Daxx Khan

Dmitry Bivol vs. Jean Pascal Media Conference Call Transcript

KATHY DUVA, President and CEO, Main Events:

“Good morning and good afternoon everyone. Main Events could not be happier to be coming back to the Etess Arena at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City. Our first event in August was a sellout. It proved to us what we already knew: there is still a big appetite for boxing in Atlantic City.

With our second card at the Etess Arena we expect to build on our momentum by bringing Dmitry Bivol back to be in the main event this time on November 24 against one of our division’s most admired champions, Jean Pascal.

Dmitry Bivol is going to risk his perfect record against a tested tough opponent. Dmitry has made no secret about wanting to unify titles in the light heavyweight division. But the other titleholders for some reason just don’t seem to be ready for him right now.

Jean Pascal is always ready. He never turns down an opportunity. He is a warrior. He has fought for three world titles, and he’d like to take Dmitry’s title back home to Canada and confirmed his status as a Hall of Fame fighter when his career is finished. It would make a pretty nice Christmas present for him.

Neither man is taking the other lightly of course. It’s a dangerous fight with a lot at stake. This is the way we like to cook things up at Main Events!

In addition to our fighters, you will also hear from Vadim Kornilov, the manager of Dmitry Bivol; and Greg Leon, CEO of Jean Pascal Promotions.And we are delighted to have Tim Louie with us. He is the Public Relations Manager for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City.

Why don’t we begin with Vadim today – can you make some opening remarks?

VADIM KORNILOV, Manager, Dmitry Bivol:

Thank you, Kathy. Pleasure to be back at the Hard Rock. It’s great to have another show with Dmitry Bivol on HBO. Now that he’s the main event, it’s something kind of like a dream come true for him. He’s talked about this for a long time He was hoping to be a main event at one point, and he’s got this shot on this last HBO World Championship Boxing event. Thank you all of the Main Events team and World of Boxing team working great together putting this main event together on November 24th.

KATHY DUVA:

Thank you, Vadim, it’s always a pleasure working with you.

Former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal has won titles and lost titles. But he has never lost anyone’s respect. He has faced every dangerous name in the division for a decade. Carl Froch. Bernard Hopkins. Kovalev. And now, Dmitry. Jean’s farewell tour is making a stop in Atlantic City. He doesn’t want it to be his last stop. We are glad to welcome him to this card and the main event.

Greg, why don’t you talk to us, give us your perspective on the fight, and introduce Jean?

GREG LEON, CEO, Jean Pascal Promotions:

Thank you, Kathy. I’d like to thank World of Boxing and Main Events for making this a very easy deal to finalize. I’d like to thank to the Hard Rock for hosting the event, HBO for broadcasting the event in its final World Championship Boxing. This is a sensational event. Like Vadim said, Bivol was looking to fight on a main event. Jean’s been looking to fight for a world title on his farewell tour. But like Kathy said, the farewell tour does not end in Atlantic City. That’s just the next stop. Both of these guys come to fight. They don’t shy away from challenges. We’re expecting nothing but action on November 24th.

Personally, it’s an honor to represent somebody like Jean, who as Kathy articulated, is a true warrior, doesn’t shy away from challenges, fights the best of the best. For this fight, our mission is to use it as a lens into how much boxing means to HBO. The nucleus of Jean Pascal’s aspirations consists of making history and punching his ticket to the Hall of Fame. So this event will be nothing short of sensational. Our hope is that this sensation will cross-pollinate through HBO’s offices in a way that allows them to re-contextualize their place in the world of boxing around them. This is the heart of what we strive to do. Without further ado, the former WBC and world light heavyweight champion and next WBA light heavyweight champion. Jean?

JEAN PASCAL:
Thank you very much. Hi everybody, I’m very pleased that you’re here. Pascal is back in action. I’ll be fighting on HBO on November 24th. I’m very happy. I want to thank Main Events; also I want to thank Dmitry Bivol and his people for this opportunity to show I’m an elite fighter. I know it’s OK, they think they can beat me. But like I said, It’s OK, it’s part of the sport. I’ve been training very hard for this opportunity. It’s showtime, it’s time to show up.

KATHY DUVA:

Thank you, Jean and thank you, Greg. I want to take a moment for the last time and thank HBO. This is going to be a very difficult event for us in a lot of ways. I hope Greg is right, I hope Jean and Dmitry can somehow, jolt them into reconsidering.

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City has only been open for a few months. But as we all know, it has already established itself as Atlantic City’s go-to destination on the legendary Atlantic City Boardwalk.

There are all the features that made the Hard Rock Hotel name famous including world class rooms, casino, lounges, restaurants, shopping, and service. What’s special to us about the Hard Rock Hotel Atlantic City is the Etess Arena, named after a dear friend of ours who passed away too soon. It’s always been one of the best venues to see boxing in the United States. Thanks to the Hard Rock it’s expanded and even better than before.

Let me bring in Tim Louie with the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and he can to tell you a little more about this amazing fight venue.

TIM LOUIE, Public Relations Manager, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City:

We’re so excited to have boxing back here. This past August was so amazing for me to see, because I’m so new to the business. The arena fits about 7,000 people and it’s so exciting just to even boxing back in Atlantic City. Kathy, you and your team have been amazing to work with. I don’t expect anything to be different next Saturday.

KATHY DUVA:

Thank you, Tim, Nice to hear that. You guys are a pleasure to work with, too.

QUESTION:

Jean, you’re obviously viewed as the underdog in this fight. How much motivation has that provided for you, and how are you looking at this going into the fight?

JEAN PASCAL:

This is the story of my life, to be the underdog. I was the underdog when I faced Chad Dawson. At the time he was considered as the best pound for pound in the world. I was the underdog, fourth in the world and I won the fight. To me, maybe it’s a motivation. I know what to do, I know what I’m capable to do. I have a lot of experience, been there done that. I’m going to do my best to win this fight.

QUESTION:

What did you think of Bivol’s performance against Isaac Chilemba?

JEAN PASCAL:

Honestly, I think he did good. Chilemba used to be my sparring partner. It’s hard to look good against a guy like him. He’s very awkward. In this situation, I think Bivol showed his skill and he did pretty good against an elite fighter.

QUESTION:

Jean, you always come to fight, and make for good television in your career. How do you expect this fight will unfold differently, especially from the viewer’s perspective?

JEAN PASCAL:

It won’t be different, I’m going to be there to fight. I like to fight, I’m the underdog. I know Bivol likes to fight as well; he’s young, hungry. He cannot exactly remember me when I was champion. I was a pretty boy, lot of stamina, young, sexy, with a lot of power. I know that it is entertaining for him right now. I have something on my side, experience. That’s something you can’t buy, you cannot buy.

