SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (April 30, 2018) — Miguel Cotto Promotions hosted a press conference earlier today to announce World Boxing Organization Light Flyweight World Champion Tito Acosta will make his first title defense at home on June 16 against Nicaraguan challenger Carlos “Chocorroncito” Buitrago in the “La Batalla” 12-round main event, airing on pay-per-view, live from the Coliseo de Puerto Rico Center in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.
La Batalla: Acosta vs. Buitrago is presented by Miguel Cotto Promotions, which is owned and operated by the first Puerto Rican boxer to capture world titles in four different weight classes, future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto, and H2 Entertainment, in association with DIRECTV Puerto Rico.
“Tito Acosta is that fighter you can’t blink your eyes,” promoter Miguel Cotto said. “He brings excitement to every fight and power to finish in any second. This fight against Carlos Buitrago will be fireworks from the opening bell.”
Acosta (17-1, 17 KOs), fighting out of San Juan, Puerto Rico., captured the vacant WBO title last December at famed Madison Square Garden, when he knocked out his Mexican challenger, Juan Alejo (24-4-1), in the 10th round.
A standout amateur boxer with more than 180 matches, highlighted by his gold-medal performance at the Central American Games, is a past WBO Latino and World Boxing Council (WBC) light flyweight champion. His most notable victories have been against 22-5 Juan Guzman (KO1), 12-1 Japhet Uutoni (TKO12), and 28-5-3 Luis Ceja (KO2).
“Buitrago says that his dream is to become the world champion, to that I say, keep on dreaming,” Acosta said. “I’m not underestimating him, but this will be my night, not his.”
Buitrago (30-3-1, 17 KOs), 26, is currently world rated at No. 12 by the WBO. The Managua-native will be fighting in his fifth world title fight having lost three times with one draw. In his last match this past December, he was stopped for the first time in the eighth round by undefeated International Boxing Federation (IBF) Minimumweight World Champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (8-0) in Japan.
In fact, all three of Buitrago’s career losses as a professional have been to world champions, including a pair to Thammanooon Niyomtrong (11-0) in 2016 and 2014, both by way of 12-round unanimous decisions in Thailand for the Interim WBA title. Buitrago also fought a 12-round split draw in 2013 to then WBO Minimum World Champion Merlito Sabillo (12-0) in Manila, Philippines.
“I will enter the ring in the best shape of my life with one objective in sight: to fulfill my dream of becoming the world champion and give my country a historic win,” Buitrago commented. “The battle is on and I hope to come out victorious.”
To understand a fighter like Kali Reis, you must first understand the person, Kali Reis. Born on Aug 24, 1986 in Providence, Rhode Island, Kali’s roots stem well into American history with her Native American heritage.
The name “Mequinonoag”, which she carries into the ring with her for every fight, was bestowed on her as her Native American name. Kali explains that the name was, “given to me by my mother, she is the medicine woman of our Seaconke Wampanoag tribe. It means “May Feathers”, or “Many Talents.” Kali is a proud, mixed Native warrior women.
Carrying the Native Warrior blood of the Cherokee, Nipmuc, and Seaconke Wampanoag tribes, the Providence-born fighter started boxing at the age of 14 out of Manfredo’s Gym in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Prior to turning pro, Reis had a brief, but successful amateur career, securing a variety of achievements such as the 2007 Rocky Marciano Championship, the 2007 NYC Golden Gloves at 154 pounds, and the 2006 New England 154 Championship.
Professionally, Kali has already attained three world titles. In 2014, she TKO’d Teresa Perozzi to win the International Boxing Association Female Middleweight Championship. Two years later in 2016, Reis earned a vicious first-round TKO win over Victoria Cisneros for the Universal Boxing Federation World Female Middleweight title. In that same year, only two months later, the Rhode Island fighter went the full distance in a 10 round war with Maricela Cornejo, winning a clear unanimous decision victory to earn the WBC World Female Middleweight belt.
Braekhus vs Reis is the co-feature bout to the main event of Golovkin vs Martirosyan airing on HBO, May 5th, live from the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Saturday night at the Liacouras Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Russell Peltz promotions and Top Rank hosted an all action ESPN broadcast headlined by a WBO Super Bantamweight world title main event between undefeated champion Jessie Magdaleno and undefeated challenger Issac Dogboe. In the co-features heavyweight Bryant Jennings faced Joey Dawejko in a ten round contest and super middleweight Jesse Hart faced Demond Nicholson for the vacant NABF Super Middleweight title.
