Category Archives: Press

November 16, 2018
November 16, 2018
Charlie Edwards

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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CHARLIE EDWARDS will challenge Cristofer Rosales for the WBC world flyweight championship on the undercard of Dillian Whyte vs. Derek Chisora 2 at The O2 in London on December 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US.

Edwards has already challenged for a world title when he met John Riel Casimero for the IBF flyweight crown, gamely taking the talented Filipino ten rounds in London in September 2016. The 25-year-old has racked up five straight wins since his first professional defeat and is ready to seize his second shot at World title glory.

Powerful Nicaraguan Roasales stopped Daigo Higa to claim the vacant WBC World title in Japan before knocking out hometown hero Paddy Barnes in four rounds at Windsor Park in August, and now the 24-year-old plans on silencing The O2 by delivering another devastating performance on December 22.

“I’m delighted to get a shot at the WBC world flyweight title and I won’t be wasting this opportunity,” said Edwards. “I’ve come on a lot since the Casimero defeat and I’ll show that on December 22 by taking the WBC flyweight world title home with me.

“I’ve mixed it with a two-weight, legit world champion and it’s done me the world of good. I’ve come on in leaps and bounds since then and I can’t wait to step up to that level again.

Charlie Edwards

“Rosales is a tough man but he’s beatable and we’re already working on a game-plan. I’m heading into this fight with the experience of already challenging for a world title and that will benefit me greatly.

“My first shot at a world title was a huge gamble but this time I’m ready and I’ll be bringing that belt home with me. I’m in this sport to take on the best and December 22 will be my first World title win of many.”

“This is a great fight and huge opportunity for Charlie to win the WBC title,” said Eddie Hearn. “We saw Rosales’ devastating KO over Paddy Barnes this summer and he has become an impressive champion. Charlie will have the London crowd behind him as he looks to make history on a huge night of boxing.”

November 16, 2018
November 16, 2018
Gabriel Rosado

Action Images

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GABRIEL ROSADO has pleaded with Luis Arias to go to war on Saturday night as they clash in a must-win Middleweight battle at the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, KS, live on DAZN.

Rosado and Arias can lay claim to challenging the world champions in 2019 with victory in Kansas, and Arias has promised to KO Rosado to bounce back from his sole pro defeat against Daniel Jacobs last November.

Jacobs was crowned as the new IBF champion the day that Arias and Rosado met in a press conference for this weekend’s clash in October, joining Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Demetrius Andrade as rulers at 160lbs.

Rosado has twice challenged for world middleweight titles and after over a year out of action, the Philadelphia ace wants a show-stealing and fan-friendly fight with Arias to show he’s ready for a third crack at the big prize.

“He ran in his last fight, remember that,” said Rosado. “He doesn’t know what he’s got coming. I like that all the middleweight titles are with DAZN – congratulations to Demetrius Andrade for his win, that’s a fight I’d love, Daniel Jacobs too and Canelo – I want to smash this clown and then meet the top middleweights.

Gabirel Rosado

“It’s been a long time since my last fight but in that time, I’ve been able to re-group, focus, get back with my original trainer and I’m looking forward to this opportunity. Luis has said a lot about my losses, but win, lose or draw, everybody respects me.

“I don’t know Luis personally, I guess he feels he has to hype himself up. I’ve fought the best, but not only that, I’ve fought them back to back to back, champion after champion. You have to put that into perspective, that’s a hard schedule for anybody, that level of competition.

“I took some time off and I’m healthy, strong and you are going to see a wiser, smarter Gabe Rosado that’s still hungry. I’m not worried about him wearing a mask or talking about bets, it’s a business and it’s a fight.

“Everybody has their path and that was mine. I’ve never had that promoter behind me saying ‘let’s push Gabe Rosado, let’s protect him and build him up to become world champion’. I was thrown to the wolves and being the man I am, I take these fights, I’m not supposed to turn anything down but my collar.

“Through all those tough fights I was able to gain knowledge – it’s either going to make or break you. I think most fighters would be broken by now and would have hung them up, but you see me in the Martin Murray fight, I looked good. I controlled the pace against Glen Tapia and I am going to keep that momentum going and you will see a skilled Gabe Rosado.”

Rosado’s clash with Arias is part of a huge night of action in Kansas in association with KO Night Boxing with a host of stars and local talents in action.

