NEW YORK (December 5, 2017) – Limited tickets are still available for this Sunday afternoon’s 31st annual Ring 8 Holiday Event and Awards Ceremony, between 12:30 and 5:30 p.m. ET, at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York.
Six world champions will be attending, including three award winners: WBO Junior Lightweight World Champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist Vasyl “Hi Tech” Lomachenko (Muhammad Ali International Fighter of the Year), Hall-of-Famer Michael Spinks (Historical Award), and five-time world champion Amanda “The Real Deal” Serrano (New York State Female Fighter of the Year).
Another Hall-of Fame star, Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, is unable to attend the festivities because of a travel conflict but he did receive his Legends Award at the last Ring 8 meeting.
World champions Vito Antuofermo, Iran Barkley and Luis Collazo are confirmed special guests.
Other 2017 Ring 8 award winners include two-time Irish Olympian Michael Conlan(International Prospect of the Year Award), 2012 U.S. Olympian “Sir” Marcus Browne (New York State Fighter of the Year), of Staten Island.
“The anticipation is continuing to grow as we move closer to the Ring 8 awards banquet on Sunday,” Ring 8 president Jack Hirsch said. “We are honored that Vasyl Lomachenko and Michael Conlan will be attending despite having fought at Madison Square Garden the night before. Many consider Lomachenko the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and Conlan the best prospect. And it will be a special treat for fans to see Michael Spinks, who will be given recognition as being the first light heavyweight champion in history to have won the heavyweight crown.
“The awards banquet is very reasonably priced. Not only will people get to mingle with great fighters, but the food at Russo’s on the Bay is superb and the atmosphere first rate.”
2017 RING 8 Award Winners
Muhammad Ali International Fighter of the Year: Vasyl Lomachenko
Historical Award: Michael Spinks
International Prospect of the Year: Michael Conlan
NYS Fighter of the Year: Marcus Browne
NYS Female Fighter of the Year: Amanda Serrano
Sunnyside Gardens Award:: Bobby Cassidy, Sr.
NYS Prospect of the Year: Devaun Lee
Rising Contender Award: Skender & Enver Halili
Sam Kellerman Media Award: Matt Christie
NYS Trainer of the Year: Hector Rosa
Long & Meritorious Service: Edwin Torres
NYS Official of the Year: Robert Perez
NYS Promoter of the Year: Mercedes Vasquez Simmons
Uncrowned Champion: Richard Kiley
Ringside Physician of the Year: Dr. Osric King
Good Guy Award: Joanne Doyle Hutchins
Ring 8 Member of the Year: George Newman
Community Service Award: Mike Reno
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (December 5, 2017) – The fledgling USA Boxing Alumni Association will host a gala reception this Friday night (Dec.) 8, highlighted by the induction of the inaugural class of the USA Boxing Alumni Hall of Fame, at the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown in Salk Lake City, Utah.
The reception is being held in conjunction with the 2017 USA Boxing Elite and Youth National Championships and Junior and Prep Open, Dec. 5-9, also held in Salt Lake City.
Created to champion a lifelong, mutually beneficial relations between USA Boxing and its alumni, –boxers, officials, coaches and boxing fans — The Alumni Association connects generations of champions, inspiring and giving back to USA Boxing’s future boxing champions, in and out of the ring.
“The Alumni Association will bring together former boxers, coaches and official who have reached all levels of success in amateur boxing, as well as people who have all over for Olympic-style boxing,” explained Mike McAtee, USA Boxing Executive Director. “This association will help expand our grassroots and create fight champions of USA Boxing and alumni members.”
“The Greatest” and “The Real Deal”, respectively, Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield, will be the first boxers inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame, joining two others, veteran coaches Roosevelt Sanders and Tom Coulter, also being inducted as charter members.
The late Ali is the lone three-time lineal world heavyweight champion of all-time, who as an amateur (known then as Cassius Clay), captured a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics in Rome.
