KOs) of Philadelphia takes on Nelson Perez (5-0, 2 KOs) of Marlboro, Massachusetts and  Dezmond Lucas (5-1, 2 KOs) of Bronx, New York fights Jocksan Blanco (4-0, 2 KOs) of Caracas, Venezuela in a welterweight contest.
 
NO OPPONENTS YET:
 
Jeremy Cuevas (13-1, 10 KOs) of Philadelphia takes on an opponent to be announced in a lightweight bout.
 
Carlos Ramos (15-2. 10 KOs) of Madrid takes on an opponent to be named in a super featherweight fight.
 
Tahmir Smalls (8-0, 5 KOs) of Philadelphia will fight an opponent to be named in a welterweight fight.
 
In four-round bouts:
 
David Garcia (3-0, 1 KO) of Crescent City, Florida will take on an opponent to be named in a heavyweight bout.
 
Carlos Rosario (3-0, 2 KOs) of Winter Haven, Florida takes on an opponent to be named in a lightweight fight.
 
Chris Echevarria (0-1) of Aguada, Puerto Rico fights an opponent to be named in a bantamweight fight
 
Juan Davilla of Philadelphia makes his pro debut against an opponent to be named in a lightweight bout.
 
Tickets are now on sale at The Fillmore Philadelphia, www.filmorephilly.com 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Nick Fantauzzi to headline in Toronto on July 21st

Nick Fantauzzi to headline in Toronto on July 21st
Lee Baxter Promotions has announced a night of boxing on July 21st at Rebel Entertainment Complex in Toronto. The show will be headlined by a Canadian light heavyweight championship bout between Nick Fantauzzi (11-0, 5 KOs) against Greg Weeks (3-2, 3 KOs). Fantauzzi’s last fight saw him dominate Darren Fletcher in March. Since then, Fantauzzi's been hard at work, training at the new Hardknocks Boxing Club location under Billy Martin. [Weeks is coming off a four-round decision loss to Petar Gavrilovic (3-0)].
 
Baxter said, “Nick is proven time after time that he keeps fans on the edge of their seats all night, he deserves to headline a show and what better way than to fight for the Canadian title” 
 
Deep into his training camp, a focused Fantauzzi said “I can’t wait to headline at Rebel on July 21st for the Canadian title. I’m excited to make a statement and get the win in front of my fans.”
 
Also scheduled to appear on the show are: super middleweight Steve Rolls (21-2); Canadian female 122-pound champion Amanda Galle (6-0); former Canadian National Team member James Hughes in his pro debut; and Josh Lupia (5-0), who makes his return to the ring after a tragic incident that nearly cost him his leg.
 
Tickets can be purchased on ticketmaster.com. For VIP Booths, please email sales@leebaxterpromotions.com.
 
 

Emanuel Navarrete to defend against Eduardo Baez on Aug. 20th

Emanuel Navarrete to defend against Eduardo Baez on Aug. 20th
A fighting cowboy, a hometown hero, and the grandson of “The Greatest” are set for a summer night in San Diego. Mexico's Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete (pictured) will defend his WBO featherweight title against countryman Eduardo “El Gemelo” Baez on Saturday, Aug. 20th at Pechanga Arena San Diego.  Navarrete also signed a new multi-year promotional agreement with Top Rank that will see him fight on the ESPN family of networks in events promoted in association with Zanfer Promotions. Navarrete (35-1, 29 KOs), winner of 30 consecutive bouts, is a two-weight champion entering his tenth world title bout. A native of San Juan Zitlaltepec, Mexico, he emerged on the world scene with a pair of title fight victories over Isaac Dogboe, which started his run as one of boxing’s most fan-friendly world champions. Following five junior featherweight title defenses in nine months, Navarrete moved up to featherweight and won the WBO title in October 2020 with a decision over Ruben Villa. He defended his title twice in 2021, including last October’s twelve-round barnburner over Joet Gonzalez at Pechanga Arena.
 
"I am very excited to finally be back in the ring on August 20th. The inactivity of these last eight months has served to give my body the rest it needed and to reflect on many things,” Navarrete said. “Now I'm coming back stronger physically and mentally. I'm going to show that I'm ready to fight any champion at 126 or 130 pounds. There will be a lot of ‘Vaquero’ for a long time."
 
The ten-round welterweight co-feature will see San Diego native Giovani “Gallo de Oro” Santillan risk his unbeaten record against a soon-to-be-announced opponent. In a four-round special feature, undefeated middleweight Nico Ali Walsh, grandson of Muhammad Ali, will fight Reyes Sanchez in a rematch of their December 2021 bout that Ali Walsh edged by majority decision. Ali Walsh will fight in the historic venue that hosted one of his grandfather’s most memorable bouts. In March 1973, Ali and Ken Norton battled for twelve rounds at what was then known as San Diego Sports Arena. Ali suffered a broken jaw and lost a split decision in a major upset. Navarrete-Baez, Santillan's welterweight battle, and Ali Walsh-Sanchez 2 will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Ticket information for this event that will be promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zanfer Promotions, will be announced soon.
 
“San Diego is a great fight town, and this is an incredible card from top to bottom,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Emanuel Navarrete is always in tremendous action fights, and Eduardo Baez is the type of opponent who will stand in the center of the ring. Santillan is a fantastic young man who drew plenty of support from the local fans last time he fought here. Nico Ali Walsh has improved leaps and bounds since turning pro last year, and I expect him to leave no doubt against Sanchez this time."
 
Baez (21-2-2, 7 KOs), from Mexicali, recently moved up to featherweight after a successful run at junior featherweight that included a Mexican title and wins over three undefeated prospects. In 2017, he lost a tight decision to Mauricio Lara, who entered the title picture with his 2021 knockout over Josh Warrington. Following a disputed majority decision to Ra’eese Aleem last November, Baez moved up to featherweight. In March, he edged Jose Enrique Vivas by majority decision to earn a world ranking and a shot at the 126-pound king.
 
