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Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev Media Conference Call Transcript

LOS ANGELES (Oct. 16, 2019) – Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs), hosted an international media conference call yesterday to discuss his upcoming 12-round bout against Canelo Alvarez (51-1-2, 34 KOs) for Kovalev’s WBO Light Heavyweight World Title. Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events, also participated on the call, along with trainer Buddy McGirt. The event will take place Saturday, Nov. 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively, as one of the most-anticipated events this fight season on DAZN.
 
Below is a transcript of the call:
 
KATHY DUVA: Welcome, everyone. We’re here to discuss the upcoming historic fight between Canelo Alvarez and Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev for Sergey’s WBO Light Heavyweight Title which will take place November 2nd, 2019 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Tickets are on sale now through axs.com.
 
The fight will be streamed on DAZN. The DAZN live bouts will involve Ryan Garcia versus ‘Ruthless’ Romero Duno to unify the vacant WBC Lightweight Title, with the NABO Lightweight Title.
 
Bakhram Murtazaliev will take on Jorge Fortea for an IBF Junior Middleweight Eliminator.
 
Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada will take on Marlen Esparza for the vacant Interim WBA Women’s Flyweight Title.
 
On the undercard, Evan Holyfield will make his professional debut against Nick Winstead.
 
Meiirim Nursultanov will take on Cristian Olivas in a ten-round middleweight battle for the WBC USNBC Middleweight Title.
 
Blair “The Flair” Cobbs will take on Carlos Ortiz for the vacant NABF Welterweight Title, Uzbeck prospect Becktmir Melikuziev (2-0, 2 KOs) will compete in a super middleweight bout, and rising 17-year-old prospect Tristan Kalkreuth, 2-0, of Duncanville, Texas, will return in a four-round cruiserweight fight.
 
BUDDY MCGIRT: Listen, I’m excited about the fight. I just think that they picked the wrong veteran to mess with when they picked Sergey. They should have found somebody else. The world will see on November 2nd that Sergey Kovalev is the real deal.
 
SERGEY KOVALEV: Hello, everybody. I want to say that I’m really excited about my next fight with Canelo Alvarez. I must show the world that I deserve to be the best in light heavyweight division.
 
This is huge goal in my boxing career from when I was a young guy. Canelo is really talented and really famous, so this is a lot of pressure to me, but believe me, I’m in boxing already since I was 11 years old and I should be fine. It’s nothing for me. I should just get inside the ring and do my best job.
 
I’m really happy that I’m still in the business on the top level of boxing. I can’t wait for November 2nd. Thank you.
 
KATHY DUVA: And I think I can amplify his comments only to say that I had a conversation with a Russian reporter the other day who has known Sergey, and he mentioned that Sergey, since this past summer, has changed. He’s different. What’s changed? What’s different? I don’t understand it. It’s clearly the introduction of this fantastic team. Buddy McGirt being, if not the best, one of the best trainers in the sport, and Teddy Cruz, his physical trainer. Both made a huge impact.
 
I think Sergey’s resurgence is a tribute to not only their efforts, but Sergey being a real champion showing what real champions do.
 
SERGEY KOVALEV: I want to say one more thing that right now I have a great team with great coaches – Buddy McGirt and Teddy Cruz – and right now I’m feeling really comfortable with my team. In our team I have good emotions, and right now all of us follow our dream and get victory over Canelo.
 
KATHY DUVA: Thank you. It really does show, speaking as a member of that team.
 
Q. Sergey just fought in August against Yarde, and, relatively speaking, it was a quick turnaround, particularly for a veteran fighter. I wonder if there were any accommodations that made for that fact as you train for this fight? Anything you had to change because of the quick turnaround?
 
BUDDY MCGIRT: All I can say is the only thing we had to change is not having to come to camp full force because he was already in shape. We just took it day-by-day, nice and easy, nice and slow. We didn’t have to get in shape like we normally do. Didn’t have to lose weight like normal. I think it’s a blessing that it was a quick turnaround.
 
SERGEY KOVALEV: Yes, yes. For me yes, it’s not enough rest between the fight, but I really like that I fight often, with a short rest. I don’t like four, five months or more than four months rest. This is killing me. I am getting lazy. I am getting busy with my family.
 
But now just a small rest, like three weeks, three to four weeks, and I’m ready. I’m back again to training camp. Now it’s really, really good under control with Buddy McGirt and Teddy Cruz. Right now, I’m feeling good.
 
Q. Just to make clear, you like the fact that there was a short turnaround as opposed to a much longer layoff?
 
SERGEY KOVALEV: I like it, yes. I like short rest between the fights. One month enough, you know.
 
Q. Just how surprised were you that a middleweight like Canelo Alvarez called your name? Because Oscar De La Hoya, his promoter, and Canelo, have said your name several times I think even before the Daniel Jacobs fight, that this would be a fight they would be interested in. I think a lot of the fans and reporters were like, ‘he can’t really be serious about that.’ But he did call your name and now you’re fighting him. How surprised were you compared to many others that thought this was not really a fight he was serious about?
 
SERGEY KOVALEV: I respect Canelo because he goes right now up two divisions, and this is a huge goal for him and also for myself. Canelo wants to try get title in light heavyweight division, and if he will not get the title nobody will say, ‘Eh you lose.’ He has nothing to lose. He is just trying.
 
But I should defend my title. I will defend my title. If I lose, I lose more than Canelo lose. Canelo, he is trying to make his history but I’m here. I’m in my position.
 
Q. You mentioned that he wants to make history, which he would if he is able to capture this belt. I know you don’t know the answer because I don’t think you’ve had the conversation, but what is your feeling? He took and called you for this fight because he genuinely wants to make the history, or he sees you as a big name who’s vulnerable, but also somebody that his broadcaster would accept other than the third GGG fight?
 
SERGEY KOVALEV: I don’t think that he is avoiding the fight against GGG, but he now wants to make history. He wants to face me because I am the best in the light heavyweight division.
 
His fights against GGG what happen, will happen. It doesn’t matter. Canelo win the fight November 2nd or not. I think he just want to try to make history.
 
But we will see on November 2nd. Like I will be in the ring and we will be ready for everything what he will bring.
 
