BENSALEM, PA—Anthony Prescott, of Cherry Hill, NJ, has agreed to a rematch with Isaiah Wise, of North Philadelphia, following their terrific fight March 9 at the Parx Casino®.
The entertaining six-round junior middleweight fight will serve as the semifinal to the eight-round main event of Xcite Fight Night 2 between flyweights Miguel Cartagena, of Philadelphia, and Carlos Maldonado, of Los Angeles, at Parx Casino® on Friday, June 29. The seven-fight card begins at 7:30 p.m.
Prescott (8-8-2, 2K0s), scored a knockdown in the second round en route to a six-round split decision victory in their first meeting, in what ended up as the Fight of the Night.
The 31-year-old Prescott ran track and played football at Cherry Hill East High School and he also played football (safety) at Kutztown University, where he studied Criminal Justice.
Prescott had 12 amateur fights, winning 11, before turning pro in 2012. His 8-8-2 record as a pro might not impress you, but he has boxed only three fighters (out of 18) who had losing records.
Prescott is 3-1 in his last four fights with wins over Wise and two Reading, PA natives, Erik Spring and Nicholas Hernandez.
“The first fight (with Wise) was fun to be a part of,” Prescott said. “Me and coach Nick (Rosario) had a good plan and we worked hard and executed. For the second fight I want to display clearly I’m the better fighter. I know Wise is gonna be coming with something to prove and so am I. I’ve been doing this for a while and it’s time to get respected.”
Wise, (6-2, 3K0s), is motivated to make a statement in this rematch against Prescott.
‘‘I’m excited to be back at Parx Casino®,” Wise said. “The first fight with Prescott was entertaining; the rematch will not disappoint expectations.”
Working as a personal trainer locally has given Wise, 25, the opportunity to grow his fan base, and he is known for always being in a good fight, so there is no question as to why there is always a great energy in the arena when he fights.
The crowd-pleasing fights that Wise has had the in the last year include his first fight with Prescott and unanimous decision wins over Fred Jenkins, Jr., of North Philadelphia, and then-undefeated Mark Daniels, Jr., of Wisconsin.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 21, 2018) – Future Hall of Famer Antonio “The Magic Man” Tarver (31-6-1, 1 NC, 22 KOs) has just about done it all as a boxer having been an Olympic medal winner and world champion as an amateur, along with capturing five major light heavyweight world titles as a professional, as well as a pair of The Ring magazine’s top honors, and four other world championships in two different divisions.
“I credit USA Boxing for giving me structure for the first time in my life,” Tarver explained. “Everything was scheduled; curfew, eating, training, sleep….everything! I then understood that I had to be accountable for everything I did. I had talent, but I wasn’t structured, and that was bigger than me. I had to adjust to authority. My determination took off, giving me support I never had before. I went on to make speaking engagements and get sponsors. I broke barriers. I’ve been the best at every level that I fought at in the world.”
Tarver was a highly decorated amateur who had an amazing 158-12 record. He is the only boxer to capture gold medals at World Amateur Championships, U.S. National Championships and Pan-American Games in the same year (1995). The Orlando, Florida-born southpaw won a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, losing in the quarterfinals to future world champion Vassiliy Jirov, who Tarver had defeated in the semifinals of the 1995 World Amateur Championships. Tarver also won top honors at the 1994 National Golden Gloves Tournament and 1995 World Championships Challenge.
“I went on a winning roll in 1995 and went into the Olympics in rare form,” Tarver said. “And that’s why I was favored to win a gold medal. I was hitting him (Jirov), the same guy I’d beaten in the World Championships, but no points were registering for me. I had a good second round, but I was down three points, so I threw my game plan away in the third round. I felt I had to do more and got away from my style: counter punching, not getting hit, and being patient. I thought I had won and so did a lot of people. I made up for that, though, with a gold-medal professional career.
“I had been faced with a decision about going pro after I was beaten in the ’92 Olympic Trials. I decided to stay in the amateurs, despite not having any guarantees about making the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team. I sacrificed four years of my pro career, which is why I turned pro at a relatively late age (27). I was determined when I found out the 1996 Olympics were in Atlanta. I think I made the right decision and I have no regrets.