Ali Walsh (5-0, 4 KOs) had no ring struggles until meeting Sanchez under the Madison Square Garden lights. After a two good rounds, Sanchez rallied in the third and fourth to nearly pull even. In January, Ali Walsh got back on the knockout track with a second-round stoppage over Jeremiah Yeager. Three months later, on the Oscar Valdez-Shakur Stevenson undercard in Las Vegas, he sparked out Alejandro Ibarra in the opening round with a left-right combination. He enters the Sanchez fight with a new head trainer, Kay Koroma, who works with (among others) Stevenson, rising middleweight prospect Troy Isley, and female pound-for-pound star Mikaela Mayer. Sanchez (7-2, 3 KOs), from Topeka, Kansas, entered the first Ali Walsh fight with an unbeaten record built primarily in his home state. He is coming off a decision loss to unbeaten prospect Sharif Rahman, son of former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman.
 
“Despite winning our last fight, I feel like I must set the record straight with Reyes Sanchez. He’s the only opponent I haven’t knocked out, and I don’t see the rematch going the distance,” Ali Walsh said. “Kay Koroma has already added so much to my arsenal, and I can’t wait to perform in front of the great San Diego fans and everyone watching on ESPN.”
 
Undercard action, streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+, includes an eight-round junior welterweight showdown between unbeaten Mexicans Lindolfo Delgado (15-0, 13 KOs) and Omar Aguilar (24-0, 23 KOs). Delgado represented Mexico at the 2016 Rio Olympics, while Aguilar has fifteen first-round knockouts on his ledger and three second-round stoppages in his last three bouts.
 
Santillan (29-0, 16 KOs) is a ten-year pro who has seen his career momentum take off since linking up with noted trainer Robert Garcia in 2020. Last October, he made his Pechanga Arena debut, bringing a raucous cheering section that watched him outfight Angel Ruiz over 10 action-packed rounds. He returned in April in Costa Mesa, California, and knocked out Jeovanis Barraza in seven rounds. 
 
“I didn’t know when I’d be back fighting in San Diego, so when I heard the news, I was ecstatic. This shows we can continue having big cards in San Diego, and I can’t wait for all my fans to pack Pechanga Arena,” Santillan said. “I want a world title opportunity soon. That’s the dream. I’d love to fight for a world title, and defend my belt, in my hometown.”
 
IBF #1 featherweight contender Luis Alberto Lopez (25-2, 14 KOs) returns in an eight-rounder.  Also, junior lightweight Xavier Martinez (17-1, 11 KOs) looks to bounce back from his first career loss against Alejandro Guerrero (12-2, 9 KOs) in an eight-rounder.
 

Boxingtalk's Wednesday fight predictions

Boxingtalk's Wednesday fight predictions

Boxingtalk's Wednesday fight predictions
Here are Boxingtalk's Wednesday fight predictions, courtesy of MB Boxing Official:
 
Liam Wilson vs. Matias Rueda (super featherweights) … Prediction: Wilson by mid-round knockout;
 
Paulo Aokuso vs. Robert Berridge (light heavyweights) … Prediction: Aokuso by unanimous decision;
 
Benjamin Hussain vs. Wes Capper (middleweights) … Prediction: Capper by unanimous decision;
 
Jonathan Montrel vs. Humberto Martinez (junior welterweights) … Prediction: Montrel by early knockout; and
 
Masayoshi Hashizume vs. Kosei Tanaka (super flyweights) … Prediction: Tanaka by unanimous decision.

Garcia vs. Benavidez presser quotes

Garcia vs. Benavidez presser quotes
Former two-division champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (pictured) spoke of feeling reinvigorated from his time off while his comeback opponent Jose Benavidez Jr. predicted that their junior middleweight showdown would be the “Fight of the Year” during a virtual press conference Tuesday. The two men will square off on Saturday, July 30th live on Showtime from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York om a Premier Boxing Champions event. The fighters were joined by their respective fathers and trainers Angel Garcia and Jose Benavidez Sr.  For the former 140- and 147-pound champion Garcia, this fight marks his 154-pound debut as he looks to move into contention in the stacked weight division. Phoenix’s Benavidez, the older brother of unbeaten two-time super middleweight champion David Benavidez, can add a signature victory with a win and launch himself into the 154-pound title picture. Here is what the press conference participants had to say Tuesday:
 
DANNY GARCIA
 
“This is my 11th fight on Showtime and it’s been a journey creating history at Barclays Center, or wherever we fight. I’ve been off for a little bit, but I’m back in the gym like I never left. I feel great mentally, physically and spiritually. I’m ready to give the fans a great fight. 
 
“I have a lot of young guys in this camp here with me and they keep me on my toes. The hunger that they have, gives me that motivation. Boxing is a grueling sport, so you have to find time to have fun. I’m doing that again and I know that once I’m happy, no one can touch me. 
 
“I’ve been fighting at 140 and 147 since the amateurs, for 13 years. I always felt my natural weight was bigger and I was squeezing down. I feel like this weight fits me good. I feel young and fresh. I’m strong and with a lot more stamina.
 
“I have a lot of Mexican fans and they love me wherever I go. The Latinos love me period. When Danny Garcia steps in the ring, he represents all the Latinos. I love all the fans from all around the world.
 
“I’m going to go in there and fight my fight. I’m not putting any extra pressure on myself. I’m going to fight the Danny Garcia fight. I have to use all my tools and all my skills and get the win.
 
“I felt the atmosphere at Barclays Center at the Gervonta Davis fight and I felt what I was missing. I went there to feel that motivation and it was great. We’re going to give everyone a great night just like at that last fight.
 
“I was in the first main event at Barclays Center and I’ve been building a fanbase there over the last 10 years. Brooklyn is the perfect place to build a fanbase and I’m honored to be a part of Barclays Center’s history.
 
“I’ve been fighting at the highest level for the last 10 years. It’s only right as a human that you would get a little mentally tired. I needed a break so that I could miss boxing. I knew that once I came back in the gym motivated and missing the sport, that nobody could beat Danny Garcia.
 
“You can’t just fight to learn. You have to watch and see these young guys in the gym training. I needed time to feel good again and I feel great. The results are looking really good. When I’m happy, I’m a dangerous man.
 
“Every fight you learn from. Even when you win. You just have to take what you can, learn from it and use it in the next fight. The fight with Errol Spence Jr. was a competitive and fun fight and we’re ready to move on to the next step.”
 
JOSE BENAVIDEZ JR.
 
“A win over Danny Garcia is a big step for me. The winner of this fight is going to go back up in the rankings. We’ve both lost before and I think that’s made us stronger fighters. We’ve learned from our mistakes. We’re going to be throwing bombs all night long. Stay tuned, because this is going to be Fight of the Year, I guarantee that.
 
