One On One With Joe Goossen

One On One With Joe Goossen
Justin Hackman: Joe, you’ve got a big fight tomorrow as your fighter Sergey Lipinets takes on your former fighter, John Molina.  How was camp? Joe Goossen: I couldn’t have asked for a better camp—six days a week, great sparring, no injuries, etc.  The real key there though was the sparring.  You’ll never find someone to emulate your opponent perfectly, but we had a very close facsimile to that.  JH: You trained Molina for six years and in the process created a bond that remains strong to this day.  How do you negotiate within yourself that this is my business and as a trainer, I need to exploit the insufficiencies of my former fighter in order for my current fighter to win? JG: That’s a legitimate question.  The respect factor between the Molina family and myself, as well as John and Sergey, we are all friendly towards each other.  But ultimately it is a business.  Sometimes you get thrown into situations that are seemingly uncomfortable, but when the rubber meets the road, it’s all business for me, as I’m sure it’s the same for their camp.  That’s when the sparks will fly.  In terms of exploiting John’s style, he said to me with a smile: “Joe, I know what you’re thinking!”  He knows me, how I work, and John is coming to win just like we are.  I expect to see John Molina at his best Saturday.
JH: You and Sergey are coming off a great win and spectacular performance over a top-notch fighter in Lamont Peterson.  Has that victory made Lipinets a better fighter?
JG: It was the camp going into that fight which made Sergey a better fighter.  The work and commitment he put into training allowed Sergey to perform the way he did that night against Peterson.  When I train someone, we prepare for the 10 or 12 toughest rounds in his life, and we take it to that place in camp.  So everything you saw in that performance against Peterson, I had seen already in camp.  So yes, the preparation made him a better fighter, and the same can be said of this camp.
JH: How does Sergey beat John Molina?
JG: To beat Molina, you must have a high IQ in the ring, and you must stay within yourself and not get caught up in, you know, what it is that John’s looking to do.  You gotta stay very focused, because John is a homerun hitter.  In baseball terms, he may strike out a lot, he’ll swing and miss, but John can hit homeruns.  We need to stay focused on our game plan, and that is to throw him a lot of curveballs, a lot of off-speed pitches, and fastballs as well.  But we must remain smart and focused throughout.
JH: So assuming you’re looking at this as a distance fight, if Lipinets gets a stoppage, would you be surprised?
JG: I’m never surprised what can happen in the boxing ring.  I subscribe to the theory that says you prepare for the most grueling 10 rounds you can imagine.  And if you get anything less than that, it’s a gift.
JH: Prediction on Pacquiao/Thurman?
JG: I’m going to be in the commentary booth for that one after our own fight.  So because of that, I have stayed away from any firm predictions because I don’t want to go into the fight as a commentator with any preconceived notions.  But I will say this: Keith Thurman looks to me like he’s in better shape for this than he was for the Josesito Lopez fight.  When fighters are prepared to be at their best, there is a glow about them, and I see that in Thurman right now.  Now Pacquiao, you know what you’re getting with him—he’s about as consistent as it gets.  So I foresee an incredibly close and highly competitive match.  But the size difference is palpable; I noticed that right away with these two.  There’s also the age factor—Thurman looks younger and fresher.  There’s a lot to be said for both guys.  Pacquiao can never be overlooked because we all know what he’s capable of.  And Thurman, I expect to see a much sharper version of him than we witnessed in his last fight.  
JH: Joe, best of luck, and it’s always a pleasure talking to you; we’ll speak after the fight.
JG: Thanks, Justin, sounds great.

Yordenis Ugas plans to leave no doubt against Omar Figueroa Jr

Yordenis Ugas plans to leave no doubt against Omar Figueroa Jr
Greg Leon: How's everything going in preparation for your July 20th bout versus Omar Figueroa Jr. [28-0-1]? Yordenis Ugas: "The same as always, I'm excited to be getting right back into the ring with a great opporunity like this, it's just an exciting time for me. In a month's time I'm going to be in the ring with Omar Figueroa who is a former [WBC lightweight] champion and a good fighter." GL: He's an all action fighter, are you expecting this to be another crowd pleasing fight? YU: "Figueroa is an action fighter, I'm an action fighter and I feel like this is a can't miss fight. It's a can't miss match-up of styles. On July 20th, I plan on getting my hand raised in victory and regain my spot with the WBC to fight for the title that I feel I should have won a few months ago. I'm looking to get right back in there to win it."
GL: Did the Porter decision change your mentality at all coming into fights? Will you go balls to the wall more now?
YU: "To be honest I pressed the action most of the time. I feel like I could have jabbed a bit more, I probably could have fired off a few more shots. I won the fight and I feel like Porter wasn't engaging. Sometimes it's hard to let your hands go against a guy who just doesn't want to engage. Porter just wasn't letting his hands go, I expect this fight to be different. I don't think Omar Figueroa is going to be afraid to get in there and slug it out, and that's the type of fight I like, thats the type of fight I want."
GL: How confident are you that if you win this fight the mandatory will be enforced?
YU: "It's not my job to make those kind of decisions, it's my job to go in there and win the fight when they've got the guys in front of me. I think the WBC will do the right thing by me, I feel like the referee missed a knockdown that cost me the decision and I'm very happy that the WBC is giving me the opportunity to get right into the positon to fight for it again."
GL: What do you think about Figueroa? Have you studied him at all?
YU: "Obviously I've watched Figueroa, he's a high level guy who throws a lot of punches and you know he's coming to fight. I'm going to be prepared and I'm going to bring out the best you've ever seen from me on July 20th."
GL: Who do you like in Keith Thurman vs. Manny Pacquiao?
YU: "That's a great fight and it's tough to call because you don't know which version of these guys we're getting. Are we going to get this best Thurman? That's the question. Right now if I had to pick I'd say Pacquiao, but that could change before the fight."
GL: What about Errol Spence vs. Shawn Porter?
YU: "I think that's another great fight with two great world champions and I'm leaning towards Spence to beat Shawn Porter."
GL: You feel you beat Porter and now he's in a major unification bout. Is this the move you would've made had you gotten your hand raised?
YU: "I would have wanted to make the biggest fight possible, but I can't look back now because I've been through worse in my career and worse in my life, I got to keep moving forward. I know I have to beat Omar Figueroa to get to the winner of that one so we'll see how it all plays out."
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
YU: "Don't miss this fight. This is going to be the best card of the year. I know it's not the main event, but I feel like it's main event material. It's going to be a great night of boxing for the fans and I can't wait!"

Jermaine Franklin vows to come in lighter and throw more punches next time out

Jermaine Franklin vows to come in lighter and throw more punches next time out
Greg Leon: Congrats on your victory over Jerry Forrest? Can you give us some thoughts on your performance? Jermaine Franklin: "I thought I had a decent performance, I think I need to still work on my overall self control. I got a little wild sometimes, but I think I had a decent performance. There's still work to do, but that'll come in time. I think I won the fight 6-7 or 7-3. GL: So you were confident were you that won the fight when the final bell rang? Jermaine Franklin: "It's like I said, I defnitely did enough to win that fight 6-4 or 7-3, but this is boxing I have to take the split decision." GL: What do you feel like you learned in this fight? What do you like you need to do better next time out? JF: "It's all about my patience, I've been working on my patience, but I've got to keep working on it. I also got to stay busier to make it easier for the judges to score these fights. (laughs) I'm definitely going to be more patient, smarter and let my hands go more next time out."
GL: The last time we spoke you told me you were expecting to come him much lower than you did against Booker. Why didn't you? What needs to be changed in your camp to make sure you're going to be better next time?
JF: "Actually I was like 237 a few days before and then I rehydrated up to 240 for the weigh in. I'm going to come in at the 230's next time though just so I don't hear people saying anything about my weight all the time."
GL: Some guys can be at their most effective while heavy, do you feel like you need to lose to weight to be the best version of yourself?
JF: "I would say I'm most comfortable a little lighter, maybe like 225-227. I feel like I'm faster and more effective and I'm working my way down there little by little, it's just been very important for me to stay in the gym, so I'm glad I've been able to do that and I can't wait to get back in the ring."
GL: Was there anything about Forrest that surprised you?
JF: "He was a lot more active than I expected him to be. He was busier than I saw in other fights where he just looked like a slow counter puncher."
GL: Do you think you took him lightly?
JF: "I don't want to say that, but I feel like I could have been a little more prepared."
GL: Any early indication on when your next fight might take place?
JF: "I haven't gotten any date yet, but I'm looking to be back in the year before the year for sure."
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
JF: "Stay tuned. I'm still working and I'm going to be better every time y'all see me. I promise you."

Thurman-Pacquiao final presser quotables

Thurman-Pacquiao final presser quotables

Thurman-Pacquiao final presser quotables

Eight-division champion Manny "PacMan" Pacquiao and unbeaten WBA welterweight superchampion Keith "One Time" Thurman went face-to-face Wednesday at the final press conference before their blockbuster showdown that headlines the Premier Boxing Champions on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View this Saturday night from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Also in attendance at the press conference and going face-to-face Wednesday were welterweightsOmar "El Panterita" Figueroa and Yordenis Ugás, who meet in a 12-round WBC title eliminator, former champion Sergey Lipinets and John "The Gladiator" Molina Jr, who go toe-to-toe in a 10-round welterweight match, plus former bantamweight champions Luis "Pantera" Nery and Juan Carlos Payano, who meet in a 12-round bout. The pay-per-view begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. Prior to the press conference, the pay-per-view undercard fighters participated in media workouts along with fighters competing on FOX PBC Fight Night preceding the pay-per-view. That show is headlined by IBF super middleweight champion Caleb "Sweethands" Plant vs. fellow unbeaten Mike Lee, plus unbeaten heavyweights Efe Ajagba and Ali Eren DemirezenHere's what the fighters had to say on Wednesday: 
"For me nothing is personal. I have to do my job and there is nothing personal with him. Our job is to fight and he has to prove something, and I have to prove something. That's why I'm so motivated for this fight and this training camp. It's also my first time fighting on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View, so I'm excited to fight on Saturday.
"I'm just always smiling no matter what Keith says. It's easy to say things, but it's not easy to do it in the ring. I've been in this sport longer than Keith Thurman, so my experience will be the difference.
"This is going to be an exciting fight and a once-in-a-lifetime fight. Like he has said, there is going to be a lot of action in the ring. I respect my opponent because we both believe we can give a good fight to the fans. That's our first concern. The fans and the enjoyment of the fans.
"That's Thurman's style to talk a lot. Like I said, it gives me more motivation to focus, and it has helped me a lot leading up to this fight.
"I'm not predicting a knockout for this fight, but we did our best in this training camp. I'm focused and motivated, so we'll see. I'll do my best to make the fans happy.
"My feeling right now is happiness and excitement to prove that at the age of 40, I can still show my best.
"Boxing is my passion. I love to play basketball, but you are a team, you don't know which people are shooting, you or your teammates. Boxing is you alone. When people are cheering for you, it is for you.
"We did our best in training and I believe we are physically ready, as well as spiritually ready. I expect a good fight so tune-in Saturday. The way Thurman spoke today, I hope he will live up to it on Saturday."
"I'm looking forward to the fight. I'm looking forward to the final moment when my hand is raised. It's been a build-up and a progression my whole career toward this moment on Saturday night.
"Manny isn't going to do anything. With the little 'T-Rex' arms. He's about to get beat up. I get to punch a Senator in the face and he's going to feel it. If he's upset about it, he can do something about it Saturday night. It's called swing, swing, swing baby.
"I'm a winner in life, and to bet on myself to win in the opening rounds, it makes me do what I said earlier, which is swing, swing, swing. You've got to swing to hit a home run. You can't just sit there and pump fake all day.
"It's an honor to be here at MGM Grand. I'm truly looking forward to this fight. We've had a terrific, terrific training camp.
"I say I'm going to put him to sleep because I've got power. I want to remind the world of something. Something very simple: I'm Keith 'One Time' Thurman. I have the name for a reason. Not a short season.
"I feel like I've made boxing history. When I beat Danny Garcia, we were two undefeated welterweight champions. In boxing history, there haven't been many times when WBA and the WBC was unified with two undefeated welterweights. But, I don't think it's enough to really solidify a legacy. So, I do need the victory to further my own personal legacy come Saturday night.
"Do you understand people fight in the street for no money? I'm living a dream to be on this stage, to be on this platform, to have this camera, this camera, that camera, all in front of me.
"This really is the outcome of an individual living out their dream. It all comes together on Saturday night.
"I've been saying it over and over again, don't be surprised if Manny Pacquiao goes night-night."
"I have never prepared better than I have for this fight and I am ready to prove that Saturday night. 
"It means the world to me to be in this position, especially because of all of the injuries I've had and the setbacks. It's my third fight in almost four years. I am just grateful for this opportunity.
"Everything is going well for me including in my last fight. There's often something that happens, but thankfully this camp I have been completely healthy. We were very smart in camp. We were very careful. We sparred the rounds that felt like we needed to spar. I closed camp with 12 hard rounds and I haven't been able to do that in a while because of injuries. It just feels good mentally and all around. I don't think I have ever been in a better place. 
"Fighting gets my juices flowing. I feel like I was born to fight. I have been doing this for 24 years now. This is what I live for. 
"This camp I've felt great. I was healthy and I did exactly what I needed to do inside the ring as far as sparring and everything. I took care of my hands and my body. Mentally I'm at the best place I've ever been.
"My close people know that I'm taking this extremely serious. They see how I am in camp. I've been doing this for 24 years and it takes a toll on the body. For this fight, I'm healthy and everything is looking good. I'm probably on weight right now, and if not I still have more than enough time.
"If I stay healthy during the fight, it's not going the distance." 
"I'm really happy to get a second opportunity to earn a world title shot. What happened against Shawn Porter is in the past and I'm only looking into the future, which is Saturday night. 
"Omar Figueroa is a very strong fighter who throws a lot of punches. I believe his fighting style in combination with mine will make a very exciting fight. 
"A win will put me back in contention for a world title shot, which is what I want. I see the fight as 50/50 but I am only focused on my fight, nothing beyond it.
"I predict that I will win. I'm going to give it all I've got. No matter If it goes the full 12 rounds, I am going to fight hard for every send.
"There are many other good Cuban fighters such as Erislandy Lara, Luis Ortiz and so on, but I feel as though I am the best. It's up to me to prove it.
"I am focused on my fight right now but either Shawn Porter or Errol Spence Jr. has a good shot of winning and I would absolutely be ready to face either one."  
"I'm very happy and I'm excited that I have this opportunity to fight on a show like this. I'm one hundred percent prepared for this fight, and I believe John is ready to fight as well. So I know it's going to end up being a great fight. 
"If someone were to tell me two years ago to imagine myself on this stage, I would never believe it. But, I'm here now and I'm here to make a statement. Everyone is going to be happy to see this fight. 
"We changed corners as you know. Joe is in my corner right now and I'm very excited. It motivates me and he gives me a new boxing game and teaches me things that I've never even thought about. When it comes to John Molina Jr., whatever he brings into the ring, we have an answer to. There's not going to be any question marks. 
"Well ironically, we started here in the U.S. first at Joe's gym. Finally, we came full circle and I chose to go back to Joe.
"Joe Goossen made me a different fighter. My defense got way better. I'm punching in a way where I'm hurting people more and that's just what Joe Goossen does.
"Making weight is all about discipline, what you eat, how you maintain your weight outside of the ring and that's what we do. If you are a professional athlete that's what you do. I'm still maintaining my life style.
"I have Joe Goossen right now as my lead trainer, so I feel very confident. Prior to the Lamont Petersons fight, he got me in the gym and gave me a new way of fighting and I believe you saw that in the fight with Lamont Peterson. I'm trying to carry on that momentum into the fight with Molina. It's going to be a great fight and no one is going to be disappointed."
"It's very special to be a part of this platform. I love what I do. I love putting on for all of the fans and Saturday night is going to be a great night of fights.
"This is my job. I have been here before a million times and now it's time for me to do my job on Saturday. Lipinets has a style that excites me because of what I can do as well to make this a great fight. The fans are in for a treat.
"He's a tough guy and he's going to come forward. I'm not going to have to go find him. I'm very excited about the fight. He's going to be a good opponent and it's going to be a good fight.
"My strong points are my power and my will to win. I look to do my job and I'm always in a position to do it. I'm always in a position to showcase to the world why I'm here. 
"Lipinets is a tough guy and he he fared well against Mikey Garcia who's one of the best, so he's definitely a good fighter. I need to be sharp and use my experience to take advantage of him.
"I've been in there with the best. I've been in there with everybody. There's nothing that man can do Saturday night that's going to surprise me. So it's up to me to capitalize on that and take advantage of it.
"I love the fact that the fans respect my craft and what I do. Because I put my everything into this fight game. Everything that I've ever earned and that I've grinded for it. This is why I give my all every time.
"I am going to use my experience to my advantage and I am going to come out on top."
"I am very honored to be here especially with all of my Mexican fans and all of my fans from around the world. I am very pleased and thankful to be on such a great card with Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman.
"My strength and power comes from my heart. It will all be on display Saturday night.
"We are going to go straight at Payano. We are going to put the pressure on. We are going to go for the knockout, if it doesn't come, we had a great camp in Puerto Rico and we are ready for whatever he brings to the table." 
"Being on this card means a lot. First I was on the Errol Spence vs. Mikey Garcia card, now its Manny Pacquiao vs Keith Thurman. I look forward to going after (WBC 118-pound champ) Nordine Oubaali, who has the title I used to hold.
"I don't think Nordine Oubaali fought well at all. He's a good fighter but I don't see him doing well in the ring with me. That's my title and I'm going to win it back, 100 percent. He's the champion but that's my title and I'm ready for the opportunity and he's going to have to step his game up when he gets in the ring with me."
"I am very honored to be on this card. It is a very exciting card with both Pacquiao and Thurman, which will be a great fight. I am honored to be able to be fight for the chance to become world champion again.
"My goal is to become champion once again. I am very prepared and have worked extremely hard over the years for this chance.
"This is going to be a great fight for the fans and that's what I'm all about. I have the skills and the determination to beat any fighter in the division. I have to show my improvement on Saturday.
"It is no secret that Nery is a power puncher, but it is not the first power puncher I have fought and it certainly won't be the last. On Saturday night two warriors are going to get up there but only one is going to walk out victorious. I look forward to being the victorious one."  

