Vergil Ortiz Jr. (18-0, 18 KOs) retains his WBO International Welterweight Title and gets closer to a world title shot after his knock out defeat of the Lithuanian Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas (22-2-1, 18 KOs). The scheduled 12-round fight was hosted at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, and was streamed live on DAZN. The event featured a night full of action as the Lithuanian went after Ortiz, Jr. early in the fight and caught him in the second round, where Ortiz, Jr. met the canvas but was ruled a slip by the judges. Ortiz, Jr. returned and both fighters openly exchanged blows during an exciting second round that brought the chanting crowd onto its feet.
The action continued in the third round, as Ortiz, Jr. knocked down Kavaliaskas and pursued him aggressively throughout the round. In the next rounds, the fighters gave each other some space, as Vergil began to use an effective jab on Kavaliaskas, catching him several times straight in the face. By the eighth round, Ortiz, Jr. effectively dominated Kavaliauskas, dropping the former Olympian four times to win the fight at the 2:59 mark of the eighth round.
Ortiz said, “I feel good. The fight started off slow in my opinion and I just had to adjust. After the second round, I had to adjust and try to find a way to wear him down. I started using my jab more and fought more intelligently. After the third round, I felt more confident because I knew that I could control the fight moving forward. But he is a tough guy, a very strong fighter, and I respect that he came to fight.”
“I came here to fight, I was sure I would stop him. I prepared myself so hard to be ready for this fight. I was 100% in shape, I was fast, I was strong. But you know, it is what it is, today he was stronger, he is a tremendous fighter. He has good power and good speed, good jab, good technique, he is a good fighter. I was thinking that I was going to end the fight in the second round, but he survived. He is a warrior,” said Kavaliauskas.
WBO Champion Billy Joe Saunders says he has the boxing brain to dethrone pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez in their blockbuster Super-Middleweight unification battle on Saturday night (May 8), live worldwide on DAZN and distributed by TV Azteca in Mexico and Latin America.
Unbeaten Briton Saunders (30-0 18 KOs) puts his WBO strap on the line for the third time against the Mexican star and is aiming to add the WBC and WBA Super belts held by the Mexican sensation.
Saunders has been widely regarded as having the ring smarts to be the man to hand Canelo a first defeat in eight years and be the man to take the next step to being undisputed at 168lbs – and the 31 year old says fighting Canelo on Cinco de Mayo weekend holds no fear.
“This fight is all about the brain,” said Saunders. “Not about power, muscle or skill, it’s the brain and the game plan, and being able to execute that game plan.
“I brush opinions off because I know what goes through my head and my mind, and what I have done in my career is through the will and want to win, and the day I lose that, I won’t put a pair of gloves on again.
“I can only control what I am in control of and that myself, not what is outside the ring. It’s going to be a great fight it’s one I’ve wanted for years and it’s finally landed. There’s a lot at stake for both of us. Would I like my fans there? Yes. Would I like UK media there? Yes. If the fight was moved to the Mexican border I wouldn’t care.
“I have my own way of approaching the fight and Canelo will have too, he’s done this nearly 60 times. I’ll get in there as the best that I can be and that’s all I can control.
“I’ve been the underdog before, I’ve dianabol steroide been the away fighter before, it’s not a new position, but I’m just in with a better opponent this time.
“If I go in there and I win, I’m not going to run and say never again, I’ll fight him again, I’ll fight anyone, anywhere, it doesn’t bother me. It’s good for boxing sometimes when the underdogs come through, and I don’t just mean me here, because it puts the sport on a higher platform to be watched.
“I’m at the top of the tree where I’ve done it all as an amateur, I’ve had 30 fights, I’m unbeaten, won every title coming through, two-weight World champion – I can sit back at night and say I’m top of the pile fighting the pound-for-pound king.”
Alvarez and Saunders clash on a huge night of action in Texas with a stacked undercard in support of the mammoth main event, with Elwin Soto (18-1 12 KOs) defending his WBO World Light-Flyweight title against Katsunari Takayama (32-8 12 KOs).
WBO Bouts at the AO Arena in Manchester on Saturday, live in the UK and Ireland on Sky Sports Box Office, and worldwide on DAZN.
Eddie Hearn, Chairman of Matchroom Sport:
“What a delight to be here in Manchester ahead of a huge night of boxing this Saturday from the AO Arena, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN around the world. This is the card of the year so far. There’s so much to talk about here today from the big Heavyweight main event to the Undisputed World Championship, to the World Light-Heavyweight Championship and much more.”
Derek Chisora – Finchley, London – 32-10, 23 KO’s – fighting Joseph Parker for the vacant WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Title:
“I love fighting, throwing yourself in the World Title shot is okay. Dillian Whyte has been in the World Title shot for the last five years, he hasn’t gone anywhere. I don’t to put myself in those positions, I want to put myself in positions where I get to fight good fights. This is right, I’m fighting Joseph Parker and after that we’ll see what happens.
“I want to do what I do best, come forward, fight, chuck hell and do what I do every day. Roll the dice and rock and roll – go at it. I’ll come out of the gates and just go.
“The guy has a spider bite, we can’t deny it, we don’t know if it’s true or not, but he had it and now he’s here – we’re not going to cry over spilled milk. David did a good impression wearing the spiderman suit early on the morning, it was okay. The fight is here now so we’re not going to talk about history anymore, that’s why it’s called history.
“It’s going to be a great night; good things are happening. It’s a big card, but we don’t have that little edge on with the fans, it’s depressing but what can we say.
“The king is back, long live the king – I’m back. I’m buzzing, to all those fans at home, I’m going to bring smoke and I know my opponent is going to bring something which is going to be on his bike – but it’s going to be okay. He’s going to be cycling back to Australia but it’s all good. I know right now I’m still laughing and joking but when I come tomorrow, you’re going to know what time it is.”
Joseph Parker – Auckland, New Zealand – 28-2, 21 KOs – fighting Derek Chisora for the vacant WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Title:
“I’m very prepared for this fight, I’ve had a great training camp with Andy in Ireland, then we moved over to Morecambe and got some great sparring under our belt, great pad work, bag, everything. I feel like with this fight, physically and mentally, I’m in a great place – probably the best I’ve been in a while.
“Two totally different styles, Junior Fa’s style was move and hug, punch every now and then. With Derek it’s no secret, he’s going to come forward and apply the pressure, throw punches everywhere. My hands are going to have to be up, down and all around.
“I think this is the perfect fight at the right time. We’re right there, get a good victory and there’s many other great fights out there to be made and to position yourself when the titles are free to fight for. This is a big card, not only the main event but the undercard fights are very exciting, I’m looking forward to Saturday.”
Katie Taylor – Bray, Ireland – 17-0, 6 KOs – defending her WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine Lightweight World Titles against Natasha Jonas:
“This is why we’re taking the fight; we don’t take any easy fights. I’m in this sport to fight the best, in terms of training camps every one’s the same, we train for every single fight as if it’s going to be my hardest. My mind set and mentality doesn’t change fight to fight so I’m looking forward to a great fight on Saturday.
“The fight was nine years ago, we were both very different fighters to what we are now. I think we’ve both developed and matured into great pro fighters. The fight is going to be completely different Saturday night then it was in the London Olympics. What works in the pro game doesn’t work in the amateur game – this is a completely different fight.
