Category Archives: Press

February 3, 2015
February 3, 2015

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CARL FROCH has vacated the IBF Super Middleweight title as he recovers from the injury that ruled him out of a clash with Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr.

The four-time World champion will now consider his future before potentially defending his WBA Super Middleweight title this summer.

Mandatory challenger James DeGale MBE will now fight the next available contender for the vacant title, and the IBF will instruct Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Sport as to who that will be and negotiations will commence immediately.

“It’s been a frustrating couple of weeks with terms agreed for the Chavez fight only for me to be unable to proceed in camp due to injury,” said Froch. “I know what it’s like to wait for a shot and I didn’t want to hold James up in fighting for a World title.

“James is a great fighter and I hope he can go out and win that title and who knows, we may even meet later in the year.”

“Talks continue with the Chavez camp regarding a summer clash in Las Vegas, and discussions have taken place with Golden Boy Promotions regarding a bumper clash in Nottingham with two-weight World champion legend Bernard Hopkins in the summer,” said Hearn.

READ MORE: James DeGale-Andre Dirrell IBF world title fight targeted for April 25 at the O2

February 3, 2015
February 3, 2015

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BRISTOL bantamweight Lee Haskins knows a European title win later this month could set him up for a shot at a version of the world title, as well as a potential domestic blockbuster with WBA champion and old rival Jamie McDonnell.

Thirty-one-year-old Haskins faces Omar Lamiri on February 21 in Monte Carlo, with the vacant European title up for grabs, but has even bigger things planned for the rest of the year.

“I try not to look at the world title picture anymore,” he said. “They’ve shut me out so much and it can get a little frustrating.

“The sport of boxing isn’t fair, and that’s putting it nicely. You don’t get what you deserve and it doesn’t always treat you well.

“I just have to try and stay positive and focus on dealing with what is in front of me. That’s what I’m doing. If I get a world title shot in 2015, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. For now, I’m going to look after myself, dictate my own future and keep winning.”

Despite winning an eight-round decision over McDonnell in 2008, Haskins has watched his former opponent progress, improve and benefit from the kind of opportunities that have so far eluded the Bristolian. McDonnell now holds a version of the world title, while Stuart Hall, another former Haskins victim, also scooped an IBF title in 2013.

“We’ve tried to get both of them (McDonnell and Hall) to fight me for the world title and they just put me to the back of the queue,” said Haskins, 30-3 (13 KOs), a former British, Commonwealth and European champion. “It was a bit unfair. But, if I was in their shoes, I’d have probably done the same. I wouldn’t want to fight me, either.

“Jamie’s done really well, to be fair. He’s put himself in some serious positions, he’s trained very hard, he’s improved and he’s delivered when he has needed to. I can’t take anything away from him. He’s a great champion and deserves to be where he is. But, still, I’d do anything to get a shot at him and fight him again.

“When we fought first time round, he just couldn’t work me out. It was a very easy and one-sided fight for me. If I fought him again, it would be the same. I’d get the upper hand and win the belt.

“To be honest, I never used to train for fights back then. Even when I fought Jamie, I wasn’t training. I’d do two or three weeks of light training and then struggle making the weight. I was never anywhere near peak fighting condition.

“Now it’s different, though. I’ve got a family and I’m older and wiser. I’m constantly in the gym and train three times a day most days. I learnt my lesson a good few times. It usually ended with me getting beaten up.”

Should a rejuvenated Haskins (WBC No.3) pick up the European title on February 21, and then continue his march up the world rankings, a fight with McDonnell could very much be in the offing. More importantly, he will be on the cusp of landing the world title shot that has so far eluded him in an 12-year professional career.

“It’s in the back of my mind,” he said. “I’d love to fight Jamie again for a world title. I’m not singling him out, though. I’d love to fight anybody from bantamweight to super-bantamweight for a world title. I just want my shot. I’ve won every major belt beneath a world title and I think I’m now entitled to a shot at one. I want to end my career knowing I had the chance to become world champion. That’s all I’m asking for.

“At my best, I’m a dangerous night for anybody in this division. They all know that. It’s the reason they won’t go near me. There are easier fights out there, stylistically. I’m not an easy puzzle to solve.

