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The ‘Mecca’ of British Boxing
By: Johnston Brown - BillyCBoxing

Built in 1929, it was opened by the Duke of York and initially used as Turkish Baths and is now a Grade II listed building. York Hall nearly met its grim reaper in 2004 when Tower Hamlets Council planned to demolish it. After public outrage and a successful protest a 15 year deal was made with Greenwich Leisure, which brought in a multi-million pound face lift and the spiritual home of British boxing was saved. Since then the historic venue has once again become the ‘Mecca’ of British Boxing and will continue to churn out the future stars of today.

The East London venue is steeped with a colourful boxing history and was rightly voted as one of six best places in the world to watch live boxing. Recent ‘Blast from the Pasts’ on BillyCBoxing.com, Nigel Benn and Johnny Nelson both fought at the famous venue in 1988 and 1990 respectively. Boxing Hall of Famers Lennox Lewis and Joe Calzaghe both recorded early knock out victories right at the beginning of their glamorous careers. Other Great British fighters that have also toddled on the Hall’s canvas include MBE’s Ricky Hatton and Carl Froch plus overseas legends Edwin Rosario and Frankie Randall fought a terrific ten rounder while Tim Witherspoon and Johnny Tapia have also made cameo appearances.

In recent times, current IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua fought his third professional fight against Croat Hrboje Kisicek with Michael Watson and Larry Holmes ringside. I remember the former heavyweight champion giving young AJ advice after his fight, as the star struck champ took in every word. Former featherweight champion Carl Frampton also laced up in the legendary hall in his twelfth professional fight and second appearance when he defended his Commonwealth Super-Bantamweight title.

On Friday night York Hall hosted the first instalment of Matchroom Boxing’s Nextgen series that was broadcast live on Sky Sports and Facebook. The new format will showcase their young prospects and give them the opportunity to headline events, like the aforementioned fighters once did before them. The 1,200 capacity venue were in full voice with the overlooking balconies looming over the fighters as they produced some excellent fights for those in attendance and watching at home. James DeGale was among those watching in the crowd, another current champ that graced the Hall’s ring when he outpointed Shawn Porter in the England v USA international tournament in 2007.
British Boxing rival Boxnation aired for the first time at York Hall in 2011 when Liam Walsh, who takes on Gervonta Davis on May 20 at London’s Copper Box Arena, beat Paul Appleby for the Commonwealth Super-Featherweight title, which got voted the British Fight of the Year. Boxnation is a major supporter of World Series Boxing and show all the live action on their channel which in effect gives their young stars a chance of exposer to the public. This year the East London venue is the rightful home to the British Lionhearts and I will be in attendance for their second encounter with the France Fighting Roosters on April 6.

This venue is already legendary but with these young prospects continuing to shine bright, the shady old lady will continue to enhance its unique reputation. Thankfully, York Hall survived the scare of closure 14 years ago, it managed to beat the count and live to fight another day.


 

 


DMITRY BIVOL TO DEFEND INTERIM WBA LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE AGAINST SAMUEL CLARKSON APRIL 14

NEW YORK  - Undefeated former Russian amateur standout Dmitry Bivol will defend his Interim WBA Light Heavyweight Title against Samuel Clarkson in the 12-round main event of ShoBox: The New Generation on Friday, April 14 live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) at MGM National Harbor in National Harbor, Md., j just outside of Washington, D.C.
 
Known for his aggressive style, Bivol (9-0, 7 KOs, 2-0 WSB) was a prominent amateur who is now determined to make his mark in one of boxing's toughest weight classes.  Clarkson (19-3, 12 KOs), of Cedar Hill, Texas, has won his last nine fights in a row and will make his third appearance on ShoBox.
 
In a co-featured matchup of undefeated welterweight prospects, former amateur standouts Juan Ruiz (18-0, 11 KOs) and Malik Hawkins (10-0, 7 KOs) will square off in an eight-round 147-pound bout.
 
In the telecast opener, Baltimore featherweight Glenn Dezurn (8-0, 6 KOs), who is trained by the renowned Barry Hunter, will take on an opponent to be named in an eight-round bout.
 
Dmitry Bivol vs. Samuel Clarkson - 12 Round Light Heavyweight Bout:
Bivol, who compiled an impressive amateur record of 285-15, is looking to break through in a division which features the likes of Adonis Stevenson, Andre Ward, Sergey Kovalev and Badou Jack.  Last May in Moscow, the 26-year-old won the Interim WBA Light Heavyweight Title in only his seventh professional fight with a unanimous decision over previously undefeated Felix Valera.
 
Bivol has since won twice, both times on Russian soil, including a fourth-round knockout of Robert Berridge in defense of his interim belt.
 
"I am very glad that this will be my first fight televised in the U.S.," said Bivol, who is fighting for the third time in America.  "It's great that this is main event because that motivates me.  Clarkson is a good defensive fighter.  He can be aggressive and I expect this to be a tough fight.  I look forward to introducing myself to American fans with a great performance, and I plan to defend my title with an exciting victory."
 
Clarkson has registered nine consecutive victories following a loss to the current unbeaten Jesse Hart (21-0).  Clarkson moved up in weight to beat Cedric Agnew (27-1) in February 2015, and has ShoBox knockout wins over Jerry Odom (13-1) in July 2015 and Lavarn Harvell (15-1) in October 2015.
 
"This is a huge opportunity to prove my abilities to the world," Clarkson said. "Bivol is a crafty fighter from Russia and had a very impressive amateur career, mostly at 165 pounds. He's a good fighter and I definitely have to bring my A-game.   
 
"I'm ready for the challenge because I do really well against European fighters.  European fighters are slow and come forward a lot, and they're not big on head movement.   We are working hard and have a lot of guys in the gym who fight with a similar style.  By fight time I'll be ready for anything he has.
 
"I had to make up my mind if I wanted to be the lion or the lamb and, in the end, I decided I don't like losing. I rededicated myself and now I can't be stopped."
 
Juan Ruiz vs. Malik Hawkins - Eight-Round Welterweight Bout:
The son of a former fighter, Ruiz is originally from Venezuela and fights out of Baja California, Mexico.  He lost just eight times in 220 amateur fights, was a six-time Venezuela national champion and was part of the Venezuelan National Team.  The undefeated Ruiz has won via knockout in seven of his last nine fights.
 
"This is a golden ticket for me to show what I'm capable of," Ruiz said. "I will do my best to give the fans watching on TV and those attending the fight the best show possible."
 
The 21-year-old Baltimore-resident Hawkins was 92-8 as an amateur and shares the same trainer - Calvin Ford - as stablemate and IBF Junior Lightweight Champion Gervonta Davis.  Hawkins, who was the 2012 Bronze Medalist in the Junior Olympics, will face his toughest test to date in fellow undefeated Juan Ruiz.
 
"This is a huge chance for me to showcase my skills and show I belong among the best in the welterweight division," Hawkins said. "There's nothing he can bring I haven't seen, and I plan on making him fight my fight.  
 
"I get better when I fight talented fighters.  To be honest, nobody I have fought so far has brought out the best in me, but I'm hoping that Ruiz does just that.  A victory over him would put me in position to fight the opponents I need to fight to take that next step toward becoming a contender."
 
Glenn Dezurn vs. TBD - Eight-Round Featherweight Bout:
The undefeated Dezurn, who was a three-sport star athlete in high school, was an amateur standout who compiled an 87-7 record in the unpaid ranks under the tutelage of Barry Hunter.  The Baltimore native is married to female boxer and U.S. Olympic alternate Franchon Crews, who fought Claressa Shields in the amateurs and in her pro debut.
 
 

 


TEIKEN PROMOTIONS AND TOP RANK BEGIN NEGOTIATIONS FOR HASSAN N'DAM VS. RYOTA MURATA WBA MIDDLEWEIGHT WORLD TITLE FIGHT
LAS VEGAS, NEV.  --  Teiken Promotions and Top Rank®, have begun negotiations for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) middleweight world title between interim WBA middleweight champion Hassan N'Dam and undefeated No. 2 world-rated contender Ryota Murata.  

"While N'Dam wants the fight to take place in France, Mr. Honda and I think this fight would do extremely well in Japan and we are pulling out all stops in trying to bring it there," said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum.  "Since winning Olympic gold in 2012, Ryota has developed a rabid fan base in Japan and we think those fans deserve to see their hero fight for his first professional world title.  It would be a sensational event in Japan."   

N'Dam (35-2, 21 KOs), a native of Cameroon who fights out of Pantin,Seine-Saint-Denis, France, and a two-time world title challenger, regained the interim WBA middleweight crown for a second time on December 17, scoring a devastating first-round knockout of undefeated defending champion Alfonso Blanco in what many consider the Knockout of the Year for 2016.  

Murata (12-0, 9 KOs), from Tokyo, Japan, won all four of his 2016 bouts by knockout in fights that took place in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Las Vegas and Tokyo.  The six-foot fighter captured the Olympic gold medal in the middleweight division at the 2012 Olympics held in London.  It was the first gold medal won by a Japanese boxer since Takao Sakurai in 1964, and also is the first-ever boxing medal in a weight class other than bantamweight or flyweight. Murata also became the 100th gold medalist in Japanese Olympic history.  

 

 

 

 

GOLOVKIN VS JACOBS FINAL THOUGHTS- A Quality fight that viewers KO’d!

By: Daxx Khan - BillyCBoxing.com


On Saturday night, prior to Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs stepping into the ring, the outcome was already solidified in fans minds “Someone was getting knocked out and in sensational fashion”. The reasons on, who and why when asked, always returned the same responses. Those who chose GGG stated “Jacobs has been stopped before, Pirog stopped him, GGG has twice the power and skill. He was down against light punching Sergio Mora, no way he last twelve round against Golovkin”.


The Jacobs supporters stated “GGG looked beatable against Kell Brook, if a blown-up welterweight had success, Jacobs combination of power, size and age advantage will be too much for GGG. This is the perfect time to take advantage of a declining champion”.  


