Mairis Briedis (27-1, 19 KOs) and Artur Mann (17-1, 9 KOs) came face-to-face for the first time today at the Porsche Center Riga for a kick-off press conference ahead of their IBF and Ring Magazine World Cruiserweight Title clash on October 16 at the Arena Riga in Latvia.
Briedis has turned the Arena Riga into a hometown fortress with unforgettable nights against Mike Perez, Oleksandr Usyk and Krzysztof Glowacki in recent years. The 36-year-old will now return for the first time since his June 2019 victory over Glowacki to defend the belts he claimed when defeating Yuniel Dorticos in the final of the World Boxing Super Series in September 2020 to establish himself as the number one Cruiserweight on the planet.
“Of course, it will be a great pleasure to return to the Arena Riga to defend my IBF and Ring Magazine Titles in front of my Latvian fans,” said Briedis. “My opponent Artur Mann is an experienced and unpredictable boxer. I have watched many of his fights and each one has been different. In Arena Riga, we will see real boxing, not old masters like Holyfield or YouTubers. I hope people who love boxing will come to the show to witness a real fight.”
Artur Mann, the former WBO International Champion and IBO World Cruiserweight Title challenger, appeared in a confident mood insisting all the pressure was on his opponent ahead of their hotly anticipated World Title fight.
“I’m very excited to get this opportunity to fight Mairis Briedis for his World Titles,” said Mann. “I would like thank Kalle Sauerland and Wasserman Boxing for making this fight. This is not a new situation for me. I know the game and I have fought all over the globe. When the bell rings, I will be ready. It doesn’t matter how many people are in the arena supporting Briedis. There is no pressure on me. All the pressure is on him. I’ve got nothing to lose.”
Promoter Kalle Sauerland said he is delighted to be returning to Riga and is looking forward to soaking up the ‘red-hot atmosphere’ on October 16.
“Viva Las Rigas,” exclaimed Sauerland. “We’ve had some fantastic nights at the Arena Riga with Mairis Briedis and we’re delighted to be back with another big event. Mairis has put Riga on the boxing map. It is now known all over the world as a place with a red-hot boxing atmosphere. On October 16, we have another massive event. The absolute number one Cruiserweight in the division against the number six in the world – a young, hungry German challenger, who I’m sure will be looking to take his chance. But Mairis is focused and he intends to prove that Latvia still has the number one Cruiserweight boxer in the world.”
New Haven, CT
18-5-12, 6 KOs
22-4-1, 12 KOs
New Britain, CT
6-1, 2 KOs
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
7-11-1, 1 KO
16-0, 7 KOs
37-27, 18 KOs
5-0, 3 KOs
Juan Gabriel Medina
La Ramona, Dominican Republic
12-7, 11 KOs
New Britain, CT
1-0, 1 KO
Stevie Jane Coleman
New Haven, CT
Kings Promotions and Salita Promotions proudly announce signing a co-promotional agreement with undefeated welterweight prospect Janelson Figueroa Bocachica.
The 5′ 10″ and 22-year-old Figueroa Bocachica (17-0, 11 KOs) is a proud Puerto Rican/American who hails from Southwest Detroit. Before turning pro at the tender age of 17, Figueroa Bocachica scored victories over current fellow undefeated professional prospects Charles Conwell and Brandun Lee, while winning multiple city/state titles. He finished the unpaid ranks with a record of 60-5.
Describing himself as an “aggressive technician,” Figueroa Bocachica trains with his father, Nelson Figueroa, at the Downtown Boxing Gym in Detroit.
“Man, big things are going on in Detroit,” said Bocachica of signing with Michigan-based New Yorker Salita. “They are doing big shows and I want to be a part of that, so I’m in the right spot to prove myself against every opponent I face. I want all the belts in multiple divisions!”
Figueroa Bocachica has come up big in nationally televised showcases in his last two fights. In October 2020, he needed less than a round to stop and drop Puerto Rico’s then 9-1 Nicklaus Flaz. The capable Flaz was down three times from the accurate bombs of Figueroa Bocachica. And then, in February of this year, he took an entertaining majority 10-round decision over formerly undefeated Mark Reyes Jr.
