Daxx Khan

CES Boxing celebrates 25th anniversary Dec. 7th

ROVIDENCE, R.I. (Nov. 28th, 2017) — Twenty-five years of blood, sweat and tears, non-stop action and all the pageantry of combat sports comes together for one magical night Thursday, Dec. 7th, 2017 at Twin River Casino.

CES Boxing caps its year-long 25th anniversary celebration with next Thursday’s season finale, a special mid-week installment of the 2017 Twin River Casino Fight Series.

The event features nine bouts, in addition to a historic retrospect of CES’ quarter century of combat sports excellence, plus the induction of longtime Rhode Island sportscaster Ken Bell into the prestigious CES Ring of Honor. Next week’s “Thursday Night Fights” showcase is also presented in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Toys For Tots. All fans are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy to donate to a family in need during the holiday season.

The entire card airs live on Facebook via FIGHTNIGHT LIVE, CES’ third event of the year on the fan-friendly streaming platform. Doors open at 6 p.m. ET and the first fight begins at 7.

 Welterweight prospect Khiary Gray (14-3, 11 KOs) of Worcester, Mass., headlines the fight card in an eight-round bout against Philadelphia’s Greg Jackson (8-4-1, 2 KOs) for the vacant New England Interim 147-pound Title.

Forced to withdraw from his showdown with Juan Rodriguez in September due to injury, Gray fights next Thursday for the first time since June in his welterweight debut after campaigning his entire career at 154 pounds.

“I’m a dangerous man right now,” Gray said. “I’ve got respect for Jackson, don’t get me wrong, but I’m putting everything on the line for this fight. I’m coming to hurt. I’m coming for the respect I deserve.”

The 29-year-old Jackson, a winner over Phillip Lars in his last bout in October, returns to New England for the first time since battling reigning WBC USNBC champion Jimmy Williams to a draw in 2013.

“I breathe, eat and shit this. I don’t play,” Jackson said. “Everything else is secondary. I’m hungry. I’m real hungry.

“I’m not going to let anyone minimize me or my talent at all. However I’ve got to kick in the door is how I’ve got to kick in the door. Eventually, it’s going to come. God makes you wait until the time it’s right. This is very big for me. This is something Khiary may think is big for him, but it’s even bigger for me.”

Starring in the eight-round co-main event, Marshfield, Mass., welterweight Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes (18-4-2, 1 KO) faces Ontario’s Natasha Spence (8-3-1, 6 KOs), a two-time world-title challenger. Lopes has won eight of nine bouts, including her long-awaited return to Twin River in April when she defeated Mexico’s Paty Ramirez by unanimous decision.

 Hard-hitting Sicilian heavyweight Juiseppe Cusumano (13-1, 11 KOs), fighting out of Danville, Va., makes his fourth appearance of 2017 in a six-round bout against Indianapolis’ Brandon Johnson (6-3, 3 KOs) and Providence, R.I., fan favorite Anthony Marsella Jr. (6-0, 3 KOs) puts his perfect record on the line in a six-round lightweight bout against Mexican challenger Oscar Eduardo Quezada (7-4, 4 KOs).

Marsella blasted 30-fight vet Israel Rojas in September via fourth-round knockout following a hard-fought win over Texan Abraham Torres in June in which he rounded from his first career knockdown to earn the victory on the scorecards.

Following in the footsteps of his idol, heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano, who fought 28 times in Rhode Island during his Hall of Fame career, Cusumano returns to Twin River for the third time this season in search of another knockout victory. The 6-foot-4 heavyweight has won 11 in a row, including seven by knockout.

 Facing his toughest test to date, unbeaten Worcester lightweight Jamaine Ortiz(6-0, 4 KOs) battles 17-fight vet Derrick Murray (13-3-1, 5 KOs) of Saint Louis in a six-round special attraction. One of New England’s hottest prospects, Ortiz is 4-0 in 2017, including a narrow victory over Canton Miller in February and an impressive third-round knockout win over previously-unbeaten Glenn Mitchell in April.

Also representing Worcester, middleweight Kendrick Ball Jr. (8-0-2, 5 KOs) faces Vineland, N.J., native Alshamar Johnson (1-1-1, 1 KO) in a six-round bout and super middleweight prospect Bobby Harris III (1-0) makes his Twin River debut in a four-round bout against Amadeu Cristiano, an accomplished Muay Thai fighter from Sao Paolo, Brazil making his professional boxing debut.

