In the 89-year history of THE RING’s Fighter of the Year award, no boxer has ever earned the honor with as few fights under his belt as Vasyl Lomachenko has. Then again, few have achieved as much as the Ukrainian amateur star did after only 11 pro bouts.

Lomachenko (10-1, 8 knockouts) was selected as THE RING’s Prospect of the Year in 2013 after only one fight – his Oct. 12 pro debut against Jose Ramirez. Eight months after that impressive fourth-round KO, the wizardly southpaw won his first world title, the vacant WBO featherweight belt, by taking Gary Russell Jr. to school over 12 rounds. (Lomachenko’s boxing clinic against the highly touted unbeaten U.S. Olympian was performed in his third pro bout, just three months after he received his own education in gritty pro tactics via 12-round split-decision loss to grizzled veteran Orlando Salido.)

Two years and three title defenses later, he won his second world title in a second weight class, the WBO 130-pound belt, with a fifth-round KO of Roman Martinez. His first defense – an embarrassingly one-sided mastery of Nicholas Walters that forced the unbeaten former featherweight titleholder to pull a “No Mas” after seven rounds – was so impressive that he instantly jumped into the top half of most pound-for-pound lists by the end of 2016.

So, what made Lomachenko’s 2017 so special? Why was he selected as THE RING’s Fighter of the Year over worthy candidates such as Terence Crawford, Anthony Joshua, Mikey Garcia and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai?

For starters, he fought more than the other standouts in 2017 – three times – continuing to outclass and bewilder opposition to between-rounds retirements, but he also made large strides toward transitioning from a boxing-world phenom to the kind of general sports standout recognized by casual fans and mainstream media.

Lomachenko (left) tags Jason Sosa. Photo courtesy of HBO

Lomachenko’s humiliating brand of dominance was expected against his first two opponents of 2017, Jason Sosa and Miguel Marriaga, both solid contenders that will give any other world-class featherweight or junior lightweight a grueling night. Lomachenko forced the battle-tested scrappers to remain on their stools after nine and seven rounds, respectively, and he didn’t mind showboating as he gradually picked them apart from every conceivable angle.

Although Lomachenko was favored to beat his third opponent of 2017, fellow two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux, he wasn’t expected to have his way with the counter-punching master.

Rigondeaux, who carried a 17-0 pro record into their anticipated showdown at The Theater inside Madison Square Garden, was the older of the two savvy left-handers (37 to 29) and moving up from the 122-pound division, but the Cuban also brought with him a style that many believed was impossible to dominate or look good against.

Lomachenko did both en route to Rigondeaux’s inglorious retirement after six rounds.

Lomachenko downplayed the victory during his post-fight interviews, basically stating that he did what he was supposed to do, but there can be no downplaying of his boxing ability or his rising stature in the sports world.

Lomachenko appears to be on his way to becoming a bona-fide attraction. It was literally standing room only inside the 5,000-seat Theater (with no space for comps or auxiliary media and tickets rumored to be going for three times face value on the secondary market prior to the ESPN-televised card). Promoter Bob Arum says the two-division titleholder will fight at least three times next year, perhaps once in the “big room” of Madison Square Garden. Lomachenko is clearly done with small venues and fighting in front of limited TV audiences.

Lomachenko (right) took Guillermo Rigondeaux apart. Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Lomachenko-Rigondeaux was watched by 1.73 million on ESPN (twice the number of viewers that tuned into a UFC offering on FS1 that was broadcast during the same time slot). It was ESPN’s highest-rated show on December 9, exceeding viewers for the Heisman Trophy presentation and the MLS Cup.

Lomachenko’s future fights will be televised on Top Rank’s new network partner, ESPN, which contributed to his crossover appeal in 2017 and will undoubtedly enhance his popularity in the U.S. in coming years.

For now, he’s the toast of the boxing world, where hardcore fans use his name as an adjective or verb when expounding on their favorite sport via social media. A talented prospect like Josh Kelly might be described as having “Lomachenko-esque” moves. A fighter who is bewildered into submission might be said to have been “Lomachenko’d.”

Lomachenko’s reputation has been established enough in 2017 that boxing geeks now argue how he would fare in a mythical matchup with a prime Floyd Mayweather Jr. at 130 pounds.

However, Lomachenko isn’t interested in the future hall of famer, but rather one of the standouts of Mayweather Promotions, former IBF 130-pound beltholder Gervonta Davis. His “call out” to Davis, which was directed at Mayweather’s official Twitter account, attracted a lot of attention and eventually pulled Mikey Garcia into the social media conversation.

Lomachenko eventually Tweeted a poll of four potential opponents – Miguel Berchelt, Garcia, Davis and Jorge Linares – which has garnered more than 40,000 votes. Garcia and Davis received the most votes, but if he can get any two of the four in the ring in 2018 he’ll likely be a strong candidate for back-to-back Fighter of the Year honors.

Anthony Joshua
Terence Crawford
Mikey Garcia
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai

Following “Fighter of the Year” tradition, Vasyl Lomachenko will feature as cover star in the next issue of RING Magazine.


Vasyl Lomachenko named 2017 RING Magazine Fighter of the Year



Sadam Ali: Cotto is coming to MY territory


Sadam Ali: Cotto is coming to MY territory


Jr Middleweight title challenger Sadam “World Kid” Ali (25-1, 14 KOs) hosted a media workout at his gym in Brooklyn ahead of his fight against WBO world junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) set for this Saturday at Madison Square Garden. “I’m really excited to be fighting at MSG against a legend. I know what’s in front of me, and I know what I’m stepping up to. I’m different. I’m a bit of a boxer. I can brawl if I need to. And I have my little tricks.

“My motivation is being on HBO, it being a world title, and my career honestly. People say I didn’t deserve this fight, but they haven’t been paying attention to my career. This is my hometown. I grew up here. Cotto is coming to my territory…he’s got power. I need to focus on not getting stuck. I worked a little bit with Danny Jacobs and Curtis Stevens for this fight…I want to thank all the fans who are coming to watch my fight! It’ll be a great one!”

Golovkin: If Canelo Doesn’t Want To Fight, I Want The WBO Belt–122645


By Miguel Rivera

IBF, IBO, WBC, WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) is hoping to fight at least three to four times per year.

Because of drawn out negotiations, Golovkin has only fought twice twice per year in 2016 and 2017. Prior to that, he was fighting three to four times a year.

In 2017, he won a very close twelve round unanimous over Daniel Jacobs in March at New York’s Madison Square Garden, and then came back in September to fight to a twelve round split draw with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

There are ongoing discussions for Golovkin to face Canelo in a rematch on May 5th, likely at T-Mobile. Both sides are on board with the fight, but right now it’s all about the financial terms coming together.

Last month, Canelo was officially  made the mandatory challenger to Golovkin’s WBC title. The next fighter in line for a crack at that belt is undefeated contender Jermall Charlo.

