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When Ignacio Esparza (16-1, 12 KOs) had his first major step up in competition he came up short in a decision loss to then highly touted prospect Enad Licina in Germany back in 2009. Though Esparza came up short he made a very good account of himself as reflected on the official judges scorecards. Esparza now finds himself getting an even bigger opportunity against the unbeaten WBO #1 ranked cruiserweight Denis Lebedev (19-0,14 KO) on February 22nd in Izhevsk, Russia. Fightnews caught up with Esparza prior to his departure from Mexico. Esparza’s trainer Ramon Arellano pictured with Esparza joined in on the interview. Arellano has worked with former heavweight world champions Oliver McCall, Tony Tucker, and the late Greg Page. It is Page that Arellano gives the credit for giving him his first break into becoming a boxing trainer. (more…)
If you blinked, you might’ve missed the shot that 115-pound lord of the ring Nonito Donaire used to send his hobbit-sized foe to the canvas for the ten-count.
If you blinked during Fernando Montiel’s WBO bantam title gain, you might’ve missed the fight altogether.
With Manny Pacquiao and fallen fighter Z Gorres watching on, Donaire and Montiel topped off the ten-bout, scheduled 80-round “Latin Fury-Pinoy Power” hybrid at the Las Vegas Hilton last night, bottoming out their opponents with quick wins . . . Click here for more
Former welterweight champion Antonio Margarito definitely won’t be making his comeback on the March 13 Pacquiao-Clottey card in Dallas. While issues about his relicensing in the USA are being sorted out, it appears “The Tijuana Tornado” will next fight on a May 8 Top Rank PPV show in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Meanwhile, the California State Athletic Commission, is expected to revisit Margarito’s situation at their February 22 meeting. His one year suspension has expired, but the CSAC and the ABC have lobbied against Margarito being relicensed until further hearings take place.
By Craig Watt
WBA#1 ranked Middleweight Anthony “The Man” Mundine responded in the media this weekend to the challenge made to him by IBO Cruiserweight Champion Danny Green last week. Green publicly challenged Mundine on Thursday to a rematch of their 2006 fight which broke all Australian box office records. He told The Sunday Times in Sydney today, “He is talking crap, utter crap. I will come back when I want to come back and not when he demands.” (more…)
By Craig Watt
Australian WBO interim lightweight champion Michael Katsidis believes WBA Jr-welterweight champion Amir Khan is avoiding him as an opponent for the US debut of Khan in his next fight, even thought the popular Australian has offered to move up to 140 pounds. In a statement issued through his manager Brendon Smith he stated, “I was told that Freddie Roach was willing to accept me as his next opponent for a possible March 27th fight. It is obvious he has the confidence that you can beat me. In addition, the TV networks and the promoters wanted this fight. I was told by those involved that it was Amir personally that refused the fight – the only person that didn’t want it to happen. This is surprising given I am the lightweight and prepared to move up in weight to take him on even when he recently stated his superior speed will out punch me on a scale of three to one.” American Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz recently accepted a challenge from Katsidis to meet in a revenge match up which is expected to be inked in the next few weeks. No date or venue have been set but Katsidis is prepared to fight him in his hometown of Houston, Texas.
Sacrifice. If you’re not willing to do it, you won’t make it too long in the sport of mixed martial arts. Lightweight contender Joe Stevenson knows all about the idea and practice of sacrifice.
Since the age of 16, the Torrance, California native has tortured his body, said ‘no’ to things most in their late teens and twenties deem commonplace, and pushed himself beyond the breaking point in a quest to be called a champion in his chosen profession, as well as to put food on the table for his family . . . . Click here for more by Thomas Gerbasi, UFC
WBA interim super flyweight interim champion Nonito Donaire (23-1, 15 KOs) scored a third round KO over late sub Manuel ‘Chango’ Vargas (26-5-1, 11 KOs) in a non-title bout on Saturday night at the famous Las Vegas Hilton Hotel/Casino. Donaire was in command all the way before laying out Vargas for the count with a left uppercut at 1:33. After original challenger Gerson Guerrero failed his physical, Vargas, who was preparing for the WBC title at 108 lbs moved up two divisions on three days notice.
The full WBO bantamweight champion Fernando Montiel (40-2-2, 30 KOs) needed just 2:06 to annihiate previously unbeaten Ciso Morales (14-1, 8 KOs). A left hand to the body put Morales down for the count.