Q. You’ve had so many big wins in your career. I’m thinking about Bernard Hopkins, the two fights against Jean Pascal, the revenge match against Storm Alvarez. In all the fights you’ve had – when you went overseas and won the title against Cleverly – would a victory against Canelo, even though he’s a smaller fighter, but because he’s such a huge name, would you think in the later stages of your career if you win this would be the biggest win of your career? I would like Kathy’s opinion on this also.
 
SERGEY KOVALEV: You know, if Canelo go to 175 division, that means that his body is ready. Yes, he is a shorter height, but his weight will be on fight day more than 175, I’m sure.
 
Maybe he no longer like losing the weight, because he’s tired long time, long boxing career, still losing the weight. But I know he would like fighting with a full stomach. (Laughter.)
 
Q. Would you consider it your biggest win?
 
SERGEY KOVALEV: Yeah, it’s going to be my biggest win. Yes, of course. This is the biggest name I fought after Bernard Hopkins.
 
Q. Kathy? You promoted all those big fights.
 
KATHY DUVA: Yeah, I think Sergey said it exactly right. He’s the biggest most marketable name on his record, and that, in the eyes of fans, makes it the biggest, of course.
 
Q. How is it working with Buddy McGirt and what does he bring to the table?
 
SERGEY KOVALEV: I’m really happy that I found this coach. I met with Buddy long time ago. I came in U.S. in 2009 and I met with Buddy 2011 or 2012 at some boxing fight, but I never thought that Buddy can be my coach. But right now, everything has happened for a reason, and I started working with Buddy McGirt and Teddy Cruz and I’m really happy.
 
I really like to work with them. We will see what will be on November 2nd, but I’m sure that this will be the great fight.
 
Q. Did he teach you more than you already knew?
 
SERGEY KOVALEV: Buddy gives me everything right – that I lost after losing control of the trainings. All my titles that I had, three title before my first loss and I had used all my amateur experience to get those titles. But then I would have big rest between the fights, and I lost all my technique, because I didn’t have good coach in my training camp. Nobody controlled me. Nobody give me instruction what I should to do. I did everything by myself.
 
When I lost the fight, I get to work, then another fight, another fight. I started looking for the right coach who can help me, and I found Buddy McGirt.
 
Q. Sergey, this is a question about your motivation in the fight and what the fight means to you. You’re 36 and closer to the end of your career than the beginning. You also stand to make a career-high payday in this fight. A lot of people said you’ve already won simply by signing the contract. The question is: What would a win in this fight mean to you? How motivated are you to come away with a win on November 2nd?
 
SERGEY KOVALEV: I am really motivated for my future boxing career. I would like two more great years. I can fight easy, because right now I have a great team and great coaches like Buddy McGirt and Teddy Cruz who really help me.
 
Right now, really big motivation to get victory over Canelo, because after this victory there are more opportunities that will be in front of me.
 
Q. Same question to Buddy. If you can talk about the energy in the camp and what a win would mean for you and your team, if you guys come out on top.
 
BUDDY MCGIRT: Well, the camp is great because everybody gets along. Everybody trusts everybody. We have a relaxed mood and we know what we have to do, so it makes for a good camp.
 
As far as if we win, the statement should be when we win, because I believe in my heart that Sergey is going to win this. It’s not going to be as hard as people think.
 
As far as myself, it’s not about me right now. It’s about Sergey making history. It’s not about me. It’s about Sergey.
 
Q. Buddy, how open is Sergey to different styles, strategies? How coachable is he? I know you worked with Arturo Gatti, are you going to do the same thing with Sergey Kovalev?
 
BUDDY McGIRT: Sometimes when we’re in the gym Sergey comes to me with ideas, and they make sense. Like he said earlier, he got away from what he did best in the amateurs. He showed me a video of the amateurs and I’m like, ‘What happened to this guy?’
 
He goes, ‘Well, when I started knocking people, I got away from it.’ I’m like, ‘We’ve got to get back to this.’ He goes, ‘But I’m the Krusher.’ I said, ‘Well, now you’re going to be Smart Krusher.’
 
That’s what I say, people underestimate his boxing IQ because he’s always knocked everybody out. He’s smarter than people give him credit for.
 
Q. Is he open to different strategies in case his forward pressure and his professional style that he adopted…
 
BUDDY McGIRT: Oh, yeah. We discuss it. If he feels something, he’ll let me know when we get to the gym, and if I feel something, I let him know. We’re on the same page at all times.
 
Q. How is it for you to be the underdog, a decided underdog in this fight? That hasn’t been the case yet in your career where your opponent is viewed as big favorite. Does that motivate you? Paid any attention to that?
 
SERGEY KOVALEV: I don’t worry about if I’m the underdog or not. I just feel like we will be in the same ring, and everybody will be in the same position one-on-one, one against one.
 
The end will show who’s the best. Canelo is a very talented boxer and really experienced. And believe me, I’m right now getting really good instruction from my team and very good training camp. Everything goes very well.
 
We will show to the boxing world that Krusher is here. Krusher is back.
 
Q. Canelo obviously has a history in Las Vegas of winning close decisions or certainly getting the benefit of the doubt on scorecards more often than not. Does that make you feel any pressure to have to beat him by knockout, or are you okay with the fight going the distance? You’ve also lost a very close decision in Las Vegas yourself.
 
SERGEY KOVALEV: I will follow nstructions from Buddy McGirt, what’s the plan? The plan will begin after the first round. Every minute I will follow his instruction after each round what he will be saying to me.
 
Q. So, you don’t feel like you need to knock him out to win the fight I guess is my question?
 
SERGEY KOVALEV: Yes, but that’s not my goal. My goal to get the victory, by any costs. By knockout is very well, yes, of course.
 
Q. Obviously there is another very meaningful light heavyweight title fight on Friday. Wondering your thoughts on the Beterbiev-Gvozdyk fight and of course I would assume you would like to fight the winner if you beat Canelo, correct?
 
SERGEY KOVALEV: Of course. I should beat Canelo, and the next fight I will be open for unification fight. Right now, I have a concentration and focus on Canelo fight.
 
I will watch this fight for sure this Friday, and we’ll see who’s the best of these two guys. I think like one of those guys will get victory. (Laughter.) Not like a draw. Somebody will win.
 