“I want to thank Danny for giving me this opportunity. He’s a great champion, a power-puncher and I’m ready. I’ve been training hard and I’m ready to get it on.
 
“I take every fight as if I’m fighting the best of the best. I don’t focus on the record or anything. I just focus on what I have to do. The Puerto Rican and Mexican fans are going to be out there and it’s going to be a great show. I’m training hard and I’d be ready to go tomorrow.
 
“Danny Garcia is one of the best of the best. I felt like Danny Garcia was a bigger name than a possible Erislandy Lara fight, so that’s why I chose him. I grew up watching Danny and I’ve wanted to fight him for a while. This is going to be fireworks.
 
“I was too focused on trying to knock the guy out in my last fight. I just have to stick to my game plan and do what I do best. I feel a lot stronger and more mature now. The knockout is going to come on its own. I’m going to do whatever I have to do to end the night victorious.
 
“My last opponent was just running and running, and I’m looking forward to going toe-to-toe with Danny. I’m staying in shape and I’m focused. I hit hard, he hits hard, so there’s going to be a knockout whether we look for it or not.
 
“I want to fight the best of the best. I don’t duck or dodge anyone. I don’t care about the record. I train to win. This is an interesting fight with Danny and it’s a fight the fans are going to want to see. Danny was the perfect pick for this opponent.
 
“I know what I’m capable of and I know what I can do. The most important thing is staying focused in training. I feel like this is the most motivated I’ve been since the beginning of my career. I’m working hard for my daughters. It’s not about me anymore.”
 
ANGEL GARCIA, Danny’s Father and Trainer
 
“Danny is perfect for 154 pounds. It’s a new era for him and it’s time. There’s a time for everything and our time is now. We have a perfect opponent who’s going to come bring the fight to us. He’s got the Mexican blood and we’ve got the Puerto Rican blood, so it’s going to be fireworks on July 30th.
 
“Danny is ready for 154. He’s ready for all the big names. We don’t run from anybody. A lot of those fighters talk a lot, well now we’re here for them.
 
“Pay your bill and lock in to Showtime on July 30th. We’re going to give everyone a show. If not, make it out to Barclays Center, because it doesn’t get any better than big fights in Brooklyn.”
 
JOSE BENAVIDEZ SR., Jose’s Father and Trainer
 
“It’s an honor to go up against Danny Garcia and his dad. He’s one of my favorite fighters, but at the end of the day, we have to put work in. We’ve been working hard, because we’re going to give the fans what they want. I’m predicting a knockout. We need a knockout to progress in the rankings. Jose has to not just win the fight, but he has to look impressive. Both fighters need this fight.
 
“Danny has a great left hook and he’s very powerful. We’ve seen what he’s done and we know what we’re getting into. We’re facing an animal, but we’re ready to give the people what they want.
 
“Jose Jr. has matured a lot and he’s ready. He’s motivated to give his kids a better life. When I see how motivated Jr. is, it motivates me too. We’re ready to give everyone what they want. Someone is getting knocked out.
 
“I know Danny is coming in very strong, but we’re giving the fans what they deserve. We’re aiming to give everyone the Fight of the Year. We have to be impressive. I know the Garcias are training very hard, but we need this fight. We have to give it our all.”
 
 
#         #         # 
 
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and DSG Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased through seatgeek.com and barclayscenter.com. Tickets are also available for purchase at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center.

WBC orders eliminator between Callum Smith and Mathieu Bauderlique

WBC orders eliminator between Callum Smith and Mathieu Bauderlique

The WBC has ordered a purse bid for a light heavyweight elimination bout between former super middleweight Callum Smith (pictured) of the United Kingdon UK and Mathieu Bauderlique of France. The purse bid is slated to take place on Friday, July 1st. Smith is 28-1 but has had only one fight since losing his 168-pound titles to Canelo Alvarez in 2020. Bauderlique is 21-1 and won the European light heavyweight title last year. His one loss came in 2017.

Harth to face Makiadi in Germany

Harth to face Makiadi in Germany

Harth to face Makiadi in Germany
France's Siril Makiadi (13-2-2) and Germany's Leon Harth (20-5) will fight this Saturday in Mainz, Germany in a cruiserweight bout. Makiadi has not lost a fight since 2018, although he has drawn on a couple of occasions along the way.  Harth, who looks like the favorite in the fight, has faced good names and has won two of his last three fights. A native of Armenia and naturalized German,  he is coming off a majority decision loss to Enrico Koelling.

Late results from Philly: Cameron Krael wins by TKO

Late results from Philly: Cameron Krael wins by TKO
Cameron Krael TKO4 Vincent Floyd ...Cameron Krael took out Vincent Floyd in round four in their six-round middleweight bout that topped a ten-bout card at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. Krael of Las Vegas and Floyd of Philadelphia fought a nip-and-tuck battle that saw both fighters land flush throughout the first three rounds. Krael was able to surge ahead and drop Floyd twice with body shots, and the fight was stopped at 2:51. Krael is now 19-22-3 with six knockouts. Floyd falls to 4-13-1.
 
Tahmir Smalls TKO1 Roque Agustin Junco...  Tahmir Smalls remained undefeated with an opening-round stoppage of Roque Agustin Junco in a scheduled six-round welterweight bout. Smalls ended things with a left hook that sent Junco to the canvas, and the bout ended at 2:20. Smalls of Philadelphia is now 8-0 with five knockouts. Junco of Argentina is 10-12-2.
 
ADDITIONAL RESULTS
 
Edward Joe Cortes won a six-round unanimous decision over Gorwar Karyah in a super bantamweight bout. Cortes of Millville, New Jersey won by scores of 60-54 on all cards and is now 10-6-1. Karyah of Philadelphia is 2-3.
 
In the most anticipated battle of the night, Jabril Noble took out Nasir Mickens in round two of their six-round super featherweight bout featuring two Philly-based fighters. Noble (4-0) was dominant. The bout was stopped at 2:46. Mickens is 2-2.
 
Ofacio Falcon remained undefeated with a sixth-round stoppage over Ken Porter in the final round of their super featherweight fight. The fight was marred by Porter's complaining of repeated low blows. The punches looked to be on the beltline. Falcon was deducted a point. Porter stayed down for five-minutes on three separate occasions. Finally he was deemed unable to continue at 2:26. Falcon of Bronx, NY is 7-0 with six knockouts. Porter of St. Louis, is 4-3.
 
