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The pride of Denver, undefeated junior welterweight contender Mike Alvarado, returns to the ring on Saturday at the Mile High Event Center, located directly across from Mile High Racing Park in Commerce City, Colorado. The top-15 contender will be taking on crafty Emmanuel Clottey, in a 10-round rumble, headlining an action-packed eight-bout bout. Promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank in association with Delgado Promotions, the Alvarado-Clottey brawl will be televised nationally on Azteca America. Alvarado (24-0, 17 KOs), has knocked out seven of his last eight opponents. (more…)
Long considered the most prestigious title in mixed martial arts, the UFC® Heavyweight Championship currently rests in the hands of two men – Champion Brock Lesnar and interim belt holder Frank Mir. On Saturday, May 23rd, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Lesnar and Mir will meet to not only determine an Undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion, but to settle some very personal business they began in this same arena over a year ago. . . Click here for full report
Report by Brady Crytzer & Robert Casaus
Last year, Mike Brown shocked the MMA world when he dethroned long-running WEC Featherweight Champ Urijah Faber at UFC.
Last night at WEC 39, held in Corpus Christi, Texas, the defending champ shocked Leonard Garcia’s world when he took out the No. 1 contender in less than two minutes . . . Click here for full report
Photos: Chris Farina/Top Rank
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Everywhere he goes pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao is surrounded by a swarm of Filipino fans who wave flags, take pictures, ask for autographs and who try to touch their national hero. “I never knew there were so many Filipino fans in London and in Manchester,” said Pacquiao after a very large, friendly crowd of fans surrounded his car when he arrived today at the Philippines Embassy. “I think we are all stunned about the number of Filipino fans here and their love for Manny,” said Bob Arum. “He really is a superstar, the national treasure of the Philippines.” (more…)
Unbeaten jr featherweight prospect Wilfredo “WV2” Vazquez, Jr. (15-0-1, 12 KOs) defended his WBO Latin and WBA Fedcentro titles against former WBC Continental Americas Champion Jose “Pepe” Beranza (31-15-2, 25 KOs) via twelve round unanimous decision on Friday night at the Kissimmee Civic Center in Kissimmee, Florida. Scores were 118-109, 119-108, 120-107.
Light heavyweight contender Jürgen Brähmer (31-2, 25 KOs) and French champion Rachid Kanfouah (29-6, 23 KOs) faced off today at a press conference in Dresden, Germany, in advance of Saturday’s showdown for the vacant European championship. Brähmer, who is returning less than three months from a decision loss in a world title shot, stated, “My goal remains: I want to become the next German world champion. The Euro title is a big step on the way!” (More to come)
Herbie Hide’s upcoming fight with Sandro Siproshvili in Cuxhaven on Friday wasn’t the only thing on Herbie Hide’s mind at the press conference today. The former two-time WBO heavyweight champion is also celebrating the release of his autobiography. The book, aptly titled “Nothing But Trouble” tells the story of his upbringing in Norwich and his time in boarding schools in Norfolk after arriving in England at the age of ten, before detailing his roller coaster boxing career and his numerous escapades outside of the ring. “My book tells it like it is,” says Herbie. “Lots of people bring out a book, but nobody has a story like mine. I’m the original bad boy. Everything is in there. You’ll laugh and cry when you read it. I’ve been through so much in my 37 years and my life really has been nothing but trouble, as the title says. But I haven’t finished yet because now I’m going to beat Siproshvili and then go on to be world champion for a third time.”