Q. When Canelo Alvarez spoke to us on his call last week, he was asked about his body attack. He’s a tremendous body puncher, and you have shown that you have had some problems when guys attack you to the body. He said that will be a big part of what he plans to do in the fight. How do you make sure that doesn’t become a factor in the fight? I’d like your opinion and Buddy’s since you have to come up with a game plan to defend against the body shots.Buddy, do you have any thoughts about that particular part of Canelo Alvarez’s game plan?
 
BUDDY MCGIRT: I mean, it’s obvious that’s his game plan, because that’s one of his biggest tools, is body punching. And for the record, nobody likes to get hit in the body. I don’t give a shit who you are.
 
What we did was we ordered these XXXL shorts for Sergey and we are going to pull the shorts up to his chest and then we’ll be okay. (Laughter.)
 
The question is what’s going to happen when Canelo gets hit to the body?
 
Q. Sergey has shown in the Yarde fight as well as many other fights in his career, he has a superb jab. It’s very heavy. It’s very much like a power shot as opposed to a jab. How significant do you believe that Sergey’s jab is going to be in the fight against Canelo?
 
BUDDY MCGIRT: Well, the main thing is to avoid those type of instances where we get in there and let Canelo feel comfortable. No matter what he tries to do, the key is to make him uncomfortable in anything that he tries to do.
That only happened to him one time, and that was in the Mayweather fight. Mayweather made him uncomfortable and he really couldn’t get in his groove. After that, he became a better fighter and he was able to dominate everybody.
 
Q. The jab is such a big punch for Sergey; it does so much damage. Just wondered how much emphasis is there for you in the camp to make sure he shoots that down the middle against a smaller guy who has probably never been hit with a shot like that from a guy as big as Sergey Kovalev?
 
BUDDY MCGIRT: Funny thing is since the Alvarez rematch I’ve never had to remind Sergey again about the jab.
 
 
Q. Very good. Sergey, maybe you could address that. How important is it to have a heavy jab against Canelo Alvarez?
 
SERGEY KOVALEV: I never punch really hard my jab. I just do my jab; that’s it. It’s hard because I have like heavy bones maybe. I don’t know. But I not make it hard like that by myself.
 
Q. I mean, your last win was with a jab.
SERGEY KOVALEV: Yes, it was by jab. I don’t know. But I didn’t punch really hard. Maybe in the fight against Canelo I will make it more harder and we’ll see. Just fight will show everything, who’s the best.
 
Q. Sergey, you have bounced back now from some losses and are facing a very big fight. Do you think because of the journey you’ve had you appreciate this opportunity more now than you would have ten years ago? You think you have a different mental approach to it?
 
SERGEY KOVALEV: Ten years ago, I was younger and didn’t have enough experience. But now I’m ten years older and more experienced. Ten years ago, I came in U.S. with the amateur experience only. Now, I’m getting day-by-day, fight-by-fight, professional experience with Buddy McGirt and Teddy Cruz.
 
I’m really excited to work with this team, and thanks to God that everything’s happen for a reason. I’m happy.
 
Q. Do you think you’re ten years wiser also? Is that just as important?
 
SERGEY KOVALEV: Yes, yes. Now I am more smarter, yes, right.
 
Q. And Kathy, do you think this is an important factor – you’ve seen Sergey a long time – in his road to getting here, that he is wiser, and his attitude reflects an approach that’s going to serve him well now?
 
KATHY DUVA: I think that as the journey he has been through, as painful as it was, from time-to-time, as we all experience life, the pain is the thing that teaches us. It’s the painful times that make us better in the long run. It’s the hard knocks that make us more careful about what we say and do and think.
 
I think that’s everybody’s life experiences. Sergey has had some real obstacles in his way in recent years, and as painful as it was, as Sergey keeps saying, things happen for a reason. This is what led him to this particular team at this point in time in his corner. I think that it has all worked out exactly as well as it possibly could.
 
Now he will go into this fight knowing he has every chance that he could possibly have to win and feeling good about it. As he keeps saying, I’m happy, I’m happy. That’s what is showing. That’s what I’m seeing. I’m seeing the smile on his face that I saw leading up to the Cleverly fight. I hadn’t seen it in a long time.
 
It’s been a pleasure to watch this and be able to be in such a significant fight at this stage in his career is the reward for all of the work he’s done and all he’s been through to get there.
 
Q. In the negotiations for this, I know Sergey was unhappy with Vegas. I mean, I know this is a big fight and probably had to take it anywhere. Was there any talk about going anywhere other than Las Vegas?
 
KATHY DUVA: As a dynamic of this negotiation, just made that impossible. We got the fight we wanted; we got the money we wanted. The way to get that money is to go to a place where you can generate it. We’re realists. We asked, as always, for judges who will be fair. We hope that the commission recognizes that we don’t want the names of the judges or the referee to be the story.
 
We’re going to be where the crowd is going to be very much pro-Canelo. We know that happens. We know judges are influenced by those crowds, and I can talk a lot simply to that.
 
But what Sergey needs to do is fight like the veteran that he is. He needs to win and dominate round by round. He needs to not go in there head hunting trying to get a knockout. He knows that now.
 
Again, the experience he’s had has informed that. If you look at the scoring in the first six rounds of the first Ward fight, he was ahead. Clearly.
 
He let Ward back in the fight. He got tired and we’ve addressed those issues with this new training situation. I don’t think that’s an issue anymore.
 
He needs to get out there and win and dominate, just as he did with Alvarez the second time and frankly as he did with Yarde. We went and re-watched the fight, there was about 20 seconds during one round in which he was having a little bit of a hard time.
 
But he dominated that fight, and that’s what he needs to do.
 
Q. Sergey, obviously Canelo is looking to do something not many people have even attempted moving up two weight classes. Do you feel like you, as the champion and someone who has fought in light heavyweight far longer than Canelo is more confident in knowing that you are the bigger guy against the smaller guy in Canelo going to be making his light heavyweight debut?
 
SERGEY KOVALEV: Every fight for me is very important, but this fight is the most important because there is now a guy who makes the move like two divisions and want to beat me, to get my title.
 