Holyfield was the first and remains the only undisputed cruiserweight and heavyweight world champion. At the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Holyfield won a bronze medal as a light heavyweight, after a he suffered a questionable disqualification in his semifinals match. Earlier this year, Holyfield started his promotional company, The Real; Deal Boxing.
A 1993 USA Boxing Hall of Fame inductee, Roosevelt coached the U.S. Marines boxing team in 1975-1978 and 1988-2000. He also served as assistant coach on the USA Olympic boxing teams in 1984 and 1992.
Coulter has been a boxing coach for more than 62 years, continuing to conduct boxing clinics today around the glove. In addition to coaching the iconic 1988 USA Olympic boxing team, which captured eight individual medals, he was a consultant for the 1996 squad that won 14 meals. A national boxing champion at Syracuse University, Coulter also coaches the U.S. Army Boxing Team.
International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Al Bernstein will serve as Master of ceremonies for Friday’s event. “USA Boxing makes a positive difference in the lives of thousands and thousands of young people ion a daily basis,” the voice of Showtime Boxing said,” and I am so honored to serve as emcee for the inaugural USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame Reception. This new arm of USA Boxing will be a terrific addition to an already great organization. I look forward to it.”.
Four Olympic medalists from Team USA will be in attendance: 1984 gold medalist Paul Gonzales, 1984 and 1988 silver medalists, respectively, Virgil Hill and Michael Carbajal, and 1972 bronze medalist Jessie Valdez.
Other boxing dignitaries who are confirmed attendees include 1992 Olympian Raul Marquez, Hall of Fame referee Steve Smoger, National Golden Gloves champion and NBC boxing announcer B.J. Flores, three-time New England Golden Gloves champion “Irish” Micky Ward, former Air Force Academy coach Eddie Welchers, Rocky Mountain Golden Gloves franchise tournament director Larry Fullmer and others.
The USA Boxing Alumni Association is open to anyone who has a love for boxing and would like to stay connected with amateur boxing. Members are granted access to a wide variety of special events host by the Alumni Association, including Friday evening’s USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception.
The Ali Trophy semi-final bout in the cruiserweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series between IBF World Champion Murat Gassiev (25-0, 18 KOs) and WBA World Champion Yunier Dorticos (22-0, 21 KOs) takes place at the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi, Russia on February 3, 2018.
“The consistent growth of our tournament concept keeps attracting major sports investors. Comosa is very proud to bring the Ali Trophy semi-final to Sochi,” said Comosa’s CEO, Roberto Dalmiglio.
“This fight is a very special one,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer:
“The level in the Ali Trophy tournament is already of the very highest, but when you have two such decorated boxers with massive KO power then the only guaranteed winner is the fans.
Two World Champions collide in Sochi, this special Olympic City. Russia hold tight for the Ali Trophy experience, the lights and stars are on their way!”
Murat ‘Iron’ Gassiev, the Russian second seed, earned his spot in the semi-final when he blew away Polish Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in New Jersey in October with a powerful performance to produce a third-round KO.
“The location for the semi-final was not important for me, but the fact that it will be in Russia and the beautiful city of Sochi makes me very glad,” said Gassiev.
“This means my family and friends and a lot of people from my home region of Ossetia will be attending. Also, it is always an honour and pleasure to fight in front of my countrymen,” said the 24-year-old and expresses a lot of respect for his upcoming challenge.
“Dorticos is a very good dangerous fighter. It is going to be great to test my skills against an opponent like him. I am confident we will deliver great boxing for fans around the world.”
Cuban Dorticos aka ‘The KO Doctor’, the tournament’s fourth seed, impressed in his quarter-final with a devastating KO victory in the third round over Russian Dmitri Kudryashov in San Antonio in September. And he predicts another jaw-dropping output against another Russian in the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
“I am looking forward to fighting in Sochi. No matter where I fight, I will work hard to take my opponent out,” said 31-year-old Dorticos who is fighting out of Miami, USA.