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by MP Promotions, Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased online through, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts International box office. Plant vs. Lee is presented by Sweethands Promotions and TGB Promotions.

Following comeback win Eric Hunter wants to stay busy

Following comeback win Eric Hunter wants to stay busy
Greg Leon: Congrats on your recent comeback victory over German Meraz. How did it feel to shake the rust off? Can you give us some thoughts on your peformance? Eric Hunter: "I felt good. I was dealing with certain stuff before the fight, I had a little arm problem and I twisted my foot in the fight, but it was cool though. It felt great though to finally be back in the ring and get some of this rust off. GL: Are these injuries the kind that could delay or postpone your next fight? Eric Hunter: "Oh no, no, no. I want to be back in the ring as soon as possible." 
GL Why were you off for so long? Weren't you a promotional free agent this whole time? 
EH: "It is what it is. I don't want to be on here and say this or that about anybody. I ain't trying to focus on yesterday-- it's all about what's coming today and tomorrow.  I'm just glad I got the win and I want to get right back in the ring asap, like next week if I could."
GL: Will you be campaigning at featherweight or 130?
EH: "I will be fighting at 126. I could make 126 easy, but I could also fight at 130 if I get a major opportunity up there."
GL: How did you and Dmitriy Salita link up?
EH: "He offered me an opportunity to get back in the ring and I took it, it was pretty simple. I've heard good things about him and I'm expecting him and my manager to deliver me the fights and keep me busy."
GL: How many more fights before you feel like you're ready for a top ten guy in the division?
EH: "Another couple for sure. I'm trying to do everything right this time around, there's no rush. I just need to be active and stay busy, having that next date in my pocket will keep me motivated and I just want to stay busy and get fully sharpened up before I get in there with one of the best in the divison. I still got some work to do, I've been off three years and I feel sharp, but that guy I fought is the kind of guy I should be getting rid of in a round or two."
GL: Is there any early indication when your next fight might take place?
EH: "I don't know anything yet, but I want them to get me something as soon as possible. You know how the game is, to be sharp you got to be busy and I want to be razor sharp when we get to the big fight, because I'm out here doing this to win the big fights."
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
EH: "I'm back in the win column and as long as I stay busy, when the time comes I'm going to be ready to take anybody's belt at 126 pounds."

Roach talking big says Thurman can either run like Broner or get pushed around like Matthysse

Roach talking big says Thurman can either run like Broner or get pushed around like Matthysse
Freddie Roach, Manny Pacquiao's Hall of Fame trainer, was in a lyrical mood on Wednesday after Senator Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) go through a light workout before heading over to the final press conference.  Pacquiao, age 40, boxing’s only eight-division world champion and the reigning Fighter of the Decade, is just two days away from challenging undefeated WBA welterweight super champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs), from Clearwater, Florida.  The Pacquiao – Thurman welterweight world title attraction headlines a PBC on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View event, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, this Saturday, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
“Thurman is ten years younger than Manny and Manny is the one who has been more active.  This will be Manny’s third world title fight in 12 months!  The pressure is all on Thurman to perform.  I think he will make a show of it early and come after Manny.  That’s when reality will set it,” said Roach.  “Thurman will try to keep up with Manny’s pace and that’s when ‘One Time’ finds out what it’s like to fight All Time.  Thurman will then be faced with an unenviable choice.  Does he run away from an old man like Broner, or get pushed around the ring by an old man, like Matthysse?  Manny will have the Fighter of the Year award wrapped up after this one.”
A bemused Manny laughed out lout after hearing Freddie…but he didn’t disagree.
“There is a big percentage that this fight will not go twelve rounds.  That is not a prediction, just my analysis.  If he goes toe-to-toe with me that will be lovely.  It will make it a shorter fight.” said Manny.  “Keith Thurman is a good fighter.  His record shows that.  His record also shows who he has fought.  His era of opposition is a lot different than mine.  The difference between the mentality of my era compared to Keith Thurman’s is I have a strong passion for the sport of boxing and he seems to have other interests.  I still have something to prove at age forty.  This is not about my legacy.  It is about adding an important milestone to my résumé.  It is about proving that at forty I can still fight anyone, that I am still relevant in boxing.  I have pushed myself to the limit in training camp and I am prepared to push myself to the limit on July 20.  Keith Thurman has talked a good game.  We will see how far he is willing to push himself on Saturday night.”  

Omar Figueroa talks about Saturday's fight vs. Yordenis Ugas

Omar Figueroa talks about Saturday's fight vs. Yordenis Ugas

Omar Figueroa talks about Saturday's fight vs. Yordenis Ugas
Justin Hackman: Omar, how's everything going days ahead of your [WBC welterweight elimination] fight with Yordenis Ugas [this Saturday in Las Vegas on the Fox pay-per-view broadcast]? Omar Figueroa: Everything is going amazingly well. I can honestly say that this is one of the best camps ever, maybe the best. My conditioning, my weight, my whole camp from start to finish was amazing. 
JH: You once told me that you like to feel what kind power your opponent is bringing to the table. Will this fight be any different for you?
OF: Well it's not that I specifically like to get hit, but I like to know where I'm at, and what kinds of shots I can take. I'm not going to purposefully take shots, but you will see the same aggressive Omar Figueroa coming to trade.
JH: Is this the toughest test of your career?
OF: Maybe. But it's not as though that has been something I've been focused on necessarily. I am focused on myself and what I need to do to win. My hands feel great, my body feels great, and I'm ready to go. 
JH: So what do you need to do to beat Yordenis Ugas on Saturday? 
OF: I come into every fight the same. Are you gonna trade with me, or am I gonna have to chase you down? I'm prepared for both. Either way, I know I'm capable of beating any fighter on any night. It's gonna be a great fight.
JH: Closing thoughts? 
OF: I appreciate your support as always, and get ready for a great performance.

Warriors signs Cuban light heavyweight Osvary David Morrell Gutierrez

Warriors signs Cuban light heavyweight Osvary David Morrell Gutierrez
Warriors Boxing of South Florida and Russia-based Ural Promotions have signed light heavyweight Osvary David Morrell Gutierrez of Cuba to a long-term promotional contract.  The 21-year-old Morrell Gutierrez is [touted by Warriors and Ural] as one of the most promising fighters to ever come out of Cuba. Among his many amateur distinctions, he was a 2017 Cuban National Champion, a 2016 AIBA World Youth Champion in St. Petersburg, Russia, named “Best Boxer of the Tournament” and a 2018 India Open International Boxing Tournament in New Delhi, India.  Morrell Gutierrez finished his amateur career with an astounding record of 130-2, having only lost to a close fight to Olympic gold medalist Julio César la Cruz and to Canada’s Harvey David O'Reilly in Canada, a loss which he later avenged.
Warriors Boxing Chief Operating Officer, Luis DeCubas can’t heap enough praise on the young phenom. “Most people that know Cuban boxing think this is the best kid to ever come out Cuba. I really believe he will take over the super middleweight and light heavyweight divisions,” said DeCubas. “This is a great signing and I’m very proud to be involved with him and Ural Promotions on this.”
DeCubas, who has worked with many top fighters of the last thirty years, says Morrell Gutierrez is on another level.  “He’s special. He’s like Vasyl Lomachenko with power. He has perfect timing and great footwork and he can crack. Bob Arum thought enough of Lomachenko to put him in a world title fight in his second fight. This guy is the same thing. Five fights and he can be in with a top-10 guy. He’s like a Sugar Ray Robinson type of fighter and a nice-looking kid on top of it. He is going to be a star of the highest order in boxing.”
Morrell Gutierrez arrived yesterday in Miami and is going to live and train there for his professional debut, which will probably be some time in August. “I am now signed with the team I needed to become a world champion from Cuba,” said Morrell Gutierrez. “I have been dreaming of coming to the United States to become world champion since I started boxing. I am very honored, and I will make all of Cuba proud of my accomplishments.”
Warriors Boxing President Leon Margules said Morrell Gutierrez won’t need long to make his mark in boxing. “This is the kind of fighter who comes along once in a generation. You don’t go 130-2 as an amateur in Cuba unless you are an extraordinary talent. We are going to help Osvary become a superstar in the sport in quick fashion. He’s not going to need the kind of warm-up fights that other prospects do. He’s already one of the best fighters in his division and he’s only going to get better and stronger as he matures. It’s exciting to be involved in this from his very first fight.”

Kovalev thrilled to be defending in Russia

Kovalev thrilled to be defending in Russia
WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) will be fighting in Chelyabinsk, Russia-- his hometown-- for the first time in his pro boxing career on Saturday, August 24th at the Traktor Arena. Kovalev takes on WBO mandatory challenger, Anthony Yarde (18-0, 17 KOs) of the UK. This will be Kovalev's 16th consecutive world title bout, more than the three other light heavyweight champions combined. The fight will be seen on Match TV in Russia, BT Sport in the UK and US distribution information will be released soon.
A three-time champion, Kovalev, explained the significance of this fight. "I am thrilled to fight for the first time in my home town of Chelyabinsk. It is a dream to defend my WBO title in front of all my friends and family back home. Thank you to Igor Altushkin, Egis Klimas and Main Events for making this dream a reality and thank you to Anthony Yarde for agreeing to fight in my backyard."
Yarde, replied, "I am more than happy to achieve my goal in Russia and I think it is only right that a great world champion such as Kovalev is given the opportunity to defend in his home country. He has earned that right. What I know is that on Aug. 24th, another world title belt will be under British ownership and I will have done it the hard way-one that nobody will be able to question."
He continued, "This is my time and I am going to show the world what I am all about. Everything has fallen perfectly into place for me. This will be my coronation as world champion and I am going to realize my dream by beating the most decorated of the current world title holders."
"We are so pleased that Sergey, one of boxing's greatest all-time road warriors, will finally get the chance to defend his title in his own hometown, where he grew up and where his most-devoted fan base resides," said promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events. "I can only imagine how excited Sergey's friends and neighbors will be to finally get the chance to see him perform in person. We are most grateful to Igor Altushkin, RCC Promotions, Queensberry Promotions and Anthony Yarde for making this great event possible."
Kovalev's long-time manager and friend, Egis Klimas added, "Sergey has wanted to fight in his hometown for a long time. But he has always been the one to go and fight in another fighter's backyard. Now that he is back where he rightfully belongs, on top of the light heavyweight division, it is exciting that he finally gets this opportunity. Thank you to RCC Promotions, Igor Altushkin, Queensberry Promotions and, of course, Anthony Yarde for making this fight possible."
"It is a fantastic opportunity for Anthony and he has earned his shot by working his way to the No.1 spot in the rankings. He has showed what he is all about by being prepared to go into Kovalev's backyard and it demonstrates the confidence he has in his own ability," explained Yarde's promoter, Frank Warren. "Everybody knows Kovalev is a tremendous puncher and a fearsome presence in the ring. It is something we first saw over here when he fought Nathan Cleverly, and he has continued to operate at the very highest level. Anthony possesses tremendous self-belief and we back him to come away with the spoils. But whatever does happen in the fight, it is one that he will take a lot of valuable experience from."

WBC creates meaningless interim heavyweight title

WBC creates meaningless interim heavyweight title

WBC creates meaningless interim heavyweight title
The WBC confirmed that Saturday’s bout between Dillian Whyte and Oscar Rivas at The O2 in London, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US, will be contested for the WBC interim heavyweight championship. The winner of the bout will become mandatory challenger for the championship, currently held by Deontay Wilder. [We thought Dillian Whyte was named the mandatory on more than one prior occasion]. 
Whyte (25-1 18 KOs), called "The Body Snatcher" hails from Brixton in London. He put Derek Chisora away in style in his last outing, the pair thrilling the Greenwich crowd in their rematch in December – before icing  Chisora in the eleventh round.
Rivas (26-0 18 KOs) is yet another dangerous challenger for Whyte, and the Colombian comes into the bout on the back of his biggest win in the paid ranks. Rivas traveled to Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York in January and KO’d Bryant Jennings in the final round of their clash.
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “I’m very happy that we have reached an agreement with the WBC and this makes Saturday night even more important. Dillian Whyte has faced all comers in reaching his WBC #1 position and now he stands just one more test away from a shot at the WBC world title – it’s all on the line this Saturday at The O2.”

Pernell Whitaker memorial details

Pernell Whitaker memorial details
On Saturday, July 20th, friends and family will gather at the Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia to bid farewell to boxing legend Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker. The viewing will be open to the public between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. for fans to come and pay their respects to the Olympic Gold Medalist, International Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee, four-weight class world champion and former pound-for-pound king. 

Teofimo Lopez media quotes

Teofimo Lopez media quotes
Lightweight Teofimo Lopez is on the fast track to a world title shot. Standing in his way is a fellow unbeaten, Masayoshi Nakatani of Japan, the longtime OBPF lightweight titlist who represents the stiffest test of Lopez's young career.  Lopez (13-0, 11 KOs) and Nakatani (18-0, 12 KOs) will meet Friday in Maryland in an IBF title eliminator, with the winner assured a shot at IBF champion Richard Commey later this year. The stakes are high, and Lopez, who has never gone past seven rounds as a pro, might have to go significant professional rounds for the first time.  Lopez has knocked out his last five opponents, most recently stopping Edis Tatli in five rounds April 20th.  Two days before his first main event as a pro, at a media workout at Old School Boxing, this is what Lopez had to say:
On Friday's fight: “I see myself as a performer in the ring, and I am coming to the MGM National Harbor to put on a show. I have respect for Nakatani because he is undefeated like me, but nobody is going to stand in my way.”
On the future:  “This is what my father and I have worked for since I started training as a young kid. He envisioned this type of success for me, and here we are, headlining a card on ESPN+ one win away from a world title shot. We all know what is at stake on Friday. But if you think too far ahead, you get careless. Nakatani is my only concern right now. After Friday night, we can talk about the future. Nakatani has been fighting 12-rounders since before I turned pro, so he has a lot of valuable experience. I believe my talent will outweigh his experience. I say this before all of my fights — I go in there to take over the show. I’m a main event fighter now, and that won’t change. When people watch me fight, they put down their phones because they don’t want to miss anything. For the boxing fans living in the Northeast, come down and watch me fight. And if you can’t make it down, check out the best show of the weekend on ESPN+.” 
On his role as an entertainer: “I do all of that stuff — the backflips and the Fortnite celebrations — because I want to entertain. I want people to remember my name. I’m a fighter, but I am also an entertainer. That’s been lost in today’s game. I’m unique in the sport of boxing.”
On his recent weight struggles:  “The weight is not an issue. I’ve been working with a new nutrition team, Perfecting Athletes, and they have made all the difference. I’ll be able to make lightweight for a few more fights.”
Lopez-Nakatani and the IBF junior welterweight eliminator between unbeatens Maxim Dadashev and Subriel Matias will stream live on ESPN+ starting at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The middleweight clash between Esquiva Falcao and Jesus Antonio Gutierrez will be the featured bout on the undercard stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. 
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets can be purchased online at or in person at the MGM National Harbor.

