Valdez, Marriaga, Ramirez, Bursak, Magdaleno, Dos Santos all make weight

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Photos: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Oscar Valdez 125.6 vs. Miguel Marriaga 125.4
(WBO featherweight title)

Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez 167.8 vs. Max Bursak 167.4
(WBO super middleweight title)

Jessie Magdaleno 121.8 vs. Adeilson Dos Santos 121.2
(WBO junior featherweight title)

Shakur Stevenson 124.8 vs. Edgar Brito 125
Fazlidden Gaibnazarov 138 vs. Victor Vazquez 137.4
Alexander Besputin 147.2 vs. Breides Prescott 147.4
Mahonri Montes 149 vs. Francisco Santana 148
Maxim Dadashev 143.2 vs. Bilal Mahasin 143.6

Venue: StubHub Center, Carson, California
Promoter: Top Rank
TV: PPV

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Hooker poised for PPV debut

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By Jeff Zimmerman
Photos by Stacey Verbeek

From the hardscrabble streets of Dallas, Texas to the bright lights of Las Vegas, Nevada NABO Junior Welterweight Champion Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (21-0-2, 16 KOs) is well on his way to hitting the proverbial jackpot. Guided by his manager Arnie Verbeek, owner of Maple Ave Boxing Gym in Dallas and promoter Roc Nation, Hooker will make his PPV debut as the lead in fight to Kovalev-Ward when he fights former world champion Darleys Perez (33-2-1, 21 KOs) on Saturday, November 19th.

For Hooker, with his slender build and powerful right hand and of course his signature lollipop that he brings into the ring and enjoys post-fight, the path to this point has been anything but easy. Nothing has been handed to Hooker and every fight to date has been an important stepping stone to get to this stage of his career. Perhaps that is why he seems unfazed of the moment and the fortunes that potentially lie ahead.

“It’s another fight, another big fight. It’s still a ring, I still go in there and do my thing. I try not to let anything get to me, just another fight.” 

His trainer Vincent Parra is also a calming influence on Hooker.

“We try to make sure he knows and he does, it’s just him and the other guy in the boxing ring we have been training in. The people get blanked out when you’re focused and the only thing you can see is Darleys Perez, that’s where the focus comes in,” stated Parra.

This will be Hooker’s third fight under the Roc Nation banner as well as fighting alongside promotional stablemate world champion Andre Ward. Like past camps, he has trained and sparred with super lightweight champion Terence Crawford and also added the young but talented lightweight Devin Haney to the mix.

“Sparring with Crawford I learn a lot. We talk after sparring. He tells me what I am doing wrong and what I am doing right. I had to be patient sparring with him. Sparring with Devin, it was good. He brings a lot of energy and is very quick. He reminds me of myself when I was sparring Miguel Cotto. I think he is the next up and coming. He is young and willing to learn the game.”

At 27, Hooker is still relatively young, far from his prime and still learning but with a breakout performance preceding this year’s biggest fight in Kovalev-Ward, this could be the fight that truly launches his career. Roc Nation must hope so by putting him in this position, but Hooker takes it all in stride.

“No, I don’t feel any pressure, this is what I do for living, just another big fight for me. It’s just another big fight for me, my fight before that was a big fight for me, my fight before that was a big fight for me. I’m just moving up one fight at a time. I see Darleys Perez, he’s beatable. I see my skills can beat him. No pressure on me, I’m just ready to fight, this is what I do for a living.”

Don’t expect Hooker to look past Perez either even though an impressive win could line him up for big fights in 2017.

“I am not worried about that, right now I am just worried about Perez. After this fight we’ll see, but right now I am just worried about Perez. He’s a dangerous little guy and I just don’t want to lose focus and look to far down the road, I’m just focused on him right now.”

Parra is not taking any chances with his prized pupil and knows that Perez is a dangerous fighter and will have Hooker prepared.

