|Boxing’s top female athletes have no “home,” no network to showcase their talent|
NEW YORK (December 2, 2020) — As women continue to make strides toward equality across industries, boxing and its media partners remain in the past by disenfranchising women from a fair opportunity to showcase their skills and earn a living. In the same year that America elected its first female Vice President, a woman of color, the elite women athletes that top the world rankings have no regular television platform or boxing series. Nowhere is this unfair playing field more apparent than in the United States and North America.
The overwhelming majority of top females in boxing have not fought in 2020, or have not fought since January. The pandemic has hit women in boxing even harder than it has hit the men. The picture wasn’t rosy before Covid-19 and, without action, there is no reason to believe that it will improve. This impacts all women in American boxing, from stars Claressa Shields and Amanda Serrano, to reigning world champions, to six-round and four-round fighters.
Other than a handful of athletes, most female boxers must hold down a full-time or part-time job to make ends meet. Amanda Serrano, Heather Hardy, Ava Knight and others have pursued opportunities in MMA to supplement their income and avoid inactivity. Claressa Shields, the most acclaimed woman in American amateur history, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, and a proven attraction, is presently without a platform and just announced a multi-year deal with the Professional Fighters League. The unified champion from Flint, Michigan, told The Athletic that, “It’s (boxing) a sexist sport. It’s sexist with the opportunities we’re given. It’s sexist with the TV time. It’s sexist with how much we get paid. All three.” It’s fine for a female boxing star to try her hand at MMA. They shouldn’t be compelled to do so for lack of opportunities.
“These women consistently deliver great fights and solid viewership numbers,” said Lou DiBella, who promotes more women than any other US promotional entity. “They put people in seats, and viewership of their events often rivals the men. These aren’t club level fighters. They are elite world champions and, without television, without a regular platform, they can’t be financially secure or build any kind of fanbase. It’s remarkable that women’s boxing is growing its talent pool and raising its stature, given the scarce television and streaming slots that are reserved for female fighters. This is a testament to the resiliency and dedication of boxing’s female athletes, who deserve better.”
Local promoters, who are in the business of growing fighters and filling seats, can offer spots on their cards and regional exposure, but purses are very limited without television revenue. Female fighters’ purses are often limited to a percentage of tickets they sell out of hand. At the top levels, women are passed over. Heather Hardy, a DiBella Entertainment fighter, has seen the difference in the growth of boxers of both genders. “At press conferences, I sit at a seat at the very end, with the rest of the undercard fights,” said Hardy. “I watch the boys go from sitting next to me at the end of the table, to moving up to the main card, then the co-main, and then the main event, but my seat never moved. No matter how much press I got, no matter how many fights I won, I never moved. Systemic sexism didn’t allow me to move.”
“It isn’t like we are a separate organization like the WNBA. We are only provided with token opportunities, fighting on the same cards, often in much more competitive fights than the men, and still aren’t treated fairly,” said Hardy. “We have no place or professional home of our own.”
“This trickles down to aspiring female boxers and the amateur programs,” DiBella continued. “Young women in boxing need to see other women on the big stage. They need to see women that look like them on television and on streaming platforms. They need to know that if they pursue a boxing career, there will be sufficient opportunities to be seen showcasing their talents, for fair wage. If women are able to headline a boxing event, or capable of selling a significant percentage of a live gate, they should not be paid ten to twenty percent of what similarly situated men are paid. We’re not sending the right message here, and there’s no good reason for it in the 21st century.” The pool of talent available to women in the pro ranks is smaller, but it forces the best matchups. It forces women to fight outside of their weight classes.
“Jessica McCaskill just won unified world titles, and wants to fight me at 147,” said Amanda Serrano, seven-division world champion. “She called me out at 147! It’s kind of sad. Good for us if it makes sense, but the truth is, they’re calling out champs at 126. That is four different weight classes to go up. Men don’t have to do that! Women are constantly forced to compromise ourselves just to get a chance.”
The talent pool won’t increase unless younger generations are inspired by women on television and streaming – women who can fight as well as, and often better than, the men who are on television now. It’s time to stop asking nicely. It’s time for women boxers to demand fairness and stability, and it’s up to network executives, the media, and those who control access to media platforms, to stop living in the past. It’s time for women in boxing to fight for themselves and for the right to earn a living. And it’s now a time for action.
WBC World Bantamweight Champion Nordine Oubaali was scheduled to make a mandatory defense of his title on December 19, 2020, against Number 1 WBC-rated boxer Nonito Donaire. Due to Champion Oubaali’s positive Covid-19 test result in late October, the WBC has placed Champion Oubaali as WBC World Champion In-Recess, and approved a bout between Number 1 Donaire and Number 4 Emmanuel Rodriguez for the title.
The WBC wishes to clarify the status of the WBC Bantamweight Division and WBC World Champion Nordine Oubaali, in light of the WBC’s designation of WBC World Champion Oubaali as Champion In-Recess, pursuant to the governing WBC Rules & Regulation.
1. As WBC World Champion In Recess, Champion Oubaali is, remains and will remain WBC World Champion.
2. Champion Oubaali now enjoys the designation of WBC World Champion “In-Recess.” That designation in no way diminishes the WBC’s recognition, or Champion Oubaali’s status, as WBC World Champion. In fact, the World Champion In-Recess designation elevates his status to a higher level by conferring to Champion Oubaali additional privileges he did not enjoy before.
a. Champion Oubaali will not have a pre-set deadline to return to the ring without losing his World Champion Status. Instead, his return will be driven by the WBC’s and the local commission’s specific medical requirements for cases like his.
b. Champion Oubaali will return to the ring as the fully recognized returning WBC World Champion and will be allowed, if he so chooses, to make a defense of his title in a voluntary contest, to get back in the ring and prepare for the mandatory fight.
3. With respect to Champion Oubaali’s future mandatory bout with the winner of the Donaire vs. Rodriguez bout, consistent with the WBC Rules & Regulations, the WBC will start a new free negotiations period. If the parties do not come to an agreement within that period, then the WBC will schedule a new purse offer ceremony, with a purse split stipulation of 60/40 in favor of Champion Oubaali.
4. If Champion Oubaali chooses to make a voluntary defense in February of 2021, then the winner of Donaire vs. Rodriguez must fight Champion Oubaali without any intervening bout (assuming Champion Oubaali wins his voluntary defense). If for any reason, Champion Oubaali requests a date after February of 2021 to make a voluntary defense, then the WBC will evaluate the timing of the mandatory bout to make sure that Champion Oubaali will be available to fight within the same timeframe as the winner of the Donaire vs. Rodriguez bout.
Mauricio Sulaimán, WBC President
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (November 24, 2020) – USA Boxing and the USA Boxing Alumni Association recently held a virtual reunion via Zoom for competitors at the 1992 USA Boxing Trials, including a pair of 1992 USA Olympians, Raul Marquez and Montell Griffin.
and Montell Griffin.
The group was comprised of 19 fighters who competed at the 1992 USA Olympic Trials, plus a few administrators, who happily spoke non-stop for an hour and 45 minutes. They gleefully reminisced, shared personal updates from the past 22 years, remembered their most memorable experiences as amateur boxers, and even got emotional at times as they rebounded. Some have kept in touch through emails and social media, but visibly seeing each other on the Zoom call was eye-opening for these ring brothers.
“You all are part of USA Boxing,” said call host Mike McAtee, Executive Director of USA Boxing. “Hector Colon and Raul Marquez got their brothers on this call. It was a natural fit. We have 13 kids getting ready to qualify in May for the Olympics. USA Boxing touches 36,000 kids every day. It changed our lives, and we can have an impact saving lives.
“It’s an honor seeing you all. You are the backbone of USA Boxing. Boxing made us who we are, you have inspired boxers. This was long overdue, and we plan to have reunions with other Olympic Trials classes in the future.”
“This is very cool to see everybody and I enjoy listening to you,” added Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Director. “You’re all helping bring the spirit back to USA Boxing Alumni. Boxing people love being around boxing people, and that’s what the USA Boxing Alumni Association is all about. We’re bringing that spirit back. I love having you guys in our alumni program. This has been a blast!”
