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Report & photos by Boxing Bob Newman
In what has become the most entertaining tradition of the annual WBC conventions, the talent show was held in the Beatles Revolution Bar Wednesday night at the Mirage Hotel and Casino. Acts included the standard WBC Low Blow Band (referee Frank Garza, judge Craig Metcalfe alternating on drums with Mauricio Sulaiman), Paris St. John (Mia’s daughter), Victor Duran (Roberto’s son), The Mighty Sensations (Referees Tony Weeks, Russell Mora, Kenny Bayless and judge Robert Hoyle) and Elvis impersonator and as always the comedy stylings of WBC legal counsel Robert Lenhardt.
Victor Duran performed wonderful Spanish ballads accompanied by acoustic guitar. Paris St. John reprised her talents from Tuesday evening’s Mia St. John Foundation where she entertained, by again knocking out some righteous blues tunes while playing bass, backed up on drums by WBC member Mikhail Denisov. (more…)
Report & Photos by Boxing Bob Newman
The WBC’s World Boxing Cares arm paid a visit to hall of fame referee Richard Steele’s Boxing Club today with it’s customary band of champions in tow to brighten the day of the gym’s youth members. Champs such as Marvin Camel, Iran Barkley, Michael Spinks, James “Bonecrusher” Smith, Wilfredo Gomez, John H. Stracey, Humberto “Chicquita” Gonzalez, Edgar Sosa, Jelena Mrdgenovich, Klara Svensson, Markus Beyer, Chauncey Welliver, “Bronco” Billy Wright and Laura Serrano posed for photos, signed autographs and handed out T-shirts, hats, key chains and WBC stickers to the gym’s youth members.
While the various champs arrived, a mariachi band entertained the attendees with traditional music, and refreshments were served. (more…)
The final UFC card of 2014 takes place with a trip to Brazil this weekend, as former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida takes on CB Dollaway in the main event. Machida returns after losing a decision to middleweight champ Chris Weidman in July while Dollaway has won four out of his last five fights as he makes his first career push into the top 10 of the division . . . click here for more
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COMING UP NEXT: FIGHT NIGHT BARUERI airs on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday, December 20 at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT . . . Click here for more
British boxer Anthony Crolla is hospitalized after being clobbered by burglars with a slab of concrete. More
Andy Lee gets a hero’s welcome in Ireland. More
More on Mickey Rourke’s alleged fight fix.
Photos: JC Photographer
Caribe Promotions and Versailles Cuban Restaurant held court with media and fans to showcase two-time Cuban Olympic Gold Medalist and WBA/WBO jr featherweight world champion Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux at an outdoor open workout. Versailles Restaurant (commonly referred to as simply Versailles) is a landmark eatery located on Calle Ocho (8th St) in Little Havana, Miami. Today was the first ever open workout at the Versailles in over forty three years since the establishment opened back in 1971 by Felipe Valls, Sr. and his family.
A few hundred boxing aficionados were present and given autographed posters and T-shirts by the champion. The event was in advance of Rigondeaux’ title bout with Hisashi Amagasa, scheduled for December 31st in Osaka, Japan. (more…)
Lightweight contender Anthony Crolla, who was scheduled to challenge WBA lightweight champion Richar Abril on January 23 is reportedly in a Manchester, England hospital with a fractured skull and a broken ankle. According to the BBC, Crolla was injured when he confronted burglars robbing his neighbor’s home. Promoter Eddie Hearn was quoted as saying he is looking to reschedule the Abril-Crolla fight on a later date, however Crolla’s trainer Joe Gallagher told Sky Sports he doesn’t even want to think about Crolla boxing right now because his injuries are “career-threatening.”