This is very important for me, more important to defend my title, because like now he is a guest in my division. My plans are different, and after the fight with Canelo I will follow for my dream.
 
With this fight very good for boxing fans. I’m ready. I’ll be ready with my team to defend my WBO Title.
 
Q. The fight against Anthony Yarde back in August, after the fight, did you immediately think that physically you were ready already to face Canelo Alvarez? Did you need to take maybe a few days to sort of think about it and decide whether or not you were ready to face, or not ready to face, but at least hoping you’re physically ready enough to face Canelo on such a quick turnaround?
 
SERGEY KOVALEV: I have great coach now and I believe them what they tell me. Teddy Cruz and Buddy McGirt is the best coaches in the world and I believe them 100%.
 
I think they can really help in the fight against Canelo.
 
Q. Kathy, obviously this has been a fight that’s been in the works for sure several months. What sort of change in those initial pre-Yarde negotiations versus now that sort of allowed the fight to come together? Almost fairly quickly after the Anthony Yarde fight, was it the fact that Sergey really needed to get that mandatory out of the way and that kind of drove a wedge in the negotiations?
 
KATHY DUVA: Yes, prior to the Yarde fight, early on we weren’t getting the kind of offers we needed to make the fight. By the time the offer came we were just too far down road with Yarde. As Sergey made very clear at the time, he felt an obligation to go and fight in his hometown. He didn’t want local fans to think he would turn his back on them just because he was offered a lot of money. We had already gotten through that, the biggest issue, which was the money.
 
Just a week after that to get Golden Boy back to where they were in the summer. There was a lot less to talk about the second time around, and so it came together a lot more easily. And we didn’t have the obstacles of having to fight the mandatory.
 
Thank you everyone, as always, for your interest. I think boxing thrives when we have these big fights. This is one of those nights when you can call your casual friends to make sure they watch because it is going to be a great one.
 
Canelo vs. Kovalev is a 12-round fight for the WBO Light Heavyweight World Title presented by Golden Boy, Main Events and Krusher Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle” and Brand-New Grapefruit Crush, Knockout Flavor. The event will take place Saturday, Nov. 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZNThe title clash is one of several highlights this fight season on DAZN – an entire fall featuring boxing’s biggest matchups in one of the best schedules in boxing history.
   

Patrick Day passes away due to injuries suffered in the ring on Usyk versus Witherspoon undercard.

It is with heavy heart to learn of the passing of Super Welterweight Patrick Day who succumbed to injuries after being knocked out in the tenth round of his October 12th 2019, bout against Charles Conwell. The two fighters were part of the undercard for Oleksandr Usyk versus Chazz Witherspoon main event broadcast on DAZN which took place at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago Illinois.

The knockout took place at one minute and forty six seconds of the tenth and final round, Conwell landed a combination which sent Day to the canvas and upon seeing the manner in which Day fell, referee Celestino Ruiz immediately waved the contest off and called for paramedics.

Once taken out of the ring by stretcher and brought back to the dressing room, transport was arranged for Day to be taken to a local hospital where he underwent immediate surgery for injuries. He would be placed in a medically induced coma afterwards and never regained consciousness.

Patrick Day once the number one ranked 152 lb amateur in the country, turned professional on January 23rd, 2013 where he scored a first round knockout over Zachariah Kelley.

On behalf of Billy C, Sal Cenicola, Alex Pierpaoli my self and everyone else at the Talkin Boxing with Billy C TV & Radio show we extend out condolences to the family and friends of Patrick Day in this very solemn time.

Sampson Boxing Signs WBC #5 Minimumweight Luis Angel Castillo to a Promotional Contract

Sampson Lewkowicz proudly announces the signing of WBC #5 minimumweight Luis Angel “Flechito” Castillo to a promotional contract.

22-year-old Castillo (16-0-1, 11 KOs), from Los Mochis, SIN, Mexico, is trained and managed by legendary trainer of champions Manuel Montiel at the Cochul Gym. He went 35-4 as an amateur and won some regional titles.

As a professional, however, Castillo has already secured a world rating and scored a dominant 10-round decision over former IBF world champion Mario “Dragoncito” Rodriguez in March 2018. In his last ring appearance, he needed just two rounds to stop 12-1 countryman Jose Alonso Nunez Lopez.

“I am very proud to have signed with Sampson,” said Castillo. “He has taken many boxers to world championships. I will work hard to live up to his faith in me and win another world title for Los Mochis.”

Montiel, brother of world champion Fernando Montiel and hall-of-fame candidate Jorge Arce among many others, says he’s happy to have brokered this deal for his young fighter.

“Sampson and I have enjoyed a business partnership and friendship for many years and I know he will do a perfect job with this young fighter,” said Montiel. “I have the utmost faith he will be given the opportunities he needs to reach his dreams. Luis is a very hard worker and is very dedicated to his training. He now has everything he needs to win a championship.”

“I am looking forward to helping Luis Castillo, another outstanding fighter from Montiel’s Cochul Gym. Manuel and I have been friends almost since I started boxing and I know he will only work with fighters who live right and train right, so I know Luis will be perfectly prepared for his fights. It is my pleasure to be associated with such a talented young fighter and his coach and my dear friend Manuel Montiel.”

Canadian Super Welterweight Cody “The Crippler” Crowley Headlines stacked “Homecoming V: Going Global” card

PETERBOROUGH, ONTARIO, CANADA (October 16, 2019) – Undefeated super welterweight and hometown hero Cody “The Crippler” Crowley will headline this Saturday night’s stacked “Homecoming V: Going Global” card, presented by CCC Promotions, at Peterborough Memorial Centre in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. The event will be streamed worldwide, live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS®, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports, starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

The 26-year-old Crowley (17-0, 9 KOs), who is also co-founder of CCC Promotions, will defend his Canada Professional Boxing Council (CPBC) National super welterweight title at home in the 12-round main event against intra-country rival “Super” Mian Hussain (16-1, 6 KOs), of Montreal.

Crowley, who is rated No. 9 in the world by the World Boxing Association in the welterweight division, is an Irish-Canadian rising star who trains in Las Vegas.

