Mikkel Kessler has been forced to delay his comeback after contracting Lyme Borreliosis – a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks. The former five-time World Champion had announced his plans to come out of retirement earlier this year and was expected to make his long awaited return to the ring in November.
However, the Danish boxing icon was struck down by a mystery illness whilst in training camp, and was later admitted to hospital where following multiple tests it was revealed that he had Lyme Borreliosis. Kessler has since been released from hospital and is currently completing a course of antibiotics. The 38 year-old is close to making a full recovery, but still suffering from symptoms including fatigue, he is yet to resume training.
“I started to feel ill around 4 weeks ago. I was tired, my muscles were aching and I was unable to train,” reveals Kessler. “At that point, I still had no idea what was causing it. I had blood tests, which showed nothing, and it wasn’t until I had a spinal fluid test that the doctors were able to identify the problem. “I’m not sure exactly when or where I was bitten by the tick, but I’m just thankful the bacteria was caught early and hopefully there will be no long lasting effects.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed to have to delay my comeback. I want to thank my fans for their support and patience. I hope to be ready to return to the ring early next year, and I promise to repay their support with a great victory!”
“I’ve had fighters suffering from many different injuries and illnesses in the past but this is a first for me,” said promoter Kalle Sauerland. “I know Mikkel is bitterly disappointed, but his health must come first. We are now set for March and will announce venue and opponent in the coming weeks. It will take more than a tick to stop The Viking Warrior!”
WBA super champion George Groves defeated fellow countryman Jamie Cox in the Ali Trophy quarter-final with a fourth-round knockout and paved the way for a British superfight semi-final with Chris Eubank Jr.
“We have an opportunity to put on a mega fight. I can’t wait, it’s going to be epic!” said Eubank Jr. after facing off with Groves.
Groves ended Cox’s unbeaten record Saturday night as he delivered a stunning right hook body shot to floor Cox.
“I was landing big body shots on Jamie, in the end it was a right hook to the body, it’s a crippling shot – I don’t blame him for not getting up,” said Groves now looking forward to fighting Eubank Jr.
“It’s going to be a great fight. Eubank has always been all-action. He has improved over the years but he hasn’t boxed anyone on my level. I know if I boxed like I did tonight, he doesn’t stand a chance.”
Cox worked furiously and fought with intensity from the first bell, but in the end he could not handle Groves’ greater power.
“He placed the shot greatly and he’s a very good champion. He prepared well, I made a mistake and he made me pay. It was a great fight until then,” said Cox.
“It was an honour being a part of this great tournament.”
Saturday night at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California TGB Promotions and Ringstar Sports co-promoted a PBC double header. Headlining was WBA Super world featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz defending that title against Chris Avalos co-featured by Abner Mares defending his WBA regular world featherweight title against Andres Gutierrez.
The first of two world title fights was between WBA regular featherweight champion Abner Mares and Andres Gutierrez. It looked like a refreshed and improved version of Mares from opening bell, he threw punches in five and six bunch combinations confusing Gutierrez who tried to remain calm and weather the storm. As Gutierrez moved forward hoping to find an opening or possibly see Mares slow down he became target practice and returned to his corner bleeding from his left eye. A cut that referee Jack Reiss claimed at that time was from a Mares punch.
As rounds wore on, Gutierrez attempted to land big counter punches in hopes one would connect and slow Mares assault down for those attempts he was punished with barrages of varied combinations. The rounds became nothing more than a showcase for Mares skillset and at anytime after round seven someone could have halted the affair with no complaints on an early stoppage. The face of Gutierrez started looking distorted, his eye quickly swelling shut and his corner unable to relieve that swelling between rounds. In round ten referee Jack Reiss finally called in the ringside doctor who advised a halt to the contest. It appeared as though Mares had won by TKO but it was later decided Gutierrez cut was caused by a head butt. They would got to the official cards which read 100-90 and 99-91 twice all in favor of Abner Mares who improved to 31-2-1 (15), the record of Andres Gutierrez drops to 35-2-1 (25).
