Unified world champion Jermell Charlo and WBO world champion Brian Castaño met face-to-face on Thursday at the final press conference to preview their undisputed 154-pound world championship showdown taking place this Saturday, July 17 live on SHOWTIME from AT&T Center in San Antonio in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

Thursday’s press conference also featured unbeaten Interim WBA Lightweight Champion Rolando “Rolly” Romero and former title challenger Anthony Yigit, who meet in the co-main event, and unbeaten middleweight Amilcar Vidal and veteran contender Immanuwel Aleem, who battle in the telecast opener at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

The hard-hitting unified champion Charlo and the exciting Argentine Castaño will go toe-to-toe as all of the super welterweight championship belts are on the line for the first time in the four-belt era. The highly anticipated matchup will add to the long and storied history of major championship fights to take place in San Antonio.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Lions Only Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased through www.attcenter.com. Romero vs. Yigit is co-promoted with Mayweather Promotions.

Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday from San Antonio:


“I’m excited to be fighting back in Texas, but I’ll fight anywhere. As long as everyone tunes in, they know what time it is. I’m more than ready. I’m excited and anxious to get in the ring.

“This is a dream come true. I’ve wanted to be undisputed since I was a child because this is the highest you can reach in boxing. Being in this moment really makes me thankful to my whole team who helped me get to this point.

“Now is the time that me and my brother finally get the opportunity to show the world what we’re worth. This is the moment for us. Opportunities like this don’t come around too often, so I have to go out there and take advantage.

“I’m not old enough to think about the Hall of Fame yet. I’m just focusing on the right now. I have a goal to accomplish that will take 36 minutes or less on Saturday. I’ll look into everything else that this means after Saturday night.

“I don’t have any pressure on me. I’ve been in this position so many times in my life. If I felt the pressure, I wouldn’t be in this moment. He has to come and do his thing. He has to put the pressure on me and avoid these bombs I’m throwing.

“I can’t predict the future, but just know that I’m stronger and faster than I was before. I just feel like I’m ready. I have power in every punch I throw and I’m thankful for this opportunity to face another champion.

“I have the don’t blink attitude for this fight. You never know what could happen at any moment of any round. I’ve knocked people out in just about every round. We’re both in good shape, so we’re going to find out who’s better Saturday.

“A focused Jermell is the most dangerous Jermell there could be. I have different skill sets that I can implement in this fight no matter what Castaño does. I have a lot that I can do depending what Castaño brings.

“My loss was just all part of God’s plan. After the controversial loss, I got right back in there for the rematch. I had jet fuel in me and went on to unify and now we’re going to keep going. There’s no stopping the show.

“It’s dangerous for him to come forward and walk into shots. Most opponents that I’ve faced who’ve done that, I’ve put them out. We’ll see if he’s able to stand up to the power.

“I put my life on the line to feed my family. I have a lot of things that I need the boxing world to understand before my career is over. You can see that I’ve always faced tough opponents. My mindset was always stay focused, so you don’t get cut, like in the NFL. You have to work hard so nobody takes your position. That’s how I look at it mentally. I’m in a great position, but I still have a lot more to prove.”


“For me and my team, this is yet another opportunity to lift Argentine boxing up and add another star to that legacy. That’s what I want and I’m enjoying this moment. I promise that on Saturday night, I’m going to leave it all in the ring for everybody.

“He has all the pressure on him being in his home state. I’ve been training so hard for nine months and I’m comfortable as the underdog. I always come in as the underdog, so I don’t feel any pressure.

“When it comes down to it, if I have to lower my punch output to put more power on my punches, then I will. I don’t like to focus on past fights, because we have our own game plans for this fight. I have a plan to come out victorious Saturday night.

“We have a war to fight on July 17. I’m not thinking about anything beyond that fight. My mind is fully set on becoming undisputed champion Saturday night.

“I guarantee the fans are going to enjoy this fight and won’t leave disappointed. Both of us are going to do whatever it takes to come out victorious and that will make sure the fans will love this fight.

“I want to make not only Argentina, but all of Latin America proud. That’s what I want to do on Saturday night.

“In the end, I can only focus on what I’m going to do. If Charlo wants to be more finesse, I can deal with that, and if he wants to brawl, then by all means I will welcome that as well.

“Seeing Argentina win the Copa America last Saturday night motivated me even more. Messi deserved his title, and he made the entire country happy. I hope that the party can continue a week later with an undisputed champion as well

“Height and reach are the only similarities between Jermell and Erislandy Lara and Michel Soro. He’s his own man and he’s certainly a tough opponent to face.”

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.”

UNCASVILLE, Connecticut – Angelo Leo (20-0, 9 KOs), the WBO junior featherweight champion weighed 121.4 lbs and challenger Stephen Fulton (18-0, 8 KOs) weighed 122 lbs in for their 12-round, 122-pound title fight. The last hurdles Fulton and Leo must overcome are their final COVID-19 tests, which were administered after they made weight for the main event of a Showtime tripleheader Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena (9 p.m. EST; 6 p.m. PST).


The Albuquerque City Council will set forth a proclamation on Wednesday declaring Jan. 20 as ‘Angelo Leo Day’. The decree honors World Boxing Organization Junior Featherweight champion, Angelo Leo an Albuquerque, New Mexico native.

A presentation honoring Leo will kick-off Wednesday’s Albuquerque City Council Meeting which can be viewed on the GOV TV – Boards and Commission Meetings’ Youtube channel and will also air live, locally in Albuquerque on Comcast Channel 16.

Undefeated 122-pound champion Angelo Leo and fellow unbeaten rising star Stephen Fulton Jr. hosted a virtual conference call in advance of their long-awaited battle for Leo’s WBO Junior Featherweight World Championship Saturday, January 23 live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

WBO Junior Featherweight World Champion Angelo Leo and unbeaten rising star Stephen “Cool Boy” Fulton Jr. previewed their long-awaited championship showdown during a virtual press conference Wednesday as they prepare to battle live on SHOWTIME Saturday, January 23, in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

The first SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast of 2021 begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. It features a co-main event pitting two more undefeated 122-pound boxers against each other as Ra’eese Aleem and Victor Pasillas face off in a 12-round bout for the interim WBA title. In the telecast opener, rising prospect Rolando Romero squares off against Justin Pauldo in a 12-round lightweight bout for Romero’s interim WBA title. The six fighters’ combined ring record on the card is a remarkable 96 wins with just one loss.

Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions promote the event.

Leo and Fulton were originally scheduled to meet on SHOWTIME for the vacant title in August before Fulton received a positive COVID-19 test. Leo defeated Tramaine Williams by unanimous decision to capture the title and now make his first defense against the unbeaten Fulton.

Here is what the press conference participants had to say Wednesday:


“This is going to be a great fight. I know Fulton is coming to fight, and I’m coming to fight too. We have two contrasting styles. I see it sort of like an East Coast vs. West Coast thing, so it’s going to be fireworks. This is going to be one of the best fights of the year, and I can’t wait for you all to see it.

