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Four-time world champion pound-for-pound king Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao throws out the first pitch for the San Francisco Giants-San Diego Padres major league baseball game Tuesday during “Filipino Heritage Night” at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Manny ‘Bobbleheads’ were given away as gifts to the sold out crowd. Pacquiao is preparing for his upcoming “The Battle of East and West” IBO Jr. Welterweight championship PPV fight against Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photos: Bob Barton
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The Gateway City’s biggest boxing stars opened their workouts to the media today to promote Friday’s “Show Me in St. Louis” card at Scottrade Center (SHOWTIME 11 p.m. ET/PT, 10 p.m. CT, delayed on the West Coast). The main event features a hometown showdown for the vacant International Boxing Federation junior middleweight championship when Cory Spinks (36-5, 11 KOs) takes on hard-punching IBF No. 6-ranked contender Deandre “The Bull” Latimore (19-1, 16 KOs). The co-feature showcases undefeated World Boxing Council No. 1-ranked super lightweight Devon Alexander “The Great” (17-0, 10 KOs) meeting Jesus “Chuy” Rodriguez (19-3, 5 KOs), from Salinas, Calif., a winner in 11 of his last 12 outings. (more…)
After capturing the world’s attention, “The Battle of East and West”, the mega-fight between Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao and Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton on May 2nd at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, has officially sold out. For those not as fortunate as the thousands of fans who will be in the arena that night, there is still a chance to experience the action in Las Vegas as closed circuit tickets are still available at Mandalay Bay, Mirage, TI, Monte Carlo, Circus Circus, Luxor and New York-New York. “Given that the live gate for this event is sold out, coupled with the sellout of tonight’s San Francisco Giants baseball game where Manny is the guest of honor, indicates to me that ‘The Battle of East and West’ is on track to break all existing pay-per-view records,” said Bob Arum, Chairman of Top Rank. Tickets for the closed circuit telecast are priced at $50, not including handling fees. All seats are general admission and are now on sale at each individual property’s box office outlets or by phone with a major credit card at (866) 799-7711. Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person.
Photos: José Pérez/PR Best Boxing Promotions
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After landing in Puerto Rico on Monday night, two world champion Gerry “Fearless” Penalosa held a media workout today at the Wilfredo Gomez Gym in Guaynabo, as he puts on the final touches to his preparations for this Saturday Championship fight against local idol Juan Manuel Lopez. “I have trained very hard for this fight, because I know how hard this fight is going to be. Lopez is a great champion and I will have to be at my best to defeat him and I will be at my best on Saturday,” said Penalosa a former WBC 112 pound champion and the current WBO bantamweight king. (more…)
By Scott Ploof
Photography by Chris Cozzone
At just 30 years of age, former undisputed middleweight world champion Jermain Taylor (28-2-1, 17 KOs) has accomplished more in his eight plus years as a professional boxer than most fighters would dared to dream. Now he is back in the ring with a renewed strength, not only due to the eight pound weight increase from middleweight to super middleweight, but also because he has been working with his longtime trainer Ozell Nelson. Taylor is rejuvenated with a new sense of focus and determination. He is training for another shot at championship gold against undefeated WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch (24-0, 19 KOs) on April 25th at the MGM Grand Theatre inside of the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket, CT. (more…)
A sold out crowd of 42,000+ have turned out for the Manny Pacquiao Bobblehead promotion at tonight’s Giants-Padres game in San Francisco. Normal crowd for a Tuesday night game is 27,000.
Oscar de la Hoya’s 6th annual “Fight Night at Sundance Square” returns to downtown Fort Worth on May 8th. The event, which will be televised live on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, takes place in a temporary stadium erected on the Chisholm Trail Mural parking lot, located at the corner of 3rd and Houston St. in the heart of downtown Fort Worth. Fighters will be announced shortly.
By Alexey Sukachev
Sergey Fedchenko 138 vs Diego Jesus Ponce 138
(IBF I/C junior welterweight title)
Zaurbek Baysangurov 160 vs Mikheil Khucishvili 159
Victor Plotnikov 147 vs Alexander Benidze 151
Valentin Golovko 136 vs Oleg Tolochko 134.5
Artem Ayvazidi 142.5 vs Dmitry Bogachuk 139
Andrey Rudenko 246 vs Igor Gorbenko (to weigh-in later)
Dmitry Semernin 152.5 vs Igor Nehay 149
Venue: “Lokomotiv” Palace of Sports, Kharkiv
Promoter: K2 East Promotions
TV: Megasport (Ukraine)
By Gabriel F. Cordero
It looks like trainer Miguel Diaz will not be in the corner with Miguel Cotto for his upcoming June 13 fight with Joshua Clottey and also may not be part of the Cotto training camp. The respected Diaz had been in the corner for several of Cotto fights. José Cotto, Miguel’s brother, has been mentioned as possibly joining Cotto’s team. Joe Santiago, new trainer of Cotto, has neither denied nor confirmed if José Cotto will be added to the main team of Miguel Cotto, which is currently training in Florida.