Photos: Amanda Kwok/SHOWTIME
Jo Jo Dan, Kevin Bizier, Artur Beterbiev and Jeff Page Jr. held a final press conference at Houston’s Bar & Grill in Quebec City on Wednesday just two days before their bouts on the undercard of this Friday’s Showtime telecast from Pepsi Coliseum. Bizier (23-1, 16 KOs), of Quebec, will face the only man to defeat him, Canadian-based Romanian Dan (33-2, 18 KOs) in a 12-round IBF welterweight eliminator – the winner to face World Champion Kell Brook – in the co-feature of a four-fight telecast, live on SHOWTIME (9 p.. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
In the opening bout of the telecast, two-time Russian Olympian Beterbiev (6-0, 6 KOs), who twice beat WBO/WBA/IBF Champion Sergey Kovalev in the amateurs, will square off with fellow unbeaten Page (15-0, 10 KOs), of Andover, Kansas, in a 10-round light heavyweight scrap.
In the main event, WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (24-1, 20 KOs) will defend his title against Russian challenger Dmitry “The Hunter” Sukhotskiy (22-2, 16 KOs) in a 12-round bout. Rounding out the telecast, super middleweight contender Andre “The Matrix” Dirrell (23-1, 16 KOs), will face Derek “The Black Lion” Edwards (27-3-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round IBF super middleweight elimination bout. (more…)
A 10-round featherweight fight between 2008 U.S. Olympian and former world title contender Gary Russell Jr. (24-1, 14 KOs), of Capitol Heights, Md., and former California State Champion Christopher Martin (28-4-3, 9 KOs) of Chula Vista, Calif., has been elevated to co-feature of this Saturday’s Showtime Boxing on Showtime Extreme live telecast (10 p.m. ET/PT) from Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Wash. The Russell vs. Martin scarp is co-headlining the telecast in replacement of previously announced bout between Anthony Peterson and Yakabu Amido. Peterson will now box on the non-televised portion of the card against Mexican veteran Héctor Velázquez (56-24-3, 38 KOs).
In another change to the televised lineup, promising undefeated world-class prospect Julian “J Rock” Williams (17-0-1, 10 KOs), 24, of Philadelphia, will now be opposed by Jamar Freeman of Wilson, N.C. in a 10-round junior middleweight clash. Freeman (13-3-2, 7 KOs) is a late substitute for Mexico’s Edgar “Nene” Ortega, who withdrew due to an injury suffered in training.
The final Showtime Boxing event of the year – and the fourth and final of back-to-back Showtime telecasts on consecutive weekends – is presented by Goossen Promotions.
Report and photos: Boxing Bob Newman
Day 3 of the 52nd annual WBC convention in Las Vegas commenced with a jam-packed mandatory defenses meeting. Interspersed with those discussions were acknowledgments and appearances by champions and other notables as well as other related topics of discussion. The WBC board of directors got right down to business this morning concerning mandatory defenses starting with the heavyweight division and working down to the minimumweight division. The mandatory status for each weight class is as follows:
Heavyweight: Having won a vacant title, champion Bermane Stivern is obligated to make two successive mandatory defenses. The first will be Deontay Wilder on January 17 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The winner of that fight is obligated to face the second mandatory Bryant Jennings. However, it is rumored that Jennings may face WBA/IBF/WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko in the Spring. If that transpires, Mike Perez and Alexander Povetkin will square off to determine the next mandatory to the Stivern-Wilder winner.
Cruiserweight: New champion Grigory Drozd Will face the winner of the final eliminator between Thabiso Mchunu and Ilunga Makabu. Curretn silver champ and #1 rated Rakhim Chakhkiev has expressed his interest in defending his WBC silver & European title belts instead of taking a shot at Drozd.
Light Heavyweight: Adonis Stevenson will face optional challenger Dmitry Sukhotsky this weekend in Montreal. A motion from WBO/WBA/IBF champ Sergey Kovalev’s team to unify with Stevenson, provided he get by WBC diamond champ Jean Pascal this Spring, with a 50/50 purse split is being considered. If both champs get by their respective defenses, Stevenson will be allowed one more optional defense before facing Kovalev.
Super Middleweight: Anthony Dirrell’s mandatory is George Groves, no time table set for that defense.
Middleweight: Miguel Cotto will make an optional defense early in 2015, while champ Gennady Golovkin will defend his WBA and WBC interim belts against Martin Murray in Monte Carlo in February. If successful, the two will square off with the purse split to be negotiated later.
