David Lemieux injures hand, withdraws from fight

David Lemieux injures hand, withdraws from fight
A hand injury has forced David Lemieux (40-4, 34 KOs) to withdraw from his 168-pound debut against London's John "The Gorilla" Ryder (27-4, 15 KOs). Lemieux-Ryder was set for May 4th at Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena as the chief support of Saul "Canelo" Alvarez's world middleweight title defense against Daniel Jacobs. Lemieux injured his right hand during a sparring session, and his doctor has recommended that he rest for eight weeks before returning to the gym.  Details for a replacement bout will be announced shortly. Alvarez-Jacobs will continue as planned on Saturday, May 4th.
Lemieux, a 30-year-old native of Montreal, Canada, is disappointed at his injury, but promises to return stronger than ever.  ''Training camp was going really great," said David Lemieux."I felt in tremendous shape, the strongest I'd ever felt in my entire career. But, I will be back soon. Hopefully, the fans will understand. I promise I will make it up to them once I'm healed."
Lemieux's manager, Camille Estephan, said,  "I'm very disappointed since he was in the best shape of his life both in the gym and in the ring. We will take the time to heal his hand and get right back in the chase for a world title."
"It's very unfortunate that David Lemieux's return has been postponed," said Eric Gomez, President of Golden Boy. "But this is boxing, and these things happen. We wish David a speedy recovery and look forward to his return, so he can make big waves at 168 pounds."

Introducing Yurik Mamedov, the Fighting Pride of the Yazidis

Introducing Yurik Mamedov, the Fighting Pride of the Yazidis

Yurik Mamedov is a welterweight with an 11-1 record fighting out of New York City. Although he was born in Russia, Mamedov is an ethnic Yazidi, a religious minority based in Iraq. Because the Yazidis have resisted attempts to forcibly convert them to Islam, they are currently being brutally persecuted by Isis. Mamedov bills himself as the fighting pride of the Yazidis and wants desparately to build a successful ring career and then leverage that success to help the Yazidi people. Mamedov discussed his efforts with Boxingtalk's Justin Hackman and here is what he had to say:  

Justin Hackman: Greetings, Yurik.  Tell me a bit about your Yazidi (sometimes spelled Yezidi) heritage and the struggle your people are currently enduring.
Yurik Mamedov: The Yazidi people are a community with no country.  We live in Armenia, Iraq, Turkey, Russia, Germany and of course the United States.  My parents moved from Iraq, which is the main hub or holy land for the Yazidi, to Armenia which is where I grew up.  Then I moved to the States in 2012.  The Yazidi are not Muslim.  So Isis pushes forces them all to convert against their will, or they will be killed.  I have family friends that have been killed or become sex slaves.  The daughter in this family has been kidnapped and we are unclear what has happened to her at this point.  We don’t know where she is, or if she is alive or dead.  That is my mission, to find her.  It could’ve been my sister.  And this is happening to countless families every day.  The old ladies are killed, and the young women are taken and used as sex slaves.  The Isis soldiers that kill the most Yazidis are given the sex slaves as a reward.  It is very important for me to bring awareness of this genocide through boxing. 
JH: What steps are you taking to bring awareness to this terrible situation?
YM: I’m trying to be motivation for the kids who have nothing – to show them that just because you are Yazidi, and people are against you, you can still do something with your life.  I send clothing to Iraq, Syria and Greece.  In becoming a professional boxer, they view me as a sort of idol.  So it is a special thing for them to receive gifts, even something as simple as a t-shirt.  I am also speaking at schools, at boxing gyms, in order to motivate kids and be their support.
JH: You’ve been living in New York since 2012.  Do you enjoy it?
YM: The thing about New York is it gave me the opportunity to do what I’m doing today.  No matter who you are, you will have the opportunity to succeed with hard work.  I am lucky to be in New York City.  But the fact that I am one of the lucky ones, I still remain sad inside because I am so emotionally invested in the pain and suffering of my Yazidi people; their struggle is my motivation.  Every bit of suffering over there drives me crazy.  I am trying to help in every way I can.  I fight for more than personal glory.  I can climb a mountain but what happens when I’m the only one celebrating at the top?  I desire to help people along the way so we can all celebrate together.
JH: Tell me a bit about your professional boxing career to this point.
YM: I turned professional at the end of 2015.  I am just staying busy all the time, getting as many fights as I can.  I had a fight just two weeks ago in Atlantic City, and now we’re looking at fighting again in May or June.
JH: You have one blemish on your record, a split decision loss to Marcus Beckford in December of 2017.  Was bouncing back from this your biggest challenge so far?
YM: Bouncing back was not so much a challenge, but more a learning experience.  I believe I won.  We got robbed in his hometown.  That pushed me even more because in my mind, I was winning it easy.  The mistake I made was to not push as hard as I could’ve late in the fight.  I took it easy in the final few rounds.  That was a big mistake on my part.  I have learned that lesson and I will not do it again.  In my mind though, there wasn’t even a second I felt I was losing—just a bad night..
JH: What are you motivated to achieve in 2019 and beyond?
YM: The only reason I’m in boxing is to be a world champion.  When I’m a world champion, I will have a bigger voice for the people that need me.  It’s more about just boxing for me.  If it wasn’t for what the Yazidi people are going through, I wouldn’t be as passionate about boxing.  Later this year I’d like to be ranked high enough to challenge for a title; I’d like to fight someone significant.
JH: Who do you like in the Terence Crawford - Amir Khan fight?
YM: Crawford is number one pound-for-pound in my view.  Khan is a GREAT four-round fighter.  He can beat anyone in a four-round fight.  If he can do to Crawford what he did to Canelo Alvarez for the first few rounds, he can win this fight.  But we all know the problem for Khan is the chin.  Crawford’s ability to shift styles, and box with variety is what I believe will get Crawford the late-round knockout.  The timing and adjustments, once he’s got you, you’re done.  Crawford will take him out.  
JH: Thoughts in closing, Yurik?
YM: Right now I’m considered the fighting pride of the Yazidi people and that means everything to me.  Boxing is my platform to bring awareness.  The pain and suffering of the Yazidi people is all the motivation I need.  I want to become a world champion, not only because I love boxing, but because I am passionate about bringing attention to the Yazidi people on the highest level.  Anyone who doesn’t know about the Yazidi, I want them to Google it, and understand what we’re going through.
Boxingtalk encourages all our readers to learn about Yurik’s people who are facing genocide in Iraq as you read this.  To learn more about the Yazidi people, visit: http://www.yeziditruth.org/
To donate to the Free Yezidi Foundation, visit their site: https://www.freeyezidi.org/

Austin Trout Not Playing, plans to stop Gausha in late rounds

Austin Trout Not Playing, plans to stop Gausha in late rounds
Greg Leon: Your bout with Terrell Gausha [21-1] was just announced for May 25th. When did training camp start? Austin Trout: "Shortly before they made the announcement we shifted it into gear, maybe a week, a week and a half ago. I'm going to be going to Vegas on Tuesday to work with Robert Garcia and Floyd Mayweather Sr so that will be another gear that I'm going to be shifting in." GL: What do you think about Gausha as a fighter? What do you think about the style match-uo? AT: "I think it's a good style match-up for myself. He's going to play into my strengths. I don't want to get too much into how our styles will mesh or what I'm going to do to him, but it's a good fight for me and it's a fight that's going to make me look good."
GL: In our recent interviews, you've made it clear that you were up against it with the odds stacked against you in unfavorable circumstances with Jarrett Hurd and Jermell Charlo. Do you feel that way going into this fight? 
AT: "I always feel like my back's against the wall. I feel like the size isn't going to hurt me in this fight like it did with Charlo and Hurd. It's going to feel good to fight somebody my size."
GL: Other than victory is there a prediction?
AT: "I don't like saying I'm going to get a knockout or be looking or a knockout, but I think I'm going to stop him in the late rounds...like the tenth."
GL: Is your plan for this to be your coming out party to show people that you're still here and able to compete at the highest level?
AT: "Absolutely. Ain't no half stepping. After another year layoff I'm jumping in there with an Olympian who has only been beaten once. This is a fight I need to win if I want to stay in the game."
GL: In his biggest fight to date he seemed to be a bit overwhelmed by Lara. Do you think he learned from that and will be a better fighter when you see him?
AT: "I'm sure he learned from that and I'm not preparing for an underwhelmed Terrell Gausha, but I do plan to overwhelm him with my skill and work level."
GL: Who do you like in Hurd-Williams?
AT: "I like Hurd. He's just a big ass tank and he can really let those hands go. His stamina is crazy and unless the weight has gotten to him, I like Hurd in that fight."
GL: What about the Harrison-Charlo rematch?
AT: "I like Harrison, I don't think Charlo is going to be able to make the adjustments he needs to make and I think Harrison is going to be able to improve on what he did last time. I think Harrison just might have his number."
GL: What do you want a victory over Gausha to lead to?
AT: "A title shot of course. If not a bigger fight."
GL: Bigger and better things. 
AT: "That's right. And I'm not giving up on my goal to get to 147 so for me this is just a stop on my way there. I'll let you know who I want when I get there."
GL: What do you consider your biggest advantage going into this fight with Gausha?
AT: "My footwork."
GL: What about your experience?
AT: "I don't need to rely on my experience and I don't want to have to rely on my experience. He's a technical fighter, but I'm planning to win by banking on the things that are physical. I think physically I'm the better fighter. I'm not just the more experienced fighter."
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
AT: "I appreciate y'all. Tune in and check me out on Fox Sports 1 on May 25th. It's going to be a great fight to let y'all know I'm back."

Ioka-Palicte: June 19th in Osaka

Ioka-Palicte: June 19th in Osaka

Ioka-Palicte: June 19th in Osaka
"Mighty" Aston Palicte (25-2-1, 21 KOs) of the Philippines will face three-division champion Kazuto Ioka (23-2, 13 KOs) of Japan for the vacant WBO super flyweight title on June 19th at Osaka Orefectural Gym in Osaka, Japan. UFC Fight Pass has the worldwide live streaming rights outside of Japan. Palicte vs. Ioka will be the first championship fight on UFC Fight Pass under a new agreement between Palicte's promoter, RJJ Boxing that will live stream up to 72 professional boxing events through 2021.
After Palicte, 28, knocked out his previously unbeaten Jose "Chiquiro" Martinez this past January 31st in the second round of their WBO title eliminator, the WBO ordered negotiations to begin for a rematch between reigning WBO junior bantamweight champion Donnie Nietes and Palicte. Nietes, however, relinquished his title belt rather than accept a rematch against his fellow Filipino fighter in order to pursue other fights. Nietes and Palicte fought to a twelve-round draw last September for the then vacant WBO junior bantamweight world title. Nietes eventually captured the crown last December 31 in Macao, China, when he won a split decision versus Ioka.
"I'd first like to thank my promoters (Keith Veltre & Roy Jones, Jr.) and manager (Jason Soong) for making this fight happen," Palicte commented. "I'm very excited for this second opportunity to fight for a world title. I and the whole team learned a lot from the last draw and made adjustments, which, I think, were very effective. Since a rematch with Nietes will probably never take place, going against Ioka, who lost to him via a split decision, is probably the closest thing to redeeming myself after that draw. We've already planned out our training camp, which includes altitude training in Baguio (where Manny Pacquiao (pictured to left running with Palicte) also trained before). More than anything, I'm very excited to get into the ring again to hopefully deliver to my RJJ Boxing family its first world title." 
The 30-year-old Ioka is a former WBA flyweight, WBA light flyweight, and WBA/WBC minimumweight champion. His only two losses as a professional, both by way of split decisions, have been in world title fights to Nietes and Amnat Ruenroeng, in 2014, for the IBF flyweight title.
"I want to thank the WBO for working with us to make this fight happen," Veltresaid. "The WBO did everything possible to make this deal move forward. I want to thank Team Ioka for working with Roy Jones Jr Promotions, in addition to being professional and doing everything in their power to accommodate us. This is a great example of everyone giving in a little bit to make a great fight happen. Roy and I are extremely happy that we will be able to bring the first ever major World Title Fight to UFC Fight Pass and we are looking forward to seeing Aston Palicte becoming the World Champion."
Palicte is the younger, stronger fighter in this title fight match-up, however, Iota has a clear advantage in terms of experience with a 14-2 (9 KOs) world title fight record, as well as 6-2 (3 KOs) versus present and/or past world champions, compared to Palicte's 0-0-1 mark in both of these categories.
Not only will a victory over Ioka make him the first world champion for his promoter, RJJ Boxing, Palicte will also join Pacquaio and Nietes, as well as Pancho Villa, Flash Elorde, and Nonito Donaire, among others, in an elite club of Filipino world boxing champion.
Ioka will join fellow Japanese fighters such as flyweight Kosei Tanaka and junior flyweights Hirota Kyoguchi and Ken Shiro as reigning world champions with a triumph over Palicte.

Get caught up on Crawford-Khan coverage

Get caught up on Crawford-Khan coverage

Boxingtalkers get caught up on our coverage of the highly anitcipated April 20th WBO welterweight championship between undefeated champion Terence Crawford and former world champion Amir Khan. In addition to our must read one on one interviews with Crawford and promoter Bob Arum, there's also one-on-ones with undefeated budding stars Teofimo Lopez and Shakur Stevenson. 