“There’s the obvious thing, we are bigger, he’s moving up to Mo’s division, we have the reach advantage which he does on most guys and he’s a pure puncher, but with that being said this is boxing and anything can happen. We just keep it in perspective that he was a world champion and he made it to that point and not a lot of guys do and we have to respect that,” explained Parra.

Parra added, “I just expect if Maurice fights Maurice fight, he’s definitely the better all-around fighter. Maurice has to fight his fight and if he does that I think we are going to take care of business and move on to the next.”

Hooker also takes great pride of being a part of an exciting crop of fighters hailing from Dallas that include Errol Spence Jr., Charles Hatley and Samuel Clarkson just to name a few.

“It’s a good feeling. I hope everyone makes it from Dallas. It’s a good feeling that Dallas is coming up but everyone has their own pace and I wish all of them the best. Right now I am just worried about me, but it’s a good feeling. We are coming up.”

Hooker is ready to test Perez early.

“I will go in there and box him, just look for an exciting fight, I am going to box him. I am going to test his chin early and see what he’s made of coming up from 135. He has been hurt a couple of times and I am going to test his chin. Go in there box, stay relaxed and take my time with him.”

Parra just wants Hooker to be himself.

“Just be Mo, if you watch us, we approach every fight the same. Mo will go out to the middle of the ring and meet him and either he will go out and meet Mo there or he’ll start dancing and go from there. We like to plan on guys having a plan for us, we are not worried about what he’s going to do, and we are more focused on what we are going to do. Maurice is going to fight his fight and make Perez fight his fight.”

Parra continued, “The plan is to be himself. Mo is going to come up and fight at range and look for opportunities and if there is blood in the water I send him at him. Everything is going to be done very methodically. Like Mo said, he’s going to take his time. You can plan all you want, but fights play out and act out and do what we want to do and see how Perez can handle and how he can adjust.”

Although Hooker and Parra are 100% focused on their fight, both weighed in on the Kovalev-Ward mega matchup.

Hooker stated confidently, “Ward is going to outbox him, he is going to make Kovalev adjust to him, and he has ring smarts. Andre Ward is just a good fighter. I see Andre Ward winning.”

Parra expects a great fight and sees it as a toss-up.

“If you’re a fight fan, it’s a fight fan’s fight, it’s going to be interesting. For me, it’s a 50-50 fight, I’m a fan of both guys. Obviously we are stablemates of Andre Ward but on the other side John David Jackson is one of my really good friends and I have been following him and Sergey for a lot of years so for me it’s just a hard fight to dissect because both guys do so many things well. Both guys have very good camps. I look forward to a great fight I think it’s going to be tremendous, it’s very hard for me to pick at this point.”

Hooker, as always, will look to steal the show with his one punch knock out power. And although he is taking the right approach and sees this as just another fight, it is far from it. An impressive performance could put him on a “fighters to watch list” in 2017. So far for Hooker, his manager and promoter have made all the right moves. A big win next Saturday could lead to those potential jackpots that only fighting in Las Vegas could bring. But don’t expect Hooker to be blinded by the bright lights.

“I have no pressure, I am always looking for the knockout, it’s going to be a very good fight and I am going to take it to him.”

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www.fightnews.com/Boxing/hooker-poised-ppv-debut-359952

Terence Crawford vs. Viktor Postol – The battle for stardom

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By Chris Williams:   Top Rank will be sending their light welterweight champions Terence Crawford (28-0, 20 KOs) and Viktor Postol (28-0, 12 KOs) into the ring next month in their first headlining fight on HBO pay-per-view at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Crawford will be defending his WBO title and Postol have his WBC belt on the line for the fight.

You can argue that neither of these fighters is even remotedly popular enough to be headlining a PPV event on HBO. However, there were not available dates on regular HBO for them to fight this year, so Top Rank promoter Bob Arum chose to put the fight on PPV.

