Category Archives: Press

February 15, 2019
February 15, 2019
Filip Hrgovic

Maja Bota

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FILIP HRGOVIC has signed a co-promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing and Team Sauerland, with his future fights to be screened exclusively live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.

The Rio 2016 Olympic Bronze Medallist has made a blistering start to his professional career, racing to seven wins from seven fights – with five of those wins coming by knockout – since making his pro debut in September 2017.

Ranked in the top ten in the World with the WBA, the 26-year-old Croatian star already finds himself being positioned for a World title fight, having been matched aggressively from the very start of his career.

He sent shockwaves through the heavyweight division with a sensational third-round knockout win over Amir Mansour to claim the WBC International belt in his hometown Zagreb, and also has notable wins against former World title challenger Kevin Johnson and Brit Tom Little.

As Hrgović continues to climb the world rankings and move closer to an inevitable world title shot, the highly-touted prospect says he is delighted to be teaming up with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing alongside his current promoter Team Sauerland.

“I am very happy and honoured that my promoter Team Sauerland will be working with Matchroom Boxing, DAZN and Sky Sports to deliver me big fights as I continue my world title quest,” said Hrgović. “This will be great for my career and proves I am one of the best prospects in the business.

“My goal is to become world champion and to hold all the belts in the heavyweight division. I know to be the best, I will have to beat the best, and as I have proven so far in my professional career, I am willing to fight any heavyweight out there. I look forward to being involved in huge fights all around the world and showing boxing fans what Filip Hrgović can do!”

“I’m excited to team up with Team Sauerland to work on an exceptional young heavyweight in Filip Hrgović,” said Eddie Hearn. “Everyone in the sport knows what a threat this man is and he is already willing to jump in big fights at such an early stage in his career. Fans will get to watch Filip all over in the world competing in all major fight cities – don’t blink!”

“Heavyweight boxing is currently enjoying a huge resurgence and we believe Filip Hrgović is the most exciting up and coming fighter in the division,” said Nisse Sauerland. “We’re delighted to be working with Eddie Hearn and Sky Sports, with whom we have always enjoyed an excellent relationship, and DAZN, who are doing great things for boxing, and plotting a route forward that will take Filip to the top of the heavyweight pile.”

February 14, 2019
February 14, 2019
Oleksandr Gvozdyk

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

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WBC light-heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk will make the first defence of his world title against Doudou Ngumbu on Saturday, March 30 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. In the 10-round co-feature, Gvozdyk’s stablemate, top welterweight contender Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas, will take on Philadelphia native Ray Robinson.

Gvozdyk-Ngumbu and Kavaliauskas-Robinson will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The undercard, including the IBF welterweight title eliminator between Kudratillo “The Punisher” Abdukakhorov and Keita Obara and an appearance by Philadelphia-born heavyweight prospect Sonny Conto (1-0, 1 KO), will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Peltz Boxing, tickets priced at $125, $75, and $50 go on sale Thursday, Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased at 2300arena.com, the 2300 Arena box office at (267) 758-2173, or by calling Peltz Boxing at (215) 765-0922.

“It was a long journey for me to become a world champion, and I plan on showing everyone why I am the best light heavyweight in the world,” Gvozdyk said. “Ngumbu is a tough fighter who I cannot afford to overlook. My goal in 2019 is to unify with the other champions, but before I can do that, I have to take care of business on March 30.”

“It is a great opportunity to face arguably the best light heavyweight fighter in the world. After 12 years and 46 fights in my career with serious opposition, I get my first shot at a major world title,” Ngumbu said. “I have the utmost respect for Oleksandr Gvozdyk, a great champion who took the WBC title in a war against Adonis Stevenson. It is not going to be easy, but I believe I am much more experienced as a pro and I intend to use that to my advantage.”

Gvozdyk (16-0, 13 KOs) captured an Olympic bronze medal for his native Ukraine in 2012 as part of a national team that included two-time gold medalist and future promotional stablemate Vasiliy Lomachenko. He climbed the rankings with dominant wins over the likes of Nadjib Mohammedi and Yunieski Gonzalez and won the WBC interim light heavyweight title last March with a unanimous decision against Mehdi Amar. As the mandatory challenger, he traveled to Quebec City and, behind on two of the three judges’ scorecards, knocked out longtime champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson in the 11th round. Ngumbu (38-8, 14 KOs) is coming off perhaps the most significant win of his career, a 12-round majority decision over then-unbeaten Yoann Kongolo in May of last year. A native of the Democratic Republic of Congo who is now based in France, Ngumbu will be making his first attempt at a world title.

Kavaliauskas (21-0, 17 KOs) is universally regarded as one of the welterweight division’s top contenders, a massive puncher who rolled through then-beaten Roberto Arriaza in three rounds last November in Oklahoma City. He has knocked out five of his last six foes and is the WBO’s top contender for the belt currently held by pound-for-pound great Terence “Bud Crawford. Robinson (24-3, 12 KOs) is a rangy southpaw boxer who rebounded from back-to-back losses early in his career to Shawn Porter and Brad Solomon to win 13 in a row. In his last bout, Feb. 17, 2018 against Yordenis Ugas, he saw that winning streak come to an end when Ugas scored a seventh-round stoppage.

“I know a lot of Robinson’s fans will be in Philadelphia to cheer him on, but they will leave the 2300 Arena disappointed,” Kavaliauskas said. “This is the year that I fight for, and win, a welterweight world title. I am ready for anybody, including the Crawford-Khan winner. I will show everyone in Philadelphia and watching on ESPN what the ‘Mean Machine’ is all about.”

“I am always excited to come home and put on for my city,” Robinson said. “Every fight is a risk, but the higher the risk, the bigger the reward.”

Abdukakhorov (15-0, 9 KOs), a native of Uzbekistan who now lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, went 2-0 in 2018, including a convincing 12-round unanimous decision over Laszlo Toth in defense of his WBC silver welterweight belt. Obara (20-3-1, 18 KOs), who hails from Tokyo, is one of the division’s heaviest punchers. He knocked out Alvin Lagumbay in three rounds last August, a measure of revenge over the man who knocked him out in two rounds less than four months earlier.

February 14, 2019
February 14, 2019
Naoya Inoue

Naoki Fukuda

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JAPANESE Naoya Inoue faces Emmanuel Rodriguez on May 18 for the Puerto Rican’s IBF strap in their 118lb Ali Trophy semi-final.

The SSE Hydro will be rocking as the IBF bantamweight title bout takes place the same night as Scotland’s Josh Taylor takes on Belarus’ IBF World champion Ivan Baranchyk in a semi-final of the 168lb division of the World Boxing Super Series.

‘Monster’ Inoue (17-0, 15KOs) advanced to the semi-final on October 10 in Yokohama, Japan making a mind-blowing statement when he knocked out former champ, Juan Carlos Payano from the Dominican Republic, with an electrifying jab-cross only 70 seconds into the first round.

On October 20 in Orlando, USA Puerto Rico’s Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12KOs) retained the IBF title with a twelve round split decision over previously undefeated Jason Moloney from Australia. The scores were 115-113 for Moloney and two times 115-113 for Rodriguez after a high-intensive back-and-forth battle.

Both Inoue and Rodriguez have credible reasons for entering the semi-final stage with poise and self-assurance.

“My destiny is to win the prestigious Ali Trophy and prove I am the best bantamweight in the world,” said Inoue. “I cannot wait to box in the United Kingdom in front of their loud fans and I will show them a ‘Monster’ performance!”

Naoya Inoue

“I have been waiting for this moment my entire life,” said Rodriguez. “I always wanted to fight the best, and now I am fighting a boxer considered the best by the boxing reporters and fans. That’s great motivation for me, my team, and Puerto Rico, We got this.

“I am going to get the victory. Puerto Rico will shine in Scotland and I am confident of going all the way and take home the Ali Trophy.”

“This amazing match-up highlights the vision of the World Boxing Super Series,“ said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer.

“Two unbeaten World Champions, two sublime athletes, are putting everything on the line for a place in the final of the World Boxing Super Series where the Ali Trophy awaits the winner. It doesn’t get bigger than this.”

February 13, 2019
February 13, 2019
Anthony Joshua

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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BETWAY rate Jarrell Miller as a 5/1 chance to make Anthony Joshua’s first fight in America an unsuccessful one.

Joshua will head to Madison Square Garden in New York on 1st June for his first bout outside of the UK and Betway rate challenger Miller as one of the tougher opponents AJ’s faced since trading blows with Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017.

Carlos Takam and Alexander Povetkin were both brushed aside at bigger odds while the leading online bookmaker rate Miller around the same price at 5/1, as Joseph Parker was to cause an upset when the two shared the ring last March.

Joshua, 1/10 to remain unbeaten, is not expected to be relieved of his belts across the Pond, however, and is fancied to win by knockout at 1/2, rather than decision at 13/5.

Betway’s Alan Alger said: “Jarrell Miller is a bit of an unknown quantity and we’re pricing up his chances with caution. At 5/1 to be the first man to beat Anthony Joshua, he’s around the same odds as Joseph Parker was heading into their fight in Cardiff and much shorter than the likes of Carlos Takam and Alexander Povetkin.

“Joshua may well be moving outside of his comfort zone by fighting in America, but he is still rated as the overwhelming favourite and is no bigger than 1/10 to win and 1/2 to return from New York with another KO victory.”

Betway – Boxing – Upcoming Fights – Anthony Joshua v Jarrell Miller

 Fight winner:

Joshua

1/10

Draw

25/1

Miller

5/1

Method of Victory:

Joshua KO

1/2

Joshua Decision

13/5

Miller KO

13/2

Miller Decision

16/1

 

February 11, 2019
February 11, 2019
Terence Crawford vs Amir Khan

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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START spreading the news. The year’s most anticipated welterweight showdown is headed to The World’s Most Famous Arena. Terence “Bud” Crawford will defend his WBO welterweight world title against Amir Khan on Saturday, April 20 at Madison Square Garden.

Undercard bouts and details on how fans will be able to access the pay-per-view event will be announced at a later date.

“I can’t wait to head back to New York City and Madison Square Garden for this fight with Amir Khan. The Garden is the perfect venue for a fight of this magnitude,” Crawford said. “I know that my fans will make the trip up to New York and I’ll have a ton of support when I step in to the ring. I expect Khan’s British fans to come out as well, and I believe we will have a packed house on April 20. It’s going to be a great fight so make sure to get your tickets early.”

“New York is undoubtedly one of my most favourite cities in the world, and it’s like a second home to me,” Khan said. “This is the biggest fight of my career against one of the world’s best in Terence Crawford, and Madison Square Garden is the perfect venue for a fight of this magnitude. It’s a short flight for my fans from the United Kingdom, and they will be coming over in droves to see this fantastic fight. I want to become a three-time world champion, and that is my primary motivation to win this fight.”

“Terence Crawford is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, he always puts on a show at Madison Square Garden, and we’re excited New York fight fans will be able to see him fight again at The Garden on April 20,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, MSG Marquee Events. “This will be an action-packed fight between Crawford and Amir Khan, and The Garden is excited to host this great night of boxing.”

Amir Khan

Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs), widely regarded as the world’s best fighter, is a three-weight world champion who has knocked out five consecutive opponents. A former undisputed 140-pound world champion, Crawford won the WBO welterweight title in June 2018 with a ninth-round stoppage of Jeff “The Hornet” Horn. He defended the belt in October with a 12th-round TKO over bitter rival Jose Benavidez Jr. in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. This will be Crawford’s second headlining appearance at the big arena at Madison Square Garden. In May 2017, he knocked out 2008 Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz in 10 rounds.

Khan (33-4, 20 KOs), a former unified world champion at 140 pounds, has won two in a row since his 2016 knockout loss to middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez. He is 4-0 in his career when fighting as a welterweight, including wins over former world champions Devon Alexander, Chris Algieri, and Luis Collazo. Khan headlined at Madison Square Garden once before when he defended his WBA 140-pound world title against Paulie Malignaggi at The Theater on May 15, 2010.

February 11, 2019
February 11, 2019
Mairis Briedis

World Boxing Super Series

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LATVIA’S Mairis Briedis (25-1, 18 KOs) and Poland’s Krzysztof Glowacki (31-1, 19 KOs) exchanged words and went head-to-head at the kick-off press conference in Riga ahead of their 200lb semi-final clash at the Arena Riga in Riga, Latvia.

Both combatants defeated their quarter-final opponents by unanimous decisions. No. 1 seed Briedis beat Germany’s Noel Mikaelian to claim a spot in the semi-final, while 3rd seed Glowacki took the win against Russia’s Maksim Vlasov.

“I cannot wait to get in the ring in Riga,” Glowacki told after Monday’s press conference in Latvia’s capital. “I fought here in 2017 on the undercard of the WBSS quarter-final Briedis vs Perez. I remember a wonderful atmosphere and thousands of fans cheering for Mairis.

“Not everybody knows about it but a few years ago Mairis trained in our gym in Warsaw for some time. We haven’t sparred each other, but I know what he’s capable of and I have o lot of respect for him. But I’m confident I’ll beat him.”

“I prepare for the best version of Mairis so he should be prepared for the best version of Glowacki. I always fight until the final bell … or the final punch! It will be a war! ‘Glowka’ is coming!”

Hometown hero Briedis, who came straight from his part-time job as a policeman to the press conference, is looking forward to getting a second chance to reach the 200lb final. Last year he came as close possible when he lost via a split decision to Ukraine’s Aleksandr Usyk at the Arena Riga.

“The reason I am in my uniform is that I came right from work,” Briedis. “But now it is time to spend more time in the gym. I am looking forward to the exceptional atmosphere at the Arena Riga and another WBSS semi-final. Another possibility to achieve what I didn’t in the first season.

“Glowacki is a strong fighter, we are both going for victory so it should be an interesting fight. Glowacki is tough, but there are no weak opponents in the super series. This is where the best meet the best.”

“We expect to see two of the best fighters on the planet battle it out for a space in the final of the Ali Trophy,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer. “Glowacki is someone who has reached the top of the game already, he has been a world champion after a ‘fight of the year’ against Marco Huck, where he showed what an outrageous warrior he is knocking out the record title defending champion.

“Briedis needs no introduction in this room. He is someone who has proven himself at the very, very top of the game obviously winning the world title. Someone who went on to fight in the first season in the World Boxing Super Series and was so close and unlucky against someone, Usyk, which many consider as the best boxer on the planet pound-for-pound.”

“This sets up very nicely for a massive event here in Riga. We are looking forward to June 15. ”

February 11, 2019
February 11, 2019
Jose Ramirez boxing results

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

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JOSE RAMIREZ was faced with the toughest test of his career. Jose “Chon” Zepeda was slick, slippery, and would not give in. But it was a late rally in the championship rounds that pushed Ramirez (24-0, 16 KOs) to a majority decision victory as he retained his WBC super lightweight title for the second time in front of 14,034 screaming fans at the Save Mart Center.

The scores were 114-114, 115-113, and 116-112, as Ramirez won the 12th round on all three judges’ scorecards to clinch the victory.

“He was a very a tough and smart southpaw. He came well prepared,” Ramirez said. “He kept a good range and distance. That made it a tough, close fight, but I think I pulled it off in the championship rounds. I landed the most effective punches.”

Said Zepeda: “Jose Ramirez is a great fighter, and his fans really pushed him and gave him momentum.”

As for what’s next, Ramirez mentioned unification bouts or perhaps a move up to welterweight. When it was all said and done, the Central Valley folk hero sent his fans home happy.

Jose Ramirez

Beltran KOs Okada

It’s a new weight, but the same Ray Beltran. The former lightweight world champion overcame a tough battle from Hiroki Okada to score a ninth-round knockout and win the vacant WBC Continental Americas and WBO Intercontinental 140-pound belts. Beltran (36-8-1, 22 KOs) lost his WBO lightweight world title to Jose Pedraza back in August, but put himself in the thick of the 140-pound title picture with his performance against the previously unbeaten Okada.

The action was fierce from the opening bell, with the two combatants waging a second round for the ages. Beltran knocked Okada (19-1, 13 KOs) down with a crisp left hook, only for Okada to stun Beltran later in the round.

“I knocked him down in the second round, but he came back and got me good, too,” Beltran said. “We knew his plan was to stay at distance and keep me at bay with the jab. Every time I threw my left hook, he kept covering very well. I saw an opening with the right hand and that’s why I started throwing it, and little by little, I kept shortening the distance until I connected with a big right hand and I stopped him.”

Beltran weathered the storm, pressed the action, and eventually wore down Okada. A pair of knockdowns in the ninth forced Okada’s corner to stop the fight. At the time of the stoppage, the judges’ scores read: 78-74 Beltran and 76-76 (2x).

In other action:

Gabriel Flores Jr. (12-0, 5 KOs) notched a six-round unanimous decision over Alex Rynn Torres (6-3, 3 KOs) in a spirited lightweight bout. The scores were as followed: 60-54 (2x) and 59-55.

“I’m getting better with each fight. I felt better than ever,” Flores said. “I get more and more experience with each fight. I feel like I’m getting cleaner. I’m getting sharper, and I’m only going to get better. I’m ready for whoever Top Rank puts in front of me. This is what I do all day, every day.”

Carlos Castro (22-0, 9 KOs) won the vacant WBC Continental Americas super bantamweight title with a dominant 10-round unanimous decision (100-90, 99-91, 98-92) over former world title challenger Genesis Servania (32-2, 15 KOs). Castro used his superior boxing skills to befuddle Servania, who was unable to cut off the ring.

Andy “El “Tiburon” Venes (22-0-1, 12 KOs) maintained his status as one of the sport’s top 130-pound contenders, rolling through savvy veteran Dardan Zenunaj (14-6, 11 KOs) via eight-round unanimous decision by identical scores of 80-72.

“I felt great coming back after that long rest after suffering the injury. It’s been a long time,” Vences said. “I looked sharp, but I knew this was going to be a tough fight. This guy gave a great fight and went the distance against Andrew Cancio, and Cancio just became a world champion last night. I knew that against a guy like that I was going to need to use all my skills, and I did. I dominated the fight.”

Heavyweight prospect Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello” improved to 2-0 with a first-round stoppage over Andrew Satterfield, scoring a knockdown early in the round and finishing it off with a vicious follow-up combination. Vianello represented his native Italy at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“I felt more relaxed and composed than my first pro fight,” Vianello said. “I am only going to get better.”

In a major upset at 140 pounds, Cristian Coria (29-7-2, 13 KOs) scored a crushing third-round knockout over Joel Diaz Jr. (24-2, 20 KOs). A left hook put Diaz down for good at 1:50 of the round.

Fresno native and super bantamweight prospect Isidro Ochoa improved to 7-0 with a fifth-round TKO over Jesus Guzman after Guzman’s corner elected to stop the fight.

Saul “Neno” Rodriguez defeated Aelio Mesquita by fifth-round knockout to move to 23-0-1.