“I’m not surprised at all that Vegas has Fulton as the slight favorite. I know that he has a lot of supporters. I’ve been an underdog before. I’ve been in these shoes before, so it’s no surprise to me. It just gives me more fuel for the fire. I’m not at all offended that he’s the favorite. This is boxing, and Fulton is a good fighter, but I’m looking to prove on January 23 that I’m where I belong and that I’m world champion for a reason.

“I’m known for throwing a lot of body punches and for my pressure. That’s no secret. I feel like people haven’t seen all of me yet. I have a lot to prove. I still have many looks to show, and come January 23, and I think Stephen Fulton will bring that all out of me. I think it’s important, in every fight, to go to the body. As they say, go to the body, and the head will fall, but if he wants to move around and put pressure, I have a remedy for all that.

“Floyd [Mayweather] has been in my ear, solidifying the game plan with me. He’s been telling me exactly what I need to do to win this fight. I saw him quickly on Monday. It was brief, but he just stopped in to say hello and see how I was doing.

“Being a champion is something that I always wanted to be, so now that I have the belt, I have the confidence I need. But I don’t take my foot off the gas just because I’m champion. They say that once you’re champion, it’s actually harder. As bad as you want it, now everybody else wants it just as bad as you do. My mentality is the same now that I’m a world champion, and I’m gunning for more world championships. I’m not the hunted. I’m still hunting.

“I’m going to show Stephen that it’s different when you get in the ring. There are a lot more factors that play out. Not just pressure. Not just bodywork. I have a lot of things up my sleeve that a lot of people haven’t seen yet, and I’m going to showcase all my skills on January 23.

“Johnny Tapia is the pride and joy of Albuquerque. He’s one of the greatest fighters from that city and to be mentioned with his name is an honor. Johnny Tapia was a good person, very charismatic and he showed everybody love.

“This fight is great for boxing. You have two undefeated fighters, both in their prime – what more do you want from two fighters in this boxing era? This is the marquee fight right here. This is the fight fans want to see.

“With this performance, I want to let everybody know that I’m here to stay. I think many people doubt me just because I fought Tramaine Williams, and they say he just had three days’ notice. But he was getting ready for a fight as well. I have a lot of doubters that I want to prove wrong, and in this fight, I think I’ll have the opportunity to.”


“January 23 is going to be fireworks. Leo is the champion and has that spark and fire. We’re both coming hungry and prepared to make this a great fight. This fight is actually a bit underrated because we’re smaller guys, but we’re both in the top five of this division. Leo and I both have something to prove, and I’m ready to get it on.

“I don’t think the layoff will affect me at all. I think it makes me even more ready. I can’t wait to get in the ring and get back to doing what I love.

“My game plan remains the same as if I was fighting him in August. We’re always ready to make adjustments, but I believe I’m much better than if I had fought in August. From losing that opportunity and now coming back, it’s made me better physically, mentally, and emotionally.

“Going through the experience of fighting Leo canceled just changed my mindset. I felt like I lost everything. It made me train even harder. I took that rage and anxiety and used it every day in training. I’m just ready to fight.

“To me, it means everything to be a world champion from Philadelphia. This is what I’ve been working for my whole career. To my city, it would show people from my neighborhood that there’s a way out. But I don’t feel any pressure because of it. This sport teaches us the discipline to perform in moments like this. The pressure is just a part of my job.

“My streak of taking fighters’ ‘0’ is going to continue on January 23. Fighters have their thing that they’re known for: Gervonta Davis knocks people out, Chris Colbert shows off his flashy skills, and I take fighters’ ‘0’s. Fight night; we’ll both be prepared and ready. I’m ready to put on a show, and I believe Leo will be ready to do the same.

“I’m one of the guys leading the new era of Philadelphia boxing, but I can’t get ahead of myself. I have to stay smart, calm and do my job. It’s all about doing what I came there to do.

“I am that next wave, and I’m just ready to stamp it by getting this belt. I’m going to solidify what everyone already knew about me. I have the superstar quality in me, and I’ll show it in this fight.

“Leo’s performance against Williams was what I expected. I knew he would come forward and be a dog, but I don’t think Williams expected it. He’s a good fighter, he earned his way here, and now we have to fight.”

LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions

“In this main event, we have a highly anticipated fight that the fans have been waiting for since it was first announced. This is a meaningful fight for the 122-pound division. This is one of the hottest divisions in boxing, with several fighters that you can mix and match to make numerous great matchups.

“Angelo Leo is coming off a tremendous victory to win this title against Tramaine Williams. That was his coming-out party. He was really impressive and made a big statement. When it comes to Fulton, you know he doesn’t lack confidence. He’s young, undefeated, talented, and feels like this will be his easiest payday to date. He believes he’s going to walk through Leo.

“This main event has two young undefeated fighters facing each other in their primes. That’s what makes a great fight. It’s also interesting that Fulton is actually a slight betting favorite, despite Leo being the champion.

“We open the telecast with Mayweather Promotions’ own Rolando Romero. ‘Rolly’ is coming off a less than impressive performance when he won the interim title, so he’ll be looking to make a big statement for fans. This is going to be a great card from top to bottom, and we can’t wait.”

TOM BROWN, President of TGB Promotions

“You won’t find many young fighters that have been against as much impressive competition as Stephen Fulton has. Seven of his victories out of his 18 wins are over undefeated fighters. It’s awe-inspiring. He’s coming to grab what he believes is his and what should have been his back in August.

“The co-feature is the fight I’m really excited about with Ra’eese Aleem and Victor Pasillas. This is a crucial matchup with very legitimate contenders. A 50-50 fight between two undefeated prospects in the hot 122-pound division. Both fighters have made it clear that they want the elite of the division, and they are willing to put it all on the line on January 23 to make that happen. The winner of this fight will be in the driver’s seat for any of the 122-pound champions.

“In the opener, they say styles make fights, and Justin Pauldo has a style that could really give Rolando Romero some fits. He’s got a great jab, and he’s in great shape and down in Houston training with Ronnie Shields. He’s coming to win. Out of the six featured fights, we have only one loss between them, so we will see some ‘0’s go on January 23. We’re looking forward to it.”

Hector Camacho – Film Chronicles the Unlikely Rise and Untimely Death of One of Boxing’s Most Colorful Champions – Premieres Friday, December 4 at 9 PM ET/PT

Film Chronicles the Unlikely Rise and Untimely Death of One of Boxing’s Most Colorful Champions – Premieres Friday, December 4 at 9 PM ET/PT

Showtime Sports Documentary Films today announced it will air MACHO: THE HECTOR CAMACHO STORY, an unflinching look at the remarkable life, storied career and unsolved murder of one of boxing’s greatest showmen. Premiering Friday, December 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME, the documentary debuts just two weeks after the eighth anniversary of Camacho’s fatal shooting in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

For the first time on film, MACHO: THE HECTOR CAMACHO STORY offers a thorough examination of an unlikely sports hero. The film celebrates Camacho’s sublime boxing skills and the unbridled charisma that brought Spanish Harlem and Puerto Rican culture to the center of the sports world. Through rare and revealing interviews with his mother, Maria Matias, sisters, wife Amy and son Hector Jr., the documentary also delves into the legendary fighter’s troubled mind and spirit, his battle with addiction and the inner turmoil that ultimately lead to his demise – a mysterious double homicide on a roadside in November 2012.

