Category Archives: Press

January 19, 2015
January 19, 2015
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USA Knockouts defeat Argentina in Buenos Aires

THE 2015 World Series of Boxing season got off to a roaring start for the USA Knockouts on Saturday, January 17 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The United States squad won four of the five bouts with two of the victories coming by way of knockout at the Stadium of Argentina Boxing Federation. Bantamweight Francisco Martinez (Dallas, Texas), light welterweight Tyrek Irby (Oxon Hill, Md.), middleweight Anthony Campbell (Covington, Tenn.), and heavyweight Joshua Temple (St. Louis, Mo.) all recorded victories in Saturday’s season opener.
Martinez kicked off the U.S. winning streak in his bantamweight bout with Elias Nahuel Gonzalez. The American boxer showed no sign of nerves in his WSB opener, stepping straight to Gonzalez. Martinez focused heavily on body shots and the judges rewarded him with a hard-fought unanimous decision victory.
Irby was the next USA Knockout to take the ring in Argentina and he set the tone early in his bout with the Condors’ Lucas Gimenez. He took control in the second round, landing a four-punch combination to send his opponent to the canvas. The referee stopped the bout at the :20 mark in the second round, giving Irby a TKO win in his World Series of Boxing debut.
Campbell had a tough act to follow but he didn’t disappoint in his middleweight contest with Argentina’s Kevin Caceres. He wasted no time in his return to World Series of Boxing competition, dropping Caceres with 20 seconds remaining in the first round. The Condor boxer couldn’t continue and Campbell won a first round knockout to open the 2015 season.
Nico Hernandez (Wichita, Kansas) put on a strong performance in his first World Series of Boxing, but dropped his light flyweight bout with Junior Zarate by a 3-0 score.
Heavyweight Joshua Temple (St. Louis, Mo.) received a walkover victory in Saturday’s team match competition.
The other half of the USA Knockouts will compete in the second bout of the season on Saturday, January 24 in a contest with the Italia Thunder at the Miccouskee Sports & Entertainment Dome in Miami, Fla. Flyweight Brent Venegas III (Sacramento, Calif.), lightweight Carlos Balderas (Santa Maria, Calif.), welterweight Brian Ceballo (Brooklyn, N.Y.), light heavyweight Steven Nelson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), and super heavyweight Cam F. Awesome (Lenexa, Kansas) will all open competition next week in south Florida.
The 2015 season of World Series of Boxing marks the beginning of international qualifying for the Olympic Games with 17 spots up for grabs, the most ever in WSB competition. Two Olympic berths will be granted in the flyweight (112 lbs) – light heavyweight (178 lbs) divisions and one boxer in the light flyweight, heavyweight and super-heavyweight classes will qualify for Rio de Janeiro.

Cuba Domadores begin a perfect defence of their WSB title against Morocco Atlas Lions

Defending World Series of Boxing (WSB) Champions Cuba Domadores opened up their Season V campaign with a resounding victory over debutants Morocco Atlas Lions.

Havana was the location for a convincing 5-0 victory for Cuba, but Morocco will take confidence from many of the fights, as their talented fighters never gave up.

Cuba’s 2013 AIBA Junior World Champion Joahnys Oscar Argilagos Perez opened the evening off with a bang at Light flyweight (49) kg winning comfortably on points against Moroccan National Champion Zouhair El Bekkali.

Olympic champion Robeisy Ramirez is one of the smoothest boxers in WSB, and the Cuban cantered to an easy Bantamweight (56 kg) victory over Mohamed VI Trophy winner Mohamed Hamout.

Two-time AIBA World Championships silver medalist and Olympic bronze medalist Yasniel Toledo took his overall WSB record to 6-2 after defeating Morocco’s Hamza El Barbari for the second time in months at Light welterweight (64 kg), while Arlen Lopez is a boxer to watch this season in the Middleweight (75 kg), with the dominant Domadores star stopping Olympic Badreddine Haddioui in the third round.

WSB boxer of Season IV Erislandy Savon sealed the whitewash 5-0 victory for Cuba, taking his WSB record to 9-0 at Heavyweight (91 kg) when he stopped Amine Azzouzi in just 51 seconds.