Instead of a brutal KO win for either fighter, we were given a closely contested, high quality bout. One where both fighters used their minds and physical skillset. In doing so, it seems the majority, who didn’t witness the knockout they craved are disappointed.


Instead of GGG absorbing punches willingly, a strategy he has implored in past bouts, one that opens his opponent up for counter shots. The shots that when he lands, usually ends fights. He rolled with punches, used a high guard, made sure he didn’t risk over extending himself.


He did this because, he knew Jacobs was bigger, allowing him to absorb punches better than other opponents. He knew the longer reach of Jacobs, would make it difficult to get in close and work the body without paying a heavy price. Instead he chose to pick his shots, not become over anxious, risk being countered himself. He waited to deliver his power shots when he knew the target was in range.


As for Jacobs, he knew GGG was not Peter Quillin, trying to jump all over him, meant risk being countered. One is all a guy like GGG needs to end the night. A knockdown in round four, reminded him just how quick it could end. He knew GGG had issues with guys who move in the past, his reach and footwork was key.
The predictions and expectations prior to fight time were credible. Considering the history of each fighter, in terms of finishing opponents in dynamic fashion. We were not in the ring, we were not taking the punches and despite what was said during the buildup, both fighters also knew something else. They knew the counter points of those predictions.


It’s true, GGG looked slow against Brook. With Brook, having naturally faster hands and feet, GGG at any time in his career would have looked slower. The size difference was also exaggerated, Brook a very large welterweight, fought nine times as a junior middleweight and high as middleweight prior to the GGG bout. Also, GGG, had prepared for another opponent, Brook was a replacement opponent.


It’s also true, Daniel Jacobs was stopped by Dmitry Pirog. He was also winning, on all three scorecards when stoppage occurred. That was in 2010, this is 2017, a whole lifetime in boxing years. Since Jacobs, continuously raised his level of competition in each bout, stopping everyone in his path. A KO loss, doesn’t always mean a fighter has a suspect chin. If it did, Henry Armstrong, who lost his pro debut by stoppage, would have never went 180 more bouts, losing just one more by stoppage. Claiming world titles, in three divisions at the same time, when there were only eight divisions and one title in each.


Team Jacobs and team Golovkin took those into consideration going in. Each fighter knew what the public expected, a war with someone looking up towards the lights when it ended. The fact, each fighter did what was needed, to avoid that ending, without sacrificing their integrity inside the ring as a fighter. Is something only, the absolute elite are capable of.


If anyone who watched, cannot understand, more importantly appreciate what, Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs did Saturday night, regardless of who won is not a boxing fan. They are a “Fight Fan”, fight fans are good for business, they strip boxing of its integrity while keeping the sport in business. They do it simply because all they understand are knockouts and their rationalization on who should win comes from the internet. This continued trend will soon leave promoters and fighters with little choice, if money is to be made. Give the masses their basic entertainment, let them gorge in subpar quality. Just keep them happy, it’s not as if they know the difference nor do they care about quality.


There have been empires, who collapsed for those same reasons, instead of pleasing the social media trolls now for PPV buys, someone should Google how that ended. Since the UFC stealing boxings thunder daily isn’t enough.   


 


Matt "Sharp Shooter" Remillard's Ring comeback no April Fool's Joke
WORCESTER, Mass.  - The long trip back begins April 1st for Matt Sharp Shooter" Remillard, 12 years to the day from his professional debut, on the "New England's Future 2" show at the Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts.
 
Remillard (23-1, 13 KOs), fighting out of Manchester, Connecticut, hasn't boxed for the six years, due to him serving a five-year prison sentence. He takes on Lawrence (MA) lightweight Augustine "Ruthless" Mauras (6-1-3, 3 KOs) in the eight-round co-feature.  If their tense, near volatile stare-down at a recent press conference is a true indication, Remillard vs. Mauras is not going the distance, to put things mildly.
 
New England's Future 2" is presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), which is owned and operated by retired three-time, two division world champion Jose Antonio Rivera and his son, Anthonee (A.J.) Rivera.
 
"I am excited to have a boxer of Remillard's caliber on our 'New England's Future 2' boxing event," promoter Jose Antonio Rivera remarked.  "He has a tough match against August time Mauras for his first fight back.  Knowing Remillard, though, he wouldn't have it any other way. I want to thank Matt, Paul Cichon (head trainer) and their team for trusting Rivera Promotions Entertainment for Matt's first boxing match back from his long layoff."
 
Remillard is a former World Boxing Council (WBC) United States & Youth World, North American Boxing Federation (NABF) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight champion.  His lone pro loss came in his last fight, March 23, 2011 in Atlantic City to then rising star Mikey Garcia (24-0), when Remillard retired after 11 rounds.  He won't make excuses; however, he never should have taken the fight with Garcia, facing the impending court case that sent him to prison and working with a new head trainer he'd only met two weeks prior to the fight.  
 
"I'm confident I can get back to where I was in about a year," the 30-year-old Remillard said. "A dream come true would be a rematch with Garcia, at any weight, but I have to earn that shot.  Everybody wants a rematch with the guy who gave you the first loss.  It seldom happens but, if not, in time I believe there will be other big fights out there for me.   
 
"I'm fighting an opponent who fought by buddy, Chip Perez, three times (0-2-1), so I'm familiar with his style.  He doesn't back down. I don't expect him to back down against me...until he feels my power.  I'm going to take out those five years that I was away on him. I've been through so much the last six year but I'm most comfortable in the gym.  The past is past and this is my last run.  Paul and I have a lot of unfinished business to take care of."
 
Seventeen years ago, Chicon first met Remillard at the Manchester PAL gym, but he made the 13-year-old aspiring boxer earn his opportunity to be trained. Paul made Matt clean the bathrooms, take care of spit buckets, etc. before he started training him.
 
"When he returned to the gym a few months back, I saw that his work ethic hadn't faded," Cichon commented.  "I don't believe he's really that far away from where he was six years ago.  He was idle five years but his first day back he sparred 12 rounds.  He stayed in good physical shape and is hungrier than ever.  He thinks he has something to prove after his last fight, but he really doesn't have anything to prove to me or anybody else.  He is fighting a tough kid but Matt's going to be victorious.  I think in four or five more fights he'll be back where he was in boxing."
 
Pembroke (MA) cruiserweight Vinnie "American Nightmare" Carita (15-1-1, 14 KOs will headline against Brazilian KO specialist Gilberto Matheus "El Magico" Domingos (22-6, 20 KOs), the former South American light heavyweight champion, in the eight-round main event.  
 
Dorchester (MA) heavyweight Donnie "Big Nasty" Palmer (8-1-1, 7 KOs) faces unbeaten Quian Davis (4-0-2, 2 KOs), of Mays Landing (NJ), in a four-round bout.  
 
2016 New England Golden Gloves champion Anthony Laureano (2-0, 1 KO), fighting out of East Hartford (CT), meets Schenectady (NY) veteran Bryan "The Brick" Abraham (6-23-1, 6 KOs) in a six-round match.
 
Fighting on the undercard in four round bouts are Worcester cruiserweight Bryan Daniels (3-0, 1 KO) vs. Mexican invader Jose Humberto "Olympico" Corall (19-23, 12 KOs),  Worcester featherweight Ranse Andino (1-0) vs. Mike Hellenfinger (0-2), of Harrisburg (PA), three-time USA Boxing Nationals champion Elvis Figueroa, of New Haven (CT) makes his pro debut vs. Brazilian super middleweight Devision Robiero (0-3), Worcester welterweight Andy Gonzalez (5-1, 5 KOs) vs. Brockton's Antonio Chavez Fernandes (7-30-4, 2 KOs), 2014 N.E. Golden Gloves champion, Lawrence junior welterweight Adrian Sosa (2-0, 1 KO) vs. TBA), Worcester's pro-debuting super middleweights Neal Sullivan vs. Nathan Schulte, Springfield (MA) junior middleweight Derrick Whitley vs. Anthony Everett (104), of Lawrence, pro-debuting Springfield featherweight Luis "Pancho" Santiago vs. Alex Montes (1-2), of Lawrence, and unbeaten Manchester (CT) junior welterweight "Marvelous" Mykqyan Williams (5-0, 3 K0s) vs. TBA..
 
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Amir Mansour Wins Majority Decision Over Travis Kauffman in Heavyweight Slugfest
READING, PA (March 18, 2017) - In a 12-round heavyweight war that lived up to the hype, Amir Mansour (23-2-1, 16 KOs) was able to take a majority decision (114-114, 117-111, 115-113) over Travis Kauffman (31-2, 23 KOs) in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions: The Next Round on Bounce from Santander Arena in Reading, PA.

In round two, Kauffman buckled Mansour with a hard right on the inside. The two fighters started round four with bad intentions as they each landed hard shots on the inside. Kauffman switched back and forth between orthodox and southpaw stances in an attempt to befuddle the southpaw Mansour.

By the closing rounds, both fighters began to grind out a hard-fought battle on the inside. In rounds nine and 10, it was Mansour who had more pep in his step, landing several hard blows to close out round 10.

Round 12 was a classic heavyweight slugfest, as Kauffman and Mansour stood toe-to-toe landing leather on each other for the whole three-minute period, with Mansour doing just enough to get the win.

Televised coverage opened with Chordale Booker (6-0, 3 KOs) of Brooklyn, New York getting a unanimous decision (59-55, 59-55, 58-56) over Moshea Aleem (4-1-1, 2 KOs) of Richmond, Virginia in a super welterweight bout.

The co-main event featured two-time welterweight world champion Kermit Cintron (39-5-3, 30 KOs) and David Grayton (15-1-1, 11 KOs) fighting to a technical majority draw after Cintron was deemed unable to continue due to a cut over his right eye.

In round five, Grayton floored Cintron with an overhand left. Later in the round, Grayton nailed Cintron with an unintentional headbutt to the right eye, which opened up the cut that led to the end of the bout. Action was stopped at 2:53 of round five.

Here is what the fighters had to say following their bouts:

TRAVIS KAUFFMAN:
"I got robbed. It's plain and simple. It was a good fight, but I thought I won by three rounds. He landed a couple of shots, but I clearly outworked him. I thought I landed more and did enough to get the win."

