JACK CATTERALL HAS signed a long-term extension to his promotional relationship with Frank Warren and Queensberry Promotions, one that has taken him from Central Area title level to the brink of world title success.

‘El Gato’, 27, linked up with Hall of Fame promoter Warren in 2014 and was speedily propelled into title contention against high calibre opponents. First the then unbeaten Nathan Brough was accounted for, via second round stoppage, to claim the Central Area belt, before decorated amateur and previously unbeaten pro Tom Stalker was stopped in the eighth three months later with the WBO European super lightweight title at stake.

The following year Catterall won the WBO Intercontinental title and has subsequently made eight defences of the belt to put himself into mandatory position for the shot at the full world title.

Inbetween times, the Chorley man won the British title by defeating Tyrone Nurse in October 2017 and scored notable victories over domestic rivals Tyrone McKenna and Ohara Davies.

Now 25-0, Catterall is awaiting a delayed shot at full world honours that has been held up, firstly due to former champion Maurice Hooker taking on and losing a unification fight against Jose Ramirez. The Californian was subsequently ordered to fulfil his WBC mandatory against Victor Postol before taking on Catterall, with the fight being held up due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Ramirez and Postol are reported to be scheduled to fight in August.

“I am delighted we have got a new deal done and I believe now is the right time to sign this new contract, having beaten everybody I needed to beat to get to this position,” said the stylish southpaw.

“I believe Frank is the one, along with BT, to deliver more big fights for me.

“Of course it will be great for us to see the job through together, from the Central Area through to the British and up to No.1 with the WBO. It will be nice to cross the line to being world champion with the promoter that has guided me all the way through.”

Promoter Frank Warren has longed banged the drum for the quietly-spoken Catterall, confidently predicting his world title credentials all along.

“Jack joined up with us as a relatively unheralded prospect, but I quickly identified that he was one who could go all the way.

“He jumped straight into tough fights against unbeaten opponents and proved that he had something special about him, so we set about building his world ranking and he currently occupies the No.1 spot with the WBO and is mandatory challenger for the world title.

“I am delighted that he is sticking with us for the long-term so we can see the job through and enjoy many more successful nights in the future.”

After suffering his first pro loss back in March against Scott Fitzgerald, Anthony Fowler bounced back with a solid win over veteran and former world title challenger Brian Rose in Liverpool, winning a clear unanimous decision over 10 rounds for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight title.

Rose (31-6-1, 8 KO) still looked like he had enough in the tank to test up-and-comers, but the 34-year-old fighter is certainly past his prime, and Fowler (10-1, 8 KO) was able to box effectively behind his jab, though the fight did step up in excitement down the stretch, with Rose having a little success late, including causing a cut on Fowler’s right eyebrow. But Fowler closed as well as he started, hurting Rose in the 10th and final round and putting an exclamation point on it.

Fowler said he’s open to a rematch with Fitzgerald, who is likely going to face British 154-pound champion Ted Cheeseman this fall.

Rose said he felt like he was second on everything in the fight, sounding a bit dejected by being beaten soundly over the distance. Rose sounded like he’d consider retirement, but Fowler said he felt Rose has plenty left to continue on.

Scores were 97-93, 98-92, and 98-92.

via badlefthook.com

WBO Inter-Continental Featherweight Champion Michael “Mick” Conlan emerged from Belfast City Hall and walked up the steps of the makeshift ring set up outside in Donegall Square. In the center of the city, Conlan, the fighting pride of Belfast, took center stage.

Conlan (11-0, 6 KOs), one of the greatest amateur boxers to come out of the Irish system, will fight Diego Alberto Ruiz (21-2, 10 KOs) Saturday evening at Falls Park as part of the city’s annual Féile an Phobail summer festival.

Conlan has fought in Belfast once before as a pro, but this event is expected to draw roughly 10,000 of his most rabid supporters. Wednesday’s media workout was a celebration of Conlan’s Belfast roots, as the city’s Lord Mayor, John Finucane, stopped by to say a few words.