Super middleweight prospect Curtis “Showtime” Stevens (19-2, 14 KOs) takes on dangerous spoiler Don Mouton (9-3-1, 8 KOs) on the April 28th card at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach, NY. In his last fight, Mouton he knocked out Olympian Jerson Ravelo. He also holds a win over Walid Smichet. The event is headlined by heavyweight fan favorite Vinny Maddalone (31- 5, 22KO) against Benji “Boom Boom” Baker (18-6, 9 KOs) in a scheduled eight rounder.
Team Sauerland has announced that they had to pull out of the EBU purse bid for an Alexander Povetkin-Alexander Dimitrenko bout due to a scheduling conflict. With no free TV slot available on Germany’s ARD network prior to the summer break, Sauerland decided not to bid for the heavyweight fight. European cruiserweight champion Marco Huck and WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev will fight in May before IBF middleweight champion King Arthur Abraham will return to the ring in June. “The EBU rulebook dictates that a fight has to take place within 60 days following the purse bid,” Sauerland Event General Manager Chris Meyer stated. “Unfortunately, our TV schedule is already full. That is why we had no opportunity to stage this bout. And to let Alexander fight on a Universum card was no option at all.” (more…)
Feature story by Felipe Leon
Now that WBC Super Featherweight Champion Humberto “Zorrita” Soto has reached the mountain top, he looks back down and the view is not pretty.
“I was one of one hundred that wanted to beat the champion-now there is one hundred that want to beat me,” says the champ . . . Click here for more
Junior middleweight contender Anthony “THE MESSENGER” Thompson will return to the ring against Luis “EL LOBO” Lopez on Saturday, May 2nd in one of the feature bouts at “FISTS OF THUNDER II” at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, it was announced today by Chet Koerner, President of TKO BOXING Promotions . . . Click here for more
By Alexey Potapov
WBO/IBF/IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and former WBC/WBA/WBO cruiserweight champion David Haye continued their bitter feud at a press conference in London. As he did last week in Germany, Haye wore a T-shirt with an image where he holds the severed heads of both Klitschko Brothers. “He sucks, he’s crap. I don’t like his style. I don’t like what he represents,” Haye said. Haye’s continued insults have angered the normally reserved Wladimir to such an extent that he lashed out at his challenger, calling his actions shameful and unsportsmanlike, and promising to punish Haye in the ring before he knocks him out on June 20th in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. “He needs to be taught how to behave,” stated Wlad. “He’s a loser and I want to shut his mouth!” (more…)
Photos: Marianne und Moritz Müller
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A press conference was head Monday in advance of Saturday’s huge “Universum Champions Night“ world title twinbill at the KönigPALAST in Krefeld, Germany. The event, which already has 8,000+ tickets sold, is particularly interesting due to the bold prediction made on national TV last Saturday by challenger Koji Sato (14-0, 13 KOs) who proclaimed he would score a first round knockout over reigning WBA world middleweight champion Felix Sturm (31-2-1, 13 KOs). (more…)
By Christian Schmidt
According to the Austin American Statesman, Austin boxer, James Kirkland (25-0, 22 KOs) was arrested by police on Sunday in Austin, Texas. The highly regarded Kirkland, who is slated to meet Michael Walker (19-1-2, 12 KOs) on the May 2 Ricky Hatton-Manny Pacquiao card in Las Vegas, has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon on the website of the Travis County Sheriff Department. He is still being held.
Top light heavyweight champion “Bad” Chad Dawson (27-0, 17 KOs) hosted an open media workout at Johnny Tocco’s Gym in Las Vegas this afternoon for his May 9th rematch showdown with Antonio Tarver (27-5, 19 KOs) televised on HBO. Pictured, Dawson lands a left on sparring partner Aaron Williams. Stay tuned for a story and gallery tomorrow on Dawson.