The always-ready Ball Jr. fights for the 11th time since turning pro in May of 2016, an unmatched stretch of productivity for the 6-foot-2, 25-year-old middleweight. He’s won his last four since fighting to a draw with regional rival David Wilson in 2016, defeating opponents with a combined record of 14-2-3.

Providence lightweight Michael Valentin (2-0, 1 KO) returns for the third time since debuting in June, this time facing Efren Nunez of Fall River, Mass., in Nunez’s four-round pro debut. Fighting at Twin River for the first time, super middleweight Jarel Pemberton (1-0) of Boston, the son of regional icon “Sandman” Scott Pemberton, battles Rene Nazare (0-1) of Woburn, Mass., in a four-round bout.

The 26-year-old Pemberton, a former lance corporal for the U.S. Marines who served two tours in Afghanistan, debuted for CES in August with a win over Nathan Schulte. Valentin, the youngest fighter on the card at the age of 18, defeated New Bedford, Mass., native Henry Garcia by unanimous decision in June.

The elder Pemberton joins a handful of CES legends attending next Thursday’s event in celebration of promoter Jimmy Burchfield Sr. and CES’ 25th anniversary, among them former cruiserweight world-title challenger Matt Godfrey of Providence, former five-time women’s world champion Jaime Clampitt of Warwick, R.I., the legendary “Sucra” Ray Oliveria of Fall River, Mass., and former welterweight standout Kippy Diggs of Hyannis, Mass., a two-time regional champion. The “Sandman” won 29 fights, 24 by knockout, in a brilliant, 12-year career.

CES Boxing will also unveil its greatest, most memorable fights of all-time in a special showcase throughout the event, highlighting 25 years as the region’s most influential combat sports promotion.

 A former boxing judge and referee and owner of the iconic Classic Restaurant, Burchfield became more heavily involved with the sport after watching Vinny Paz, a fellow Rhode Island native and eventual five-time champion, win the National Sports Festival on ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

Burchfield promoted his first event in 1992 at the Rocky Point Palladium in Warwick, headlined by Oliveira defeating Tomas Rodriguez in the 10-round main event. CES Boxing continued to build champions well into the 21st century; its rich history includes the development of former U.S. Olympian and Providence native Jason Estrada, plus Rhode Island legends Gary Balletto and Peter Manfredo Jr., both of whom rose to fame on The Contender reality television series.

Through the years, Burchfield earned several noteworthy awards, among them the NABF Promoter of the Year, in addition to his 2011 induction into the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame. Burchfield also promoted Oliveira’s epic 2001 showdown against Ben Tackie at Foxwoods Resort Casino, which set a modern-day CompuBox record for most punches thrown, and guided hard-hitting Polish heavyweight Mariusz Wach to the top of the division, culminating in a world-title showdown against Vladimir Klitschko in Germany.

Years later, Burchfield brought Godfrey to Germany to face WBO world cruiserweight champion Marco Huck and guided Philadelphia’s Hank Lundy to No. 1 in the world in the 135-pound division before an eventual championship bout against pound-for-pound king Terence Crawford at Madison Square Garden.

Nearly two decades after Paz knocked out Joe Frazier Jr. in front of a sold-out crowd at the Providence Civic Center (now known as The Dunkin Donuts Center), Burchfield remained in Paz’s corner, guiding the boxing icon to his 50th and final win in 2004. Burchfield also made history in 2010 with the launch of his mixed martial arts division, CES MMA, and promoted Rhode Island’s first sanctioned event at Twin River.

Kovalev brutalizes Shabranskyy, Judges beat Sosa at the Garden

Saturday night on HBO live from Madison Square Garden Theater, former unified light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev faced hard hitting Ukrainian Vyacheslav Shabranskyy for the vacant WBO and IBA light heavyweight titles. All eyes were on Kovalev not because of his history as a brutal knockout puncher but his two consecutive losses against Andre Ward. and their effects on Kovalev psychologically. In their first fight Kovalev lost a questionable decision by scores of 114-113 across the board after knocking ward down in round two. When the they faced off in a rematch headed into round eight scores again were close at 66-67 twice and 68-65, while Ward was controlling the ring Kovalev was in the fight until several body shots and a low blow stunned Kovalev who despite not going down was waved off by referee Tony Weeks.

Those fights took place in November of 2016 and June of 2017 and have weighed heavily on the mind of Kovalev since. Shortly afterwards reports of Kovalev drinking regularly emerged then an auto accident that totaled his car. While Kovalev himself walked away with nothing more than shaken nerves it forced him to reflect on his recent path. He would not only make some changes personally but professionally and his first professional decision was to part ways with trainer John David Jackson. It was well known Jackson and Kovalev had been rocky terms at best so as a replacement for Jackson Kovalev brought in Abror Tursunpulatov.