QUESTION:

Jean, do you think he’s overlooking you?

JEAN PASCAL:

Honestly, I think he’s got no bets, because I’m not in his mind. But like I said, I know Bivol will do very well. I know him as well. If he overlooks me, that would be a big mistake. But I know he has a strong team, he’s a young but I know he’s a smart fighter and a smart guy too. So I don’t think he takes me lightly.

QUESTION:

Greg, what would a win over Dmitry Bivol do for Jean’s career?

GREG LEON:

First of all, I think this win would put in in the Hall of Fame without any question. Right now, Jean is looked at as a guy has a hell of a resume, has fought the best of the best. For the harshest of critics, he might have lost too many big fights to be a lock. Jean’s fight would cement his legacy and his status as a Hall of Famer. A victory on November 24th would certainly do that. As far as what would be next, what’s next right now is November 24th. Obvious, if Jean he wins the title, he becomes the cash cow of the division. All of the other champions reside in Canada. By his own admission, Stevenson by his own choice hasn’t been making fights the public has been demanding. Jean is a star in Canada. With the belt around his waist, he becomes the guy of the division.

There’s also history too, Correct me if I’m wrong, Jean first because champion in 2009. I don’t think nine and a half years have passed from one title reign to the other in the history of the division.

KATHY DUVA:

Let’s move on with the most exciting young titleholder in the light heavyweight division. He’s featured in RING Magazine this month.

He is the undefeated WBA Light Heavyweight Champion. And he really wants to unify the division. From St. Petersburg, Russia — training now in Los Angeles, Dmitry Bivol. Dmitry, tell us about your view of this matchup.

DMITRY BIVOL:

I appreciate the introduction, Kathy.I respect Pascal because he took this fight. I hope we will show a good fight and action in the ring. I will do my best to make a good fight.

QUESTION:

For Kathy, for you is it a goal to turn Bivol into a big draw in the New York and New Jersey area?

KATHY DUVA:

That’s more of a question for Vadim in his capacity with World of Boxing. World of Boxing is our partner in this promotion. We’ve had a great run with Sergey Kovalev in Atlantic City, going up to the big sellout in August, and over a million dollar gate with Bernard Hopkins. He’s Russian, Dmitry’s Russian. It seems logical a charismatic young star like Dmitry, given a little time to develop, can develop a fan following there if that’s what World of Boxing wants him to do. We’d be happy to help them.

Sergey took three bouts, three appearances there to make it to that sold out arena. It does take time, it doesn’t happen overnight. This is a big step in my view in Dmitry’s career stepping up to the main event for the first time. Nobody ever became a star on the undercard. This is the beginning of a journey. We’re always happy to be going back to our home in Atlantic City.

QUESTION:

Dmitry, your last two fights were in the co-main event. Now that you’re in the main event on HBO, how does it feel to get the chance to be a headliner?

DMITRY BIVOL:

Of course I’m glad. It means I’m going the right way in my career. I’m glad that HBO and Kathy Duva and World of Boxing are giving me this opportunity to fight in the main event. It’s a big responsibility for me.

QUESTION:

Do you feel more pressure to go out and deliver a performance that tells people you are the best light heavyweight in the world?

DMITRY BIVOL:

You know, when I go into the ring, every time I feel that I should show all my skills, all my best. I should show to people all my best skills. It doesn’t matter now or my first fight. Every time, I feel the responsibility. I just want people to believe and I want to prove to everybody I’m the best in the division. These are the steps I want to take. There’s always responsibility I take on.

QUESTION:

Jean, you’re coming off back-to-back stoppage wins for the first time in a decade. How do you feel physically at 36 years old? How do you assess your own strength?

JEAN PASCAL:

Right now, I don’t know if I’m stronger than before, but I feel very strong. Of course I got two knockouts in my last fights. But I know they weren’t elite fighters like Dmitry Bivol. So I know I’m going to have to pick up my game but I’m ready for that. Been there, done that. It’s his first main event. Like I said, for me been there done that. I know what I have to do. I’m ready for this fight. I’m looking for this fight to be a great fight.

The fight is going to be in Atlantic City. Remember, we have a Canadian story in Atlantic City. Arturo Gatti is from my hometown and he used to fight over there. He moved when he was younger to fight. He became a legend. At the same time, I’m going to try to honor his spirit over there and win one more title.

QUESTION:

Dmitry, what do you know about Jean Pascal, and the main reason you respect him?

DMITRY BIVOL:

I saw his many fights when I was an amateur. His fight against Bernard Hopkins, fight against many other people. I know he is good in counter attack. He’s strong; he’s a really tough guy. He is a good fighter and I respect him. But when I go to the ring, he will be my enemy.

QUESTION:

Dmitry, Jean Pascal’s manager talks about how he wants to get to the Hall of Fame and be a champion once again. Are you really letting him use you as a stepping-stone?

DMITRY BIVOL:

I think the opportunity is already given in this fight being made. It excites me very much to know he’s so motivated and he has such big goals for this fight. I’m also not coming to the fight to give up my title, and I going to do everything to defend the title. Every one of us has a big goal, and it will make this fight really great.

QUESTION:

So that’s a polite way of saying no?

DMITRY BIVOL:

That’s a polite way to say I will fight for my title until the end and I will not give it up.

QUESTION:

What make you thinks you’re ready to get in the ring with a young lion like Dmitry Bivol?

JEAN PASCAL:

it’s because I’ve got my confidence back. When I fought Eleider Alvarez, I didn’t have my confidence back it was a hard fight for me. Even thought I did good it was a majority decision for him. It wasn’t a walk in the park for Alvarez. In any losses that I had, I always did good, except my second fight with Kovalev. I know I’m a tough challenge. I know I’m a good man to be on the resume. That’s why they picked me.

Honestly, like I said, I have a lot of respect for Dmitry Bivol. He’s a young lion. He thinks that has all the talent in the world like I thought when I was his age. Something he cannot have, he cannot buy, it’s experience. I have way more experience than him, even though he has a lot of amateur fights. I went to the Olympics in 2004 in Greece. I was a world-class amateur fighter also. But I have way more experience than him as a professional boxer. That will lead to a great fight at the Hard Rock Casino. People, tune in at 10 p.m. November 24, because it’s a must watch fight.

QUESTION:

Dmitry, you were in “2 Days” with HBO, the documentary. It looked like a lot of fun, we saw you with your family. That was really the last of its kind for HBO. For you to be featured in that way, how was it?