Bob Arum Expecting 700k buys for Crawford-Khan

The Bobfather Still Pulling All Of The Strings

Terence Crawford: Expect Fireworks On April 20th

Teofimo Lopez: Tatli's getting stopped in six or less

Shakur Stevenson Run Towards World Title Starts With Diaz

CES returns to Rhode Island on April 26th

CES returns to Rhode Island on April 26th
Jamaine Ortiz (10-0, 5 KOs) of Worcester, Mass., headlines for the second event in a row on Friday, April 26th at Twin River Casino Hotel when he faces Brazil's Vitor Jones (15-4, 9 KOs) in an eight-round bout. Ortiz, a decorated amateur who won 100 fights and advanced to the semifinals of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in Nevada, comes off his most noteworthy achievement as a professional, a unanimous decision win over previously unbeaten Ricardo Quiroz on Feb. 23rd. Jones, returns to the United States for the second time this year and the ninth time in his career. The 25-year-old right-hander made his professional debut in 2012 under the guidance of Banner Promotions and won his first 13 fights. Ortiz-Jones headlines a Twin River Event Center show which includes the return of New England fan-favorites Ricky Delossantos, Michael Valentin, Lamont Powell, Marqus Bates, Nicholas Briggs and Victor Reynoso.
Unbeaten at 7-0, Delossantos faces durable Mexican featherweight German Meraz (62-54-2, 39 KOs) in an eight-round bout, the toughest test to date for the 29-year-old Pawtucket, R.I., native. Meraz's long-running career features 62 wins, including 39 by knockout. Next Friday is his fifth fight of the year and 13th since the beginning of 2018, a remarkable stretch highlighted by a three-fight win streak between last April and June. 
Meraz has also gone the distance with unbeaten featherweights Tramaine Williams, Irvin Gonzalez, Jason Sanchez, Ruben Villa and Gadwin Rosa, a tall order for Delossantos, who, like Ortiz, is coming off his most impressive win, outworking U.S. Army vet Javar Jones in February. 
Tickets are available online at www.cesboxing.com or www.showclix.com or by phone at 401-724-2253.  
Highlighting the undercard is a long-awaited six-round welterweight showdown between Massachusetts natives Marqus Bates (6-2, 4 KOs) of Taunton and Wilfredo Pagan (6-0, 3 KOs) of Southbridge. Pagan remained unbeaten with a win over Carlos Galindo in March while Bates won his fourth in a row via knockout in February against regional rival Jair Ramos. Next Friday is Pagan's first fight outside of Massachusetts while Bates returns to Twin River for the eighth time in nine fights. 
Reynoso (3-0, 3 KOs), a Providence, R.I., and hard-hitting light middleweight, puts his unbeaten record on the line against Miami's Yasmani Pedroso (2-5, 1 KO) in a four-round bout. Reynoso faced a tall task in February against John Williams and entered the fourth and final round needing a knockout to pull out the victory. He caught Williams with an overhand right at the 1:31 mark, sending his opponent into the ropes and prompting referee Shada Murdaugh to stop the bout.
Worcester's Briggs (3-0, 2 KOs) returns in a four-round bout against Latorie Woodberry (2-8-2) of Roanoke, Va. This will be Woodberry's second appearance and first since February of 2018 when he battled Bates to a four-round unanimous decision. Briggs recently upended the durable Andy Aiello in February, scoring a knockdown en route to a clean sweep on all three scorecards. 
Valentin (5-0, 1 KO), the 19-year-old lightweight from Providence, recently returned in February following a year-long layoff due to complications from his lifelong battle with Hirschprung's disease. Valentin edged Philadelphia's Christopher Burgos by majority decision to keep his perfect record intact and returns next Friday in a four-round bout. Also undefeated, Providence's Powell (3-0, 1 KO) steps back into the ring on the 26th in a four-round bout following an impressive win in February over Quebec's Kenny Chery.
Next Friday's card also features the return of New Bedford, Mass., junior welterweight Wilson Mascarenhas (0-1) and the Twin River debut of Rhode Island junior middleweight Anthony Concepcion (2-0, 2 KOs). Fighting for the first time since February of 2018, Mascarenhas faces Joseph Clark (0-0) of Franklin, N.Y., while Concepcion battles Brazil's Leonardo Ladeira (0-0), both in four-round bouts.

BJ Flores serving as advisor to Kingdamon Antone

BJ Flores serving as advisor to Kingdamon Antone

BJ Flores serving as advisor to Kingdamon Antone
Kingdamon Antoine (9-0, 7 KOs) is looking to take his career to the next level in 2019.  The featherweight defeated Raheem Abdullah (3-2) over six rounds on April 5th and plans to make a quick return to the ring on May 11th in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. Standing 5'7", Antoine has great size for the featherweight division. His advisor, BJ Flores believes that he can become a champion. "He's a good kid with a strong work ethic. He is tall for 126 pounds and I believe he can eventually fight up to 140 pounds.  He is very fast and has great reflexes," Flores stated.
The promotional free agent's last performance was streamed live on Facebook. Flores said that the plan is to get Antoine three to four more fights year and to eventually get him signed with a big promotional company. With the increased activity, Flores is certain that his fighter will make the move to contender. "Kingdamon is catching the eyes of some of the major promoters out there.  He is a tremendous talent and everyone in the 126 pound division will know his name very shortly," said Flores.

Danny Garcia-Adrian Granados workout quotables

Danny Garcia-Adrian Granados workout quotables
Former two-division champion Danny "Swift" Garcia and welterweight contender Adrian Granados took part in a media workout Wednesday as they near their main event showdown that headlines Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes this Saturday night from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The workout also featured heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz Jr. and Alexander Dimitrenko, who meet in a 10-round bout, and unbeaten contender Brandon Figueroa, who faces Venezuela's Yonfrez Parejo in a 12-round match for the WBA Interim Super Bantamweight title that kicks off the broadcast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, in association with DSG Promotions, are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at AXS.com or at the Dignity Health Sports Park box office from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday from Churchill Boxing Club in Santa Monica:
"I fought in this arena when I was 6-0 so it's exciting to be back. I also won the welterweight title against Robert Guerrero in Los Angeles. L.A. has always been good to me. There's a great atmosphere and I love fighting here.
"I'm ready for anybody, but I'm also not looking past Granados. At the end of the day, I have to focus on Saturday night. I have to get this victory.
"There's a lot at stake, so I know Granados will be ready. I trained hard and I think I'm in the best shape of my life. I think I'm in better shape now than my last two fights. I can't wait to show it on Saturday night.
"You watch Danny Garcia fights you know I'm always swinging trying to knock people out. Expect another can't-miss fight on Saturday.
"I know what Granados brings to the table, but I believe in my skills and the hard work we put into camp. The plan is of course to get a knockout and look spectacular, but I'm more than ready to go 12 hard rounds."
"This is a classic in a making. We're going to put on a show. I feel great. We've closed out camp just right and we're ready to rock and roll on Saturday.
"There are a lot of challenges in this fight. I have to go out there to dominate and take the fight away from him. Danny is a great fighter and there's a reason he's a big name in the sport. This is an opportunity that I'm going to take advantage of.
"I wasn't surprised that Shawn Porter said I was a tougher fight than Danny Garcia. I watched both fights and you could see at the end that I had Shawn running for survival. He did what he had to do to escape, but for this fight I'm taking it out of anybody else's hands.
"I don't think Danny is looking past me, but I know he has bigger plans. I'm here to interrupt those plans. I have my own plans. I'm going to catapult myself to where I belong and where I should have always been.
"My parents worked so hard to put me on the right path. I got involved with sports as a kid and never looked back. I always stayed focus on my sports and studies. The temptations were there in Chicago. I stayed true to myself and now I'm in a place where a lot of people look up to me. If I win on Saturday it can show that anything is possible."
"This is going to be my fourth fight at this venue. I've gotten a knockout every time, so I think it's a good luck arena for me. I've had setbacks, but I'm ready for my comeback.
"I've been training hard for this fight to make a statement. I'm excited to get this win and do it emphatically.
"Dimitrenko is a veteran fighter and I know I can't take him lightly. We're going to be ready and may the best man win. I'm ready to take on all challengers.
"I just need to stay loose and let my hands go. I'm going to show the kind of fighter that I am. My speed and the way I use the ring will be a key.
"I've watched Dimitrenko's fights, and I know I just have to do what I have to do. I think it's harder for him to fight a smaller guy like me, especially one with speed and who throws combinations."
"This is an important fight for me and I'm here to win. This is nothing new to me. My job is to come here put on a great performance. I've been a pro for a long time and I'm ready for Saturday.
"I have more experience in big fights than Ruiz. I'm going to give my best in this fight. There's no pressure on me and I'm feeling relaxed and ready for war.
"My last fight against Bryant Jennings ended with a bad stoppage and I'm looking to erase that memory. A win on Saturday is important to me and I'm not looking past it. I have to do my job and we'll see what happens after that.
"This is my first time in Los Angeles, I've gotten to enjoy the weather a little bit but it's all business. I'm focused on fighting on Saturday, that's been the goal all camp and we're leading up to a great show on Saturday."
"This is a moment I've been waiting for since I was a little kid. The opportunity is here, I'm ready and I can't wait to take it.
"I had a really good training camp. My body is ready physically and mentally. I know that Parejo is a really good fighter who's going to try to box me. I feel like once I put the pressure on him, I'm going to be able to dominate him.
"I think Parejo has weaknesses on his inside game, which is something I'm really good at. I feel like for my past few fights I've used that to dominate my opponents.
"This is my time to shine. I had a really good training camp and I'm here to take advantage of this opportunity. I'm only 22-years-old and I've worked really hard to get where I'm at right now."

Crawford-Khan final presser quotes

Crawford-Khan final presser quotes
Terence "Bud" Crawford is ready for business. Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) will defend his WBO welterweight title against former 140-pound world champion Amir "King" Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. The pay-per-view undercard will feature undefeated lightweight Teofimo Lopez against Edis Tatli in a twelve-rounder, Shakur Stevenson versus Christopher Diaz in a ten-round featherweight showdown and Puerto Rico's Felix Verdejo taking on Costa Rica's Bryan Vasquez. Three days away from the Garden Party, this is what Crawford, Khan and their trainers had to say:
Terence Crawford
"I don't believe no fight that I fight is just another fight for me. I believe that all fights that I fight from here on out are for my legacy. That's why I want the biggest fights out there. Amir Khan's name came up because he was the next best welterweight in the division. I could've easily took {Luis} Collazo. He could've took another fight with Kell Brook. I could've took Collazo, but that wasn't the job that I really wanted to take. Amir Khan is a great fighter. I can't take nothing away from. He's done a lot in the sport of boxing. He has a big name. He's undefeated at the welterweight division. So why not take another step up?
On not getting the credit for beating certain opponents: "Sometimes it bothers me, but that just shows how dominant I am. When you got undefeated gold medalists and world champions, where before the fight a lot of writers and fans think that they're going to steamroll me or they're too big for me, and this is going to be the toughest fight of my career. After the fight, they say, 'He wasn't that good,' or 'he was a stand-up fighter,' or 'he was slow,' or 'we knew you were going to do this, we just had to hype up the fight.' So they discredit me. When you look at the fighters I've fought, most of them haven't been the same after they've fought me."
"I just want people to respect me for my talent and the skills that I have, and the willingness to go in there and fight any and everybody that's available."
Amir Khan
"This {fight} ranks at the top for me because fighting a world champion, Terence is very high in the pound-for-pound rankings, maybe number one or number two. So, it's just amazing for me to be in this position once again. That itself is a great motivation for me, to know that I'm fighting the best out there once again. And it makes me train harder, work harder and focus on this fight. I know that I can't make any mistakes in this fight because I could be trouble. Terence, I've been watching all the videos of his fights. I see how he breaks down fighters, how he sees openings and stuff, and I can't make those openings {easy for him}. Maybe my last performance got me this fight. To me, that wasn't the best performance. That wasn't the best Amir Khan. I'm now back with my old trainer, Virgil Hunter, where I'm happy and he trained me the best. And he knows me better than any trainer out there. We know we've done everything we have to do for this fight, and I'm going to be more than ready."
"I've had some good fights in the welterweight division. We fought {Luis} Collazo. We fought {Devon} Alexander. {Virgil} has brought the best out of me. Even the Canelo fight was going well until I got caught with a shot. So, I mean, whereas this fight I'm fighting someone who is my own weight, which helps. Every fight with Virgil, I've learned something from, win or lose, and he's brought the best out of me. I needed to get back with someone who could bring that respect back for the sport of boxing and also make me work harder."
"This is a dream come true, and hopefully on Saturday, a dream will come true, where I get my opportunity to fight for another world title and be one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. This just drives me, makes me work harder, train harder, stay focused. I know I have someone in front of me who is up there as number one. You can't deny that. He's a good fighter. I know he's training hard because he doesn't want to lose that unbeaten record, and I don't want to lose this fight because I want to achieve everything I want in the sport of boxing."
Promoter Bob Arum
"I don't have to talk about what the public is going to see from Terence Crawford. Anyone who knows anything in boxing knows a Terence Crawford comes along very seldom in a generation. I look at him {and the closest thing I can recall to him} is Sugar Ray Leonard. Terence reminds me of Sugar Ray Leonard. I'm not going to get into who would win if they fought each other because that ain't gonna happen. Terence is really something special, and I'm so delighted that we've been able to arrange this fight against Khan, who I've always been an admirer of. Tremendous, tremendous fighter. I know Amir remembers the time I spent with his family when he was in Manny Pacquiao's training camp. So I know what he brings to this party, and I am really looking forward to performances by two great fighters. A generational talent in Terence Crawford, and one of the great fighters I've seen in Amir Khan."
Frank Smith (CEO of Khan's promoter, Matchroom Boxing)
"Amir had other opportunities he could've gone down, most notably probably the Kell Brook fight. But this is the fight that Amir wanted, and you have respect that and you have to respect a man who has done what he's done in the sport, and I believe on Saturday night he's going to go in there and do a job and become a world champion once again."
"I think Amir, when he's in with the best fighters, that's when he looks the best. I think the test of Terence Crawford, taking on one of the best pound-for-pound fighters, one of the most respected fighters in the world, will bring him on. He has come back from those two fights {victories over Phil Lo Greco and Samuel Vargas}... I think as a welterweight, that's the strongest weight for him, and I think it's great having Virgil back in his corner. He had a great time with Joe Goossen, but I think being back with Virgil, who he's been with for a very long time, is important to him." 
Brian McIntyre (Crawford's trainer)
"It's an honor to be across the ring from Virgil Hunter, and I will tell Virgil and everyone in the world that I'll listen to him, as he {trained} Andre Ward and so many other fighters. As a student of the game, you go back and try to listen to the trainers and see what they tell their fighters in the corner... I'm glad Amir went back with Virgil Hunter because I don't want him to have no excuses when Terence starts touching him."
Virgil Hunter (Khan's trainer)
"It's been a pleasure having Amir back. It came at the right time and a good time for a fight of this magnitude, to go up against a great fighter like Terence Crawford. As coaches, we live for these opportunities. Whether we win, whether we come up short, we thrive in these settings. It's a great opportunity, and it's a pleasure to be involved in this event."
"He can't have a mental lapse. He has to be focused every second of every round and be able to read the adjustments that a great fighter like Crawford will make. He's {excellent} at making adjustments, and we have to be able to read those adjustments and adjust accordingly to stay competitive and try to win this fight."

Jarrell Miller fails VADA test, Eddie Hearn says Luis Ortiz would be ideal June 1st replacement

Jarrell Miller fails VADA test, Eddie Hearn says Luis Ortiz would be ideal June 1st replacement

Jarrell Miller fails VADA test, Eddie Hearn says Luis Ortiz would be ideal June 1st replacement

UPDATE: In an interview with Kugan Cassius, promoter Eddie Hearn said "it don't look good" for Miller remaining the opponent for Joshua. Hearn said Miller still has the right to have a retest done, but Joshua was going ahead with the June 1st title defense because so many tickets have been sold. Hearn said Luis Ortiz would be the "ideal replacement" and that Joshua would also accept Ortiz as an opponent. 

