The Boxing Diary

Views and Opinions

Latest Post

Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall Rematch Set on April 27

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall Rematch Set on April 27

LEEDS, England (Feb. 15, 2024) — After more than two years of waiting, bitter rivals Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall will finally meet in a hugely anticipated rematch at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on Saturday, April 27, shown live on DAZN in the UK and around the world and exclusively on ESPN+ in the U.S.

The enemies have been embroiled in a heated war of words since February 2022 when they met on an unforgettable night at The OVO Hydro Arena in Glasgow for Taylor’s undisputed junior welterweight world title.

Intense debate has raged in the aftermath of their first fight, when Scotland’s Taylor (19-1, 13 KOs) protected his unbeaten record with a hugely controversial split decision win to retain his crown.

During a pulsating battle, Taylor was cut twice by the left eye and was put down by Catterall in the 8th round before he was deducted one point in the 11th for punching after the bell. Catterall, meanwhile, was deducted one point for holding in the 10th.

Chorley’s ‘El Gato’ (28-1, 13 KOs) appeared to outbox Taylor for long periods but ultimately tasted defeat for the first time in his career after Taylor clung onto his titles. The decision caused outrage among some boxing fans and the two have been at loggerheads ever since.

Following his clash with Catterall, ‘The Tartan Tornado’ relinquished his WBC, IBF and WBA world titles due to pending mandatory orders – and then lost his WBO crown to a resurgent Teofimo Lopez in New York City last June.

Catterall ended a 15-month ring absence by widely outpointing Irishman Darragh Foley over ten-rounds at the Manchester’s AO Arena in May 2023 before sending multi-weight world champion Jorge Linares into retirement after dominating the Venezuelan legend over 12 rounds in Liverpool last October.

In what is one of the most eagerly anticipated rematches in modern British boxing history, the fierce rivals will go head-to-head once more in a 12-round junior welterweight contest on neutral territory - with plenty of bad blood and animosity guaranteed in a blockbuster build-up.

“I’ve never run from anyone in my life, especially not Jack Catterall,” Taylor said. “He has spent the last two years running from promoter to promoter while living off my name. Jack should be careful what he wishes for because he’s getting battered on April 27. I am going to enjoy every second of this. See you soon, Jack.”

“I’ve wanted this fight since the moment the scorecards got read out in Glasgow,” Catterall said . “A few people say ‘move on Jack’, and that’s easy to say to when you’re not in my position. I get asked every day of my life multiple times a day, ‘when are you fighting Taylor again?’. This isn’t about belts, this is personal to me, and I can’t wait to get my hands on him. I don’t like him, I don’t respect him and on April 27 I’m going to end him.”

"I’m so happy to get this fight made," said Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn. "British boxing has been crying out for a big fight and now we look to settling the score of one of the most bitter rivalries in the sport. It will be nearly 2 years to the day since their controversial ndisputed fight and not a day has past where opinion and debate has not ensued. The pair have engaged in a back and forth full of hatred and now the time has come to finally meet again in Leeds on April 27. Despite the offers to stage this fight on PPV, I am proud that Matchroom and DAZN have stepped up make this fight available to subscribers as part of their subscription and I can’t wait for the intense build up and a huge event on April 27."

“This is the ultimate grudge match between two of the world’s top 140-pounders,” said Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum. “These two warriors will settle the score in front of what I’m sure will be an incredible crowd in Leeds. If you look at Josh Taylor’s career, he has never, ever backed down from a challenge, and he will be in peak form on April 27.”

Friday, February 9, 2024

Teofimo Lopez Defeats Jamaine Ortiz By Decision

LAS VEGAS (Feb. 8, 2024) — Teofimo Lopez (20-1, 13 KOs) defended his WBO and Ring Magazine junior welterweight world titles with a unanimous decision win over Jamaine Ortiz (17-2-1, 8 KOs) Thursday evening at Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

Lopez was the aggressor, while Ortiz employed a cautious strategy that resulted in exchanges that were few and far between.

Ortiz, who normally fights from an orthodox stance, boxed from the outside as a southpaw, using footwork and jabs to set up quick counters. Lopez pushed forward, bursting with jabs and right hands, though he had difficulty cutting off the ring, especially following the third and fourth rounds.

In the seventh round, a clash of heads caused a cut on Ortiz’s left eyebrow, and he seemed to slow down. But Ortiz continued to pepper shots from a distance, while Lopez accelerated his offense.

One judge scored the bout 117-111, and the other two had it 115-113. Lopez swept the final three rounds on all three judges' cards.

Lopez said, "I tried my best for the people. I even tried to box going backward, and he didn’t want to commit.

“Glory is next for me. None of these guys want to fight me. I’ll fight {Terence} Crawford at a catchweight. I’m here. I’m ready. I’ve always been ready. I’m younger, prettier, and a two-time unified champion at 25.

“We’re talking about a lightweight {Keyshawn Davis}. He hasn’t done anything. Just like Vasiliy Lomachenko told me: If you want to fight me, you’ve got to get a world title. If you want to fight the king, get a world title.”

Ortiz said, “I stuck to the game plan. I was listening to my corner and my team. I was doing good. I thought I was winning. That’s what I believe. I believe I won the fight. What can I say? I came up short once again.

“I just felt like he couldn’t hit me. I was making him miss all night. I was countering. I was making him miss. I was hitting him with the jab and the check hook. I just felt like he wasn’t landing any shots on me.”

“I always stay true to who I am. But we’ll go back to the drawing board, make some adjustments, and come back for a title shot.”

Davis Puts Lightweight Division on Notice

Keyshawn Davis (10-0, 7 KOs) made a statement tonight.

The 24-year old Olympic silver medalist earned his most important victory yet by vanquishing former two-division world champion Jose Pedraza (29-6-1, 14 KOs) via sixth-round TKO.

After studying Pedraza for two rounds, Davis kicked his offense into high gear, using lead left hands to prepare vicious fusillades in the third and fourth rounds. Pedraza survived, so Davis boxed on the outside in the fifth. But he reinitiated his attack in the sixth, landing several combos before forcing referee Tom Taylor to stop the fight.

Davis said, “Throughout this whole training camp, I’ve been saying that I’m the best at 135. Everyone kept saying, ‘You’ve got to get the stoppage. You’ve got to get the knockout.’ But I told everyone to not worry about it and just watch me work. And that’s exactly what happened. I got the stoppage.

“Teofimo has been doing a lot of talking lately. I’ll go up to 140 and fight Teofimo. What’s up?! Get this win tonight. You already know how I’m coming. You and your father. So, let’s set it up. I’l come straight to 140. Let’s go! And if you’re scared, Teofimo, then {Emanuel} Navarrete. He is a hell of a fighter. It would be an honor to get in the ring with you after you capture the WBO title. So let’s do it."