Ranked in the top 10 by two of the major sanctioning organizations, Conlan has a world title shot on his mind. In Ruiz, he is facing the toughest test of his career, a bruiser from Argentina who has won 10 straight dating back to June 2016.

After working out, this is what Conlan had to say.

Michael Conlan

“Fighting at Falls Park is really a dream come true. Féile an Phobail is now in its 31st year. I remember going to the festival for many years when I was a kid. The atmosphere has always been very celebratory for the Irish people, and fighting there on August 3 will be very special. I have so many friends and family who live very close to Falls Park. When I was younger, we lived very close, and it was like a second home for my friends and I.”

“I’m really excited. {Ruiz} is very, very good. He’s a tough guy, and if I want to be world champion, I need to beat this guy. I think you’ll see the best Michael Conlan yet come Saturday.”

ESPN+, 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT

Michael Conlan vs. Diego Alberto Ruiz, 10 rounds, Conlan’s WBO Intercontinental  featherweight titles

Chris Jenkins vs. Paddy Gallagher, 12 rounds, Jenkins’ British and vacant Commonwealth welterweight titles

ESPN+, 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. ET

Luke Keeler vs. Luis Arias, 10 rounds, middleweight

Padraig McCrory vs. Steve Collins Jr., 8 rounds, super middleweight

Paddy Barnes vs. Joel Sanchez, 6 rounds, flyweight

For more information, visit: www.toprank.com, www.espn.com/boxing; Facebook: facebook.com/trboxing; Twitter: twitter.com/trboxing.

Use the hashtags #ConlanRuiz and #TheConlanRevolution to join the conversation on social media.

Photo by Mickey Williams

Vacant WBO Inter-Continental Jr. Welterweight Championship title Zhankosh Turarov vs. Mauro Godoy

MTK Boxing card from Kazakhstan on July 6 live on ESPN+

Kazakhstan boxing is readying itself for a night that will go down in its illustrious history and broadcast around the world – Saturday’s world title #MTKFightNight in Nur-Sultan.

Now, thanks to the support and encouragement of Nurali Aliyev, a name synonymous with boxing in Kazakhstan, they’re all coming home to show their progress to fanatical compatriots on a bill topped by Turarov’s (23-0, 16 KOs) WBO Inter-Continental Jr. Welterweight collision with high-class Argentinian Mauro Godoy (31-4-1, 16 KOs).

Turarov turned pro more than a decade ago in Kazakhstan and will be fighting for the second time in as many months since signing with MTK Global. He knocked out Richmond Djarbeng in two rounds last month in Cardiff, Wales, in a fight that streamed on ESPN+. Godoy, from Argentina, is coming off a 10-round unanimous decision victory March 15 in his home nation. He is a former South American super lightweight champion who has gone 10 or more rounds seven times.

The landmark event will take place at the colossal Barys Arena in the Kazakh capital of Nur-Sultan on the Day of the Capital City with 13,000 set to attend and witness boxing history.

ESPN, the biggest sports broadcaster in the world will broadcast the event to their 100 million subscribers across the US, Canada and Puerto Rico with iFL TV also on-hand to ensure viewership across the rest of the world.

“There are few nations developing as much great young talent as Kazakhstan,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “July 6 in Nur-Sultan – live on ESPN+ – is the start of something special for Kazakhstan boxing, and Top Rank is proud to be working with MTK Global on this exciting venture.”

Head of MTK Kazakhstan Askar Salikbayev said: “This is phenomenal news for everyone – for the country of Kazakhstan, for MTK Global, for the fighters and for the fans.

On August 3, Belfast hero Michael Conlan (11-0, 6 KOs) defends his WBO Inter-Continental strap against dangerous Argentinian Diego Alberto Ruiz (21-2, 10 KOs) at Falls Park as part of the city’s annual Féile an Phobail summer festival – live on BT Sport in association with Queensberry Promotions and on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank.