AMIR MANSOUR:
"They thought I was old and would tire down the stretch, but I am mentally strong. I give Travis (Kauffman) credit. He stood in there with me tonight. But as I waited for the scores, I knew I won the fight. These were honorable judges. I want (Deontay) Wilder next. I am 44-years-old. I want my shot. They should give me my shot and try to get me out of the way."

 

 

 

 

TOP RANK SIGNS OLYMPIC CHAMPION FAZLIDDIN “FAYZI” GAIBNAZAROV
LAS VEGAS, NEV.  –  Top Rank® announced today the signing of 2016 Olympic light welterweight gold medalist FAZLIDDIN “Fayzi” GAIBNAZAROV to an exclusive long-term promotional agreement.  Gaibnazarov, shrugging off significant height and reach disadvantages, stunned skillful Cuban-born opponent Lorenzo Sotomayor to pull off the upset, winning the gold via split decision.  Gaibnazarov is the seventh 2016 Olympian to join the Top Rank stable, which includes fellow gold medal champion Robson Conceicao, silver medalist Shakur Stevenson, and top amateurs Michael Conlan, Teofimo Lopez, Antonio Vargas and Jeyvier Cintron.  Managed by Egis Klimas, the Boxing Writers Association of America’s (BWAA) 2016 Manager of the Year, Gaibnazarov is expected to make his pro debut in an eight-round bout in the spring.    

“I am very happy to bring to my team and to introduce to professional boxing another great prospect in 2016 Olympic gold medalist Fazliddin "Fayzi" Gaibnazarov, from Uzbekistan,” said Klimas..  “Uzbekistan is a country where boxing is the number one sport.  Unfortunately for many years it was concentrated in amateur boxing, but the times are changing and now, together with "Fayzi" and Top Rank, we will be able to bring more professional boxing to Uzbekistan.  I would like to thank Top Rank for giving an opportunity to this young, talented man and I looking forward to see him in ring making his pro debut in the near future.”



 


Undefeated former Canadian Olympian, Custio Clayton added to April 15th Liveco Boxing event
Hometown champion Tony Luis battles Noe Nunez in the main event
Thousand Palms, California  - Undefeated welterweight prospect Custio Clayton has been added to a tremendous night of boxing on Saturday, April 15th at the Cornwall Civic Complex in Cornwall, Ontario, when he takes on Alfredo Chavez in the eight-round co-feature bout.

The event, which is promoted by Liveco Boxing, will feature Cornwall's own Tony Luis battling Noe Nunez in a 10-round lightweight clash.

Clayton of Montreal, Quebec, was a 2012 Canadian Olympian, and has raced out to an umblemished mark of 10-0 with eight knockouts.

Clayton has faced ambitious competition in his first 10 bouts, which has inlcuded wins over the likes of Eduards Gerasimovs (5-1-1), Ivan Pereyra (20-5), Stanislas Salmon (25-3-2), and in his last bout, Clayton stopped Ramses Agaton (17-4-3) in eight rounds on October 20th in Montreal.

Chavez of Mexico has a record of 12-8 with 10 knockouts.  The dangerous Chavez has some quality wins on his resume as he holds victories over Johnny Navarrete (10-0-1), Manolis Plaitis (15-0-1), Rodolfo Ezequiel Martinez (40-7-1), and Alejandro Chavez (5-1).  The 31 year-old Chavez is looking to get back in the win column after dropping two straight to undefeated fighters.  In his last bout, Chavez was stopped by Jamie Munguia on October 22nd in Tijuana, Mexico.

In a highly-anticipated undercard bout, Akwesasne native son, Ronnie "Rocket" Robidoux (2-0, 2 KOs) looks to keep his perfect professional record intact, facing the rugged Jesus Ortega of Mexico over 4-rounds. Robidoux, who trains in Cornwall under the tutelage of Jorge Luis, looks to add another knockout win to the record after a stunning knockout victory over Donnis Reed in California last month.

Ireland's "Lethal" Larry Fryers (2-0, 1 KO), now residing in upstate New York, is set to clash against Mexico's Michel Polina in a 4-round Welterweight bout. Fryers, who seeks to build on last month's punishing knockout of Rolando Padilla, is one of the most exciting young prospects in boxing. His relentless aggression and fighting style will surely not disappoint.

More undercard bouts will be announced shortly.
 

 


 

 


Promoter Yvon Michel sets record straight about Cancelled Beterbiev-Barrera IBF title eliminator
MONTREAL  - Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) president Yvon Michel has responded accordingly to unfounded allegations recently made in the media by Sullivan Barrera about GYM and its undefeated world light heavyweight contender, Artur Beterbiev, to set the record straight regarding the recently announced cancelled Beterbiev-Barrera International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heavyweight title eliminator.

"Despite Barrera's claims," Michel insisted, "he didn't sign a contract because he never intended for fight Artur.  In Team Barrera's letter, he lied and showed his ignorance trying to distract from the facts.  

"For the conclusion of this unfortunate saga, the IBF has informed me that it has ruled to ban Barrera from its world rankings, or from participating in one of its sanctioned fights, for the next six months.  I've also been informed that, if nobody in the IBF top 10 is available and agrees to fight Artur, the IBF will declare him as its No. 1 mandatory challenger for the winner of the Ward-Kovalev rematch.  Artur will be back in the ring in late April, early May. The mandatory defense for the Ward-Kovalev II winner, or Ward if that fight doesn't happen, is due in September."

IBF Light Heavyweight Ratings: Champion - Andre Ward, 1. Unrated, 2. Artur Beterbiev, 3. Sergey Kovalev, 4. Erik Skoglund, 5. Enrico Kolling, 6. SUSPENDED, 7. Oleksandr Gvozdyk, 8. Dominic Bosel , 9. Robert Stieglitz, 10. Trent Broadhurst.
Below, Michel sets the record straight, point-by-point, in terms of the open letter Team Barrera sent to the media.

Michel didn't negotiate with Barrera's promoter, Kathy Duva, and asked for it to go to an immediate purse bid.

"Kathy Duva (CEO/Main Events) came to my office the day before the deadline set for Barrera's acceptance to participate in the IBF title eliminator to speak about the situation.  Our hope was to fight Barrera but because he is prohibited from traveling to Canada, I confirmed our intention with Ms. Duva to accommodate Barrera and leave Canada and make the fight in the United States.  We were in the same position a year ago, when Barrera pulled out of the same title eliminator because he couldn't get a visa to fight in Canada.   Artur was then supposed to fight Karo Murat, but he suffered an injury and was unable to fight.  Barrera later defeated Murat to move into the IBF mandatory position in which he then lost to Andre Ward.

"Kathy told me the number she had in mind to make the fight.  I said that I would see if there were enough resources for that amount and promised to call her the following day.  I did and explained that there weren't enough resources to meet that purse structure.  Nevertheless, not long after I received confirmation Barrera was officially taking the challenge, I then decided to move forward and immediately requested a purse bid date, which is the prerogative of any promoter, knowing what was Main Events' expectation in terms of their fighter's purse. In this business, everybody knows the best way to determine the true market value of a fight is a purse bid, where promoters are evaluating their resources and making their bid accordingly. We still had still seven days to make an offer, one and other, and make a deal up to five minutes before the bid was due. Main Events never made us an offer and neither did we."

GYM's winning purse bid was $251,000, substantially more than Main Events' bid of $182,000, of which Beterbiev would receive 75-percent of the winning bid.  Barrera would have received $62,750, compared to $45,500 he would have earned if his own promoter had won the bid.

Beterbiev reported on social media that his fight versus Barrera would be held March 4th in Brooklyn, New York and Michel reported that the fight would be held in late March, early April, in New York.  Barrera had trained for those dates but didn't receive a contract.

"GYM won the purse and pursuant to IBF rules and regulations, the fight had to be held within 30 to 90 days," Michel continued.  "We deposited $50,000, per IBF rules, and received a confirmation letter from the IBF all was conform.  As per IBF regulations, within 15 days after the purse bid, we filed contracts for the two fighters.  Artur signed his five minutes after he received the contract and it was then sent to the IBF.  We executed Barrera's contract, sending it to Main Events for Barrera with a copy sent to the IBF. Soon after I received notice from the IBF that everything was in order and that we had complied with the IBF requirements."

Michel sent an improper agreement to Main Event listing various dates.

"We knew we had a PBC date, either April 14, 21 or 29.  It's very common for fight dates written in the initial fighter contract to vary one week before or after the date listed.  I contacted IBF president Daryl Peoples and said April 21st was the most likely date but that it could end up being a week earlier or after.  He recommended to be transparent and  to write all three potential dates into the contract. We did and then sent it to Main Events for Barrera to sign.  Main Events noted that IBF rules said only one date and site could be written in the contract.  Daryl complied with the objection so we then officially confirmed April 21st would be the date of the fight and Florida the site.  We then sent a GYM executed corrected IBF bout agreement back to Main Events to be signed by Barrera and filed with the IBF on February 16th.

"Meanwhile, GYM received a request, from Main Event to produce a Provision of Service agreement for Barrera's participation. GYM was not obliged to positively fulfill that request but, as a display of good faith, we did so in belief the contract that Barrera would sign and Main Events would file it at the IBF office, on that date, as per its rules. Soon after, GYM received a letter from IBF championship chairman, Mr. Lindsey Tucker, that all requirements had been fulfilled to officially sanction the bout."

The Florida location for the fight had been selected by GYM for three reasons. 1. Beating Barrera in his own backyard would send strong message for Beterbiev within the division; 2. GYM had received an offer from Miami-based SMY Sports and Entertainment's president M. Eric Senecal, who wanted the buy the rights to produce the event; 3. GYM'S longtime and very close relationship with Florida-based Warriors Promotions, Mr. Leon Margules.