“I had always dreamed of going to the Olympics. I saw Roy Jones, Jr – we first fought each other at 13 – get robbed of gold. I was watching that on television, jumped up, and knew where I was heading: The Olympics! We both suffered horrible decisions in the Olympics and I knew then that our careers would be parallel.
Tarver made his pro debut February 18, 1997 in Philadelphia, stopping Joaquin Garcia(4-0) in the second round.
“I was an Olympic bronze medal winner but when I first turned pro,” Tarver added, “I didn’t have a promoter or manager. Nobody was willing to take a chance on me until I was 4-0, when I signed by first contract with Russell Peltz. I felt nobody could beat me.”
Nobody was able to beat Tarver, at least until his 17th pro fight, when Eric Hardingdefeated Tarver by way of a 12-round unanimous decision.
Two years later, Tarver embarked on a 12-fight murderer’s row stretch during the next seven years, arguably establishing him as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. It all started with a successful rematch with Harding (21-1-1) in Indianapolis, when Tarver dropped Harding in the fourth round, plus twice more in the fifth, on his way to a fifth-round technical knockout to avenge his lone pro loss to that date
Next up for Tarver was a showdown with 44-3 Montell Griffin for the WBC and IBF 175-pound division titles, which were vacated by Roy Jones Jr., April 26, 2003 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. In his first world title shot as a pro, Tarver pitched a complete shutout, decking Griffin in the first and last rounds to shut out his opponent by scores of 120-103 from all three judges.
Seven months later, however, Tarver lost a controversial 12-round majority decision and his WBC crown (he was stripped of his IBF belt) to WBA Super and IBO champion Jones in Las Vegas. The following May at the venue, Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, though, Tarver became the first to knockout Jones, putting him to sleep in the second round.
Tarver then became a mainstream celebrity, appearing on late-night shows and covers of The Ring magazine and KO Magazine, and co-hosting an ESPN Friday Night Fightstelecast.
“I was robbed in my first fight with Roy,” Tarver insisted. “They called my knockout of Roy the greatest upset in light heavyweight history. Why didn’t they see me coming? I had beaten everybody ranked ahead of me. Roy was the pound-4-pound king, but he knew. I may not be the fastest, the quickest, or the strongest, but I doubt that there’s ever been a pro fighter to enter the ring with a higher IQ than me. Even at my age, I still feel that way today.”
The WBC stripped Tarver of his title in 2004 for fighting IBF champion Glen Johnson (41-9-2) instead of the WBC mandatory challenger. Johnson, ironically, was stripped of his IBF title for the same reason right before his fight in Los Angeles with Tarver. Tarver and Johnson fought for The Ring and IBO titles and Johnson won a 12-round split decision.
In their rematch six months later in Memphis, Tarver won a unanimous 12-round decision over Johnson to capture the IBO strap. Tarver completed his trilogy with Jones, retaining his IBO title with a unanimous 12-round decision (117-111, 116-112, 116-112).
Tarver lost a 12-round decision June 10, 2006 in Atlantic City to Bernard Hopkins for the IBO championship, which was soon vacated and recaptured by Tarver with a 12-round majority decision over Elvir Muriqi (34-3).
Tarver traveled to Australia in 2011 to challenge IBO cruiserweight champion and local hero Danny Green, who retired after nine rounds, as Tarver added another title belt to his display case.
In December of 2013 in Temecula, California, Tarver knocked out Jonathon Banks (29-2-1) in the seventh round, and Tarver’s last fight was a 12-round split decision draw with former world champion Steve Cunningham (28-7) in Newark, New Jersey.
In 2006, Tarver starred as Mason “The Line” Dixon, the heavyweight champion in the film, Rocky Balboa.
Tarver, as he marches towards his planned history-making performance by becoming the oldest heavyweight world champion of all-time, also has served as a color commentator in boxing for Spike TV and Showtime.
Today, at the age of 49, Tarver is still technically active, and he also trains his son and undefeated middleweight prospect, Antonio Tarver, Jr. (5-0 (4 KOs), where they live in Tampa, Florida.
“I was older than the rest of the boxers on the U.S. Olympic Team and the U.S. National Team,” Tarver remarked. “What a team! Guys like Diego Corrales and Zab Judah didn’t make that Olympic Team. I gave Floyd Mayweather, Jr. his first moniker, ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’, until he changed it years later to ‘Money’. We had a bond on that Olympic team with Floyd, Fernando Vargas, David Reid, Zarim Raheem and the others.”
Although at the age of 49 he is still an active fighter, Tarver occassionally does some color commentating and he trains pro and amateur boxers at a gym in Tampa, Florida. “I’m not retired as a fighter,” Tarver commented. “I started a program, ‘Train with The Champ’, and it includes room rent and training. I like to say it’s an AirB&B for boxing. I train my son (5-0 middleweight Antonio Tarver, Jr. there. I learned a lot from my early days, training in Orlando with my coach, Lou Harris, and I reunited with Jimmy Williams, who is 90 now, training my son together in Tampa.
Tarver also is an advocate of the relatively new “USA Boxing Alumni Association,” which was 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.
“I’m going online to join,” Tarver said. “I’m looking forward to attending an Alumni Association meeting, June 24-30 during the Junior Olympics in Charleston, West Virginia.
Everything that goes around, comes around, in USA Boxing. Just ask future Hall of Fame candidate Antonio Tarver.
Saturday night May 19th at the “Air Canada Center” in Toronto Ontario Canada, WBC and lineal light heavyweight champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson took on former two division champion Badou Jack “The Ripper” in a twelve round title bout. This was a highly anticipated contest if only for the fact a majority of boxing fans feel as though, Stevenson has not defended his belts against the best opposition available and is a hinder to the “Red Hot” 175 lb divisions overall picture.
The bout started very slow with both men circling rather than punching, Jack who is known to be vulnerable early wanted to take no chances at getting caught with a big left hand of Stevenson and Adonis not sure what Jack had to offer in terms of power. In those early rounds while Stevenson did not land any telling blows he was more active with his jab while circling the ring hoping to bait Jack into a mistake. We would see jack begin to open up his offense in round three and control the fourth while Stevenson moved too much and looked to telegraph his left hand. The champion would be the fighter to get the better inside work done during round five, Real Estate that usually favors Badou Jack in fights.
As the sixth started Adonis Stevenson looked fatigued and Badou Jack took full control of rounds six though eight. There was limited offense from Stevenson in round nine as Jack snapped his head back with jabs and dug the body, Stevenson began holding excessively with no warning from referee Ian John Lewis. There would be more holding from Stevenson in the tenth round while Ian John Lewis looked for reasons to admonish Jack, after taking a one sided beating in the tenth Stevenson would land a body shot with seconds left that visibly hurt Jack at the rounds closing. The champion would capitalize on the late tenth round body shot and start the eleventh strong but fade midway through it would then be Badou Jack in control sending Stevenson back to the corner on rubber legs.
The twelfth and final round was a back and forth battle with each man having moments of success, Stevenson was wild with his punches while Jack slightly more accurate. When final scores were read Judge Jesse Reyes scored it 115-113 for Badou Jack while Judges Eric Marlinski and Guido Cavalleri had it 114-114 even making the bout a majority draw allowing Adonis Stevenson to retain his title. With the draw Adonis Stevenson improved to 29-1-1 (24), Badou Jack now stands at 22-1-3 (13).
In undercard action
Welterweight- Mikael Zewski 31-1 (22) def. Diego Gonzalo Luque 21-6-1 (10) via UD 10, Zewski claims the vacant WBC International welterweight title.
Heavyweight- Oscar Rivas 24-0 (17) def. Herve Hubeaux 29-3 (14) via UD 10, Rivas retains his NABF heavyweight title.
Middleweight- Christian Mbilli 10-0 (10) def. Marcos Jesus Cornejo 19-3 (18) via TKO 3, Mbilli claims the WBC Youth Middleweight title.
Super Welterweight- Sebastian Bouchard 16-1 (6) def. Sladan Janjanin 24-3 (18) via TKO 2.
Middleweight- Patrice Volony 11-0 (8) def. Janks Trotter 10-5-2 (10) via TKO 1.
Heavyweight- Kristian Prenga 8-1 (8) def. Ricardo Humberto Ramirez 14-5 (11) via TKO 3
Super Lightweight- Mazlum Akdeniz 5-0 (2) def. Lloyd Reyes 0-2 KO 2.
Light Heavyweight- Nick Fantauzzi 5-0 (4) def. Stephen Clement 3-4-1 via KO 3.
Saturday night at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill Maryland on a duel Showtime Boxing broadcast, WBC Featherweight title holder Gary Russell Jr took on Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz Jr in a twelve round title defense. It was a fast start for the hometown champion Russell who used his jab and speed to keep Diaz Jr at bay unable to work in close where he is most effective. They would trade momentum over the next several rounds, when Diaz was able to get in close he managed to rip the body of Russell which slowed him down during the fourth and fifth rounds. In those moments when Diaz had success he pushed Russell back towards the ropes forcing the champion to take deep breaths as he headed towards his corner.
When the midway point arrived Russell used his footwork and jab once again limiting the defensive output of Diaz Jr. In rounds six through eleven, while Diaz Jr had moments of success Gary Russell Jr controlled the ring confusing Diaz Jr with “Shoe Shine” combinations. The final round would close with both men throwing combinations and bringing the crowd to their feet. When final scores were read Judge Dave Braslow scored it 115-113 while Judges Dave Moretti and Nathan Palmer 117-111 all in favor of Gary Russell Jr who retained his title and improved to 29-1 (17), Joseph Diaz Jr. now stands at 26-1 (14).
This was a case of a very good fighter in Gary Russell Jr, taking on a very good prospect who was not quite ready for this step up in class. His promotional team had only recently placed him in against world caliber competition and should he expect to make it to that next level they will need to get him in against a variety of different opponents not always suited for his style. In the case of Gary Russell Jr, he needs to be more active because the skills are there to compete with and beat the divisions other title holders.
In Undercard action
Super Middleweight- Immanuwel Aleem 18-1-1 (11) def. Juan De Angel 20-9-1 (18) via RTD 6.
Super Featherweight- Cobia Breedy 11-0 (4) def. Christopher Martin 30-10-3 (10) via UD 6.
Super Lightweight- Gary Antuanne Russell 6-0 (6) def. Wilmer Rodriguez 9-3 (7) via KO 1.
Bantamweight- Antonio Russell 11-0 (9) def. Jonathan Lecona Ramos 17-21-4 (6) via TKO 5.
Middleweight- Brandon Quarles 19-4-1 (10) def. Fidel Monterrossa Munoz 38-18-1 (30) via TKO 5.
Cruiserweight- Reuben Simmons 3-0 (2) def. Ayron Davis 0-2 via RTD 1.
Three Bantamweight World Champions, Ryan Burnett (WBA), Manny Rodriguez (IBF) and Zolani Tete (WBO), are the first confirmed fighters for the second season of the World Boxing Super Series.
“After a fantastic first season with Super Middleweight and Cruiserweight, we have decided that bigger is better. So we are going out with three divisions in our second season,” said Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer, Kalle Sauerland.
“We are delighted to have three champions agreed to go into the Bantamweight tournament.”
“Burnett, Rodriguez and Tete represent three continents, they represent what the World Boxing Super Series is all about and we cannot wait to see these amazing athletes compete for the Muhammad Ali Trophy.“
A sensational line-up is in the making for Season 2 of the World Boxing Super Series with three world champions entering the Bantamweight edition of the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy, The Greatest Prize in Boxing.
The ingredients for epic battles are in the mix: ’O’s will go, titles will be unified and titles lost as Ryan Burnett, Emmanuel Rodriguez and Zolani Tete join the revolutionary bracket-style elimination tournament.
For 25-year-old Ryan Burnett (19-0, 9 KOs) from Belfast, Northern Ireland, the holder of the WBA Super World Bantamweight Title, the tournament fits his dreams perfectly.
“I have always wanted to be a world champion and to unify the titles against the best opposition out there. Now the World Boxing Super Series allows me to continue my dream against the other champions in the bantamweight division.”
Said 25-year-old IBF World Bantamweight Champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (18-0-12 KOs) from Manati, Puerto Rico:
“I am very happy to be in the tournament. It is great to be able to fight against two other world champions and get the chance to unify the belts. I will do my best to win the tournament.”
Said 30-year-old WBO World Bantamweight Champion Zolani Tete (27-3, 21 KOs) from Eastern Cape, South Africa:
“I would like to thank the World Boxing Super Series for the opportunity, I am very humbled and honoured to enter the tournament. This is the opportunity I have been looking for; to show that I am the best in my division.”
Five fighters remain to be revealed to complete the Bantamweight cast. Further details on Season 2, featuring three weight classes, and the finals of Season 1, will be announced over the next weeks.
Friday night at the StubHub Center in Carson California, one day prior to the Gennady Golovkin and Vanes Martirosyan undisputed middleweight championship showdown, Golden Boy Promotions hosted an ESPN broadcast card headlined by Super Featherweight prospect Ryan Garcia taking on hard hitting Jayson Velez. The co-feature would be a middleweight contest between the always tough Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan and Berlin Abreu as an added bonus undefeated female light flyweight Seniesa Estrada took on Amarillis Adorno.
The card itself appeared to have potential on paper at least, Garcia a skilled young fighter with endless potential and O’Sullivan win or lose makes exciting bouts, as female boxing continues its rise what a better way for exposure than have an undefeated female fighter as the cards added televised contest. Once the broadcast started any and all hopes for an enjoyable evening were dismissed due to non-stop commercial promo’s for Canelo Alvarez, Oscar De La Hoya going on rants about Gennady Golovkin, horrible matchmaking made even more unbearable by Bernardo Osuna and Bernard Hopkins the worst broadcast team in boxing.
When Oscar De La Hoya had camera time, he whined about Gennady Golovkin’s public displeasure with Canelo’s failed testing and withdrawing from their May 5th showdown. He appeared jittery and spoke fast giving viewers reason to question his sobriety for the evening. If his physical demeanor was not enough, repeating himself several times in a matter of sixty seconds about the intentions of Canelo Alvarez fighting this September then insinuating Gennady Golovkin was hurt and ready to be stopped in the later rounds of bout last year against Canelo Alvarez.
As Ryan Garcia made his way towards the ring broadcast announcers Bernardo Osuna and Bernard Hopkins continually referenced how he mirrored a young Oscar De la Hoya (Other than they are both Mexican American there are no other similarities except height). We were informed that Garcia had thousands on “Instagram” followers something Bernardo Osuna felt was relative to the evening.
Once introductions were made and the fight began, fans were advised that “Ryan Garcia is the hottest thing since Sliced Bread” followed by his upcoming prom date. The more experienced Jayson Velez applied pressure to Garcia but a height and reach disadvantage allowed Garcia to land uppercuts that shook Velez at times. In round three ESPN showed a list of current Mexican “Hall of fame” inducted fighters, Bernardo Osuna would then state to fans “Ryan Garcia wants to be inducted into the hall of fame like those men but he has already proven he belongs there”.
Once I brushed my teeth to rid that tiny portion of “Barf” that arouse after Bernardo Osuna made his absurd comments, I was intrigued by the fact Ryan Garcia was fighting not one but “TWO” opponents. I sat slightly baffled though unable to tell the difference between the opponent Jayson Velez who Osuna was calling the action for and “Jayson Valayz” the opponent Bernard Hopkins continued to reference.
When the contest was over, Ryan Garcia a promising young fighter who despite six reported suspensions by various sanctioning bodies showed his potential by gaining a wide decision win over the veteran Jayson Velez by scores of 99-91 on all three cards. With his win Garcia improved to 15-0 (13) while Jayson Velez now stands at Jayson Velez 24-5-1 (18).
The co-main event between Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan and Berlin Abreu should not have been sanctioned let alone televised, it had been over five hundred days since Berlin Abreu stepped in a boxing ring and when he did it was at welterweight where he had spent his entire career. If that was not shameful enough, the fact Abreu gained 13 lbs between the official weigh-in and same day weigh-in certainly was.
Once the contest started, Abreu visibly overweight was tired after thirty seconds into round one. He stood like a stationary target for O’Sullivan to tee off on without resistance. At a minute into the second round a tired and increasingly battered Abreu started spitting his mouthpiece out intentionally.
In round three a point would be deducted from Abreu for continued spitting out of his mouthpiece, then after more one sided battering without resistance from O’Sullivan the corner of Abreu would stop the contest between rounds giving O’Sullivan a third round victory via corner stoppage. Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan improved to 28-2 (20) while Berlin Abreu now stands at 14-2 (11).
The female fight between 13-0 Seniesa Estrada and 1-6 Amarillis Adorno was another one sided affair. The lone win of Adorno came in 2014 and five of her six losses came at the hands of two fighters. There would be no offense from Adorno who suffered a cut in round two that caused a doctor stoppage in round three giving Seniesa Estrada a TKO win. The record of Estrada now stands at 14-0 (2) while Adorno now stands at 1-7.
In undercard action
Middleweight Marvin Cabrera improved to 8-0 (6) when he stopped Wilfrido Buelvas 18-9 (12) in three rounds. Entering the contest Buelvas had been stopped in four of his previous six contest, his two wins coming against a 1-4-1 and 1-12 opponent.
Super Welterweight Richard Acevedo improved to 2-0 (2) when he stopped win-less Edward Aceves in round one. Entering the contest Aceves had been stopped in his previous three contest and now stands at 0-4.
HARTFORD, Conn. (May 3, 2018) -Hartford Boxing Promotions has announced its inaugural event, “Fight Night at the Capital”, to take place Saturday night, June 16, at Xfinity Centre in Hartford, Connecticut.
Boxing trainer Tony Blanco and his Hartford Boxing Center gym partner, Michael Tran, have teamed with their undefeated light heavyweight prospect, Richard “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera (7-0, 6 KOs), to form Hartford Boxing Promotions.
“I’m excited about the entire card and providing a platform for some of the best amateurs in recent Connecticut boxing history to fight,” Blanco said. “‘Popeye’ is in the main event. He’s sparred against world champions and each experience has given him more confidence. He’s on his way to greatness. We’re also showcasing (‘The Special One’) Sharad Collier in his pro debut. This kid is something special. Richard is exactly what Hartford needs, somebody youngster can look up to as a role model. ‘Popeye’ is exciting to watch and very popular. Sharad is going to be like that, too.
“I’m thrilled to partner with Richard and Michael to bring boxing back to Hartford, which is a hotbed for boxing, and it has a rich boxing history. There’s a lot of talent here right now and fans will see that June 16th.”
Boxing’s roots in the Hartford market dates back nearly a full century, headlined by International Hall of Famers Willie “Will o’ the Wisp” Pep and Christopher “Battling” Battalino. Other top-area boxers include world champion Marlon “Magic Man” Starling, world title challengers Gaspar “El Indio” Ortega and Israel “Pito” Cardona, and 1996 USA Olympic Boxing Team captain Lawrence Clay-Bey.
The hardest hitter in New England, rising star Rivera will defend his Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) New England light heavyweight title in the eight-round main event versus an opponent to be determined.
“I’m blessed to help bring boxing back to Hartford,” Rivera commented. “I’m honored to headline our first show, Fans will see good boxing and be entertained. I’m going to put on a good performance on an exciting night. I can’t wait!”
The 21-yer-old Collard, fighting out of Hartford like Rivera, will be competing in the National Golden Gloves Championships, starting May 14th in Omaha, Nebraska, before returning home to turn pro in a four-round Special Junior Welterweight Attraction versus Carlos Galindo (0-2), of Woburn, Massachusetts.
“Tony is like my second father and I’m grateful to him for allowing me to make my pro debut in my hometown,” Collier remarked. “I’m bringing a big fan-base and I’m going to put on a show. I’m familiar with a lot of fighters on this card. ‘Popeye’ is like my big brother. We train and have traveled together as amateurs. We motivate each other. I’m going to try and get a faster knockout than him June 16th.”
Undefeated Danbury, CT lightweight Omar “The Beast” Bordoy, Jr. (5-0, 1 KO) in his first scheduled six-rounder vs. Alexander “El Bravo” Picot (2-5-1), fighting out of Hartford by way of Puerto Rico.
Also fighting on the undercard, all in four-round bouts, are Hartford featherweight Luis “Lobito” Rivera (4-3) vs. Phillip Davis (1-1-1), of Worcester, MA; pro-debuting New Haven, CT lightweight Anuel Rosa vs. Cleveland’s Roger Blankenship (1-3), New Britain, CT featherweight Nathan Martinez in his professional debut vs. New Bedford’s (MA) Henry Garcia (1-0), Hartford lightweight Jose Maysonette vs. Justin Morales, of New Bedford, in a battle of pro-debut fighters, and another pair of pro debut fighters, Bridgeport, CT featherweight Jacob Marrero vs. Jimmy Santiago, of New York City.
Mason “Rock Hard Mighty” Menard is focused and determined like no other time during his career.
The lightweight contender moved six hours from his home and two children in Louisiana to train with a new team in Dallas alongside the likes of WBC World Super Welterweight Champion Jermell Charlo and IBF Welterweight Champion Errol Spence Jr.
Menard (33-2, 24 KOs) will face undefeated Devin “The Dream” Haney (18-0, 12 KOs) of Las Vegas for the USBA Lightweight Championship on Friday, May 11, in the 10-round main event of the popular prospect series ShoBox: The New Generation quadrupleheader (10 p.m. ET/PT) on SHOWTIME from 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.
In the 10-round co-feature, super bantamweight prospects Josh “Don’t Blink” Greer (16-1-1, 8 KOs) and Glenn Dezurn (9-1-1, 6 KOs) will meet. In an eight-round featured attraction, light heavyweight Alvin Varmall Jr. (15-0-1, 12 KOs) takes on Charles Foster (15-0, 8 KOs); and in the opening televised fight, super bantamweight Arnold Khegai (11-0-1, 8 KOs) will face Adam Lopez (16-2-2, 8 KOs) in an eight-round bout.
“Everything has changed,” said Menard. “The way I eat in my off-time, my team, my management, my trainers, the way I train. Everything.”
The 29-year-old Menard says his home state of Louisiana simply couldn’t offer the level of training he is now getting, working with new trainers Nathan Pipitone, Maurice James and Aaron Navarro, while sparring with world champions.
“I’m in Dallas to better my career,” Menard continued. “Louisiana just doesn’t have what I need to take it to the next level and compete. I’m working hard here and it’s what I need. I’m pushing the tempo and sharpening my skills.”
Fighting live on ShoBox in 2016, Menard scored a brutal Knockout of the Year candidate over previously undefeated Eudy Bernardo and got another ShoBox win later that year with an impressive KO over Bahodir Mamadjonov. He then suffered his only loss since 2008, in a short-notice showdown with WBO Lightweight Champion Raymundo Beltran.
He returned from the setback in March 2017 with a decision win, but suffered a serious injury.
“I had a detached front rotator cuff tendon and partial torn biceps tendon. It gave out on me in my last fight in the first round. I’ve had surgery on it, and rehabbed it, and now I’m ready to return to the world stage. I’m in with a good, slick boxer, but my trainers have a game plan and we have been working on a few things that he does, just to be prepared for what’s to come against him. I’ll be ready.”
Menard says the hardest part of preparing to face one of boxing’s most talked-about prospects on national television is the loneliness of missing his two beloved daughters, Demi (8 years old) and newborn Amelia.
“I get homesick. I miss my babies back home, but it’ll all be worth it,” he said. “It’s my job and I’m going to do it.”