“Macho Camacho’s charisma, boxing prowess and flamboyant style made him a Puerto Rican sports icon, and, for a time, the biggest star in boxing. When he stepped into the ring, everyone knew it was ‘Macho Time,’” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “This film reveals the complex highs and lows of Hector’s life: the joy he brought so many, as well as the demons that he battled privately behind the scenes. Through it all, however, Camacho brought boxing a level of showmanship and flamboyance that was far ahead of his time.”

Born in Bayamon and raised in the projects of Spanish Harlem in the 1970s, Camacho ascended to the pinnacle of boxing. His dynamic speed, footwork and power combined with his unparalleled showmanship helped usher in a new era of modern boxing and made him a member of an exclusive club of fighters who transcended the sport. The film tells the story of Camacho’s rise from a troubled youth to a multi-division world champion. MACHO: THE HECTOR CAMACHO STORY revisits Camacho’s unforgettable performances against legends such as Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard and Julio Cesar Chavez, and pivotal career turning points in bouts with Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and beloved New England fighter Vinny Pazienza. Through all the ups and downs and wins and losses, Camacho’s story of resilience is inspiring, though, in the end, there was one opponent he could never beat – himself.

MACHO: THE HECTOR CAMACHO STORY is directed by two-time Emmy® Award winner Eric Drath (Assault in the Ring and No Más, 30 for 30), and produced by Drath and Danielle Naassana, both of Live Star Entertainment. Sixteen-time Emmy Award winner Aaron Cohen served as writer and consulting producer.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly owned subsidiary of ViacomCBS Inc., owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, and also offers SHOWTIME ON DEMAND®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ ON DEMAND and FLIX ON DEMAND®, and the network’s authentication service SHOWTIME ANYTIME®. Showtime Digital Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of SNI, operates the stand-alone streaming service SHOWTIME®. SHOWTIME is currently available to subscribers via cable, DBS, and telco providers, and as a stand-alone streaming service through Amazon, Apple®, Google, LG Smart TVs, Oculus Go, Roku®, Samsung Smart TVs, Xbox One and PlayStation®4.

Consumers can also subscribe to SHOWTIME via Amazon’s Prime Video Channels, Apple TV Channels, AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, Hulu, The Roku Channel, Sling TV and YouTube TV. Viewers can also watch on computers at Showtime.com. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®. For more information, go to www.SHO.com.

Congrats to WBO Bantamweight World Champion John Riel Casimero@casimerojr (30-4, 21 KO’s), who defeated Duke Micah (24-1, 19 KOs) by 3rd-Round TKO in his first United States Debut @ Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut.

Casimero stated, “I worked hard and got the win tonight. In the first round I saw the body shot hurt him and thought I could get him out right away, but he’s a good boxer who was undefeated for a reason.

“The second round the uppercut hurt him, but Duke Micah works hard, he’s strong and has a good chin. I knew I was facing a good fighter, so I didn’t expect to knock him out so fast. He’s strong so I was prepared to go all 12 rounds.

“I’m the real monster. Naoya Inoue is scared of me. You’re next. I would have knocked out anyone today. If Inoue doesn’t fight me, then I’ll fight Guillermo Rigondeaux, Luis Nery, or any of the top fighters.”

Photo by Amanda Westcott / SHOWTIME

Weigh-In: WBO Bantamweight World Champion John Riel Casimero weighed 117 ¾ and undefeated challenger Duke Micah 117 ¼ for tomorrow night @ Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut, USA #CharloDoubleheader Showtime #PPV

WEIGH-IN: WBO Jr. Featherweight World Champion Dina Thorslund 121.6 Vs. Nina Radovanovic 118.2 LBS for tomorrow night @ Struer Arena, Struer, Denmark

WBO Atomweight World Champion Mika Iwakawa weighed 101 lbs and challenger Nanae Suzuki weighed 100 lbs for tomorrow night @ Central Gym, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan. The fight will be broadcast live on the official YouTube channel “BOXING REAL”

Weigh-In: WBO European Jr. Featherweight Champion David Oliver Joyce weighed 121 lbs and Ionut Baluta 121 lbs for tomorrow night @ BT Sport Studio, Stratford, London, United Kingdom.

WBO European Light Heavyweight Champion Ricards Bolotniks faces Hosea Burton tomorrow night at Studio 69, Riga, Latvia

August, 2, 2020 – Angelo Leo is the new WBO Jr. Featherweight World Champion. The 26-year-old Mayweather Promotions fighter dominated Tramaine Williams en route to a unanimous decision live on SHOWTIME Saturday night from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. in the network’s first live boxing event since March 13. Leo won by scores of 117-111 and 118-110 twice.

Leo (20-0, 9 KOs), who was originally scheduled to face Stephen Fulton, Jr. in the main event of Saturday’s card presented by Premier Boxing Champions before Fulton tested positive for COVID-19, used a dominant body attack and consistent pressure to overwhelm Williams (19-1, 6 KOs), who stepped up from the co-main event to face Leo. Albuquerque’s Leo had a 248-196 edge in punches landed while landing 39 percent of his power punches. 102 of his 248 connects were body punches.

Leo, who was ranked WBO’s No. 2 junior featherweight going into the fight, is now expected to defend his title against Fulton, ranked No. 1 by the WBO, within the next 180 days.

“It still hasn’t sunk in yet, it just feels surreal,” said Leo. “The first few rounds I was just feeling him out, getting his timing, getting the feel of him. I felt him kind of loosening up and breaking down, and that’s when I started putting the pressure on him a little more.

“That was the key factor in this fight, the body work and the pressure. I’m pretty sure Albuquerque is celebrating tonight. I think they have four world champions, because you can’t exclude Holly Holm. You have Johnny [Tapia], Danny [Romero], Holly and now me. There’s four champions in that city and I think I’ve made history there.”

Fulton, who watched the fight on television while quarantining following his positive test, was interviewed following the fight by SHOWTIME host Brian Custer.

“Congratulations to Leo, he did it,” said the Philadelphia native. “But listen, I’m ready for him. I’ve been ready. Just be ready to face me when it’s time. That’s all I’ve got to say.”

Photo by Amanda Westcott / Showtime

Uncasville, Conn. – July 30, 2020 – Fighters taking part in Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® main and co-main events participated in a virtual media availability ZOOM webinar on Thursday in advance of SHOWTIME®’s first live boxing event since March.

On Wednesday evening, it was announced previous main event fighter Stephen Fulton Jr. tested positive for COVID-19 and was removed from the 122-pound title fight versus Angelo Leo. Tramaine Williams will now step in to face fellow unbeaten Leo for the vacant WBO Jr. Featherweight World Championship in the main event. Ra’eese Aleem, who was previously scheduled to face Williams, will instead face 122-pound contender Marcus Bates in a rematch of their 2018 bout that saw Aleem walk away with a unanimous decision victory.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast also features a light heavyweight rematch between Houston’s Joe George and Argentina’s Marcos Escudero that opens the telecast. The card is presented by Premier Boxing Champions and promoted by TGB and Mayweather Promotions in association with Kings Promotions. The main event is promoted in association with New World Sports and Warriors Boxing.

SHOWTIME Sports’ President of Sports & Event Programming Stephen Espinoza also spoke on Thursday’s conference call.