Lightweight: Mexican warrior Rene Tellez Giron (19-3, 12 KOs) overcame height and reach disadvantages to upset George Acosta (17-2, 3 KOs) via eight-round unanimous decision. Acosta tried his best to keep Giron off him, but Giron closed the distance and landed several punches in the second and third rounds. Giron landed a right hook in the fifth that floored Acosta, who survived an onslaught to the body before the two went toe-to-toe in the final rounds. Scores: 79-72, 78-73 and 76-75.

Middleweight: Javier Martinez (10-0-1, 3 KOs) notched an eight-round unanimous decision win against Raul Salomon (12-3, 10 KOs). Martinez used a high guard to defend against Salomon as he pushed forward. Both found their rhythm in the center of the ring by the middle rounds, where Martinez landed power shots to the head and body with ease on an unrelenting Salomon. Scores: 79-73 and 78-74 2x.Lightweight: Abdullah Mason (12-0, 10 KOs) had his first scheduled eight-rounder tonight, but he only needed two rounds to obliterate the previously unbeaten Benjamim Gurment (8-1-3, 5 KOs). After dropping him with a series of shots, Mason landed a counter left hand that immediately floored the Texas hopeful. Time of stoppage: 1:29.

Lightweight: Charlie Sheehy (9-0, 5 KOs) remained undefeated with an eight-round points verdict over rugged Mexican Abdel Sauceda (12-4, 8 KOs). Sheehy maintained distance with sharp jabs and quick footwork. Saucedo came on strong in the final two rounds, but it was not enough to win a single round. Scores: 80-72 3x.Lightweight: Alan "Kid Kansas" Garcia (11-0, 9 KOs) dropped Tomas Ornelas (7-4, 5 KOs) with left hook to the temple before ending the fight with a rib-shattering left hook to the body at :51 of the first round.

Heavyweight: Lemir Isom-Riley (4-2, 2 KOs) upset hometown favorite Antonio Zepeda (6-2, 6 KOs) via third-round TKO. Zepeda took a pair of knees in the third after appearing to suffer an injury. Time of stoppage: 1:28.

Junior Welterweight: Art Barrera Jr. (3-0, 3 KOs), the latest fistic prodigy to come out of the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy, scored a first-round KO win over Michael Portales (3-3-1, 1 KO). Time of stoppage: 1:41.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Natasha Jonas Edges Mikaela Mayer

LIVERPOOL, England (Jan. 20, 2024) — Two-division world champion Natasha Jonas (15-2-1, 9 KOs) defended her IBF welterweight world title with a razor-thin split decision over former unified junior lightweight world champion Mikaela Mayer (19-2, 5 KOs) Saturday evening at M&S Bank Arena in Jonas' hometown of Liverpool, England.
Two judges scored the fight 96-94 and 96-95 for Jonas, while a third judge had it 97-93 for Mayer.

Jonas used her hand speed and footwork to connect with crisp punches in the early rounds. However, Mayer’s size and strength began to make a difference down the stretch as she landed right hands and corralled Jonas against the ropes.

The middle rounds saw Jonas and Mayer exchanging in the center of the ring, going tit for tat with punishing body blows. But, in the final two rounds, Mayer finished strong with relentless pressure, while Jonas answered with quick counters.

Jonas said, “I had a good start. I landed harder and cleaner shots. I think toward the end she outworked me a little. I’ll give her a couple of the middle rounds. But I came on strong at the end.

“I know she is going to be absolutely devastated with the result because I’ve been there. It feels like the world is over. She is on my top two people that I’ve fought. She is very skilled. Her time will come again. She beat a lot of the champions. Please use that as motivation to become a two-weight world champion.”

Mayer said, “I thought I did enough to win. I would have given her the first round or two. But after that, I feel like I outpunched her. I landed the cleaner shots. At the end of the day, I think that this fight is worth seeing again. Like she said, it was one of the toughest fights she’s had. I didn’t have a rematch clause on my side, but I’m hoping we can get this fight done again.

“It’s definitely disappointing. But what am I going to do? I just hope that Natasha will be the standup champ that she is and give me another shot at the belt. I feel like I deserve it. I think they want to see it. I only believe that rematches should happen if they’re warranted.”

In other action:

Super Middleweight: Zak Chelli (15-2-1, 7 KOs) UD 12 Jack Cullen (22-5-1, 10 KOs), Scores: 116-113, 115-114, and 116-112. Chelli won Cullen's British and Commonwealth Titles.

Featherweight: Karriss Artingstall (6-0, 1 KO) UD 8 Lila dos Santos Furtado (9-2, 1 KO), Score: 77-75.

Middleweight: Ste Clarke (1-0, 1 KO) TKO 3 Vasif Mamedov (3-47-5), 1:53.

Super Middleweight: Aaron McKenna (18-0, 9 KOs) TKO 6 Mickey Ellison (14-7, 5 KOs), 2:21.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

"Why not Saudi Arabia?" - Turki Alashikh

I'm very excited about what's going on in Saudi Arabia and the sport of boxing. Recently there were huge headlines and announcements about fight deals being made to be held in the Kingdom. Not long ago, I was sad to hear the news that top TV networks in the United States stopped covering boxing. Showtime announced that it will exit boxing programming at the end of 2023. Before Showtime, HBO also dropped its boxing coverage at the end of 2018. These are major TV networks who covered boxing for decades.

As a lifelong boxing fan, I'm happy that Saudi Arabia has become the new home of big boxing events. Thanks to the man behind this development His Excellency Turki Alashikh, chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority. Let us hear from the man himself his vision of the sport in this DAZN interview with Ade Oladipo.

Notes: Natasha Jonas and Mikaela Mayer press conference

Jonas-Mayer and undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ SATURDAY beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT

LIVERPOOL, England (Jan. 18, 2024) — Two-division world champion Natasha Jonas (14-2-1, 9 KOs) will defend her IBF welterweight world title against former unified junior lightweight world champion Mikaela Mayer (19-1, 5 KOs) this Saturday, Jan. 20 at M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, England.

In the co-feature, Jack Cullen (22-4-1, 10 KOs) will put his British and Commonwealth titles on the line against Zak Chelli (14-2-1, 7 KOs) in a 12-round rematch of their all-action 2020 slugfest that ended in a draw.

At Thursday's press conference, this is what the main event fighters had to say.

Natasha Jonas

“This is a big statement. We’ve seen so many times that the best don’t fight the best for whatever reason. But I believe that for me to classify myself as one of the best of this era, I have to fight the best. I look at some of the boxers on list, the Katie Taylors and Chantelle Camerons, and they’ve beaten people in the top 10 pound-for-pound list. For me to be able to solidify a legacy for myself, I believe I have to do the same, and Mikaela is on that list.”