“I think my last few performances have shown I’m at my peak, I’ve shown my best in the last few performances. My last three fights were probably my best performances as a pro, so I feel like I’m definitely improving and getting better each time.”
Ross Enamait, trainer of Katie Taylor:
“We’re here to win the fight, we train hard for every fight. This is Katie Taylor’s twelfth World Title fight; this is there twelfth fight period. Every fight is a big fight, we’re coming to win and we’re here to win on Saturday.
“She’s going to be as sharp as ever, we looked great the last fight, we beat Persoon clear in the second fight regardless and what he’s [Joe Gallagher] saying over here. The fight before that we looked great, there’s no slide, you’re going to see the best Katie on Saturday.”
Natasha Jonas – Liverpool, England – 9-1-1, 7 KOs – challenging Katie Taylor for her WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine Lightweight World Titles:
“Every time I’m asked to step up, I do, and I perform. Being the underdog for me is no different, I’m always the underdog on the big night. The more you tell me I can’t do it, the more I’ll prove you that I can.
“You’ve got to remember that going into the Harper fight we’d just come off a lockdown, financially I didn’t know when I was going to box again, I had the baby 24/7 because the schools were shut, and I was in a bit of pickle of where I was going to go or where my opportunity was going to arise.
“Obviously we got that opportunity, and the baby came along to all the sessions, she was a big part of that camp. It was great to be back, and I was starting from down the mountain mentally, physically, emotionally. Now I’m not there, after the Harper fight, I’m at the top of the mountain. I’m starting at the Harper fight and building up from that. Everything says that I’m much better than from the Harper camp and I know I had to be there.
“I think in boxing one punch changes everything. I do believe I have power; I don’t want to make prediction or disrespect anybody by saying that. After the traumatic experience of round 8 against Harper, I promised myself that they are learning curves and that will never happen again. If I get that opportunity, it’ll be the end of the fight.”
Joe Gallagher, trainer of Natasha Jonas:
“It’s good to see the bookies are giving Natasha a better chance against Katie then they did against Terri Harper, that’s good for a start. Its friends reunited, Katie Taylor – what can you not say about her. What she’s achieved, she’s a national hero back in Ireland, what she’s done for female boxing across the world, nothing but respect for her.
“This is the fight business; come Saturday night this is strictly business. Katie Taylor, she’s the media darling, Natasha Jonas is going into the fight after a great career performance. She won the WBC Super-Featherweight title, only two people in the world didn’t think she got it, but apart from that she’s a World Champion in my eyes.
“Natasha Jonas now moving up to Lightweight, here she is now taking on what people describe as the greatest all time female fighter. This is a fight that if there was to be three-minute rounds for women’s boxing, this would be it. If you go back and watch their London 2012 Olympic fight, it was brilliant. But to show how much both have improved since then, it would be better in 12 x 2 or 10 x 3 contest.
“We’ve got a ten round sprint here; we’re seeing that with Natasha fight of the year with Teri Harper. We’re going into this fight with the bookies siding with Natasha more, the judges are to come and do what they need to do, not to be here in awe of Katie or Matchroom. They come here and score what happens, Sky have got to commentate on punches landed, not where they’re from or what’s going round.
“Natasha is a strong live underdog, I’m telling you now Katie Taylor, whether she wants to say it or not, this will be the hardest and most disciplined training camp she’s ever had for any of her fights. She knows the serious threat Natasha Jones brings. They know the threat, what we want in this fight is fairness by the judges and the commentary to score on what’s seen. If everyone does their job, including me and Natasha, we’re going to have a new Undisputed World Champion come Sunday morning.
“Sit back, enjoy your popcorn and enjoy what it is – it’s the biggest female fight the UK and Ireland has ever seen. We’re privileged to be part of it and see this event. We’ll roll onto Saturday night.”
Demetrius Andrade wants his fellow champions to step-up after he defended his WBO World Middleweight crown on points against the spirited challenge of Liam Williams on Saturday night, live worldwide on DAZN.
Andrade made it an unblemished 30 wins from 30 in the paid ranks against the Welshman, getting the win 118-109 twice and 116-111 on the scorecards, and the 33 year old and his promoter Eddie Hearn said it’s time for fellow champions Jermall Charlo (WBC), Gennadiy Golovkin (IBF) and Ryota Murata (WBA) to make unification fights.
“At the end of the day I am a champion,” said Andrade. “I am undefeated. I shouldn’t have to inspire anyone to get in the ring with me for a belt, an undefeated record and a whole lot of money on the table.
“Whenever we can sit down and make something happen, I’m willing to risk it all. I am ready to show that I am the best and to do that, I want to step in with those champions and they have to do the same thing as well.
“I have to go back and watch the fight but listen, Liam is a hell of a fighter, tough, strong, comes to fight and that’s type of fight that people want to see me in. I showed out, I performed the way I needed to do to get the W, and my hat goes off to Liam all day.
“I already know he was tough but getting back up in the second round and showing me he wanted more, it wasn’t a surprise, he’s a dog. He came here to win; he didn’t lay down. I got hit with some hard shots too, we showed me are tough guys that can take shots and give shots and that’s what we did.”
“It was a great fight, massive props firstly to Liam Williams,” said Hearn. “Demetrius has done his job, it’s not his responsibility to convince other champions to fight him. Champions are supposed to fight champions.
“Charlo vs. Andrade is a massive fight, why don’t the champions want to fight Demetrius? He was hurt tonight, he was tired tonight, he can’t make 160lbs forever. If I am GGG or Charlo, I am looking at him and thinking ‘I can beat him’, so why not step-up?”
“Demetrius is a very good fighter, better than I thought,” said Williams. “More slippery than he appears on TV. I couldn’t really get going and get my combinations off because I’d hit him once, and I feel I hurt him a couple of times, but then he would be gone, and I couldn’t capitalize on it.
“I know I am tough, everyone does, and I can take a shot. When I went down, I took a clean shot and taken the best he’s got. He didn’t keep me down, so I had nothing to fear. I don’t feel I am going to take a step back; I am going to stay at world level. Demetrius is the best in the world other than Canelo, I have to give him credit, I gave him some stick in the build-up, but I have nothing but respect for him, he’s quality.”
A textbook one-two down the pipe put Williams on the canvas late in the second round, the exclamation mark on a strong opening for the champion who started like a train. Williams beat the count and weathered a storm, and began to work his way into the fight, having successes of his own towards the halfway point, but Andrade began to land his uppercut in the sixth, a signature shot throughout the bout.
Into the ninth round, Williams had his best moment as he appeared to buzz Andrade but the champion was elusive and the Welshman was unable to capitalize. The Rhode Island star was able to reassert his authority and stretch his lead in the championship rounds and retain his title.
Elwin Soto will defend his WBO Junior-Flyweight World title against Katsunari Takayama as the chief-support bout to the blockbuster Super-Middleweight unification clash between Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders on May 8 at AT&T stadium in Arlington, TX, live worldwide on DAZN (except Mexico).
Soto (18-1 12 KOs) fights under the Matchroom banner for the first time on the show having penned a deal with Eddie Hearn last week. The Mexican makes the third defense of the crown he ripped from Angel Acosta in dramatic fashion with a final round KO win in California in June 2019 and has seen off the challenges of Edward Heno in October 2019 and Carlos Butrago last October.
