Mikaela Mayer’s first world title defense is coming on a monster card. Mayer, the 2016 U.S. Olympian from Los Angeles, will put her WBO female junior lightweight title on the line against former two-weight world champion Erica Farias on Saturday, June 19 at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

Mayer-Farias will serve as the co-feature to WBA/IBF bantamweight world champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue’s title defense against mandatory challenger Michael “Hot and Spicy” Dasmarinas.

And, in a featherweight battle scheduled for 10 rounds, Adam “BluNose” Lopez will defend his NABF belt against former junior featherweight world champion Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe.

Inoue-Dasmarinas and Mayer-Farias will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Dogboe-Lopez will be among the bouts streaming exclusively on ESPN+ before the world title doubleheader.

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets priced at $200, $100, $75 and $50 go on sale Wednesday, May 19 at 12 p.m. PT, and can be purchased by visiting Etix.com.

“Mikaela Mayer is the future of women’s boxing, and I have no doubt she’s going to shine in her first world title defense,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “She wants all of the top names, but she must first get past a tough former world champion in Erica Farias. Lopez-Dogboe is a can’t-miss action fight that will propel the winner to title contention.”

Mayer (14-0, 5 KOs) won her world title last October on the Inoue-Jason Moloney card, dethroning longtime champion Ewa Brodnicka via a near-shutout unanimous decision. Since turning pro, Mayer has lost only a handful of rounds, and last July, she became the first female boxer to headline a Top Rank on ESPN card. Farias (26-4, 10 KOs) has held titles at junior welterweight and lightweight and has won 14 world title fights. She most recently lost a pair of junior welterweight title tilts to Jessica McCaskill, who proceeded to dethrone all-time great Cecilia Brækhus for the undisputed welterweight championship.

Mayer said, “I am excited for my first title defense as WBO world champion. Although I had sought a unification bout, Farias is a worthy opponent who will make for an entertaining, action-packed fight. She brings excellent credentials and has only lost to some of best women boxing today. I’m ready and eager to pass another test and showcase the skills that will eventually make me your undisputed champion.”

Dogboe (21-2, 15 KOs) won the WBO junior featherweight world title in April 2018 with a dramatic knockout over Jessie Magdaleno, but after one title defense, his momentum was blunted with a pair of defeats to Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete. He returned last July after a 26-month layoff and battered Chris Avalos en route to an eighth-round stoppage. Lopez (15-2, 6 KOs), from Glendale, California, most recently defeated former world champion Jason Sanchez over 10 rounds, his second straight win since his valiant effort — on a day’s notice — against Oscar Valdez in November 2019. Lopez followed up the controversial TKO loss to Valdez with last June’s majority decision over Louie Coria, which many boxing experts ranked among the year’s best battles.

Lopez said, “Dogboe is a former world champion who always comes to fight. But I’m a different fighter now, and I know what a win would mean for my career. I’m coming to Las Vegas to steal the show.”

Joe Smith Jr., the small business owner and former union construction worker from Long Island, just wants to fight. Smith, who operates Team Smith Tree Service with his father, hopes to chop down Maxim Vlasov and win the vacant WBO light heavyweight world title Saturday evening at Osage Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma (ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN, 10 p.m. ET).

Smith and Vlasov were scheduled for a pre-fight press conference once before, Feb. 11 in Las Vegas. Vlasov tested positive for COVID-19 that day, and their scheduled Feb. 13 fight was temporarily derailed. Vlasov recovered, went home to Russia, and then finished training camp in Las Vegas.

Smith got married, but he delayed his honeymoon to focus on the task at hand. Instead of the bright lights of Las Vegas, they will do battle in the Sooner State in front of a sold-out crowd.

Before fight night, this is what both fighters had to say.

Joe Smith Jr.

“I was 100 percent ready to go back in February, but it’s OK. I had time to enjoy my wedding day and now I’m just ready to go once again.”

“I know what I’m going up against. He is a busy and aggressive guy with a lot of experience, but I have prepared well and I’m going to give 100 percent of myself to come out victorious.”

