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By Phil Doherty
Photos: Sam Cohen and Reynaldo Sanchez
Boxing at the Magic City Casino just got a little more “caliente” with the upcoming 4th installment of Badia Spices Friday Night Fights. Pugilistic Promotions promises some intense boxing action according to Florida Boxing Hall of Fame historian Enrique Encinosa at today’s final press conference. When asked the title for this Friday’s show, Encinosa replied simply: “One hell of a card.” Encinosa was joined by current Florida Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Ramiro Ortiz at Randazzo’s Italian restaurant in Coral Gables this afternoon to announce the fight particulars.
The main event features IBO Latin American middleweight champion Eromosele “Bad Boy” Albert (23-4-1, 11 KOs) against Cuban-born Californian Lester “El Cubanito” Gonzalez (11-2-1, 6 KOs) in a 10 round bout. Gonzalez won the 2004 Golden Gloves and frustrates opponents from his southpaw stance. Albert appeared unfazed by the prospect of his first title defense against this difficult challenger stating: “It’s going to be an exciting fight, but I’m ready. I’m ready to win this fight.” (more…)
By Przemek Garczarczyk
On February 19 at the Essex County College in Newark, NJ, 6’9 heavyweight Mariusz “Polish Giant” Wach (23-0, 11 KOs), who training in Memphis with former heavyweight champ Michael Moorer, will have one of his most challenging fights. Wach takes on hard hitting southpaw Jonathan Haggler (23-3, 18 KOs). The WBC Baltic belt is in stake and Haggler wants to spoil the Polish Giant’s undefeated record to make name for himself. (more…)
As initially reported on Fightnews, former three-time world champion “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas (26-5, 22 KOs) will return to the ring. Vargas will meet Henry “Sugar Pooh” Buchanan (20-2, 13 KOs) on April 16th. The proposed location of the fight is the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The bout is scheduled for 10 rounds with a contracted weight of 171 pounds making it a light heavyweight contest. Vargas is reportedly being trained for the bout in Las Vegas by Floyd Mayweather Sr.
By Mariano A. Agmi at ringside
Unbeaten junior welterweight Gabriel “Tito” Bracero (14-0, 1 KO) scored an eight-round unanimous decision over Chris Fernandez (19-12-1, 11 KOs) on Wednesday night in front of a sold out crowd at BB King Blues Club in Times Square, NYC. Bracero’s volume punching earned him a 80-72, 80-72, 79-72 win. Fernandez was deducted a point for shouldering in round seven.
In the co-feature, unbeaten light heavyweight Mark Tucker (15-0, 7 KOs) won a good action six round unanimous decision over Ray Smith (9-5, 3 KOs). Scores were 59-55 on all cards. (more…)
By Rocco Morales
Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy
The kickoff press conference announcing “The Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All”, took place Tuesday morning at The Conga Room at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles. In the main event, Joseph King Kong Agbeko will put his IBF bantamweight title against undefeated rising star Abner Mares. In the bantamweight tournament consolation bout, Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan” meets the once defeated Yonnhy “El Colombiano” Perez. (more…)
Upon Manny Pacquiao’s removal as WBC 154lb champion, Saul Alvarez’ representatives immediately contacted the WBC to say that they are ready to fight for the title as soon as the WBC states. Meanwhile, the WBC has announced that it received “a very polite letter” from Pacquiao in which Pacman expresses his hopes of fighting in the future for another WBC title in any division below 147 pounds.
Story and photos by Chris Cozzone
Once upon a time, it was “Junior Time.”