On March 7th Star Boxing’s world rated light welterweight contender, The Pride of Greece, “Mighty” Mike Arnaoutis (21-2- 2,10KO) will meet ESPN.com’s 2008 prospect of the year “Vicious” Victor Ortiz (23-1- 1,18KO) in a 12 round light welterweight championship. The Arnaoutis vs. Ortiz battle will be part of that evening’s live triple header on HBO and will take place at The Tank in San Jose, CA. At stake will be both the USBA light welterweight title, held by Arnaoutis and the NABO light welterweight title, which is held by Ortiz . . . Click here for more
Leonard Gardner, Larry Merchant, and the late John Lardner have been named by the Boxing Writers Association of America as winners of the A.J. Liebling Awards. Bestowed since 1995 by the BWAA, the award honors the elegant New Yorker stylist, who chronicled the sport for decades and whose work was subsequently collected in the timeless boxing books The Sweet Science and A Neutral Corner. The Liebling Awards will be presented at the BWAA’s annual dinner in New York on June 12th.
On March 6th, Delvin Rodriguez (23-2-2, 14KO) will look to defend his USBA welterweight championship, and earn the number two ranking in the IBF world ratings when he takes on highly touted welterweight contender Shamone “The Truth” Alvarez (20- 1, 11KO). The bout will take place at the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in Uncasville, CT and be broadcast live as that evening’s ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” main event. . . . Click here for more
Friday night at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida, former world light heavyweight champion Glen “The Road Warrior” Johnson finally got his chance to put his controversial 2003 draw with Daniel Judah to rest, and he made the most of his opportunity, scoring a near shutout ten round decision over his opponent in the main event of ESPN2 Friday Night Fights. “It was great to get this victory and right a wrong from six years ago,” said Johnson, who improved to 49-12-2 (33 KOs) with the 99-90, 99-90, 99-89 win that included a first round knockdown of Judah. “Now I’m moving on to right one of the other wrongs of my career, the decision that was taken away from me against Chad Dawson.” (more…)
Is the camp of WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch may be having second thoughts about facing ex-middleweight champion Jermain Taylor? The Taylor camp has announced that Taylor will fight Froch on April 25 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is already onboard to televise the clash. The Froch camp, however, has denied that a deal is done. Froch had previously publicly called out Taylor and proclaimed that “they will need to drag Taylor to the ring kicking and screaming because I don’t think he wants any part of me,” and offered to come to the U.S. to fight him. Taylor warned over the weekend, “Froch has been running his mouth a lot, now it’s time to shut him up!” Stay tuned…
Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton pose with the IBO belt during a press conference at the Imperial War Museum in London, England on Monday during one of the stops on their mega UK media tour to officially announce their upcoming “East vs West” world junior welterweight championship fight on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Pacquiao vs Hatton is presented by Top Rank and Golden Boy and will be available on HBO Pay Per View.
By Sam DiTusa
Super middleweight prospect Mark Woolnough (21-5, 8 KOs) opens the 2009 boxing season at Richmond BC’s beautiful River Rock Casino on March 27 against Steve Walker (24-20, 16 KOs). The fight will be promoted by Manny Sobral and Neil Pope’s “West Coast Promotions,” which has quickly become a big time player on the Pacific Northwest boxing scene, and it appears that Woolnough will be the first area fighter to sign a promotional deal with them. (more…)
By Alexey Sukachev
Recently created Russian promotional group Ural Box Promotions staged a show Saturday in Noginsk, Moscow region. In a co-mains event of the evening, rising middleweight prospect Anton Novikov (12-0, 5 KOs) captured a vacant WBC Youth crown, outpointing tough Ghanaian guest Isaac Sackey (4-4, 2 KOs) over ten heated rounds, while unbeaten Russian light middleweight Timur Nergadze (11-0, 2 KOs) topped Tursunboy Ablyakimov (10-2, 3 KOs) over twelve. (more…)
By Alexey Sukachev
Club “OQ-TEPA” in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, made headlines in local media after a huge eight-bout prizefighting card organized there yesterday by the leading national promotional group Favzul Munavvar. In a main event of the show, undefeated welterweight prospect Sherzodbek Alimjonov moved up to 14-0, 9 KOs, after a convincing ten-round unanimous decision over Filipino champion Arniel Tinampay (9-9-1, 3 KOs) with the scores: 99-92, 99-91 and 100-90.