Boxingtalk has been informed that undefeated heavyweight contender Jarrell Miller (pictured) tested positive for the banned substance GWO1516 ahead of his June 1st bout with undefeated WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Both Miller and his promoter Dmitriy Salita were unavailable for comment. Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn said on social media, "We have been informed by VADA that there has been an adverse finding in Jarrell Miller’s sample collected on March 20th. We are working with all relevant parties and will update with more details soon. AJ’s preparation continues for June 1st at MSG." Miller served a prior PED suspension 2014 when he was a kickboxer under the Glory promotional company. VADA immediately reports all test results to the promoters involved and commission governing the bout, in this case the New York State Athletic Commission. Click here for more information on GWO1516.

Miller's co-promoter, Dmitriy Salita was tight-liped, issuing only the following statement: "We are in the process of obtaining further information about VADA’s finding and will have more to say soon on this developing situation. In the meantime Jarrell continues to train for his June 1 fight against Anthony Joshua."

Adam Kownacki plans to return this summer; not interested in Anthony Joshua for now

Adam Kownacki plans to return this summer; not interested in Anthony Joshua for now
Editor's Note: this interview took place before the news that Jarrell Miller had failed a drug test prior to his scheduled June 1st challenge of WBA/WBO/IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Adam Kownacki's name quickly surfaced as a possible replacement to challenge Joshua, but it appears Kownacki is not interested. Respected Polish boxing source Przemek Garczarczyk tweeted that Kownacki told him, "”I have my own plan. And it's not enough time to prepare for June 1st and Anthony Joshua."  
Greg Leon: We haven't had you on Boxingtalk in a minute so I'm reaching out to check in. What's the latest and greatest? When can we expect you back in the ring?  Adam Kownacki: "Hopefully during the summer. I'm looking forward to getting back. I just did a little meet and greet over in Poland and it was really great because the people over there love me. Hopefully that's going to be same kind of following I'm going to get out here. I think my next fight will be even better my last fight against Gerald Washington."  
GL: Can you give me anything more specific than sometime over the summer? 
Adam Kownacki: "No not yet."
GL: Any short list of names yet?
AK: "Not yet. I would love to fight Chris Arreola, but I don't know if that's going to happen."
GL: We've been talking abuot you being a couple of wins away from a world title for more than a couple of wins now. From a mental standpoint has it been difficult for you to stay the course when you feel you've already earned the shot?
AK: "I have a good team behind me with Keith Connolly and Al Haymon. I've been pushed well so far and just with another win or two I'll be next in line."
GL: What do you think about WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder's upcoming defense against Dominic Breazeale?
AK: "I think Wilder should knock him out."
GL: Did you catch Jermaine Franklin's fight the other night?
AK: "No I didn't, but I've heard he called me out. I didn't know who he was before he called me out, but if they me that fighting him is going to bring me closer to the title fight then I'll fight him. Right now I'm ranked in the top five in more than one organization and I don't think he's ranked. I wouldn't say he's on my radar, but if they want me to fight him then why not? I don't shy away from any challenges."
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
AK: "I want to thank all of the fans for their support, I'll be back soon and I will be the first Polish heavyweight champion of the world."

Joshua's ex-Olympic foe Dychko asks to fill in on June 1st

Joshua's ex-Olympic foe Dychko asks to fill in on June 1st
Should a positive PED test exclude Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller from challenging WBA/WBO/IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua on June 1st, a man who lost to Joshua in the 2012 Olymoics, Ivan Dychko says he’s ready and willing to step in. The 28-year-old Dychko (7-0, 7 KOs), a two-time Olympic bronze medal winner, not only stands 6'9", but has fought Joshua on basically even terms: the Kazakhstani lost a razor-thin decision (13-11) to Joshua in the semi-finals of the 2012 Summer Olympics in Joshua’s homeland of England. Joshua went on to win the gold. [Editor's note: Dychko has not fought since last July when he stopped Maurice Harris in one round. Harris was winless in his five fights preceding the Dychko knockout.]
“He knows he didn’t beat me then and he still can’t beat me,” said a fired-up Dychko. “He got a hometown decision and ended up winning my gold medal. Now is his chance to prove he deserved his success instead of it being handed to him. I’m here in great shape and ready to go.”
Dychko, who went 181-18 as an amateur, says he doesn’t need 20 professional fights to be ready for Joshua. “He’s the same fighter he always was,” said Dychko. “He gets his world rocked in every fight and then his little bit of power bails him out when his opponents get tired. I know exactly how to beat him. I already did.”
Dychko says he’s ready and waiting for his phone to ring.  “No disrespect to Big Baby. If he ends up fighting, I am happy for him, but if Anthony Joshua needs an opponent for June 1st, I am the one who deserves this. I’ll be waiting to hear from your people, Anthony.” 

Golovkin to face Steve Rolls at catchweight of 164

Golovkin to face Steve Rolls at catchweight of 164

Golovkin to face Steve Rolls at catchweight of 164
It's a whole new ballgame for Gennady "GGG" Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) who will bring his "Big Drama Show" back to New York City's Madison Square Garden for the first time in over two years ion Saturday, June 8th.  Golovkin, whose resume includes a twentyconsecutive middleweight title defenses (18 by way of knockout), will make hus DAZN debut against [unbeaten but untested] .  Steve Rolls (19-0, 10 KOs) from Toronto. The battle is scheduled for twelve rounds at a catchweight of 164 pounds.  Golovkin vs. Rolls kicks off the exclusive six-fight, three-year global partnership between GGG Promotions and DAZN, the sports streaming platform.
A two-city press tour, featuring both fighters, will take place next week, starting at Madison Square Garden on Monday, April 22nd and concluding in Los Angeles on Tuesday, April 23rd.   Tickets go on sale Saturday, April 20th.
Notably, this will be the second of two major boxing events The Garden will host on back-to-back boxing weekends – both of which will be live exclusively on DAZN.  England's Anthony Joshua will make his United States and Madison Square Garden debut in a defense of his unified heavyweight title against Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller on June 1st [that fight is in jeopardy as Miller just failed a drug test], just one week before Golovkin’s highly anticipated return on June 8.
"I am very excited to be returning to the ring and bringing the Big Drama Show back to Madison Square Garden.  The Garden's fans are fantastic," said Golovkin.  "I love boxing and I promise to bring the best of me to everyone who will be watching me in an all-action fight with Steve Rolls.  I am very happy that GGG Promotions has a new home at DAZN."   
"I want to sincerely thank DAZN and GGG himself for giving me the opportunity to challenge one of the best fighters in the world," said Rolls.  "But let me be clear: I've won national championships and represented my country, and Golovkin is just a man.  I'm coming to win this fight and put my name among the best middleweights in the world.”
 “Gennady Golovkin is one of the top middleweights of all-time, and as part of DAZN’s growing roster of premiere fighters and our ongoing promise to deliver the best fights to fans, we are thrilled to kick off this exciting partnership at the iconic Madison Square Garden,” said Joseph Markowski, DAZN Executive Vice President, North America. “It will surely be an electric night and just the beginning of this next chapter of Golovkin’s impressive legacy.” 
Golovkin, 37, has reigned supreme in the Middleweight Division for nearly a decade.  Eighteen of his record 20 title defenses came by way of knockout -- a 90% ratio -- which is sure to remain the division's highest knockout percentage for a world champion.  Golovkin's tenure as champion ended when he lost a hotly disputed majority decision in a rematch with Canelo Alvarez last September.  A dominant amateur standout and Olympic Silver Medalist before turning professional in 2006, Golovkin's career has been on a historic trajectory, including a 23-fight victory-by-knockout streak and unifying the WBC, WBA, IBF and IBO World Middleweight Titles.  Golovkin has also proven himself to be box office gold.  He has sold out the most iconic arenas of the world, including Madison Square Garden, T-Mobile Arena, O2 Arena, The Fabulous Forum, and StubHub Center.
Rolls, 35, making his debut at The Garden, will be looking to ice Golovkin with his version of a Canadian cold front.  In December, via unanimous decision, Rolls defeated KeAndrae Leatherwood.  Rolls has stopped four of his last seven opponents while keeping his record perfect.
About DAZN:
DAZN is the largest global sports streaming platform in the world. Since launching in 2016, DAZN had expanded across four continents with the service available in the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Japan, and soon to debut in Brazil. DAZN guarantees no long-term contract, no bundles, just affordable access to all the service's sports on connected devices including smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, games consoles and PCs. In the U.S., DAZN has made its mark as an attractive alternative to pay-per-view within the combat sports industry. The platform features more than 100 fight nights per year from Matchroom Boxing, Golden Boy Promotions, GGG Promotions, Bellator MMA, the World Boxing Super Series and Combate Americas. DAZN also features live MLB action each day of the season with its new daily show, ChangeUp.

Chris Colbert: "I'm the best prospect in boxing hands down"

Chris Colbert: "I'm the best prospect in boxing hands down"
Greg Leon: Congrats on your victory over Mario Briones (29-9-2). Can you give us some thoughts on your performance? Chris Colbert: "Domination. I mean this is what I do every time I step in the ring. I don't even get excited because this is what I do everytime I step into the ring, I dominate fighters whether it's me stopping them or beating the sh*t out of them." GL: The left hand was on point the other night, was there something you saw in Briones that lead to you believing that would be the weapon of choice? CC: "I've just been working on my left hand a lot in camp because I am an ambidextrous fighter. I want to just build my power with my left hand more because my right hand is really my strong hand. My left hand is weak compared to my right, but I was working on that shot in the gym and it showed during the fight. I don't do any studying or none of that, I didn't know that was going to be the shot to lay him out, I was just practicing it in camp."
GL: After you dropped him with the left hand, did you know that all you had to do was keep touching him and the ref was going to have no choice but to save him?
CC: "Yes, but I really wanted to knock him out. If it would have went the rest of that round or one more round, I would have put him flat out with the left hand."
GL: You've been impressive in your last several fights, when do you see yourself taking the kind of step up fight that's going to bring your career to the next level?
CC: "Man I've been taking step-up fights since my fourth fight."
GL: You know what I'm talking about, I'm talking about the kind of fight that's going to be on national television and make fans really take notice of you to the point where you're a fixture on television moving forward.
CC: "From my last two fights on, everything is going to be on TV. I'm going to dominate whoever they put in front of me and I don't care who it is."
GL: Do you have any idea when your next fight might take place?
CC: "July or August."
GL: What are your goals for the rest of this year?
CC: "To keep on dominating. I'm not one of these fighters who's going to be calling out this person or that one, I'll fight anybody, anywhere, anytime, any place. I'm not picky, I just want to fight and build my resume and legacy. I'm looking to become one of the greatest fighters to ever put on the gloves."
GL: When you see the attention guys around your weight class like Teofimo Lopez and Devin Haney are getting, do you consider yourself to be as good as those guys or better even though you're not getting the same kind of attention?
CC: "What type of attention are they getting?"
GL: Devin has been headlining on Showtime and Teofimo is about to be headlining his own card on ESPN after he fights on Saturday night for instance.
CC: "After my next fight I'll be headlining cards too. I feel like we're on two different sides of the street. Devin Haney has money and he doesn't have a promoter, but at the end of the day when you have money, money talks. Teofimo Lopez is on the Top Rank side and they don't have as much on their side of the street as we do with Haymon's side. We got more great fighters so there's more competition to headline on my side of the street than theirs. I would have been headlining if I was with Top Rank-- I'm the best prospect in the game hands down."
GL: Can you still make featherweight?
CC: "Yes I can."
GL: Is that your preferred weight? Where do you feel most comfortable?
CC: "I'm comfortale at 126 and 130. I plan on winning my first world title at 126, but if there's big opporunities at 130 if they make enough dollars they'll make sense."
GL: I've been talking to you for about five minutes and I can already tell that you're a super f**king confident athlete, but as you're aware there's no such thing as a perfect fighter. With that being said, what part of your game do you feel needs the most sharpening?
CC: "My power, that's it. I'm the sharpest knife in this boxing draw. The last thing I'm worried about is my brain, my sharpness and my defense. My power is the least sharp part of my game, but you don't need power to be a great fighter. Floyd Mayweather did haven't great power, but we've got the kind of power that fighters are going to respect to where they're not going to come in and try to go crazy on us."
GL: What do you have to do to enhance your power? Is it about sitting down on your punches?
CC: "More sitting down on my punches, because I punch a lot while I'm moving. I told everyone I was going to catch a knockout versus Briones and I kept my word."
GL: Was this performance against Briones the start of people getting to see your power?
CC: "I mean yeah, but he's been stopped twice before so I'm not taking too much out of it. It was bound to happen as far as I'm concerned."
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
CC: "Shout out to all my fans all across the world, I love you guys, thanks for the suppot. Keep following me, the journey continues."

Seanie Monaghan announces his retirement

Seanie Monaghan announces his retirement

Long Island light heavyweight Seanie Monaghan announced his retirement from boxing on social media: "Met with Coach Joe and we decided I’m going to Officially retire from boxing. This sport and the people I’ve met along the way have changed my life drastically for the better. The life lessons I’ve learned from Joseph Higgins will hopefully carry me a long way in the next chapters of life. I met Coach Joe as a 20 year old Long Beach Wombat with no life plans, no direction, just a wild party animal, street fighter. He instilled in me his military style, no-excuses fortitude and mental toughness. There were times we were on the track at 6:30 am when it was 8 degrees out and times we did plyos outside in 100 degrees! No excuses, we got it done, “Dues paid” he’d always say afterwards! I got ranked top 5 on the planet, met a bunch of my idols, fought all over the place from MSG 7x, Barclays, Vegas, AC even Omaha [Nebraska]! Undefeated for my first 28 fights, retired at 29-3! We did some big things! Joe is like a father to me and we’re family now. My Manager PJ did an incredible job like he does with all his business ventures. I’d also like to thank (and apologize) to my mother, my Wife, my sister and Everyone in my family for taking this ride with me. I know it wasn’t easy to watch. None of this would have been possible without all the support from every one of you guys out there! Not everyone is lucky enough to have a support system like I did! Filling up busloads of maniacs from Long Beach [Long Island] spread into meeting boxing fans who came from Canada to see me fight! At least once a day I’ll bump into somebody who knows me from boxing. It’s a great feeling that I will always cherish. Once the weather gets nicer I’ll make another announcement, it’s only right we finish this thing off with a big party in LB! " Boxingtalk wishes Seanie Monaghan a happy and successfull retirement!