The entertaining southpaw’s most recent fight was this past February in his initial CPBC title defense, when he won a 12-round unanimous decision versus Stuart McLellan (25-2-3).

“It’s destiny,” Crowley said about him headlining at home on UFC FIGHT PASS. “We’ve done this on our own. I plan to fight here at home once a year. I want to show local youths how to take advantage of opportunities, creating inspiration and motivation for these youths coming up.

“When I was 21, I gave myself a 10-year plan to be world champion. I’m obsessed with being world champion; I eat and sleep boxing. I gave boxing a decade of my life and I’m halfway there. 2020 is going to be huge for my career. Too many weird things have happened for me not to become world champion.”

The co-featured event showcases one of Canada’s most popular boxers, lightweight Tony “The Lightning” Luis (28-3, 10 KOs), in an eight-round bout against his veteran Mexican opponent, Ricardo “Riky” Lara (22-6, 10 KOs). A former Interim world title challenger, Luis is a blood-and-guts type fighter who has won his last nine fights, including the North American Boxing Association (NABA) lightweight title.

A pair of undefeated heavyweight prospects, Moses Johnson (4-0, 4 KOs) and Patrick “Magic” Mailata (2-0, 2 KOs), will also gain invaluable exposure fighting on UFC FIGHT PASS. Johnson, fighting out of Huntington, NY, faces Jose Manuel “Dionamita” Paredes (3-3-3, 2 KOs) in a six-rounder, while Samoa-native Mailata, who now lives in Las Vegas, takes on unbeaten Mexican boxer Jorge Sevilla “Bombon” Acosta (2-0, 2 KOs). Mailata, whose fight will open the UFC FIGHT PASS live stream, is a four-time New Zealand amateur champion who won a bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Also fighting on the undercard, all in six-round fights, are undefeated Canadian Mazlum Akdeniz (9-0, 4 KOs), vs. Hungarian Adam “Bad Boy” Mate (28-15, 21 KOs), Montreal female super lightweight Jessica “The Cobra” Camara (6-1) vs. Mexican Beatriz Jimenez (6-2, 1 KO), Canadian super lightweight Lucas Bahdi (4-0, 4 KOs) vs. Mexican Victor Manuel “El Pimientas” Campos (6-8, 2 Kos), and United Kingdom super lightweight Adam “Hitman” Hague (15-1-1, 2 KOs). vs. Alan “Superman” Ayala (7-0, 3 Kos), of Mexico.

Usyk defeats Witherspoon but leaves questions on his heavyweight future, Bivol disappoints with dominating performance over Castillo

Saturday night at the Wintrust Arena, Chicago, Illinois Matchroom Boxing hosted a triple header on DAZN featuring former Cruiserweight kingpin and consensus top five rated pound for pound fighter Oleksandr Usyk making his heavyweight debut against Chazz Witherspoon, WBA light heavyweight title holder Dmitry Bivol defending his title against Lenin Castillo and unified super lightweight champion Jessica McCaskill taking on Erica Anabella Farias in rematch of their 2018 contest.

In the main event Oleksandr Usyk dominated Chazz Witherspoon with superior boxing ability and footwork that kept Witherspoon from generating any offense of his own. There were several moments when Usyk pinned Witherspoon on the ropes while throwing combinations that left Chazz with no other option but cover up and weather the storm. It would be the story of the fight until a tired and outclassed Witherspoon decided to retire on his stool at the end of round seven.

With the win Oleksandr Usyk improves to 17-0(13) while Chazz Witherspoon now stands at 38-4(29).

This fight left us little to nothing in terms of what we can expect from Usyk as a heavyweight, the only thing I could take away from the performance is Usyk needs to start quicker and set down more on his punches if he is to be successful against top tier opposition. It would be unfair to criticize his performance against Witherspoon considering Usyk had been preparing for a totally different fighter in Tyrone Sprong. We can only hope as fans that his next bout is against a more notable opponent who can provide some answers to those questions.

The co-feature between Dmitry Bivol and Lenin Castillo was a one sided affair with Bivol controlling every minute of the fight. There was a knockdown scored by Bivol in round six that surprised Castillo more than hurt him. While the contest was a shut out performance for Bivol fans were unhappy with his not seeking a KO finish.  In my opinion Bivol is by far the most talented fighter at light heavyweight but criticism is mounting due to his lack of killer instinct and could hurt his marketability.

With the win Dmitry Bivol improves to 17-0 (11) Lennon Castillo now stands at 20-3 (15), hopefully we see Bivol against a top name in his next bout or he makes the move to super middleweight to take on champions in that division.

When Jessica McCaskill and Erica Anabella Farias stepped into the ring it was for unsettled business which took place in their first meeting at this same venue on October 6th 2018. On that night the less experienced McCaskill defeated Farias to unify the women’s WBA and WBC super-lightweight championships.

This fight was rough and ugly filled with fouls and holding, both fighters were deducted points for their infractions. The end result was a majority decision in favor of McCaskill by scores of 94-94, 97-91 and 96-92.

When super welterweights Charles Conwell and Patrick Day faced off fans were excited to see if Conwell could progress to the next level by keeping his undefeated record intact while facing a slick well-schooled fighter like Day. It was a dominate performance for Conwell that was marred by tragedy when Day suffered a tenth round stoppage loss he never regained consciousness from. He was taken from the venue by ambulance and underwent emergency surgery. With the win Charles Conwell improved to 11-0 (8) while Day now stands at 17-4-1 (6).

As of the moment as I type this Day is in a medically induced coma, myself and everyone else from the Talkin Boxing with Billy C show and the Daily Sports Inc. Wish Patrick Day a full recovery

In Undercard action

Super Middleweight-Anthony Sims Jr 20-0(18) def. Morgan Fitch 19-4-1(8) via TKO 6

Super Bantamweight-TJ Doheny 22-1(16) def. Jesus Martinez 26-10(13) via UD 8

Super Lightweight- Movladdin Biyarslanov 5-0(4) def. Tyrome Jones 4-6-1(1) via UD 6

Super Featherweight- Otha Jones III 4-0(1) def. Eric Manriquez 7-9-1(3) via MD

Strongest line-up assembles as heavyweights prepare for battle at Ultimate Boxxer 6

The eight heavyweight fighters who will go head to head in Ultimate Boxxer 6 on Friday, December 13 have now been confirmed. The event takes place from Manchester and will be live on BT Sport 1, BoxNation and BT Sport Youtube.

