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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
The WBC is in the process of declaring vacant the super welterweight championship, which is currently held by Manny Pacquiao, if the voting of the WBC Board of Governors returns a 2/3 vote in favor. Pacquiao has expressed that he does not want to defend the title and prefers not to fight in that weight division in the future. Rule 1.24 b) gives double-division champions 15 days to decide which title they want to relinquish. The WBC, as a courtesy, waited 87 days after Pacquiao’s fight against Antonio Margarito. The WBC, after knowing the result of the voting, will present a program to fill the vacancy.
Photo courtesy Team Sauerland
WBA Interim Cruiserweight Champion Steve Herelius (21-1, 12 KOs) and mandatory challenger Yoan Pablo Hernandez (23-1, 12 KOs) today participated in a public work-out in Mulheim. On Saturday night, they will headline Team Sauerland´s big show that also features the clash between IBF Cruiserweight Champion Steve Cunningham and mandatory challenger Enad Licina. While Hernandez gave the fans an in-depth look at his training with coach Ulli Wegner, Herelius had a little problem to solve. Neither his luggage nor his coach had made it to Mulheim in time. Without proper training gear, the champion entered the ring in street clothes and asked a fan to join him for some very light shadow boxing. “Right now, he is only missing his clothes and his trainer,” Yoan Pablo Hernandez said. “On Saturday, he will also be missing his belt.”
With undefeated heavyweight David Rodriguez making new changes in his camp by signing with Zeferino Entertainment and naming his father, David Rodriguez Sr. his manager, Rodriguez has turned to the expertise of his promoter Zef Ramirez for help in finding the perfect trainer. As Mr. Ramirez is close with Rafael Garcia and respects Mr. Garcia’s knowledge in these matters, it presented the perfect opportunity for Rodriguez to be trained at the next level of competition.
LIVE UFC 129 Press Conference from the Rogers Centre in Toronto with Dana White, GSP, Shields, Aldo and more is streaming now. Click here.
“Save me, Joe Louis! Save me, Joe Louis!”
As urban legend has it, those were the last words of a black death row prisoner, back in the ‘30s, as he breathed in fatal fumes in the gas chamber.
Not to make light of a dying man’s words (they weren’t true, anyway), the quote came to mind when I saw there was yet another book on the market on the long-running heavyweight champion . . . Click here for more
Former world champion and Southern California based Ugandian Kassim “The Dream” Ouma (27-7-1, 17 KOs) will face former world title challenger and Connecticut-based Delvin Rodriguez (25-5-2, 14 KOs) on April 22nd. The scheduled for 10 round main event bout will take place at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. The contracted weight for the fight will be 154 pounds. ESPN Friday Night Fight series will televise. Ouma will be fighting Rodriguez essentially in his backyard which will be nothing new for Ouma. In his last fight this past September 25th he upset former “Contender” reality television show participant Joey Gilbert to win the vacant NABA middleweight title in Gilbert’s native Reno, Nevada. Prior to the Gilbert fight, Ouma relocated to get away from any out of the ring distractions. He now trains in the isolated surroundings in the Riverside city area of California at the Capital Punishment Boxing Club. Ouma has remained in excellent condition since the Gilbert fight as his managers Ruben Castanon and Charlie Perez have kept him extremely mentally focused awaiting his next opportunity which will now come against Rodriguez.
Photos and report by Gabriel F. Cordero
Unbeaten Mexican welterweight sensation Saul “Canelo” Alvarez continues his preparation for his March 5 showdown with European champion Matthew Hatton. The bout takes place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California where “Canelo” will be defending his WBC silver belt for the third time and fighting for the fifth time in the U.S. Alvarez is training in Guadalajara under Edison and Chepo Reynoso, who manage the career of Mexico’s hottest prospect. Click here for more photos…
The five-men Championship Committee of the World Boxing Federation, after consideration of all arguments, has decided against sanctioning the proposed second title defense of its world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield against Denmark’s Brian Nielsen. The main reason is that 46-year-old Nielsen, while sporting a glossy record of (64-2, 43 KOs) has been out of the ring for almost a decade. The Holyfield vs Nielsen fight is scheduled for May 7 in Copenhagen, Denmark and will be promoted by Sauerland Event. WBF president Howard Goldberg, who is part of the Championship Committee, said: “While Brian Nielsen a decade ago posed threats to heavyweights worldwide, he has not fought in nine years and thus does not qualify to contest a WBF world title at this point. We have no problem with this fight taking place, but certainly the WBF will not approve it as for our title.”