While many have no idea who Abror Tursunpulatov is, Kovalev became associated with him in Big Bear due to Abror training Bakhram Murtazaliev a middleweight under the promotional banner of Kovalev’s “Krusher Promotions” and he also guided Fazliddin Gaibnazarov to a 2016 Olympic gold medal in Rio making him more then qualified.

The opponent of Kovalev Vyacheslav Shabranskyy was expected to provide some answers about Kovalev, his current state of mind and new trainer Abror Tursunpulatov. While not an overly versatile fighter Vyacheslav Shabranskyy is aggressive and possesses power should he go after Kovalev and stun him we would know the answer to that question everyone has been asking “How will Kovalev respond if pressured and placed into a situation of adversity?”  Those questions were never answered because Kovalev didn’t allow them to be asked.

At the start Kovalev set his own tempo using the jab to set up combinations, while a Shabranskyy right hand pushed Kovalev back in round one he didn’t falter physically or mentally in fact he answered right back with increased aggression. A jab right hand combination shook Shabranskyy then a hard right dropped him for an eight count. Once up Shabranskyy attempted to retaliate but would go down once more from a Kovalev right hand just before the bell.

 

Shabranskyy goes down in the first\

In round two Kovalev pressured Shabranskyy drove him onto his back foot and placed him on the canvas one more time. He again took an eight count and attempted to stand his ground then just to be met with a flurry of punches that forced referee Harvey Dock to step in and halt the affair at 2:36 of round two. One thing we did learn is Kovalev still maintains his killer instinct between the ropes and in his post fight interview he stated ” I want to face the other champions and see who is the best in the division we need to unify and have only one champion”. With his victory Sergey Kovalev is again a world title holder at 175lbs improving his record to 31-2-1 (27),  Shabranskyy now stands at 19-2 (16).

Referee Harvey Dock saves Shabranskyy from further punishment

In a co-feature two once beaten light heavyweight’s Sullivan Barrera and Felix Valera faced off for a mandatory position to face current WBA 175lb champion Dmitry Bivol who sat ringside observing the nights action. The contest appeared it might be over quickly when a right hand from Valera dropped Barrera seconds into round one. Once back up after taking an eight count, Barrera regained his senses boxed behind his jab then sent Valera to the canvas with just seconds left in round one. The fight turned ugly after, filled with lulls of action due to Barrera holding in attempts to smother the power of Valera and eventually point deductions.

A series of unintentional low blows from Valera being caused by a combination of his not being an accurate puncher and Barrera constantly pushing the head of Valera down led to point deductions in rounds 3, 6 and eight then Barrera was deducted a point for hitting low in round nine. While he was a game opponent, Felix Valera did not have the experience to outbox Barrera or deal with his veteran tactics, The official scores read 98-88 97-90 and 97-89 all in favor of Sullivan Barrera who improves to 21-1 (14), Felix Valera suffering his second career loss now stands at 15-2 (13).

In the co-feature former world champions Jason Sosa and Yuriorkis Gamboa met for what was possibly a career saving bout. While their combined record entering the ring was an impressive 47-4-4 (32) they had recently suffered one sided defeats that dropped their stock as marketable fighters. In May of this year Gamboa was dominated by journeyman Robinson Castellanos to such a degree he retired on his stool after round seven. Then in August he struggled with little known 23yr old Mexican upstart Alexis Reyes, during that bout Gamboa was deducted several points for fouls and almost disqualified before winning a majority decision.

As for Sosa his career since 2016 was on an upward surge, he stopped formerly undefeated then WBA Super Featherweight title holder Javier Fortuna to become a world title holder then defended that belt against Stephen Smith placing him in a high profile bout against Vasyl Lomachenko for the WBO Featherweight title this past April. In that fight Sosa would be completely dominated and retire on his stool after round nine. That loss set Sosa back to fringe contender status, a one sided loss for either would certainly mean their marketing ability was totally finished.

In the first round Gamboa came out looking sharp, using footwork and taking advantage of the slower Sosa as he scored points with his jab. In round two Sosa began to use his superior physical strength landing several hard punches that shook the legs of Gamboa who was cut from a right hook. In round three Gamboa began getting sloppy, lunging with his punches and was dropped from a Sosa right hand. Over the next two rounds Sosa over committed with his hook and Gamboa was able to win the rounds based on movement and his jab. Once the sixth round began you could see Gamboa was fatigued and Sosa getting stronger his pressure was forcing Gamboa to fight off his back foot much of the time hoping to slow the pace while he gained a second wind.