Super Welterweight / Welterweight: The unique position of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. reigning supreme in both division was discussed. In years past, the WBC had frowned upon this practice, forcing champion dual champions to decide in which weight class they wanted to reside. A new ruling will be decided upon soon, presumably to allow Floyd to hold titles in both weight classes. In the meantime, while a potential mega-fight between WBC/WBA welter champ Floyd and his WBO counterpart Manny Pacqiuao looms, Sampson Lewkowicz proposed an eight man tournament in both weight classes to determine the rightful next challenger in each category. WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman lauded the idea, claiming, “Sampson, the is the best idea you’ve ever had!”
Super Lightweight: Danny Garcia (WBC/WBA champ) has agreed to a step-aside deal with mandatory challenger Viktor Postol in order to make an optional defense, under the proviso that Postol meet the winner next.
Lightweight: Omar Figueroa has been named champion in recess due to an infection that occurred in the cut he sustained in his last defense, keeping him out of action for a prolonged period of time. On December 30 in Japan, Jorge Linares will square off against Javier Prieto for the vacant title. If Figueroa heals and chooses to remain in the division, he’ll get the first crack at his old belt. Then two mandatories will be in line. The first will be the winner of Dejan Zlaticanin vs. Hank Lundy, followed by the winner of Daniel Estrada vs. Kevin Mitchell.
Super Featherweight: Takashi Miura just made his mandatory in November 24 against Edgar Puerta. Silver champion Stephen Smith will face off against Javier Fortuna to determine the #1 slot, but NOT the mandatory challenger.
Featherweight: The last mandatory was more than a year ago vs. Daniel Ponce De Leon. Two mandatories will be due: The winner of silver champion Rocky Juarez vs. Robinson Castellanos will be first, followed by the inner of Marvin Sonsona vs. Jayson Velez. Where current #1 rated Abner Mares fits into the picture is unclear.
Super Bantamweight: Andres Gutierrez will face Hugo Ruiz in a final eliminator for the mandatory shot at champion Leo Santa Cruz.
Bantamweight: Champion Shinsuke Yamanaka is in a voluntary mode as he just made his mandatory on October 22.
Super Flyweight: Former champion Srisaket Rungvisai and recent challenger Jose Salgado agreed to square off in a final eliminator for the mandatory slot to face champ Carlos Cuadras.
Flyweight: Roman Gonzalez will await the winner of the final eliminator between Nawaphon Sor Ringvisai and Edgar Sosa.
Light Flyweight: After record setting novice Naoye Inoue captured the title, he made one defense then vacated to jump two divisions to Super Flyweight and challenge long time WBO champ Omar Narvaez. The vacant title will be contested by former two division champ Akira Yaegashi and Pedro Guevara on December 30 in Japan.
*Minimumweight: #1 Carlos Ortega and #2 Denver Cuello will go at it to determine the mandatory to new champ Wanheng Menayothin.
*Formerly known as the strawweight division in the WBC, a resolution to change over to the name used by the WBA was adopted by the WBC board of governors. Mauricio Sulaiman said this was one of several topics discussed at the two recent summit meetings between the WBC, WBA and IBF. He said he will approach the IBF and WBO to agree. (more…)
Yakubu Amidu (21-5-2, 19KO) was fight-ready for this Saturday’s Showtime bout versus Anthony Peterson (34-1, 22KO). He completed a brief but rigorous training camp, and completed the required medical exams. Showtime announced the fight in a Decmeber 4th press release, and on their telecast this past weekend. It came as a surprise when Amidu promoter Bobby Hitz of Hitz Boxing received a call this morning that the bout is off. Hitz was advised that Peterson trainer Barry Hunter did not want his boxer to fight Amidu.
