COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 10) – Team USA put on a show during the final day of boxing action from Managua, Nicaragua, winning four gold medals and two silver medals to add to the three bronze medals the team won during the semifinal bouts.
Welterweight Delante Johnson (Cleveland, Ohio) grabbed the first gold medal for Team USA after his opponent Rohan Polanco of Dominican Republic did not enter the ring. This is Johnson’s second international medal of the year after taking bronze at the Stranjda Tournament in Feb.
2017 World Championships bronze medalists Troy Isley (Alexandria, Va.) was a highlight of the final day of competition, defeating 2015 Pan American Games and 2016 Olympic Games gold medalists Arlen Lopez of Cuba in a 3-2 decision.
Flyweight Virginia Fuchs (Houston, Texas) was victorious in her return to international competition since last year’s World Championships in India. Fuchs put on another dominating performance to take all five judges cards over Valeria Cardenas of Costa Rica to clinch the Americans third gold. Teammate Rashida Ellis (Lynn, Mass.) redeemed her loss earlier this year to Brazil’s Beatriz Ferreira to grab the unanimous decision to earn her first international gold medal of 2019.
Keyshawn Davis (Norfolk, Va.) fell short in a heart breaking 3-2 decision against 2017 World Champion Andy Cruz of Cuba to take the silver medal. Oshae Jones (Toledo, Ohio) closed the tournament for Team USA by taking the silver against Atheyna Bylon of Panama.
During the semifinal bouts, Naomi Graham (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Duke Ragan(Cincinnati, Ohio) and Richard Torrez Jr. (Tulare, Calif.) earned bronze medals. All nine medalists, as well as Bruce Carrington (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Yarisel Ramirez (Las Vegas, Nev.) have qualified for the 2019 Pan American Games this summer in Lima, Peru.
The American delegation will return to the United States tomorrow for a short break before returning to Colorado Springs for training camp.
51 kg: Virginia Fuchs, Houston, Texas/USA, dec. over Valeria Cardenas/CRC, 5-0
60 kg: Rashida Ellis, Lynn, Mass./USA, dec. over Beatriz Ferreira/BRA, 5-0
64 kg: Andy Cruz/CUB, dec. over Keyshawn Davis, Norfolk, Va./USA, 3-2
69 kg: Delante Johnson, Cleveland, Ohio/USA, won by walkover over Rohan Polanco/DOM, WO
69 kg: Atheyna Bylon/PAN, dec. over Oshae Jones, Toledo, Ohio/USA, 5-0
75 kg: Troy Isley, Alexandria, Va./USA, dec. over Arlen Lopez/CUB, 3-2
On Thursday, April 18, at the Sportivnyy Kompleks “Kolizey” in Grozny City, Russian heavyweight crusher Apti Davtaev (16-0, 15 KOs) will headline a show entitled “Time of Legends,” in a 10-round showdown against Brazil’s Pedro Otas (32-4-1, 28 KOs).
The event, televised live on Russian public sports channel Match TV, will also feature WBA #7, IBF #6 and WBO #4 light heavyweight slugger Umar Salamov (23-1, 17 KOs) defending his WBO International Light Heavyweight Championship against Poland’s Norbert Dabrowski (22-7-2, 9 KOs), as well as fellow undefeated hometown hero Aslambek Idigov (15-0, 7 KOs) taking on Spain’s Ronny Landaeta (16-1, 10 KOs) in a 10-rounder for the WBO Europe Super Middleweight Title.
All three promising contenders recently concluded a six-week training camp at Detroit’s world-famous Kronk Gym under SugarHill Steward and Rick Phillips.
In his last ring appearance, in February of this year, 29-year-old Davtaev needed under a round to stop Missouri veteran Richard Carmack.
“I had an incredibly productive training camp and look forward to putting my skills to use April 18,” said the formidable Davtaev. “My goal is to win and inch closer towards the heavyweight world title. I am the new face in the heavyweight division!”
24-year-old Salamov was last seen successfully defending his Eurasian Boxing Parliament Light Heavyweight and WBO International Light Heavyweight Championships in December of last year, via 10-round unanimous decision over Africa’s Emmanuel Anim.
“Training with Sugar has taken my boxing IQ to the next level,” said Salamov, “I look forward to putting in a dominant performance and making my claim for the light heavyweight world title this year!”
23-year-old Idigov was last seen stopping his countryman Konstantin Piternov after four rounds in December of last year.