The 24 year old now puts the crown on the line against the seasoned Japanese Takayama (32-8 12 KOs). The five-time Minimumweight champion made his return to professional action in December in Osaka, Japan having left the paid ranks as a World ruler in 2017 to aim for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo – and now the 37 year old has switched his focus to becoming a two-weight World champion.
There’s a stacked card under the two World title fights, led by Kieron Conway defending his WBA Intercontinental Super-Welterweight title against Souleymane Cissokho.
Conway (16-1-1 3 KOs) picked up the title with an impressive win over Navid Mansouri at Matchroom’s Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex in August. Conway and Cissokho (12-0 8 KOs) were due to meet on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s win over Kubrat Pulev in London in December, but the bout had to be shelved, so Conway took his frustrations out on Macauley McGowan on that card instead, with a shut-out win over ten rounds.
French Olympian Cissokho shrugged off his pain at missing the original fight date on the undercard of his manager Joshua by recording his eighth KO win from 12 outings with a sixth round stoppage of Daniel Echeverria in Dallas in March, setting up a rescheduled clash with Conway that is full of intrigue and importance for their respective careers.
Frank Sanchez (17-0 13 KOs) let his hands go for a seventh round KO win over Julian Fernandez on the undercard of Alvarez’s win over Callum Smith in San Antonio, Texas in December, and the big Cuban Heavyweight will be looking to repeat that feat against Nagy Aguilera (21-10 14 KOs).
Sanchez is ranked at a lofty #6 with the WBO, and the 28 year old Eddy Reynoso charge will be plotting a route to the crunch clashes with his fellow big-hitters, but Aguilera will be planning to give him a tough night and the 34 year old comes into the bout on the back of a 21st career win in November.
Mexican-American talent Marc Castro (2-0 2 KOs) makes it three Canelo undercard appearances from three since making his pro debut on the Canelo-Smith card in Texas. The stellar amateur recorded a third round stoppage that night and followed that with a second round KO in Miami on the Canelo-Yildirim bill – the 21 year old will be looking to shine on the biggest stage once again over eight rounds against an opponent to be named soon.
Castro’s old amateur foe Keyshawn Davis (2-0 2 KOs) made his debut at the Hard Rock Stadium and he appears alongside Castro once again in his third pro outing. The Virginia starlet grabbed a second round win that night over Lester Brown and followed that by forcing Richman Ashelley to retire after four rounds of their battle in Dubai earlier this month, and Davis will face Jose Antonio Meza (6-4 1 KO) over six rounds. It’s a family affair on the night with Keyshawn’s brother Kelvin Davis (1-0 1 KO) fights for the second time in the paid ranks after a second round KO win on his debut in December in Los Angeles, taking on Jan Marsalek (8-2 7 KOs) over six rounds.
Rounding off the undercard, Mexican Welterweight Christian Alan Gomez Duran (19-2-1 17 KOs) is on another Canelo undercard after stopping Angel Hernandez in three rounds in San Antonio in December, and he’ll celebrate Cinco De Mayo weekend over eight rounds against an opponent to be named soon.
“It’s a stacked night of action at the home of the Dallas Cowboys on Cinco De Mayo weekend,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Elwin Soto is a great addition to our stable and the Mexican World champion will want to dazzle on the biggest stage against the experienced Takayama.
“The clash between Kieron and Souleymane is a cracker, and I am thrilled for both of them that they get to perform on this stage – there will be some spice there after it was postponed in December and now, they get their hands on each other in Texas.
“Frank always brings the heat and he’ll be eyeing a showstopping KO, and again, Marc and Keyshawn get to shine under the brightest lights – it’s going to be a spectacular night of action, leading to the big one between Canelo and Billy Joe.”
Demetrius Andrade – Providence, Rhode Island – 29-0, 18 KOs – defending his WBO World Middleweight Title against Liam Williams:
“I don’t know until I get in there with Williams. They all say they’re going to do something to me, knock me out, beat me up, snatch my belt, they’ve all got a plan until they get hit and then it’s a different story.”
“It’s all good, it’s part of the hype, it’s part of their job to do what they need to do to get in their mind but at the end of the day I end up getting mind control over them anyway and we do what we do and get the W.”
“I’m very excited, it’s been since January last year since I last put my hands on somebody. We got the knockout against Luke Keeler who was supposed to come and take what rightfully mine. Same thing going on here, I’m back in action in Miami, this is my second home.”
“It’s going to be a great showing, I’m ready, I’m going to turn up. If Williams is going to bring the fight that we all want to see, then I’m all for it. There’s nothing wrong with it, I’m here, I signed and I’m here to show the people what they want to see.”
“Nobody is going to know until the bell rings at the end of the day. I don’t sit here and say that Williams is or isn’t going to bring the fight. Once we get in there and if he does then we’ll see, if he doesn’t then he doesn’t. We all know I’m going to bring the fight.”
“At the end of the day I train hard and smarter every single day, I’ve been doing this a very long time. I’ve fought all of them already, there’s nothing new I’ve seen from Williams. Okay he’s tough and bringing it forward, alright well at the end of the day I’m going to have the answers for whatever he brings forward.”
“I’m going to be glad to sit back and watch the beautiful boxing match that I put on after I’ve beat him. I’ll watch and say hey you’ve done a great job banging a guy that came to fight.”
“That’s what I’ve been doing, schooling people, I’m an educator.”
Paul Andrade – father and trainer of Demetrius Andrade
“Every fight is a tough fight; nobody goes in there to lose. He’s going to try and put a lot of pressure on us, but we’ve been there and done that, I only feel like he’s a one-dimensional fighter.”
“All he can do is come forward, we’ll do everything we have to do, he’s not going to be to put the pressure on. I don’t think he has the footwork to keep up with Demetrius.”
“I don’t think anybody has seen Demetrius’ best fight yet, no one has brought it out of him. Boo Boo has it in him to preform even at a higher level, but somebody’s got to bring it out of him. If he’s the one, congratulations, bring it out of him because we’ll give it right back to you.”
“We know we’re going to win; we’ve been winning, and we don’t know how to lose. We’re going to have a good fight come Saturday and we’re going to keep our belt.”
Liam Williams – Clydach Vale, Wales – 23-20-1, 18 KOs – mandatory challenger for WBO World Middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade:
“It is a massive opportunity for me, and I really can’t wait to get my chance on Saturday night to prove I’m the best at 160lbs. I’m very excited and can’t wait to get my hands on him this Saturday.”
“Not to get it twisted, I do respect him, he’s a great fighter and obviously three-time world champion in two different weight divisions, what’s not to respect? I’d be a bit of a fool to not think he’s any good wouldn’t I, but I see things, weaknesses that I can exploit, I’m fully confident I’m going to do that Saturday night and not just going to win but win in devastating fashion.”
“I don’t plan on going in there and winning on points. If it goes twelve then happy days I still plan on winning, I’m going in their crash, bang, wallop and looking to take him out simple as that.”
“If I win this, I’ll be massive star in Wales and in Britain. I’m just very excited, it’s a big opportunity and for me to win this it’s going to be life changing for me.”
