Undefeated lightweight NABO champion Sharif “The Lion” Bogere, is patiently waiting for his moment to claim a major world title.

“I am just waiting for that day to come,” Bogere said in a message to Kawowo sports. “It’s just a matter of time before I get my moment. All am doing is keeping cool and putting my head up.”

The Ugandan prize fighter recently demolished Mexican fighter Sergio Rivera scoring his 14 career knockout to take his record to (22-0-0,14 KOs).

The Las Vegas based hot shot is ranked number 20 by IBO in his weight division while IBF rates him at number 5, NABF puts him at number 4, WBC has him at 20 and WBO rates him number 3.

Bogere is likely up for a summer title shot against Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez, who is the currently WBO lightweight champion.

Bogere is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. He will be the sixth Ugandan world boxing champion after John “The Beast” Mugabi, Ayub Kalule,Cornelius Boza Edwards,Kassim “The Dream” Ouma and Jackson “Action” Asiku.


Written by Phillip Corry


Juan Manuel Marquez (53-6-1, 39KOs) will evaluate the future of his career with each passing fight. On April 14th at the new arena in Mexico City, Marquez will face Ukrainian Sergey Fedchenko (30-1, 13KOs) for the WBO’s interim-junior welterweight title. If he wins, he plans to return on July 14th in Texas, and then hopes to close 2012 with a fourth meeting against Manny Pacquiao in the month of November.

He is very motivated at the moment for Fedchenko, which gives the Mexican legend the opportunity to capture a fourth world title.

“It motivates me a lot to go for my fourth divisional world championship. I have collected three, and now I am going for the fourth, at junior welterweight under the WBO. I’m no youngster, but I want to continue boxing. Right now, I can’t say if I’ll have two more fights or five more. I’m going to take things [fight by fight] and I’ll see how my body responds,” Marquez said.

Marquez expects a tough battle with Fedchenko in April. He invited Pacquiao to attend the fight, but doubts he will be there.

“He will be one of the toughest opponents of my career. I am very motivated to fight in Mexico City. I have to win because then great things will come,” Marquez said.


By Ernesto Castellanos, notifight.com


Promoter Frank Warren has revealed that WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns (34-2, 9KOs) is likely going to return in July. The most sensinble opponent, says Warren, is Kevin Mitchell (33-1, 24KOs). The fight has been brewing for several months and British fans want it to happen. Warren says the fight will be tough to make because Mitchell wants a lot of money to make it possible.

Burns’ return, because of scheduling issues with the venues, is not heading to Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium or West Ham United’s Upton Park.

“I can’t say who it is going to be against yet but it will probably be in July,” said Warren to BBC Scotland. “Kevin Mitchell is an opponent we are looking at and, providing he is sensible, maybe we could make that fight. He has had problems outside the ring and he thinks he should be getting paid much more than Ricky. It’s a struggle to make that one.”


By Edward Chaykovsky


All four fighters participating in Friday’s ShoBox: The New Generation doubleheader (11:00 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) weighed in at the Lit Lounge at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif. on Thursday, just steps away from where two prospects will step into the ring to face the toughest tests of their young careers.

Undefeated lightweight prospect Omar Figueroa Jr. (14-0-1, 11 KO’s), of Weslaco, Texas, was over the division-limit 135 pounds – he weighed 136.2 pounds and forfeited his WBO Intercontinental Youth title on the scale. His 10-round main event fight will go on as scheduled against Morelos, Mexico’s Ramon “Nino De Oro” Ayala (23-2-1, 11 KO’s), who tipped the scale at 135 pounds.

Figueroa, who has ended eight of his fights in knockout wins in two rounds or less, is fresh off of handing previously unbeaten prospect Michael Perez his first loss on Jan. 6 on ShoBox, while Ayala has won five in a row, including three by knockout.

The fighters in Friday’s co-feature, local favorite Randy Caballero (13-0, 7 KO’s), of Coachella, Calif., and Tecate, Mexico’s Jose Luis “Tapitas” Araiza (29-5-1, 20 KO’s), both weighed in at 117.8 pounds. Caballero will make his ShoBox debut against the more experienced Araiza in a 10-round bantamweight bout.

Caballero has won his last seven consecutive bouts – and eight overall – at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, while the hard-hitting Araiza has registered 11 of his 20 knockouts in three rounds or less.

The ShoBox doubleheader is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona, DeWalt Tools and AT&T. Tickets, priced at $25, $35 and $45, are available for purchase at the Fantasy Springs Box Office, by calling (800) 827-2946 or online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com. Doors at Fantasy Springs will open at 6:00 p.m. PT on fight night and the first bell rings at 6:30 p.m. PT.

What the fighters had to say on Thursday:


“Honestly, I feel bad for my opponent. I’m going to put every negative together from my camp and take it out on him, and there were a lot of negatives. I had to sacrifice. I sacrificed food, water, seeing my family – all because of my opponent. People don’t realize that 50 percent of boxing is just getting to the ring. I’m hungry. I really hope to knock him out.

“In my last fight, I proved that I can do it. I am not going to lose. Whether people believe in me or not, I have my team – it’s all I need.

“I knew I wasn’t going to make weight. I hurt my hand in camp and got sick twice and that took time away from working out and losing the weight.”