In a clash for the vacant WBO interim bantamweight championship, #1 contender Eric Morel (42-2, 21 KOs) took a split decision against #2 contender Gerry Penalosa (54-8, 34 KOs). Two unintentional headbutts in round six left Penalosa with cuts over both eyes, but the 38-year-old Filipino upped the pressure down the stretch and seemed to deserve the decision. Scores were 115-113, 116-112 Morel, 115-113 Penelosa.
In what is essentially an unofficial featherweight eliminator, Bernabe Concepcion (30-2-1, 17 KOs) won a ten round unanimous decision over Mario Santiago (21-2-1, 14 KOs) to earn a summer title shot against WBO champ Juan Manuel Lopez. With Manny Pacquiao looking on, Concepcion dropped Santiago in round six, then survived a late Santiago rally to win by scores of 98-91, 96-93, 97-92.
Manny Pacquiao greets Z Gorres on Saturday night at the Las Vegas Hilton.
By Chris Cozzone & Natasha Chornesky at ringside
Off-TV results from the Hilton in Las Vegas for the “Pinoy Power 3/Latin Fury 13″ show:
Local favorite Diego Magdaleno (14-0, 3 KOs) decisioned Floriano Pagliara (10-4, 6 KOs), of Cecina, Italy, in an eight -round super featherweight bout. Scores were 80-72,78-74,79-73.
. . . .
In a six-round middleweight bout, undefeated Russian Matt Korobov (10-0, 8 KOs) scored his tenth victory stopping Lamar Harris (6-5-3, 4 KOs), of St. Louis, Mo at 1:05 in the first round.
. . . .
Amateur standout Jose Benavidez (2-0, 2 KO), of Phoenix, destroyed John Vega (0-2) at 1:07 of round one.
. . . .
In an eight-rounder at welter, Filipino Mark Melligen (17-2, 13 KOs) floored Raymond Gatica (11-1, 6 KOs), of Austin, Texas, twice en route to a sixth round victory. The fight was stopped 2:36.
. . . .
In the opening bout, Puerto Rican featherweight Hector Marengo (5-0-1, 3 KOs) could do no better than a draw with mauling, brawling Edgar Portillo (6-3-1, 4 KOs) of Midland, Texas. Scores were 58-56, 56-58 and 57-57.
. . . .
In the walkout bout, Filipino debuter Bruno Escalante (0-0-1) drew with Takashi Okada (1-0-1, 1 KO), of Okayama, Japan, in a four-round flyweight bout, with scores of 38-38, 39-37 and 37-39.
Rumor has it that pound-for-pound superstar Manny Pacquiao is headed to Las Vegas to be at ringside for the Bernabe Concepcion vs. Mario Santiago fight which will open Top Rank’s Latin Fury 13/Pinoy Power 3 PPV telecast. The winner will face Juan Manuel Lopez later this year. Concepcion is promoted my Pacman’s MP Promotions and trains with Buboy Fernandez at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California.
By Alexey Sukachev
New light heavyweight force Nathan Cleverly (19-0, 9 KOs) successfully performed a move from the British intrinsic scene onto the European level following a dominating fifth-round TKO over Italian veteran Antonio Brancalion (32-8-2, 8 KOs). After a tedious starting stanza 22-year old Welshman (WBO #2, IBF #3, WBC #5 and WBA #12) began to slowly break the Italian down. Round three was huge for Cleverly, who in full accordance to his surname smartly mixed body punches with head blows. The unbeaten contender finally floored Brancalion down at the end of round four after a smashing right cross. In round five Cleverly went in for kill and tagged hapless Brancalion several times before referee Jean-Louis Legland stepped in at 1:15 to save Italian from further punishment. With the win Cleverly acquired a vacant EBU light heavyweight title.