“I’ve always known that Janelson was a special kid – I just didn’t realize how quickly he’d prove it to everybody else!” said his manager, David McWater. “He’s the rare type of the fighter that not only has devastating one-punch power but can really box as well. Teaming with Salita Promotions will allow Janelson to get all the right opportunities to become the next big Detroit boxing star and we’re just thrilled for the future.”
Both of Figueroa Bocachica’s co-promoters say they are pleased with the deal and looking forward to pairing up on more exciting prospects.
“I’m happy to be partnering with Salita Promotions in helping to develop one of the very best Welterweights in the world,” said Marshall Kauffman, President of Kings Promotions. “I look forward to doing more business with Dmitriy in the near future with many more boxers.”
“Janelson Figueroa is one of the best American prospects,” said Dmitriy Salita, President of Salita Promotions. “He got his start at the Kronk Gym in Detroit and I believe that he has all the tools to be the next welterweight world champion from Detroit. I’m happy to be working with Marshall Kauffman on building the next great champion from the Motor City.”
PARIS, France (April 18, 2021) – European Super Featherweight Champion Samir Ziani (32-3-1, 7 KOs) has called out Tervin “American Idol” Farmer (30-5-1, 6 KOs), former International Boxing Federation World Super Featherweight Champion, to fight June 5th for the WBC Silver belt in a World Boxing Council (WBC) elimination fight. The winner would position himself for a title fight against WBC World champion Oscar Valdez.
The battle of left-handed super featherweights would be on the June 5th Triller pay-per-view card in Florida, headlined by undefeated World lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez (16-0) vs. George Kambosos, Jr. (19-0), supported by an exhibition fight between 4-time World heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson conqueror Kevin McBride.
According to Ziani’s manager Gary Hyde, was offered the WBC eliminator against Farmer and the Frenchman immediately accepted, while all has been quiet from Farmer.
“”I was excited to fight Farmer on a great Triller show,” Ziani said, “especially because it is my dream to win a World title in the United States. “I am surprised to hear that Farmer has chickened out of our fight, but I suppose je knows his boxing is slipping downwards.
“I want you, Farmer! Accept the fight and be a real warrior. Don’t run away from me. I want to box in the capital of boxing, the United States, to show American fans what I can do. They say you’re a technician, I will show you that I am a true warrior. The ring is for real men with the ambition to beat the best, not box the weakest, so, let’s give true value and pay respect to our noble art of boxing.”
Ranked No. 11 by the WBC, as well as No. 9 in the International Boxing Federation (IBF), the 30-year-old Ziani is the reigning EBU European champion, riding a 10-fight win streak. In his most recent fight (Sept. 5, 2020) and second title defense, Ziani dropped a bloody Alex Dilmaghian (19-1-1) three times en route to a 12th round win by technical knockout with 9-seconds left in what was a Fight of the Year candidate.
Ziani’s last loss was 4 ½ years ago to World title challenger and fellow Frenchman, Guillaume Frenois (41-1), by a razor-thin margin, 115-113 three times, in Paris. Earlier in his career, Ziani also suffered a disputed 10-round loss by decision (97-93, 96-94, 96-94) in Denmark to current IBF World Lightweight Champion Richard Commey (18-0) in 2014.
“Ziani is an all-action fighter with an enormous work rate,” the Ireland-based Hyde added. “It would be a tantalizing match between two talented southpaws with the winner going on to fight for the WBC World title.”
Saturday night on ESPN live from the Osage Casino in Tulsa Oklahoma, a card full of undefeated heavyweight prospects set the stage for a much anticipated vacant WBO light heavyweight title fight between Joe “The Beast” Smith Jr and Maxim Vlasov.
Since the last loss suffered by Smith in March of 2019 to WBA champion Dmitry Bivol, Smith has looked like a different fighter, scoring a split decision win over hard hitting former title challenger Jesse Hart then as a follow up he not only out boxed but stopped former world champion Eleider Alvarez in nine rounds.
Since the last loss suffered by Maxim Vlasov to former cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Glowacki in 2018. He has defeated once beaten Omar Garcia, multi time title challenger Isaac Chilemba and undefeated Emmanuel Martey, all of which not only helped create a genuine buzz but credibility for this being a world title affair.
It was a fast start for both fighter, Smith looked to land his big right hand while Vlasov used awkward angles and combinations to avoid being caught clean. Over the next several rounds Vlasov used volume and angles to baffle Smith very reminiscent to the Bivol contest.
As the midway point arrived Smith looked tired and was taking a lot of shots from Vlasov while he laid against the ropes. As the fifth round reached its midway mark, there was a concern on Smith’s conditioning and while he landed an occasional right hand there was no follow up before Vlasov again used his feet to evade danger and land combinations.
In the sixth Smith despite still being out landed showed a resurgence, during round seven Smith landed repeatedly with authority hurting Vlasov who somehow managed to absorb the shots while remaining upright.
Over the next few rounds they traded punches and momentum with each man giving well as they took. It seemed like Vlasov would once again remain momentum in round ten, just seconds before the bell sounded Smith stopped Vlasov in his tracks. The bell sounded before Smith follow up with another shot.
Once the eleventh started Smith came out strong hurting Vlasov several times early, looking to regroup Vlasov began moving and holding anytime Smith came in range. An accidental punch behind the head of Vlasov from Smith, caused more by Vlasov turning his head rather than recklessness by Smith sent Vlasov to the canvas. It was wrongly called a foul by referee Gary Ritter who allowed Vlasov to walk and get instruction for nearly thirty seconds. Only Joe DeGuardia the promoter of Smith yelling to the ring catching Ritter’s attention did he send Vlasov to a neutral corner prior to resuming the fight. It was an error that very likely cost Smith a stoppage win due to time running out ending the round.
The twelfth and final round was close as Vlasov landed more but Smith with more authority, both fighters threw punches up until the final bell bringing those in attendance to their feet showing appreciation for a great fight.
When final scores were read Judge Gerald Ritter scored it 112-115 and Judge Pat Russell 113-115 for Joe Smith Jr while Judge David Sutherland scored it 114-114 a draw. All of which were acceptable cards even if Gerald Ritter and Pat Russell had it for Vlasov due to his early dominance.
With the win Joe Smith Jr improves to 27-3 (21) and is now the WBO light heavyweight champion of the world, Maxim Vlasov now stands at 45-4 (26) and despite his loss proved he belonged in with the top names at 175lbs.
In the co-feature undefeated heavyweight prospect Efe Ajagba after a slow start, found his range and dispatched opponent Brian Howard inside three rounds with a clean right hand sending him to the canvas. There were no signs of Howards making it to his feet so referee Tony Crebs rightfully halted the contest immediately. With the win Efe Ajagba improves to 15-0 (12) while Brian Howard drops to 15-5 (12).
This win now has Ajagba in a position where if we are to consider him as a genuine contender, his next fight needs to be against an opponent of higher caliber. While Ajagba appears to possesses all we like to see in a fighter his best opponent to date has been Amir Mansour who was forty five at the time and coming in off a stoppage loss against Croatian Olympic Bronze medalist Filip Hrgovic.
In Undercard action-
Twenty one year old heavyweight prospect Jared Anderson improved to 9-0 (9) after dropping Jeremiah Karpency 16-3-1 (6) twice before scoring a stoppage win at thirty four seconds of the round.
Heavyweight- Trey Lippe-17-0 (17) def. Jason Bergman 27-20-2 (18) via. TKO 3
Featherweight- Duke Ragan-4-0 (1) def. Charles Clark 3-7-1 (1) Via. UD 6
Heavyweight- Sonny Conto-7-0 (6) def. Waldo Cortes Acosta 6-4 (3) Via. KO 1
Heavyweight- Jeremiah Milton-3-0 (3) def. Jayvone Dafney 2-3 (2) Via. TKO 1
Saturday evening at the Copper Box Arena, United Kingdom Eddie Hearn and Matchroom boxing presented a “Female World title” double header with upcoming welterweight Conor “The Destroyer” Benn taking on veteran Samuel Vargas in the main event.
It was a short but night for Benn as it took just ninety seconds to dispatch the rugged veteran Vargas, Just nine months ago Vargas stepped in against another upcoming welterweight sensation Vergil Ortiz Jr.
While a one sided affair in favor of Ortiz it took seven rounds for him to dispatch Vargas, the fact Benn did it so quickly speaks loudly on his potential. The last and only time a fighter was able to dispatch Vargas in under seven rounds was six years ago against current unified WBC/IBF welterweight titlist Errol Spence Jr.
With the win Conor Benn improved to 18-0 (12) while Samuel Vargas drops to 31-7-2 (14). The combined record of Conor Benn’s last four opponents is 103-20-5 (38). I think its time boxing pundits to talk less about “Conor Benn son of Nigel Benn” and more about “Conor Benn Genuine Prospect”.
In the co-feature WBO female middleweight champion Savannah “Silent Assassin” Marshall dispatched multi-time former world title challenger Maria Lindberg in three rounds. While Lindberg was a replacement for former female WBO Super Middleweight champion Femke Hermans, who withdrew due to a team member she was in contact with test positive for Covid 19. The fact she had never been stopped before in her career speaks on the power and composure of Marshall.
With the win Savannah Marshall improved to 10-0 (8) while Maria Lindberg now stands at 19-7-2 (10). In her post fight interview Marshall was asked about a potential matchup against three division champion Claressa Shields who Marshall holds a win over as an amateur. In response Marshall stated “Shields doesn’t want to fight me she is too busy calling out Katie Taylor who fights four divisions lower than Shields does, if we fight I’ll knock her out and she knows it”.
It’ s unquestionably the biggest money fight in female boxing right now, if Shields who has been facing smaller opponents and has only 2 stoppage wins in her career and hints at moving to MMA full time continues avoiding the challenge. There will be serious and legitimate questions on her willingness to face the best available and hurt the current momentum of female boxings acceptance in main stream sports.
When bantamweights Ukashir Farooq and Alexander Espinoza stepped in to vie for the “WBC International Silver title” held by Espinoza, fans were treated to a surprisingly action packed affair. The two fighters gave a solid display of boxing ability trading momentum throughout. It would be the slightly harder punches and higher work rate of Ukashir Farooq that would gain him a unanimous decision by scores of 97-95, 97-94 and 97-93.
With the win Ukashir Farooq now the new “WBC International Silver title” holder improved to 15-1 (6) while Alexander Espinoza drops to 20-3-2 (8).
A fight which had people shaking their heads wondering “HOW CAN THIS BE FOR A WORLD TITLE” considering neither has had ten fights to date nor faced an opponent other than Rachael Ball even the staunchest of boxing fans could recognize by name. Was the vacant female WBA Bantamweight title contest between Shannon Courtenay and Ebanie Bridges. The lead up to this was promoted entirely off each of the ladies appearances as both look more like models than fighters.
Yet despite appearance’s notable and quality opponents on eithers resume, it was an action packed fight from start to finish. The momentum traded often, a headbutt would swell the eye of Bridges to the point she could not see. While Bridges possessed noticeably more power behind her shots, Courtenay brought her game to the next level targeting the eye of Bridges with her jabs which continued to increase the swelling.
In the ninth Courtenay let loose a barrage of shots so furious, referee Michael Alexander considered halting the contest until a last second hook from Bridges stopped her momentum as the bell sounded.
The ladies left nothing behind in the tenth and final round, they fought nonstop until the final bell exceeding expectations and sending a message of “Don’t base expectations off appearances”. The official scores read 98-92 twice and 97-94 in favor of Shannon Courtenay who is now the WBA female bantamweight world champion.
With the newly won title Shannon Courtenay improved to 7-1 (3) while Ebanie Bridges now stands at 5-1 (2). On a side note while the right fighter won the scorecards of Grzegorz Molenda and Luigi Boscarelli were disgraceful placing a dismal cloud over the efforts of both ladies.
In Undercard contest.
Light Heavyweight- John Hedges improved to 2-0 with a four round unanimous decision over Stanko Jermelic 0-6.
Heavyweight Nick Campbell 1-0 (1) the former rugby player won his pro debut with a second round stoppage over Petr Frohlich 2-31-1 (1).