Rashan Adams stopped Nathan Benichou in round two of their four-round super featherweight fight. The fight was stopped 28 seconds into round two for Adams of Philadelphia, who is now 3-0 with two knockouts. Benichou of Puebla, Mexico is 2-11-2.
 
Larry Fryers and Michael Crain fought to a four-round majority draw in a junior welterweight fight. Fryers of Yonkers, NY won a card 39-37, while two cards were even at 38-38. Fryers is now 11-5-1. Crain of Smyrna, DE is 4-5-1.
 
Edwin Cortes remained undefeated with a four-round unanimous decision over Juan Gutierrez in a super flyweight bout. Cortes of Millville, NJ won by scores of 40-35 on all cards and s now 3-0. Gutierrez of Esteli, Nicaragua is 0-2.
 
Karl Wylie made a successful pro debut with a four-round unanimous decision over Joshua Zimmerman in a lightweight bout. Wylie of Coatesville, PA won by scores of 40-36 on all cards. Zimmerman returns home to Baltimore with an 0-9 record.
 
Rahiem Cooke took a four-round unanimous decision over Anthony Young in a jumior welterweight bout. Cooke of Philadelphia won by scores of 39-37 on all cards and is now 1-2. Young of Philadelphia is 0-5.
 
 

Report: Tommy Fury blocked from flying to USA for press conference

Report: Tommy Fury blocked from flying to USA for press conference

Quoting a social media post from the boxer himself, the British tabloid The Mirror reports that Tommy Fury was barred from flying to the United States ahead of Wednesday's press conference in New York's Madison Square Garden to promote an August 6th fight between Fury and social media idol Jake Paul. Although the reason for Fury's travel problem was not confirmed, members of Fury's family (his brother Tyson, the WBC heavyweight champion and father/trainer John) have had similar travel issues due to Tyson's association with Daniel Kinahan, an alleged international drug importer turned boxing advisor and John's prior history of violent crime. Paul vs. Fury is scheduled to be a Showtime pay-per-view event on August 6th.

Statement from Most Valuable Promotions: “Despite many assurances by Tommy Fury’s team that he was able to come to the U.S., and knowing that Tommy was in California just last month, we were surprised to learn that he had an issue at Heathrow Airport on Monday. As a result of circumstances out of our control, the scheduled press conference for Wednesday at MSG has been postponed. We are working with our partners at Showtime and Madison Square Garden and will share more information as soon as we are able.” 

 
 
 

Report: The Hearns are considering selling "a substantial" part of Matchroom

Report: The Hearns are considering selling "a substantial" part of Matchroom

Report: The Hearns are considering selling "a substantial" part of Matchroom

According to journalist Mark Kleinman of Sky Sports, the father and son owners of Matchroom Sport, Barry and Eddie Hearn are in negotiations to sell a "substantial minority stake" in the sports business, which includes boxing, darts and snooker (pool) events. The three investment firms mentioned as potential purchasers are CVC Capital Partners, KKR and Searchlight Capital. The next step, according to Sky Sports, will be for Matchroom to name the preferred investor and give that company the first shot at closing a deal.

IBA barred from organizing Olympic boxing

IBA barred from organizing Olympic boxing
The International Olympic Committee announced that IBA, the corrupt amateur governing body, will not be allowed to play a part in the Olympic qualification system for the Paris 2024 games. It has not been determined how the 2024 Olympic boxing and qualifying will be handled, but Olympic boxing is generally safe for inclusion in the 2024 games. However, boxing has not yet been approved for the 2028 Olympics due to the mess created by IBA. The IOC made its decison about 2024 in the wake of a June 14th arbitration decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which confirmed that four men (Boris van der Vorst, Michael McAtee, Steven Hartley and Per-Axel Sjöholm) were wrongly disqualifed from running for IBA management positions just two days before the election. When the four disqualifications were issued, Russian oligarch Boris Kremlev was able to get re-elected to another term. The four men were disqualified for "early campaigining," a minor breach of IBA rules.
 
According to Reuters, an IOC representative stated in a Friday virtual press conference that IBA is prone to corruption in part because it owes so much money to a Russian oil company. That company, Gazprom, is an IBA "sponsor" that is 38% owned by the Russian government. The IOC representative commented as follows: "The various IOC concerns around the governance of the IBA, including the refereeing and judging process and its financial dependency on the state-owned company Gazprom, are still ongoing."
 
The Russian energy company is the biggest sponsor of the IBA (which was formerly known as AIBA). Kremlev was the one who arranged the "sponsorship" agreement, although he has refused to disclose all the details.
 
That is far from the only evidence of corrution that taints IBA. An investigative report, which was required by the IOC but was issued by IBA last month, contained the following key findings against IBA itself:
 
1. More than a decade of financial mismanagement created a damaging legacy that hung over the management and administration of the sport [of amateur boxing] until recently.
 
2. The pursuit of investments for unrealistic business plans and the implementation of the ventures contributed to the improper management and administration of the sport and of the planned ventures.
 
3. Corruption was allowed to creep in and take hold of the organization because of the senior management’s excessive focus on finding investments for unrealistic ventures. Insufficient attention was paid to the administration of the sport and its officials. When those enterprises never materialized, the sport suffered a huge financial burden that nearly caused its collapse. The singular focus of management became finding funds to repay the loans and pay the staff. The combination of attrition and the lack of financial resources ultimately resulted in the organization being left with a skeleton staff to run itself.
 
4. There is a lack of a fully developed IBA set of educational material for referees and judges and international technical officials to be used by national federations for training sessions at IBA level competitions. The materials that exist are not delivered by qualified instructors. The training language is English and simultaneous translation is not always available. The consequences are that there is no adequate training and development strategy to ensure advancement of referees and judges and international technical officials.
 
5. Overriding the automated draw system by manual interference facilitates the possibility of bout manipulation. The problem is caused by the neutrality principles the sport uses to select referees and judges not properly reflected in the automated system, thereby justifying manual draws. Nevertheless, there are far too many manual interventions. This occurs at IBA and
Continental Confederation level tournaments.
 
6. There continue to be reports of officials fulfilling roles that they are not capable of doing despite having credentials suggesting that they could perform the role. The problem is caused by the control of the selection of officials by the Continental Confederations and national federations with a lack of IBA involvement.
 