Spotlight on Ladarius Miller

Spotlight on Ladarius Miller

Spotlight on Ladarius Miller
Lightweight Ladarius “Memphis” Miller shared his thoughts as he nears his showdown against former WBA 130-pound super champion Jezzrel Corrales (23-2, 9 KOs), which takes place Saturday, July 27th at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, with Showtime broadcasting live. The 25-year-old Miller (19-1, 6 KOs) recently scored a first-round knockout of Daulis Prescott in February and will look to keep the momentum going into his fight on July 27. "Building off of my last camp and fight, which was on the Gervonta Davis vs. Hugo Ruiz card, and bringing that energy into this camp has really helped,” said Miller. “My goal is to do everything better, go harder, and add a few things that will help to better prepare me but also to work smarter. 
“The main thing is we’ve been working hard and going the extra mile. Whether it’s more rounds on the bag and in sparring or extra miles during my runs. I’ve sparred with some veterans who have helped me tweak little things here and there. I had the chance to work with some of the younger top-level guys.”
Originally from Memphis but living and fighting out of Las Vegas, Miller is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and has been supported by advice from all-time great Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe. "Floyd has come in the gym a few times and watched me work and gave me some pointers while I was working the bag. He's always helped me throughout my career to get better as a fighter,” said Miller. “Leonard always makes the time to give me motivation any time he sees me. They both watch me to see how I’m developing as a fighter and keep me focused.”
“Ladarius continues to mature inside and outside of the ring and he has a bright future ahead of him,” said Ellerbe. “I’m really excited to see him take advantage of this opportunity on this huge Showtime platform. I’m looking forward to watching him go to work and do his thing.”
Since suffering a decision loss in 2016, Miller has won 10 fights in a row, adding five knockouts to his resume, plus a victory over current world champion Jamel Herring. By facing a steady slew of veterans and contenders, Miller is in position for a world title fight in the not too distant future. "I’ve faced many of the toughest contenders in my division,” said Miller. “It shows that I can be one of the best in my weight class as long as I continue to work hard. Having said that, preparing for a guy like Corrales who's also a former world champion isn't anything new for me, but I don't look past him as an opponent.”
Corrales represents perhaps the toughest test of Miller’s career and gives him a chance to make another statement on his climb towards his world championship goal. Corrales won a 130-pound title with a shocking win over longtime champion Takashi Uchiyama and made two successful defenses of his title before losing it in 2017. He has since moved up to the lightweight division and bounced back with a knockout victory in April. 
"I’ve watched a few fights,” said Miller. “I’ve seen a few mistakes he’s made and I know what he does well. I’m really prepared for this fight. I know I’m going to win. I’ve prepared myself to perform at my highest peak. Whatever he decides to show in the ring, I’m prepared for it all. I can see myself getting closer to my dream and goal of becoming a world champion is motivation enough,” said Miller. “Each morning I wake up and it’s the first thing on my mind and it’s the last thing on my mind when I go to sleep. No matter how tired I may get in camp, knowing what’s right in front of me is the motivation. These are life-changing opportunities ahead for me and I want that title shot and I’m going to get it." 
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions in association with GTD Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at or at the Royal Farms Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. ET to 5 p.m. ET.  

Star Boxing returns to Long Island this Friday

Star Boxing returns to Long Island this Friday
Star Boxing held its official press conference ahead of its Long Island, New York show at The Paramount, this Friday, July 19th.  In the main event, Danny "El Gallo" Gonzalez is set to make his tenth appearance at The Paramount, and fight in his fourth main event.  Danny had this to say about Friday night's bout against Jerome Conquest: "I want to thank Joe for having me on the card.  I am excited for Friday. The energy at The Paramount is one of a kind and brings something out in me.  I'm looking to make a statement and that's my goal in this fight." Danny continued speaking on his childhood, "I'm looking to make a statement and that's my goal in this fight.  Anyone can do anything in life. I was 250 lbs., fat and out of shape with no self-esteem.  I used that as fuel, and I am here today, and I am doing pretty good right now."
In the co-feature, undefeated junior midleweight Tyrone James will be making his eighth appearance at The Paramount in a six-round bout against Ray Oliveira Jr.  James is ready to bring the energy Friday night, saying,, "Since we are still in July there is going to be fireworks.  I'm coming for the knockout and if it happens it happens, but I promise you will see a great show. I want to thank God, Star Boxing and Joe DeGuardia for this opportunity."
Finally, super bantamweight Justice Bland took to the podium. Bland will be making his pro debut against Bronx native, Rafael Castillo in a four-round bout.  As an amateur standout, Bland was not shy about the feeling of making his pro debut, "I have jitters, but they are good jitters.  I am ready to show everyone what I have.  I am a Brooklyn kid, and I am just happy to be on this card and I am blessed to be here."
In the opening bout of the night, Juan Mancilla of East Hampton will be taking on Jermaine Corley of Mount Vernon in a four-round super welterweight bout. Also on the card, is the return of  amateur standout Ronnie Austion, who will be in a welterweight Championship against Dennis Okoth.

Nevada HOF ceremonies to be hosted by Al Bernstein and Cynthia Conte

Nevada HOF ceremonies to be hosted by Al Bernstein and Cynthia Conte
The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame announced that this year's Induction Ceremony on August 10th at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas will be hosted by Al Bernstein and Cynthia Conte.  Bernstein who is already inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, also hosted the event in 2017. Conte is making her first appearance. 
Bernstein has had a legendary broadcasting career in Boxing. In his 39th year of television work, he is perhaps the most recognizable and respected commentator in boxing. He has called many of the most famous fights in boxing history. In 1980, Bernstein joined ESPN as boxing analyst for the Top Rank Boxing series. He stayed at ESPN until 2003, and during that time he also worked as a reporter for SportsCenter, covering major boxing matches, Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NFL Draft. He also wrote and hosted the series "Big Fights Boxing Hour" for ESPN Classic. In 1992 and 1996, he served as the boxing analyst for NBC's coverage of the Summer Olympic Games. From 1999-2002, he was a sports anchor for KVVU news in Las Vegas. Since 2003, Bernstein has served as the boxing analyst on Showtime for Showtime Championship Boxing. In 2012 he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and he was inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame as one of the inaugural inductees in 2013 in the Media category.
Conte is a Los Angeles boxing reporter, in-ring interviewer and host. Over the past three years, she has been doing on-camera interviews, post-fight interviews in the ring and hosting live boxing shows. Conte's worked with Ring TV/ Ring Magazine for 3 ½ years. Conte's first mega fight was Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs. 

Alvarez maneuvers to avoid GGG

Alvarez maneuvers to avoid GGG

Alvarez maneuvers to avoid GGG
Golden Boy and world middleweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez have made the strategic decision to postpone their typical September fight. The decision was made in an effort to secure the right opponent and to do justice to the level of promotion required for a boxing star of his magnitude.  Though Canelo typically fights in May and September, it is not without precedent to fight later in the year as Canelo did fight in December of 2018 in Madison Square Garden. Canelo’s next fight will now take place later in 2019.
“As a Mexican, it’s a responsibility and an honor to represent my country in both May and September,” said Alvarez. “Those are my dates. However, as a world champion in multiple weight classes [Editor's note: that is not true, Alvarez holds a secondary title at 168 pounds, but he is the world champion at 160 pounds], I also have the responsibility of delivering the most exciting and competitive fights possible. That’s why Golden Boy and my team have decided to postpone the date in order to do right by my fans by promoting the best fight possible and with the best opponent possible.”
[Editor's note: Alvarez has two controversial wins over former champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin, with most fans feeling GGG deserves a thrid fight. Both men are now under contract with the same streaming service, DAZN, but Alvarez apparently does not want any more smoke from GGG and currently has no toher viable options that will satisfy DAZN.]

Remembrances of Pernell Whitaker

Remembrances of Pernell Whitaker
In recent years, I have had the privilege of interviewing numerous people affiliated with Main Events, the promotion company who promoted former 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist and four-division world champion Pernell Whitaker.  Whitaker was struck by a car last Sunday, passing away at age 55.  Below are a few quotes about Whitaker, from people who knew him well.
KATHY DUVA, promoter
“We told Pernell before the fight (against Julio Cesar Chavez) that you’re going to know you’re winning when it gets so quiet in the arena that you can hear a pin drop.  That was what we kept telling him as he was walking into the ring – “Pin drop!  Pin drop!”  That’s what we were waiting for and then the moment came.  It got so quiet in that arena that you could hear a pin drop.  We were fairly confident that he was winning the fight.  Mexican fans know their boxing.  They’re not just out there rooting for their guy.  If you win, they’ll respect you.  Everybody knew “Pete” had beaten Chavez.  There were like eighty thousand people in the Alamo Dome and they all booed the decision [officially a draw, but universally agreed that Whitaker was robbed].  
When the fight was over, we all went out for a meal at a Mexican restaurant.  “Pete” wasn’t with us, but the rest of the team was there and we were all wearing “Team Whitaker” jackets.  The place got really quiet and then suddenly everybody stood up and cheered.  They were yelling, “Your guy won!  He was robbed!”  That took a little of the sting away, but not too much.  “Pete” was very upset.  Everyone was telling him, “You won!  You won!”  He said, “Yeah, but that record book is not going to say that.”  The cover of Sports Illustrated said “Robbed” and had his picture on it.  It was big news.  Chavez’s people never gave us a rematch.  They just got as far away from Pernell Whitaker as they could.
After every fight, I would bring Pernell his beer while he was doing his post fight press conference.  That was the rule.  I had to get him his beer.  I would walk over and say, “I saw you got hit twice.”  He would say, “No, I got hit three times.”  That would be a lot, for Pernell to get hit three times.  He never let anyone hit him.  He just frustrated the hell out of them.  And he made it fun.  Guys who are defensive like him can be boring, but I never found him boring.  I thought he was wildly entertaining.  He was always on the edge of danger.  
I’ll never forget his fight with Roger Mayweather.  It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.  The elastic on Mayweather’s trunks broke, so “Pete” started tugging on his trunks.  Finally, he pulled them all the way down and they landed on Roger’s ankles.  “Pete” went to a neutral corner and he started having a conversation with Jim Lampley, rather than paying attention to what he was doing.  Then they waved him back in and Mayweather knocked him down!  And then he got up and won the fight!  He was just such a master at what he did.  He was the boss.  He orchestrated everything that happened in that ring.  It was like watching poetry.  It really was.”
JOE SOUZA, cutman
“Whitaker was a man within himself.  He was such a professional.  He was the type of person who didn’t like people falling all over him.  I remember one time he walked into my gym in San Fernando downtown and people were all over him.  He said, “Hold it!  I’m here to train.  When I get done training, I’ll sign all the autographs you want.  Right now, I’m here to train.”  That was it and that’s what I liked about him.”
“When I started working for Main Events, they had some very good fighters – Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, Meldrick Taylor, John John Molina…  While I was there, I worked with George Benton, who was the head trainer.  Ronnie Shields and I were the assistants.  I learned a lot from the other trainers, and I also learned from the fighters.  One fighter who taught me a lot was Pernell Whitaker.  Pernell was the kind of guy who, until he really knew you, he kind of left you alone.  But I liked him a lot and we got along good.  The more time I spent around Pernell, the more I learned about boxing.  That boy could fight.  He’s one of the best I’ve ever seen.  People talk about these young guys who are coming up now like Vasyl Lomachenko, who is a damn good fighter.  But I’m telling you, he’d have his problems with Pernell.  He just amazed me with what he was able to do.  I’ve never met another fighter who had as much ability as he did.”
MARK BRELAND, former 1984 Olympic teammate
“Me, Pernell Whitaker, Meldrick Taylor, Tyrell Biggs – all of us had always been in different tournaments together (before the Olympics).  We had traveled together and we were already like a team.  There was no jealousy with anybody.  Everybody wanted everybody else to win, and we gave it our all.  Today, if any of us see each other, we just start laughing.  Not for any reason.  We just laugh, probably because of all the stupid stuff we might have done back in the day.  We had a lot of fun back then.”
MAX KELLERMAN, longtime boxing commentator
"The best lightweight I ever saw passed away today. Yes, that includes Roberto Duran, Floyd Mayweather, Ike Williams, and anyone else you want to mention. RIP Pernell Whitaker." 

ABOUT PERNELL WHITAKER: One of the greatest boxers of recent decades, and perhaps the greatest lightweight and the greatest defensive boxer of all time, Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker died over the weekend in Virginia when he was struck by a car. Whitaker, age 55, is a Hall of Famer who fought the very best and compiled an endless resume of amazing boxing accomplishments. He won Olympic gold in 1984, and then embarked on a 17-year pro career that saw him become the undipsuted world lightweight champion and win additional world titles at 140, 147 and 154 pounds. Over the course of his illustrious career, Whitaker defeated Azumah Nelson, Roger Mayweather, Greg Haugen, Freddie Pendleton, Jorge Paez and Jose Luis Ramirez at lightweight, passed through 140 pounds where he picked up a title vs. Rafael Pineda, then moved up to welterweight where he defeated Buddy McGirt twice.

In 1993, Whitaker easily outboxed the great Julio Cesar Chavez (who was 87-0 at the time) in a welterweight unification super fight in front of 90,000 fans in San Antonio. However, the verdict was wrongly-- and likely corruptly-- changed to a draw by the WBC just beofre bein g read to the crowd, thereby preserving Chavez's undefeated record in name only. Whitaker's performance vs. Chavez was properly viewed by fans and media alike as a win and it rightly garnered him pound-for-pound recognition as the sport's very best. Whitaker continued winning for another four years, including a 1995 154-pound title win against Julio Cesar Vasquez. By 1997 and 1999, respectively, Whitaker took on the young lions of boxing's next generation, losing very competitive fights to hall of famers Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad.  His last fight was in 2001, a fight that saw him break a bone in his shoulder and retire for good.

NOTE: Doveed Linder is the author of RINGSIDE: INTERVIEWS WITH 24 FIGHTERS AND BOXING INSIDERS, a trilogy of books, each consisting of 24 in depth interviews with various fighters, trainers, corner men, promoters, commentators, and officials, including “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Roy Jones, Jr., Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, Kathy Duva, Angelo Dundee, Bob Arum, Emanuel Steward, Larry Merchant, Lou DiBella, Ann Wolfe, Joe Souza, J Russell Peltz, Gerry Cooney, Leon Spinks, Al Bernstein, Naazim Richardson, Harold Lederman, George Chuvalo, Steve Smoger, Winky Wright, Ronnie Shields, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Duane Ford, and Jackie Kallen.  The foreword for the first RINGSIDE book was written by Boxingtalk publisher Greg Leon, and is available on

ESPN+ reveals line-up for Saturday's British show

ESPN+ reveals line-up for Saturday's British show
British welterweight hopeful Michael “The Problem” McKinson (16-0, 2 KOs), a native of Portsmouth, England, will take on Russia's Evgeny Pavko (18-2-1, 13 KOs) in a ten-rounder on the next edition of MTK Fight Night this Saturday from the Brentwood Centre in Brentwood, England. McKinson-Pavko will headline a scheduled four-bout card that will stream live on ESPN+.
“This is a good bout,” McKinson said. “Nobody in Britain wanted to fight me, so we’ve had to go the harder route and take on a dangerous Russian.”
McKinson, a slick southpaw, is taking a step up in competition. He last fought March 9th at the Brentwood Centre, outboxing Ryan Kelly over ten rounds.
Pavko (18-2-1, 13 KOs), from Kopeysk, Russia, is 2-0 since moving up from the 140-pound division. Unbeaten in three career fights outside of Russia, Pavko has not fought in seven months. Last December, he stopped the previously undefeated Fedor Vinogradov on cuts following the fifth round.
In other action scheduled for ESPN+, British welterweight Shaquille “The Black Mexican” Day (12-0, 2 KOs) will fight countryman Louis Adolphe (10-1, 1 KO) in a ten-rounder for the vacant Southern Area welterweight strap. Day has knocked out two of his last three opponents... Former amateur star Chantelle Cameron (10-0, 7 KOs) will make her third ring appearance of 2019 versus Anisha Basheel (8-5, 8 KOs) in a ten-round WBC lightweight eliminator for the belt currently held by undisputed world champion Katie Taylor. Basheel has won eight straight fights by knockout since beginning her career 0-5 and is coming off a first-round stoppage over Sam “SJ” Smith for the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title... Thomas Patrick Ward (26-0, 4 KOs) will look to notch his second win of the year against Brayan Mairena (10-12-1, 4 KOs) in an eight-round featherweight tilt. 

