NABO/NABF Champion Diego De La Hoya to Fight José Salgado in Main Event of June 8 Edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN

Diego De La Hoya (20-0, 9 KOs), the quick-handed super bantamweight contender of Mexicali, Mexico, will defend his NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles against Jose “Sugar” Salgado (35-4-2, 28 KOs) of Cozumel, Mexico in the 10-round main event of the June 8 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. The event will take place during the International Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, where legendary fighters such as “Dr. Ironfist” Vitali Klitschko, Erik “El Terrible” Morales, and Ronald “Winky” Wright will be inducted, along with important figures in the sport of boxing such as Peter Kohl, Steve Albert, Jim Gray and Lorraine Chargin.

ESPN2 will air the fights at a delayed start time of 12:30 a.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT. ESPN Deportes will air the fights the following day at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. ESPN3 will steam the fights live beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

De La Hoya is an undefeated contender who has built a stellar resume since turning professional in 2013. The 23-year-old will return after his most significant victory yet when he defeated former IBF Bantamweight World Champion Randy “El Matador” Caballero on the HBO-televised undercard of Canelo vs. Golovkin in Sept. 2017. De La Hoya is eager to produce another exciting victory to demonstrate that he is ready for bigger and more lucrative fights.

“I’m delighted that Golden Boy Promotions and my manager Joel De La Hoya have given me the opportunity to return to the ring on June in Verona,” said Diego De La Hoya. “I’m enthusiastic because it will take place during Hall of Fame weekend where I hope to one day be inducted like my cousin and promoter Oscar De La Hoya. I promise an exciting fight and to walk away with my hand raised in victory because I’m ready for bigger things.”

Salgado is a former world title challenger who fought to a controversial technical draw against former WBC Super Flyweight Champion Carlos “Principe” Cuadras. The 28-year-old Mexican contender will move up to test the young fighter with an aggressive style that is backed by years of boxing experience.

“This is the most important fight of my career,” said Jose Salgado. “I’m preparing for this fight with the clear goal of fighting for a world title after. I totally respect my opponent because he’s a great fighter who is very skilled. However, I’ll do my best to win so I can fulfill my dream of becoming a world champion.”

De La Hoya vs. Salgado is a 10-round super bantamweight fight for the NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Don Chargin & Paco Presents.The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy, “Never Stop, Never Settle.” The fights will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. ESPN2 will air the fights at a delayed start time of 12:30 a.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT. ESPN Deportes will air the fights the following day at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. ESPN3 will steam the fights live beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend is packed with a series of events starting Thursday, June 7 until the induction ceremony on Sunday, June 10. The weekend kicks off on Thursday with the opening bell ringing and ringside lectures on the museum grounds. Friday, June 8 will feature another series of lectures preceding the celebrity fist casting, followed by the highly anticipated Fight Night, broadcasted live from Turning Stone. Saturday, June 9 will showcase a golf tournament, a 5K race, another series of lectures, a boxing autograph card show, a VIP “Gala” and the Banquet of Champions at 8:00p.m. The weekend will conclude on Sunday with the Parade of Champions and the Hall of Fame induction ceremony at 2:30p.m. Click here to see the full schedule.

Host of the June 8 event, Turning Stone Resort Casino is a Forbes Four-Star Award-winning destination resort, which continues to distinguish itself as a premier venue for fight-of-the-year level boxing. The May event will mark Turning Stone’s 26th nationally-televised boxing event, cementing the resort as a leading destination for nationally-televised combat sports. Turning Stone features world-class amenities including four hotels, more than 20 signature restaurants and dining options, two spas, an all-new 125,000 square foot Las Vegas style gaming floor, a cabaret-style Showroom, a 5,000-seat arena, five golf courses, several bars, cocktail lounges and nightlife venues with live entertainment every weekend.

Tickets for this matchup go on sale Tuesday, May 1 at 10:00 a.m. ET, and are available from $34 and $85 for the first two rows ringside, $70 for remaining ringside seats and all others priced at $49, $45 and $39 plus any applicable fees. Tickets can be purchased at the Turning Stone Resort Box Office in person or by calling 315-361-7469 or online at Ticketmaster (

For more information, visit and; follow on Twitter @GoldenBoyBoxing, @OscarDeLaHoya, @ESPN, and @ESPNBoxeo; become a fan on Facebook at; and follow on Instagram @GoldenBoyBoxing and @OscarDeLaHoya. Follow the conversation using #GBPonESPN.

Press Golden Boy Promotions / Photo by Tom Hogan

Miguel Cotto Shares his Experience with WBO World Champion Ángel ‘Tito’ Acosta

CAGUAS, PUERTO RICO – All help is good in the face of a first world title defense of the world championship, especially if it comes from the hands of someone with the wealth of experience from former four divisions world champion, Miguel Cotto.

And that is the case of the WBO Jr. flyweight champion, Ángel ‘Tito’ Acosta, who has several sessions of individual work with Cotto to complement that with his coaches in the face of his championship fight on June 16 in the Coliseo de Puerto Rico against the dangerous Nicaraguan Carlos Buitrago as part of a card presented by Miguel Cotto Promotions and H2 Entertainment and which will be televised by DIRECTV Puerto Rico as part of his series ‘Night of Champions’.

Acosta had his most recent encounter with Cotto on Wednesday afternoon in Caguas, where he was seen working certain combinations and displacements that Cotto used to use effectively.

One of them included the use of two consecutive jabs to open the guard, a small displacement to then connect a straight shot and then enter with two powerful hooks before moving again outside the area of exchanges.

“He’s taught me the technique, how to put solid punches. Anyone who stands in front of me, hit him hard. “(Also a) be more aggressive, use the skill, push the boxer, do many things.”, said Acosta (17-1 with 17 knockouts), who is already putting into practice what was taught by Cotto during his preparation.

“Now (Cotto) is well stuck (helping me). He has time to attend me and his boxers. It has helped me a lot. Yesterday I learned a lot from him. On Monday I also did couple of techniques and (later) I was able to do them in sparring. We already have the fight strategy”.

Acosta has aspirations to convert Buitrago (30-3-1 with 17 knockouts) in his eighteenth victim by way of the knockout but he knows that the Nicaraguan will be elusive, so he intends to make the most of the occasions in which the Central American fighter decide to ‘raffle’ in the ‘give and take’.

“He has good boxing, he’s coming to box me, to keep me from hitting him. That’s why I’m smart. The knockout comes alone. But if I see that I can knock him out quickly, I knock him out, ” Acosta said, adding that Buitrago will leave Puerto Rico without achieving his dream of being a world champion.

“He says he’s not going to touch the canvas. But on June 16 he will touch his dream. He will achieve his dream by touching the canvas. ”

For his part, Cotto expressed satisfaction to work with Acosta, although he ruled out dedicating himself fully to the facet of being a boxing trainer.

“Tito is a hard-working, humble, neighborhood boy. The only thing that is done is to help in the best possible way. He has confidence in me and I know he will do the best he can in the fight. In the way that he can trust me, we will continue working in the same way, “said Cotto, adding that whenever he has time, he will do everything possible to share his vast knowledge in pugilism with the boxers he represents and who are coming up .

“This is something spontaneous, (which is given) every time there is an opportunity. It’s not in my north to train (full-time fighters). ”

Integrated Sports Media will distribute La Batalla: Acosta vs. Buitrago in the United States by cable, satellite under the Pay Per View system in digital through iN Demand, Vubiquity, DIRECTV, DISH and live broadcast worldwide (excluding Puerto Rico) in the FITE Application and website. TV (, from 9 p. M. ET / 6 p.m. PT, for a price of only $ 34.95.