“Hunter has been trying to get out of this fight since we signed the bout contract,” said Hitz. “The kid trained hard for this fight. It’s the holidays. This kid did everything asked of him, and now he’s not going to be paid because at the last minute, this guy pulls out because he is afraid of what Amidu might do to his fighter? (more…)
Main-Events and InterBox announced that the Montréal Bell Centre will host the March 14th 2015 boxing Gala that will feature the reigning unified WBO, IBF and WBA light heavyweight world champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (26-0-1, 23 KOs) vs. former WBC light heavyweight champion, Jean Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KOs). Tickets to this megafight, which will also be broadcast on HBO World Championship Boxing throughout the United States, go on sale Saturday, December 20th 2014 as of 10 AM. A press conference is scheduled to take place early next week.
Kathy Duva, CEO of Main-Events, received the exception from the IBF that she and Sergey requested. Therefore, the IBF title will be on the line on March 14th when Kovalev faces Pascal. Mandatory IBF contender Najib Mohammedi is happy with the outcome because it will give him more time to work with his new trainer. Mohammedi will appear on the undercard of Kovalev-Pascal. Therefore, three of the four major world title belts will be on the line: The IBF and WBO world light heavyweight titles, as well as the WBA super light heavyweight belt.
Photos: Jose Perez / PR Best
World boxing is back to Puerto Rico this Saturday, December 20, with Triple Crown presented by DIRECTV and PR Best Boxing Promotions (PRBBP) at the International Ballroom of El San Juan Resort and Casino in Isla Verde, Carolina, Puerto Rico, broadcast on DIRECTV Pay Per View.
Contender McJoe Arroyo, former two-time world champion Roman “Rocky” Martinez, former world title challenger Jose “Chelo” Gonzalez and former world champion Hanna Gabriel will headline the event, which will feature a total of seven bouts.
“This Saturday we came back with another great event of Triple Crown. We will present four good fights, headlining the IBF elimination bout between McJoe Arroyo and Mark Geraldo, that will bring good action,” said promoter Ivan Rivera, president of PRBBP. (more…)
Report and photos by Tony Mayger
This weekend light heavyweight hopeful Robin Krasniqi (42-3-0, 16 KOs) could take a giant stride towards a big domestic showdown against fellow German Juergen Braehmer (45-2-0, 33 KOs) or face Sergey Kovalev (26-0-1, 23 KOs) next year if he can overcome the challenge of southpaw Dariusz Sek (21-1-0, 7 KOs) of Poland.
This will be Krasniqi’s second attempt to claim a world title after failing to dethrone Nathan Cleverly for the WBO title in 2013.
The Munich fighter is hoping that a win will ensure a match-up with Juergen Braehmer who holds the WBA belt. Braehmer himself took less than a minute in his fight on December 6th to stop another Pole, Pawel Glazewski (23-2-0) in Oldenburg and is already scheduled to defend his title again on 21st March next year in Rostock.
At the Fit Star gym in Munich today, Krasniqi and his team gave a public workout with trainer Dirk Dzemski. Dominic Boesel, Tom Schwarz, Tom Pahlmann and Moritz Stahl also did some rounds on the pads for the media and fans.
The event will be televised live from the Ballhaus Forum in Munich on Saturday on German terrestrial TV channel RAN and streamed live at MyVideo.de photos
By Johnny B’
Sad news, former World Heavyweight Champion Ernie Terrell passed away Tuesday December 16th. A former Golden Glove Champion, Terrell turned professional in 1957 and won the vacant WBA world heavyweight title by defeating Eddie Machen in 1965. After two defenses, he lost the WBA title in a unification match with Muhammad Ali in February 1967. Terrell retired from the ring in 1973 with a pro record of 46 wins and 9 losses with 21 KOs.
Photos: Chris Farina / Top Rank
Undefeated heavyweight Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz takes on former WBO heavyweight champion, Siarhei Liakhovich in the main event of Top Rank’s final card of 2014 at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix, Arizona. Ruiz (23-0, 17 KOs) has won his last nine bouts by KO and is rated #3 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and #8 by the World Boxing Council (WBC). He is looking for his third win of 2014. Ex-champ Liakhovich (26-6, 16 KOs) will be making his second start of 2014. UniMas will televise.