By Alex Dombroff
How’s Carl Froch feeling at the end of the day, and is he sad he is all alone in Canada preparing for the biggest fight of his career? No, Froch is getting by with a little help from his friend. That friend is Jean Pascal, a former foe, and the opponent Froch wrestled his version of the super middleweight championship from last year. It’s an interesting definition of friend used by Froch (24-0, 19 KOs), but as he readies for his fight this Saturday with former undisputed middleweight champion Jermain Taylor, it’s a relationship that he finds invaluable. “A lot of people think that because you fight each other, you hate each other,” said Froch. “But it’s a sport. I took his best shots, and he took my best shots. I came out victorious because I did the better work on the night.” (more…)
Pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao is off to San Francisco for a ‘Filipino Heritage Night’ hosted by the Giants baseball team at AT&T Park on Tuesday, April 21. Thousands of Manny’s ‘Bobbleheads’ will be given away. “There has been an incredible response. Fans are very excited that Manny is coming to our ballpark,” said Faham Zakariaei, the Giants special events director. Bob Arum, Pacquiao, trainer Freddie Roach and other Pacquiao team members will take a private jet from Los Angeles to San Francisco. During the pre-game Manny will be on a stage to speak to his Filipino fans. At 7:07 pm local time, Manny will head for the mound and throw out the first pitch. Manny will then head to the press box to watch the Giants take on the San Diego Padres. Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton is scheduled May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The megafight will be available on HBO Pay Per View.
Cruiserweight prospect “Awesome” Aaron Williams (19-1-1, 13 KOs) is in Las Vegas, sparring with unbeaten light heavyweight champion “Bad” Chad Dawson, in preparation for his potential career-changing fight May 9 against former Cuban amateur champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez at Jako-Arena in Bamberg, Bayern, Germany. “I’m going over there to win,” Williams said. “I have to do what I do best and nothing else matters. Fighting him over there, once the bell rings, everything goes out the window. I know he’s highly rated but I take every fight the same. Sparring with Chad helps a lot because he’s a tall southpaw like Hernandez. I helped Chad get ready for his first title win and now we’re helping each other out.” Hernandez’ lone loss as a pro was to former world champion Wayne Braithwaite by 12-round technical knockout a year ago. Presently riding a 4-fight win streak, Yoan Pablo is rated in the top 15 of all four major boxing organizations – WBC #9, WBA #12, WBO #13 and IBF #14.
Tomorrow’s EBU purse bid for a fight between unbeaten heavyweights Alexander Povetkin and Alexander Dimitrenko has been cancelled. Universum general manager Stefan Braune learned about the cancellation on the way to EBU headquarters in Rome. “This is very unfortunate,” sais Braune. “It would have been a great fight that we would have been happy to have presented to the public.” Dimitrenko expressed deep disappointment in the news. “For me, it’s particularly unfortunate, because I would have been very pleased with this fight. In Russian media, I’ve read provocative quotes from Povetkin’s Russian manager. He said that sometimes the Universum boxer would cancel just before the fight. I find this outrageous. Something like this is not my style. So now I’m doubly disappointed that the Povetkin camp backed out. I had a premonition about this after his last fight. I just wonder how he expects to beat Wladimir Klitschko, when he’s already ducking me. But, maybe our paths will cross again. Everything is in God’s hands.” Povetkin is Klitschko’s IBF mandatory challenger.
WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm and challenger Koji Sato faced off at a press conference today in advance of Saturday night’s “Universum Champions Night” in Krefeld, Germany. (More to come)
Ringside Report by Dave Spencer / Fightnews Canada
Photography by Emily Harney
In a tremendous action fight, former Contender star Peter Manfredo Jr. (31-7, 17 KOs) scored a knockout victory over Walid Smichet (20-6-3, 14 KOs ) at 3:00 of the seventh round as boxing returned to the Casino de Montreal this past Saturday afternoon. Smichet came as advertised as an extremely hard nut to crack, but Manfredo Jr. who would often go toe-to-toe with the tough Tunisian born boxer had his boxing skills and power won out. A sweeping left hook put Smichet down and out just as the ten-second warning was sounded. “I was just too strong for him,” said Manfredo Jr. after the fight. “I only had three weeks to prepare for this but I felt good in there. I’m on my way back to 160 and right now John Duddy is the guy we’re after.” The headline bout of the day featured Ali Chebah (30-1, 23 KOs) as he scored a second round knockout of Joel Juarez (23-6-1, 22 KOs ) with a straight right hand at 1:40 of the second round. Click here for the entire ringside report and photo gallery.
