A new chapter will be added to the classic Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry on Saturday, November 13, as Jaime Munguia (37-0, 30 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico, will put his undefeated record and WBO Intercontinental Middleweight title on the line when he faces off against the Borinquen warrior “King” Gabriel Rosado (26-13-1, 15 KOs) of Philadelphia, Penn. Fight fans, clamoring for an all-out war between two of the most exciting warriors in the division, will get to see a 12-round ‘Fight of the Year’ contender, live exclusively on DAZN worldwide, excluding Mexico.

Additional information on the event will be announced.

“This fight will be full of non-stop action. It will be a war that fight fans will enjoy and a new exciting chapter in the classic Mexico vs. Puerto Rico boxing rivalry,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman, and CEO of Golden Boy. “Both fighters are coming off of spectacular performances and knock-out victories that showed their power, speed, and resilience. Jaime Munguia is a super-star; he has all the elements that make a fighter great. He’s already conquered the junior middleweight division and is on his way to conquer the middleweight division. But this is going to be a big test for him because Gabriel Rosado is a dangerous fighter, he has never backed down from a challenge. He has faced and gone the distance with some of the toughest fighters in the middleweight division. This is truly a ‘Fight of the Year’ contender, a fight that fans will remember for years to come.”

“As always, Golden Boy continues to deliver world-class matchmaking in what’s set to be a brilliant night of boxing in November between Jaime Munguia and Gabriel Rosado,” said Ed Breeze, EVP Rights at DAZN. “After a clinical performance against Szeremeta in June, Munguia puts it all on the line again, this time against a fan favorite and one of the toughest men in the sport of boxing, Gabriel Rosado. We cannot wait to bring this fight to fans around the world, live exclusively on DAZN.”

“Rosado is a dangerous fighter with a lot of experience,” said Munguia. “He is a formidable rival that we have to prepare to be stronger and more intelligent in the ring. He has had the opportunity to fight with great fighters, the best in the middleweight division. I am going to give this fight 100% and as always, give a great fight for fans on November 13.”

“I’m excited about this fight. It’s a fight in high demand,” said Rosado. “I respect Munguia as a fighter and I will bring my best and I am confident I will be victorious. My last fight I think will end up being ‘Knock-out of the Year,’ and I plan on making this upcoming bout ‘The Fight of the Year.’ Time to make history. Team KGR!!”

Ranked as one of the top middleweights in the world, Jaime Munguia will have a big challenge in facing “King” Gabriel Rosado. One of the most exciting fighters to come out of Tijuana, Mexico, Munguia is a rising boxing super-star in the middleweight division. He has already conquered the junior middleweight division with a former world title and five defenses against Liam “Beefy” Smith, Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook, Takeshi Inoue, Dennis Hogan, and Patrick Allotey. Now, Munguia hopes to continue his undefeated streak as he trains under the tutelage of Hall of Famer Erik “El Terrible” Morales as he continues to climb the ranks and prove he is the best at 160lbs.

“King” Gabriel Rosado (26-13-1, 15 KOs) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is coming off of a sensational knock-out victory over the former undefeated fighter Bektemir “Bully” Melikuziev. The Philadelphia fighter of Puerto Rican descent has never backed down from a fight and has delivered some of the most memorable battles in the sport, facing some of the toughest fighters in the division. His experience has prepared him for the upcoming test, as he takes on Munguia on November 13 and hopefully claim the WBO Intercontinental Middleweight title.

Munguia vs. Rosado is a 12-round fight for the WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Title presented by Golden Boy in association with Zanfer Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate “The Official Beer of Boxing,” Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle,” and “BetOnline – Your Online Sportsbook Experts.” The fight will take place on Saturday, November 13, live exclusively on DAZN worldwide, excluding Mexico.

Mexico’s fighting cowboy is ready to roll into San Diego. Two-division kingpin Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete will defend his WBO featherweight world title against mandatory challenger Joet Gonzalez on Friday, Oct. 15 at Pechanga Arena San Diego.

In the 10-round welterweight co-feature, San Diego native Giovani Santillan makes his first hometown appearance in more than seven years against Angel “Relampago” Ruiz, the southpaw windmill from Culiacán, Mexico.

Navarrete-Gonzalez and Santillan-Ruiz will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ starting at approximately 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT. The undercard — also streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+ — will feature middleweight prospect Javier “Milwaukee Made” Martinez (4-0, 2 KOs) in a six-rounder, undefeated 2016 Mexican Olympian Lindolfo Delgado (13-0, 12 KOs) in an eight-rounder at junior welterweight, and an eight-round junior lightweight battle between rising Puerto Rican prospect Henry “Moncho” Lebron (13-0, 9 KOs) and noted spoiler Manuel Rey Rojas (21-5, 6 KOs).

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets starting at $55 go on sale Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased by visiting AXS.com.

“Emanuel Navarrete never disappoints, as he’s a true Mexican warrior who fights in a crowd-pleasing style,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Joet Gonzalez earned his position as the mandatory challenger, and he has everything it takes to give Navarrete a formidable challenge. I am also thrilled that Giovani Santillan will get an opportunity to fight in front of the hometown fans in an excellent fight against Angel Ruiz.”

Navarrete (34-1, 29 KOs) is 8-0 with six knockouts in world title fights, a busy championship run that began in December 2018 with his dominant decision over Isaac Dogboe to win the WBO junior featherweight world title. Following five title defenses in nine months, Navarrete moved up to featherweight and bested Ruben Villa by unanimous decision last October to win the WBO world title. He defended that title in April and knocked out Christopher Diaz in the 12th round. Gonzalez (24-1, 14 KOs) fell short in his first world title opportunity in October 2019, losing a decision to pound-for-pound star Shakur Stevenson. He returned last September and handed a one-sided beating to three-time world title challenger Miguel Marriaga to earn his WBO No. 1 ranking.

“I am focused on winning this fight and defending my world title for the second time. I know that Joet Gonzalez is a good fighter. I respect him and he is also my mandatory challenger, but I am the champion, and I will show him why. This belt isn’t going anywhere,” Navarrete said. “I hope that my Mexican fans will support me in San Diego, and my fans from Tijuana can also come to the fight. I will give them a great fight, and it will be a great victory for all my Mexican people.”

Gonzalez said, “I am excited and thankful to receive a second world title opportunity, this time against a great Mexican warrior like Navarrete. I know I have what it takes to become a world champion, and I will show the world that on Oct. 15. No disrespect to Navarrete, but this is my time.”