Popular Connecticut heavyweight Tony “TNT” Grano (15-1-1, 12 KOs) made his much anticipated return, earning a six-round unanimous decision victory over Rochester, New York’s Jermell “The Truth” Barnes (18-19-2, 4 KOs) on Friday night at Ken Shamrock’s Lions Den Fitness Center in Middletown Connecticut. Grano was more than impressive in his first return to the ring since his September upset loss to Mark “Oak Tree” Brown, scoring a shutout victory over the seasoned veteran Barnes. (more…)
By Sam DiTusa
Former world champion Stevie Forbes (33-7, 9 KOs) will fight the 10 round main event on the inaugural boxing show at the Spirit Mountain Casino & Resort on March 6th. The casino is nestled in Central Oregon between Salem and the Pacific Coast, and has been the premier resort in Oregon for several years. Forbes’ opponent will be Jason Davis (11-2-1, 4 KOs) from nearby Vancouver, Washington. (more…)
By Brady Crytzer
The stars were big and bright Sunday night as World Extreme Cagefighting made its way to Corpus Christi, Texas to present Mike Brown’s inaugural defense of his world featherweight title against a very deserving Leonard Garcia. After a furious right hand, Brown submitted his young opponent with a tight arm triangle in the first round. The official time was just 1:57 of round one.
In the evening’s co-feature Ricardo Lamas kept his undefeated streak intact by scoring a three round unanimous decision over Bart Palaszewski. Judges scorecards all read 30-27.
In other results: Featherweight phenom Jose Aldo wasted no time in stopping an overmatched Chris Mickle in just 1:39 of the opening round with a flurry of punches.; In a lightweight contest “Razor” Rob McCullough defeated Marcus Hicks via majority decision. Judges scorecards read 29-29, 30-27 and 29-28; Bantamweight Damacio Page demolished Marcos Galvao in just :18 seconds with a devastating right hand. Galvao was unresponsive but was revived soon after receiving medical attention; Welterweight Johny Hendricks defeated Alex Serdyukov via unanimous decision; UFC veteran Alex Karalexis stopped newcomer Greg McIntyre in the first round with heavy punches from the top position; In a lightweight contest John Franchi won a three round split decision over Mike Budnik; and welterweight Mike Pierce scored a third round KO over Justin Haskins with a short left hook.
Ringside by Byron Spurlock & Jose Reyes
Photography by Chris Cozzone
Houston fans might not have been happy, but fight fans outside Texas witnessed a ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate, and the best doubleheader televised in years, last night at the Toyota Center in Houston.
The bouts, televised on HBO and promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, were witnessed by 14,571 fans who were rooting for hometown favorites Juan Diaz and Rocky Juarez.
In the main event, proving himself the new king of lightweights, Mexico City’s Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KOs) scored a spectacular ninth round knockout over former unified champ Diaz (34-2, 17 KOs) to claim the vacant WBA, WBO and IBO lightweight titles while retaining his Ring Magazine honors . . . . Click here for full report and a giant photo gallery
Mayweather, Pacquiao or Hatton targeted;
Juarez vs. John—Rematch imminent
Postfight press report & photos by Chris Cozzone
Having solidified his claim at lightweight—if not pound-for-pound—supremacy last night at the Toyota Center in Houston, Tex., Juan Manuel Marquez, after knocking out Juan Diaz, says he wants to fight “only the best.” The “best,” as Marquez sees it, means Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, with Ricky Hatton a third choice, pending the outcome of his showdown against Pacquiao on May 2. “I’ve never ducked anybody,” proclaimed Marquez, taking a dig at his Filipino nemesis. “I’ve been trying to get a third fight with Manny Pacquiao but he does not want to fight me.” . . . . Click here for more
Story by Chris Cozzone
For several years now, Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardine has been one or two fights away from a shot at UFC’s most glamorous title, the light-heavyweight championship. First, he upsets Forrest Griffin, at UFC 66, in December 2006, by knocking out the future champion in just under a round . . . Click here for more
Former UFC® Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was at his devastating best last December as he settled his score with Wanderlei Silva via a chilling first round knockout. On Saturday, March 7, Jackson will look to move one step closer to regaining his title when he takes on the man who beat both Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin, Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardine. For the third year in a row, the Ultimate Fighting Championship® is heading back to Columbus, Ohio for UFC 96: JACKSON vs. JARDINE, live from the Nationwide Arena on Saturday, March 7, 2009. Click here to visit the official UFC 96 website!