Conlan, who had originally been slated to face former Olympic rival Vladimir Nikitin only for the Russian to withdraw citing a bicep injury, is delighted at the news of a step up in level for his third 10-rounder.

Conlan said: “The show goes on. A bigger fight is happening. A harder fight is happening. A better performance will happen. My motivation and mindset haven’t changed.

“I’ve got a high-class fighter ranked highly in the world. I’m expecting him to cause me more problems than what Nikitin could have caused me.

“Maybe, once I’m world champion, I might give Nikitin a shot but for now I’m moving on because it was more stalling my career than advancing it in terms of the level I’m at.

“Facing a higher level of opponent is better for me. I want to push on towards world titles and big, big fights and I have to start going through the gears now.”

Ruiz said: “This is the biggest fight of my career and a great opportunity to prove myself as a fighter. I fought June 1, and I am going to be ready for whatever Michael brings.

“It won’t be an easy fight, but it is not an impossible task. I am not scared to fight on the road. That is my motivation because the pressure will be on him.”

article-2608786-1D357EBC00000578-460_634x388Tough: Anthony Crolla stopped good friend John Murray in the 10th round of the battle of Manchester

Photos/Getty Images

Article by:  Mike Dawes –

Anthony Crolla won the battle of Manchester by sensationally stopping John Murray in the 10th round.

The 27-year-old successfully defended his WBO inter-continental title in the process, a result that propels his world title hopes.

In a contest to be fought at lightning speed, Crolla just managed to come out on top against his good friend and former gym-mate.

article-2608786-1D358B3200000578-494_634x424Worry: Murray put ‘the fear of God’ into Crolla, according to the eventual winner in a gruelling battle

article-2608786-1D3586A500000578-241_634x469Done: Crolla successfully defended his WBO inter-continental title with the stoppage win on Saturday night

Murray started very quickly and had Crolla on the ropes in the third round, but the favourite grew into it – coming well out on top from the eighth onwards.

‘It was even tougher than I expected,’ Crolla told Sky Sports. ‘No matter how tough that looked, me and John were the luckiest men in this arena.

‘I prepared for this fight like no other, John put the fear of god into me. I remember how tough those sparring sessions were and I knew I had to keep a cool head in a hot kitchen.’

Murray did concede that Crolla had the better of it.

‘I gave it my all, I was the best I’ve been in training and he’s beaten me at my best,’ he said. ‘I want to take my hat off to Anthony because he was bang on.

‘I don’t want to make any excuses, as the rounds went on maybe I began to feel the inactivity but full respect to Anthony, I had a full camp and felt great.’

Could’ve been different: Murray started at lightning speed and landed a number of punches on his opponent

Big win: Crolla’s world title hopes have been propelled as he beat his former gym-mate at the Phones 4u arena



Fightnews.com will present live stream of Krasniqi-Dansu at 2PM ET, 11AM PT

Photo: Team SES / P. Gercke –

An important light heavyweight bout with world title ramifications will be streamed live right here on Fightnews.com TODAY at 2PM ET, 11AM PT. The event takes place in Potsdam, Germany and features WBO #8 rated Robin Krasniqi (40-3, 15 KOs) against unbeaten #13 rated Emmanuel Dansu (20-0, 18 KOs) in a ten round clash for the vacant WBO International light heavyweight title. The winner could be on the short list to challenge WBO champion Sergey Kovalev more sooner than later.

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Krasniqi, a former world title challenger, says he’s improved after coming up short against then-champion Nathan Cleverly 12 months ago. Dansu is an unknown quantity, having never previously fought outside Ghana. Bringing a 90% KO ratio, Dansu compares his style to Mike Tyson. We’ll see.Also featured on the card is WBO #12 rated light heavyweight Dominic Boesel (14-0, 5 KOs), who meets Miguel Velozo (17-1-2, 5 KOs) for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental belt.



The card also features the return of heavyweight KO artist Steffen Kretschmann (16-2, 15 KOs) in his first bout since September 2012. Kretschmann faces tough guy Samir Kurtagic (12-5, 8 KOs), who has gone the distance with big punchers like Denis Boytsov, Alexander Dimitrenko and Carlos Takam and never been stopped.