On behalf of GYM, Margules had reserved the April 21st date with the Florida Athletic Commission.  SMY Sports & Entertainments made a deal with GYM that had a deadline to deposit the agreed upon money guarantee. They had reserved the Seminole Hard Rock arena in Fort Lauderdale. If SMY was not able to deliver money and site, GYM had a backup plan, proposed by Margules, who had a deal and a site on hold, Hialeah Racetrack in nearby Hollywood (FL). No matter what would transpire, the fight was guaranteed at a site in Florida, April 21st for a PBC event to be televised on FS1.

Barrera's manager was contacted by one of the promoters to help pay Yvon Michel and finance the bout.

"This is a tortuous claim and a terrible lie," Michel said.  "Nobody representing GYM ever made that kind of request.  The truth is a local promoter, M. Michael Luzbet, whom I'd never met and never made any deals of any sorts with in the past, wanted to be a partner with SMY Sports and Entertainments. He tried to raise his share of money to participate but SMY rapidly disassociated themselves from Michael Luzbet.

"How the group (SMY) was raising money wasn't really my concern, but they had found sponsors and were counting on the important Quebec community residing in Florida at that time of the year, as well as the important Cuban population and their contacts with the Russian community, to sell VIP tables and tickets.  It wanted the rights to put the show on in Florida but they were concerned because they had heard a rumor that Barrera hadn't signed a contract and he was going to pull out of the fight.

They then requested a guarantee that Barrera (who lives in Miami) was going to fight before confirming their money deposit. I was in Quebec City at that time for the Alvarez-Bute fight.  Mr. Lindsey Tucker was there representing the IBF and I spoke to him.  He said he believed the IBF had received a signed contract from Barrera.  I contacted SYM to say everything was fine and that I had requested a copy (of the Barrera-signed contract) from Lindsey.  Daryl People then informed me that there was a misunderstanding and they did not have a signed contract from Barrera.  It is only then I realized Main Events had pressured Barrera to sign the agreement without success. We asked the IBF president to pressure Main Events to have Barrera sign the contract because, without it, we were jammed in the promotion of the event. This is exactly what happened."

Team Barrera implied that Yvon Michel couldn't promote a show of this magnitude in the U.S.

"I've promoted more than 200 shows, never defaulting or cancelling a single show, including  involvement in more than 50 world championship fights and many multi-million dollars events, much bigger than this title eliminator.  This statement just shows his ignorance about what we're all about and who we are and was just smoke screen to his behavior.  I've promoted shows with the majority of the major promoters in the world; DiBella Entertainment, Warriors Promotions, Don King Promotions, Golden Boy, Main Events... just about everybody. It was unbelievable for them to write such an impertinent line."

Team Barrera unjustly belittled the quality of Beterbiev's last two opponents, calling them cow farmers from Argentina.

"This is terrible to be so insolent to fellow world contenders. Both fighters were world ranked in the top 15 at that time. (Ezequiel Osvaldo) Maderna (23-2, 16 KOs) had never been knocked out and (Isidro) Prieto (26-1-3, 22 KOs) had suffered only one loss, a decision to the WBC #1 contender Eleider Alvarez.  Beterbiev knocked them both out (Maderna in the fourth round, Prieto in the first), so downgrading the quality of Artur's 2016 opponents was totally unwarranted.  If Barrera ever actually got into the ring with Beterbiev, he would have fallen into the same category as Maderna and Prieto, who were both fierce competitors but not in the same league of Beterbiev."

Michel firmly believes Barrera never intended to fight Beterbiev for his share of the purse bid and, to cover up, he tried to place the blame on others. His promoter spent time and money for the bid at the request of its fighter, Barrera, believing he had a legitimate chance of winning the fight. It is obvious that sentiment was not shared by Barrera, even if the fight was to be held in his own backyard in Florida.

"The truth of this matter is that Barrera lied to distract media attention from the fact he didn't sign a contract and clearly wanted no part of Beterbiev," Michel concluded.  "We don't disrespect any contender who prefers not to challenge Artur Beterbiev for the mandatory position. We also believed that Main Events did everything in its power to convince their fighter to keep his words and to go forward with the fight. Main Events is not at blame. We also have respect for Barrera's fighting abilities but we have no respect for the person Barrera is with his despicable, unprofessional, shameful and disgraceful attitude in handling the present situation.

"On a personal note, I have never met Sullivan Barrera. I never had to directly communicate with him, I never had to do business with him, everything went through his promoter, Main Events, and I really don't envy them! Soon, GYM will have two light heavyweight world champions and I can guarantee Barrera will never be in their plans.


"We've moved on from Sullivan Barrera to find an opponent who has the desire to step into the ring to fight Artur Beterbiev. While Barrera will still be suspended by the IBF, Beterbiev will be World Champion!"

Beterbiev, a two-time Russian Olympian, holds two amateur victories over his fellow countryman, Kovalev, the former world light heavyweight champion. Whether it's Kovalev or Ward, Artur Beterbiev will be more than ready for the challenge to fight for the world light heavyweight championship this September.
 

 

 

 

 

ANDRZEJ FONFARA EYES TOP TEN CONTENDERS, BADOU JACK SPECIFICALLY
CHICAGO, IL  - After stopping former world champion, Chad Dawson (34-5, 19 KOs), with a stunning tenth-round TKO, WBC #8 light-heavyweight contender, Andrzej Fonfara (29-4, 17 KOs), is welcoming challenges from everyone in the top ten.  

"I'm looking forward to my next fight and the possibilities that have opened up with my victory over Chad Dawson," said Andrzej Fonfara. "My main goal is to avenge my loss to Joe Smith Jr., but if I can't get him in the ring, then I'm looking to face anyone in the top ten of the light-heavyweight division."
 
With the light-heavyweight division loaded with talent, Fonfara seeks a meaningful fight with one of the top contenders, more specifically, former WBC super-middleweight champion, Badou Jack (20-1, 12 KOs), who recently vacated his world title at 168 pounds.
 
"Badou Jack seems like the perfect opponent, but I must warn him, this is not the super-middleweight division," Fonfara continued. "Badou Jack has never faced punchers like those fighting at 175 pounds.  He must earn his shot to a world title fight, just like I did when I was coming up.  This makes for a perfect opportunity for us to fight, with the winner moving up the rankings.
 
 

 

 

ÓSCAR VALDEZ, GILBERTO RAMÍREZ AND JESSIE MAGDALENO WORLD TITLE FIGHTS PLUS THE PRO DEBUT OF U.S. OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALIST SHAKUR STEVENSON SET FOR APRIL 22
LOS ANGELES  -- Undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) world champions ÓSCAR VALDEZ, GILBERTO "Zurdo" RAMÍREZ  and JESSIE MAGDALENO will headline an exciting world championship event in separate title defenses, Saturday, April 22, under the stars at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Produced and distributed live by Top Rank Pay-Per-View, the telecast will also feature the pro debut of U.S. Olympic silver medalist SHAKUR STEVENSON, in a six-round featherweight bout.  The live pay-per-view telecast will begin at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. and will be available on all conventional platforms, including all major cable and satellite systems, as well as Top Rank's digital distribution via www.TopRank.tv and mobile devices.  

Valdez (22-0, 19 KOs), from Nogales, México, will be making the second defense of his WBO featherweight title against No. 1 contender and NABO champion Miguel "Escorpión" Marriaga (25-1, 21 KOs), from Arjona, Colombia; Ramírez (34-0, 24 KOs), from Mazatlán, México, will be making his first defense of the WBO super middleweight title against Top-10 contender Max "Tiger" Bursak (33-4-1, 15 KOs), of Kiev, Ukraine; Magdaleno (24-0, 17 KOs) of Las Vegas, Nev., will be making the first defense of his WBO junior featherweight title against WBO Latino champion Adeilson "Dell" Dos Santos (18-2, 14 KOs), of São Paulo, Brasil, and Stevenson, the crown jewel of the 2016 U.S. Olympic team and the pride of Newark, NJ, will be making his eagerly-awaited professional debut in a four-round featherweight bout.

The six world championship warriors have a combined record of 156-7-1 for a winning percentage of 95% with a victory by knockout ratio of 71%.

"Every fight is important to me. I respect Marriaga just like every fighter I face.  And I will do whatever I have to do to win," said Valdez.  "This will be the second defense of my belt and I know the challengers are going to come after me, but I will be more than ready to give the fans a great fight and retain my championship."

"The only way I don't win my Oscar on April 22 is if Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway read the decision," said Marriaga.  "Second chances are rare in boxing and I'm going to make the most of my second shot at a world title. My trainer. "Professor" [Samuel] Gómez, and I will be prepared to give the performance of a lifetime on April 22."

"I feel very happy and I'm thankful for the opportunity of defending my title for the first time," said Ramírez.  "I'm motivated and I feel  a great desire to return to the ring.  I have been active in my hometown of Mazatlán and training like if I was going to fight.  Now I'm ready to fight!  I feel 100% recovered from the injury in my hand. I feel better than ever and with more confidence in my punching power.  On April 22 I will give the fans an explosive fight with lots of action.  Max Bursak is a solid strong fighter.  He is a brawler and he is coming with hunger of triumph for all the Ukrainians.  It will be very good for three Mexicans to be defending our titles on the same card and even more here, in California, where there is a big boxing fan base."

"Ramírez is young, tough and already an experienced fighter.  But I'm also not an 'easy walk'.  We have almost similar records and achievements, so it's going to be a very interesting clash," said Bursak.  "I'm already working hard in the gym, because I'm coming to California to win!"

"To be a champion today you have to work hard every day, go after the big challenges and see the big picture," said Magdaleno. "That is what I am doing to express myself and my legacy in the sport, going into a title fight like this one."

"For me this is a unique opportunity, to be fighting for the world title of a very big entity that is the WBO," said Dos Santos.  "I know that Jessie is a very good fighter.  He is a real champion.  Fighting for the title has always been a dream for me and today it has come true.  Thanks to my Agent Patrick Nascimento and my promoter Edu Mello.  I'm training very hard for this fight.  I'm very focused.  I know it will not be an easy job. For those who know me, on April 22, you will see a different Adeilson.  I'm working to put on  a big show and win the title."