There were little if anyone in attendance or watching on television, who expected the type of action that unfolded in the main event between Jessie Magdaleno and Issac Dogboe who was little known if at all to American fans. Once the opening bell sounded, Dogboe smaller and younger came right at Magdaleno throwing hard punches to the body, Magdaleno would answer right back with his own body work that sent Dogboe on his heels. The champion would work off the ropes and connect with a counter punch that sent Dogboe down to the canvas for the first time in his short career. Once beating the count Dogboe would again go on the attack looking to return the favor.
Over the next several rounds it would be Dogboe applying pressure to Magdaleno, digging his body and moving away from counter shots of Jessie who had the most success using his jab. When round five started we seen a dramatic turn of events after a full assault from Dogboe, lasting fifteen to twenty seconds sent Magdaleno to the canvas for the first time in his career. Once up Magdaleno would yell at Dogboe and tell him “Bring it on” but that appeared to be more out of frustration than genuine desire to brawl with the smaller younger opponent.
The all out assault of Dogboe would continue in rounds six and seven, it was not until round eight did Magdaleno start using his jab and footwork to keep Dogboe at a distance while putting rounds in the bank. As the tenth began you could see Magdaleno fading, his legs had lost their bounce, his punches were wide and he absorbed massive punishment from Dogboe who never slowed his attack. With only 15 seconds left in round ten Magdaleno almost dropped to the canvas from a body punch that visibly shook his legs.
When the eleventh started Issac Dogboe sensing Magdaleno was still hurt went right for the champion. A flurry of punches to the body and head pinned Magdaleno against the ropes then once more placed him on the canvas. He would manage to beat the ten count but before having a chance to gain his senses Issac Dogboe drove him across the ring with pressure and hard body shots. That last assault from Dogboe would send Magdaleno to the canvas one more time forcing referee Benjy Esteves to call a halt to the action at 1:38 of round eleven.
The win would not only make Issac Dogboe, the new WBO super bantamweight champion but youngest world champion in the history of Ghana. With his new world title Issac Dogboe improved to 19-0 (13), Jessie Magdaleno suffering his first loss now stands at 25-1 (18).
The nights co-feature between Jesse Hart and Demond Nicholson was an action packed bout where both men landed their fair share of power punches. At the end of round one hart would be rocked by a last second right hand from Nicholson. They would trade momentum in round two then referee Shawn Clark who did a terrible job all night called an obvious slip on the rings advertisement logo by Nicholson a knockdown. Over the next several rounds Hart stalked Nicholson looking to land one big power punch while Nicholson moved and jabbed to avoid the bigger Harts power.
The oddest moment of the night took place in round seven when a crouching Nicholson was caught by an overhand right of Hart, he was not hurt but his gloves did touch the canvas. When Nicholson stood up he assumed the referee was going to call it a knockdown but Hart had already started to attack before the referee took action. This would cause Nicholson to try and gain some room to figure out what was happening but Hart continued his assault, a combination sent Nicholson to the canvas where he sat looking p at referee Shawn Clark. There would be a count from Clark to eight then he stopped and pleaded with Nicholson to “Get Up”.Eventually the contest was halted officially in round seven but the commission would need to get involved while everyone watching was trying to understand why Clark had failed to make proper calls. With the win Jesse Hart claimed the NABF 168 lb title and improved to 24-1(20), Demond Nicholson now stands at 18-3-1(17).
In a heavyweight bout former world title challenger Bryant Jennings faced tough Joey Dawejko in a ten round contest. It would be the early body work of Dawejko which made Jennings uncomfortable and looking tired before midway through Dawejko slowed his pace. Thats when Jennings using footwork and his jab was able to keep Dawejko at a distance while Jennings built up a lead on the scorecards. When the bout ended all three judges seen it 98-92 in favor of Bryant Jennings which in my opinion was much too wide. On my unofficial scorecard I had it scored 98-96 in favor of Jennings and in the opinion the judges did not give Dawejko credit for his body attack in the early rounds. With the win Bryant Jennings improved to 23-2 (13) while Joey Dawejko now stands at 19-5-4 (11).
