Category Archives: Press

April 23, 2018
April 23, 2018
Gennady Golovkin

Tom Hogan/K2

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TWO-time world title challenger and 2004 Olympian Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs), from Glendale, Calif., challenges undefeated world middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs), from Karaganda, Kazakhstan. The recently announced world championship rumble between the 2004 Olympians is only 14 days away and takes place on Cinco De Mayo — Saturday, May 5 — under the stars at StubHub Center and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Martirosyan was one of a handful of boxers in the conversation as Golovkin’s May 5 opponent following the cancellation of the Canelo rematch. Martirosyan was ready to go when the call came. He had been sparring with a couple of undefeated Russian boxers.

“Throughout the year, two camps started on and off. Every time we started somebody pulled out.,’ said Martirosyan. ‘The last was the WBC mandatory against [Maciej] Sulecki on March 17. We were getting ready for that and that didn’t happen because Sulecki pulled out to fight Danny Jacobs. So then we took a week off and got back in the gym again. It’s been like that for the past year – we would start camp then the fight falls through, then we take a week off and get back to camp again.

“Every time I talked to my promoter Don King, I would tell him my passion. I would tell him ‘give me a fight, let me show you what I can do.’ I knew he had been working hard to get me a fight then he got me this fight. When they asked me if I wanted it I said ‘of course.’ They asked me if I could be 176 by Friday and I said I am 176 right now. Thank God we were training and in such good shape. King got me the biggest fight and now it’s time to go.

Gennady Golovkin

“As a fighter, we train to fight and we are getting paid to fight. I am so happy because GGG is a fighter and he comes to fight. The fights that I didn’t look good in are against the people that ran from me like [Erislandy] Lara and [Demetrius] Andrade [recent decision losses] – they just try to run and outbox. I couldn’t make them fight. But GGG is coming to fight and that’s what I’ve been looking for – to show the boxing world what I can do.

“Styles make fights – everyone is human. I am fighting a person. Everyone is beatable – everybody.”

Former UFC world champion and current WWE Superstar Ronda Rousey has shared the gym with Vanes for several years. “Ronda is a close friend of mine,” Martirosyan explained. “She’s always been a hard worker and gives us a lot of support. We came up together. We trained together when she only had one fight and was also working in a graveyard with dogs. Then she became a superstar. Ronda made it big in the UFC and now it is my turn to shock the world and let the boxing world hear my story. When she heard about the fight she told us she is very happy and real excited for us. ”

Golovkin and Martirosyan together boast a combined record of 73-3-2 (54 KOs) — a winning percentage of 94% with close to 3/4 of those victories coming by way of knockout.

Golovkin, boxing’s longest-reigning world champion (since 2010), and coming off consecutive title defenses against Canelo Alvarez and Danny Jacobs, will be making his 20th consecutive and record-tying middleweight title defense. Martirosyan’s resume boasts NABF, NABO, WBO Inter-Continental, WBA International and WBC Silver championship victories against the likes of former world champions Ishe Smith and Kassim Ouma, as well as a draw against Erislandy Lara. Standing at six-feet tall, Martirosyan will enter the ring as the taller and the younger gladiator. He is currently the WBC’s No. 1 world-rated super welterweight contender.

April 22, 2018
April 22, 2018
adrien broner

Amanda Westcott/Showtime

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FOUR-division world champion Adrien Broner and two-division world champion Jessie Vargas fought to a highly entertaining 12-round majority draw Saturday night on SHOWTIME in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING in front of 13,964 fans at Barclays Center in Brooklyn in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The back-and-forth battle was a tale of activity vs. accuracy. Vargas was by far the more active fighter, throwing 839 total punches, 300 more than his opponent. Yet the flashy Broner was supremely accurate, connecting on 44 percent of his power shots and 38 percent of his total punches, compared to just 27 and 24, respectively, for Vargas.

adrien broner

Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) came on strong in the second half of the fight, picking up rounds eight through 10 on all three of the judges’ scorecards. The 12th round was crucial in determining the draw, which was scored 115-113 Broner and 114-114 twice. The judges agreed on eight of the 12 rounds but couldn’t agree on the final round, which was ruled differently by the two judges who scored the fight a draw.