“I believe I am the best in the world and the future winner of the Muhammad Ali Trophy. I can’t wait to show Gassiev and the fans in Russia and all over the world what ‘The KO Doctor’ is about!”
The cruiserweight final of the World Boxing Super Series will take place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in May 2018.
WORLD BOXING SUPER SERIES FIXTURES
03/02/18 Cruiserweight Semi-Final:
Murat Gassiev vs. Yunier Dorticos (IBF World & WBA World)
Bolshoy Ice Dome, Sochi, Russia
17/02/18 Super Middleweight Semi-Final:
George Groves vs. Chris Eubank Jr (WBA Super World & IBO World)
Manchester Arena, Manchester, UK
TBC Cruiserweight Semi-Final:
Aleksandr Usyk vs. Mairis Briedis (WBO World & WBC World)
TBC Super Middleweight Semi-Final:
Callum Smith vs. Juergen Braehmer (WBC Diamond Belt)
WORLD BOXING SUPER SERIES AT A GLANCE
Number of participants: 16
Number of belts: 7
Number of world champions: 6
Number of former world champions: 3
Number of undefeated fighters: 9
Combined Record of participants (at start): 423 wins, 17 losses, 294 KOs
PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (December 2, 2017) – Professional boxing returned to The Strand Ballroom and Theatre in Providence last night, December 1 for the first time in 20 years and popular Providence featherweight Toka “T-Nice” Kahn Clarydidn’t disappoint the large, raucous crowd.
Kahn-Clary (24-1, 16 KOs) turned in a dominant performance, winning by way of a seventh-round technical knockout, over previously undefeated Filipino slugger John Vincent Moralde (19-1, 10 KOs), the WBC Asian featherweight titlist, to capture the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) USNBC featherweight championship.
“Real Deal Championship Boxing V”, presented by Hall of Famer Evander Holyfield’s The Real Deal Boxing, aired live on CBS Sports Network, the undercard was live-streamed on www.TheRealDealBoxing.com. Calling the action were Paulie Malignaggi, Steve Farhood and Barry Tompkins.
The 25-year-old Kahn-Clary, who won the North American Boxing Association (NABA) title in his last fight, used a stiff jab and solid defense to frustrate his opponent early in the fight, setting the pace to take a decisive scoring advantage.
Toka-Kahn came out firing in the fourth round, applying more pressure to take full command, and he never let up. Rapid fire punches by Toka-Kahn, thrown from all angles, repeatedly landed on his overmatched opponent. By the end of round seven it was clear that the end was near for Moralde and it came suddenly when Moralde couldn’t continue anymore.
“This was great tonight,” Holyfield commented about promoting his first show in Providence. “We want Toka to be our first world champion and this performance should put him in good position. It was very important to build his fanbase at home in Providence and we look forward to promoting here in the near future.”
“I’m not a one-punch fighter,” WBA No. 14-rated Toka explained. “I kept walking him down and hit him with some good body shots. I’m not going to call anybody out by name but I’m ready to fight anybody in my weight class.”
“This is such a good feeling. I came here but could have ended up anywhere. I’m truly blessed to be in Providence and have these great fans. I have a great team behind me. I want to fight the best to be the best, it’s the only way to make money and be recognized. I’m ready for anybody!”
The American debut of undefeated Italian cruiserweight Fabio “Stone Crusher” Turchi (13-0, 11 KOs) was a clinic in last night’s co-featured event against Demetrius Banks (9-4, 4 KOs), of Detroit. Turchi patiently applied constant pressure, methodically breaking down the game Banks and hurting his opponent with a flurry of punches in the third round. The end came when Banks failed to answer the bell for round five.
“I’m so happy,” Turchi remarked after the fight. “This was so emotional for me because it was the first time I fought in front of Evander. I’m happy with my performance but I think I could have done better”.
“I felt the heat from the Italian-American fans and I thank them for helping me sustain. I also want to thank The Real Deal Boxing. My next fight will be February 2 at home in Florence, for the European Union title.”