Devin Haney volunteers time with the elderly

Devin Haney volunteers time with the elderly

Devin Haney volunteers time with the elderly
Yesterday at the San Francisco Senior Center, undefeated lightweight Devin "The Dream" Haney (22-0, 14 KOs) spent his day feeding the elderly. Devin, who is looking to get back in the ring in September, feels it's important to give back financially as well as spend quality time with those less fortunate.  "Today was a very special day for me because I had a great time serving the elderly at the San Francisco Center.  I want to thank all the veteran volunteers and staff for showing me the ropes.  I'm extremely humbled by the Seniors.  The seniors gave me a much better perspective on life after hearing all their heartfelt stories.  I believe taking care of the elderly is something they deserve, so sharing quality time and catering to them is very important to me.  Life is a blessing but we will all get old one day.  Me, my father, and brother, served food as if we were working at one of our favorite restaurants.  We laughed and everyone shared so many different kinds of experiences. It was really cool.  I will be going back real soon." 
San Francisco Senior Center (SFSC) is the oldest nonprofit senior center in the nation, founded in 1947.  We serve nearly 2,000 people of diverse backgrounds and cultures each year at two locations, Aquatic Park Center and Downtown Center.  (SFSC) offers a variety of services from daily, low-cost, nutritious lunches and comprehensive social services to healthy living programs and continuing education. SFSC encourages socialization, independence and living well.

Riakporhe ready for Billiam-Smith

Riakporhe ready for Billiam-Smith
British cruiserweight Richard Riakporhe (-0) says he will beat Chris Billam-Smith (also 9-0) “in every department” at London's O2 Arena on Saturday July 20th, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US. With just nine fights to his name, the 29-year-old expects to become even more of a problem in his division once he has further refined his skills with trainer Mark Tibbs. “It’s real power that I possess, it’s very genuine,” said Riakporhe. “You do not want to get hit, but now all these other fighters, they are going to start taking risks, because I’m boxing now, I’m not just relying on my raw power. The more risks they take, the more dangerous the fight is going to be for them, and they’ll get knocked out.
“I believe I’m the most dangerous, because I have the power and I have transferred my intelligence into the ring. You have to be wary of a fighter like me and I’m dangerous throughout the fight, from the first bell, until the last. You have to be focused throughout the fight. Any mistake you make, I’ll capitalise on it. Just one, that’s all I need.”
Trained by Shane McGuigan alongside British champion Lawrence Okolie, Billam-Smith shares an identical record of 9-0 (8 KOs) and has also predicted a KO win in this weekend’s crunch Cruiserweight showdown, but Riakporhe holds no fear of ‘The Gentleman’ and is extremely confident that he will get the job done.
“I think Chris Billam-Smith is a good fighter, it’s just that there’s levels in this game and I feel that I’m on another level. He brings good boxing skill, he’s got a good coach in his corner, but once that bell rings he’s going to understand that there’s different levels of fighting. I don’t think he has been up against an opponent like me.
“All my fights and history shows that I have abnormal power and that’s likely to bring issues when we fight for sure, but we’re not only going to rely on that. We’re going to outbox him and beat him in every department. I just can’t wait to get in there and get to work. I’ve got tons of potential and fight after fight I’m learning news things. I’ve taken these big tests, I came into all these fights as the underdog, and my resume is looking quite impressive.”
Riakporhe vs. Billam-Smith supports three big heavyweight contests in London. Main event sees Brixton’s Dillian Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) risk his number one spot in the WBC against Colombian Oscar Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs), Doncaster fan favourite Dave Allen (17-4-2, 14 KOs) tackles Liverpudlian heavyweight David Price (24-6, 19 KOs) in a must-win domestic showdown, and Derek Chisora (30-9, 21 KOs) tangling with Artur Szpilka (22-3, 15 KOs).

DiBella praises UFC Fight Pass' commitment to women's boxing

DiBella praises UFC Fight Pass' commitment to women's boxing
WBA 154-pound champion Hanna "La Amazona Black" Gabriels (19-2-1, 11 KOs) returns home on Wednesday, July 17th to defend her title against Abril Vidal (8-0, 3 KOs) of Argentina. Gabriels vs. Vidal will be the first of three women's world title fights streamed live exclusively on UFC Fight Pass over the next six weeks, demonstrating the strong level of commitment that the streaming service has toward women's combat sports. 
Gabriel's title defense held at the Gimnasio Nacional in San Juan, Costa Rica, will headline a four-bout international edition of DiBella Entertainment's Broadway Boxing live streaming exclusively on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.  
"After the Vidal fight, I want to unify the titles at 154 pounds either against Ewa Piatkowska, who has the WBC belt, or Marie Eve Dicaire, who has the IBF belt. Then I want a rematch in the United States against Claressa Shields, but this time at 154 pounds, which is my natural weight."
On August 2nd, UFC Fight Pass will stream the WBC 130-pound title bout between champion Eva Wahlstrom and challenger Ronica Jeffrey from the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV, promoted by Roy Jones Jr. Promotions. 
Commentating on the Gabriels-Vidal world title bout will be WBA 168-pound champion Alicia "The Empress" Napoleon-Espinosa, who also fights under the DBE banner. She will be defending her title on Thursday, August 29th, at Foxwoods Resort Casino, in Mashantucket, CT. No opponent announced yet.
"I'm thrilled that UFC Fight Pass is already showing its openness to showcasing world class women's boxing," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "Tomorrow night, Hanna Gabriels will kick off the first of three women's world championship main events to be streamed by UFC Fight Pass over the next six weeks. I'm excited about this Wednesday night's show at 8:00pm ET as well as the Broadway Boxing events that will follow on August 1 and August 29."
Gabriel was also appointed by the United Nations Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) as a "High Profile Collaborator" with the mission of working for people in need in Costa Rica. 
With this appointment, Gabriels joined an important list of personalities that includes Angelina Jolie, Ben Stiller, Natalia Lafourcade and Juanes. 
"This assignment from the United Nations Commission for Refugees is an incredible honor for me. These appointments are not given out lightly and it is of great importance to me. I truly believe we are all citizens of the world and I'm very proud to do my part in helping people in need," said Gabriels.
"When I fought in Nicaragua, I explained to the people there about wanting to bring all people together and to raise my voice for the over seventy million refugees around the world. I see what people around the world are going through and I want to be a voice to help them, to bring awareness to this issue."
Speaking about her fight on Wednesday night, Gabriels stated, "It's a privilege to fight at home in front of my family and friends. I get so much support fighting in Costa Rica. I know that Vidal is a skilled counterpuncher and very talented at fighting backward, however I believe my footwork and power will give her trouble. I've become a much better fighter just in the last two years."


Gervonta Tank Davis Conference call transcript

Gervonta Tank Davis Conference call transcript

Gervonta Tank Davis Conference call transcript
Promoter Leonard Ellerbe:  Mayweather Promotions is really thrilled to bring this very exciting event to where it all started for our two-time super featherweight champion, who really beat the odds to making it to where he is now and it’s only really the beginning for Gervonta Davis. We expect a star studded event, filled with so many hometown supporters on Friday night, and we know his friends across the nation will be locked in and tuned into an action packed fight, because we all know what “Tank” Davis brings to the table as he defends his super featherweight title against his mandatory challenger, Ricardo Nunez. The city of Baltimore has such a rich history of boxing. Our exciting event will be brought to you, live on Showtime at 9 pm Eastern Time, 6 pm Pacific Time. 
To open up this exciting event, we’ll have none other than Ladarius Miller who will be taking on Jezzrel Corrales.  In the core main event, we have two former world champions who will be in all action battle in Yuriorkis Gamboa taking on Rocky Martinez, which will be an outstanding bout.
And then that will lead right into the main event.  Gervonta Davis will be defending his WBA Super Featherweight title against Ricardo Nunez.  There will be several Mayweather Promotions fighters featured on the card including, Ronald Gavril, Richardson Hitchins, Dylan Price, Lionell Thompson, Kenny Robles, just to name a few.
At this time, I'd like to welcome the President of Sports and Event Programming for Showtime Networks, Stephen Espinoza.  Stephen, would you like to make a few comments?
Stephen Espinoza: This is Showtime's first ever event in Baltimore. This is Tank’s seventh appearance on Showtime. He’s 6-0 in his prior six appearances, six stoppages, part of a 21-0, 20 KO record.  In the sport today, we throw around the word star quite a bit.  Everyone’s a potential star or a young star or a rising star, but that term truly applies to “Tank” Davis.  Anyone who has seen him fight on television or in person sees the charisma, the skill, the fan base that he has built, and the excitement that he brings to the ring. He truly is one of the most exciting young stars in boxing today.
Ricardo Nunez may not be a household name here in the US, but I can tell you, he is a very aggressive fighter.  He’s got heavy hands.  He mixes up his punches well.  He’s 21-2 with 19 KOs.  He's won 10 straight fights.  Fifteen of his last 16 wins have come by stoppage.  It doesn't matter who the opponents are.  When you stop 15 out of 16, that is saying something.
This is a match up that provides fireworks.  It provides action, and a lot of excitement.  We can't wait.  We will see you there on July 27.
L. Ellerbe: Ricardo Nunez is a hard hitting Panamanian. He has a chance to cause a huge upset that would set up his own future in a sport for notoriety.  Coming into this fight, he’s very confident that after July 27, everyone will know his name and have a renewed respect for him.  Without further ado, I’d like to introduce Ricardo Nunez to say a few words.
Ricardo Nunez
I'm very happy to be here.  Thanks to the press for being on this conference call and of course, thank you to SHOWTIME. Thanks for giving me this great opportunity.  It’s the opportunity I've been waiting for.  I've done a lot of sacrifice to get to this point, and that's why I'm here. I'm going to be fighting a great fighter.  But the opportunity is now and I've got to take advantage of it.
L. Ellerbe      
Okay, thank you.  When it comes to “Tank” Davis, we all think about him and how he got his career started.  This next person I’m about to introduce, he’s played a very intricate role in Tank’s life, not only just as being a trainer, but also being a father figure, and that has really helped Tank transition into being the fighter he is today and the young man that he is today.
So without further ado, at this time, I’d like to introduce Gervonta’s head trainer, Coach Calvin Ford to say a few comments.
Calvin Ford              
Hey, how are you doing, SHOWTIME, everyone here.  Thank you for this opportunity. I just wanted to say that I just can't wait till 27th to show the work that we had to put in.  Baltimore is excited, very excited to have a world class championship fight here.  It hasn't happened in so long and he’s a Baltimore native that everyone should be looking forward to. 
L. Ellerbe      
Perfect.  Thank you, Calvin.  I’ve said it before and I'll say it again, a focused Tank is a dangerous Tank.  Gervonta is more focused and more motivated now than he’s ever been before.  As he continues his legacy of Baltimore native champions that have come before him.
So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, the WBA super featherweight champion of the world, none other than Gervonta “Tank” Davis to say a few words. 
Gervonta Davis        
I’m really focused and ready for a battle.  We’re two weeks away.  I’m almost on weight and I’m excited for the homecoming.  Camp has been great.  I’ve been training with my brothers every day.  We’ve been pushing each other.  I'm just ready for Saturday night, July 27.
How does it feel to have this hometown fight and so much of especially Baltimore, looking up to you?
G. Davis        
Coming back home for this big fight is amazing actually. I've been fighting all over. I fought in London.  I fought in LA, New York.  It’s time to bring the big one back home. I think now is the perfect time. I’m very excited, but focused as well.  I’m more focused than I've ever been. 
How much do you know about Ricardo Nunez?  Aside from him being your mandatory, he has a really good knockout rate, and he is coming into this fight on a pretty good win streak.
G. Davis        
Yes.  I know that he has been training hard.  I’ve seen little clips of him during his sparring sessions. He has great power.  I know he’s going to be ready to fight.  This is a big task in front of him, but also a big task for me.  I'm just pushing for a great fight and to please the fans. I know July 27 is going to be an action packed fight.
You talked about fighting in front of your hometown and how that's made you more focused.  What does that do for you emotionally?  Is there a different mindset?  Do you feel more pressure to perform in front of a home audience?  How does that impact you?
G. Davis        
I don't think it’s more pressure, I’m just fighting in front of a bigger crowd. I am fighting at home so I will embrace the crowd. I want to give my fans a good show and get the result I want.
In your opinion, are you the most docked super featherweight in the world at this point?
G. Davis        
No, I don't believe I'm the most docked. I don’t think I am, because I am the cash cow in 130 division. I believe it’s a big risk, but you get paid a lot if you fight me.  So that's why a lot of guys are calling me out.  They know it’s a big risk but they get paid better than taking a small risk and getting low money with someone else.
I know that you have Ricardo Nunez in front of you, but are there other names?  Do you have a list of names that you'd like to fight, or is there a preferred group of fighters that you'd like, depending on obviously your performance against Nunez?
G. Davis
Yes, but I don't want to call anyone’s name right now. I’m going to wait until after Saturday night and Saturday night you will know who I want and how soon do I want them.
Is your goal to unify the super featherweight division before moving up in weight?  Or do you see a move up in the near future?
G. Davis
Definitely want to unify 130.  I always want to unify before I move up, but if 135 open for me, we can do that, but I'm really focused on unifying 130 right now.
How much more do the fans have to wait to see Davis fight fighters in the super featherweight? 
G. Davis                    
I haven’t thought about the end of this year, but after this one is my mandatory, everybody has a mandatory, I see a lot of fighters having their mandatory.  But I'm just a fighter.  I’m fighting whoever they put in front of me.  Just line them up, I knock them down.
There’s a lot of great fighters out there, you know, from the 126, 130 to 135 that I can fight that I see as big fights.  I’m just - I guess my team waiting on the right time, and I'm going to fight and I'm just fighting who they put in front of me.
We’ve seen the buildup of some great fan bases in some areas that aren't LA, Las Vegas and New York, Fresno, Omaha.  Do you see the potential to do the same thing here in Baltimore?
L. Ellerbe
Yes, I’ll take that one on.  Well, we’re going to have a sold out venue with well over 12,000 people from next Saturday night in Baltimore.  And it will be the first title fight, again like I said, in over 80 years.  And it's all because of the star power that Gervonta Davis brings to the sport.
And with him being - his name resonating out there with the casual fans, you can expect Baltimore to be a hotbed for big fights, big time fights.  This won’t be the only time that Tank will be coming back to Baltimore, but this is a homecoming fight for him, and a must needed fight to give back to his fans, and we are very excited.
Do you see this as a healthy development overall for boxing, something that is necessary?
L. Ellerbe                  
Most definitely, because again, this is not only as it relates to Baltimore, but if you look at the star power that - what Tank brings to the table, you go back and his fighting took him to England, sold out packed arena.  We come back, we bring him, put him in the co-main event to Badou Jack and James DeGale.  Again, we got well over 10,000 people in the building at Barclays.  Bringing him back in a co - there’s over 14,000 people there.
And again, that’s what he does.  He brings all different types of people from different walks of life, because what Tank does is bring to the entire sport its excitement.  He gives people - he gives the fans what they want to see, and it’s knockouts.
In closing, not to derail the call, but if any of you would like to offer any thoughts on the passing of Pernell Whitaker, I’d invite you to do that.  And good luck to you, Tank, on your fight.
G. Davis                    
Thank you so much.  Yes.  I’d only say, sweet pea, one of the baddest.
C. Ford
And one of the guys that we've been studying on it too.  Score scouting for, you know, when Tank was little, we always used to watch.  And Tank used say, man, I used to do that, and then we show him Pernell Whitaker, he’s like dang, somebody has done it before me.  So having really a great guy like him pass is devastating.
Do you feel any pressure every time you go out to sort of outdo yourself and outdo your last performance, especially now that you're going to be fighting in front of a home crowd?
G. Davis                    
Not outdo my last performance, but just to always give the fans a great performance.  That's my job when I step in the ring, you know, not just trying to, you know, please the fan - Not just trying to go in there and just look out for - look for a knockout, but trying to get them excited, you know, get them what they pay that money for, you know, so.
I came up in an era when I was seeing a lot of fighters and they was fighting, you know, these like ducks coming up in the ranking, and they got a little sloppy in there, trying to knock the guy out and wound up getting clipped.  So I really don’t, you know, focus on knockout, but if it presents itself and the person don't belong in the ring with me, I definitely capitalize on that and take them out.
Do you embrace the fact that you are being looked at as the underdog and has that added any motivation for you in this fight?
R. Nunez                   
Well, of course, and thanks for the question.  Yes, I'm very motivated.  This is personal for me.  I do want beat Gervonta Davis.  I have a great showing in Baltimore, although it’s his hometown.  I want to bring the championship back to Panama, not only for myself but for my family.  We’ve prepared very well physically and also technically for this fight.  So you're going to watch a great fight coming from me.
Have you done anything in this camp to not only prepare for the fight, but also planning for the travel to the United States?
R. Nunez                   
Of course we have - this is for the championship belt.  I've had no problems in training camp.  So there's no excuses.  We’ve matured as a boxer.  My record states that.  So everything has been worked on double for this great fight.
Were you looking to take advantage of his aggressiveness with your power?
R. Nunez
Yes and no, I'm going to use the style that’s best for me as a conditioned fighter.  We’re looking at trying to hit him, and when we hit him with the hardest punches we can, knowing how he's also a strong boxer.  So that's our game plan.  You’ll see the style when we get there, that it's going to be the best one for my form of boxing.
Do we foresee a potential showdown between Gamboa and Davis in the near future?
G. Davis        
I’ll take the call.
L. Ellerbe  
Who knows what the future might hold?
Tank’s focus is on Ricardo Nunez.  Ricardo Nunez is a very - he brings a tough challenge to the table, and as we’ve seen most recently in boxing, anything can happen.  We’ve seen a huge upset.  So Tank’s focus has got to be on Ricardo Nunez, and we'll deal with whatever is next after the fight.
Why will this fight be different than Davis’ previous fights?
R. Nunez
It's going to be a great fight.  We’re going to - it's going to be a great, great show that we're going to have.  If you look at our records, it's two rivals that the percentage of knockouts are high.  I think he has one more knockout than me during his career.  So that's why this fight is going to be action packed, because we're both knockout artists. So, that's why it will be an action-packed fight because we both are knockout artists.
Can you ask Ricardo if he sees, is there any way that this fight goes the distance either way?
R. Nunez
No, I definitely don't think this is going to go the full rounds because as I said before, the high percentage we have of knockouts.  So somebody is definitely going down.
Gervonta, how important is it for you now that this is your second fight in 2019, for you to fight again at the end of the year and get those three fights in this year and remain as active as you want to be?
G. Davis          
I’m not going to lie.  I need to hurry to get off of this interview because I need to go running. He said he isn’t going to go the distance, I’m scared. So I need to hurry up to get a good workout in.  It’s going down for real.  I’m a little nervous now.
 How difficult is it for you to make 130 pounds?
G. Davis        
It's not difficult.  I’m starting to run actually, I’m close to weight now. I’ll definitely be at 30 or 29 come weighing day.  So I'm just ready.
So how did the name “Tank” come about? 
G. Davis        
I had “Tank” since I started fighting.
Five years from now, tell me where would you like to be in your career?
G. Davis        
Probably a world champion, probably undisputed, trying to help other fighters to get to where I’m at.  And a lovely father as well.  Passing my knowledge on to the next such as Leonard, Stephen, Calvin have done to me. In a great position to be able to help and also be in a great position to help myself.
Tell us what's going to happen next Saturday.
G. Davis                    
An action-packed fight.  We’re going to give the boxing world and the fight fans a great show.  I'm training hard every day and I believe my opponent is training hard and he wants my spot, I can’t let it go easy.
What it would mean to him to have somebody come back and have a world championship fight in the hometown of Baltimore City?
How are you dealing with probably everybody in the entire city asking you for tickets?  How are you able to just maintain your focus at the task at hand?
G. Davis                    
To be honest, I don't really have too many people who are asking me for tickets, not yet.  But, me just coming home to fight on a big stage means a lot. I started in Baltimore, and I'm coming back home, I’m actually training at home too.  So I always believe, I’ll be able to reach a lot of kids that way and it will mean more than doing it. So that same kid that was coming up or just looking at me coming back home is - I’ve been in that position before.  I always wanted to show love, and be able to give back like a couple of fighters there for me. I was never the fighter that they didn't show love.  As Floyd, Lamont Peterson, Anthony Peterson, a lot of guys, even Danny Garcia. When Danny fought Zab, he called me up to spar him. So I always wanted to get back and just show them that anything is possible.  I came from the same projects.  I came from the same block. July the 27th is going to be historic.  A lot of kids are going and their eyes are going to be open that night.
C. Ford          
Actually, we had some kids came out to actually watch them work out.
So, you know, the goal is to see the same thing that Tank did, that they can do it in the City of Baltimore.  That’s why in our press conference, we want the city to come out. This is a big thing.  This is that big for Tank.  Look at some of his tweets.  He’s talking about his brothers that are coming behind him.  He’s training with his brothers.
He’s trying to show them and show the city that they can make a difference if they just put their dreams ahead of them and chase them. He's been wonderful and the people of Baltimore have too.  Normally when a fighter stays home, it gets real hectic. There are a lot of media, but I appreciate them because they let us work and do our job.  So he's been having it really good. They’ve been real respectable to him. It’s been good for us being at home.
Has there been any difference from having camp back home? 
Could you talk on if of Sweet Pea Whitaker had any impact on you as a youngster coming up?
G. Davis                    
Sweet Pea was definitely one of the guys that my coach made me sit down and watch.  If I fall asleep, he’d tell me, wake up, finish watching this.  So he was definitely one of the guys that was going out to the gym. I stay at coach Calvin’s house in Washington. After we watch boxing, we’ll go to the gym and train and try to fight his style or try to pick off things that he did.  So he had a lot of impact on boxers I believe, period.  Sorry for his loss.  Condolences to his family.
C. Ford
I actually have a picture of Sweet Pea and Tank when he was in Jersey.  They both took a picture together.  Sweet Pea was my guy.  He was definitely my guy.  Tank didn’t know what he was watching when he got in that ring as an amateur, he’s going to be missed.
L. Ellerbe                  
Okay.  Thank you.  This is more than a boxing event.  It’s really a historic experience for
everyone in the City of Baltimore, plus all the fans around the world to witness Gervonta making his homecoming title defense.  Tank is really opening doors for many other fighters who are really close to him, like Malik Hawkins, Kareem Martin and Malik just to name a couple of the guys who look up to him.
Again, this will be a historic event and this will be a great chance for the fans across the world to
watch the most exciting fighter in the entire sport.  So be sure to tune in 27 July, live on
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. I’d like to thank everyone for coming on the call today.  Have a wonderful and blessed day.