“These things happen in boxing, so you just have to stay focused and prepared for anything. Luckily, Tramaine isn’t too much of a different fighter from Fulton. He’s got similar styles, the only difference is he’s southpaw. We’ll make some small adjustments but I’m in shape for whoever. I’m in the best shape of my life and once I get in that ring, I’ll make the necessary adjustments.

“I definitely want to paint a Picasso-like painting for the fans on Saturday night. Something really nice. I want to leave the fans happy with a great performance and I want them to know who the real Angelo Leo is.”


“When I got the news that I would be stepping up the main event, it was bittersweet. It was bitter because Stephen Fulton prepared eight weeks to fight for a world title. He’s been dreaming of that his whole life and he didn’t get that opportunity so my heart goes out to him. It was sweet on my end because I get to fight for a world title and that’s something I’ve always wanted to do my whole life.

“About a year ago, I started a top-five or top-ten fighters I had on notice. I always paid attention to all of the fighters in my weight class. I’ve been prepared for the chance to face Leo for a while. I’ve had my eye on all of these guys for a year and some change now. It’s not like he’s a random opponent for me, I’ve had my eye on him.”


“We are thrilled with the quality of the card, we are obviously disappointed for Stephen [Fulton], but it’s not a huge surprise to be completely honest. We have worked very hard to minimize the risk but we know we can’t eliminate the risk altogether. In some sense, this was inevitable. We were going to get some positive tests and we worked hard to be prepared. One of the things that we did notice in observing other combat sports and other sports generally, was that there really is no way to avoid positive tests. At this point, our focus was on being prepared and having backup fighters prepared, trained, COVID-tested, so that in the event of an unfortunate positive test we would be prepared and could move forward hopefully seamlessly as we have on this card.

“I think the key for this card is storylines. Even before the changes this was a card filled with up-and-coming young boxers, promising prospects and rising stars. With the loss of Stephen Fulton Jr., that has remained the same nonetheless. We have Angelo Leo, a Mayweather Promotions prospect from Albuquerque, N.M., who is a very good young boxer and excellent body puncher looking for the opportunity at his first world title. Tramaine Williams came here expecting to be on the undercard in the co-feature and instead he has found himself with the biggest opportunity of his career. We thank the WBO for working with us and maintaining the title fight. We have now instead of the No. 1 and No. 2 contenders in the WBO, we have the No. 2 and No. 6 so no real drop-off in quality of the fight.”

Undefeated contender Tramaine Williams will step in to face fellow unbeaten Angelo Leo for the vacant WBO Jr. Featherweight World Championship in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING this Saturday, August 1, (live on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions from Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Williams replaces Stephen Fulton Jr., who tested positive for COVID-19 on the test provided by the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation and was removed from the 122-pound title bout versus Leo.

Undefeated Ra’eese Aleem will now face 122-pound contender Marcus Bates in the co-main event in a 12-round WBA Super Bantamweight Title Eliminator. Aleem had previously been scheduled to fight Williams before Williams moved into the main event to fight Leo.

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The 26-year-old Leo (19-0, 9 KOs) fights out of the Mayweather Promotions stable and will look to become the first world champion from his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, since Johnny Tapia. He will now seek the title against another unbeaten opponent in the 27-year-old Williams (19-0, 6 KOs). Williams represents his native New Haven, Connecticut, and shot up the WBO rankings by defeating Yenifel Vicente in July 2019.

The 30-year-old Aleem (16-0, 10 KOs), who hails from Muskegon, Michigan, has continued his winning ways since beating Bates in 2018, adding five victories to his ledger. The 26-year-old Bates (11-1, 8 KOs) is currently ranked No. 7 by the WBA and hails from Washington, D.C. He will look to avenge his lone loss in this rematch against Aleem.

“Extensive protocols have been put in place to catch this very possibility, and they’ve proven so far to be effective,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “We are supporting Stephen and his team as they self-quarantine off the property, and we will help with any medical assistance if needed.

“Fortunately, Williams was ready to move into the spot in the main event, which remains a battle of unbeaten young super bantamweights. Also, Marcus Bates was in excellent shape and answered the call to face Aleem in a title eliminator. He is an aggressive super bantamweight who will make the most of this opportunity. I expect him to be on everyone’s radar after Saturday night.”

Fulton and his team never entered the closed system set up at Mohegan Sun for this week’s event. Upon arrival to the property, they and all fighters were tested and quarantined until their test results came back. There are no other positive tests to report at this time.

NEWS: Sam Eggington vs. Ted Cheeseman fight week schedule
Before arrival to Mohegan Sun, Team Fulton and all of this Saturday’s fight teams had been tested multiple times for weeks leading up to the event. Team Fulton was tested six times before arrival, from June 25 through the most recent test he took on July 23 before traveling to Connecticut. All of those tests came back negative. Today’s result was the first positive test for Team Fulton.

Saturday night’s triple-header on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING also features rising light heavyweight prospects Joe George (10-0, 6 KOs) and Marcos Escudero (10-1, 9 KOs) opening the telecast with a 10-round rematch of their November ShoBox showdown that saw George win a narrow-split decision.


The SHOWTIME boxing schedule begins on Saturday, August 1 and runs through the end of 2020. Initially, each live telecast will be presented without fans in attendance from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Included in the schedule are four world title eliminators, three interim title fights and 13 bouts in all pitting top-10 ranked fighters.

“We are proud to announce the strongest and most comprehensive schedule of fights in all of boxing,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “Each bout on this schedule, our largest schedule announcement since 2018, carries high stakes and significant implications. From highly regarded prospects to emerging stars to established champions – all in tough matchups – this lineup delivers on our promise to provide boxing fans with the best talent, the most exciting fights and the highest quality presentation in the sport. We are thrilled to return to live boxing with this star-studded schedule of exciting, meaningful fights.”

Philadelphia’s 122-pound rising star Stephen Fulton Jr. (18-0, 8 KOs) will headline SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® on August 1 (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) against talented, fellow undefeated contender Angelo Leo (19-0, 9 KOs) of the Mayweather stable in a marquee 12-round matchup for the vacant WBO junior featherweight world title. The Premier Boxing Champions event is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions. This will mark the first live boxing event on SHOWTIME since ShoBox: The New Generation on March 13 when the network presented what was to be the last nationally televised professional sporting event in the U.S. for several weeks.

“We couldn’t be more excited to be finally getting back to boxing,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Everyone has been patiently waiting and the series of fights that we will collectively put on over the next few months will be great for boxing and the sports world in general. We’re kicking things off August 1 with a world title opportunity for our rising contender Angelo Leo who has been consistently grinding and taking care of business. He’s facing another young and focused undefeated fighter and only one of them can be crowned champion. Both guys are confident that the title belongs to them, which is going to make for a great fight from the first bell.”

“I have been really impressed with both Fulton and Leo,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Fulton’s resume includes victories over eight undefeated fighters. Angelo Leo will be the third straight unbeaten fighter he’s faced. Leo has passed every test he’s had with victories against some of the toughest fighters in the division. The winner of this match will be soaring to new heights in the division.”