Undefeated, the charismatic southpaw spawn of the “Macho Man” was being touted as the next big thing. But sometime between Jesse James Leija and Omar Weiss – nearly a decade past now – credibility fell as weight rose, while easier foes were lined up to take their turns hitting the canvas . . . Click here for full story
By Phil Doherty
Elite Promotions announced the boxing matches in their upcoming fight card taking place during the inaugural Fight & Fitness Expo in Miami on Saturday, February 26th. The event is part of a 4-day fitness extravaganza at the Wynwood Convention Center that also features bikini contests and live bands. Unbeaten junior welterweight Khabib Allekhverdiev (13-0, 6 KOs) tops the bill. (more…)
By Boxing Bob Newman
Photo: Gankor Promotions
This Friday on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, coming from Montreal’s Bell Centre, Romanian born, Montreal resident Ionut “Jo Jo Dan” Ion opens the show against former world champion Steve “Two Pound” Forbes, gaining his first real U.S. T.V. Exposure. With a difficult name to pronounce, his handlers decided to take the first syllable “Io” and replace it with the easier “Jo.” Iounut Dan Ion became “Jo Jo” Dan. Already ranked #3 by the WBC at welterweight, Dan looks to solidify that ranking, and burn his name into the consciousness of fight fans world wide, who until now, may not know much about the former 6-time Romanian national champ and bronze medalist at the 1997 European Junior games. Dan took time to talk to Fightnews about his upcoming opportunity. (more…)
Photo: Teddy Blackburn
The WBC middleweight diamond championship showdown on March 12 between Sergio Martinez and Sergiy Dzinziruk was formally announced today at a kick off press conference Wednesday afternoon from the BB King Blues Club in Times Square. Also in attendance were Andy Lee and Craig McEwan who will battle in a “Celtic War” in a televised undercard bout at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods
Below are quotes from the participants:
Sergio Martinez: I know Dzinziruk is the best champion at 154-lbs. and he will make for a great fight. This year will be the year that I become the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. I am training very hard to make sure that this is the best fight to bring to the fans.
Sergiy Dzinziruk: I am very happy to be here. I want to thank everyone who worked on my behalf to make this fight happen. I am training very hard to make this opportunity and I want to make the most of it in the ring. (more…)
Former WBO Heavyweight Champion Siarhei Liakhovich and Main Events CEO Kathy Duva announced today that they have entered into a promotional agreement. Nicknamed “The White Wolf,” Liakhovich has earned a professional record of 25-3, 16 KO’s. As an amateur, the current Scottsdale, AZ resident compiled a record of 145-5, was a member of the ’96 Olympic team from his home in Belarus and won a bronze medal at the 1997 World Championships. Liakhovich won the WBO Heavyweight Title in 2006 when he scored a 12-round decision over Lamon Brewster in Cleveland, Ohio. In his most recent bout, Liakhovich scored a ninth round KO over Evans Quinn in Germany. (more…)
Photo: Team Sauerland
Yoan Pablo Hernandez (23-1, 12 KOs) has promised to make the fight of his life on Saturday night when he challenges WBA Interim Cruiserweight Champion Steve Herelius (21-1, 12 KOs) on Team Sauerland´s big show in Mulheim, Germany. The hard-hitting Cuban, who has not seen his family since fleeing the country six years ago, is keen to make his supporters proud. “If I win the title on Saturday night, everybody in Cuba will know about it – even though nobody will be able to see the fight,” he said. “I know how much there is at stake and I will make the biggest fight of my life once I step trough the ropes. It will be tough, but I am ready to accomplish my ultimate goal of winning the world title.” (more…)
WBC Caribbean Boxing Federation light welterweight champion Jose “El Nino” Reynoso (13-3-1, 2 KOs) of Riverside will now defend against Santos Pakau (27-6, 10 KOs) of New Zealand February 25. The ten round main event will take place at the Double Tree Hotel in Ontario, California. This will be at least the third proposed opponent for Reynoso for this fight date. The undercard will feature Reynoso’s Capital Punishment Boxing Club stablemate Artemio “King” Reyes (9-1 8 KOs) taking on veteran Francisco Rios Gil of Mexico in a six round welterweight bout. Reyes is a promising prospect with his only loss coming in his second fight to then-unbeaten Mike Dallas dropping a competively fought decision.
This Friday, #4 IBF ranked heavyweight contender “Fast” Eddie Chambers (35-2, 18 KOs) will take on the #11 heavyweight contender Derric Rossy (25-2, 14 KO’s) in an off-TV IBF title elimination bout on the undercard of the SHOWTIME ShoBox: The New Generation broadcast taking place at the world-famous Bally’s Atlantic City. The bout is a rematch of a 2007 encounter won by Chambers via seventh round stoppage. Here’s what Chambers had to say about the rematch. (more…)
The rematch between WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal and Bernard Hopkins will take place on May 21 according to Pascal’s promoter Yvon Michel. Michel told the Montreal Gazette that he’s looking to hold the fight once again at the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City. Chad Dawson, whose camp threatened a lawsuit against Pascal if a rematch clause was not honored, may now fight on the undercard with a guaranteed shot at the winner.
The highly publicized career of Notre Dame boxing champion Mike Lee (3-0, 2 KOs) continues February 26th at the Palms Casino and Resort in Las Vegas. The 23-year-old Lee will face Pablo Gomez (1-2-1, 1 KO) in a four round light heavyweight battle on an off-TV undercard bout of the SHOWTIME televised lightweight world championship clash between Miguel Acosta and Brandon Rios. Lee is currently preparing with legendary trainer Ronnie Shields in Houston, Texas.