If that rematch falls through, then Golovkin would like to unify all of the middleweight belts – and there is only one remaining, the WBO title.

Next month, WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders will travel to Canada to defend his title against former IBF champion David Lemieux. Golovkin stopped Lemieux two years ago to pick up the IBF strap.

Saunders has already made it clear that if he beats Lemieux, then the next fight he wants would be Golovkin – unless GGG was defeated by Canelo.

“I would love to fight three or four times a year but I know it’s difficult. If Canelo does not want the fight, then obviously I would love to unify. I can not put pressure on the WBO champion but if he wants I will be willing because my dream is to have all the titles,” Golovkin said to ESPN Deportes.

Miguel Cotto Media Day

 Photo: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

By Miguel Maravilla

Four-division world champion Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) of Puerto Rico hosted a media workout Wednesday afternoon at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California ahead of his bout against Japan’s Yoshihiro “El Maestrito” Kamegai (27-3-2, 24 KOs). Cotto will take on Kamegai next Saturday, August 26 at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California live on HBO World Championship Boxing. Cotto and his Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach had a full workout here is what they had to say.

“We are one week away from the Kamegai fight. Camp was good and I am ready,” Miguel Cotto told®. “Kamegai is a tough, strong, fighter that comes forward. He will come ready to prove who he is. There is no doubt that I will come out with the victory.”

“Camp was great. He is looking real good. We got the game plan down and we are one-hundred percent ready,” added Roach. “His opponent comes, comes, comes and don’t stop. He is always in great shape but I think Miguel will catch him along the way. It won’t be easy.”

Santa Ana, California’s Ronny Rios (28-1, 13 KOs) took part in Wednesday’s workout as he goes up against Rey Vargas (29-0, 22 KOs ) of Mexico in the co-feature bout for the WBC super bantamweight title.

“This is a big fight. A world championship fight vs. an undefeated fighter. It feels good fighting on this card. It’s the secret be time I fight on a Cotto card but most importantly fighting for a world title,” Rios told®. “Expect a hungry fighter and show everyone an exciting fight.”

Photos: Miguel Cotto Grinding Hard For Kamegai Showdown

World renowned trainer Freddie Roach shared important details regarding the training camp of Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs), the only Puerto Rican boxer to ever win world titles in four divisions, as he prepares to go to war for the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight title against the Japanese slugger Yoshihiro “El Maestrito” Kamegai (27-3-2, 24 KOs). Cotto will attempt to obtain a sixth world title in four divisions and will appear on HBO for an astounding 23rd time. The event takes place Saturday, August 26 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.

Roach, a Hall of Fame trainer who was supervising a recent sparring session at the Wild Card Boxing Club, shared Cotto’s training camp routine, which consists of:

    Strength and conditioning at 5:00 am with Gavin McMillan (exercises are done either at the gym, pool, nearby hills or at the track).
    Breakfast at around 8:30 am. (Cotto likes to cook all his meals himself; his diet is normal, avoiding fried food).
    Light snack at around 11:15 am.
    Sparring three days a week at 1:00 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
    Boxing routine on at 1:00 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
    Dinner at around 5:30 pm.

Roach also provided additional training camp details, including the strategy for taking advantage of the exciting and crowd-pleasing style of Kamegai.

“Kamegai [Yoshihiro] is very aggressive and I like that. I think it should make for a great fight because he’s coming forward all the time and always looking for a knockout. Guys who look for knockouts, get knocked out. So, we’re working on countering his attack, and it’s going really well so far,” Roach concluded.

“I feel great, everything is working perfectly in camp together with Freddie and Gavin on every workout session. Freddie has a great game plan and I just follow him and do my best every day at gym. We look forward to have a big win” Miguel Cotto said.

“For more than 16 years, Miguel Cotto has represented Puerto Rico. He has given fans incredible fights at a number of weight classes, and has won world titles in an astounding four divisions,” said Oscar De La Hoya. “Now, after nearly two years out of the ring, as he attempts to claim a sixth championship belt, we are fully expecting a tough war between him and Kamegai.–118866?print_friendly=1

Lomachenko-Marriaga on 8/5, Crawford-Indongo on 8/19 – ESPN

By Keith Idec Promoter–118044

Top Rank announced its next two main events late Thursday night in its new partnership with ESPN.

The basic-cable network will air a super featherweight title bout between champion Vasyl Lomachenko and Miguel Marriaga on August 5. Two weeks later, ESPN will broadcast a full 140-pound championship unification fight that’ll match Terence Crawford against Julius Indongo.

Ukraine’s Lomachenko (8-1, 6 KOs), who owns the WBO 130-pound championship, and Colombia’s Marriaga (25-2, 21 KOs) will square off at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs), the WBC/WBO super lightweight champion, will encounter Namibia’s Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs), the IBF/IBO/WBA 140-pound champion, at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska, about a one-hour drive from Crawford’s hometown of Omaha.

Lomachenko and Crawford are generally regarded as two of the top five boxers, pound-for-pound, in the sport.

While facing Indongo represents a shot a full unification for the highly skilled Crawford, Lomachenko’s opponent is coming off a loss. Mexico’s Oscar Valdez (22-0, 19 KOs), the WBO featherweight champion, defeated Marriaga by unanimous decision in their 12-round fight April 22 at StubHub Center in Carson, California.

“Pound for pound, no one can match the talent of Vasyl Lomachenko and Terence Crawford,” Top Rank president Todd duBoef told “They drew the best ratings on premium cable this year [HBO], and now everyone will be able to see them when they defend their world titles in all-action fights in August, live on ESPN.

” Crawford and Lomachenko have become two of the most-watched fighters in bouts broadcast by HBO over the past couple years, but ESPN is available in millions more homes than HBO.

ESPN’s partnership with Bob Arum’s Top Rank will officially begin Saturday night, when the network will televise the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn welterweight title fight from Brisbane, Australia, Horn’s hometown.

Their scheduled 12-round fight for Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title will take place Sunday afternoon in Brisbane, where a crowd of 60,000 is expected at Suncorp Stadium, but it will air Saturday night in the United States at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Arum on Crawford Plans: Indongo Fight First, Then Pacquiao

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By Victor Salazar

New York – WBC/WBO world champion Terence Crawford (31-2, 22 KO’s) did what he normally does on Saturday night; take a formidable opponent and make him look like he doesn’t belong in the same ring. Felix Diaz (19-2, 9 KO’s) is an Olympic gold medalist and a very credible junior welterweight who many felt had defeated Lamont Peterson in a controversial decision loss.

But against Crawford, Diaz might have not won a single round. Crawford even fought Diaz south paw the whole fight. This was something his promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, Inc. has expected ever since his first showing on HBO.

“Ever since his first fight on HBO, I thought he was going to be the best of the best,” Arum told reporters ringside after the fight this Saturday. “I thought tonight, he fought a really tough guy and he handled with him with ease. He just gets better and better.”