7. The Code of Conduct and the rules of play are constantly being breached particularly as they relate to mobile phone use and succumbing to pressure by those who should not be in the field of play. These types of seemingly minor infractions reinforce the past culture which disregarded the ethics and integrity of the sport.
 
8. Too many people have accreditation to access the field of play without the necessity of being there. Those without accreditation can also be found from time to time in the field of play. Some
of these individuals attempt to influence officials or even abuse them.
 
9. The vetting process and use of the Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) tool together with followup vetting has identified potential high-risk referees and judges and international technical officials who as a consequence have not officiated at the particular tournament. The benefit of the process and presence of the investigation team investigators has been the greater sense of security and protection without interference of external pressures on referees and judges and international technical officials. 
 

 

Joyce calls Parker a duck

Joyce calls Parker a duck
Heavyweight contender Joe Joyce said on his Instagram account that former WBO title holder Jospeph Parker has been ducking him: So Mr. Parker, I’ve always wanted to fight you and you pretended that you wanted to fight [me], but in reality you say and do everything to avoid me. After it was all agreed, you pulled out of the schedule date of July 2nd with a BS excuse about your trainer and then you beg to have the fight pushed to September to have more time to train. I agreed. Then you asked for more stuff. That was all agreed. After saying it was all good for weeks, you signed elsewhere. Real talk... you’re full of sh*t and you don’t want to fight. Tell your new promoter I am fighting on September 24th. If you’re not scared, sign the contract. Stop ducking me." Joyce fights Christian Hammer on July 2nd.
 
 

Josh Kelly to jump right back in, this time vs. Lucas Bastida

Josh Kelly to jump right back in, this time vs. Lucas Bastida
After the dismantling of Peter Kramer last week, junior middleweight Josh Kelly (11-1-1, 7 KOs) wastes no time in returning to action on July 30th in Newcastle, England. Live on Channel 5, Kelly faces a tougher challenge when he faces ‘El Tornado’ Lucas Bastida (18-1-1, 10 KOs) of Argentina. The calculated and methodical win for Kelly last time out showed the boxing intelligence of Sunderland’s ‘PBK’, but Bastida will be coming to provide a much sterner test. It will be an eagerly contested fight, as both men hold similar records, share around a 50% KO ratio and are in their twenties. Kelly is the more experienced at 28-years-old. 
 
“He is a tough South American who has plenty of experience for a fighter who is 25-years old. To only have one loss on his record shows how tough he is, there’s no doubt he’ll be coming to win,” said Kelly “He’s someone who is going to give me the hard rounds I need to get back into the mix for big fights and major titles. It’s very much the same from me though – I’m coming to show my class and I’ll be looking to get him out, 100%.” 
 
Argentine Bastida will be coming to conduct his own takeover as he’ll be looking to capitalize on a TKO win in a South American title bout in his last fight. He will also be confident in the fact he will be the taller fighter, as he stands at 6’1” and edges Kelly with 8 more rounds under his belt.
 
After analyzing the career of Kelly, it is Bastida who believes he will come out on top having found what he believes to be is the winning formula for this fight. “Josh Kelly has Olympic experience, he’s a good boxer and very fast. I saw in his fight against Avanesyan that he got knocked down, and then he got stopped, so I think the key to victory will be to go to war from the beginning of the fight,” said Bastida. “For me this is my first fight abroad, I’m a warrior in life so I’ll be going to war as soon as the bell rings.”
 
Following the format of his nickname, “El Tornado” will be looking to arrive and cause as much destruction as possible before moving on. Kelly has stated before that he is back with vengeance, and will be happy to weather any condition that the Argentine throws his way.
 
 
 

Gomez vs. Clavel back on for this Friday

Gomez vs. Clavel back on for this Friday
Kim Clavel (15-0, 3 KOs) will finally challennge WBC flyweight World Champion Yesenia Gomez (19-5-3, 6 KOs), now rebooked for Friday, July 29th at the Cabaret of Montreal Casino,” co-promoted by Groupe Yvon Michelle (GYM)/ Probellum. Gomez vs. Clavel has been postponed three times, which has naturally increased tensions between the two fighters, based on their social media posts. The fight was always considered potentially intense, but now their emotions are peaking with both accusing the  other for having delayed the confrontation. Gomez will defend her world title belt for the fifth time.
 
Artur "The Chechen Wolf" Biyarslanov (10-0, 8 KOs), will be showcased in the co-feature, against Burkina Faso-native Issouf Kinda (18-5, 7 KOs), fighting out New York. A 2015 Pan American Games gold medalist in Toronto, as well as a Canadian representative at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Biyarslanov plans to add a third consecutive knockout to his record 
 
Clavel competed in her last international competition in 2017 as a member of Canada's National Team in Honduras. In her first world championship fight on July 29th, she will be surrounded by three boxers who were her teammates at that same time. Biyarslanov, Basran and Veyre also wore Canadian colors at this tournament, additional evidence of the talent level at GYM.
 
Limited tickets are on sale via the GYM website at https://linktr.ee/groupeyvonmichel, or on Ticketsmaster.ca.  
 
On the undercard, kickboxing superstar Jonathan Di Bella (1-0, 0 KOs) will be in his second pro boxing match against Mexican Jesus Velazquez (3-2, 2 KOs)... Eric Basran, of Vancouver (2-0, 1 KO), will meet Mexican challenger Juan Carlos Garcia (4-2, 0 KOs), and young Montrealer Derek Pomerleau (2-0, 2 KOs) will be fighting for his third straight  KO versus his Mexican opponent, Marcos Luna (1-1, 0 KOs)... Montreal favorite Caroline Veyre will make her professional debut after a successful amateur career. A pillar of the Canadian boxing team since 2013, Caroline captured gold at the 2015 Pan American Games, and she represented Canada at the Tokyo Olympics.
 

 

Harlem Eubank to face Tom Farrell next month

Harlem Eubank to face Tom Farrell next month
A junior welterweight showdown has been added to Wasserman Boxing's July 30th show in Newcastle, England. Harlem Eubank (14-0, 6 KOs) will be squaring off against Tom ‘Fazza’ Farrell (21-5, 5 KOs). Both fighters will be brimming with confidence off the back of wins in their last bouts. Farrell defeated a potential Nigerian nightmare in Olaide Fijabi at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool earlier this month, outpointing his opponent in a hard-fought contest. Having come through the six-round fight, Farrell will be looking to call upon a similar approach to overcome an undefeated Harlem Eubank.
 