“I’m not much of a boxer, but I’m happy to be part of this boxing program,” commented Barry Siff, USA Boxing volunteer marketing advisor. “I grew up in Detroit during the 1980’s and hung out at Kronk (Gym). I’m happy to be on this call. We all need to help Mike and the team going forward. Don’t wait until 2028 in Los Angeles. We have Tokyo next year and Paris in 2024. Kids can learn from you. I’m happy to be part of USA Boxing.”
(Robert Allen and Tarick Salmaci were also on the call but unable to speak due to technical problems)
HECTOR COLON: “I love you guys. It’s been so long. I hope we can communicate like this more often. We need you all to support USA Boxing and USA Boxing Alumni. My first international fight was in Barbados and I knocked out my opponent in 26 seconds. I remember receiving the Adidas bag and shoes. It was such a special thing. I dreamed of making the Olympics and I should have, but I found God calling me away from the sport. I was proud watching you and I rooted for you.
“It’s great to be back in USA Boxing and giving back to USA Boxing, because it helped me become the person I am today. I could have gone the wrong way. Let’s do this again and keep giving back to our sports.”
RAUL MARQUEZ: “I’m very excited to be here. I feel honored and I’m probably the only one here who fought most of the guys here. I have a lot of memories. I’m honored to be here with you, my boxing family. It’s beautiful.
“Everybody here knows how hard it is to win a tournament. We know what it takes because we were all elite. We have to give back. I’m still involved in boxing.”
ORLANDO HARRIS: “I had the greatest time in USA Boxing. I started late. I fought once before I went into the military. I got better and learned how to fight in the military. I had to because I had to do good or go back to my unit. In ’04 I got into car accident. Everybody died but me. They say I’m disabled, but I’m not, I still coach boxing.”
PAULIE AYALA: “The ’92 Olympic Trials is my most memorable moment because I was there. In 1988, I lost in The Westerns in the semifinals and I left boxing. I wasn’t focused. I watched you people excel and didn’t fight again until 1992. I lost to Sergio (Reyes), who I had fought 16 times before that fight. I met a lot of you guys fighting in Russia. What’s inspiring is listening to all of you.”
MONTELL GRIFFIN: “I was late going to the rty, coming in 1991. I had two fights going into the Golden Gloves, but I lied and said I had 12 so I could fight in the opens. My first fight was in 1991. I had to fight the No. 1 guy, Jeremy Williams, to make the Olympic team. Those 1 ½ years as were the best of my life. I looked up to all of you guys and have respect for all.”
ANTWUN ECHOLS: “I made it to Team USA, and I was an Olympic alternate. Raul (Marquez), he likes to talk, and I was excited to fight him. I learned a lot. I love being with all the guys. Larry Nicholson took me under his wing. He talked to me daily. I was a young kid, and my family life wasn’t good. When I went to the ’92 championships, these people were my family.
“I was raw off the streets of Davenport (Iowa) and Larry took care of me…thank you. If it wasn’t for the people at the Olympic Center, I don’t know where I’d be today.”
DANNY RIOS: “In 1992, I lost in the semifinals of the US Championships. So, I had to win the Golden Gloves to go to the Olympics. At the Trials I won my first fight and lost my second. I later turned pro. I’m working security and helping to train fighters at a local gym. I hope to have my own gym. I’m glad to see you all after all these years.
SKIPPER KELP: “I’m in Vegas. I moved here when I was in the amateurs. The best thing was the camaraderie. We grew up together. Together, we came of age as teenagers and I met some of my best friends for life. We were all at the elite level, the best versus the best, and eventually we fought each other. I met a lot of guys in 1989 in Russia.
“I own Fight Capital Gym in Las Vegas. When you go to Vegas, call me and come to my gym. We have a brotherhood for life. Amateur boxing brings people together. To reconnect like this is awesome.”
DANELL NICHOLSON: “My most memorable moment was representing USA Boxing at the 1992 Olympics, because I became an Olympian and met all these great athletes. Meeting you is really my most memorable. You can’t beat boxing!”
RONALD SIMMS: “I was probably on the amateur team longer than anybody. I stayed on so long that I have a lot of memories. I was part of the 1988, 1992 and 1996 Olympic teams. I saw a lot of talent come through. I started in 1995; this sport is addictive and I’m still involved in amateur boxing. We still have the most talented kids in amateur boxing.