“Promoters look to protect their champions and they want them to look good and impress each time they defend their belt. I can’t see anybody impressing or looking good against me. I’ll make them look silly.”

*** Haskins vs. Lamiri is part of the ‘Thunderbolt in Monaco’ show on February 21 (Channel 5). Headlining the event will be the WBA Super world middleweight title fight between the fearsome Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin and Britain’s Martin Murray ***

February 2, 2015
February 2, 2015
Paddy Barnes


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Cuba Domadores go 15-0 in Season V with victory over Russian Boxing Team

Cuba Domadores maintained their flawless start to Season V of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) as they defeated Russian Boxing Team 5-0 in Havana, to ensure three victories this season, and a trio of whitewash results.

The Group A leaders began with victory at Light flyweight (49 kg), as Cuba’s 2013 AIBA Junior World Champion Joahnys Oscar Argilagos Perez made it 2-0 this season with a unanimous points win over 2011 European Championships silver medalist 0-1 Belik Galanov of Russia.

Bantamweight (56 kg) Olympic champion Robeisy Ramirez then dropped just two rounds en route to his second win of the campaign over former European Junior Champion 0-1 Bakhtovar Nazirov.

The Cuban win was sealed at Light welterweight (64 kg) as two-time AIBA World Championships silver medalist and Olympic bronze medalist Yasniel Toledo won his seventh WSB match in total, and second of the season against 0-1 Avak Uzlian in dominating fashion.

Middleweight Arlen Lopez then went 2-0 against WSB veteran 0-1 Maxim Gazizov to display his burgeoning reputation as one of the best in his weight class this season.

The Heavyweight sensation (91 kg) Erislandy Savon finished the evening by winning his tenth WSB match in a row when he stopped Dmitriy Zaytsev just over two minutes into their contest.

Cuba Domadores look to remain perfect next week at home to China Dragons who have yet to win a match this season, while Russian Boxing Team will aim to get back to winning ways at home to Mexico Guerreros.

Unstoppable USA Knockouts maintain winning start to Season V against Caciques Venezuela

The USA Knockouts continued their dream start to Season V of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) as they defeated Caciques Venezuela 3-2 in Miami.

Venezuela’s new Franchise came into this match full of confidence having beaten Azerbaijan Baku Fires in week two, but ultimately it was the American team who proved victorious, and sit pretty in Group B.

South American Light flyweight (49 kg) Yoel Finol won his first WSB match of the season in the first bout of the night, as he won by a tantalisingly close split decision verdict against  America’s Nico Hernandez.

Bantamweight (56 kg) Knockout Francisco Martinez then evened up the scoring on the night, and secured his second WSB win a row by defeating 0-2 José Vicente Azocar in another split decision contest.

A more decisive verdict was to be found at Light welterweight (64 kg) with American debutant Tra-Kwon Pettis winning on all three scorecards against 0-2 Luis Arcón.

Venezuela regrouped at Middleweight (75 kg) however, with Jose Endry Saavedra Pinto winning his first WSB match as he won another close contest when he faced 1-1 Anthony Campbell.

With the score 2-2 heading into the final match, American Heavyweight (91 kg) Josh Temple  made short work of his clash against Alfonso Flores when his 0-2 Venezuelan opponent was stopped in the third round for the second time this season.

After winning their third in a row match, USA Knockouts look for a fourth next week away to Astana Arlans Kazakhstan, while Caciques Venezuela travel to Puerto Rico Hurricanes.

Magical Mexico Guerreros establish second win in succession over Algeria Desert Hawks

Mexico Guerreros enjoyed their second World Series of Boxing (WSB) win in a row as they defeated Algeria Desert Hawks 4-1, to establish themselves as Franchise to watch in this campaign in Group A.

Light flyweight (49 kg) Joselito Velázquez Altamirano won his first match of the season to open up the winning evening for Mexico when he stopped the 0-1 Youcef Soltani less than two minutes into their fight.

Mexican Bantamweight (56 kg) Brian González also enjoyed a stoppage win in match number two, although this time it took four rounds for him to finish African Boxing Championships gold medalist Khalil Litim.

Light welterweight (64 kg) Raúl Curiel García then sealed the win for Mexico Guerreros, and his second WSB win in a row as he dropped just one round en route to a wide victory over Mohamed Boudiaf.