DMITRY BIVOL:

It was very exciting. I wasn’t used to having a camera around two days before the fight for that much time. It was a new experience. What was interesting, a lot of people got to know me more on the other side of boxing which was very exciting. I want more people to know more about me and understand what kind of person I am.

QUESTION:

What was it like to watch Sergey Kovalev lose? What was it like for you for him not to be the victor that night?

DMITRY BIVOL:

It was a little unfortunate. We know each other and we have common friends. We’ve talked before. It’s not pleasant to see someone you know, an acquaintance, go down like that. I thought he was going to win the fight. We also had some plans about possibly fighting next. A lot of that kind of fell apart. It was a little disappointing.

QUESTION:

Any predictions on how this fight is going to end on November 24th?

DMITRY BIVOL:

I don’t make predictions. it’s very difficult. I will do everything I can to make sure this fight is exciting and it’s over in an exciting fashion.

QUESTION:

A fan question for Jean. Your Canadian fans have given you so much support over the years. How would you describe your relationship with your Canadian fans?

JEAN PASCAL:

My relationship with my fans back home in Canada is very, very great. I feel very, very lucky to have that kind of relationship with my fans because they support me a lot. There are not a lot of boxers in the United States who have a big fan base like I do. I’m very very fortunate. This is why I always take time to please my fans, to talk to them, to talk pictures with them. I’m here because of them as well.

QUESTION: A fan question for Dmitry. How do you see yourself improving you skills?

DMITRY BIVOL: There is never a limit to improvement. I would say that, speed is probably one thing that is with you and is hard to really change. But other things, other skills are definitely something you can improve. Especially agility, and with the distance of the fight being 12 rounds, you can improve on your conditioning. You can improve on your levels of fighting inside and outside, different combinations. There’s always something to add to your game.

QUESTION:

Jean, you retired and quickly came back. You’ve had a great career What can you take from your career into the Bivol fight?

JEAN PASCAL:

I’m going to take my experience. I’ve been there, done that so many times. I know what to do. So I’m going to carry with me in the ring all my experience I got with me from all these big fights: Kovalev, Froch, Hopkins, Dawson. I’m going to take those fights into the ring with me to show him what is the best in the boxing sport.

QUESTION:

Jean, is training camp any different knowing it is your last title shot?

JEAN PASCAL:

During training camp, it was a little bit different. The motivation was a little bit more there. I’ve got the eye of the tiger once again. I think that’s what was lacking from my last few fights, when I fought Kovalev and maybe Hopkins. I got my confidence back that you notice I didn’t have when I fought Kovalev. Right now, everything is in one piece. I’m very confident, very happy, very pleased to be back on HBO. I was the first Canadian boxer who fought in Canada on HBO, and I’m going to be the last Canadian to fight on HBO. So I’m making history once again. So I’m very, very happy.

QUESTION:

Dmitry, come November 24th and you take care of business with Pascal, do you still want the winner of Kovalev and Alvarez 2?

DMITRY BIVOL: As I always say, right now I’m focused on the fight with Jean Pascal on November 24th. I want to fight the best after that, if everything goes well. Whoever is wanting to fight, I want to unify titles and become the undisputed champion.

QUESTION:

Another fan question for Jean, you’ve talked about your experience. How might it give you an advantage against a younger fighter like Bivol?

JEAN PASCAL:

Honestly, if this is something you want to see, I urge you to tune in to HBO on November 24th at 10 p.m., and I will show you everything.

QUESTION:

A fan question for Dmitry, this is your first main event. Now that you have achieved this goal, how does it feel to you?

DMITRY BIVOL:

Of course, I’m very happy that such a legendary channel gave me this final chance to fight on the main event. To me, it just means I’m on the right way, on the right path in my career. I appreciate this opportunity, and I want to take everything I can from it. I want everybody to watch this fight, and I will make sure this fight is very memorable.

KATHY DUVA:

I want to thank Dmitry and Jean, thanks Vadim and Greg. Thank you also Tim Louie for welcoming us back to Atlantic City.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jean and with Dmitry now on more than one occasion. I’ve gotten to know both of them a little bit. One thing I can promise everybody, they will give 1000 percent and they will entertain. It will be worth watching and certainly worth coming out to Atlantic City.

We hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends. Although those of us who work for Main Events, we’ve spent our last three Thanksgivings together working.

When you get tired of the leftovers, join us for a fresh serving of World Championship Boxing on Saturday night live at the Etess Arena and live on HBO Boxing.

World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation “Rise of the Titans” results & pictures from Casper, Wyoming

CASPER, Wyoming (November 10, 2018) – Bombs away was the theme last night (Friday) as combat sports veterans made their bare-knuckle fighting debuts on the exciting “Rise of the Titans” worldwide pay-per-view event, presented by the World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (WBKFF), at Casper Events Center in Casper, Wyoming.

Blood was flying, fighters were dropping, and fans and a near capacity crowd was really into the constant brawling throughout an evening entertaining, competitive and memorable fights.

The main event showcased a pair of combat sports icons, Chris “The Crippler” Leben and “The New York Bad Ass” Phil Baroni, in a special light heavyweight attraction. Left-handed Leben, fighting out of San Diego, shook off Baroni’s early roughhouse tactics, floored him, and then put his lights out midway through the first round.

“He was clinching and I wanted to stand in the middle of the ring and bang,” Leben remarked. “Down he went from a big left hand. He does have a hard head.”

(L) Dakota Cochrane finished off Johny Hendricks

In the co-featured event, former UFC welterweight champion Johny “Biog Rigg” Hendricks came out of a one-year retirement from fighting to take on dangerous MMA veteran Dakota Cochrane, of Omaha, NE. Hendricks was originally scheduled to fight in the main event against “Irish” Brennan Ward, who withdrew earlier this week. Cochrane was already fighting on the card and he quickly agreed to replace Ward and take on his popular Fort Worth opponent in a middleweight special attraction.

Hendricks suffered a cut under his right eye in round one, then Cochrane suddenly and shockingly ended the fight 21-seconds into the second round with an explosive, straight right that silenced the pro-Hendricks crowd.

“It (bare knuckle fighting) was definitely different,” a jubilant Cochrane said after the fight. “I love my big right hand, I’ve been practicing it.:

“Honestly, I’m moved” said an elated WBKFF CEO and founder Tom Stankiewicz after the conclusion of his organization’s inaugural show. “I was very surprised by the underdog, Munoz, and a new star was born tonight, Dakota Cochrane. Everybody fought their best, they were all warriors. I hope all these fighters stay with us. We are planning our second show for February 9 at a site to be determined.”