Ultimate Boxxer returns to Manchester for the first time since the explosive cruiserweight tournament that saw the Sauerland’s Mikael Lawal reign surpreme, before Olympian Steven Donnelly wowed the fans by powering his way to victory at UB5 at the O2 in September.

Now attention turns to the most coveted division of them all.
Nick Webb, Sean Turner, Mark Bennett, Jonathan Palata, Josh Sandland, Jay McFarlane, Kamil Sokolowski and Chris Healey will all arrive on December 13 with huge confidence to take home the money and the golden robe.

‘The heavyweight division is absolutely thriving right now and we are very excited to put on this monster event and add to a huge December calendar for heavyweight fight fans,’ said Ultimate Boxxer founder Ben Shalom.

The Scott Welch-managed contender Nick ‘Wild’ Webb (13-2) enters UB6 with an impressive professional record, with 11 wins coming by way of KO against opponents such as Ferenc Zsalek and Chris Healey. He has been frustrated by title fights with Daniel Dubois and Nathan Gorman falling through in the past, and will be hoping to put his only defeats to date against Dave Allen and Sokolowski (who also joins the tournament) firmly behind him.

Sean ‘Big Sexy’ Turner (12-3) followed the example set by Ultimate Boxxer 5 champion Steven Donnelly and went about guaranteeing his spot on the UB6 card by hammering the social media team across Instagram and Twitter. The monster Irishman has had an impressive amateur career with 120 amateur fights, winning 90 contests. He held multiple junior titles and boxed Anthony Joshua twice, losing both on points. After defeats to Filip Hrgovic and Nathan Gorman in his last two outings, the Peter Taylor-trained Dubliner will be out to prove he’s back on the right path to heavyweight glory at UB6.

Former army man Mark ‘Bad News’ Bennett (5-0) toured Afghanistan before a serious injury culminated in a medical discharge. He took up boxing as a 27-year-old, and has never looked back. He hasn’t lost a bout in either the unlicensed scene or amongst the professional ranks. Bennett, who is relatively unknown could come into this as a dark horse having already beaten Ferenc Zsalek and ABA finalist Chris Healey in his professional career.

Frank Warren-fighter Jonathan ‘God Speed’ Palata (7-0) enters the fray at UB6 with an impressive and unbeaten professional record, following a stellar amateur career which saw him rack up an ABA Novice Championship, London ABA Championship and he also won the prestigious Haringey Box Cup. He fights out of the famous Peacock Gym in Canning Town.

For former professional rugby league player Josh Sandland (4-1-1).
Ultimate Boxxer represents another chance to succeed in top-level sport, having played for Huddersfield Giants and Wakefield Wildcats. He triumphed over Jay McFarlane earlier this year and showed he was dangerous. His only defeat came to Tom Little two years ago when he had just joined the professional ranks.

Glasgow hard man Jay ‘Ghost’ McFarlane (10-4) arrives on the UB6 scene as the youngest fighter in the tournament at just 21. He spent some time in a Caribbean orphanage as a youngster, and has dived into 14 professional fights already in his career. He fought at Madison Square Garden against Matt McKinney in March 2018, and dropped to 14 stone 4lbs to fight for the Scottish Cruiserweight title, which he won against Ratu Latianara in June of last year.

A former Muay-Thai champion, Polish-born Kamil Sokolowski (7-15-2) won only two of his first 13 fights, with defeats coming against the likes of Dillian Whyte, Kash Ali and Gary Cornish. Starting out as a journeymen, he has since refocused his efforts, and has improved dramatically under the watchful eye of Gavin Lane at the Barum Boxing Club in Barnstaple. Only Whyte and Nathan Gorman have stopped him in his career. Tipped as a dangerous darkhorse.

Representing Manchester on this heavyweight show is ABC southpaw Chris Healey (8-6) who has been dogged by injury after winning six of his first seven professional fights, but the 31-year-old is keen to show he’s back to his best after major back surgery, and the loss of his father in 2016. His last two defeats have been against fellow UB6 contenders Mark Bennett and Jonathan Palata.

Undefeated prospect Richard “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera expanding fan-base to Florida

HARTFORD, Conn. (October 10, 2019) – Undefeated prospect Richard “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera is a true throwback fighter; he just asks when and where, not who and why.

Going into 2019, Rivera and his head trainer, Tony Blanco, who co-promotes Rivera (along with partners Rivera and Michael Tran) under the Hartford Boxing Promotions banner, vowed to keep their light heavyweight/cruiserweight more active and the plan has worked to perfection.

Rivera (14-0, 11 KOs), the 28-year-old knockout artist from Hartford (CT), will be fighting November 1st at Hard Rock Hotel in Daytona Beach, Florida, in a six-round bout against an opponent to be determined.

It will mark his sixth fight of 2019, fourth since he signed a co-promotional deal with Joe DeGuardia‘s Star Boxing, and also the third on a card promoted by Hall of Famer Christy Martin.

“The plan has been to stay busy and expand my fan-base,” Rivera said. “I’m amazed about how many of my fans (from Hartford) are going to my Florida fight. I watched a friend book 10 flights and Airbnb. I’ve got such a good fan-base. I have friends and family in Florida who are going to my fight. (Rivera is of Puerto Rican heritage and Florida is home to many Puerto Ricans and Puerto-Rican Americans.)

“Boxing is more of a business today, but fighters still need to fight. I use a little of boxing’s old and new like technology. It’s all about risk and reward to have wealth and health when your career is over. The plan has been to stay busy. No breaks to take, the grind never stops. I’ve always been a little jittery before a fight, but I’ve become much comfortable in the ring. I’ve had the will to win and to fight my fight.

“We have a good relationship with Joe (DeGuardia). Joe genuinely believes in my potential. He’s allowing ‘Popeye’ to take off and allowing me to take a stay-busy fight on another promoter’s card like November 1 in Florida, even though I just fought on his show a few weeks ago and will be fighting on his show in December as well.”