Awesome Astana Arlans Kazakhstan dominate Caciques Venezuela in opening WSB contest

Astana Arlans Kazakhstan are one of the favourites to top Group B, and they began Season V of World Series of Boxing (WSB) with a resounding 5-0 win over debutants Caciques Venezuela.

The Light flyweights (49 kg) opened the action at the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace in Almaty, with home favourite Mardan Berikbayev winning a unanimous points decision over Venezuela’s rookie Yoel Finol, who pushed the Kazak star all the way.

WSB veteran Bantamweight (56 kg) Meirbolat Toitov then won a wide points decision over Venezuela’s José Vicente Azocar, before Samat Bashenov eventually won a close points win against Venezuela’s Luis Arcón.

The dominance continued at Middleweight (75 kg) as Kazakhstan’s exciting Meiirim Nursultanov stopped Juan Rodríguez in the fourth round, a surprise result considering the past WSB experience of Rodríguez.

Another stoppage occurred in the last fight at Heavyweight (91kg) with Vasiliy Levit continuing his menacing form from Season IV as he stopped Alfonso Flores at the end of round three.

Azerbaijan Baku Fires enjoy wide opening victory against Italia Thunder

A battle of two World Series of Boxing (WSB) superpowers opened up Season V in Group B, and Azerbaijan Baku Fires enjoyed an impressive 4-1 home victory over the always dangerous Italia Thunder.

The fans at the Guba Olympic Complex were treated to five fights of supreme quality, which fully displayed the international flavour and talent that the competition enjoys.

Italy enjoyed their sole victory in the first fight, with dynamic Light flyweight (49 kg) Paddy Barnes showcasing all of the characteristics which have earned him two Olympic medals as he won a wide points victory over Azerbaijan’s Magomed Ibiyev.

Michael Conlan, an Irish teammate of Barnes who also competes for Italia Thunder could not keep the winning run going at Bantamweight (56 kg) he he lost a close points decision to Magomed Gurbanov who maintained his winning WSB run.

Gaybatulla Gadzhialiyev has been one of the standout Light welterweights (64 kg) across WSB history, and he showed why he is a legend of the competition as he dropped just one round according to one judge against Italy’s Olympic and AIBA World Championships bronze medalist Vincenzo Mangiacapre.

A close contest at Middleweight (75 kg) followed, and Belarus Middleweight (75 kg) Mikalai Vesialou won the contest for Astana Arlans with a tight split decision win over Italy’s Salvatore Cavallaro who will take confidence from his performance in the fight.

Powerful Heavyweight (91 kg) Abdulkadir Abdullayev continued his excellent form against Italian boxers in the last fight in Guba, as he knocked out Fabio Turchi towards the end of the third round.

A night of stoppages in Puerto Rico as The Hurricanes win over Rafako Hussars Poland

It was a dream World Series of Boxing (WSB) debut for Puerto Rico Hurricanes, as they stormed to a 3-2 win over WSB veterans Rafako Hussars Poland.

Coliseíto Pedrín Zorrilla in San Juan saw five superb fights of much quality, with Puerto Rico winning the first three contests, before Poland hit back with a brace of victories.

Light flyweight (49 kg) and Olympian Anthony Ortiz began the night off in style for the Hurricanes as he comfortably dispatched Poland’s Dawid Jagodzinsk on points.

At Bantamweight (56 kg), Puerto Rico’s Garibaldy Gomez superbly stopped Poland’s Marek Pietruczuk in round one of their contest, a result which has sent shockwaves throughout the entire Bantamweight division.

Not much was known of Jan Rivera prior to his Light welterweight (64 kg) fight, but the Puerto Rican reacted superbly well to losing the first round against Damian Kiwior by taking all but one of the remaining rounds to seal the victory for Puerto Rico.

In WSB however, all bouts count towards the group tables, and Poland’s Igor Jakubowski relied on all of his three prior seasons of WSB experience to knock out Middleweight Jean Alicea in the third round.

Heavyweight (91 kg) Igor Jakubowski claimed Poland’s second victory of the evening in the last fight, as he stopped home star in round one.

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January 19, 2015
January 19, 2015
Lucas Browne

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LUCAS BROWNE has placed Deontay Wilder on his hit list, but first he’s keen to square off with WBA champion Ruslan Chagaev.