Fight of the Night: Julian Lane (L) and Joey Angelo each won a new Ford Mustang (see picture below)

Always tough Ohioan fighter Julian “Hellboy” Lane and Las Vegas’ middleweight Joey Angelo had the ultimate showdown, which broke out into a fire-fight in the third round, at least until Lane connected with a straight right on the chin to drop Angelo. Trailing on the scorecards, Angelo opened the fifth round going for broke, but Lane was the aggressor from start to finish, as well as the more efficient puncher, earning a split decision victory. Lane overcame a broken left hand he suffered in the third round.

 

Christina Marks (L) bloodied Jasmine Clark en route to an impressive win

San Diego MMA fighter Christina Marks, 2017 The Ultimate Challenge runner-up, and former world boxing title challenger Jasmine Clark, of Texas, squared off in a female bantamweight match. Marks, who celebrated her 33rd birthday in style, cut Clark over the right eye midway through the opening round. Marks swarmed her opponent in the second, keeping her distance and landing stinging shots on Clark’s damaged eye, until she was no longer able to defend herself and retired.

The $100,000 WBKFF Lightweight Tournament launched last night with two black-and-blue type fights. Former UFC and Strikeforce fighter Robbie “Problems” Peralta, of Escondido, CA, caught Ireland-born Jay “The Mellow Fellow” Cucciniello, now living Spain, in the second round with an overhand right that dropped him. Blood dripping down his face like a badge of courage, the gutsy Irishman finished the third round strong, and the two fighters battled on equal turf in the fourth. Despite Cucciniello’s vision obviously hampering him, he kept coming forward in the fifth, but Peralta maintained control, effectively picking his spots, en route to an impressive win by unanimous decision.

South African Leon “The Iron Lion” Mynhardt, now living in Fairfield, CA, was too much for Texan Nick “The Ghost” Gonzalez in the other tournament match, and the fight was eventually halted by the referee in the second round because of excessive punishment.

Former UFC and Bellator fighter Josh “The Dentist” Neer, fighting out of Des Moines, Iowa, had not fought in 2-½ years, when he entered the ring to fight boxer “Mad” Max Alderete, of Albuquerque. Neer needed a round for the rust to wear off, after which he walked down Alderete and unloaded on his head and body, mostly throwing upper cuts, one putting him down near the end of the third round. Alderete was unable to answer the bell for the fourth round.

Brazilian MMA veteran Marcelo “Mello” Alfaya put late replacement Joey Munoz on his back with the first punch he threw, but his Nebraska opponent showed tremendous heart, resulting in the crowd getting behind him. Attrition started to play a role in the third round, as both fighters slowed down, but they battered each other in a wild fourth round. In the fifth and final round, Alfaya was penalized a point for hitting after the break, and Munoz closed the show, pulling off the first upset of the evening by way of a five-round majority decision. Munoz took the fight on one-day notice, lost 17 pounds, and drove three hours to Casper.

Former UFC and Strikeforce fighter Issac Vallie-Flagg and upset minded Cory Simpsonopened the PPV segment of the night fighting at a 175-pound catchweight. After a somewhat strategic first round the pace changed abruptly in the second round as both fighters opened-up. Class soon prevailed as Vallie-Flagg, of Albuquerque, knocked down a game Simpson early and he then finished him off with a barrage of brutal body shots for a second-round knockout.

Hall of Fame ring announcer Jimmy Lennon, Jr. joined WBKFF’s all-star announcing team –Bas Rutten, who is also WBKFF president, Kenny Rice and Jessica Penne -for the pay-per-view and Preview airings, distributed by Integrated Sports Media.

Super heavyweight C.J. “Big Cake” Leveque suffered a cut to his right eye in the opening round, courtesy of Houston’s Juan Torres, but the 288 ½ pound Californian immediately responded by decking Torres, who spotted his opponent 212-pounds, with a roundhouse right early in the second. Torres bounced right back, though. He drilled Leveque with a vicious shot in tight-quarters, sending him face-first to the canvas for a second-round knockout to conclude the preliminary card.

The first preliminary card fight set the tone right from the opening bell in a 160-pound catchweight fight. Long-haired favorite Jeff Chiffens, fighting out of Delaware, came out firing shots and 15-seconds in the opening round, Chiffens drew blood first, opening-up a cut over Fred Pierce‘s right eye. After the ring doctor examined and cleared Pierce to fight, the action resumed and Chiffen dropped Pierce with a powerhouse right. Pierce beat the count, but referee stopped the fight at the 1:04 mark of round one.

Newly adopted rules including holding and striking, spinning backfists and hammer fists were allowed, and a traditional boxing ring was used for optimum viewing and safety. All men and women’s matches were scheduled five (two-minute) rounds.

Complete results and more pictures below:

 PAY-PER-VIEW CARD

                                                          MAIN EVENT – LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS
Chris Leben, San Diego, CA
W TKO 1 (1:19)
Phil Baroni, Long Island, NY
CO-FEATURE – MIDDLEWEIGHTS
Dakota Cochrane, Omaha, NE
W KO 2 (0:21)
 Johny Hendricks, Fort Worth, TX
MIDDLEWEIGHTS
Julian Lane, Mansfield, OH.
W DEC 5 (49-46, 49-46, 47-48)
Joey Angelo, Las Vegas, NV
WBKFF FEMALE BANTAMWEIGHTS
Christina Marks, San Diego, CA
W DEC 2 (1:54)
Jasmine Clarkson, Cedar Hill, TX
$100,000 WBKFF LIGHTWEIGHT TOURNAMENT KICK-OFF
Robbie Peralta, Escondido, CA
W DEC 5 (50-45, 49-46, 49-46)
Jay Cucciniello, Malaga, Spain
Leon Mynhardt, Fairfield, CA
W TKO 2 (0:56)
Nick Gonzalez, Austin, TX
MIDDLEWEIGHTS
Josh Neer, Des Moines, IA
W TKO 3 (2:00)
Mike Alderete, Albuquerque, NM
180-POUNDS CATCHWEIGHT
Joey Munoz, Scotts Bluff, NE
W DEC 5 (48-46, 48-47, 47-47)
Marcelo Alfaya, Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil
175-POUNDS CATCHWEIGHT
Issac Vallie-Flagg, Albuquerque, NM
WKO2 (1:20)
Cory Simpson, Las Vegas, NV
 
PRELIMINARY CARD
SUPER HEAVYWEIGHTS
Juan Torres, Las Cruces, NM
W KO 2 (1:33)
C.J. Leveque, Brentwood, CA
160-POUNDS CATCHWEIGHT
Jeff Chiffens, Wilmington, DE
W TKO 1 (1:04)
Fred Pierce, Talihina, OK

 

The two participants in the Fight of the Night – winner Julian Lane and Joey Angelo – each won a new, high-powered Mustang from WBKFF

 

Lane floored Angelo before he broke his hand in third round

 

(L) Robbie Peralta and Jay Cucciniello put on a show

 

Jeff Chiffens (R) landed a picture-perfect punch on Fred Pierce

 

Joey Munoz (back on ropes) pulled off the upset of the night

 

Vlasov expects a war! Glowacki-Vlasov & Briedis-Mikaelian make weight in Chicago

Vlasov expects a war! Glowacki-Vlasov & Briedis-Mikaelian make weight in Chicago

Krzysztof Glowacki & Maksim Vlasov and Mairis Briedis & Noel Mikaelian all make weight ahead of Saturday’s two Ali Trophy Cruiserweight Quarter-Finals at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, USA.