In further action, WBO/WIBF/WBF female super featherweight champion Ramona Kuehne (21-1, 7 KOs) risks her titles against unbeaten Gina Chamie (8-0, 4 KOs).

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The fights are presented by promoter Ulf Steinforth’s SES Boxing and will take place at the MBS Arena in Potsdam, Germany.




By Edri K. Aznar

MARVIN Mabait returns to Mexico to defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) Inter-Continental bantamweight crown next month.

Mabait faces off with former world title challenger Alejandro Hernandez in the main event of Boxeo Telemundo in Foro Polanco, Mexico City on March 28.

The 26-year-old Filipino prospect captured his WBO regional crown with a first round knockout of Mexican Johnny Garcia in Mexico last October.

This will be the first title defense of Mabait, who is training in the US under the tutelage of Nonito Donaire Sr.

Hernandez is a tough former world title challenger that has fought some of the best in his division the likes of current world champions Leo Santa Cruz and Omar Narvaez; and former world champions Akifumi Shimoda, Marvin Sonsona and Carlos Tamara.

Hernandez fought for the vacant WBO super flyweight belt in 2009 against Sonsona in Canada. Sonsona vacated his crown after tipping the scales overweight. Hernandez,
however, failed to snag the vacant crown after the fight ended in a draw.

Mabait, rated sixth in the WBO, is 19-1-2 with 13 knockouts, while the 27-year-old Hernandez is 26-10-2 with 14 knockouts.


Gary Shaw Productions bantamweight contender, Glenn Porras (28-3, 17 KOs) from M’lang, Cotabato (Del Norte) Philippines, will fight Jose Nieves (20-2-3, 9 KOs) of Carolina, Puerto Rico, for the WBO Intercontinental bantamweight title. The 10-round bout will take place at the Civic Center in Kissimmee, Florida on December 7, 2012.

“Porras is on fire of late going undefeated since 2008,” said Gary Shaw. “He’s been fighting at an incredible level over the last four years and he’s ready to make a statement against Nieves. I expect a great performance from him on December 7th.” Porras is riding a 15-fight winning streak, knocking out over half of those opponents during this remarkable stretch. A win against Nieves will get him closer to a world title shot. “I’m ready to represent my country of the Philippines when I fight for the second time the United States,” said Glenn Porras. “I feel my career is about to take off with my promoter Gary Shaw. Together I know we can go far. I’ll be ready for a world title shot in 2013”


Afganistán ha vibrado con su primer combate internacional de boxeo, un evento que hizo a los kabulíes olvidar por un día las penurias de la guerra y les dio la alegría de ver a un púgil de su país defender el título de campeón del mundo en casa. Bajo el lema de que el deporte trae la paz,Hamid Rahimi, de peso medio y 29 años, venció el martes por la noche a su oponente, el tanzano Said Mbelwa, en un cuadrilátero ubicado en laLoya Yirga (Gran Asamblea) de la capital ante unos 2.000 espectadores.

Otros cientos de miles de afganos siguieron atentos por televisión desde sus hogares el combate, que tal vez no fue el mejor ni el más intenso de la historia del boxeo, pero sí la consecución de un sueño por el que Rahimi había luchado durante los últimos dos años. “Quería dar a los afganos la posibilidad de asistir a eventos deportivos profesionales y dejar las armas de lado”, explicaba en una entrevista con EFE este púgil criado en Alemania.

“Estoy contento de haber disputado este combate en Afganistán. Es un honor para los afganos, no para mí“, gritó, visiblemente exaltado, Rahimi mientras sostenía el cinturón de campeón de su rango por la Organización Mundial del Boxeo (OMB).

Una masa incontrolable trataba de entrar en el cuadrilátero para abrazar al joven deportista, que neutralizó a su contrincante con un KO en elséptimo asalto. Mbelwa, lesionado en un hombro, fue incapaz de recuperarse de los puñetazos recibidos.

“Déjeme serle franco; no me importa quién se enfrente a mí en el ring porque soy un boxeador”, afirmó Rahimi. “¡Gané, gané y gané!”, agregó. “Mi rival decía que iba a noquearme en el tercer asalto, pero el destino quiso que le noqueara yo a él gracias al duro entrenamiento que hice una semana antes de la pelea”.

La celebración de este duelo no fue sencilla, pues Rahimi había propuesto inicialmente medirse al dominicano Rafael Bejarán, residente también en Alemania, pero al final el latinoamericano no pudo volar a Kabul.

La carrera de Rahimi

Rahimi tenía nueve años cuando se marchó de Afganistán a Alemania en 1992, en medio de una sangrienta contienda civil en el país asiático a cargo de diferentes facciones étnicas y atizada por señores de la guerra.

A los 14 años comenzó a boxear y enseguida se apasionó por esta actividad, algo que le valió el ingreso en un reformatorio tras pelear con un compañero de clase en la escuela. “Cuando empecé a boxear (de manera profesional) mi vida cambió y mis padres se alegraron. En estos últimos 14 años ya no he vuelto a luchar en la calle”, bromeó.

“Creo que el deporte tiene poder, tiene una magia para lograr cambios. A mí me cambió”, subrayó el joven afgano, que se proclamó campeón mundial de peso medio el pasado 24 de febrero tras vencer en la ciudad alemana de Hamburgo al bielorruso Ruslan Rodivich.

Rahimi explicó que le gustaría cambiar las condiciones y recursos destinados al deporte en Afganistán y dar a conocer al mundo no sólo que el país tiene un montón de aficionados, sino algunos de los mejores atletas y deportistas del planeta.


Massoud Hossaini/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Hamid Rahimi, a German of Afghan descent, celebrated his victory. He was the crowd favorite.

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghans love a good fight. Dog fights, ram fights, partridge fights — if two combatants square off here, there is sure to be a crowd cheering them on.

So when a German promoter this week brought the spectacle of professional boxing to Kabul — an international title fight with an Afghan contender, no less — the only real question for many Afghans was what took so long and, of course, how to get tickets.

The Thrilla in Manila it was not. Billed as the Fight 4 Peace, Tuesday night’s match played out more like the Squabble in Kabul.

The championship at stake was the unclaimed intercontinental middleweight belt of the World Boxing Organization, a title that is about as second-tier as it gets. The contenders — Hamid Rahimi, 29, a German of Afghan descent, and Said Mbelwa, 23, of Tanzania — were recognizable names nowhere beyond Afghanistan. To keep the crowd’s attention, there was also a praying mullah, a soccer ball juggler, a pair of Afghan pop stars and two slender men who pantomimed a Thai kickboxing match. Despite the fact that Mr. Rahimi was the clear crowd favorite, many onlookers acknowledged that his eventual victory through a technical knockout was dubious.

But they loved it anyway. Thousands showed up to see the match, and riot police officers were needed to keep those without tickets from storming the venue. Tens of thousands or more watched it on television. Afterward, young men cruised the streets, hanging out of car windows and chanting “Ha-Mid! Ha-Mid! Ha-Mid!”

By Wednesday morning, the match was the biggest news in the capital. Ahmad Noor, 42, a construction company manager, quipped that Mr. Rahimi’s fame now equaled that of President Hamid Karzai and Mullah Muhammad Omar, the Taliban leader. (Mr. Omar surely would have been displeased with the comparison, since he banned boxing when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan.)

Adel, 30, a street-side snack vendor who uses only a single name, said Mr. Rahimi’s victory was better than Id al-Adha, a major Islamic holiday that ended a few days ago. In American terms, that would be like saying it was better than Christmas.

If anything, the late summer and autumn of 2012 may well be remembered by Kabulis as the time when Western-style professional sports finally came to their city. The boxing match, as well as a string of soccer games, gave many a good reason to forget, at least for a few hours, the Taliban, the foreigners, the warlords and every other unwelcome group or unsavory character that has inflicted pain and suffering here.