Dominic Ingle – trainer of Liam Williams
“It’s a great fight, Demetrius is a good fighter, we’re not underestimating him, he’s very skilful and tricky. He’s a quality fighter.
“Look he’s [Andrade] 33 years old, Liam’s 28, he’s bringing youth and aggression and on Saturday night we’re expecting a good fight. Demetrius is calm and collected, a very cool customer and relaxed under the lights, very experienced, but this is Liam’s biggest opportunity and he’s not going to waste it.”
“Demetrius is used to the pressure, that’s what southpaws like, the pressure coming and walking onto the shots. It’s got to be calculated pressure, Liam can box, and he’s shown that – he likes to have a tear up and that’s sometimes his worst attribute.”
“We’ve got a plan on Saturday night; he can fight when he needs to fight, and he can box when he needs to box. We’ve studied Demetrius, he’s a good fighter and calculated in what he does. Like I said, we’re not underestimating him.”
Francis Warren – Queensberry Promotions, promoter of Liam Williams
“I’m very confident about it. For me Liam Williams is world class, this is a huge opportunity for him to prove that. He’s had a world title fight before against Liam Smith in 2017, had the rematch and didn’t go his way.”
“Since then, he went away, re-evaluated what weight he was going to campaign at, and middleweight was the decision. Since then, he’s gone on a hot streak, 7 knockout wins and he’s gone from strength to strength with a brilliant performance against Atlantis Fox. I know him and Demetrius share that opponent and on paper Liam did a better job.”
“I fancy Liam to be the new WBO champion on Saturday night and it’s going to be a fun plane ride back to Heathrow.”
“If you want to talk about raw aggression, raw talent, Liam’s got it all. This guy’s not been brought up to talk the talk, he’s going to walk the walk, fight the fight and I really hope Demetrius has brought his A-game because with all due respect this guy is on a different level. I’m thrilled he’s got the opportunity to show what he can do.”
Joe Markowski – EVP, DAZN
“This is the start of a fantastic run of events for us, spring rolling into the summer, we’ve obviously got Canelo coming up next month in a similar weight class. It’s a great opportunity for these two guys to make their claim on a fantastic schedule and a platform that is designed for boxing fans around the world.”
“As a Brit in the States it’s great to have the time zone accommodated for the time zone back at home and I think that’s going to help our fans enjoy it and our subscribers get value for money which is what we’re all about.”
Carlos Gongora – Esmeraldas, Ecuador – 19-0, 14 KOs – defending his IBO World Super-Middleweight Title against Christopher Pearson:
“I’m ready to compete again, I feel a lot better and I’m ready for the next fight and to give it my all.”
“The fight was rushed; it was a complicated year with Coronavirus and everything else – athletes couldn’t compete, and I was on standby. It was a title fight, and I was ready to do that, it all went well. I’m always trying to stay ready in the gym, I’m always trying to prepare because of the discipline I have.”
“I’m very grateful to represent my country with pride. For a long time, there was no representation, my uncle was the first and now it’s me. I’m grateful I can represent my country.”
Savannah Marshall called out Claressa Shields for a huge showdown after she produced yet another dominant display by stopping Maria Lindberg in round three to retain her WBO middleweight title.
The two women were competing on the undercard of Conor Benn’s clash with Samuel Vargas at the Copper Box Arena in London on Saturday, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.
Marshall (10-0, 8 KOs) was in total control throughout the fight, dropping Lindberg (19-7-2, 10 KOs) in round two, before following that up with another knockdown in the following round that the Swede was unable to recover from, meaning that Marshall got the win after 1:11 of round three.
Marshall becomes the first fighter to stop Lindberg, and has now made her intentions clear that she wants a battle with Shields next.
She said: “Utmost respect to Maria. I’m really grateful that she stepped in. On Sunday it looked like I wasn’t even fighting, so credit to her. Maria had never been stopped, and I didn’t think it would go like that but I’m happy with how I performed.
“It’s all about flow. Everything Peter Fury teaches me is all about hitting correctly and getting the most power. I’m over the moon with the progress I’m making with Peter.
[caption id="attachment_36424" align="alignnone" width="300"] *** FREE FOR EDITORIAL USE *** Savannah Marshall vs Maria Lindberg, WBO World Female Middleweight title Fight. 10 April 2021 Picture By Dave Thompson Matchroom Boxing
“I punch too hard for Claressa Shields. She doesn’t want to know. She would much rather roll about it in the Octagon and call out Katie Taylor who is four weight classes lower. I won’t wait forever, I want to be out in the summer.
“The IBF title is vacant at my weight, and if not that then I will go back up to super-middleweight and win a world title there. If Shields then gets some guts then we can have a big showdown at the end of the year.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn added: “We’re making good progress on a Shields fight. Her teams know how dangerous the fight is and they want a lot of money, but I’m prepared to pay them.
“There is no way Shields goes 10 rounds with Savannah Marshall. Savannah is the only girl to beat Shields in her entire life. She beat her in the amateurs and she will do in the professionals.
“Shields is one of the top three female pound-for-pound fighters in the world, but she is wide open and can’t stand up to Savannah’s power. Savannah is the hardest pound-for-pound puncher in women’s boxing. Marshall vs. Shields is superfight that can headline in the USA or England, and I will do everything to try and make it.”
Photos by Mark Robinson/Dave Thompson/Matchroom Boxing
Irish star Katie Taylor defend her Undisputed WBO Lightweight crown against former amateur rival Natasha Jonas on May 1 card part of a packed card that also features Derek Chisora taking on Joseph Parker. Both fights will be live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN in all markets excluding the UK, Ireland, China, New Zealand and Samoa.
Taylor (17-0, 6 KOs) defeated Jonas (9-1-1, 7 KOs) in the quarter-final stages of the London 2012 Olympic Games on route to capturing Ireland’s first gold medal of the summer. The pair will meet again nearly ten years down the line with Taylor’s WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine Lightweight World Titles on the line.
Since their first meeting in the amateurs, Taylor has gone on to cement herself as the best female fighter on the planet by winning World Titles in the Lightweight and Super-Lightweight divisions and remaining undefeated in all 17 of her professional contests. ‘KT’ was last seen outclassing her WBA Mandatory Challenger Miriam Gutierrez with a masterful display in November.
‘Miss GB’ came agonisingly close to winning her first World Title at the age of 36 last summer when she battled to a thrilling draw with WBC and IBO Super-Featherweight Champion Terri Harper at Matchroom Fight Camp. It was the first time that two British women had competed against each other for a Word Title, and the all-action fight more than lived up to the occasion.
“Natasha proved in her last fight that she is still performing at the highest level so it’s a great challenge for me and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Taylor. “It’s a fight that people have been asking for and those are the type of fights you want to be part of.
“People still talk about our fight in the 2012 Olympics and I think that proved to be a real eye opener for people in terms of what women’s boxing is all about. I’m expecting another tough fight on May 1st and I’m looking forward to successfully defending my Titles.”
“I’m really excited about getting the fight, I made a lot of noise about not wanting to go down in level or class after establishing myself on the world stage in my last fight,” said Jonas. “I know Katie is a different type of animal to Terri Harper, but I believe every time I’m asked to step up, I do. I said I wanted to be a champion and anybody at 130 to 140 was in my sights, I know I’m a world class boxer and I can win a World Title.