A second-round KO proved to be one of the highlights of the night in London on May 13th when Eubank caught his opponent flush to end the fight against Sean Dodd. The Brighton man continues heading in an upward trajectory in a professional career that is yet to taste defeat. With each performance, Eubank continues to show his development and ever-growing intentions for bigger fights and bigger honours. The 28-year-old will now be looking for another statement win against a tough Farrell to put his name in contention for titles.  
 
The big boys join the North East takeover also, as 24 year-old Hosea Stewart (2-0) faces Franklin Ignatius (3-0, 1 KO) in the heavyweight division. Zero losses on each man’s record, and the ‘0’ has to go as two young fighters look to put their name in lights at the Vertu Motors Arena.
 
In the main event, junior middleweight Josh Kelly (11-1-1, 7 KOs) vs. Lucas Bastida (18-1-1, 10 KOs)...
 
 

Indications are that Inoue vs. Butler will take place in UK

Indications are that Inoue vs. Butler will take place in UK
[According to Probellum,] three-belt bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue said he is prepared to come to the United Kingdom and fight Paul Butler for the fourth piece of the undisputed 118-pound world championship. Butler, last week, said if Inoue wanted the fight enough then he should be willing to accept the showdown taking place outside of his native Japan. The WBO champion told talkSPORT that Liverpool or London could be ideal venues for a fight with Inoue and that the contest should not automatically in ‘Monster’s’ backyard.
 
And now Inoue, who added the WBC belt to his collection after stopping Nonito Donaire earlier this month, says he would accept a fight in the UK. “I don’t have a preference,” Inoue said. “I don’t care if we fight in Japan, the US or the UK … I just want to fight him, no matter where it is.”
 
Butler won the WBO crown in April before being upgraded to full champion the following month. The British fighter has made it crystal clear that he wants to face Inoue next and isn’t fearful of his punching power.
 
“My gym is still in negotiations over the Butler fight, and things are moving in the right direction, although I don’t think the details have been worked out,” Inoue said at a press conference in Tokyo on Monday. “I haven’t watched his bouts in their entirety, but I can see he is a talented and aggressive boxer.”
 
 

Panama's Cesar Francis to fight ex-champ Ray Beltran

Panama's Cesar Francis to fight ex-champ Ray Beltran
Panamanian junior welterweight Cesar “Rainman” Francis (10-0, 6 KOs) will take a big step up in opposition when he faces former 135-pound title holder Raymundo Beltran (37-9-1, 23 KOs) in a ten-round battle on Saturday, July 9th at the ProBox Events Center in Plant City, Florida. It will be streamed live globally on ProBox TV. Francis, who was born in Panama but lives in Brooklyn, New York, is coming off the biggest win of his career, a unanimous decision victory over Mohamed Mimoune. Prior to that, he beat then-undefeated Jose Roman Vazquez via decision as well. The 31 year-old Francis has only had 10 fights, but he has taken significant steps in his last few fights that have moved him up the 140-pound rankings. “It’s my time to shine. I’m going to go in and perform,” said Francis. “Beltran is a great veteran, and I am not overlooking him. I helped Richard Commey get ready for his fight against him. And this time Commey will be my sparring partner. People better bring their umbrellas because it’s going to ‘rain’ that day.”
 
Beltran is a former WBO lightweight champion from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico. He had some of the best moments of his career at 135 pounds, where he faced the likes of “Hammerin” Hank Lundy, Ricky Burns, Richard Commey and Terece “Bud” Crawford. His most important victory was against Moises Paulus, whom he defeated to capture this title. Now at 140 pounds, Beltran plans to use his experience to take Francis to deep waters. “I’ve been looking and waiting for this fight,” said Beltran. “Cesar Francis is an undefeated fighter who has a lot of confidence, and this is the kind of fight I need to put myself back on the map. I think my experience will help a lot because I’ve been in there with high-level fighters. Like always, I will do my part to make sure it’s an action-packed fight. My fights have never been boring. They’re always full of action.”
 

Jesse Rodriguez extends promotional relationship with Matchroom

Jesse Rodriguez extends promotional relationship with Matchroom
Breakout star Jesse Rodriguez has signed an extension to his long-term promotional deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom. The WBC non-franchise junior bantamweight champion put pen to paper following his sensational stoppage win over ex-champ Srisaket Sor Rungvisai at the Tech Port Arena in his San Antonio hometown on Saturday night. The 22 year-old ended matters in the eighth round on Saturday. Prior to that, in February, he made his name as a late replacement against ex-title holder Carlos Cuadras. “I am delighted to sign with Eddie and Matchroom and so excited for the future,” said Rodriguez. “Last night was the best night of my career so far, beating a great fighter like Rungvisai in my hometown – but it’s only the beginning and there’s so much more that I can achieve. I was so happy because there was a lot of people doubting me before last night saying that I shouldn’t be at 115lbs and that Rungvisai was going to KO me. So, for me to stop him, that’s a big statement. He has boxed the very best at Super-Flyweight and has not been stopped since his first two fights so that says a lot about me. I knew I could stop him, I said so in the build-up so to do it, I’m very happy. He packs a punch, I knew that and I could feel it, so I was glad to get him out of there."
 
As for what's next, Rodriguez said, “We will talk as a team, but I want to keep coming home to San Antonio. I hope everyone that came enjoyed the show, it means everything to me for my city to show out. The plan has been to go [back] to 112 pounds and win a title there but I’m open to fighting anyone, I want to keep improving and fighting the best. Every fighter wants to be on that pound-for-pound list, and you get there by fighting the best and beating them.”
 
“I am very happy to extend our promotional contract with Eddie and Matchroom,” said trainer and manager Robert Garcia. “Mr Honda’s Teiken Promotions and Matchroom together have done a great job.
 
“I want to thank Mr. Honda for being there since day one and believing in Jesse’s abilities. I also want to thank Eddie and Matchroom for believing in Jesse and giving us the opportunity to showcase Jesse’s talent. Together we are going to do great things with Bam.”
 
“I am delighted to see Jesse commit his future to Matchroom and DAZN,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “As I said in the ring last night – superstar. That’s all you need to know about this kid – he is a must-watch talent and that’s live in person or live on DAZN, you have to watch him perform.
 