Brooklyn’s heavyweight star Jarrell Miller meets fellow unbeaten big-hitter Bogdan Dinu in a crunch clash at the top level of the division, while chief-support provided by the brilliant two-weight World ruler Claressa Shields who looks to add the WBC middleweight strap to her WBA and IBF crowns against tough Scottish challenger Hannah Rankin.

There’s an all-Mexican clash and a homecoming for Brandon Rios against Ramon Alvarez, brother of ‘Canelo’’, as both men look to make a splash at Welterweight.

Team USA 2016 Olympic bronze medal man Nico Hernandez has raced to 5-0 (4KOs) – the Wichita talent fights for the third time in the Kansas Star Casino and Arena since debuting there in March 2017, unbeaten Wichita super-middleweight and police officer Manny Thompson looks to improve his 7-0 record and Las Vegas’ Jeremy Nichols meets Wichita’s Jeremiah Page at Middleweight.

Unbeaten contender Anthony Sims Jr. makes a move to super-middleweight and Brooklyn’s exciting newcomer to the mddleweight scene Nikita Ababiy, fresh from a first round KO on debut in Chicago earlier in the month, is also in action.

November 15, 2018
November 15, 2018
Canelo Alvarez vs Rocky Fielding undercard

Tom Hogan/Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

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MIDDLEWEIGHT knockout sensation David Lemieux (40-4, 34 KOs) will look to make a second potential Knockout of the Year performance before 2018 ends as he takes on Tureano Johnson (20-2, 14 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round bout of Canelo Alvarez vs Rocky Fielding undercard. The bill will also feature the return of Sadam “World Kid” Ali and will showcase some of Golden Boy Promotions’ best rising stars. The event will take place Saturday, December 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City and will be streamed live on DAZN–which, at just $9.99 per month after a one-month free trial, means new subscribers to DAZN will enjoy the entire Canelo vs. Rocky fight night for free.

“Golden Boy Promotions will give fans early Christmas gifts this year as we offer yet another great card to close 2018 on a very high note,” said Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and Chairman of Golden Boy Promotions. “David Lemieux still has his eyes set on Canelo, and that night they will be in the same arena. Lemieux knows that if he loses against Tureano Johnson, he can forget about any shot with Canelo. Also, each of these undercard fights, even the ones featuring Sadam Ali, Ryan Garcia, Vergil Ortiz and Lamont Roach, Jr., could easily be the main attraction of any other event, so fans should not miss out on this great night of action – especially when it’s free for new DAZN subscribers.”

Lemieux is a 29-year-old puncher coming off a spectacular first-round knockout victory against Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan on the televised pay-per-view undercard of Canelo vs. GGG2. The native of Montreal, Canada will look to earn another shot at the middleweight crown in this bout against Johnson.

“I’m extremely ready and looking forward to my next fight against [Tureano] Johnson,” said David Lemieux. “I didn’t take a break since my last fight because I thought that I would be facing Canelo. Training camp has been great. Johnson is a solid opponent. I’m ready for an explosive performance and a great victory to end the year in a great way.”

Johnson is a 34-year-old contender who hopes to fight for a world title despite some setbacks. Johnson’s only losses were against Curtis “The Cerebral Assassin” Stevens and Sergiy “The Technician” Derevyanchenko. If the native of Nassau, Bahamas can get past Lemieux, he will join a short list of fighters who are worthy of a middleweight title shot.

“David Lemieux is a former world champion, so he’s the kind of guy I’ll have to defeat if I want a shot at the title,” said Tureano Johnson. “I’ve had some setbacks in my career, but I’m feeling better than I ever have before. I’m excited to be part of this platform and will take advantage of this opportunity with a victory against Lemieux this December.”

Canelo Alvarez vs Rocky Fielding undercard

“We are happy to have David Lemieux fight on December 15 in the Mecca of boxing,” said Camille Estephan, President of Eye of the Tiger Management. “He is having a great training camp and is getting ready to bring two sledgehammers to the ring, one in his left hand and one in his right. He’s healthy and ready to go.”

Former WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion Sadam “World Kid” Ali (26-2, 14 KOs) of Brooklyn, N.Y. will make his welterweight return against the rugged and experienced Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera (24-7, 7 KOs) of Riverside, Calif. in a 10-round battle.

Ryan “Kingry” Garcia (16-0, 13 KOs) of Victorville, Calif. will fight for the first time under the tutelage of Eddy Reynoso, head trainer of Canelo Alvarez, in a 10-round lightweight battle.

