By Miguel Maravilla at ringside
Photos: Mikey Williams / Top Rank

Unbeaten WBO #1 rated featherweight contender and two-time Olympian Oscar Valdez (21-0, 18 KOs) destroyed previously unbeaten #2 Matias “La Cobrita” Rueda (26-1, 23 KOs) to claim the vacant WBO featherweight world title on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Valdez unleashed a brutal attack that staggered Rueda in round one. Valdez continued to punish Rueda in round two and dropped him twice with body shots. Time was 2:18. Sensational performance by Valdez.

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By Karl Freitag
Photos: Mikey Williams / Top Rank –

Undefeated junior welterweight champions Terence “Bud” Crawford and “The Iceman” Viktor Postol faced off at the final news conference for their WBO/WBC world title unification fight on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum hosted the proceedings.

Viktor Postol: Hopefully this is going to be an exciting fight. I’ll do everything I can for that.

Terence Crawford: I had a great camp, nice sparring, nice everything, went well on weight, I’m just ready to go out there and display my talent. A lot people aren’t giving me enough credit to the point where everybody’s talking about Postol’s jab. Well we’re gonna see who’s got the better jab come Saturday. Everybody stay tuned. It’s gonna be a great fight.

Bob Arum: This fight I think is the best fight certainly that’s been offered to date [in 2016] to fight fans. It matches two terrific young fighters, each a champion, each with the same record, 28 wins and no defeats, each holding a belt from their respective organizations. It has everything that great fights have had for all the years I’ve been associated with boxing. I’ve been in boxing for over 50 years, and I’ve been associated with great, great fights. This fight, to me, is up there with any of the fights that I’ve promoted. I remember a number of years ago down in Florida at the Orange Bowl I promoted a great, great 140lb championship fight between Aaron Pryor and the late, great Alexis Arguello. And that was a fight for the ages. Look it up. Watch it. One of the great, great fights you’d ever want to see. And I really believe that this fight will be the equal of that unbelievable fight so many years ago, I guess it was in 1981. I really am looking forward to a tremendous fight here on Saturday.

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By Miguel Maravilla
Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Undefeated WBO jr welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (28-0, 20 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, will have his toughest test when he takes on undefeated WBC champion “The Ice Man” Viktor Postol (28-0, 12 KOs) of Kiev, Ukraine, in a unification bout on July 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas live on HBO Pay-Per-View.

“It’s going to be big. I’m going in there and putting on a spectacular show and showing everybody that I belong here,” Crawford told Fightnews.com®. “I have to make a statement on July 23rd.”

Crawford will be training for the fight in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska under the watchful eye of his longtime trainer Brian “BoMac” McIntyre.

Coming off a devastating knockout over Hank Lundy this past February in New York City, Crawford was impressive in defending his WBO title for the second time. Last year saw Crawford score knockouts against Thomas Dulorme in April, as he won the vacant WBO super lightweight title. and in October when he stopped Dierry Jean in his first title defense.

Since coming to the United States Postol has been 4-0 with 3 KOs. He won the WBC world title with an impressive tenth round knockout over the tough Lucas Matthysse last October. “I feel Matthysse gave up because he was frustrated. It wasn’t because he hurt him with a punch, it was because Matthysse was tired. Postol was holding, elbowing, his jab was irritating him every time Matthysse would get in. There was more frustration than hurt,” Crawford said.

“Postol’s style is more European,” he continued. “Straight right, jab, clinch, hold, elbows here and there, but there is nothing he’ll be able to do come fight night to keep me from taking that belt. I’ve seen a lot in my time of boxing on this level. I feel I will do real well!”

A win over Postol would open a new chapter in Terance Crawford’s career. “This is just the beginning. It’s my first pay-per-view and I want to put on a great performance. I want to be the next superstar,” Crawford said.

For years Nebraska has been known for its strong college football tradition in Lincoln, Nebraska about 50 miles south of Omaha, for hosting the NCAA College Baseball World Series in Omaha, and the home of American businessman philanthropist Warren Buffet. Since his 2014 homecoming knockout win over previously undefeated Yuriorkis Gamboa, Crawford has become the pride of Omaha, Nebraska.

“When you talk Omaha, you talk Terence Crawford if you aren’t talking Warren Buffet,” Crawford said. “When I fought in Omaha against Gamboa everyone was like, WOW! This is what we have been waiting on!”

Crawford expects a large number of his hometown fans to make the trek to Vegas for the Postol fight. “They will show up and chill out. A lot of people are coming to show their support,” Crawford said.

On July 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, it will be champion vs. champion.

“When I look at this fight, I look at it as #1 vs. #2, the best in the division, two undefeated fighters,” Crawford said. “I’m not thinking of who I want to fight next. Who I got in front of me now is Viktor Postol. Come fight night, we’re waiting for the victory!”



By Miguel Maravilla –

Undefeated WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto “El Zurdo” Ramirez (33-0, 24 KOs) of Mazatlan, Mexico is set to make the first defense of his title when he takes on Dominik Britsch (32-1-1, 11 KOs) of Germany on July 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas live on HBO PPV. “I’m happy to be defending my title. I know nothing about my opponent, all I know is that I am training really hard for this fight,” Ramirez told Fightnews.com®.

After winning the title this past April, Ramirez went back to train in his hometown of Mazatlan, then resumed his camp in Southern California working with his longtime team of Jesus and Hector Zapari in preparation for the German challenger.

“I am training here in the area in Long Beach for this fight,” Ramirez said. “This preparation will be like every other. Training really hard to be ready for what my opponent has.”

Britsch, a relative unknown, has only fought twice in the U.S. Winning by TKO over Matt Berkshire in Detroit back in March of 2010 and by knockout over Delray Raines in 2011 in Carson, California. He’s coming off a unanimous decision over Slavisa Simeunovic this past February in Germany.

“It is a hard fight since I know nothing about my opponent. Sometimes those are the most dangerous opponents. You don’t know what to expect from them,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez defeated the hard-punching Arthur Abraham this past April to win the WBO super middleweight title co-headlining the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley card on what was billed as the “No Trump” Undercard.

“I was so happy to accomplish my life long dream. I beat a solid champion in Arthur Abraham,” Ramirez said. “When I returned home I was greeted by fans and media at the airport. I was very happy and excited, it was the first time I was welcomed at the airport.”

Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum is no fan of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has made disparaging remarks toward Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. Arum has promoted many Hispanic fighters over the years who have produced great fights. To show his support for the Latino community, Arum has featured Ramirez on two pay-per-view telecasts and is planning another card for the fall to further send his political message.

Ramirez gave us his thoughts on Trump’s comments and agenda. “We the Mexican people are always working hard and Donald Trump makes some comments that are insulting, but we have proven that we work hard in life to achieve our goals and make a living,” Ramirez said.

Should he get past Britsch as expected, Ramirez is taking aim at the other 168lb champions. “There are other champions in this division. Badou Jack, Felix Sturm, James De Gale, I would definitely want to unify a title with them. Hopefully they are willing to as well,” Ramirez said. A clash with WBA/IBF/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin is also a possibility.

Ramirez vs. Britsch will be a scheduled 12 round championship bout for Ramirez’s WBO super middleweight title. It will be the co-feature bout to the Terrance Crawford vs. Viktor Postol jr welterweight unification bout.

“We are going to give it and leave it all in the ring to defend this title,” Ramirez vowed.



Photos: Mikey Williams/Top Rank –

WBO super middleweight world champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez and two-time Mexican Olympian and undefeated #1 featherweight contender Oscar Valdez will headline the HBO-PPV undercard topped by the junior welterweight world title unification battle between undefeated world champions Terence “Bud” Crawford and “the Iceman” Viktor Postol on July 23 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Ramirez will be making the first defense of his championship crown against Dominik Britsch. Valdez will face undefeated #2 world-rated contender Matías “La Cobrita” Rueda, possibly for the vacant WBO featherweight world title. The pay-per-view telecast will open with former interim world champion Jose Benavidez, Jr. risking his undefeated record and Top-10 world-rating in a 10-round welterweight battle against Francisco “Chia” Santana.

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thumbs_41016pacman004  By Miguel Maravilla at ringside
Photos: Mikey Williams / Top Rank –

In the third and final installment of their trilogy, Filipino ring legend Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) scored an entertaining twelve round unanimous decision over two-division former world champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (33-2-1, 13 KOs) in front of a crowd of 14,665 on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The bout started off in tactical mode, but things heated up midway with some exciting exchanges. Pacquiao knocked down Bradley at the end of round seven. Bradley came back to stagger Pacman in round eight. Pacquiao dropped Bradley again in round nine. In the end, scores were 116-110 on all three cards.

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It’s been nearly five years since WBO world super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham fought outside of Germany, where he’s made his home for most of his life.

His last boxing venture abroad was at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, where he lost to Andre Ward via unanimous decision. It was his third loss in four fights, but Abraham rekindled his career by setting up shop in Germany and becoming the fighter to beat in the super middleweight ranks.

With his reputation in Europe firmly established, the Armenian-born Abraham is returning to the United States for a high-profile title defense on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley Jr. rubber match at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Undefeated up-and-comer Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez will be looking to dethrone the battle-tested Abraham, who presents by far the toughest challenge of his promising career. The 24-year-old is looking to become the first Mexican boxer to win a super middleweight title.

“That’s why you work so hard,” Ramirez told ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael through a translator. “You don’t want to just be a guy. You want to be a special fighter. The opportunity to be the first Mexican super middleweight champion is added motivation for me. It really means a lot.”

Here’s the viewing info and odds for the super middleweight clash.


Abraham vs. Ramirez: Fight Time, Viewing Info

When: Saturday, April 9 at 9 p.m. ET

Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas

TV: HBO (pay-per-view)

Live Stream: Top Rank TV (pay-per-view)

Odds: Abraham 9-5; Ramirez 10-23



WBO President, Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel and Leon P. Panoncillo, Jr., Vice-President WBO Asia-Pacific, showing the WBO International Welterweight Title commemorative Belt for Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley in the “Battle of Super Champions”, this Saturday, April 9, 2016 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.


pacquiao-bradley-fight By:  Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBNnews –

Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines hits undefeated WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley of the U.S. during their title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Steve Marcus, Reuters

Reigning WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley Jr. said negotiations with the camp of Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao are still ongoing, amid reports that he had been selected as the Pacman’s opponent for his final fight in April 2016.

A report on The Mirror two weeks ago claimed that Pacquiao “rejected” British boxer Amir Khan and will instead face off against Bradley for the third time.

Bradley controversially defeated Pacquiao when they fought in June 2012, although Pacquiao got his revenge in their April 2014 rematch.

Bradley, however, told Dyan Castillejo of ABS-CBN News last weekend that nothing is set in stone yet. “We’re still negotiating,” he said.

He stressed that he would love to fight Pacquiao again, noting that the “Pacman” is “still one of the best fighters in the world.”

“I would love to (fight Pacquiao), but right now, we’re still negotiating. We’ll know something real soon, if we’ll do it or not,” Bradley said.

Bradley last fought on November 7, stopping Brandon Rios in the ninth round to defend his WBO welterweight championship.

It was Bradley’s first fight since hiring new trainer Teddy Atlas, and the boxer believes Atlas can be of great help to him should he wind up fighting Pacquiao in a trilogy bout.

“Manny is a tough guy. He always come prepared. He’s very durable, a very tough opponent, he’s one of the best in the world. He’s always tough,” Bradley said.

“But you know, with my new trainer, I feel that maybe I’ll be more prepared for what Manny brings, and we’ll come with a really good game plan to try to win the fight,” he added.

Pacquiao was supposed to announce who his opponent will be last weekend, during the Top Rank fight card in Puerto Rico that saw Nonito Donaire defeat Cesar Juarez via unanimous decision. The Filipino icon, however, delayed the announcement.


hi-res-1fc53630f8d3b1e64eb7a8598822bee4_crop_northPlotting a path to victory in Saturday’s rematch against Manny Pacquiao

Photo by:  Alexis Cuarezma /Getty Images /Article by Bernardo Pilatti – ESPNdeportes.com –

Two years after defeating Manny Pacquiao in one of the most controversial decisions in modern history, Timothy Bradley Jr. will get the chance to prove his critics wrong in Saturday’s rematch at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Bradley (31-0, 12 KOs), who won a split decision over Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KOs) in June 2012, defends his welterweight title and unbeaten record in this highly anticipated rematch. The 30-year-old says he has gained strength to go for the knockout and hopes to retire the Filipino icon. Bradley believes that his recent wins against Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez support his claims to being one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

Beyond his predictions, if he wants to beat Pacquiao, Bradley should consider the following keys:

Punching volume:

0Bradley doesn’t always employ an attractive style, but he wins and has continued to do so often enough that he’s starting to look convincing as one of the best in the world. Adjustments to his style have given him more power and consistency; his wins over Provodnikov and Marquez are proof enough. Against Pacquiao, he shouldn’t change the script, except for the necessary increase in punching volume to avoid the controversies of their first battle.

Look for the KO:

1Pacquiao is not his former self. His busy schedule outside the ring and the weight of the years are taking a toll. He was recently knocked out by Marquez and then pulled a clear but unimpressive win against Brandon Rios. Bradley has strengthened the power of his punch and has talked at times about going for the knockout. Trying for it only when the moment is right might not be a bad idea. Bradley’s well-timed power shots could force Pacquiao to avoid taking risks as a way to avoid ending up on the canvas.

Stick and move:

0In a fight between two even combatants that threatens to go the distance, the fighter who manages to impose his rhythm will have a clear advantage in the eyes of the judges. Bradley is better positioned to prevail in this area. Setting the distance with his jab and disrupting his opponent’s quick movements with side exits should be a priority.

Beware of exchanges:

0Against Provodnikov, Bradley wanted to prove to his detractors that he could win an exciting fight by exchanging power shots at close range. That was how he defeated the Russian, but the cost could have been too high, as he left the ring and went straight to the hospital because of a concussion. Pacquiao is a fighter of a higher class than Provodnikov, and in the past he has proved his ability to respond to enemy fire with his own best artillery. Bradley shouldn’t employ the same strategy of standing and trading with Pacquiao for long periods of time or his game plan might seriously backfire.

Listen to your corner:

1This will be a battle of strategies in which the winner will develop the best game plan. In this regard, Joel Diaz, Bradley’s trainer, is an excellent strategist. It isn’t an accident that Bradley has come this far to join the elite group of boxing’s best. His fights have always featured strong game plans. Both victory and defeat, and credit or blame, will be in large part awarded to Diaz.