“Doors shut quickly in boxing when the results don’t go your way. And we’ve both experienced that now. And none of us want that to happen again. So, to keep those doors open, to keep those opportunities open, and to keep those bigger dreams beyond this alive, I’ve got to focus on what happens on Saturday and make that dream come true.”

“It’s going to be a good fight. We’ve both got the I.Q. and the ability to box. We’ve both got the skill and the strength to fight if we need to. That being said, I think our styles will make a great fight. I’m not going to be a reactive fighter and wait to see what she pulls out of the bag. I’m going to be putting my best foot forward and making her worry about me from the get-go.”

Mikaela Mayer

“It’s not just about the belt. It’s not just about becoming a world champion again. It’s about challenging myself against the best, having those names on my resume and knowing that I did my absolute best to challenge myself against the other great girls in the sport so that I can truly say I’m a top pound-for-pound fighter of this era. That’s important for my legacy and for my fans because I know that these are the types of fights that they want to see.”

“Natasha has a ton of experience. She has that amateur pedigree. She’s gone up against plenty of different styles. And she’s had to learn how to adjust to those styles. Same with me. That’s why having that pedigree is such an advantage. We both have that.”

"It’s going to be a really strategic fight because she’s a southpaw and I’m orthodox. Obviously, I have a technician in my corner who is big on strategy and big on technique and he has a game plan specifically for that, which I absolutely have to follow if I don’t want to get in trouble after the fight.”

Oscar Collazo to defend title vs Reyneris Gutierrez

Highlights:
  • Munguia vs. Ryder will be on the undercard.
  • The fight event is scheduled for Saturday, January 27 live from The Footprint Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, and worldwide on Dazn.
PHOENIX, ARIZONA (January 17, 2024) - Golden Boy Promotions has assembled a knockout undercard - including two, world championship defenses and scheduled performances of the next generation of top talent - for the main event clash between undefeated, former World Champion Jaime Munguía (42-0, 33 KOs) and former Interim World Champion John “The Gorilla” Ryder (32-6, 18 KOs) of the U.K. The 12-round super middleweight clash for the WBC Silver Title is presented in co-promotion with Zanfer Boxing and Matchroom Boxing and will take place at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday, January 27, and broadcast worldwide on DAZN beginning at 6:00 p.m. MST/ 5:00 p.m. PST.

In the co-main event, presented in association with Miguel Cotto Promotions, Villalba, Puerto Rico’s history-making Oscar “El Pupilo” Collazo (8-0, 6 KOs) will defend his WBO Minimumweight World Championship title against Reyneris Gutierrez (10-1, 2 KOs) of Matagalpa, Nicaragua. Scheduled for 12-rounds, Collazo is returning to the ring after a dazzling, knockout victory over Garen Diagan in front of his hometown crowd in Puerto Rico.

“With less than a week away for my second world title defense, I feel great and at my best moment,” said Oscar Collazo. “As always, we are very prepared and focused on what we are going to do on January 27 and leave the ring with our hand-raised. We have a good plan in place like all our previous fights, and we are ready to entertain in front of the people of Arizona, Puerto Rico, and on DAZN. Thank you, Miguel Cotto Promotions and Golden Boy for the opportunity to be on such a big card featuring a spectacular main event between Jaime Munguia and John Ryder.”

On the DAZN Broadcast, knockout superstar in-the-making Darius “DFG” Fulghum (9-0, 9 KOs) will be defending his WBA Continental USA Super Middleweight Title against the crafty Alantez “SlyAza” Fox (28-5-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round contest. Co-promoted with Sampson Boxing, IBF Female Flyweight World Champion Gabriela “Sweet Poison” Fundora (12-0, 5 KOs) of Coachella Valley, California will defend her newly minted hardware in a 10-round combat against Christina Cruz (6-0, 0 KOs) of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Opening the DAZN broadcast, Mexico City’s David Picasso Romero (26-0-1, 15 KOs) will participate in a 10-round super bantamweight fight against Erik Ruiz (17-9-1, 7 KOs) of Oxnard, California.

On the preliminary card, Daniel “Junebug” Garcia (7-0, 5 KOs) of Denver, Colorado will participate in a six-round lightweight match against Phoenix, Arizona’s Daniel Lugo (4-1, 1 KOs). Gregory Morales (15-1, 9 KOs) of San Antonio, Texas will challenge Ronal Ron (14-4, 11 KOs) of Chino Hills, California in an eight-round super bantamweight fight. In a four-round bantamweight, former Mexican Olympian Gael “El Terror” Cabrera (3-0, 2 KOs) will measure up against Miguel Ceballos (2-0, 2 KOs) of Peoria, Arizona . Opening the fight night festivities with a four-round bantamweight fight, Johnny “Sugarcane” Cañas (2-0, 2 KOs) of Santa Ana, California will face Oakland, California's William Davis (2-1-1, 1 KO).

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou done deal?

In an exciting development, it seems Francis Ngannou will have another big-time opportunity in the heavyweight division taking on Anthony Joshua in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in a 10-round fight.

Ariel Helwani broke the news on his X account (formerly Twitter) on Friday.

Francis Ngannou, a former UFC heavyweight champion, has proven that he belongs to a boxing ring as well putting up a strong performance against former Tyson Fury during his boxing debut in Riyadh in October last year.

It seemed that the Joshua vs Wilder could be sidelined. This could be because of this development or because Wilder was upset by Joseph Parker in December last year.

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Lopez-Ortiz & Davis-Pedraza Doubleheader


LAS VEGAS (Jan. 4, 2024) — The lineal junior welterweight king is ready for a super show.
Teofimo Lopez will defend his WBO and Ring Magazine titles against Jamaine Ortiz on Thursday, Feb. 8, at Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Lopez-Ortiz headlines an action-packed televised doubleheader that kicks off Big Game Weekend.

In the 10-round lightweight co-feature, U.S. Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis faces Puerto Rican former two-division world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Takeover Promotions and CES Boxing, tickets go on sale Friday, Jan. 5 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased at AXS.com.

Lopez-Ortiz and Davis-Pedraza will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.

“Teofimo Lopez is among the best fighters in the world and always wants to fight the best available opponent. Jamaine Ortiz is a supreme talent who fits the bill,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “I believe Keyshawn Davis is a future world champion, but you can never count out a skilled two-weight world champion like Jose Pedraza. What a fantastic doubleheader for the fans watching on ESPN and at Michelob ULTRA Arena.”

Lopez (19-1, 13 KOs) captured the IBF lightweight world title by defeating Richard Commey via second-round knockout in December 2019. The following October, he bested pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko to win the WBA, WBO, and WBC Franchise titles. Thirteen months later, he lost the belts via a shocking split decision to George Kambosos Jr. The 26-year-old then moved up to junior welterweight in August 2022 with a seventh-round TKO against Pedro Campa and a split decision over Spanish southpaw Sandor Martin that December. In his latest fistic tour de force, Lopez upset former undisputed champion Josh Taylor to capture the WBO and Ring Magazine titles.