Despite mandatory status, Derevyanchenko anxious for next fight

Despite mandatory status, Derevyanchenko anxious for next fight

Despite mandatory status, Derevyanchenko anxious for next fight
Middleweight contender Sergiy "The Technician" Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10 KOs), of Brooklyn, NY, was victorious this past Saturday night against Germany's Jack Culcay (25-4, 13 KOs) in Minneapolis, MN. He won by unanimous decision, and scores for the bout were 116-112 (twice) and 115-113.  The victory earned Derevyanchenko, co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc., the status of mandatory challenger for the IBF middleweight title, which is currently held by Daniel Jacobs. On October 27, 2018, the former Ukrainian amateur standout lost a hard-fought twelve-round decision to Jacobs for the vacant title at Madison Square Garden.  With Jacobs now headed to a middleweight unification showdown against world champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez on May 4th, Derevyanchenko is looking to make a quick return fighting any of the top middleweights [as opposed to waiting around for an uncertain IBF title shot].
"I felt very good against Culcay; he was a very tough opponent, but I prevailed by listening to my corner and staying focused," said Derevyanchenko. "I'm going to take just a short time off and return to the gym. My focus is staying active and fighting the best in the middleweight division. My fight versus Danny Jacobs proved I can compete with anyone. Now it is time to win a world championship."
"Sergiy defeated a very game Jack Culcay on Saturday and proved that he remains one of the best middleweights in the world," said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. "With the win, he is now the mandatory challenger for the IBF world title, and we will continue to seek out the biggest and best opportunities for Sergiy to compete against the elite of the middleweight division ASAP."

Introducing British junior middleweight John Harding Jr.

Introducing British junior middleweight John Harding Jr.
British junior middleweight John Harding Jr. (6-0-1) credits boxing for turning his life around as he prepares to take part in his first major arena show on the undercard of Dave Allen vs. Lucas Browne and Derek Chisora vs. Senad Gashi at The O2 in London this Saturday. Harding grew up in South East London and found himself caught up in gang activity at a young age, resulting in lengthy spells in prison. Determined to change his lie for the better, the now 34-year-old decided to put his all into climbing the ladder in the pro ranks after his debut at York Hall in 2017.
Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte took Harding Jr. under his wing at the beginning of the year and set about securing his new charge a golden opportunity on Matchroom Boxing’s Easter weekend card in Greenwich – Harding Jr. says he will always be grateful for Whyte's guidance and leadership. “Everything is good,” Harding Jr. told iFL TV. “I’m just here enjoying being on this stage. It felt weird but now I’m embracing it. I was always the person on the outside looking in, but now I’ve got my chance. I’ve been working closely with Dillian and to be in this position now is just amazing. I want to prove to people that hard work can pay off. I want everyone to look at my life and know that if they work hard they can change their ways as well. Boxing has given me a lifeline.
“I grew up on an estate in New Cross. On the estate you grew up in a brotherhood, so you grew up inheriting rival gang activities. We thought that hustling was the only way for us to move forward in life. Other people call it drug-dealing, for us it was just survival. That’s what we grew up around and thought was normal. I ran into the law a couple of times. I’ve spent probably around five and a half years of my life in prison. It’s very hard when you’re in that position as a young person.
“I always dreamt I’d be the one being interviewed one day. I used to watch these guys being interviewed on a secret little mobile phone in jail! This shows the power of vision and hard work. When I stepped out with nothing, I only had that vision in my head. I was quite big, 17 stone and muscly. Now look at me, I’m a Light-Middleweight floating like a butterfly!
“I just kept coming to the gym, training around guys like Richard Riakporhe. I was always in the shadows of those guys, training hard. Fast-forward a while and I bumped into Dillian Whyte, who’s looked out for me since. He saw my heart and he’s brought me close and that just shows me how much of a true person he is. For him to reach out and help someone like me has changed my life and helped others too.
“It’s never too late to change your life. Hard work always pays off. Dillian told me to work hard. He always emphasises working hard. Even when it was his birthday he was in the gym grinding and working all day. I can’t lie, this is big for me, but Dillian has told me to be grounded. He’s a workaholic, he doesn’t stop. Focus and hard work pays off and I’m the living proof of that.”
Harding Jr takes part in a huge night of boxing in the Capital.
Doncaster fan favourite Dave Allen (16-4-2, 13 KOs) faces the biggest night of his career against Australia’s Lucas Browne (28-1, 14 KOs), Derek Chisora (29-9, 21 KOs) clashes with Senad Gashi (17-2, 17 KOs) in his first fight under new trainer Dave Coldwell, Sunderland’s ‘Pretty Boy’ Josh Kelly (8-0, 6 KOs) takes on the toughest opponent of his career to date in the form of unbeaten 17-0 Pole Przemyslaw Runowski and Ilford welterweight Conor Benn (13-0, 9 KOs) returns to the ring against Czech Republic’s Josef Zahradnik (10-2, 5KOs), Brooklyn middleweight Nikita Ababiy (3-0, 3 KOs) makes his UK debut and Watford Bantamweight Shannon Courtenay fights for the second time as a pro after her debut win at the Copper Box Arena.

Crawford-Khan workout quotables

Crawford-Khan workout quotables
WBO welterweight champion Terence "Bud" Crawford and Amir "King" Khan hosted a media workout in preparation for Saturday evening's Top Rank on ESPN pay-per-view showdown at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The undercard will feature lightweight Teofimo Lopez vs. Edis Tatli in a twelve-rounder plus featherweight phenom Shakur Stevenson will face Christopher Diaz in a ten-rounder. In another ten rounderr, Felix Verdejo seeks to return to lightweight relevance against Bryan Vasquez. Here is what the boxers had to say:
Terence Crawford
"I feel like I'm already the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Beating Amir Khan would only solidify my place in the sport. Amir Khan is undefeated as a welterweight and can't be underestimated. He has great hand speed, movement, and some power as well. I want to showcase all of my talents in this fight."
"I don't worry about the bigger names. My focus is on Amir Khan. He is the task at hand. I've never overlooked an opponent."
"I feel like a lot of times people don't give me credit for who I've beaten. I've defeated gold medalists, undefeated fighters, world champions. It doesn't matter. Before my fights, people talk about how it's going to be the hardest fight of my career. Then I beat them, and people make them seem like they were nothing. I am going to keep doing what I'm doing and keep being victorious."
"I am on a high level right now, and the way I beat people makes it seem like they don't belong in the ring with me. Against Khan, I will show everyone again why I'm the best fighter in the world."
Amir Khan
“I wanted this fight because I wanted to fight the best. Terence Crawford presented the greatest challenge to me at this point in my career. Listen, the Kell Brook fight was there, but fighting Terence gives me the opportunity to show I am a pound-for-pound fighter.”
"I'm not going to be giving all that weight away when I fight Crawford. When I fought Canelo, he was a much bigger man. This is a fairer fight in terms of weight. I am confident I can win this fight because he has never fought anyone like me. I have power, speed, and movement, and he has certainly never fought a welterweight like me. I've grown into my weight. I'm not just another number on Crawford's record."
"When I lose focus is when I get in trouble. Against Samuel Vargas, it wasn't even a great punch that put me down. I lost focus for a second and got caught. I've sparred with strong, heavy-handed guys this camp, and I know I can take a big welterweight punch."
Teofimo Lopez
"Training camp has been great. It's been a long time since someone has gone the distance with me, and that's not changing come Saturday night. We're working on new things in the gym, focusing on power and changing things up. I've shown people some of my arsenal, but no one has seen what I am capable of yet. Against Tatli, I will put on a show. I will steal the show."
"My last fight {Feb. 2 against Diego Magdaleno} showed some people can withstand my power, but at the end of the day, they all fall."
"There's no bad blood with Tatli and me, but I'm still going to kick his ass. I'm still going to beat him up. That I can guarantee. They bumped this fight to a 12-rounder to get me ready for a world title shot. That's coming soon."
"All of the hard work that my father and I have put in is starting to pay off. Fans and media have recognized my talents, but I am focused solely on what's in front of me this Saturday. Every time I fight at MSG, I take over the show, and that's the plan. I will steal the show."
"I don't need a Lomachenko fight to be a superstar. But I want to be the best and I want to fight the best. This is my last year at lightweight, so after I get that world title, let's make it happen!"
Edis Tatli 
"I came a long way for this fight because I know I can win. I have been in with the better fighters, and my talent will show on Saturday night."
"All fighters dream of fighting in America. To fight at Madison Square Garden on a card like this is a dream come true."
Shakur Stevenson
"I was ready to take the next step in my career. This is a fight I wanted. I want to show everyone I am a top fighter. The time was now to step up."
"My team and I know we can beat Diaz, which is why we took this fight. This is my time. This is what I've wanted since I turned pro following the Olympics."
"I want all the champions, but first, I have to beat Christopher Diaz."
Christopher Diaz 
"Shakur made a mistake when he accepted this fight. I'm sure he's going to be a world champion one day. He's a very good fighter, but his team made a terrible error in judgment."
"All fighters say this, but this was truly the best training camp of my career. This is my first fight with Freddie Roach, and we had perfect chemistry from day one. I've been sacrificing and training hard for three months. I am going to take his undefeated record. I am going to win this for my family and for Puerto Rico."
"I am a different fighter since moving down from 130 pounds. This is the new and improved Christopher Diaz." 
Felix Verdejo
"I know this is a very important fight for my career. I'm going against a former world champion and a great fighter. But I am ready to show the world that I'm still an elite fighter."
"Having my baby last year changed my life. I fight for her now. It puts things in perspective."
"For me, this fight is about redemption. After beating Vasquez, I want to fight for a world title."
Bryan Vasquez
"This fight means everything to me. I am going to give it my all in this ring. One thing I know is that Felix Verdejo has never faced anyone with my skills or my toughness. I want a world title shot, and beating Felix is my way to get there."
"To fight on a card like this is a great honor. Since signing with Top Rank last year, I have been active and improving with every fight. I am ready to put the lightweight division on notice. Felix isn't ready for me."
"You haven't seen the best of Bryan Vasquez. I have been in there with elite fighters, and that experience will show on Saturday night."
Tickets for this world championship event priced at $606, $406, $306, $206, $106, $81, and $56 (including facility fees) can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.MSG.com.

Q&A: Rances Barthelemy

Q&A: Rances Barthelemy

Q&A: Rances Barthelemy
Former two-division title holder Rances Barthelemy discussed changes to his training camp as he nears a fight against former IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. taking place Saturday, April 27th live on Showtime from The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and presented by Premier Boxing Champions. At stake will be the vacant WBA regular title, secondary to Vasyl Lomachenko's WBA super championship. (Lomachenko also has the WBO title). After losing for the first time in his pro career in a 140-pound title fight against Kiryl Relikh last March, Barthelemy rebounded to stop Robert Frankel in December as he prepared to return to the lightweight division to face Easter. Since the loss to Relikh, Barthelemy made fellow Cuban and former world champion Joel Casamayor head trainer as he looks to return to the championship ranks. Here is what Barthelemy had to say from training camp at Prince Ranch Bones Adams Boxing Gym in Las Vegas:
Q: How has training camp gone so far?
A: “Everything has been going well under the guidance of Joel Casamayor and the assistance of my brother Yan Barthelemy and Oscar Vasquez. We have been training twice a day and sparring three to four times a week against solid guys like former world champion and ex-opponent Mickey Bey. Like they say, ‘iron sharpens iron’ and the quality of sparring has been tremendous help in getting me ready for April 27th. I feel better prepared both mentally and physically than I did in my most recent fights.”
Q: What do you make of Robert Easter Jr. and what do you know about him?
A: “I have seen various Robert Easter Jr fights and have been studying him very closely. He’s a great boxer who likes to use his height and reach to his advantage. He’s an ex-world champion who has fought quality opponents. He deserves all of my respect but we are very confident that we will be victorious against him.”
Q: Do you feel you have been able to rebound from your first career defeat?
A: “Most definitely, I have been able to move on and use that defeat as a lesson in my career. They say sometimes we learn more in defeat than we do in victories and that was the case in that fight. Sometimes we do not see clearly when we are winning. Bad habits or little details that need correction are overlooked when you are winning. Sometimes we do not even see them. I feel rejuvenated and we have made many important changes that were necessary for my career. You will see on April 27 that there is still much more left from Team Barthelemy.”
Q: What would it mean to become a champion again on April 27th? 
A: “We have no doubt that we’ll become champion again for a third time on April 27. This will bring my name back at the top of the sport with many potential big fights to be made. It will mean so much more to me because Cuban boxing has currently gone through a rough patch and this victory will allow Cuba to have a champion once again.”
Q: Any final message to your fans before your fight?
A: “Please make sure to tune in on April 27th. This fight will be very competitive, with two evenly-skilled former world champions looking to reclaim their status at the top of the sport. Fights like this are what make boxing great. Cuba will have a champion once again on April 27th.”
Showtime's coverage will also feature former WBC 140-pound titlist Viktor Postol taking on France’s Mohamed Mimoune in a WBC eliminator, while rising heavyweight Efe Ajagba looks to remain undefeated against once-beaten Michael Wallisch iof Germany in a ten-round heavyweight attraction.  Tickets can be purchased at www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com or through Ticketmaster.