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

The undefeated WBO International Featherweight Champion Ruben Villa put on a boxing clinic in a dominating unanimous decision win over Alexei Collado. The judges scored the fight 99-91 and 98-92 twice in the main event Friday night from George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum in Shreveport, La.

The 22-year-old Salinas, Calif., native Villa (18-0, 5 KOs), who entered the ring paying tribute to the late Kobe Bryant by wearing his No. 8 Lakers jersey into the ring, called his performance “solid” against a “tough and aggressive fighter.” “He was challenging throughout the fight,” said Villa. “I feel like I put on a good show.

He was a big knockout puncher and he’s no pushover. He brought out the best in me.” Villa, who was the was also the 2014 and 2016 National Golden Gloves Champion, is currently ranked No. 5 at 126 pounds by the WBO and No. 13 by the WBC. He said after the fight he’s ready for the best his division has to offer.

The 31-year-old Cuban Collado (26-3, 23 KOs) who lives in Miami, lost for the first time in seven bouts. “It was a good fight,” said Collado, who won the 2006 Junior World Title in the flyweight division. “We both brought everything. We put on a good show for the fans. He moves a lot and he’s a smart fighter. I feel like when I threw a lot I hit him but I wasn’t active enough.” Villa said he stayed disciplined training during the holidays.

“Now I’m going to take a few weeks off and then get right back in the gym,” he said. In the co-featured bout, undefeated Ukrainian and 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist Taras Shelestyuk (18-0, 10 KOs) recorded a dominating unanimous decision victory against Argentina’s Luis Alberto Veron (18-2-2, 9 KOs).

The judges scored the 10-round welterweight fight 97-93 and 98-92 twice. Shelestyuk, who overcame a bad fifth-round cut on his forehead, had boxed just 10 rounds in the last three years.

“It was a good fight,” Shelestyuk said. “I hit him with some good shots, and controlled the fight. I have been out since March, and I feel that I performed well. I am happy to be back on television. “The cut didn’t bother me. This is professional boxing, and these things happen. I want to be back in May or June. If I come back in the next several months, I want to fight a big name – guys like Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia.”

Source: www.worldboxingnews.net

📷 @kytemonroe for #TBP

Undefeated featherweight prospect Ruben Villa will make his fourth ShoBox: The New Generation appearance in just over a year as the former two-time Junior Olympic National Champion takes on hard-hitting Alexei Collado in a 10-round main event for Villa’s WBO International belt on Friday, January 31 live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) from Hirsch Memorial Coliseum in Shreveport, La.

The event is promoted by Banner Promotions, Thompson Boxing and Bishop Promotions LLC. Tickets can be purchased at www.Bishoppromotions.com and prices are $20-$100.

The 22-year-old Salinas, Calif., native Villa (17-0, 5 KOs) was also the 2014 and 2016 National Golden Gloves Champion and is currently ranked No. 5 at 126 pounds by the WBO and No. 13 by the WBC. Villa was a 2016 U.S. Olympic Team alternate, and had an impressive amateur record of 166-17 with wins against Devin Haney, Shakur Stevenson, and Gary Antonio Russell.

The southpaw Villa has looked impressive in each of his three previous ShoBox appearances, including his debut last January when he outclassed then-unbeaten Ruben Cervera. In May, Villa stepped up to 10-round status for the first time and won a unanimous decision against Luis Alberto Lopez and in September, Villa scored a second-round knockdown against Enrique Vivas en route to a comfortable shutout unanimous decision.

“I know my opponent has a good record at 26-2 and he has heavy hands, but he is wild,” Villa said. “I feel that I am close to a title eliminator by the middle or at the very latest at the end of 2020. ShoBox has helped me with my recognition and showcasing my talent. I am just thankful to be headlining once again on ShoBox. I know I’m close to making that next step up to contender so I have to look impressive on January 31.”

In Collado (26-2, 23 KOs), Villa will face a tough, 31-year-old Cuban currently living and training in Miami. Collado is on a seven-bout winning streak with six KOs and was active in 2019 winning four times, including his last victory via first-round KO against Facundo Eduardo Ased four days before Christmas. Collado won the 2006 Junior World Title in the flyweight division.

“I participated on a ShoBox event in the past and I couldn’t close the show,” said Collado, who made his ShoBox debut in April of 2014 in a 10-round lightweight unanimous decision loss to Rod Salka. “This time the story will be different and I am more than ready for Ruben Villa. Ruben is a young talented boxer but he will not be able to do with me what he was able to do to other guys. I’m far more experienced, much stronger and way smarter than all the guys put together that he has faced so far. This is an opportunity that I will not take for granted, Villa better be ready to get shocked.”

It’s been a long time coming, but — knock on wood — this Friday night on Showtime from Atlantic City, we’re set to finally get WBO World title bout between Claressa Shields vs Ivana Habazin, headlining the first Showtime boxing event of 2020.

The meeting between these two has been planned since last year, after Shields routed Christina Hammer to fully unify the middleweight division at Boardwalk Hall. The plan from there was for Shields to move down again, this time to 154, as she sought to make further “herstory” by winning world titles in three weight classes faster than anyone else in boxing ever has.

The 24-year-old Shields’ story is well-known at this point. Fighting out of Flint, Michigan, “T-Rex” was dominant at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, winning gold handily both years as the women were allowed to fight in the competition for the first two times ever. Pound-for-pound, she may have been the best women’s fighter both years, and given the fact that US men’s boxing has struggled so mightily at the Olympics this millennium, Shields becoming the first American boxer to win a gold medal since Andre Ward in 2004 became a story.

She gave off the impression of being very humble, very dedicated, very focused. Someone who was born to do what she was doing. But over seven years since the public first got to really know her, the impressions have changed for many.

Shields (9-0, 2 KO) is now seen as boastful and arrogant by some. She has followed a promotional blueprint that has been used many times over. She absolutely has her fans and supporters, but she has her detractors and “haters,” too. And the bottom line is, she wants everyone to watch, whether they’re tuning in to see her win or lose.

Shields’ confidence/arrogance comes from an honest place, at least. Since turning pro in Nov. 2016, she has absolutely dominated as a professional. Her amateur experience brought her into the women’s pro ranks a mile ahead of just about anyone she was going to face, first at 168 and then 160. Even when a fight was supposed to be competitive, against Hammer, it wasn’t. At all. Other than her constant promising of knockouts that don’t come, Shields backs up what she says she’s going to do in every fight, and there’s little reason to believe that changes on Friday.

The 30-year-old Habazin (20-3, 7 KO) won a vacant welterweight title in 2014, and lost it six months later to 147-pound queen Cecilia Braekhus via shutout decision. She’s also dropped fights to Eva Bajic in 2013 and Mikaela Lauren in 2016, and is a natural welterweight, though she has gone 4-0 since moving up to junior middleweight in 2017.

Via Scott Christ / badlefthook.com

Unified WBO Middleweight world champion Claressa Shields and former world champion Ivana Habazin went face to face Thursday at the final press conference two days before they battle for the WBO world title live on SHOWTIME from Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center in Flint, Mich.