In the CBSSN televised opener, red-hot featherweight prospect made Irvin Gonzalez(8-0, 7 KOs) made the most of his national TV debut, switching freely from orthodox stance to southpaw and back throughout the fight, en route to a sensational third-round knockout of Colombian knockout artist Marlon Olea (13-2, 12 KOs). The lightning-quick Gonzalez, of Worcester, MA, consistently beat his opponent to the punch, and finished off Olea with a straight right to the body to keep his perfect pro record intact. Olea was fighting in the U.S. for the first time.
“Tonight, I showed that I’m a real fighter,” Gonzalez said after the fight. “I believe I’m a contender in my weight class. I’m going back to the drawing board with my coaches and 2018 is going to be my year.”
Local favorite Nick DeLomba (12-2, 2 KOs), representing nearby Cranston, RI, pleased his supportive crowd, registering a hard-fought victory by way of an eight-round unanimous decision versus Bronx junior welterweight Louis Cruz (12-4, 6 KOs) for the vacant Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) junior welterweight title. Cruz was penalized a one-point deduction in the fourth round for a low blow. Scores were 79-72 and 78-73 twice.
Two-time New England Golden Gloves champion Timmy Ramos (4-0-2, 4 KOs), fighting out of Framingham, MA, remained unbeaten, but he fought a four-round split draw with Worcester, MA junior lightweight Phil Davis (1-1-1) in an entertaining give-and-take contest. Scores were 39-37 and 38-38 twice.
Philadelphia welterweight Poindexter “Savage” Knight (1-0, 1 KOs), a 2017 National Golden Gloves champion, had an auspicious pro debut, trapping Samuel Forjoe (0-2) in the corner right after the first bell. The gifted southpaw, a prized prospect for fans to keep an eye on, unloaded ten unanswered punches until referee Danny Schiavone halted the action at 1:03 of the opening round.
Las Vegas junior middleweight Jeremy “J-Flash” Nichols (8-1-1, 2 KOs) opened the night with a six-round unanimous decision win over battled-tested Puerto Rican fighter Daniel Sostre (13-16-1, 5 KOs). Scores were 60-54 and 59-55 twice.
Saturday Night at Madison Square Garden, HBO broadcast a Golden Boy Promotions event headlined by what was announced as the final career bout of four division world champion Miguel Cotto. He would be defending his WBO Super Welterweight against former Olympian and Brooklyn native Sadam Ali. There were few who expected Sadam Ali who is a skilled boxer with fast hands and footwork to last more than a few rounds before an infamous Cotto left hook sent him crashing to the canvas. That opinion had much to do with his 2016 stoppage loss at the hands of Jessie Vargas when they met for the vacant WBO welterweight title. It appeared as the stage was set for Cotto to go out with a “Hollywood Movie” career finish but in boxing things don’t always work that way and Saturday night would be no different.
The fight opened with Sadam Ali coming forward aggressively then using his footwork to avoid a Cotto counter attack. In round two it appeared Cotto had hurt Ali when a landed punch seemingly sent Sadam to the canvas but referee Charlie Fitch ruled it a slip and video replay enforced it as a correct call.
Over the next several rounds Cotto tried to time the rhythm of Ali, hoping a well placed punch would slow his younger fresher opponent down but he had minimal success doing so.There would be several different moments when Ali caught Cotto with clean hard punches that stunned him momentarily.
In the mid-rounds Cotto found a home for his left hook to the body that slowed Ali down and for a brief time it appeared he might be en route to taking control of the bout. Then the momentum and energy of Cotto faded midway through round nine. Once his punch output declined Cotto demonstrated his underestimated defense and made Ali miss his telegraphed power punches but with a limited offensive output Sadam Ali based on activity continued building up points.