Ali Trophy Quarter-Final & vacant Interim WBO Cruiserweight World Championship:

Krzysztof Glowacki, Poland (31-1, 19 KOs): 196 lb/88.90 kg

“I am really glad to be in Chicago,” said former WBO World Champion Glowacki after weighing in and having an intense staredown with his opponent. “I am expecting a great fight with a lot of Polish people attending. We can both feel the fight is approaching, so you can feel the adrenaline.”

Maksim Vlasov, Russia (44-2, 25 KOs): 198 lb / 89.81 kg

“It is a very big deal and very important for me to be part of this great Super Series,” said Vlasov. “I feel I am going to give a great performance and show my beautiful boxing style. It is going to be an entertaining and spectacular fight. I can see he is also very determined and I expect a war!”

Ali Trophy Quarter-Final & WBC Diamond Title:

Mairis Briedis (25-1, 18 KOs), Latvia: 198.4 lb /89.99 kg

“This is sport, this is boxing and we are going for new goals,“ said Briedis, a former WBC World Champion and a Season 1 semi-finalist. “I predict a good show and very good boxing.”

Noel Mikaelian, Germany (24-1, 10 KOs): 199.8 lb /90.62 kg

“It is very prestigious and I am honoured to be a part of it” said Mikaelian on fighting in the WBSS. “I am excited and looking forward to tomorrow. He is a really good fighter, but his time is over and I will become the champion.”

Fans in the U.S. can watch the Ali Trophy quarter-finals LIVE on DAZN, the global sports streaming platform. To sign up for a one-month free trial, fans can visit DAZN.com or download the DAZN app to their preferred connected device.

Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals:

1. October 7th, Yokohama Arena, Yokohama, Japan – Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals 
Naoya Inoue (Japan) beat Juan Carlos Payano (Dominican Republic) – KO1
WBA ‘Regular’ Bantamweight Championship 
&
Kiryl Relikh (Belarus) beat Eduard Troyanovsky (Russia) – UD
WBA Super-Lightweight Championship 

2. October 13th, Ekaterinburg Expo, Ekaterinburg, Russia – Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals 
Zolani Tete (South Africa) beat Mikhail Aloyan (Russia) – UD
WBO Bantamweight World Championship  
&
Andrew Tabiti (USA) beat Ruslan Fayfer (Russia) – UD
Cruiserweight Quarter-Final 

3. October 20th, CFE Arena, Orlando, USA – Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals 
Emmanuel Rodriguez (Puerto Rico) beat Jason Moloney (Australia) – SD
IBF Bantamweight Championship 
&
Yunier Dorticos (Cuba) beat Mateusz Masternak (Poland) – UD
Cruiserweight Quarter-Final 

4. October 27th, U.N.O. Lakefront Arena, New Orleans, USA – Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals 
Regis Prograis (United States) beat Terry Flanagan (England) – UD
‘Interim’ WBC Super-Lightweight Title 
&
Ivan Baranchyk (Belarus) beat Anthony Yigit (Sweden) – TKO7
Vacant IBF Super-Lightweight Championship

5. November 3rd, SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Scotland – Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals 
Nonito Donaire (Philippines) beat Ryan Burnett (Northern Ireland) – TKO4
WBA ‘Unified’ Bantamweight Championship
&
Josh Taylor (Scotland) beat Ryan Martin (United States) – TKO7
WBC Super-Lightweight Silver Title 

6. November 10th, UIC Pavilion in Chicago, USA – Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals 
Mairis Briedis vs. Noel Mikaelian
WBC Diamond Belt
&
Krzysztof Glowacki vs. Maksim Vlasov
vacant Interim WBO World Championship 

Dmitry Bivol LA Media Workout Photos and Quotes

(Santa Monica, Calif.) – WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol (14-0, 11 KOs) of Russia hosted a media workout at Churchill Boxing in Santa Monica, California on Tuesday, November 6 in preparation for his title defense against light heavyweight contender Jean Pascal (25-5-2, 10 KOs) of Montreal, Canada. Bivol and Pascal will fight in the main event at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on Saturday, November 24. The card featuring Bivol vs. Pascal will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Photo: Craig Bennett/Main Events

Dmitry Bivol Quotes

About his opponent, Jean Pascal: “I saw his fights against (Sergey) Kovalev, and against Bernard Hopkins. He was different than he is now. I just want to win and make this defense.”

“Of course I respect him as a boxer, but when I go in the ring, he will be my enemy.”

A message for Pascal: “Thank you for taking this fight. I respect you, you’ve had a great career. Don’t forget about training, we need to make a great fight for the fans who are buying tickets.”

How Bivol sees the fight: “If I think I can get a knockout, of course I will do this. People want to see knockouts.”

On his growing recognition by fans: “After fights on HBO, I feel I’m becoming more popular. People know me. When I walk the streets in Russia, people know me. When I go into some shops in L-A, people know me. I like it. That means people like my fights.”

His goals as a fighter: “I want to fight the best, and do it for the people, for the boxing fans. I want to fight against the best, because I am next to the best (now), and I want to be the best.”

“When I come to the ring, I don’t think about my win. I think about making a great fight, a good fight so that people will be excited about my fights.”

“When I was young, of course I had a dream to be a champion. But now, it’s not enough for me. Now I want to realize my ability, and I want to show all my qualities to as many people as I can.”

On scoring knockouts: “The most important knockout punch is not the hardest punch. It is the punch no one sees coming. It is the element of surprise.”

On his upcoming fights: “Our team is open for everyone. I have a good promoter, I have a good manager. I hope they find for me a good way. I’m open for everyone, for every channel.”