Afghanistan has long had an active amateur sports scene, and Afghan athletes have competed internationally in the last few years. But many of those efforts — a women’s boxing team, for instance — often seemed to be at least partly geared toward Westerners eager to see how their countries’ efforts were changing Afghanistan.

This season’s big sports events, in contrast, were aimed squarely at Afghans themselves. Before the Fight 4 Peace came the Afghan Premier League, a well-organized professional soccer league that concluded its inaugural season a few weeks ago.

Both the boxing match and the soccer league had the trappings of big-time American or European sports events, with corporate sponsorships and live television broadcasts. Each was easily as big a story to Afghans as the events here that grabbed the Western news media’s attention, like the end of the American surge, which played out during the Premier League season.

“Why do I have to think about the Taliban or Obama when I watch a game? What do you think about?” snapped Muhammad Ishaq Geran at a Premier League match in late September when asked a few too many questions about watching soccer under Taliban rule.

Mr. Geran, 48, an administrator at the Ministry of Public Health, said the Taliban had nearly ruined soccer for him. Back when they were in power, games were often turned into propaganda spectacles with executions and amputations at half time.

He hated it. But with television, music, dancing and a host of other entertainment options banned, the soccer games “were the only entertainment we had,” he said. So he closed his eyes during the executions.

Now that Afghanistan had the Premier League, he could finally find the same escape in sports that fans do all over the world, he said. The cheap tickets — 30 afghanis, or $0.60, a seat — and live television broadcasts helped, too.

The Squabble in Kabul provided the same escape but at a steeper price. Tickets were 3,000 afghanis, about $60, and scalpers were selling them for as much as 12,000 afghanis, or nearly $240.

The ring was set up inside what is known as the loya jirga tent, a large concrete conference hall originally built for Afghan leaders to meet and decide matters of national importance, like whether to sign a strategic partnership deal with the United States.

No one was debating international affairs on Tuesday night. First came the mullah, who recited a prayer that he said the Prophet Muhammad spoke before conquering Mecca. Then came blaring pop music of a decidedly un-Islamic bent — “give me what you got in store, girl, I’m begging for more” — and the other opening acts.

The roughly 3,000 men at the tent were riled up by the time the fight got under way. Mr. Mbwela, who had to know he did not have a fan in the house, quickly embraced the role of the villain, theatrically pumping his fists at the crowd between rounds.

The fighters each got in their punches until early in the seventh round when Mr. Rahimi hit Mr. Mbwela in the shoulder. The Tanzanian retreated to his corner, gripping the shoulder with his glove. The fight was over.

The crowd went wild at the announcement Mr. Rahimi had won. Even Mr. Mbwela appeared to get caught up in the moment. He grabbed the new champion, who is now marketing an energy drink here, and lifted him into the air — and spawned Afghanistan’s latest conspiracy theory: that of the rigged boxing match.

“I think it was fixed,” said Arash, 27, a money exchanger who uses only a single name. “His rival grabbed him and raised him even though he was defeated.”


KABUL – A joyous Kabul crowd invaded the ring to celebrate a local victory in Afghanistan’s first professional men’s boxing match, after Hamid Rahimi beat Tanzanian Said Mbelwa in seven rounds.

Afghan fighter Rahimi overcame Mbelwa on Tuesday evening to take the World Boxing Organization Intercontinental middleweight belt in the “Fight 4 Peace” in a city better known for gunfire and insurgent attacks than uppercuts and jabs.

Organisers hope to use the event, which drew around 1,500 people paying at least $100 for a ticket – more than a month’s salary for most Afghans – to promote sport as a unifying force in Afghanistan after decades of conflict.

“This bout will give a lesson to the Taliban and other opposition of the government to stop fighting with weapons and that they can start fighting for power without violence,” said 28-year-old Mohammad Asif Sahibi as he watched.