“The options for Jesse are endless from 108lbs to 115lbs, and with Matchroom and Robert Garcia behind him, we’re going to be able to showcase this sensational fighter on the biggest platforms.
 
“Last night he had his hometown fans on their feet, and we want him to grow into a massive star on his own doorstep, but make no mistake, this young man will grow into a star attraction that all of America will get behind.”
 

Results from Coventry, England: Eggington claims vacant IBO 154-pound title

Results from Coventry, England: Eggington claims vacant IBO 154-pound title
Sam Eggington W12 Przemysław Zysk...  In Coventry, England, Sam Eggington took a clear decision victory over previously undefeated Przemysław Zysk to win the vacant IBO 154-pound title. Official scores were 119-109 (twice) and 117-111. Eggington pushed hard in the early rounds of the fight to find a way to stop Zysk, landing hard combinations across the first four rounds of the fight. Eggington looked set for an early night and a stoppage victory but Zysk showed grit and determination to survive to the final bell. Eggington used his boxing skill in the second half of the fight to win every single round of the final six.  The IBO junior middleweight title was last held by Erislandy Lara.
 
Adam Azim TKO1 Anthony Loffet... Twenty-year-old lightweight Adam ‘The Assassin’ Azim took another victory in the first round with a TKO victory over Anthony Loffet (8-2). Azim floored Loffet within 35 seconds of the very first bell, after a series of 1-2 combinations, before piling on the pressure with powerful shots and forcing Loffet’s corner to throw in the towel, just 1 minute and 6 seconds into the first round. Trainer Shane Mcguigan’s claim is that Azim is: ”the greatest talent he’s ever trained.” 
 
ADDITIONAL RESULTS
 
Olympic Bronze medalist Karriss Artingstall defeated Vaida Masiokaite (2-17-5) by points in a six-round featherweight contest. The score was 60-54. Artingstall made a successful professional debut that saw her take a shutout victory on the referee’s scorecard over an experienced opponent who’d been in the ring with top talent like Natasha Jonas and Caroline Dubois.
 
Tyler Denny defeated River Wilson Bent by split decision over ten rounds to become the English middleweight champion. Denny carried two scorecards by 97-93 and 96-93 while Wilson Bent got the overruled third vote by 96-64. This was a rematch as their first that ended in a draw. 
 
Former Boxxer Series winner Cori Gibbs returned to the ring for the first time since that tournament victory last November to extend his perfect record to 17-0. The juniuor welterweight Gibbs produced a strong performance against Carlos Perez, who came into this fight 17-6-2 overall and undefeated in his last four fights. Gibbs won all but one round on the referee’s scorecard and shook off any signs of ring rust after his recent nine-month layoff. Within seconds of the first bell ringing, Gibbs landed fast combinations while making sure to receive little in return throughout the fight.
 
Dylan Cheema (6-0) defeated Stu Greener over four rounds by the score of 39-37. Cheema outworked and outbattled Greener (4-9), who made the Sikh star fight hard for his victory.
 
Welterweight Kaisee Benjamin defeated Serge Ambomo (7-31-3) by a score of 60-55 over six rounds. The bought was fought at a higer weight than normal for Benjamin after Ambomo came in well over the agreed-upon weight limit.
 
Undefeated middleweight Shakiel Thompson defeated Bartosz Glowacki (5-9-1) by a score of 60-54. Thompson used his natural size and range to dominate the fight on the outside, but also showed the grit and skill to land shots from closer ranges.
Aaron McKenna def. David Benitez TKO 7/8 1:40
 
Irish middleweight Aaron McKenna improved to 15-0 as a professional at 22 years of age. McKenna outclassed David Benitez (8-7) across the first six rounds, and produced a whirlwind of powerful shots to force the stoppage victory, becoming the only man to stop Benitez across his 15 professional bouts.
 
Powerful cruiserweight and former Team GB amateur star Scott Forrest took another stoppage victory in only the second fight of his career, moving to 2-0. The loser, Toni Visic, of Croatia, is 20-33-2. Visic’s corner was forced to throw in the towel in the fourth round after a right hand from Forrest sent him tumbling to the canvas.  

Argentina's Clara Lescurat wins WBA title by split decision

Argentina's Clara Lescurat wins WBA title by split decision
Clara Lescurat W10 Maribel Ramirez (... Argentina’s Clara Lescurat (7-0) defeated Mexico’s Maribel Ramirez (13-3) for the WBA super flyweight championship. After ten rounds, the judges rendered a split decision in favor of Lescurat, who became the new champion under the lights of the Casino of Buenos Aires.  The fight was a close one, with Ramirez travelling to Buenos Aires as the champion.  Despite some messy passages in the clinches, the Argentinean boxer managed to sustain her counter-punching strategy, keeping her distance in a manner that allowed her to land punches and escape return fire through her fast movements. But Ramirez’s pressure was incessant and Lescurat knew how to solve it. 
 
 

Christy Martin joins King's Promotions

Christy Martin joins King's Promotions
King's Promotions has announced the addition of International Boxing Hall of Famer, trailblazer and boxing icon Christy Martin as the new Director of Operations for the Pennsylvania promotional company. "This is a huge addition for King's Promotions. Christy Martin will add so much to what we have built at King's Promotions. What Christy brings to the table is endless in what she has done in the sport of boxing both in and out of the ring. In her role, Christy will help with all aspects relating to the boxing end of things, such as helping us identify and sign talent, matchmaking, day-to-day operations and mentorship to all of our fighters. Especially with our talented female fighters such as WBC Super Featherweight champion Alycia Baumgardner, Danielle Perkins and undefeated flyweight Leanna Cruz. Also, Christy has established herself as a top promoter in her own right, so we will have access to some of the fighters that she works with, and that will make our roster that much stronger and deeper," said Marshall Kauffman, CEO of King's Promotions.
 
"I am honored to work with Marshall and Kings Promotions. This is a great opportunity for not only me, but for some of the fighters that I have been working with. My company, Christy Martin Promotions will sit idle as I am 100 percent on board with King's Promotions. Marshall is one of the few promoters that gives female fighters a platform. Hopefully my presence will help inspire not only the great fighters like Alycia, Danielle and Leanna, but all of the fighters under the King's banner. I have had the ups and downs in my career and personal life, so I feel that I can mentor these young athletes. I have always wanted to stay involved with the sport, and now to join King's, I can do it at a higher level, and in the process I can take some of the load off of Marshall, and be his right hand," said Martin.
 