Hitchins-Crawley to top July 27th Showtime stream

Hitchins-Crawley to top July 27th Showtime stream
Showtime Sports will live stream three undercard bouts on Saturday, July 27th from Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore leading up to Gervonta Davis’ homecoming title defense. The stream begins at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT on Showtime Sports' YouTube channel and boxing Facebook page. Richardson Hitchins (pictured) (9-0, 5 KOs), a 2016 Haitian Olympian fighting out of Brooklyn, returns for his fourth fight of 2019 against Philadelphia's Tyrone Crawley (7-1-1) in an eight-round welterweight match. Baltimore-native Malik Hawkins (15-0, 9 KOs) fights in his hometown for the first time in nearly four years in an eight-round 140-pound bout against Johnathan Steele (9-4-1, 6 KOs). In the opening bout of the streaming countdown show, 20-year-old New Jersey prospect Dylan Price (8-0, 6 KOs) steps in for an eight-round super flyweight bout versus Samuel Gutierrez (16-23-6, 6 KOs).
In other undercard action, super middleweight Ronald “The Thrill” Gavril (19-3, 15 KOs) competes in an eight-round fight against St Louis-native Vaughn Alexander (14-3, 9 KOs); Virginia’s Immanuwel Aleem (18-1-2, 11 KOs) clashes in a ten-round middleweight fight against Freddy Hernandez (34-11, 22 KOs); a ten-round super middleweight showdown pits Buffalo’s Lionell Thompson (20-5, 11 KOs) against Texas’ Brian Vera (26-15, 16 KOs); and Puerto Rico’s Jayson Velez (28-5-1, 20 KOs) takes on Mexico’s Hector Suarez (12-10-2, 6 KOs) in a ten-round super featherweight attraction. 
Additional fights will feature Washington, D.C.’s Kareem Martin in an eight-round junior welterweight affair against Mexico’s Luis Avila and Staten Island’s Kenny Robles taking on unbeaten Shawn West for six rounds of super lightweight action.
Rounding out the card are a trio of fighters making their pro debuts as Trenton, New Jersey’s Javon Woodard Jr. steps in for a four-round super bantamweight fight against Houston’s Isau Duenez; Baltimore’s Malik Warren competes in a four-round super featherweight matchup versus California’s Davonte McCowen; and Cleveland’s DeMichael Harris debuts in a four-round super featherweight attraction.
The Showtime telecast, a Premier Boxing Champions event, is headlined by WBA 130-pound super champion and Baltimore native Gervonta “Tank” Davis defending against mandatory challenger Ricardo “Científico” Núñez.  Former champions Yuriorkis Gamboa and Roman “Rocky” Martínez battling in a ten-round lightweight attraction while lightweight Ladarius “Memphis” Miller steps up to face a former champion, Jezzrel “El Invisible” Corrales in a ten-round showdown.

Quillin Says He's Going To Finish Truax "as soon as possible"

Quillin Says He's Going To Finish Truax "as soon as possible"
Greg Leon: How's everything going in preparation for your upcoming August 31st rematch with Caleb Truax [the first bout was a no contest]? Peter Quillin: "We've been working, we've been feeling good and the preparation is going great. I have a little more control of this camp than the last one and I feel a lot more durable and ready to go. That's not to say that I wasn't feeling durable before, it was just little things here and there that were happening that we had to fix. Right we're in a good alignment with everything and I'm looking forward to putting my best foot forward on August 31st." 
GL: Are you disappointed that a rematch of this fight has been ordered? And on top of that it's happeing in his hometown again. 
PQ: "Me personally, I feel like everything that's been happening in my life is under divine order. I'm not disappointed at all. I'm getting another payday and I'm going to put my best foot forward and do what I was planning to do in the first fight, which was dominate. Now I get to fight on a card with one of my Cuban brothers, (Erislandy) Lara. I'm proud to be able to share the ring and share the card with an all time great Cuban champion. For me I'm just proud and people might look at it as a step down because it's not the main event this time, but so be it. It's another payday and after that I'm going to be going to Cuba to see my family, I've got big plan and the first step in that plan is to get in there and beat him up in his backyard."
GL: Do you plan to target his eye with the jab and right hand early and often? Do you think he's had a sufficient amount of time for that to cut to heal?
PQ: "We're just preparing to do what we've got to do like any smarter fighter should."
GL: Have you added anything to this camp or is it a carbon copy of what you did preparing for him the first time around?
PQ: "I've added stretch classed on Tuesday and Thursday. I've got more of a routine now with a set schedule. I give every one of my trainers their 100%. I give them 100% of my attention, 100% of my focus, 100% of dedication and then I give it all back to God that everything is going to fall in line the way it's supposed to. I know God is doing something divine with my whole career and it ain't going to be like anybody else's. There's a divine order to what I'm doing and I'm thankful to God and I'm just going to give it back to him in worship. I'm glad to have Sosa in my corner, people need to look at what Sosa is doing and all of the great fighters he's working with. He's one of the best trainers out there and people need to be checking him out. "
GL: Personally I don't think the rematch should have been ordered. I feel like you were in control of what little action there was before the stoppage and he made a conscious decision to get out of the fight rather than continue. The powers that be definitely wanted it though and here you are in his hometown again
PQ: "No. I feel like I got to go out there and put my best foot forward and continue doing what I did in the first fight. This time I'm going to have much more fun with it. I know exact what I'm in for now and I'm going to have fun with it. He's got some die hard fans up there. I had people telling me I was going to get knocked the F out. Somebody actually shook my hand and asked me how does it feel? I responded, how does what feel and he said how does it feel to be a bitch? (Quillin spelled out bitch rather than say it) And the guy said this to my face, it was brutal. His fans were more brutal than he was, he didn't fight like they talked that's for sure."
GL: Will this fight go the distance? Do you have a prediction?
PQ: "I'm not there to make it go the disance, I'm there to get him out of there, I don't get paid for overtime and I'm going to try to get him out of there as soon as possible."
GL: Will you be watching the Caleb Plant-Mike Lee fight closely? What do you think about that fight?
PQ: "No. I'll worry about that when the time is right. Right now it's all about this rematch with Truax. When this business is taken care of then we'll move on to the next step."
GL: Closing thoughts.
PQ: "Tune in on August 31st and watch me put my best foot forward, I'm looking to dominate and it's going to be a show. I'm also happy to be back on Boxingtalk, we have a long history and I don't always agree with your opinions, but I understand where you're coming from and you always put it out there the way the fighters are saying it. You know the boxing game and I think that's why I like being on Boxingtalk so much."

Rivas says he'll be left standing after Whyte fight

Rivas says he'll be left standing after Whyte fight
Colombian Oscar Rivas, who is now based in Canada,  is determined to be the “last man standing” at The O2 in London on Saturday July 20th after his heavyweight clash with Dillian Whyte, to be shown live in the UK on Sky Sports Box Office and DAZN in the US. The undefeated Rivas heads into the bout on the back of his biggest win in the paid ranks, travelling to Verona, NY in January to KO respected Bryant Jennings in the final round of their fight. After crafting his skills as an amateur in his native Colombia, Rivas is steadily climbing the heavyweight ladder and is now ready to seize his golden opportunity and propel his name to the top of the mix with a career-best win over ‘The Body Snatcher’.
“I have been waiting for an opportunity like this for years, and now it is happening. I am looking forward to showing people what I can do,” said Rivas. “I don’t care what Whyte is thinking. If he’s not thinking about me, that’s his problem.
“I have changed lots of things, technically I have improved. I moved to Montreal to train with Marc Ramsay who has improved lots of aspects of my boxing. I am a technical boxer but I also have a big heart. This is what makes me a better boxer. But we are Heavyweights and one shot can change anybody’s plans.”
The Canadian-based 32-year-old carried an impressive amateur record into the paid ranks, beating Kubrat Pulev in the 2008 Olympic Games a year after landing silver in the Pan-American games – and with 18 KOs in 26 fights since turning over, "Kaboom" is predicitng an explosive war between two in-form big-punchers.
“Whyte is a really strong guy, but I think with my technique, my speed, my power, my experience, I’m going to get on top,” he added. “That’s a guy that I can beat, but he’s strong, so I have to be very well prepared, and I will be. Each of us will show what we’re made of on Saturday and we can produce one of the best fights of the year.
“It’s going to be an explosive fight. I cannot wait until the bell rings and then I’m going to make sure that I’m going to continue my rise. I know that Whyte is going to try to make me lose my first fight, but it won’t happen. I don’t give predictions, but I can say this, I’m going to be the last man standing.”

Emanuel Navarrete to defend vs. Francisco De Vaca next month

Emanuel Navarrete to defend vs. Francisco De Vaca next month
The soccer field will become a boxing battleground Saturday, August 17th, as WBO junior featherweight champion Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete makes the second defense of his title against fellow Mexican-born Francisco “Panchito” De Vaca. In the other featured bout, Jose Benavidez Jr. will battle former WBA welterweight title holder Luis Collazo in a ten-round welterweight at Banc of California Stadium, the home of Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles FC. Benavidez-Collazo and Navarrete-De Vaca will headline the inaugural fight card at the year-old stadium and will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Navarrete (27-1, 23 KOs) has won 22 consecutive bouts dating back to 2012, but his breakthrough came last December when he upset Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe via unanimous decision to win the WBO junior featherweight title. Five months later, in Tucson, Arizona, he repeated the deed, this time knocking out Dogboe in the twelfth round. A native of San Juan Zitlaltepec, Mexico, Navarrete had a reported 108-7 record in the amateur ranks and comes from a family of fighters. His uncle, Pedro Navarrete Sr., and two of his cousins, Pedro Navarrete Jr. and Johnny Navarrete, fought as professionals.
De Vaca (20-0, 6 KOs) was born in Michoacán de Ocampo, Mexico, and moved to Phoenix, Arizona, as a small child. All but one of De Vaca’s pro fights have taken place in the Phoenix area, where he has developed into one of the region’s most popular attractions. The 24 year-old boxer-puncher made his Top Rank debut last August in Glendale, Arizona, outlasting Jesus Serrano by unanimous decision in a crowd-pleasing brawl. He last fought in February at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix, where he shut out Ernesto Guerrero over eight rounds. 
“This is a great opportunity to defend my title against an exciting fighter like De Vaca,” Navarrete said. “I’ve worked hard to prove myself as a true champion, and I won’t let anyone take that away from me. It’s going to be a great night outside in Los Angeles, and whenever you have two Mexicans in the ring, you can expect a battle.”
“This is the fight of my life,” De Vaca said. “I am going to show my Mexican heart and prove to the world that I belong on the world stage. I’m not going to talk any trash. I have a lot of respect for Emanuel Navarrete, but his reign will end on August 17th.”
Benavidez (27-1, 18 KOs) is coming off his most notable performance to date, a spirited effort in a twelfth-round TKO loss versus pound-for-pound great Terence Crawford in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Crawford-Benavidez was ESPN’s most-watched boxing event of 2018, and now, the Phoenix native has a chance to return to title contention with a victory over Collazo (39-7, 20 KOs).
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Collazo held a piece of the welterweight title from 2005-2006 and has remained a contender in the 13 years since he lost his belt via decision to Ricky Hatton. Collazo has won three in a row since falling short in a title challenge to Keith Thurman, most recently edging Samuel Vargas by split decision on St. Patrick’s Day at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. 
“I am very focused, and I see this as a must-win fight,” Benavidez said. “Collazo has been in the game for a long time and is still a top fighter, but I am going to push him towards retirement. He looks good for his age, but trust me, youth will prevail when we fight.”
“I’m coming for everything they said I couldn’t have,” Collazo said. “Talk is cheap. I’m here to show that I’m still one of the top welterweights in the world.”
 The undercard, including the returns of unbeaten 140 pounder Arnold Barboza Jr., welterweight Chris van Heerden, undefeated middleweight Janibek Alimkhanuly and featherweight Adam Lopez, will stream live on ESPN+.