Lopez said. "February 8 at Mandalay Bay, 'The Takeover' will entertain inside that squared circle as only I can! To the boxing fans around the world, I look to not only dominate and break down Jamaine Ortiz but to do it in such a fashion that my division will be put on alert.“

"Jamaine is tough. I would know, because I faced him back in the amateur days in 2015 for the National Golden Gloves Championship. I'll show the world that champions don't flinch when faced with challenges. They rise and shine the brightest when the stakes are highest. This one is for all my people on the Takeover Express! Let’s show the world once again what real boxing looks like.”

Ortiz (17-1-1, 8 KOs), a seven-year pro, secured the NABF lightweight title by outpointing Nahir Albright in February 2022. The Worcester, Massachusetts, native then notched a decision win against former world champion Jamel "Semper Fi" Herring that May and rounded off the year with an exceptional showing against Lomachenko. Ortiz dropped the tightly contested battle to “Loma” by unanimous decision but responded with a one-sided points verdict over Antonio Moran in September.

Ortiz said, “This is the most important fight of my career. It’s my first world title bout. I believe this fight will bring out the very best in me, and I’m looking forward to coming home as the new champion!”

Davis (9-0, 6 KOs), from Norfolk, Virginia, has graduated from prospect to contender and is inching closer to a world title opportunity. After going 3-0 as a pro, he captured a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics. In November 2021, he signed a long-term promotional contract with Top Rank and has since tallied six victories. He had an active 2023 in which he stopped Anthony Yigit via ninth-round TKO in April and shut out Francesco Patera by a 10-round decision in July. In October, he bested Philadelphia-born contender Nahir Albright by a majority decision that was later ruled a no-contest by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation due to a positive marijuana test.

“I have all the respect in the world for Jose Pedraza and what he’s accomplished in the pro game,” Davis said. “This is the type of step-up I need to get to the next level, and I know Pedraza will bring his A-game. It’s his last chance to get back to title contention, but I won’t let that happen. I will show out for the fans in Las Vegas and everyone watching on ESPN.”

Pedraza (29-5-1, 14 KOs), from Cidra, Puerto Rico, won the IBF junior lightweight world title against Andrey Klimov in June 2015 and made title defenses against Edner Cherry and Stephen Smith. He captured the WBO lightweight world title against Rey Beltran in August 2018. After losing the title in a unification showdown against Lomachenko, he moved up to 140 pounds, where he faced the likes of Jose Zepeda, Jose Ramirez, Richard Commey, Lindolfo Delgado and Arnold Barboza Jr. Pedraza returns to the lightweight division in hopes of another world title run.

Pedraza said, “Keyshawn Davis is going to experience what it's like to face a two-division world champion. He’s never faced a boxer of my caliber, nor has he faced anyone even close to the caliber of my toughest opponents. He wants to continue climbing up the ranks, but on February 8, he’ll be falling off the ladder.”

The ESPN+-streamed undercard features a gamut of up-and-coming talents.

19-year-old lightweight phenom, Emiliano Fernando Vargas (8-0, 7 KOs), son of former junior middleweight world champion Fernando Vargas, will see action in a six-round clash against Tomas Ornelas (7-3, 5 KOs). Vargas went 6-0 with five knockouts in his sophomore year as a pro and is coming off a second-round destruction of Brandon Mendoza in November at T-Mobile Arena.

Lightweight prodigy Abdullah Mason (11-0, 9 KOs) will fight Benjamin Gurment (8-0-3, 5 KOs) in his first scheduled eight-rounder. Mason will look to capitalize on his 5-0 2023 campaign, which included a second-round TKO versus Jose Cardenas in November.

Unbeaten middleweight Javier "Milwaukee Made" Martinez (9-0-1, 3 KOs) will take on Raul Salomon (12-2, 10 KOs) in an eight-rounder. Martinez dropped Isaiah Wise three times en route to a first-round knockout in November.

Former Team USA amateur standout Charlie Sheehy (8-0, 5 KOs) will step up to the eight-round distance for the first time. Sheehy vanquished Jesus Vasquez Jr. by unanimous decision in November.

Unbeaten lightweight prospect Alan “Kid Kansas” Garcia (10-0, 8 KOs), the power-punching dynamo from Ulysses, Kansas, sees action in a six-rounder.

Former national amateur champion Art Barrera Jr. (2-0, 2 KOs) returns to the ring in a four-round junior welterweight fight.

Naoya Inoue Stops Marlon Tapales to Become Undisputed Junior Featherweight World Champion


TOKYO, Japan (Dec. 26, 2023) — WBC/WBO junior featherweight world champion Naoya "The Monster" Inoue (26-0, 23 KOs) made history again.
The Japanese pound-for-pound superstar knocked out Filipino IBF/WBA champion Marlon Tapales in round 10 to capture the undisputed junior featherweight championship Tuesday at Ariake Arena in Tokyo.

With the victory, Inoue joins Terence Crawford as the only male two-weight undisputed champion in the four-belt era. A four-weight world champion, Inoue is 21-0 with 19 knockouts in title fights and has knocked out his last seven foes.

Tapales (37-4, 19 KOs), a two-weight world champion, saw his four-fight winning streak end.

Inoue said, “I am so happy that I got the knockout in such a decisive manner.

“He never showed me fatigue or damage from his face, so I was quite surprised when he went down in the 10th round.

“It was one of the most intense fights I’ve ever had, probably, but my corner cheered me up and kept me focused throughout the bout.”

Tapales, who won the unified world championship earlier this year, came out as the aggressor and attempted to slow Inoue down with a concerted body attack. Inoue responded with savage body blows, sweeping the early rounds on the scorecards. Late in the fourth, a series of left hooks dropped Tapales, who rose just before the bell sounded to end the round.

Tapales found his rhythm in the middle rounds, backing Inoue up and ripping body shots in the seventh and eighth. "The Monster" found his stride in the ninth and finished off Tapales in the 10th with a right hand that put him down for the count. The pound-for-pound king, who started his career at 108 pounds, added two more belts to his massive collection.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

"I’ll fight him in Japan, on the moon, anywhere he wants" -- John Ramirez on Kazuto Ioka

LOS ANGELES (December 12, 2023) – Back on October 21st, undefeated super flyweight John “Scrappy” Ramirez, after waiting 10-plus months to fight in a World Boxing Association (WBA) title eliminator, the pride of South Central Los Angeles destroyed his Panamanian opponent, Ronal Batista (15-3, 9 KOs), dropping him twice to close the DAZN show in the fourth and final round.