"I’m excited to start a new chapter in my boxing career and make my pro debut on April 22 at the Stub Hub Center," said Stevenson.  "There have been so many exciting fights in that building and I plan to add to that history in my first pro fight.  I’m already training hard and everyone is going to see what I’m all about on April 22, live on Top Rank Pay-Per-View."

Valdez (22-0, 19 KOs), from Nogales, México, and who represented México in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, was the first Méxican fighter to qualify for two Olympic games.  He is considered one of the bright lights of the featherweight division and a new face for boxing's next generation.  He will be making the second defense of the vacant world title he won on July 23, 2016 via a second-round knockout of undefeated No. 2 rated Matías Rueda.  Rueda entered that fight having won his previous 10 bouts by stoppage.   Valdez, 26, started 2016 with a fourth-round knockout victory over former International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich on the April 9 Pacquiao - Tim Bradley III pay-per-view undercard in Las Vegas. It was the first time Gradovich had ever been stopped in his 24-bout professional career.  In his last fight, on November 5, he successfully defended the title with a seventh-round TKO of No. 1 contender Hiroshige Osawa.

Marriaga (25-1, 21 KOs), from Arjona, Colombia, enters this fight having won 15 of his previous 19 fights by way of knockout .  The only blemish on his record, a 12-round unanimous decision loss to former World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight champion Nicholas "Axe Man" Walters in 2015, who had lost the title on the scale when he weighed in over the division weight limit.  Since that loss, Marriaga, 30, has fashioned a five-bout winning streak, including NABO featherweight title knockout victories in his last two fights against Guy Robb and Eduardo Montoya last year to become the WBO's No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger.

Ramírez (34-0, 24 KOs), a two-fisted super middleweight wrecking machine who hails from Mazatlán, México, made history in the co-main event to the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley welterweight pay-per-view on April 9, 2016, when he became México's first fighter to win a super middleweight world title.  Entering the fight as the top world-rated contender, Ramirez gave a virtuoso performance over the defending WBO champion Arthur  Abraham.  All three judges scored it as a 120-108 blitzkrieg.  "I took him to Méxican boxing school," a jubilant Ramírez boasted as he put on the world championship belt .  A sensational young champion, Ramírez, 25, had been scheduled to make his first title defense last July, but a training camp injury to his right hand followed by surgery and rest sidelined him for the remainder of the year.  He returns to the ring having won four of his last eight bouts by knockout.  Career-highlight performances include an NABF and NABO title victory over Giovanni Lorenzo via fifth-round stoppage, a WBO International title knockout victory over Junior Talipeau and a successful defense of his NABF and WBO International titles, stopping Fulgencio Zuniga in the eighth round, all in 2014.  In 2015, he successfully defended his titles via unanimous decisions over once-beaten Maxim Vlasov, division gate keeper Derek Edwards, who boasts a KO victory over world champion Badou Jack, and once-beaten Gevorg Khatchikian, who had scored knockouts in five of his last six victories.

Bursak (33-4-1, 15 KOs), from Kiev, Ukraine, will be making his U.S. debut.  A former European middleweight champion and one-time WBO interim middleweight world title challenger, Bursak, 32, enters this fight having scored three of his last four victories by way of knockout and is world-rated No. 10 by the WBO.

Magdaleno (24-0, 17 KOs), from Las Vegas, NV, enters his first title defense having won eight of his last 11 bouts by knockout.  The former U.S. Amateur Champion has crafted a sterling professional ring record since making his professional debut on November 6, 2010.  The younger brother of lightweight contender Diego Magdaleno, Jessie, 25, parlayed his No. 1 ranking into a mandatory challenge of defending WBO junior featherweight champion and five-division world titlist Nonito "Filipino Flash" Donaire on November 15, 2016, winning a  very close and action-packed 12-round unanimous decision.          

Dos Santos (18-2, 14 KOs), from São Paolo, Brasil, has won five of his last six fights by stoppage.  He captured the WBO Latino featherweight title on September 17, 2016, knocking out Deivis Perez in the seventh round.  Dos Santos, 25  who has also held the WBO Latino junior featherweight title, will be making his U.S. debut on this card.         

Stevenson, 19, from Newark, NJ,, sailed though every stage of his Olympic competition in Rio De Janeiro last summer before losing a close split decision in the bantamweight championship fight to 2012 flyweight Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez of Cuba.  Ramirez swept the judges' scorecards in round one with Stevenson returning the favor in round two.  In the third and final round, the closest of the three rounds, two of the three judges gave the round to Ramirez and the gold medal, by the slimmest of margins.  It was the best finish for an American male boxer since Andre Ward captured the gold medal in the Athens Games of 2004.  Ward is now part of Stevenson's management team along with James Prince and attorney Josh Dubin.  The only boxer to make Forbes "30 Under 30" in  its Sports category, Stevenson was selected by a panel of judges comprised of James Harden, shooting guard for the Houston Rockets, Phil Knight, Chairman Emeritus of Nike and Casey Wasserman, Chairman and CEO of the Wasserman Group.  The oldest of nine children, Stevenson, who is named for the late rap star Tupac Shakur,  was introduced to boxing by his grandfather, Willie "Wali" Moses, at age 5.  Now based in northern Virginia, Stevenson is trained by Kay Koroma.


 

 



DeLomba-Williams welterweight clash April 7

PROVIDENCE, R.I.  -- The best and brightest welterweights in the northeast battle for the opportunity of a lifetime next month at Twin River Casino.
 
With bragging rights already up for grabs, Nick DeLomba (11-1, 2 KOs) of Cranston, R.I., and Jimmy Williams (12-0-1, 5 KOs) of New Haven, Conn., now fight for the vacant World Boxing Council United States National Boxing Council (WBC USNBC) Welterweight Title in the 10-round main event of CES Boxing's upcoming Friday, April 7th, 2017 show, a recent twist added by CES president Jimmy Burchfield Sr., whose 11-fight card next month continues the promotion's year-long 25th anniversary celebration.
 
The 27-year-old DeLomba has won his last three bouts since suffering his first and only loss in 2015, defeating Freddy Sanchez, Oscar Bonilla and southpaw Amos Cowart. Williams, 30, originally from Plainfield, N.J., has only one blemish on his record, a draw against Greg Jackson in 2013. He's won his last eight, including dazzling knockouts against Christian Lao and Eddie Caminero and a hard-fought unanimous decision win over veteran Manny Woods at Twin River in May.
 
April 7th will also be an emotional night for the Lopes family of Marshfield, Mass., as former welterweight world-title challenger Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes (16-4-2, 1 KO) and stepson Arturo Lopes (1-0) fight together on the same card for the first time in eight years in memory of the late Manny Lopes, a former CES standout who passed away in December and will subsequently be inducted into the CES Ring of Honor.
 
Magdziak Lopes faces Mexican challenger Paty Ramirez (11-3, 5 KOs) in an eight-round bout while Arturo Lopes battles Taunton, Mass., junior welterweight Marqus Bates (1-1, 1 KO) in a four-round bout.
 
The April 7th co-feature is a battle of unbeatens as New Bedford, Mass., junior middleweight Ray Oliveira Jr. (7-0, 1 KO) faces his toughest test to date in a six-round bout against Portland, Maine native Casey Kramlich (6-0-1, 3 KOs) in Kramlich's Twin River debut. Springfield, Mass., vet Zack Ramsey (7-1, 3 KOs) also returns to battle unbeaten Augusta, Ga., native Divante Jones (9-0, 6 KOs) in a six-round bout for the New England Lightweight Title in another potential Fight of the Night candidate.
 
Worcester, Mass., lightweight Jamaine Ortiz (3-0, 2 KOs), fresh off a hard-fought win over unbeaten Canton Miller in February, faces another undefeated challenger in a four-round bout against Glenn Mitchell (2-0, 2 KOs) of Steubenville, Ohio, and Lynn, Mass., welterweight Khiry Todd (2-0, 2 KOs) battles Philadelphia's Vincent Floyd (1-2-1) in a four-round bout. Junior welterweight Jonathan Figueroa (2-0, 1 KO) of Hartford, Conn., returns to Twin River to face Springfield's Miguel Ortiz (1-0, 1 KO) in a four-round showdown between two rising New England prospects and amateur standouts Ricky Delossantos of Providence, R.I., and Philip Davis of Worcester make their professional debuts against one another in a four-round super featherweight bout.
 
Two additional unbeaten prospects return April 7th; New London, Conn., junior welterweight Cristobal Marrero (3-0, 2 KOs) and Worcester middleweight Kendrick Ball Jr. (5-0-2, 4 KOs) return in separate four-round bouts. Marrero pitched a four-round shutout against veteran Isaiah Robinson in his last bout in December while Ball Jr. made quick work of Patrick Leal 29 seconds into the opening round of their scheduled four-round middleweight bout in February.
 

 


RODRIGUEZ VS PENNINGTON MAY 11

New York - Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing® returns to The Mohegan Sun Arena on Thursday, May 11th with another action packed lineup of professional boxing.
 
Headlining the card will be perennial contender and local favorite Delvin Rodriguez (28-8-4, 16KO's) Danbury, CT taking on spoiler Courtney Pennington (10-4-1 5KO's) Brooklyn, NY in a 10 round Jr. Middleweight match up.  Pennington earned the right to fight Rodriguez by securing two huge back to back upset victories over highly regarded favorites.
 
Rodriguez is no stranger to Mohegan Sun having fought there as recently as last July (23rd) when he battled Shawn Cameron over the 10 round distance and came away with the unanimous decision in a thrilling fight.  Delvin has fought many elite fighters in his career including Miguel Cotto, Erislandy Lara, and Austin Trout and is hoping for one more shot at glory.  This will be Delvin's 8th appearance at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
 
Courtney Pennington is coming off 2 impressive upset victories, both on the road, knocking out Boyd Melson (15-2, 1KO's) and winning a clear-cut decision victory over Khiary Gray Pitts (14-2, 11KO's) in his last fight on Feb. 4th of this year.  Pennington is an all action fighter and he knows a win over Delvin Rodriguez will have a huge impact on his career.
 