In the televised co-feature, two-time Mexican Olympian featherweight Oscar Valdez (14-0, 12 KOs) takes on Colombian Jean Sotelo (19-13-2, 10 KOs) in a scheduled eight-rounder. (more…)
Report & photos by Boxing Bob Newman
Former WBC female champion Mia. St. John held the annual dinner for the Mia. St. John Foundation- “El Saber Es Poder”-”Knowledge Is Power,” Tuesday evening in the St. Thomas room at The Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. This private event was more bittersweet than one could imagine. As the foundation focuses on helping youth with physical, emotional and social needs, everything hit too close to home as Mia and Kristoff St. John lost their son Julian this past November 23rd as he succumbed in his battle with Schizophrenia.
Mia’s ex-husband and Julian’s father Kristoff served as master of ceremonies for the dinner / fundraiser auction. Video presentations were made of Julian’s all-too-brief life and his amazing art work. (more…)
Promoter Frank Warren announced today that undefeated WBO #1 rated heavyweight contender Tyson Fury’s next fight will take place on February 28 at the O2 in London. Fury’s opponent will be named in the coming days. Fury will fight one more time prior to a world title showdown against the long-reigning heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. “I’m not a patient man. I don’t like waiting for things that I want,” said Fury. “I said a long time ago, I don’t believe Wladimir Klitschko will fight me. When I win the world title, I don’t want it to be vacant, I want it to be off Klitschko.”
Report & photos by Boxing Bob Newman
Day two of the 52nd annual WBC convention in Las Vegas was chock full of competing meetings from morning ’til night. Ratings, referee and medical seminars all were going full force in various meeting rooms along the Caribbean hallway.
The ratings committee and referees seminar both began at 9:30 a.m.
The ratings were overseen by the full WBC board and their ratings panel and was driven by the variety of promoters, managers and agents, all stumping for their charges to climb the ladder to the top. Sampson Lewkowicz, Gary Shaw, Tom Loeffler (K2), Pepe Gomez, representatives from Main Events, DiBella Enertainment, Teiken, Sauerland Events, and a host of others all took turns, if not many turns at the microphone to lobby for strategic position in the rankings. In at least one case, a former world champion himself inserted himself into the process. Former IBF welterweight champion Shawn Porter, along with his trainer dad Kenny addressed WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman directly, expressing their desire to wear the green belt one day soon. (more…)
By David Finger
Although the career of Bernard Hopkins may be coming to an end in 2014, boxing fans who love seeing “father time” on the ropes need not fret. Because in the most unlikely place, a boxer is quickly emerging as the “Alien of the East” and exciting boxing fans with both her quick fists and her improbable ability to prove once and for all that forty is not the end of the line in boxing. WBO women’s atom-weight champion Nao Ikeyama (15-3-1, 4 KOs) is already emerging as one of the most talked about boxers in Japan after winning the title back in May of this year against heavily favored undefeated prospect Jessebelle Pagaduan. The 45-year old champion (yes, you read that correctly) then successfully defending it against Masae Akitaya back in September. Not bad for a fighter who first stepped into the boxing ring at the advanced age of 34.
“At first I went to the gym for my health,” Ikeyama told Fightnews through her translator, “I practiced boxing every day and wanted to test my ability in the ring. But I couldn’t enter amateur boxing due to my age. So I started my pro career.” (more…)
To use language that refers back to Mike Rhodes’ time on the hardwood as a point forward for Ellsworth Community College, the Roufusport product hasn’t exactly had a bunch of open layups since getting the call to the Octagon . . . click here for more
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COMING UP NEXT: FIGHT NIGHT BARUERI airs on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday, December 20 at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT . . . Click here for more
By Ron Jackson
In a rather low key performance Lusanda Komanisi from Mdantsane retained his IBO featherweight belt on a split 12 round points decision against Roli Gasca of the Philippines at the Orient Theatre in East London on Monday night. The scores were 116-112 and 115-111 for Komanisi and 116-112 for Gasca. Komanisi who fights out of Johannesburg won the IBO belt in sensational style in July this year when he stopped knockout artist Macbute Sinyabi in the fifth round. However, he failed to impress against the Filipino in a poor fight. (more…)
What are the most embarrassing moments in boxing history? The Guardian explores.
Former British champion Anthony Smalls has been arrested and is being charged with aiding terrorists. More
The fight financials of a Pacquiao-Mayweather match: More
Andy Lee sets his sights on defending on home turf. More
By Boxing Bob Newman
The 5th Annual SJC Boxing Gym Open House and Fundraiser is set for Saturday January 10, 2015 from 12:00 noon until 5:00 PM. As part of the festivities, the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame will be announcing the new inductees for the Class of 2015. Many of the new inductees and past inductees will be on hand to meet everyone.
Class of 2015 Induction Weekend is June 19-21 at the Holiday Inn at 700 N. Westshore Blvd. in Tampa (previously Wyndham Hotel).
Following a world wind International Press Tour with stops in Monte Carlo, Astana, London and Mexico City, WBA/IBO and WBC ‘Interim’ Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin has opened training camp in Big Bear Lake, California for his upcoming world title defense against two-time world title challenger Martin Murray, the WBC’s #1 ranked middleweight.
Under the watchful eye of longtime trainer Abel Sanchez, Golovkin is slated to defend his titles on February 21st at the Salle des Etoiles in Monte Carlo.
“It was a very busy time these last few weeks but I liked spending time with the media and fans all over the world,” said Golovkin on Monday, speaking from the World Boxing Council Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. “I look forward to starting training camp with my coach and putting on another great show in Monte Carlo.” (more…)
Photos: Amanda Kwok/Showtime
WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson and Russian challenger Dmitry “The Hunter” Sukhotskiy held a main event final press conference on Tuesday in Quebec City, Canada, as they prepare for their showdown on Showtime on Friday. Stevenson (24-1, 20 KOs) and Sukhotskiy (22-2, 16 KOs) will square off in the 12-round main event from the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec.
Joining the main event fighters at Tuesday’s press conference was super middleweight contender Andre “The Matrix” Dirrell (23-1, 16 KOs), who will face Derek “The Black Lion” Edwards (27-3-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round IBF super middleweight elimination bout. (more…)
Reebok today announced partnerships with two of the top Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) athletes in the world, UFC® World Champions Jon Jones and Ronda Rousey. The signings of Jones and Rousey follow the recent announcement of Reebok’s groundbreaking partnership with UFC, the world’s leading mixed martial arts organization, taking the global fitness brand’s commitment to the sport to an entirely new level. (more…)
Story and photos by Boxing Bob Newman
The WBC Awards banquet took place at the Mirage Monday night in Las Vegas as part of their convention. A who’s who of champions past and present along with over 1600 guests packed the banquet hall to capacity. As guests filed into the vast hall over a period of an hour, so too did the fighters, and no fighter made a buzz nor had an entourage like “The Money Man,” Floyd Mayweather.
Floyd was directed immediately to a makeshift ESPN set where he was interviewed by hall of fame referee Joe Cortez about the possible Pacquiao fight. Though it was tough to get close enough to hear, it was discernible that Floyd isn’t happy that he has been made out to be the bad guy in the stalled negotiations over several years.
As the father & son relationship between the late Jose Sulaiman and his son, current WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman is well known, It was decided to create and present the first WBC Father-Son award. This inaugural award went to three generations of Calzaghes- Enzo, Hall of Fame champion son Joe and his son Joe. (more…)
Caribe Promotions & Versailles Cuban Restaurant will host an open workout for media and fans on Wednesday from 12pm to 2PM for two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and WBA/WBO jr. featherweight world champion Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux. Rigondeaux is preparing to defend his undefeated and undisputed record against Hisashi Amagasa on December 31st in Osaka, Japan.
Versailles Cuban Restaurant is located at 3555 SW 8th in Miami, Florida.
WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao has responded to the comments made by WBC/WBA welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather last Friday night on Showtime.
In a statement on his official website, Pacman stated, “Mayweather can get the amount he wants. As early as January this year, I challenged him to a charity fight. Until now, he has not agreed to it. So, money is not the issue in our fight. This fight is about legacy, this is about making the fans happy and, above all, this is for the good of boxing.”
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