Anthony Dirrell added to Box Fan Expo line-up

Anthony Dirrell added to Box Fan Expo line-up
WBC super middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell will appear at the fifth annual Box Fan Expo on Saturday May 4th at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Dirrell will meet and greet with fans at the Box Fan Expo store booth. The Expo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., during Cinco De Mayo weekend, coinciding with the worldmiddleweight championship fight between Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Danny Jacobs that will take place later that evening at the T-Mobile Arena. Tickets to the Box Fan Expo are available at Eventbrite - https://boxfanexpo.eventbrite.com 
Dirrell will make his first appearance at this years' Expo and will be signing gloves, photos, personal items. Boxing Fans will have an opportunity to also take pictures with him. Dirrell joins Julio Cesar Chavez, Riddick Bowe, Mikey Garcia, Errol Spence Jr., Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, Vinny Paz, Devin Haney, Earnie Shavers, Al Bernstein, Michael Spinks, Erik Morales, James Toney and Jessie Vargas as commitments to this year's Box Fan Expo.
Anthony Dirrell is a two-time and current WBC super middleweight champion, having held the title since February 2019 and previously from 2014 to 2015. He is the younger brother of 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Andre Dirrell, who is also a professional boxer.
Box Fan Expo allows fans to meet-and-greet boxing superstars of today, current and former world champions, legends of the sport and other boxing celebrities. Fans can experience various interactions such as autograph and photos sessions, FaceOff with your favorite boxers, pictures with the Ring Card Girls, Live DJ Music, chance to win prizes, purchase merchandise and memorabilia from different booths exhibitors.
Box Fan Expo has been a huge success with fans and boxing industry people. Many boxing stars have attended the last four Expos such as Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns, Marco Antonio Barrera, Roy Jones Jr., Andre Ward, Mikey Garcia, Marcos Maidana, Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, Errol Spence Jr., Sergio Martinez, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Tim Bradley, Deontay Wilder, Amir Khan, Shawn Porter, Fernando Vargas, Zab Judah, James Toney, Jessie Vargas, Vinny Pazienza, Mia St.John, Leo Santa Cruz, Badou Jack, Terry Norris , Riddick Bowe , Earnie Shavers, Leon Spinks, Danny Jacobs, Abner Mares, Jorge Linares, Brandon Rios and many more...
Exhibitors include: boxing promoters, gear, apparel, equipment, energy drinks, supplement products, broadcasting media, sanctioning bodies, and other companies who wish to participate will once again have a chance to showcase their brand to fans and the boxing industry.
Tickets to the Box Fan Expo are available online at: https://boxfanexpo.eventbrite.com

Bob Arum expecting 700,000 buys for Crawford-Khan

Bob Arum expecting 700,000 buys for Crawford-Khan
Greg Leon: Congrats on a great card the other night. Vasyl Lomachenko looked as deadly as he's ever looked [stopping Anthony Crolla]. Can you give us some thoughts on his performance, the card as a whole and ultimately the injury he suffered? Bob Arum: "I thought that Gilberto Ramirez looked terrific in going up to light heavyweight [defeating Tommy Karpency], and Lomachenko, I mean what can you say? I've never seen anything like that. It's almost like he's a magician in there because he's fighting world class fighters. Crolla is a decent lightweight, a former [WBA] champion and a solid pro and he made him look like an amateur."
GL: No, he made him look like he's never put on boxing gloves before. BA: "Exactly! I agree with you. I've never seen anything like Lomachenko, never. Now that his shoulder was 100%... you know he didn't tell me, but the doctor told me that when he did his last fight with Pedraza he wasn't allowed to throw a right hook. He was all healed, but the doctor said not to throw the right hook because when you hurt it before, you can hurt it again. This time he had permission to throw the right hook and that's what he knocked the guy out with."
GL: Do you think his hand injury had anything to do with the gloves? I know all of the top guys with Egis will be wearing Venum because they've made a deal. I know that hand injuries happen frequently in boxing regardless of who makes the gloves, but it's his first fight with Venum and he suffers a hand injury so I think it's a viable question.
Bob Arum: "It is a viable question and I don't know what the answer is. I talked to Egis and the doctor and I'll tell you exactly what the doctor said. He had a broken knuckle, a little crack and the ligament was dislocated so he went to see Steve Shin, who treats all of the hand injuries for all of my fighters. He's a big hand expert and they numbed his hand, relocated the ligament and put him in the cast for the cracked knuckle. The doctor doesn't want him to hit anything or use the hand for six weeks. Then he can use it lightly after that, so we figure right now he'll be 100% ready to go after eight weeks when he's able to use it, which will be in September."
GL: I was joking with Egis the other day, I said it seems like the boxing gods don't want to see Loma [unify his WBA and WBO titles] vs. [IBF lightweight champion Richard] Commey. The fight was on tap, Commey hurts a knuckle and the fight doesn't happen. Now Loma makes the mandatory against Crolla...
BA: (cuting in) "The truth is we were thinking about maybe having him go in August, so it's not a big deal it's basically a one month setback, if that, because we weren't sure that we would go in August anyway."
GL: Is the plan to have him come back in September with Commey?
BA: "There's a lot of ways to go here. We're going to talk to Lou [DiBella who promotes Commey] We know Commey is talking about making a title defense before he fights Loma or Teo(fimo) Lopez. He might end up with Teofimo too, we'll see. We don't know what Garcia is going to do. Is he going to stay at 135? If not, maybe Loma fights (Luke) Campbell for the WBC title. There's a lot of possibilities."
GL: What was it like working with Eddie Hearn on this promotion?
BA: "Eddie is a professional for chrissakes. First of all, he sends over a fighter like Crolla with a manager and trainer like Gallager and they behave like professionals. They're at press conferences when they should, they do interviews when they should, they do media workouts when they should. They're 100% people. Eddie really didn't have to do any work on the promotion."
GL: Good thing, since he doesn't know dick about promoting in the US?
BA: (laughs) "Well that's right he knows dick about it. But I admitted the other night to the writers that I equally know dick about promoting in England."
GL: When you made the remark that fight landed on ESPN because Eddie didn't want to start a war he can't win. Reading between the lines that sounded like he better never f**K with us and play nice if he wants ESPN to help him with his major events like Canelo and Joshua bouts.
BA: "Well it's not so much play nice, but you don't go to a purse bid and get one of our fighters stripped because you're going to purse-bid and the fighter is not going to fight on DAZN because his contract provides that he's got to fight on ESPN. You don't do that to us and we're not going to do that to you. Find out what's a resonable purse that your guy wants and we'll pay him, so it worked out amicably there."
GL: We're less than a week away from the mega-event headlined by Terence Crawford vs. Amir Khan with a fully loaded undercard. Tell us all about it.
BA: "We're very excited. We had Teofimo around for a couple of days reminding us that he's the greatest fighter in the world and he'll be fighting on that card. Shakur and Terence have been training in Colorado Springs and I hear they're in fabulous shape. I got a text message from Memo Heredia who is the strength and conditioning coach for Felix Verdejo and he's in great shape. Christopher Diaz, I spoke to him and he's in great shape so we're lock and loaded and ready to go."
GL: I asked what your expectation was for this card PPV wise and you told me to ask you again the week of the fight after you see how ESPN puts its megaphone behind it. Now that we're here, what's your expectation for the fight? 
BA: "The truth is when we started and first rolled it out I was hoping for 350k, but now I really think we have a helluva shot to break 7(00)k buys. You're going to see commericals that Disney is rolling out talking about the Crawford-Khan fight and the Avengers movie coming out a week later, with the Avengers fighting some gang...I don't know who the hell it is, but they're expecting it to be the biggest movie of the year. The whole advertising campaign this week for the Avengers is intermixed with Crawford and Khan, and if you put ESPN on you'll see big features on the fighters on the card. On ESPN+ there's a tremendous piece on Teofimo called the prospect and they're about to put on another one with Shakur Stevenson. ESPN and Disney are really going crazy promoting this. We had a big talk with the satellite dishes and the cable companies and they're in a state of panic because UFC has taken all of its PPV through ESPN+ for a big guarantee and we told them that if they don't produce for us on this one then we're going to do the same thing with our PPV's. They don't want to lose the boxing franchise now that they've lost the UFC franchise which means a lot because UFC was doing ten to twelve events a year on PPV. Whether you have cable or DirectTV you're going to be bombarded by them to buy the fight."
GL: In your opinion does Crawford-Khan doing more buys than Spence-Garcia eliminate any doubt that Crawford is the A side of any Spence fight?
BA: "No, it's got nothing to do with it. You couldn't expect Spence and Garcia to do the numbers this fight will because they didn't have the marketing support that we had with ESPN. Fox is new and Fox is also a mixed entity, they've got entertainment and sports. It's not like ESPN who has five channels and can go around the clock pushing an event. They would tell me it's not a fair comparison and they would be right."
GL: Earlier you said Teofimo Lopez was telling everybody he's the best fighter in the world and that's a good thing because after the way Loma just looked it's going to be hard to find top guys who want to run towards him and want him the way Teofimo seems to.
BA: "I don't know what they're seeing, I'll tell you that frankly. Teofimo is a great, great fighter, but I remember when we signed Tyson Fury, the father called me up and know if he could match Teofimo against Tyson Fury...and I only think he's being facetious."
GL: Shakur is getting ready for a step up bout against Christopher Diaz and the footage from the incident last year comes out the worst possible time. Does it concern you that this may be a distraction to Shakur?
BA: "I don't think it's going to be a distraction for Shakur. The incident itself, you're right took place almost a year ago. We took it very, very seriously. We spoke to Andre Ward who is a very solid guy and the co-manager. We spoke with the grandfather, we spoke with Coach K, we spoke with Shakur. He's learned his lesson and everyone has assured us that nothing like this will ever happen again. The release of that video, which I had never seen before really brought home how stupid and uncalled for that incident was, but we had already taken steps with the young man to assure ourselves that it would never happen again."
GL: How does it feel to have this in house competition where lots of people consider Loma pound for pound best and he looks the way he did against Crolla, further cementing his status as king to having Crawford, considered pound for pound best in the eyes of many as well looking to further his position?
BA: "It is good to have two great fighters like that and I look at who's the best pound for pound fighter as being sort of ridiculous. Who's the most valuable player on a football team? The guy who gets 20 sacks disrupting the other team's offense or the QB throwing for a gazillion touchdowns? Who's the most valuable? They're different. Lomachenko is the greatest technical fighter I've seen, I've never seen anything like it and Terence Crawford is the second coming of Sugar Ray Leonard for me. Who's better? They're different."
GL: Anything you can tell me that nobody has reported yet?
BA: "Well, let me see...I think that (Zurdo) Ramirez is coming to New York and I want to sit him down with you. I don't want to hold anybody up in the super middleweight division, so he's either going to let us know if he wants to go back down to super middleweight or stay at light heavyweight. My guess is that he's going to stay at light heavyweight in which case we'll get him a title fight or a fight with a guy like (Eleider) Alvarez. I don't know how he was ever 168 pounds. He weighed in at 175 for the fight, but he came in at 195 pounds for the fight. He's a big sonofabitch. He fought at light heavyweight and Karpency looked like the smaller guy."
GL: Jesse Hart told me he may be fighting Eleider Alvarez.
BA: "Jesse is going to fight on June 8th and we're going to evaluate and meet with Jesse. If Zurdo decides to stay at light heavyweight, we're going to explore the options with the WBO and Jesse to see if Jesse can fight for the vacant title."
GL: Closing thoughts.
BA: "We're really excited to be in New York with this great show. Everybody in LA is buzzing about the Loma card that we put on the other night. The production was like nothing ever seen before, the in arena production. We had 10,000 people in there and the place was buzzing. There was a lot of Hollywood celebrities there, everybody said that they had never seen a production like the one that went on in Staples on Friday and I told everybody just wait till you see what we're going to do at the Garden. You know enough to evaluate the fights for yourself, but I'm talking about the production. It's going to be like nothing you've ever seen before, it's going to be absolutely thrilling. Boxing now, with the help of ESPN and the funds that we're putting into the production, is being presented like a real major league sport. The fights depend on the efforts that the fighters put out and I'm convinced that the fighters are going to put on a great effort, but people are going to see a fantastic production whether they're in Madison Square Garden or watching on ESPN PPV."

Katie Taylor, Delfine Persoon to unify all four lightweight belts

Katie Taylor, Delfine Persoon to unify all four lightweight belts

Katie Taylor, Delfine Persoon to unify all four lightweight belts
Katie Taylor-- who holds the WBA, WBO and IBF lightweight titles-- will face WBC champion Delfine Persoon for the undisputed world women's lightweight championship on Saturday June 1st at Madison Square Garden in New York, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK. The winner will becoe the third woman, and sixth boxer ever-- to hold all four major sanctiong body titles simultaneously.  Taylor (13-0, 6 KOs) last fought in in March, stopping Rose Volante for the WBO belt in the ninth round in Philadelphia, a sixth win inside the distance for the Irish sensation after the former amateur star won her first World title in just her seventh pro outing. The Belgian Persoon (43-1, 18 KOs) has held the WBC belt for five years and made her ninth defense vs. Melissa St. Vil last month.  
The 32 year old Taylor takes on Persoon on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight title defense against Jarrell Miller in the Big Apple, making it the third time Taylor has boxed on the same bill as her fellow London 2012 Olympic gold medal winner Joshua.
“It’s great that she has finally signed for the fight and I’m delighted that Eddie has been able to make it,” said Taylor. “After my fight last month I went back home for a week but then it was straight back to Connecticut to start the hard work in training camp for this fight. When I turned professional my first goal was to win a world title but then my next priority was to become undisputed champion so obviously this fight gives me the opportunity to do that so it’s massive for my career. Women’s boxing is in such great place right now and these are the kind of super fights that will really take it to new heights. Persoon is recognized as one of the best in the world pound for pound and has been the WBC champ now for over five years so it’s the best against the best. Madison Square Garden seems like the perfect setting for a fight of this magnitude.”
Persoon said, “This is a very unique opportunity for me and I’m thankful we’ve got the fight made, I did not have the opportunity to participate in the Olympic Games and now I get the chance to compete with the Olympic champion in Katie Taylor. I expect this will be a very tough and honest fight, and that the best boxer may win this title fight – and I expect that to be me.”
“This is it – this is everything, the absolute pinnacle of the sport,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “The dream is on, the undisputed championship and I can’t wait to see this fight on June 1st. This is the toughest test of Katie’s amateur and pro career, two pound-for-pound greats putting it all on the line at the mecca of boxing – the atmosphere is going to be something else.”
Tickets for the huge night of World title action in New York are on sale now via Madison Square Garden and StubHub (www.stubhub.com). Tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.MSG.com.

Marcus Bates gets TKO win; now looks for Raeese Aleem rematch

Marcus Bates gets TKO win; now looks for Raeese Aleem rematch
Greg Leon: Congrats on your victory over Jesse Angel Hernandez [12-3] this weekend [TKO3]. Can you give us some thoughts on your performance? Marcus Bates: "It's like I told you before the fight, I was going to go out there looking to use my skills, not looking for the knockout. I was able to find a home for my left hand, but I got a lot of stuff to work on. I did a lot I wasn't pleased with, but overall I did good. I was able to get him out of there in the third round, but I'm going to be right back in the gym and work on what needs improvement." 
GL: How satisfying is this for you? You're coming into this fight off of a long layoff and get a win like this on a card like that with the Showtime people in the building. It'll be crazy if you're not part of a Shobox telecast in the near future. 
MB: "It would be. What's crazy is that I hurt my right arm a couple of days before the fight. It's nothing serious it was just a little sore from sparring, but I felt great in there. I was focused, I told myself that I needed the win and I went out there and I got it."
GL: When might your next fight take place?
MB: "I've got to talk my team and my promoter and then we'll figure out when I'll go again. I'm back in the gym on Tuesday and we're going to keep working until we get the next call. I need to be active that's very important for me to stay active right now."
GL: Is there anybody out there that you would like to get on a Shobox card?
MB: "Yes, I want to fight the guy they gave the decision to against me, Raeese Aleem, that's who I want. I want that rematch, but if he refuses to fight me I'll fight whoever they put in front of me it doesn't matter. I would love that fight with Aleem on Shobox, he said he'd give me a rematch in the ring after the fight happened and I hope he's a man of his word."
GL: I assume you're looking to get back in the ring sometime over the summer, maybe July...
MB: (cutting in) "June would be great. I'm going to be ready to go and I want to go as soon as posible. Early June works for me. I'm back in the gym right away and I'm going to continue to get better and better with each performance."
GL: Closing thoughts.
MB: "I want to thank everybody who came out to support the fight on Saturday night. I want to thank my promoter Marshall Kauffman (King's Promotions) keep on supporting me because I fight for y'all."

