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Report & Photos by Wolfgang Schiffbauer
Their fight is billed “Bad Blood” and so far, both WBA Middleweight Super Champion Felix Sturm and his challenger Sebastian Zbik, the former WBC titlelist, have lived up to that motto. Starting with their first press conference a couple weeks back at the venue of the fight, the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, both have had some harsh words to say about each other. Naturally, some of the reporters at hand at today’s final presser at luxury Hotel Im Wasserturm expected another war of words. That, however, did not happen.
Both fighters made a quick appearance, stating that they are in good shape and ready to win the fight. “I’ll let my fists do the talking. I’m sure I will defend my title come Friday night”, Sturm said. Zbik commented: “We have talked enough over the last couple weeks. Now it’s time to fight. I can’t wait to be champion again.” While Sturm’s coach Fritz Sdunek expressed confidence in his fighter in a quick statement, Zbik’s trainer, the former lightweight world champion Artur Grigorian, even refused to take center stage and say a few words. (more…)
Interview by Ray Wheatley
Photos by Chris Cozzone
Former two time world champion Michael Katsidis (28-5, 23 KOs) clashes with Albert Mensah (24-3-1,10 KOs) at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Friday, April 13th in the main event of this week’s ESPN2 Friday Night Fight series.
Katsidis talks to FightNews to say he is not looking past Mensah but would welcome a rematch with Juan Marquez plus he discusses his new trainer Justin Fortune. (more…)
Tix On Sale This Week For The TUF Finale Live In Vegas: Welterweight powerhouses Jake Ellenberger and Martin Kampmann battle to see who will continue to rise up the 170-lb. ladder, plus the winner of the lightweight tournament will be decided! UFC Fight Club presale starts Wednesday at 10am PT, join today for first access to tickets!
Subscribe to UFC Magazine Today: Look for the new issue on newsstands, featuring covers with Jon Jones and Jim Miller
Keep Track of the TUF Live Tournament with the UFC.com TUF Bracket: Follow the matchups each week, or print it out and try to predict who will make it to the finale!
Tickets On Sale Now For UFC Fan Expo This July In Las Vegas: UFC Fan Expo returns to Las Vegas July 6-7 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center
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For more on the UFC or UFC on Fuel TV, visit UFC.com
Former IBF jr welterweight world champion Juan “Iron Twin” Urango (22-3-1, 17 KOs) returns for his first fight in over two years on the April 26 KO Entertainment card at the Centro Bancomer in Mexico City. Urango will take on journeyman Cristian Chavez (23-18, 11 KOs) in a scheduled ten round welterweight clash. It will be Urango’s first fight since losing his title to Devon Alexander in March 2010.
Topping the card is WBC silver super lightweight titleholder Roberto “Massa” Ortiz (23-0-1, 20 KOs) against Javier Prieto (16-6, 11 KOs) in a twelve round battle. In a third featured bout, unbeaten hot prospect Tomoki Kameda (22-0, 14 KOs) tales on Javier Chacon (15-1, 3 KOs) for the vacant WBC silver bantamweight belt.
By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
Australian boxing identity Michael Dann has passed away in Sydney at the age of 66 on April 7. Michael was integral part of Bill Mordey’s promotional team when “Break Even Bill” promoted Jeff Fenech and Kostya Tszyu biggest fights in Australia including the Jeff Fenech vs Azumah Nelson rematch in Melbourne which attracted over 37,000 fight fans. Michael would later work with Arthur Tunstall giving his time to help New South Wales amateur boxing.. Michael will be sadly missed by his family and the the Australian boxing fraternity.
After Monday’s highly charged press conference in Los Angeles, Rios-Abril fight week activities shift to Las Vegas starting today. The fighters were scheduled to work out for the media 90 minutes apart on Tuesday, so they probably won’t meet then. But they will definitely face-off during Wednesday’s final press conference and Friday’s weigh-in in advance of their showdown in the ring at Mandalay Bay on Saturday.
Before leaving LA, both fighters had a couple of parting shots…
Richard Abril: “I did what I did at the Miami press conference to tell Rios he should be fighting me, not Gamboa, because I am a real champion. Rios is not as good as what people say.”