“My dream was to make the Olympic Team and I still haven’t made it. My goal was to be No. 1 and I was in 1995. Then, I wanted to quit, but my coach said it wasn’t the time. The lessons I learned from you guys and sharing with kids is what it’s all about. I’m in India working as the chief coach, doing what I love.”
PAUL VADEM: “I’m glad to see everyone. I have so many memories, the most memorable is seeing you, my boxing brothers. We trained together to make names for ourselves. We will always have this to go back on. I get emotional. It didn’t matter where you came from, your economical values, and we competed against each other. But at the end of the day we respected each other.
“I’m a speaker and author today. What I had learned in boxing is why I’m able to do what I do. Thanks. This is beautiful. I’m thankful to see you all.”
JAMES JOHNSON: “It’s amazing to see some of these faces, It’s great to see you, guys! I remember the Olympic Festival. Randall Crippen. He was talkative……I gave him a diploma at the end of the match.
“I broke my hand in competition and they wouldn’t let me fight. I did and I drew a hometown kid in (Worcester) Massachusetts, Bobby Harris, and won. With one hand, I lost in the final. It’s good to see you guys. I’m living in Flint, Michigan. I went on to get my college career and today I’m a network engineer.”
DEAN FLETCHER: “I was an amateur a long time. I have many memories, but one is the years I was on the Board of Directors as an athlete representative. Kids today, the reason you can’t fight twice a day is me.
“The traveling, I can’t let that go. When things aren’t going well, I think of my amateur days. Nothing but love for you guys.”
LARRY NICHOLSON: “My most memorable things is being the 1993 Boxer of the Year. I accomplished a lot. I won silver at the 1993 and 1994 World Championships. Should have been gold. You were great fighters and role models. I had an opportunity to go to college – North Michigan University – and I have a degree.
“I’m still involved in boxing today as head coach of the Michigan Golden Gloves. I’m very happy where I am right now. I didn’t go pro because I love amateur boxing, the discipline and life. I worked with three Olympic teams. We’ve done well as frat brothers.”
MARK LANTON: “It’s a pleasure to see everybody like this. My most memorable moment was winning the Western Trials. I was an Army soldier when I was an amateur fighter. In Iraq, sometimes, Frank Vassar kept in touch with me. I’m retired now from the military. I worked at the VA as a federal police officer. I’m totally retired. I coach kids at a local gym and I’m living the life in Orlando.
FRANK VASSAR: “Winning the US Olympic Sports Festival and National Golden Gloves in 1999 was my most memorable. I was in the Army, the National Guards, when I was boxing. I got commissioned in the Air Force. I did three combat tours and was injured. Crazy stuff. I’m glad I made it back. I always enjoyed going to tournaments and seeing you guys. I love all you guys.”
RICHARD BONDS: In 1989, I remember fighting Jeremy Williams. He was the best and that put me on the map. The next four years I was going to Colorado and that was the best. I was a college student and got a criminal justice degree at the University of Memphis. I met Echols at dual. We’d come together three or four times a year, maybe more and when you saw somebody it was like yesterday.
“In 1992, I wanted to make the Olympic team. I lost my first fight in Worcester and didn’t make it to the Olympics. There were only 12 weight classes and I was one of those guys. You are my frat brothers.”
This afternoon, Sampson Lewkowicz, promoter of two-time world champion and WBC #2 lightweight contender Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna (36-2-1, 25 KOs), is submitting a formal request to the WBC for them to order negotiations to begin immediately for Fortuna to face current WBC Lightweight Champion Devin Haney (25-0, 15 KOs).
In his request, Lewkowicz cites the extended series of cancelled and declined fights for his top-rated fighter:
Given these circumstances, Team Fortuna believes they are justified in requesting the WBC to grant this request for an immediate Fortuna vs. Haney fight. Fortuna has been a #1 or #2 contender for over a year while lower-rated contenders have secured fights against each other. With Lomachenko tied up looking for a rematch against Teofimo Lopez, the Fortuna vs. Haney fight is a worthy matchup between champion and available top contender.