When the 12th round arrived, Cotto behind on points looked to score a dramatic come from behind knockout victory, Sadam Ali still the fresher fighter combined with Cotto’s fatigue prevented him from producing such an ending. When it was over official scores read 116-112 and 115-113 twice all in favor of Sadam Ali who along with claiming the WBO Super Lightweight title improved his record to 26-1 (14). In his final ring appearance Miguel Cotto will now retire with an overall 41-6 (33) record.
While the fight was not spectacular by any means it was a solid performance from Ali who by out boxing the veteran Cotto and claiming his championship should have silenced critics that have not let him live down his loss to Jessie Vargas. On the opposite side without intentionally taking anything from his victory, the version of Cotto we witnessed at Madison Square Garden Saturday was that of a faded and ring worn veteran who recently as three fights ago was still performing levels above most in and around his division. In retrospect Miguel Cotto is retiring at the right time. The fact he went out on a loss against a talented fighter like Sadam Ali without being completely dominated is something top fighters that have recently retired outside of Floyd Mayweather and Andre Ward cannot claim. In his post fight interview Miguel Cotto reinforced he was done boxing, he would enjoy retirement by spending time with his family.
I personally hope he stays firm with that decision and for no terms makes a ring return something we see too many greats do at some point in time after retirement. When they do it rarely end up in success and a fighter like Miguel Cotto who has faced the very best in and around his weight class, who has given fans his all both physically and emotionally throughout his entire career, should be remembered that way. It would be a travesty for him to return and end up a name that builds up some prospects resume.
The co-feature would be between undefeated WBC Super Bantamweight champion Rey Vargas facing his second undefeated opponent of 2017 Oscar Negrete. It was an interesting bout at times Negrete managed to get inside and make Vargas uncomfortable. When not inside Negrete would be peppered with uppercuts and
brutal body punches from Vargas. There would be accidental headbutts in rounds five and eight that opened cuts over the left and right eyes of Vargas despite bleeding freely still out boxed Negrete who could not match the skill set or natural physical advantages of Vargas. When the contest was over official scores read 119-109 twice and 120-108 in favor of Rey Vargas who after his first successful title defense improved to 31-0 (22), suffering his first career defeat Oscar Negrete now stands at 17-1 (7).
In a non televised title affair, hard hitting Junior Flyweight Angel Acosta faced off against Juan Alejo for the Vacant WBO World Light Flyweight Title. The two fighters delivered an action packed contest for fans in attendance at Madison Square Garden before Acosta let loose an onslaught that ended the contest at 1:33 seconds of round ten. With his victory Angel Acosta claimed the WBO World Light Flyweight championship and improved to 17-1 (17) while Juan Alejo drops to 24-5-1 (14).
It was a bad judgement call by HBO to not show this bout on the cards televised portion, with the success
of Septembers “Superfly” event and lower divisions gaining momentum fans at home fans would have appreciated being able to view these two world class fighters in action.
In Undercard action–
Featherweight– Ronny Rios 29-2 (13) def. Deivi Julio Bassa 19-4 (11) via UD 10.
Official scores read 97-93, 99-91 and 100-90.
Super Lightweight– Zachary Ochoa 18-1 (7) def. Erick Daniel Martinez 14-11-1 (8) via UD 6.
Official scores 60-54 on all three Judges cards
New York City (December 1, 2017) WBO junior featherweight world champion AMANDA SERRANO (34-1-1, 26 KOs), of Brooklyn, New York, has been nominated by UNIVISION for its prestigious “Female Athlete of the Year” award, it was announced this week.
The award ceremony will take place on Sunday, December 17, 2017, from Miami, Florida, and will be telecast live on Univision at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Among the other world class female athletes nominated are 2016 Olympic silver medalist LUPITA GONZALEZ, who competed in race walking for her native Mexico, and three-time professional racquetball world champion PAOLA LONGORIA, also from Mexico. The 2017 Wimbledon champion GARBINE MUGURUZA, of Spain, and 2016 Olympic silver medalist triple-jumper YULIMAR ROJAS are also nominated.
“This is an extraordinary honor to be included with these great athletes for Univision’s ‘Female Athlete of the Year,'” said the Puerto Rican-born Serrano. “I’ve won a number of awards in boxing, such as ‘fighter of the year’ and been a five-division world champion, but this is much more as I’m being recognized with these other amazing athletes who have been so successful in their respective fields. Just being nominated feels like winning for me. I can’t wait to meet all the great Latin athletes who will be at the awards ceremony on December 17.”
Said LOU DIBELLA, President of DIBELLA ENTERTAINMENT, “I’m thrilled for Amanda that she is nominated as Univision’s ‘Female Athlete of the Year.’ While she’s received numerous accolades as a world champion boxer, to be in the company of these other world class Latina athletes truly validates the international impact of her career.”
“Even though women’s boxing hasn’t reached the heights it deserves in this country, Amanda has overcome this perception to build a tremendous career that has flourished. She’s been a pleasure to promote and I’m excited for the opportunities that lie ahead for her in 2018.”
Since its inception in 2014, “Premios Univision Deportes” has grown to be the most-viewed celebration of sports by US Hispanics. The two-hour live event will feature some of the biggest names in Latin music and honor elite athletes in the most popular sports, as well as those who use sports as a vehicle for social change. A full list of categories and nominees will be announced at a later date.
New York, NY: On Saturday at Madison Square Garden, World of Boxing hosted a media roundtable withWBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol (12-0, 10 KOs). Bivol, the 26-year old from St. Petersburg, Russia by way of Kyrgystan, Moldova and Korea, charmed the media who came out to see him, many of whom met the young champ for the first time.
The wide-ranging conversation touched on Dmitry’s childhood in Kyrgystan, his Korean heritage, how we got into boxing, and the current state of the light heavyweight division.
On the light heavyweight division and his place in it, Bivol said, “number one is vacant. I’m not sure who exactly is the best. Maybe we’ll have a chance to figure it out.” He later continued, “I’m very happy for Andre Ward because I’m very happy for all the athletes that finish their careers on a successful note. But, of course, I’m upset that my division lost a really important opponent for me. Judging by the last couple fights of Andre Ward, he could definitely have stayed for a couple more and showed more fun battles for his fans.”
Bivol was asked how he would approach fighting on HBO and when he might fight two-time light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. He replied, “It’s a hard question. It depends on my opponents just as much as it depends on me. If I keep showing very good fighting against all the different opponents, then hopefully the American people would be just as happy to see me as they are to see Kovalev.”
When asked if it’s true that he prefers knocking out his opponents, Bivol said, “I don’t necessarily like knockouts, but the crowd likes knockouts. They buy tickets, they come to see boxing because they like knockouts. They like to see blood, they like to see war. So, I like to fight so people are satisfied with buying my tickets and seeing my fights.”
Unlike many fighters, Dmitry did not get into boxing as a way of getting out of street fighting. He explained, “I was a huge fan of Jackie Chan growing up, so I kind of got into boxing because I wanted to do the same kind of stuff as Jackie Chan.”
The New York reporters were eager to know if Bivol had dreamed of one day fighting at “The Mecca of Boxing.” Dmitry said that, as an amateur, “it was my coach’s dream that his student would be fighting in the biggest boxing arena in the world, specifically Madison Square Garden, and I’m hoping that this will happen.”
It was also announced that World of Boxing will partner with Main Events on Bivol’s next fight, which will take place in the United States. World of Boxing is working with HBO Executive Vice President Peter Nelson to pick a date for the world champion’s second title defense. Andrey Ryabinsky of World of Boxing said, “In the first quarter of next year, we plan to organize a fight for Dmitry Bivol in the USA. We hope that we will be able to negotiate a deal with one of the top opponents in the division. Dmitry is ready to fight the best and has been asking for a top-rated opponent.” Bivol’s manager, Vadim Kornilov, added, “We are very excited with the way Dmitry’s career has progressed and are looking forward to his next appearance in the US, possibly in the legendary Madison Square Garden arena!” When asked about working with a US promoter, Bivol stated, “World of Boxing is partnering with Main Events. I’m happy with that.” Main Events CEO Kathy Duva adds, “Dmitry has the potential to be a big star here in America and on HBO. I look forward to showing World of Boxing, Dmitry, and Vadim what we can do!”