“I don’t like to predict the future. I am open for all fighters, for all the best fighters. I want to make big fights for people, because now all the champions in our division are busy. Me too. We will see.”

Message for fans about November 24: “Don’t miss my fight, because I’m going to make something great in the ring and I hope you will be glad to see it.”

On staying at light heavyweight: “Light heavyweight is my weight. But for a big fight, I can move down to super middleweight. And maybe in the future, I can move up. But it’s too much for me now, because I’m not a big guy.”

Vadim Kornilov Quotes

On the Pascal fight: “At the end of the day, Dmitry still has a tough test (against Pascal). He hasn’t had 20 fights. He’s fighting these guys with over 30, 40 fights. It’s still a big, big thing for him to experience and to be a main event fighter.”

On Bivol’s future: “Next year we are talking about unification. We don’t want to run ahead of ourselves, but if everything goes well in this fight.Pascal is a live dog, he’s a real fighter. We have all the respect for him.”

“He’s excited about unification. Wherever we can get the biggest fight, biggest unification, it doesn’t matter about the network. Dmitry wants anyone at 175. He’s been wanting this for the last year.”

On Bivol’s greatest strength as a boxer? “Bivol’s IQ in the ring. IQ is very important for any fighter, and Dmitry is one of the most intelligent fighters, that’s very important.”

Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs. Isaac Zarate Named as Co-Main Event on Bivol vs. Pascal Card Nov. 24

Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs. Isaac Zarate
Named as Co-Main Event on Bivol vs. Pascal Card Nov. 24
 
Murodjon “MJ” Akhmadaliev wins a Bronze Medal
at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

(Atlantic City, NJ) – Murodjon Akhmadaliev (4-0, 3 KOs), age 24, a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and accomplished amateur originally from Uzbekistan, will make his American television debut in the co-main event of the HBO World Championship Boxing show featuring Dmitry Bivol vs. Jean Pascal fighting for the WBA World Light Heavyweight title at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City on Saturday, November 24.

Akhmadaliev will face Isaac Zarate of San Pedro, California, (16-3-3, 2 KOs) in a 10-round fight with the WBA Intercontinental Super Bantamweight title at stake. Zarate, age 27, is hot off his upset split decision victory over Horatio Garcia in September.

The bout will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Akhmadaliev lives in Brooklyn, New York, and trains in Indio, California with Joel and Antonio Diaz. “It’s been my dream to fight on HBO where Roy Jones, Manny Pacquiao, and many other great fighters have fought. I can’t believe that I’ll have this opportunity,” said Akhmadaliev. “I’m grateful to my promoter World of Boxing, to Dmitry Bivol for this chance, and of course HBO.

“Don’t miss my fight. I’ll bring the New Drama Show on HBO on November 24th,” promised Akhmadaliev.

“We are very excited that Akhmadaliev will be featured with Dmitry Bivol’s HBO appearance,” said Vadim Kornilov, Akhmadaliev’s manager. “This should be an exciting night of boxing. Akhmadaliev really knows how to get the fans out of their seats. I promise you’ll be sorry if you miss this debut on November 24th.”

As an amateur, Akhmadaliev won the 2012 and 2015 World Championship Silver Medal. In the 2015 final, he knocked down Michael “Mick” Conlan of Ireland, but lost the gold in a controversial decision. He won a Bronze Medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and closed his amateur career as a 2017 Asian Games Gold Medalist. His amateur record stands at 300 wins with 80 knockouts, against just 15 losses.

After turning professional in 2018 and signing with Andrey Ryabinsky and World of Boxing, Akhmadaliev has now fought four times, with three knockout wins and one decision. A southpaw with power in both hands, it won’t take long for American boxing fans to discover “MJ’s” fan friendly, aggressive style, which should suit him well in the professional ranks and quickly make him a star.

“Every time MJ steps in the ring it is a spectacular show,” said Kornilov, who co-manages Akhmadaliev with Oleg Frolov. “His favorite fighters are Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin and Vasyl Lomachenko, exceptional role models. He wants to become undisputed champion and a major star in his division in the first three years of his career. He is one to watch.”

Vlasov: ‘It’s Either Do or Die’

Poland’s Krzysztof Glowacki and Russia’s Maksim Vlasov have studied each other thoroughly before their Ali Trophy Cruiserweight Quarter-Final November 10 at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.

“I’ve watched a lot of his (Vlasov’s) fights together with my coach and we have tactics ready,” said 32-year-old Glowacki (30-1, 19 KOs). “Of course, he does have a lot of weak points but he also has a lot of strengths.

“But I’m not focused on him, really. I don’t care what he does, what he eats or whether he sleeps a lot. I’m mostly interested in myself and what I do. Because I know that if I give everything, I’ll win.

“What am I bringing to the tournament? My faith for the most part, my faith that I’m going to win and I know there can only be one champion.”

Vlasov, a fighter with success at multiple weights, is well prepared for the challenge.

“I know a lot about my opponent Krzysztof Glowacki,” said 32-year-old Vlasov (42-2, 25 KOs). “I watched many of his fights, he is a difficult and dangerous boxer. He is a fighter who can shoot at any moment and one always need to watch him and stay focused.

“At this stage of my career, this fight against Glowacki is key. It’s either do or die.”

Latvia’s Mairis Briedis vs Germany’s Noel Mikaelian and Krzysztof Glowacki vs Maksim Vlasov are the two Cruiserweight Quarter-Finals on an incredible doubleheader when the World Boxing Super Series comes to the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.

Kalle Sauerland- The fighters have chosen to represent the Ali Trophy to find out who is best

Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer, previews this weeks show in Glasgow, Scotland and talks about the weight of the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy, The Greatest Prize In Boxing.

It is week five of Season 2’s back-to-back doubleheader quarter-finals.

So far the Ali Trophy has brought the lights to Japan, Russia, USA twice and now Glasgow in Scotland for Ryan Burnett vs Nonito Donaire & Josh Taylor vs Ryan Martin.

The winner of Burnett-Donaire faces Zolani Tete in a 118 lb semi-final early next year and the winner of Taylor vs Burnett can look forward to Ivan Baranchyk in a 140 lb semi-final.

“Boxing is often about money and about going out there and earning a day, and that’s all well and good. It’s all part of the game, but the Ali Trophy brings a little bit more than that,” said Sauerland.

“We believe that the people who step up and take part in this tournament, it’s not about taking a year out and doing three voluntaries and getting good paydays out of it, it’s about putting your, excuse my language, nuts on the line to find out who the best is.

“It’s very easy as champion to sit it out and say I’ll fight the winner and I’ll take easy fights and then get one payday. The fighters in the World Boxing Super Series have chosen to be in this tournament. They’ve chosen to represent the Ali Trophy to find out who is best is in the weight class.