The 27-year-old Ramirez, who was ranked No. 2 (No. 1 was unrated) and matched against No. 7 Batista, automatically became the No. 1-ranked, mandatory challenger for WBA Super Flyweight World Champion Kazuto Ioka (30-2-1, 15 KOs), of Japan, who last June dethroned defending world champion Joshua Franco (116-112 twice and 115-113) in a rematch of their previous draw.

“Nothing is promised in this business, so I’m not sitting around waiting,” Ramirez said. “I continue working hard because I believe in me and my team. If this fight (vs. Ioka) isn’t happening right away, my team will get me in a good fight. I’ve got to move on. I’ll just beat the next guy and I’ll still be the mandatory contender. I’ll be even better learning, getting more experience and I can redefine my skill set. And he’s (Ioka) getting older and I’m still young.”

An electrifying fighter of Belizean and Honduran descent, rising star Ramirez has patiently waited to learn about his impending world title shot. Ioka has until one year after he won the title (June 24, 2023) to make a mandatory defense, but reports spread quickly after Ioka’s last fight that his next fight would be against Lineal and World Boxing Council (WBC) Super Flyweight World Champion Juan Francisco Estrada (44-3, 28 KOs) in a title unification match on New Year’s Eve in Ioka’s hometown of Tokyo. Negotiations stalled for the Ioka-Estrada unification showdown and collapsed. It was recently announced that Ioka will fight on New Year’s Eve in Japan for the 12th time, not against Estrada, but versus Josber Perez (20-3, 18 KOs), of Venezuela, the WBA’s No. 8 world-rated super flyweight.

Meanwhile, “Scrappy” Ramirez has stayed in top-condition training with and sparring Regis Prograis (29-2, 24 KOs) at Brickhouse Boxing Club in N. Hollywood, California. Prograis was preparing for his title defense last Saturday against Devin Haney (31-0, 15 KOs) in San Francisco. Since his last fight “Scrappy” has also cracked The Ring magazine’s independent ratings at No. 10.

“I worked with Regis who was getting ready for his fight with Haney,” Ramirez noted. “That’s what I’ve been doing, going to different training camps when I’m free. I get more knowledge working at different training camps, learning other ways to train, working in different cultures. No vacations for me. I’ll go on to the next camp with a different fighter who has a big fight. Doing what I do keeps it fun for me and I keep learning.”

It’s Scrapp Time! Ramirez is ready, willing, and able to fight Ioka anytime the reigning champion wants, even in Tokyo, if the offered deal makes sense.

Ioka has won seven of his last eight fights (7-0-1) since his last loss on December 31, 2018 in Macau, when he lost a 12-round split decision to WBO Super Flyweight World Champion Donnie Nietes (41-1-5), which Ioka avenged in their July 13, 2022 rematch, in which Ioka took a 12-round unanimous decision in Tokyo to be crowned WBO world champion.

“I’ll fight him in Japan, on the moon…..anywhere he wants,” Ramirez added. “I AM READY NOW, it’s Scrapp Time! My time will come.”

In addition to defeating Franco and Nietes, Ioka has defeated Francisco Rodriguez, Jr. (34-4-1) and McWilliams Arroyo (17-3), respectively, by way of 12 and 10-round unanimous decisions, as well as knocking out current No. 2 WBA contender Kosei Tanaka (15-0) and Aston Palicte (25-2-1).

Having fought outside of his native Japan only three times -- Philippines, China and in Inglewood, California – it’s a safe bet that Ioka will insist on defending his title in his native Japan.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

GARCIA VS. DUARTE: Official Weights (at welterweight?)

Contrary to what was advertised, Ryan Garcia will return to the ring to face Oscar Duarte Jurado after a knockout loss against Gervonta Davis in April. The fight was officially listed at the welterweight division (advertised as a 140-pound limit fight) for 12 rounds at the Toyota Center in Houston on Saturday night.

So what happened with the weight?

In a press release from Golden Boy Promotions, the fight was officially listed as welterweight and it seemed at a catchweight at 143 pounds? Looked like one of them was not able to get the 140-pound limit or could be both of them. Who knows? It was not announced that there would be weight limit changes. Anyway, the show must go on and the official weights were out.

Garcia's (23-1-0, 19 KOs) official weight was 143 lbs. He was looking strong and ready to go.

Duarte (26-1-1, 21 KOs) weighed 142.8 lbs and was looking ripped and ready to rumble.

The drama behind this weight confusion will definitely surface after the fight. 

Well, fight fans have a good Saturday night. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Xander Zayas: "I'm Determined to Position Myself as a Top Contender!"

Zayas will take on Spain's Jorge Fortea in a 10-round battle on Saturday, Dec. 9 at Charles F. Dodge City Center in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Zayas-Fortea will serve as the co-feature in the WBO featherweight world title showdown between reigning champ Robeisy “El Tren” Ramirez and unbeaten Mexican contender Rafael “El Divino” Espinoza.

Ramirez-Espinoza and Zayas-Fortea will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

Zayas (17-0, 11 KOs) signed with Top Rank at 16 and has been on the path to superstardom ever since his pro debut in October 2019. In his fifth year as a pro, he is already inching closer to a title shot in the competitive 154-pound division. He notched an eight-round unanimous decision over Ronald Cruz during Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend in June and a fifth-round TKO against the hard-hitting Roberto Valenzuela Jr. in September. Fortea (24-3-1, 9 KOs), a 13-year pro from Spain, is riding a three-bout winning streak.

Following a recent training session, this is what Zayas had to say:

"We are counting down the days to fight night! I can't wait for the bell to ring on December 9 in South Florida. I dedicate this fight to all my Boricuas from the 'Island of Enchantment' and the 'Puerto Rican Diaspora' who I know will tune in to my fight that night on ESPN."

"I am determined to close the year with a bang and to continue positioning myself as one of the main contenders at junior middleweight. In the new year, I'm aiming to continuing my climb up the ranks step by step. That is why I push myself to give my all every day in the gym. You will see a better version of me every time I fight."

"I am grateful for the support of the fans. I am also very happy to share the card with a great friend whom I respect a lot like "El Tren" from Cuba, Robeisy Ramírez. We are already close to a sold out venue, and we are ready to bring joy to our people. We're coming to put on a great Latin party between Cubans and Puerto Ricans."

Friday, November 17, 2023

Stevenson becomes 3-weight champ, beats De Los Santos in a snoozer

There is a difference between fighting scared and fighting the style of hitting without getting hit.

Shakur Stevenson (21-0, 10 KOs) made sure that he would not get hit as much by those punches coming from the hard-hitting Edwin De Los Santos (16-2, 14 KOs) to the point of not hitting as much on De Los Santos either for their lightweight fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Thursday night, resulting to a limited action that failed to tickle fans' excitement.