1-1 Mexican Light heavyweight (81 kg) Misael Uriel Rodríguez Oliva went one better than García as he won every single round against Azzouz Boudia to make it 4-0 on the night.

Algeria Desert Hawks claimed back a win in the last fight at Heavyweight (91 kg) when Bouziane Houna won on all three scorecards against Daniel Paniagua.

Mexico Guerreros are away to Russian Boxing Team next week, while Algeria Desert Hawks look for their first win of the season in London against British Lionhearts.

Astana Arlans Kazakhstan win again and send Azerbaijan Baku Fires to second consecutive loss

One of the most storied rivalries in the history of World Series of Boxing (WSB) continued in Guba, and Astana Arlans Kazakhstan won their third match in a row of Season V 3-2 away to Season IV runners-up Azerbaijan Baku Fires who have now lost two in a row.

The night began at Light flyweight (49 kg), where Temirtas Zhussupov, who is competing in his second WSB campaign for Astana Arlans Kazakhstan widely outpointed Rasul Saliyev.

Azerbaijan evened up the scoring in fight number two, as their Bantamweight (56 kg) Magomed Gurbanov continued his winning run with a comfortable win against Nursultan Kochshegulov.

Light welterweight (64 kg) Gaybatulla Gadzhialiyev has been a standout performer for Azerbaijan Baku Fires over the years, and lived up to his reputation with his second win of the season, earned over Askhat Ualikhanov.

Kazakhstan’s exciting Meiirim Nursultanov continued his undefeated start to the season at Middleweight (75 kg) and kept the match alive for Astana Arlans after a close, but deserved win against Jaba Khositashvili.

With everything to play for heading into the final match, Heavyweight (91 kg) Vasiliy Levit won the night for Kazakhstan with a third round finish over Rail Mammadli, earning his second stoppage win of the season.

Azerbaijan Baku Fires will look to shake off their losing run next week at home to Rafako Hussars Poland, while Astana Arlans Kazakhstan host fellow undefeated Franchise USA Knockouts.

Italia Thunder destroy Puerto Rico Hurricanes and enjoy first victory of Season V

Puerto Rico Hurricanes were riding a wave of success coming into their bout with Italia Thunder having won their opening two contests, while the European Franchise had lost both of their first two matches.

These earlier results established this Group B contest in Palermo, Italy as a must win match for the Thunder, and they finally opened their WSB winning account at the third time of asking with a resounding 5-0 victory.

Northern Ireland’s two-time Olympic medalist Paddy Barnes is representing Italy this season, and won his second match of Season V at Light flyweight (49 kg) with a wide points win over Puerto Rican Olympian Anthony Ortiz who is now 1-1 in the competition.

Ortiz won the opening round, but Barnes improved and impressed as the fight progressed.

Michael Conlan, a Northern Irish teammate of Barnes and a fellow Olympic medalist picked up his first win of the campaign at Bantamweight (56 kg) when he stopped 1-1 Garibaldy Gomez in the third round of their contest.

Italia Thunder’s first win was confirmed in the third fight, when 1-1 Light welterweight (49 kg) Vincenzo Mangiacapre showed his class with a dominant victory over Jan Rivera, who came into this fight having won his opening WSB match.

The glory continued for Italy at Middleweight (75) as Salvatore Cavallaro won every round against Jeffrey Flaz Guillén, while Italian Heavyweight (91 kg) Endri Spahiu won via walkover due to a medical suspension for Puerto Rico’s Michael Narvaez.

Next week, Italia Thunder look for a second victory a row away against the winless Argentina Condors, while Puerto Rico Hurricanes welcome Caciques Venezuela to San Juan.

 Rafako Hussars Poland secure first victory of Season V leaving Argentina Condors winless

Both Rafako Hussars Poland and Argentina Condors entered this World Series of Boxing (WSB) match having failed to win in their first two matches, so something had to give in this Group B fixture.

After a strong night of action in Włocławek, the home Polish Franchise reigned supreme, winning every fight with aplomb, and leaving Argentina still without a win this season.

The evening began at Light flyweight (49 kg) where Dawid Sebastian Jagodzinski won his first contest of the campaign with a wide points win over Argentina’s 1-1 Junior Zarate.