WBO #1 Kevin Mitchell (31-0, 23 KOs) proved once again he is a real threat for every elite lightweight in the world after a chilling knockout of Spain-based Columbian Ignacio “Nacho” Medoza (27-6-2, 18 KOs). Mitchell, who has recently entered 135lb with an impressive decision over Breidis “Khanqueror” Prescott, calculated raw Mendoza in the first and showcased his killing power in the second. Kevin (also IBF #3 at 130lb) waited until Medoza would open up and caught him with a thunderous short right hook and ended the job with a left hook to already falling Columbian. Mendoza was unable to beat the count of ten and the fight was waved off at 1:24 of the second round. Both Mitchell and Frank Warren called for the WBO Interim lightweight champion Michael Katsidis during their post-fight interview. Amir Khan can be Mitchell’s ultimate goal, according to his own words. (more…)
By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
World rated light heavyweight contender Tim Bell (18-5-1, 13 KOs) outpointed Togasilimai Letoa (11-4, 6 KOs) of Samoa over ten rounds at the Tribal Punishment Gym, Epping, Victoria, Australia on Saturday. Bell is WBA #7 contender to the 175 pound title held by Bebut Shumenov (9-1, 6 KOs) formerly of Kazakhstan but now based in Las Vegas under the guidance of Kevin Barry who once guided David Tua to a world heavyweight title shot against Lennox Lewis. Bell’s biggest win came in 2008 when he stopped former world super middleweight contender Daniel “Porky” Lovett in eight rounds. (more…)
WBC Latino super bantamweight champion Wilfredo Vasquez, Jr. (17-0-1, 14 KOs), the proud son of two-time world champion Wilfredo Vasquez, plans to make Puerto Rican history February 27th when he fights former WBO super flyweight titlist “Marvelous” Marvin Sonsona (14-0-1, 12 KOs) for the vacant WBO junior featherweight title. “This is a very important fight because we will make history in Puerto Rico by being the first father and son world champions, also with the same promoter (Tuto Zabala, Jr.),” Vasquez, Jr. explained.
Vasquez, Sr. was a great bantamweight and super bantamweight in the late eighties and early nineties who had a pro record of 56-9-2 (41 KOs). “I am happy and proud,” he said about his son. My son fights like me. He inherited my punching power and he punches like a junior welterweight!”
The Vasquez vs. Sonsona world title contest is the headliner of the February 27th “The Double Assault!” pay-per-view event which begins at 9p ET/6p PT on both cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, DIRECTV, TVN, DISH Network, Viewer’s Choice and Shaw PPV.
Stay tuned to FightNews for more details of “The Double Assault!” pay-per-view event!
Following a hard-fought three round win over Dan Miller at UFC 109 that showed him to be more than just a submission expert, Demian Maia will jump right back into training camp for the biggest fight of his career – an April 10th meeting with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC 112 at Ferrari World on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. (more…)
By Gabriel F. Cordero
The WBA Championships Committee has called for four purse bids on February 22 at the Sheraton Panama Hotel & Convention Center in Panama City, Panama. Registered promoters can bid on the heavyweight eliminator between Kali Meehan and Ruslan Chagaev, the cruiserweight title defense of Guillermo Jones against Valery Brudov, the clash between lightweight titleholder Paulus Moses and interim beltholder Miguel Acosta, and super flyweight king Nobuo Nashiro against #1 rated Hugo Cazares. The proceeding with be overseen by WBA execs Gilberto Jesus Mendoza and Jose Oliver Gomez.
By Francisco Salazar at ringside
Heavy-handed lightweight Ji-Hoon Kim (20-5, 17 KOs) scored a fifth round TKO over Tyrone Harris (24-6, 16 KOs) on Friday night at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California. Harris got off to a good start, but as the bout progressed the relentless Kim began to punish Harris, flooring him in round five and getting the stoppage moments later. Harris complained that the stoppage of referee Wayne Hedgepeth was too early. Time was 1:52. For more details and photos click here…
NABO lightweight titleholder Martin “El Brochas” Honorio (27-4-1, 14 KOs) returns on March 5th against undefeated Wilton “Pretty Warrior” Hilario (12-0-1, 9 KOs) in the Grand Ballroom of the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California. The 30-year old Honorio, a Mexico City native, put on one of his best performances of his 11-year pro career in his unanimous decision win over previously undefeated hot prospect John Molina, Jr. in the main event broadcast on SHOWTIME last November.
Note: For today only, the Pechanga Resort & Casino is having a 2 for 1 special on the March 5 tickets. This offer is good at the Box Office only (no phone or internet sales) and is good for any seats to the March 5 event. That means the already low price of $30 general admission can be had for $15/ticket today only. (more…)
By Robert Coster
Returning to his native Venezuela this week, WBC lightweight champion Edwin Valero was his usual talkative, ebullient self and made no bones about upping his level of opposition and wanting to fight the biggest name fighters. “I think I proved against Antonio DeMarco that I can box as well as punch. It was definitely my best fight,” stated a jubilant Edwin. As for Valero’s hit list, the unbeaten “KO King” suggested Juan ‘Baby Bull’ Diaz as his next foe, but “he seems to have a bout already scheduled.” Another name he mentioned is Juan Manuel Marquez, ” a great fighter and it would make for an exciting bout. I really would like to face Juan Manuel.” But Valero’s main target is, of course, Manny Pacquaio. “I’m ready to go up to whatever weight Manny wants in order to fight him and, furthermore, I will not require that he be tested for anything. I just want to get in the ring with Manny. Whoever beats Pacquiao becomes the top dog in boxing. Pacman is my main objective for 2010.”