Although Stevenson tried to press forward in the second half of the fight to somehow ignite excitement in the seemingly disappointed crowd of around 6,703 who attended the event. De Los Santos on the other hand tried to lure Shakur to commit further and somehow fight on the back foot.

It was like a dance of "Cha-Cha" actually. When the other goes forward, the other goes backward.

De Los Santos pressed the action early, but Stevenson did not engage and kept the distance. In the second half, as Stevenson tried to press a little bit forward, De Los Santos was the one keeping the distance luring Stevenson to commit further for possible counters.

The scorecards read 116-112, 115-113, and 116-112 all in favor of Stevenson for the unanimous decision victory. 

Stevenson said, "I had a bad performance tonight. That’s all I’m really focused on. I wasn’t feeling too good, so I’ll live with it. It’s okay. I came here and got the victory, and that’s all I wanted to do.

I doubt if the paying fans would agree that "it's okay". Anyway, what he wanted to do was victory. But hey remember that the fans wanted to be entertained.

Well, I expect Stevenson to give boxing fans a more entertaining fight moving on to the next fight as a three-weight class champion. And I'd rather see him fight again at the 126 or 130-pound division as he has the confidence to risk getting hit a little bit in order to hit more in the process.

It's Official, Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk on 17 Feb 2024, KSA

Tyson Fury returns to Saudi Arabia’s capital to fight Usyk to crown the division’s first undisputed champion since 1999.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (Nov. 16, 2023) — Boxing’s two heavyweight world champions will finally meet to crown the one and only undisputed champion of the world.

WBC and Lineal Champion Tyson ‘The Gypsy King’ Fury will fight WBO/IBF/WBA unified champ Oleksandr Usyk in a history-making showdown on Saturday, February 17, at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The winner will become boxing’s first undisputed heavyweight champion since Britain’s Lennox Lewis claimed that honor 24 years ago, but this time four belts are on the line.

‘Ring of Fire’, the biggest fight in world boxing, will take place as part of Riyadh Season, one of the world’s largest winter entertainment events organized by Riyadh Season, and will be presented to fans worldwide. Fury kicked off Riyadh Season on Saturday, October 28, when he defeated lineal MMA heavyweight world champion Francis Ngannou by split decision.

Ahead of the blockbuster ‘Ring of Fire’ fight, Fury and Usyk came face-to-face at a press conference held in London on Thursday, November 16.

“Usyk, you can run, but The Gypsy King is coming to get you. This is my era, and your time is up. Your undefeated record AND your belts, they will be mine!” Fury said. “Thank you to His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and His Excellency Turki Alalshikh for bringing this undisputed title fight to the beautiful Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I had an amazing time here when I fought Ngannou, and I am ready to do it again. This time, The Gypsy King will return to England as the undisputed heavyweight king.”

“I have no goal,” said Usyk. “Only the way. And my way is ‘The Undisputed.’ That is why this was the only fight for me. When that bell rings, I will bring the fire.”

“Since our first Riyadh Season in 2019, the Season has developed a reputation for hosting the biggest events and they do not come much bigger than the undisputed heavyweight title fight,” said His Excellency Turki Alalshikh, Chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority. “This is history in the making, a fight the world has waited for. Now it is a reality, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is excited to be hosting this era-defining fight. This will be a global spectacle and we will do everything to ensure that everyone has an experience that matches an event of this magnitude.”

“The relationship between Riyadh Season and the sport of boxing will reach unparalleled new levels on February 17, when it stages the first undisputed heavyweight fight for 24 years” said Frank Warren of Queensberry. “Tyson Fury taking on Oleksandr Usyk is simply the biggest fight that can be made in boxing and is what the world wants to see. And we take this opportunity to thank His Royal Highness, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for his blessed vision which is achieving great accomplishments. We also thank His Excellency Turki Alalshikh and Riyadh Season for making it happen.”

“Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk are the best heavyweights of their era, and this undisputed battle in the beautiful city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, promises to be a sensational fight and a history-making event,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Fury is an all-time great heavyweight champion, but you can never count out Usyk, a former Olympic champion who has already conquered two weight divisions.”

“The world has finally got it!” Usyk’s manager Alex Krassyuk said. “Proud of Usyk, respect to Tyson. Let the best man win and we celebrate Usyk’s second undisputed!”

Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs) has been the reigning heavyweight champion since November 2015. Taking a break from boxing due to personal challenges, Fury made an impressive comeback by defeating Deontay Wilder to claim the WBC world title in their rematch and sealing their trilogy with a knockout victory in 2021.

Ukraine’s Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs), an Olympic gold medalist, decided to move up from the cruiserweight division to the heavyweight division after establishing his dominance there. He caused an upset by defeating Anthony Joshua and becoming the unified heavyweight champion. Usyk successfully defended his titles against Joshua in a rematch. Now, he sets his sights on becoming only the second cruiserweight champion ever to achieve undisputed status in the heavyweight division.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Naoya Inoue vs Marlon Tapales Weekly Updates


All the blog posts leading up to the fight of  Naoya Inoue and Marlon Tapales for the undisputed junior featherweight championship fight will be under this thread. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Jose Sanchez vs. Walter Santibañes on Dec 14

INDIO, CALIF. (November 7, 2023) - In the last scheduled fight of 2023, Golden Boy Fight Night on DAZN will close out the year at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino with an action-packed main event featuring local, Cathedral City native and WBC Super Bantamweight Continental Latino Titleholder Jose “Tito” Sanchez (11-0, 7 KOs) participating in a 10-round match against Phoenix, Arizona’s Walter Santibañes (12-2, 2 KOs). The fight night is presented in association with Miguel Cotto Promotions and will be broadcast worldwide on DAZN.

Tickets for Golden Boy Fight Night on DAZN: Sanchez vs. Santibañes go on sale Wednesday, November 8, 2023, at 10:00 am PT and are priced at $65, $55, $45, and $35 plus applicable fees. Tickets can be purchased at FantasySpringsResort.com or GoldenBoyPromotions.com.

Media interested in a credential for the fight must fill out a credential application by Monday, December 11. To apply, please visit https://forms.gle/vaSdYpDctQ4cNXRw5.

Hailing from Cathedral City, the undefeated Jose “Tito” Sanchez has been on the fast track to becoming a world champion. Trained by world-renowned coach Joel Diaz in Indio, he was last seen in Puerto Rico securing the WBC Super Bantamweight Continental Latino title via third-round technical knockout against Carlos Caraballo this past July 12.