“I am excited about fighting for a title against a skilled and highly respected Landaeta,” said Idigov. “I want to fight the best! I will prove that I am the best super middleweight in the world and a very important step is an impressive performance on April 18.”
“On April 18, three of the best contenders from Russia will look to take a significant step towards their goal of fighting for world titles in the near future,” said all three fighters’ promoter, Dmitriy Salita. “All unique, have shown improvement and world-class ability. I look forward to great fights and impressive wins.”
NEW YORK, NY (April 4, 2019) – UFC FIGHT PASS®, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports, today announced a collaboration with DiBella Entertainment and their acclaimed Broadway Boxing series. On Wednesday, April 10, at 8:00 ET / 5:00 PM PT, UFC FIGHT PASS will exclusively live stream the Broadway Boxing event from Times Square’s Sony Hall in New York City. Ukrainian welterweight contender Ivan “The Volk” Golub (15-1, 12 KOs) will headline the event defending his WBC USNBC title in a scheduled 10-round bout.
“April 10th’s card at Sony Hall is representative of what has made Broadway Boxing the longest running and most highly regarded grassroots boxing series in America,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “It features top welterweight contender Ivan Golub, who should be undefeated, as he continues to fight his way toward a world title, dynamic world champion Alicia ‘The Empress’ Napoleon, in a nontitle fight, and the ‘Big Uzbek’, Bakhodir Jalolov, who we believe is the scariest young heavyweight in the world and a future world champion. Former amateur stars Hurshidbek ‘Hershey’ Normatov, Joe Williams, Brian Ceballo and Khalid Twaiti round out the card in competitive bouts. DiBella Entertainment is thrilled that this Broadway Boxing will be streamed on UFC Fight Pass, the premier streaming service for MMA and combat sports. UFC Fight Pass’ commitment to offer first class boxing to its subscribers is great news for fight fans. We believe that this is the beginning of an exciting and creative collaboration.”
Making the first defense of his WBC USNBC welterweight strap, Ivan Golub, of Brooklyn, NY, will take on Manuel Alejandro “El Chino” Reyes (11-4-1, 5 KOs), of Los Angeles, CA. Golub, who is co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc., captured the USNBC belt last August via outstanding 10-round shutout decision against Lanardo Tyner. He has two impressive victories by knockout on SHOWTIME’s “ShoBox” series, and his lone loss came via controversial decision in Toledo, OH, against local fighter Jamontay Clark, in a bout most observers felt Golub deserved to win. Golub accumulated a 270-32 amateur record, while becoming a five-time Ukrainian National champion, and won bronze medals at the Junior World Championships in 2006 and at the World Championships in 2009. He also participated in the World Series of Boxing, winning all five of his bouts.
In a battle of heavyweight giants, fast-rising prospect Bakhodir “The Big Uzbek” Jalolov (5-0, 5 KOs), of Sariosiyo, Uzbekistan, who stands at 6’7″, will clash in a scheduled six-round tilt against the 6’10” Donnie Palmer (10-2-1, 9 KOs), of Dorchester, MA. Co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc., Jalolov was born in Sariosiyo, Uzbekistan, and is incredibly popular in his native country, with 173,000 social media followers on Instagram. He was a highly accomplished amateur compiling a record of 84-13. A four-time National champion from 2013 to 2016 and the #1 ranked amateur in the world before his pro debut, Jalolov represented his homeland at the 2016 Olympic Games and had the distinguished honor of being the country’s flagbearer at the Opening Ceremonies. As an amateur, Jalolov won gold medals at the Asian Amateur Boxing Championships in 2017, World Cup Tournament, Liventsev Memorial Tournament, Great Silk Way Tournament, and Duisenkul Shopokov Memorial Tournament in 2015, and at the World Cup of Petroleum Countries Tournament in 2014. During his amateur career, Jalolov also focused on his education, earning a Master’s Degree in Sports Science.
The card will also feature the highly anticipated return of WBA super middleweight women’s world champion Alicia “The Empress” Napoleon (10-1, 5 KOs), of Lindenhurst, NY, against Eva Bajic, of Senta, Serbia, in an eight-round nontitle bout. The charismatic Long Islander defeated Femke Hermans on March 3, 2018, to capture the WBA world title then made her first defense five months later. The Veteran Boxers Association named Napoleon as the 2018 “New York State Female Fighter of the Year” at their annual Holiday Awards Dinner. She is an outspoken advocate for gender equality and has been featured on national TV, including on FOX 5’s “Good Morning America” and the Pickler & Ben talk show. Napoleon competed as an amateur for nine years, winning 11 National titles, including two New York Golden Gloves championships and a National Golden Gloves title.