Story by Anthony Springer Jr.
When pushing your body to its limits via the Xtreme Games gets old, what do you do?
If your name is Mike Budnik (8-1), the answer is mixed martial arts.
After twelve years as a successful inline skater, the New Yorker put his skates in the closet and looked for life’s next challenge. After a humbling experience with a jiu-jitsu instructor, Budnik—who says he hates to lose—was off on his second career of sorts . . . . Click here for more
Amir Khan admits even his own friends expect him to lose to Marco Antonio Barrera . . . Click here for more on Sky Sports
Blackpool boxer Mathew Ellis is to appear on the under-card of the Amir Khan/Marco Antonio Barrera bill at the MEN Arena next month . . . Click here for more from Blackpool Gazette
Integrated Sports will distribute a world-class pay-per-view card, headlined by Amir Khan versus “The Baby Faced Assassin” Marco Antonio Barrera, Saturday, March 14 live from The M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, United Kingdom . . . Click here for more
From the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas for tonight’s WEC 39 card on VERSUS:
Main Event – WEC Featherweight Title
Mike Brown (144.25) vs Leonard Garcia (145)
Ricardo Lamas (154.5) vs Bart Palaszewski (155.5)
Chris Mickle (145) vs Jose Aldo (145.5)
Rob McCullough (156) vs Marcus Hicks (155.5)
Phil Cardella (155.5) vs Danny Castillo (156)
Damacio Page (136) vs Marcos Galvao (136)
Alex Serdyukov (171) vs Johny Hendricks (171)
Rafael Rebello (135.25) vs Kenji Osawa (135.25)
Greg McIntyre (155) vs Alex Karalexis (156)
John Franchi (145) vs Mike Budnik (145.25)
Mike Pierce (170) vs Justin Haskins (170.25)
Hundreds of Filipino fans awaited Manny Pacquiao’s arrival at the famous Westminster Cathedral in London for Sunday services. Following mass, Pacquiao went to a crowded meet-and-greet with hundreds more Filipino fans at a local hotel. He took pictures and signed autographs for over 2 hours. There is a large Filipino population in the greater London area.
By Nick Giongco
Fresh from overpowering Erik Ramirez of Mexico, Filipino WBO minimumweight king Donnie Nietes of the ALA Boxing Club of Cebu is being groomed to make the third defense of the championship against another Mexican, Manuel Vargas, by late-May, ALA big boss Tony Aldeguer told Fightnews.com. “We are looking at (staging Nietes-Vargas) within 90 days from now,” said Aldeguer, moments after he received word that Nietes had won by 12-round unanimous decision before a highly-partisan crowd in Oaxaca. Mexican press reports say that Nietes decked the gutsy Ramirez once each in the first, fifth, ninth and 12th rounds in a dominating display. Aldeguer plans to put up Nietes’ battle with Vargas in the Philippines in partnership with giant TV network ABS-CBN. Nietes is one of only three current Filipino world champions. The two others are IBF fly king Nonito Donaire and WBO bantam supermo Gerry Penalosa. Nietes hails from Murcia, Negros Occidental, but trains in the boxing hotbed of Cebu. Nietes had captured the then-vacant title in Sept. 2007 with a points win over Pornsawan Kratingdaeng-Gym and he made the initial defense last year, stopping Nicaraguan Eddy Castro.
Unbeaten heavyweight Martin Rogan (12-0, 6 KOs) shocked the second big name in a row on Saturday night at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England. Following his win over 2000 Olympic gold medalist Audley Harrison, Rogan stopped former world title challenger Matt Skelton (22-3, 19 KOs) to claim the Commonwealth heavyweight title. The fight was waved off after Rogen dropped Skelton with a right hand in round eleven, then finished him with a follow-up barrage — the first stoppage defeat of the 42-year-old Skelton’s career. Time was 1:21. Prior to the Harrison bout, the previously little-known Rogan surfaced in a made-for-TV heavyweight tournament called “Prizefighter” presented by promoter Barry Hearn on SKY-TV in April 2008, in which he won three bouts in one night to claim a £25,000 prize.
By Gabriel F. Cordero at ringside
Two world minimumweight titles were on the line on Saturday night at the Auditorio Guelaguetza in Oaxaca, Mexico. WBA minimumweight champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (23-0, 20 KOs) of Nicaragua won a majority decision over Francisco “Chiquita” Rosas (20-6-2, 12 KOs). The fighters constantly exchanged blows for all twelve rounds, but Gonzalez had a little more than his courageous challenger and won by scores of 115-113, 116-112. The third card was 114-114. Gonzalez retained his WBA world crown in his first defense outside his country.
In the other championship battle, Filipino Donnie Nietes (24-1-3, 14 KOs) scored four knockdowns in a twelve round unanimous decision over brave Mexican Erik Ramirez (25-6-2). Scores were 115-109, 116-108 and 113-111. Nietes retained his WBO miniumweight world crown in his first bout on the American continent.
Unbeaten Simphiwe Nongqayi (15-0, 6 KOs) outpointed Francisco “Panchito” Arce (28-5, 19 KOs) over twelve rounds in an IBF super flyweight eliminator on Saturday night at the Gimnasio Polideportivo Centenario in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico. Arce was knocked down in round eleven. Scores were 116-111 on all cards. In other action, former world champion Eric Ortiz (31-8-2, 20 KOs) stopped José Alfredo “Galletas” Tirado (6-9, 4 KOs) in round five.
By Byron Spurlock & Jose Reyes at ringside
Lightweight Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KOs) scored a spectacular ninth round KO over Juan Diaz (34-2, 17 KOs) to claim the vacant WBA super and WBO lightweight titles, as well as Diaz’ IBO belt on Saturday night at the Toyota Center in Houston. It was a fierce all out war in which Marquez absorbed Diaz’ heavy pressure early, then broke down the “Baby Bull,” dropping him twice in the ninth. Time was 2:40. A definite fight of the year candidate.
In his eleventh defense of his WBA featherweight title and first fight in the USA, unbeaten world featherweight champion Chris John (42-0-2, 22 KOs) and Rocky Juarez (28-4-1, 20 KOs) battled to a hard-fought twelve round draw. John mostly outworked a determined Juarez, although Rocky landed the harder punches. John cut Juarez over the left eye in round five and threw more than 100 punches in most rounds, while Juarez closed strong winning the last two rounds on all cards. All three judges scored it 114-114, thus John retains the title. John originally won the belt in an elimination bout with Oscar Leon in Indonesia back in 2003. (more…)
In the main event of Boxeo Boricua en Caguas, Luis Cruz TKO’d Carlos Díaz at 1:26 of the sixth round. “El Artesano” showed superior fighting skills over “Bam Bam” Díaz, who despite of having more experience on the ring, didn’t present significant opposition. “In the ring I tried to learn as much as I could from my opponent so I can use the experience as a tool for my development as a fighter,” Cruz commented as he improved his record to 8-0 with 7 KOs.
In a previous bout, Jayson Vélez TKO’d Luis Colón at 2:19 of the fourth round. “La Maravilla” Vélez improved his record to 6-0, 6 KOs. Miguel Cotto Promotions and H-2 Entertainment will return with their boxing series “Boxeo Boricua in Caguas on Friday, March 27 at Roger Mendoza Coliseum.
By Karl Freitag
Former middleweight world title challenger “Hurricane” Sebastian Sylvester (30-3, 15 KOs) returned to the ring with an explosive seventh round knockout of Gaetano Nespro (14-5, 2 KOs) to win the vacant IBF International middleweight title on Saturday night at the Jahnsportforum in Neubrandenburg, Germany. Sylvester dropped Nespro with a right hand at the end of round one and walked right through whatever resistance his opponent offered as he completely dominated the fight, finally laying out Nespro with a flush right hand in the seventh. Time was 2:39. It was Sylvester’s first fight since his unsuccessful WBA title challenge against Felix Sturm last November and also his first fight with trainer Karsten Röwer.
In a rematch, European super middleweight champion Karo Murat (19-0, 12 KOs) scored a tenth round TKO over former WBC super middleweight titlist Cristian Sanavia (40-5-1, 12 KOs). Murat was deducted a point in round one for a low blow, but also punished Sanavia over the early rounds. The rugged former world champion continued to apply pressure, but Murat was extremely sharp and connected with hard, clean punches throughout the fight. The bout was finally stopped between rounds nine and ten. Official time was :05 of round ten. Murat had won a close decision over Sanavia to win the Euro belt last April. This time the result was clear and impressive. (more…)
By Alexey Sukachev
Lightweight Anthony Mezaache (15-5-3, 3 KOs) upset local favorite Jonathon Thaxton (34-9, 18 KOs) with his spirited performance after a disastrous first round, in which he was knocked down and deducted a point. The Frenchman used his superior technique and fighting ability to finish strong, taking a decision with the late rally: 115-111, 115-112, 114-113 – all in favor of Mezaache, who is now a new European lightweight champion. The bout took place at the Norwich Showground in Norwich, England.
By Alexey Sukachev
European welterweight champion Rafal Jackiewicz (34-8-1, 18 KOs) retained his belt for the second time with a spirited unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Italian contender Luciano Abis (25-1-1, 11 KOs) in front of a partisan crow moments ago in Lublin, Poland. Both boxers fought on even terms for the first three rounds but then the more active and consistent Pole started to build up a lead. Abis had his moments in middle rounds, however, Jackiewicz was a bit sharper finding a room for his trademark right uppercut – right hook combination. Both fighters gave everything they had in final two rounds with Jackiewicz being more precise, active and strong of two. All three judges had it in favor of the defending champion: 117-111, 116-112 and 118-112. Fightnews scored it almost the same 117-112 – for the WBO #5, WBC/IBF #6 and WBA #7 European welterweight champion.
Highly regarded Polish light heavyweight Dawid “Cygan” Kostecki (WBC #4 and WBA #7) moved to 30-1, with 21 KOs, after a hard-fought eight round decision over extremely tough Cameroonian journeyman Martial Bella Oleme (8-20-1, 1 KO), who is much better than his sub-par record suggests. Kostecki seemed to be lucky not to be stopped in the last round after a bad cut over his forehead near the left eye. However, replay revealed that the cut was caused by an accidental head-butt.
Rising Polish heavyweight prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk (14-0, 9 KOs) added a name of tough Latvian journeyman Edgars Kalnars (18-17, 9 KOs) to his resume with a third-round technical knockout.
Damian Jonak (20-0, 15 KOs) TKO 4 Janos Petrovics (15-23, 7 KOs); Lukasz Janik (13-0, 6 KOs) PTS 8 Remigijus Ziausus (7-20-1, 5 KOs);
Lukasz Maciec (5-0, 2 KOs) PTS 4 Jevgenijs Fedorovs (2-8-1); Artur Szpilka (3-0, 2 KOs) TKO 1 Victor Szalai (10-18-1, 3KOs)
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