Update on WBO World Champion Oscar Valdez

Oscar Valdez’s victory over Scott Quigg on March 10th on a rainy night at the StubHub Center came at quite a cost.

Valdez – facing a Quigg who didn’t even try and make the featherweight limit and came in heavy and thus ineligible to win the WBO featherweight title – suffered a fractured jaw, which hospitalized him for a few days after the fight.

When asked how his fighter was doing, manager Frank Espinoza told – “Since his fight he’s been back to the doctor four times in two-and-a-half months. His progress has come along well. The wire that was in his jaw has been removed so he’s now able to eat solid food. We have periodic checks with the doctor. He’ll be back there in June for another check-up.”

It’s unclear if Valdez (the reigning WBO 126-pound titlist) will return to the ring in 2018.

“That’s solely up to the doctors discretion, it’s his call,” said Espinoza, who makes it clear that Valdez’s return to the ring will not be handled recklessly.

“Listen, he’s had 36 hard, tough rounds and now after suffering a serious injury to his jaw, I have a responsibility to my client to do what’s right for him and his long-term future. He’s the type of guy that will literally fight anybody – as he showed back in March – and there will be plenty of time to make the big fights in the featherweight division but for the time being we will take the appropriate fights to bring Oscar back.”

The 27-year old Valdez (24-0, 19 KO’s) won the WBO strap in the summer of 2016 by blasting out Matias Rueda in two rounds and has made three successful title defenses.

“Oscar will be back stronger and better than ever and he’ll be involved in some of the best fights in the division but again, there will be a process in getting there. That’s my job as a manager to do what’s in his best interest,” stated Espinoza.

Article by Steve Kim / News Editor for / Photo by Mikey Williams / Top Rank–128440



RE:  WBO Jr. Lightweight Title



Mr. Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel
San Juan, PR

Dear Paco;

Hope all is well.

I am writing you on behalf of Team Lomachenko. As you are well aware on May 12 Vasiliy moved up in weight to challenge WBA Lightweight champion Jorge Linares.

As you saw he was successful in capturing the lightweight title. Vasiliy wishes to continue to campaign in the lightweight division, therefore, we respectfully relinquish our WBO Junior Lightweight title so that an opportunity may be given to the ranked contenders to compete for the vacant belt.

Paco, we are so grateful to you and the WBO family for affording us the privilege of being a WBO World Champion from the start of his career. We hope in the near future we will once again be afforded the chance to fight for another championship with the WBO.

As always, we thank you for your continued support and friendship.


Carl Moretti
Vice President/Boxing Operations

Gilberto Ramirez defends WBO belt versus Alexis Angulo live on BoxNation

Super middleweight world champion Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez will make the fourth defence of his WBO belt against the hard-hitting Roamer Alexis Angulo, live and exclusive on BoxNation.

Taking place at the home of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena on June 30th, 26-year-old Ramirez will face his third unbeaten challenger in a row as he defends his crown against the formidable Colombian Angulo.

Ramirez (37-0, 25 KOs), from Mazatlán, Mexico, became the first Mexican-born super middleweight champion when he shut out three-time world champion Arthur Abraham in 2016.

He has since gone on to beat Ukrainian Max Bursak, before a nip-and-tuck battle against No. 1 contender Jesse ‘Hollywood’ Hart, ultimately prevailing by unanimous decision.

In his last bout in February of this year Ramirez scored the first stoppage of his championship reign with a sixth-round TKO over Habib Ahmed.

His next challenge now comes against Angulo (23-0, 20 KOs), who has won his last five bouts by knockout, most recently winning the WBO Latino belt with a first-round knockout over Evert Bravo.

Now, as part of BoxNation’s exclusive output deal with promoters Top Rank, the pair will do battle next month live and exclusive in the UK and Ireland on ‘The Channel of Champions’ BoxNation.

“I want to prove that I’m the best fighter in the division. I’m willing to leave everything in the ring to defend my title,” Ramirez said. “I want to dedicate this fight to all the Mexicans and all the Latinos who reside in Oklahoma, I would like many of them to be present in the arena. That would motivate me even more. I’ll be waiting for you guys on June 30.”

Oklahoma City’s Alex ‘El Cholo’ Saucedo will also be on the bill as he looks to continue his march to a 140-pound title shot against Lenny Zappavigna in a 10-round special attraction.

Saucedo, ranked No. 3 by the WBO at 140 pounds, last fought in March against Abner Lopez, knocking him out in the seventh round with a left hook to the body.

Against Zappavigna, Saucedo will be fighting in his home city of Oklahoma City for the first time since 2014.

“We are looking forward to a great event in Oklahoma City. Zurdo Ramirez is always in great fights, and Angulo will give him a real battle,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum, founder and CEO of Top Rank. “It’s also with great pride that we were able to put in Oklahoma City native Alex Saucedo against a world class fighter like Lenny Zappavigna.”

Jim McMunn, BoxNation Managing Director, said: “Gilberto Ramirez is one of the very best super-middleweights in the world and looks to be getting better and better each time we see him. Against Roamer Alexis Angulo he faces a real test against an undefeated and ferocious puncher who has everything to gain on June 30th. It’s going to be a great card, with Alex Saucedo also set to feature against Lenny Zappavigna, all live and exclusive on BoxNation.”

BoxNation is available on Sky/Freeview/Virgin/TalkTalk/EE/Apple TV/ online at, via apps (iOS, Android, Amazon) and TV Player for just £12 a month. Buy now at

Photo by Mikey Williams / Top Rank

Flanagan-Hooker for WBO Jr. Welterweight World Title

Terry Flanagan and Maurice Hooker will clash for the vacant WBO Super-Lightweight World Championship at the Manchester Arena on Saturday 9th June. The exciting match-up lands on the same card that features the return of former Heavyweight World Champion Tyson Fury.

Flanagan is stepping up to 140 pounds after vacating his WBO Lightweight World Title, and is confident of becoming a two-weight World Champion.

He currently holds the longest undefeated record in British boxing (33-0, 13KO’s) and will be aiming to unify the Super-Lightweight division once he triumphs at his ‘home’ Arena on June 9th.

“Winning this fight will prove that I’m a legitimate 140 pound fighter,” said Flanagan. “I’ll be looking to unify all of the belts later in the year. I’m looking for the likes of Mikey Garcia after I win the WBO belt on June 9th. It’s a massive unification fight and I hope those are the fights Frank can make.

“He is a very good unbeaten fighter, he fights on the back foot and looks to catch you from distance. I’m not looking past Hooker but I’m very confident I’ll be able to deal with anything he throws at me to become a two-weight World Champion.”

American challenger Hooker has been training with pound-for-pound star Terrance Crawford in preparation for his showdown with Flangan and has had plenty to say about the Ancoats star since their match-up was first announced earlier this year.

“I’m gonna wake him up,” said Hooker. “He’s weak and he’s soft. He hasn’t fought anybody. He fights little guys. I hit hard with both hands. He’s never fought anyone with skills like me. He runs a lot. He does that real good. Power? He hasn’t got any power. He pitty-pats!”

Hooker, whose record reads 23-0-3 (16 KOs) has claimed that ‘Turbo’ is a dirty fighter and has torn into the Mancunians tactics.

“I’ve been watching his fights. He holds a lot, he uses his forearm to the head. He does a lot of stuff dirty. I’m going to stop him and I’m going to show him who’s the best at 140! It could be the first round, second round or third round… but he’s going down!”

Tickets for Flanagan v Hooker are available purchase NOW via the Manchester Arena on and tel: 0844 847 8000.

Tickets for this unmissable event start from just £40.

WBO light flyweight champion Tito Acosta to showcase skills & build his legacy vs. Carlos Buitrago

World Boxing Organization Light Flyweight World Champion Tito Acosta will showcase his vast skills June 16 in his first title defense against Nicaraguan challenger Carlos “Chocorroncito” Buitrago in the “La Batalla” 12-round main event, airing on pay-per-view, live from the Coliseo de Puerto Rico Center in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.

La Batalla: Acosta vs. Buitrago is presented by Miguel Cotto Promotions, which is owned and operated by the first Puerto Rican boxer to capture world titles in four different weight classes, future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto, and H2 Entertainment, in association with DIRECTV Puerto Rico.

Integrated Sports Media will distribute the La Batalla: Acosta vs. Buitrago card in the United States on cable, satellite and digital pay-per-view via iN Demand, Vubiquity, DIRECTV, DISH and live-streamed worldwide (excluding Puerto Rico) on the FITE.TV app and website (, starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, for a suggested retail price of only $34.95.

Building his own legacy in a traditionally rich, hot-bed for boxing like Puerto Rico, Acosta (17-1, 17 KOs) captured the vacant WBO title last December at famed Madison Square Garden, when he knocked out Juan Alejo (24-4-1), of Mexico, in the 10th round.

An outstanding amateur boxer with more than 180 matches, highlighted by his gold-medal performance at the Central American Games,), the San Juan-based fighter has defeated 22-5 Juan Guzman (KO1), 12-1 Japhet Uutoni (TKO12), and 28-5-3 Luis Ceja (KO2).

“My goal is to be the best,” Acosta said. “I grew-up watching Tito Trinidad and Miguel Cotto, who are my favorite fighters. I will work as hard as I can to give the best to my family, as well as make my island proud. I will win on June 16th and let the world know that I am the best 108-pound boxer in the world.”

Having a future Hall of Famer such as Cotto as his promoter is a tremendous advantage, in and out of the ring, for Acosta. “It means a lot and is an honor for me to have a living legend like Miguel Cotto as my promoter,” Acosta explained. “He has guided my career the best way. He also gets involved in my camp and wants me to get better and better every fight.”

“Tito Acosta is a really good fighter,” Cotto commented about his protégé. “He is World Champion for a reason. We will work to give him the best opportunities. Tito has an opportunity to show the world on June 16th what he is made of and who he is. As World Champion, he needs to be at the highest level to have a brilliant performance each fight, because the better performances and victories, the bigger name he will build.”

“It is important for a fighter to do his job in the ring because every performance is a unique opportunity to show the world who you are and at what level you belong. People in Puerto Rico love boxing, and its fighters.”

WBA #2-rated Buitrago (30-3-1, 17 KOs) will be fighting in his fifth world title fight, after losing three times with one draw. He was stopped for the first time in his last fight this past December, by undefeated International Boxing Federation (IBF) Minimumweight World Champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (8-0), in the eighth round of their title fight in Japan.

All three of Buitrago’s career losses have been to world champions, including a pair to Thammanooon Niyomtrong (11-0) in 2016 and 2014, both by way of 12-round unanimous decisions in Thailand for the Interim WBA title. Buitrago also fought a 12-round split draw in 2013 to then-WBO Minimum World Champion Merlito Sabillo (12-0) in Manila, Philippines.

“Chris Buitrago is a great fighter and tough challenger, who has the highest level of experience, and that motivates me,” Acosta spoke about his Nicaraguan opponent. “People want to watch a toe-to-toe brawl and he brings that style. I think he will brawl with me, but I’ll be ready for any style he brings June 16th.

“I work for the KO (he has 17 knockouts in his 17 wins) because that’s what fans like. I work for that every fight and I will win June 16th by knockout!”

Additional June 16th PPV fights will soon be announced. All fights and fighters are subject to change.

Press Release by Full Court Press

Australia, Turkey, Japan and England to host WBO bouts

The World Boxing Organization (WBO), chaired by Francisco ‘Paco’ Valcárcel, will have seven fights in different parts of the world this upcoming weekend.

Saturday, May 19:

In Australia, there will be a duel of unbeatens when the popular Australian Liam Paro (13-0, 9 KO’s) faces Sebastian Bytyqi (11-0-1, 8 KO’s) of the Czech Republic for the vacant WBO Youth Jr. Welterweight title. The fight is scheduled for 10 rounds and it’ll take place at the Southport Sharks AFL Club in Southport.

“Paro and Bytyqi have the backing of world champions for this fight. Paro has been sparring with our WBO world champion Jeff Horn and in Bytyqi’s corner, he has Lukas Konecny, a former interim WBO champion and is the best fighter the Czech Republic has given so far”, said Valcárcel.

In Turkey, from the Spor Salonu in Trabzon, former world champion and WBO #2 Firat Arslan (47-8-2, 26 KO’s) will face Isaac Paa Kwesi Ankrah (14-7, 12 KO’s) of Ghana in a 10 round bout for the WBO Inter-Continental Jr. Heavyweight belt. Former Olympian, current WBO Jr. Welterweight European champion and #12 ranked, Fatih Keles (10-0-1, 5 KO’s) of Turkey, will be making the third defense of his title against Russian Maxim Churbanov (8-3-1), and former Olympian Ali Eren Demirezen (8-0-0) will defend his WBO European Heavyweight belt against Georgia’s Tornike Puritchamiashvili (11-8-0, 7 KO’s).

In England, WBO Inter-Continental Junior Welterweight title holder and 4th ranked Jack Catterall (20-0, 11 KO’s) will be making his seventh title defense against Frenchman Christopher Sebire (26-10-1, 9 KO’s). Then, in duel of Englishmen, Darren Tetley (15-0, 6 KO’s) will face Mason Cartwright (13-0-1, 5 KO’s) for the vacant WBO welterweight European belt. The fight venue is the Elland Road Football Ground in Leeds.

Sunday, May 20:

The boxing movement of WBO regional titles continues, and will take place in Japan, where the WBO Asia-Pacific lightweight champion and #2 ranked Nihito Arakawa (31-6-1, 18 KO’s) will put his title on the line against Filipino, Rimar Metuda (12-3, 7 KO’s) in a bout that’ll take place in the Ota-City General Gymnasium.

“We are very active all around the world. We are extending our organization so that the best fighters represent the WBO. Several of the fighters who will see action this weekend are close to going for a world title. Arakawa, Catterall, Arslan, Demirezen and Keles are very well ranked. If they continue with their winning streaks, great things will come for them”, expressed Valcárcel.

Arslan, Keles and Demirezen Ready To Defend WBO Belts

Turkish Boxing Night will take place on May 19th in Trabzon, Turkey. EC Boxpromotion and Erol Ceylan will organize the seven match package, and Birol Topuz and RMO Boxing is co-promoter of the boxing night.

Firat Arslan (41-8-2) , a former WBA cruiserweight world champion, will defend his WBO Inter-Continental Cruiserweight title against Isaac Paa Kweshi Ankrah (14-7-0).

The 47 years old southpaw is happy to come back to his motherland for the second time in his career. Arslan had fought the first time in Turkey in 2017 against Gezim Tahiri. Arslan is well known for his bouts with Marco Huck and Virgil Hill. The veteran fighter holds the second position in the WBO rankings.

Trabzon-born local fighter Fatih Keles (10-0-1) won the WBO European super lightweight title against Rafik Harutjunjan in Germany. The Amateur European champion defended his title against French contender Renald Garrido twice. Keles, a London Olympian, will next face Maxim Churbanov (8-3-1) in Turkey.

Rio Olympian Ali Eren Demirezen (8-0-0) won the WBO European Heavyweight Title against Rad Rashid in Germany on March 24th of this year. The 28 year-old will face Tornike Puritchamiashvili (11-8-0).–128236

WBO Champion Jeff Horn wants to make an early statement against Terence Crawford

For Jeff Horn, it was a statement round; to a highly sceptical boxing world, to his decorated opponent and most importantly, to himself.

In front of 50,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium, against an all-time great in Manny Pacquiao, many expected Horn to be overwhelmed and outgunned from the first bell. Nerves would devour him, then Pacquiao would feast on his bones.

Instead it was Horn that fought like the more-seasoned man. He pounced on Pacquiao, shook off the nerves, took the round and set himself on the path to a famous victory. Pacquiao laughed and dared him to come on harder… there’s rarely a better sign that a fighter has found themselves in deeper than they predicted.

Now Horn hopes to repeat the dose when he meets Terence Crawford and defends his WBO welterweight strap at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on June 9.

With the belief Horn has been fed to the lions to gift the undefeated Crawford an easy crown in his first outing since moving up to welterweight, the Brisbane fighter knows he must put himself on the map early.

He said he wanted to remind Crawford, rated by most in the top handful of pound-for-pound fighters in the world, that he was the man with the belt and not in Vegas on a holiday.

The respect out of the ring is genuine, even if the relationship between the camps has gone steadily south amid a string of delays, injuries to Crawford and a minor controversy about the type of gloves to be used.

In the ring, Horn said the charity would quickly evaporate.

“He’s [Crawford] a different fighter because he likes that counter-punching style, where Manny likes to fight in bursts. He wants to be on top of you straight away,” Horn said before another sparring session on Monday.

“I have to treat it the same way and show him [Crawford] little respect in there. I’m the world champion, he’s coming to fight me and I have to show that I am the champion.”

Horn is too switched on and well trained to be reckless early but his ability to tune out of boxing and all of its endless noise has proven to be one of his best weapons as a top-flight pro.

He wasn’t daunted at all by fighting in front of 50,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium and said if Crawford thought he would be off his game fighting in the US, he was mistaken.

“It’s pretty inspiring [to fight in Vegas]. I went there for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight and for a holiday as well as the ESPYs. I’ve been there a few times. It’s an amazing place. But to fight there will be different.

“Duco have done a really good thing to make these big shows for me. Suncorp, you can’t beat that. The bright lights are there but it will be the same as all the other fights.”

The furore about Crawford fighting in minimalist horsehair gloves has proven to be much ado about nothing, with their camp denying over the weekend that they would be their weapon of choice.

Horn and his trainer Glenn Rushton will prepare for any late changes but Horn can now resume training and fighting in his more familiar Everlast Powerlock gloves, which he has donned for his past 10 fights.

WBO World Champion Zolani Tete added to WBSS

Three Bantamweight World Champions, Ryan Burnett (WBA), Manny Rodriguez (IBF) and Zolani Tete (WBO), are the first confirmed fighters for the second season of the World Boxing Super Series.

“After a fantastic first season with Super Middleweight and Cruiserweight, we have decided that bigger is better. So we are going out with three divisions in our second season,” said Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer, Kalle Sauerland.

“We are delighted to have three champions agreed to go into the Bantamweight tournament.”

“Burnett, Rodriguez and Tete represent three continents, they represent what the World Boxing Super Series is all about and we cannot wait to see these amazing athletes compete for the Muhammad Ali Trophy.“

A sensational line-up is in the making for Season 2 of the World Boxing Super Series with three world champions entering the Bantamweight edition of the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy, The Greatest Prize in Boxing.

The ingredients for epic battles are in the mix: ’O’s will go, titles will be unified and titles lost as Ryan Burnett, Emmanuel Rodriguez and Zolani Tete join the revolutionary bracket-style elimination tournament.

Said 30-year-old WBO World Bantamweight Champion Zolani Tete (27-3, 21 KOs) from Eastern Cape, South Africa:

“I would like to thank the World Boxing Super Series for the opportunity, I am very humbled and honoured to enter the tournament. This is the opportunity I have been looking for; to show that I am the best in my division.”

Five fighters remain to be revealed to complete the Bantamweight cast. Further details on Season 2, featuring three weight classes, and the finals of Season 1, will be announced over the next weeks.

Fujimoto stops Russell to retain WBO title!

Earlier today Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific unified Heavyweight champion Kyotaro Fujimoto (19-1, 11) [藤本 京太郎] successfully retain his titles and stop Australian challenger Aaron Russell (11-5, 4) in what was a rather one sided contest.

The challenger looked determined and confident to begin with, as he tried to fight behind his jab and straight right hand. Despite that confidence it was Fujimoto who took the opening round with his power, speed and variety out shining the simple work of the challenger. The work rateof Fujimoto picked up round by round and after 4 rounds, when the score cards were announced, he was leading 40-36 on all 3 cards.

Fujimoto began to up his output again in the middle rounds, and forced Russell on on to the back foot more and morem forcing him to shell up more. With his pounches flowing at the start of round 7 Kyotaro forced Russell’s corner to throw in the towel and save their man from taking further punishment.

Ceballos retiene fajín OMB y le quita el invicto al brasileño Simoes

Mérida.- Manuel “Venado” Ceballos retuvo esta noche la corona semicompleta Latino de la OMB al vencer por nócaut técnico en el décimo y último asalto del combate al hasta esta mañana invicto brasileño Marlos Simoes al que derribó en dos ocasiones para propinarle su primera derrota en el profesionalismo y mantener su condición de campeón, así como su clasificación entre los 10 mejores del mundo de su división.

Ceballos, dominador en casi todos los pasajes de la pelea, aprovechó el cansancio de su retador que si bien logró golpearlo y conectarlo, jamás puso en serio peligro su permanencia sobre el trono ante la afición que lo vio ganar en la arena de la Confederación de Trabajadores de México (CTM), en un evento de A&T Promotions.

Luego de nueve rounds en los que llevaba una clara ventaja sobre su retador amazónico, Ceballos conectó una serie de combinaciones a la cabeza de Simoes, quien se desplomó cerca del centro del cuadrilátero, pudiéndose levantar antes del conteo del réferi Miguel Canul.

Empero, instantes después, el campeón fue por él y al conectarlo de nuevo a la testa, luego de haberlo hecho en el cuerpo, se desplomó virtualmente en su esquina, desfallecido, para que el tercero sobre la superficie decretase el final del combate al 1:07 de ese décimo y último episodio.

Ceballos, con el resultado, llegó a 16 peleas, con 15 triunfos, una sola derrota y nueve nocauts, para hacer la segunda defensa de su título.

Simoes, a su vez, sostuvo su pelea 15 y sufrió su primer revés en el profesionalismo, luego de haber ganado 12 veces y haber empatados en dos ocasiones. Tiene, además, cuatro nócauts.

El cinturón de campeón fue colocado por el visor de la Organización Mundial de Boxeo (OMB), el mexicano Rafael López Santos.

Nietes, Palicte Camps Working To Reach Deal For WBO Title Clash

MANILA, Philippines — Another All-Filipino battle for a world title is on the horizon as the respective camps of former 3-division world champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes (41-1-4, 23 KO’s) of Bacolod, Negros Occidental, and hard-hitting “Mighty” Aston Palicte (24-2, 20 KO’s) of Bago City (also in Negros Occidental) are in deep negotiations for their clash for the vacant WBO Super Flyweight World belt.

In a letter from Luis Batista Salas of the WBO Championships Committee dated April 30 to Michael Aldeguer of ALA Promotions (handler of Nietes) and Guy Tayor of Roy Jones Jr. Boxing (promoter of Palicte), the two camps have been given a period of time of only 10 days to work-out an agreement.

If an agreement is not reached by the two camps within the ten days, the WBO will order a purse bid, with a minimum acceptable bid of $100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Dollars). However, either camp may call for a purse bid at any time during their ongoing negotiation.

The winner of the Nietes-Palicte clash will be required to defend his newly acquired title against a mandatory challenger designated by the WBO, within 90 days from date of the fight.

Nietes-Palicte would be the third time in history that two Filipino fighters battle for a world title in pro boxing. The first one was Villa-Sencio in Manila in 1925, and the second will Ancajas-Sultan to take place on May 26 in Fresno, CA.–127909


Con más de ocho semanas de intensa preparación el sólido prospecto tijuanense Jaime Munguía cerró ayer las sesiones de sparrings con la prueba de los 12 rounds para su combate del sábado 12 de mayo en Verona, Nueva York contra el campeón mundial Superwelter WBO Sadam Alí y afirma estar más que listo para dar coronarse campeón.

Munguía hizo una preparación de 4 semanas en su natal Tijuana y las últimas cuatro en Azusa, California con el entrenador Robert Alcazar.

Munguía (28-0-0, 24 Ko’s) y Ali (26-1-0, 14 Ko’s) chocarán en el combate estelar de la velada que Golden Boy Promotions, en asociación con Promociones Zanfer, montará en el Turning Stone Resort & Casino de Verona, Nueva York y transmitirá HBO al mundo y en México Azteca 7, La Casa del Boxeo transmitirá a todo el país. 

El nacido en Tijuana, de apenas 21 años de edad, reemplazará a Liam “Beefy” Smith, ya que estaba programado para combatir ante Ali pero debido a complicaciones de salud a tan sólo tres semanas de la pelea abandonó el combate. 

El poco tiempo con el que se le avisó a Munguía Escobedo de esta oportunidad titular no será un problema para él, pues tenía programado pelear en la cartelera #GGGMartirosyan. 

“Llegaré en perfectas condiciones ya que iba a pelear el sábado en la función de Golovkin y traigo una gran  preparación. Estoy muy contento y motivado por esta oportunidad y con muchas ganas de regalarle otro campeonato a México”, comentó Munguía, quien hizo   a tope los 12 rounds con tres sparrings distintos. 

Para esta pelea Munguía se hizo de los servicios del experimentado entrenador Robert Alcazar, quien ha estado en la esquina de grandes peleadores como lo son Oscar De La Hoya, Jessie Vargas, Edwin Valero, entre otros. 

“Me he acoplado muy bien con Robert, he aprendido bastante, a mí siempre me ha gustado trabajar fuerte y el me exige mucho, estoy muy a gusto, contento y satisfecho con la preparación con la que llegaremos mi entrenador y yo”, aseguró el de Tijuana y agregó que en los siguientes días continuará con sus corridas, ejercicios de soltura y aparatos.

¨Cerramos fuerte, explosivos y con una excelente condición física en los siguientes días continuar con mis rutinas de corrida y de gimnasio, sin sparrings, lo del peso estamos en tiempo y forma sin preocupación alguna¨ señaló el joven retador.

 Esta será la segunda presentación de Munguía en los Estados Unidos, el pasado mes de diciembre debutó en ese país cuando derrotó por nocaut técnico a Paul Valenzuela Jr. en Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ali intentará defender con éxito por primera ocasión su cinturón después de arrebatárselo al puertorriqueño Miguel Cotto tras vencerlo por decisión unánime, también en diciembre en Nueva York. 

De ganar Jaime Munguía sería de los pocos peleadores mexicanos  que se coronaron muy jóvenes,

En un dato del Sr. Eduardo Lamazon informa que  hay un un selecto grupo de boxeadores mexicanos que conquistaron títulos antes de los 21 años de edad entre quienes se encuentran Raúl ¨Ratón¨ Macías, Pipino Cuevas, Jorge ¨Travieso¨ Arce,  Diego ¨Pelucho¨ Morales, Manuel ¨Mantecas¨ Medina,  Francisco ¨Chihuas¨ Rodríguez y Saúl ¨Canelo¨ Álvarez.

Salvador Sánchez tenía 21 años  cuando conquistó el cetro mundial Pluma WBC al derrotar a Danny ¨Coloradito¨ López.

¨Será grandioso unirme a este grupo de grandes boxeadores mexicanos que lograron la gloria tan jóvenes, el sábado alcanzó mi sueño sin duda¨ aseguró el tijuanense

Jaime Munguía y su equipo de trabajo viajarán este martes a la sede del combate vía Los Angeles, California




*Todos los tiempos son del Este*


1:00 p.m.                    PESAJE OFICIAL DE ALI VS. MUNGUÍA 

                                    Lugar: The Oneida Room, Turning Stone Resort Casino

                                    12:45 p.m. – Se Abren Las Puertas

                                    1:00 p.m. – Inicia El Pesaje

Véanlo en vivo:  o

*Este es un evento en vivo, por favor llegar puntualmente*


5:30 p.m.                    SE ABREN LAS PUERTAS

Lugar: Turning Stone Event Center, Turning Stone Resort Casino

6:00 p.m.                    SE ABRE CUARTO DE PRENSA PARA OBTENER


Lugar: Tower Hotel Conference Center, Oak Room Turning Stone Resort Casino (R9 en mapa)


6:30 p.m.                    INICIA PRIMER COMBATE


9:00 p.m.                    CENTRO DE PRENSA CIERRA SUS PUERTAS

                                    Prensa debe obtener sus credenciales antes de las 9:00 p.m.



WBO Junior Flyweight Champion Tito Acosta To Make 1st Title Defense vs Carlos Buitrago!


(May 1st) Miguel Cotto Promotions hosted a press conference earlier today to announce World Boxing Organization Junior Flyweight World Champion Tito Acosta will make his first title defense at home on June 16 against Nicaraguan challenger Carlos “Chocorroncito” Buitrago in the “La Batalla” 12-round main event, airing on pay-per-view, live from the Coliseo de Puerto Rico Center in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.

La Batalla: Acosta vs. Buitrago is presented by Miguel Cotto Promotions, which is owned and operated by the first Puerto Rican boxer to capture world titles in four different weight classes, future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto, and H2 Entertainment, in association with DIRECTV Puerto Rico.

Integrated Sports Media will distribute the La Batalla: Acosta vs. Buitrago card in the United States on cable, satellite and digital pay-per-view via iN Demand, Vubiquity, DIRECTV, DISH and live-streamed worldwide (excluding Puerto Rico) on the FITE.TV app and website (, starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, for a suggested retail price of only $34.95

“Tito Acosta is that fighter you can’t blink your eyes,” promoter Miguel Cotto said. “He brings excitement to every fight and power to finish in any second. This fight against Carlos Buitrago will be fireworks from the opening bell.”

Acosta (17-1, 17 KOs), fighting out of San Juan, Puerto Rico., captured the vacant WBO title last December at famed Madison Square Garden, when he knocked out his Mexican challenger, Juan Alejo (24-4-1), in the 10th round.

A standout amateur boxer with more than 180 matches, highlighted by his gold-medal performance at the Central American Games, is a past WBO Latino and World Boxing Council (WBC) light flyweight champion. His most notable victories have been against 22-5 Juan Guzman (KO1), 12-1 Japhet Uutoni (TKO12), and 28-5-3 Luis Ceja (KO2).

“Buitrago says that his dream is to become the world champion, to that I say, keep on dreaming,” Acosta said.  “I’m not underestimating him, but this will be my night, not his.”

Buitrago (30-3-1, 17 KOs), 26, is currently world rated at No. 12 by the WBO. The Managua-native will be fighting in his fifth world title fight having lost three times with one draw. In his last match this past December, he was stopped for the first time in the eighth round by undefeated International Boxing Federation (IBF) Minimumweight World Champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (8-0) in Japan.

In fact, all three of Buitrago’s career losses as a professional have been to world champions, including a pair to Thammanooon Niyomtrong (11-0) in 2016 and 2014, both by way of 12-round unanimous decisions in Thailand for the Interim WBA title. Buitrago also fought a 12-round split draw in 2013 to then WBO Minimum World Champion Merlito Sabillo (12-0) in Manila, Philippines.

“I will enter the ring in the best shape of my life with one objective in sight: to fulfill my dream of becoming the world champion and give my country a historic win,” Buitrago commented.  “The battle is on and I hope to come out victorious.”

Additional June 16th PPV fights will soon be announced. All fights and fighters are subject to change.

Photos: Joseph Parker Putting in Work For Anthony Joshua Clash

SHOWTIME Sports will present the Heavyweight World championship unification between undefeated IBF, IBO and WBA World Champion Anthony Joshua MBE and unbeaten WBO World Champion Joseph Parker on Saturday, March 31 live on SHOWTIME from Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. (photos by Lawrence Lustig).

British sensation Joshua, who has knocked out all 20 of his professional opponents, burst onto the global scene with a dramatic knockout of long-reigning Heavyweight kingpin Wladimir Klitschko in the universally acclaimed 2017 Fight of the Year at Wembley Stadium in London.

In two fights last year, Joshua drew 168,000 spectators combined to massive stadium events in the U.K. Now, he faces another significant challenge in Parker, a native of New Zealand with 24 wins, no losses and 18 knockouts.  Parker is attempting the third World title defence of his WBO belt.

Joshua vs. Parker is just the second Heavyweight championship unification in history between undefeated World titleholders. The only fighter to emerge victorious from a matchup of unbeaten Heavyweight World champions was Mike Tyson in 1987.

With the addition of Joshua vs. Parker, SHOWTIME will televise all four of the Heavyweight World titles in the same month as undefeated American Deontay Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) will defend his WBC belt against unbeaten Luis Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) on Saturday, March 3 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The four top-rated Heavyweights–Wilder, Ortiz, Joshua and Parker–boast a combined record of 111 wins, zero losses and 100 knockouts.

Both Heavyweight championships are cornerstones of a remarkable 2018 SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING schedule that now includes 16 undefeated fighters and 13 world titles fights across 11 marquee events through the first six months of the year.

“The Heavyweight division is in the midst of a renaissance and SHOWTIME is delivering the all of the pivotal bouts to our subscribers,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “Anthony Joshua is a global superstar and we’re proud to present his sixth, and perhaps most challenging, World title fight to the U.S. audience. Joshua vs. Parker will be the 12th Heavyweight World championship match on SHOWTIME since Deontay Wilder won his title in 2015, an undisputed industry-leading offering in boxing’s preeminent division.”

The event is promoted by Matchroom Boxing in association with Duco Events. SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING will televise the event live from Principality Stadium where organizers expect a sell-out of 80,000 spectators. The host of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is Brian Custer. Mauro Ranallo calls the action from ringside along with International Boxing Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein and former two-division World champion Paul Malignaggi. A 2018 Boxing Hall of Fame inductee, Jim Gray, serves as ringside reporter.–126485?print_friendly=1

Yamanaka stops Calleros to keep WBO 105lb belt

By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Sumio Yamada

WBO 105-pound champ Ryuya Yamanaka (16-2, 5 KOs), 105, impressively kept his belt in his initial defense as he was awarded a TKO victory after the eighth round when Mexican Moises Calleros (28-8-1, 16 KOs), 105, quit on the stool because of his absorption of punishment in the eighth on Sunday in Kobe, Japan.

Yamanaka utilized his faster left hand to be leading on points: Gerard White (US), Jose Roberto Torres (Puerto Rico) both 80-72, and Salven Lagumbay (Philippines) 78-74, all for Yamanaka. The ref was Jose H. Rivera (Puerto Rico). Calleros showed his retaliation with body shots to the fleet-footed champ in the third and fourth, but Yamanaka took the pace and accelerated his furious attack to hurt the game Mexican with a flurry of punches in the fatal session.

Before this reporter writes a detailed fight report, I wish to describe Ryuya Yamanaka’s heart-warming life story to support his family. His mother Rie, 46, divorced with six children including the oldest son Ryuya when he was only thirteen. She devoted all herself to having them grow up within a very limited economy. Since she had to take care of small sons and daughters in the daytime, Rie worked at night–serving as a dishwasher, taxi car washer, night sweeper, etc.

Ryuya gave up going to high school and began to work at the age of sixteen to support his mother and family. The shaven skulled Ryuya happened to watch his future idol and club senior, then WBC bantamweight champ Hazumi Hasegawa successfully defend his belt by a spectacular knockout, and made up his mind to enter the same boxing club, Shinsei Gym. His younger brother Daiki, 19, also followed a same footstep and became a professional boxer in the minimum division, scoring a 5-2 ledger.

For what does he fight? Ryuya says, “I strongly wish to build a house and gift it to my mother and family.” They lived in a small apartment together since his childhood, and it is Ryuya’s strong motivation to keep defending his world belt to realize his dream to have his family live in a new house with his ring earnings.

Japan, generally speaking, has become rich and a great majority of the younger generation seldom know poverty and hunger. But Ryuya Yamanaka had a real hunger for fame and fortune for the sake of his family to have them enjoy a wealthy life. Let’s go back to review the title bout where Yamanaka displayed a remarkable improvement and unexpectedly halted the highly regarded Mexican hombre.

Ryuya Yamanaka, unlike great WBC 118-pound champ Shinsuke Yamanaka, hadn’t been highly evaluated by our fight scribes because of (1) a low KO ratio (15-2, only 4 KOs), (2) a previous first-round knockout loss by Kenta Shimizu in his fifth bout of the national four-round tourney and (3) his outboxing style (people here love aggressive punchers). He lost a split verdict to free-swinging Filipino Roque Lauro in 2014, which was his last setback with eight consecutive victories since. Ryuya displayed very sharp outboxing in acquiring the vacant OPBF 105-pound belt by outspeeding and outpunching top ranked OPBF contender Merlito Sabillo en route to a lopsided decision (119-110, 118-110, 117-111) in Kobe in November 2016.

Having moved up to be the WBO top challenger, Yamanaka went to the champion’s home turf—Ashikita gun (ward) in Kumamoto Prefecture—to have a mandatory shot against compatriot Tatsuya Fukuhara last August. An obvious underdog Ryuya amazingly caused an upset and wrested the WBO minimumweight belt by a unanimous decision (116-112, 115-113 twice) over twelve hard-fought rounds. Yamanaka outlegged the game southpaw infighter Fukuhara to win the belt.

Mexican Moises Calleros was the hombre that Fukuhara struggled to beat on a split decision (116-112 twice, 113-115) in the WBO title bout for the vacant championship in February 2017. Ryuya’s manager/promoter Masato Yamashita, in this voluntary defense, selected the tough and dangerous Calleros in his first defense.

From the outset, Ryuya displayed good jabs and fast footwork to take the initiative. Faster on hand and foot, Yamanaka was in command in the first two sessions. But Calleros positively attempted to mix it up in the middle or close range in the third and fourth sessions. Ryuya, however, regained his rhythm and footwork from the fifth onward, and worked the body with solid shots that apparently weakened the game Mexican. Jabbing with precision, Ryuya completely dominated the pace and hurt the onrushing Mexican with solid and accurate uppercuts to the face.

The fatal eighth witnessed Ryuya positively turn loose with sharp left-right combos and pin him to the ropes with a flurry of punches, and Calleros barely weathered the storm of Ryuya’s aggression. But it was surprising that Calleros quit going on after the eighth, which might show his damage caused by Yamanaka’s determined onslaught.

The victor jubilantly said in the ring, “I’m happy to win and defend my belt. Mother, I always thank for your support!” The crestfallen loser with a swollen face said, “Yamanaka was fast and skillful. His uppercut really hurt me.”

His manager Yamashita smilingly said, “I trained his left hand exclusively, and he improved his power of the left hand in jabbing and left-hooking. He is still twenty-two, and will become stronger with his discipline.”

The champ will enjoy a vacation to accompany his family to Nagashima Spa Land, a family resort place. The still-improving Ryuya may become an excellent champion with good footwork and sharp jabbing.

WBO supervisor: Tsuyoshi Yasukochi (Japan).
Promoter: Shinsei Promotions.

Yamanaka-Calleros Full Report

Nietes: Sor Rungvisai, Estrada, Chocolatito – I Want Them Next!

By Dennis Principe –

Call him a late bloomer or what but three-division world champion Donnie ‘Ahas’ Nietes has the feeling of a 24-year-old boxer ready to take on all comers in the quickest possible time.

Indeed, it took some time, more than a decade to be exact, before the 35-year-old Nietes could finally earn the adulation of boxing fans and pundits, thanks to a highly successful boxing program series “Pinoy Pride” that was painstakingly produced by his handlers and their TV network partner ABS-CBN.

For a while, Nietes (41-1-4, 23 knockouts) took a backseat to his more illustrious stablemates at the famed ALA Boxing Gym as people were enamoured with the likes of Czar Amonsot, Rey ‘Boom Boom’ Bautista, AJ ‘Bazooka’ Banal and Z Gorres who all came short of winning a world crown.

“Even when he became a world champion, his snake was more popular than him,” said promoter Michael Aldeguer, the top honcho of ALA Boxing Promotions.

Back in the day, boxing fans were more interested in having a picture with that reptile Nietes would bring along whenever he made his ring entrance.

“I never thought about it as an insult. My focus is how to win every fight. I even actually wanted to bring my snakes to the US but I just can’t get a visa for them,” was how Nietes light-heartedly recalled people’s admiration towards his unusual pet.

Just last month, Nietes scored what many believe was a breakthrough win for him as it came 11 years after he won his first world crown.

Nietes was able to defend his IBF world flyweight crown via a masterful seventh round destruction of mandatory challenger and former two-division titleholder Juan Carlos Reveco of Argentina on February 24 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

What made the win special for Nietes was the fact that the fight was held beneath the super flyweight title bout between defending champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand and Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada – which was won by the Thai via decision to keep his WBC crown.

“Estrada and Rungvisai, those two are my dream fights. You can add (Roman) Chocolatito (Gonzalez) to that list, anyone among the three, I want them next,” said Nietes.

Being a longtime WBO champion, Nietes is being given the first option to vie for the vacant 115lb crown recently vacated by Naoya Inoue of Japan who decided to move up in weight.

Before conquering the flyweight division, Nietes held the WBO minimumweight crown September 2007 to August 2010 then moved up to capture the WBO 108lb crown which hew held from October 2011 to May 2016.

Initially, the WBO was set to sanction a title bout between Nietes and Gonzalez but the Nicaraguan informed the organization of his desire to have one tune-up match in May before gunning for a world crown.

“I don’t want any more tune-up bouts in moving up. I’ll take that WBO (super flyweight) title shot against anyone that my manager brings in front of me,” said Nietes “I’ve waited for this for a long time I fear that a tune up might make me rusty and that may eventually affect my chances against my desired foes.”

Currently, unbeaten Hong Kong superstar Rex Tso is the highest rated boxer in the WBO super fly rankings followed by Filipino Aston Palicte. Gonzalez is ranked third by the Puerto Rico-based organization.

“Bring them on. I’m ready. This is my moment. 115 is my next stop and I’m set to return to training camp soonest to start preparing for a new challenge in my career,” said Nietes.–126259?print_friendly=1

Parker Warns Joshua: I Look Forward To Handing Out a Whipping!

By Bryce Wilson –

With only a matter of weeks out from the biggest fight of his career caught up with WBO champion Joseph Parker to get his take on how camp has been progressing so far and how he is feeling as the clock winds down to April 1st and his meeting with British juggernaut Anthony Joshua.

Having interviewed Parker a number of times he always makes for an amiable and laid-back interview subject, nothing too much seems to phase him or raise his ire in any way. And in getting to know a fighter, you begin to notice the little things, subtle changes in demeanour, different energy levels that perhaps lend themselves to a small ‘tell’ as to what sort of camp the fighter is having.

In the past it hasn’t always been the easiest to get a hold of Parker. Sometimes he can be a little less than punctual to our prearranged catch-ups, sometimes its required a phonecall to trainer and mentor Kevin Barry to get Joseph on the line, with Parker good naturedly explaining that our pre-appointed interview had slipped his mind. However, with this camp, on every occasion a slot has been set up to talk, Joseph has been on time, ahead of time in fact, and very very relaxed and ebullient in his manner. The mind seems clear and organised and focussed with a purpose that we haven’t seen before.

Maybe it will amount to nothing in the ring, this is the heavyweights after all and as we know one huge right hand from Anthony Joshua could end the contest at any moment, but one does get the sense that Joseph Parker is ready to produce a career defining performance that will far surpass what many of his detractors believe him capable of.

I catch Parker just as he is coming off 12 rounds of sparring, a session where he found his energy levels to be strong, the motor turning over nicely. And if recent video footage is anything to go by the weight seems to be melting off as well, the benefits of which Parker readily acknowledges.

‘I’m walking around at around 109kgs right now, I weighed 112kgs for the Hughie Fury fight. I’m now a lot leaner, I’ve got more energy, I’ve got more power and I’m moving a lot better. When you’re following the plan, when you’re eating well and you’re getting your rest everything just clicks and the mind is affected big time. When you don’t follow the plan one hundred percent you have this little bit of doubt in your mind, but for this fight I don’t feel any of that. I know I’ve done everything possible and now I’m just looking forward to fighting and handing out a whipping!’

I put it to Parker that it is most likely the challenge (and danger) of facing someone like Anthony Joshua that is bringing out the best him. Come in anything less than perfect shape and you could seriously hurt, it’s something he agrees with,

‘It’s certainly fair to say that this challenge of Joshua is bringing something out in me that I haven’t felt previously. I didn’t know if it was true before, that facing someone so dangerous changes something within you and takes you to a higher level, but I can definitely say that it does. Everyone knows I’ve got the ability to fight 12 rounds but now I want to show people that I can fight at a hard pace as well.’

It’s an interesting comment to make, because while much has been made of Parker and his team goading Joshua about his alleged glass chin perhaps the real key to this fight may actually lie in testing Joshua’s stamina, something which has looked a tad vulnerable in the past. It would appear that Joshua and his team have made a concession to this vulnerability in acknowledging they plan on coming in lighter than in previous fights. Parker agrees that it may be key to upsetting the odds,

‘Yes, I’d say that he is aware that he has some stamina issues, why else would they plan on coming in lighter for this fight? I’ve heard he is already weighing less than he did for his last fight which is good. It shows that he’s also training the house down and taking this fight very seriously.’

I wonder if as the fight now draws nearer Parker’s emotions are beginning to change but the answer is typical of the always relaxed Parker.

‘No not really, there is still work to be done, that’s all I’m concentrating on. The only real difference is my body is feeling fitter, I can work with more intensity, I feel like there is some magic that is going to happen.’

It’s interesting to compare the state of mind of Parker now, as opposed to when he faced Andy Ruiz and fighting for his first world title, a camp that trainer Kevin Barry informed me before the fight and off the record as being one of their worst.

‘Oh, the Andy Ruiz camp was horrible! Mentally that fight was very very tough, approaching what was the biggest fight of my career and knowing we had had such a bad camp. In some ways it had me in the frame of mind that I didn’t want to fight. This camp I have none of that, if I come into the fight and he beats me then it is because he was the better fighter. But trust me, he won’t beat me because I feel great!’

Earlier in the week footage appeared online of Joshua and Parker having their first proper sit-down, face-to-face meeting in an episode of The Gloves Are Off.

I asked Parker what he made of the event and what was it like being able to finally eyeball Joshua.

‘You can tell he’s confident but in some ways it felt a bit too respectful, which isn’t a bad thing, but I thought there might have been a bit more bite due to what we’d said about him previously. But he’s very professional, he’s done this a few times now and I respect that.’

It is certainly true that Joshua has been in this type of spotlight before, pretty much since winning Gold at the London Olympics. It’s also equally true that fighters coming to the UK shores have at times looked overwhelmed by the media, the hype and the audience size that follows Joshua’s every move. I ask Parker why he thinks he won’t fall victim to the same trap.

‘It’s a combination of things; you have to prepare for it, but I’m also very relaxed by nature. It’s the way I’ve been brought up, the way my parents have raised me. Church and faith also play a role. I’ve been through some dark moments in fights, the busted eardrum against Nascimento and a nasty gash from a headbutt in the Tatupu fight and come through the other side. It all gives me confidence that I can do this. Honestly I don’t care about the size of the crowd, I don’t care about anything else but me and him once the bell rings.’

Speaking of confidence, I note that while many of Joshua’s fans have been writing Parker off, he does have significant support from his peers, most notably, Deontay Wilder, Jarrell Miller and Tyson Fury all giving Parker a very real chance to win this fight. It’s a curious phenomenon with Parker, that in the age of smack talk most other heavyweights only ever have nice things to say about him.

‘With my fellow professionals, they know what to look for in the ring, so its certainly nice that they recognize this as a 50/50 fight. For some of the public to give me no chance, that’s fine too, they’re allowed their opinion.  As to why other fighters don’t bag me I honestly don’t know! (laughs) Maybe they recognize us as a real team. For instance, Tyson Fury has always been very supportive, we connected via social media, I’ve always respected him as a fighter, I’m excited to see him come back and bring a lot more excitement with him back to the division.’

Leaving nothing to chance, Parker’s team will arrive in London a full two weeks before the fight, acclimatising for the weather, training out of David Haye’s gym, sparring a few rounds to stay fresh and then taper off. Trainer Kevin Barry has made a point of saying that the Joseph Parker he sees in the gym is very different to the one we’ve seen in the last couple of fights. Now would be the perfect occasion for Parker to finally showcase to the public what his trainer swears he sees in private.

‘Well I don’t believe Joshua has ever seen a style like mine so yeah one hundred percent, now is the time to deliver my very best performance. Against an opponent like Joshua I’ll certainly need it. Right now I’m very happy in camp and you know the saying, a happy fighter is a dangerous fighter. It’s also time to show everyone that Kevin isn’t talking crap. I want to back up what he says and show the public the fighter that he sees in the gym, otherwise they are going to think New Zealanders are crazy! (Laughs)

Moving off the topic of himself for a moment I ask purely as a boxing fan what he thought of Deontay Wilder’s dramatic win over Luis Ortiz. I also wonder what he made of both Klitschko and Ortiz as underdogs having a window to cause the upset in both fights against Joshua and Wilder respectfully, yet not being able to take it.

‘A lot of questions were answered with Wilders chin but I’m not sure that Ortiz had the power to finish him off. Wilder showed the heart of a champion to come through such a tough moment. Ortiz was very tricky; however I remember saying to Kevin at the end of the 7th when he couldn’t finish off Wilder, this is just going to be like the Klitschko/Joshua fight and it was. Rest assured if I get the chance to finish off Joshua I’ll make no such mistake. ‘

Which seems like a fitting place for us to leave it. Talk can be cheap, particularly when facing a fighting machine like Anthony Joshua, a spectacular knockout artist whose 20 previous opponents have all tried yet failed to see the final bell. Yet in Parker, Joshua is facing an adversary who also holds a world title, an adversary who maybe doesn’t punch with quite the same power yet also possesses some unique weapons of his own: Speed, stamina and a granite chin being chief among them. And perhaps most crucially is the self-belief; Joseph Parker will start his championship fight with Anthony Joshua a heavy underdog, yet all the indications are that he might just end up providing ‘AJ’ with his toughest test to date. This unification battle has the makings of an explosive type of fight, a fight where the winner has to walk through fire to get the win on the other side. Talking to Joseph Parker you get the sense that he wouldn’t want it any other way.–126257?print_friendly=1

Photos: Usyk Has Toughest Test Yet, Beats Briedis To Unify Belts

WBO cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk beat WBC title holder Mairis Briedis by a majority points decision to unify the belts.

The two met in the semi-final of the World Boxing Super Series tournament and Usyk won 115-113, 115-113 and 114-114 in Latvia.

He will now meet the winner of IBF champion Murat Gassiev against WBA belt holder Yunier Dorticos in the final.

2012 Olympic Champion, 30-year-old Usyk expressed before the tournament his desire to unify the belts in the cruiserweight division and to take home the Muhammad Ali Trophy. And he kicked off in style:

The Ukrainian went to Berlin in Germany on September 9 in the tournament opener and produced a spectacular display at the Max-Schmeling-Arena to stop former world champion Marco Huck in the 10th round.

“I do not care where I fight,” said Usyk, the tournament’s number one seed. “In Riga, there were 10,000 fans and that’s great. The fans received a beautiful and interesting battle between two world champions.”

32-year-old Briedis excited an ecstatic hometown crowd at a sold-out Arena Riga on September 30 to score a unanimous decision in his quarter-final over the tough Cuban challenger Mike Perez.

The event will conclude in May and features a $50m prize fund.

That pool will be split across two tournaments, one for super-middleweights and one for cruiserweights, with each featuring eight fighters competing from a quarter-final stage.

Whoever wins the cruiserweight section will hold all four belts.

Usyk’s hard-fought win over Briedis extended the 31-year-old’s career record to 14 fights without defeat.–124723?print_friendly=1