Crawford, 28, is hoping to become the next superstar in the sport. The bad news is that Crawford probably won’t able to become a super star in the Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao sense if he’s stuck fighting at 140 against the guys he’s been facing in the last two years.

I think it’s going to be very hard for Crawford to become a superstar fighting the likes of Hank Lundy, Dierry Jean and Thomas Dulorme. I think Crawford can become the next Ruslan Provodnikov or Lamont Peterson type star, but not a superstar if he’s limited to fighting lesser fringe level opposition.

“This is just the beginning. It’s my first pay-per-view and I want to put on a great performance. I want to be the next superstar,” Crawford said to fightnews.com.

I wish I could agree with Crawford that the Postol fight was the beginning of him becoming the next superstar. I don’t see that being the reality for Crawford. For him to become the next star in boxing along the lines of Mayweather or even Gennady Golovkin, I think he would need to fight ALL of these fighters and beat them all:

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez
Adrien Broner
Danny Garcia
Keith Thurman
Amir Khan
Shawn Porter
Tim Bradley
Kell Brook
Gennady Golovkin
Jermall Charlo
Jermell Charlo
Erislandy Lara
David Lemieux
Billy Joe Saunders
Lamont Peterson
Liam Smith
Errol Spence

The basic problem Crawford has is he’s probably not going to ever fight any of those guys. I honestly cannot see Crawford ever fighting any of the above mentioned names from my list, and that’s too bad because if Crawford could sweep through that entire list, he would be a star, a huge star. It’s one those things where Crawford would need to beat 17 top fighters before his career finishes up before he can become a star. I do not see Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum being able to negotiate fights with the promoters for those fighters.

Golovkin probably would never agree to fight Crawford in the first place because it would be a stiaution where he would get no credit for beating up in a 140lb fighter that looks as thin as Crawford. But for the sake of argument if a fight did take place between Golovkin and Crawford, I think it would be a pure wipeout with Golovkin destroying Crawford. The same if Crawford got put in with the Charlo brothers. Crawford doesn’t have the blinding hand speed and defensive skills of someone like Mayweather to beat guys in divisions above his natural weight class at 140. So if you throw Crawford in with the Charlo brothers, Canelo or even someone like Lemieux, I think it would end badly for Crawford.

In getting back to my point about Crawford wanting to become the next superstar in the sport, I do not think he’s going to get the chance to make that happen in the present climate in the sport. If all the promoters were willing to work with one another, then maybe Crawford could become a superstar, but only if he beat all the guys on my list.

Do I really think a slender fighter like Crawford can beat the likes Thurman, Canelo, Golovkin, Errol Spence, the Charlo brothers, Lara and Lemiuex? No, I don’t think so. I think Crawford would be beaten by most if not all of them. I think Crawford is a very good fighter at light welterweight, but asking him to beat bigger fighters with a more solid build and superior punching power would be too much to ask. I think Crawford would get destroyed by all of them. We kind of got a hint at Crawford’s limitations in his fights against Yuriorkis Gamboa and Thomas Dulorme. Both fighters were working Crawford over pretty well and even had him hurt. The question you have to ask is how can Crawford become a superstar if he can’t even dominate the likes of Dulorme and Gamboa?

 

www.boxingnews24.com/2016/06/terence-crawford-vs-viktor-postol-battle-stardom/

Mayweather y Pacquiao en Gigantesca Última Conferencia

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El campeón mundial welter de la Organización Mundial de Boxeo (OMB), el filipino Manny Pacquiao, estará enfrentando al campeón mundial welter de la Asociación Mundial de Boxeo (AMB) y el Consejo Mundial de Boxeo (WBC), el estadounidense Floyd Mayweather Jr., en la Súper Pelea de este mismo sábado, 2 de mayo, en la legendaria Arena Grand Garden del Hotel MGM Grand de Las Vegas, Nevada. 

El invicto estadounidense Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. y el filipino Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao se encontraron este miércoles, al mediodía, en la última conferencia de prensa, previa a su mega pelea, en el teatro “KA” del Hotel MGM Grand. 