Puerto Rico’s Amanda Serrano will defend her 126-pound world titles on Sunday, August 29, at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, located in the city of Cleveland.

Her fight will be part of a Showtime pay-per-view card, which features a cruiserweight main event with social media star Jake Paul colliding with former UFC champion Tyron Woodley.

In the month of March, Serrano put away Daniela Bermudez by knockout. She then came back in the month of June, in mixed martial arts, to defeat Valentina Garcia by submission in just 60 seconds.

Serrano (40-1-1, 30 KOs) will defend the titles of the WBO, WBC and IBO against Mexico’s Yamileth Mercado (18-2, 5 KOs) – the current WBC super bantamweight world champion (122 pounds).

“I’m happy with these blessings that God has given me,” said Serrano. “I want to thank Yamileth Mercado for accepting the fight since her compatriot Erika Cruz (WBA 126-pound champion) didn’t dare. Anyway, I’m sure Yamileth and I can steal the show on August 29 with this great war between Mexico and Puerto Rico.

“Yamileth and I have a common opponent and that is Fatuma Zarika. We have both faced her twice and all of the fights were strong. I was able to beat equipoise apilado con otros esteroides her both times and then she was crowned world champion – until Yamileth won the title from her in a rematch.”

Next up for Top Rank Boxing, Two undefeated junior welterweight kings, one undisputed WBO title. The stakes don’t get any higher.

Unified WBO champion #JoseRamirez, the pride of California’s Central Valley, will fight Scotland’s IBF/WBA champion #JoshTaylor for the undisputed world championship Saturday, May 22. The winner will become only the second undisputed junior welterweight champion of the four-belt era, joining pound-for-pound great Terence “Bud” Crawford.

Promoted by Top Rank, #RamirezTaylor will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (and simulcast on ESPN+) starting at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. live from Las Vegas’ newest world-class casino resort, Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, part of Curio Collection by Hilton, owned by JC Hospitality, LLC.

Congratulations to Unified WBO Super Middleweight Champion Saúl ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs), who defeated Billy Joe Saunders (30-1, 14 KOs) by 8th-round TKO @ AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas.

Canelo was gaining ground from the seventh round, after a very competitive first half of the fight, against a capable Billy Joe Saunders, before 73,126 crazed fans.

At the end of the fight, Canelo was winning on the three judges’ scorecard, with points of 78-74 (Feldman), 77-75 (Cheatham) and 78-74 (DeLuca).

#AndStill Congratulations to WBO Jr. Flyweight World Champion Elwin ‘Pulga’ Soto, who defeated Katsunari Takayama, via 9th-round TKO @ AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas.

Champion Elwin Soto had to work hard to deal with the fine and experienced boxing of 38-year-old Takayama, who was rising in the ranks, after reigning five times as the minimum world champion.

Takayama received numerous highly committed power shots to the head and body, but he always stayed in the fight, shooting from different angles, with constant speed and movement.

WEIGH-IN Result:
Emanuel Navarrete 126 lbs vs.Christopher Diaz 125.8 lbs
(Navarrete’s WBO Featherweight World Title — 12 Rounds)

Judges: Chris Flores, Alexander Levin, and Patricia Morse Jarman
Referee: Samuel Burgos

(ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT)

Photos by M.Williams / Top Rank

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.”

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.

Mexican great Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete, boxing’s busiest world champion, is set to kick off his 2021 campaign by reviving a long-standing pugilistic rivalry. Navarrete will make his first defense of the WBO featherweight world title Saturday, April 24 against Puerto Rican contender Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Fla.

In the co-feature, super middleweight Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga, 16-0, with 16 first-round stoppages, will step up in class against Demond Nicholson in a bout scheduled for eight rounds (or much less).

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with All Star Boxing and Zanfer Promotions, Navarrete-Diaz and Berlanga-Nicholson will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, with undercard bouts to stream live and exclusively on ESPN+. Ticket information will be announced shortly.

“The sensational Emanuel Navarrete wanted a formidable opponent for his first featherweight title defense, and Christopher Diaz fits the bill,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “We are also thrilled to have Edgar Berlanga back on ESPN, as he is the most devastating young puncher I’ve seen in ages.”

Navarrete (33-1, 28 KOs) burst onto the world scene in December 2018, battering Isaac Dogboe over 12 rounds to win the WBO junior featherweight world title. He is 7-0 since then, including five title defenses, all by stoppage. Navarrete moved up to featherweight and picked up the vacant WBO world title last October with a unanimous decision over the previously undefeated Ruben Villa. Diaz (26-2, 16 KOs) is not unbeaten, but he is battle-tested, having challenged Masayuki Ito for the WBO junior lightweight world title in July 2018. He lost to Ito by unanimous decision and has gone 3-1 since moving down to featherweight. Diaz rebounded from a 2019 points loss to Shakur Stevenson, besting former world title challenger Jason Sanchez over 10 rounds last June inside the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble.

“I am a fighter who likes to face the best, and my challenge now is to beat the tough ‘Pitufo’ Diaz,” Navarrete said. “I know he is a good fighter, and I am sure we will give a great show to the people of Florida and to those watching us fight on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+. On April 24, I will show that I am the best featherweight in the world. I will not let him take my championship to Puerto Rico. That belt will stay with me in San Juan Zitlaltepec, Mexico.”

Diaz said, “I have once again been given an opportunity to become a world champion, but there is something very different this time around. I will not fail. I will bring that much-needed world title to Puerto Rico. This is my time to become a world champion. God knows how much I have sacrificed and how much I have evolved. I live today to make my family happy, and it is time to change their lives. On April 24, there is no doubt that I will become world champion, and I will see you all on April 25 when I return to my island as world champion.”

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.”

Mexican star Jaime Munguia (36-0, 29 KOs) retained his WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Championship by defeating Tureano Johnson (21-3-1, 15 KOs) of Nassau, Bahamas at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino and live on DAZN. The fight ended in abrupt fashion after an uppercut from Munguia caused a severe cut on Johnson’s lip, which earned him the knockout win at the send of the sixth round.

“I’m delighted to get the victory,” said Jaime Munguia. “He surprised us early in the fight. He has a style that makes one very uncomfortable. But my corner told me to adjust and find my distance. Then I found the right uppercut. I saw that he had gotten cut from it, and then it was just a matter of time. I am ready for all the best fighters of my division.”

Elwin “La Pulga” Soto (18-1, 12 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico retained his WBO Junior Flyweight World Title against Carlos Buitrago (32-6-1, 18 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua via 12-round unanimous decision. Soto won with scores of 115-113, 117-111 and 119-109.

“I’m very happy to walk away with the victory,” said Elwin Soto. “I tried pressure as much as I good to score a win. These are the kind of tough fights you are in when a world title is at stake. His style was difficult for me, but I felt I did enough to win.”

For the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Super Middleweight Championship Bektemir Melkuziev (6-0, 5 KOs) defeated Alan Campa (17-5, 11 KOs) via 3rd-round KO.

Photos by Tom Hogan / Golden Boy Boxing

LAS VEGAS (October 9, 2020) — New weight class, same buzzsaw. Former junior featherweight world champion Emanuel Navarrete defeated Ruben Villa via unanimous decision (115-111 and 114-112 2X) to win the vacant WBO featherweight world title Friday evening from the MGM Grand Las Vegas Conference Center.

Navarrete (33-1, 28 KOs), who made five defenses of his WBO junior featherweight world title, is now a two-weight world champion.

Navarrete knocked down Villa in the first and fourth rounds to build a healthy lead on the scorecards. Villa (18-1, 5 KOs), a slick southpaw boxer, did not have the power to keep the all-pressure Navarrete honest. He did, however, find a rhythm in the fight’s closing stages and nearly did enough in the minds of the judges to salvage a draw.

Navarrete said, “I knew that Villa was a fighter that moved a lot, and I knew that he was going to move even more once he felt my power. I didn’t get the knockout, but I got the victory.

“I’m very happy with this championship. It’s a reflection of all the sacrifices and all the hard work I put in. I conquered my second weight class because of all that hard work.

“I have my sights set on all the world champions at 126. I would love to face {Josh} Warrington. I think that our styles will make for a great fight.”

Qazaq Style Thunder

Middleweight contender Janibek “Qazaq Style” Alimkhanuly brought the thunder. The 2016 Olympian improved to 9-0 with a devastating second-round knockout over Gonzalo Coria (16-4, 6 KOs), who had never been stopped as a professional. An overhand left from the southpaw knocked Coria down and nearly through the ropes. The full count was not needed, as Alimkhanuly upped his knockout streak to three.

Alimkhanuly said, “I want to fight a world champion soon, like Demetrius Andrade and Jermall Charlo. Canelo, of course. Top Rank promotes Ryota Murata at 160. I want to fight him as well. Whoever the top guys are 160, I want them next.”

Photos by M. Williams / Top Rank

LAS VEGAS (October 7, 2020) —Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete has won 27 consecutive bouts. Ruben Villa has never lost as a professional. Something will give Friday evening (ESPN, 10 p.m. ET), when the two battle for the vacant WBO featherweight world title, which became available after Shakur Stevenson moved up to the junior lightweight ranks.

The ESPN-televised co-feature will see Kazakh middleweight phenom Janibek Alimkhanuly against Gonzalo Coria in a 10-rounder. Undercard bouts, including middleweight prospect Lorenzo “Truck” Simpson against Sonny Duversonne and junior welterweight puncher Elvis “The Dominican Kid” Rodriguez against Cameron Krael, will stream live on ESPN+ at 7:15 p.m. ET.

Navarrete (32-1, 28 KOs) reigned as WBO junior featherweight world champion and became boxing’s most active world champion. He made five defenses of the title he won from Isaac Dogboe in a nine-month span and most recently knocked out Uriel Lopez in a June non-title bout in Mexico City.

Villa (18-0, 5 KOs), from Salinas, Calif, earned this title shot with wins over the likes of Alexei Collado and Jose Enrique Vivas, but Navarrete represents a giant step up in class. Villa fights for his Salinas Valley home region, which has been ravaged by wildfires in recent months. The poor air quality has forced him to wear a mask during roadwork. The field workers are still out there, providing Villa with ample motivation as he awaits his first world title opportunity.

At Wednesday’s press conference, this is what Navarrete and Villa had to say.

Emanuel Navarrete

“With the current situation and the camp we’ve had, {my team} has done a great job. We’ve worked through it, and we’re ready for this match.”

“My body is doing a lot better. I’m growing a little bit more. It was getting a little bit difficult making 122, but now going up to 126, I think I’m more prepared for that.”

“For now, we’re pretty much ready. We’re ready for this weight. We’re ready for this fight on Friday night, so I think we’re ready to go with what we have. After this fight, we’re going to keep moving forward.”

Ruben Villa

“There have been a couple of restrictions and stuff due to COVID, but I’ve been in the gym, I’ve been active. It hasn’t gotten in the way of me training and my team’s training. Yeah, we trained hard, another hard camp, and we’re ready for Friday night.”

“My last couple of fights, they’ve been aggressive guys who come to beat me and think they’re going to get me off my game plan. But I adapted well. We always had good game plans and stuck to game plans, and now we’re here fighting for a world title. I feel like I’m ready. I feel like he’s beatable, and my style is the one to do it.”

“He’s an aggressive guy who throws 100 punches a round. I feel like it’s just going to bring the best out of me to do my job as well as I can.

“I feel like you’re going to see a bigger and better Ruben Villa this Friday.”

“Running with the mask on, seeing the field workers working during the pandemic and fires, it’s just another motivation for me to win this fight and bring Salinas its first world title. I just can’t wait to show you guys what I got.”

“I want to see the best Ruben Villa. I haven’t even seen him yet. I feel like Navarrete will bring it out of me. I’m just excited to perform and, like I said, show you guys what I got. I feel like I’ve been slept on. Maybe a lot of people think I don’t belong here, but I’m going to show everyone I’m an elite 126 fighter. Yeah, I’m coming to win and coming to fight.”

Photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

El viernes 30 de octubre, dos mexicanos de la cuadra de Promociones Zanfer encabezarán una explosiva función en Indio, California, en ruta a conquistar sus metas inmediatas, y confirmar su posición en la élite del boxeo mundial en sus respectivas divisiones.

Los bajacalifornianos Jaime Munguía y Elwin Soto sostendrán peleas de alto nivel, en una función a puerta cerrada que será transmitida por DAZN y que se podrá ver en territorio mexicano el sábado 31 de octubre por Azteca 7, la Casa del Boxeo.

Munguía (35-0-0, 28 ko’s), actual campeón Intercontinental de la OMB, enfrentará al ex olímpico originario de Bahamas, Tureano Johnson (21-2-1, 15 ko’s), en una pelea de alta exigencia a 10 rounds en peso Medio.

Munguía, ex campeón mundial Superwelter OMB con cinco defensas realizadas, ya peleó en peso Medio el pasado mes de enero, y noqueó en 11 rounds a Gary O’Sullivan.

Johnson, que llegó a cuartos de final en los Juegos Olímpicos de Beijing 2008 (ganó los combates de las dos rondas preliminares) representando a Bahamas, ya fue campeón Internacional Medio AMB, y las dos derrotas que aparecen en su récord han sido ante rivales de élite, como Curtis Stevens y Sergiy Derevyachenko.

La otra pelea estelar tendrá al campeón mundial Minimosca OMB, Elwin “Pulga” Soto (17-1-0, 12 ko’s) que expondrá su título por segunda ocasión, enfrentándose al nicaragüense Carlos Buitrago (32-5-1, 18 ko’s), en lo que será la pelea de más alta exigencia para el peleador mexicano, pero valiosa en su intención de unificar campeonatos.

Soto, que abrió su campamento de entrenamiento en Los Ángeles, para continuarlo en su natal San Felipe, y lo cerrará desde el día 15 de nuevo en Los Ángeles, conquistó el título en junio de 2019 noqueando en el round 12 al boricua Ángel Acosta, y lo defendió cuatro meses después frente al filipino Edward Heno, al que superó por puntos.

Sin embargo, su rival es de gran experiencia y fogueo internacional, ex campeón mundial Juvenil y ex campeón Fedecentro, Latino, Norteamérica NABA y tres veces contendientes a campeonato mundial, ha combatido, además de en su natal Nicaragua, en plazas de Estados Unidos, México, Filipinas, Tailandia, Japón, Puerto Rico y Costa Rica y se ha enfrentado a rivales de la talla de Julián Yedras, Merlito Sabilo, Thammanoon Niyomtrong, Mario Rodríguez, Hiroto Kyoguchi, el propio Ángel Acosta, McWilliams Arroyo y Félix Moncada, por lo que la “lona recorrida” estará a su favor.

Para Munguía, la meta es disputar un campeonato mundial Medio a corto plazo, y las opciones son Jermall Charlo (CMB), Ryoto Murata (AMB), Gennady Golovkin (FIB) y Demetrius Andrade (OMB), además, desde luego, del “Canelo” Álvarez, en su status de “súper campeón”.

Para Soto, unificar su campeonato mundial Minimosca OMB, en una división donde los otros campeones son Kenshiro Teraji (CMB), Carlos Canizalez (AMB regular), Hiroto Kyoguchi (AMB súper) y Félix Alvarado (FIB).

Mexico’s rising middleweight star Jaime Munguia (35-0, 28 KOs) will return to the ring to defend his WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Championship against Tureano Johnson (21-2-1, 15 KOs) in a 12-round battle on Friday, October 30 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. The fight will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.

Additional information for this card will be announced shortly. The event will be closed to the public and media.

“Jaime Munguia has all the qualities to become Mexico’s biggest boxing superstar,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman, and CEO of Golden Boy.

“He’s tough, charismatic, and has the physique to win world titles at both middleweight and super-middleweight after a successful reign at 154 pounds. However, Tureano Johnson is coming off an impressive knockout win against Jason Quigley in which he handed him his first loss, something he definitely wants to do against Munguia as well.

This is a veritable crossroads fight, and the winner will cement his case for a world title opportunity and be a threat to any of the champions.”

Munguia is a 23-year-old contender of Tijuana, Mexico, who catapulted to the highest levels of the 154-pound division by knocking out Sadam “World Kid” Ali in May to capture the WBO Junior Middleweight World Title. Munguia then defended his title against Liam “Beefy” Smith, Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook, Takeshi Inoue, Dennis Hogan, and Patrick Allotey.

After five defenses at junior middleweight, Munguia moved up to 160 pounds to capture the WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Title against Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan. Now, he’ll face his toughest test to date against a battle-tested warrior Johnson.

“It’s a great honor to be returning during these tough times,” said Jaime Munguia. “I hope to deliver excitement and entertainment to the fans as the world begins to make its return to normalcy slowly. At the same time, I have been training and improving my skills with my team at the Ceremonial Center in Otomi [Mexico], and I will show everyone that Jaime Munguia is ready for the best in the division.”

“I am very happy and excited,” said Fernando Beltran, CEO of Zanfer Promotions. “With so many issues that are taking place on a global level, it is an honor to have the most charismatic boxer in Mexico in Jaime Munguia returning to the ring.”

Johnson is a 36-year-old contender who hopes to fight for a world title despite some setbacks in his career. Johnson’s only losses were against Curtis “The Cerebral Assassin” Stevens and Sergiy “The Technician” Derevyanchenko. After a very tough battle against Fernando “El Huracan” Castaneda in February, the native of Nassau, Bahamas bounced back by handing Jason Quigley his first loss and capturing the NABF Middleweight Title. Johnson is eager to show everyone that he is world championship caliber.

“I am excited about the opportunity to fight Jaime Munguia,” said Tureano Johnson. “The setbacks I have had in my career have only made me stronger. Munguia is a tough undefeated fighter, but I will hand him his first defeat as I pursue my quest to be the middleweight champion of the world.”

Munguia vs. Johnson is a 12-round fight for the WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Title presented by Golden Boy in association with Zanfer Promotions. Hennessy sponsors the event “Never Stop. Never Settle” and “BetOnline – Your Online Sportsbook Experts.” The fight will take place on Friday, October 30, at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.

PHILADELPHIA, PA/ / ORANGE, CA. (Sept. 21, 2020) – On Friday night, October 9th, undefeated WBO number-two ranked featherweight contender Ruben Villa (18-0, 5 KOs) gets his much-deserved world title shot when he takes on former WBO super bantamweight world champion, and WBO number-one ranked contender, Emanuel Navarrete (32-1, 28 KOs), in a battle for the WBO World Featherweight title.

Navarrete is undefeated in the last eight-years, which spans 27 fights.

The fight will take place at “The Bubble” inside the MGM Grand Conference Center, and will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

“I have been working my butt off since I was a little kid for this opportunity, and I just can’t wait to get in there and fight for the title,” said Villa, who is promoted by Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing. “Navarrete is a real aggressive Mexican fighter. He is coming to win. He was a former champion, and I am the underdog, but I have the style to beat him. We have kept the camp the same. We just treat it like it’s every other fight, just that this fight is for a world title. All my hard work is paying off. I am honored and excited to represent everyone who has supported me and my journey to become a world champion, and I plan on bringing the world title back to my home city of Salinas, California.”

“This is what we envisioned for Ruben when we signed him out of the amateurs, to be fighting for a world title,” said Artie Pelullo, President of Banner Promotions. “That opportunity has now arrived, and we expect Ruben to put on a great performance on October 9th and win the WBO Featherweight World Title. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Stephen Espinoza and Gordon Hall of Showtime for all their help with the development of Ruben’s career, by showcasing him on ShoBox that has helped get him ready for this fight.”

“Ruben Villa is a terrific fighter and has the ability to make his dream to become a world champion a reality. The hard work that Banner Promotions and us at Thompson Boxing have put on his career will surely pay off,” said Ken Thompson, CEO of Thompson Boxing. “Navarrete is a terrific champion and it will be a huge challenge for our fighter, but I’m sure Ruben will rise up to the occasion and make us all proud.”

Photo By Emily Harney / Banner Promotions

Congrats to the new WBO Youth Jr. Featherweight Champion Ricardo “Hindu” Espinoza (25-3 21 KO’s), who defeated Brandon “El Metrallo” Valdes (13-1 7 KO’s) via unanimous decision @ Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee. Scorecards: 97-93, 98-92 and 99-91. Boxeo Telemundo

Valdez-Velez, Berlanga-Eric Moon and Clavel-Natalie Gonzalez to be televised LIVE on ESPN & ESPN Deportes beginning at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT

LAS VEGAS — The first run of Top Rank on ESPN shows inside the MGM Grand “Bubble” will conclude with a certified boxing action hero ready for another toe-to-toe tussle.

Former featherweight world champion Oscar Valdez, ranked No. 1 by the WBO at junior lightweight, will face former world title challenger Jayson Velez in the 10-round main event Tuesday, July 21, inside the MGM Grand Conference Center.

In the eight-round co-feature, super middleweight knockout sensation Edgar Berlanga(13-0, 13 KOs), who has knocked out 13 consecutive foes in the first round to begin his pro career, will look to extend the streak against Eric Moon (11-2, 6 KOs).

The card also will highlight the long-awaited return of Kim Clavel, the undefeated light flyweight who won the 2020 Pat Tillman Award for Service at the ESPYs for her work as an elder care nurse in Montreal during the COVID-19 pandemic. Clavel, who is promoted by Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM), will fight fellow unbeaten Natalie Gonzalez in an eight-rounder.

Valdez-Velez, Berlanga-Moon, Clavel-Gonzalez, and undercard bouts will be televised live on ESPN & ESPN Deportes beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

“Oscar Valdez wants to fight WBC world champion Miguel Berchelt, and I know Miguel wants nothing more than to fight Oscar,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Oscar knows Jayson Velez is a serious challenge that he cannot overlook. This is a great main event, and an incredible deep card, to close out our first round of shows inside the ‘Bubble.’”

Valdez (27-0, 21 KOs) has won three fights since his March 2018 war of attrition against Scott Quigg, when his jaw was shattered in the fifth round of a 12-round championship bout. He took nearly one year off following the Quigg fight and moved up to the junior lightweight ranks last year. In his last outing, November 30 in Las Vegas, he survived a second-round knockdown to knock out Adam Lopez in the seventh.

Velez (29-6-1, 21 KOs), from Juncos, Puerto Rico, nearly won the IBF featherweight world title from Evgeny Gradovich in November 2014, but he was held to a controversial draw. He has fought from featherweight to lightweight in recent years and March 2018 knockout victory over former world champion Juan Manuel Lopez. Velez was one half of a Fight of the Year Contender in February, as he knocked down Jaime Arboleda in the 12th round, only to lose a split decision verdict by a single point on two of the judges’ scorecards. He has never been knocked out in a career that’s spanned nearly 13 years.

Valdez said, “I’m ready for the best of the division. I want to be a two-division world champion, and the only way to do that is to beat tough fighters like Jayson Velez, who has challenged for a world title and possesses a lot of experience. Also, I’m very thankful to be fighting during this critical time where the sport of boxing is getting attention again.”

“We know there have been discussions about me challenging Miguel Berchelt for his WBC super featherweight world title, but Velez is first. I need to beat Velez first if I want to fight Berchelt, and I’m expecting a very tough fight. I want to dedicate this fight to all of the nurses and doctors who are working hard on this pandemic and to my father, Top Rank, and my manager, Frank Espinoza. I can’t wait to return to the ring.”

Said Velez, “Oscar Valdez is the greatest name I have ever had the opportunity to face. He is a young, undefeated fighter who was already a world champion and is hungry for another world title. At this stage of my career, I see each fight as if it were the last chance to achieve my dream. It’s now or never. We are going to make that dream come true.”

Berlanga, the brash Brooklynite nicknamed “The Chosen One,” took care of Cesar Nunez in 2:45 last December on the Terence Crawford-Egidijus Kavaliauskas undercard at Madison Square Garden. Moon has won four of his last five and has been knocked out only once since turning pro in July 2016. He has fought eight or more rounds five times.

Said Berlanga, “I’ve not really changed much about training because of the knockout streak. Training is all about improving as a boxer. I had a good amateur career, and that comes from being a good technical boxer. My focus in training has been to continue to improve my skills under my trainer, Andre Rozier, and Team Havoc.”

Clavel (11-0, 2 KOs) is coming off a career-best win last December, a decision over Esmeralda Gaona Sagahon that earned her the NABF light flyweight belt. The belt won’t be on the line against Gonzalez (6-0, 1 KO), a native of New Rochelle, New York, who was a two-time New York Golden Gloves champion as an amateur.

In undercard action:

Former junior featherweight world champion Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe (20-2, 14 KOs), on the comeback trail following back-to-back defeats to Emanuel Navarrete, will face two-time world title challenger Chris “The Hitman” Avalos (27-7, 20 KOs) in an eight-round featherweight battle.

Elvis “The Dominican Kid” Rodriguez (7-0-1, 7 KOs), who is coming off a highlight-reel first-round KO July 2 against Danny Murray, will face Kenyan veteran Dennis Okoth (4-3-1, 2 KOs) in a six-rounder at junior welterweight.

Italian heavyweight destroyer Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello (7-0, 7 KOs) will aim to make it eight knockouts in as many fights against an opponent to be named in a six-rounder. Vianello, a 2016 Olympian, knocked out Don Haynesworth in one round June 9.

Raphael “Trouble” Igbokwe (14-2, 6 KOs), winner of two straight bouts, will fight Genc Pllana (8-1-1, 4 KOs) in an eight-round super middleweight bout originally scheduled for July 16.

Via Gardy López / Top Rank

Emanuel ‘Vaquero’ Navarrete has already made it clear that a fight against Japanese superstar Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue would keep him at 122 pounds for the moment. Now the Mexican champion assures that the ‘Monster’ would not have a lot of possibilities in victory against him since “he is very clam, soft” inside the ring.

The World Boxing Organization Jr. Featherweight World Champion reiterated his desire to face Inoue before moving up to featherweight.

Navarrete (32-1, 28 KOs) is coming off a stay-busy fight. He he defeated Uriel López on June 20 in Mexico City to secure his sixth victory since December 2018, when he beat Isaac Dogboe to be crowned champion.

“I would do well against Inoue, thanks to my ferocity and dedication. You guys saw Dogboe, who I can’t say is Inoue, but he was greatly feared at super bantamweight at the time and when I was told about the fight I took on the challenge knowing he had flaws and shortcomings. I used took my ferocity, my will and my come-forward punching,” said Navarrete to ESPN Deportes.

“Inoue, and I say this with much respect, I do not see a lot of possibilities of winning [against me], I view him as very docile, soft. I don’t think he can take what Dogboe put up with, and so it’s like a bonus. [Inoue] is fast and has good combinations, but Dogboe connected on me and he did not hurt me. Comparing them, I don’t give Inoue as many possibilities [to win]. ”

Inoue (19-0, 16 KO) is considered to be one of the best boxers in the world. He was scheduled to face WBO world champon John Riel Casimero in a unification fight before the coronavirus pandemic hit. That contest would have been his first under a promotional deal with Top Rank.

Via www.boxingnews24.com

Top Rank on ESPN: Joshua Greer Jr., Jose Pedraza and Emanuel Navarrete to Headline at MGM Grand and TV Azteca Studios

Greer-Mike Plania, Pedraza-Mikkel LesPierre and Navarrete-Uriel Lopez to top Week 2 cards LIVE on ESPN & ESPN Deportes

LAS VEGAS (June 9, 2020) — Don’t blink. Top Rank on ESPN’s summer schedule resumes with a trio of shows, commencing Tuesday, June 16, with the return of bantamweight contender Joshua “Don’t Blink” Greer Jr. in a 10-rounder against 23-year-old Filipino upstart Mike Plania at the MGM Grand Conference Center – Grand Ballroom in Las Vegas.

The action continues from MGM Grand Thursday, June 18, when former two-weight world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza will face former world title challenger Mikkel LesPierre in a 10-round super lightweight showdown.

Week 2 concludes Saturday, June 20, at TV Azteca Studios in Mexico City, when WBO junior featherweight world champion Navarrete will fight Uriel “Yuca” Lopez in a 10-round featherweight bout. Navarrete-Lopez will headline one of two June cards from TV Azteca Studios, which will be promoted by Top Rank in association with Zanfer Promotions.

All three Week 2 events will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (in Spanish), with start times to be announced shortly.

“It is exciting to see these great fighters back in action and in fights that promise to be action-packed,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Greer and Pedraza have tough opponents in front of them, but if they are victorious, we could see them in world title fights before the end of the year. Navarrete is the king of the 122-pounders, a throwback fighter who wants to stay as active as possible.”

June 16
MGM Grand Conference Center – Grand Ballroom

Main Event
Joshua Greer Jr. (22-1-1, 12 KOs) vs. Mike Plania (23-1, 12 KOs)
10 rounds, Bantamweight

Greer, the Chicago product who taunts potential KO victims with custom-made pillows, is knocking on the doorstep of a world title shot. He has won 19 fights in a row and is currently the WBO No. 1 contender at bantamweight. Plania, meanwhile, has won eight straight bouts since a March 2018 decision loss to Juan Carlos Payano, a fight that propelled Payano to a world title shot against pound-for-pound great Naoya Inoue.

“Whoever the opponent is, it doesn’t matter. I prepare the same,” Greer said. “Every fight is a world title fight for me. I’m ranked number one in the world, so I have to take advantage of this opportunity. ‘Mr. ESPN’ is back!”

Co-Feature
Antonio DeMarco (33-8-1, 24 KOs) vs. Giovani Santillan (25-0, 15 KOs)
10 rounds, Welterweight

Former lightweight world champion DeMarco, who is coming off a competitive decision loss to top contender Jamal James, represents a quantum leap in class for the 28-year-old Santillan. A native of San Diego who has stopped his last four opponents, Santillan hopes to become the first man to knock out DeMarco in nearly eight years. In his last bout, he overcame a nearly 19-month layoff to knock out Wilfrido Buelvas in two rounds.

Undercard

Nikoloz Sekhniashvili (5-0, 4 KOs), a 26-year-old who hails from the nation of Georgia, will make his 2020 debut against Detroit native Isiah Jones (8-1, 3 KOs) in a six-rounder at super middleweight. Sekhniashvili, trained by Javiel Centeno, is part of a deep stable of fighters that includes Puerto Rican phenom Xander Zayas and lightweight contender George Kambosos Jr.

Super featherweight prospect Edward Vazquez (7-0, 1 KO), from Fort Worth, Texas, will face an opponent to be named in a six-rounder.

Puerto Rican-born heavyweight Hector Perez (6-2, 3 KOs) will fight southpaw spoiler Juan Torres (5-2-1, 2 KOs), from Cypress, Texas, in a six-round bout. Torres has won two straight and has never been knocked out in a professional match.

June 18
MGM Grand Conference Center – Grand Ballroom

Main Event
Jose Pedraza (26-3, 13 KOs) vs. Mikkel LesPierre (22-1-1, 10 KOs)
10 rounds, Super Lightweight

Pedraza, who won world titles at junior lightweight and lightweight, is taking another run at the super lightweight division following last September’s decision loss to Jose “Chon” Zepeda. His opponent LesPierre challenged Maurice Hooker for a world title last year, dropping a unanimous decision. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brooklyn resident received deliveries and assisted doctors and nurses at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in Manhattan.

“I am very excited to finally return to the ring after this long break. During quarantine, I made adjustments and trained hard from home, Pedraza said. “Despite everything that is happening in the world, my team and I have had a great training camp. I have done many runs up the mountains in Cidra, Puerto Rico. I am now focused on giving the fans a great show on June 18 against Mikkel LesPierre. We know he is a world-class fighter, but I am, too, and I am determined to return to the top once again.”

“I’m excited and blessed to be a part of the first round of televised sports as we navigate through this pandemic,” LesPierre said. “Jose Pedraza is a good fighter and a former world champion, but I feel that I have the tools to beat him. It will be a great fight and an opportunity for me to take my career to the next level. The Maurice Hooker fight was just a taste of what the elite level is all about. I’m determined to get back to title contention. This fight is the first step toward that goal. I’m ready to go.”

Co-Feature
Gabriel Flores Jr. (17-0, 6 KOs) vs. Josec Ruiz (21-2-3, 14 KOs)
10 rounds, Lightweight

The 20-year-old Flores, fresh off a win on the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury 2 undercard, returns in his first scheduled 10-rounder. Flores, the Stockton, California native who signed with Top Rank when he was 16 years old, packed more than 10,000 spectators into the Stockton Arena last May to establish himself as one of the sport’s top regional ticket-sellers. Ruiz is unbeaten in his last 16 bouts.

Undercard

David “The Lion of Zion” Kaminsky (6-0, 3 KOs) will face noted spoiler Clay Collard (6-2-3, 2 KOs) in a six-rounder at super middleweight. Collard, who also is a veteran MMA pro, has defeated unbeaten prospects in his last two fights.

In four-round bouts each, Puerto Rican super featherweight Frevian Gonzalez (2-0, 1 KO) will fight an opponent to be named, while super lightweight Victor Rodriguez (2-0, 1 KO) will face Justin Horsley (0-1).

June 20
TV Azteca Studios

Main Event
Emanuel Navarrete (31-1, 27 KOs) vs. Uriel Lopez (13-13-1, 6 KOs)
10 rounds, Featherweight

Boxing’s most active world champion, Navarrete defended his title five times (all by KO) in nine months, most recently knocking out Jeo Santisima on the Wilder-Fury 2 Pay-Per-View undercard. Navarrete is fighting as a featherweight for the first time in nearly three years in what will be his sixth bout in 13 months. Lopez has a 2016 knockout victory over longtime Japanese contender Ryo Matsumoto.

Undercard action will feature Carlos “Chinito” Ornelas (25-2, 14 KOs), who will take on Edwin “Pupo” Palomares (12-3-1, 3 KOs) in a 10-rounder at featherweight. Featherweight prospect Sergio Chirino Sanchez (14-1, 8 KOs) will look to extend his winning streak to six against Gustavo Alan Pina (8-2, 5 KOs) in an eight-round bout.

Former interim world champion Silvia Torres (20-2-2, 7 KOs) will face 21-bout veteran Edith de Jesus Flores in an eight-rounder at light flyweight.

Mexico City-based flyweight prospect Ivan Armando Garcia (5-0, 3 KOs) will fight Roberto Palomares (5-4-1, 1 KO) in his first scheduled six-rounder.

“Sería como un reality show, con el número de personas que permitan las restricciones sanitarias gubernamentales”, explica Fernando Beltrán

La empresa Zanfer se encuentra analizando varias formas de poder hacer boxeo profesional en estos tiempos, donde la pandemia de la enfermedad del coronavirus está afectando a todos los sectores.

Entre los planes está hacer veladas a puerta cerrada, es decir, sin público, y hasta un reality show, donde sólo habría el número de personas que permitan las restricciones sanitarias indicadas por el gobierno.

Una vez que se pueda hacer boxeo profesional, con esas estrategias, se tiene pensado hasta hacer funciones en días consecutivos.

«Con nuestro aliado estratégico, que es TV Azteca, siempre hemos sido muy inquietos, muy creativos y, sinceramente, sí hemos pensado en hacer boxeo sin audiencia», reveló Fernando Beltrán, tras unos cuestionamientos hechos por reporteros de un medio de comunicación regional.

«También pensamos en darle a la gente, ahora que está en sus casas, no sé, concentrar a dos contendientes del mismo peso, a lo mejor, no que peleen, pero sí hacer un cuatro comparativo de la forma de trabajar de cada uno», agregó.

Fernando Beltrán recordó que no se había organizado peleas de boxeo profesional, debido a las restricciones del gobierno, pero, si este, en su momento accede a realizar eventos con determinada cantidad de personas, la empresa se adaptaría.

«Vamos a concentrarlo en las mismas instalaciones de Tv Azteca, y darle al público una especial de reality show, breve, de lo que come un boxeador, lo que se cuida, las sesiones de entrenamiento, preparación física, y eso viene a darle el conocimiento al aficionado y nos ayudaría a todos», enfatizó.

Los boxeadores que estén listos, primeros en regresar

Una vez que las autoridades de salud den “luz verde” para hacer eventos profesionales de boxeo, Zanfer estará regresando de inmediato con los boxeadores que estén listo para pelear, así lo adelantó Fernando Beltrán.

«El boxeo es un deporte de hambre de todo tipo, como siempre lo hemos dicho. Yo creo que los boxeadores que estén listos, serán los mayores beneficiados en cuanto termine esto de la pandemia de la enfermedad del coronavirus», comentó el CEO de Zanfer.

«Yo estoy seguro de que muchos boxeadores están entrenando en sus casas, se están preparando y, sinceramente, en cuanto las autoridades consideren que ya se pueden hacer eventos masivos, todo mundo vamos estar programando, y vamos a tener filas de boxeadores tratando de programar», agregó.

La Temporada 2020 de Zanfer arrancó el 11 de enero en San Antonio, Texas, donde el tijuanense Jaime Munguía demostró que no sólo fue un sólido campeón mundial Superwelter, sino que es un serio contendiente en la división de los pesos Medios, al hacer su presentación en las 160 libras y noquear en 11 rounds a Gary O´Sullivan.

Y su última velada, antes del paro de funciones, por órdenes del sector salud, fue en Tijuana, teniendo como pelea estelar la victoria de Omar Aguilar, por nocaut, ante David Alegría.

Por Balun Canan / http://semanariobaluncanan.com/

Four-Division titlist and former WBO Jr. Middleweight & Light Heavyweight World Champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, has joined the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, by making a donation to those fighting on the front line.

Canelo has displayed his good hearted nature on various occasions, as he gave his support to children with cancer, sick people and those affected in Mexico by an earthquake.

On this occasion, Canelo donated 950 personal protection kits for health workers at the Hospital Civil de Guadalajara who personally tends to Covid-19 infected citizens.

Jaime Andrade Villanueva, Director General of Guadalajara hospitals, was overwhelmed by the donation and announced that the world champion contributed KN95 masks, overalls, and eye goggles.

On May 7, 2005, one of my favorites fights of all time took place when Diego Corrales took on José Luis Castillo at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The 12 round lightweight contest was a unification bout as Corrales came into the fight as the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Champion who was of 39–2 with 32 knockouts at the time. Castillo came in at 52–6–1 with 46 knockouts and was the World Boxing Council (WBC) champion.

What happened once the bell rang not only later would become easily the Fight of the Year for 2005, it would become heralded as one of the greatest fights of all time.

Both men were willing to trade blows inside for the entire fight and was amazing action throughout. Corrales said before the fight, “This fight will be like two buffaloes colliding,” and let me tell you that this not only was that but then some as it played out like the real-life version of rock ’em, sock ’em robots.

The fight was an intense, bloody and ruthless match throughout the contest but will be enshrined in history for its te epic tenth round.

Within 30 seconds into the tenth round, Castillo hit Corrales on the button and was knocked down. Corrales spit out his mouthpiece and rose at the count of eight of referee Tony Weeks’ count. A few seconds later, Castillo knocked Corrales down again. Corrales once again took out his mouthpiece out and got back up at the count of nine.

Weeks would take away a point from Corrales for excessive spitting out of his mouthpiece.

When the fight resumed, Corrales would land what Castillo later called “a perfect right hand.” After that right, Corrales had Castillo against the ropes and landed numerous punches which visibly had Castillo out on his feet, causing Weeks to stop the fight.

The tenth and final round without question is not only remembered by those watching this slugfest but the amazing call of its conclusion by Steve Albert calling the blow by blow for Showtime alongside Al Bernstein.

“Unbelievable! Ebb and flow! They’re all standing here at Mandalay Bay! Corrales coming back after being on the canvas twice here in the 10th! Now, Castillo steps back! Corrales waning! Castillo’s in trouble! Weeks steps in and the fight is over! Corrales with a remarkable dramatic turnaround to win this fight! Unbelievable! Diego Corrales said he would go through hell before losing this fight. He may have.” — Steve Albert calling the end of the fight on Showtime.

A rematch of this fight took place on October 8, 2005, but was nowhere as close to capturing the magic of the first one and was shrouded in controversy as Corrales failed to make weight and made the match a non-title one. Corrales also was stopped in the fourth round by Castillo. A third one was set to happen but never took place.

On May 7, 2007, exactly two years after the first fight, Corrales died in a motorcycle accident. Castillo would continue to box before retiring in 2014.

Bernstein said on the broadcast it was “the single most extraordinary comebacks to win a round that has ever happened.”

It still is one of the greatest ones, I’ve ever witnessed.

If you have never seen this bout at all or haven’t seen it in a long time, enjoy this epic clash here. Trust me, this doesn’t disappoint.

Article by Marquis Johns / bigfightweekend.com
Photo via Showtime

FRESNO, Calif. (March. 9, 2020) — It took a little longer than expected, Unified WBO Junior Welterweight champion Jose Ramirez, the pride of California’s Central Valley, is set to return. Ramirez will defend his titles against mandatory challenger and former world champion Viktor “The Iceman” Postol Saturday, May 9 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, a short drive from Ramirez’s hometown of Avenal. Ramirez and Postol were set to fight Feb. 1 in China, but the bout was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Ramirez-Postol and a 10-round super lightweight battle between former two-weight world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza and surging 2008 U.S. Olympian Javier “El Intocable” Molina will be televised LIVE on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10 p.m. ET, with the undercard bouts scheduled to stream in English and Spanish on ESPN+ starting at 7 p.m. ET.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with TGB Promotions, tickets priced at $206, $131, $96, $66 and $31 go on sale Tuesday, March 10 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased at the Save Mart Center box office, Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

“We are pleased that Ramirez and Postol will finally fight May 9 from the great city of Fresno,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Viktor is a worthy mandatory challenger who earned his title shot, and Jose will be fully prepared to make a statement. And for Jose, this could be his last fight in Fresno for a long time, so I expect the Central Valley faithful to fill up the Save Mart Center for a special evening.”

Ramirez (25-0, 17 KOs) is one of two unified junior welterweight champions. He won the WBC world title in March 2018, prevailing via 12-round shootout against Amir Imam in New York City. He defended that belt twice before stepping up to fight Maurice Hooker in a highly anticipated title unification bout. In one of the best fights of 2019, Ramirez knocked out Hooker in six rounds. A 2012 U.S. Olympian, Ramirez has headlined at Save Mart Center five times previously and has drawn a total of 65,794 fans through the arena’s turnstiles. Last time he fought at Save Mart Center — February 2019 against Jose Zepeda — he drew a career-high turnout of 14,034.

“It is always a blessing to fight at Save Mart Center in front of my loyal fans,” Ramirez said. “I prepared for Postol once, and I will be in top form May 9. My trainer, Robert Garcia, will have me ready for whatever he brings to the table. He is a former world champion who I cannot underestimate.”

Postol (31-2, 12 KOs) has spent the majority of his 12-year career as a super lightweight and nearly a decade at, or near, the top of the division. He stunned the boxing world in October 2015 when he dethroned Lucas Matthysse via 10th-round KO to win the WBC world title. In his next fight, he was blunted over 12 rounds by Terence Crawford in a unification bout. He is 3-1 since the Crawford defeat, dropping a 2018 decision to Josh Taylor, who is now the division’s other unified champion. He earned the WBC’s mandatory shot at Ramirez in April with a unanimous decision over Mohamed Mimoune.

“I am glad the new fight date is set. I’m already in gym, and camp is going really well,” Postol said. “I was ready to fight on Feb. 1 and now I’m focused on May 9. The fight is taking place in his hometown, but that does not bother me because I have the experience to fight on away soil. I am looking forward to become a champion again.”