Jesse Hart: June 15th vs. Eleider Alvarez "is my statement maker"

Jesse Hart: June 15th vs. Eleider Alvarez "is my statement maker"
Greg Leon: Congrats on getting the Eleider Alvarez fight, it's the fight you were anticipating and now it's happening on June 15th. How do you feel about the fight? Jesse Hart: "I feel good about the fight, I'm glad I got the fight. When they called me (yesterday) I really didn't think he was going to sign the contract. You never know with guys, they say they're going to do something and they don't. You don't know what's going on so you've got to take the good with the bad in that aspect, but now that he's signed the contract I'm very excited about it." 
GL: You seem determined to go to light heavyweight. I was talking to Bob Arum yesterday and he mentioned the probability that Gilberto "Zurdo" Ramirez could vacate the WBO super middleweight title and you might then be able to fight for the vacant WBO strap at super middleweight. But obviously moving to 175 is your preference. 
Jesse Hart: "I do prefer to move up, you never know with guys like Zurdo. I'm not waiting on guys like that, that's bad for the sport. I feel like I deserve a third fight and at the end of the day I'm not going to chase you or wait for you. I ain't got a lot of time left in this game, so I ain't got no time to waste."
GL: Zurdo just made his light heavyweight debut against Tommy Karpency, which is the equivalent of dipping his toe in the light heavyweight waters. What you're doing with Alvarez is something totally different, you're jump into the pool head first. What made you...
JH: (cutting in) "I just want to show the world and people to see there's a difference between the two guys that they're dealing with. You got me and I'm going right into the fire while he's tip-toeing around. Throw me right to the wolves, that's what I want."
GL: Is this a must-win fight for your to remain at the highest level of boxing?
JH: "Absolutely! This is the most important fight of my career and I'm not approaching it no oher way. It is that and for me it's bigger than Zurdo Ramirez. You can't downplay what's going on right now. I'm going up in weight to fight the much bigger man in my first fight up there, so I'm really a super middleweight, he's got all of accolades and he beat the guy that you have to beat to become champion. He beat Sergey Kovalev and when you're dealing with a guy like that you know it's a big fight, you understand that and you embrace it because these are the moments I live for."
GL: Your idol is Bernard Hopkins, he was very good at identifying guys he can be successful against. Is that what you and your people are doing with this fight with Alvarez here?
JH: "He's dangerous and he's right handed, and dangerous opposition is what I need to performance at my highest level. You can't put me in there with a Tommy Karpency, I need threats to stay alert. Why keep fighting guys that aren't on my level when I don't got that much time left? I'm 29 years of age and I don't want to be in there until I'm 40 or 50 I'm trying to have an early exit from the sport."
GL: So a helluva five year run before saying goodbye.
JH: "That's absolutely what we're trying to do. I've dedicated my whole life to sport of boxing since I was six years old, and I just want to be great. I want my name to be mentioned with the Joe Frazier's and Muhammad Ali's. Those are big shoes to fill and my dad told me you've got to be able to be successful in multiple weight classes. It's a very important thing to do when you're on this level."
GL: And is the plan for a win on June 15th to lead to a title fight with one of Top Rank's light heavyweight champions?
JH: "That's right. I'm not taking nothing away from Alvarez, he can fight, I just don't think he's better than me. And after the fight people are going to come and say, well he's older now and he's fallen off since his last fight and...
GL: (cutting in) Nope. He stopped Kovalev two fights ago, I don't think anybody credible would be saying that.
JH: "I'm telling you, with me they always find something to say, so I hope there isn't any of that afterwards."
GL: Closing thoughts.
JH: "June 15th tune into ESPN+ and see Jesse Hart vs. Eleider Alvarez on the Tyson Fury undercard. Don't miss this fight. This is going to my statement maker right here, more heart that anything and this is going to be my coming out party that starts my legacy."

New free boxing app planned for May roll out

New free boxing app planned for May roll out
Boxing will soon have a new and free digital platform that plans to broadcast live boxing action. Introducing Warfare Sports, a direct-to-consumer application. Over the next year, Warfare Sports is planning 24 live events plus shoulder programming. Warfare Sports will be available on the world wide web, mobile devices (Apple and Android), Roku, Amazon Fire and Chromcast.  The Initial rollout for Warfare Sports will be in early May for the web and Roku, with Apple, Android, Amazon Fire and Smart TV to follow.
Warfare Sports in the brainchild of Nevada's Jesse Carstairs. He feels that there is a market for high-quality boxing events that will showcase fighters who are just a step or two from fighting for world titles. "Our initial focus is on that mid-level market when it comes to professional boxing. An example, when a fighter would get wins on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights, then take that step up to HBO and Showtime for a 'big-level' fight or title fight. The end goal being in a position to compete at the highest level as a digital television sports network," said Carstairs. "Warfare Sports will be working with promoters like Joe DeGuardia's StarBoxing and Marshall Kauffmans King's Promotions, and we are open to working with other promoters as well who fit our model."
Signed on to do the on-air commentary is International Boxing Hall of Famer Al Bernstein, UFC superstar Megan Anderson and 18-year boxing commentator and insider Marc Abrams.
"The renaissance of boxing in the past several years is built on two things. 1. Good, competitive matches that fans can enjoy. 2. Boxing being available on many platforms to fit the communication age we now live in. The boxing schedule of Warfare Sports fits both of those narratives and that's why I am so delighted to be a part of this new endeavor. The Warfare model of experienced promoters providing exciting boxing with a top notch production crew chronicling the event is a winning combination. Hosting these shows will be a labor of love for me and I look forward to a successful and enjoyable collaboration with Warfare Sports," said Bernstein.
"This is a terrific platform not only for myself but for all boxers that will be able showcase their skills on Warfare Sports," said Marshall Kauffman of King's Promotions.  "I have had the pleasure of doing some amazing TV shows in the past, but this here is special because it is a partnership with Warfare Sports.
I truly believe that this partnership will help to elevate the boxers to the next level in their career."

Dmitriy Salita on Shields-Hammer: "It was a historic night that will be remembered forever"

Dmitriy Salita on Shields-Hammer: "It was a historic night that will be remembered forever"
GL: Congrats on a great card the other night. Can you give us some thoughts on Claressa Shield's virtuoso performance against Christina Hammer? Dmitriy Salita: "It was an incredible, historic performance and her greatest performance against a world-class Christina Hammer [that unified all four middleweight championship belts around Shields' waist]. Christina Hammer would have beaten anybody else that night. She was sharp, she was focused, but Claressa went into a different zone. It was just an amazing victory for Claressa Shields, women's boxing and the sport of boxing." 
GL: Did you ever think it was going to be that one sided?
Dmitriy Salita: "Claressa is a special athlete and she's made of something different. She's from one the toughest places to grow up in the United States, Flint, Michigan. She's gone through many challenges in her life to get to this point where she was facing a world champion like Christina Hammer who had a true dislike for Claressa. She was focused on doing everything to win. Claressa just rose to the occasion and painted an an awesome picture inside that ring and I think it's going to be the sport of women's boxing to the next level."
GL: I spoke to Claressa and [her manager] Mark Taffet and their expectation is that the viewership numbers for this fight will mark the dawn of a new era in women's boxing. Do you concur with their position?
DS: "I definitely concur. We had a tremendous amount of press coverage leading up to the fight. Most of the mainstream media covered the fight from beginning to end. Claressa's last performance on Showtime did the best Friday night rating in years and more viewers than the Anthony Joshua-Joseph Parker heavyweight unification. That was a foreshadowing of the substance of Claressa Shields and I believe that the way she won that fight, only being 8-0 and 24 years old, she's going to be remembered with the great athletes like Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Pele, Michael Jordan and the other leaders of their repsective sports."
GL: Where does she go from here? A mega-fight vs. [undisputed world welterweight champion] Cecilia Braekhus?
DS: "From here she goes on a little vacation. We're going to evaluate everything and the next biggest fight in women's boxing is Claressa fighting Cecilia Braekhus at a catch-weight to truly make history and transcend the sport forever. Christina Hammer was willing to risk it all to make history and we're hoping that Cecilia Braekhus has the same desire to enhance the sport. It takes fights like this to take women's boxing to the next level and Claressa has shown that desire to be great from her pro debut when she faced Franchon Crews Dezurn, the current [WBC] super middleweight champion. Claressa definitely wants to fight the best every day of the week."
GL: What did you think about Jermaine Franklin's performance against Rydell Booker [W10 via unanimous decision]?
DS: "Since I signed him, I've been telling everyone that I believe Jermaine Franklin is the best American heavyweight prospect and with his win on April 13th he graduated to contender status. Rydell Booker came to fight and was very prepared. Jermaine learned some lessons that will be very important as he continues to develop. He's 18-0 now, he's only 25 years old and I'm very happy that he got a real fight out of Rydell because that's only going to improve him and take his game to the next level, but he showed heart, he showed a great chin and he showed that he was able to get himself into condition to go the distance with a very short five training camp to prepare himself. He's still got a lot of development to do and he's got a ways to get better and he's on his way to be the king of the heavyweight division."
GL: I spoke to him and he was kind of disappointed with his showing. He said he's going to be 15-20 pounds lighter in the ring, but he feels he could do a lot better.
DS: "If he's disappointed with his performance, that's what you want to hear from a young fighter. That's what you want to hear them say, you want them to keep pushing themself to be at their best, you want them to continue to improve. He's saying the right things and that's why I'm excited about Jermaine moving forward."
GL: Closing thoughts?
DS: "I was disappointed that heavyweight Otto Wallin didn't get the chance to showcase his skills [becuase his bout ended in a two-round no contest]. I believe he was going to put on a sensational performance and really introduce himself to the American boxing fans, unfortunately the bout ended in two rounds with a cut to (Nick) Kisner. Otto will be back and I have no doubt he's going to be making a lot of noise in the heavyweight division. Claressa's performance has taken women's boxing to new heights, I think the Shields-Hammer bout was a historic night of boxing that will remembered forever. I want to congratulate Claressa Shields for her performance and Christina Hammer as well for putting on such a great effort."

Sor Rungvisai, Estrada pass WBC pre-fight weight requirements

Sor Rungvisai, Estrada pass WBC pre-fight weight requirements
Both WBC 115-pound champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (a/k/a Wisaksil Wangek) and former flyweight champion Juan Francisco "Gallo" Estrada have passed the fourteen-day pre-fight weigh-in that is required by the WBC. The bout will take place on April 26th at the Forum in Inglewood, California. Over the weekend, Sor Rungvisai was 119.4 pounds and Estrada wass a little heavier at 121. Rungvisai (47-4-1, 41 KOs), from Thailand, will make the fourth defense of his crown. In his last fight, he defeated Iraq Diaz of Mexico by decision. Estrada (38-3, 26 KOs), from Mexico, defeated Felipe Orucuta and Víctor Méndez lin his last two fights. Three fights ago, Estrada challenged Sor Rungvisai and lost by majority decision. source: wbc

San Antonio's Barrios heading to Louisiana for step-up fight

San Antonio's Barrios heading to Louisiana for step-up fight
Selina "Aztec Queen" Barrios (5-0, 2 KOs), returns to the ring April 27th in a lightweight bout against former WBC fesatherweight champion Melissa "The Shark" Hernandez (22-7-3, 7 KOs). The six-round bout will take place at the Cajundome in Lafayette, LA, on the undercard of the World Boxing Super Series event headlined by Regis Prograis (23-0, 19 KOs) vs. Kiryl Relikh (23-2, 19 KOs).  Barrios last fought in September 2018, handing Patricia Juarez her first pro loss. Barrios is eager to test herself against Hernandez, who has been in the ring with many of the best female boxers in the world.
"I have a lot of respect for Melissa Hernandez, who has been a big part of growing women's boxing over the years," said Barrios, who resides in San Antonio, Texas. "This fight is going to be a classic Mexican vs. Purto Rican war.  No disrespect to her, but I'm coming with straight heat, with the mindset of beating her down. This is the hurt game and that's what I plan to do to Hernandez when she steps in the ring with me.  None of these girls want to see me."
Barrios' advisor, Kerry Daigle said, "We know Melissa Hernandez is a dangerous fighter with a lot of experience. Once DAZN sees this fight, we feel it will be the swing bout on TV. Barrios is extremely TV friendly."  
"We believe Selina is the best female fighter in the world," stated co-manger Colin Campbell. "With that being said, a win against a crafty veteran like Hernandez will surly give us the momentum we need going into our next fight."

Sunny Edwards stays with promoter Frank Warren

Sunny Edwards stays with promoter Frank Warren
British super flyweight Sunny Edwards (10-0) has signed a contract extension with Queensberry Promotions as he proceeds with his push towards world level, starting with a bout against Portugal's Pedro Matos (7-1) at The SSE Arena in Wembley on April 27th. The Croydon man, who is managed by MTK Global, has seen himself join the "avoided" club domestically in recent times, as Queensberry's Frank Warren says many of his fellow countryman are not willing to step up and fight the 23-year-old.
But Edwards still hasn’t given up on his quest to find a worthy challenger and will continue his search at a lighter division. “I’ve been boxing at super flyweight when I’m actually a natural flyweight, I’ve spoken to my management team MTK Global and we’re looking to campaign at flyweight. I’m not small for super flyweight but by no means am I big at the weight. Ideally, I would like some domestic names on my record but can’t see them happening anytime too soon- we looked at the Jay Harris fight but he’s now going for the European title. We also looked at Tommy Frank, he’s just won the commonwealth and I thought it would make sense with the British title vacant, he brings his Commonwealth and I bring my European title. We tried making that, he wasn’t interested. There is also [WBC flyweight champion] Paddy Barnes, but he isn’t going to fight me. The annoying thing about these fighters are that they’re too content on taking these four or six rounders for too long for my liking. I was only 3 and 0 and I was asking to be pushed towards title fights.”
The 23-year-old Edwards knockedout out then-undefeated Ross Murray in the fourth round of their 2017 contest. He also put on a classy performance to defeat former EBU European champ Ryan Farrag (19-4) last October. In December 2018, he soundly beat tough Mexican, Junior Granados.
“On my day, I can mix it with anyone around my weight in the world. Not saying I can beat them, but I know I can put in a good account of myself. There’s a reason why I’ve been called to be sparring partner multiple times for world champions. I have proved that I can mix it in there with them and it’s competitive. I really want to build my experience with different situations, different sort of opponents and push for fighting in different countries.”
Sunny Edwards is in action on the undercard of Daniel Dubois vs Richard Lartey at The SSE Arena, Wembley on April 27th.