Argentine Bantamweight (56 kg) Ignacio Perrin was unable to compete, so therefore Sylwester Kozlowski picked up a walkover victory.

Poland went 3-0 up and took the match in the third bout, as Light welterweight (64 kg)  Damian Kiwior made amends for his first week loss by beating Ronan Nahuel Sanchez 48:47 across the board.

Sanchez won two of the first three rounds, but Kiwior was the stronger fighter in the final two frames.

Polish Middleweight (75 kg) Tomasz Jablonski achieved his second WSB fight in a row with a whitewash victory over Christian Zarate.

The 5-0 scoreline for the home team was assured in the final bout at Heavyweight (91 kg) when Igor Pawel Jakubowski secured his second stoppage in in succession against Elber Santos dos Passos.

Rafako Hussars Poland will aim to continue the momentum of this decisive conquest next week when they travel to face Azerbaijan Baku Fires, while Argentina Condors continue their quest for an opening win at home to Italia Thunder.

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February 2, 2015
February 2, 2015

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Caserta, Novosibirsk, Sofia and Astana hosted on 30 and 31 January 2015 the 52 kg, 60 kg, 64 kg, 81 kg and 91 kg APB Inaugural Title Matches, according with the following results.

Location: Catania – Venue: PalaCatania

Going into the AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) Heavyweight (91 kg) Inaugural Title Match, much of the attention was on hometown star, the two-time AIBA World Championships gold medallist, and two-time Olympic Games silver medalist Clemente Russo, and his attempts to finally beat Aleksei Egorov, and claim the title belt.

However, just like in their week two fixture, the Russian 2013 European Champion Egorov managed to silence the Italian fans in Catania, as he defeated Russo for the second time, and became APB Champion in the process.

The fight was unbelievably close, with Egorov taking the first round and Russo the next two frames.

Just as the Italian looked like he was running away with the match, Egorov came storming back, and took rounds four to seven to give him an unassailable lead going into the last three minutes of the bout.

Russo is one of the most resilient boxers in the history of this sport, and took the last round on two scorecards, but it wasn’t enough, and he was beaten for the second time in APB.

Egorov, now 4-0 won 77:75 according to two judges, while the third scorer had the fight a draw.

The ecstatic Russian boxer held the belt aloft to the respect of a dejected, but respectful partisan crowd, and Russo will hope it will be third time lucky if the two are to meet in APB again.

Match results:

21:00: Charles JAVONTA (USA) vs Yamil PERALTA (ARG) W.O.
(Exhibition Match: Marco CALIC (CRO) W.P. (59:55/ 59:55/ 58:56) vs Yamil PERALTA (ARG))
21:30: Emir AHMATOVIC (GER) vs Anton PINCHUK (KAZ) W.P. (55:59/ 55:59/ 55:59)
22:00: Chouaib BOULOUDINATS (ALG) W.P. (58:56/ 59:55/ 60:54) vs Roman GOLOVASHCHENKO (UKR)
22:30: Clemente RUSSO (ITA) vs Aleksey EGOROV (RUS) W.P. (75:77/ 76:76/ 75:77) (APB Inaugural Champion)

Location: Novosibirsk – Venue: SKK Server

The AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) Inaugural Title Match for the Flyweights (52+ kg) proved to be one of the greatest matches yet in the competition, and the Skk sever, Novosibirsk eventually saw Russian home favourite Mikhail Aloian defeat Mexico’s Elias Emigdio to claim the title.
Aloian, the number one seed coming into the competition maintained his undefeated record in APB, but was pushed all the way by his Mexican rival.

Although Aloian won the first five rounds on each scorecard, there was not a moment in those frames where Emigdio wasn’t trying his best to win, but the two-time AIBA World Championships gold medalist was just too strong, and too good.

Emigdio battled to the end however, and claimed the last two rounds, but it wasn’t enough after the dominance he had suffered against earlier in the contest, and Aloian eventually won the bout, and the title on all three scorecards, 78:74 across the board.

The Flyweights have been consistently exciting this season, and it one of the most talent-heavy divisions in APB, but Aloian has excelled throughout, and looks almost impossible to beat.

Russia’s new hero celebrated in front of his home fans, and could hold this title for a long time to come.