“If you look at the two fights in Glasgow, Ryan Burnett vs Nonito Donaire and Josh Taylor vs Ryan Martin, you’ve obviously got amazing match ups. Nonito Donaire, someone who’s had such a story in this sport. An amazing story. Someone who’s coming down in weight to face who many believe is the favourite.

“I don’t want to say it’s a clash of generations, but for Nonito, it’s a big chance to resurrect his career and for Ryan Burnett to make a real statement in this tournament. We’ve seen some statements the last weeks. Look at Naoya Inoue in Japan. Rodriguez had a very tough win against Jason Maloney, which showed once again the depth in this tournament, also with Zolani Tete against Mikhail Aloyan. This is a fight where you have a real storyline outside of it.”

Taylor vs Martin is the story of two young fighters, 27 and 25, both labeled rising stars.

“Taylor and Martin, two guys much talked about either side of the pond,” said Sauerland.

“I’ve just come back from New Orleans and all the American press were telling me about Ryan Martin, and I arrive here in Scotland and everybody is telling me about Josh Taylor. In those famous words: someone’s 0 has got to go.

“We’ve got two undefeated gladiators. Two undefeated, young, hungry guys trying to make it to the top. They’re in this tournament for a reason,” said Sauerland concluding:

“I can’t wait for Saturday from a sporting level and from a personal level.”

On the line Saturday in Glasgow:

Fans at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow will be treated to a spectacular doubleheader featuring two Ali Trophy Quarter-Final contests as Scottish Super-Lightweight star Josh Taylor takes on the undefeated American Ryan Martin.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s WBA World Champion Ryan Burnett meets former four-weight World Champion, Filipino-American Nonito Donaire in a Bantamweight Quarter Final.

Taylor: “I love it. I thrive under the big lights“

Josh Taylor & Ryan Martin and Ryan Burnett & Nonito Donaire are ready for their Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals at The SSE Hydro on Saturday in Glasgow.

“This is a great opportunity,” said 118 lb quarter-finalist Donaire (38-5, 24 KOs), a former four-weight world ruler.

“The WBSS has been a great opportunity to create this enormous desire and inspiration. I’m never shy when it comes down to fighting. I’m just grateful to be in the ring with a great man.”

It is not the first time Donaire is facing a fighter from Northern Ireland. Last year at featherweight the Filipino-American lost via unanimous decision to Belfast boxer Carl Frampton:

“There are definitely similarities,” said Donaire of Burnett and Frampton.

“Belfast guys have big balls. They’ve got big balls. They’re there to fight, and that’s something I like. As you know from the history of me in this game, I’ve always come to fight the best out there, and that’s why I’m in this tournament. That’s what you will get, the best of me!”

26-year-old Burnett (19-9, 9 KOs) paid respect to his nine year older, legendary opponent.

“I think everyone has things you can exploit but there’s not much with Nonito. He is an incredible fighter,” said Burnett. “We all dream of these moments of fighting the best and becoming the best in the world. The World Boxing Super Series is making this come true. Not just for the boxers but for the fans. This is what the world needs.”

140 lb quarter-finalist, 25-year-old Ryan Martin (22-0, 12 KOs), talked about the magnitude of the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy.

“It doesn’t bring any added pressure it just brings more glory to the win. Fighting for the Ali Trophy, that’s huge. He means such big things both in and outside of the sport of boxing so I’m just grateful to be a part of this and have the chance to fight in his honour.”

27-year-old Josh Taylor (13-0, 11 KOs) is looking forward to fight in front of a familiar crowd in Glasgow for the third time at The Hydro.

“I’m good. I’m nice and relaxed,” said Taylor.

“Delighted to be back in Glasgow. The Hydro is now my home. Every performance I’m having there, I’m getting stronger and the fans are getting bigger and bigger, and noisier. They believe in me, and there is absolutely no way there is anybody who’s going to beat me in there anytime, and especially on Saturday. I’m feeling confident.

“I don’t feel any pressure. I actually love these big events. I love the big nights. I love the big occasions. When the big occasions arrive, I turn up. I love it. I thrive under the big lights.“

“It’s great to be in Scotland,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer.

“We are super excited to bring the lights to Glasgow. Week in week out I sit up here with the most talented athletes. Gladiators of the business. On Saturday, we have a doubleheader. A stacked card. I wouldn’t be exaggerating when I look at the quality and the depth to say it’s the best card Scotland has seen for many many years.

“If you look at what the super series is trying to do and what we are doing, it’s bringing the best versus the best. No BS. This is about the real thing. It’s about finding out who the best is in the weight classes.

“We found out the best super middleweight was Callum Smith. We found out the best cruiserweight was Aleksandr Usyk. This season the guys up here are going to show us who is the best bantamweight and best super lightweight in the world.

“We expect 6,000 in the arena on Saturday. We’re going to have a great atmosphere. I’ve been here a few times for the football and I’m sure the roof will be raised!”

On the line Saturday in Glasgow:

Fans at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow will be treated to a spectacular doubleheader featuring two Ali Trophy Quarter-Final contests as Scottish Super-Lightweight star Josh Taylor takes on the undefeated American Ryan Martin.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s WBA World Champion Ryan Burnett meets former four-weight World Champion, Filipino-American Nonito Donaire in a Bantamweight Quarter Final.

The quarter-finals are available in UK on all WBSS platforms; YouTube, Facebook and WorldBoxingSuperSeries.com. Burnett-Donaire starts 9 pm, Taylor-Martin 10 pm.
Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals:

1. October 7th, Yokohama Arena, Yokohama, Japan – Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals 
Naoya Inoue (Japan) beat Juan Carlos Payano (Dominican Republic) – KO 1:10 of the first round
WBA ‘Regular’ Bantamweight Championship 
&
Kiryl Relikh (Belarus) beat Eduard Troyanovsky (Russia) – UD 115-113 (x3)
WBA Super-Lightweight Championship 

2. October 13th, Ekaterinburg Expo, Ekaterinburg, Russia – Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals 
Zolani Tete (South Africa) beat Mikhail Aloyan (Russia) – UD 114-111, 114-111 & 114-11
WBO Bantamweight World Championship  
&
Andrew Tabiti (USA) beat Ruslan Fayfer (Russia) – UD  116-11, 115-112 & 114-11
Cruiserweight Quarter-Final 