“I want to thank Jessie Vargas. He’s a two-time world champion for a reason,” said Broner, who was working for the first time with Kevin Cunningham as his head trainer. “He came to fight but at the end of the day, you all know I beat him. Point blank, period.

“I was connecting with rights. I got warmed up in the early portion of the fight. My trainer was a big help tonight. I want to thank Coach Cunningham as well as my original coach, Mike Stafford, for realizing I needed to do something different.

“I would love to fight Vargas again, but let’s go back to my town to do it.”

adrien broner

Vargas (28-2-1, 10 KOs) worked off the jab and was incredibly effective with his body shots in just his second fight with trainer and former world champion Mike “The Body Snatcher” McCallum.

“I thought I won the fight,” Vargas said. “At the end of the day I can’t argue because I was fighting on the inside of the ring so I don’t know what you saw from the outside. I was landing clean blows. It was a good fight but at the end of the day I can’t dispute the decision.

“It must have been a close fight for the judges to have scored it the way they did. I felt that I won the fight and I was up two rounds. I’m relying on the judges to make the right decision.”

adrien broner

Former 154-pound champion Jermall Charlo sent a statement to the middleweight division in the co-main event, knocking out previously once-beaten contender Hugo Centeno Jr. to capture the interim WBC 160-pound title.

Charlo is now the mandatory for Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and didn’t shy away from calling out the WBC, WBA and IBF Middleweight World Champion.

“It’s been an amazing journey to get here,” said Charlo, the twin brother of WBC 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo. “I’m a two-time world champion. Bring on ‘GGG.’ I want that fight. I’m 27-0 with 21 knockouts. Everybody sees it. What more can I say?”

Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) proved that his power translates to middleweight as he knocked out his second opponent since relinquishing his title and moving to 160 pounds. The Houston native has now won via knockout in five of his six bouts since initially becoming champion in 2015. A series of shots opened up a huge left hook in the opening minute of the second round, flooring Centeno (26-2, 14 KOs), who failed to beat the 10-count and was counted out at :55.

“Everybody has always avoided me and from now on, this is how it’s going to be,” said Charlo. “You see what you get.”

Following the fight, Centeno was aware of the mistakes that led to the loss.

“I thought I started off pretty well. I wanted to go out on my shield but it wasn’t my day,” Centeno said. “He caught me and got the knockout. I was trying to work my jab. I thought I got him with a couple good shots but I lingered too long in the pocket and I didn’t get out in time.”

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In the opening bout of the telecast, Gervonta Davis became a two-time world champion in empathic fashion with a third round TKO of former champion Jesus Cuellar to capture the vacant WBA 130-pound World Championship.

The undefeated Davis (20-0, 19 KOs), who lost the IBF 130-pound title on the scales last August, scored three knockdowns in less than three rounds to win his second title in the super featherweight division. The 23-year-old connected on 49 percent of his power shots in his first bout with new trainer Kevin Cunningham.

“On the undercard of the Mayweather-McGregor fight, I just wasn’t focused,” Davis said. “It was the second time fighting on Mayweather’s card so it got to my head and it showed. After the fight, I went home and talked to my team and we decided it was time to leave Baltimore. I’m focused and it showed because I’m a champ again.

“There’s always bumps in the road when you want to become successful. It’s all about how you bounce back and tonight I showed that I’m a true champion.”

Davis utilized a combination of body shots, uppercuts and effective counterpunching to break down Cuellar, a former titlist at 126-pounds. Baltimore’s Davis floored Cuellar with a body blow in the second round and didn’t relent from there. The southpaw pressed forward in the third, stalking Cuellar against the ropes and sending him down for the second time with a series of combinations. Cuellar (28-3, 21 KOs) got up, but was in serious trouble and referee Benjy Esteves stepped in to halt the contest at 2:45 with the Argentine falling to the canvas for the third time.