Yves Ulysse Jr. (16-1, 9 KOs) of Montreal, Canada will return in a 10-round super lightweight fight.

Super lightweight knockout artist Vergil Ortiz (11-0, 11 KOs) of Dallas, Texas will return in a clash scheduled for 10 rounds. Opponents for Garcia, Ulysses and Ortiz will be announced shortly.

Lamont Roach Jr. (17-0-1, 7 KOs) of Washington, D.C. will defend his WBO International Super Featherweight Title against Alberto Mercardo (15-1-1, 3 KOs) of Humacao, Puerto Rico in a 10-round fight.

Bilal Akkawy (18-0-1, 14 KOs) of Sidney, Australia will take on Victor Fonseca (17-8-1, 14 KOs) in a 10-round super middleweight battle

November 15, 2018
November 15, 2018
Alex Saucedo

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

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THE WBO super-lightweight champion and native of Dallas, Texas, Maurice Hooker, is in hostile territory.

The hometown kid, Alex Saucedo, is hoping to become only the second Oklahoma City product (following Sean O’Grady, who is also co-promoting this event) to taste world championship glory.

Saucedo and Hooker faced off for the first time at Wednesday’s press conference, a precursor to the in-ring hostilities that will occur Friday evening at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, home of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder.

Saucedo (28-0, 18 KOs) and Hooker (24-0-3, 16 KOs) sparred many rounds years ago in Dallas, but both acknowledged those sessions would have little bearing on Friday’s outcome. They both promised an action fight, a fitting installment for this “border war.”

Hooker-Saucedo will headline a special one-fight telecast on ESPN at midnight ET. In the co-feature, which headlines the ESPN+ stream (6:30 p.m ET), undefeated welterweight puncher Egidijus Kavaliauskas (20-0, 16 KOs) will fight Roberto Arriaza (17-0, 13 KOs) in a showdown with potential world title implications.

Maurice Hooker:

On being the road fighter

“l’ll fight anywhere. Outside your house, in front of your house, in the ring, on the sidewalk. I don’t care where I fight as long as I fight. I’m a fighter. I love to fight. I can outbox him. I can fight you on the inside. Come Friday, we’re going to see a good fight.”

On sparring with Alex

“We both were young back then. We got better. I got better. He’s better. I just got a little more better than him. It’s going to be a good fight come Friday. I’m here in Oklahoma. I don’t care where I fight. It’s on.”

Alex Saucedo:

“I grew up just around the corner I always had the dream to bring championship fights back to Oklahoma, and now its here. I’m not going to let this opportunity go. I’m ready. We prepared ourselves in Big Bear for a very good fight. Like I’ve said, I’m ready for anything Maurice brings that night. I’m going to take that belt from him.”

On his June victory against Lenny Zappavigna

“It was a very tough fight. Everyone enjoyed it. I’m glad we’re here at this fight now. That fight got me to this point. Like I said, I’m going to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Egidijus Kavaliauskas:

“Every fight for me is a step toward my dream. My dream is to become a world champion, so every fight for me, I’m bringing 100 percent of me because it’s a step. A big step. This fight is the same.”

“Big respect to Roberto. He’s a very good fighter. He and I have a similar style, so I know it will be a great fight.”

Roberto Arriaza:

“I think this is a great opportunity. This is the opportunity of my life. I want to thank everyone involved for giving me this opportunity. I’ve been working hard for this.”

“I know he’s a great fighter. I have a lot of respect for him. Like always, I have a lot of faith, and in the name of God, I’m going to be victorious once again.”

Bob Arum:

“It’s great to be back in Oklahoma City. It’s our second time here this year. {Sean O’Grady} is the pride of Oklahoma City. I never promoted Sean here, but he won the title from Hilmer Kenty of the Kronk group in Atlantic City, the {WBA} lightweight championship.”

Sean O’Grady:

“I’ve kept my eye on Alex Saucedo since he was about 12 years old. And I can tell you right now, the kid can fight. He grew up in the amateurs. He was a great little fighter, even as a young man. At 12, 13, 14 years old, he was a great little fighter.”

“I like Maurice Hooker. He too has a great background in the sport of boxing. This is going to be a terrific matchup.”

November 15, 2018
November 15, 2018
Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury undercard

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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FORMER multiple-division world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero and former heavyweight title challenger Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola will make their ring returns as part of an exciting night of action on the Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury undercard, presented by Premier Boxing Champions Saturday, December 1 live from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

The event is headlined by a heavyweight world championship showdown presented by Premier Boxing Champions that pits WBC champion Deontay Wilder against lineal champion Tyson Fury on SHOWTIME PPV and BT Sport Box Office in the UK. The PPV undercard features unified super welterweight world champion Jarrett Hurd returning to take on Jason Welborn, Cuban heavyweight slugger Luis Ortiz facing-off against Travis Kauffman and rising heavyweight Joe Joyce battling Joe Hanks.

Additional undercard action will see Deontay Wilder’s brother and unbeaten prospect Marsellos Wilder (2-0, 2 KOs) in a cruiserweight attraction. Plus, an IBF Minimumweight world title showdown will see Westminster, California’s Carlos Licona (13-0, 2 KOs) take on the Phillippines’ Mark Anthony Barriga (9-0, 1 KO) while unbeaten featherweight Isaac Lowe (15-0-3, 5 KOs) competes in an eight-round bout. Undefeated light-flyweight prospect Jesse Rodriguez (7-0, 4 KOs) battles Mexico’s Alex Aragon (10-2-1, 6 KOs) in an eight-round bout and hard-hitting British light heavyweight contender Anthony Yarde (17-0, 16 KOs) is also in action.

One of the sport’s most fearless warriors, Guerrero (33-6-1, 18 KOs) will return the ring for a 10-round welterweight attraction in his first action since July 2017. Representing the Bay Area and fighting out of Gilroy, California, Guerrero’s championship run began at featherweight in 2006 and went through a memorable 2012 triumph over Andre Berto for an interim welterweight championship. Along the way Guerrero has challenged and often engaged in memorable wars against the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia.

Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury undercard

Born in Los Angeles, Arreola (36-5-1, 31 KOs) fights for the first time since challenging for Wilder’s WBC title in 2016 and will match up against Houston’s Maurenzo Smith (20-10-4, 13 KOs) in a 10-round attraction. Arreola previously battled Bermane Stiverne in two exciting heavyweight title fights and former champions Vitali Klitschko and Tomasz Adamek. He owns victories over Eric Molina, Jameel McCline, Joey Abell and Seth Mitchell throughout his career.

Wilder v Fury is live and exclusive on BT Sport Box Office, December 1st. For more info go to btsport.com/boxoffice

November 14, 2018
November 14, 2018
Errol Spence

Amanda Westcott/Showtime

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FOX Sports and Premier Boxing Champions today announced eight televised world title fights in the first three months of the new deal, featuring eight world champions and more than two dozen of the world’s best boxers going toe-to-toe. The schedule includes five world-class boxing fight nights live on FOX and FOX Deportes, four more on FS1 and FOX Deportes, and the first FOX PBC Pay-Per-View in March.

“We’re thrilled to have Premier Boxing Champions’ brightest stars coming to FOX Sports reaching the biggest audiences on broadcast television,” says Mark Silverman, FOX Sports President, National Networks. “The 2019 PBC schedule kicks off with high-stakes action and excitement, making FOX the premier home for boxing and the continued leader in live sporting events.”

Schedule highlights include world champion twins Jermall and Jermell Charlo defending their titles in separate fights live in primetime on FOX on December 22; followed by welterweight champion Keith Thurman’s ring return on FOX January 26; featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz headlining on FOX February 23; 147-pound Champ Shawn Porter defending his world title March 9 on FOX; and the blockbuster showdown between welterweight Champ Errol Spence Jr. and four-division world champion Mikey Garcia, on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View March 16, live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

FOX Sports and FOX Deportes also announced the on-air personalities who will call all the thrilling action. Former heavyweight world Champion Lennox Lewis and former lightweight world champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini join FOX Sports as boxing analysts, while Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Chris Myers and Emmy Award-nominee Kenny Albert serve as blow-by-blow announcers. Seasoned FOX broadcaster Kate Abdo joins as a studio and fight night host. Plus, Boxing Hall of Famer Larry Hazzard works as a Rules Expert/Unofficial Scorer.

FOX Deportes taps International Boxing Hall of Fame member and former four-division world champion Erik “El Terrible” Morales, working with Jaime Motta and Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award winner Jessi Losada.

More on the FOX Sports PBC Schedule:

Jermall Charlo vs. Willie Monroe, Jr. and Jermell Charlo vs. Tony Harrison, Saturday, December 22, 2018, 8:00 PM ET on FOX. Barclays Center, Brooklyn

Twin titans kick off the new season of PBC on FOX, as Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) defends his WBC interim middleweight title against top-rated contender Willie Monroe, Jr. (23-3, 6 KOs), while Jermell Charlo (31-0, 15 KOs) makes the fourth defense of his WBC Super Welterweight Championship against hard hitting former title challenger Tony Harrison (27-2, 21 KOs). Rounding out the evening, WBC mandatory challenger and 2012 U.S. Olympian Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale (19-1, 17 KOs) battles Carlos Negron (20-1, 16 KOs), a member of the Puerto Rican boxing team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Jose Uzcategui vs. Caleb Plant, Sunday, January 13, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FS1. Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in Los Angeles

IBF Super Middleweight Champion Jose Uzcategui (28-2, 23 KOs) battles undefeated, top-rated challenger Caleb Plant (17-0, 10 KOs).

Keith Thurman vs. Josesito Lopez, Saturday, January 26, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FOX. Barclays Center, Brooklyn

Undefeated WBA Welterweight Champion Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) ends a long injury layoff to defend his title and starts to reclaim the division against battle-hardened veteran Josesito Lopez (36-7, 19 KOs). Also that evening, Adam Kownacki (18-0, 14 KOs), one of the fastest rising stars in the heavyweight division, takes on his toughest challenge to date when he steps in against U.S. Navy veteran and USC football standout Gerald Washington (19-2-1, 12 KOs).

Leo Santa Cruz vs. Miguel Flores, Saturday, February 16, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FOX. Los Angeles

WBA Featherweight Champion Leo Santa Cruz (35-1-1, 19 KOs), one of the highest volume punchers in the sport, defends his title against the always tough Miguel Flores (23-2, 11 KOs). Plus, former WBC Lightweight Champion Omar Figueroa Jr. (27-0-1, 19 KOs) returns after a long injury layoff to face former title challenger John Molina Jr. (30-7, 24 KOs).

Anthony Dirrell vs. Avni Yildirim, Saturday, February 23, 2019, 10:00 PM ET on FS1. The Armory, Minneapolis

Former WBC Super Middleweight Champion Anthony Dirrell (32-1-1, 24 KOs) battles once-beaten Avni Yildirim (21-1), who faces the stiffest competition of his career, in a clash for the vacant WBC Super Middleweight Championship.

Shawn Porter vs. Yordenis Ugas, Saturday, March 9, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FOX. Las Vegas

WBC Welterweight Champion Shawn Porter (29-2-1, 17 KOs) makes his first title defense against top-rated mandatory challenger Yordenis Ugas (23-3, 11 KOs), who gets his first world title shot.

Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia, Saturday, March 16, 2019, 9:00 PM ET on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View. AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

In one of the most highly anticipated and intriguing matches in boxing, IBF Welterweight Champion Errol Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) will defend his title against four-division world champion and current WBC Lightweight Champion Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs), who is moving up two weight classes to challenge Spence.

Lamont Peterson vs. Sergey Lipinets, Sunday, March 24, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FS1. MGM National Harbor, Oxon Hill, MD

Former junior welterweight and welterweight world champion Lamont Peterson (35-4-1, 17 KOs) clashes with former junior welterweight champion Sergey Lipinets (14-1, 10 KOs).

Caleb Truax vs. Peter Quillin, Saturday, April 13, 2019, 10:00 PM ET on FS1. The Armory, Minneapolis

Former super middleweight champion Caleb Truax (30-4-2, 19 KOs) meets former middleweight champion Peter Quillin (34-1-1, 23 KOs) in a battle to determine who climbs back into title contention.

Danny Garcia vs. Adrian Granados, Saturday, April 20, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FOX.

Former junior welterweight and welterweight champion Danny Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) wants to rebound from a razor-thin loss in his last bout to take on battle-tested Adrian Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs).

FOX Sports PBC Additional Dates:
(Fights confirmed on a later date.)

Saturday, May 11, 2019, FOX
Saturday, May 25, 2019, FS1
Saturday, June 1, 2019, FS1
Sunday, June 23, 2019, FOX
Saturday, July 13, 2019, FS1
Saturday, July 20, 2019, FOX
Saturday, August 3, 2019, FOX
Saturday, August 24, 2019, FS1
Sunday, September 1, 2019, FOX
Saturday, September 21, 2019, FS1
Saturday, November 9, 2019, FS1
Saturday, December 14, 2019 on FOX
Saturday, December 21, 2019 on FS1

With the recently announced four-year deal, the FOX broadcast network will feature 10 marquee fight nights in prime time each year, while FS1 and FOX Deportes will telecast 12 fight nights annually. The package includes FOX Sports-PBC Pay-Per-View events. The Emmy Award-winning FOX Sports production team will produce more than 175 hours of original PBC boxing content per year across its channels.

All PBC on FOX Sports events and programming will be streamed live on the FOX Sports app, available in English or Spanish through the FOX, FS1 or FOX Deportes feeds. FOX Sports will offer a platform inside the app to allow viewers to stream the PPV events. In addition, FOX Sports Digital will have a dedicated FOXSports.com and FOX Sports App page for PBC coverage, in addition to dedicated YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.

FOX Sports and PBC launched the highly regarded primetime boxing series TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and FOX Deportes in the fall of 2015, featuring PBC’s brightest up-and-coming boxers. The deal was expanded to include several fight nights on the FOX broadcast network, including exciting title fights such as heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder defending his title in February of 2016, July of 2016, and again in February of 2017, plus the exciting welterweight showdown between Danny Garcia and Robert Guerrero in January of 2016.

November 13, 2018
November 13, 2018
Claressa Shields

Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

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CLARESSA SHIELDS is aiming for a punishing win over Hannah Rankin at the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane KS, on Saturday night, live on DAZN – to continue her destructive path to being the undisputed world middleweight champion.

Shields defends her WBA and IBF crowns against Rankin with the vacant WBC strap also up for grabs. The WBC crown was in the hands of Christina Hammer, whom Shields was slated to meet this weekend in a unification blockbuster for all four belts, with the German also owning the WBO belt.

Shields has brushed off the disappointment of not facing Hammer and the two-time Olympic Gold medallist has itchy knuckles in preparing to meet the Scot Rankin, who is in her second world title fight – with DAZN showcasing a third women’s world title bout in it’s third US show following lightweight world title wins for Jessica McCaskill in Chicago and Katie Taylor in Boston in October.

“I’m thrilled to be able to continue my road to undisputed this weekend,” said Shields. “Christina has first in line when I win the belt on Saturday, it’s not a fight that we are looking to avoid. If she’d been fit to face me then that would be the fight this weekend. I wanted that fight bad.

Claressa Shields

“I felt that when we did the phone interview and we announced that we were fighting, I sensed in her tone that something was wrong, that she wasn’t as excited as I was about the fight. She didn’t seem happy, and as a champion I sensed something was wrong and I was right as she was sick. As soon as she comes back, we can fight.

“Hannah has been Christina’s toughest sparring partner so I am going to make her pay just for that. It’s not a let down for me, just getting in the ring and being able to fight is a joy to me, it makes me happy. Hannah has turned down another fight to take this shot and we’re fighting as a co-main event on DAZN, so it should be fun.”

Shields is not content with dominance at 160lbs – and the Michigan ace can see a return to super-middleweight where Alicia Napoleon, who defeated Rankin in August to defend her WBA belt at 168lbs, is a target along with the other champions.

‘T-Rex’ is also open to dropping to super-welterweight and inviting welterweight ruler Cecilia Braekhus to move up in a bout to crown the pound-for-pound number one in women’s boxing.

“None of the girls at 168lbs want to fight me,” said Shields. “We’ve offered the fight to Alicia many times and fights to so many of them, they’ve all said I’m too big and they are too little, then they say we don’t offer good money – but we have TV and we’re offering good money for sure.

“Alicia just wants to stay unbeaten and protected, I can’t even name any other fighters that she’s fought other than Hannah as I wouldn’t be approved by the commission to fight some of those girls.

“I think I can go as low as 154lbs and I would do that to fight Cecilia for the pound-for-pound spot. I don’t want to go to 147lbs as I would only be able to win the fight and not go on to defend the belts. She can keep her belts, I just want the pound-for-pound spot – she can have the belts and be number two, I’m number one. We can meet at 154lbs, that would be huge.”