“Becoming world champion and hearing the words, ‘and new!’ it’s going to be an amazing feeling. This is everything I have been working for since I was 15 years old.”

Maxim Vlasov

“I’m sure that you will see no ring rust at all this time. I’ve been preparing well. I’ve been sharpening my skills, and I’m ready to give it my all, 100 percent.”

“I feel the same as a younger boxer who is less experienced because this is a great chance for me. This is a great responsibility, a great risk. I am very excited and motivated for this fight.”

“I have taken preparation seriously, watched many of his fights, and learned some things. I don’t like to talk about his weakest or strongest points or divulge any strategies or plans related to the fight.”

SATURDAY, April 10, 2021

ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

Joe Smith Jr. vs. Maxim Vlasov, 12 rounds, Vacant WBO Light Heavyweight World Title

Efe Ajagba vs. Brian Howard, 10 rounds, heavyweight

ESPN+, 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT

Jared Anderson vs. Jeremiah Karpency, 8 rounds, heavyweight

Albert Bell vs. Manuel Rey Rojas, 8 rounds, junior lightweight

Robson Conceicao vs. Jesus Antonio Ahumada, 8 rounds, junior lightweight

Trey Lippe Morrison vs. Jason Bergman, 8 rounds, heavyweight

Duke Ragan vs. Charles Clark, 6 rounds, featherweight

Sonny Conto vs. Waldo Cortes, 4 rounds, heavyweight

Jeremiah Milton vs. Jayvone Dafney, 4 rounds, heavyweight

WBO Female Junior Lightweight World Champion Ewa Brodnicka (19-0, 2 KOs) faces mandatory challenger Mikaela Mayer (13-0, 5 KOs) on Saturday at The Bubble.

Brodnicka-Mayer world title bout to stream LIVE Saturday on ESPN+ starting at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.

Mikaela Mayer:
“I feel great. I feel like I’m deserving. I’ve been the No. 1 contender for a long time. This fight will put me a step {closer to} my goal.”

“I think that she is concerned. She has never been in the ring with someone like me.”

“This is a team effort. We have been together for a long time. It started 11 years ago with the Olympic trials. It will mean a lot to me to make {head trainer} Al {Mitchell} proud on Saturday night.”

Ewa Brodnicka
“She is the No.1 contender, but I think this fight was going to happen anyway.”

“I brought my belt just to show it to you. Look at it. I didn’t bring this belt to give it to you. That’s not happening. For sure.”

“I have a lot of things against me. But I’m ready. I don’t care if she says that she doesn’t respect me. She makes a lot of mistakes, and I’m going to take advantage of all of them.”

Photos: M. Williams / Top Rank

Emanuel ‘Vaquero’ Navarrete has already made it clear that a fight against Japanese superstar Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue would keep him at 122 pounds for the moment. Now the Mexican champion assures that the ‘Monster’ would not have a lot of possibilities in victory against him since “he is very clam, soft” inside the ring.

The World Boxing Organization Jr. Featherweight World Champion reiterated his desire to face Inoue before moving up to featherweight.

Navarrete (32-1, 28 KOs) is coming off a stay-busy fight. He he defeated Uriel López on June 20 in Mexico City to secure his sixth victory since December 2018, when he beat Isaac Dogboe to be crowned champion.

“I would do well against Inoue, thanks to my ferocity and dedication. You guys saw Dogboe, who I can’t say is Inoue, but he was greatly feared at super bantamweight at the time and when I was told about the fight I took on the challenge knowing he had flaws and shortcomings. I used took my ferocity, my will and my come-forward punching,” said Navarrete to ESPN Deportes.

“Inoue, and I say this with much respect, I do not see a lot of possibilities of winning [against me], I view him as very docile, soft. I don’t think he can take what Dogboe put up with, and so it’s like a bonus. [Inoue] is fast and has good combinations, but Dogboe connected on me and he did not hurt me. Comparing them, I don’t give Inoue as many possibilities [to win]. ”

Inoue (19-0, 16 KO) is considered to be one of the best boxers in the world. He was scheduled to face WBO world champon John Riel Casimero in a unification fight before the coronavirus pandemic hit. That contest would have been his first under a promotional deal with Top Rank.

