WBO titlists included in ESPN’s rising stars list:

Former WBO Featherweight World Champion Shakur “Newark” Stevenson, former WBO Jr. Middleweight World Champion Jaime Munguia, current WBO Mini-Flyweight World Champion Wilfredo ‘Bimbito’ Méndez, current WBO Jr. Flyweight Champion Elwin Soto are included in ESPN’s Top 25 under 25, where the sports network lists the rising stars of Boxing.

Also included are former WBO/NABO Lightweight Champion Ryan Garcia, former WBO Inter-Continental Lightweight Champion Devin Haney, WBO International Featherweight Champion Rubén Villa, WBO International Heavyweight Champion Daniel Dubois, WBO Middleweight ranked #12 Edgar Berlanga, WBO Jr. Lightweight ranked #13 Lamont Roach,Jr, WBO Flyweight ranked #3 Junto Nakatani.

More on: https://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/29391570/boxing-top-25-25-meet-stars-future

In an effort to help in engaging children in positive occupied in positive activities and keeping them drug free, the World Boxing Organization (WBO), chaired by Francisco ‘Paco’ Valcárcel, Esq., held the 19th edition of the ‘WBO Annual Children’s Athletics Invitational’ which took place at the Cupey Alto Sports Complex (Cupey Track) located in the capital of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The WBO sponsored the event as part of their ‘WBO Kids Drug Free’ program, which is focused on helping to keep the world’s youth healthy and drug free.

The track and field invitational tournament was dedicated to current WBO Mini-Flyweight World Champion, Wilfredo ‘Bimbito’ Méndez, of Trujillo Alto. In and out of the ring, Méndez has been an example of discipline, dedication and sacrifice to reach his goal and win a world championship title.

“Thanks to the WBO for hosting this great activity that brings together lots of children from all over Puerto Rico so they can compete in positive, healthy activities. Thanks to the parents for bringing them to this event. You are also champions, but in life. I will always support events like this, that help kids stay out of trouble” Méndez said.

The tournament was very we’ll attended and involved over 300 boy and girl participamts between the ages of 6 and 13, representing 20 athletic clubs around Puerto Rico.

The participants were awarded medals to the first three places per event and cash to the most prominent competitors in each category. Trophies were also awarded to the first three teams in scoring and two bikes were raffled per category.

The event was attended by the WBO Latino Junior Welterweight champion Jean ‘Lobo’ Torres, WBO NABO Interim Junior Welterweight Champion Danielito Zorrilla, former 130-pound world champion Alberto Machado, WBO Latino Junior Flyweight Champion René Santiago, WBO Latino Featherweight Champion Bryan Chevalier, prospects Nicklaus Flaz, Edwin Valentin and Angel ‘Bebito’ Aponte as well as amateur boxer Moisés Zorrilla.

Also present were referee José Hiram Rivera (event coordinator), judge Luis Ruiz, managers Raúl Pastrana and José ‘Pepe’ Ortíz, matchmaker Yoel González and trainer David Oyola.

WBO Treasurer Adolfo Flores and legal advisor Gustavo Olivieri Miranda, Esq. also were present in the tournament.

WBO Kids Drug Free is an international program aimed at children and young people in order to carry a message of drug prevention and motivate them to continue studying, using sports as a tool to stay on the right path, as well that support causes directed to those in need in order to ensure a better quality of life.

Using his smart boxing, Puerto Rican Wilfredo “Bimbito” Méndez successfully defended his WBO 105-pound belt by retaning it a ninth round TKO over Colombian challenger Gabriel Mendoza in the main fight of the “WBO Champions Tournament”, held at the El Panama Hotel in Panama City in a presentation of G & V Entertainment in association with PR Best Boxing Promotions and Spartan Boxing.

Méndez (16-1, 6 KOs) scored the second defense of his belt when, after dominating Mendoza (30-7-2, 23 KOs) all the way, the referee stopped the action at 1:28 of round nine when the Puerto Rican attacked with his combinations to batter the challenger, who had a cut on his right eye and swelling in his forehead. In the bout there were several head clashes, but they had no major consequence.

“I feel very happy to debut in Panama with this victory and represent Puerto Rico while maintaining this title,” said Méndez, the only Puerto Rican (male) champion currently, after the victory. “We fought with the plan we had to box and we could go out with our hands up.”

The Puerto Rican, who won his title with a unanimous decision victory over Filipino Vic Saludar in August 2019, said that in his immediate future there is “the mandatory fight with the Chinese Jing Xiang (#1 ranked) and then fight with the other elite champions.”

Meanwhile, Luis Lebrón (17-2-1, 10 KOs) lost a unanimous decision to Mexico’s José Martín Estrada (11-2-1, 5 KOs), who thus became the WBO Latino champion at 122 pounds.

Lebrón seemed to dominate most of the early rounds with good punches to Estrada’s face and body causing swelling and wounding to the eyes from the third round. But Estrada came from behind and knocked down Lebrón with a short upper right in the seventh round to control the action in the latter part of the match and take the win. The judges saw it for Estrada with scores of 95-92, 96-92 and 96-92.

Photos: Sumio Yamada

Upcoming WBO Bouts

💥January 25, 2020 – Vacant WBO Intercontinental Jr. Featherweight Championship Arnold Khegai vs. Stephen Fulton @ Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY. Live on SHOWTIME.

💥January 28, 2020 – Vacant WBO Female Mini-Flyweight World Championship Etsuko Tada Vs. Ayaka Miyao @ Korakuen Hall, Japan.