The plan is to make a fight with Julius Indongo (22-0, 9 KO’s) for all of the 140 pound-titles this summer and then likely go after a mega fight after.

“We want to unify with (Julius) Indongo and get all four belts, once we get all the belts this summer, he’s going to fight Pacquiao and we’re going to set it up with my new partner Warren Buffet,” joked Arum.

In the history of boxing there is somewhat of a changing of the guard or passing of the torch when a once famed superstar fights an up and coming fighter. In victory, the up and coming star makes his name off that fight.

Arum sees a fight between Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KO’s) and Terence Crawford differently, not as a changing of the guard but a competitive fight that people will pay to see.

“No changing of the guard, it’s a fight that people want to see and pay for or a fight, they won’t pay for,” Arum explained about a potential fight between Pacquiao and Crawford.

“The changing of the guard is bullsh*t fake news like you guys say. It’s fake news. If people want to see the fight and it economically will do justice to both guys. I think it would be a terrific fight and I’d make the fight.”–116892?print_friendly=1

Julius Indongo is Ready To Fight Terence Crawford, Broner Too


By Tamas Pradarics

It seems the possibility of a Terence Crawford vs Julius Indongo junior-welterweight super fight has got a second wind. The idea of such a match-up was born in the minds of boxing fans when IBF/IBO 140-pound champ Indongo (21-0, 8 KO’s) travelled to Glasgow, Scotland to unifiy with WBA titlist Ricky Burns (41-6-1, 14 KO’s) this last April.

With Crawford having the rest of the titles in the division and all-belt unifications are an absolute rarity in pugilism, at least in the last couple of decades, expectations were through the roof after Namibian Indongo’s masterful performance over the more accomplished Burns in a one-sided twelve-round unanimous decision win.

Unfortunately the International Boxing Federation announced shortly after the bout that Indongo has to face his mandatory, Sergey Lipinets next.

Talks about a potential Crawford-Indongo showdown cooled off by the statement and the match-up was believed a no-go until this last Saturday night. Fans at the legendary Madison Square Garden and in front of television sets watching HBO World Championship Boxing recognized the Namibian fighter in the crowd during WBC/WBO champ Crawford’s recent title defense against Dominican Felix Diaz.

Later in the telecast Jim Lampley, blow-by-blow commentator of HBO did mention Indongo’s name more then once as a possible future opponent for Terence Crawford.

The undefeated Omaha-native himself told during his post-fight interview following his win over Diaz that he is willing to face Indongo next. reached out to the Namibian fighter’s response regarding such a super fight.

”Firstly, I would like to congratulate Crawford for an amazing victory over Diaz. He is a real champion and worthy of my praise. He showed real character and skill and that is what brings out the best in me against any opponent in the ring. My team and I flew 20 hours from Namibia just to come and watch his fight and I am ready to face him,” told Indongo.

Namibian promoter Nestor Tobias, who also serves as the trainer of his world champion protegee, believes that a showdown between Crawford and Indongo is really what the fans want to see.

”We are willing to make [that bout] happen provided the Crawford camp feels the same,” stated Tobias, who added they have a number of plan B’s if negotiations with Top Rank would fall through on Crawford-Indongo.

”Another likely option [for Julius] is Adrien Broner among others, but we will keep our options open and go for the most competitive fight for ourselves and the fans.”

The winner of a potential Crawford-Indongo super fight would only be the third fighter since the founding of the World Boxing Organizations in 1988 to hold all four belts at the same time in any division.

Boxing aficionados all over the world are dreaming about this fight. Let’s hope it comes true.–116890?print_friendly=1

Usyk Aims For The Goal of Unifying Cruiserweight Division

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By Thomas Gerbasi

When he’s not punching someone in the face, Oleksandr Usyk can usually be found with a smile on his face, a joke coming out of his mouth, magic tricks, or maybe even a song bellowing out to the world. In the process, it’s made the WBO cruiserweight champion pretty popular these days.

“I’m already popular?” he asks through manager / translator Egis Klimas. “I’m surprised.”

He shouldn’t be. In a division that has always had good fighters but often fell short in terms of crossover potential and charisma, the 30-year-old Ukrainian is bringing new life to the cruiserweights. But as far as he’s concerned, he’s just being himself.

“If I am smiling, if I am laughing, that’s a true laugh and a true smile,” he said. “If I need to be serious, I am serious because I have to be serious at that point. Since I was a kid, I always was happy, I always was joking. I like jokes, I like comedy movies, I like to talk to people, and I just want to be myself. If I’m going to go to the fight, I am serious and I put my mind into it. If I need to be aggressive, I’ll be aggressive. But the most important thing for me is to be myself.”

This Saturday, the American introduction of Usyk continues with an HBO-televised title defense against fellow unbeaten Michael Hunter at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. In December, Usyk fought on U.S. shores for the first time as a pro, dispatching Thabiso Mchunu in nine rounds at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

It wasn’t a flawless performance like the kinds turned in from friend and fellow world champion and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko, but it was a fun fight to watch and one that made you want to see him again. This weekend, it’s time for him to build off that effort against another 2012 Olympian in Hunter.

On paper, it’s a marketable fight between two boxers with similar pro records, but Usyk’s 11-0 (10 KOs) looks a lot different than Hunter’s 12-0 (8 KOs) when it comes to quality of opposition. Then again, as Usyk points out, the past means nothing when they still have to fight on Saturday.

“Everybody has his own road and his own way,” he said. “He (Hunter) went that direction, I went this direction, and I can’t determine who had the harder or better amateur career. We will see on April 8th.”

oleksandr-usyk (6)_1

What does bear watching is if Usyk can continue to build his fan base here in the States, and with K2 Promotions and Klimas behind him, that’s a given if he keeps winning impressively. Of course, that doesn’t make the time away from his family back in Kiev any easier, but that is a price he’s willing to pay.

“I’m focusing on what I’m doing, and right now I’m focused on my fight on April 8th,” Usyk said. “If I’m going to be thinking about family or how hard it is to be here…this is my job. Everybody knows that I came here to do my job and that’s what I’m focused on. Of course, I think about my kids, I talk to them, and this is what gives me the motivation. I talk to my wife and my kids and I miss them, but I am here for the job. And as soon as it’s done, I’ll go back home and spend a lot of time with my family and we’re gonna laugh, joke and have a good time.”

First there’s work to be done, and with new trainer Russ Anber in the corner, Usyk is determined to dispatch Hunter and move on to the business everyone is asking him about, and that’s unifying the cruiserweight crown.

“I would like to unify the titles,” he said. “And if we can meet each other and find out who’s the best, who’s the real cruiserweight champion, that would be ideal.”

It also used to be a fairly easy task when there were three sanctioning bodies, but now with four “major” belts and some multiple titlists in particular organizations, Usyk can conceivably be looking at five fights to get through each belt holder. Add in promotional entanglements and the politics of making a unification fight, and it could be more trouble than it’s worth. But if it gets to that point, Usyk has no intention of dealing with such issues. He’ll simply accelerate his move to his final frontier – the heavyweight division.