“Quiero agradecer a Dios por este día fabuloso para todos. También a todos los sponsors y promotores de este evento. Mi primera pelea fue aquí en el MGM en Junio del 2001 y mucho ha pasado desde entonces, el apoyo de los fanáticos y los medios. Agradezco y los invito a ver esta buena pelea este sábado. Quiero que sepan que todo lo que he logrado fue porque Dios me dio la fortaleza. Antes estaba hambriento en las calles y nunca imagine que llegaría a esta posición y todo es gracias a Dios. Los dos hemos trabajado duro y espero que logremos un gran espectáculo para la gente este sábado. Yo daré todo de mí, por la historia del boxeo,” dijo el campeón de la OMB, Manny Pacquiao. 

“Primero, quiero agradecer a Dios, que sin el, nada de esto es posible. Esto ha sido un evento increíble y mucha gente ha vendido. El entrenamiento fue increíble. Mi papa hizo un gran trabajo, con mi tío, tuvimos un gran campamento de entrenamiento. Agradezco a todos los fanáticos del mundo, que nos han apoyado en los últimos 19 años, quiero decirles ‘Gracias!’. Es tiempo de pelea ya. Han venido aquí a sentir emociones, a ser testigos de un gran evento y eso es lo que traemos a la mesa. Esta es pelea más grande en la historia del boxeo y yo soy parte de esto. Es algo muy grandioso. Me siento bien, me siento fuerte y los veré a todos el sábado. Gracias!,” dijo el campeón del CMB y súper campeón de la AMB, Floyd Mayweather Jr. 

Estaban presentes en la mesa principal, el promotor Bob Arum, el entrenador de Pacquiao, Freddie Roach, el presidente del CMB, el mexicano Mauricio Sulaiman y el presidente de la OMB, el puertorriqueño Francisco “Paco” Valcárcel. 

“Estoy honrado de estar aquí representando a mi padre, Jose Sulaiman. Estoy muy orgulloso y agradecido por todos en hacer esta pelea una realidad. Estarán peleando por el orgullo y por la eternidad. El CMB creo la faja esmeralda que ganar el ganador. Estoy muy contento que el CMB pueda contribuir con esta faja especial en una de las peleas mas importantes en la historia del boxeo,” dijo el presidente del CMB, Mauricio Sulaiman. 

“Cuando estaba caminando hasta este teatro, los fanáticos del boxeo me paraban y me preguntaban, ‘¿Paco, Paco, quien ganara esta pelea?’ y yo solo respondí ‘El Boxeo será el ganador’. En el boxeo todo puede pasar y al final, el ganador será el mundo del boxeo y sus fanáticos,” dijo el presidente de la OMB, Francisco “Paco” Valcárcel. 

Dos duelos de campeonatos del mundo del CMB y la OMB, que serán televisados en el PPV, son los principales del gran respaldo del Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, que incluye un total de seis peleas. 

El campeón mundial supergallo del CMB, el mexicano Leo Santa Cruz (29-0-1 y 17 KOs), estará exponiendo su titulo ante su compatriota, José Cayetano (17-3 y 8 KOs). 

El campeón mundial pluma de la OMB, Vasyl Lomachenko (3-1 y 1 KO), esatara defendiendo su cetro ante el retador boricua, Gamalier Rodríguez (25-2-3 y 17 KOs). 

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao es un duelo de Campeonato mundial unificatorio pactado a 12 rounds en peso welter y es una promoción de Mayweather Promotions y Top Rank Inc y será televisado por PPV (HBO y Showtime) en Estados Unidos, por Azteca y Televisa en México, desde las 9:00 p.m. Este/ 6:00 p.m. Pacifico desde el MGM Grand Garden Arena de Las Vegas.

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http://notifight.com/mayweather-y-pacquiao-en-gigantesca-ultima-conferencia/