Another knockdown in favor of Sosa happened in round seven, Gamboa after being warned at least six times for holding was deducted a point by referee Ron Lipton in round ten and as the final bell rang Gamboa looked happy to have the affair over while Jason Sosa looked ready to go five more rounds. When the bout was over official scores read 95-93, 96-92 in favor of Yuriorkis Gamboa and 94-94 once giving Gamboa a majority decision victory. My unofficial score read 97-91 in favor of Jason Sosa the only rounds I scored in favor of Yuriorkis Gamboa were rounds one, four and five. While referee Ron Lipton did his usual top notch job as an official inside the ring judges Don Trella, Robin Taylor and John McKaie managed to get Gamboa one more future payday.

Referee Ron Lipton

On a side note, many were questioning and criticizing referee Ron Lipton for deducting a point from Gamboa in round ten stating “It was the last round why bother?” Well considering Lipton gave Gamboa several warnings that went ignored, by not taking the point even if there were only seconds left his role as an authority figure between the ropes would have been compromised. His decision to do so even at that juncture of the fight showed professionalism and should be followed by more referees especially ones that continuously favor the house fighter.

In Undercard action
Light Middleweight- Bakhram Murtazaliev 11-0 (9) def. Carlos Galvan 16-1-1 (15) via TKO 5.
Light Middleweight-Frank Galarza 18-2-2 (11) def. Jaime Herrera 15-5-1 (8) via UD 8.
Welterweight- Enriko Gogokhia 7-0 (3) def. Jose Antonio Abreu 13-3 (8) via UD 6.
Middleweight- LeShawn Rodriquez 8-0 (7) def. Alex Sandro Duarte 13-3-1 (10) via KO 2.
Middleweight- Meiirim Nursultanov 5-0 (4) def. Eric Moon 7-1 (6) via TKO 2.
Middleweight- Ismael Villarreal 1-0 def. Race Sawyer 0-5 via UD 4.

Kovalev vs. Shabranskyy Official Weigh-in results

Sergey Kovalev vs. Vyacheslav Shabranskyy
Official Weigh-In
 
Kovalev-Shabranskyy Face-Off
Photo Credit: David Spagnolo/Main Events
 
Sergey Kovalev Vyacheslav Shabranskyy
30-2-1, 26 KOs 19-1, 16 KOs
Weight: 174, Trunks: Red/WHT/BLK Weight: 174.8, Trunks: Blue/GLD
Sullivan Barrera Felix Valera
20-1, 14 KOs 15-1, 13 KOs
Weight: 174.8,  Trunks: WHT/Red/BLU Weight: 174.2, Trunks:GLD/BLK
Yuriokis Gamboa Jason Sosa
27-2, 17 KOs 20-2-4, 15 KOs
Weight: 130.6,  Trunks: Red/WHT Weight: 131.2,  Trunks: Burg/Gold
Bakhram Murtazaliev Carlos Galvan
10-0, 8 KOs 16-5-1, 15 KOs
Weight: 153.8, Trunks: WHT/Pink Weight: 151.8, Trunks: Black
Frank Galarza Jaime Herrera
17-2-2, 11 KOs 15-4-1, 8 KOs
Weight: 153, Trunks: Blue/ORG Weight: 153.2, Trunks: Black
Meiirim Nursultanov Eric Moon
4-0, 3 KOs 7-0, 6 KOs
Weight: 161.6, Trunks: WHT/Gold Weight: 162.2, Trunks: BLK/Gold
LeShawn Rodriguez Alex Sandro Duarte
7-0, 6 KOs 7-2, 5 KOs
Weight: 156.6, Trunks: BLK/BLU Weight: 154.4, Trunks: Red/BLU
Enriko Gogokhia Jose Antonio Abreu
6-0, 3 KOs 13-2, 8 KOs
Weight: 148.8, Trunks: WHT/Red Weight: 148.2, Trunks: BLK/WHT
Ismael Villarreal Race Sawyer
Pro Debut 0-4
Weight: 154.2, Trunks: BLK Weight: 155.6, Trunks: BLK

First year of promoting a KO success for Rivera Promotions Entertainment

First year of promoting a KO success for
Rivera Promotions Entertainment
 
(L-R) — Jose Antonio and A.J. Rivera  
 
WORCESTER, Mass. (November 24, 2017) – The first year of Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE) as a promotional company was a resounding success, as well as an invaluable learning experience for its owners and operators, retired three-time, two division world champion Jose Antonio Rivera and his son, Anthonee (A.J.) Rivera.
 