“If it’s not gonna happen, it’s not gonna happen,” he said of cruiserweight unification. “I’m not going to be just waiting for someone to come here. I’ll move to the heavyweight division.”

Then the real fun begins.–115305?print_friendly=1

Sosa: I’ve Got More Than Salido, Lomachenko is Getting Shocked!


By Miguel Rivera –

There have already been a few upsets in 2017, and super featherweight contender Jason Sosa is ready to create another one.

This coming Wednesday he will travel to Maryland for the most important challenge of his career, when he faces WBO world champion Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KOs) next Saturday night in an HBO televised main event.

“We are already finishing with the preparation, it was excellent, hard. The condition that I’m in has made me very happy and I’m ready for April 8,” Sosa told ESPN Deportes about the fight at the MGM National Harbor in Maryland  “I am very grateful to Vasyl Lomachenko and his team for giving me the fight, but he is not a perfect fighter and we will see that.”

Jason said that he did a lot of work on everything… the physical part, the technical part, the speed, the defense, counter-punching, and everything that is necessary to beat a heavily favored fighter.

“Lomachenko is a fighter that you have to respect, he has brought good things to boxing but I am mentally ready. I have not been the favorite before, but I know that beating Lomachenko is going to change my life and that’s what I want. I want to be the best boxer in the world. I know I can reach my goal,” Sosa (20-1-4, 15 KOs) said.

“I have a little bit of everything, I am a boxer, I am brave, but above everything I am intelligent. I do not take anything away from Orlando Salido who already beat [Lomachenko] and he is a good fighter, but I have more than Salido and also I’m younger. This April 8th, Lomachenko is going to get shocked.”

Sosa, who vacated the World Boxing Association ‘regular’ title in order to take this fight, has no regrets over making that decision and hopes to claim a new world title for Puerto Rico.–115202?print_friendly=1


Lemieux vs. Stevens: Bangers Ball in New York, HBO Saturday, 11 pm ET

LemieuxStevensWeighIn_Hoganphotos1-800-696x419 The talking is over over. David Lemieux (left) and Curtis Stevens will have to back it up in the ring Saturday. Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Boxing

SAN DIEGO, March 9, 2017 – Middleweights David Lemieux and Curtis Stevens didn’t bother waiting for the opening bell in their fight scheduled on Saturday, March 11 on HBO. They have been swinging away at each other for weeks, verbally at least.

After watching the friendly interaction between the two during the post-fight news conference for their respective bouts on the Canelo vs. Khan undercard last May in Las Vegas, we asked them in an interview how they got along personally. It was an innocent question, we assure you. Release the hounds.

Release the hounds.

Stevens accused Lemieux of blowing him off before their bouts in Las Vegas when he tried to greet him. He called out Lemieux for talking trash about him to the boxing media instead of to his face. Stevens said, “Tell the doctor to bring smelling salts. They’re going to need to wake your ass up … You ain’t never fought nobody like me … Meet me in the middle of the ring. That’s all you’ve got to do.

“Your whole front furniture will be missing out of your mouth,” declared Stevens.

The normally reserved Lemieux (it’s a French-Canadian thing) had no trouble returning fire. “You ain’t never fought a guy like me. I’m going to destroy you March 11th. Don’t talk so much. You’re going to get knocked out. That’s what’s going to happen. I don’t care if his hand is 100 percent or a thousand percent. I’m going to go in there, I’m going to destroy him.

“This is what I want. I want you to come like a raging bull. I want you to come like a raging bull, champ.”

LemieuxStevensWeighIn_Hoganphotos-800-696x419 David Lemieux (left) and Curtis Stevens have not been shy about expressing their animosity toward each other leading up to Saturday’s fight. Photo: Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Boxing

Later, Lemieux said “I’m not really worked up at all. It’s just stuff. Sometimes it really makes me laugh, just the trash, the way he talks and the lack of professionalism he has … But sometimes when he says some things I’ve got to reply … So there’s emotion — nothing really gets to me. I know what I’m going to do on March 11th. My focus is there.”

Ward vs. Kovalev Rematch Talks Finally Underway – For June 17?

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By Igor Lazorin, tass

According to Egis Klimas, the manager of Sergey Kovalev, the negotiations are finally underway for a rematch with World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Organization (WBO) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heavyweight world champion Andre Ward.

The two boxers collided last November at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Ward got off the floor in the second round to win a twelve round unanimous decision. All three judges had it scored for the Olympic gold medal winner with identical tallies of 114-113.

There was a rematch clause in the bout agreement, which Kovalev quickly exercised to secure an immediate return bout.

As of last week, Kovalev’s promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events was having a very difficult time with getting Roc Nation Sports, who promote Ward, to start negotiating the rematch.

“The negotiations have begun, but there is no concrete agreement,” Klimas said.

There were some issues with getting Ward to come back to the table, as he was threatening the possibility of retiring unless the scenario with the rematch made sense.

Duva had previously informed that HBO prefers a date of June 17 for the rematch.

Roc Nation has now placed the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on hold for June 17, but they have not revealed if the date is for the Ward-Kovalev rematch or Miguel Cotto’s rescheduled return. Cotto was set to return on HBO Pay-Per-View last Saturday, but his event got canceled after opponent James Kirkland withdrew with a fractured nose. Cotto is looking to rescheduled his return for a date in April or June.

Kovalev has a record of 30 wins (26 by knockout), one loss and one draw. And Ward has a perfect record of 31 victories (15 by knockout) and no defeats.–114031?print_friendly=1

Amanda Serrano – Showtime Widens Its Reach

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By Cliff Rold

After she won her second gold medal last summer, big questions hovered over American Claressa Shields. Would she turn pro? If she did, would it be the boost for her sport her talent merits?

To say that women’s boxing in the US has struggled for attention would be a gross understatement. Since the retirement of Laila Ali, it’s barely registered outside of a tight niche circle inside of a niche sport. The women’s game has done better in other countries with popular fighters in Germany and more regular air in places like Mexico.

In the US, its lack of market presence sent Holly Holm to MMA.

Holm ended up okay.

What of those who want to ply their trade in their initial trade?

Shields represented a figure that could perhaps galvanize the market. Her debut, on the HBO pay-per-view undercard of Sergey Kovalev-Andre Ward, was a positive sign. Still, Shields is yet a professional novice. What about someone already at the top of their professional game?

Showtime is answering that call this Saturday. Headlining the Showtime Extreme broadcast (7 PM EST) of the James DeGale-Badou Jack undercard, Brooklyn’s Amanda Serrano (30-1-1, 23 KO) is getting a chance to shine. She’s been on US television before but this is her best platform to date. A win could garner consideration for a spot on a regular Showtime broadcast down the road.