“From the minute Eddie signed me this fight has been on the cards. Me and Katie had a great story from the Olympics, and we have both been pioneers in our own way. I’m glad that it’s happening and it’s a great fight for women’s boxing and for British and Irish boxing.”
Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders will clash in front of over 60,000 fans in a World Super-Middleweight title unification blockbuster at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Saturday May 8, live worldwide on DAZN. Pre-sales for the blockbuster fight will start on Tuesday March 23 with general sale beginning on Friday March 26 at SeatGeek.com.
Mexican superstar Canelo puts his WBC, WBA Super and Ring Magazine titles on the line at the Home of the Dallas Cowboys on Cinco de Mayo weekend, as British favorite Saunders brings his WBO strap across the pond and looks to extend his unbeaten pro record against the pound-for-pound king in front of the biggest sporting crowd for over a year in the US.
“We are proud to host a boxing match of this magnitude as we welcome back Canelo Alvarez to AT&T Stadium to take on Billy Joe Saunders,” said Dallas Cowboys Owner, President and General Manager Jerry Jones. “AT&T Stadium was built to house the greatest sporting events on the planet, and we feel we have another incredible boxing event on the horizon with this matchup taking place in Arlington on May 8th.”
Saunders is the fourth Briton to face the Mexican star and the second to do so at AT&T Stadium, after Canelo defeated Liam Smith there in September 2016. May 8 will also be the fifth stadium show for Canelo in the Lone Star state having fought twice at the Alamodome in San Antonio and at Minute Maid Park, Home of the Houston Astros.
“It’s an absolute honor to bring this huge event to the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on May 8,” said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Sport. “Last year Canelo missed out on his historic Cinco De Mayo fight, and to bring over 60,000 fans together at this iconic stadium this year is a dream come true.
“This fight is the biggest of 2021 so far with Canelo looking to unify the division once more against undefeated two-weight World champion Billy Joe Saunders. We want to thank Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys and AT&T Stadium for their efforts to bring this global event to their stunning facility and we look forward to giving the fans a momentous occasion and a Cinco de Mayo celebration they will never forget.”
“For 2021’s biggest boxing event to date, it’s hard to imagine a better place than AT&T Stadium,” said DAZN EVP Joseph Markowski. “We look forward to delivering a world-class event from this world-class venue to DAZN subscribers across the globe.”
Tickets go on pre-sale on Tuesday March 23 from 10am CT, with tickets starting from just $40 (plus fees. Pre-sale ends at 10pm CT on Thursday March 25, and tickets then go on general sale at 10am CT on Friday March 26 at SeatGeek.com
About AT&T Stadium:
AT&T Stadium is one of the largest, most technologically advanced entertainment venues in the world. Designed by HKS and built by Manhattan Construction, the $1.2 billion stadium features two monumental arches, the world’s largest HDTV video board cluster, an expansive retractable roof and the largest retractable end zone doors in the world. Features of the stadium include seating for 80,000 and expandability for up to 100,000, over 300 luxury suites, club seating on multiple levels and the Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop, open to the public year-round. The stadium is also home to a world-class collection of contemporary art, made up of over 50 pieces from an international array of curated artists displayed on the walls and in the grand public spaces of the venue. In addition to being the Home of the Dallas Cowboys since opening in 2009, the stadium has hosted Super Bowl XLV, the 2010 NBA All Star Game, the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four, the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship Game and the annual Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. The venue has also played host to high school and college football, concerts, championship fights, international soccer matches, and other special events. For more information, go to www.attstadium.com.
Vergil Ortiz Jr. (16-0, 16 KOs) and Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (27-1-3, 19 KOs) hosted a final press conference today ahead of their 12-round fight for the WBO International Welterweight Title. The action will take place this Saturday, March 20, at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN worldwide, including the U.S. and Mexico.
Below is what today’s main event participants had to say at the press conference:
VERGIL ORTIZ JR, WELTERWEIGHT CONTENDER:
“I’m very thankful to be fighting back at home again, especially after fighting in a bubble last year. It was a really cool experience. I found that I really love the fans. I enjoy the fans. So, what better place to come back and fight than in the Dallas Fort Worth area?”
“This fight is really special to me. I asked for this fight at 140 pounds. He was a good fighter then, and he is a good fighter now. I want to fight for the best. The only way to be the best is to fight the best. I feel very confident. I have the confidence of my promoter and team behind me. I had a great camp, and I am ready to go.”
“We will find out on Saturday if my power and size will be too much for him. I have never been in the ring with him before, so I don’t know how he will take it. But it’s not just power with me. It’s not just my physical attributes. My best attribute is my thinking ability, and I’m going to do a lot of that on Saturday.”
“This is going to be one of the first fights in Dallas between two world-class natives of the area. We are going to put on a really great show. I’m really excited about it. We’ve trained really hard, and I hope you all enjoy the show.”
MAURICE HOOKER, FORMER WBO JUNIOR WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION:
“This fight will mean everything to me. I’m happy to be back at home where fans at home can see me. And it’s great to give to the fans something special after all they have been going through.”
“I have been watching Vergil Ortiz for a while now. I have been supporting him since he started because he is from Dallas. His 16-0 with 16 knockouts don’t mean anything to me until we get in the ring. I mean, it’s cute, but we will see in the ring.”
“I’m excited. My team is excited. I’ve worked hard. The fact that I’ve been called the underdog has pushed me more. I’ve prepared well for this fight. I’m going to go in the ring, do my business, and have fun with it.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF GOLDEN BOY:
“Everyone is saying that he is the next big thing in the welterweight division. And he is. But first, he has to get past Maurice Hooker, and that is no easy test. This is a real fight and a tough test for him. If he beats him, he will go straight to the top of the division, where there are many big fights to make. I can’t say who I want him to see next because this Saturday’s fight is a big test.”
“Hooker’s style, abilities, and experience make him dangerous. He’s going to show Vergil different angles. It’s a different style than what Vergil has faced in the past. But Vergil has a great corner. He is a great fighter and has a great team. They’ve studied Maurice. So that’s why I feel this will be an amazing fight.”
Ortiz Jr. vs. Hooker is a 12-round fight for the WBO International Welterweight Championship presented by Golden Boy. Hennessy sponsors the event “Never Stop. Never Settle” and “BetOnline – Your Online Sportsbook Experts.” On Saturday, March 20, the fight will take place at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN worldwide, including the U.S. and Mexico.
Tickets for Ortiz Jr. vs. Hooker are on sale and are priced at $200, $100, $60, and $40, not including applicable service charges and taxes. Tickets will be available for purchase at www.dickiesarena.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
“Back in the UK, back in the London bubble here at Wembley ahead of a huge night of World Championship boxing this Saturday at The SSE Arena, Wembley, live and exclusive on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN around the world. We have literally not stopped so far this year. It’s great to be back in London after watching one of the best fights I have ever seen in my life last week in Dallas between Estrada and ‘Chocolatito’. This week Lawrence Okolie goes for the WBO World Title against Krzysztof Glowacki. Next week we’re in Gibraltar for the big rematch between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin.”