In undercard action
Former Olympian and featherweight prospect Shakur Stevenson improved to 6-0 (3) when he stopped Roxberg Patrick Riley 12-1 in the second round.
Welterweights Mohamed Rodriguez 11-5-1 (4) and Kent Cruz 14-0-1 (9) fought to an eight round split draw. Scores read 78-74 for Cruz, 77-75 for Rodriguez and 76-76.
Super Featherweight- Robson Conceiaco 7-0 (4) def. Alex Torres Rynn 6-2(3) via UD 6.
Bantamweight- Christian Carto 15-0 (11) def. Edwin Rodriguez 9-5 (5) via UD 8.
Lightweight- Joseph Adorno 7-0 (7) def. Jorge Hugo Padron 3-2 (3) via KO 1
Super Welterweight- Marcel Rivers 5-0 (4) def. Ronald Logan 0-3 via TKO 2.
Saturday night on HBO live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York Matchroom boxing hosted a highly anticipated Middleweight headliner featuring former WBA middleweight champion Danny Jacobs taking on undefeated volume puncher Maciej Sulecki. In the co-feature undefeated heavyweight Jarrell Miller would face former world title challenger Johann Duhaupas and as an added bonus the very popular 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Katie Taylor faced Victoria Noelia Bustos in a female IBF-WBA lightweight world title unification bout.
The main event between Danny Jacobs and Maciej Sulecki was an exciting one, with Sulecki campaigning in the United States for a short time he was a mystery of sorts for most fans watching. Those who did know him is because of the stoppage win over fringe contender Hugo Centeno Jr in 2016. The fans in attendance had all come to see Jacobs put on a performance for the hometown. Once the bell rang to start the contest it was Sulecki who applied pressure outworking Jacobs. Once round three began Jacobs began timing Sulecki with powerful hooks that Sulecki absorbed surprisingly well. Just before the bell sounded, Jacobs landed a hard counter that pushed Sulecki backwards for the first time in the fight.
In rounds four through seven Sulecki would continue coming forward but Jacobs had started rolling with the punches of Sulecki and landing hard clean counter punches. It appeared Jacobs slowed slightly once round nine started allowing Sulecki to pick up his pace again, Jacobs would look for the right hand counters but they were wide and Sulecki avoided them easily. The fighters in rounds ten and eleven would both put in quality work, Sulecki was busier but Jacobs landed the harder more telling blows. A knockdown would be scored by Jacobs in round twelve but Sulecki would beat the count and come right towards Jacobs hoping to even things out. They would trade punches until the final bell.When scores were read Judges seen it in favor of Daniel Jacobs with scores of 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112. With the win Daniel Jacobs now mandatory challenger for the WBA middleweight championship improved to 34-2 (29), Maciej Sulecki suffering his first career loss now stands at 26-1 (10).
It was far from the dominate performance fans and media expected from Jacobs but it did reinforce his ability to adapt to any style when needed. With this performance Maciej Sulecki placed himself among the top fighters in and around 154-160lbs where he is able to make both weights.
The co-feature between undefeated heavyweight Jarrell Miller and former world title challenger Johann Duhaupas was not an overly exciting contest but it did have sustained action through out. It looked as though Miller would have an easy night when he stunned Duhaupas in round one but the rugged French fighter continued moving in and throwing punches that forced Miller to display his defensive ability. At no time was Miller on the back-foot but Duhaupas with his experience and chin made him work steady all night while absorbing his own fair share of punches. It would last the distance and bring Miller one step closer to that possible title shot he has been seeking, with the win Jarrell Miller improved to 21-0-1 (18) while Johann now stands at Duhaupas 37-5 (24).
In a female lightweight world title unification bout Olympic Gold Medalist and womens IBF world champion Katie Taylor faced WBA champion Victoria Noelia Bustos. While neither lady is a power puncher, Taylor only 4 stoppage wins and Bustos having never scored a stoppage win in her career they gave fans action from start to finish. The two ladies demonstrated volume and genuine world class boxing ability for the entire ten round distance with neither giving an inch at anytime.
When the scores were read judges seen it 99-91 twice and 98-92 all in favor of Katie Taylor who is now the unified IBF and WBA female lightweight world champion, her record improved to 9-0 (4) while Bustos now stands at 18-5 (0).