At Thursday’s press conference, Gordon Hall, SVP, Production, SHOWTIME Sports and Event Programming and Executive Producer of Saturday’s telecast, presented Claressa Shields with a $10,000 donation to the “Claressa Shields Community Project.” The project is a summer camp designed to help Flint youth learn how to cope with stress, anxiety, anger, sadness and depression, and provides educational tutoring services to dozens of children. With this $10,000 donation, Shields will surpass her current fundraising goal for the project.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions, in association with T-REX BOXING PROMOTIONS, can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com and at the Dort Center box office.

Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday from the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center:


“Starting my community project with the kids and spending a lot of time with them really taught me a lot. It reminded me of the childhood that I didn’t have. My whole life has always been about boxing. That’s why these girls can’t beat me. Growing up, boys didn’t matter. Punching the bag the fastest mattered. Punching the bag the hardest mattered. Doing 25 pushups faster than the boys mattered.

“I always knew I would be the one to do it for women’s boxing. Yeah, we had Laila Ali, respect. But she can’t do for women’s boxing what I’m doing. I put a lot on the line, I started my career at 168. This fight on Saturday is going to be at 154. I had to lose a lot of weight for this fight because I cleaned out the division at 160. Every time I came out of a division, there’s somebody else telling me I’m not the greatest woman of all time. I love when they say that because I want you to come show me I’m not the greatest woman of all time. Ivana is here to do that.

“I don’t know what Ivana came here to do, but I’m telling you right now it’s going less than five rounds. She said her game plan was to stand there and bang with me. Not with muscles like this. She’s going to sleep and her coach is going to be carrying her out on a pillow.

SHIELDS says Habazin’s style doesn’t change
“I watched every fight of hers. Her last six or seven fights, nothing changes. It’s the same combinations. Same hand speed. Getting caught with the same shots. When you see me box, you see improvement. I’m not coming here to Flint to play no games with her.

“I’m a 168 fighter. And I have to keep coming down to these girls’ weight because they’re scared to come see me. So I came to 154 and I came to see her. I’m going to show her. As you can see, this is the Claressa Shields show. It’s about me. There’s no friction in my camp. We are about business and we’re about the money. Pay me.”

“I’m definitely ready for this fight. I had a very tough four-month training camp. This is the best preparation I’ve ever had in my life for a fight. I’m in the best shape of my life.

“I am 100 percent focused on this fight. And I trained harder than I ever have before. I had the ability to work on a lot of new things. And I had five different sparring partners who brought a lot to help me improve. I gave everything into this camp and I believe I will receive something in return.

“None of the pre-fight talk bothers me. I’m not going to make a big show and trash talk. For me, this is just part of the job of what I have to do before I fight. All that matters is what is going to happen in the ring.

“This win on Saturday is going to change my life. This is my biggest fight ever. She’s right now the top women’s boxer, so there couldn’t be a bigger victory.

“I didn’t come here to lose. And I came here to win. I don’t want to waste my energy talking before the fight, but I just want to say I’m excited to see how happy everyone here is right now for Claressa, because they’re going to be sad on Saturday when I win.”

(Photo credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME)


FLINT, Mich. (August 14, 2019) – Undisputed WBO Middleweight champion Claressa Shields and former world champion Ivana Habazin squared-off and exchanged words at a pair of press conferences in Flint and Detroit on Wednesday, as they previewed their battle for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship taking place Saturday, October 5 live on SHOWTIME from Dort Federal Event Center in Flint, Mich.

In the main event of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT), Shields will aim to make history as the fastest fighter in boxing, male or female, to become a three-division world champion, in her first professional fight in her hometown of Flint.

Shields vs. Habazin is promoted by Salita Promotions. Tickets for the live event can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com and at the Dort Center box office.

Here is what the press conference participants had to say Wednesday from the Dort Federal Event Center in Flint and the Hotel St. Regis in Detroit:


“I’m so happy to be here. This moment is a long time coming. I’ve been a pro for nine fights and all I’ve wanted to do is come back home and fight. I haven’t fought here since the amateurs when I was 18.

“To be here now as a pro with two Olympic gold medals, all my belts and my whole team here, it just feels really good. Our city has gone through rough times with the water crisis, but I wanted to show that we’re still fighting people.

“A lot of us here are fighting daily. I’m happy that I can be in the ring doing what I’m doing, but outside of the ring I get to inspire kids. Having a summer camp here this summer really changed me. My knee injury gave me more time to spend with the kids, and that time with them made me stronger.

“Being at 154-pounds, I’m going to be stronger and I’m going to be faster. I’ve never had a problem making weight and it won’t be a problem at 154.


“This is a really big opportunity for me. I was a world champion and I’m looking forward to winning a title in another division.

“Claressa Shields is a spectacular fighter and I have respect for her, but I’m going to bring the fight to her. I didn’t come here just to fight; I came here for victory.

“She is taking on a big challenge. If she says she’s going to make the weight, then I believe her. But I know that it’s going to be tough for her because it’s not her natural division. I hope she makes the weight and that we’ll have a good fight. Fighting at 154-pounds is an advantage for me.

“When I decided to fight at middleweight, I started fighting there because I wanted to fight her. She’s the best fighter out there, and I know that I can beat her. When they told me that she wanted to go down in weight, I knew it was the perfect time.

“It doesn’t matter to me if the fight is in Flint, London, New York or anywhere. The ring is my home and what happens in there is the most important thing. I’m always the underdog and I like to be in that position. I won my title in my opponent’s hometown and I’m going to do it again.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

Undisputed WBO Middleweight world champion Claressa Shields’ attempt at history has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 5 live on SHOWTIME. Shields will aim to make history as the fastest fighter in boxing, male or female, to become a three-division world champion when she takes on former world champion Ivana Habazin for the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight Title on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT) from Dort Federal Event Center in Flint, Mich.

The homecoming fight was initially scheduled for August 17 and postponed in June after Shields suffered a minor injury to her right knee while doing roadwork.

Claressa Shields vs. Ivana Habazin ticket information
Shields vs. Habazin is promoted by Salita Promotions. Tickets for the live event go on sale today/Tuesday, August 6 at 2 p.m. ET and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com and at the Dort Center box office.

The 24-year-old Shields (9-0, 2 KOs) is a two-division titlist who became the undisputed middleweight champion with a near-shutout victory over Christina Hammer in April on SHOWTIME. In doing so, she joined Terrence Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk and Cecilia Braekhus as the only fighters to have unified all four major world titles in any weight class (Katie Taylor has since joined the prestigious list).

Now, the Flint star seeks to make even more history in her sixth headlining appearance on SHOWTIME. With a win over Habazin, Shields would become a three-division champion in just 10 bouts, breaking the record of Vasiliy Lomachenko, who accomplished the feat in 12 fights.

“I’m more excited than ever. I’m 100 percent recovered, and I can’t wait to get back in the ring and fight in front of my hometown fans in Flint as undisputed champion of the world,” said Shields. “Having the opportunity to become world champion in a third weight division faster than any man or woman in boxing history will make October 5 a night I will cherish forever. It’s another big step in history, and giant step forward in lifting women’s boxing on the road to equality.”