3. October 20th, CFE Arena, Orlando, USA – Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals 
Emmanuel Rodriguez (Puerto Rico) beat Jason Moloney (Australia) – SD
IBF Bantamweight Championship 
&
Yunier Dorticos (Cuba) beat Mateusz Masternak (Poland) – UD
Cruiserweight Quarter-Final 

4. October 27th, U.N.O. Lakefront Arena, New Orleans, USA – Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals 
Regis Prograis (United States) beat Terry Flanagan (England) – UD
‘Interim’ WBC Super-Lightweight Title 
&
Ivan Baranchyk (Belarus) beat Anthony Yigit (Sweden) – TKO7
Vacant IBF Super-Lightweight Championship

5. November 3rd, SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Scotland – Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals 
Ryan Burnett (Northern Ireland) vs Nonito Donaire (Philippines)
WBA ‘Unified’ Bantamweight Championship
&
Josh Taylor (Scotland) vs Ryan Martin (United States)
WBC Super-Lightweight Silver Title 

6. November 10th, UIC Pavilion in Chicago, USA – Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals 
Mairis Briedis vs. Noel Mikaelian
Cruiserweight Quarter-Final 
&
Krzysztof Glowacki vs. Maksim Vlasov
Cruiserweight Quarter-Final 

Season II divisions and Ali Trophy quarter-final match-ups:

Bantamweight: 
Ryan Burnett (Northern Ireland) vs. Nonito Donaire (Philippines)
WBA ‘Unified’ World Championship and WBC Diamond Title 

Zolani Tete (South Africa) vs. Mikhail Aloyan (Russia) – Tete W UD
WBO World Championship 

Naoya Inoue (Japan) vs. Juan Carlos Payano (Dominican Republic) – Inoue W KO1
WBA ‘Regular’ World Championship 

Emmanuel Rodriguez (Puerto Rico) vs. Jason Moloney (Australia) – Rodriguez W SD
IBF World Championship 

Super-Lightweight: 
Regis Prograis (United States) vs. Terry Flanagan (England)
WBC Diamond Title 

Josh Taylor (Scotland) vs. Ryan Martin (United States)
WBC Silver Title 

Kiryl Relikh (Belarus) vs. Eduard Troyanovsky (Russia) – Relikh W UD12
WBA World Championship 

Ivan Baranchyk (Belarus) vs. Anthony Yigit (Sweden)
IBF World Championship 

Cruiserweight: 
Mairis Briedis (Latvia) vs. Noel Mikaelian (Germany)

Yunier Dorticos (Cuba) vs. Mateusz Masternak (Poland) – Dorticos W UD

Krzysztof Glowacki (Poland) vs. Maksim Vlasov (Russia)

Ruslan Fayfer (Russia) vs. Andrew Tabiti (United States) – Tabiti W UD
IBF Eliminator 

 

 

WBA Middleweight Champion Rob Brant Basking in the Glow, but Ready for ‘Next Assignment’

Brand-new WBA World Middleweight Champion Rob “Bravo” Brant says he goes everywhere with his new best friend. “The belt hasn’t left my side since they handed it to me,” laughs the personable new champion from Saint Paul, Minnesota.

28-year-old Brant (24-1, 16 KOs) says he went into his main-event showdown with then champion Ryota Murata (14-2, 11 KOs), last Saturday night at the Park MGM in Las Vegas (and live on ESPN+), unaware he was such a heavy underdog.

“I really did go into it very confident I would win, just off the preparations we did,” said Brant, who was having his first fight with former world champion Eddie Mustafa Muhammad as his trainer. “I tried to stay away from news when I was in training, so I had no idea how big of an underdog I was. We had a post-fight press conference and that was when I found out. When reporters were asking about it. I had no idea. It wouldn’t have deterred me anyway if I had known.”

Despite the doubts of the bookmakers, Brant cruised to a lopsided 12-round unanimous decision over 2012 Olympic gold medalist Murata, with two judges giving him all but one round, the other all but two. Brant busted up the now ex-champion with a piston-like jab and peppered him with combinations throughout what turned out to be a surprisingly dominant performance.

According to CompuBox statistics, Brant landed 356 of 1,262 punches (28 percent) while Murata connected with just 180 of 774 (23 percent).

“As a pro, he hasn’t seen what I gave him,” explained Brant. We knew he had a hard time with hand speed and jabs. He locks up when punches are being thrown, so we made sure we kept him backing up and worried about the jab and punches in general. The more he thinks about my shots, the less he throws. We knew we’d be able to keep him on his back foot. Eddie Mustafa is very strict on letting the hands go. We were big on the cardio in training and keeping the punch rate high. And when you’re keeping the jab out there all the time, other shots open up.”

Brant says at fight’s end, he wasn’t worried about the decision going his way.

“I’ve always felt that judges’ decisions are out of my hands. I was nervous about it, you don’t know until they announce your name, but I knew I had done what I felt was my best work. I had a great sense of pride and relief knowing I put it all out there and did everything possible to win. But now that I have won, it’s kind of like having giant weight lifted off my shoulders. It’s definitely my biggest accomplishment ever, winning in Vegas against a former Olympic gold medallist. It’s everything I ever worked for. It was the best feeling in the world. I knew how much I worked for that. Boxing gives back what you put into it and I put my everything into it.”

Although Brant and promoters GCP reportedly agreed to a rematch before the fight, the new champion says he’s not sure the now ex-champion wants it.

“All the talk of a rematch has been from his promoters. I haven’t heard him say anything about it. He might be a little discouraged right now. I’m not saying he won’t be able to come back, but I don’t think he wants it right now. I’ll just go on to bigger and better in the division. Once you win a title, there are no more easy fights. Until you are the undisputed king, you’re always taking steps up in class in every fight.”

Brant says he took a week off but is now back in the gym and ready for what comes next.

“I’m just waiting for the next assignment to work toward. I want to know who my next opponent is as soon as possible, so I can go to sleep at night thinking of what I’m going to do. Watching film and looking for flaws and things I can exploit. That’s when I‘m really the most comfortable. When I have an assignment. It’ll be a big name eventually. I’m there now. So I’m just waiting to see who is next for me to spend all my time watching that person.”

Brant gives a big piece of the credit for his upset victory to the only man to ever beat him. Last October, he stepped up in weight to participate in the World Boxing Super Series as a super middleweight and lost a one-sided decision to former light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer in Germany.

“The thought of what happened against Braehmer was always in the background. That’s what really motivated me to be the best I could in this fight. I knew I was better than I was in that fight. I had to prove it by doing what I’m capable of. The loss to Braehmer will be in the back of my mind forever. I won’t let anyone else do that to me again. I will never forget that loss and I’ve been a better fighter from that point forward.”

Load More

Lost Password

Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.