Jean Marcel Nartz, the vice president of the WBF, further explained the decision: “Although the WBF is a world boxing sanctioning body and although we are a business as well, our primary business is to ensure that our fights are quality matchups, that fighters are deserving of title opportunities and that the standards we aim for are not compromised in order to make a quick buck.” While Holyfield will remain WBF champion, should he lose to Nielsen his title will automatically be declared vacant.
By Gabriel F. Cordero
There is unofficial information that the fight between the Mexican Erik “El Terrible” Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez is at risk or can not be held on April 9 in Las Vegas as has been scheduled. Sources report that Marquez never signed or received the contract for the fight even if assured that Juan Manuel Marquez is seeking to resolve his contractual situation with Golden Boy Promotions, which concludes later this month. Marquez apparently expects a bigger purse and has stated “If they want me to stay, they must to treat me like a champion or there will be no April fight with Morales or anyone.” Other sources have indicated that Golden Boy has been trying to find a new opponent for Morales and the name of Marcos Maidana has been mentioned in a possible fight for the WBA interim super lightweight title.
By Ray Wheatley – World of Boxing
IBF #9 Benjamin “Iron Ben” Simon (20-1, 19 KOs) will clash with former world WBA super middleweight challenger Sam “King” Soliman (39-11, 17 KOs) over twelve rounds in an IBF elimination bouton April 1 at the Trabrennbahn Karlshorst in Berlin, Germany. The hard punching German impressed boxing fans during 2010 with four dominant wins. He outscored Rashid “Snake Boy” Matumla (41-12-2) of Tanzania over twelve shutout rounds, stopped Italy’s Fabio Liggieri (12-6-4) in six rounds, stopped Russian Magomed Abdurakhmanov (15-4) in five rounds, and finished former world title challenger Zoltan Kalocsai (42-11) in six rounds. Simon was promoted by Eva Rolle in several of his bouts and is expertly managed by Robert Rolle. (more…)
Exciting junior featherweight boxing sensation Rico “Suavecito” Ramos (18-0, 10 KOs) will risk his #1 world ranking when he takes on former world title challenger Alejandro Valdez (23-4-3, 17 KOs), of Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico in a scheduled 10-round bout this Friday, February 11 at Bally’s in Atlantic City. The opening televised 8-round bout showcases undefeated super middleweight Cornelius “Da Beast” White (16-0, 15 KOs), of Houston, TX against another knockout artist Don “Da Bomb” George (20-1-1, 17KOs) who hails from Chicago, IL. Both bouts can be seen on SHOWTIME at 11PM ET/PT.
Just added to the event, in an off-TV twelve-round rematch is an IBF heavyweight title elimination bout between the IBF’s #2 top rated contender Eddie Chambers (35-2, 18 KOs) and IBF #9 Derric Rossy (25-2, 14 KOs). Also, former 2000 US Olympic Silver Medalist, Ricardo Williams (16-2, 9 KOs) returns against former world champion John Brown (24-18-2, 11 KOs) in a six-rounder. Promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions, tickets priced at $75 and $50 call 800-745-3000.
By Phil Doherty
Photos by Reynaldo Sanchez, courtesy of Sam Cohen
Irish southpaw middleweight Andy Lee (24-1, 18 KOs) pounded out another solid day of training today at the Heavyweight Factory gym in Hollywood FL. Under the watchful eye of Hall of Fame trainer Emmanuel Steward, Lee sparred with fellow Kronk gym super middleweight Dominique Dolton (10-0, 6 KOs). Amazingly; according to Steward, these two Kronk fighters served the past 3 years as sole sparring partners to their heavyweight champion stable mate Wladimir Klitschko. For more details and photos click here…
By Phil Doherty
Photo: Reynaldo Sanchez, courtesy of Sam Cohen
A quiet storm is brewing in Miami. In a non-descript warehouse next to Tamiami Airport, experienced boxing trainers Osmiri “El Moro” Fernandez and Herman Caicedo feverishly work with a young, talented and growing group of fighters. That storm just grew in intensity with the addition of super featherweight John “Action” Jackson (15-1-1, 13 KOs).