“I would like to thank my promoter Miguel Cotto and Golden Boy Promotions for another big opportunity that benefits my career. Honestly, it’s been a very long time since I’ve actually fought in my hometown, but I am thrilled,” said Jose “Tito” Sanchez. “It’s an honor to be fighting at Fantasy Springs Casino and a great way to end the year. Now, I’ve seen what my opponent Walter Santibañes does out in that ring, but I also hope he’s seen what I can bring to the table. From what I can tell now, it’s gonna be a great fight and I hope he’s ready for me.”

Walter Santibañes was last seen inside the ring in June, where he put on a dramatic performance and defeated the hometown fighter Manuel “Gucci Manny” Flores. Accustomed to his underdog status, he will be looking to steal the crowd yet again against Sanchez.

“Thank you to Golden Boy for this opportunity,” said Walter Santibañes. “The last time I was in the B-corner as the main event, I walked out of the ring with an upset victory. I plan to do it again.”

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Pandemonium @ The Palladium II

QUINCY, Mass. (October 31, 2023) – Old-time boxing returns Friday night, December 9, in Worcester (MA), as Granite Chin Promotions (GCP) presents “Pandemonium at the Palladium 2,” featuring a roster of legitimate fighters in real fights.

“Pandemonium at the Palladium 2” will be streamed live from the famed Palladium on BXNGTV.com. GCP has also partnered with Project New Hope, a Worcester-based charity that supports veterans and their families.

Undefeated Denzel “Double Impact” Whitley (12-0, 7 KOs) and unbeaten Kenny “Lionheart” Larson (7-0-1, 5 KOs) will headline in the 10-round main event for the vacant Junior North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Welterweight Championship in a rebirth of a longtime Bay State rivalry.

Whitley, of Holyoke, represents Western, Massachusetts, Salem’s Larson is from Eastern, Mass. It’s also a fight between a legacy fighter, Whitley, who is trained by his father Derrick and uncle Darrin, who were solid pro fighters during the 1990s into the first decade of the 21st century; Larson is a throwback fighter who only asks who, where and when he’s fighting.

And Whitley and Larson, as rare as it may be among contemporary boxers, are unbeaten prospects fighting each other, which is a sure sign of old-time boxing.

“This is a critical fight for both fighters at this stage in their career,” GCP president Chris Traietti commented. “The winner moves on to legitimate prospect status, while whoever falls short will have to regroup and rebuild a little bit. It is about time these two guys finally get into the ring with each other and give local boxing fans an exciting main event. The styles of each guy contrast perfectly Denzel is more of a boxer, Kenny is a pressure fighter; this is a can’t-miss entertainment with the Junior NABF title on the line.”

Whitley is the reigning Massachusetts and United States Boxing Federation (USBF) Atlantic Welterweight Champion, although neither of his two regional titles will be on the line versus Larson.

Whitley vs. Larson was supposed to happen a few times, but they have not met in the ring yet. They are both anxious to take care of unfinished business on Dec. 9 in Worcester. This showdown will also mark the first scheduled 10-round fight for both combatants.

“I can’t say it (delay) will necessarily help me,” said Whitley, who was known as a notoriously slow starter until his most recent fight (August 18, 2023) at The Palladium, when he needed only 25-seconds to stop Hector Esnar Bobadilla. “I was ready before and now for this fight. It’s my first 10-round fight and I’ve gotten more rounds to be in my best shape. I’m on a belt run and want to add my third title. My style was to get in rounds to get the proper feel and adapt in the ring. My father and uncle have wanted me to start faster, and I did in my last fight.

“I don’t know much about my opponent. He likes to fight, I like that. We do have unfinished business and we’re finally getting that now. I need to get him out of the way and move on to the next fight. He comes forward, an old-fashioned fighter, and that will make for a good fight. When I capture this belt, I hope to move up in the rankings and it helps get me a big shot in a big venue against a big name.”

Larson, who was a 2016 New England Golden Gloves silver medalist, registered the most significant victory of his career last July when he won an eight-round split decision over highly respected Brandon Higgins (10-3). But he came back less than a month later to fight Alfred Raymond, which ended in a six-round split decision.”

“A relief,” Larson expressed his feelings about finally fighting Whitley. “This is what I want and I’m glad to get a chance to prove myself. (The delay) Helped me a little because of the experience I’ve gained. I know I wasn’t at my best, but I had just fought Higgins in the fight of my life. I didn’t get a rest to recover from the fight with Higgins. Since then, though, my mind frame was clear in training camp because I had a vacation after my last fight.

“Denzel has a good record. I’m looking to prove myself against the best. He’s the best…..right now. I’m going to fight my fight at my pace. I don’t care about fighting him in Worcester. My fans travel no matter where I fight. I’m a throwback who is a rough kid who can fight.”
Also fighting on the loaded “Pandemonium at the Palladium 2,” card is undefeated International Boxing Association (IBA) Americas Super Middleweight Champion Steve “The Savage” Sumpter (9-0, 7 KOs), who will face an opponent to be determined in the 10-round co-featured event. Sumpter, fighting out of Pittsfield (MA), is one of the hottest prospects in the Northeast, coming off an impressive performance against previously unbeaten James “Pitbull” Perkins (12-0-1, 9 KOs) by way of an eight-round majority decision in the main event this past August at The Palladium.

Also scheduled to be in action are a pair of Worcester fighters, light heavyweight Kendrick “Peppa” Ball, Jr. (21-1-3, 12 KOs) and super welterweight Khiary “Too Sharp” Gray (17-6, 13 KOs). Ball is a former New England Middleweight and WBC USA Super Middleweight Champion, who will be fighting in a 10-rounder for the vacant USBF title. Pitts will be in his first fight in two years.

Monday, October 30, 2023

2023 Santiago Pan American Games Result - Team USA 2-2

SANTIAGO, Chile -- Team USA went 2-2 yesterday on the final day of boxing at the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games to take two gold and two silver medals to go along with their two bronze medals earned during yesterday’s semifinals.

Featherweight Jahmal Harvey (Oxon Hill, Md.) began the day with what shaped up to be another classic United States versus Cuba final.

The 2021 World Champion saw the Cuban, Ivan Horta Rodriguez Del Rey, take a close 3-2 lead after the first round, but came back in the second round to take his own 3-2 decision, resulting in the duo being tied across all five judges’ cards before the final round.

The American rallied during the final three minutes, landing clean jabs to the body and head, as well as combinations to take the round, 5-0, and the overall unanimous decision victory and gold medal.
PAN AMERICAN GAMES GOLD MEDALIST JAHMAL HARVEY (second in from left) (Photo by Getty Images)
Harvey’s gold medal performance adds him to a list of other Team USA greats who won gold in the featherweight division at the Pan American Games, including Kelcie Banks and Bernard Taylor.

Super heavyweight Joshua Edwards (Houston, Texas) added the 2023 Pan American Games gold medalist to his resume with his walkover victory over Brazil’s Abner Teixeira Da Silva. Edwards's gold medal is just the second in USA Boxing history, joining Jason Estrada (2003) as the only two American super heavyweights to take gold at a Pan American Games.

Jennifer Lozano (Laredo, Texas) became the third straight female American to win a silver medal at the Pan American Games in the flyweight division, following in Marlen Esparza and Virginia Fuchs's footsteps, both from Texas as well. Lozano, who punched her ticket to next summer’s Olympic Games yesterday, fell short in capturing the gold medal by way of a unanimous decision against Brazil’s Caroline Barbosa De Almeida.

Morelle McCane (Cleveland, Ohio) was the final member of Team USA to box today, however, fell short in a 5-0 decision against Brazil’s Barbara Maria Dos Santos. McCane became the fifth straight boxer from Cleveland and the first female boxer from the city to qualify for the Olympics during these Games.

Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) and Roscoe Hill (Spring, Texas) rounded out Team USA’s medal count, as each is leaving Santiago with bronze medals.

To relive all the action from this year’s Pan American Games, including photos, athlete stories, and moreclick here.

Finals Results

50 kg: Caroline Barbosa De Almeida/BRA dec. over Jennifer Lozano, Laredo, Texas/USA, 5-0 – silver medal.

57 kg: Jahmal Harvey, Oxon Hill, Md./USA, dec. over Ivan Horta Rodriguez Del Rey/CUB, 5-0 – gold medal.

66 kg: Barbara Maria Dos Santos/BRA dec. over Morelle McCane, Cleveland, Ohio/USA, 5-0 – silver medal.

92+ kg: Joshua Edwards, Houston, Texas/USA wins by walkover over Abner Teixeira Da Silva/BRA, WO – gold medal.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Manny Pacquiao off to Riyadh, KSA

gfgf
Screengrab from Manny Pacquiao's Facebook account

Pambansang Kama-o, Manny Pacquiao posted on his Facebook account that he's "off to Saudi Arabia" with the hashtag #RiyadhSeason. Riyadh will be hosting the Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou heavyweight boxing exhibition fight this weekend.


Boxing reporter Kevin Iole tweeted earlier that the Riyadh organizer for the Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou's heavyweight exhibition fight will bring some of boxing's prominent personalities including Pacquiao, Mike Tyson, Duran, Morales, Big George, and several others. Mayweather might go too.

Wow! You know what? Riyadh is just 7 hour's drive from where I am based here in Kuwait. Applying visit visa to the kingdom become very easy online nowadays. A multiple-entry visit visa for one year will cost 30 Kuwaiti Dinars, around USD 97.

As a boxing fan, I'm very excited that big boxing match-ups are now being held on this side of the world. It gives me the option to at least watch any of these world title matches. 

My last ringside attendance was in 2015 in the Philippines at one of the now-defunct Pinoy-Pride Boxing series. It was headline by Donnie Nietes and Nonito Donaire Jr. fighting separate opponents in The Pinoy Pride 30 dubbed "D-Day". 

Monday, October 23, 2023

Giovani Santillan stops Alexis Rocha in Round 6

INGLEWOOD, CALIF. (October 21, 2023) – In an explosive main event, San Diego’s Giovani “Gallo de Oro” Santillan (32-0, 17 KOs) maintained his undefeated record and took home the NABO Welterweight Title from Santa Ana’s Alexis “Lex” Rocha (23-2, 15 KOs). Scheduled for 12-rounds, Santillan handed Rocha his first career loss via knockout, slowly breaking him down and sending Rocha to the mat twice in the fifth round. It was in the sixth round where Santillan used a flurry of right hooks and left uppercuts that finished the fight at 1:13. The fight night was presented in association with Top Rank, took place at the Kia Forum, and was broadcast on DAZN.
“I feel good. It was the outcome we were looking for. You never know how these types of fights will go,” said Giovani Santillan. “Alexis is a great fighter, and he’s tough. He got up twice and he's never been stopped before! It’s different with all these people here and when you’re the b-side. He brought all his fans and his supporters which makes boxing a great sport. 2024 is going to be a great year for me now with this performance.”

“I am sorry to all my fans,” said Alexis Rocha. “I will be back.”

Special guests for the night included Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya, Partner of Golden Boy Bernard Hopkins, Hall of Fame Trainer Freddie Roach, Current WBA World Champion Rolando “Rolly” Romero, Former four-time World Champion Mikey Garcia, Former World Champion Sergey Lipinets, and a number of current and former Golden Boy fighters including Former World Champion “Zurdo” Ramirez, Eric Priest, Jorge Chavez, Azat Hovhannisyan, John “Sugarcane” Cañas, Gabe Rosado, and Jousce Gonzalez.

In the co-main event, John “Scrappy” Ramirez (13-0, 9 KOs) won via fourth round knockout in a WBA Super Flyweight Title Eliminator against Ronal Batista (15-4, 9 KOs). Scheduled for 12-rounds, “Scrappy” handed out popcorn to his fans as he gave one of the night’s impressive performances. Batista went down in the fourth after a flurry of punches, Ramirez stopping the fight with a left hook to the body in the fourth.

“I was slow cooking him and I wanted to eat him. I eventually gave up and took him out,” said Scrappy Ramirez. “This was a result of staying focused and making the necessary adjustments."

Also on the DAZN broadcast in a 10-round flyweight fight that went the distance, Rialto’s Ricardo “El Niño” Sandoval (23-2, 16 KOs) secured a tight, unanimous decision victory against Victor Sandoval (37-4, 23 KOs). The toe-to-toe action featured the two flyweights exchanging heavy blows throughout the fight, however, “El Niño” was more effective. The judges scored the bout 97-93, 97-93, and 96-94.

In the night’s championship fight, the Coachella Valley’s Gabriela Fundora (12-0, 5 KOs) maintained her undefeated record and took home the IBF Flyweight Title in a match against Arely “Ametralladora” Muciño (32-4-2, 11 KOs) of Monterrey, Mexico. Scheduled for 10-rounds, Fundora used her long reach and jab and sent Muciño down twice in the fifth round. The corner waved the towel after seeing Muciño hurt and unable to keep up with Fundora at 1:18 in the fifth.

Opening the broadcast, Joeshon James (8-0-2, 5 KOs) of Sacramento, California pulled the upset, with a first-round knockout win at 2:52 against David “Dynamite” Stevens (13-1, 9 KOs). Stevens hit the mat twice, the referee calling the fight in the final seconds.

Opening fight night, highly decorated national champion of San Fernando, Iyana “Roxy” Verduzco (1-0) made a successful professional debut in a four-round lightweight fight against Clarice Morales (0-3-1) of Toledo, Ohio. The fight started with high impact action and had the crowd on their feet, Verduzco taking control of the fight from start to finish.