The Golden Boy may be retired, but sensational super middleweight prospect Daniel “The Golden Child” Jacobs (14-0, 13 KOs) will see action against veteran Jose Varela in the ESPN2 co-feature on Friday at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. The 22-year-old Brooklyn-raised Jacobs has quickly made an impact as an outstanding prospect since turning pro in December 2007, stopping nine of his opponents in the first round. Varela (23-5, 16 KOs) will have a tall order in trying to reverse a three fight losing streak. Headlining the card is a twelve round junior featherweight match up between Antonio Escalante and Gary “Kid” Stark Jr. On the undercard, making his Chicago debut is 2008 U.S. Olympian Deontay Wilder (3-0, 3 KOs), the only United States Boxing Medalist from the 2008 Beijing Games, who will see action in a four round bout. Chicago junior welterweight favorite Ivan Popoca (9-0-1, 7 KOs) and 2008 Chicago Golden Gloves champion Noe Perez are also scheduled. Tickets start at $31, call 312-226-5800.
By Jesse Kelley and Ramon Hough
Matt “the Predator” Vanda (40-9, 22 KOs) won a controversial majority decision over Tocker Pudwill (40-7, 14 KOs) in the main event Saturday night at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Also featured were the Litzau Brothers, who had mixed results. Wilton Hilario (11-0-1, 9 KOs) stopped Allen Litzau (13-4, 7 KOs) in the fifth round while Jason Litzau (24-2, 20 KOs) took out veteran Phillip Payne (16-23-1, 8 KOs), also in the fifth round. (more…)
Antonio Leonard Productions returns on Friday to the Rio Events Center in Houston, Texas, on Friday with a card headlined by undefeated heavyweight Eugene “Mean Gene” Hill (16-0, 14KOs) who will take on veteran Zack Page (16-23-2, 5 KOs). “Hill punches with such snap each punch gives the sound effect of a gunshot. Don’t take your eyes off this one he is the real deal,” said Leonard. In the co-feature, unbeaten middleweight prospect Cornelius White (8-0, 7KOs) will go toe-to-toe with Shannon Miller (24-42-8, 18KOs). Undercard to be announced. Tickets are $70, $50 and $30, call 713-907-0258.
By Gabriel F. Cordero
Promociones del Pueblo has announced the WBC super bantamweight world championship clash between former WBO bantam champ Johnny González and reigning WBC champion Toshiaki Nishioka of Japan on May 23 in the Arena Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico. Mexican businessmen, Reginaldo and Osvaldo Kuchle have offered two press conferences an in the Federal District and another in Monterrey with the presence of Johnny González, Rafael Márquez and welterweight prospect Alejandro “El Elegido” Barrera among others. It is expected that the event will feature top-level talent with TV in Mexico as well as the United States. Former champion Rafael Marquez will reappear after a year of inactivity against the strong Colombian slugger Jose Francisco Mendoza. Also appearing will be Guadalupe “Bronco” Rosales against Javier Castro, Michael “Murder Man” Medina against Bladimir Hernández, Alejandro Barrera against Honduran Arnold Gamboa at welterweight, and other Mexican prospects such as Juan Carlos Salgado, Marcos “Dorado” Reyes and Victor Zaleta.
On Saturday, former world junior featherweight champion Daniel Ponce De Leon (35-2, 31 KOs) continues on his road back to a title shot in a pivotal twelve round matchup for the vacant NABF featherweight belt against hard-hitting Marlon Aguilar (19-6-1, 14 KOs) at the Coliseo Miguel Canto on the sunny island of Cozumel in Quintana Roo, Mexico. In the co-feature, unbeaten junior bantamweight Jose Salgado (16-0, 14 KOs) puts his unblemished record on the line against Darwin Zamora (14-1-1, 12 KOs) in a twelve-rounder for the WBC Youth belt. The card will be televised live in Latin America on HBO Plus.