Ivana Habazin pleased to be fighting in U.S

Habazin (20-3, 7 KOs), of Zagreb, Croatia, is ranked No. 1 by the WBO at 154 pounds. The 29-year-old, who will be making her U.S. debut, won the IBF Welterweight Title over Sabrina Giuliani in 2014. In her next fight, Habazin dropped a unanimous decision to Braekhus in a historic unification bout where Braekhus picked up all four major world title belts. Most recently, Habazin avenged one of only three losses in her career to Eva Bajic in Zagreb.

“It’s an honor and a dream to fight in the U.S. on national television,” Habazin said. “A lot of fighters never get this opportunity in their careers so I know I need to make the most of it. I’ve been training for this fight since June and the postponement has only given me more time to get ready. I intend to put my best effort forward to impress the fans and show that I am for real.

“And, I am not just coming to fight for a world title, I am fighting for my life and my career. I believe I am the best and now I got the chance to prove that, and there is no better opponent for that than Claressa Shields.”

Shields was the first American boxer in history – male or female – to win consecutive Olympic gold medals. She turned professional following the 2016 Olympics and headlined the first women’s boxing main event in premium television history in just her second professional fight in 2017. Shields became unified women’s super middleweight world champion in just her fourth professional fight, and a two-division champion in her sixth professional contest. She was crowned the undisputed 160-pound champion in her ninth fight, less than three years after turning professional following the 2016 Olympics.

Showtime executive producer Gordon Hall comments on Claressa Shields
“From Christy Martin and Laila Ali to Cris Cyborg and Ronda Rousey, and now Claressa Shields, SHOWTIME has long been the pioneer in women’s combat sports,” said Gordon Hall, Executive Producer of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION. “Without question, Claressa Shields is the face of women’s boxing and we’re excited to present yet another historic milestone in her career as she looks to capture a third division championship in record time. This is Claressa’s sixth appearance on SHOWTIME and yet another test as she continues her personal quest to become the greatest of all time.”

“With the new date, this fight is going to be even more significant,” said Dmitriy Salita, President of Salita Promotions. “Claressa has had time to get 100 percent healthy and in the best shape of her life as she goes down in weight to fight for another historic accomplishment. On the other hand, Ivana has used this extra time to prepare for Claressa both mentally and physically. She has remained in camp throughout the summer as she prepares to come to America to upset Claressa and fulfill what she feels is her destiny. It’s going to be two fighters at the top of their games.”

“October 5 will be a magnificent event for Claressa Shields, for women’s boxing, and for Claressa’s hometown city of Flint,” said Mark Taffet, manager of Claressa Shields. “Claressa continues to shine a beacon of light on the sport, making history in each and every fight and reaching levels previously unimaginable. She is a once in a lifetime athlete and young woman, and if she is victorious on October 5 she will become the fastest man or woman in boxing history to win a world title in a third weight division.”

Steve Farhood, Raul Marquez and Barry Tompkins to Shields-Habazin fight for Showtime
Barry Tompkins will call the SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION action from ringside with boxing historian Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

The undercard for the telecast will be announced in the coming weeks.

#California Congrats to the new WBO International Featherweight Champion Ruben Villa (16-0, 5 KOs), who defeated former WBO International Champion Luis Alberto Lopez (17-2, 8 KOs) by unanimous decision at the Omega Products Events Center in Corona as the main event showdown on ShoBox: The New Generation. Scorecards: 96-94, 98-92, 97-93.

Villa has also held the WBO Youth Featherweight Title

ATLANTIC CITY – Claressa Shields backed up virtually every provocative word Saturday night.

The brash, unbeaten women’s middleweight champion proved her superiority in what was supposed to be the most difficult fight of her two-year pro career. Shields’ speed, power, aggression and defense earned her a convincing victory over long-reigning middleweight champ Christina Hammer at Boardwalk Hall’s Adrian Phillips Theater.

All three judges – Lynne Carter, Guido Cavalleri and Robin Taylor – scored eight of the 10 rounds for Shields in the main event of a Showtime tripleheader. Shields (9-0, 2 KOs) nearly knocked out Hammer in the eighth round, but she settled for a unanimous-decision win in what was promoted as the biggest fight in women’s boxing history.

Cavalleri and Taylor scored the one-sided eighth round 10-8 for Shields, and thus had it 98-91 for her. Carter scored Shields a 98-92 winner.

“Well, first of all, I can say I am the greatest woman of all time,” Shields told Showtime’s Steve Farhood in the ring. “Give me that! Give me that! Y’all told me I couldn’t do it. Y’all said she was 24-0, 11 knockouts. Ain’t no way Claressa will beat her. She 8-0, two knockouts. Claressa’s gonna get knocked out. Claressa don’t hit hard. Come on.”

Shields defended her IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight titles and won the WBO championship from Hammer. Germany’s Hammer had owned the WBO 160-pound title since October 2010, approximately 22 months before Shields won the first of two gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Shields, of Flint, Michigan, also joined welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus as the only woman to own the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO titles at the same time.

Hammer, of Dortmund, Germany, lost for the first time as a pro (24-1, 11 KOs, 1 NC).

More on https://www.boxingscene.com/claressa-shields-beats-up-christina-hammer-results–137944

Undefeated middleweight champions Claressa Shields and WBO World Champion Christina Hammer went face-to-face one final time during a tension-filled official weigh-in for the most significant event in women’s boxing history. Both fighters made weight as the two champions aim to become the undisputed middleweight champion tomorrow in the main event of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION live on SHOWTIME (9:10 p.m. ET/PT) from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

Top American heavyweight prospect Jermaine Franklin will take on former No. 1-ranked U.S. amateur Rydell Booker in the 10-round co-featured bout while undefeated Swedish heavyweight Otto Wallin will battle highly decorated amateur Nick Kisner in a 10-round clash that will open the tripleheader.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions, are priced at $150, $100, $55 and $35 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster and at boardwalkhall.com.


IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO Middleweight World Championship – 10 Rounds

Claressa Shields: 159 ½ pounds

Christina Hammer: 159 pounds

Referee: Sparkle Lee; Judges: Lynne Carter (Pa.), Guido Cavalleri (Italy), Ruben Taylor (Ariz.)


Claressa Shields

“I’m very relaxed. When I feel this relaxed, I know it’s going to be a good fight. I don’t even feel like there’s a fight; I feel very calm and I always fight better when I feel this way. I’ve checked all the boxes for this fight. The conditioning, the nutrition, the training, everything. I am entirely focused on the fight.

“I’ve played this fight in my head many times. The first round is a very important round. She’ll find out just how strong I am in the first round and I’m going to let her know she’s in with a fighter. I’m going to let her know she won’t control this fight in any aspect. I can outbox Hammer. I’m way faster and I have great head movement. I came to fight. I want to see where her heart is and how strong she is. If she’s not as strong as she says she is, she’s going to want to get out of there.

READ Claressa Shields, Christina Hammer, Jermaine Franklin Interview Transcript
“Every time I box, I feel like I need to go out there and perform so that women’s boxing isn’t in the position we’re in now. I want the little girls coming up not to have to go through what I’ve gone through in terms of equal pay and trying to get on TV. I was able to box my way up to get here and it shouldn’t be as hard for other women to do the same. This fight is bigger than me.”

Christina Hammer

“I’ve worked really hard for this. I’ve sacrificed everything for this fight and it’s time to show who’s the real champion and who Christina Hammer is. I feel like I’m the stronger one, mentally. I showed her at the stare down that I’m not scared. Every fight, there’s a mental battle and I think I won the mental battle for this fight.

“I have to stick to my game plan and not worry about hers. Shields is beatable. Hanna Gabriels showed that. I have to make her pay for every mistake. We’ve analyzed her a lot and I’ve known for a long time that I would one day fight her.

“I’m not scared of her one bit. Why would I be scared of her? I worked really hard for this opportunity and now it’s the point where I have to show it. I have to focus in every single round. This will be a tough fight and I know my opponent also wants to win but on Saturday night, I will be the undisputed champion of the world.

“I hope that a lot of women will be inspired by this fight. I want women to know that if they work hard, they can make it to whatever level they aspire to be in whatever sport it is they do.”

(Photo credit Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME)

Showtime releases its second installment focusing on the the women’s middleweight title fight.
It’s fight week leading into Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer’s undisputed middleweight title unification. And in anticipation of the bout Showtime Sports has released its second episode of All Access, covering the build-up to the fight.

In this latest episode covering the behind-the-scenes action, we start of with Shields training out of the USA Boxing Gym in Colorado Springs.

“To me this is like War City. This is where I got prepared for both my Olympics,” Shields explained. “Everybody wanna be a champion, but don’t nobody wanna work for nothing. You can’t be like me if you don’t work. Hammer out there snowboarding — what the fuck is that gon’ do?! Nothing!”

Shortly after we segue into Hammer’s training camp in Seefeld, Austria, where Hammer does some light shadowboxing before going for a run in the cold weather.

“When I train I have only one goal and one vision, and that’s dance with a champion,” Hammer says. We got up to the mountains and train three times a day, and it’s very, very tough.”

Some time later we revisit Shields’ camp where she talks about how Hammer has been on her radar since she was an amateur, while trainer John David Jackson discusses the improvements he’s trying to make in Shields’ game.

Check out the full installment from Showtime above!

SHOWTIME Sports released the first installment of ALL ACCESS: SHIELDS vs. HAMMER on YouTube and Facebook as the undefeated middleweight world champions prepare for arguably the most significant women’s boxing event in history. Episode two will be available across SHOWTIME Sports social media platforms next Friday, April 5.

The two-part installment of the Sports Emmy Award-winning series will chronicle the path toward the April 13 showdown for the undisputed middleweight world championship live on SHOWTIME from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

Episode one sets the stage for this monumental event as Shields and Hammer usher in a new era for women’s boxing. From the kickoff press conference in New York to training camps in separate countries, ALL ACCESS highlights the clash of styles both in and out of the ring as the pound-for-pound greats prepare to make history.

The second installment will chronicle two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Shields at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., and long-reigning German champion Hammer in the town of Seefeld in the Austrian Alps, as they train for a showdown that will crown only the second undisputed champion in female boxing history.

It all leads to the blockbuster unification in the main event of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (9 p.m. ET/PT) as Shields and Hammer look to join an elite list of fighters – Terrence Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk and Cecilia Braekhus – as only the sixth champion in boxing history to unify all four major world titles.

WBC, IBF and WBA Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields arrived in Miami yesterday to hold the final portion of her training camp at the Fifth Street Gym as she prepares to take on WBO Middleweight World Champion Christina Hammer in the main event of a SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION tripleheader Saturday, April 13 live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT) from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

Shields spent the last five weeks training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., following a two-week pre-camp in her hometown of Flint, Mich.

“We’ve been going twice a day every day except Sunday for five-straight weeks,” said Shields. “We put in lots of rounds sparring, tons of sprinting, pad work, push-ups, crunches and drills to help with my head movement.

“I’ve put my body through so much on this camp, and now it’s time to start cutting it down a bit. I’m in great shape and my weight is on point. I’m also in a great place mentally and very happy with this camp overall.”

In Florida, Shields is looking to prime herself for her showdown for the undisputed middleweight women’s world championship, in what is considered by many as the biggest fight in women’s boxing history.

“My main focus now is trying to relieve my body while keeping my conditioning,” said Shields. “I’m making sure that I go into fight week with no injuries or soreness. I’ve been in Colorado for over a month and it was time for some new scenery.

“I’m still going to be training very hard in Florida. I just need a little more sunshine and the additional space that’s provided for me down here. We did what we had to do in Colorado. Florida is just an ideal environment all-around and a happy place for me to be these last couple weeks.”

As Shields and trainer John David Jackson near fight night, the two-time Olympic Gold Medalist has a message for her fellow unbeaten opponent. “I know what I can and will do on April 13,” said Shields. “I already told Christina I’m going to beat her and mess her up. I’m taking this fight 100 percent seriously. I’m going to go out there and dominate her.

“I don’t want these belts handed to me. I’m coming to win every round on April 13. I’m a different kind of animal and Christina is going to see that on fight night. I’m ready. That’s it.”

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Salita Promotions, are priced at $150, $100, $55 and $35 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster and at boardwalkhall.com.

The long-discussed Claressa Shields-Christina Hammer fight finally has been scheduled.

Showtime announced Tuesday that the women’s middleweight title bout between these unbeaten champions is set for November 17 at Boardwalk Hall’s Adrian Phillips Theater in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The Shields-Hammer match will be broadcast as the main event of a special edition of Showtime’s “ShoBox: The New Generation” series.

They’ll fight for Shields’ IBF and WBA 160-pound championships, as well as Hammer’s WBC and WBO titles, in one of the biggest bouts in women’s boxing history. The winner will join ex-middleweight champions Bernard Hopkins and Jermain Taylor, former 140-pound champion Terence Crawford, cruiserweight champ Oleksandr Usyk and women’s welterweight champ Cecilia Braekhus as the only boxers to own the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO titles at the same time.

“I’ve worked hard my whole life to overcome every obstacle, represent my country and win two Olympic gold medals, and win world championships in two weight divisions as a pro,” Shields said. “I want to be part of the biggest fight in women’s boxing history, I want to be undisputed world middleweight champion, I want women’s boxing to reach new heights, and the only thing standing between me and the achievement of all those goals is Christina Hammer. I will defeat Hammer on November 17, and I will do it in a way that will leave no doubt who is the best in the world.”

The 23-year-old Shields (6-0, 2 KOs), a two-time Olympic gold medalist from Flint, Michigan, overcame a first-round knockdown during her last fight to convincingly defeat Costa Rica’s Hanna Gabriels (18-1-2, 11 KOs) by unanimous decision in a 10-rounder June 22 in Detroit. The 28-year-old Hammer (23-0, 10 KOs, 1 NC), of Dortmund, Germany, easily out-boxed Tori Nelson (17-2-3, 2 KOs) to win a 10-round unanimous decision on the undercard that night.

“I am beyond excited and motivated to fight Claressa,” Hammer said. “I am the best middleweight in the world and will make that point very clear when we get in the ring. It’s been my dream to fight in the biggest women’s fight of all time and raise women’s boxing to an all-time high. I will be crowned the undisputed middleweight queen on November 17.”

Tickets to the card headlined by Shields-Hammer range in pric from $35 to $150 and go on sale Friday (ticketmaster.com).

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.