By Damrong Simakajornboon
WBC #6 super lightweight Prawet Singwancha (38-3-2, 23 KOs) impressively kept his WBC international 140 lb crown as he stopped the Philippines 140 lb champion Eusebio Baluarte (15-2, 9 KOs) in round five on Friday at the municipality of Thaima in Nonthaburi, Thailand. This was an exciting bout as both fighters have quite good performances on their boxing careers. Prawet, also ranked #14 by the WBA, had challenged for the WBA 135 lb title two times drawing with Jose Miguel Cotto in May 11, 2007 and losing a split decision to Jose Alfaro in December 29, 2007. Baluarte, a former WBO Asia-Pacific youth 140 lb title holder and ranked in the top-15 by the WBO, is now the GAB 140 lb champion who has scored six KOs in his last seven consecutive wins. For more details and photos click here…
Weights and photo by Chris Cozzone
Nonito Donaire 115 vs Manuel Vargas 114
(WBA Interim Super Flyweight Championship)
Fernando Montiel 118 vs Ciso Morales 118
(WBO Bantamweight Championship)
Gerry Penalosa 118 vs Eric Morel 117
(WBO Interim Bantamweight Championship)
Bernabe Concepcion 126 vs Mario Santiago 126
Matt Korobov 161 vs. Lamar Harris 160
Diego Magdaleno 130 vs. Floriano Pagliara 130
Jose Benavidez 137 vs. John Vega 136
Mark Melligen 146 vs. Raymond Gatica 145
Hector Marengo 132 vs. Edgar Portillo 131
Bruno Escalante 112 vs. Takashi Okada 112
Venue: Las Vegas Hilton Hotel-Casino
Promoter: Top Rank
FOR MORE PHOTOS CLICK HERE
Rumble Time Promotions, DiBella Entertainment, Warriors Boxing and Holden Productions have announced the rematch of Deandre “The Bull” Latimore (20-2, 16 KOs) and Sechew “Iron Horse” Powell (25-2, 15 KOs) for the IBF #1 ranking in the junior middleweight division. The bout will take place on March 19 at the Choctaw Casinos’ Durant Resort in Durant, Oklahoma and will be featured on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights. Latimore derailed the then #1 ranked Powell’s march to a title shot with an upset seventh round TKO in June 2008. Latimore went on to lose a split decision against Cory Spinks in a bout for the vacant IBF title the following year. (more…)
Don King Productions and Sauerland Event have countered K2 Promotions latest offer to former two-time WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai “Giant Russian” Valuev (50-2, 34 KOs) to face WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (39-2, 37 KOs). “They approached us with a $1 million offer for Valuev to face Vitali, and Sauerland Event and I told them we would like $4 million for the fight,” King said. “Now they’ve come back to us with a $2 million guarantee. We countered with a 60-40 split of revenue. K2 is making the money more important than the attraction. They are promoting the money while I promote the attraction. The attraction recoups your investment and leads to profit. People-wise and money-wise, this is the way you have to think—and people-wise is the most important.” (more…)
Lonsdale, the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of premier boxing equipment and sports fashion, today announced the signing of cruiserweight boxer Steve “USS” Cunningham to a multi-year endorsement deal. Under the agreement, Cunningham will be featured in Lonsdale’s multi-platform marketing campaign as 100 years of greatness meets American fight sports and will exclusively wear Lonsdale footwear, apparel and gloves (available at www.lonsdaleusa.com) for all professional fights and Lonsdale sponsored events, starting with his IBF Cruiserweight title fight against Matt Godfrey on March 19th at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, FL. (more…)
WBCBoxing.tv will present live boxing webcasts – free of charge – of two fight cards on February 13. Everyone is invited to watch. The webcasts are not available in Mexico. The first webcast, from Ciudad Neza, Mexico, will be begin at 9:00 to 10:30 P.M. (21:00 to 22:30 hrs) Central Standard Time, and will be televised in Mexico on Cadena Tres. In the main event scheduled for 10 rounds, WBC #20 bantamwight Christian “Italiano” Esquivel (15-2, 10 KOs), of Teomoya, Mexico, will face Reynaldo Cajina (7-2-2, 4 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua, for the vacant WBC Continental Americas title.