Lawrence Okolie – Hackney, England – 15-0, 12 KOs – fighting Krzysztof Glowacki for the vacant WBO Cruiserweight World Title:
“I think that everything’s all about timing. It’s been a good ride to get here, and I feel like it’s my time to go out there and become World Champion. There’s nothing for me to be tense about, I’ve done all the training so it’s just about going in there and getting it done.
“All the other stuff is extras, I’m here to enjoy my life to the best I can. In terms of boxing, Shane will tell you my training record shows I put 100% every day in the gym which is why I’m able to go out and do what I do.
“The most important thing is having self-belief. Every boxer believes in themselves, but I take it to another level. Some people call it arrogance, but I believe if you don’t believe in yourself wholeheartedly, you’re not going to be able to get onto a stage like this and still shine. I’m really excited about Saturday and do what needs to be done.
“I’ve done everything I need to do in training, so whatever eventuality happens, happens. However, in my mind, that’s not going to happen. I need to show that I’m a level above even though my experience isn’t necessarily there.”
Shane McGuigan, trainer of Lawrence Okolie:
“His only two loses are Usyk and Briedis, he has mixed it with the top boys. He spoiled the party when Al Haymon brought Marco Huck over and he’s boxed away from home a few times and has always put on his best performances. We have to be lively and on it.
“Lawrence was lucky to get out on December 12, get a run out and this weird atmosphere being inside the bubble – seeing your opponent on a regular basis. It’s going to be lively night, but hugely confident Lawrence will come away with the victory.
“Lawrence hasn’t been tested yet, and he’s not going to be tested until he’s in with the top boys. He’s flown through the amateur rankings, went to the Olympics, done his thing in the professional rankings and cleared everybody out. This is his biggest challenge but if he can blow out Glowacki he’s got to get his props. People haven’t really appreciated how good he is.”
Krzysztof Glowacki – Walcz, Poland – 31-2, 19 KOs – fighting Lawrence Okolie for the vacant WBO Cruiserweight World Title:
“This is a privilege for me, I will fight strongly and I’m very confident for Saturday night. Okolie is an undefeated fighter so I’m expecting a very tough fight. It will be a strong fight; we can guarantee it so you cannot miss this one.”
Fiodor Łapin, trainer of Krzysztof Glowacki:
“I think it’s normal because when Glowacki was fighting for his title he was very self-confident, and experience was on our side, but we’ll see what happens. First of all, he [Krzysztof] will have to avoid those huge punches and then hit him hard. We’ll see how it goes.”
Savannah Marshall will make the first defence of her WBO Middleweight World Title against former World Champion Femke Hermans on Saturday April 10, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the U.S. and more than 200 countries and territories.
Marshall (9-0, 7 KOs) stopped Hannah Rankin in seven rounds to win the vacant WBO Title last October, the former amateur World Champion was a class above her Scottish rival from the opening bell and managed to go one better than her old foe Claressa Shields by ending the fight inside the distance.
Hermans (11-3, 4 KOs), another former opponent of Shields, took the American star the distance in a challenge for her WBC, WBA and IBF Middleweight crowns in December 2018, before falling short in a challenge for the IBF Super-Middleweight Title against Elin Cederroos four months later.
She won the vacant WBO Super-Middleweight World Title by outpointing Nikki Adler on away territory in Germany back in May 2018, and will be hoping to cause another upset when she locks horns with Hartlepool’s Marshall.
The 31-year-old from Londerzeel in Belgium picked up the vacant EBU European Middleweight Title with a unanimous decision against Russia’s Luiza Davydoza in December and her latest World Title challenge will be the first time that she has fought in the UK.
“I’m really happy and I can’t wait for fight night in three weeks’ time,” said Marshall. “I’m very aware of Femke Hermans, a very good fighter. She’s been in with the best, she’s a former WBO World Champion, so I’m sure she’s going to try and get her belt back.
“I know she’s no pushover and I’m looking forward to getting in there. For me, this is probably my toughest test to date. The reigning European Champion. She lost out on a close decision to the World Super-Middleweight Champion, so I know it’s going to be a tough fight.
“I never go into a fight thinking I’m going to stop someone but I know if I land, whoever I land on, I will hurt them. I’m just looking forward to putting on a good display and showcasing my skills.”
Marshall vs. Hermans is part of a big night of action on April 10, rising Welterweight star Conor Benn (17-0, 11 KOs) defends his WBA Continental Title against Samuel Vargas (31-6-2, 14 KOs) in the main event, Watford’s Shannon Courtenay (6-1, 3 KOs) faces Australia’s Ebanie Bridges (5-0, 2 KOs) for the vacant WBA Bantamweight World Title, Glasgow Bantamweight Kash Farooq (14-1, 6 KOs) returns after his masterclass win over Angel Aviles and Takeley Super-Middleweight John ‘The Gentleman’ Hedges (1-0) looks to build on his pro debut win last October, with more fights to be added soon.
Demetrius Andrade will defend his WBO World Middleweight title against mandatory challenger Liam Williams at Hard Rock Live at Hard Rock Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Florida on Saturday April 17 in America, live worldwide on DAZN – with the main event set for 6pm ET/11pm GMT.
Andrade (29-0 18 KOs) defends his title for the fourth time. ‘Boo Boo’ became a two-weight World ruler when he picked up the vacant strap against Walter Kautondokwa in October 2018 in Boston, and has since seen off Artur Akavov, Maciej Sulecki and Luke Keeler in title defenses.
Williams (23-2-1 18 KOs) fights for his first full World title against Andrade, having met Liam Smith for the interim WBO strap at Super-Welterweight in April 2017, with the Welshman moving to Middleweight after his rematch with Smith and becoming British champion at 160lbs before stopping Andrade’s old foe Alantez Fox in five rounds in December 2019.
“Liam Williams, you got what you wanted,” said Andrade. “You ran your mouth, got your rating up and here we go. April 17 your career ends. Or maybe you go back to headlining small club shows in the UK I don’t know. What I do know is that you’re getting beaten badly and then I’m on to much bigger fights and bigger nights in my career.
“It’s no secret, this isn’t the fight I wanted, but now it’s here and I will be taking care of business, taking care of Liam Williams in spectacular fashion come April 17. Then it’s whoever wants it. Canelo. GGG. Saunders. Charlo. Plant. I’m here. Undefeated. Two division World champion. Current middleweight champion of the world. I dare one of you to say my name.”
“I’ve been quite vocal saying I’ll smash him, and I actually am going to,” said Williams. “I’ve waited for this for too long now, I’m not going to let it slip through my fingers, I’ll grab the opportunity with both hands.
“I just think he’s a complete weirdo, a very strange man – I’ve watched him for some time, I used to be a bit of a fan of him back then, now I get the chance to share a ring with him and punch his face in and I can’t wait to do it. I’m going to punch lumps out of him, nonstop.
“The first couple of rounds could be tricky, but I believe that I will get on top of him and start beating him up.
“I think he might overlook me, possibly. To be honest, maybe he has deserved to get a fight with Canelo, GGG, he’s been World champion for a long time, a two-weight and three-time champion, so he’s probably deserved those fights, but his time is up now and once I deal with him, I’ll get those fights.
“Have you ever seen me going into my shell in a fight? I don’t think he’s going to have enough in him to make me do that, and let’s not forget, he’s not fought anyone like me. When I start hitting him and hurting him, no-one really knows what he’s going to do. Who’s to say he’s not going to go into his shell?”