“The year 2010 is over for me. I’m not talking any more about the defeats. I’m only looking forward,” said King Arthur Abraham three days before his comeback fight against WBA #9 Stjepan Bozicin on Saturday at the RWE-Sporthalle in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany. He added that he doesn’t underestimate any opponent and plans to make 2011 his year. “I have two Super Six fights. First the semi-final, then the final. In the fight against Bozic, I will satisfy my fans again.”
By Gabriel F. Cordero
WBC featherweight world champion in recess Elio Rojas could be back in the ring in May in a rematch against former world champion Guty Espadas Jr. In his only defense in February 2010, Rojas beat Espadas by one-sided unanimous decision. Sources close to Rojas have confirmed negotiations with Team Espadas. Rojas underwent surgery on his right hand in August, which KO’d a unification bout against WBA featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in September.
By Robert Coster
In a change of opponents, WBA #6 featherweight Nicholas Walters(17-0, 14 KOs) will now face Argel Salinas (14-8, 7 KOs) of Mexico on the undercard of the Moreno-Parra title bout in Panama on February 26th. Salinas will step in replacing the Jamaican prospect’s earlier foe, Edgar Riovalle. The Mexican holds the WBC Youth Intercontinental title (a belt he won by stopping Riovalle in 2 rounds). ” I hear that Salinas really comes to fight,” commented Walters, “and that’s fine with me. It should be a good fight.”
European and two-time British lightweight champion John Murray (30-0, 18 KOs) has signed a promotional agreement with promoter Frank Warren. Hall of Fame promoter Warren has guided and developed British boxing biggest stars including Joe Calzaghe, Ricky Hatton, Nigel Benn, Amir Khan, Frank Bruno and Naseem Hamed, and now Murray wants to join those illustrious names. “John is a tremendous talent and I’m thrilled that he’s joined my organisation,” said Warren, now into his 30th year in the sport. “I’ve always thought highly of him and what he needs now is the right promotion and guidance to turn him into a star and that’s what I aim to do. He can fight and I believe that with his no-nonsense, all-action, style, he can be the man to get Manchester’s boxing scene going again.”
Photos: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy
Four of the best bantamweights in the world participated in a press conference to formally announce the eagerly awaited The Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All on Saturday, April 23 LIVE on SHOWTIME® (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles. Joseph King Kong Agbeko (28-2, 22 KOs) will defend his IBF bantamweight belt against undefeated rising star Abner Mares (21-0-1, 13 KOs) in the tournament final. And former two-division world champion Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan (35-3-1, 27 KOs) and former IBF bantamweight world champion Yonnhy “El Colombiano” Perez (20-1-1, 14 KOs) will clash in the tournament consolation bout. (more…)
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank
Hard-punching, undefeated Brandon Rios hits the mitts with trainer Robert Garcia as he prepares in Oxnard, California to take on WBC World lightweight champion Miguel Acosta on SHOWTIME championship boxing at Palms Resort Casino in Las Vegas on February 26.
Photos: All Star Boxing
WBO jr. featherweight champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. won a fight for the Children of Grupo Ser handicap children of Puerto Rico as his protegee “Vazquez Jr” won via first round knockout at the annual cockfighting tournament held at the Coliseo Gallistico of San Juan, PR today which raises money for the group. Also present were former world champions Tito Trinidad, Ivan Calderon and recording star Daddy Yankee. more photos
GSP & Shields Battle For The Welterweight Title In Toronto: Georges St-Pierre defends the 170 lb. crown against Jake Shields on Saturday, April 30 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada! Plus, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo makes his first title defense against Mark Hominick – tickets on sale this week. UFC Fight Club presale begins Thursday, Feb. 10 at 10am ET – join today for first access to tickets!
UFC Fan Expo Comes To Toronto – April 29-30: UFC Fan Expo heads to Canada for the first time! Taking place at the Direct Energy Centre, featuring the largest assembly of UFC fighters in one location, special events, interactive Q&As, meet & greets, training and development sessions, a full size Octagon and more! Tickets available now at www.ufcfanexpo.com
Register Today To Compete At Grapplers Quest At The UFC Fan Expo: Compete in front of thousands of fans! April 29-30 in Toronto
Story & photos by Chris Cozzone
Once upon a time, you could find weekly fight cards on either side of the border, between El Paso and Juarez. These days, you’ll be lucky to get two shows a year.