Undefeated super welterweight prospect Hurshidbek “Hershey” Normatov (7-0, 3 KOs), a native of Uzbekistan now fighting out of Brooklyn, NY, will face veteran Calvin Metcalf (9-1-1, 2 KOs), of Kansas City, MO, in a six-round bout. A pro since June 2016, the 26-year-old southpaw has already beaten two previously undefeated prospects in Nicklaus Flaz and Alexis Gaytan. As an amateur, Normatov accumulated a 190-40 record and won the European Amateur National Championships in 2014.
Welterweight prospect Brian Ceballo (7-0, 3 KOs), of Brooklyn, NY, promoted by Tom Loeffler’s 360 Promotions, will face Ricardo Garcia (14-5-1, 9 KOs), of Reading, PA, in a six-round bout. The 25-year-old Ceballo was a stellar amateur, compiling a 206-13 record while becoming a five-time New York Golden Gloves champion. He turned pro last March and is coming off of a six-round unanimous decision victory in January against Randy Fuentes, at the Avalon, in Hollywood, CA.
In the junior featherweight division, Brooklyn fan favorite Khalid “Pure Gold” Twaiti (4-0, 2 KOs) will fight in a four-round bout against Jeno Tonte, of Kecskemet, Hungary. Fighting for the first time in 2019 at Sony Hall, Twaiti returns to action following a four-round unanimous decision against Carlos Noe Ramirez last September in his home borough. Twaiti turned pro in February 2017 after compiling a 74-15 amateur record.
Undefeated cruiserweight prospect Joe “Mack” Williams (12-0, 8 KOs), of Far Rockaway, Queens, NY, makes his long-awaited return to the ring against Jose Mario Flores (8-1-2, 4 KOs), of Woodbridge, VA, in a scheduled six-rounder. In February 2017, Williams appeared on SHOWTIME’s “ShoBox” series, handing 15-0-1 Lenin Castillo his first defeat via decision. Flores is coming off of a decision victory last November against 16-0 Armando Pina.
Kevin Lerena (21-1, 9 KOs) says he is fully focused on Artur Mann (15-0, 8 KOs) as ‘The KO Kid’ puts his IBO World Cruiserweight title on the line against the German challenger on Saturday at the Emperors Palace in Johannesburg.
Lerena claimed the IBO strap with a split decision over Youri Kayembre Kalenga in September 2017, before successfully defending his belt with unanimous points wins against Dmytro Kucher and Roman Golovashchenko.
Heading into his third defence, the 26 year-old insists he is leaving nothing to chance, and admits he has even been waking up thinking about his opponent.
“I know everybody is talking about Oleksandr Usyk moving up to heavyweight, and what’s going to happen to his belts, but to be honest, I don’t really care,” said Lerena. “My only focus is this fight. I wake up and think of Artur Mann.
“I know I need to take care of business against him. He’s 15-0, he’s coming off a very credible record, and he has my full attention. This is a big fight for me. Yes, on paper, I’ve had big fights before, Kalenga, Kucher, Golovashchenko, Nielsen, but these are in the past, and I need to focus on what’s in front of me.
“I’m war ready! I know he’s going to bring it, and I’m going to bring it too. I’ve never been a guy to cherry pick opponents. I want tough fights because I believe I elevate myself the harder the fight, and I enjoy the challenge.”
Lerena’s coach Peter Smith, of Smith’s Gym, echoes his fighter’s sentiments, and states they will not be taking the Hannover-boxer lightly.
“This is a serious fight for us,” he says. “We’re not overlooking Artur Mann in anyway. Artur is a serious opponent with a great team behind him. We’re taking this fight very seriously, and looking forward to a great battle!”
Lerena-Mann is a co-promotion between Team Sauerland and South Africa’s premier promoter Golden Gloves, led by Rodney Berman, who describes Saturday’s match-up as one of the country’s ‘biggest cruiserweight fights ever’.
“This has got to be one of the biggest cruiserweight fights ever in South Africa,” said Berman. “It’s common knowledge that Usyk is going to be moving up, so now every other cruiserweight is fighting for their place in the sun, and Kevin will be the only remaining World Champion when he gives up the belts.”
German boxing fans can watch all the action from the Emperors Palace live on Sport1, with Timo Schwarzkopf and Xhek Paskali fighting on the undercard.