 

 

My two penny's worth

By: Johnston Brown - BillyCBoxing.com

I have been a boxing fan since the early nineties and was lucky enough to have witnessed some epic battles. Most notably the two Chris Eubank vs Neil Benn fights. In fact it was the first encounter between these two on November 18, 1990 that sticks in the memory the most. My late brother was so excited about the fight and the possibility of Eubank losing his 'O' that he filled me in with all the details beforehand. It was a week before my eighth Birthday so I remember trying to retain as much info as I possibly could. As I watched the fight, I remember going through all the emotions that you can only get when watching boxing while my brother and I cheered on Benn to beat the cocky but classy Eubank. When Benn was stopped in the ninth round I remember having that awful gut wrenching feeling of disappointment. Like the one I had, when I saw England lose their World Cup Semi-Final to Germany on penalties in the summer of that year. It didn’t matter that Benn lost because the fight was great entertainment and the public demanded a rematch albeit three years later. I learned as an eight year old that you can lose in sport and still come away a hero, like Benn and England in 1990.

Somewhere along the line boxing has lost the losing hero. A guy that loses today loses more than just a fight; he loses his creditability and is deemed a failure. He can no longer be considered better than the other guy who is undefeated. Therefore the modern fighter does not want to put their undefeated records on the line so they fight weaker opposition.


The trouble is a lot of the younger generation are buying into it which causes confusion. I feel sorry for the young fan that is watching boxing, as I did all those years ago and never experiencing or understanding defeat. If you think of all the Mayweather fans that grew up watching him through their childhood and into adulthood, they will think he is the best fighter that ever lived because he remained undefeated. Irrespective of whom he fought towards the back end of his career and how carefully he cherry picked his opponents. He is the sweet science in their eyes and nothing will change that.
 
But there is hope in 2017! We have already been treated to two cracking unification fights this year with another one this Saturday night between Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia and Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman. Then we have Golovkin vs Jacobs at the end of the month and Joshua vs Klitchsko in April. Plus, Brook vs Spence and Khan vs Pacquiao coming up before the summer. That would be six super fights within only five months which is completely unheard of in modern day boxing.

Maybe the retirement of Mayweather has improved the sport and opened a new chapter in boxing. I hope that in 8 years’ time from now I can get my son as excited about a big fight as I my brother did in 1990.

In memory of my late brother Jason Brown: 08/10/1974 - 25/11/2015 RIP

 

 

 

 

WBC RULING REGARDING ALEXANDER POVETKIN

I.            FACTUAL BACKGROUND

1.           A mandatory WBC World Heavyweight Championship fight was scheduled to be contested on May 21, 2016 in Moscow, Russia between WBC World Champion Deontay Wilder and Alexander Povetkin.  (the “World Championship Bout”).

2.           On May 13, 2016 VADA reported to the WBC that Alexander Povetkin’s anti-doping test that had taken from his April 27, 2016 sample pursuant to the WBC Clean Boxing Program yielded an adverse finding for the banned substance Meldonium.

3.           The WBC has issued two rulings concerning that adverse finding (the “Prior Meldonium Rulings”).  

a.           On August 17, 2016, the WBC ruled that:

(i)           it did not have sufficient evidence to make a definite finding about whether Mr. Povetkin actually ingested Meldonium after the World Anti-Doping Agency included that substance in its list of banned substances; and

(ii)          if there was an adverse finding concerning any of Mr. Povetkin’s samples during a one (1) year period of time after the ruling, the WBC would: (1) suspend Mr. Povetkin from participation in any WBC-sanctioned events indefinitely; (2) divest Mr. Povetkin from any WBC title or any other rights he might have at the time; and (3) impose any and all available penalties under the CBP without further inquiry.

b.           On October 7, 2016, the WBC ruled that if Mr. Wilder prevailed in a trial then pending between him and Mr. Povetkin in New York (the “Litigation”), the WBC would allow Mr. Povetkin to show that the trial’s result was not based on a finding that Mr. Povetkin ingested Meldonium after January 1, 2016.  If Mr. Povetkin failed to make that showing the WBC would impose any penalties upon Mr. Povetkin as per the WBC Clean Boxing Program Protocol, which could include suspensions and fines.  

4.           A WBC Interim Heavyweight Championship fight was scheduled to be contested on December 17, 2016 in Ekaterinburg Russia between Mr. and Bermane Stiverne (the “Interim Championship Bout”).

5.           On December 16, 2016, the VADA reported to the WBC that a the “A” Sample from the specimen collected from Mr. Povetkin on December 6, 2016, tested positive for the anabolic steroid Ostarine.

6.           In light of Mr. Povetkin’s Ostarine positive test result, the WBC:

a.           withdrew its sanctioning of the Interim Championship Bout; and

b.           suspended him indefinitely from participating in any WBC-sanctioning activity while the WBC initiated and conducted an investigation of the circumstances that resulted in the positive test, consistent with the WBC Rules & Regulations and the WBC Clean Boxing Program Protocol.   

7.           On February 14, 2017, the Litigation’s jury answered YES to the following question: “Did the plaintiffs prove by a preponderance of the evidence that Mr. Povetkin ingested Meldonium after January 1, 2016?”

II.           WBC'S FINDINGS

Based on detailed research and information gathering, the Prior Meldonium Rulings and the Litigation’s jury specific finding, the WBC finds as follows:

1.           Mr. Povetkin agreed to participate in the WBC CBP in connection with the World Championship Bout and the Interim Championship Bout.

2.           Both Meldonium and Ostarine are banned substances under the WBC CPB by virtue of their inclusion in VADA's List of Banned Substances.

3.           The anti-doping test of samples collected from Mr. Povetkin on:

a.           April 27, 2016, tested positive for Meldonium; and

b.           December 6, 2016, tested positive for Ostarine.

4.           The Litigation’s jury decision was based on a specific finding by the preponderance of the evidence that Mr. Povetkin ingested Meldonium after January 1, 2016.

III.          WBC BOARD OF GOVERNOR'S RULING

The present WBC Board of Governor's ruling is based on the facts as known to the WBC at the time of the ruling.  The WBC does not issue rulings based on perception, rumors, generalities or prejudice and absolutely opposes any form of discrimination.

Based on the WBC FINDINGS set forth above, the WBC hereby rules as follows:

1.           Pursuant to the August 17, 2016, WBC Ruling, the WBC hereby rules that Mr. Povetkin shall be suspended for participating in any WBC-sanctioned bouts indefinitely;

2.           Mr. Povetkin shall pay a $250,000 USD fine to the WBC;

3.           VADA, pursuant to the WBC CBP, will design a specific testing protocol for Mr. Povetkin at Mr. Povetkin’s own cost and expense.  The VADA-designed protocol will commence as soon as feasible after this ruling and will continue for one year thereafter;

4.           Mr. Povetkin will be able to apply for reinstatement into the WBC after the one-year anniversary of this ruling.  At that time, if the results of every anti-doping test he has taken pursuant to the testing protocol set forth in paragraph III.3. above are negative, the WBC will consider deferring the remaining of his suspension during which time he would be placed in a probationary status and would continue to undergo testing as set forth in paragraph IV.4. above; and

5.           The WBC will provide Mr. Povetkin the opportunity to submit additional evidence at a time and in a form the WBC will determine at its sole discretion concerning his positive test for Ostarine.  The WBC will consider any additional evidence it receives and it might issue a supplemental ruling based on information and materials Mr. Povetkin submits.




 

 

LUCAS MATTHYSSE TO TAKE ON EMMANUEL TAYLOR ON THE UNDERCARD OF CANELO VS. CHÁVEZ
NEW YORK -  Argentinian slugger Lucas "La Maquina" Matthysse (37-4, 34 KOs) makes his highly anticipated return taking on Emmanuel "Tranzformer" Taylor (20-4, 14 KOs) on the televised undercard of Canelo Álvarez vs. Julio César Chávez, Jr. mega-fight on Cinco De Mayo weekend. The event will take place Saturday, May 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m PT.
 
The fan-friendly Matthysee, who has engaged in multiple fight of the year candidates, will move up to welterweight for the first time and look to make a run at championship gold.
 
"I'm very happy to return to the ring and especially on such an important show such as Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. on May 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas," said Lucas Matthysse. "I've always brought great fights to demanding fans, and this one against Emmanuel Taylor will not be the exception."
 
Matthysse has defeated a who's who of contenders during his career including Lamont "Havoc" Peterson, John Molina, Jr., Humberto "La Zorrita" Soto and Ruslan "The Siberian Rocky" Provodnikov.
 
In Taylor, Matthysse will face a resurgent contender coming off back-to-back knockouts and who has gone toe-to-toe with the likes of Adrien "The Problem" Broner, Chris Algieri and Karim "Hard Hitta" Mayfield, defeating the latter by unanimous decision.
 
"I feel that I am really blessed to have this opportunity to once again fight on such a big stage," said Taylor. "Matthysse is a very tough fighter but I am sure I'll beat him. This is a great opportunity for me and my family and it's been a long time coming. I have to thank God for this one, my charm city team and my promoter Joe DeGuardia and Star Boxing, D&D Management and Club 57 management for believing in me. I'm ready to get things going and l will definitely be ready on May 6."
 
The remainder of the televised pay-per-view undercard will be announced shortly.


 

 

 

 

OLEKSANDR USYK VS. MIKE HUNTER AND OLEKSANDR GVOZDYK VS. YUNIESKY GONZALEZ ADDED TO LOMACHENKO - SOSA  
OXON HILL, MD  -- The VASYL LOMACHENKO - JASON "El Canito" SOSA junior lightweight world championship event has become an embarrassment of Ukrainian riches with the addition of two title fights.  Undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) cruiserweight world champion and Olympic gold medalist OLEKSANDR USYK and NABF light heavyweight champion and Olympic bronze medalist OLEKSANDR GVOZDYK will be defending their titles against MIKE HUNTER and YUNIESKYI GONZALEZ, respectively, in all-action co-main event battles, Saturday, April 8, at The Theater at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD.  The Lomachenko, Usyk and Gvozdyk championship Ukrainian tripleheader will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing, beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.  

The six televised championship fighters boast a combined record of 80-4-4 (62 KOs), good for a winning percentage of 91% with over 3/4 of those victories coming by way of knockout.

“I’m very happy to fight on the same card with Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Gvozdyk, this is something we’ve been talking about since we were amateurs -- to have three members of the 2012 Ukrainian Olympic Team in the same event," said Usyk.  "It’s fantastic to be able to do this.  I would like to thank my promoters Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, Alexander Krassyuk and Tom Loeffler from K2 Promotions along with my manager Egis Klimas and HBO, and also Bob Arum and Top Rank for adding me to this show.  Michael Hunter is a tough, undefeated opponent and I’m certain that this will be a great show for the fans in attendance and those watching on HBO.”

“I’m excited for this fight because I asked for it. If I don’t knock him out, I’ll be surprised," said Hunter.

"I'm happy to know the name of my next opponent.  He is a strong fighter and a new challenge for me," said Gvozdyk.  "Thanks to Top Rank and HBO to making this happen.  

“I'm very happy to be back on HBO thanks to Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, and my management team," said Gonzalez.  "I'm training hard at Mundo Boxing Gym and I'm going to be ready to win this fight”

Usyk (11-0, 10 KOs), from Kiev, Ukraine, and a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, captured the WBO cruiserweight world title in his 10th professional bout, a division record for winning a world title in the fewest fights.  Usyk dethroned Krzysztof Glowacki via unanimous decision on September 17, 2016, ending the undefeated defending champion's two-year reign.  In his last fight, on December 17, Usky made his U.S. and HBO debut, successfully defending his title by knocking out world-rated contender Thabiso Mchunu in the ninth round.  Considered the class of the division, Usyk trains in Oxnard, Calif. under the tutelage of Anatoly Lomachenko, father/trainer of Vasyl Lomachenko.        

Hunter (12-0, 8 KOs), of Las Vegas, Nev. and a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, has won five of his last seven bouts inside the distance.  He scored a career-best victory in his last fight, on May 13, 2016, winning a 10-round unanimous decision over the previously undefeated Isiah Thomas to capture the NABO cruiserweight title.  Hunter is currently world-rated No. 9 by the WBO

Gvozdyk (12-0, 10 KOs), from Kharkiv, Ukraine, enters this fight having won 10 of his last 12 fights by knockout, including all three of his NABF light heavyweight title fights.  A bronze medalist at the 2012 Olympics, Gvozdyk captured the vacant NABF title with a second-round knockout of Nadjib Mohammedi on April 9, 2016.  He successfully defended that title twice last year scoring a sixth-round TKO of Thomas Karpency on June 23 and an eighth-round stoppage of Izek Chilemba on November 19.  He enters this fight world-rated No. 6 by the WBO and the World Boxing Council (WBC), and, No. 7 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF).

Gonzalez (18-2, 14 KOs), a native of Pinar del Rio, Cuba, who lives and trains in Miami, Fla. with Pedro Diaz, has collected his last nine victories by way of knockout.   His only blemishes are a very disputed decision loss to former WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal and a majority decision loss to Vyacheslav Shabransky in 2015.  Last year Gonzalez won both his fights by stoppage.




Vinnie Carita headlines April 1 & Matt Remillard returns to ring
WORCESTER, Mass.  - Popular cruiserweight Vinnie "American Nightmare" Carita will headline the second installment of the "New England's Future" series on Saturday night, April 1, at the Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts.
 
"New England's Future 2" is presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), which is owned and operated by retired three-time, two-division world champion Jose Antonio Rivera and his son, Anthonee (A.J.) Rivera.
                                                                                   
Carita (15-1-1, 14 KOs), fighting out of Pembroke (MA), is riding a 12-fight win streak (11-0-1) into his April 1st eight-round main event against Brazilian knockout artist Gilberto Matheus "El Magico" Domingos (22-6, 20 KOs), the former South American light heavyweight champion.
 
In the eight-round co-feature, Manchester (CT) lightweight Matt "Sharp Shooter" Remillard (23-1, 13 KOs) returns to the ring for the first time in six years.  The former NABF and NABA featherweight champion faces Augustine "Ruthless" Mauras (6-1-3, 3 KOs), of Lawrence (MA).
 
"We are excited to be promoting our second boxing event so quickly and with the great lineup of talented boxers who will be showcasing their talents on Saturday, April 1st," promoter Jose Rivera said. "It's great to have fellow court officer, Vinnie Carita and longtime friend Matt Remillard, respectively, as our main and co-feature fighters. We are also excited that we will have three Worcester boxers on the card. Bryan Daniels and Andy Gonzales fighting for the first time at home, along with Ranse Andino who fought on our first event this past January 19th.  With only the buzz about our next event and no real promoting to this point, the amount of tickets already sold leads us to believe that there will be another packed house at the Worcester Palladium come fight night."
 
2016 New England Golden Gloves champion Anthony Laureano (2-0, 1 KO), fighting out of East Hartford (CT), meets veteran Bryan "The Brick" Abraham (6-23-1, 6 KOs) in a six-round bout.
 
Fighting on the undercard in four round matches are pro-debuting Springfield (MA) featherweight Luis "Pancho" Santiago vs. Alex Montes (1-2), of Lawrence (MA), Worcester featherweight Andino (1-0) vs. Mike Hellenfinger (0-2), of Harrisburg (PA), 3-time NE Golden Gloves champion Elvis Figueroa, of New Haven (CT) makes his pro debut vs. Brazilian super middleweight Devision Robiero (0-3), pro-debuting Springfield junior middleweight Derrick Whitley vs. Anthony Everett (104), of Lawrence, Haverhill (MA) junior welterweight Carlos "The Dragon" Candelario (9-1, 4 KOs) vs. TBA, Lawrence junior welterweight Adrian Sosa (2-0, 1 KO) vs. TBA, Worcester junior middleweight Gonzalez (5-1, 5 KOs) vs. TBA, Worcester cruiserweight  Daniels (3-0, 1 KO) vs. Michael Shipp (1-4, 1 KO), of Michigan, and Dorchester (MA) heavyweight Donnie Palmer (8-1-1, 7 KOs). vs. Alando Pugh (1-10-1, 1 KO), of Washington D.C.      

 

 

 

 

Artur Beterbiev vs. Sullivan Barrera Set For April 21
MONTRÉAL -  It's official: Montreal's Artur Beterbiev (IBF #2 - 11-0-0, 11 KOs) will be in the most important fight of his career, against Cuban-born Sullivan Barrera (IBF #7 - 18-1-0, 13 KOs), for the mandatory challenger position for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heayvweight world title, held by American Andre Ward (31-0-0, 15 KOs). The Beterbiev vs. Barrera clash will take place April 21 in Miami, Florida.

The Beterbiev-Barrera winner will become the mandatory challenger for the IBF light heavyweight champion, who will have until September, at the latest, to face the winner.]GYM won the IBF-ordered purse bid Feb. 2 (2017), winning with a $201,000 (USD) bid to $181,000 for Barrera's promoter, Main Events. Due to the 75-25 percentage advantage going to the highest ranked fighter, Beterview will earn $188,250 to $62,750 for Barrera.

Ward won the IBF, WBA and WBO light heavyweight titles with a 12-round unanimous decision win over Sergey Kovalev, November 19, 2017, in Las Vegas.

Beterbiev was impressive in his most recent outing, last December 23 at the Lac Leamy Casino in Gatineau, stopping Paraguayan slugger Isidro Ranoni Prieto (26-1-3) in opening round (2:44).

Barrera also displayed tremendous skills during his most recent performance, this poast Dec. 16 in California, shattering the previously undefeated Vyacheslav Shabrankyy (17-0-0), of Ukraine, with a spectacular TKO victory in the seventh round.
 

 

 

 

UNDEFEATED SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT CONTENDERS ANTONIO OROZCO AND KEANDRE GIBSON TO MEET APRIL 1 IN LAS VEGAS
LOS ANGELES -  Someone's "0" must go, as undefeated and WBC #1 ranked Super Lightweight Antonio "Relentless" Orozco (25-0, 16 KOs) from San Diego, California faces one of his toughest tests to date on April 1 when he goes head-to-head with highly touted prospect KeAndre "The Truth" Gibson (16-0-1, 7 KOs) out of St. Louis, Missouri.
 
"This 50/50 main event will help determine the future of the super lightweight division," said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. "I expect the winner of this fight will be positioned for world championship titles in the near-future and the loser will find himself back in the pack of the division. Everything is on the line for both of these fighters."
 
In the chief support to the April 1 show in Las Vegas, longtime lightweight contender Mercito "No Mercy" Gesta (29-1-2, 16 KOs) fighting out of San Diego, California returns for the first time in more than a year where he'll find Mexico City knockout specialist Gilberto "El Flaco" Gonzalez (26-3, 22 KOs) on the other side of the ring for a 10-round showdown.
 
Highly touted and undefeated Golden Boy prospects Joet Gonzalez (15-0, 7 KOs), Emilio Sanchez (13-0, 8 KOs) and Edgar Valerio (9-0, 5 KOs) are also scheduled to appear on the card.
 
Orozco vs. Gibson is a 10-round super lightweight battle set for April 1 and presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate "Born BOLD."



Erislandy Lara Gains U.S Citizenship
HOUSTON, TX  - WBA and IBO super-welterweight champion, Erislady "The American Dream" Lara, is truly living the American dream since he has now completed all the eligibility requirements to become a U.S citizen.  Erislandy, along with his wife Yudi, took an oath of allegiance to the United States today, solidifying their citizenship.
 
Lara, who made his U.S. boxing debut in Primm, Nevada, in January of 2009, is elated about gaining his U.S. citizenship.  He reflects on the long journey it took to become a U.S citizen.  
 
"When I arrived in the United States in 2008, my main goal was to become a citizen of this great nation." said Erislandy Lara.  "It brings me great joy to know that I am now a legal citizen of the United States of America.  It's been a long journey to get where I'm at today, and I couldn't have done it without my beautiful wife Yudi.  Together, we fulfilled all the legal requirements that were mandated to become a U.S citizen."
 
"Living in here in the States has been a tremendous blessing to me and my family." Lara continued. "With hard work, and the help of many good people around me, I've been able to provide for my loved ones.  My goal is to continue my boxing career with my core team, and someday, God willing, become a Boxing Hall of Famer."


 

 

 

VASYL LOMACHENKO vs. JASON SOSA SET FOR APRIL 8
OXON HILL, MD  -- Two-division world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist VASYL LOMACHENKO and World Boxing Association (WBA) super featherweight world champion JASON "El Canito" SOSA will battle for Lomachenko's World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight world title, Saturday, April 8, at The Theater at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD.  The fight between the two world champions will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing, beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

The non-televised undercard will feature undefeated No. 1 super middleweight contender JESSE "Hard Work" HART from Philadelphia, PA., and local favorites from the metro Washington, D.C. area, including undefeated prospects MIKE "Yes Indeed" REED and PATRICK HARRIS in separate bouts.  Full details on the undercard will be announced at a later date.  

"I would like to thank Jason Sosa, who unlike the other champions,  agreed to take this fight to determine the best in this weight division, even though everyone knows I am  the division's Papi," said Lomachenko.  "I moved up to 130 pounds hoping champions in this division were not cowards like those at 126 pounds.  It looks like I was wrong.   To all the other 'champions' in the 126 pound and 130 pound divisions,  I say this to you, 'You are not champions, you are businessmen.  Bad businessmen.  By avoiding risks, you cheat the boxing fans and that is bad business.'  I came to this sport to prove to myself and others that I am this big and loud champion.  So, while all of you continue to hide from me, I am going forward to achieve my goals.  My next step is on April 8th.  See you there!"

"We understand that this is the most difficult fight of our career due to the fact that we are fighting the best fighter - Vasyl Lomachenko - in the history of amateur boxing," said Sosa.  "The beauty of all of this is that I only had three amateur fights and will prove to the world that we are by far the better fighter."

Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KOs), of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, makes his 2017 debut coming off a year that saw him named "Fighter of the Year" by several media outlets, including The Fight Game with Jim Lampley. In his last fight, on November 26, Lomachenko made his first defense of the WBO junior lightweight title, totally dominating Nicholas Walters.  The previously undefeated former WBA featherweight world champion quit on his stool after the seventh round with his trainer and father, Jobs Walters, telling referee Tony Weeks, '"No mas."  Not only was it a total domination but a boxing masterpiece painted on the canvas by Lomacheko.  The greatest amateur boxer of his era and arguably of all time, two-time Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko, became a two-division world champion just as he did with his first professional world title, he won world title No. 2 in a record least amount of fights -- SEVEN!   On June 11, 2016,  he annihilated defending three-time WBO junior lightweight champion Roman "Rocky" Martinez via a cringe-worthy knockout punch in the fifth round .  Lomachenko captured his first world title -- the vacant WBO featherweight title -- on June 21, 2014, winning a scintillating majority decision over the previously unbeaten Gary Russell Jr.  It was Lomachenko's third professional bout, tying him with Thailand's Saensak Muangsurin for fewest fights to win a world title.  Muangsurin won a junior welterweight title in 1975, also in his third professional fight.  Lomachenko first gained international renown by winning gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Games as a featherweight and a lightweight, respectively.  He retired from the amateurs with a 396-1 record.

Sosa (20-1-4, 15 KOs), from Camden, NJ, and managed by Raul Chino Rivas, enters this fight riding a five-year, 20-bout unbeaten streak which includes 14 knockout victories dating back to 2011!  Many local fans, who flock to his fights, consider Sosa to be one of the best fighters to come out of Camden since Dwight Qawi.  Sosa's been a fan favorite since turning pro in 2009 because of his exciting and aggressive style, strong punching power.  He captured the WBA super featherweight world title on June 24, 2016 in Beijing, coming from behind on all three judges' scorecards to knock out undefeated defending champion Javier Fortuna in the 11th round.  He successfully defend the title in his last fight  on November 19 in Las Vegas, winning a unanimous decision over No. 7 world-rated contender Stephen Smith.

 

 

 

 

TOM MOLINEAUX: From Bondage To Baddest Man On The Planet – A Must Read For All
Lake George, NY – Bill Calogero, host of boxing’s Undisputed Champion of Boxing Talk program, the Talkin Boxing With Billy C TV & Radio Show, officially released his first book, Tom Molineaux: From Bondage To Baddest Man On The Planet two weeks ago. Since then, the demand for signed copies, which are available through the Book Club section of the BillyCBoxing.com website, has not stopped.
 
The book tells the story of Tom Molineaux, who was born a Slave on a Virginia Plantation during the late 1700’s, became a fighter, fought and won his freedom, fought for a World Title and whose fame rose to the height of being the very first high-profile World-Wide sports celebrity. However, because of the color of his skin not only during his lifetime but unfortunately continues to this day, he has become virtually a forgotten name. Molineaux is not only an important piece of Boxing History he’s also a major part of American History. Calogero’s book tells the complete story and wants people to read the book and help set the record straight. It’s time to give Molineaux the credit he deserves.
 
Here’s What’s Been Said Recently About the Book:
 
Charley Fitch - Professional boxing referee:
Finished reading “Tom Molineaux” today and it is fantastic! Congratulations on writing a truly excellent book covering a person with historical significance that goes well beyond boxing.
 
What a story. Well written and interesting to read. A treasure of information that I’m going to be purchasing several more copies of as Christmas presents.
 
I loved the details and how you were able to put Molineaux’ achievements in historical context (slavery, American Revolution). This is much more than a boxing book. It’s important history from several often neglected aspects.
 
Plus, book was factual and told the story of a human being overcoming longest of odds to reach highest of highs only to succumb to the lowest of lows. It included the man’s warts, the character flaws and failings.  That is how life is. I loved the honesty of it.
 
Thank you for writing “From Bondage to Baddest Man on the Planet” and bringing Tom Molineaux’s amazing story to life. Before reading your book I knew nothing about him. Due to the work you have done that has changed.
 
Don “Bear” Koss:
In his new book, Tom Molineaux, From Bondage to Baddest Man on the Planet, Bill Calogero, presents the story of an early prize ring warrior to a new generation of boxing fans. Molineau’s story, hitherto known only to boxing’s historical cognoscenti, is a compelling tale hallmarking the meteoric rise and fall whose personality was imbued with human frailty while suffering societal injustice.
 
Chronicling the life and career of a prize ring pugilist and evaluating it is especially challenging. The difficulties go well beyond the difference in rules between the Prize Ring and the Queensberry eras. The most common tool used in contemporary evaluation is film or tape.  YouTube dominates contemporary culture. When no film exists, or when the quality of existing film is poor in quality as in the case of the early 20th century contemporary evaluators tend to denigrate the skills of boxers of an earlier era.
 
Newspapers and other print sources must be brought to the fore when evaluating earlier fighters. When there is a paucity of these sources the problem is magnified. For the most part, only major fights in the careers of pugilists have been recorded. One can compare the number of recorded fights of Daniel Mendoza with those of his contemporaries. There is a substantial difference in the numbers. Mendoza published his memoires and listed his fights. The difference in number is large enough to allow the inference that at least 60 % of a pugilist’s record is lost to history. In the case of Molineaux the problem is even more acute. As Billy C points out, Molineaux was a product of what was euphemistically called the peculiar institution, Slavery, and however much revisionist may white-wash this fact, it won’t go away.
 
Bill C utilizes the existing source material for prize ring history (old and rare books) to overcome these problems. He synthesizes these sources to give us the life of Tom Molineaux presented in fresh and colloquial language. Bill is concerned with presenting the facts of Molineaux’s life. This is evidenced by his omission of references to Molineaux and George Washington, because nothing beyond their anecdotal nature could be substantiated. His effort to present the facts of Molineaux’s life, is undermined to a degree, by a lack of citation in his text. Academics always find a lack of citations troublesome. I was still able to check source material by cross referencing this book with Billy C’s essay “Tom Molineaux: From Slave to American Heavyweight Champion”  in Aycock & Scott’s The First Black Boxing Champions. The lack of citations could possibly limit the purchasing of this book by libraries to those with specialized sports of Black History specializations but should not hinder the boxing fan from making Tom Molineaux’s life a part of their own.
 
Donald R Koss
 Longtime Member International Boxing Research Organization
World Boxing Hall of Fame Elector
Emeritus Professor of Library and Information Science, Richard J. Daley College
Member, Dubois’ Company, 3rd New York Regiment, MWTA (A Midwestern group of historical revolutionary war re-enactors)
 
 
A MUST READ for not only boxing buff's but American history in general
By:  Anthony Owens -  Life-long Boxing fan
 
Fantastic read, the life of Tom Molineaux is a mixture of not only boxing but American history. Learning the struggles of Molineaux from start to finish and manner in which they were told made it impossible to put down.
 
As a boxing fan while reading portions in the book leading up to Molineaux's biggest bouts and how his training was progressing left me with that same feeling of anticipation I get when counting down to a modern big time Pay-Per View event as if I had no idea who would prevail.
 
When the bouts themselves were described I could virtually hear the crowd yelling and sounds of thudding punches. The first bout against Cribb was so detailed in the description at one point I was thinking to myself I hope this doesn't get stopped on cuts!
 
The way Bill Calogero tells of Molineaux's struggles from being born a slave to gaining freedom, fighting for recognition not only as a prize fighter but as a MAN left me in awe of the type person Tom Molineaux must have been on the inside and fortitude he possessed.
 
The only thing I could not understand after reading the book was why has no one told his story in full before?
 
 
You can a copy of the book right now at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and where all good books are sold.  You can get a signed copy of the book by visiting the Book Club section at BillyCBoxing.com.
 
For Interviews you can contact Bill Calogero directly by email at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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