“This is a really good fight,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “In America, people don’t realize it’s as good a fight as it is. Liam is a big step-up from Demetrius’ recent opposition, and I think this is the fight ‘Boo Boo’ needs. I like Liam, he’s going to come in with real confidence and swagger and he’ll put it on Demetrius in the build-up, he’s a tough man and he will not take a backwards step against Demetrius, who will need to be at his best to prove he’s the number one Middleweight in the world.”
Early undercard information will be released soon, and no public tickets will be on sale for the show. Open the Canadian casino website and play free online slots or poker.
Undisputed WBO Champion Jessica McCaskill:
“I’m so ready to punch Cecilia in the face. I mean like we said, I don’t know Cecilia and there’s no bad blood, but we want this for boxing so bad, it is going to be the best fight of the night.
“I always have to work for everything that we have, and we don’t mind doing that. We’ve come from places harder than what you see us in now and I want to seal the deal and solidify my win in august and let everyone know that wasn’t an accident and that was me, unified undisputed World champion.
March 11, 2021; Dallas, TX; Jessica McCaskill and Cecilia Braekhus pose after the final press conference for the Matchroom boxing fight card at the Thompson Hotel in Dallas, TX. The fights will take place Saturday March 13, 2021 at the American Airlines arena in Dallas, TX. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.
“We have always had a large amount of confidence and we have just had to get those opportunities to show everyone else what we can do and like I said before we have come from places where this isn’t the hardest thing that we’ve had to go through so I think this will be a piece of cake.
“It doesn’t really matter what kind of game plan they bring. We are really prepared. Rick Ramos, my manager and trainer, he keeps me diversified in boxing whether it’s the brawling, the movement, the standstill, we’re ready for anything.
“Cecilia brought retirement up after the last fight, those aren’t my words, those are hers, so I’m going to make her eat them.”
“She was so friendly, then she got the belt, and she was like whoa, she goes crazy. It is definitely a new situation. You know, it’s fun for me, I just want to get the belt back and McCaskill has kept me very motivated, she’s kept me motivated through my whole camp. Last time she knows she was lucky, so I think that’s where all the trash talk is coming from.
March 11, 2021; Dallas, TX; Jessica McCaskill and Cecilia Braekhus pose after the final press conference for the Matchroom boxing fight card at the Thompson Hotel in Dallas, TX. The fights will take place Saturday March 13, 2021 at the American Airlines arena in Dallas, TX. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.
“Oh definitely. I had a rough training camp the last time, I was stuck six months in Big Bear. Now I had a normal training camp and now I have to do what I always do. I have to box. And I can do whatever and I think I can stop her too because I am definitely bigger and stronger and I am a much better fighter, boxer. I’m much better technically and stronger so I’m very confident going into this fight. And like I said, she provided me with a lot of motivation in camp.
“As a fighter I have given her a lot of credit. I should definitely not be losing to her. She was home, she was in her home country, all the judges were home, she got her catch weight and still I beat her in one of my invites when I didn’t perform at the top. Saturday I will be at my best and she is nowhere near my level.
“I will win so it is not even an option. I have a bigger name than her anyways with or without the belt”
Canelo Alvarez will clash with Billy Joe Saunders in a World Super-Middleweight WBO unification blockbuster on May 8, live worldwide on DAZN (except Mexico)
Canelo Alvarez dismantled WBC mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim in three rounds at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami and next he takes a giant step in his quest to become undisputed by facing the WBO king Saunders at a venue to be announced soon.
Alvarez’s win over Yildirim followed hot on the heels of his dominant triumph over Callum Smith in San Antonio, Texas to win the belts he defended this evening, and now another Briton enters the fray to take on the pound for pound king.
Saunders (30-0 14 KOs) will be putting his WBO strap on the line for the third time, after recently sending Martin Murray into retirement following his comprehensive points win over the British stalwart, and the Briton puts his belt and unbeaten record on the line in what promises to be a mouth-watering occasion.
“We want to unify the division, he’s a world champion, we want to go for it and we need to go for it,” said Canelo. “He’s a very difficult fighter and has a championship, the WBO.
“People talk but I’m a very mature fighter and I know how to control myself. All I need to do is go into the ring, win and make history.”
“It’s because it hasn’t been done, no one has done it in Latin America. In the world only a few fighters have done it, the best. I want to make history and be one of the best in the world.”
“Canelo, I’m ready to rock and roll,” said Saunders. “You have to dare to be great and you aren’t going to be a great if you don’t beat the greats.
“I believe I am the only one with the footwork, knowhow, skillset, mindset and brain to unlock that door in Canelo.
“He’s the main man in the sport and the face of boxing. You have to give him respect, he hasn’t ducked anyone, he’s beaten good names, but nobody is unbeatable, and I believe I have got the tools to beat him if I use them properly and if the gamelan comes off that I believe works.
“I am looking at the golden ticket to cement my legacy, and that’s how you have to go in there to beat him. I’ve won everything from Southern Area to World titles, I could say ‘I’ve won it all, been to the Olympics, I’m unbeaten – I’ll see you later’. But I’ve only just turned 31, I’ve got no miles on the clock, haven’t taken any punishment – I believe he’s been in harder fights than me and has more miles, so I want to cement my legacy and beat him.”
“This is one of the biggest fights in the sport of boxing,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “The pound-for-pound king on the road to undisputed against the unbeaten champion who has long believed he can overcome him. After missing a chance to fight and celebrate on Cinco de Mayo last year this is going to be very special, we look forward to welcoming you for this momentous event.”
“Canelo vs. Saunders is a fascinating matchup of champions with massive international appeal,” said Ed Breeze, DAZN EVP, Rights. “From what we expect to be a fiery promotion to the competition in the ring, we’re thrilled to deliver this fight to DAZN subscribers across the world.”
Jessica McCaskill and Cecilia Brækhus ramped up their rivalry in a fiery e-press conference ahead of their rematch for the Undisputed WBO World Welterweight title at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday March 13, live worldwide on DAZN.
TICKETS FOR ESTRADA VS. CHOCOLATITO ARE ON SALE NOW FROM TICKETMASTER – TICKETS START AT $35 (PLUS FEES)
McCaskill (9-2 3 KOs) ripped the titles from Brækhus (36-1 9 KOs) on the streets of downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma in August as Matchroom returned to action in the US, and now it’s McCaskill putting the belts on the line and Brækhus is looking to avenge her first pro defeat.
Promoter Eddie Hearn sat them down as the date ticked over to under a month to go to the rematch, and after Hearn’s initial questions to both fighters, tensions rose and the Chicagoan and Norwegian could have been back in the ring as the traded verbal blows back and forth to light the blue touch paper ahead of the return bout.
“I feel the last fight was the last one of her career,” said McCaskill. “Once someone shows that weakness, shows they are not in it and alludes to retirement, that shows that they are mentally out of the game.
“We’ve never been given a whole lot, we’ve taken really big risks and they have gotten us to those higher places, I haven’t been given anything, I don’t want to take on anyone else’s legacy, I’m building my own and making history every step of the day and that’s what I want to continue to do.
“I feel great – every time I have had to fight for a belt, it’s been from a champion, Cecilia, you have fought for vacant titles, I’ve had to take mine from everyone I fought from, I’ve never just fought for a vacant title and it’s heads or tails on who is going to win it.