Match results:
19:00: Redouane ASLOUM (FRA) W.O. vs Vincezo PICARDI (ITA)
19:30: Mohammed FLISSI (ALG) vs Ilyas SULEIMENOV (KAZ) TKO R2 (0:37)
20:00: Fernando MARTÍNEZ (ARG) vs Jabursek LATIPOV (UZB) W.O.
20:30: Misha ALOIAN (RUS) W.P. (78:74/ 78:74/ 78:74) (APB Inaugural Champion) vs Elias EMIGDIO (MEX)

Location: Astana – Venue: Daulet Sports Complex

Two undefeated Lightweights (60 kg) competed in the AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) Inaugural Title Match on January 30th, and the fans packed in the Daulet Sports Complex, Astana ultimately saw home favourite, and number one seed Berik Abdrakhmanov defeat Uzbekistan’s Hurshid Tojibaev.
Berik Abdrakhmanov, now 4-0 in APB won the majority of the first four rounds in Astana, and looked en route to a comfortable victory, before Tojibaev began to turn up the heat in the middle section of the fight.

The Uzbek fighter, now 3-1 pushed the pace as the fight progressed, and impressed different judges in different rounds.

Perhaps the main difference between the two fighters was that when Abdrakhmanov won rounds, he tended to do so on all of the scorecards, while Tojibaev’s successes were more scattered.

After eight rounds of intense action, Abdrakhmanov eventually controlled the fight enough to win, and celebrated a unanimous decision victory with scores of 78:74, and two 77:75 cards.

The new Lightweight champion was delighted after the match, and will celebrate long into the night.

Match schedule:
19:30: Artur BRIL (GER) vs Domenico VALENTINO (ITA) W.P. (56:58/ 57:57/ 57:57)
20:00: Robson CONCEICAO (BRA) W.P. (57:57/ 58:56/ 58:56) vs Charly SUAREZ (PHI)
20:30: David JOYCE (IRL) vs Dmitry POLYANSKIY (RUS) W.P. (55:59/ 57:57/ 56:58)
21:00: Berik ABDRAKHMANOV W.P. (77:75/ 77:75/ 78:74) (APB Inaugural Champion) vs Hurshid TOJIBAEV (UZB)

Location: Sofia – Venue: Universiada Hall

The Universiada Hall, Sofia hosted the AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) Light heavyweight (81 kg) Inaugural Title Match, where Iran’s Ehsan Rouzbahani dominated number one seed and Commonwealth Games silver medalist Kennedy St Pierre to claim the title.

A fight that was consistently engrossing started as a tactical battle, with both boxers beginning the contest by utilising their movement, with quick flashes of power.

Rouzbahani was perhaps the slower of the two boxers, but his combinations throughout were crisp and concise, which cut the ring off well.

The Iranian fighter battled a bloodied nose early in the fight by taking control in the middle rounds, and though St Pierre tried hard to rally, the cerebral approach of Rouzbahani was too much to handle.

As the battle began to close, both men tired, but again it was Rouzbahani who maintained the momentum, and took the final frames in decisive fashion.

After eight rounds of gruelling action, the judges awarded the contest 78:74, and 78:73 twice to the Iranian icon who wept as he was awarded the Championship belt.

Match schedule:

20:00: Oybek MAMAZULUNOV (UZB) vs Serge MICHEL (GER) W.P. (55:59/ 56:58/ 56:58)
20:30: Mathieu BAUDERLIQUE (FRA) KO (R6) vs Nikita IVANOV (RUS)
21:00: Spas GENOV (BUL) vs Joseph WARD (IRL) W.P. (56:58/ 55:58/ 55:59)
21:30: Ehsan ROUZBAHANI (IRI) W.P. (78:73/ 79:73/ 78:74) (APB Inaugural Champion)  vs Kennedy St PIERRE (MRI)

Location: Novosibirsk – Venue: SKK Server
Three minutes into the AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) Light welterweight (64 kg) Inaugural Title Match, the crowd at the the SKK Sever, Novosibirsk were in shock, as for the first time in APB home favourite and 2013 European Champion Artem Zakaryan dropped a round in the competition to Artem Harutyunyan.

In their earlier APB clash, Zakaryan had won every frame against Harutyunyan as he had also against Vyacheslav Kyslytsyn, but for a second it seemed that the ultimate upset was on.

Zakaryan had other ideas however, and shook off the surprise of his opening stanza loss to win the bulk of the next three rounds.

Germany’s new star Harutyunyan refused to give in, and claimed the fifth on two scorecards to give him a chance heading into the Championship rounds.

It was to be the last round he would win in the match, as Zakaryan won the final three frames of the contest in excellent fashion, and claimed the APB title to the delight of his fans in the arena.

The final scorecards all read 78:74 in favour of the Russian.

Still undefeated in APB, Zakaryan was given his hardest match of the competition from the tough Harutyunyan, but battled the storm and established his ultimate dominance.

Match schedule:
17:00: Boris GEROGIEV (BUL) vs Vyacheslav KYSLYTSYN (UKR) W.O.
17:30: Juan Pablo ROMERO (MEX) vs Abdelkader CHADI (ALG) W.P. (55:59/ 56:58/ 55:59)
18:00: Evaldas PETRAUSKAS (LTU) vs Carlos AQUINO (ARG) W.P. (56:58/ 57:57/ 55:59)
18:30: Armen ZAKARYAN (RUS) W.P. (78:74/ 78:74/ 78:74) (APB Inaugural Champion) vs Artem HARUTYUNYAN (GER)(APB Inaugural Title Match)

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January 31, 2015
January 31, 2015
British Lionhearts v German Eagles - World Series of Boxing

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14: Sam Maxwell of British Lionhearts (R) in action with David Oliver Joyce of German Eagles during their 57-61kg bout in the World Series of Boxing between British Lionhearts and German Eagles at Earls Court on December 14, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Sam Maxwell; David Oliver Joyce

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THE British Lionhearts lost a tough away fixture in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) tonight, going down 3-2 to the Morocco Atlas Lions in Casablanca.

Wins by the Scouse duo, Antony Fowler and Sam Maxwell – who both have two wins and no defeats this season – were not enough to prevent a loss for the Lionhearts team which endured a difficult night in Casablanca against a tough and aggressive Moroccan team who took full advantage of being at home.

The Atlas Lions took first blood in the opening bout of the night as the Moroccan National Champion, Zouhair El Bekkali, secured a unanimous points victory over Ashley Williams in the light-flyweight contest.

Williams showed a greater work rate and troubled the Moroccan with his willingness to go forward however the rangy, El Bekkali, landed the cleaner shots and stifled the Welshman to take the bout on all three scorecards.

The bantamweight contest saw the Moroccan team extend its lead to 2-0 as Mohamed Hamout overcame Qais Ashfaq of the British Lionhearts.  Ashfaq started well, counter-attacking from the backfoot, but the Moroccan’s aggressive tactics saw him fight his way back into the contest as he charged forward and imposed his brawling style on the bout to take the victory.

 A fine performance by Sam Maxwell in the light-welterweight contest pulled one back for the Lionhearts as the man from Liverpool showed skill and power to defeat Hamza El Barbari and secure his second win of the season in WSB.

 He was followed into the ring by fellow Liverpudlian, Antony Fowler, who dominated Said Harnouf in the middleweight contest from the first bell, sending the Moroccan to the canvas three times in the opening two rounds.

 The re-opening of a cut to Fowler’s forehead in the second round provided a scare for the Lionhearts but the Commonwealth Games gold medallist showed maturity and superior boxing skills to protect the cut and see out the contest to secure a unanimous victory and even the match at 2-2.

 It set-up the possibility of superb comeback by the Lionhearts, however the team’s Romanian heavyweight, Ionut-Mirel Jitaru, was unable to deliver and lost by TKO, when he was forced to retire with a shoulder injury, and hand the win to Lithuanian, Vitalijus Subacius, giving the Atlas Lions a 3-2 victory on the night.

Next-up for the Lionhearts is a home match against the Algeria Desert Hawks on Thursday February 5 at York Hall in London.

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January 30, 2015
January 30, 2015
Keith Thurman (Action Images:Jason Cairnduff)

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THE return of prizefighting to primetime network television has finally arrived as the recently announced Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series is set to debut on Saturday, March 7 with an action-packed double main event on NBC, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The inaugural PBC on NBC fight night will feature two spectacular bouts worthy of this historic occasion. In the second main event of the evening, undefeated welterweight knockout artist Keith “One Time” Thurman (24-0, 21 KOs) will take on former four-division world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (32-2-1, 18 KOs) in a showdown where both men look to prove they are amongst the best fighters in the world on the biggest stage in recent boxing history.