“The game plan was to box a little bit and open him up with some shots,” Davis said. “When it was time, I went forward and caught him with enough shots to get him out.

“I want the IBF belt back and I’m ready to unify it with whoever wins the [Tevin] Farmer vs. [Billy] Dib fight.”

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On Saturday’s telecast, it was announced that Errol Spence Jr. will make the second defense of his IBF Welterweight World Championship against undefeated mandatory challenger Carlos Ocampo June 16 on SHOWTIME in a homecoming fight in Dallas.

April 21, 2018
April 21, 2018
Carl Frampton

Action Images/Jason Cairnduff

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CARL FRAMPTON is adamant he’s not in the slightest bit concerned by the charm offensive from rival multi-weight world champion Nonito Donaire ahead of Saturday’s clash.

Legendary Filipino Donaire (38-4-KO24) has sung, danced and coached his way into the affections of many Belfast locals but there was only one favourite at Friday’s weigh-in as ‘The Jackal’ revelled in home support.

Of the visitor’s popularity, Frampton (24-1-KO14) said: “This is my city. I own it. I’m the king of Belfast. Donaire knows it as well.

“He’s playing a clever game but I’ve done this before. He’s being overly-nice and then tomorrow night he’ll be growling and hope it surprises me – but that’s my game.

Carl Frampton vs Nonito Donaire fight time

“I’m the nice guy who gets the angry head on. You can’t bluff a bluffer. I know tomorrow night, he’ll be in there hoping to take my head off.

“I’ve always had the impression Donaire is a nice guy and I still have that, but if he’s trying to wind me up then it’s simply not working.”

April 21, 2018
April 21, 2018
Gary Russell

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UNDEFEATED featherweight and former U.S. Olympian Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, Jr. will fight for his first world championship against WBC title-holder Gary Russell, Jr. on Saturday, May 19 in a clash live on SHOWTIME from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.

Russell Jr. and Diaz Jr. have both had sensational professional and amateur careers, including representing the U.S. at two different Olympic Games – Russell in 2008 and Diaz in 2012. Russell is noted for having some of the fastest hands in boxing but will be tested by a young, hungry contender in his first world title fight.

“The featherweight division is one of the most talent laden in boxing and Gary Russell, Jr. is at the head of a class of terrific boxers at 126 pounds,” said Tom Brown of TGB Promotions. “Joseph Diaz Jr. is young, hungry and undefeated and he’s coming for the title and he’s going to have to beat Russell in front of his hometown crowd to take it. It has the makings of an instant classic. Boxing fans will be the real winners on May 19.”

“Golden Boy Promotions is dedicated to ensuring that the best fight the best,” said Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and Chairman of Golden Boy Promotions. “This exciting matchup between two of the best featherweights in the world is yet another example of that. Diaz Jr. has the skills, the speed and the power to become the best 126-pounder in the world, and on May 19 I have no doubts that he will defeat Russell Jr. and walk away champion.”

“SHOWTIME continues to deliver the most meaningful and action-packed fights in boxing, week after week,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programming for SHOWTIME. “On May 19, we have two events that demand top-billing, with world champions facing their toughest challengers in an international split-site doubleheader. Gary Russell and JoJo Diaz will meet in the latest of what has become a de facto featherweight tournament this spring on SHOWTIME. Over the next two months, SHOWTIME will deliver four pivotal matchups featuring three world champions and seven of the consensus top-10 featherweights in the world.

The 29-year-old Russell (28-1, 17 KOs), who was born in Washington, D.C. and now lives in Capitol Heights, Maryland, will be defending his title before a hometown crowd. This will be Russell’s second straight fight at MGM National Harbor following his knock-out win over Oscar Escondon in his first title defense there on May 20, and second defense overall. It was his third straight knockout victory in a world title fight since dropping a majority decision to Vasyl Lomachenko in his first world title shot in 2014.

Russell, who is trained by his father, Gary, Sr., is part of a boxing family. Two of his younger brothers, Gary Antonio and Gary Antuanne, are currently unbeaten professionals, are also trained by their father and will be fighting on their older brother’s undercard on May 19.

“I don’t see this being a long night,” said Russell Jr. “If he gets reckless, it might end early. I don’t plan on going the distance with anyone I step in the ring with. I know he’s in for a rude awakening. I don’t feel as though he has the punching power, the hand speed or the ring IQ to do anything to me. At the end of the day he’ll have the opportunity to say he got in the ring with Mr. Gary Russell, Jr.”

“It will be an early birthday gift for my Dad. Last year I fought on his birthday, May 20. That’s pretty cool. I love fighting at the MGM. I love the convenience. I love that all my friends and fans, and the people who honk at me from their cars when I’m running can hop in their cars rather get on a plane to come and see me fight.”

Gary Russell

Diaz Jr., who is also trained by his father, Joseph, Sr., was a two-time amateur national champion in the bantamweight division. He represented the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic games in London. Immediately after, Diaz Jr. signed with Golden Boy Promotions and began a stellar career that has earned him a spot at the pinnacle of the featherweight division.

“I’m happy to be fighting for my first world title against the best 126-pound world champion,” said Diaz Jr. “I’ll prove to everyone that I belong on that featherweight throne come May 19.”

“I will be the bigger man come fight night, and I will break him down physically and mentally. He just better give me the credit I deserve once I beat him, and not blame his inactivity for being a factor in his loss.”

April 20, 2018
April 20, 2018
Amir Khan fight time

Andrew Couldridge/Action Images

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AMIR KHAN believes he’s hitting his peak years ahead of his comeback clash against Phil Lo Greco at a sold-out Echo Arena in Liverpool tomorrow night, live on Sky Sports.

Khan steps back through the ropes for the first time in almost two years since facing Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in Las Vegas in May 2016 and the Liverpool fight fans will be the first to see him on UK soil in nearly five years since his clash with Julio Diaz in Sheffield in April 2013.

The former unified super-lightweight ruler is now aiming for two-weight world glory and begins that quest with a showdown with outspoken Canadian Phil Lo Greco – who has Fernando Vargas in his corner.

Khan will have a new face backing him in Joe Goossen, who replaced an unwell Virgil Hunter as trainer for Khan’s camp, and the 31 year old has allayed fears that the change will hurt his comeback – and says Goossen has bolstered his defensive skills

“I’ve always liked the way that Joe trains his fighters,” said Khan, who scaled 10st 10lbs, with Lo Greco 10st 9lbs 5oz. “He’s trained some great fighters like Corrales and Casamayor. They’re fighters with a similar style to me so I thought Joe would be a good fit and we got in touch, got on and chose to work with him for the rest of camp and it’s worked well.

“Every coach is different. Joe has wanted to get my fundamentals right. He wants me to box how I used to, be smart and not make mistakes. Why give the opponent a free chance to hit you? Joe has been telling me to keep the hands up and when I throw a shot to always remember defence while making sure the offense is firing too.

“I feel really good. I’ve sparred a lot of young guys, Olympians and unbeaten hungry pros, and they have really been pushing me. They want to prove a point and show me how good they are, so they push me. I feel that my body is peaking and the gameplan that Joe is working on with me has come together. It’s been such a long time but I feel now like I’ve never left the game.

“The Amir Khan you’ll see is the one that boxes at a high pace with lots of combinations – but now when I throw them, there’s going to be better defence behind them. I feel better now than I did at 28. I’m 31 now, the peak years of my career, and I’ve made my mistakes and they’re in the past, I don’t want to make them again, so we move forward now and make the right choices.”

Amir Khan

Khan’s clash with Lo Greco is part of a huge night of action in Liverpool where Birkenhead’s Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd defends his Commonwealth Lightweight title against Hull’s Tommy Coyle.

‘Miss GB’ Natasha Jonas fights for her first pro title with the WBA International super-featherweight title against Taoussy L’Hadji, former British and European Welterweight champion Sam Eggington begins life at super-Welterweight, Rio Olympian Anthony Fowler boxes in front of his hometown fans for the second time as a pro and is joined by fellow Mersey hitters Tom Farrell and Craig Glover.

Exciting Welterweight Conor Benn returns, Qais Ashfaq is in his second pro fight, unbeaten Bolton Super-Bantamweight Osman Aslam and unbeaten Super-Welterweight Scott Fitzgerald are all in action.

April 20, 2018
April 20, 2018
Zolani Tete

Action Images/Jason Cairnduff

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WORLD record breaking knockout king Zolani Tete has fired another warning shot at bantamweight rival Ryan Burnett ahead of his WBO bantamweight world title defence against Omar Andres Narvaez this Saturday at the SSE Arena in Belfast, shown live on BT Sport and BoxNation.

Tete, 30, is chasing a unification showdown with WBA ‘Super’ bantamweight champion Burnett and is determined to prove that he is the real king of the 118lbs division by defeating the Belfast native.

“I would love to have the fight with Burnett, even if they said it would be my last ever fight,” said Tete. “I would grab it with both hands. I believe the fight needs to happen before the end of the year.

“There should be one king of the bantamweights. I believe there are two at the moment so one needs to be eliminated.”

Narvaez (48-2-2, 25 KO) is 5-0 since a rare loss to Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue. He has held the WBO flyweight and super-flyweight world titles and will be aiming to become a three-weight world champion by defeating Tete.

Tete is prepared for a tough fight, adding: “I’m fighting a good fighter. He is very experienced and it is going to be a great fight. Don’t blink because there is going to be fireworks.”

Zolani Tete

Tete v Narvaez lands on a huge night of boxing at the SSE Arena in Belfast topped by the WBO Interim featherweight title clash between two-weight word champion Carl Frampton MBE and four-weight world champion Nonito Donaire.

WBO European champion Conrad Cummings and Irish champion Luke Keeler go toe to toe in what promises to be an all-action middleweight affair while Tyrone McKenna and light-welterweight rival Anthony Upton clash in an exciting all-Belfast match-up; with Belfast’s Marco McCullough keeping busy after Jono Carroll’s injury forced him to pull out of their IBF Intercontinental showdown.

Undefeated prospects David Oliver Joyce, Steven Ward, Lewis Crocker, Tyrone McCullagh, Troy Williamson, Ryan Hatton and Alex Dickinson complete an unmissable card.

April 19, 2018
April 19, 2018
Carl Frampton on Nonito Donaire

Action Images/Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

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FORMER world champions Carl Frampton and Nonito Donaire took questions from the media at Wednesday’s final press conference at the Europa Hotel in Belfast, Ireland two days ahead of their clash for the interim WBO Featherweight Title this Saturday.

The SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL livestream will begin at 5:15 p.m. ET/2:15 p.m. PT with coverage provided by BT Sport and BoxNation and featuring commentary by U.K. sportscasters John Rawling (blow-by-blow) and former featherweight world champion Barry Jones (analysis).

Frampton (24-1, 14 KOs), of Northern Ireland, and Donaire (38-4, 24 KOs) of General Santos, Philippines, are two past Fighter of the Year award winners who will meet in a 12-round bout. The winner of this fight will be in position to challenge WBO Featherweight Champion Oscar Valdez, who is recovering from injury following his fourth title defense, a unanimous decision win over Scott Quigg on March 10.

This is the first of three high-stakes featherweight fights on SHOWTIME® platforms featuring five of the consensus top-10 ranked featherweights in the world. On May 19, IBF World Champion Lee Selby will defend his 126-pound title against undefeated Josh Warrington live in the U.S. on SHOWTIME Sports social media platforms and on June 9, Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares will meet live on SHOWTIME in a highly anticipated rematch for the WBA Featherweight World Title.

The livestream of Frampton vs. Donaire will precede Saturday evening’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® tripleheader that features former four-division champion Adrien Broner and former champion Jessie Vargas in a 12-round welterweight bout live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. In the co-feature, Jermall Charlo will face Hugo Centeno Jr. for the interim WBC Middleweight World Championship and Gervonta Davis will meet Jesus Cuellar for the WBA Super Featherweight World Championship.

Below is what Frampton, Donaire and their respective trainers had to say at today’s press conference:

Carl Frampton:

“I’m really excited about this fight and I have been since it was announced. To have a guy like Nonito Donaire coming to Belfast to fight me almost feels like a bit of an honor. It’s a quality fight.

“It’s a cliché when fighters talk about how good their camp has been, but I genuinely believe that the camp that I’ve had has been the best camp because it’s been my smartest camp. I’ve had a completely different approach to training. I don’t remember having a bad day in training or sparring. I feel like everything is coming together and I’m ready to put on a big performance in front of my home crowd.

“I had a lot of respect for Donaire back when he was a champion and I still do. He’s a quality fighter. In terms of accolades, he’s accomplished more than any other fighter that I’ve ever fought. He’s a future Hall of Famer. Hopefully I can put myself in that bracket one day. He is the best fighter that I will have ever fought. That includes Leo Santa Cruz and [Scott] Quigg and everyone else. Donaire has accomplished more than anyone. It’s going to be big for me to get a result here on Saturday night.

“I think it’s been a bit disrespectful just talking about his left hook. It takes more than a left hook to become a Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year or five-time world champion. He has a brilliant slip right hand. I know a lot about Nonito Donaire and to say all he has is a left hook is a bit disrespectful. He’s a brilliant fighter and he can do a bit of everything. I’ll need to be ready for different situations and I feel like I’ve covered all the bases in training camp.

“Some people want the easiest fights possible but that’s not me. I don’t think that’s Nonito either. I want to be in fights that people talk about and are interested in. This is a fight that puts the winner in position to fight Oscar Valdez for a chance to be a world champion again. When I’m in that position to fight for a world title, it’s fights like this one that are preparing me to go and win it.”

Nonito Donaire

“It’s been amazing being here, just as it was the last time. Everybody has been fantastic. Belfast has been a great experience overall. The people have been really warm to my entire team and we’re all having a great time being here.

“I believe that I am gifted with great genes. I’m a late bloomer. I feel like I’m starting to get into my peak shape and that’s because of my mentality. Our physical shape can only be as strong as our minds inside that ring. The strength of our mental fortitude has allowed us to be confident here in Belfast where we will be fighting one of the best fighters in the world.

“I think I’m a smarter fighter than I was in 2012. With the ups and downs that I’ve experienced in my career, I’ve learned what I’m capable of and where my mind is. We’re very confident going into this fight.

“The key factor in this fight is that my wife and I feel that we’re married to Carl because we wake up, we see Carl; we sleep, we see Carl; everything we do we see Carl, so that’s pretty much what it’s all about. I have to say, Carl is an amazing fighter. I have to give it to the guy. For a long time, he was the boogeyman in boxing. He has chosen this fight because it inspires him and I came to Belfast because it inspires me.”

Nonito Donaire on Carl Frampton

Jamie Moore, Carl Frampton’s Trainer:

“Last time around, it was a bit of a rushed training camp. We could have benefited from a couple of weeks extra. We’ve taken on a few different changes this time. We’ve done altitude training and taken on a scientific approach.

“Carl is in fantastic shape. He’s gradually built up his fitness. The altitude work has been brilliant. Even though the last camp wasn’t bad, this one is by far so much better. He’s in much better condition than last fight and mentally, he’s in a great place.”

Mike Bazzel, Nonito Donaire’s Head Trainer:

“Nonito has the experience of being on top for so long. When you are at the top for so long, there are always going to be little drops and little valleys. There’s a maturity with Nonito. Most fighters at this stage of their career have a physical decline. Nonito’s body is starting to come into form now. So now, he is not only physically peaking, but he is mentally strong because of all the experience he has.”