If she does, it will be a positive for her and for the sport.

How good is Serrano?

She’s a four-division titlist who currently holds belts at both featherweight and Jr. featherweight. Her road to four titles has seen her take an unusual road, jumping all over the scale. Typically, we see fighters conquer a weight class and then move up to the next until they find their ceiling. The 28-year old Serrano’s path saw her win an IBF 130 lb. title in 2011 before losing at attempt at the WBC crown in the weight in 2012, her only professional loss.

In 2014, she won a WBO title at 135 lbs. and then gradually move all the way back to 126 for another WBO strap. She defended it once and then moved down another four pounds for the WBO belt at 122 in her last fight, part of a 4-0 campaign in 2016.

Her accomplishments are only one element. She also has a TV friendly style. An aggressive southpaw with power and a ferocious body attack, the Puerto Rican born Serrano has real star quality. Now all she has to do is win.

Across the ring, she has a capable opponent. Mexico’s 28-year old Yazmin Rivas (35-9-1, 10 KO) is no stranger to accolades or tough competition. Rivas has been the WBA champion at Jr. bantamweight and held IBF and WBC titlist at bantamweight with nine successful defenses between the two reigns. Her record is misleading. Since July 2014, she is 14-2-1 with her losses coming via split and technical decision.

This isn’t just a chance for Serrano to shine. It’s a chance for a real fight to break out and elevate two names unfamiliar to large parts of the regular US boxing audience.

It’s a fitting place for this fight to air. Showtime was a big part of popularizing women’s boxing a generation ago. Christy Martin became a star fighting on the undercards of Mike Tyson. That stardom never burned as bright as male counterparts but it got her the cover of Sports Illustrated and ultimately made plenty of the women around her more money than they would have otherwise.

This is an interesting time in boxing. The sport’s popularity in the US is down overall but it has more shows available to fans than at any time in its history. Between English and Spanish language networks and promoter driven streams domestically and overseas, there is a ton of boxing available. That makes for a crowded marketplace and puts a premium on something that uniquely delivers. Showtime is making a smart gamble on a fighter who might fit that mold.

If there is a parallel in the current boxing market, it is HBO’s foray lower on the scale than is their norm. After years of hardcore clamoring, HBO found a place for thrilling Nicaraguan flyweight Roman Gonzalez in 2015. Gonzalez is now preparing for his fifth HBO or HBO PPV appearance in a row and headlined his own show in 2016.

They could have maintained the status quo and few would have noticed. They took a chance on something different and have delivered quality to their viewers. The same can happen here. Gonzalez hasn’t meant a wave of flyweight shows on HBO and Serrano probably won’t lead to the men being pushed off the air on Showtime. Shields won’t either. That doesn’t mean there can’t be a stronger place for women with the right stars to build around and there might not be a better time to make this move.

Combat audiences, male and female alike, have proven they’ll tune in.

We’ve all seen the rise of women’s MMA. Professional wrestling fans have seen performers in that genre rise to be able to headline shows over men in the last year. Those fan bases were happy to see it and have come back for more.

Boxing, wrestling, and MMA are all distinct from each other (two as legitimate sports, one as athletic theatre) but they share common roots and act as kissing cousins of a sort. What can be done in one can often be mimicked in another.

The most recent issue of Ring Magazine featured our Tom Gerbasi’s list of the top ten women boxers in the world, pound for pound. He lists Serrano only tenth. After Saturday night, wouldn’t it be nice if fans were so impressed that they were left asking, “Wow, so who are the nine fighters better than her?”

It’s a start.–112573?print_friendly=1

Photos: Oleksandr Usyk Arrives Home To a Hero’s Welcome

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

By Vadim Pushkin – WBO cruiserweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk (11-0, 9 KOs) arrived at the International airport Borispol of Kiev, Ukraine to a hero’s welcome. After his arrival, Usyk held press conference with the local media to discuss the future of his career.

Last Saturday night at The Forum in Los Angeles, Usyk made his American debut with a ninth round stoppage of Thabiso Mchunu (17-3, 11 KOs). It was Usyk introduction to the American audience as the fight was televised by HBO.

Usyk will make his return on March 18th at Madison Square Garden in New York City. That evening will be headlined by the highly anticipated middleweight fight between Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs. Both Golovkin and Usyk are promoted by K2 Promotions.

The fight will be the second defense for Usyk and his second appearance in the United States.

Usyk had some issues at the start of his first run on American soil, but eventually adjusted and then put Mchunu away.

“I’m very happy with my performance, he was awkward but I’m glad I was able to win by knockout,” said Oleksander Usyk. “Once I was able to find my range and throw combinations my power was too much for him.”

K2 Promotions head and former WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko was sitting at ringside and watched the contest unfold. He was pleased with Usyk performance despite his issues in the early rounds.

“In these types of fights you gain experience. They are uncomfortable for a couple of rounds, but its the type of experience that makes you even better. I was very pleased with the fight. There were a lot of mistakes, but this is the kind of fight that raises you to another level,” Vitali Klitschko said.


Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev

Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev–111972?print_friendly=1

Lomachenko, Walters on upcoming collision


Two-division world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko (6-1, 4 KOs) and unbeaten former world champion Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters (26-0-1, 21 KOs) spoke to the press on Monday about their HBO clash this Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Vasyl Lomachenko: I think it is going to be very, very hard for me in the first four rounds, then after that I will be trying to terminate the bout.

Nicholas Walters: I don’t think this is a different Lomachenko from the guy that lost to Salido – he is the same Lomachenko. They say a leopard cannot change his spots right? Since he did lose to Salido, he can be as technical all he wants, but I am in the hurt business – this is a gladiator sport and I fight all of my fights like that, I fight like a gladiator. He can come in with his technical fight on Saturday and I am going to be up for it and put on a helluva show on Saturday night.

Lomachenko-Walters Q@A Transcript

BOB ARUM: This is my 2000th event and this fight is worthy of being my 2,000th event. Nicholas Walters is the hardest puncher in these divisions — they don’t call him the “Axe Man” for nothing and he always give 100%. And Vasyl Lomachenko is an unbelievable technician who has done really the impossible, winning world titles in two divisions in a record-few seven professional fights. So I look for a Fight of the Year candidate on Saturday night at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and everybody can watch it live on HBO in addition to the replay of the controversial fight from Saturday between Kovalev and Ward. And what I think is the Fight of the Year candidate Lomachenko vs. Walters. I’m a big fan of both guys. I think Walters is a tremendous fighter and I enjoy the way he fights.

LOMACHENKO: I would like to congratulate Bob Arum on his 2000th event and I am proud to be on his 2000th fight card. I wish him very good health and I hope he can make a 2,500th card so I can be on that also.

Why the interest in fighting Walters now when there were trepidations before?

LOMACHENKO: This is a very important bout for me because many boxing experts and many people in boxing rank Walters as the highest-rated fighter in our division. He is a very hard puncher and a very good boxer and for me it’s a very important thing to me to fight the best and it’s very important for me because everyone says he is a very good fighter.