Brandon Rios: “No unheard of fighter like Abril will ever beat me. He’s going to go down and go down real hard. In the boxing world Abril is in the darkness and I plan to keep him there. I haven’t forgotten what he did to me in Miami. He’s going to pay big-time for that.”
Boxing returns to the Rising Star Casino Resort in Rising Sun, Indiana on April 21. The show’s main event features cruiserweight Willie “Biggunz” Herring (13-10-3, 4 KOs) in a ten-rounder against “The Viper” Olandrewaju Durodola, a 2008 Nigerian Olympic qualifier and undefeated as a pro at 6-0 with 5 KOs. The co-main event features undefeated “Buster” Douglas trained heavyweight John L. Smith Jr. (10-0, 3 KOs) in a clash against Ralph Lawrence (0-2). The undercard features five fights including Janks Morton’s heavyweight: Dewayne Mobley (1-0).
Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns is the special guest for the event and former world heavyweight champion James “Buster” Douglas and famed trainer Janks Morton will be on hand as they work their fighter’s corners. The event is promoted by Nate Tubbs Events & Promotions out of Cincinnati, Ohio.
The “Ring Kings: Mayweather vs. Cotto” pay-per-view card is set with the official announcement of the other two fights on the PPV undercard. Undefeated rising star Jessie Vargas (18-0, 9 KOs) faces-off against former “Contender” star Alfonso Gomez (23-5-2, 12 KOs)) and, in the opening pay-per-view bout, exciting 154 lb. contender DeAndre “The Bull” Latimore (23-3, 17 KOs) takes on former world champion Carlos “El Indio” Quintana (28-3, 22 KOs). The two 10-round bouts will take place prior to the WBA super welterweight championship between Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto and the Canelo Alvarez vs. Sugar Shane Mosley WBC super welterweight title bout on May 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.
By Miguel Maravilla
Photos: Chris Farina/Top Rank
Fight week kicked of this Monday as things got heated up at today’s Los Angeles press conference featuring Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (29-0-1, 22 KOs) and WBA interim lightweight champion Richard ‘El Tigre” Abril (17-2-1, 8 KOs) at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Rios and Abril were in attendance to kick off fight week for their WBA lightweight title bout Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Abril welcomed everyone as he addressed the media on the opportunity. “I want to thank Top Rank for the opportunity to be in this fight” Abril told media. The WBA interim lightweight belt holder also explained his actions back in Miami in what was supposed to be a press conference for Brandon Rios against Yuriorkis Gamboa. “I want to say that what happened in Miami was a result of me being disrespected,” said Abril. “I don’t understand English that well but when someone says f–k to me in my face, that’s disrespectful.” (more…)
Photo: Team Dawson
Former world champion Chad Dawson poses in the ring with trainer John Scully and strength coach Axel Murillo at their Florida training camp after a recent workout. “That’s the contraption on his shoulders that he utilizes sometimes to build up his strength and muscle resistance,” said Scully.
Dawson is set to take on WBC light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins in a highly charged rematch on April 28 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
By Wolfgang Schiffbauer
Photos by Team Sturm
With only five days to go before his twelfth title defense, WBA Middleweight Super Champion Felix Sturm is poised and ready for next Friday nights German mega-fight against former WBC titlelist Sebastian Zbik at the 20.000 seat Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany. The three-time champion wrapped up a long and hard, but successful training camp last week, just in time for the Easter holidays.
“It was a great camp, I might just be in the best shape of my life”, Sturm said. “My weight is good, sparring went great. I’m ready for Sebastian Zbik and I will teach him some respect. He will feel my pressure, my speed and my power. He will be in for a hell of a night, especially in the late rounds.” (more…)
In 2011, rising star Fidel Maldonado Jr. (13-0, 11 KOs) began to make his mark in the boxing world by winning the WBC Youth Lightweight World Championship. On April 28 at the Santa Ana Star Casino in his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Maldonado will defend that title for the first time in the eight round main event of TeleFutura’s “Sólo Boxeo” against Obregon, Mexico’s Fernando Carcamo (9-3, 6 KOs) .