Blanco is thrilled with his working relationship with DeGuardia, as well as the friendship he and Rivera have developed with Martin. “Working with Joe has been fantastic,” Blanco remarked. “I knew that I would, but we’re closer now. He’s a visionary and I like the way he works. We’re on the same page and together we’re going to bring a big show to Connecticut in December.

Christy has been so good to us. She has a great soul; I love her and we’re glad to be back with her for this stay-busy fight. We really want to keep Richie busy. I honestly can’t wait to see what the future holds for ‘Popeye.’ Everyone is very excited.”

“I’m pleased that fans in Florida will get to see ‘Fight Night at the Hard Rock,'” DeGuardia added. “‘Popeye’s’ got as great persona, in and out of the ring, and with this activity the future is bright for him.”

Martin has become one of Rivera’s top supporters, commenting: “First, he’s a great person. This venue only seats 500, but everybody wants to watch ‘Popeye’ fight. In another 5-6 fights, he’ll be fighting top 10 guys and in 1 ½ -to-2 years, I think he’ll be fighting for a world title. He’s being moved at the right pace and understands marketing, unlike so many other boxers who don’t understand its value. He is ready, willing and able to post on social media. I appreciate Joe DeGuardia for letting him fight on my show. He is building a following, because everybody who meets him or watches him fight love him. ‘Popeye’ is a kid that really gets it!”

Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame Class of 2019 Announced

Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame
Class of 2019 Announced
 
Arturo Gatti, Chad Dawson, Delvin Rodriguez, Arthur Mercante, Sr., Eddie Campo & Teddy Davis

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (October 10, 2019) – The Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame (CBHOF) has announced its six-member Class of 2019 to be inducted during the 15th annual CBHOF Gala Induction Dinner on Saturday night, November 9, in the Uncas Ballroom at Mohegan Sun.

The new CBHOF inductees are boxers Arturo “Thunder” Gatti“Bad” Chad DawsonDelvin RodriguezEddie Campo and Teddy “Redtop” Davis, as well as referee Arthur Mercante, Sr.

“Once again,” CBHOF president John Laudati said, “the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame has elected a great class of Inductees. The 2019 class includes giants of the sport such as Arturo Gatti and Arthur Mercante, Sr., modern era stars in Delvin Rodriguez and ‘Bad’ Chad Dawson and historically significant fighters Teddy “Red Top” Davis and Eddie Compo. We look forward to seeing all of our boxing fans, family and friends at our gala induction dinner at Mohegan Sun on November 9th. ”

Not many remember the first time Hall of Famer Gatti fought in Connecticut. It was in August of 1998. Looking to snap a three-fight losing streak, Gatti took on the 21-3 Reyes Munoz. If you went for a hotdog you might have missed the first-round TKO for Gatti. The second appearance in Connecticut was far more memorable. It was the first in his trilogy with CBHOF member Micky Ward. The rousing affair at the Mohegan Sun Arena was the Fight of the Year in many publications. Ward won a majority decision, but the heart Gatti showed to withstand a brutal barrage in a scintillating Round 9 will forever stay in the minds of the fans who were there that night. Gatti would go on to win the next two fights with Ward. He also beat the 54-3-1 Tracy Harris Patterson to win the IBF super featherweight title. One of his successful title defenses came against the 44-3 Gabriel Ruelas. Gatti moved up to welterweight to take on Oscar De La Hoya, losing by TKO, but earning more respect for his grit. In 2005, Gatti beat Jesse James Leija to capture the WBC super lightweight title. Who did he lose it to? None other than the incomparable Floyd Mayweather Jr. in June of 2005. Gatti had a record of 40-9-0 before his tragic death at the age of 37 in July of 2009.

Dawson’s spectacular career of New Haven light heavyweight product Dawson was appropriately launched at the home for the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame. After a sterling amateur career, Dawson made his pro debut on Aug. 18, 2001 at the Mohegan Sun Casino. He scored a second-round TKO over Steve Garrett. Six of his first 10 fights were at the Mohegan Sun. Twenty one of his 41 fights have been in Connecticut. It was a meteoric rise for Dawson, who began his career 29-0. After beating CBHOF member Eric Harding to capture the NABF light heavyweight title in 2006, Dawson was ready for the 31-0 WBC light heavyweight champion Tomasz Adamek. It was no contest. Dawson battered Adamek in winning the unanimous decision in 2007, hastening the talk of him being one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world at the age of 25. Dawson would go on to defeat some of sport’s heavy hitters. He twice made successful title defenses against Glenn Johnson. He twice beat Antonio Tarver for the IBF and IBO light heavyweight titles. He twice fought the legendary Bernard Hopkins. The first bout Dawson appeared to be winning easily, but it was ruled a no contest. He beat Hopkins easily in the rematch. Dawson was 32-1 when he decided to drop in weight to take on WBC and WBA super middleweight champ Andre Ward, losing by TKO. Dawson remains active with a 37-5 record.

If you look up the word action in the dictionary, don’t be surprised if you see a Rodriguez’ picture. The Danbury product always gave people their money’s worth in a career where he won 19 of his first 21 bouts, including a TKO of 21-2 Luis Hernandez in a bout in May of 2006 that gave Rodriguez the USBA welterweight title. He lost his first title defense against Jesse Feliciano but showed his resilience by beating the 26-2 Oscar Diaz in his hometown of San Antonio to regain the USBA welterweight crown. Not only did Rodriguez beat Diaz in his own backyard, he knocked Diaz out in the 11th round in July of 2008. In March of 2009, Rodriguez would make a successful defense of his title by defeating a 20-1 Shamone Alvarez at the Mohegan Sun Arena. Rodriguez would eventually fight for the WBA super welterweight title, losing a decision to the 24-0 Austin Trout in 2012. In 2013, Rodriguez got a shot at the rugged Miguel Cotto, losing by a TKO. Rodriguez, who also dabbles in broadcasting, finished his career in 2017 with a 29-9-4 record.