How do you think this fight will go with Walters since he is a bigger boxer?

LOMACHENKO: I don’t know. I cannot answer that question. I can’t tell you exactly how it’s going to go or tell you what is going to happen in the ring. That will depend on how it begins in the ring. It is boxing and everything is going to happen very fast.

Where did you learn your creativity? Were there any boxers you watch while younger that you learned from?

LOMACHENKO: First of all, I would like you to know that everything that I have is what my father created in me and my father put everything together into me. Secondly I am a workaholic – I work hard. I do not cheat myself in training, I work very hard and somehow God has given me great balance that helps me put everything together.

There is a video on You Tube that compares Vasyl to The Matrix. Have you seen the video? What is your reaction? There are many people outside of boxing that have seen this video…

LOMACHENKO: This is exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to let different people know, people outside of boxing, to know me. I think the boxing game is one that people have forgotten about and they are not enjoying it as much. I want to bring back and show how interesting boxing can be. I am the motherboard.

Do you have a plan for the future? What do you see as the endgame?

LOMACHENKO: For sure I was thinking about that, and my contract is over in six or seven months and that’s when I am thinking about finishing my career (laughing at his joke).

BOB ARUM: I would like to say this; that Vasyl Lomachenko is technically the best fighter that I have seen since the early Muhammad Ali. There is nobody that I have seen, and there have been a lot of great technical fighters that I have seen – Alexis Arguello was one, Floyd Mayweather certainly, Manny Pacquiao – but there has been nobody with the skills that Vasyl Lomachenko has.

You have fought a lot of amateurs – when you fight a fighter like Walters who sometimes swings for the fences, what typically has happened in those type fights?

LOMACHENKO: If we are talking about the amateurs – the punchers never got anywhere in their careers. Usually three rounds was not enough time to get ready for the fight. The punchers are professional boxers not amateur boxers.

How do you see this fight playing out?

LOMACHENKO: I think it is going to be very, very hard for me in the first four rounds, then after that I will be trying to terminate the bout.

This is a big fight, but how do you see Lomachenko in the bigger fights in the larger arenas?

BOB ARUM: Lomachenko has a huge upside. This is the second world title in as many divisions in seven professional fights – that has never happened before, and he is going to win more world titles as he goes up in weight and there are going to be very interesting guys for him to fight. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that he and Manny [Pacquiao] could fight sometime next year. Lomachenko wants challenges and he is a tremendous talent. His upside is enormous and a lot of people are watching him — not just boxing fans — because he is an unbelievable talent. They see him on You Tube and on HBO and have said what an unbelievable talent he is.

Do you want to fight Manny Pacquiao?

LOMACHENKO: Yes, of course I would like to fight Pacquiao, but not in the next fight.

What makes this a can’t-miss fight?

BOB ARUM: They call Walters the Axe Man for a reason — he searches and destroys. He is a tremendous puncher and he is in with a technician who has enormous talent in boxing not only defensively but offensively, so this is a can’t-miss fight and I want the people to realize that not only do I believe that it will be a Fight of the Year candidate, I believe that if Vasyl Lomachenko is successful, he should be right up there for consideration for Fighter of the Year.

Do you feel like you may want to slow Lomachenko down a little bit?

BOB ARUM: From the first day I met him, when he sat down with me and we discussed his future, I was concerned because people were offering him large signing bonuses, he told me that he didn’t want a signing bonus; he wanted to earn his own money. All he wanted was challenges that I would present to him. That’s what I am going to do. He doesn’t want any gimmes – he wants every fight to be a challenge. So at 130-pounds, who is more of a challenge than Nicholas Walters? I am not going to slow him down. He knows his ability a lot more than I do. And you have to give his father credit – his father is probably the best trainer in boxing today and I say that without any question, because look what the father produced from the Ukrainian Olympic team in London. Oleksandr Usuyk who is now a cruiserweight champion, Alexandr Gvozdyk, a light heavyweight who you saw last week on the Ward-Kovalev pay-per-view, who is a future champion – they are all Ukrainians and they were all trained by Vasyl’s father. So he has a lot going for him.

How will you deal with the reach advantage that Walters has?

LOMACHENKO: Boxers always have an advantage over another, whether it is a longer reach or more weight or a taller guy. How I will use his reach advantage to my advantage, you will find out on Saturday.

What do you think when someone of Bob’s stature speaks so highly of you?

LOMACHENKO: It will give me another motivation because a lot of people may look at that or hear that and think that maybe it’s not true. When I hear that it gives me a lot of motivation to make me work harder in my training to prove that what Bob is saying. I don’t have the chance to make any mistakes. I have to prove that Bob is right.

——– lomanchenko-vs-walters ———

Do you think the layoff will affect you?

WALTERS: The layoff? I am in the motivation business, so the layoff is definitely part of the boxing business. As a fighter I have always been in the gym working out and everything so the layoff wouldn’t even bother me and I wouldn’t take the fight if I thought I wasn’t going to be ready for the fight. I don’t even think for a minute that I only want to please Nicholas. I want to please the fans and my country, both Panama and Jamaica and all of my fans in Mexico and all over the world. I am not just taking the fight for Nicholas. I am taking the fight for everybody and come Saturday I am going to be ready for the fight – just like all of the other fights.

How do you feel about taking on this fighter that is a two-division world champion in only seven pro fights and that everyone is saying is so great?

WALTERS: The achievement is good for him. And Bob knows what he is talking about since he has been in the business for 50 years. Even Muhammad Ali lost fights. I don’t think this is a different Lomachenko from the guy that lost to Salido – he is the same Lomachenko. They say a leopard cannot change his spots right? Since he did lose to Salido, he can be as technical all he wants, but I am in the hurt business – this is a gladiator sport and I fight all of my fights like that, I fight like a gladiator. He can come in with his technical fight on Saturday and I am going to be up for it and put on a helluva show on Saturday night.

You don’t see much development in Lomachenko and feel he is ripe for the taking with your power punching?

WALTERS: Each fight is different and I am not going to tell you that I am going to fight Lomachenko the same way that Salido fought him. Of course, only a fool doesn’t learn from his mistakes, doesn’t learn from his mistakes in the ring. He has been training and working out so I know he is a more complete fighter than his first fight. I am not even worried, so to speak, but I know that he has learned and is a better fighter from that loss. But it is still a blemish on his record that he lost. With that in mind he has tasted defeat and I have never tasted defeat. We have stayed undefeated and we are going to keep it that way this Saturday.

What would this victory mean to you and your career?