Promoter Zeferino Ramirez hopes to change all of that, beginning Friday night when his promotion company, Z Entertainment, teams up with local first-timer Nino Bravo Promotions, for a night at the Don Haskins Center . . . Click here for more
Former world champion Daniel Ponce De Leon and undefeated prospect Adrien “The Problem” Broner are set for battle in a ten round junior lightweight showdown in the co-featured bout on March 5 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The event is headlined by Mexican phenom Saul “Canelo” Alvarez squaring off against England’s Matthew “Magic” Hatton. HBO will televise.
The undercard of the IBF 140 pound title fight between Zab Judah and Kaizer Mabuza, held at the Prudential Center’s AmeriHealth Pavilion in Newark on March 5 will feature local NJ/NY fighters. This will be the inaugural event for the AmeriHealth Pavilion, which traditionally serves as the NJ Devils practice facility.
In eight-rounders Olympian welterweight Sadam Ali (11-0, 6 KOs) takes on Juliano Ramos (16-4, 13 KOs), middleweight Tarvis Simms (26-1-1, 11 KOs) battles John Mackey (13-5-2, 6 KOs), and featherweight Dong-Chul Yun (9-4-1, 7 KOs) faces Joselito Collado (11-0, 3 KOs).
In four-rounders, lightweight Shemuel Pagan (1-0) meets Lonnie Jackson (1-0), welterweight Joseph Judah (5-1, 1 KO) meets Greg Hackett (2-5), lightweight Joe Peralta Alejo (4-1, 2 KOs) meets TBA and 2010 NJ Golden Gloves Champion Vinny O’Brien will make his pro debut against David Navarro (0-1).
Gabriel Bracero 142 vs. Chris Fernandez 140.6
Mark Tucker 174 vs. Ray Smith 176
Seanie Monaghan 176 vs. Angel Gonzalez 176.25
Boyd Melson 153.5 vs. Marquise Bruce 153.5
Keisher McLeod-Wells 107.5 vs. Melissa McMorrow 108
Ryan Kielczewski 129.5 vs. Wilshaun Boxley 132
Deano Burrell 131.25 vs. Sidell Blocker 133
Steven Martinez 153.25 vs. Ishwar Amador 153.5
Allan Benitez 126.25 vs. Joseliz Cepeda 127
Venue: BB King Blues Club & Grill, New York, NY
Promoter: DiBella Entertainment
By Rocco Morales/Photo: Rocco Morales
A press conference was held today in Los Angele to announce that Joseph King Kong Agbeko will defend his IBF bantamweight world championship against undefeated rising star Abner Mares, who defends his WBC Silver bantamweight championship in the eagerly awaited finals of The Bantamweight Tournament: Winner Takes All on Saturday, April 23 LIVE on SHOWTIME® (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles. In what will be a hotly contested co-feature, former two-division world champion Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan and former IBF bantamweight world champion Yonnhy “El Colombiano” Perez will clash in the tournament consolation bout.
Vic Darchinyan: I am a pure fighter. I was upset and pissed off after the Mares loss but my next fight I am very happy to be fighting against Yohnny Perez. I will beat him by knockout and show that I am much stronger. I am looking forward to this fight and will be in great shape. I will have no excuses and will prevail.
Oscar De La Hoya: This event goes to show you how all the different promoters can get together to put on a great show for the fans. I thank Don King, Gary Shaw, Ken Thompson and Ken Hershman from SHOWTIME who has come up with the great idea of having tournaments amongst the top fighters. Whoever wins this tournament will be known as the best of the Bantamweight of the division. The public already knows whoever wins this tournament will be ‘The Man.’
Abner Mares: First of all I want to thank God for letting me fight even after I earlier suffered a detached retina and many told me my career was over. Now I am at a special place in this tournament with three other great fighters and in the finals, thank God. I’m really excited to be here and thank the other promoters for having their fighters in this tournament and Showtime for staging the tournament.
We all know that Joseph Agbeko and I are in the finals but Darchinyan vs. Perez is a great fight in itself and should not be thought of as third place but rather as a great fight. Joseph Agbeko, however, I see as a more complete opponent than Darchinyan and I am preparing for a very tough fight. He fought a very smart fight against Perez and he fought very smart to win their rematch. I expect a tough fight from Agbeko. Even though he is always smiling outside the ring, he truly becomes King Kong inside the ring.