The second webcast, from La Paz, Baja California, Mexico, will begin at 10:30 P.M. (22:30 hrs) Central Standard Time. It will be televised in Mexico on Televisa. In the main event scheduled for 12 rounds, WBC International light flyweight champion Ramon “El Principe Garcia” Garcia (11-1-1, 7 KOs), of La Paz, will defend the title against Michael Arango (29-7-3, 24 KOs) of Monteria, Colombia. WBC #6 Garcia has won nine fights in a row and is making his third defense of the title. Arango, a former Colombian strawweight champion, is ranked #9 by the WBC and is undefeated in his last eight fights (6-0-2). (more…)
Undefeated young light heavyweight prospect Ismayl “The Black Russian” Sillakh (11-0, 10 KOs) has signed a promotional agreement with Roy Jones, Jr.’s Square Ring Promotions, it was announced today by Chief Executive Officer John Wirt. “We’re extremely excited about signing this kind of young talent,” said Wirt. “We are making a statement by stepping up to sign this future star.” Jones, in Los Angeles for a press conference promoting his scheduled April 3 date in Las Vegas with rival Bernard Hopkins added “After meeting this hard-punching young Ukranian, I was very impressed. These kind of talents come around very rarely and we’re fortunate to have him join our team.” (more…)
World ranked flyweight Rayonta “Stingray” Whitfield is training at the Savannah Boxing Club in Houston, Texas, under the guidance of world renowned trainer Ronnie Shields, in preparation for his NABO Title battle against Sergio “The San Diego Sensation” Espinoza.
Their twelve round headline bout, part of an action packed evening of world class professional boxing set for Saturday, February 27th at the Bell Auditorium in Augusta , Georgia , is presented by TKO Boxing Promotions . . . Click here for more
The Super Six World Boxing Classic tournament group stage 2 fight between WBC Super Middleweight Champion Carl Froch and the Viking Warrior Mikkel Kessler at the MCH Messecentre, Herning in Denmark has been pushed back to April 24th. The fight will be televised in the United States on SHOWTIME® beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In Denmark, the fight will be broadcast on Viasat. Hennessy Sports will be announcing the UK TV broadcaster over the next week. “With the support of my great Danish fans, I will defeat Carl Froch and become world champion again,” Kessler said. “The atmosphere at MCH Herning is incredible. I only have the best of memories of the venue. The TKO victory over Perdomo last September confirmed my place in the Super Six. After a bad start, I am now out for a knock-out and the first three points.” Froch is concerned that the date change will affect his travelling fans. “I am upset for my fans with the change of date but this has been unpreventable due to scheduling issues. I just hope that my fans will understand this change and will still come in their thousands to support me in Herning. I am looking to be the first fighter to take Mikkel Kessler out before the final bell.”
Former heavyweight champion James “Buster” Douglas will be the guest of honor at the HorseShoe Casino in Hammond IL, on February 20th headlined by “Fast” Frez Oquendo vs. Demetrice King for the NABA/USBA Titles. Douglas is currently basking in the 20 year anniversary of his unbelievable knockout upset against the then invincible “Iron” Mike Tyson.
Yuriorkis Gamboa promoter Ahmet Öner has been given a 120,000 Euro fine and 22 months on probation by the Hamburg District Court for a list of various infractions.
Congratulations to Jorge “Travieso” Arce and his wife Karime on the arrival of their son Jorge “Traviesito” Arce who was born Wednesday night in Tucson. Arce (53-6-1, 40 KOs) won the vacant WBO super flyweight title two weeks ago.
Fallen warrior Z Gorres is expected to be at ringside Saturday night for Top Rank’s Latin Fury/Pinoy Power card in Las Vegas. Gorres, who was critically injured in a bout on November 13, is now well enough to return to the Philippines on Sunday.
By Gabriel F. Cordero
Puerto Rican referee Luis Pabon will be the third man in the ring when Mexican WBA miniumweight regular world champion Giovanni Segura (22-1-1, 18 KOs) and Panamanian challenger Walter “Raton” Tello (14-3, 6 KOs) meet at Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico on February 20. The three judges are Sergio Caiz (USA/California), Ruben Garcia (USA/Texas) and Enrique Portocarrero (Nicaragua). The fight supervisor is George Martinez (Canada).
The critically acclaimed reality series from SHOWTIME Sports®—FIGHT CAMP 360°: Inside The Super Six World Boxing Classic—returns to SHOWTIME with Episode 3, premiering Monday, Feb. 15, at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT. The 30-minute episode recaps all three Group Stage 1 bouts with unique angles, never-before-seen fight footage and ringside seats next to the promoters, fighter’s families and cornermen. Episode 3 follows each fighter after their respective match, as they recede from the spotlight in victory and defeat to prepare for the next Group Stage. Also hear from Jermain Taylor regarding his withdrawal from the tournament. (more…)
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