The first main event of the evening will feature one of boxing’s biggest and most compelling stars, former three-division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner (29-1, 22 KOs) facing off against the always exciting John “The Gladiator” Molina Jr. (27-5, 22 KOs) in a super lightweight bout that will put the winner at the top of the division.

Don’t miss a minute of the PBC on NBC action as the first televised fight on NBC begins at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT SHARP!

“The team and I are extremely excited and we are all looking forward to this opportunity to fight on NBC. A lot of what my team keeps saying is that this is going to change the sport. It reminds me that my late trainer Ben Getty used to tell me, that all I needed to do was get on a big stage,” said Thurman. “I’m truly looking forward to headlining the first show. I’m happy to be back at MGM Grand and looking forward to a great knockout. This is the start of creating a household name.”

“It’s very refreshing to know that NBC is bringing boxing back to primetime television,” said Guerrero. “It’s an honor to be part of the first show, especially against an undefeated champion like Keith Thurman.  Everyone knows I always come to fight. Let’s hope Thurman has the same mindset.  He claims that he’s going to knock me out, but I see a totally different outcome. When this fight is over, everyone tuning in will know why boxing is one of the most exciting sports to watch, that I can guarantee.”

“This is the first big installment of ‘AB on NBC.’ There’s nothing I can’t do,” said Broner. “It’s a great fight not only for the fighters, but for the fans. Everyone knows that I always come to fight and I know John Molina Jr. is coming to fight. I look forward to stopping Molina on NBC. I love the support and anyone that supports me; I’m going to fight for them. This is just the start of the ‘AB Show’ in 2015.”

“I am extremely excited to be a part of the inaugural show on NBC and to be on this platform. I can’t wait to go out there and do what I do best in front of millions of people,” said Molina Jr. “I want to fight the best and Broner is one of the best. This is a fight that we asked for over a year ago and we finally got it. I am so excited. I’m not nervous at all. If I were nervous, I wouldn’t be in this industry. This is the type of thing that real fighters dream about. I’m counting down the days.”

The return of boxing to primetime on NBC is nearly 30 years in the making, with the last such fight night taking place May 20, 1985. That fight saw Larry Holmes win a 15-round decision and defend his IBF Heavyweight World Championship against Carl Williams in Reno, Nev.

Primetime national television was a long-time home for some of the most recognizable names in the history of the sport, with fighters such as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman and Mike Tyson making a name for themselves in front of a national audience.

The PBC on NBC series will feature a cast of familiar names and voices who will lend their immense talents to the broadcasts. Seven-time Emmy Award winner Al Michaels will host the series while Academy Award winning composer Hans Zimmer will compose the music that brings the series to life. In addition, legendary boxer Sugar Ray Leonard will serve as lead analyst.

“I’m so excited about PBC on NBC. I was shocked when I got the call, but right away I knew I wanted to be a part of this,” said Leonard. “This is what boxing needs, and this is what the boxing fans need.”

Los Angeles-based Goossen Promotions will promote this inaugural PBC on NBC event.

“It’s an honor to be a part of this extraordinary and highly anticipated event on March 7, the debut of the ‘Premier Boxing Champions’ series on NBC,” said Tom Brown of Goossen Promotions. “These are two outstanding fights featuring four world class boxers and fans are in for a terrific night of action.”

Thurman has long proven his power by knocking out 18 of his first 19 opponents, but when he won the interim WBA Welterweight World Title with a 10th round knockout over Diego Chaves in July of 2013, he put himself in a position to fight the very best in the sport. The 26-year-old Clearwater, Florida native has since made three successful title defenses with knockouts over Jesus Soto Karass and Julio Diaz, before dominating Leonard Bundu on his way to a unanimous decision in December 2014. Now, Thurman looks to remain undefeated when he faces his toughest test to date in Guerrero.