Yamaguchi Falcao gets chance for revenge vs. Chris Pearson

Yamaguchi Falcao gets chance for revenge vs. Chris Pearson
 Brazilianmiddleweight Yamaguchi Falcao will face Chris Pearson on Thursday, May 2nd at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Falcao-Pearson is scheduled for ten rounds. The bout headlines a DAZN boxing broadcast promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. This is a rematch as the two met in 2011 as part of the World Series of Boxing (a professional series promoted by AIBA) with Pearson winning via split decision.Falcao is 16-0 plus difficult to verify World Series of Boxing Bouts, while Pearson is 16-2 and he too has had additional World Series of Boxing bouts. 
Fighting out of Plant City, FL by way of Sao Mateus, Brazil, Falcao captured a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympicsl. As a pro, the southpaw has compiled a 16-0 record with 7 wins by knockout. Falcao was slated to fight Paul Mendez March 9th in New York but the bout was cancelled at the last minute due to issues with Mendez’ medicals.
During the last year and a half, Falcao’s repeatedly expressed his willingness to face any of the world’s best 160 pound fighters but must first get past a quality opponent.
Living and fighting out of Trotwood, OH, the hard-hitting Pearson is 28 years old and no stranger to fighting on big platforms. He appeared on the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao PPV where he defeated Said El Harrak. After a setback against highly rated Justin DeLoach, he’s won his last two bouts by knockout and looks to make it three straight against Falcao.
“I am extremely grateful to be fighting on this platform,” said Falcao, who became a father last month. “It was heartbreaking when the Mendez fight fell apart on such short notice because I was looking forward to welcoming my son Roberto into this world after I beat Mendez but everything happens for a reason.”
He’s also pleased he’ll have a shot at redemption May 2nd. “This fight is very personal to me. I’m planning to knock Chris out because he did not beat me the first time – the judges handed it to him! This is an even bigger opportunity than the Mendez fight because its two days before Canelo vs Danny Jacobs and now when I return home, baby Roberto will be waiting for me. This is my time to shine and show the world  I’m a problem in the middleweight division!”

DiCaire, Akdeniz win in Montreal

DiCaire, Akdeniz win in Montreal
Marie Eve Dicaire W10 Mikaela Lauren... In the main event at the Montreal Casino on Saturday, Marie Eve Dicaire successfully defended her IBF 154-pound title, scoring a unanimous decision over Mikaela Lauren. Dicaire is now 15-0, while the 43 year-old Lauren, a former WBC champion in the same weight class, drops to 31-6.
Mazlum Akdeniz W8 Jose G. Garcia... On the same card, Canadian-based junior welterweight Mazlum Akdeniz added to his undefeated record with an eight-round unanimous decision over Jose Guillermo Garcia (9-6-1). Akdeniz  dominated his more experienced opponent from start to finish. His straight counter left hands and uppercuts bloodied Garcia, and also added a varied body attack, digging shots downstairs in between his accurate attack up top. In the end, all three judges gave Akdeniz (9-0) all eight rounds on the scorecards.
“He was a good, experienced fighter. That's what I need. I'm only 21 years old, so I'm trying to get more experience. I won every round. I'm very happy about my performance,” said Akdeniz following the bout.
The 21-year old Akendiz came out of the amateurs as one of the more accomplished amateurs to come out of the Canadian program in some time. In addition to winning the 2015 Ringside Championships, Akdeniz also scored a win over Jorge Moiran Vinent, becoming the first Quebec-based boxer to defeat a Cuban fighter since the legendary Jean Pascal in 2005.
Akdeniz scored five wins in 2018 alone, and has picked up two more in 2019. “(My promoter Lee Baxter) keeps me active. I'm young, I'm hungry, and I want to fight. If I have to do it again in two weeks, I will,” said Akdeniz.
David Theroux W8 Juan Orozco ... In addition, all-action junior welterweight slugger David Theroux improved to 16-3 by scoring his third consecutive victory. Theroux defeated Mexico's Juan Orozco (19-9-2) by unanimous decision. source for all results: lee baxter promotions

Bob Arum: "Eddie Hearn doesn't know dick about promoting in the US"

Bob Arum: "Eddie Hearn doesn't know dick about promoting in the US"
In an exclusive Boxingtalk interview with Hall-of-Fame promoter Bob Arum, the BobFather told Greg Leon that his British rival, Eddie Hearn "doesn't know dick about promoting in the US." But to be fair, Arum also admitted that also "doesn't know dick" about promoting in Hearn's country. The full interview with Arum, who also discusses Vasyl Lomachenko, Terence Crawford, Shakur Stevenson's parking garage brawl and other topics, will drop at midnight tonight, so be sure to check back for the full story.

Jesse Hart-Eleider Alvarez set for June 15th on Tyson Fury card

Jesse Hart-Eleider Alvarez set for June 15th on Tyson Fury card

World class super middleweight Jesse Hart informed Boxingtalk that he "just got the call" confirming that his light heavyweight debut will take place against former WBO light heavyweight champion Eleider Alvarez. The bout will take place on June 15th in Las Vegas as part of the Tyson Fury-Tom Scharwz undercard on ESPN+. There will be much more to follow including a full one on one interview with the Philadephian so stay tuned, until then REMEMBER WHERE YOU HEARD IT FIRST.  (Hart first informed Boxingtalk of his intentions to face Alvarez back on March 12th)


Now undisputed, Shields targets summer return, says women should have three-minute rounds

Now undisputed, Shields targets summer return, says women should have three-minute rounds
Greg Leon: Congrats on your victory and virtuoso performance against Christina Hammer. Can you give us some thoughts on it? Claressa Shields: "I haven't watched it yet, but I can say I was sharp. I stabilized her jab, I fought smart and I showed my boxing IQ. That's all I can say about it right now since I haven't seen it. GL: You were roughing her up on the inside a lot, she was doing a lot of looking at the referee, at what point did you feel that she didn't want to be in there anymore? CS: "I thought it was over in the eighth round. I had her in the corner and the ropes were holding her up. She was looking at the ground and her eyes were crossed and I thought the ref stopped the fight and it was over. I knew then that every time I hit her...some people are saying that I lost the first round, but I feel like I won the first round. I feel like I showed her that her jab couldn't land where she wanted it to and I made her miss alot. I felt like I was the stronger fighter throughout."
GL: I gave her the first round, but after that it was the Claressa Shields show. Did you expect to dominate in that fashion?
CS: "Man you know how much shit I've been talking? (laughs) Of course! You do not talk that kind of trash and then go in there and have a close fight. I wanted to make sure that I won and I dominated. I wanted to know that when the fight was over if I didn't get that knockout, then there was going to be no doubt about who the winner of the fight was. I wanted to beat her up and show here that as good of a fighter as she is, I'm on a different level and I wanted to rough her up. I saw bruises and blood on her face afterwards, so I feel like I did my job."
GL: Has it sunken in yet that your name is now on a very short list of boxers to hold all four of the major belts?
CS: "A little bit. At first I just couldn't believe it, but now I've gone to bed and I've woken up and I know I wasn't dreaming. I just know that I've always been an extremely good fighter and the best of the best, but it feels good. It's not the end for me though, this is just the beginning."
GL: Undisputed middleweight champion in nine fights. What does this mean to you?
CS: "I knew I could do it. Not just the only American with two gold medals, am I the faster boxer to ever become undisputed? Is that what it is? It's crazy to me, it's amazing to me the stuff I can do. I have 100% belief in myself and I put myself through grueling training camps so I'm able to smile after the fights."
GL: Where do you go from here? How do you continue to raise the bar from here?
CS: "I think from here, I'm going to look to continue to make the biggest fights. I want to fight against Cecilia Braekhus at 154 and I want to fight Savannah Marshall, the only girl to ever beat me."
GL: Which of those fights do you want the most?
CS: "Both of them. I don't see why I can't have both."
GL: Well shoot, the way you're looking you can fight them both on the same night.
CS: "Hello! Yep."
GL: How do you feel trainer John David Jackson has helped you improve?
CS: "Coach John David has helped a lot with my accuracy and calmness. When I spar against the men he's like there's times where I'm super tight, trying to land my hard shots and protect myself, but there's times when I'm relaxed and let my hands go and have that swag, he's like I want that boxer to be you in every round. I want you to be relaxed, calm and have fun in there. Coach John has brought that patience, accuracy and also the power. I feel like I was able to display a lot of that during the fight."
GL: Do you spar three minute rounds in camp?
CS: "I start at three minutes and then bring it down to 2:30. As it gets closer to the fight I do two minutes, just to have my timing right for the fight."
Mark Taffet: (Shields manager) "I went to watch her in camp and she sparred twenty (20) two and half minute rounds."
GL: I've been discussing with Dmitriy Salita and several other people and I think y'all should be going three minute rounds. As the biggest name in women's boxing, in your opinion do you think the women should be going three minutes?
CS: "Absolutely! We need to be going three minutes and twelve rounds just like the men do. History has proven that with two minute rounds it's hard to get knockouts. If you want women's boxing to flourish you have to give us the same opportunities you give the men. I think the WBC said it's to protect the women from ourselves, but we need don't need that protection, we chose boxing. I think last night with three minutes and twelve rounds I would have knocked Christina Hammer out."
GL: Out of your 9 fights how many knockouts do you think you'd have right now?
CS: "At least 6."
GL: And not that it's difficult to begin with for a talent like yourself, but if you had more stoppages it would be that much easier to market you like a female Tyson, you know what I mean?.
CS: "Yes."
GL: What needs to be done to fix this? Do all the top women need to show up at the sanctioning body conventions to voice your opinions? What do you think?
CS: "They say that this rule is the way it is because of some testing they did a long time ago in the 1980's and 90's and I think they really need to do that testing again. I think they need to reevaluate the women that box now. I believe that if the majority of champions would want to go three minute rounds then we should be allowed to do that. I think it's going to take women uniting and them doing the tests to prove that we can go three minute rounds."
GL: When are you hoping your next fight takes place?
CS: "Maybe in July or August. I don't really know against who, but there's a couple girls I want, but I don't know the opponent. I don't know."
GL: Are you locked in with Showtime now or free to fight on the highest paying platform?
Mark Taffet: "We have a tremendous amount of respect for Showtime and the support they've provided and if you respect the network and the executives there, then you make sure you give them every opportunity to do those fights. We expect to be talking to them soon, I believe that if the viewership figures on Tuesday are as strong as we're hoping they are Showtime or any network won't evaluate it as men or women, they'll look at it as quality of fight and number of viewers. That's what will dictate the television revenue and that's why we're excited about the next few months because we think it's going to be the dawn of a new era. Claressa delivered everything we wanted in the ring and the media coverage outside of the ring was phenomenal, and we believe the dawn of the new era started on April 14th."
GL: Appreciate your time Claressa, closing thoughts for the fans?
CS: "I want to tell my fans thank you for being supportive and continue to stand behind me and motivating me. I want to say something to the haters, what y'all got to say now? They was talking a lot of hoopla before this fight saying that I couldn't beat Christina Hammer. She was too tall, she was too long, she was too good, she was too experienced. I'm just a hype job. Tell them haters I said, say something now."

Quillin: "Truax took the easy way out for a payday... I want Caleb Plant next"

Quillin: "Truax took the easy way out for a payday... I want Caleb Plant next"
Greg Leon: Not the result you were looking for, basically an abortion of a fight against Caleb Truax. Can you give us some thoughts on the two rounds of action and how you feel about Team Truax's mindset to end the fight after two rounds? Peter Quillin: "It all happened so fast I don't really know what was going on. After the clash of heads I was asking myself where did he hit me, I felt it on the side of my head and when I got to look at his cut, it was a bad cut but it stopped bleeding. It made me think about Badou Jack and how he fought (against Marcus Bronwne) with a horrible cut. It was very early in the fight and I think he should have given it at least one more round, we didn't see any fight from them to give his fans a show, but the doctor's job is to keep the fighter safe and make the call for the fighter. I can't get mad at anybody for doing their job, but it was overall a new experience. It's a challenging experience for me on have on my resume, it's something new, but I'm going to view it as something good."
GL: When the fight got stopped you already had two rounds in the bag. Had it gone another two rounds you would have likely won a technical decision [if the cut required a stoppage]. Do you think that's why his corner decided to stop the fight?
PQ: "My trainer told me going into the third round to go out there and punish him, and get him out of there before they stopped the fight because he felt that's what they were looking to do. It was smart for my trainer to tell me that because it shows how he's aware of all the rules of the sport. This is the hurt business, so it's all about coming up with the right kind of plan for the fighter. His corner made the decision and he went with it, so be it."
GL: Do you think he would have continued if he was up two rounds at that point?
PQ: "No. I think he probably would have still wanted the fight to be stopped. It was an easy way out and an easy payday. Maybe they were thinking I'm going to get my pay and live to fight another day. Is that logic wrong? It's not for me to speak on, but so be it."
GL: Is it important for you to get right back in the ring? I mean you hardly broke a sweat?
PQ: "I'm back in the gym on Monday, I know that at my age I've got to be busy and be like Bernard Hopkins right now. I need to stay in the gym and stay ready because these challenges are going to be coming at me and it's going to be like a ripple effect."
GL: When do you want your next fight to take place?
PQ: "I"m going to wait for the call and talk to Al (Haymon) and figure it out. I want to explore what options I do have, I know I'm not going to sit around and wait for him. I know I'm not going to fight in his hometown again where the fans were being so deliberately disrespectful when they don't know much about me. We can take it to my hometown in Brooklyn, but me and Coach Sosa agree that I should stay busy and keep my weight down and that's what we're going to work on."
GL: Was it easy for you to make 168?
PQ: "It's down to a science now at this point. I got a good dietician Ashley Gomes and she's been working my body with the science. I haven't done the typical be a boxer and put a plastic suit on. It's not like that, it's making sure I'm not losing a lot of muscle mass and cutting the fat. It's down to a science Greg so it's not hard as long as I continue to conduct myself like a true professional."
GL: This was an IBF elimination bout but since no winner was declared and Truax is going to be out of commission for a while, do you want Caleb Plant next?
PQ: "Yes I do. It's all about what the powers that be think though. Of course I was fighting to win and be victorious to get that opportunity, and if Caleb Plant will still give me the shot I'll be ready."
GL: Is Plant next what you want most?
PQ: "Yes."
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
PQ: "I want to thank Boxingtalk for always reaching out and getting the first interview after the fight, I'm thankful for that. Y'all be on point, and all of the fans can follow me on KidChocolate.com and @KidChocolate on IG and Twitter."