“I’m not saying I don’t get the credit for my last fight, but over the time that I’ve fought and the different hurdles that I have crossed, that’s what I don’t think I get the credit for, that’s not to make excuses. Everything I say is the truth, I don’t talk trash.”
“I felt I won’t the fight, it was very close, I could have got the decision,” said Brækhus. “A lot of people thought I won and it’s not the way to lose your belts.
“I know I am a better fighter than Jessica, I had a bit of an off day, but I feel I did what I needed to do to retain my belts, but I was not at home I was on her home turf and she got the belts.
“She says that people are hating on her because of the way she got the belts, they aren’t hating but people aren’t satisfied because that’s not the way anyone should become an undisputed champion, it should be harder than that. I don’t think she has a good feeling the way she won the belts.”
McCaskill and Brækhus clash on a massive night of action in Dallas with a triple header of World title action.
Topping the bill is another mouth-watering rematch as Juan Francisco Estrada (41-3 28 KOs) and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (50-2 41 KOs) finally meet for the second time eight years after their first bout, this time in a unification for the WBC, WBA and Ring Magazine World Super-Flyweight titles.
There’s a Matchroom debut on the card for Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0 9 KOs) as he defends his WBA and Ring Magazine World Light-Flyweight titles against Axel Vega (14-3-1 8 KOs).
Brian Castaño (17-0-1, 12 KOs) of Buenos Aires, Argentina captured the WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship by scoring a 12-round unanimous decision win against Patrick Teixeira (31-2, 22 KOs) of Sao Paulo, Brasil. Castaño won with scores of 120-108, 119-109, and 117-111l.
“I am very happy. We did a great job with my team,” said Brian Castaño. “It was a good fight. We all mistakes, and I have to fix things here and there, but a fight is a fight. Each fight is different, and I understand that. I knew Teixeira very well going into this fight. He is very strong, and he has a lot of heart. He is a great. This was one of the greatest victories of my career.”
The fight headlined a stacked card of action that was streamed live exclusively on DAZN in more than 200 countries and territories, including the U.S., Mexico, Russia, Tajikistan, Brazil and Argentina.
The fight between WBO Jr. Middleweight World Champion Patrick Teixeira and Brian Castaño is set for tomorrow night at Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio.
Argentinian mandatory challenger Castaño will aspire to dethrone the world champion Teixeira. The Argentine obtained this place, after beating Wale Omotoso on November 2, 2019.
Teixeira won the title over favorite Carlos Adames last November on a show promoted by Top Rank.
The pandemic complicated the realization of the duel, as well as the restrictions that each government imposed to face the pandemic. For example, Brazilian citizens were prohibited from entering the United States for months, which prevented the 154-pound monarch from traveling to North America.
The fight will be streamed on DAZN.
WBO junior middleweight battle in Saturday’s co-main event 🔥🏆
Undefeated Welterweights Chris Kongo and Michael McKinson will collide for the WBO Global Title on the undercard of Alexander Povetkin vs. Dillian Whyte 2 on Saturday March 6, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN in all other markets excluding the UK and Ireland.
Bermondsey’s Kongo clinically dispatched Luther Clay in nine rounds to win the WBO ranking Title at Fight Camp last summer, taking full advantage oh his first opportunity of the big stage to extend his unbeaten record to 12-0 with seven knockouts.
Portsmouth’s McKinson has won all nineteen of his professional contests, with two of those wins coming via knockout, and the 26-year-old prospect has picked up the WBC Youth World, WBC International Silver and WBO European Welterweight Titles in an impressive run.
“I’m very excited, this is a fight that I’ve wanted for a long time,” said Kongo. “He was saying that he was far ahead of me, but now I’ve got the belt, the tables have turned.
“Michael has said he’s the most avoided, but I know I’m the most avoided, so we have to make it happen. The two most dangerous fighters in the division – we’re both getting it on now – so it’s a big fight.
“It’s not, can I solve ‘The Problem?’ I will solve ‘The Problem’ on March 6, guaranteed. In the Luther Clay fight, I said before it, someone is going to go down, and I definitely know it’s not me. Same way someone is going to go down in this fight, and it’s definitely not me again.
“It’s going to be an explosive win for me. This is what we train for, this is what we work for. I want the big risk fights. If you don’t take risks in life, you won’t get anywhere, so it’s all about taking another risk in my career.”
“I’m very pleased with this Chris Kongo fight,” said McKinson. “It’s a fight I have called for and I’m over the moon to get a fight that I want. I’ve wanted a big fight for a long time. I deserve one and I’m buzzing.
“It’s a massive platform and one that I need in my career. I believe I was born to be on the big stage and I can’t wait to show that on March 6. Chris Kongo is a dangerous fighter and a talented fighter, but there is no fighter like Michael McKinson. You can throw me in with anybody and I’d come out victorious.
“I’ve told Chris before many times that all they needed to do was make the call and the answer would be yes. Winning a fight like this can change my life and change my daughter’s life, it can catapult me to even bigger things. That’s why I’m in this sport, to do big things for my city of Portsmouth and big things for my daughter and make people proud, and that’s what I’ll do on March 6.”
Povetkin vs. Whyte 2 tops a huge night of action, Bermondsey’s Ted Cheeseman (16-2-1, 9 KOs) meets Liverpool’s James Metcalf (21-0, 13 KOs) for the vacant British Super-Welterweight Title, Ipswich Heavyweight talent Fabio Wardley (10-0, 9 KOs) steps-up again against USA’s former World Title challenger Eric Molina (27-6, 19 KOs), Manchester Super-Featherweight Campbell Hatton – son of British fight legend Ricky Hatton – makes his professional debut and Wembley Super-Featherweight Youssef Khoumari ( 11-0-1, 4 KOs) faces Birmingham’s Kane Baker (14-7).
Jessica McCaskill and Cecelia Brækhus will rematch for the undisputed WBO World Welterweight title on a stacked card on March 13 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, live worldwide on DAZN, on a stacked card topped by the rematch between Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez.
McCaskill (9-2 3 KOs) ripped the belts from the Norwegian star on the streets of downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma in August, snapping the long-standing unbeaten via majority decision and becoming a two-weight World champion in just her 11th pro fight in the process.
Brækhus (36-1 9 KOs) was denied a record-breaking night with McCaskill preventing her from recording her 25th consecutive successful World title defense, but she activated the rematch clause and will now go for revenge in the Lone Star state against the Chicagoan – but the champion was succinct in her belief that the belts will remain hers.
“I’m very focused on regaining all of my undisputed belts on March 13 in the rematch against Jessica,” said Brækhus. “It will be a very special night in Dallas for my supporters and for all of my worldwide fans who can watch the fight on the DAZN.”
“This is a huge night of boxing in Dallas,” said Hearn. “Cecilia and Jessica will put it all on the line in their rematch for the undisputed Welterweight title and Hirotu is a fighter that I am excited to see explode onto the big stage under the guidance of his manager Eddy Reynoso and Matchroom.
“With a brilliant main event in the rematch between Estrada and Chocolatito and plenty of young talents to be added to the card, this is an unmissable feast of fights for the fans in Dallas and on DAZN.”