When Leo Santa Cruz stepped in to defend his WBA Super world featherweight title against well traveled Chris Avalos, fans in attendance seen a glimpse of Santa Cruz many have not in previous fights. While Santa Cruz as always used a high volume punch output as his defense and offense, he threw punches with “bad intentions” early looking to either halt Avalos quickly or take any desire to fight out of him while he dazzled viewers. He stunned Avalos early and often landing six and seven punch combinations.
It was a non-stop one sided beating from Santa Cruz for eight continuous rounds, Avalos on occasion attempted to mount an offense but in return was peppered with combinations. In round eight finally referee Thomas Taylor took mercy on Chris Avalos and halted the contest. A tough but game Avalos never had a moment of success against Santa Cruz who was relentless from start to finish. With the win Leo Santa Cruz improved to 34-1-1(18), Chris Avalos now stands at 27-5 (20).
The televised opener was a welterweight contest between former world champion Antonio DeMarco and undefeated prospect Eddie Ramirez. This was supposed to be a coming out party of sorts for Ramirez, a win over DeMarco on television could have placed his name in main stream discussions as a prospect to look out for. That memo did not reach the desk of Antonio DeMarco.
It started with Ramirez moving forward and attacking the body of DeMarco possibly hoping to wear Tony down for later rounds. A single counter punch in-between Ramirez attack from DeMarco sent Eddie backwards and DeMarco capitalized on that moment. He jumped all over the inexperienced Ramirez and ended the affair seconds later. With the win Antonio DeMarco improved to 34-6-1 (24), Eddie Ramirez in his first defeat now stands at 17-1 (11).
In Undercard action–
Lightweight- Roberto Marroquin 27-4-1 (20) def. Ruben Tamayo 26-11-1 (18) via TKO 5.
Welterweight- Eimantas Stanionis 4-0 (3) def. Todd Manuel 14-15-1 (3) via UD 8.
Middleweight- Misael Rodriguez 4-0 (2) def. Cesar Hernandez 3-3 (1) via UD 6. 6rds
Super Featherweight- Jerry Perez 3-0 (2) def. Juan Sandoval 7-19-1 (4) via UD 4.
Super Bantamweight- Jose Vargas 3-0 (2) def. Jose Perez 1-1 (1) via KO2.
Super Featherweight- Percy Peterson 3-14-3 (1) def. Luis Coria 4-1 (3) via UD4.
Bantamweight- Antonio Santa Cruz 6-3 (3) def. Jesus Godinez 2-2(2) via KO3.
Bantamweight- Jose Balderas 2-0 def. Victor Torres 2-6-1(1) 4rds
Saturday October 14th at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York a 154lb world title fight triple header took place headlined by WBA Super and IBO champion Erislandy Lara defending his belt against Terrell Gausha. In the co-features IBF title holder Jarrett Hurd faced former world champion Austin Trout and WBC title holder Jermell Charlo faced Erickson Lubin. In all the combined record of the six fighters was an impressive 141-5-2.
In the main event WBA Super champion Erislandy Lara put on a master class clinic in his defense over Terrell Gausha. While the crowd in attendance was not happy and most were unable to appreciate how easily Lara was able to handle Gausha he did so without threat. The straight left hand and angles of Lara left Gausha confused and without answers on how to mount an offense of his own. In the twelfth and final round Gausha managed to have some success but that success came too late. The final scores read 116-111 twice and 117-110 all in favor of Lara. With the win Erislandy Lara improved to 26-2-2 (14) after his first defeat Terrell Gausha stands at 20-1 (9).
The anticipated battle of punchers between WBC belt holder Jermell Charlo and undefeated Erickson Lubin was a short affair. On paper it appeared to be an exciting matchup but the inexperienced 22yr old Erickson Lubin was over anxious and sloppy from the start. He leaned in to land punches, Charlo capitalized with a counter right that landed behind the ear of Lubin stopping him in round one. One the punch landed Lubin fell unable to get up and was counted out in round one. With the win Charlo improved his record to 30-0 (15), suffering his first career defeat Erickson Lubin now stands at 18-1 (13).
In the third co-feature, IBF belt holder Jarrett Hurd and former world champion Austin Trout put on the nights most exciting bout. It would be Trout using experience and superior ring generalship to win early rounds. The combination punching of Trout and constant movement kept Hurd off balance early on. It was a dominate performance by Trout through six rounds as he moved, unleashed combinations then avoided any return fire from Hurd. As the rounds wore on, Hurd slowly took advantage of his reach and started landing punches at a distance swelling Trouts right eye. It would be all Jarrett Hurd from rounds eight through ten, imposing his size and targeting the swollen eye of Austin Trout until completely shut. In between rounds ten and eleven the corner of Trout decided to halt the contest due to his eye saving him for another night. It was a good performance for Hurd despite a tough start, it’s a learning experience that should make him a smarter fighter in future bouts and hopefully he takes advantage of his massive reach earlier if he can manage to do so Hurd could become a dominate title holder.
In Undercard action–
Middleweight-Tony Harrison 25-2 (20) def. Paul Valenzuela Jr 20-6 (14) via UD 8.
Featherweight- Cindy Serrano 27-5-3 (10) def. Edina Kiss 14-6 (8) via SD 8
Super Welterweight- Chordale Booker 8-0 (4) def. Malcolm McAllister 9-1 (8) via UD 8.
Heavyweight-George Arias 9-0 (5) def. Mario Heredia 14-6 (12) via TKO 5.
Welterweight- Julian Sosa 10-0-1 (3) def. Erick Daniel Martinez 14-10-1(8) via UD 4.
Welterweight- Richardson Hitchins 3-0 (1) def. Jordan Morales 2-3 (2) via UD 4.
Friday night on ESPN Deportes Golden Boy promotions hosted an event from the Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio in California. The televised co-features would be two ten round junior welterweight contest, opening the card would be former WBA 140lb interim title holder Pablo Cesar Cano taking on experienced but little known Marcelino Nicolas Lopez. In the main event well traveled Fidel Maldonado Jr faced off against former WBA interim lightweight belt holder Ismael Barroso.
The main event between Fidel Maldonado Jr and Ismael Barroso was at minimum disappointing. The bout began with Fidel Maldonado Jr using movement trying to box from a distance while Barroso swung wild power shots. They both seemed to have abandoned the jab, wild misses of Barroso allowed Maldonado Jr to edge out the first two rounds. In round three as Barroso came closer to landing with his hooks, Maldonado Jr became heisitent to commit with his own offense and was sent to the canvas by a Barroso left hand. One that first big punch of Barroso connected, Maldonado Jr jumped on his bike and back peddled offering nothing in return. It became ugly was clinches started happening regularly, Barroso swung wild and Maldonado Jr ran hoping to avoid being caught by another lunging hook.
There would be another knockdown scored by Barroso in round five that caused the eye of Maldonado Jr to swell shut almost instantly. In round six a determined Barroso in ugly fashion chased Maldonado Jr with wild hooks missing most, once Barrose was able to land a punch Maldonado Jr folded and did not attempt to rise off the mat. It would be the first time since facing Amir Imam in 2015 Maldonado Jr was halted in a contest, his record dropped to 24-4-1 (19) while Ismael Barroso improved to 20-1-2 (19). The unwillingness of Maldonado Jr to even throw let alone commit to his punches is signs of a fighter who has lost his desire to compete. The wild lunging style of Barroso is ugly and despite his nineteen stoppages out of his twenty wins the power of Barroso is average at best. I personally would not be disappointed if neither were televised again.
In the opening bout, Pablo Cesar Cano and Marcelino Nicolas Lopez both entering off a loss, needed not only to win but impressively. In April on an ESPN broadcast main event from the Turningstone casino Lopez lost a split decision to Michael Perez. With all three of his previous bouts going the distance Cano was 1-2, losing to Fidel Maldonado Jr and Alan Sanchez winning narrowly against Mauricio Herrera. It started with neither fighter doing much but Cano slightly busier opened a cut over the eye of Lopez just before round one ended. At the start of round two, Cano circled looked for distance to land punches and capitalize on the cut of Lopez. With perhaps feeling a sense of urgency due to the cut, Lopez pressured Cano and as Pablo circled towards the ropes Lopez landed a clean overhand right left uppercut combination. The combination instantly dropped Cano in a fahion that gave referee Edward Hernandez Sr no reason to count halting the affair at 27 seconds of round two. With his win Marcelino Nicolas Lopez with the win improved to 32-3-1 (18), suffering his first stoppage loss since 2014 Pablo Cesar Cano drops to 30-7-1 (21).
In Undercard action
Lightweight– Oscar Duarte 12-0-1(8) def. Juan Jose Montes 25-6-2 (15) RTD 4.
Super Welterweight– Marvin Cabrera 6-0 (5) def. Hector Velazquez 57-30-3 (39) Via TKO corner threw in towel
Featherweight– Francisco Javier Martinez 4-0 (3) def. Ricardo Arias 1-2-1 UD 6.
Welterweight– Ruben Rodriguez 2-0 (1) def. Israel Villela 6-7 (2) UD 4.
WBA Super World Super Middleweight champion George Groves (75,8 kg) (26-3, 19 KOs) and Jamie Cox (76,1 kg) (24-0,13 KOs) are ready for Saturday’s Ali Trophy quarter-final clash at The SSE Arena, Wembley in London.
“I have worked hard all my life to become a world champion,” said Groves.
“Now I will work hard to win the Muhammad Ali Trophy. I am in great shape, I have great experience and I know exactly what it takes to win this tournament. I can’t wait for Saturday night.”
Jamie Cox has been confident in the build up for the fight and says he is ready to cause a stir against the number one seed in the super middleweight division of the World Boxing Super Series.
“I am relaxed,” said Jamie Cox.
“I have got my team, my friends, my family and my fans here. I am ready to go, I have trained hard for this.”
“It is obviously my first world title fight and I am ready for the occasion. When I looked into George’s eyes a saw a scared man. I am predicting a great, great win.”
WORLD BOXING SUPER SERIES FIXTURES & RESULTS
09/09/17 – Cruiserweight Quarter-Final:
Oleksandr Usyk vs. Marco Huck (WBO World) – Usyk Won (TKO 10)
Max-Schmeling-Halle, Berlin, Germany
16/09/17 – Super Middleweight Quarter-Final:
Callum Smith vs. Erik Skoglund (WBC Diamond) – Smith Won (UD)
Echo Arena, Liverpool, United Kingdom
23/09/17 – Cruiserweight Quarter-Final:
Yunier Dorticos vs. Dmitry Kudryashov (WBA World) – Dorticos Won (KO 2)
Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, USA
30/09/17 – Cruiserweight Quarter-Final:
Mairis Briedis vs. Mike Perez (WBC World) – Briedis Won (UD)
Riga Arena, Riga, Latvia
07/10/17 – Super Middleweight Quarter-Final:
Chris Eubank Jr vs. Avni Yildirim (IBO World) – Eubank Jr. Won (KO 3)
Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle, Stuttgart, Germany
14/10/17 – Super Middleweight Quarter-Final:
George Groves vs. Jamie Cox (WBA Super)
The SSE Arena, Wembley, London, United Kingdom
21/10/17 – Cruiserweight Quarter-Final:
Murat Gassiev vs. Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (IBF World)
Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey, USA
27/10/17 – Super Middleweight Quarter-Final:
Juergen Braehmer vs. Rob Brant
Sport- und Kongresshalle, Schwerin, Germany
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: 423 wins, 17 losses, 294 KOs
LOS ANGELES (OCTOBER 13, 2017) – Fists will fly on November 11 when super lightweight knockout artists Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin (20-0, 16 KOs) and Roberto “Massa” Ortiz (35-1-2, 26 KOs) square off in a 10-round bout from Long Island’s NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
The Seldin vs. Ortiz battle will serve as the opening bout of an action-packed HBO card featuring Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs in the main event taking on Luis Arias in a 12-round middleweight showdown and rising heavyweight Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller squaring off with Mariusz Wach in the co-main.
Fighting out of Long Island, NY, Seldin is a former WBC International Silver Super Lightweight Champion who has plowed through the competition with devastating power resulting in 78 percent of his fights ending by knockout.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic to fight for the first time on HBO and represent Star Boxing at the Coliseum,” Seldin said “I see this as the second start to my career, this is a great opportunity and now that I have it there’s no turning back, I’m here to stay — bigger fights, bigger venues and on HBO. I just fought recently but as soon as they called about this fight I jumped at it. I’ll be more than ready for Roberto Ortiz on November 11.”