Joseph Agbeko: Boxing is the most beautiful sport in the world, I think. We have four bantamweights here who are all business in the ring but can be best of friends outside of the ring. Abner Mares is a great, young, determined fighter and peaking. But, I always come out as a winner and that builds my confidence. The only think I know is that on April 23rd, it is going to be winner take all, and I am going to drop Mares’ unblemished record to 21-1.
The Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All, Agbeko vs. Mares and Darchinyan vs. Perez, takes place on Saturday, April 23rd at the Nokia Theater at L.A. Live in Downtown L.A. and will be broadcast live on Showtime television. Co-Promoters for the event are Don King Productions, Gary Shaw Productions, Golden Boy Promotions and Thompson Boxing. Ticket prices are $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25 and are on sale at Ticketmaster.com or at the STAPLES Center Box Office.
Tickets are on sale now for All Star Boxing’s Telemundo telecast featuring Jesus Pabon vs. Americo Santos for the vacant WBO jr welterweight Latin title on February 25th at the Palm Bay Community Center in Palm Bay, Florida. “This will be a great, an entertaining night of boxing. I am really looking forward to this duel , Mexico vs. Puerto Rico, always a classic!” said Tuto Zabala Jr, President of All Star Boxing, Inc. Tickets are $30 ringside, $20 general admission. Call 321-952-3530. Doors open 7:30pm. Pabon-Santos will be televised live by Telemundo on HD at 11:35 PM.
By Andreas Hale
Prior to their high profile bantamweight title tilt on February 19th, Nonito Donaire (25-1, 17 KOs) and Fernando Montiel (44-2-2, 34 KOs) participated in a conference call to discuss their upcoming bout for Montiel’s WBO and WBC titles.
“I think Montiel will be the toughest guy I have ever faced,” the Filipino sensation who has knocked out eight of his last nine opponents says. “He knows what he’s doing and he’s been beating guys at the top of the weight class. I know that he’s up there and is capable of anything. I think I’ve faced guys that are tougher and more relentless, but he’s the best all around fighter that I’ve faced.”
“He’s obviously a fighter with a lot of speed and is very intelligent,” Montiel said. “My question is what happens when he faces a guy who is just as good he is. This is the first time he’ll face someone just as fast and intelligent as he is.”
Both fighters promise that, unlike Timothy Bradley and DeVon Alexander’s January bout that fizzled, this fight will indeed be full of fireworks.
“This is an all or nothing fight,” Donaire said. “This is a fight that nobody can miss. You have two guys on the main card who are willing to give everything and this fight will not last 12 rounds.”
The WBC super welterweight world championship held by Manny Pacquiao is being declared vacant, following the unanimous voting of the WBC Board of Governors, due to the inability of the champion to defend his WBC title. The clause in which the WBC is basing its decision is rule 1.25. The official challenger to fight for the vacant title is Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, by his holding the WBC superwelterweight world Silver championship, which the rules have as the automatic challenger for the undisputed WBC title. The contenders to fight for the vacant title will be decided by a voting of the Board in the WBC.
Photos: José Pérez/PR Best Boxing Promotions
WBO Featherweight Champion Juan Manuel “Juanma” López and former IBF champion Orlando Salido faced off today for the first time in advance of their April 16 bout in the Rubén Rodríguez Coliseum in Bayamón, Puerto Rico in a Top Rank presentation in association with PR Best Boxing Promotions (PRBBP), to be televised by SHOWTIME Championship Boxing. Lopez (30-0, 27KOs), will defend his title for the third time against Salido (34-11-2, 22 KOs). “Now, we are focuse for this fight,” López said in the press conference. “In this bout we are going to fight round by round, intelligent…if I can win by KO I’ll do it, but if we go to the distance it’s good too.” Meanwhile, Salido said “Juanma, if not the best in this weight, is one of the best. I know, it’s going to be a difficult fight, but it’s not impossible.” Tickets are availables in Ticket Center 1 787 792-5000 www.tcpr.com. Prices are $25, $50, $75, 150, $200 and $400. Click here for more photos…
Let’s Get It On Promotions has announced the signing of super featherweight prospect, “Lightning” Lonnie Smith (12-2-2, 9 KOs) to an exclusive promotional agreement. Smith is no stranger to Let’s Get It On Promotions’ shows, having appeared on three of them since 2009. He currently trains with Skipper Kelp. Smith’s next fight is being scheduled for Spring.
Video: Joel A. Colón
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