The first superstar of female boxing, Martin was a 2020 inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Martin currently has an outstanding book about her life on-sale, which was co-written by renowned writer, Ron Borges
 

Ndombassy gets come-from-behind road win in South Africa

Ndombassy gets come-from-behind road win in South Africa
Christiano Ndombassy TKO10 Junior Makondo... Angolan-born junior middleweight Christiano Ndombassy had to dig deep to get a victory on Sunday, June 26th, in Polokwane, South Africa. In a battle between big punchers, the Ndombassy (13-6) was behind on two scorecards when he hurt local challenger Junior Makondo (8-6-1) in the final round, forcing a stoppage with a big flurry. Official time was 1:50 of round ten. Before that it was back-and-forth action, with the spectators at Meroba Casino getting their moneys worth from the first bell and Makondo getting the best of most exchanges. But it was all in vain, as Ndombassy, sensing the urgency, never stopped trying to salvage his title and eventually succeeded. The promoter was Mama Rocks Boxing Promotions.

Jesse Rodriguez dominates Srisaket Sor Rungvisai

Jesse Rodriguez dominates Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
Jesse Rodriguez TKO8 Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.... Jesse Rodriguez put his WBC non-franchise super flyweight belt on the line against former titlist Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. Even though Rodriguez was a heavy favorite, the question was how would he handle the power from the most dangerous puncher of the 115-pound division? Rodriguezu sed his superb speed and precision to drop Sor Rungvisai twice and stop him at the 1:50 mark of the eighth round at Tech Port Arena in San Antonio, Texas. DAZN had the fight scored 70-62 at the time of the stoppage. In the early going, Rodriguez would get in, connect, and by the time Sor Rungvisai would unload, the 22-year-old would already be out of there. The game plan was for Rodriguez to continue to use his quickness and pinpoint accuracy to negate Sor Rungvisai's power. [Juan Francisco Estrada is recognized as the WBC franchise champion and also as the WBA super champion].
 
Rodriguez (16-0, 11 KOs) changed his attack in the fourth round when a right hand almost sent Sor Rungvisai's gloves to the canvas. Instead, "Bam" was more willing to stand in the pocket and trade with Sor Rungvisai as he realized the native of Thailand's power wasn't what he thought it was coming into the fight. 
 
“After the third round, I felt like his power wasn’t the same," Rodriguez said in his post-fight interview with DAZN's Chris Mannix.
 
"He was still strong, but not like the first two rounds.
 
“Coming into the fight, I said I couldn’t stand in there like I did with Cuadras, and we came out tonight and put on a show.”
 
Instead of Sor Rungvisai's power being the deciding factor, it was "Bam" who showed there is a new guard in the land of the super flyweights. During the seventh round, a left hook to the temple sent Sor Rungvisai to the canvas. The 35-year-old tried to convince the referee it was a slip, but the official wasn't buying the excuse. 
 
Rodriguez made sure that Sor Rungvisai wouldn't make it to round nine. He closed the show with an overhand left followed by a barrage of power shots. He kept going until the referee waved it off to successfully defend his title for the first time.
 
Sor Rungvisai (50-6-1, 43 KOs) was stopped for the first time since June 2009 in his second professional fight. On what's next for Rodriguez, it would appear to be either Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez or WBA (super) Juan Francisco Estrada. However, Estrada is in line to face mandatory challenger and Rodriguez's brother Joshua Franco. Rodriguez says there's no chance of that happening, so a trip down to 112 pounds is more likely for the time being.
 
“I’m down to do whatever Robert (Garcia, his head trainer) says," Rodriguez said.
 
"Any champion at 112, I’m here. I’m a special fighter, not an average fighter. 
 
“I grew up watching these guys, so being in the ring with them is a privilege in itself. And beating them the way we’ve been beating them, it means everything.”
 
 
 
 

Akhmadaliev extends reign with TKO of Rios

Akhmadaliev extends reign with TKO of Rios
Murodjon Akhmadaliev TKO12 Ronny Rios ... Murodjon Akhmadaliev defeated Ronny Rios via technical knockout at 2:06 of the twelfth round to retain the IBF and WBA super bantamweight championships. Akhmadaliev was up big on the scorecards heading into the final round. He could have coasted and ridden the bicycle. Instead, Akhmadaliev went for the finish and made Rios take a knee with a hard body shot. Rios, in a world of pain, gallantly continued, but Akhmadaliev closed the show with a relentless onslaught. A few more flush punches was all the referee needed to see and waved it off. 
 
 
 
 

McCaskill retains championship on Ibarra quit job

McCaskill retains championship on Ibarra quit job
Jessica McCaskill TKO3 Alma Ibarra World welterweight champion Jessica McCaskill (12-2) successfully defended all belts at the Tech Port Arena in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday when challenger Alma Ibarra disappointingly quit on her stool after three rounds of action. The contest started with sparks as McCaskill came out throwing everything without letting Ibarra. The chalenger at times managed to connect on some punches, but without effect.  After the first three rounds, the fierceness of McCaskill, a Chicago native apparently frightened the Mexican fighter. When the referee called her to come out for the fourth round, Ibarra yelled "No!" to her trainer decided not to come out. Thus, "Caskilla" won her third defense and remains the owner of the WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF and IBO welterweight belts. Ibarra goes home with a good record (10-2) but also a mark of shame on her resume.
 
McCaskill’s childhood was not easy. Raised in St. Louis by her great aunt, became homeless, sleeping in the back of a church. From the age of eight, she lived through extreme situations that forced her to grow up quickly. It was not until 2012 that she traveled to Chicago when she found a job at RJ O’Brien & Associates as a regulatory reporting analyst, also graduating with a degree in Finance. In 2017 she was defeated by lightweight champion Katie Taylor. She bounced back and in her next fight she moved up a division to defeat tough champion Erica Farias via unanimous decision. In her next fight she defeated Anahi Ester Sánchez to consolidate two tiltes in the 140-pound division. She immediately gave Erica Farias a rematch and defeated her via majority decision. In August 2020, she was presented with the opportunity to face then-undefeated undisputed worl welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus. She defeated Braekhus twice to become one of female boxing's biggest stars.