James McGirt fighting on Buddy's HOF induction weekend

James McGirt fighting on Buddy's HOF induction weekend
As reported on Friday, the Turning Stone Casino in Vernona, New York will host a boxing show on Friday, June 7th as part of the 30th Anniversary of Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend. The main event sees former two-division champion  Zab "Super" Judah (44-9, 30 KOs) vs. Cletus "Hebrew Hammer" Seldin (23-1, 19 KOs).  In the co-feature, James McGirt Jr. will have added pressure for a victory to honor his father James McGirt Sr. being inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame the same weekend. Tickets are now available at the Turning Stone Box Office in person or by calling 315.361.7469 and 12:00 p.m. online at TicketmasterBoxing fans will also have an opportunity to mingle with some of the biggest names in boxing, including boxing VIPs and Hall of Famers. Turning Stone will offer a unique boxing fan experience for guests who purchase tickets for the June 7thJudah vs. Seldin fight.  For $50 (plus the purchase of a ticket), guests will receive access to the Boxing Hall of Fame Lounge, where boxing VIPs will be socializing throughout the night. 
June 7th's main event features, Zab "Super" Judah (Brooklyn, NY), a former junior welterweight and welterweight champion .  The three-time New York Golden Glove champion made his professional debut at the age of 18, and went on to defeat some of the most notable names in the business, including, Micky Ward, Lucas Matthysse and Cory Spinks (the reigning welterweight world champion at the time), and fought many other top fighters including Floyd Mayweather, Amir Khan, Danny Garcia and Miguel Cotto. 
Opposing Judah will be New York's Cletus "The Hebrew Hammer" Seldin (Shirley, NY).  Born from a tough line of Jewish-Americans, Seldin won the Ringside Amateur World Championship in 2009. As a professional, Seldin created buzz throughout New York as a knockout artist packing the Paramount with his "Hamma Head" fans.  He broke on to the national scene when he devoured Roberto Ortiz at the Nassau Coliseum in a featured HBO fight.  One month later, Seldin became the first boxer alongside Hall of Fame world champions, Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. to fight in featured fights on back to back months on HBO.  83 percent of Seldin's wins have come via knockout.
In the co-feature, James "Buddy" McGirt Jr. (Vero Beach, FL) will look to tip his hat to his father, James McGirt Sr. who is being inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame during the same weekend, when he takes on tough Frenchman David Papot (Saint-Nazaire, France).  McGirt compiled an impressive amateur record of 44-4 winning the Sunshine State Games and the Southeastern Regional.  As a professional McGirt has also found success and has faced some well-regarded fighters in his division, including, Carlos De Leon Jr., Edwin Rodriguez, and Raymond Joval. His opponent, undefeated Frenchman David Papot is taking the trip across the Atlantic Ocean with intentions of ruining the McGirt family weekend. Papot had 102 amateur bouts, 30 of which were with the French National team, earning French National Champion honors two times.  In 2017 Papot became the French champion at 154 pounds, having since defended the title three times. 
Last year, Turning Stone and the International Boxing Hall of Fame announced a multifaceted partnership to spotlight the entire region, garnering national attention and boosting Central New York tourism. The program includes a series of nationally-televised boxing events at Turning Stone, culminating every year in June with an elaborate and bigger-than-ever International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend celebration.
Turning Stone will be announcing additional events for Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend shortly.  

Jarico O'Quinn planning to fight again soon following shutout

Jarico O'Quinn planning to fight again soon following shutout
Greg Leon: Congrats on your shutout victory over Vicente Martinez [9-5]. Can you give us some thoughts on your peformance? Jarico O'Quinn: "It was a decent performance. I'm my worst critic, I'm harder on myself than everybody else, so I know I did good, but I wanted to do a lot more. I wanted to get the stoppage, but it was a good win. It took me to the eighth round and I shut him out on all of the cards, but getting those rounds was very important. My conditioning wasn't a problem, I wasn't breathing hard or anything so now it's on to the next oe." GL: So after that last round you still felt like you had a lot of gas left in the tank? JO: "Plenty."
GL: Is there any early indication as to when you might come back?
JO: "It could be real, real soon, but I have to sit down with my team and go over all that. I want to be back in the ring as soon as possible."
GL: Was there anything about Martinez that surprised you? Did his durability surprise you?
JO: "I didn't get to connect with the right hand the way I wanted to. I wanted to land some flurries that I could really sit down on, but I just beat him off the jab and the hook. I don't feel like I really connected good, but he was an awkward guy and when he got hit with the left hook he knew he didn't want to see the right hand. He did what he had to do to survive and not get hit."
GL: What did you think about the way Claressa showed out?
JO: "I thought it was an excellent performance, I told people she was going to shut her out. I thought she was going to stop him and I think she pushed for it. She was just better in every aspect. She was smarter, stronger, faster, she was just better in every way."
GL: Did you have any extra butterflies going into the ring on such a major card?
JO: "I don't get stage fright and even though I got the good done and got a big win, I feel like I let myself down a little bit. I really wanted to get that guy out of there and I let him make it to the cards. Going the distance was a plus, but I wanted to give the fans a more exciting finish."
GL: Do you feel you did enough to make sure your next fight is part of a Showtime (Shobox) telecast?
JO: "I think so and I know that if they want to see me perform at my best they need to put somebody better in front of me."
GL: Do you feel ready for that step-up now?
JO: "Yes. I would like to fight somebody who's going to be more interested in fighting. I really want to fight bigger people."
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
JO: "Y'all got to see a little more skills, y'all got to see some head movement. Y'all got to see a tad bit of my slick side, but there's a lot more to come and I'm going to keep showing you guys more with each fight. I've got power I'm going to be showing you guys the power soon, so keep on supporting me I fight for y'all."

Jermaine Franklin targeting July 12th return

Jermaine Franklin targeting July 12th return
Greg Leon: Congrats on your victory over Rydell Booker. Can you give us some thoughts on your peformance? Jermaine Franklin: "I think I performed decently. I feel like I could have performed a lot better, but I was making a lot of little mistakes that prevented me from capitalizing the way I want to, but I can't complain because at the end of the day I got that dub and that's all that matters." GL: Did you feel any extra pressure fighting in front of your first National audience? JF: "I wasn't really nervous, but for some reason I was real tight. I don't know if that counts for me being nervous of not but I was tight and I was over extending myself with my punches. I feel like I had an alright performance because I didn't get to showcase my skills, I was only fighting one way."
GL: The plan was to get Booker into the deep waters and drown him, you got him to those late rounds but didn't finish. Did his durability surprise you? Was there anything about Booker that surprised you?
JF: "He was countering good and he knew how to downplay my attack to make it not as lethal. When I was coming at him in spurts and trying to catch him he would downplay it to where I couldn't really hit him how I wanted to. He kept me at bay to where I couldn't work the way I wanted to and I made it even harder on myself by being overly anxious. It was kind of like I was fighting him and myself at the same time."
GL: What do you think you need to tighten up moving forward?
JF: "The space. It's a big thing for me to be able to stand tall. Being overly anxious had me throwing too many power punches right on top of him and it was sloppier than I wanted it to be. I've got to work on keeping my range a little bit better."
GL: You went the ten round distance with Craig Lewis in your fight before Booker. How much did that experience help you mentally in the later rounds of this fight?
JF: "It was very important and it gave the confidence to know that I could do it. It was important for me to know how that felt before this fight. It's not possible to stop everybody in this sport and that was my mentality going into the Lewis fight. It's still kind of my mentality but I'm going to work on everything that needs to be sharpened up."
GL: Why were you 18 1/2 pounds heavier than you were against Craig Lewis?
JF: "It was the layoff and the things I was dealing with on a personal level. I only had a five week camp and I got down to 245 after the camp, but I'll definitely be lighter the next time I get in there."
GL: What do you plan on coming in at?
JF: "225-230, something like that. I was still in shape, but with such a short camp everything was kind of rushed."
GL: Any early indication when the next one might be?
JF: "It could be July 12th, but it's not confirmed yet."
GL: What did you think of Claressa's performance with Hammer?
JF: "She looked awesome and kicked ass. Hammer did what she could, but Claressa is just a different breed."
GL: It's your job to fight whoever they put in front of you, but who do you want to fight next? Who do you feel would be a great fight for you to take yourself to the next level?
JF: "This was supposed to be my coming out party, but I didn't get to make the statement that I wanted to. I'd like to fight somebody who could really fight like a (Adam) Kownacki or Charles Martin. I want to show the world what I've been talking about. I don't want to be taken lightly, I'm a perfectionist so when I see something I don't like I'm going to go back and work, and work, and work on it until I get it how I want it."
GL: At times you were a little sloppy and over-reaching...
JF: (cutting in) "Badly man, you seen that. I was getting so frustrated at myself because I wasn't able to land the combinations how I wanted to."
GL: Did he ever hurt you or buzz you at all?
JF "No, I was never hurt. I was just more frustrated than anything. I wasn't close to being hurt, I can take punches. I know I can do a lot better than what I showed and even though everybody is telling me I did my thing, I didn't do it how I wanted to. I know what I can do and I didn't show anywhere near my best the other night. I was trying to touch him with the jab and it wasn't really working for me like that, so I got frustrated after the second round and abandoned it. The two biggest things my coach told me is I've got to stay positive and stay calm."
GL: When are you back in the gym?
JF: "This week, I'm not playing."
GL: How important is it for you to stay active moving forward?
JF: "It's very important, especially after seeing the detrimental effects of being out of the ring for too long. That's definitely not going to happen again. I really don't struggle with weight at all and this big layoff set me back a bit because I had to work twice as hard just to get in shape. It's a difference between active and working out."
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
JF: "I'm promising the fight fans right now the next time y'all see me it's going to be a way better show. I learned a lot from that fight and I'm going to put on a great show for y'all in my next fight."

Australia's Lucas Browne likes his next opponent, Dave Allen

Australia's Lucas Browne likes his next opponent, Dave Allen
Australian heavyweight Lucas Browne (28-1) is expecting a bloody and bruising affair when he collides with English fan favorite Dave Allen (16-4-2) at The O2 in London on April 20th, shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. The rivals came face-to-face at a recent public workout and both men were in good spirits as they embraced and joked, but Browne insists it will be strictly business come fight night. “This is the first time I’ve met Dave and I really like him,” said Browne. “I’ve never had a bad word to say about him and I still don’t. He’s a cool guy and you can see how popular he is from today’s turnout at the workout, there was hundreds of the people there. It is what it is. We’re both professional fighters and I’m just going to do my job on the night."
Browne continued, “I don’t think he’s ever going to be a world champion but he’s definitely a great fighter. If you put him up against anyone else in Australia, I think he beats them. He’s got a chin like a brick so it’s going to be a long night for me. I’m not going to bowl him over in one round but I’m prepared for all scenarios. We’re going to knock lumps off each other.
“I think there’s going to be blood, some cuts and some big punches. The fans are going to be the real winners. I genuinely believe this has got the potential to be Fight of the Year if everything gels. He looks like he’s started to take things very seriously and you can tell that by the shape he’s in. I think you’ll see the best versions of us next week.”
Browne returns to the scene of his sole career loss to Dillian Whyte determined to redeem himself. Since that loss, Browne has made changes to his training team and bounced back with three wins. He believes another victory on April 20th will fire his name back into the world mix.
“My mental state wasn’t right heading into the Dillian Whyte fight. Everything that I was doing at home with training and going away from the family and all that sort of stuff wasn’t right, so that did affect everything else as well. My head wasn’t right and I think that had a big impact on everything leading up to the fight.
“My boxing trainer Rodney Williams who came over with me last time, he’s an absolute legend of a bloke as well as a boxing trainer, but I wasn’t doing any of the strength and conditioning and all that other stuff. I think I was definitely lacking in that regard.
“Now I’m hooked up with Jay Gray my Head Coach. I’m in Perth with my kids and family and that’s a full time thing there. Jay does everything in the one gym so not only my boxing, sparring and pad work, but all of the strength and conditioning, fitness and everything all in one spot.
“I think it’s something that I needed to do instead of spending so much time away from my family. I’m in a really good place now and I feel happy. I think that’s going to make a big difference to my career moving forward. This is the start of my journey to another Heavyweight World title.”
Allen vs. Browne is part of a show that includes heavyweight contender Derek Chisora (29-9, 21 KOs) clashingwith Senad Gashi (17-2, 17 KOs) in his first fight under new trainer Dave Coldwell, and Sunderland’s ‘Pretty Boy’ Josh Kelly (8-0, 6 KOs) vs. his toughest opponent of his career to date, Poland's Przemyslaw Runowski (17-0).

Long Island Congressman Shows Alicia Napoleon some love

Long Island Congressman Shows Alicia Napoleon some love
Congressman Pete King of New York's 2nd Congressional District, was present to support one of his most popular constituents, WBA super middleweight champion Alicia "The Empress" Napoleon last Wednesday night, April 10th, at Sony Hall in Times Square, New York City. Featured on the DiBella Entertainment Broadway Boxing event, Napoleon, of Lindenhurst, Long Island, NY, did not disappoint, scoring a second-round knockout of Eva Bajic tyo raise her record to 11-1. Said King about Napoleon's performance, "Before the fight, Alicia told me that her fight plan was to work the body and then go to the head, and she did that to perfection. Wednesday night's fight was also a family event with her husband, father and brother cheering her on. It was great meeting and talking with them. I'm proud to represent Alicia and her hardworking Lindenhurst family in Congress."
Napoleon said, "It was an honor to have Congressman King among my many supporters last Wednesday and I look forward to his continued support for my future fights.
Promoter Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment, said, "Congressman King has represented Long Island for many years and his support of Alicia Napoleon is appreciated.I know that Congressman King is a big boxing fan, since we watched many fights together at the home of the late, great Jack Newfield. Congressman King takes a personal interest in many of his constituents and I think it's great that he is a fan of Long Island's only boxing world champion."
This past December, Napoleon was honored by the Ring 8 sect of the Veteran Boxers Association as the 2018 New York State Female Fighter of the Year. The charismatic Long Islander defeated Femke Hermans on March 3, 2018, to capture the WBA world title then made her first defense five months later.