WALTERS: I don’t know. This fight for me is just as important as my last fight. Each fight I have I fight hard and I fight tough. In each fight for me I defend my undefeated record. Each fight for me I am defending my pride. This victory would be a big victory because we know that this guy is no easy fight. We are not saying that Lomachenko is an easy opponent. We know he is a top fighter and a tough fighter. We are just saying that this Saturday and this victory is going to put the Axe Man to where I want to be and hopefully next year I start making over $1 million per fight. That’s what we are aiming at. So we win Saturday then move on to other opponents.

In Closing…

WALTERS: I don’t have a lot to say, just that the Axe Man is going to show that he is the real Krusher on Saturday night. Not some softee, but the real Axe Man the real Krusher will be in the ring on Saturday night.

BOB ARUM: I am absolutely thrilled that this fight between Lomachenko and Walters will be my 2000th boxing event and will definitely be a candidate for Fight of the Year with two great fighters. The HBO telecast will begin at 10:35 p.m. ET / 10:30 p.m. PT. The Kovalev-Ward replay will also be part of the HBO telecast. That fight’s scoring was very controversial so if you haven’t seen it this is your chance. Then watch the Fight of the Year, I believe, between Lomachenko and Walters. There were only 60 tickets left this morning at The Cosmopolitan and it will probably be sold out by the end of today so the best way to see the fight, if you don’t have a ticket, is on HBO.

Manny Pacquiao Drops, Busts Up Vargas For WBO Belt


By Francisco Salazar –

Manny Pacquiao was not going to stay retired after his April 9 win over Timothy Bradley. Not when there are potential fights against the likes of Terence Crawford or Floyd Mayweather.

How convenient was it for both to be sitting ringside amongst the 16,132 in attendance at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

What were both thinking as they exited the venue after Manny Pacquiao won a unanimous decision over Jessie Vargas remains to be seen.

But they both know Pacquiao brings a lot of money and large continent of fans to fill any arena to the table.

Pacquiao improves to 59-6-2, 38 KOs, while Vargas falls to 27-2, 10 KOs.

If Saturday night was a showcase of sorts, Pacquiao did what he had to do and what was expected of him: dominate a fighter in Vargas throughout 12 rounds.

Lost in all this was Vargas, who would lose the WBO World welterweight title to Pacquiao. But he tried and made the popular Filipino fighter earn the victory.

Vargas was defending the title he won on March 5, when he stopped Sadam Ali in Washington, D.C. It was an impressive win for the Mexican-American, but it made him a likely target for Pacquiao and his handlers.

Would Vargas realistically land a fight against Pacquiao if he did not have a world title belt? Most like not, but Vargas was up to the challenge, even after a proposed fight with Kell Brook evaporated over the summer.

Vargas said all the right things in the build-up to the fight, but from the opening bell, looked overwhelmed by Pacquiao’s speed, albeit it was not what it once was.


Pacquiao used his speed to drop Vargas with about a minute left in round two, courtesy of a left hand to the head. Vargas was not visibly hurt, looking more embarrassed that the punch dropped him on his rear.

Pacquiao continued to be in control, but Vargas did his best work in the middle rounds, finding a home for straight right hands to the head. Some of those punches snapped Pacquiao’s head back, especially during rounds six, Vargas’ best round.

But, like the consummate pro that he is, Pacquiao was able to weather the storm, utilizing his speed and aggression to swing momentum back in his favor.

As if Pacquiao’s speed was not enough to deal with, Vargas had to deal with a cut over his right eye that was caused by a head-butt, although the Nevada State Athletic Commission ruled that a punch opened the cut.

Pacquiao walked Vargas down at times, controlling the action as the fight moved into the championship rounds. Vargas did all he could, but Pacquiao’s pedigree was too much on this night.

Two judges scored the bout 119-108, as did, while the third judge (Dave Moretti) scored the bout closer than many expected (114-113), all for Pacquiao.

Pacquiao had to have 12 stitches for a cut over his right eye and did not attend the post-fight press conference.

Now that Pacquiao holds a title (and another eight figure purse to boot), what is next?

Rumors amongst boxing insiders is that a possible rematch between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather could be penciled in May. Many in boxing cringe at the idea of another fight that would produce 12 anti-climatic rounds at a steep price.

Then there is the possibility of Terence Crawford, a fighter who has mentioned he is staying put at 140 pounds until he unifies all the world titles.

Since Bob Arum is now doing business with Al Haymon, there are also possibilities of Pacquiao fighting other elite welterweights like Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman. Both are scheduled to fight each other in March.

“I’ll let the fans pick who they want me to pick,” said Pacquiao after the fight. “I don’t pick anyone.”

When he was pressed, Pacquiao responded, “Anyone at 147 pounds.”

Is a potential fight with Crawford a possibility.

“Yes, I don’t have any problems going down to 140 pounds. It would be better for me.”

As for Vargas, the loss to Pacquiao does not hurt him. He is still a player at 147 pounds and would likely fight on HBO programming in 2017.

“We’ll come back strong for my next fight,” said Vargas afterwards. “We’re still young. Fighting a legend in Manny Pacquiao will elevate my game.”–110476?print_friendly=1

Maurice Hooker Blasts Barnett Out With First Round Knockout On Co-Main Event of Andre Ward/Brand Card


Written by Hector Sanchez / Photos by Stacey Verbeek –

Super Lightweight champion Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (21-0-2, 16 KO’s) from Dallas, Texas returned to Oakland and rocked Ty Barnett (23-5-1, 15 KO’s) with a stiff right hand in the opening moments of the first round to the thunderous applause and excitement of the boxing fans in attendance at the ROC NATION/HBO fight card at Oracle Arena this past Saturday night.


As the first round continued, Barnett was moving to his left with his back to the corner, and Mighty Mo tagged him with a stiff left hand jab that snapped his opponent’s head back. As they moved in the middle of the ring, the champion landed his signature straight right hand that buckled Barnett’s legs and he retreated to the ropes.

Mighty Mo then moved forward and landed two lightning left hooks that backed his opponent up and then he landed a powerful left hook that buckled Barnett who landed against the ropes and attempted to hold onto the champion to save himself from going down.


In the next second, Mighty Mo landed another huge left hook and a right hand that put Barnett down to the canvas that brought the audience to their feet around the Oracle Arena. Barnett took a knee as the referee made the count and then the fight continued.

As he danced around the ring waiting for the eight count to end, and sensing an early finish, Mighty Mo stayed composed as the fight continued. He quickly and cautiously went after Barnett and landed numerous left hooks and several overhand rights right in front of Bernard Hopkins who was a ringside commentator for HBO, along with Jim Lampley and Max Kellerman. After several more stiff jabs Mighty Mo landed a huge right hand that snapped Barnett’s head back against the ropes and the referee stepped in to stop the fight with the official KO at 2:17 of the first round.


I was told before the fight by Mighty Mo that it would not go past five rounds and another prediction rang true. Because of his long training camp, he came into this fight with exceeding confidence and continued his undefeated winning streak and the defense of his WBO/NABO Super Lightweight title for his return to Dallas, Texas.