A battle-tested veteran, Guerrero, of Gilroy, Calif., has been among the elite fighters in boxing for years. A southpaw boxer-puncher, Guerrero has won world titles in four weight classes from 130 to 147 pounds, beating the likes of Andre Berto, Joel Casamayor, Michael Katsidis and Selcuk Aydin along the way. His prowess across these weight classes earned him a fight with pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather in 2013, which he lost by unanimous decision. “The Ghost” bounced back nicely in June of 2014 with a hard-fought unanimous decision victory over Yoshihiro Kamegai.

One of boxing’s most well-known stars, Broner, the 25-year old phenom who has collected world titles at 130, 135 and 147 pounds, is setting his sights on the dangerous puncher John Molina Jr. on March 7. Broner has prevailed over the likes of Paulie Malignaggi, Daniel Ponce de Leon and Antonio Demarco on the way to becoming a three-division champion. Despite suffering his first loss to Marcos Maidana in December 2013, the Cincinnati-native rebounded with back-to-back victories over Carlos Molina and Emmanuel Taylor.

Molina Jr. from Covina, Calif., has had great success in the professional ranks including an impressive knockout victory over current world champion Mickey Bey that proved you can never count the powerful puncher out of a fight. The 32-year-old lost a scintillating Fight of the Year candidate to Lucas Matthysse in 2014 and is looking to start off 2015 with a big win against Broner.

A full night of exciting undercard bouts will be announced shortly.

PBC on NBC, will take place Saturday, March 7 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and is promoted by Goossen Promotions. The event will air live on NBC (8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT).

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January 29, 2015
January 29, 2015

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JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ has backed Daniel Estrada to defeat Kevin Mitchell when the pair clash at The O2 on Saturday night (January 31), live on Sky Sports.

The Mexican legend is part of Team Estrada as he takes on Mitchell for the WBC Silver Lightweight title in a final eliminator the World strap.

Estrada challenged Omar Figueroa for that title in August in Los Angeles, giving the champion everything he could handle in an entertaining nine round fight on the undercard of Kell Brook’s World title win over Shawn Porter, and four-weight World king Marquez is backing his man to land a second shot at the crown – but knows that Mitchell poses a tough challenge.

“That’s a dream that Daniel has,” said Marquez. “He fought for the World title against Omar Figueroa, it didn’t go well but he wants to vindicate himself with the WBC Silver belt which will open the door to another World title fight. He comes with that dream, to win and then to fight for the World title again. I think that Mitchell wants the same thing.

“The most important thing here is to come and win with the mentality that he wants to fight for the World title. He comes motivated and with this big hope to win. Every fighter’s dream is to fight for the World title. That’s why he is here in England.

“Mitchell is a good fighter, he’s a man who has kept himself at a good level in terms of his style of boxing. I think it’s a difficult fight for Daniel, difficult because of Mitchell’s style and also because the fight is in his country. It’s an interesting and important fight and it will be good for the fans watching. I always say that when a Mexican is in the ring he’s going to put on a good show, and he wants the victory, that’s why fans enjoy fights involving Mexicans.”

Marquez joined Estrada in his ten week training camp with hall of fame trainer Nacho Beristáin, and he is in no doubt that ‘Tremendo’ is in the best shape possible to earn the win.

“I trained or went running with him often and it was a good training camp,” said Marquez. “He comes here in good condition, he comes to win, like all fighters do. He’s doing very well in terms of his condition. It was a tough and hard training camp and he’s here to put on a great fight.

“Daniel wanted to run in the mountains to be in great shape and get that strength and we’re hoping to see the results of that on Saturday.

“I form part of his team and I also have something to do with the promotion of Daniel with Fernando Beltrán and Zanfer Promotions. At the same time I support him in terms of training and what he has to do as a boxer. We help him outside of boxing as well.”

Estrada’s clash with Mitchell is part of a great line-up of action at The O2 as John Ryder defends his WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight title against Billi Godoy.

There’s a tasty pair of Light Welterweight bouts as John Wayne Hibbert and Tyler Goodjohn meet for Hibbert’s WBC International strap and Tommy Martin and Ricky Boylan square up for the vacant English title.

Team GB star Charlie Edwards makes his hotly anticipated pro debut on the bill, as does Cruiserweight Isaac Chamberlain, as Ohara Davies, Ben Hall and Lee Markham make their first appearances in 2015.