Eddie Campagnuolo, aka Eddie Campo, had more letters in his last name than he did defeats in an outstanding professional career. If the name Campagnuolo doesn’t ring a bell, that’s because the featherweight boxer who was born and lived most of his life in New Haven would change his name to Eddie Compo. He wasn’t known as a fearsome puncher with just 14 knockouts in an 11-year career, but his winning percentage is one of the best in boxing history. Compo was 75-10-4. Compo would beat CBHOF inductees Teddy “Redtop” Davis, Julie Kogon, and Chico Vejar in a career where he took on all comers. Compo won his first 25 professional fights, many at the New Haven Arena. There was plenty of buzz around Compo’s world featherweight title fight with CBHOF inductee Willie Pep at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury in September of 1949. That’s because Compo was 57-1-3. Pep was 141-2-1. It may have been the only bout in the history of boxing where the two combatants combined for just under 200 wins with a mere 3 defeats. Pep won with a 7th-round TKO. Compo retired in 1955 and lived to the age of 69 before passing away in 1998.

Born Murray Cain in South Carolina in 1923, Davis struggled at the beginning of his career as a featherweight in the Midwest. He won only one of his first nine professional bouts. But a shift to New England turned his career around. He first made a name for himself by taking the legendary Willie Pep the distance in back-to-back fights in Hartford in 1948. In 1953, Davis captured the USA New England Light title with a victory over the 49-3-1 George Araujo in Boston. Just one month later, Davis made a successful title defense against Araujo in Madison Square Garden. In 1954, Davis would make successful title defenses in Waterbury and New Haven. It wasn’t until 1958 that Davis lost a title fight, bowing to Steve Ward in a bout for the New England Super Light title in Hartford. Davis would also take on the likes of Sandy Saddler, Eddie Compo, and Tony DeMarco in a solid career that spanned 14 years. Davis may have hung on a bit too long. He went 4-22-1 in his final 27 fights, causing his career record to end up at 71-75-6. He was just 42 when he died in 1966.

After refereeing more than 140 world title fights in 47 years, Mercante Sr. retired at the age of 81 in 2001. He would stay around the sport, accompanying his son Arthur Jr. to a fight card in Connecticut in 2004. As related in a 2010 espn.com story by Wallace Matthews, Mercante Jr., also a referee, heard a thump on the floor while staying in a Connecticut hotel with his dad. Fearing the worst, Mercante Jr. scurried to see if his dad had fallen to the floor. “I looked over and he’s down there doing push-ups,” Mercante Jr. related. Mercante Sr. was 84 at the time but he had lost none of the toughness that made him what the New York Times called the “most prominent referee in of the past half century” after the elder Mercante passed away in 2010. Mercante Sr. is best known for being the referee in the first Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight in New York in 1971, but he had New England roots. Mercante Sr. was born in Brockton, Mass., where he was a childhood friend of Rocky Marciano. Mercante was also in the Navy, where his commanding officer was Gene Tunney, a former heavyweight champion of the world and a member of the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame. Mercante has also been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

 

 

HAVNAA FACES AMERICAN DANGERMAN SANDS ON NOVEMBER 16

HAVNAA FACES AMERICAN DANGERMAN SANDS ON NOVEMBER 16

IBO International Cruiserweight Champion Kai Robin Havnaa (15-0, 13 KOs) will face the hard-hitting American dangerman Al Sands (20-4-1, 14 KOs) on November 16th in Oslo as he looks to move into World title contention.

Norway’s number one male boxer is back in the ring headlining a huge show at the historic Ekeberghallen venue alongside Katharina Thanderz, who meets Danila Ramos for the interim WBC World Super Featherweight crown.

Havnaa was last in action on June 22nd scoring a third-round stoppage win over Levani Lukhutashvili at the Forum Horsens in Denmark. This performance followed a career best win for the 30-year-old, who defeated Rad Rashid in front of his home fans in Arendal on March 2nd to claim his first major title.

Havnaa, the son of Norway’s only ever male World Champion, Magne Havnaa, must now put his World title aspirations on the line against his most dangerous opponent to date in order to prove he is ready to face the best in the division.

Sands, born in Haiti but now based in America, boasts an impressive 72 per cent knockout ratio with 18 of his 20 victories coming inside the distance. The 32-year-old is a former NABA-USA and Minneosaota State Cruiserweight Champion, who has also challenged for the WBO Oriental title.

“It’s amazing to headline a big show in Oslo,” says Havnaa. “Last time I boxed in Oslo was at the Spectrum on the undercard of Cecilia Brækhus in front of 10,000 fans. I’m sure this will be even better with all my supporters and a top Norwegian undercard. I’m very excited.

“My opponent is a very experienced skilled fighter with a long reach and good fundamentals. He is a big puncher, who has fought some of the best fighters in the world, and I will be preparing for the best Al Sands there is.

“I’ve always had a big talent to train hard, but now I’m also starting to master how to train smart. I’ve started to become an experienced fighter. I know what to do, and I know what not to do, and all this is going to take me to next level.

“You never know how good an opponent is until you’re trading punches with them, but from what I can see, Sands is my most dangerous opponent. Boxing is a sport full of surprises and with top shape cruiserweights, anything can happen, but on November 16th, I plan to show why I belong at the top.”

Promoter Nisse Sauerland admits he has taken a risk allowing Havnaa to face Sands, but reveals the reward could be a shot at the IBO World Champion.

“This is potentially a very dangerous fight for Kai,” said Sauerland. “We’re taking a risk here but the reward can be great. This is a chance for Kai to prove he belongs at the top level. If he comes through this, then we could look to make a fight between him and the current IBO World Champion Kevin Lerena.”

All the action will be broadcast live on Viasat 4 in Norway. Christian Ramberg, Programme Manager Sports for NENT Group, says:  “World class boxing finally returns to the capital with an amazing fight card. Kai Robin Havnaa will prove that he is a title contender against a very dangerous American opponent. With two knock out experts in action the viewers should not blink.”

Katharina Thanderz faces Danila Ramos for the interim WBC World Super Featherweight title, while Kai Robin Havnaa looks to move into World title contention with a cruiserweight clash against American dangerman Al Sands.

An action-packed undercard features undefeated cruiserweight prospect Kevin Melhus versus Ossie Jervier, light heavyweight Alexander Hagen against Emmanuel Feuzeu, super featherweight Bernard Torres taking on Yesner Talavera and cruiserweight Kent Erik Baadstad meeting Istvan Kun.

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