As it was Dmitry’s first time at Madison Square Garden, after the media roundtable he received a VIP tour of the facility, then sat ringside for the Kovalev-Shabranskyy event, promoted by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions and Shuan Boxing Promotions.
In the main event, two-time light heavyweight world champion Sergey Kovalev defeated Vyacheslav Shabranskyy to reclaim the WBO Light Heavyweight Title. In the co-feature, Sullivan Barrera topped Felix Valera in a contest to determine Bivol’s mandatory challenger.
After the event, Bivol tweeted that he would like to meet Sullivan Barrera in the ring:
“I have not changed my mind about Barrera – he’s a technical fighter with a hard punch. I would very much like to go out against him in the ring. For me it will be a serious experience, a serious challenge, a good chance to see a spectacular fight for boxing fans #BarreraValera”
Christmas comes a little early this year for hard-punching Warriors Boxing lightweight Jessica ‘CasKILLA’ McCaskill.
All year, she and manager/trainer Rick Ramos have been expressing their wish, via social media, to face Irish gold medalist turned professional world champion Katie Taylor.
On Wednesday, December 13, they will get their wish, as Chicago-based McCaskill (5-1, 3 KOs) will challenge Taylor (7-0, 4 KOs) for her WBA Lightweight Championship at York Hall in London, England, and live before a massive audience on Sky Sports.
“I’m relieved. I’ve been working toward this fight for a long time,” said McCaskill, rated #2 in the world at 135 lbs and #1 in the United States in women’s boxing. “We have been training for this fight since my last fight because we knew it was coming and we’ve definitely bumped up the intensity.”
Before turning professional a year ago, the popular Taylor, from Bray, won lightweight gold at the 2012 London Olympics, as well as an impressive assortment of world and European amateur championships. Known as the Irish athlete of her entire generation, Taylor is regarded as a superstar in the UK because of her aggressive and crowd-pleasing style.
“I’ve never watched a full fight of hers,” professed McCaskill. “I’ve seen some highlights. I see mistakes she makes, but it’s not so much what I see in her. It’s what I see in all her opponents. They’ve all been scared of her. I am not. You won’t see any fear in me. Everybody else was terrified to engage her. They just showed up. I’ll be fighting to the last bell.”
Much of the credit for landing the fight must go to Ramos, who doggedly pursued Taylor and her promoter, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, on social media.
“I felt like offended about comments Katie and Eddie made about how no one wants to fight her,” explained Ramos. “I remember thinking, ‘well, NO ONE called Jessica. We would love to fight Katie!’ That kind of started everything. Eddie Hearn finally did contact me via Instagram and things started getting real. I was happy that my social-media tactic worked!”
McCaskill, who also works full-time in Regulatory and Reporting at R.J. O’Brien & Associates investment bank in Chicago, says she’s not intimidated about stepping into Taylor’s home field for this fight. In fact, she’s expecting a number of her fans to be there as well.
“It’s funny because of my job and my previous investment banking job, I have a lot of contacts and friends over there who are excited to show up for me. My company I work for has a branch that is three miles from the venue. I’ll be expecting a lot of fans there for me as well that night. It would be incredible to headline over there and to break her undefeated record and get my first world title in one night in front of them. I can’t wait!”
BROOKLYN (November 29, 2017) – Unbeaten welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr. and former champion Lamont Peterson went face-to-face for the first time Wednesday at a press conference in Brooklyn to discuss their world title showdown headlining action on Saturday, January 20 live on SHOWTIME. The event is presented by Premier Boxing Champions from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING®