Jesse Hart: I don’t want to fight on someone else’s undercard

How did super middleweight Jesse Hart go from fighting Feb. 27 at the Theatre in Madison Square Garden on an HBO championship card to a March 18 non-televised show from the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia? The answer says a lot about the direction boxing has traveled in recent memory.

“I don’t want to fight on someone else’s undercard,” Hart said recently, removing himself from his off-TV fight underneath Terrance Crawford’s WBO junior welterweight title defense against Hank Lundy, another Philadelphian, in New York City.

“I wanted to be the main event in Philadelphia where my dad (Eugene “Cyclone” Hart) was a star years ago,” Hart added. “I called up my promoter, Bob Arum, and explained this to him and he gave me the green light.”

Hart’s NABA and USBA championship belts will be at stake against Dashon Johnson, of Escondido, CA, who is riding a four-bout winning streak. Continue reading

Witherspoon injured, fight card postponed

The boxing event scheduled for Saturday night, February 20th at the Nexxt Level Coliseum in Voorhees, New Jersey, has been postponed due to a training camp injury to headliner Chazz Witherspoon. The injury is not serious and a new date for the Silver Spoon Promotions card will be announced shortly. All ticket buyers may refund their tickets at the point of purchase.

Fragomeni injured, Nielsen to face Larghetti now

Unbeaten cruiserweight Micki Nielsen (20-0, 14 KOs) faces his toughest test on March 19 when he puts his WBC International title on the line against former world title challenger Mirko Larghetti (24-1, 16 KOs) at the Albertslund MusikTeatret in Copenhagen. Nielsen was originally scheduled to meet former world champion Giacobbe Fragomeni, but an elbow injury forced the Italian veteran to withdraw, paving the way for a clash between the unbeaten Dane and the WBA #3 ranked Larghetti, whose only defeat was by decision against then-WBO world champion Marco Huck in 2014.

Queensberry Promotions wins Mckenzie-Kucher European title purse bid

Cruiserweight Ovill McKenzie will challenge Dmytro Kucher for the vacant European title after Queensberry Promotions today won the purse bid to stage the fight. It’s a big return for the hard-hitting Jamaican McKenzie, who just missed out on claiming a world title when he pushed IBF ruler Victor Emilio Ramirez to a controversial draw in Argentina last October.

Kucher, from Kiev, Ukraine, has a record of 23-1-1, 17 KOs. This will be his second shot at the European title after he drew against Bilal Laggoune last October for the vacant title.

McKenzie, 36, has previously won a Commonwealth title at light-heavyweight and Commonwealth and British title at cruiserweight, is excited to challenge for the European crown for the first time and sees it as a significant step back onto the world title stage. Continue reading

Pacquiao and Bradley: Defying Newton’s Laws

By Bill Dwyre

What do Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley Jr., have in common with Cam Newton?

Fortunately, for boxing, nothing.

We all saw Sunday’s Super Bowl. If we didn’t, we need to make sure next year to get the key to the cave in which we were locked.

The Super Bowl is a national holiday. It’s not designated as such. We just make it so, by our apparent burning need to see the final chapter in a season-long pursuit of the most super. Remember the line from the recent movie “Concussion,” where a doctor was attempting to challenge the NFL? He was told he was taking on an entity that “owns a day of the week.”

Chances are that even Pacquiao, in far-off General Santos City, Philippines, caught a bit of our Super Bowl, even though the NBA is more to his liking.

Bradley surely did. Continue reading

Kevin Mitchell retires from boxing

Lightweight contender Kevin Mitchell (39=4, 29 KOs) has announced his retirement from boxing. The 31-year-old held the British and Commonwealth titles at super featherweight before moving to lightweight where he landed a trio of world title shots. Mitchell hosted Michael Katsidis in May 2010 for the WBO interim title at the home of his beloved West Ham United, headed to Glasgow to challenge Ricky Burns in a ferocious four-round shoot-out for the Scotsman’s WBO crown in September 2012 and severely tested WBC king Jorge Linares for his title in a classic encounter at The O2 in November 2015.

“I was in the gym training for the Edis Tatli fight and I just didn’t really feel that I have enough to go through the training once again,” said Mitchell. “I’ve been fighting for 22 years, it is a long time to be putting your body through all you have to do to get right for a fight and my body has said ‘enough is enough.'”

Mitchell says he wants to give something back to the sport he loves, and has begun working with his trainer Tony Sims in his Essex gym.

J Rock-Matano collide in IBF eliminator

Undefeated super welterweight contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams (21-0-1, 13 KOs) and once-beaten Italian Marcello Matano (16-1, 5 KOs) will square off in a 12-round IBF eliminator for the #1 ranking at 154-pounds in the main event of Showtime Boxing: Special Edition on March 5 from Sands Bethlehem Events Center in Bethlehem, Pa.

In the co-feature, fast-rising middleweight contender Antoine Douglas (19-0-1, 13 KOs) will take on former world champion Sam Soliman (44-13, 18 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight bout. In the opening bout of the telecast, hard-hitting prospect Tony Harrison (22-1, 18 KOs) will face veteran former world title challenger Fernando Guerrero (28-3, 20 KOs) in a 10-round super welterweight contest.

Golovkin-Wade is official

Unified middleweight world champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin will return to the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, California, on April 23 to defend his world titles against undefeated, mandatory challenger Dominic “Lights Out” Wade. The event will be televised Live on HBO.

Gennady Golovkin: “I’m happy to fight again at the Forum in front of my fans and friends in Los Angeles. Dominic Wade is a very hungry and skilled middleweight who is undefeated and will be another big test for me. Thanks to my Coach Abel Sanchez, my promoter Tom Loeffler, my team, HBO and the Forum for another opportunity to defend my middleweight titles.”

Dominic Wade: “I am so grateful to be given the opportunity to fight ‘GGG’ for the IBF Middleweight Championship on April 23rd! I’ve worked hard my entire career to get to this point. I’m poised and ready to take on the challenge. I thank my Manager Jerry Vines, Team Wade and all of my trainers, opponents and supporters for preparing me for this moment.”

Presented by K2 Promotions and GGG Promotions in association with TGB Promotions, advance tickets for “UNDEFEATED”, priced at $400, $300, $200, $100, $60 and $30, will go on-sale Tuesday, February 16 at 12:00 p.m. PT through Ticketmaster (, 1-800-745-3000) and the Forum Box Office.

Martin could make first IBF defense against Joshua

IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin (23-0-1, 21 KOs) could make his first title defense against unbeaten Olympic gold medalist Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) on April 9 in London’s O2 Arena. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed to British media that negotiations are ongoing.

“He’s made some noise saying: ‘We’ve offered Anthony Joshua the fight.’ It doesn’t really work like that,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “You phoned us up and told us you want an extortionate amount of money and then you’ll fight him so we’re working the numbers on that fight…he’s not our only option. We’ve got three or four others that we’re looking at but over the next 48 hours, we’ll find out exactly where we’re at. Could it be a shot at the world heavyweight title? Just maybe…”

Herring punishes Flores; Williams, Martin, Clark remain unbeaten

Photos: Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions

Unbeaten 2012 Olympian lightweight Jamel Herring (15-0, 8 KOs) looked good in his first main event appearance, dismantling Luis Eduardo Flores (21-3, 17 KOs) over ten rounds on Tuesday night at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Southpaw Herring dropped Flores with a body shot in round five, then put him down again with a right hook later in the same round. The rugged Flores took a lot of punishment in the fight, but gutted it out until the end. Scores were 99-89, 100-88, 100-88.

Unbeaten 2008 Olympian lightweight Raynell Williams (11-0, 5 KOs) survived a scare against Gabriel Tolmajyan (14-3-2, 3 KOs) en route to an eight round unanimous decision. Williams shut down Tolmajyan for seven rounds, then got rocked in round eight but managed to survive to the final bell. Scores were 78-74, 79-73, 79-73.

Unbeaten welterweight prospect Alex “Chi Town Heat” Martin (12-0, 5 KOs) outpointed Rossemberth Gomez (17-5-1, 13 KOs) over eight one-sided and uneventful rounds. Scores were 80-72, 79-73, 79-73.

Unbeaten welterweight Jamontay Clark (9-0, 6 KOs) logged a sixth round stoppage win against Elvin Perez (28-13-4, 19 KOs).


Bradley vacates WBO welterweight title

Dear Paco:

As you know I will be fighting Manny Pacquiao on April 9, 2016, in Las Vegas, NV.

To accept this fight invariably means I cannot comply with my mandatory obligation and must forgo the mandatory challenger against Sadam Ali, as ordered by the WBO. This is a difficult decision, but one I have to make to give fans the best fights as well as allow myself the toughest and biggest fights possible from both a competitive and financial perspective.

I’d like to thank the WBO and its President, Paco Valcarcel for their support throughout the years and for allowing me to represent the organization as a two time world champion.

Tim Bradley/TR


Dear Timothy:

I am in receipt of your February 4, 2016 letter wherein you state that given your upcoming fight against Manny Pacquiao on April 9, 2016 you are unable to comply with WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests, the WBO Championship Committee’s Resolution of November 6, 2015 (ordering the winner of Bradley vs. Rios to face WBO Mandatory Challenger Sadam Ali), and must vacate your WBO Welterweight Title.

Do know that we wholly understand your decision and commend you for always giving fans the best fights possible and doing what is best for your career at this important juncture. You have been an outstanding, honorable and loyal WBO Junior Welterweight and Welterweight Champion of the World and the doors of the WBO will always be open for you. Finally, I am pleased to inform you that we are preparing a special recognition for the Pacquiao vs Bradley III winner— two remarkable fighters and worthy ambassadors to the WBO.

Wishing you all the best,
Francisco Valcarcel, Esq.

Ward-Barrera now official

Roc Nation Sports has announced that former world champion Andre Ward (28-0, 15 KOs) will return to the ring on Saturday, March 26, to begin his assault on the light heavyweight division when he takes on undefeated and number one rated IBF light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera (17-0, 12 KOs) in a 12-round bout at Oracle Arena in Ward’s hometown of Oakland, California. The event will be televised live on HBO.

Andre Ward: “I don’t really have much to say other than this. On March 26, it will be very simple. I’ll be in a new weight class against a tough opponent but I’m coming with the same approach. I’ll be in great shape and ready for battle. Sullivan Barrera has had a lot to say lately and I love it. He’s going to have an opportunity to back up every word that he has spoken. These are the type of challenges I like and on March 26, it’s go time.”

Sullivan Barrera: “We as a team had a tough choice to make – crash the party by taking out Ward first or wait for the mandatory and take out Kovalev. We decided that the time is now. Ward will fall first and then we will go after the belts.” Continue reading

Ward-Barrera announcement imminent?

It’s not officially announced yet, but an email went out earlier today from the Oracle Arena stating:

Andre Ward vs. Sullivan Barrera
Oracle Arena
March 26, 2016

Two-Time World Champion and top-rated pound-for-pound fighter Andre Ward will return to the ring on Saturday, March 26, to take on undefeated and number one rated IBF light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera in a 12-round bout at Oracle Arena.

General On Sale Ticket Information:
Begins Tuesday, February 9th at 5:00 PM

(*Ticket Limit: Limit is 8 tickets per person. Does not include additional fees. Offer only valid online through Ticketmaster. Children 24 months and over require a ticket.)

Zou Shiming’s KO Win Attracts 36.5 Million Viewers

“Return of the King,” which featured the return of two-time Olympic gold medalist and Chinese icon ZOU SHIMING in the main event, attracted an enormous audience of 36.5 million viewers. The January 30 live telecast, which emanated from the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, China, boasted 6.5 million viewers who watched on television on CCTV 5 and 30 million viewers who saw the fights via live stream. Over 12,000 fans were on hand to see it live. Continue reading

Frampton feels sorry for Rigondeaux

IBF super bantamweight champion Carl Frampton is gearing up for his February 27 unification clash on Showtime with WBA champion Scott Quigg in Manchester, England, but he also has unbeaten 122lb superstar Guillermo Rigondeaux on his radar. Rigondeaux was stripped of both the WBA and WBO titles late last year for inactivity, though he remains WBA champion in recess.

“Rigondeaux is the man you have to face if you wanna call yourself the main man,” said Frampton on a conference call. “Whatever happens, happens, but I’m happy to face Rigo. Whatever my team see as the most sensible option that’s what I’m gonna do.

“I feel a little bit sorry for the position that Rigondeaux has been through. I feel that Scott Quigg should be a little bit embarrassed in how he’s actually — you know, if we can say win world titles. I don’t know if he’s actually won them. He’s been handed them a lot of time, and he’s been given (them). Continue reading

Ceja and Ruiz ready to resume hostilities

Hard-hitting Mexican warriors Julio Ceja (30-1, 27 KOs) and Hugo Ruiz (35-3, 31 KOs) engaged in a memorable back-and-forth battle for the WBC 122-pound world title last August and they are eager to meet in the ring again to deliver another explosive fight. The eagerly awaited return bout is part of a February 27 tripleheader on Showtime from Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

Headlining the event is undefeated featherweight world champion Leo Santa Cruz in his first title defense against former champ Kiko Martinez. Rounding out the televised tripleheader is a 10-round fight between undefeated heavyweights Gerald Washington and Oscar Rivas.

Ceja recovered from a third-round knockdown to claim world title glory with a fifth-round stoppage of Ruiz, and he has promised once again to leave the fans thrilled. Continue reading

Golden Boy inks Oscar Duarte

Undefeated super featherweight prospect, Oscar Duarte (4-0-1, 3 KOs) of Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico has signed a promotional agreement with Golden Boy Promotions it was announced today. The 20-year-old, who is managed by famous Mexican actor Gabriel Soto, will make his debut as a Golden Boy Promotions fighter on Feb. 19 at LA FIGHT CLUB at the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

“Oscar De La Hoya and Canelo Alvarez are big heroes of mine and to be alongside them at Golden Boy Promotions is a dream come true for me,” said Oscar Duarte. “I am very grateful for the opportunity and feel a big responsibly to them to prove that I have what it takes to one day become a world champion. I want to thank my team, Gabriel Soto, Guillermo Rocha and Ricardo Mijares for helping me get to this point in my career.” Continue reading

PR Best accepts WBO decision for fight between Rocky Martinez and Miguel Berchelt

Although the result was not in their favor, PR Best Boxing Promotions (PRBBP) accepted the determination of the WBO for the fight between junior lightweight champion, Roman “Rocky” Martinez and the #1 ranked Miguel “El Alacran” Berchelt. Peter Rivera, Vice-President of PRBBP, company represents Martinez (29-2-3, 17 KOs), received the response from the WBO to the protest his company had filed by the fact that Berchelt (28-1, 25 KOs) did not deserve to be the mandatory challenger because he had not faced fighters ranked by the WBO at 130 pounds.

“We got the answer to our protest and it was not in our favor. The WBO believes that Berchelt has the merits to become the mandatory challenger for Rocky, so the fight between Rocky and Berchelt must be made soon. We follow the rules and accept the WBO decision,” said Rivera. Continue reading

Adamek-Molina scheduled for Apr 2 in Poland

Former light heavyweight and cruiserweight world champion Tomasz “Goral” Adamek (50-4, 30 KOs) returns to native Poland to face Eric “Drummer Boy” Molina (24-3, 18 KOs) in Kraków on Apr. 2 at the Kraków Arena for the IBF international heavyweight title. The fight will be telecast live in Poland on pay-per-view as part of Polsat’s Boxing Night series and presented by Polsat, Main Events and Don King Productions.

Zywiec, Poland native Adamek, 39, has fought his last two fights in his homeland. In his most recent fight he stopped Przemyslaw Saleta in the fifth round back in Sep. The former light heavyweight champion, former cruiserweight unified champion, and heavyweight contender, said of the fight “I am looking forward to fighting Molina and defeating him to show that I remain one of the elite fighters in the heavyweight division. My victory over Molina will be a step toward another chance at the heavyweight title.” Continue reading

Paulie Ayala is Punching Out Parkinson’s

By Jeff Zimmerman

For two-time former world champion Paulie Ayala, boxing has been his life. Just last week, Showtime replayed his first win over Johnny “Mi Vida Loca” Tapia, as part of their 30 year anniversary series of all their classic fights, that earned him his first world championship and was named Fight of the Year. Ayala became a local hero in his hometown of Fort Worth and upon retirement opened up his own gym, The University of Hard Knocks, as well as promoted fights and managed fighters. Ayala has built quite the legacy for a man in his mid-forties.

But his accomplishments over the last few years, working with Parkinson’s patients, however may one day surpass his legacy in the ring. Continue reading

Palacios: He called me a coward. He woke up the dragon

By Przemek Garczarczyk

Francisco “The Wizard” Palacios (24-3, 14 KO), the former two-time WBC cruiserweight title contender, didn’t mince words when he spoke to® about his turbulent life out and inside the ring and his upcoming comeback in Poland against the 12-years-younger and still undefeated Michał Cieślak (11-0, 7 KO). “I’m blaming only myself for my last lost fight (against Kudryashov). Not my team, me. But it’s time to show my fans the best Wizard, maybe even a King Wizard. My team – Anthony “Chill” Wilson, Manuel “Mastermind” Calderon and Tony “Magic Medic” Suarez already make me a very confident and well-prepared fighter. And we still have 7 weeks to go!” said Palacios.

Continue reading

Toka “T-Nice” Kahn-Clary back in action

Rising super featherweight star Toka “T-Nice” Kahn-Clary (17-0, 11 KOs) returns to action this Saturday night against Mexican opponent Gabino “Flash” Cota (18-5-1, 16 KOs) at Sportsman Lodge in Studio City, California.

Kahn-Clary’s impressive second-round stoppage of Sergio “Cuatito” Lopez (19-10-1, 13 KOs) last November was supposed to lead him graduating to a 10-round fighter, however Top Rank’s show this Saturday, headlined by Alex Saucedo vs. Clarence Booth, is going with three eight-rounders including Kahn-Clary vs. Cota.

“That really doesn’t matter to me,” Kahn-Clary said. “I trained to beat this guy, not how many rounds. I’m a lot better fighter than I was a year ago. I’m a lot more relaxed in the ring. I think more as I’m moving in the ring, adjusting a lot better, and my combinations are coming out a lot better.” Continue reading

Kiatniwat edges Lebron again, retains WBA title

In a rematch, WBA interim flyweight champion Stamp Kiatniwat (15-0, 6 KOs) once again defeated Dominican Gregorio Lebron (13-4, 11 KOs) via close twelve round majority decision on Tuesday night at Thonburi University in Bangkok, Thailand. Lebron was cut over the left eye in round one by an unintentional head clash. Blood gushed down his face several times in the fight. Good two-way action as the rounds progressed as the fighters often traded bombs. Kiatniwat began to edge ahead midway but Lebron closed strong. Scores were 115-114, 115-113, 114-114.

The fight was originally slated for last Friday, but was postponed for four days after the main sponsor fell through. Since both fighters made the 112lb weight for the initial date, the WBA allowed them to weigh in at 117lbs for the revised date. Kiatniwat won a close majority decision in their first fight last July.

FS1 Weights from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Jamel Herring 132.4 vs. Luis Eduardo Flores 134.7
Alex Martin 147.5 vs. Rossemberth Gomez 146.6
Raynell Williams 133.1 vs. Gabriel Tolmajyan 138.5
Jamontay Clark 149.3 vs. Elvin Perez 149.9
David Gonzales 142.7 vs. Justin Johnson 144.8
Carlos Rosario 132.2 vs. Victor Vasquez 134.3
Jordan White 120.2 vs. Manuel Rubalcava 119.3

Venue: Sands Bethlehem Event Center, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Promoter: King’s Promotions

Lightweight contender Luis Ramos Jr. signs with Top Rank

A recharged, refocused and motivated, Californian lightweight contender, Luis Ramos Jr. signed a multi-year promotional contract with Top Rank. Ramos Jr. (25-2, 10 KO’s), who is from Mexican and Guatemalan descent, but was born in Orange, California, is in the midst of a comeback and is riding an impressive two-bout winning streak, after a two-year inactivity period that he took after suffering back-to-back losses for the first time in his professional career and also losing his love for the sport.

“I feel very happy of where I am at right now. I am with a great organization that knows how to handle their fighters. They know what they are doing and that is why they have been in the sport for so much years,” said Ramos Jr., who received other big news the day he signed his new promotional contract. “The same day I signed, my wife announced that a baby was on its way. Now I have to work harder,” affirmed the 27-year old. Continue reading

Pacman: I’m changing my name to Manning Pacquiao

They have vastly different backgrounds yet they have two things in common — they will be in title fights on the same April 9 pay-per-view card, and they picked the Denver Broncos to win Super Bowl 50. Fighter of the Decade Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, seven-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach, WBO super middleweight world champion “King” Arthur Abraham, former IBF featherweight world champion Evgeny Gradovich and veteran Manny Perez participated in a Super Bowl 50 boxing celebrity poll last week and all of the above nailed it. They correctly predicted that the Broncos would beat the odds and emerge victorious.

Pacquiao, who will face five-time world champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley Jr in the world welterweight championship main event, had the followed tweeted from his account: “After leading the Broncos to their Super Bowl 50 victory, I’m changing my name to Manning Pacquiao. Peyton Manning is an inspiration.” Continue reading

Enthusiastic Crowd Heartens New Promoter in Motown

By Lindy Lindell
Photos: Bob Ryder

The Medium-sized hall in Detroit’s Masonic Temple was rocking Saturday night. Billed as the Detroit Brawl by Brooklyn promoter Dimitry Salita, the fights themselves lacked distinction (When the fight of the night involved a mostly one-sided affair of a pro-debuting Turkmenistan junior-middleweight scoring a knockdown-strewn affair over an 0-1 boxer from the Lansing area, of which more later, it reflects badly on the overall quality of the card.) Thank goodness, Ed Williams was on the show.

Now billing himself out of Detroit, the 30-year-old Williams fought for something called the Universal Boxing Federation Midwest Welterweight Championship. After the fight in which he clearly won all six rounds (as reflected on the scorecards, except for Scott Dexter, who unaccountably had Williams’ opponent, Angel Figueroa, winning one round.) Williams, 11-1-1, had no trouble outscoring the 4-3-1 Figueroa, and it was no fault of Williams who wanted to do battle to satisfy his faithful followers from Yipsilanti, but Figueroa refused to engage and so the dreaded pattern of Williams jabbing, moving forward and then being clutched, prevailed in round after round. Continue reading

Tony Thompson: If I fought the guys Ortiz fought, I’d be undefeated too

“I’m happy to be back on HBO fighting for another world title,” said 44-year-old heavyweight Tony “The Tiger” Thompson (40-6, 27 KOs), who challenges WBA interim heavyweight champion Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz (24-0, 21 KOs) on March 5th at the DC Armory, in Washington D.C. Despite his age, Thompson has beaten some notable names the last few years, including Olympians David Price and Odlanier Solis twice.

“If you look at my competition and his [Ortiz], it’s not even close. This isn’t the amateurs. I’m going to use my experience as a professional to take him places he’s never been. Odlanier Solis was a great Cuban amateur but he was also an Olympic Gold Medalist, and I beat him twice. Ortiz thinks he has it tough. I’ve been avoided for my entire career. Just about all my fights have been on short notice and in foreign countries. If I fought the guys Ortiz fought, I’d be undefeated too. If Ortiz is King Kong, I’m Godzilla; Godzilla coming to whoop some ass!”

Cruz-Koasicha headline Boxeo Telemundo March 4

The second show of the spring series “Boxeo TELEMUNDO Ford” will land on Friday, March 4 at the A La Carte Pavillion in Tampa, Florida which has been home of the series for over 10 years.

The main event will pit another Puerto Rico-Mexico rivalry when world ranked contender and NABO Champion Orlando “El Fenomeno” Cruz (22-4-1, 11 KOs) his title against Mexican domestic champion Romulo Kosasicha (25-5, 15 KOs) in a bout scheduled for 10 Rounds with Cruz’ junior lightweight title on the line. Continue reading

Danny Santiago returns Saturday in Ocala

Lank Promotions brings back professional boxing to Ocala, Florida, on Saturday with a card billed as “Valentines Day Massacre.” The card will be held at the Southeastern Lifestock Pavilion. Headlining is former world title challenger Danny Santiago (33-7-1, 19 KOs) with local talent filling out the card. Partial proceeds from the bouts will go to benefit the Ocala Boys and Girls Club and the Children’s Diabetes Foundation. Gates open at 7pm, and the first bout will begin at 7:30pm. Tickets start at $15 and are available now at Central Florida Boxing.

Ortiz opponent named: Tony “The Tiger” Thompson

Fresh from a stunning knockout of Bryant “By-By” Jennings, WBA interim heavyweight world champion Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz (24-0, 21 KOs) will make his first title defense of 2016 when he faces former world title challenger Tony “The Tiger” Thompson (40-6, 27 KOs) in 12-round main event at the DC Armory, in Washington D.C. on Saturday, March 5 and televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark.

Opening up the live telecast, top contender and 2008 Olympian Sadam “World Kid” Ali (22-0, 13 KOs) will face former WBA super lightweight world champion Jessie Vargas (26-1, 9 KOs) in a 12-round co-main event for the vacant WBO welterweight world championship.

Helenius opponent named: Johann Duhaupas

By Pasi Taavitsainen/

Unbeaten 6’7 heavyweight contender Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius (22-0, 13 KOs) hinted last week that “huge news” was coming Monday at a press conference. The news is that Helenius will take on Johann “The Reptile” Duhaupas (33-3, 20 KOs) on April 2 at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland. Last year, Duhaupas put up a good effort against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in Alabama.


Where Are They Now? Paul Vaden

By Boxing Bob Newman

This is first in a new series, “Where Are They Now.”

Former IBF Jr. Middleweight champion, corporate mentor and motivational speaker Paul “The Ultimate” Vaden is nothing if not articulate, handsome, sharply dressed, meticulous and energetic. Fresh from his early morning workout in LaJolla, CA, Vaden took time out of his busy schedule and met up with at his downtown San Diego office to speak about his past, present and future.

Machado, Cotto annihilate foes in one

Photos: Israel Gonzalez/Miguel Cotto Promotions

Any hope that the experienced Mexican Jose Araiza might make Alberto “Explosivo” Machado work on Saturday night vanished at the 2:59 mark of the very first round when a tremendous left hook by the Monte Hatillo resident stopped Ariza. It was the fourth straight first round knockout for Machado who upped his record 13-0 with 11 knockouts. “I was surprised that the punch did so much damage, because it came after a clinch, but it is a punch we practice in the gym and call the ‘Hammer Punch,'” said the 25-year-old boxer. With the win, Machado left Araiza’s record at 34-14-2 with 25 knockouts. The fight was the main event of a card at the Coliseum Roger L. Mendoza that was promoted by Miguel Cotto Promotions in association with H2 Entertainment and Roc Nation Sports as part of the EMMY nominee series Boxeo al Maximo.

In the co-main event of the night Abner “Pin” Cotto (19-3, 9 KOs), who is now fighting at 140 pounds, stopped Edwin ‘Bazoka’ López (26-6-1, 24 KOs) in the first 22 seconds of the first round of an eight-round bout. “You always prepare yourself to fight as long as you have to, but, thank God, this time the big punches came in the first round,” said Cotto of Aguas Buenas. The finishing punches came on a left hook and overhand right, the right-hand landed on the chin perfectly, and his opponent landed on canvas, done for the night. He added, “My goal is come back in May and keep on conditioning.” Continue reading