The hard-hitting Aussie is rated at number seven in the world by the WBC and is a legitimate contender for the title Wilder won by outpointing Bermane Stiverne in Las Vegas at the weekend.

However, he is currently the highest available challenger with the WBA and feels a shot could be just around the corner as Chageav needs to make a defence quickly due to him already surpassing the organisation’s rules.

As the championship was vacant prior to Chagaev beating Fres Oquendo last July, he is obligated to agree a defence within 180 days, but more than 190 days have passed since and an opponent has not been named.

Only Bryant Jennings and Alexander Povetkin stand ahead of Browne in the WBA’s latest rankings (the number one spot is vacant due to Luis Ortiz failing a drug test). Jennings, however, is set to face Wladimir Klitschko in April, while Povetkin is going down the WBC route.

“Chagaev is already in breach of the WBA’s rules so he’s going to have to fight someone soon or get stripped,” Browne, 22-0 (19 KOs), said.

“Jennings and Povetkin are doing other things so I’m next in line for a shot and I’m ready to fight him now. I’ll take him on whenever he wants, wherever he wants.

“I’m ready for any fighter in the world and I think is going to be the year when Australia finally gets a world heavyweight champion of its own.

“My plan is to be beat Chagaev and then go after Wilder in a unification. Wilder did well to outbox Stiverne at the weekend, but let’s be honest, Stiverne hadn’t really beaten anyone himself other than Chris Arreola.

“Although I give Wilder a lot of credit and congratulate him on the win, I still think there’s a lot of questions to be answered and I honestly believe he’ll be on the canvas sleeping if I connect with his chin.”

Matt Clark, Browne’s co-manager, said: “We are hopeful that the WBA enforce their own rules and dictate to Chagaev that he is to face his highest available challenger, which is Lucas. He’s been knocking on the door for some time now and we believe that a fight with Chagaev will further electrify the heavyweight division.

“Lucas is prepared to face Deontay Wilder, who boxed well on the weekend. If Wilder wants to have his first defence in Alabama, Lucas Browne will happily go into the lion’s den. He fears no man.”

HOW THE DRAMA UNFOLDED

FULL RINGSIDE REPORT – AND REACTION –  AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD IN NEXT WEEK’S BOXING NEWS. Don’t miss the opinion of Daniel Herbert, who was ringside when Mike Tyson defeated Trevor Berbick, on Tuesday.

January 19, 2015
January 19, 2015
Carl Froch

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CARL FROCH is aiming to return to the ring in the summer after picking up an elbow injury in his return to training.

Froch’s team have been in deep talks with Julio Cesar Chavez’s camp about a potential clash in the spring in Las Vegas following his stunning win over George Groves at Wembley Stadium in the summer to retain his IBF and WBA World super-middleweight titles, the injury has forced The Cobra to adjust his sights to another blockbuster summer bout.

“I’m disappointed to have to let this opportunity go but at this stage in my career I have to make every fight count,” said Froch. “I will get some treatment and then we will look to make this fight or another big fight in the early summer.”

“We have been deep in negotiations for some time and we were almost ready to go,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Carl has gone into fights before not 100 per cent fit and paid the price and he has made the right decision to hang fire. We will have a meeting early next week and plan out 2015. I’m confident we will see him back in the ring this summer.”

Froch will make a further announcement on his IBF and WBA titles next week.

*For training information and workouts from some of the biggest names in combat sport, including Carl Froch, don’t miss the Fighting Fit: Train like the Stars special*

January 16, 2015
January 16, 2015
Keith Thurman

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NBC Sports Group announced the launch of the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series, with 20 live bouts airing in 2015.

The PBC series, created for TV by Haymon Boxing, will feature great matchups on both NBC and NBC Sports Network.

The first PBC on NBC card, scheduled for March 7 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, will feature a clash between 147-pound title contenders Keith Thurman and Robert Guerrero, and a showdown between 140-pound contenders Adrien Broner and John Molina Jr.

The second card, on April 11, will highlight a bout between 140-pound title hopefuls Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson.