Catching up with Yordenis Ugas

Catching up with Yordenis Ugas
Cuba's Yordenis Ugas (23-4, 11 KOs) wrapped up his final day of training camp and talked about his upcoming showdown with Omar Figueroa Jr. (28-0-1, 19 KOs), a twelve-round WBC welterweight eliminator that will be a part of this Saturday's pay-per-view telecast headlined by Keith "One Time" Thurman defending the WBA welterweight championship against boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. Here is what Ugas said about training camp, facing another undefeated fighter, and more.
On his upcoming fight with Omar Figueroa Jr.: "This is a big opportunity for me to derail another undefeated fighter. Omar Figueroa Jr. is a young hungry fighter who's never tasted defeat but that will all change on July 20th. He's never been in with an experienced fighter like me. I have the style to beat him and I'm going to let my hands fly on fight night!
On fighting in the biggest boxing event of the year: "I can't ask for a better situation at this stage of my career. To be fighting on Fox PPV, on the same card as one of the greatest fighters to ever step in the ring in Manny Pacquiao, is a dream come true. I'm truly blessed to be fighting on such a big stage and I'm going to give the fans a night to remember. The fans deserve a war and that's what I'm going to give them."
On what a win will do for his career: "Beating an undefeated fighter like Figueroa will get me right back into a world title fight. These are the type of fights I need to win if I'm going to become a world champion. I'm determined more than ever to prove to the world that I'm one of the best welterweights in the division."
On his recent training camp: "Training camp is finally all wrapped up. I did my last day of sparring this past weekend. My trainer Ismael Salas has a masterful game plan in place that we believe will be the perfect blueprint to beat Figueroa. I'm in tremendous shape, ready to let me hands go."

PBC's Pacquiao-Thurman predictions are in

PBC's Pacquiao-Thurman predictions are in
The predictions are in from around the boxing world and the expert group that was polled is nearly split 50-50, but overall gives eight-division champion Senator Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao a slight edge over WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith "One Time" Thurman ahead of their Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View main event this Saturday from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The tally was 24-to-19 for Pacquiao over Thurman, with three picking a draw. Pacquiao even has a chance to stop Thurman based on the picks of at least three former champions who participated in the poll, while two picked Thurman to end the night early. In addition, eight respondents believe the fight is so evenly-matched that it will end in a split-decision. Here are the predictions from a mix of boxing legends, current and former champions and contenders, plus some of the most renowned trainers in the sport:
Thomas Hearns, former five-division champion
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Manny Pacquiao has the better skills and the experience overall in comparison to Keith Thurman, and I see Manny winning a decision by just out-boxing him.
Deontay Wilder, WBC Heavyweight Champion
Pick: Thurman SD 12. I like both fighters and what they've been able to achieve. Manny Pacquiao's a legend who still is among the world's best fighters despite his age and having to overcome so many ups and downs. But I'm going with Keith Thurman on a split-decision in this one based on his youth and mentality. People are talking about Keith's last fight against Josesito Lopez, but he feels like he's the best, and that he's not going to let anyone take that away from him.
Roy Jones Jr., Former Four-Division Champion
Pick: Pacquiao W12: I'm going to go with Pacquiao because he's the older and therefore more experienced fighter.
Errol Spence Jr., IBF Welterweight Champion
Pick: Thurman SD 12. It just depends on which Pacquiao shows up and which Keith shows up. I think Keith will be a lot sharper than he was in his last fight. You know he had a long layoff and is just coming back. Keith is a lot tougher than people think he is. He took a lot of punches in that last fight. He took a lot of punches in the Shawn Porter fight, too. He might be a boxer, but he's tough and he's gritty, so I think he's going to win a split-decision or he's going to blow him out. It just depends on which Pacquiao comes out. If he can turn the tables a little bit and become the Pacquiao of back then, I think he can win. But if it's the Pacquiao that fought Broner, then I think Keith will edge him out and outpoint him. Keith can get on his bicycle and move around and just pot shot him. I think Keith will edge it out.
Sugar Ray Leonard, former five-division champion
Pick: Thurman W 12. Keith Thurman has a ton of talent, power and speed. I like him to win.
Gerry Cooney, former heavyweight  contender
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Manny Pacquiao's been a phenom, but age has been creeping up on him. Thurman's gonna try to box and use his power, and Manny's been knocked out before. It's a 50-50 fight, but I'm going with Pacquiao, who is really awkward and fast, to win a decision.
Shane Mosley, former three-division world champion
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I think that Pacquiao is going to win because of the experience, the speed and his power.
Shawn Porter, WBC Welterweight Champion
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I'm going with Manny Pacquiao, who still has the hunger, several levels of competitive spirit and quickness out of that southpaw stance that's hard to game plan for. Keith Thurman's young but coming off of a very long layoff and a level of relaxation and comfort that makes it difficult for me to see him being ready for this fight. I don't think Keith's body will be able to withstand what's going to come during those championship rounds. Pacquiao weathers the early storm and wins a decision.
Andy Ruiz Jr., Unified Heavyweight World Champion
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I'm going with Pacquiao because of his speed and aggressiveness.
Mikey Garcia, former four-division world champion
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Ultimately Manny's footwork, hand-speed, combinations and volume punching will carry him throughout the rounds. Keith Thurman has the power to win it, and he's very dangerous for that power, but he's not a better fighter, overall, than Manny. I think Manny takes it.
Julian Williams, WBA & IBF 154-pound Champion
Pick: Thurman SD 12. Manny's always super-competitive and I believe we'll see a hungrier and more determined Manny Pacquiao than the one who beat Adrien Broner. Manny may even be able to hurt Keith Thurman as he does everybody, but I believe Keith Thurman will have too much youth for him. Keith may not look great, but I'm going with Keith to win a close decision.
Derrick James, trainer of welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. and former champion Jermell Charlo
Pick: Thurman W 12. I think Keith Thurman's gonna beat Manny Pacquiao by a decision as long as he can do what he did for the first seven rounds against Josesito Lopez for 12 rounds against Pacquiao. Keith's consistency will win the fight.
Leo Santa Cruz, WBA Featherweight  Champion
Pick: Thurman W 12: I feel that Keith Thurman is going to win because he's younger.
Roberto Duran, former four-division world champion
Pick: Pacquiao W 12: Manny Pacquiao is very tough and for me, he is going to win this fight.
Robert Garcia, former super featherweight champion
Pick: Thurman W 12. Keith Thurman is strong, solid and smart in the ring, and he has youth on his side, so I see him winning a unanimous decision. I would no doubt pick Manny Pacquiao if this was four or five years ago the way he was dominating, but with him being at the age of 40, that's hard for me to do.
Paulie Malignaggi, former two-division champion
Pick: Thurman TKO 11. I saw Pacquiao in January beating Adrien Broner who was willing to enter the pocket but not let his hands go. Pacquiao is not a defensive genius, and I'm not saying that he's super hittable. But I do see Keith catching up to him and winning by a late-round TKO.
Tony Harrison, WBC 154-poundt Champion
Pick: Draw. I have so much love and respect for Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman and I've seen fire in each of their eyes. I am envisioning an action-packed, seesaw battle that enhances the legacies of both fighters with the fans getting their money's worth. Manny's been re-awakened into the beast he's been in the past, and when the final bell rings, I believe this fight will end in a draw.
Jarrett Hurd, former unified 154-pound champion
Pick: Thurman W 12. I believe the youth of Keith Thurman will play a big factor. Yes, Thurman had a long layoff but I think he broke the ring rust after the Josesito Lopez fight.
Josesito Lopez, Former title challenger
Pick: Pacquiao SD 12. In our fight, Keith Thurman took a really hard punch from me that would have taken out almost anyone. That proves a lot about his championship ability to come back to win a fight. Thurman has great power and boxing skills and movement, but I still see Pacquiao pulling out a close decision victory.
Gary Russell Jr., WBC Featherweight Champion
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Keith Thurman is probably the bigger, stronger fighter, which will give him the puncher's chance, but I think Manny Pacquiao's work ethic and his punch output will dictate the fight. I really like Keith Thurman, but I don't know which Keith will show up. He has the ability to get Pacquiao outta there, but I see Pacquiao being more consistent. So, I think Manny's gonna outwork him and take it.
Ronnie Shields, trainer of 160-pound champion Jermall Charlo, former 154-pound champion Erislandy Lara
Pick: Thurman W 12. Keith is fast on his feet and has enough boxing ability to keep Manny at bay. I don't believe a KO will occur. I really believe they both will try for one, but in order for Manny to win, he has to hurt Keith early and often. I don't see it any other way.
Jessie Vargas, former world title holder
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I'm going with Manny Pacquiao because of his experience and explosiveness and the fact that I believe that's something Keith Thurman's never seen before. A knockout for Pacquiao is 85% possible. Each is a great fighter who doesn't back down.
Stephen Edwards, trainer of unified 154-pound champion Julian Williams
Pick: Draw. I can't call this fight. I was picking Keith Thurman due to youth and not being the better fighter. I thought he would control Manny Pacquiao with a check hook. But Thurman has not looked right to me in the training footage. Maybe that's a ploy. Who knows? One fighter is 40 and the other looks rusty. I expect a close and controversial draw.
Sergio Mora, former 154-pound champion
Pick: Thurman KO 9. Manny Pacquiao's speed and footwork has diminished with age but he is still dangerous. Both will be aiming for the body and both will have their moments. Ultimately, I see Pac getting over aggressive and caught attempting to be great once again. Size and youth prevails in an exciting and competitive fight.
Andre Berto, former two-time 147-pound champion
Pick: Thurman W 12. I'm picking Keith Thurman to win a decision because he is younger, faster and stronger than Manny Pacquiao.
Omar Figueroa, former lightweight champion
Pick: Pacquiao by KO 8. Keith Thurman is a really smart fighter, but he leaves himself open with some of his punches. I think Manny Pacquiao catches him with those short lefts and right hooks inside and possibly stops the fight in eight.
Robert Guerrero, former two-division champion
Pick: Pacquiao by late round KO. Manny's experience, combined with this speed and power, hitting off angles, is going to be too much for Keith Thurman.
Jay Deas, trainer of WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder
Pick: Thurman W 12. Can Manny Pacquiao spell bound Keith Thurman, building a lead and holding off a late-round Thurman rally to take a decision? I don't think so with only one knockout since 2010. Thurman's left hand will be a key if he can jab the southpaw Pacquiao effectively. If Thurman is intelligently aggressive, uses his left and starts and finishes the exchanges, I believe he will win a decision in an exciting fight.
Joel Diaz, renowned trainer
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Keith Thurman didn't look good against Josesito Lopez, who is a warrior but not on the level of a Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao's a lefty with great speed and footwork to create problems for Thurman. Thurman's bigger, younger and stronger, but Pacquiao has the power to hurt Thurman with either hand. I see Pacquiao increasing the pace over the later rounds and winning a decision.
Abner Mares, former three-division champion
Pick: Thurman W 12. Everyone is going off Manny Pacquiao's last performance, where he looked phenomenal against an Adrien Broner who didn't throw a lot of punches and was on the ropes a lot. Pacquiao's not fighting Broner but a Thurman who knows how to work every round. He got hurt against Josesito Lopez, but that was after a long layoff.
Erislandy Lara, former 154-pound champion
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. This is a true 50-50 fight and a great one for the boxing fans. Going off their last few performances, I'm leaning towards Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao to win a decision. But I wouldn't be shocked to see Keith Thurman return to form.
Sergey Lipinets, former 140-pound champion
Pick: Draw. The fight looks like a 50-50 proposition. Manny Pacquiao is a way more diverse fighter then Keith Thurman. The big question would still be if Pacquiao has got any of that left or enough to maintain that through 12 rounds. I think we'll see them fight to a draw.
Gary Russell Sr., father and trainer of 126-pound champion Gary Russell Jr.
Pick: Thurman W 12. Manny Pacquiao has a herky-jerky style that can cause problems for Keith Thurman, who I don't think can out-box Pacquiao. Keith's gonna have to be the more physical fighter, coming out as the stalker and going to the body. I think that ultimately that's what he's gonna do to win a decision.
David Benavidez, former 168-pound champion
Pick: Pacquiao by KO 9. I feel like Manny is going to have a hard time with Keith Thurman running around in the first few rounds. Then I expect "PacMan" to start hurting Thurman by Round five or six and then I see him stopping "One Time" around the ninth. It's gonna be a great fight though.
Marcus Browne, 175-pound contender
Pick: Thurman W 12. This is a great fight that's tough to call, so to pick a draw wouldn't be far-fetched. I'm a big Manny Pacquiao fan and he looked great in his last fight beating Adrien Broner. But Keith ain't Adrien Broner, and I think he'll overcome the ring absence since he appears to be in a zone. I'm going to choose Keith to win a close decision.
Ruben Guerrero, father and trainer of former two-division champion Robert Guerrero
Pick: Pacquiao SD 12. It's going to be one hell of a fight, but Manny Pacquiao will win the later rounds to win a close one.
Luis Ortiz, heavyweight title contender
Pick: Pacquiao SD 12. Manny Pacquiao will win via decision. He has too much experience and has been active. Keith Thurman has been too inactive. I think it will probably be a split decision for Pacquiao.
Erickson Lubin, 154-pound title contender
Pick: Pacquiao SD 12. Manny Pacquiao's southpaw style will confuse Keith Thurman. "Pacman" wins by split-decision with his power, speed and combination punching.
Austin Trout, former WBO 154-pound champion
Pick: Thurman SD 12. I'm going to rock with my man Keith Thurman. People who are judging off his last fight don't understand how much inactivity can play a role. Now that the rust is off, I expect Keith to pull it off. Keith is going to go above and beyond in what will be a 12-round fight that he's gonna win by a split-decision.
Kevin Cunningham, trainer of Erickson Lubin
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I'm gonna have to go with Manny Pacquiao on this one because he still has good speed, explosiveness, footwork and punches well in combinations. Keith Thurman may be looking to land something big, and he may be able to hurt Manny in some way, but I'm picking Manny by decision.
Jamal James,147-pound contender
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Keith Thurman comes in with great skills, but I don't see him beating Manny Pacquiao, who is a really crafty southpaw, is still quick on his feet, and throws fast, sharp combinations. I don't think Keith can match Pacquiao's hand-speed and footwork. I can't rule out a knockout, but I think Pacquiao wins a decision.
Caleb Truax, former IBF 168-pound champion
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I think the smart pick is Keith Thurman, but I can't bet against Manny Pacquiao. I have "PacMan" by close decision in a back and forth fight.
Calvin Ford, trainer of WBA 130-pound champion Gervonta Davis
Pick: Thurman W 12. Keith Thurman's motivated to get his name back into the spotlight, but Manny Pacquiao looks as if he's up to the challenge after beating Adrien Broner. Pacquiao throws a lot of punches, but I'm going with the younger guy on this one and Thurman winning a great fight by decision.
Andre Rozier, trainer of former 160-pound champion Daniel Jacobs
Pick: Thurman W 12. I have a tale of two fights for you. If we see the "One Time" Thurman of old, it will be a long night for the "PacMan." If we see the tentative, super cautious Thurman that we have been seeing lately, the "PacMan" will have a chance.
Stephen Fulton, Unbeaten 122-pound contender
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I see Manny Pacquiao winning a unanimous decision based on his activity and that fact that Keith Thurman has been inactive for a while. Pacquiao lets his hands go more than Thurman, and I believe that, as well as Pacquiao's heart and being smarter in the ring, wins the fight.
Mario Barrios, undefeated 140-pound contender
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I believe Manny's going to be too crafty for Keith Thurman and Thurman won't be able to land those big shots on him.
Pacquiao - 24
Thurman - 19
Draw - 3

Finland's Wahlstrom books Vegas title defense

Finland's Wahlstrom books Vegas title defense
WBC 130-pound champion Eva Wahlstrom has a new title challenger-- Ronica "Queen" Jeffrey-- who has replaced Yareli "Chocolita" Larios in the August 2nd headliner at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions is offering free admission for this show, which will also be streamed on UFC Fight Pass. Fans may register online to receive their free tickets, minimum of eight per person, by going to: RJJ Boxing co-founder and living legend Roy Jones, Jr. will host a meet-and-great for VIP ticket holders prior to the fights.
Wahlstrom (22-1-1, 3 KOs), fighting out of Finland, captured her WBC title in 2015, winning a ten-round decision over Natalia Vanesa del Valle Aguirre, followed with four successful title defenses, all by way of ten-round decisions, against Dahiana Santana (35-7), Anahi Esther Sanchez (14-0), Mayra Alejandra Gomez (18-5) and Melissa St. Vil (10-2-4). In her last bout, Wahlstrom moved up to lightweight and lost to world champion Katie Taylor.
Wahlstrom's fifth title defense in the ten-round main event is now against Jeffrey (17-1, 1 KO), who is from Brooklyn, New York and is 236 years old.
Also fighting on the show in six-round bouts are a pair of Fort Worth, Texas fighters. Middleweight John "The Phenom" Vera (18-1, 11 KOs) battles former welterweight champion Ravshan Hudaynazarov (17-1, 13 KOs), the Uzbekistan native living in Las Vegas. A year and a  half ago, Hudaynazarov was stopped at junior middleweight by Ronald Cruz (now 16-1).
The other Fort Worth native, featherweight Edward "Kid" Vasquez (6-0) is matched against the Dominican Republic's Yeuri "Dinamita" Andujar (4-1, 3 KOs).
Bantamweight Rosalinda Rodriguez (10-0, 2 KOs) faces Californian Jamie "The Miracle" Mitchell (5-0-1, 3 KOs) in a battle of unbeaten women.
Undefeated Colombian super bantamweight Brandon Valdes (12-0, 7 KOs) is scheduled to fight on the non-streaming undercard against an opponent to be determined.
The evening starts with a lightweight showdown between Californian Donald Brown (7-0, 5 KOs) against Dallas' Francisco Martinez (5-0, 3 KOs), in a six-round bout.

Seventeen year-old Mielnicki gets KO1 in pro debut

Seventeen year-old Mielnicki gets KO1 in pro debut
Vito Mielnicki Jr. KO1 Tamarcus Smith... Seventeen year-old Vito Mielnicki Jr. blasted out Tamarcus Smith in just 76 seconds in his professional debut on Saturday night at The Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.  Mielnicki, the youngest boxer ever granted a license in The Garden State, and a Roseland, New Jersey native, landed a booming right-left combination that sent Smith face first into the bottom rope, and the fight was waved off by referee Shada Murdaugh at 1:16 of the opening frame.
The fighter nicknamed "White Magic" was very happy with his performance. "It was exactly how I envisioned it.  With the crowd and everything, it made it a lot more electric," Said Mielnicki.  "I worked for this my whole life, and I knew everything was going to payoff tonight."
On the finish he said, "I waited for the right moment to throw the overhand right.  We worked on it all camp."
Mielnicki, who will be entering his senior year at West Essex High School, is looking to get back in the gym and start preparing for his school year.   "I go back to school in September. I will consult with my manager Anthony Catanzaro and see what the best fit is for me in terms of a promoter and platform.  I just want to thank all of my trainers who were with me all camp. source: press release 

Late results from New York City

Late results from New York City
Titus Williams TKO1 Aaron Echeveste Lopez ... In Friday's main event at Club Amazura in Queens, New York., featherweight Titus Williams (9-2, 4 KOs) needed less than a round to dispose of Aaron Echeveste Lopez (6-4, 3 KOs). The right-handed Williams put on a display of well-timed counter punching while holding court in the center of the ring. About a minute into the opening frame, Lopez looked to flash inside of Williams, only to see the New York native unload a counter right uppercut that immediately flattened his opposition. Lopez got back to his feet, and Williams displayed patience, stalking his man while looking for another opening. He soon found it just before the close of the opening frame, as Lopez stepped into a beautifully timed counter right hand that put him on his back for a second time. Lopez once again climbed to his feet, but referee Steve Willis did not like what he saw when he looked into his eyes. He opted to wave off the bout so Lopez did not receive any more damage, with the official stoppage coming at 2:54 of the very first round.
Ariel Lopez TKO4 Ivan M. Jiminez ... In the co-feature, bantamweight Ariel Lopez (13-0, 8 KOs) had a game opponent in Ivan Martino Jiminez (5-4, 5 KOs), but he broke Jiminez down over the course of four frames before getting a stoppage win. Lopez continually showed off some quick hands while picking his spots, also throwing hooks around the tightly worn guard of Jiminez to get inside. Midway through the fourth round, Lopez unleashed a body shot directly to the solar plexus that put Jiminez on the floor in obvious pain. Although it looked like Jiminez would be unable to continue, he somehow worked his way back onto his feet. When action resumed, Lopez intelligently returned to the body, backing up a hurt Jiminez until the referee stoppage came at the 1:53 mark of the fourth frame.
In a 143-pound catchweight bout, Cesar Francis (6-0, 4 KOs) engaged in an entertaining six-round scrap with Antonio Sanchez Hernandez (6-7-2, 3 KOs). Francis was able to use his height and length advantage in the early frames, but Hernandez adjusted and slipped well throughout the encounter to force Francis to fight on the inside. While Hernandez was certainly a game opponent, Francis proved that he was on a more elevated level in this one to eventually pick up the well-earned victory. When the six action rounds concluded, Francis increased the tally on his unblemished record with scores of 60-54 (twice) and 59-55...
Mathew Gonzalez (9-0, 6 KOs) also improved his unbeaten mark on Friday night, making quick work of veteran Federico Jesus Malespina (16-13-2, 2 KOs) in less than one frame. Gonzalez showed off his quickness and ability to pivot in the little time he was allotted before unloading a fight-ending right hook to the body of Malespina. Total time: 73 seconds...
In his pro debut, Brooklyn welterweight Raymond Wilburg (1-0, 1 KO) defeated Jean Hernandez (0-2). In the second frame, Wilburg quickly settled in comfortably and started firing some heavy punches with both hands. His powerful strikes were repeatedly finding a home, and this bout was forced to be waved off just 27 seconds into that second round. The stoppage sent the hometown fans into an uproar, making it a successful debut for Wilburg...
In a cruiserweight attraction, Jan Czerklewicz (2-0, 0 KOs) was able to outwork Mike Diorio (0-2) over four frames, moving well and using his length to score flush 40-36 scorecards from the ringside judges...
In the opening fight of the evening, Brooklyn middleweight Hosam Abdeldayem (1-0, 0 KOs) and Daniel Jefferson (0-1) engaged in a competitive four-framer that saw scores all over the place once it concluded. However, it was Abdeldayem who earned his first professional win when the judges turned in those final tallies. The first card was read 39-37 for Jefferson, but that count was nullified with scores of 39-37 and 38-37 in favor of Abdeldayem on the final pair of cards.
“It was another great night of boxing for Uprising Promotions and the New Mexican Promotion here at Club Amazura,” said Rory Frank, Vice President of Uprising Promotions. “This show had a nice mix of everything. The fights were competitive, and we also saw some exciting knockouts. We want to thank all of the fighters, coaches and fans who brought the energy to make it such an entertaining night.”
Miss the action? Watch the full fight card now via Fight Night Live on Facebook, with Michael Woods and Xavier Porter calling the action from ringside. source for all results: Ronson Frank’s Uprising Promotions and The New Mexican Promotion 

Manny Pacquiao conference call transcript

Manny Pacquiao conference call transcript
Manny Pacquiao's publicist Fred Sternburg: Thank you for joining us today. Manny had an amazing camp. According to Freddie and according to Manny it may be their best camp in many years. They're very excited. It's the biggest challenge they've had in a long time. Manny has spent about four weeks training in the Philippines. He is finishing his fourth week here in Hollywood at Wild Card Boxing Club. And Freddie Roach is on the call with us. Freddie, you're just down the street from us where we prefer you to be. How did you think camp is going?
Manny Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach: It's a very good training camp, good sparring, and he's ready to go. We have one more day of sparring today and then we close the camp down. Just getting ready for the fight.
F. Sternburg:Great. And Manny is here as well. Manny, you're ready to join us? Here he comes. He literally just finished his run and if you were here at his house today, you would have seen about over a dozen people doing sit-ups with him in the front yard. Manny does things just a little differently here. Manny, welcome to the call.
Manny Pacquiao: Good morning. Training camp has been very good and I'm ready for this call.
Q: Did you ever think that you'd still be not only boxing professionally but still at a very high level at the age of 40?
M. Pacquiao
Yes, that's what I'm trying to prove this time because we know that a lot of our fans and people in boxing were doubting my capability at the age of 40. So I have to prove something this time because at the age of 40 I'm not thinking about my age. I'm thinking about what I can do for the fans.
What is it that gets you doing sit-ups in your front yard in the morning and running and putting in the hard work to train for these fights?
M. Pacquiao
I really love exercise. I'm addicted to exercise. And even if I don't have a scheduled fight, I always most every day I exercise and I'm playing basketball four to five hours almost every day. So when this time comes and when I have a scheduled fight, then I'm so motivated myself to work hard, to train hard, and to focus to the fight.
You could certainly exercise and do basketball and do all the things you just mentioned without actually getting hit, right?
M. Pacquiao
Yes. Actually after the fight I don't go to the boxing gym. No boxing at all until I have a scheduled fight.
But I always exercise like playing basketball, sometimes jogging. But no boxing gym at all.
Freddie, what do you see as the motivation for his continued boxing career?
F. Roach
Well, it's still what he does best. It got him to where he is today. We want to fight a high level person. We're not in this game just to fight anybody. We want to be the best. And we'd like another championship and I don't think we'll stop until we get that.
Do you think Freddie that the opponent, Keith Thurman, is maybe the best of the opponents that Manny's been with probably since the Mayweather fight?
F. Roach              
You can say that. But I don't think he's the best fighter. We've fought a bunch of better fighters along the way. But yes, he's a good, solid guy. And it should make for a very good fight.
Do you feel that Thurman has gone over the line with some of the things he's said to you?
M. Pacquiao
Well, it is kind of over the line for me, but I'm not angry with him. I'm somebody very motivated by all he says. The trash talk that he did, he made even my mom get mad. But it gives me more motivation to focus the training and to focus on my condition, how hard I push the training.
And believe me, this is a very interesting fight for me because it has been a long time that I have focused like this for a fight.
How closely did you watch that fight against Josesito Lopez? And do you feel like watching that fight that he'll be ready for you?
M. Pacquiao
I'm not considering his performance and style on that fight because he just came back from a long layoff of almost two years. So I understand that. This time, this fight I'm sure he'll be in 100% condition and I'm sure he did a lot of things in training.
At this point at 40 years old, in the event that you lost this fight would you consider retirement or would you like to keep fighting?
M. Pacquiao
I'm still okay. I can still fight. My body's reacting well. My mind and everything is fine. And that's a big favor from God. This is a blessing.
Freddie, I wonder if you're employing some reverse psychology when you're saying no, you're not predicting a knockout is going to happen for Pacquiao at this time. Is this a grand Freddie Roach plan reverse psychology?
F. Roach              
No. Manny's in great shape for this fight and we worked very hard for this fight. And someone asked me if we were looking for a knockout. No, we never look for knockouts. But if it comes, Manny's in great shape right now and if Thurman wants to trade with us, he will get knocked out.
Do you keep up on the politics and do you stay in touch with your vital political operatives and allies when you're overseas in America getting ready for a fight? Or can you leave politics alone and purely focus just on the boxing?
M. Pacquiao
I'm focused on my training here in America. We have a long office break. So we resume the work July 22 which is the State of the Nation Address of the President. That's the start of the work. That's why after the fight I have to go back to the Philippines to work.
But I'm hearing from my staff in the office, what bills that we're going to file and what we're going to do, how many resolutions to file before the session start open.
Are you going to fight one more time this year you think or is that still up in the air?
M. Pacquiao        
Yes, there is a scheduled recess. But we will figure it out when the session starts.
How do you prepare for someone that you really haven't seen at his 100% best in at least a couple of years?
M. Pacquiao
I'm not basing anything off his last performances in his last fight because he was coming from a long layoff of almost I think almost two years. So I understand that as a boxer I really understand that it's hard to start again. But this time around he worked hard, he's well prepared for this fight because he's not fighting Lopez but he's fighting Manny Pacquiao. So I'm expecting him to work hard and prepare 100%.
Yesterday at the media workout, I was reading that you said that Thurman remind you the most of Ricky Hatton of all the fighters that you faced in the past. And I'm curious to see why you think Thurman reminds you of Ricky Hatton?
M. Pacquiao
The style, the similar style like that. I think they have similar style. But not really the same but it does look like a similar style.
Does it enter your mind as sort of when the window of this great run is going to close or that doesn't really enter your mindset?
M. Pacquiao
In balancing my body conditioning, my mind, and how I work hard, it depends on how I focus and work hard in training. Right now, I still hunger and I'm still enjoying this and happy to do a training preparation for the fight.
Even my coaching staff, they're very happy because they're still watching me and having to tell me when to stop, not watching me to push to do more. But watching me to stop because I might over train.
Has your style changed at all over the years or do you fight the same way?
M. Pacquiao        
My style is still the same but I'm more experienced now compared to before. How I fight in the ring and my strategy, my footwork that's not changing but it's still the same. But I'm more experienced and my timing in the ring is better than ever.
Freddie from your perspective as the trainer, what do you see is the biggest difference in terms of let's say training and preparation for Manny at this age versus how you guys prepared back when he was younger?
F. Roach              
His work ethic is unbelievable. He wants to work every minute of every day. He wants to do 40 rounds a day in the ring and so forth. We do have to hold him back a little bit. We're on a five-day running schedule right now instead of six and we're giving him a couple extra days off during the week trying to get him not to over train because he does have a tendency of wanting to do that.
We got him right where we want him right now and he's in great shape. He's ready to go.
Is Keith Thurman the first opponent you've faced with a combination of both power and speed at the highest levels?
M. Pacquiao
In my experience, I've encountered many boxers that have speed and power. And this is not new for me. I think Thurman, he's not really that quick but I have to be careful in the ring, in the fight. I have to make sure that everything is fine.
F. Roach              
Thurman's a strong guy and he's a good puncher. Manny's speed will overwhelm him, I feel. He hasn't been in the ring with speed like Manny Pacquiao has and most people get overwhelmed when they face Manny. His speed is unbelievable and at 40 years old it's as good as ever.
What are your dreams in boxing right now Manny?
M. Pacquiao        
I just want to maintain my name in the top of boxing and continue my career. I already accomplished what I want to accomplish in boxing. I'm continuing my career because boxing is my passion. I have lots to do in this, especially because God gave me these blessings and favor that they gave me good health and this is speed and power.
How many fighters have you faced before that you think were better or more complete than Thurman?
M. Pacquiao
Thurman is a different style. Thurman I can say similar style with Ricky Hatton. But I won't take him lightly. I have to make sure that I'm not careless in the ring.
What about your son fighting?
M. Pacquiao        
My son is starting to do some boxing and I am going to support him.
If Thurman fights exactly as you expect him to are you going to knock him out?
M. Pacquiao
That's going to be lovely if he fights toe to toe with me. Knockouts will come but I'm not saying that I'm going to have a prediction with this fight. I don't want to be careless in the fight.
But if that chance is given to me, why not? I have to grab that possibility to knock him out.
If Thurman fights you the way Jeff Horn did, would that approach really bother you or would you welcome that?
M. Pacquiao:       
Actually, on the Jeff Horn fight I think I over trained. That's why I have to admit that. But this time around my coaching staff, Freddie, Buboy Fernandez, Justin Fortune, they're watching closely to not let me get over trained so that in the fight I'm going to be throwing a lot of punches.
After the Horn fight, we learned a lot. I learned a lot. And we changed really the training, not the whole thing, but I give my body rest because it's hard to make my body recovery when you hit the age of 40.
Freddie, Dan Birmingham and Keith Thurman confirmed that they're coming directly at you and looking for a knockout early in the fight. Thoughts?
F. Roach
Yes. Talk's talk. Let's see who really shows up.
Do you feel as though Keith Thurman gives you any different challenges than Broner did?
M. Pacquiao        
He has a different style compared to Broner. And I think this challenge is different than Broner's fight. But I know Broner is faster than Keith Thurman.
Freddie you said yesterday it's not like Thurman's a world class fighter. Why did you say that?
F. Roach
Because I think Broner is a better fighter.
Will we ever see that Manny Pacquiao fight in the Philippines?
M. Pacquiao
That's what I'm looking for, I'd like to.
F. Sternburg       
All right. We're ready to wrap up here. Manny, any last comments?
M. Pacquiao
Thank you everyone for this interview and I hope to see you in Vegas. And I can't wait to fight on July 20th. Thank you.
F. Sternburg       
Freddie before you clean the gym up before Manny gets there today, any final comments?
Freddie Roach    
No, he's just running and trying to catch up to the slowest fighter in the world. No comment.
It's 'One Time' versus 'All Time.'