Ortiz, from Torreon, Mexico, has torn through 35 opponents including 10 defenses of the WBC Silver Super Lightweight Championship over three years. The sole blemish on his record came against former Interim WBC World Super Lightweight Champion Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse.
“We are going to take advantage of every opportunity, and we are thankful to GBP, Star Boxing, and HBO who have supported us,” Ortiz said. “I am confident I will be able to prove that I am someone to mess with in this sport. We know we are going up against an undefeated fighter, who is powerful. Our mental game will have to be at 100%, and we will have to have the perfect strategy to be able to take him down and leave with the victory. I am hopeful that our styles will give a great fight, and give a performance that everyone can appreciate come fight night.”
“Cletus has thrilled New York fight fans at The Paramount in Long Island for the last five years,” Joe DeGuardia President and CEO of Star Boxing said, “He has sensational knockout power and Roberto Ortiz is also a real banger who comes to fight. We’re grateful to Peter Nelson and HBO for showcasing great matchups and future stars of the sport. We look forward to another exhilarating performance from Cletus.”
BROOKLYN (October 12, 2017) – Top heavyweight title contender Dominic Breazeale will take on Eric Molina in a 12-round WBC title elimination match on the undercard of the showdown between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and Bermane Stiverne live on SHOWTIME on Saturday, Nov. 4. The event is presented by Premier Boxing Champions from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.
The stacked card will also feature former welterweight champion Shawn Porter taking on Adrian Granados and Sergey Lipinets battling Akihiro Kondo for the vacant junior welterweight title in televised bouts. The live three-fight SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Plus, five-time world champion Amanda Serrano of Brooklyn takes on Marilyn Hernandez, Long Island’s Seanie Monaghan (28-1-0, 17 KOs) makes his ring return to face Evert Bravo (23-6-1, 17 KOs), from Arboletes, Colombia, and Brooklyn’s Chris Colbert (6-0, 2 KOs) battles Long Island’s Titus Williams (7-0, 2 KOs) in an eight-round featherweight bout.
New prices have been set for tickets to see the event live at Barclays Center, giving fans an unprecedented opportunity to see the heavyweight champion of the world in a rematch against the only contender who has taken him a full 12 rounds.
“We’ve recognized that Deontay’s opponent has changed, and we’ve restructured ticket prices to encourage as many fans as possible to attend a great night of fights, and the Heavyweight Championship of the world,” said Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment, the promoter of the card. “Stiverne is thrilled for this second chance and he has nothing to lose. Bermane Stiverne is the only opponent that Deontay hasn’t knocked out among his professional opponents. Deontay wants to fix that and Stiverne is looking to throw a wrench into Wilder’s dream of heavyweight unification.”
Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) dethroned defending champion Stiverne in January 2015 via unanimous decision in what was the promising challenger’s toughest fight to date. With the win, Wilder became the first American heavyweight champion in nearly a decade and he has gone on to defend the title five times. Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) remains the only Wilder opponent to go the distance with the hard-hitting Tuscaloosa, Ala., native who has knocked out every other professional opponent on his long resume.
Dominic Breazeale (18-1, 16 KOs), who lives in Eastvale, California, is coming off a KO victory over Izu Ugonoh on Feb. 25. The 32-year-old Breazeale suffered the only loss of career in a heavyweight championship match against Anthony Joshua in London on June 25, 2016.
Eric Molina (26-4, 19 KOs) has twice fought for the heavyweight world championship. In his first title shot the 35-year-old from Weslaco, Texas was knocked out by Deontay Wilder on June 13, 2015. Molina lost via TKO to Anthony Joshua in his next opportunity on Dec. 10, 2016. Molina bounced back with a majority decision victory against Jamal Woods in his last fight on Sept. 2.
Five-division world champion Amanda Serrano (33-1-1, 25 KOs) will be making her fourth appearance at Barclays Center when she defends her super bantamweight world title against Marilyn Hernandez (26-10, 17 KOs). Serrano, who was born in Puerto Rico and lives in Brooklyn, successfully defended her title with a TKO victory over Edina Kiss in her last fight on July 21. Hernandez of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic scored a TKO victory over Maria Hernandez in her last fight on Jan. 10.