The 20 live PBC on NBC events this year will consist of five Saturday prime-time shows on NBC, six Saturday afternoon shows on NBC and nine Saturday prime-time shows on NBCSN.

The host of PBC on NBC will be seven-time Emmy Award winner Al Michaels, who called the classic championship bout between “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler and Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns 30 years ago this April.

Additional on-air personalities for PBC on NBC will be announced in the coming weeks, along with future show dates and times.

Within the 20 live shows, NBC Sports Group will present more than 50 hours of PBC coverage, including NBCSN pre- and post-fight programming for NBC telecasts. “We are looking forward to presenting PBC on NBC to develop a new and exciting platform which will be embraced by the millions of boxing fans across the country,” said Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC and NBCSN.

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January 16, 2015
January 16, 2015
Stiverne and Wilder face off

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THERE is no love lost between WBC Heavyweight World Champion Bermane “B. Ware” Stiverne and unbeaten No. 1 contender Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder, who didn’t mince words while participating in often tense, trash-talking-filled volatile final press conference Thursday for the “Return to Glory: Bermane Stiverne vs. Deontay Wilder” fight card taking place this Saturday, Jan. 17, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The hard-hitting Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs), of Las Vegas, defends his title against the unbeaten knockout specialist Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Ala.,- in two days, but if they had their way they’d fight tonight.

The event is co-promoted by Don King Productions and Golden Boy Promotions and will featurecrowd-pleasing WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion Leo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz (28-0-1, 16 KOs) putting his title and unbeaten record on the line in a 12-round bout against Jesus “Estrella” Ruiz (33-5-5, 22 KOs).

Promising world-ranked undefeated junior welterweight Amir “Young Master” Imam (15-0, 13 KOs) will face hard-hitting Fidel “The Atrisco Kid” Maldonado Jr. (19-2, 16 KOs) in a 10-round fight for the WBC Continental America’s 140-pound title that will open the SHOWTIME telecast.

Below is what the fighters, promoters and trainers had to say today at the David Copperfield Theatre:

BERMANE STIVERNE, WBC Heavyweight Champion

“It’s going to be a real fight, a fight like you’ve never seen before. I’m no cab driver, I’m no one-hit wonder, this is the real deal. This belt here isn’t going anywhere. This green belt is staying right here in this green hotel.

“Everyone who has supported me, you won’t be disappointed. I’ve seen plenty of guys like Wilder, even guys who talk more than him.

“I don’t worry about how I go in the ring, I worry about how I get out of the ring.

“There’s something about Deontay ….I’m gonna keep his record clean, because he isn’t getting past four rounds.

“This is a real fight and this belt is staying right here in my home town. You’re going to get hurt, the worst thing you did was have me take you seriously, and I’m taking you seriously.

“This is going to be a terrific fight. After this fight you will never ever hear about Deontay Wilder.”

DEONTAY WILDER, Unbeaten No. 1 WBC Mandatory Contender

“You are all in for a treat. I’ve never been so ready to whoop a man. There’s been a lot of talk, a lot of stuff on social media. But through all that, it’s been real. I don’t play games. It doesn’t get any realer than this. We risk our lives every time in that ring.

“If you only knew the whooping I’m going to put on this boy, you all want the first American champ, but this is for me. I am not scared to walk with my head held high because I am ready for any test.

“This is the most exciting heavyweight bout in years. This is the awakening of the heavyweight division and there’s nowhere else to have it than at MGM Grand.

“This is the number one spot to have boxing and I’ve just been waiting for this for so long. The training, the heartache, the pain and the suffering has been a long journey.

“Many people wrote me off early in my career. People say I’m not supposed to be here. People still write me off and I thank them for that. Because when they write me off I still go to another level and push forward.

“People don’t know what it took me to get here. Nothing has been given to me and I appreciate every little thing I have. This made me who I am in life.

“I knew it was going to take hard work to get that belt and I’m ready for that test. This is my time; I don’t think my opponent understands purpose because this is my time.

“When I do the unexpected, I don’t want you all to degrade this man, Stiverne. I don’t want anyone to make excuses for my victory. Stick by your word. Let this be a test for me and watch me pass my test. I guarantee I will do it.

“I know everyone has been speaking for you, Bermane, but they can’t fight for you. They can only make it worse for you. They have made it worse for you. You don’t understand what type of man you’re about to get in the ring with.

“You’ve only been champion for a short period of time but you walk around like it’s been a long time. You’re only a tourist to that belt.”

LEO SANTA CRUZ, WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion

“I’m 100 percent ready. I’ve been training for this fight like all of my fights. I’ve been training really hard.

“It’s not going to be an easy fight, he’s a tough fighter. A lot of guys have tried to take the belt away from me and none of them have. I know he’s hungry for the title but I’m not going to let that happen.

“I want my opponent to come ready and leave it all in the ring. I want to steal the show and be the fight of the night.”

JESUS RUIZ, Super Bantamweight Contender

“I want to thank everybody who helped me get this opportunity and I promise not to let you down.

“There’s a lot of naysayers out there and a lot of people who don’t know anything about me. Come Saturday I’ll have to show the world who I am. I’m not here to collect a paycheck or take a dive, I’m here to win a world title. I’m going to give everything I have on Saturday to bring that title back to Mexico.

“I’m expecting Leo Santa Cruz to come here in great shape because this is going to be a great fight. I’m going to lay it all out on the line and I promise to bring that title back to Mexico.”

AMIR IMAM, Undefeated Super Lightweight Contender

“I’m ready to put on a show for you all. I want to thank my whole team. I don’t think you know what you got yourself into, Fidel. You’re going to be the one laying on the mat come Saturday night. You’re scared and I can see it in your face.”

FIDEL MALDONADO, JR., Super Lightweight Contender

“I know I’m not underestimating this fight but come Saturday we’ll see how it is when he’s out on the floor.”

DON KING, Hall Of Fame Promoter

“The fact of the matter is, the heavyweight title has not been the world championship. It’s been the German championship.

“Now, the heavyweight title is back here with Bermane Stiverne and it’s great to be able to present it in the world’s capital of boxing, Las Vegas. To be at the great MGM Grand is a delight.

“Deontay is a tremendous fighter with a perfect record of 32 fights and 32 knockouts. Bermane has 21 knockouts so it’s going to be a heck of a fight.

“We want the fans to know that we are bringing boxing back to the people. That’s what really counts. The enthusiasm and passion of a promotion leads to people asking ‘when is the next one?’ That’s what we’re aiming to do here.

“This is going to be a great fight so don’t blink. Don’t go up and get any water or anything because this fight is going to be super sensational.”

BERNARD HOPKINS, Future Hall Of Famer and Golden Boy Promotions Partner

“I’m proud that Don King has been a part of my history. What I constantly hear is, ‘is boxing in a good position?’ I feel like more businesspeople coming to boxing and making the best fights is great. Don King has laid the foundation for that. If we all think one way, we have to think about what is best for boxing.

“We know that the drought in the heavyweight division has gone on long enough and I believe that this Saturday, whoever wins this is going to be talked about. I don’t see this going 12 rounds. This is good for boxing.

“I’m here in Las Vegas, on my 50th birthday, I get to be here sharing it with Don King and all of you in this sport that I passionately love so much. This is about a sport that gave me a second chance in life. I put the challenge out to everyone in the sport, let’s do what is right for the people who buy our sport.

“I’m proud to sacrifice this time that I could be with my family to be here for this fight and be here for this sport that has done so much for me.”

ROBERT GASPARRI, COO of Golden Boy Promotions

“Golden Boy Promotions is thrilled to be promoting this great card alongside legendary boxing promoter Don King. On behalf of Oscar De La Hoya and everyone at Golden Boy Promotions, I would like to thank the MGM Grand, Corona, Mexico Tourism and all the fighters that are working extremely hard to make this a successful event.

“Golden Boy wants to make the best matches and work with all the promoters, and Saturday night is no exception. This is a heavyweight title fight in America with the potential of having the first American heavyweight champion in a decade.”

RICHARD STURM, President and COO MGM Resorts Entertainment and Sports

“The 2015 Las Vegas boxing calendar kicks off Saturday night with the most anticipated heavyweight fight in the United States in a decade. We are confident that the sports fans watching will enjoy this fight card.”

STEPHEN ESPINOZA, Executive General Manager and Vice President, SHOWTIME Sports

“I can’t think of a better fight to kick off this year than Stiverne vs. Wilder.  It’s the most significant heavyweight fight in the U.S. in at least a decade. It’s the biggest heavyweight title fight here at the MGM Grand since Tyson-Holyfield II in 1997.

“When we talk about a Return to Glory, there’s no more history than here at the MGM and in the heavyweight division.

“We’re very proud to have this fight on SHOWTIME and we’re very proud to be in business with these two young men. They’re both intelligent and articulate people who are great representatives for our sport. We’re proud to have these men on SHOWTIME and we’re proud to call them SHOWTIME fighters.

“This is a high quality card of boxing and a high quality card of young men, top to bottom.”

JAY DEAS, Wilder’s Trainer and Manager

“This is going to be a tremendous fight. Not a lot of people think about Alabama and boxing, but if you know boxing you know that Joe Louis was born in Alabama, Evander Holyfield was born in Alabama, Ernie Shavers was born in Alabama. Those guys left Alabama to get their careers going, but Deontay stayed and he’s looking to bring Alabama to the party come Saturday night.

“We know Stiverne is a great champion, we know he’s at his peak and we know that he’s at his best and that’s how it ought to be. It’s a great fight between two great heavyweights.”

STACY MCKINLEY, Imam’s Trainer

“Amir Imam is a young version of Bernard Hopkins. You have fighters out there throwing punchers like rock em’ sock em’ robots. I took a look at this kid Imam and I knew I had to go drop everything and train him.

“Imam trains every day, all he does is train. Even when he’s walking through the mall he’s shadow boxing. He wants to be one of the greatest that’s ever lived.

“This is a young man who has the skills of Ray Robinson, the defense of Joe Gans. He also has the skills of Harry Armstrong. You put that together and there’s nothing left, that’s how he became the ‘Young Master.’

“You’re looking at the future of boxing, he’s going to be the future face of boxing. Boxing needs a superstar. Imam can fight any style and that’s why he’s The Master.”

Don’t miss the heavyweight special issue of Boxing News magazine this week

January 15, 2015
January 15, 2015
Erislandy Savon

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THE Cuba Domadores begin the defence of their World Series of Boxing (WSB) title at home in Havana against WSB newcomers Morocco Atlas Lions.

The Lions could not have asked for a tougher draw in their opening contest against the defending Champions, but they will be full of confidence and excitement, and will be aiming to cause the biggest upset in the history of the competition.

Boxing fans in Cuba can view the event live on Friday 16th January at 8.30pm (local time) on the TV Cubana, while fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand 20:30 (GMT -5) at AIBABoxingTV.com.

In the first fight of the evening, Cuba’s 2013 AIBA Junior World Champion Joahnys Oscar Argilagos Perez competes at Light flyweight (49 kg) against Moroccan National Champion Zouhair El Bekkali who also won the Mohamed VI Trophy in October, and is no stranger to competing in Cuba, having reached the semi-finals of the Roberto Balado Cup in June 2014.

Fight two is at Bantamweight (56 kg), as Cuba’s 2012 Olympic Champion Robeisy Ramirez looks to maintain his undefeated WSB record against Morocco’s National Champion and Mohamed VI Trophy winner Mohamed Hamout, who like his teammate El Bekkali will be hoping his successful year will inspire him against one of the best Bantamweights in the world.

Two-time AIBA World Championships silver medalist and Olympic bronze medalist Yasniel Toledo went 5-2 in WSB last season, and will hope to dominate the Light welterweight (64 kg) division again.

His opponent is Morocco’s Hamza El Barbari who took silver in June’s Giraldo Córdova Cardín tournament in Cuba, and was narrowly defeated by Toledo in the Mohammed VI Cup last year.

El Barbari took a round of Toledo in that three frame affair, and will hope the longer WSB format will increase his chances of picking up a priceless victory.

Former AIBA Junior World Champion Arlen Lopez made his WSB last season, and claimed his first win in the competition in September’s “Clash of Champions” match against Astana Arlans Kazakhstan.

The Cuban won many tournaments last season, and the Middleweight (75 kg) will look to become a key member of the Domadores this season.

Trying to stop him will be Morocco’s Badreddine Haddioui, who competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Erislandy Savon was named as the best boxer of WSB last season after the Heavyweight (91 kg) went 8-0 in the competition.

His first opponent in Season V is Morocco’s Amine Azzouzi who fought at the 2011 AIBA World Championships, and the last fight of the evening should produce fireworks.

Don’t miss this week’s issue of Boxing News for a feature on the APB – AIBA’s move into professional boxing

January 15, 2015
January 15, 2015
Claressa Shields

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Nearly 300 boxers with Olympic dreams are traveling to Spokane, Wash., for the 2015 USA Boxing National Championships, January 19-24. The deep list of pugilists includes three Olympians and four reigning or former World Champions all hoping to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games. The Pathway to the Podium will once again run through Spokane with the 2015 edition of USA Boxing’s key national championship event serving as an Olympic Trials qualifier for the 10 men’s weight divisions and three women’s Olympic weight classes.
With such high stakes, the athlete entry numbers have increased significantly from last year and the talent level of the boxers matches the quantity of the tournament participants. 2012 Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) once again headlines the list of competitors and she enters the 2015 event fresh off her first elite world title win in Korea. Fellow Olympic medalist Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) won her first world championship in November as well and she will be competing for her ninth USA Boxing title in Spokane.
2012 Olympian Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) will return to her home state for the fourth straight year to vie for her eighth USA Boxing national championship while 2012 World Champion and 2014 World Championships bronze medalist Tiara Brown (Fort Myers, Fla.) looks to defend her featherweight title.
In men’s action, multiple reigning national champions will compete for another USA Boxing national title alongside their younger counterparts making their elite division debuts in Spokane. Two-time national champions Jose Alday (Odessa, Texas) and LeShawn Rodriquez (Shirley, N.Y.) will chase the three-peat in 2015 while lightweight Genaro Gamez (San Diego, Calif.) and light welterweight Abraham Nova (Albany, N.Y.) will each look to defend their 2014 titles in Spokane. 2014 Youth World Champion and Youth Olympic Games silver medalist Darmani Rock (Philadelphia, Pa.) will make the move to the elite division next week with 2013 youth national champions Antonio Vargas (Kissimmee, Fla.), Gilbert Renteria (Houston, Texas) and John Luna (Milwaukee, Wis.) all making the transition to the older age division as well.
USA Boxing’s elite women continue to enjoy success internationally and with the top two tournament finishers in the three women’s Olympic weight divisions earning Olympic Trials berths, the flyweight (112 lbs), lightweight (132 lbs) and middleweight (165 lbs) divisions are all very deep in talent. The always-competitive lightweight division will once again feature multiple decorated athletes, including 2012 World Championships bronze medalist and 2012 national champion Mikaela Mayer (Los Angeles, Calif.). She will make another run at the USA Boxing National Championships gold as will 2013 Youth National champion Rashida Ellis (Lynn, Mass.). 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials participant N’tyeeyah Sherman (Barberton, Ohio) will also grace the ring at Spokane in the first Olympic Trials qualifier.
The flyweight division is packed as well with multiple athletes gunning for the top spot in the country. Two-time USA Boxing National Championship silver medalist Virginia Fuchs (Kemah, Texas) is hoping that the third time is the charm for her in 2015 action. While Fuchs is returning to familiar territory, two former national champions will compete for another national title in a new weight division. Two-time light flyweight titlist Alex Love (Fort Carson, Colo.) will return to the Olympic flyweight division for the 2015 event and her U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program teammate Melissa Parker (Fort Carson, Colo.) is moving down to the 112 pound weight class for a run at Rio. 2013 Youth National Champion Marisol Lopez (Stratford, Calif.) will vie for her first elite division title in Spokane as well.
The women’s middleweight division will also feature a slew of top competitors vying for the gold medal. Two U.S. Olympic Team Trials participants and USA Boxing national champions will challenge the reigning Olympic champion for the middleweight crown. 2012 National Champion and World Championships silver medalist Raquel Miller (San Francisco, Calif.) and former titlist Tika Hemingway (Breckinridge, Pa.) are each returning to the middleweight division for the 2015 tournament.

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