💥January 30, 2020 – WBO Middleweight World Champion Demetrius Andrade Vs. Luke Keeler & WBO Latino Super Middleweight Championship Roamer Alexis Angulo vs. Anthony Sims, Jr. @ Meridian at Island Gardens, Miami, Florida. Live on DAZN.

💥January 31, 2020 – WBO International Featherweight Champion Ruben Villa Vs. Alexei Collado @ Hirsch Coliseum, Shreveport, Louisiana. Live on Showtime.

💥January 31, 2020 – Vacant WBO Latino Jr. Flyweight Championship title Israel Vazquez vs. Rene Santiago. Vacant NABO Featherweight Championship title Pedro Marquez vs. Juan Carlos Peña @ Cancha Ruben Zayas Montañez, Trujillo Alto, PR

💥January 31, 2020 – WBO Global Jr. Featherweight Champion Wasiru Mohammed Vs. John Amuzu @ Bukom Boxing Arena, Accra.

💥February 1, 2020 – Vacant WBO International Welterweight Championship: Sergey Vorobiev Vs. Karen Chukhadzhyan @ Yantarny Sports Palace, Kaliningrad, Russia.

💥February 2, 2020 – Vacant WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight Championship Zulipikaer Maimaitiali Vs. Sung Jae Jo @ Mission Hills Resort Haikou Hainan, China.

💥February 8, 2020 – WBO Mini-Flyweight World Champion Wilfredo Méndez battles Gabriel Mendoza. Vacant WBO Latino Jr. Bantamweight Championship Orlando “El Jaguar” Peñalba Vs. Keyver Fernández at Hotel El Panama in Panama city.

💥February 8, 2020 – Vacant WBO Female Jr. Welterweight Championship: Christina Linardatou vs. Prisca Vicot & Vacant NABO Female Lightweight Championship: Jessica Camara vs. Melissa St. Vil @ Hammond Civic Center Hammond, United States

💥February 8, 2020 – Vacant WBO Intercontinental Jr. Middleweight Championship title: Kell Brook vs. Mark DeLuca @ Sheffield Arena, Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK

💥February 15, 2020 – Vacant WBO Latino Lightweight Championship: José Sánchez Vs. Javier José Clavero @ Club México, Santiago de Chile.

💥February 20, 2020 – WBO NABO Jr. Welterweight Champion Yomar Alamo Vs. Kendo Castaneda @ Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee, Florida. Live on Telemundo

💥February 20, 2020 – Vacant WBO European Featherweight Championship David Oliver Joyce Vs. Lee Haskins @ Ulster Hall, Belfast. live on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and on iFL TV worldwide.

💥February 21, 2020 – Vacant WBO NABO Junior Flyweight Championship: Jonathan González Vs. Saúl Juarez @ Miccosukee Indian Gaming Resort, Miami, Florida. TV: Telemundo.

💥February 29, 2020 – Vacant WBO Oriental Supper Middleweight Championship: Jayde Mitchell Vs. Istvan Szili. Live on Fox Sports 506.

💥March 7, 2020 – WBO European Middleweight Champion Danny Dignum Vs. Alfredo Meli @ Brentwood Centre, Brentwood, Essex, United Kingdom. Live on ESPN +.

💥March 7, 2020 – WBO Female Jr. Lightweight World Champion Ewa Brodnicka faces Djemilla “The Pitbull” Gontaruk @ Dzierżoniów.

💥March 7, 2020 – NABO Heavyweight Champion Frank Sánchez Faure vs. JoeyDawejko @ Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY. TV: PBC on FOX

💥March 7, 2020 – WBO Global Jr. Welterweight Champion Liam Paro Vs. James Chereji. Vacant WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight Championship Demsey McKean Vs. Jonathan Rice. WBO Oriental Lightweight Champion Jacob Ng Vs. Valentine Hosokawa @ The Star, Gold Coast, Australia.

💥March 14, 2020 – WBO Featherweight World Champion Shakur Stevenson Vs. Miguel Marriaga @ MSG’s Hulu Theater, NY. Live on ESPN

💥March 17, 2020 – WBO Female Mini-Flyweight Championship title Mika Iwakawa vs. Nanae Suzuki @ Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan.

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO- El clasificado número uno de la OMB en las 105 libras, el puertorriqueño Wilfredo “Bimbito” Méndez, tendrá su ansiada oportunidad mundial el sábado, 24 de agosto, frente al filipino Vic Saludar, monarca de la OMB, en Puerto Rico en una presentación de PR Best Boxing Promotions (PRBBP).

“Ya se llegó a un acuerdo y Vic Saludar vendrá a Puerto Rico a defender su título frente a Bimbito (Méndez), que es el retador mandatorio. Estamos trabajando en el escenario para este combate y estaremos anunciándolo próximamente junto a otros detalles de la cartelera”, expresó Peter Rivera, vicepresidente de PRBBP.

Bimbito Méndez (13-1, 5 kos), de 22 años, viene de vencer por decisión unánime a su compatriota Janie “Pototo” Rivera el 24 de mayo para defender por primera vez su cetro NABO de la OMB en las 105 libras y ganarse el derecho de clasificarse primero y enfrentar a Saludar.

El oriental Saludar (19-3, 10 kos), por su parte, cuenta con 28 años y ganó su correa de la OMB en las 105 libras el 13 de julio de 2018 cuando derrotó al japonés Ryuya Yamanaka, defendiéndolo en una ocasión, el 26 de febrero de este año, al imponerse sobre el también japonés Masataka Taniguchi. Ambos pleitos fueron en Japón.