During their five years of rule in Afghanistan the Taliban, bitterly opposed to sport and entertainment, outlawed boxing as un-Islamic, but later allowed limited-contact fighting which prohibited strikes to the face.

Tuesday’s contest, during which Rahimi’s every swing was roared by a partisan, flag-waving crowd, began after a mullah recited verses from the Koran, a solo footballer showed off ball trickery, and martial artists staged a display of Thai boxing.

“Its aim is to change people’s minds in order to keep them away from war and enmity,” said Rahimi supporter Attah Mohammad Yousufzai, a finance manager for a logistics company in Kabul.

“It aims to show them how to fight and still love each other.”

Rahimi took the belt on a technical knockout which ended a contest of few cleanly-landed punches, staged in a huge tent normally used for national gatherings of tribal elders but rigged with Las Vegas-style lights and a techno-pumping sound system for the bout.

“Today it’s a start,” Rahimi said after the fight. “This belt is not mine, this belt is Afghanistan’s, it’s yours. I love you.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

What the fighters had to say on Thursday:


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

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

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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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




LOS ÁNGELES CA, 5 de marzo. – Después de una explosiva noche de boxeo realizada el pasado 6 de enero, Golden Boy Promotions está emocionado de regresar al Fantasy Springs Resort Casino en Indio, California el viernes 16 de marzo con Omar Figueroa, de Weslaco, Texas, quien esa noche de enero le propinó su primera derrota al también estrella en ascenso Michael Pérez. El llamado “Panterita” Figueroa  enfrentará a Ramón Ayala de México en una batalla de 10 asaltos defendiendo su titulo Intercontinental Juvenil de peso ligero versión Organización Mundial de Boxeo (OMB).

Para Randy Caballero quien sostendrá su primera pelea por ShoBox, promete ser la más difícil de su carrera cuando enfrente al mexicano José Luis “Tapitas” Araiza en el evento co estelar.

Este doble evento de ShoBox que es presentado por Golden Boy Promotions y patrocinado por Corona, DeWalt Tools y AT&T, será televisado en vivo por ShoBox: The New Generation a las 11:00 p.m. ET/PT (diferido en la Costa Oeste) en SHOWTIME®.

Boletos a un precio de $25, $35 y $45 dólares están disponibles para su compra en la taquilla del Fantasy Springs, llamando al (800) 827-2946 o en línea www.fantasyspringsresort.com. Las puertas del Fantasy Springs se abrirán a las 6:00 p.m. PT y la primera campanada sonará a las 6:30 p.m. PT.

Cuando has terminado ocho de tus victorias en dos asaltos o menos, está muy claro que tienes el tipo de poder en los nudillos para llamar la atención de los expertos del boxeo, y aficionados por igual. Sin embargo, para Omar Figueroa Jr. (14-0-1, 11 nocáuts) quien ha estado en el radar del mundo boxístico por un par de años, no fue sino hasta el pasado 6 de enero cuando todo el mundo recibió una dosis real del potencial que posee el llamado “Panterita”, quien tiene de 22 años de edad, “Panterita”. Fue esa noche de principios de este año en la que Figueroa detuvo al entonces invicto y también prospecto Michael “The Artist” Pérez en seis asaltos en el mismo escenario en el que combatirán el 16 de marzo, y el púgil texano espera el mismo resultado contra Ramón Ayala.

Ramón “Niño de Oro” Ayala(23-2-1, 11 nocáuts) un respetado púgil aficionado que ahora está volando hacia la parte superior de la división de peso ligero, ha realizado un montón de combates para alguien que cuenta con tan sólo 23 años de edad, pero espera que esa experiencia lo conducirá a la victoria cuando enfrente a Omar Figueroa en marzo. Ganador de cinco pleitos en fila, tres de ellos por la vía del nocaut, el ex campeón Juvenil de peso superligero versión Consejo Mundial de Boxeo (CMB), tiene el estilo, el deseo y la habilidad de dar problemas a cualquiera en el cuadrilátero y eso es justamente lo que está pensando hacer a Figueroa el próximo 16 de marzo.