Via www.boxingnews24.com

A five-foot-five-inch, 118-pound Japanese monster is ready to take over the Las Vegas Strip. WBA/IBF bantamweight world champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue, the three-weight world champion climbing the mythical pound-for-pound rankings, will make his Las Vegas debut Saturday, April 25 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in a unification bout against WBO bantamweight world champion and fellow three-weight kingpin Johnriel Casimero.

Inoue is coming off a memorable decision in the 2019 Ring Magazine and ESPN.com Fight of the Year against future Hall of Famer Nonito Donaire. This will be Inoue’s first bout under his long-term promotional agreement with Top Rank.

Inoue-Casimero and the 10-round bantamweight tilt featuring WBO No. 1 contender Joshua “Don’t Blink” Greer Jr. and WBO No. 2 contender Jason Moloney will stream LIVE on ESPN+ beginning at 9 p.m. ET. In the final undercard bout on the ESPN+ stream, former super featherweight world champion Andrew Cancio will take on Tyler McCreary in a 10-rounder.

The preliminary bouts will air live on ESPN2 (7 p.m. ET) and will include the return of former world title challenger Alex “El Cholo” Saucedo in a 10-round super lightweight bout.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Ohashi Promotions, MP Promotions, TGB Promotions and SGG Sports Promotions, tickets priced at $300, $200, $100, $50 and $25 (not including applicable fees) go on sale Friday, Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased online at www.axs.com or by phone at 888-929-7849.

“The ‘Monster’ is coming to Las Vegas, and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “He is a generational talent, a fierce competitor who is ready to take the United States by storm. Casimero is a seasoned champion, and Inoue knows he’s in for a firefight at Mandalay Bay.”

Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs), 26, won his first title in only his sixth pro fight, knocking out Adrian Hernandez to win the WBC light flyweight crown. He is 14-0 with 12 knockouts in world title bouts, as he defended his light flyweight title once before moving up two weight classes to knock out long-time WBO junior bantamweight world champion Omar Narvaez in two rounds in December 2014. He defended that belt seven times before setting his sights on the bantamweight division. His first three bantamweight title bouts lasted a total of four rounds, as he catapulted up pound-for-pound lists with stoppages over Emmanuel Rodriguez and Juan Carlos Payano. The Donaire bout — the final of the World Boxing Super Series tournament — was the ultimate gut check, as he suffered a broken orbital bone before prevailing in an instant classic.

“It is a tremendous honor and a dream come true to headline a card in Las Vegas against a great fighter like Casimero,” Inoue said. “It is my goal to be the undisputed bantamweight king, and I am coming to America to put on a great fight for the fans. I would like to thank Mr. Bob Arum and MGM Resorts for making my Las Vegas dream a reality. Now, the work begins, and I will kick off my 2020 schedule at Mandalay Bay in devastating fashion.”

Casimero (29-4, 20 KOs), from Ormoc City, Philippines, is a newly minted bantamweight world champion who upset South African southpaw Zolani Tete via third-round TKO last November in Birmingham England. A world traveler, Casimero has won world title bouts in Mexico, England, China, Panama and the Philippines, in addition to interim world title bouts in Argentina, Nicaragua and the United States. He is on a five-bout winning streak and is in his physical prime at 29 years old. The Inoue-Casimero winner will be one belt shy of completely unifying the division, as WBC world champion Nordine Oubaali holds the final piece of the championship puzzle.

“This is my dream fight. I have traveled the world and fought in 10 countries. I’ve won world titles at 108, 112 and 118 pounds,” Casimero said. “But ever since I saw my hero and fellow countryman, Senator Manny Pacquiao, fight in Las Vegas, that has been my dream. To everyone who thinks I am the underdog on April 25, I will shock the world and show the fans who the real ‘Monster’ is in the ring.”

💥TONIGHT December 28th – Vacant WBO NABO Jr. Featherweight Championship: Angelo Leo Vs. César Juarez @ State Farm Arena, Atlanta, Georgia.

💥Five WBO Bouts on December 31st @ Ota-City General Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan:

Main Event – WBO Jr. Bantamweight World Champion Kazuto Ioka Vs. Jeyvier Cintron

Co-Main Event – WBO Flyweight World Champion Kosei Tanaka Vs. Wulan Tuolehazi

WBO Jr. Bantamweight Female World Champion Miyo Yoshida Vs. Li Ping Shi

Vacant WBO Asia Pacific Jr. Featherweight Championship: Yusaku Kuga vs. Jhunriel Ramonal

WBO Mini-Flyweight Asia Pacific Champion Ginjiro Shigeoka Vs. Rey Loreto

💥January 10, 2020 – For vacant WBO Jr. Middleweight Female Championship Claressa Shields Vs. Ivana Habazin @ Ocean Resort Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA.

💥January 11, 2020 – Vacant NABO Light Heavyweight Championship title Jesse Hart vs. Joe Smith, Jr. @ Mark G Etess Arena, Atlantic City, NJ.

💥January 18, 2020 – Vacant WBO Intercontinental Light Heavyweight Eleider Alvarez vs. Michael Seals @ Turning Stone Resort Casino, Verona, NY

Also, WBO Asia Pacific Jr. Middleweight Champion Takeshi Inoue Vs. Cheng Su @ Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan.

💥January 30, 2020 – WBO Middleweight World Champion Demetrius Andrade Vs. Luke Keeler @ Meridian at Island Gardens, Miami, Florida.

💥February 1, 2020 – Unified WBO Jr. Welterweight Champion José Ramirez Vs. Viktor Postol @ Mission Hills Haikou, Haikou, China.

💥February 20, 2020 – WBO NABO Jr. Welterweight Champion Yomar Alamo Vs. Kendo Castaneda @ Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee, Florida.

💥February 20, 2020 – Vacant WBO European Featherweight Championship David Oliver Joyce Vs. Lee Haskins @ Ulster Hall, Belfast.

More to come…

WBO Convention Awards at Gala Dinner in Tokyo, Japan

In a festive atmosphere, the WBO 32nd Annual Convention celebrated their Awards in a very crowded Gala Dinner at the Tokyo Dome Hotel.

WBO Boxer of The Year:
Unified WBO Lightweight Champion Vasiliy Lomachenko

WBO Female Boxer of the Year:
7 Division World Champion and WBO Super Champion Amanda Serrano

WBO Most Consistent and Durable Champion:
WBO Welterweight World Champion Terence Crawford

Special Recognition to Japan Pro Boxing Association Lifetime President
2-Division Champion of the World Fighting Harada

Special WBO Diamond Ring for more than five title defenses:

WBO Flyweight World Champion Kosei Tanaka

WBO Manager of the Year:
Egis Klimas

WBO Trainer of the Year
Anatoly Lomachenko

WBO Promoter of the Year
Bob Arum (Top Rank)

WBO 2019 Fight of Year
Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz I

WBO Outstanding Achievement as a Boxer
Former WBO Jr. Bantamweight Champion and current IBF/WBA Bantamweight World Champion Naoya Inoue

Personal Overcoming Achievement
WBO Mini-Flyweight World Champion Wilfredo ‘Bimbito’ Méndez

Special Recognitions to:
Promoter Akihiko Honda, Kazuto Ioka, Jorge Linares, Iván Calderón, Istvan ‘koko’ Kovacs, Acelino ‘Popo’ Freitas, Donnie Nietes, and Matchroom Boxing.

Among the prominent participants were the Italian Premier promoter, Salvatore Cherchi, the Miami, Florida promoter, Felix “Tutico” Zabala, the legendary Japanese matchmaker and “hall of famer”, Joe Koizumi, the Kazakh promoters, Kalikhan Akdrashev and Nurshin Tanat ( Suleimen Promotions), the Japanese promoter, Shingo Suzuki, the German matchmaker, Christof Haverkamp (SES Boxing), the international promoter and Matchmaker, Sean Gibbons (and Sherriff Woody), the Russian leader, Kirill Shchekutyev, the German promoter, Erol Ceylan the American promoter, Dino Duva, the Ukrainian promoter, Alexander Krassyuk (K2 Promotions Ukraine), the American promoter, Tom Loeffler, the English promoter, Francis Warren (Queensberry Promotions), the English matchmaker, Jason McClory (Queensberry Promotions), the German promoter Ulf Steinforth (SES Boxing) and the American promoter Carl Moretti (Top Rank).

Next year’s WBO Convention will take place in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Photo Inoue/Lomachenko by Naoki Fukuda

WBO Annual Convention Report Day 3

At the beginning of the week the now 32nd convention of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) started in Tokyo. An event that brings together promoters, matchmakers and boxers from around the world to discuss various topics. For Erol Ceylan, head of EC Boxing from Hamburg, the event turned out to be very happy right from the beginning. The 47-year-old was honored by WBO President Francisco Valcárcel for his valuable work as a promoter and even received a specially made by the Organization.

The final day of the 32nd annual WBO convention in Tokyo, Japan concluded last night with the event that always has no shortage of drama: the Championship and Ratings Committee meeting. And in boxing’s biggest weight class there was one undeniable fact…the division was in a holding pattern as they waited for this weekend’s fight to conclude between Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua. With the winner mandated to fight two separate fighters (Aleksandr Usyk, the WBO #1 ranked contender and mandatory challenger to the belt as well as IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev) and with the #2 ranked heavyweight (Tyson Fury) on a crash course towards a WBC world heavyweight title fight against Deontay Wilder there was no question as to who the big winner would be once the dust settled.

“Joseph Parker remains the only man to beat your champ Andy Ruiz,” David Higgins said to the WBO President and the championship committee. “He’s very grateful to the WBO and would like to challenge for the WBO title should (Tyson) Fury move out. He’d like to move up to #3.”

Higgins, the manager of the former WBO heavyweight champion, was clearly positioning the Kiwi fighter for the most important spot in the rankings that was still in play. What was apparent was that such a move could put Parker in line for a title fight in the next few months if the winner of the Ruiz-Joshua fight elected to give up his WBO belt and defend his belt against the mandatory IBF challenger instead. Such a move would almost certainly lead to an Usyk-Parker fight for the vacant title.

“If the belt becomes vacant he (Parker) would like to raise his hand and fight Usyk of the vacant title.” Higgins added.

There was no question that Parker remains highly regarded by many on the WBO, and it did appear that Joseph Parker was the man who found the last Golden Ticket in his Wonka Bar.

“He has been a great champion and we are very proud of him,” President Valcarcel said of the Kiwi.

In other heavyweight news, the prospect of an interesting Pacific heavyweight clash became a bit closer to reality as undefeated Chinese bomber Zhilei Zhang (21-0, 16 KOs) received a push from promoter Dino Duva after having been dropped from the rankings due to inactivity.

“He lost his rank due to inactivity,” Duva admitted. “(But this was) due to visa issues.” Duva also made it clear that his Chinese fighter would be more than willing to fight New Zealand’s Junior Fa (19-0, 10 KOs) who is currently the #7 ranked heavyweight contender.

Another fighter from the Far East, Japan’s Kyoto Fujimoto (21-1, 13 KOs) also received a push to reenter the world rankings. Shinto Suzuki requested a top ten ranking for the local boxer, who is currently slated to fight undefeated Daniel Dubois on December 21.

In the light heavyweight division, Lee Eaton from MTK Global made a push to see #11 ranked Steven Ward move up the rankings.

At 168 pounds President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel stated that the WBO has given champion Billy Joe Saunders “a lot of leeway” when it came to making his mandatory defense, indicating that Saunders would have to fight a mandatory in his next title fight.

For Brazil’s Patrick Teixeira (31-1, 22 KOs) there is going to be no time to sit on his laurels. After winning the WBO interim 154-pound title on November 30, he now finds himself with a mandatory opponent, one that he will need to make his first defense against.

In a unanimous vote, the WBO voted to name undefeated Argentinian Brian Carlos Castaño (16-0-1, 12 KOs) as the mandatory challenger and ordered the Brazilian champion to start negotiations with Castaño and his team.

In the welterweight division, Lee Eaton made a push for the WBO European champion Michael Mckinnon (the #9 ranked contender) to move into the #6 slot, noting that he did recently defeat the #6 ranked welterweight recently.

In the 140-pound division, Francis Warren made a push for #14 ranked Sam Maxwell (the WBO European champion) while Angelo DeCarlo made a push for the #11 ranked lightweight, Jason Ng to move into the top ten.

At 122-pounds Sean Gibbons made a push for the #10 ranked Mexican Cesar Juarez, who is making a strong push for comeback fighter of the year. Juarez is slated to fight undefeated prospect Angelo Leo (18-0, 8 KOs) on December 28. With Leo ranked #14 in the WBO Gibbons pushed for a top 3 ranking for Juarez should he win.

In the 105-pound division, a push was made for Melvin Jerusalem to move into the top five.

* * *

In other business conducted on the final day, Puerto Rico was selected as the venue for the 2020 WBO convention, with Florida being named the backup.

The World Boxing Organization (WBO) will hold its thirty-second annual convention in the city of Tokyo, Japan, from December 2 to 5, 2019.

As every year, the presence of world sport legends, world champions and former champions, world ranked contenders, prospects, trainers, managers, promoters, officers, as well as figures from political, social and cultural circles are expected.

The convention will also include judge and referee seminars, committee reports, and an awards gala. Various topics will be discussed, many related to fighter safety, global regulations, and classifications, among other topics.

The convention will be broadcast live on the official WBO Facebook page www.facebook.com/WorldBoxingOrg

The agenda of the convention is available at the following link: www.wboboxing.com/news/wbo-news/wbo-tokyo-convention-2019-agenda/

Jaime Munguia (31-0, 26 KOs) discussed his busy plans for 2019 as he prepares to defend his WBO Junior Middleweight World Title against Japanese contender Takeshi Inoue (13-0-1, 7 KOs) in a 12-round battle. The action will take place on Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas and will be streamed live on DAZN – which is just $9.99 per month after a one-month free trial. Fans in Houston can purchase tickets starting at just $25 at ToyotaCenter.com.

The native of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico is working hard to make a successful third defense of his title in what will be his debut in Texas. Munguia is working under the expert tutelage of renowned trainer Robert Alcazar, who trained the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Edwin Valero and Jessie Vargas. Munguia is training in the Southern California area, where he combines a morning run at the mountains with an intense boxing session at a private gym in the afternoon.

Below is what Jaime Munguia had to say during a recent training session:

“We are preparing very well. I feel better and more motivated than ever before.
I’m stronger than ever, and I will do my best to give the best fights for the people on this new platform, DAZN.”

“I have worked hard to be in the main events like this. I think for me this is just the start. I want to make history. I was happy to be the co-main event of Canelo vs. GGG 2, and now that I’m headlining this event, I am more motivated.”

“Takeshi Inoue is a strong fighter. He comes forward. He doesn’t mind taking a punch in order to land one. We have to be careful with that and come very prepared. We have to be careful with his right hand as well. We’re going to come very well prepared on Jan. 26.”

“After this fight, it looks like I will have a WBO mandatory bout against Dennis Hogan. But I would still like to unify the titles at 154 pounds with the other champions. We will resolve anything that is put in front of us.”

“The plan is to move up to 160 pounds in about a year. We’re fine making weight now. I have no problems, but I feel I can move up and fight in other divisions. My body is such that I could even go up to 168 pounds.”

Munguia on the other fighters in his division:

“I thought the fight was a draw [regarding Jermell Charlo vs. Tony Harrison]. Charlo should have attacked more and not wait as much. That’s my opinion of the fight. Tony Harrison is a good fighter. He’s tough and has good skills. If he is put in front of us-or anyone for that matter-we will have to work.”

“[Jarrett] Hurd is a very big 154-pounder. I think he’s bigger than me. If a fight with him is presented to me, why not? We can unify the tittles or meet at 160 pounds.”

“I don’t know what to say about the political situation because we are on different platforms. We will see if a fight against them can happen. Perhaps not this year, but maybe we can meet them at 160 pounds.

“I’ve heard the things they’ve said about me. Maybe they don’t respect me or think I’m too young. They’ve said a lot. I will make them respect me on the day they step in the ring with me.”

Munguia on a potential fight against Canelo:

“I don’t think there is any pressure with being mentioned with names like Canelo and Golovkin. I like this. It’s fun. I’m happy to be in fights like this and to see that we are advancing. So, the truth is we are happy.

“I am conscious of what I am doing. I think I can move up to 160 pounds and fight any of the two. It’s a risk because there will always be risks. Those are the two best fighters in the world. We would have to be very careful and come very well prepared. I don’t think it would happen soon, so we have to see what the future holds for us.”

Munguia vs. Inoue is a 12-round fight for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Zanfer Promotions. Rojas vs. Can is a 12-round fight for the WBA Featherweight World Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Universal Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” and Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle.” The event will take place Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas and will be streamed live on DAZN.

Tickets for Munguia vs. Inoue are on sale now and are priced at $150, $100, $60, $40 and $25 plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges. Tickets can be purchased online at ToyotaCenter.com and by phone at 1-866-4-HOU-TIX. Tickets will also be available at the Toyota Center Box Office.

NEW YORK – Jamie Munguia has joined Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN.

Promoter Oscar De La Hoya announced early Sunday morning that Mexico’s Munguia has entered a co-promotional agreement between his company and Zanfer Promotions. Zanfer has worked with the 22-year-old Munguia throughout his five-year pro career.

Munguia will make his Golden Boy/DAZN debut January 26 at Toyota Center in Houston. He’ll headline a card that night against Japan’s Takeshi Inoue, who’ll challenge Munguia for his WBO junior middleweight title.

munguia-cook-fight (16)

The 29-year-old Inoue (13-0-1, 7 KOs), while unbeaten, is untested against top opposition.

“We’re happy to announce that we signed a multi-fight deal with Munguia and Zanfer Promotions,” De La Hoya said during the Canelo Alvarez-Rocky Fielding post-fight press conference at Madison Square Garden. “So we wanna thank our partners, Zanfer Promotions.”

For Munguia (31-0, 26 KOs), this Golden Boy/DAZN deal helps keep him in position to land a shot at Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs), who knocked out England’s Fielding (27-2, 15 KOs) in the third round Saturday night. The Tijuana native would have to move up from 154 pounds to 160 to secure that high-profile opportunity, but he is more than willing to do that.

“Too early now,” De La Hoya said regarding Munguia possibly boxing Alvarez. “He’s obviously fighting at 154. As you see, Canelo’s fighting at 160 or 168. But yes, you’re right, Munguia is a monster.”

Munguia emerged as a potential star when he overwhelmed Sadam Ali in their WBO 154-pound championship match May 12. A late replacement for an ill Liam Smith, the hard-hitting, rugged Munguia knocked down Brooklyn’s Ali four times on his way to a fourth-round technical knockout victory at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York.

Munguia has since defended his title against England’s Smith (26-2-1, 14 KOs), a former WBO champion who then was the mandatory challenger for Munguia’s championship. Munguia dropped Smith in the sixth round and beat him by unanimous decision in their 12-rounder July 21 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

A motivated Munguia returned less than two months later to demolish Brandon Cook on the Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin undercard. Munguia stopped Canada’s Cook (20-2, 13 KOs) in the third round September 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Photo by HBO Boxing

By Keith Idec, senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.