At ringside, when I asked him, “How did you feel when you first touched him in the first round, he laughed and said “I knew it was over with, and he was in trouble.” He went on to say “I stayed relaxed and knew my knockout was coming and I am ready for anybody.”



Team Canelo no descarta pelear en México en diciembre

i-1 Canelo Alvarez podría enfrentar a Billy Joe Saunders en diciembre en México, de vencer a Liam Smith Christian Petersen/Getty Images –

MÉXICO — Aunque parezca difícil, existe una posibilidad de que el mexicano Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez pueda cerrar el 2016 con una pelea en territorio mexicano, lo cual apunta para el 10 de diciembre ante Billy Joe Saunders, si todo sale bien este 17 de septiembre ante el campeón súper welter de la Organización Mundial de Boxeo, Liam Smith.

Canelo estelarizará ante Smith el pago por evento de Golden Boy Promotions y HBO desde el AT&T Stadium de Arlington, Texas, y de ganar entonces verán la posibilidad de que pueda pelear en suelo azteca, donde con la ayuda de patrocinadores esperan lograr su vuelta por primera vez desde noviembre de 2011.

“Todo es posible, en México hay arenas y estadios muy bonitos, hay apoyo y patrocinios que nos hacen pensar que no es algo descabellado. No sabemos si pueda ser en este mismo 2016, todo depende del resultado de la pelea ante Smith, creo que una vez pasado eso será cosa de hablar con Óscar de la Hoya y ver si lo podemos arreglar”, aseguró Eddy Reynoso, entrenador de Alvarez.

La Ciudad de México con la Arena Ciudad de México, Nuevo León con el estadio BBVA Bancomer y Jalisco con el Estadio Chivas serían posibilidades para que pudiera pelear Canelo en suelo mexicano. El Estadio Azteca es otra opción pero parece que no se ha marinado aún esa posibilidad.

“Sinceramente no hemos hablado aún del Estadio Azteca, no se ha analizado, muchas cosas se han dicho de los récords que puede romper Saúl, la verdad es que nosotros no nos comparamos con nadie, queremos romper nuestros propios récords, nosotros nos preparamos concientemente para las peleas y la gente es la que nos ayuda a imponer marcas. No queremos perseguir a nadie en ese aspecto, hubo peleadores que hicieron cosas muy grandes, pero que a la edad de Saúl no habían logrado tantas cosas. Vamos a dejar que los resultados hablen”, compartió el entrenador jalisciense.

Una pelea en México ante Billy Joe Saunders o cualquier otro rival, pensando en el duelo entre Canelo y Gennady Golovkin como una posibilidad para el Estadio Azteca, serviría a Golden Boy Promotions y HBO para conocer el terreno y darse cuenta de las condiciones en que se podría dar el combate.


Arum Looks To Make Lomachenko-Salido II, Possibly at StubHub


By Steve Kim

Back in March of 2014, in what was just his second professional outing, former two-time Olympic gold medal winner Vasyl Lomachenko (6-1, 4KOs) was out-pointed over twelve rounds by then WBO featherweight titlist Orlando Salido (43-13-4, 30KOs).

It was a fight not only marred by numerous low blows that were landed by the Mexican, but Salido failed to make the 126-pound weight limit and lost his belt on the scales.

Three months later in his very next fight, Lomachenko captured the vacant WBO championship with a twelve round majority decision over Gary Russell Jr.

Salido on the other hand moved up in weight to capture the WBO title at super featherweight with a knockout of Orlando Cruz in October of 2013. He would go on to lose that title to Roman Martinez last April.

Lomachenko on June 11th impressively halted Martinez to win the WBO 130-pound title.

And if it were up to Top Rank’s CEO Bob Arum, Lomachenko would be getting another crack at the wily Salido (who’s coming off a memorable slugfest against WBC featherweight champion Francisco Vargas – that was ruled a draw).

Salido himself is pushing for the fight and Lomachenko hungers to avenge the only defeat of his professional career.

”We’re looking to bring (Lomachenko) back in October and we’re looking at – among others – Orlando Salido as a big possibility,” said the veteran promoter, who mentioned that HBO has promised him another date from the Ukrainian stylist.

“Orlando wants to fight him, Orlando has a victory over him. That should be a terrific fight, say for StubHub (Center).”–106862?print_friendly=1

Duva: Chilemba a ‘Real’ Foe For Kovalev; Prepares Him For Ward

kovalev-chilemba (11)_1

By Keith Idec

His promoter suspects Sergey Kovalev is in for a more difficult fight Monday than the odds indicate.

Numerous Internet sports books list Isaac Chilemba as a 16-1 underdog against Russia’s Kovalev, but Kathy Duva envisions Kovalev having more trouble than that when they fight for Kovalev’s IBF, WBA and WBO light heavyweight titles at DIVS Sports Palace in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

South Africa’s Chilemba is a smart, sound boxer, hasn’t been knocked out during his 10½-year professional career and is well aware that this is an opportunity to completely change his life.

“If it weren’t for what I thought was a bad decision in Canada, Isaac would be fighting [Adonis] Stevenson for the [WBC] title,” said Duva, whose New Jersey-based Main Events promotes Kovalev and Chilemba.

“So he is a legitimate contender. He is someone who is gonna give Sergey a real fight, give him a real challenge, gonna give him the opportunity to have to work hard to beat a boxer, someone who is not just gonna stand in front of him. These are all things he’s gonna need to prepare for the [Andre] Ward fight.”

Duva referred to Chilemba’s majority decision defeat in his last fight to Montreal’s Eleider Alvarez. The Colombian-born Alvarez (19-0, 10 KOs) won that 12-round WBC championship elimination match on two scorecards (118-110, 115-113) and it was a draw on the third card (114-114) on November 28 in Quebec City, Canada.

If Kovalev (29-0-1, 26 KOs) beats Chilemba (24-3-2, 10 KOs) and Ward (29-0, 15 KOs), also heavily favored, overcomes Colombia’s Alexander Brand (25-1, 19 KOs) on August 6 in Oakland, California, Kovalev and Ward will fight November 19 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (HBO Pay-Per-View). Even with so much at stake, Kovalev didn’t want would amount to a tune-up fight Monday night, especially since he hasn’t really been challenged since his first technical knockout victory over Jean Pascal in March 2015.

“Sergey made it very clear from the start, ‘When I go fight in Russia, I don’t want to go there and have a fight with someone who isn’t highly rated and who is not viewed as a real opponent,’ ” Duva said. “And that was really how he looked at it. Because Isaac unfortunately didn’t get that opportunity with Stevenson, he was willing to go to Russia and he was willing to do this. To his credit, he jumped at it. So we were able to make a very good fight for Sergey, very easily. That’s what he wants. He didn’t want somebody who was just gonna fall down if he blew on him.”

HBO will televise the Kovalev-Chilemba bout via tape delay at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT on Monday night.–106541?print_friendly=1kovalev-chilemba (11)_1