RPE promoted for “New England’s Future” events this past year, all held in their hometown of Worcester, located in central Massachusetts, at two different venues, DCU Center and the Palladium.
 
“I think we exceeded our initial expectations,” RPE CEO Jose Rivera said, “promoting four shows in only 10 months. I still have high expectations and I believe we will be even better in 2018. Believe it or not, what we learned the most was about the extra costs that come with promoting boxing events. We knew the cost of the venues, purses, flights and hotels, but there are so much more in terms of cost to promote shows, and doing four in 10 months helped us learn quickly. We need to bring our A game in 2018.
 
“I’m most proud of my son’s growth as a matchmaker and RPE president. He is so passionate about boxing and making RPE a successful promotional company in professional boxing.”
 
RPE’s philosophy is to provide a platform for young, local boxers to develop their skills and gain public and media exposure. As a former pro boxer, Jose understands how critically important that is for boxing prospects.
 
“It means a lot to me that we started with a dream of how we wanted to represent ourselves in the boxing game and accomplished that in our first year,” Jose continued. “Boxing has a reputation for taking advantage of boxers and RPE wants to make sure that boxers know about all the sacrifices I made to become world champion and that, if they’re willing to work with us – let us help them – we would love helping them get to the top as well.”
 
AJ grew up in boxing, always at his father’s side in the gym and at fights, and the young Johnson & Wales University graduate realized early on that he was born with boxing running through his veins. As the youngest matchmaker in U.S. boxing, AJ gained invaluable experience this past year, especially in the behind-the-scenes part of pro boxing.
 
“I would like to thank Worcester and all the fans who supported us during our first year,” the 24-year-old AJ commented. “This year was fun and full of memories. Never did I imagine in our first year of business we’d be as successful as were. We’re truly blessed and thankful for those who have supported and believed in us this past year. Because of the support people gave Rivera Promotions Entertainment, we are going to expand at a rapid rate. RPE is looking in to promoting shows in other states, as well as opening a new music division to promote concerts.
 
“I also want to give a special shout out to Connecticut. In my first year of business, I learned very quick that Connecticut breeds some bad boys! The Connecticut guys can really fight! and it’s been a pleasure to develop a working relationship with its fighters who brought tremendous amounts of excitement to our shows, and to their loyal fans who traveled to show their support. It will be an honor for RPE to give Connecticut fighters an opportunity to fight in their hometowns in 2018, the same way we did for Worcester-area fighters this past year.”
 
RPE plans to make a major announcement after Thanksgiving about its first event of 2018 and some of the boxers who’ve agreed to work with RPE next year.    
 
This was only the beginning for RPE, the best is yet to come!

A VERY SPECIAL THANKSGIVING FOR TEVIN FARMER AHEAD OF DECEMBER 9 WORLD TITLE CHALLENGE IN LAS VEGAS

PHILADELPHIA, PA (November 22, 2017) World title challenger TEVIN “American Idol” FARMER (25-4-1, 5 KOs) is spending this year celebrating a very special Thanksgiving. On December 9, the 27-year-old will challenge for his first world title against KENICHI OGAWA (22-1-0, 17 KOs), of Tokyo, Japan, with the vacant IBF junior lightweight championship on the line, at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and live on HBO “Boxing After Dark” beginning at 10:20 p.m. ET.

Slated for his first world title opportunity after having compiled an extraordinary 18-bout winning streak over the last five years, Farmer was also the victim this past July 29 to an act of senseless violence. When a neighborhood domestic dispute erupted involving Farmer’s brother, Tevin intervened to play peacemaker. The incident left him shot in the right hand and his brother shot in the face. Miraculously, neither Tevin nor his brother were seriously injured. The resilient Farmer was back in the gym training the following week, focusing on his left hand while waiting for his right to fully heal.

“This is truly a blessed Thanksgiving for me. From tearing my biceps in the second round against Ivan Redkach on April 29 to thankfully recovering from the gunshot wound to my right hand to now fighting for my first world title, I have so much to be thankful for,” said Farmer.

“I’m excited to spend the holiday with my family. They all want to talk about the fight and many of them will be in Las Vegas.”

About his unique path to the world title fight, having begun his career with a 7-4-1 record, Tevin’s message is, “I needed to get serious about my career. I always had the skills, but I needed to make the right decisions. That’s what I would tell anyone who has a dream like I do.”

Farmer, a great, great nephew of boxing legend Joe Gans, started working with Lou DiBella and DiBella Entertainment in 2014. “Lou has been terrific for me, not just as a promoter but as a person. He’s very caring about what happens to me. We’ve always been on the same page and he told me ‘keep winning and I’ll get you a title shot’ and he most certainly did.”

In regard to fighting Ogawa, Farmer said, “I’m just better and I will be victorious. None of these dudes can beat me.”

SLUGFEST AT THE SUN PRE-FIGHT PREVIEW CONSTANTIN BEJENARU VS THABISO MCHUNU

SLUGFEST AT THE SUN PRE-FIGHT PREVIEW 
CONSTANTIN BEJENARU VS THABISO MCHUNU
10 ROUND WBC INTERNATIONAL CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE BOUT
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 22, 2017

This Saturday, Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing brings two WBC championship fights to Mohegan Sun. The main event features current undefeated, WBC International and Continental Americas Cruiserweight Champion, CONSTANTIN BEJENARU (12-0 3KOs) against former world title challenger and #1 mandatory challenger, THABISO “The Rock” MCHUNU (18-3 11KOs) of South Africa.

 Bejenaru won his last two fights on the Showtime Boxing series “SHObox” and “SHObox: Next Generation,” against two then undefeated Cruiserweight prospects, as well as earned both of his titles in the latter victory. The first of the two wins was against cruiserweight Alexy Zubov (then 10-0, 7KOs), who has remained unbeaten aside from his loss to Bejenaru by unanimous decision victory. The fight took place at Turning Stone Resort and Casino, in April of 2016. The 5’10” southpaw Bejenaru, utilized his brute force, and footwork to keep Zubov off balance, throughout the entirety of the fight, on his way to a unanimous decision win.

 In November of 2016, Bejenaru returned to “ShoBox” in an effort to win the vacant WBC International and Continental Americas Cruiserweight titles against then unbeaten, Stivens Bujaj. After getting into a scuffle at the weigh-In, the fight quickly turned into a brawl which included a lot of grit and even some headbutts. Bejenaru controlled most of the action, but was dropped in the fifth round by a left hook courtesy of Bujaj. Constantin got off the floor, and dominated the rest of the fight to a unanimous decision victory to earn both WBC titles.

 Thabiso “The Rock” Mchunu, reigning from Cato Ridge, South Africa, is exactly what his nickname credits himself for. Standing at 5′ 11″, Mchunu is built like a truck, and uses this muscle to translate into knockouts as he has 52% knockout ratio in 21 professional fights. In his last fight in June of 2017, Mchunu won the vacant African Boxing Union Cruiserweight Title & the South African Cruiserweight Title against Johnny Muller, in his native South Africa.

 Mchunu is most notably known for his WBO world title challenge of current cruiserweight world title holder Oleksandr Usyk, in July on HBO Boxing After Dark at the Forum in Inglewood, California, on the under card of the Joe Smith Jr vs Bernard Hopkins main event. Mchunu kept Usyk on his toes in the beginning of the fight, making Usyk look awkward at times. Mchunu took the champ 9 rounds before Usyk proved to be too much.

CONSTANTIN BEJENARU
TALE OF THE TAPE
 THABISO “THE ROCK” MCHUNU
12-0
RECORD
18-3
3
KNOCKOUTS
11
Moldova
BORN
Ximba, South Africa
Brooklyn, NY
RESIDENCE
Cato Ridge, South Africa
5′ 10″
HEIGHT
5′ 11″
67.5″
REACH
72.5″
Southpaw
STANCE
Southpaw

Kovalev vs. Shabranskyy Scouting Report

Sergey Kovalev vs. Vyacheslav Shabranskyy
Scouting Report
Can The Krusher Stop Shabranskyy?
New York, NY:        On Saturday night, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-2-1, 26 KOs) will look to regain the WBO Light Heavyweight World Title from The Theater at Madison Square Garden live on HBO World Championship Boxing against Vyacheslav “Lion Heart-Chingonskyy” Shabranskyy (19-1, 16 KOs). The scouting report for this much-anticipated battle is below:
Category
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev
Vyacheslav “Lion Heart” Shabranskyy
Age
34
30
Record
30-2-1 (26 KOs)
19-1-0 (16 KOs)
Strength
The Krusher has knockout power in both hands and can end a fight with any punch he throws. He has a sharp jab that has been effective in keeping his opponents at bay and has plenty of big-fight experience coming into this bout.
Shabranskyy is one of the division’s toughest fighters. He has an aggressive style with heavy hands and a granite chin. He applies steady pressure throughout the fight and does a superb job of breaking down his opposition.
Weakness
He tends to leave openings in his guard, which could be costly considering the power of his opponent.
His aggressive style can get sloppy at times, which has resulted in him hitting the canvas in prior bouts. He will need to fine-tune his defense to avoid a shot from one of the division’s biggest punchers.
Experience
Sergey has more professional bouts under his belt and has faced-off with the best in the sport. His previous 11 bouts have been world title fights.
Slava lacks the top-level opposition that Kovalev has faced; this will be the biggest fight of his career thus far.
Power
Kovalev is called the Krusher for a reason. His main strength throughout his career has been his power. He throws each punch with bad intentions and can finish the fight in an instant.
Shabranskyy is extremely heavy-handed. He has remarkable power in both hands and possesses a straight right hand that can end any fight if landed clean.
Speed
Sergey has average speed that picks up once he smells blood and goes for the finish.
Slava has average speed and really turns it up a notch when he senses that his opponent is in trouble.
Endurance
Sergey has proven in recent years that he can go a full twelve rounds, but we’ve also seen him lose steam in later rounds.
Shabranskyy’s endurance has yet to be tested. He has gone 10 rounds just once in his career, which resulted in a decision win over former ranked contender Yunieski Gonzalez.
Accuracy
He has a pin-point accurate jab and delivers rigorous shots to the body that have ended fights in the past.
Slava’s most accurate punch is his right hand. If timed correctly, it can be a game-changer in the fight.
Defense
Sergey’s best defense is his offense. His power has always been a game-changer in bouts. It forces opponents to rethink their game plan.
The Ukrainian relies on offense more than anything. He likes to attack his opponents and break their will from start to finish.
Chin
Although he was stopped in his previous bout under questionable circumstances, Kovalev has proven throughout his career that his chin is more than durable.
Vyacheslav was stopped in his lone career defeat, however, he has proven that his chin is durable. He has been knocked down in numerous fights and made it back to his feet to take the win.
Style
Sergey is an offense-minded fighter who likes to walk his opponents down until he smells blood and can go for the finish.
Shabranskyy is an aggressive, in-your-face fighter who wastes little time in trying to break his opponents down and finish the fight.
Crowd Support
The Krusher should have the advantage; he spent over three years as the champion at 175 lbs. and has a crowd-pleasing style of fighting.
The Ukrainian may not have the crowd support that his opponent will have, but his aggressive style will undoubtedly earn him some new fans by the end of the fight.
Intangibles
Since suffering his only two career defeats in his pro career, The Krusher wants to get right back in the ring and get back one of his titles. Kovalev has been through the gauntlet in the light heavyweight division – he has faced nothing but the best throughout his career. He does not plan to break that trend anytime soon.
There was no title on the line when Shabranskyy originally accepted this fight. The Ukrainian is willing to take any fight to climb the ladder in this stacked division. He will attempt to impose his will and fight fire with fire when facing an opponent whose style is almost identical to his own.
The Match-Up
1.     Will Sergey be mentally prepared for this fight?
2.     Will Shabranskyy be able to handle Sergey’s power?
3.     Will Sergey get back to being the Krusher?
4.     Will Shabranskyy be able to shine under the big lights?

Citlalli Ortiz Grabs First Win of Women’s Youth World Championships

GUWAHATI, India (Nov. 21, 2017) — Day two of the 2017 Women’s Youth World Championships in Guwahati, India brought two members of Team USA into the ring looking to advance one step closer to a world title.
 
Welterweight Citlalli Ortiz (Coachella, Calif.) grabbed Team USA’s first win of the championships with a split decision victory over Nadezhda Ryabets of Kazakhstan. She will return to the ring on Wednesday, Nov. 22 for a quarterfinals match-up against
 
The second American in today’s field, middleweight Sharahya Moreu (Albuquerque, N.M.), fell short of taking the judges card over Russian Anastasiia Shamonova. 
 
Tomorrow the remaining six members of Team USA will make their tournament debut, including 2015 Junior World Champion Heaven Garcia (El Monte, Calif.) The other five boxers will all be making their international debuts. 
 
Head Coach Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Kay Koroma (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Jeff Mays (San Antonio, Texas) are guiding the American delegation in India. This year’s tournament has brought 160 boxers from 31 different countries looking to take one of the ten World titles up for grabs.
 
Continue to follow USA Boxing on social media for more coverage of the tournament.
 
Team USA Results:
 
69 kg: Citlalli Ortiz, Coachella, Calif./USA dec. over Nadezhda Ryabets/KAZ, 4-1
75 kg: Anastasiia Shamonova/RUS dec. over Sharahaya Moreu, Albuquerque, N.M./USA, 5-0
 
Tomorrow’s Schedule 
48 kg: Amy Salinas, Las Cruces, N.M./USA vs.Gloria D’almeida/FRA
51 kg: Heaven Garcia, El Monte, Calif./USA vs. Chaewon Kim/KOR
54 kg: Isamary Aquino, Universal City, Texas/USA vs. Kateryna Rohova/UKR
57 kg: Roma Martinez, Humble, Texas/USA vs. Emily Mauermann/GER
60 kg: Diana Estrada, Hillsboro, Oregon/USA vs. Fatia Benmessahel/FRA
64 kg: Aidyl Cardenas, Calexico, Calif./USA vs. Khongorzul Batbold/MGL

Welterweight World Champion Errol Spence Jr. to Defend Against Former Champion Lamont Peterson

BROOKLYN (Nov. 21, 2017) – Undefeated IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. will make the first defense of his title when he takes on former two-division world champion Lamont Peterson on Saturday, January 20 live on SHOWTIME. The event is presented by Premier Boxing Champions from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING®.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING coverage begins live at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will feature undercard attractions that will be announced in the near future.

“I’m pleased to be promoting Spence vs. Peterson, one of the very best matchups in the welterweight division and in all of boxing,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Spence is not only one of the best welterweights in the world, but one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in boxing. In Peterson, he faces another elite welterweight and a two-time world champion. Spence vs. Peterson will bring the heat to Barclays Center on a chilly January 20. This is yet another night in the outstanding run of big time fights on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.”

“Spence vs. Peterson is an intriguing matchup between two elite welterweights looking to reach the top of this marquee division,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Errol Spence is a rising star with his sights set on title unification and the top of the pound-for-pound list, but he’s going to receive a stern test from Lamont Peterson, a multiple division champion whose resume is filled with top class opponents. It’s going to be another fantastic atmosphere at Barclays Center and a great night of fights live on SHOWTIME.”

“With his breakout performance against Kell Brook, Errol Spence established himself as one of top fighters in the welterweight division, if not in all of boxing,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports.  “Never one to rest on his laurels, Errol continues to seek out the toughest available opponents, and he has found exactly that in Lamont Peterson.  Lamont has never backed down from a challenge, and as a result, he has a wealth of experience with one of the strongest resumes in the division.  This type of high profile, dangerous matchup is the quintessential SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING main event.”

“BROOKLYN BOXING enjoyed a banner year in 2017, and we are looking forward to carrying that momentum into 2018,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. “Spence vs. Peterson sets a strong precedent for the year, with two top welterweights returning to the ring at Barclays Center to compete for recognition in one of the sport’s most talented divisions.”

Spence (22-0, 19 KOs), of Dallas, traveled to England to dethrone IBF 147-pound champion and hometown favorite Kell Brook on May 27 on SHOWTIME in one of the defining fights of 2017. The 27-year-old, who had long been touted as boxing’s next big thing, fulfilled his promise with a breakthrough performance, fracturing Brook’s orbital bone en route to an 11th round TKO. A 2012 U.S. Olympian, Spence will enter the ring at Barclays Center for the third time after most recently stopping former champion Chris Algieri in an April 2016 main event. He will fight in Brooklyn for the fourth time; he earned his title shot by knocking out Leonard Bundu at the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk in August 2016.

“My goal is to unify the welterweight division in 2018, but this fight is a true test and Lamont Peterson is a veteran that I definitely will not overlook,” said Spence. “I sparred him in the amateurs and I know what he brings to the table. I have to get through him to achieve my goals and that is what I plan on doing January 20th.”

Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs), of Washington, D.C., has won titles at 140 and 147 pounds while facing some of the biggest names in the sport, including Danny Garcia, Amir Khan and Timothy Bradley. The 33-year-old won the WBA 147-pound title in his last outing Feb. 18 on SHOWTIME before relinquishing the belt for the chance to challenge Spence. Peterson has won four of his last five outings, twice fighting at Barclays Center. His Brooklyn debut saw him defeat Edgar Santana by TKO in 2014 before dropping a narrow majority draw to Garcia in a 2015 main event in Brooklyn.

“First off, I’m happy to be getting back in the ring,” said Peterson. “I’ve stayed in the gym and I’m ready to go. This is a fight I wanted and as I said before when I became a welterweight, I want to fight the best and make the fights that people want to see. I’m ready to give it my all and give the fans a great show”

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