Pernell Whitaker, 1964-2019

Pernell Whitaker, 1964-2019

One of the greatest boxers of recent decades, and perhaps the greatest lightweight and the greatest defensive boxer of all time, Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker died Sunday in Virginia when he was struck by a car. Whitaker, age 55, is a Hall of Famer who fought the very best and compiled an endless resume of amazing boxing accomplishments. He won Olympic gold in 1984, and then embarked on a 17-year pro career that saw him become the undipsuted world lightweight champion and win additional world titles at 140, 147 and 154 pounds. Over the course of his illustrious career, Whitaker defeated Azumah Nelson, Roger Mayweather, Greg Haugen, Freddie Pendleton, Jorge Paez and Jose Luis Ramirez at lightweight, passed through 140 pounds where he picked up a title vs. Rafael Pineda, then moved up to welterweight where he defeated Buddy McGirt twice.

In 1993, Whitaker easily outboxed the great Julio Cesar Chavez (who was 87-0 at the time) in a welterweight unification super fight in front of 90,000 fans in San Antonio. However, the verdict was wrongly-- and likely corruptly-- changed to a draw by the WBC just beofre bein g read to the crowd, thereby preserving Chavez's undefeated record in name only. Whitaker's performance vs. Chavez was properly viewed by fans and media alike as a win and it rightly garnered him pound-for-pound recognition as the sport's very best. Whitaker continued winning for another four years, including a 1995 154-pound title win against Julio Cesar Vasquez. By 1997 and 1999, respectively, Whitaker took on the young lions of boxing's next generation, losing very competitive fights to hall of famers Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad.  His last fight was in 2001, a fight that saw him break a bone in his shoulder and retire for good.

Boxing commentator Max Kellerman tweeted the following tribute: "The best lightweight I ever saw passed away today. Yes, that includes Roberto Duran, Floyd Mayweather, Ike Williams, and anyone else you want to mention. RIP Pernell Whitaker." 

He is survived by his four children: Pernell Jr, Domonique, Devon and Dantavious. 

Boxingtalk joins the rest of the boxing world in sending its deepest sympathies to the friends and family of the great Pernell Whitaker. 


Update: Flores says he is fine, wants to reschedule Wallin bout

Update: Flores says he is fine, wants to reschedule Wallin bout
Friday's ShoBox co-feature was cancelled on the day of the fight when heavyweight BJ Flores was denied a boxing license in the state of Washington because of a dispute about his medical evaluations. Flores was scheduled to face undefeated Otto Wallin. Here is a statement Flores issued on social media: "I had a clear MRI, clear CT scan, clear EEG. The state of Washington required an MRI within [the past] year. I was shot with a bb gun at 8 years old. Every other state has taken the MRI over my entire career. Washington wouldn’t accept it, even though multiple neurologists cleared me. I signed off in a waver saying no one held responsible if there was any injury. The cleared me to fight after the documents were signed. I went the whole day thinking the fight was on. When I got to the dressing room, they informed me it was off. Worst news I’ve ever heard. Trying to reschedule within the next few weeks."
Flores was allowed to weigh in on Thursday and appeared fine, although that does not necessariyl mean he should have been allowed to fight.  The official statement about the fight cancellation read: ”As part of the licensing process in the state of Washington, the doctor appointed by the boxing commission to oversee tonight’s event reviewed medical tests and determined that B.J. Flores would not be medically cleared to compete. Based on that opinion, Washington State Department of Licensing spokesperson Gigi Zenk notified Salita Promotions this afternoon that they would not issue B.J. Flores a license to fight against Otto Wallin tonight. Due to medical privacy requirements we are unable to provide further information at this time.”
The connmission's actions beg the question: why did the Washington State Department of Licensing allow this situation to drag on after the weigh-in and into the day of the fight? The fight had been scheduled and advertised to fans for several weeks before the commission denied Flores' license. The delay inexplicable and not the actions of a competent commission.
A cruiserweight for more than a decade, the 40 year-old Flores has a career record of 34-4-1. After losing a WBC cruiserweight title shot to Tony Bellew in 2016, he moved up to heavyweight and was coming off a loss to undefeated Trevor Bryan. He has also served as a talented boxing analyst.


Nikolai Potapov addresses majority decision loss

Nikolai Potapov addresses majority decision loss
Greg Leon: Congrats on a great showing against Joshua Greer Jr. Can you give us some thoughts on your performance and tell us how you feel about the decision (a majority decision loss by scores of 114-114, 115-113 and 116-112)? Nikolai Potapov: I was in great shape and controlled the fight with my skills.  Greer is not a good boxer. He is not on my level.  The decision was terrible it was a blind robbery.  I am very disappointed that this happened live on big tv network in a big arena.  After the fight numerous boxing fans, Andre Ward , Tim Bradley and press came to me to express there disappointment in the fight. They all felt that I clearly won the fight.  
GL: Are you and your team going to be protesting the decision? 
NP: "Yes I believe in justice and hope it will prevail in this situation."
GL: I know it's not the result you wanted but you've definitely elevated your status in America with that performance.  Do you feel you've could have done anything more to eliminate any doubt over who won the fight? Was there something you wanted to do that you failed to do in there?
NP:" I controlled the fight and did what I wanted and planned.  The pillow he brought was for himself that’s what I told him at the weigh in.  After the fight in the ring he knew he didn’t deserve that decision! "
GL: Was there anything about Greer that surprised you?
NP: "NO! "
GL:  If it's not a rematch with Greer, when would you like to fight next?
NP: "I would like to fight again before the year is out !"
GL: Is it important to you to fight quickly following this performance in order to get some momentum behind you in the United States?
NP: "I love to fight the best as you can see by my record.  I trust my promoter and know that he will me the right opportunity."
GL: A lot of American fighters feel that they have to above and beyond to get a fair shake whenever they fight overseas. After last night's decision it sounds like Team Potapov believes the opposite is also true.
NP: "Boxing skills , points , technique should be recognized equally all over the world.  I was very surprised by this robbery considering the visibility and magnitude of the event."
GL: Closing thoughts.
NP: "I want to thank the boxing fans, press espn commentators and all those who speak the truth.  Thank you to Salita Promotions and also ESPN and Top Rank for the opportunity.  I will be back ready to fight and beat the best ! "

Mick Conlan doesn't see step up bout vs Ruiz going the distance

Mick Conlan doesn't see step up bout vs Ruiz going the distance
Greg Leon: How's everything going in training camp for your August 3rd bout against Diego Alberto Ruiz? Mick Conlan:"This is the best camp I've had so far as a professional without a doubt. I've basically stayed in camp and in shape my last fight on March 16th, so I'm ready." GL: Has the opponent change from Vladimir Nikitin (listed at 3-0 but with an extensive amatuer background) to Ruiz (21-2), who is a much better fighter, impacted your training routine at all? MC: "It hasn't impacted my preparation at all. I was already training very hard physocally and mentally. When the opponent changed I contunued with that same mindset and preparation for Ruiz."
GL: What are your thoughts of Ruiz as a fighter?
MC: "I only watch a little bit of him and he's a good fighter with good aggression. My team has watched him strenously and we'll be prepared for everything he brings on August 3rd."
GL: Do these minor titles you're fighting for mean anything to you?
MC: "They don't mean an awful lot but it's nice to pick up some silverware on the way to legitimate world titles."
GL: Is it more about what these kind of belts do for you ratings wise than the actual belts themselves? 
MC: "Yes, that's what's probably best about the belts along the way. They get you good ratings in the sanctioning bodies which helps to create the path for championship opportunities."
GL: Do you feel any extra pressure to impress when you're fighting in Belfast?
MC: "No. For me I'm just very grateful to my team MTK and Top Rank for making the opportunity available for me to put on a show for my amazing fanbase who travel the world spending their hard earned money to watch me fight."
GL: Other than victory do you have a prediction?
MC: "It won't go the distance."
GL: What do you want a win in this fight to lead to?
MC: "Another big fight and hopefully by the end of the year or early next year a world championship fight."
GL: How do you feel you compare to other Top Rank young guns like Shakur Stevenson and Teofimo Lopez? Does it bother you that they seem closer to major world title shots than you do at this point? 
MC: "Each one of us is on our own path and each path is different. If either of those guys fight for a title before me great, I'll be happy for them, but I know I'll be fighting for a title soon so what the others doe doesn't bother me or effect my career at all."
GL: Always a pleasure Mick, closing thoughts for the fans.
MC: "As always thank you to my fans across the globe for your support. The next twelve months are going to be big for us. Tune into ESPN+ on August 3rd as the Conlan Revolution rolls into Belfast!"

Ronny Rios bursts Diego De La Hoya hype bubble

Ronny Rios bursts Diego De La Hoya hype bubble
Ronny Rios KO6 Diego De La Hoya... Californian's Ronny Rios burst the Diego De La Hoya hype bubble over the weekend, stopping the cousin of the promoter / hall of famer Oscar De La Hoya in round six over the weekend in Carson, California. Rios (31-3) landed a hard uppercut in round six that dropped De La Hoya (21-1) to a knee. De La Hoya stood up slowly on the count of eight but was clearly hurt, and seemed to nod his head no when he was asked to continue fighting. With the win, Rios moves to the front of the line for a WBA 122-pound title shot.  The title is currently held by Daniel Roman, who also owns the IBF version of the 122-pound championship. source: wba / youtube video

Szpilka refuses to trash talk with Chisora

Szpilka refuses to trash talk with Chisora
Pokish heavyweight  Artur Szpilka has refused to engage in any trash talk with Britain's Derek Chisora and has instead promised to let his fists do the talking at The O2 in London on Saturday July 20th, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US. Although Szpilka’s dream of becoming the first ever heavyweight champion from Poland was brutally destroyed by WBC ruler Deontay Wilder in 2016, the 30-year-old southpaw from Wieliczka still believes he can achieve big things in boxing. Szpilka, with only world level defeats on his resume, was giving the champion problems in the opening few rounds until he was caught by a huge shot in round nine.
He has since returned to winning ways in his native country, including a victory over domestic rival Mariusz Wach back in November, and the awkward 6’ 3.5” southpaw believes that a win over Chisora will fire his name back into the Heavyweight mix.
“The heavyweight division is now wide open,” said Szpilka. “We saw Andy Ruiz Jr. stop Anthony Joshua in New York a few weeks ago in a big upset. I believe that every top ten fighter now has a chance of winning a version of the Heavyweight world title. However, my full focus is on Derek Chisroa. I’m not thinking about anything else. Despite the eventual KO I think it was quite a good fight with Wilder. I had to fight with a broken hand from the fourth round onwards. Deontay finally got me in the ninth round but this is boxing. Up until that point I was very much in the fight and proved I can mix it at that level. I hope the best is still to come.”
July 20th will not be the first time that Szpilka and Chisora have shared a ring. The rivals already had a chance to trade punches during the filming of the 2018 film ‘Pitbull’, a Polish gangster film in which the two men were involved in a brief boxing scene.
Chisora has spoken of his willingness to take on former WBO ruler Joseph Parker should he get past Szpilka on Saturday, but "The Pin" believes that his London rival would be a fool to overlook him and has vowed to prove any doubters wrong. “I met him and we had a short chat. Yes, we know each other but we are not friends. We indeed traded some blows but not heavy ones. It was more fun than a real fight. The real punches will fly in London! I have a lot of respect for Chisora. He is a true warrior and he always fights to the final bell, so I’m ready and prepared for a tough fight. I chose this fight because we are both crazy men and it’s going to be a crazy fight.
“I know that people are talking about Chisora fighting Jospeh Parker this autumn and I know Derek and his manager David Haye are trying to get under my skin by mentioning this, but I don’t want to get involved in this trash talk too much. I’ll answer them on July 20th. My fists will do the talking!”
Chisora vs. Szpilka is part of a huge night of boxing in the Capital. The main event sees Brixton’s Dillian Whyte (25-1, 18 KOs) risk his number one spot in the WBC against Colombian Oscar Rivas (26-0, 18 KOs), Doncaster fan favorite Dave Allen (17-4-2, 14 KOs) tackles Liverpudlian Heavyweight David Price (24-6, 19 KOs) in a must-win domestic showdown, big-hitting London cruiserweight Richard Riakporhe (9-0, 8 KOs) is in against Bournemouth’s Chris Billam-Smith (9-0, 8 KOs), Canning Town’s Charlie Duffield (7-1, 6 KOs) clashes with Lewisham’s Dan Azeez (8-0, 5 KOs) for the vacant Southern Area Light-Heavyweight title, British cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie (12-0, 9 KOs) returns, Ipswich Heavyweight Fabio Wardley (7-0, 6 KOs) continues his march towards a title and Sheffield amateur star Dalton Smith (1-0) fights for the second time.

Jamal James wins tough fight vs. Antonio DeMarco

Jamal James wins tough fight vs. Antonio DeMarco
Jamal James W10 Antonio DeMarco... Former lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco gave welterweight Jamal James all he could handle during a ten-round war that saw James emerge victorious Saturday. In front of a hometown capacity crowd at the Armory in Minneapolis, James prevailed by unanimous decision but faced a serious gut check, undoubtedly due to the endless right hooks to the body that reddened the left side of James. After a good opening round for James (26-1, 12 KOs), the two slugged it out in a thrilling second round that saw both guys buzzed. The crowd jumped to their feet, perhaps encouraging James to remain in a firefight with DeMarco (33-8-1, 24 KOs). DeMarco has lost five of his last seven fights but has been a tough out, even at age 33. Although his days of challenging for a world title are probably well behind him, he's still a viable challenge.
When the two were in the center of the ring with any distance, James was the far superior fighter. He was able to punch and then turn DeMarco, forcing him to reset before DeMarco could fire off his own offense. But far too often in the fight, DeMarco was able to get James to trade shots with him in what turned out to be a fringe Fight of the Year candidate.
The seventh round stood out as a great round amongst many good ones. The two endlessly traded heavy leather, mixing up shots to the body and head. DeMarco had the edge early in the frame, but James poured it on late.
James is also known as being quite a gifted body puncher and did his fair share of punching to the midsection. The two took turns unleashing their offense, though James had the edge in punches thrown and landed. The rounds were hard to score but James did just enough to earn the support of the judges, who scored it 98-92 across the board in his favor.
"I knew coming into this fight that he was a former world champion and this would be a big step up," James said afterward. "He kept coming, but I did too. I just had to bite down and do what I know how to do. DeMarco definitely came to fight."
It was a solid win for James as he continues to bide his time while he hopes for a title shot in the crowded welterweight division. He has a sizable following, which is more than a lot of guys at 147 pounds can really claim. James is highly ranked in most of the major sanctioning bodies and could have his number dialed at any moment.
"I'm ready for the title fight, who's going to give me the shot?" James asked. "I'm ready for anyone. My time is now." source: pbc

Washington Scores Come-From-Behind TKO of Helenius

Washington Scores Come-From-Behind TKO of Helenius
Gerald Washington TKO8 Robert Helenius... After struggling in the middle rounds,  heavyweight  Gerald Washington (20-3-1, 13 KOs) snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a huge knockout of Robert Helenius (28-3, 17 KOs) in the eighth round of their scheduled ten-round bout. It was a competitive back-and-forth matchup. Helenius started to take over in the middle rounds thanks to a successful jab. Washington started to get a bit demoralized and gassed but found lightning in a bottle with a right hand that shook Helenius, who held on. Once they were separated, Washington followed up with a straight right that sent Helenius crashing into the ropes on his back. The fight was waved off at 2:30 of the round. It was a great come-from-behind win from Washington that gives him a glimmer of hope of getting back in the world title picture. Washington was outlanded 114-to-78 in punches up until that point in the fight. At the time of stoppage, Helenius was ahead 67-66 on two cards while Washington was ahead 67-66 on the third. source: pbc