In the co-featured fight of the evening, another local favorite, “Hurricane” Hector Munoz (19-7-1, 12 KOs) battles Louisiana’s John Revish (9-5-2, 8 KOs) in an eight round welterweight fight.
Jesse James Leija/Mike Battah Promotions will present their second professional boxing event on May 5th at Cowboys Dance Hall in San Antonio, Texas. Featured in a scheduled six rounder is junior welterweight prospect Ivan Najera. Just 19 years old, Najera (7-0, 6 KOs) has quickly impressed local boxing fans with his devastating knockouts. On March 31st at the first Jesse James Leija/Mike Battah Promotions card, Najera brutally stopped Detroit, Michigan native James Lester in the first round. “Our first show was a terrific success. The fans and media in San Antonio were incredibly supportive and we’re very proud to have the opportunity to promote world class events here on a regular basis,” said former two-time world champion and Texas boxing legend Leija. Advance tickets priced at $25 General Admission and $50 Ringside along with $100 for VIP Reserved are now on sale through Ticketmaster. Doors will open at 5pm with the first bell scheduled for 6pm.
Dominican southpaw Fernando Guerrero (23-1, 18 KOs) will face Chris “The Irish Ghost” Fitzpatrick (15-1, 6 KOs) in a 10-round super middleweight fight on April 20 at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Miss. The Guerrero vs. Fitzpatrick bout will open a Showtime telecast headlined by a 10-round middleweight fight between former undisputed 160lb world champion Jermain Taylor (29-4-1, 18 KOs) and undefeated Caleb “Golden” Truax (18-0-1, 10 KOs). The 10-round co-feature will pit former Cuban amateur standout Erislandy Lara (15-1-1, 10 KOs) against Ronald Hearns (26-2, 20 KOs).
Here is a promotional video for the April 29th World Boxing Association Welterweight Championship bout between defending champion Vyacheslav Senchenko and challenger Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi, airing live in the United States from Donetsk, Ukraine, starting at 1 PM/ET. Senchenko vs. Malignaggi,” presented by Union Boxing Promotion, is being distributed in the United States by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 1PM ET/10AM PT on both cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, DIRECTV, DISH Network and Avail-TVNfor a suggested retail price of $29.95.
“Trainers Hate Him.”
Chances are you’ve been a captive audience to that cheesy online headline before. Whether the musclebound freaks / cartoonishly ripped dudes featured in those ‘Get Buff’ ads are factual or fictitious, I have no idea. What I do know is that Papy Abedi could easily stump as poster boy for those outrageous promo . . . Click here for more by Frank Curreri, UFC.com
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For more on the UFC or UFC on Fuel TV, visit UFC.com
By Gabriel F. Cordero
WBO Mexican featherweight world champion Orlando Salido could defend his world title on June 2 in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, against an opponent to be announced at an event presented by Zanfer Promotions. Salido is coming off his knockout win over Juan Manuel Lopez in Puerto Rico in March. Former world champion Antonio Margarito could also be on the card. Salido has recently been very active making appearances on TV and at events inside and outside of Mexico.
By Gabriel F. Cordero
WBC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez has made official in a press conference that his fourth defense of the title against champion in recess Elio Rojas on April 28 at the new Oasis Arena in Cancun, closing out a huge boxing month for the Yucatan resort paradise Gonzalez pledged one of his best performances. “The fight is complicated by Elio Rojas’ style,” said Gonzalez. “He runs a lot, has a difficult style, but we are preparing to beat him and defend our championship.”
The event is promoted by Promociones del Pueblo, Pepe Gomez and Don King Productions. “This is a team effort, not just one person. We are making great events with various promoters and are committed to bringing the best fights to the fans,” said Reginald Kuchle of Promociones del Pueblo.
Reigning Swiss IBF/WBO Youth world champion Agron Dzila (15-1, 11 KOs) was crowned by WBC supervisor Rex Walker (a legendary cowboy) after his successful WBC Youth World cruiserweight title bid against Kenyan Peter Omondi (3-1-3, 1 KO) on Saturday night in the sold out Tennishalle in Elzach, Germany. Dzila pressured Omondi from the opening bell. In round seven, Peter Omondi got a one point deduction. A right hand to the head in the ninth finally put Omondi on the deck and as referee Daniel van de Wiele reached the count of ten. WBO #15 rated Dzila became the first Youth boxer ever to hold all the three WBC, IBF and WBO belts at once.