Dream Team Boxing is the brainchild of Enrique “Henry” Rivalta; currently boxing director at the Heavyweight Factory in Hollywood, FL. Rivalta excitedly explains: “This has been my dream: to develop these young champions and create a group that lives up to the vision and truth of the name Dream Team.” (more…)
With a hand injury forcing Lanard Lane to withdraw from his scheduled February 24 fight against unbeaten junior welterweight Jessie Vargas (13-0, 7 KOs), former WBC interim lightweight champion Jose Armando Santa Cruz (28-5, 17 KOs) has stepped up to face Vargas in the main event of the 2011 premiere of “Fight Night Club” at L.A. LIVE’s Club Nokia.
El Dorado Restaurant in Oxnard will host a meet and great with “Bam Bam” Brandon Rios this Sunday Feb. 13th at 601 S. Oxnard Blvd. The event will be from 2:00 to 4:00 pm and is open to the public. Free pictures will be available for Brandon to autograph and he will also be available to take pictures with his fans. Also on hand will be his trainer and former world champ, Robert Garcia. This event will be the last public appearance for Brandon as he intensifies his preparation for his title shot scheduled for Feb. 26 at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas. Bam Bam has an undefeated record of 26-0-1 (19 Ko’s) and will face Miguel Acosta for the WBA Lightweight title on SHOWTIME. Rios trains out of the famous Robert Garcia Boxing Academy.
Photo: Rafael Soto/Zanfer
Former world champion Orlando “Siri” Salido (30-11-2, 22 kos) of Mexico has arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico for the official announcent of his championship clash with Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez (30-0, 27 kos) who will defend his WBO featherweight title against Salido on April 16 in Bayamon, Puerto Rico and it will televised by SHOWTIME.
Danny Davis, who has been Bernard Hopkins’ strength & conditioning coach for eight years, has been added in that capacity to Mike Jones’ team as Jones, the undefeated welterweight contender from Philadelphia, prepares for his rematch vs. Jesus Soto-Karass on Feb. 19 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. “I push and challenge Mike and bring out the best in him,” said Davis, who credits Hopkins, trainers Freddie Roach and John David Jackson and fitness nutritional specialist Mackie Shilstone as major influences. “Mike’s a hard worker who wants to go to the highest level and never complains about what he’s asked to do. That’s what makes a champion. (more…)
The Ultimate Fighting Championship® announced that rising light heavyweight star Jon “Bones” Jones will replace Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC® 128 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on Saturday, March 19. (more…)
Photos by Anna Anderson
Female super bantamweight Christina Ruiz (6-3-1, 4 KOs) scored a brutal third round knockout over previously unbeaten Emily Klinefelter (9-1, 3 KOs) on Saturday night at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Iowa City, Iowa. After being counted out, Klinefelter was unresponsive, remaining flat on her back. Paramedics rushed her by stretcher to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
“Emily is at the hospital and is doing well,” said promoter Adam Pollack in a statement released the day after the fight. “The doctors feel that there is a high probability of a strong recovery. She is speaking and is cogent and responsive, though in and out of sleep as they monitor her. Things are looking up, but the optimism is naturally guarded for the first 72 hours, which is the most critical time.” Click here for more photos…
Ringside by Francisco Salazar
Photos by “Big” Joe Miranda
After his 10-round fight against Francisco Sierra on Saturday night, super middleweight Dyah Davis was confident he had done enough to win a convincing decision over the hard-hitting Mexican fighter.
When Davis heard ring announcer Lupe Contreras not announce him as the winner, Davis left the ring wondering what more he could have done in a bout that all members of the assembled media had him winning . . . Click here for more
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