“Through his entire career, Javier Fortuna has fought anyone willing to fight,” said Lewkowicz. “He looked sensational beating Lozada on Saturday and has been a top contender for an exceptionally long time. He deserves an immediate shot at Devin Haney’s championship. I am sure the WBC will agree that the time has come for his long-awaited title challenge.
WORCESTER, Mass. (November 24, 2020) – Many if not most Americans will be enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving meal this Thursday, eating turkey, stuffing and pie, along with watching pro football all day and night. Not so, though, for undefeated lightweight prospect
Jamaine “The Technician” Ortiz (13-0, 7 KOs), who will be flying from Boston to Los Angeles, to fight on Saturday night’s high-profile Mike Tyson-Roy Jones, Jr. show at Staples Center.
Ortiz, the reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) Youth World lightweight champion, will take on Ugandan southpaw Sulaiman Segawa (13-2-1, 4 KOs), fighting out of Maryland, in an 8-round match for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) USNBC (U.S) lightweight title.
The 24-year-old Ortiz will travel with his head coach, Rocky Gonzalez, and cut-man Kendrick Ball, who will fill in for “The Godfather of Worcester (MA), boxing,” Carlos Garcia. He will not travel cross-country during the COVID-19 pandemic because of his advanced age. A National Golden Gloves Hall of Fame trainer, Garcia was Ortiz’ first boxing coach as an amateur, and he has worked his fellow Worcester resident’s corner during Ortiz’ 4 ½-year professional career.
“Carlos will be with us in spirit,” Ortiz said. “We understand. Fighting is my career and part of that is missing out on Thanksgiving this year. I’ll be eating on the plane. This is more important, just business, part of my job. It is what it is. I’m a big family person and I see them on a regular basis, not just on holidays. I’ll get to eat my turkey when I return home.”
Ortiz like most boxers hasn’t been active due to the pandemic. His last fight was this past February at home in Worcester when he stopped Luis Ronaldo Castillo (22-5) in the second round.
Segawa’s last fight was an 8-round split draw with Zhora Hamazaryan (9-1-1) in January. In 2018, he lost decisions to Abraham Nova (12-0) for the vacant NABA super featherweight title and William Foster (7-0) for the vacant crown. Ortiz knows both of those fighters well having defeated Nova in the amateurs and New Haven’s Foster is a fellow New Englander.
“He’s a tough dude,” Ortiz spoke about Segawa. “His fight with Nova was close (96-94, 96-94, 97-93). He took both the distance; they couldn’t take him down. And he’s beaten some undefeated fighters (10-0 Godwin Rosa, 6-0 Brian Gallegos).
“He’s a good fighter who can win rounds. A slick fighter, but he can be a little wild, and that can be dangerous. It’s going to be challenging for me. I need to be smart, listen, and be tight. I can’t get caught when he throws wild punches.”
Although Segawa is a replacement and the opposite of his original opponent, Jamaine isn’t overly concerned that Segawa is a southpaw, even though he’s only fought one lefty as a pro (Victor Rosas in 2018), because to some extent he is ambidextrous.
“Luckily,” Ortiz concluded, “I had good sparring with a southpaw. I fight left-handed a lot myself. I shoot basketballs left-handed, bat left-handed in baseball, and arm wrestled with my left hand. A friend just sent me a picture from 2007 and I was in a southpaw stance.”
Ortiz is promoted by Jimmy Burchfield (Classic Entertainment and Sports) and advised by Richard Shappy and Eddie Imondi.
GALVESTON, Texas (November 23, 2020) – The long-awaited return of undefeated Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (40-0, 26 KOs) will be Friday night, December 18, when he challenges North American Boxing Federation (NABF) light heavyweight Alfonso “El Tigre” Lopez (32-3, 25 KOs), live on pay per view from Galveston Island Convention Center in Galveston, Texas.
“Battle of Rio Grande” will be available for live viewing on digital, cable and satellite, starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, on pay per view for a suggested retail price of only $24.99. FITE TV will stream worldwide on the FITE app and website (www.FITE.tv) and Integrated Sports Media will distribute throughout North America via DirecTV, iN Demand, Vubiquity, and DISH in the United States, as well as in Canada on Shaw and SaskTel.
The main event fighters, Ramirez and Lopez, are co-promoters of “Battle of Rio Grande” under their promotional company names, respectively, Zurdo Promotions and El Tigre Promotions.
The 29-year-old Ramirez, fighting out of Mazatlán, Mexico, became the first Mexican super middleweight champion of the world in 2016, when he defeated defending World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion Arthur Abraham (44-4) by way of a 12-round unanimous decision. Ramirez successfully defended his world title against 33-4-1 Maksym Bursak (DEC12), 22-0 Jesse Hart (WDEC12), 25-0-1 Habif Ahmed (TKO6), 23-0 Roamer Alexis Angulo (DEC12) and 25-1 Hart (DEC12) in a rematch.
Ramirez’ last fight, his first as a light heavyweight, was last April in Los Angeles, in which “Zurdo” stopped 29-6-1 Tommy Karpency in four rounds. Ramirez then became a promotional free agent.
Lopez will be fighting close to his home in Huntsville, Texas. “El Tigre” will be riding a 10-fight win streak into the ring for the Dec. 18th 12-round main event. He hasn’t fought in 13 months, registering a 10-round decision over 19-9-1 Denis Grachev in Lopez’ first defense of the NABF title he captured in his previous fight with a fourth-round stoppage of 21-3 Alex Theran.
“I’m looking forward to hosting my first fight and appreciate all the support and love I’ve received from everybody,” Ramirez said. I want to give special thanks to FITE.TV, El Tigre Promotions, Be Def Sports, and the state of Texas for being great partners in this event. I know it’s been a long road to return, but I feel great having full control of my career and being able to fight whenever, wherever, and however, I want. As always, I appreciate my trainers – Julian Chua, Joel Flores, and Chris Wong – keeping me in shape since my last fight and I feel better than ever to step back in the ring. I’ll see you guys December 18th in Texas!”
World-rated heavyweight Michael “The Bounty” Hunter, of Las Vegas, will take on battle-tested veteran Chauncy “Hillyard Hammer” Welliver (57-13-5, 23 KOs), the former World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental Americas champion.
Hunter is rated among the top 10 in all four major sanctioning bodies — #4 International Boxing Federation (IBF), #7 WBO, #10 WBC and World Boxing Association – in addition to being ranked # 8 by The Ring independent magazine.
Hunter’s last action was a 12-round split draw a year ago in Saudi Arabia with Alexander Povetkin (35-2), the former world heavyweight champion and 2004 Olympic gold medalist. A decorated U.S. amateur boxer, Hunter’s lone loss as a professional was a 12-round unanimous decision in 2017 to another Olympic gold medalist (2012), defending champion Oleksandr Usyk (11-0), for the WBO World cruiserweight title.
|FIGHTERS ON WEIGHT BUT COVID CHANGES CARD
AT BOXXER: TUESDAY FIGHT NIGHT OFFICIAL WEIGH INS
Zak Chelli gets new opponent for Super-Middleweight Tournament
|Every fighter knows they need to expect the unexpected when they enter a BOXXER tournament, but the surprises started early for tomorrow night’s Super-Middleweight Tournament, which airs live from 8pm on BT Sports and ITV 4.
Tournament favourite Zak Chelli (7-1-1, 3 KO’s, pictured) got a new opponent just hours before today’s weigh-ins began, with Ben Ridings having tested positive for covid-19. His place will be taken by Vladimir ‘The Bulgarian Bull’ Georgiev (4-0) of Bulgaria for the first of the evening’s semi-final matches.
In the second semi-final, Harry Woods (4-0) weighed in at 12st 1lb 12oz to face will face Mike McGoldrick (6-0, 2 KO’s), who weighed in at 12st 1lb 14oz.
With both Woods and McGoldrick having joined the card last week, the tournament line-up now hosts no less than three fighters who have the chance to change their destinies live on national television this Tuesday.
Fan-favorite Florian ‘TNT’ Marku (6-0, 4 KO’s) hit the scales at 10st 6lbs 8oz and in peak condition to deliver his trademark brand of explosive aggression for a global legion of adoring fans.
Opposite him is London man Muma Mweemba (4-1, 2 KO’s), who hit the scales at 10st 6lbs 4oz. With half his wins coming by way of KO, he is no stranger to intense firefights himself – Tuesday night’s fight might be a quick one.
The card will open with Mikael Lawal (12-0, 7 KO’s), decisive fight-finisher and winner of a BOXXER eight-man cruiserweight tournament in 2019. He stepped on the scales at 14st 3lbs for his fight with two-time Southern Area Cruiserweight title challenger Ossie Jervier (6-13, 5 KO’s), who touched down at 14st 1lb.
Lawal has been steadily climbing the ranks and will go forward to a British Cruiserweight Title Eliminator fight if he wins here. He will enter the ring looking for another highlight-reel finish to extend his undefeated record.
A positive covid-19 test has also removed Derrick Osaze from the card. His bout with John Telford will be rescheduled for a future BOXXER event.
Zak Chelli 12st 1lb 10oz
Harry Woods 12st 1lb 12oz
Florian Marku 10st 6lbs 8oz
Mikael Lawal 14st 3lbs
On-air talent for the evening will feature some household names from the sports world, including former champion Paulie Malignaggi and veteran analyst Steve Bunce. They will be joined by Layla Anna Lee, Savage Dan and Will Perry.
With today’s changes, the full fight card is now as follows:
SUPER-MIDDLEWEIGHT FOUR-MAN TOURNAMENT
Florian Marku vs Muma Mweemba
Mikael Lawal vs Ossie Jervier
Photos courtesy of Will Paul FROM LEFT TO right, Jamaine Ortiz, Irvin Gonzalez Jr., and Juiseppe Cusumano return to the ring Saturday, November 28, 2020 in Los Angeles on the undercard of the highly-anticipated Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr. bout at The Staples Center. All three fighters, promoted by CES Boxing, will compete for separate WBC regional titles. Ortiz and Gonzalez are reigning Youth world champions in the lightweight and featherweight divisions, respectively. The card is available on pay per view or on the Triller app.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, November 9, 2020
Providence, RI (November 9, 2020) – CES Boxing is stepping into the producer’s booth for its latest endeavor, embarking on a new journey and teaming with global venture creation group Eros Innovations in the production of the upcoming “Iron” Mike Tyson–Roy Jones Jr. megabout later this month to provide the opportunity of a lifetime for three of its top fighters.
Under the guidance of CES Boxing president and CEO Jimmy Burchfield Sr., reigning WBC World Youth Champion and NABF No. 10-ranked lightweight Jamaine Ortiz (13-0, 7 KOs), current WBC World Youth Featherweight Champion Irvin Gonzalez Jr. (14-2, 11 KOs), and hard-hitting heavyweight contender Juiseppe Cusumano (18-3, 16 KOs) will compete in separate 8-round championship bouts Saturday, November 28 on the preliminary card of the Tyson-Jones Jr. showdown in Los Angeles, presented by Tyson’s Legends Only League in association with entertainment platform Triller.
The event will take place at the Staples Center two days after Thanksgiving with boxing legends Tyson and Jones headlining a star-studded fight card beginning live at 9 pm ET on pay per view via FITE TV, or on the newly-launched Triller app, available both on Apple or Android devices. Visit tysonontriller.com for more information.
Tyson, the youngest heavyweight world champion in boxing history and a dynamic box-office draw during his prime, returns to the ring for the first time since 2005 to face Jones, a pound-for-pound all-time great who boasts multiple world titles in four different weight classes.
Through CES Boxing’s collaboration with Eros, three of boxing’s top rising prospects will showcase their talents to a worldwide audience November 28. Ortiz, a Worcester, MA, native and 2015 National Golden Gloves silver medalist, battles 24-year-old Philadelphia native Nahir Albright (8-1, 2 KOs) for the WBC USNBC Silver Title.
The undefeated Ortiz captured the vacant WBC Youth title in 2019 and recently defended the belt in his 2020 debut at The Palladium in Worcester with a second-round knockout win over Mexican challenger Luis Ronaldo Castillo in February.
Ranked No. 9 among lightweights in the NABF, Ortiz enjoyed a stellar amateur career before making his professional debut in 2016, winning more than 100 fights and advancing to the semifinals of the U.S. Olympic Trials in Nevada. The 24-year-old right-hander is also an apprentice carpenter and member of the Local 107 carpenter’s union. In his third year as a pro, he won the Youth title with a dominant win over unbeaten California native Ricardo Quiroz, then blasted 15-4 Vitor Jones before piecing together another dominant against French challenger Romain Couture in August of 2019.
Cusumano, a winner of 16 of his last 18 bouts, faces Mississippi’s Nick Jones (9-3, 6 KOs), who has won his last two. The bout will be contested for the vacant WBC USNBC Heavyweight Title.
A native of Carini, Sicily fighting out of Danville, VA, the 6-foot-4 Cusumano won 13 consecutive bouts during an impressive stretch between 2012 and 2018, which included 11 knockouts – five in the first round. He joined CES Boxing in 2017 and made his promotional debut with a knockout win over Dan Biddle. Cusumano also notched impressive wins over 9-1-2 Fred Latham, whom he stopped in just under three minutes, and 8-3-1 southpaw Bernardo Marquez via fourth-round knockout. Since October, the heavy-handed Cusumano has lived and trained in Rhode Island under the tutelage of noted trainer Roland Estrada; and his son, former Olympian Jason “Big Six” Estrada.
Gonzalez, also from Worcester, battles undefeated Forth Worth, TX, prospect Edward Vazquez (8-0, 1 KO) for the vacant WBC USNBC Featherweight Title. The 24-year-old prospect signed a promotional agreement with CES Boxing in November and has since won back-to-back bouts, including a thrilling, sixth-round knockout victory over Yeuri Andujar to capture the WBC Youth title in February. Gonzalez amassed an amateur record of 90-15 and joined his CES Boxing stablemate, Ortiz, at the 2016 Olympic Trials in Nevada.
Vazquez earned his eighth win as a pro in September, recovering from an early knockdown to defeat Adan Ochoa by unanimous decision at the MGM Grand “Bubble” in Las Vegas live on ESPN. Nicknamed “Kid,” Vazquez began boxing at 8 years old, amassed an amateur record of 82-8 and advanced to the Junior Olympic semifinals before launching his pro career in 2016 under the guidance of Roy Jones Jr. Promotions.
In addition to the highly-anticipated Tyson-Jones exhibition bout, the main card November 28 features a cruiserweight showdown between unbeaten British prospect and internet personality Viddal Riley and former UFC mixed martial arts pro Rashad Coulter. YouTube sensation and unbeaten pro Jake Paul faces former NBA star and three-time Slam Dunk Contest winner Nate Robinson and former two-time world champion Badou Jack battles unbeaten California native Blake McKernan in an 8-round bout.
Visit CESBoxing.com for more information, or follow CES Boxing on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter at @CESBOXING.
CES Boxing is one of the top promotions in the northeast and one of the few to successfully promote both mixed martial arts and professional boxing. Launched in 1992 by longtime boxing judge Jimmy Burchfield Sr., the promotion is the only in professional boxing to boast two reigning WBC Youth world champions in lightweight Jamaine Ortiz and featherweight Irvin Gonzalez. CES Boxing recently teamed with UFC Fight Pass, the world’s No. 1 streaming platform for combat sports, to showcase its events to a worldwide audience.
Mike Tyson’s Legends Only League is a sports league created and owned by Mike Tyson and Eros Innovations. The Legends Only League is a next-generation sports venture that provides full support and infrastructure to the world’s greatest athletes, bringing the best of the best back to the ring, onto the court, and back on the field. The league will span live sporting events including tennis, basketball, boxing, and more in addition to creating consumer products, live events, premium content, and full-service management for the greatest sports stars the globe has ever known.
Eros Innovations is a global venture creation group led by Sophie Watts that invests in and creates globally recognized businesses for celebrities across premium content, consumer products and live experiences. Owners of Eros Innovations include Eros Investments, a media and tech investment holding company whose affiliate companies include Eros Now, India’s leading OOT platform with 186 million registered users.
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