By Gabriel F. Cordero
The film “Hands of Stone” (“Manos de Pieda”) which tells the story of Panamanian ring legend Roberto Duran will begin filming June 4 in Puerto Rico according to sources involved in the film. Producers of the film are in Puerto Rico scouting for filming sites. Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal will star as Duran, with Robert de Niro playing trainer Ray Arcel and pop singer Usher as Sugar Ray Leonard.
Photos and report by Jesse Kelly
Andy “Kaos” Kolle (25-3, 18 KOs) outworked Michael “The Midnight Stalker” Walker (19-13-3, 12 KOs) over 8 rounds of action Saturday night at the Wessman Arena in Superior, WI. Walker showed up ready to brawl having fought to a draw with a 7-4-1 fighter last week. However, Kolle was able to out-punch Walker throughout the bout, and he did it for the most part with just one good hand. The southpaw Kolle said afterwards that he believes he broke his left hand in the first round and mixed up punches with his right hand for much of the night. Walker’s pressuring style and Kolle’s high volume counter punching resulted in good action during the bout.
Walker went right at Kolle with a high guard to get inside of the taller Kolle’s reach to begin the fight. Kolle was able to keep the chiseled Walker from doing what he wanted early though and kept him out of reach with his own shots. Early on in the opening round, Kolle landed a hard straight left to the forehead of Walker. Walker took the punch well but it appeared to be the blow Kolle described afterwards in which he hurt his hand because he used it with less authority for the rest of the round. The shot also looked to be the punch that opened a cut over Walkers right eye. The cut however was not an issue for the remainder of the fight. (more…)
By Dave Spencer
In a bout that was quickly sucking the air out of behemoth concrete structure that is the Claude Robillard Centre in Montreal, Ali Nestor Charles (13-5-2 5KO) managed to bring fans to their feet with a somewhat surprising knockout victory over Martin Avila (13-9 6KO) at the end of the eighth round of a scheduled ten on Saturday night. (More)
By Gabriel F. Cordero
A source near to former world champion Antonio Margarito has indicated the possibility of the Tijuana Tornado returning for two fights in the months of June and September. The source has indicated that Margarito could make his comeback fight in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, and might even be looking for title shot this year. There is also a possibility that Margarito could fight in Tucson on May 26.
By Alex Hermann
Saturday night in Aalborg, Denmark, Euro Event, headed by Allan Martin Back, staged their first show ever. Topping tha card were Kim Poulsen and Kasper Bruun, formerly with Sauerland Event, both getting victories against Georgian opponents. Poulsen (20-1, 6 KOs) stopped Beka Sadjaia in two, while Bruun outpointed Nugzar Margvelashvili over eight to improve to 13-0-1, 3 KOs. Margvelashvili was floored in the fourth, and Bruun was very focused on body shots in the following rounds in an attempt to score a KO. After eight tough rounds Bruun got an unanimous decision with all three judges scoring it 79-72. (more…)
By Tracy Morin, Memphisboxing.com
Photo: Kevin St Marie
On April 7 at the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi, seven-time champion and future Hall of Famer James “Lights Out” Toney (73-7-3, 44 KOs) received a five-round workout against Bobby “The Celtic Warrior” Gunn (21-4-1, 18 KOs) during which he was only lightly tested. Toney, at 43 years old, sported a softened midsection (he weighed in at 248 pounds) but displayed still-sharp reflexes and head movement as he stalked the younger Gunn and relied upon his slickness and considerable experience to avoid absorbing shots. Gunn landed a few lefts, mostly hooks, throughout the first five rounds that sent the sweat flying, but Toney’s popping jabs, one-two combos and lethal rights nullified any potential momentum for the less-experienced fighter. After round 5, Gunn failed to answer the bell due to a broken hand sustained in round 4, allowing Toney to become an eight-time world champion and new holder of the IBU Heavyweight Championship title. (More)
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