Octagonside by Andreas Hale & Robert Kravantka, photos by Ed Mulholland
Fight report & gallery: In the main event of UFC 97, middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva soundly defeated challenger Thales Leites after five uneventful and bizarre rounds, via unanimous decision . . . Click here for more
Postfight: White not pleased with Silva’s victory: Anderson Silva retained his middleweight championship and claimed his UFC record breaking 9th victory in a row as he soundly defeated Thales Leites via unanimous decision at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. But judging by the cascade of boos that fell upon the arena filled with MMA fans, you would have never guessed that Silva had won yet another fight . . . . Click here for more
Postfight: Liddell’s KO loss an end to an era: When a left hand from PRIDE standout Mauricio Rua sent Chuck Liddell sprawling to the canvas for his fourth loss in five fights, it appeared that “The Iceman” may have seen his last action inside the Octagon . . . . Click here for more
By Sam DiTusa
Alex Bunema improved to ( 31-6-2) on Friday night with a six-round dismantling of journeyman Mike McFail in front of 400 fans on Friday night at the Marriott Hotel in Ogden, Utah. The scheduled ten round main event was part of a pro/mm show put together in 7 days by Bob Oleson’s C.A.M. Promotions. Bunema, ranked #9 by the WBC in the 154 lb division, dropped McFail twice in round one and continued the carnage throughout the fight, dropping McFail again in round five. McFail fought back throughout the contest, never going into “survival mode,” but instead continually landed shots back on Bunema. For his part however, Bunema was relentless in his attack, and landed combinations at will. Trainer Billy Summerall continually urged Bunema to finish out the show, which he did at 6:35 of round six. (more…)
By Enrico “Erik” Crociati
Undefeated light welterweight Brunet Zamora (17-0, 8 KOs) scored a spectacular tenth round TKO over vicious Ugandan puncher Peter Semo (19-4, 14 KOs) and retained his WBA I/C at 140 lbs title on Friday night at the Pala Carnera in Udine, Italy. The performance of hard hitting Cuban-born Zamora was very impressive. He started match very strongly with a great array of punches at his disponsal and the brave 26-year old Semo was down in round two and able to survive the punishment only thanks to his great heart. In the middle of contest Semo proved every bit as tough but Zamora was simply too strong for the brave African warrior, who was down another time before the stoppage correctly issued by referee Giuseppe Quartarone. (more…)
By Liridon Iberdemaj
New York-based IBF #15 Elvir Kosova Kid Muriqi (36-5, 17 KOs) won a ten round unanimous decision over Oleksandr Garashchenko (15-12, 7 KOs) on Sunday night at the Palace of Youth & Sports in Prishtina, Kosovo. Muriqi outworked his opponent in almost every single round. It was a sweet revenge for Muriqi in front of his 2,000 fanatic supporters. He had lost a fight against the same Ukrainian boxer in 2005. That time the bout ended with a split decision for Garashchenko. (more…)
By Joe Koizumi
Today, on Sunday, we got up early and went to the Korakuen Hall, not to church, as the show started so early as 11:25 am. It was because of another rent of the Hall by a TV vaudeville program in the evening. WBC#11 ranked Tomonobu Shimizu (14-3-1, 5 KOs), 112, disappointingly kept his Japanese flyweight belt as he was held to a technical draw by hard-punching challenger Shigetaka Ikehara (17-1-2, 13 KOs), 112, at 0:57 of the second session here in Tokyo, Japan. Leading on points as he was, Shimizu suffered a come-from-behind tenth-round KO defeat by WBC flyweight champ Daisuke Naito in a quest for the belt last July. Ikehara was the ultimate winner of a tourney to decide the mandatory 112-pound challenger among JBC contenders, though he used to be a 108-pound campaigner. Ikehara, as expected, made a furious opening attack, occasionally landing a solid shot at a time to Shimizu’s handsome face to win a point. But their head-collision opened a gash over the left eyebrow, which became so worsened early in the second that the referee had the cut examined by the ringside physician and coldly declared a halt. Some disgusted spectators wished to drink afterward as usual, but it was still too early as it ended only before 3 pm. Promoter: Kaneko Promotions.
Ringside report & photos by Chris Cozzone
As part of a three-day bash of beatdowns and boxing, Roy Englebrecht Events and Primm Valley Resort Casino held a seven-bout card last night at Buffalo Bill’s Star of the Desert Arena in Primm, Nev. . . . . Click here for more
Former world champ “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas was a special guest and a host at Saturday’s “Worlds Collide” fight card at Buffalo Bill’s Star of the Desert Arena in Primm, Nev. After an introduction to the music of accompanied mariachis, Vargas treated the fans to a couple minutes of Mexican dancing. Stay tuned for a full report of last night’s card in Primm.
Octagonside by Andreas Hale, photos by Ed Mulholland
In the main event of UFC 97, middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva soundly defeated challenger Thales Leites after five uneventful and bizarre rounds, via unanimous decision. The opening round saw almost no action until the final minute when Silva swept Leites to the mat. Round two was controlled by the challenger Leites after he scored a quick takedown and controlled Silva from the top position. Round three was full of frustration for both champion and challenger as neither Leites nor Silva could muster any effective offense. Round four was one of the most bizarre in recent memory as Silva spent the larger portion of the round dancing and taunting his opponent as well as throwing punches to the legs of Leites. The final round saw Silva continue to avoid damage until the final bell sounded. Judges’ scorecards read 49-46, 48-47 and 50-46
In the main co-feature of the evening former PrideFC standout Mauricio “Shogun” Rua returned to championship form by knocking out “The Iceman” Chuck Liddell with a left hook to the chin at 4:28 of the opening round. Though Rua finished the fight with strikes on the ground, Liddell was stiffened before he hit the floor.
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