In undercard action
Super Lightweight- Shohjahon Ergashev 12-0 (11) def. Zhimin Wang 10-3 (3) via UD 10.
Super Lightweight- Angel Sarinana 8-7-2 (3) def. Dimash Niyazov 13-1-3 (6) via UD 6.
Welterweight- Julian Sosa 12-0-1 (4) def. Larry Ventus 9-12-1 (4) via MD 6.
Super Lightweight- Nikolay Buzolin 6-3-1 (1) def. Lawrence Gleason 6-1 (2) via KO 6.
Super Welterweight- Noah Kidd 4-0-1(3) def. Daniyar Yeleussinov 0-1 via TKO 3.
Arthur Abraham (46-6, 30 KOs) and Patrick Nielsen (29-2, 14 KOs) both made weight today ahead of their crunch super middleweight clash for the WBO International title tomorrow night at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany.
The former two-weight World Champion and his Danish stable-mate are both looking to revive their World title ambitions. The winner will be positioned for a World title eliminator, while the loser will be forced to reassess their career.
WBO International Super Middleweight Championship:
Arthur Abraham: 76.2 kg
Patrick Nielsen: 76.2 kg*
* Nielsen makes weight on second attempt
An action-packed undercard at the Baden Arena features German light heavyweight prospect Leon Bunn, professional debutant and hotly tipped amateur talent Abass Baraou, Dutch crossover star Nieky Holzken and Norwegian cruiserweight Kai Robin Havnaa.
Light Heavyweight – 8 Rounds:
Leon Bunn: 80.5 kg
Tomas Adamek: 80.5 kg
Super Middleweight – 8 Rounds:
Nieky Holzken: 76.8 kg
Bernard Donfack: 77.7 kg
Super Welterweight – 6 Rounds:
Abass Baraou: 69.5 kg
Artur Mueller: 67.6 kg
Cruiserweight – 8 Rounds:
Kai Robin Havnaa: 90.0 kg
Frank Bluemle: 91.0 kg
Super Lightweight – 6 Rounds:
Andranik Hakobyan: 67.6 kg
Zoltan Szabo: 64.2 kg
Super Middleweight – 6 Rounds:
James Kraft: 76.2 kg
Marco Miano: 73.5 kg
Super Featherweight – 4 Rounds:
Alshawa Abdulwahab: 57.8 kg
Rolan Petrovics: 59.8 kg
Boxing’s only undisputed world champion CECILIA BRAEKHUS, will defend her World Female Welterweight crown against former WBC Female World Middleweight Champion KALI REIS in the co-feature of the Gennady “GGG” Golovkin vs. Vanes “The Nightmare” Martirosyan World Middleweight Championship event. Both world title bouts, featuring the No. 1 male and female pound for pound fighters in Golovkin and Braekhus, respectively, will be televised live on Cinco De Mayo, Saturday, May 5, from StubHub Center on HBO World Championship Boxing, beginning at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT. This marks the first time a women’s bout has been televised live on HBO.
Braekhus (32-0, 9 KOs), a native of Cartagena, Colombia, who fights out of Bergen, Norway, is now trained by former world champion Lucia Rijker. Braekhus will be looking to extend her nine-year world championship reign with her 22nd consecutive title defense, against Reis (13-6-1, 4 KOs), from Providence, RI, in a 10-round championship bout between two of the most dominant female fighters .
The non-televised all-action undercard will feature undefeated consensus Top-10 world rated contender RYAN “Blue Chip” MARTIN. Martin (21-0, 12 KOs), from Chattanooga and fighting out of Cleveland, returns to Southern California for the second time this year, taking on battle-tested BREIDIS PRESCOTT (31-12, 22 KOs), a native of Colombia who fights out of Miami, Fla., in a 10-round super lightweight bout. The undercard will also feature five-time New York Golden Gloves champion and 2017 United States Amateur champion BRIAN CEBALLO (1-0, 1 KO), from Brooklyn, making his triumphant return to Southern California where he made his professional debut last month. He will be in a four-round welterweight bout.
“From top to bottom this is a card worthy of Cinco De Mayo and the knowledgeable fight fans who regularly pack StubHub Center,” said promoter Tom Loeffler. “I am so proud to help present the first female bout to be televised live on HBO. Undefeated World Female Welterweight Champion Cecllia Braekhus, boxing’s only undisputed world champion, will have her hands full against former WBC World Female Middleweight champion Kali Reis, and Top-10 lightweight contender Ryan Martin will be taking on rugged Breidis Prescott. Together with the Golovkin – Martirosyan middleweight title fight, is it any wonder that everyone is referring to May 5 at StubHub Center as boxing’s Cinco De Mayo headquarters?”
“I’m honored to fight on the same card as the best male fighter in the world, Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin, at the StubHub Center on May 5,” said Braekhus. “I’ve heard so many magnificent things about fighting in Southern California and the passion boxing fans have for great fights. Cinco De Mayo at the StubHub Center will truly be a special night for the boxers and the fans. I’ve been training in Los Angeles for the last six weeks with Lucia Rikjer, and this has been a tremendous camp particularly since I am able to work in the beautiful weather out here. I’ve not fought in America in ten years and this is truly one of the high points in my career and I want to thank my fans all over the world for continuing to push me to great heights. I know how tough Kali Reis is, and I’m ensuring every step in camp will prepare me for victory.”
“It’s been great working with Cecilia, she is so talented, and even more, so very dedicated to working hard and continuing to learn every day,” said Rijker. “We can’t wait to show boxing fans at the StubHub Center and those watching all over the world what we’ve been working on.”
“I am very excited for this opportunity. I’d like to thank Cecilia and her team for this once in a lifetime chance to fight the No. 1 pound for pound undisputed champion,” said Reis. “My team and I have been hard at work knowing she will bring her A game, so will we. This is such a great card and I am grateful to be a part of it.”
“I’m excited to showcase my skills again to the LA fans. I’m in really good shape and my weight feels great. This is going to be a special night of boxing,” said Martin.
“I am going deliver the same welcome gift to Martin that I gave to Amir Khan, a two-fisted sleeping tablet,” said Prescott.
Braekhus, 36, made her professional debut in 2007, and in only her 11th fight, two years later, captured the vacant WBC and WBA world female welterweight titles, winning a unanimous decision over undefeated contender Vinni Skovgaard in 2009. After two title defenses she added the vacant WBO title to her collection, winning a unanimous decision over Victoria Cisneros in 2010. In 2014, she won a unanimous decision over IBF world champion Ivana Habazin to become undisputed champion. She has reigned supreme over the welterweight division for four years and six title defenses. Due to her lobbying and popularity, the Norwegian government lifted its 33-year ban on professional boxing allowing her to defend her world championship crown four times in front of massive crowds in her homeland while becoming a national hero. On May 11, Braekhus will receive the Christy Martin Award as the Female Fighter of the Year at the annual Boxing Writers Association of America Awards Dinner in New York.
Reis, 31, will be making her 2018 and West Coast debut when she challenges Braekhus. After winning IBA and UBF titles, Reis, traveled to New Zealand in 2016 and won a split decision over Maricela Cornejo to capture the vacant WBC World Female Middleweight Title. It was the first time New Zealand had ever hosted a major world championship fight. Reis enters this fight having won six of her last seven fights, the only blemish, a decision title unification loss to undefeated WBO World Female Middleweight Champion Christina Hammer. Reis is promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing.
Martin, 25, returns to the ring after making a star turn headlining his first card, on March 27, at The Avalon in Hollywood, Calif. Martin blasted Luis Eduardo Florez in the fourth round of their 10-round bout. The Abel Sanchez-trained contender who regularly works out with Golovkin in Big Bear Lake, has a resume that boasts WBC Continental Americas lightweight title victories over Cesar Villarraga and Bryant Cruz as well as a WBA Intercontinental lightweight championship victory over Francisco Rojo despite suffering a fracture to his right hand. Martin is currently world-rated No. 6 by the IBF, No. 8 by the WBC and the WBO. .
Prescott, 34, will be the most experienced opponent Martin has faced. Best known for his first-round knockout victory of Amir Khan and a decision victory over former world champion Richar Abril, Prescott has been in tough for much of his professional career, going the distance against former two-division world champion Terence Crawford and top-rated contenders Roberto Garcia, Paul McCloskey and Fredrick Lawson. Boasting a victory by knockout ratio of 71%, Prescott will be looking to make the most of his Cinco De Mayo rumble with Martin.
His father, though, was later shot to death, leaving Toka and his sister alone. In 2000, they moved to Providence (RI) to live with a family that, frankly, didn’t really care what happened to them. All signs led to him falling in with the wrong crowd and getting into serious trouble. He was homeless for a while but, fortunately, he found boxing and that became his salvation.PROVIDENCE, RI (April 22, 2018) – World-rated featherweight Toka “T Nice” Kahn-Clary(24-1, 17 KOs) has graduated from prospect to world contender. To fully develop, Kahn-Clary recently shifted his training camp from the smallest state in the country, Rhode Island, to the second-largest city in America, Los Angeles, where he has started working with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach.
Fighting out of Providence (RI), Kahn-Clary made the six-week move to Roach’s famed Wild Card Boxing Club to receive fine tuning from Roach, avoid any potential distractions at home, and have an opportunity for world-class sparring sessions.
The chemistry was there right away between Roach and Kahn-Clary. After his first day working with Kahn-Clary, Roach said the following: “Today was a very good day. Toka has great ring-generalship, footwork and speed. I was impressed.”
“Freddie is very precise,” Kahn-Clary reported after a few days with New England native Roach. “Sometimes I get a little lazy on the ropes. No, no, not with him. I wanted to prove right away that I listen. We were working on the pads and Freddie said, ‘You’re not as dumb as you look.’ I thought that was cool coming from him and took it as a compliment. He’s working on me being in total control in the ring. I’m not really going to learn anything too new from him, but it always helps to add a new move here and there. He saw that I’m fast and work the angles. He’s not changing my style, just sharpening my tools.
“When there is sparring, the gym is packed with fighters from 122 pounds up to heavyweight. Not just two or three, but a whole lot of guys, and the competition between everyone is great We’re working on my next opponent. Right now, I’m just preparing for my next fight, and then we can focus on my opponent when we know who that will be.”
Toka-Kahn’s remarkable life story started in his native Liberia, where he knew very little about his real mother as a child, or how many siblings he has in his family. When his father moved to the United States and in 1998, six-year-old Toka Kahn and his younger sister joined him there in Philadelphia.
Saved the day his friend first took him to Manfredo’s Gym in Pawtucket, RI, when boxing trainer Peter Manfredo, Sr., USA Boxing/New England president Jim Perella and the couple that eventually adopted him, Andrea Watson and Ron Clary, all became key parts of Toka’s dramatically changed life.
No matter the weather, including snow and freezing conditions, Toka always rode his bike seven miles each way to the gym from his residence, which didn’t even have electricity. He never told anybody, never complained. One day, Andrea told the quiet, private kid in the gym that Christmas was coming, and she had a present for him – an extra bedroom. He was adopted and proudly changed his name to Toka Kahn-Clary.
A decorated amateur boxer, who registered a 131-11 record, Kahn-Clary collected numerous medals at national tournaments, highlighted by a gold-medal performance at the 2010 U.S. National Golden Gloves Championships. He was also a silver medalist at the 2009 National Golden Gloves Championships and 2011 U.S. National Championships, as well as a bronze medalist at the 2012 U.S. Nationals Championships.
Kahn-Clary arrived in LA on April 16 and he will remain there until May 25. “At this point in his career,” Toka’s manager Seth DeRobbio explained, “he had to make this move to position himself for a world title shot. There’s no quality sparring in New England in his weight class. Freddie is one of the best, if not the best trainer in boxing. Toka is going to benefit from working with Freddie. No distractions out there, either. Toka is going to eat, sleep, wake-up, run, strength train and box. That’s it, all boxing, 24/7.”
“I’m excited to see what my friend Freddie is going to do with one of our star fighters,” remarked Kahn-Clary’s promoter, Hall of Famer Evander Holyfield. “Toka is ready for anybody in the 126-pounds division and Freddie is going to bring out the best in him.”
Manfredo, Sr. remains involved in Toka’s career, working his corner with chief second Roach for his next fight, hopefully, June 2nd in Atlantic City (NJ) on his promoter’s (The Real Deal Boxing) proposed card.
“I was involved in this decision and I’ve worked with Freddie before (with Peter Manfredo, Jr.),” Manfredo, Sr. remarked. “It is the right move to advance his career. Toka is probably the best fighter I’ve ever trained. He’ll be away from distractions at home and get quality sparring. Freddie is a top-notch trainer, who I have nothing but admiration and respect for. Freddie will teach him more and we work well together. He’s so knowledgeable and a great guy, too. Freddie is a teacher and I’ll learn more as well.”
Kahn-Clary recently became a father for the first time, but he understands the sacrifice he’s making for his pro boxing career will payoff sooner rather than alter for his family.
“I talk to my daughter every day,” the affable Kahn-Clary concluded. “Thank God for technology. I facetime because she’s five months old and I don’t want her to forget my face. I don’t know how fighters used to go away to camp.”
The 25-year-old Kahn-Clary is world rated by the International Boxing Federation (#11) and World Boxing Federation (#13). In his last two fights, Kahn-Clary defeated a pair of undefeated opponents, David Berna (13-0) by way of a second-round technical knockout in Louisville (KY for the interim North American Boxing Association (NABA) featherweight title, adding the NABA USNBC featherweight crown to his growing display case this past December, when John Vincent Moralde (19-0) was unable to continue after seven rounds of punishment in Providence.
Limited tickets are still available through this Thursday and priced at $150.00 per adult and $70.00 for children (under 16) and include a complete brunch and cocktail hour upon entry, starting at 12:30 p.m. ET, as well as dinner (prime rib, fish or poultry) and open bar throughout the day. To purchase tickets, contact NYSBHOF president Bob Duffy at 516.313.2304 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Go on line at www.Ring8ny.com for additional information about the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame.
Living boxers heading into the NYSBHOF include (Long Island) WBA light heavyweight Lou “Honey Boy” Del Valle (36-6-2, 22 KOs), (Central Islip) IBF Junior Welterweight World Champion Jake Rodriguez (28-8-2, 8 KOs), (Brooklyn) world lightweight title challenger Terrence Alli (52-15-2, 21 KOs), undefeated, No.; 1 heavyweight contender “Baby” Joe Mesi (Buffalo) and former world cruiserweight champion Al “Ice” Cole(Rockland County).
Posthumous participants being inducted are NBA & NYSAC World Featherweight Champion (Manhattan) Kid “Cuban Bon Bon” Chocolate (136-10-6, 51 KOs), (New York City) 20th century heavyweight James J. “Gentleman Jim” Corbett (11-4-3, 5 KOs), (Williamsburg) World Lightweight Champion Jack “The Napoleon of The Prize Ring” McAuliffe, (Kingston) WBC Super Lightweight Champion Billy Costello (40-2, 23 KOs), (Beacon) NYSAC Light Heavyweight World Champion Melio Bettina (83-14-3, 36 KOs), (Brooklyn/Yonkers) world-class middleweight Ralph “Tiger” Jones (52-32-5, 13 KOs) and (Port Washington) heavyweight contender Charley “The Bayonne Bomber” Norkus (33-19, 19 KOs).
Saturday night at the Barclays center in Brooklyn NY, Showtime boxing presented a triple header event headlined by multi-division world champions Adrien Broner and Jessie Vargas facing off at a 144lb catch-weight bout. In the co features were former world champions Jermall Charlo and Gervonta Davis in middleweight and Super Featherweight world title bouts.
The main event between Adrien Broner and Jessie Vargas was an important fight for both men, Vargas a former two division champion has fought just once since losing his WBO world title to Manny Pacquiao in 2016. That lone bout a one sided unanimous decision against mediocre Aaron Herrera this past December, his inactivity caused Vargas to slide down the Welterweight ladder to almost non-existent status among the top names. As for Broner a questionable hometown split decision win over Adrien Granados in February of 2017 then one sided loss against Mikey Garcia last July on top of his out of the ring issues has him teetering on “Has Been” status. A win was pivotal for both men should they expect to continue being considered among top names in boxing.
Entering the bout perhaps the most important question surrounding Broner was “Will he conform to the no nonsense training camp of Kevin Cunningham and follow his instructions during the fight?”. At the start it appeared as though Broner had not gained anything from working with Cunningham and no blame to be had towards Cunningham as a trainer. He implored Broner to let his hands go as he plodded forward while Vargas worked his jab and piled up points. Once the first seven rounds had passed it appeared to most that Broner had lost every round with possibly exception of round five when he was not active but accurate with his punches.
After the mid-way point passed Vargas slowed his pace due to what appeared fatigue, Broner started lading his shots clean and effective even though he was being outworked and taking body punishment from Vargas. The eighth through eleventh rounds were in Broner’s favor though he did not clearly dominate he did impose his will on Vargas. In between rounds eleven and twelve Kevin Cunningham screamed at Broner stating “You need to fight this last round like you need a knockout, you need to punch non-stop” hinting that Cunningham felt the bout was in question. While Cunningham gave Broner the right instructions Broner failed to carry them out and allowed Vargas to control and win the round using his jab. When it was over official scores read 115-113 for Broner handed in by Julie Lederman, that score was over ruled by judges Eric Marlinski and Kevin Morgan who seen it 114-114 making the bout a majority draw.
I personally had it scored 116-112 in favor of Jessie Vargas based off his first half domination and later close rounds. The usually fair Julie Lederman did a horrible job as did referee Charlie Fitch who usually does a phenomenal job but allowed Broner to use his elbow throughout the night. With the majority draw Adrien Broner now stands at 33-3-1 (24) while Jessie Vargas 28-2-1 (10). This fight did more to benefit Vargas than Broner in my opinion as most felt he deserved the nod according to online polls with Showtime at minimum he proved capable of making exciting fights against anyone. In his post fight comments Broner cursed at the crowd and used slurs against Mexicans to further prove his lack of class despite being with a new team.
The WBC Interim title bout between former 154lb IBF belt holder Jermall Charlo and once beaten Hugo Centeno Jr as expected was a mismatch on paper and between the ropes. The only thing in favor of Centeno Jr entering the contest was his slight height and reach advantage which he never attempted to capitalize on. He bounced around from corner to corner from the start allowing Charlo to pin him against the ropes. It took under two rounds for Charlo to lay Centeno Jr out cold and become the WBC Interim belt holder. With that belt Charlo is now the mandatory challenger for Gennady Golovkin’s WBC world title belt and improved his resume to 27-0 (21) while Hugo Centeno Jr now stands at 26-2 (14).
The night’s televised card opened with former IBF Super Featherweight belt holder Gervonta Davis taking on former world champion Jesus Cuellar for the vacant WBA Super World super featherweight title. In recent times the 23 yr old Davis despite being undefeated has not focused on bouts to the fullest, last August prior to facing Francisco Fonseca in a title defense Davis was stripped of his IBF belt for not making the division weight limit. With new trainer Kevin Cunningham working his camp, Davis came in Saturday night looking to be physically at the best shape of his career so far and once the bell rang he performed just as well.
The smaller Cuellar pressured Davis in the opening round looking to outwork and throw off his timing yet Davis remained composed throwing accurate shots that hurt Cuellar to the body. The difference in hand speed favoring Davis dropped Cuellar in round two with a brutal liver punch delivered after Cuellar attempted an overhand right to Davis head. While Cuellar recovered enough to finish the round, his luck would fare no better in round three.
It would be another counter punch to the body delivered by Davis that sent Cuellar packing at 2:45 of round number three, making him a two time world title holder. With the win Gervonta Davis now the WBA Super world Super Featherweight title holder improved to 20-0 (19) while Jesus Cuellar now stands at 28-3 (21). The version of Gervonta Davis in the ring Saturday night has a bright future ahead of him, not only was he is peak physical condition but his overall attitude appeared changed for the better. Instead of being boastful and arrogant Davis admitted his recent shortcomings being due to his lack of dedication. He also credited Kevin Cunningham for being a no nonsense type trainer who does not allow anyone in camp to lose focus on their aspirations as a fighter. With Vasyl Lomachenko moving up to lightweight for a showdown against Jorge Linares should Lomachenko stay in that division Davis could become the new Super Featherweight Kingpin.
In Undercard action-
Featherweight Heather Hardy improved to 21-0 (4) when she defeated Iranda Paola Torres 12-3-1 (5) by unanimous decision and claimed the vacant NABF Female Featherweight Title for her efforts.
Welterweight Fabian Andres Maidana younger brother of two division world champion Marcos Maidana improved to 15-0 (11) with a third round stoppage over Justin Savi 31-16-2 (21).