“I’m not a talker. I do my talking inside the ring. All I can say is that I prepared hard. I hope Omar brings his best because I know I will.”



As previously reported, Juan Manuel Marquez (56-6-1, 39KOs) disputed claims that he plans to retire in 2012. Marquez wants to have a big 2012, with at least three fights. For the first time since 1994, Marquez will fight in Mexico City. He faces Argentine Cesar Cuenca (42-0, 1KO) on April 14th for the vacant WBO interim-junior welterweight title.

The WBO honored Marquez on Friday in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He received a special gold ring for his achievements in the ring.

“To me, [the WBO ring] is a source of great pride and motivation to continue my career. At the moment, I will not retire – at least not this year. I would have liked to have become a champion [at welterweight] last November [against Manny Pacquiao], but everyone saw [me as the] champion coming out of that fight with my hand raised,” Marquez said.

After the fight in April, Marquez expects to return in July and then in November, and says the November date “could be against Pacquiao.”


By Miguel Rivera


Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan, Puerto Rico – WBO Latino lightweight champion Jose “Chelo” Gonzalez (19-0, 14KOs) stopped Hevinson Herrera (15-9-1, 10KOs) in the eight round.

After four very lackluster rounds, Gonzalez finally let his hands go in the fifth to hurt Herrera. Gonzalez continued to land in the sixth and put Herrera down in the final twenty seconds. After landing a few more in the seventh, Gonzalez finally finished him off in the eight with a barrage of punches to prompt the referee’s intervention.

McWilliams Arroyo (11-1, 9KOs) dominated veteran Luis Maldonado (36-8-1, 27KOs) over ten rounds in a bout for the interim-WBO Latino flyweight title. The scores were 98-92, 99-91 and 99-91.

Super featherweight Gamalier Rodriguez (18-2-3, 12 KOs) won an eight round unanimous decision over Allan Tanada (11-2-2, 5 KOs). The scores were 80-72 twice and 79-73

Super flyweight prospect McJoe Arroyo (10-0, 5 KOs) won a six round unanimous decision over Shawn Nichol (5-10, 5 KOs). The scores were 60-54, 60-54 and 59-55. The first bout for Arroyo in 2012.

Featherweight prospect Camilo Perez (7-0, 4 KOs) won a six round unanimous decision over Charlie Serrano (14-3-1, 4 KOs). The scores were 58-56 and 59-55 twice.



Ricky Burns has his sights set on bigger fights after a confident if unspectacular first defence of his WBO lightweight belt.

The Scot scored a unanimous points win over Namibia-based Paulus Moses in front of a 6,000 capacity crowd at Braehead Arena on the outskirts of Glasgow.

Burns has now won six fights at world level and will discuss options with promoter Frank Warren and manager Alex Morrison early next week.

A fight with Londoner Kevin Mitchell, who holds the WBO inter-continental belt after a thrilling victory against John Murray, would capture the imagination of boxing fans on both sides of the border, but Burns was reluctant to name names after his latest comfortable triumph.

Burns said: “I’m happy to get the win, it was a good fight and a good 12 rounds in the bank.

“I’ll get a wee break now and sit down and talk about what happens next.

“There have been a few names out there mentioned.

“I have always said I will fight whoever they put in front of me. Rather than me shout out names and who I want to fight, I’ll do my talking in the ring. Whoever they want to get me to fight, it’s no problem at all.

“I got the win and we can start looking at bigger fights now.”

Although Burns was never in trouble, the scorecard of 119-110 120-110 117-111 probably did not reflect the difficulty Burns had against the 33-year-old former WBA lightweight champion, who has 19 knockouts to his name.

Burns, who struggled with a minor shoulder injury in the final few rounds, acknowledged his opponent’s threat had forced him into caution at times.

“Some of the rounds it was tough,” Burns said.

“He could punch, he caught me with a few good right hands.

“I’ve always said I can take a good shot. I shrugged it off and got on with the fight.”

The Coatbridge boxer, who dominated the first five rounds, added: “A few times I banged them (body shots) in, a couple of times I thought I hurt him.

“But he was taking them well and I didn’t want to dive in because I didn’t know if he was trying to draw me in.

“He was looking for the counters all the time and the right hand over the top, which he caught me with a couple of times.

“I thought I was doing all right but maybe I shouldn’t have got caught those couple of times.

“But I’m still learning and I’ve always said there are still more improvements to come. I can look onwards and upwards now.”

Whatever the profile of the next opponent for Burns, who gets married next month, he has proved he can draw an increasingly large crowd.

Braehead had been only half full for his previous two fights there despite his stunning victory over Roman Martinez at the smaller Kelvin Hall.

After fights in Liverpool and Wembley, Burns sold out the arena and the atmosphere at times evoked that memorable night against the previously unbeaten Martinez, when Burns upset the odds to win the WBO super-featherweight title.

The 28-year-old said: “I just want to thank everyone that has come down. I couldn’t believe it when I walked out.

“The fans were fantastic and I hope they all had a good time.

“When I walked out the changing room, you could hear them all singing.

“Everyone says the Glasgow crowd are excellent and they proved that again.”



There are many ways to win a fight, but Ricky Burns again did not stray far from his stick-and-move formula to turn back the rugged challenge of Paulus Moses and retain his WBO lightweight title in front of an appreciative Scottish audience.

Judges awarded him the decision by margins of 119-110, 120-110 and 117-110 – a little harsh on the African challenger, from this vantage point, at least: I had him winning 116-113. The Coatbridge man remains on track for a considerably bigger fight in June, against the Londoner Kevin Mitchell.

Burns got a lager-spilling reception from the 6,000 fans in the Braehead Arena on his return to a Glasgow ring after an absence of a year – although it was a bit rude to play Flower of Scotland for the champion and be left to wonder what the Namibian anthem sounds like.

Snubbed or not, Moses was intent on making it a long night for Burns. The heavy-handed man from Windhoek, a former WBA champion, rumbled after Burns, who took a round or two to hit a rhythm, his pink gloves incongruous but effective weapons.

The Burns right, thrown at an angle over his opponent’s guard, hit the target with encouraging regularity as he took control of centre ring, giving ground only when covering up on the ropes, a strategy that non-plussed the challenger.

Reduced to charging through a blizzard of pink, Moses soaked up a steady flow of blows to the head but remained dangerous on the counter. He looked to have shared the fifth and took the sixth, growing strong as Burns struggled to hold him at bay.

Moses continued to throw big shots in bunches, not all of them catching Burns’s high guard. The boisterous crowd of only a quarter of an hour earlier idled in relative silence, and the chatter from the visitor’s corner grew ever more urgent.

An overhand right rocked Burns early in the ninth but he came back with one of his own and a few more jabs and uppercuts near the bell to take control going into the championship rounds.

The crowd came to life in the 10th, as did Burns, weathering the now less frequent attacks by Moses – who looked his 33 years – and working more vigorously to the ribs. As the seconds ebbed, so did Moses.

The 12th started curiously. They hugged at the start, rather than merely touching gloves, then Burns looked distractedly down at his shorts; had it been Floyd Mayweather in front of him rather than the gentlemanly Moses, he would have spent the next 10 seconds staring at the ceiling. He returned to work quickly enough, dancing clear of danger, and banging out enough jabs to consolidate his advantage. Scotland would be no Promised Land for Moses.


Former WBA lightweight champion Paulus Moses is highly motivated by the chance to become the first Namibian to win world titles with two different organizations when he takes on WBO lightweight belt holder Ricky Burns Saturday at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow, Scotland. “In boxing, there are no easy fights. Every match is tough, every match is dangerous but fighting up in Scotland will not present a problem,” Moses told boxing writer Glynn Evans. “The crowd was against me many times in South Africa, and also Japan and the Ukraine yet I won every time. Even up in Scotland, a lot of Namibian people from all over Britain have expressed a wish to come and see this fight.

“Training has gone very well and my weight is fine. I haven’t seen Ricky Burns fight yet but, according to his record, he must be a very good boxer. It’s sure to be very tough, every fight is. Still, if you want to be the champion, you need to beat the champion. I’m very confident. I train to win and, if I succeed, I will become a big, big hero back home in Namibia. I’ve beaten better fighters than Ricky Burns before. I’m coming to take his title by knockout!”



Ricky Burns aims to make a successful defence of his WBO lightweight title against Paulus Moses on Saturday to reward his vast army of fans.

Burns, 28, is grateful for the sold-out home support at Glasgow’s Braehead Arena as he prepares to take on the Namibian challenger.

“I would like to say a big thanks to everyone who is going,” he said, before a media workout at trainer Billy Nelson’s Fighting Scots gym in Mossend, Lanarkshire.

“My phone has been going constantly with people asking for tickets. I was on the phone this morning to see if I could get any more, the demand has been unbelievable.

“My last couple of fights have been away from home and I think because a lot of people missed out and because it is in Glasgow, the response has been great.




Ricky Burns admits he knows little of Saturday’s opponent Paulus Moses, the WBO lightweight champion preferring to concentrate on his own training and prepare himself for “whatever he brings”.

Burns, 28, returns to Scotland for the first defence of his title, with the pair set for battle at a sold-out Braehead Arena in Glasgow.

A domestic showdown with rival Kevin Mitchell could await the Scot in the summer, but Burns says the last thing he can afford to do is take the Namibian challenger lightly, even if he has not watched him in action.

“This is a very dangerous fight, but I’ll do what I need to do to win” Burns told BBC Scotland. “He’s only lost once, he’s a former world champion with 28 victories from 29 fights, 19 knockouts: which shows he can punch a bit.

“I’ve still not watched any footage of him, I’ve left that to my trainer. When you watch your opponent you tend to look at what they’re good at, which can throw you off. I like to concentrate on what I’m going to do in the fight, so I go in there with a clear mind.

“We know he’s a good boxer, we know he’s got a big right hand – but I’ve been in the ring with big punchers before and proved I can take a shot so with this fight we’ll just go out and take it from the first round.”

Burns is excited to be fighting in front of his home fans for the first time in 12 months, insisting that the level of support has been overwhelming.

“I’m really looking forward to getting into the ring at the Braehead Arena – the last couple of fights have been away from home,” he added. “The support and the response I’ve been getting for this fight has been unbelievable. My phone’s still going constantly with people asking for tickets.

“If I win on Saturday then I think we’re going to need a bigger venue for the next fight.”



Mexican three-division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez has confirmed to Fightnews.com that his next fight on April 14th against undefeated southpaw Argentinian Cesar Rene Cuenca (42-0, 1 KO) will be at the “New Mexico City Arena” in Mexico City for the WBO super lightweight world title. There is a possibility it could be for regular crown with Bradley fighting for the WBO welterweight title against Manny Pacquiao on June 9 in Las Vegas, but for now it’s assured that Marquez-Cuenca is for the WBO interim super lightweight world title.

By Gabriel F. Cordero


Ricky Burns aims to repay the fans who will pack out the Braehead Arena on Saturday night with victory when he defends his WBO lightweight title against Paulus Moses.

Despite stringent financial times, and the fight showing live on television, the 6,000-capacity arena on the outskirts of Glasgow is set for a sell-out.

Burns, 28, is grateful for the home support as he prepares to take on the Namibian challenger

“I would like to say a big thanks to everyone who is going,” he said, before a media workout at trainer Billy Nelson’s Fighting Scots gym in Mossend, Lanarkshire.

“My phone has been going constantly with people asking for tickets.

“I was on the phone this morning to see if I could get any more, the demand has been unbelievable.

“My last couple of fights have been away from home and I think because a lot of people missed out and because it is in Glasgow, the response has been great.

“There was only a couple of hundred tickets left the other day so it will definitely be a sell-out.

“The way things are going for this fight – as long as I win – the next one is going to have to be at a bigger venue up here.

“The people who can’t get to see it or have missed out, or left it too late to get their tickets, will be able to watch it live on BoxNation, so that’s a bonus.

“But I am just looking forward to getting on with it now.

“Once I step in that ring, I will need to try block the crowd out and get on with the job.”

Perhaps surprisingly, Burns has not watched the 33-year-old challenger – who has lost only once in 28 fights with only one defeat – either live or on television.

However, the Coatbridge fighter is supremely confident of getting the win which will leave him free for a showdown with Londoner Kevin Mitchell in the summer.

“I haven’t watched him at all,” said Burns.

“We know he is a good boxer and has a big right hand, obviously, with 19 knockouts from 28 fights.

“He is also a former world champion who is not afraid to travel, he has fought in Japan and other places.

“So it is going to be a cracking fight but we are prepared for whatever he brings.

“Now it is about playing the waiting game. Once Friday (weigh-in) is over I can get on with it.

“I have always said the better the guy in front of me, the better I will perform, so it is just down to me now to produce the goods again.”



LOS ANGELES – After an explosive night of boxing on January 6, Golden Boy Promotions is excited to return to Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California on Friday, March 16 with Weslaco, Texas’ Omar Figueroa Jr., who handed rising star Michael Perez his first loss that night, taking on Mexico’s Ramon Ayala in a 10 round battle for Figueroa’s WBO Intercontinental Youth lightweight title.

In the co-main event, Randy Caballero’s first ShoBox bout promises to be the toughest of his career as he faces Mexico’s Jose Luis “Tapitas” Araiza in defense of his WBC Youth Intercontinental title in a 10 round bout..

This ShoBox doubleheader, which is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona, DeWalt Tools and AT&T, will be televised live on ShoBox: The New Generation at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) on SHOWTIME®.

Tickets, priced at $25, $35 and $45, are available for purchase at the Fantasy Springs Box Office, by calling (800) 827-2946 or online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com . Doors at Fantasy Springs will open at 6:00 p.m. PT on fight night and the first bell rings at 6:30 p.m. PT.

When you’ve ended eight of your wins in two rounds or less, it’s clear that you have the kind of power to draw attention from boxing experts and fans alike. Yet while Omar Figueroa Jr. (14-0-1, 11 KO’s) has been on the boxing world’s radar for a couple of years, it wasn’t until January 6 that everyone got a true dose of the potential that the 22-year-old “Panterita” possesses. It was on that night earlier this year that Figueroa stopped unbeaten and highly regarded fellow prospect Michael “The Artist” Perez in six rounds in the same building in which he will fight on March 16 and the Texan expects the same result against Ramon Ayala.

A respected amateur who is now soaring towards the top of the lightweight division, Ramon “Nino De Oro” Ayala (23-2-1, 11 KO’s) has done a lot of fighting for someone just 23-years-old, but it’s that experience which he expects to lead him to victory when he battles Omar Figueroa in March. Winner of five in a row, including three by knockout, the former WBC Youth junior welterweight champion has the style, desire and skill to give anyone problems in the ring and that’s just what he’s planning on doing to Figueroa on March 16.





Ricky Burns: ‘I’m Fed Up With Training and Waiting. Let’s Get the Fight On!’

With two world titles already on his CV, Coatbridge quiet man Ricky Burns is now primely placed to reap the material rewards of his labours.

But with a lucrative summer showdown against London rival Kevin Mitchell beckoning, and possible unification openings thereafter, this most unassuming of champions stresses to boxing writer Glynn Evans that there can be no room for complacency when he faces off with top grade Namibian Paulus Moses at Braehead Arena next Saturday.

The Scot makes the opening defence of his World Boxing Organization (WBO) World Lightweight crown live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546) from 7.30pm. Join at www.boxnation.tv

How do you reflect on your great win over Michael Katsidis for the WBO interim lightweight crown at Wembley last November? Do you agree it was the finest performance of your career?

It was definitely a good performance. Again, everybody had me wrote off beforehand and, again, I proved everybody wrong. It was definitely a tougher fight than when I won my (WBO) superfeather belt against Roman Martinez. Michael was exactly what we trained for; a tough, tough man and you could see at the end when I was interviewed how swollen my jaw was.

That said, it appeared a lot tougher when I watched the tape back than it had actually appeared when I was fighting the fight. I pretty much knew from the first round that I had the beating of him. The tactics were to stay on the jab and, when inevitably there were times when he managed to close the distance, to keep my hands up, counter, then use my legs to get me out of bother. It all worked perfectly. Again, I promise, there’s a lot more still to come.

It was your first championship start up at 135lbs. What difference did the added weight make during camp and on fight night?

I’d not have weighed much more inside the ring than I did when I boiled down to super-feather but it allowed training to go far more comfortably. I could train for tactics and technique not just to shed pounds. Straining to make weight definitely takes something out of you in the ring. I still looked massive for a lightweight.

Lightweight has been my natural weight for a lot longer than you’d realise. To be honest, I was surprised how long I continued at superfeather when I was fighting at Commonwealth level. We discussed lightweight a year before I won the super-feather world title. Every time it was ‘just one more fight’. However, the struggle I had making 130 for the Nicky Cook fight was absolutely ridiculous. Of course, it’s hard to walk away when you hold a world title but I knew after that it was definitely time to move up. When the opportunity to contest the ‘interim’ title at lightweight was offered, I jumped at it. A lifeline!

Your first defence against Paulus Moses on Saturday (10th) will be your first start in Scotland for 12 months. Given your last two showings at home were comparatively flat title defences over Andreas Evensen and Joseph Laryea, do you feel you owe Scottish fans a spectacular performance?

Obviously I’ll be hoping to look good for the home fans but you know I don’t ever like to talk myself up and put added pressure on myself. Getting the win is the be all and end all, for me. I understand there’s under 400 tickets left so we’re expecting a sell out. What I can say is that if I perform as well as I have been in sparring, I guarantee the fans will have a good night.

The South African is a former WBA champion who has only lost once in 29 pro fights and has 19 knockout wins on his slate. Yet you’ve accepted him as a voluntary challenger. Weren’t you tempted to take something a little less taxing?

No, I’ve always said since I started boxing at 12 that I’ll fight anyone at all. The only way to be the best, and to be considered the best by others, is to fight and beat the best around. This is a proper world title fight.

How has your preparation gone?

I’ll have had 10 or 11 weeks and six of that will have been hard sparring. There’s been a really good vibe in the gym. I’ve done a lot of rounds with Paul Appleby who’s got a big fight himself the same night (against Ireland’s Stephen Ormond) and I’ve also had Tommy Coyle, Tyrone Nurse, Patrick Liam Walsh up here before finishing off with Bradley Saunders last week. You get to a stage were you’re just fed up with training and waiting. You just want to get the fight on. That’s where I’m at.

What do you know of the 33 year old challenger?

I’m never one for studying tapes of my opponent. What happens on the night, happens. A fight’s a fight and I’ve always been good at sussing things out once we get started.

But Paulus’s record speaks for itself so I know he’s likely to give me a very good fight. He’s a former world champion, proven at very top class for quite a while and his only defeat (a sixth round knockout in the second defence of his WBA crown) was to Venezuela’s Miguel Acosta who is also a great fighter.

I’ve heard Moses is a good boxer who has a good jab but so have I. Obviously, from his record, he can bang – we’ve heard with the right hand – but I’ve been in with bangers before. Martinez and Katsidis were said to be bangers but I’ve always shown I can take a shot.

I think the first few rounds could be the key but I’m ready for anything and I’ll take each round as it comes.

Your very best performances have come as an underdog against Martinez and Katsidis yet you enter this as a 5-1 on favourite. Any chance you could be overlooking Moses in favour of the mooted mandatory summer showdown with Kevin Mitchell?

None at all. If I don’t win here, the Kevin Mitchell fight definitely isn’t going to happen. I’ve trained extremely hard for 12 rounds and I’m expecting a very tough fight. I have to get this one out of the way.

People need to realise, I just love fighting and the better the opponent, the more I love it. Most true, diehard boxing fans are aware exactly how big a challenge Paulus Moses represents. I’ve always maintained that only the very top opponents will bring out the very best in me and this is a perfect fight for me to prove that.


Ricky Burns wins a great fight; points if need be, knockout’s a bonus!

This is your first fight of 2012. What do you hope to have achieved by the end of the year?

I’m looking no further than this fight but obviously if I do get through it, the Kevin Mitchell fight should be straightforward to make as we’re both with Frank Warren. Kevin boxed very well last month so that could be a very tough fight in the summer. We’re the two best lightweights in the country and it’s the one most want to see.

You’ve been world champion for 18 months now. How are you growing into that status? You’re naturally shy. Are the commitments a bonus or a distraction?

I’m still doing my shift at the local sports store on the weekend. It breaks up my training nicely and all the staff and customers are ‘brand new’. That keeps me grounded.

I do whatever’s needed publicity wise then, a fortnight before a fight I completely lock myself away and I think people appreciate the need for that.

Otherwise, I try to go to as many functions and charity bashes as I can. It’s no big deal to me but often means a lot to others. My attitude’s the same it always was. I sort of enjoy the attention but I get embarrassed, really don’t see what all the fuss is about. After a fight, I do try to lock myself away for a couple of weeks to let the commotion die down.

You’re still only 28 but have been a pro for nearly 11 years now. How long do you intend continuing for and what are your remaining ambitions? Breaking America? Unification?

A boxing ring is a boxing ring and, if I keep winning, sure, I’d go to the States, particularly for unification. That would be exciting, an adventure.

I really, really love fighting so much. I’ve a good defence and, as long as I’m not getting hurt, I tell (trainer) Billy Nelson I’m going to continue until I’ve had 100 fights! Others think I’m nuts but, really, it’s all I want to do.









It was a triumphant return to Woodland for Vicente “Chente” Escobedo (25-3, 15 KOs) as he destroyed “Lightning” Lonnie Smith (14-3-2, 10 KOs) in a first-round TKO to earn the WBO NABO Junior Lightweight title on Saturday at the Woodland Community & Senior Center.

“It feels great,” Escobedo said after the fight. “It should have happened a long time ago I believe, but it’s been a learning experience. I’ve been to the top, the bottom and now I feel like I’m back on the rise.”

The scheduled 10-round bout only lasted two minutes and 20 seconds as Escobedo quickly dropped his opponent three times.

“I expected Lonnie to come fight, which he did and I knew he was going to be aggressive, but I knew once I hit him with some shots he was going to think twice about coming forward.”

Escobedo was the aggressor for most of the fight. He caught Smith with a right hand and took control after the first knockdown. Escobedo said once he realized he could brush off Smith’s punches, he knew things were going to go his way.

“I was keeping my composure and keeping my defense tight, but coming with some hard single shots and that’s what caught him,” Escobedo said.

The fight card, which was part of TeleFutura’s Solo Boxeo, was sold out two days before the event even with added rows of seats. As Escobedo entered the ring, the crowd erupted and started chanting “Chente.”

“Coming out of the Olympics I was going to be the next big thing but then things didn’t happen as planned, but it’s OK,” Escobedo said about the trials and tribulations he has been through in his quest for a title belt. “But I never stopped believing in myself, my team never did and Woodland never did. I think this is a great gift for Woodland and I’m just overwhelmed and happy that I can give this incredible knockout to Woodland.”

Escobedo said he is going to hang around with his family and friends in Woodland for a few days before he has to return home to Southern California. He said its been close to a year since he last came home to Woodland.

“I’m passing through the town and I’m seeing all these different, new shops and I’m thinking, ‘that used to not be here,'” Escobedo said.

In the future, Escobedo might be a part of that change.

“Another dream of mine is one day, if I ever become a world champion, or a big, big superstar I would love to do something for the kids here in Woodland. I think it’s needed … to not only fix up the boxing gym but do some other kind of stuff because I know what it’s like growing up not having certain things so if I have the privilege to get those things for the kids, I think the kids are the future and that’s something I would love to do for my hometown,” Escobedo said.

As for his future and the path to a world title, Escobedo said that he made a statement with his victory over Smith.

“I think this is going to open a lot of doors,” he said. “I don’t know what’s next for me, I let my manager take care of that for me … but I’m motivated, I’m excited and I can’t wait for my next one.”

In the co-main event, Vacaville’s Manuel “Tino” Avila (7-0, 2 KOs) won a unanimous decision over David Reyes (2-2). Earlier in the night, Dmitry Chudinov (6-0-1) and Paul Mendez (7-2-1) fought to a draw, Jonathan Chicas (5-0) earned a majority decision over Ephraim Martinez (0-1) and Harry Gopaul (1-2-0) won by a second-round stoppage against Payton Boyea (0-1) in a battle of two Sacramento fighters.





WBO/WBA lightweight champion Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez (53-6-1, 39KOs) has fully denied several reports which claim the Mexican icon, 39-years-old, confirmed that 2012 would be his final year in the sport of boxing.

Marquez returns to the ring on April 21 against Cesar Cuenca for the WBO’s interim-title at 140-pounds, and then he has a date of July 14th, possibly at Cowboys Stadium against unbeaten Mercito Gesta. If all goes well, he hopes to face Manny Pacquiao in a fourth battle in November.

“I think there was a misunderstanding with the media, who said that I confirmed that I was possibly going to retire this year, but there was no confirmation [that I would retire in 2012],” said Marquez.


By Miguel Rivera



38-year-old three-division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez says that he expects to retort from boxing in late 2012. “I’ve done a lot of sacrifice and effort for 28 years but I feel that now is the time to say goodbye and begin a new phase in my life. My family is asking me and what I want to do is spend time with them.” Marquez is expected to fight either April 14 or 21 in the New Mexico City Arena against undefeated Argentinian Cesar Cuenca in a clash for the WBO super lightweight interim world title. That fight could be finalized this weekend.

“I’ll possibly do a rematch with Pacquiao, but I’ve gained a good position in the boxing world and when it comes time to retire it will be difficult but I accept it. For now, plans are to fight in April and then in July and finally in November but you know how boxing is. Nothing is certain until the night of the fight.”


By Gabriel F. Cordero



WINDHOEK – Africa’s award-winning boxing promoter, Nestor Tobias, is an angry man in the wake of World Boxing Organization (WBO) Africa lightweight champion Martin “Black Poison” Haikali’s controversial defeat to Samuel Amoako.

Haikali surrendered his belt following his defeat on points against the Ghanaian challenger after a local referee adjudged the Namibian to have thrown an illegal punch at his opponent after the bell had gone. The trigger-happy Ghanaian referee ordered the judges to deduct a point from Haikali.

The forfeited point  proved decisive as the defending champion eventually lost on points with two Ghanaian judges giving the score in favour of Amoako.

The scorecard read: (112 – 118) and (113–114)). A neutral judge from Mali ruled a stalemate (113-113) – thus giving the challenger a majority decision.

Tobias, who did not accompany his boxer to the Ghanaian capital Accra, is fuming and believes Haikali could have retained the belt had the referee not erred.

“The referee made a grave mistake because he (Haikali) was in full motion peppering his opponent with a combination of punches when suddenly the bell rang. The referee had no business ordering a point to be sliced off, let alone caution the boxer,” fumed Tobias.

Tobias says if that point had stood, Haikali could have been declared the winner by virtue of being the defending champion with the scorecard reading: 113-118, 114 –113 and 114-114.

“These sorts of hometown decisions are seriously hampering the progress of professional boxing on the African continent and unless something is done to remedy this nasty practice – boxing will die a natural death in Africa”

Haikali had previously beaten the Ghanaian in Accra on points in defence of his title and had defended the belt he won in 2009, successfully on no less than five occasions. His record now stands at 10 wins, 5 losses with three stoppages from 15 bouts in the paid ranks.

The fight was the main supporting bout for the WBO Africa light heavyweight Braimah Kamoko title defence against Homza Wandera, at the International Conference Centre in Accra, last Saturday. Kamoko retained the belt.

“We humbly requested the promoters to appoint neutral judges because we knew we were not going to get a fair deal from the Ghanaian judges, but the promoters were steadfast that it would be too costly to fly in judges from other countries,” added a furious Tobias.


Story by Carlos Kambaekwa



Earlier today in Las Vegas, Nevada, budding prospect-turned-contenders ‘Lightning’ Lonnie Smith and NABO lightweight champion Sharif ‘The Lion’ Bogere engaged in some fast-paced sparring at The Fight Capital Gym right off of Interstate 15.

Bogere, a native of Uganda now living and training out of Vegas, is one of Golden Boy Promotions’ prized young hopefuls and is eyeing a February 25th return on the undercard of the Marcos Maidana-Devon Alexander HBO showcase in St. Louis, Missouri. The 23-year old lightweight possesses a 21-0 record with 13 knockouts and is trained by the respected Kenny Adams.

Smith too has a fight just weeks away as he is eyeing a March 3rd assignment with Woodland, California’s Vicente Escobedo. Fighting at 130 pounds, Smith now holds a 14-2-2 mark with ten knockouts and has reeled off nine wins in a row.

The action was brisk right from the start as Smith began applying his trademark pressure while Bogere boxed and attempted to counter.

Things got a little sloppy and heated on a few occasions as the two fighters wrestled with one another, almost to the point where they had to be separated in the second round.

It was rigorous work for both sides and you could sense the respect coming from each man despite the frantic pace of the rounds.

Trainer and cut man Miguel Diaz was in the building working with heavyweight prospect Andy Ruiz and stuck around to watch the action from ringside.

“Two young fighters like Lonnie and Sharif, you can see the difference in the weight, the five pounds difference,” Diaz coined of Bogere, who has fought as high as 139 pounds as a pro. “You can see that when Sharif receives the punches, his body is, how do I put it, real hard. It was good work.”

Last month Diaz had one of his latest pupils, Cuba’s Rances Barthelemy, sparring with Smith in advance of his February 3rd victory over Hylon Williams Jr.

Lonnie went at Barthelemy with reckless abandon during their time in the ring and Diaz would be the last person to underestimate the aggressive Smith, regardless of who he is squaring up with.

“When you work with Lonnie you got to be ready, otherwise he’s all over you,” said Diaz


By Chris Robinson







If all goes as expected, Juan Manuel Marquez will return to the ring on April 21 undefeated Argentinean César Cuenca (42-0, 1KO) in Morelia, Chiapas or Cancun. A source indicates the possibility of a vacant WBO junior welterweight title being at stake, although it’s not exactly clear if the belt at stake will be the interim or the full title.

The current WBO champion, Timothy Bradley, will move up to the welterweight division to challenge the WBO champion at 147, Manny Pacquiao, on June 9th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Cuenca is ranked at number 1 by the WBO at 140, and Marquez is the WBO champion at 135.

“All I know is that I’m fighting on April 21, but I don’t know the opponent or the opponent. But if [the opponent] is Cuenca, then I’ll have to look for him on Youtube, because honestly I don’t know him and I’ve never seen him fight,” Marquez said.

“Going by his record, I believe that he’ll be difficult, a good boxer and fast. If he’s ranked in the first position [by the WBO], he must have done something.”

Marquez expects to fight three times in 2012, including a fight in July and then another contest in the fall – which he hopes is a fourth meeting with Pacquiao.


By Salvador Rodriguez

Salvador Rodriguez covers boxing in Mexico for The Record.



Juan Manuel Marquez, the world lightweight champion of the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Organization is gearing up to return to the Romanza Gym in Mexico. He plans to return on April 21 in Mexico City, possibly against former champion David Diaz – but makes it clear that his April fight with Diaz is far from done. He wants to secure a fourth fight with Manny Pacquiao in the fall and says “I will not wait forever.”

Pacquiao recenty signed to defend his WBO welterweight title against Timothy Bradley on June 9 in Las Vegas.

If Pacquiao does not give him a fight in the fall, Marquez plans to close out his career in 2012.

“My plans are already set. This is my last year in boxing, and if the fight with Pacquiao gets done, the that’s great, but I will not wait around until he chooses to do it. If we fight, fine. Otherwise, my retirement has already been decided,” Marquez said.

“It’s possible that my next fight will take place on April 21 in Mexico City against David Diaz, but that is still only a possibility.”

Nacho Beristain, Juan’s manager and trainer added – [Pacquiao’s stock] plunged after what Juan did to him. I think that he wants the fight against.


By Ernesto Castellanos & Miguel Rivera, notifight.com



CAGUAS, PUERTO RICO – Showing a good physical condition, the former two time world champion Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez and regional champions Jonathan “Polvo” Oquendo and Jose “Chelo” González, weighed in below the required limits for their fights on March 10 at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The event is being staged by Top Rank, in association with PR Best Boxing Promotions (PRBBP ), Zanfer Promotions, and the Municipality of San Juan, and will be broadcast on Showtime.

In the main event Lopez (31-1, 28 KOs) faces the 126-pound World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion Orlando “Siri” Salido (37-11-2, 25 KOs) in a rematch. Lopez, 28, came in at 143-pounds before the Boxing Commission of Puerto Rico (CBPPR). The allowed max was 144.9.

For its part, Oquendo (22-2, 15 KOs), currently the WBO Latino junior featherweight at 122, defends against an opponent to be determined over 10 rounds. He came in at 137.7 pounds of a 140.3 max.

Meanwhile, Gonzalez (18-0, 13 KOs) will defend his WBO Latino lightweight title against an opponent to be announced, also over 10 rounds, and he weighed in at 152.8 pounds of a maximum of 155.25.


Lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez is waiting for a contract that guarantees him a fourth meeting with Manny Pacquiao. Discussions are ongoing for Marquez to take a fight in March or April, possibly in Cowboys Stadium against WBA/IBF 140-pound champion Lamont Peterson. WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao is going to return on June 9th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, with WBO 140-pound champion Timothy Bradley in the other corner.

Before Marquez commits to any move, he wants a contract agreement that guarantees him a November fight with Pacquiao [or the winner of Pacquiao’s June fight].

“Before I accept an agreement, it must include a fight against Pacquiao. Otherwise I will not sign it. I will not serve as a stepping stone for others,” Marquez said.

Juan Manuel had started training last week, but a minor bout with the flu put an end to his training. He plans to return to camp next week.

“Next week I’ll return to the gym and see what they say. Fortunately for me, I’m a free agent and I have no commitments to anyone,” Marquez said.


By Ernesto Castellanos, notifight.com


Billy Nelson, the trainer for WBO lightweight interim champion Ricky Burns (33-2, 9 KO’s), sees Burns stopping former WBA World lightweight champion Paulus Moses (28-1, 19 KO’s) in their big fight on March 10th at the Braehead Arena in Glascow, Scotland.

 Burns, 28, is an unlikely person to be knocking out a tough fighter like Moses. Burns is going to have problems enough just trying to beat Moses, let alone knock him out like Nelson is predicting.

Nelson told the heraldscotland.com “Moses is a very good fighter. His style is completely different to [Michael] Katsidis, but world class fighters have the ability to adapt and I expect Ricky to stop him.”

So the light hitting Burns is going to stop a hard hitter like Moses, eh?

Is Nelson serious about that or what? Burns hasn’t had what you’d call genuine knockout since he stopped Michael Gomez in the 7th round in March 2009. I know Burns got a 1st round knockout credit for his fight with Nicky Cook last year in July when Cook’s back seized up on him in the first seconds of the fight in what turned out to be one of the funniest and worst match-ups I’ve ever seen before.

But Burns is hardly a knockout puncher and if he tries to punch with Moses, he’s going to be playing directly into his hands and will be making it too easy for him to stop Burns and take his precision interim strap. I figure Moses will win anyway by knockout but Burns will make it all the easier if he tries to follow Nelson’s instructions by shooting for a knockout over Moses.

I think Burns and Nelson haven’t see Moses fight and don’t realize what a great left hook and jab this guy has got. Moses can really punch and has got excellent hand speed and size. Moses, 5’8”, isn’t as tall as the 5’10” Burns but he’s got a 2 ½” reach advantage over the Scottish Burns, so he might as well be the taller man.


By Scott Gilfoid: