unnamed-7-1-600x400 Photo: Karen Priestley –

WBO Lightweight Champion of the World Terry Flanagan and his latest challenger Petr Petrov came face-to-face at a press conference today at the home of Premier League giants Manchester City ahead of their showdown at the Manchester Arena on Saturday 8th April, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.

Undefeated Flanagan, a City fanatic and season ticket holder at the Etihad Stadium, is gearing up for the fifth defence of his WBO strap and insisted no corners will be cut in his preparation for former World Title challenger Petrov.

“If I’m not 100% against Petrov I could slip up,” said Flanagan. “If I’m not on my game he’s a potential banana skin and I won’t get those big unification fights later on in the year. First and foremost I need to get in the gym and do the hard work. Me at my best beats him at his best. 

“He’s been at World level for years now and he’s right up there. He’s got four losses on his record but they were all against good fighters. Petr is a seasoned fighter but on the night I can adapt and deal with whatever he brings.

“Personally I don’t think you’ve seen the best of me yet. There’s still a lot more to come from me and I’m looking forward to showing people what I can do on April 8th. I still think I’m boxing within myself. I’ve never been behind in a fight so I’ve never had to show what I’m made of. You’ll see the best of me when I do go behind in a fight.

“My better nights are still to come, which says a lot a 32-0 and preparing to make my fifth World Title defence. Petrov is a great fighter, he can come at you and also box a bit. This is going to be a tough fight and your next fight is always your hardest fight. Every time I’ve boxed at arenas in Manchester I’ve come away with stoppage wins, I want to keep that up on April 8th.”

33-year-old Petrov (38-4-2, 19 KOs), a native of Russia who fights out of Spain, was stopped by Marcos Maidana in his previous attempt at a World Title back in 2011. Since dropping 12-round decision in 2013 to Dejan Zlaticanin, the WBO no.2 ranked danger man has won six fights in a row and says his experience gives him an edge over Flanagan.

“I’ve been waiting a very long time for another shot at a World Title,” said Petrov. “Finally it has come around and I think at the age of 33 this fight has come at the perfect time for me. I’m quicker and more agile than ever, I’m in the best form of my life.

“I’m stronger and I’m smarter than I was earlier in my career. That comes from training in America, it has made me a more intelligent fighter. Los Angeles is a great place for sparring, I’ve been sparring with southpaws from Japan, Russia and the United States in preparation for Terry. I understand how important sparring is and that’s what we’ll be paying attention to in the run up to the fight.

“I respect Terry as an undefeated World Champion, you have to. He is a very good boxer but I still think he has a lot to show. I’ve been around the block and fought a lot of different opponents. If I prepare well and execute my game plan I know I can beat him.”

Flanagan vs. Petrov tops a night of action at the Manchester Arena; Super-Welterweight rivals Liam Smith and Liam Williams clash in one of the most anticipated domestic dust-ups in recent times; slick South African Zolani Tete faces Arthur Villanueva in a final eliminator for the WBO World Bantamweight strap; double Olympic Gold Medallist and women’s boxing icon Nicola Adams OBE fights for the first time as a professional and former Team GB Heavyweight monster Daniel Dubois makes his highly-anticipated professional debut.

Elsewhere on the card former World Title challenger Jimmy Kelly takes on Bolton man Rick Godding in a tasty local tear-up; rising Super-Featherweight star Zelfa Barrett fights over six; Liverpool Super-Welterweight James Metcalf takes on Heywood’s Mark Thompson; undefeated Super-Lightweight Steven Lewis faces Andy Keates; Oldham Super-Middleweight Mark Heffron, Ellesmere Port Super-Welterweight Mason Cartwright, Manchester Cruiserweight Jordan Thompson and Super-Middleweight Anthony Leak complete a stacked card.



Photos: Sumio Yamada-

Unbeaten WBO lightweight champion “Turbo Terry” Flanagan (32-0, 13 KOs) scored a one-sided eighth round TKO over lackluster challenger Orlando “El Fenomeno” Cruz (25-5-1, 13 KOs).on Saturday night at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales. Flanagan pressed the action, while the much smaller Cruz was pretty much in survival mode from the get-go. Flanagan finally dropped Cruz twice in round eight to end the non-competitive contest. Time was :43.

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Photos: Sumio Yamada

Unbeaten WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan (31-0 12 KOs) scored a twelve round unanimous decision over 42-year-old former world champion Mzonke Fana (38-10, 16 KOs) on Saturday night at the Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff, Wales. Southpaw Flanagan, making the third defense of his title, dropped Fana in round four, but then suffered a bad cut on his right cheek. Flanagan mostly had the upper hand, but was frustrated by Fana’s awkward style. Flanagan dropped Fana again in round twelve to punctuate the fight. Scores were 120-106 on all three cards.

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Photos: Mikey Williams / Top Rank –

In just his seventh pro fight, WBO featherweight world champion Vasyl Lomachenko (6-1, 3 KOs) became a two-weight world champion by dethroning WBO junior lightweight world champion Rocky Martinez (29-2-2, 17 KOs) with spectacular five round KO on Saturday night at the Theater at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko demonstrated his superb speed and movement as he dominated Martinez before knocking him out with a left uppercut / right hook combination. Time was 1:09.

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Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren has issued a statement on making a potential unification clash between WBO lightweight world champion Terry Flanagan (30-0, 12 KOs) and WBA lightweight king Anthony Crolla (31-4-3, 13 KOs). “In simple terms, no barriers, no excuses, let’s get it done! The ball is now firmly in Team Crolla’s court. Flanagan is ready and I’m ready and our door is open,” stated Warren.

Quite simply, Flanagan v Crolla has to happen. when has there even been an opportunity to see two world champions from the same city, in fact the same school, attempt to unify their World titles?

Far too often, politics get in the way of making great events, now so more than ever before. During my 35 year career, I have co-promoted countless of events with major promoters in the UK and around the world, including Matchroom so I see no reason why this cannot happen again.

It seems the one stumbling block being flagged up by Matchroom Sport was the issue of the respective fighters rival broadcast platforms, Sky Sports, who televise Anthony Crolla’s fights and BoxNation, who televise Terry Flanagan. To get over this, as Terry’s exclusive Promoter, I am prepared to agree, subject to contract and the commercial terms offered by Sky, that Sky Sports Box Office, can have the exclusive UK broadcast rights to the event to make it happen.

This should ensure that the Sky Sports/BoxNation argument cannot be used as a smokescreen to prevent this fight from happening. I will not make counter offers to secure the event for BoxNation providing Sky Sports Box Office do not offer unreasonable terms.

I will agree to this if the following terms are accurately reflected in a contract:

    The Event is staged by Queensberry Promotions Ltd and Matchroom Sport Ltd, on an equal 50:50 basis. All decisions regarding the event, including pricing and costs, must be mutually agreed.
    The Event takes place in 2016 at the Manchester Arena.
    Manchester Arena’s official ticketing partner, Eventim, receive the sole and exclusive ticketing rights for the event. No secondary ticket agents are permitted to be a sponsor, associate or partner of the event, such as StubHub and the like.
    Each co-promoter is responsible for paying the purse of their respective boxers (i.e. Terry Flanagan to be paid by Queensberry Promotions and Anthony Crolla to be paid by Matchroom Sports) with an undercard to be mutually agreed.

This is an opportunity for both Terry and Anthony to earn career high purses, along with delivering a huge British unification clash for the fans. There is no reason why we cannot move forward on what are fair and reasonable terms for all involved and get this fight on, that is of course if they want it to.

Contrary to the opinion of a few people with their own agenda, no other fight for either fighter can deliver them the type of pay day and profile that is possible from this event. It has all the ingredients to be a special night and an historic one for Manchester. Two World Champions from the same City, same school and arguably the number 1 and 2 in the lightweight division putting it all on the line for local bragging rights. Add on top of that that one is a City fan and the other United. What more could you ask for?

Boxing fans have called for Promoters to put aside rivalries, egos and personal agendas and collaborate to deliver the best possible fights for the public. Here is the perfect opportunity to do this and I’m playing my part.

I am making this statement public to show boxing fans how serious I am about making this event happen. Neither the fighters, nor the public deserve to miss out on what will be a memorable night for British boxing.

In simple terms, no barriers, no excuses, let’s get it done! The ball is now firmly in Team Crolla’s court. Flanagan is ready and I’m ready and our door is open.



Vasyl Lomachenko outclassed Romulo Koasicha in Las Vegas and immediately called for bigger and better nights.

The Ukrainian superstar controlled the fight from the start ahead of Timothy Bradley and Brandon Rios’ showdown at the Thomas & Mach Center, parading his undoubted talent in regular and fluent bursts before finishing it off in the 10th rounds.

A succession of unanswered punches saw Koasicha in trouble before a left to the stomach, followed by a brutal one to the ribs, left him on his knees and unable to beat the count.

Lomachenko (5-1-KO3) kept the WBO featherweight title that he picked up on his second professional fight in 2013 but the Seoul Olympic gold medallist is already looking to show his skills on bigger stages.

“I want to bring something new to boxing,” Lomachenko said.

“I want to be known to fans and appreciated as a ‘boxer-painter’ in regards to speed, footwork, punching power – an art form inside the ring.

“I have looked at videos of many great champions like Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson and Joe Frazier who each had special qualities.

“I never say one particular fighter is the best ever because each has a special unique style of fighting.”

Promoter Bob Arum hinted at a showdown with Guillermo Rigondeaux, who has been stripped of both his super-bantamweight world titles and is now up in the lightweight division with Lomachenko.

Another former 122lb champion, Leo Santa Cruz, has also moved up while there is still talk of Lomachenko giving Gary Russell Jr a rematch, having beaten the American ace in March 2013 to become a record-breaking world champion.


0eaa5cb242f0e286edb7f799392065c1  Credit Photo by:  Ben Hoskins /Getty Images –

On Saturday night, the reigning, defending WBO lightweight champion of the world, 26 year-old, 5’9½” tall, southpaw Terry “Turbo” Flanagan (28-0, 11 KOs) of Manchester, England was making his first title defense and it just happened to be in front of the home folk at the Manchester Arena in a scheduled 12 rounder against a gentleman the promoters were touting as “the #1 ranked contender” 28 year-old, 5’6” tall Diego Magdaleno (28-1, 12 KOs) from Las Vegas, Nevada. Even though several ranking systems had Magdaleno ranked as high as #27 in the world, the WBO had him ranked right up in their Top 10 plus several of the local British bookies had the betting line for this fight a toss-up.

After just 5 minutes and 38 seconds, the fight was over. The end came in round two when Flanagan dropped Magdaleno three times. After several extremely hard left uppercuts, a plethora of extremely hard left hooks, the repeated head snapping jabs, referee Terry O’Connor finally stopped the fight at the 2:38 mark of round two. Even though Magdaleno finished on his feet, there was no way he could have possibly continued after the three straight knockdowns. With his extremely wide stance for a short man, he looked like an first time ice skater falling all over the ice. With the legs separated he did two ballerina splits. To his credit, the fully exposed Magdaleno showed a lot of heart and kept throwing his own hard shots albeit missing by a wide stretch.

With the win, Flanagan moves up to (29-0, 12 KOs), while Magdaleno drops to (28-2, 12 KOs).



By Jeff Zimmerman
Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Although North Texas got hit with a large snowstorm late Wednesday evening it could not dampen the official press conference Thursday afternoon to announce the battle between undefeated WBO lightweight champion Terence Crawford (25-0, 17KOs) and #2 rated Thomas Dulorme (22-1, 14KOs) for the vacant WBO junior welterweight world title on April 18 at College Park Center on the campus of the University of Texas at Arlington. The world championship fight will be televised as part of a split site doubleheader live on HBO.

Crawford, always cool as ice, fit right into the elements that covered the outside of the arena right on campus of UTA in the city of Arlington, a sometimes forgotten city in the middle of Dallas Fort Worth. Ironically, this arena sits only a few miles from AT&T Stadium aka Jerry World where another Top Rank fighter by the name of Manny Pacquiao fought a couple times to huge crowds. 

Any potential fight between Top Rank’s prized pupils may be scrapped for good now that the mega-fight has finally been made between Pacquiao and Mayweather. Crawford knows that for bigger fights to come, with Pacquiao or anyone else, he has to continue to deliver as he did in 2014 when he won BWAA Fighter of the Year.


Fightnews caught with both Crawford in an exclusive one-on-one interview.

How do you feel about moving up in weight? 

I feel good, feel comfortable already.

How do you end up in Dallas again after fighting in your hometown of Nebraska the last couple of fights?

Well this is the venue they have chosen, so this is the venue we are going to be fighting at.

What do you know about Dulorme?

He’s a tall, rangy type of guy. Puncher, ok boxer, you know that pretty much sums it up.

How do you feel about your breakout year in 2014 where you were BWAA fighter of the year and getting all this praise? Has it changed you?

Not at all, it makes me want to train even harder, because I know people want my spot. I know a lot of people are targeting me now to uplift their career so I know I have to be on my p’s and q’s every night of every fight.

What is your goal for this year?

Keep winning, you know, putting all those spectacular performances like that I had put on in 2014.

Are you targeting anyone? 

I don’t target fighters. I always felt like when you target fighters you are trying to be in the same place they are at and I feel like I’m getting to the point where they are calling me out, because they want what I got. And there’s no need to call anybody out.

On your Gamboa fight and how you turned some heads going from southpaw to orthodox – do you train that way?

I practice it sometimes but it mainly comes natural – something I have been doing as a kid, something I already transcend as a professional.

During the fight did you feel like you could get the advantage with your lead right when you switched to southpaw? 

Of course, of course I just always felt a great fighter always adjusts and I felt like I did that in that fight. I felt like it paid off.

Did you emulate or idolize any fighter growing up?

I always just looked up to boxers, anybody that boxed – Floyd, Pernell Whitaker, Sugar Shane Mosley when he was at lightweight, Marco Antonio Barrera after he beat Naseem Hamed – those are just a few, but anybody that boxed. I love the art of boxing.

Do you feel like you have to take it to another level this year for the general public to know who you are?

Not really. You know all I have to do is keep putting together performances that I have been putting on and keep winning and everything else is going to fall in place.



Photos: Chris Farina / Top Rank –

WBO Lightweight champion Terence Crawford “the Pride of Omaha” and #1 contender and mandatory challenger Ray Beltran of Mexico worked out on Monday during “media day” in advance of their upcoming world title clash in Omaha, Nebraska.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Tecate, Crawford vs. Beltran will take place during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend on Saturday, November 29, at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha,NE. It will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark.

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OMAHA, NEB — Undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) lightweight champion TERENCE “Bud” CRAWFORD, Omaha’s favorite son, will make an encore hometown title defense on the heels of his wildly successful victory over previously undefeated world champion and Cuban sensation Yuriorkis Gamboa.  Crawford will defend his title against No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger RAY BELTRAN on Thanksgiving weekend, Saturday, November 29, at the CenturyLink Center.  The fight will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark, beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. Photos by Chris Farina/Top Rank.Crawford_Beltran_PC_140930_001a

Crawford successfully defended his title on June 28, at the CenturyLink Center, knocking out previously undefeated world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in front of an energized crowd. The fight, a candidate for Fight of the Year honors, was televised live on HBO®, and according to Nielsen Media Research, garnered an average audience of 1.208 million viewers to the live, first-time airing, making it the second most-watched fight of the year so far.  Crawford vs. Gamboa was the first world championship fight the city of Omaha had hosted in 42 years when Joe Frazier defended his World Heavyweight Championship crown against Ron Stander in 1972.



“It’s an honor to fight in my hometown during the holiday season in front of my fans and family who will be traveling to Omaha,” said Crawford.  “It’s great that Top Rank and HBO are coming back into town to promote another show on one of the biggest weekends of the year.  Beltran feels I have something – a world title belt – which belongs to him.  He thought he beat Ricky Burns and I thought Beltran won too.  But he didn’t and I did. Beltran can fight. We know that.  I am going to fight him like a bad dog, fight fire with fire. Let’s see if he really has a will to win in Omaha. My will to win is off the charts. He won’t be coming straight at me the way he did against Ricky Burns.  My team and I are training hard to put on a good show for everyone. No one will be disappointed.”


“Crawford has shown to be a talented fighter, someone I respect,” said Beltran.  “But I see this fight as an opportunity for me to achieve the recognition in the boxing world and the public’s eye.  This fight is Champion vs. Champion. It’s not about the belts. It’s about us.  Crawford is talented, has skill, but I have the ability to adapt and will be ready for what he brings.  The situation against Burns made me stronger, I felt the love of the crowd and all of their respect that night.  I feel blessed with my family and friends.  All of that will be with me when I fight Crawford in Omaha. I am the No.  2 fighter in the world. Crawford is No. 1. That is what this is all about.  I believe in me.  This is my moment.”

“This fight between Crawford and Beltran could very well be the fight of the year. The styles and skills of both fighters guarantee as much,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum.

“When Terence Crawford fought in front of his Omaha hometown crowd last June, the atmosphere produced one of the most spectacular fights of 2014 on HBO,” said Peter Nelson, vice president, programming, HBO Sports.  “The spotlight returns to the American heartland November 29, as the undefeated champ faces Ray Beltran, a challenger who has earned more opportunities than he’s been given and always gives the fans his all.”

“CenturyLink Center Omaha is honored to have the opportunity once again to host this world championship boxing event,” said Roger Dixon, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority.  “The atmosphere was electric in June and we expect even more excitement this time around”

Crawford (24-0, 17 KOs), of Omaha, returns to the ring fresh from his dramatic and critically-acclaimed knockout victory of Gamboa.  Not only did Crawford retain his title, he also made himself a contender for Fighter of the Year.  He is only the second Nebraska native to be recognized as a boxing world champion.  Perry “Kid” Graves, from Rock Bluff, captured the welterweight crown, knocking out Johnny Alberts in Brooklyn, in 1914, according to the Omaha World-Herald.  After a short but impressive amateur career, which included victories over future world champions Danny Garcia, Mikey Garcia and one-time world title challenger Diego Magdaleno, Crawford made his professional debut on March 14, 2008 – a first-round knockout victory of Brian Cummings.  On March 1, 2014 – just 13 days short of the sixth anniversary of his pro debut, Crawford captured the WBO lightweight title, dethroning defending champion Ricky Burns on Burns’ home turf of Glasgow, Scotland. Scoring a powerful and unanimous decision, Burns put the boxing world on notice that with his virtuoso performance.  Crawford pulled out all stops in dismantling Burns as he rocked the defending champion throughout the fight, while switching back and forth between orthodox and southpaw stances.

Beltran (29-6-1, 17 KOs), a native of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, who now lives in North Hollywood, Calif.,  is one of the lightweight division’s toughest and most experienced fighters.  A former NABF and USBA lightweight champion,  Beltran enters this fight riding a two-year five-bout winning streak, which includes a disputed draw against defending WBO lightweight champion hometown favorite Ricky Burns in Glasgow, Scotland last year.  In that fight, Beltran fractured Burns’ jaw in the first two rounds and dominated the fight, consistently landing the harder punches.  Beltran scored a knockdown in the eighth round and finished the fight strongly.  Ringside observers and television viewers alike screamed “home cooking!” when the fight was declared a draw.  Beyond his professional fight, Beltran has had the benefit of being a main sparring partner for Fighter of the Decade Manny Pacquiao for several years before becoming a top-rated contender in his own right.  In his last fight, on April 12,  he claimed the NABO lightweight title, winning  a 12-round unanimous decision against once-beaten Arash Usmanee on the undercard of the Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley Jr world welterweight championship rematch.



By Bill Green/BG Sports Entertainment
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank

Fight week has arrived and WBO lightweight world champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (23-0, 16 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, took time out of his busy training routine to discuss his much talked about world title defense against fellow undefeated former champion and Olympic gold medalist Yuriorkis Gamboa (23-0, 16 KOs) live on HBO Boxing After Dark this Saturday night at the CenturyLink Center located in Omaha, Nebraska. The event is being promoted by Top Rank, in association with SMS Promotions, PS4 and Tecate.

Hello champ, thank you for taking time out of your schedule and supporting the #1 boxing website, www.fightnews.com. How is training camp going?

Camp went real well as always. I have a great team. They have been there since day one. We put in the work necessary to compete at this level. Colorado Springs is perfect for conditioning and we had great sparring as well. We did everything we normally do but just more of it. We are taking things to the next level.

On June 28th, Omaha, Nebraska and Terence Crawford will be making new history in the boxing world. For instance, first televised HBO Boxing After Dark card in Nebraska, Top Rank’s first appearance in Nebraska, and the first major boxing card at the CenturyLink Center. How does it feel to be part of Nebraska history?

Wow, I mean it’s a real honor. This is home. This is where it all started. I’m truly blessed and thankful to all my supporters.

Champ, your popularity has soared since becoming a household name and capturing the WBO lightweight title. You received the key to the city, appeared on several sports talk shows and gave back to the community by talking to students throughout the Omaha Public Schools district. How has the fame changed you inside and outside the ring?

I feel like it hasn’t really changed me in terms of who I am. I feel like this is my responsibility as a champion. Before the Burns fight, I promised the kids/students that I would be back but that I would be bringing the belt with me. If anything, the added attention makes me train even harder. I love my city and on June 28th, I will fight my heart out.

Since you mentioned the Burns fight, how would you rate your performance?

It was a great night, we got the job done and that’s what counts. However, I felt like I could have done better. I give my performance a B. I adjusted and took control of the fight after a few rounds but made a few mistakes that I will correct heading into this fight with Gamboa.

At the press conference to announce the fight, most boxing insiders were surprised to see you be more vocal and outspoken. I believe it started after hearing Gamboa boast about his accomplishments, including being a former Olympic Gold Medalist, and three-time world champion. Any bad blood with Team Gamboa or is this simply a champion coming out of his shadow?

Crawford: No, there is no bad blood at least on our end. I just want him to know that this is my city, he’s the challenger. Also, this isn’t the amateurs and everyone else he beat in the pros weren’t Terence Crawford.

I have noticed some back and forth comments from both camps on social media. SMS Promotions, aka a 50 Cent, Promoter of Gamboa, boldy predicted that his fighter will stop you in four rounds, while Gamboa himself stated that he faced the better opposition in his career and that his combination of power/speed will be the deciding factor. How would you like to respond to Team Gamboa’s somewhat stern statements?

They can say all they want it doesn’t faze me. We will see what he can or can’t do. I know that I’m well prepared and I assume he will be as well. All that talk won’t matter, we are going to settle things in the ring.

You competed as an amateur at 132lbs and typically campaign between 135-140 lbs. However, Gamboa won gold as a flyweight and most of his key victories as a pro were at 126. Do you believe that your size and strength will be your biggest advantage?

We shall see. I mean… we have never fought before so we prepared for whatever he might bring to the table. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get that “W.”

The old cliché in boxing is “styles make fights.” Why will Crawford vs Gamboa be a great fight?

Crawford: The fight is going to be explosive. It will be great because we are both undefeated as pro’s, both stellar amateur careers, and I truly believe both of us are elite fighters in the sport. Find the best-fitting & stylish women’s swim tops, bottoms & bikinis available in plus sizes. Shop women’s plus size swimwear & bathing suits online at Swimwearlux.com. Discover women’s plus size swimwear and beachwear at Swimwearlux – Pick from a range of tummy control swimwear and swimsuits styles and colors. What kind of plus-size bathing suit are you looking for? Since swim styles and patterns are always changing with each season, you’ll always find new styles. #1 selection of plus size Bikinis & Tankinis at Swimwearlux. #plus #size #swimwear #swimwearlux

Ok champ, we are almost finished and then you can get back to training. At a sold crowd, live on HBO boxing, Omaha Nebraska fans are on their feet in complete anticipation chants of BUD… BUD… BUD… begin to surface, the stage is set, Michael Buffer grabs the mic as his voice blisters’ the air with “Omaha? Are you ready? Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!!!” Please finish the ending to the story.

You will hear the words “and STILL,” followed by “WBO LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD, TERENCE “BUD” CRAWFORD.”




By:  Michelle Rosado –

Just 3 days after outclassing Ricky Burns and becoming the new WBO lightweight champion, Terence Crawford was honored with the keys to the city in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Furthermore, in recognition of his dedication and determination in becoming a true champion, the Omaha city council declared Tuesday, March 4th, 2014, as Terence “Bud” Crawford Day.

Crawford is the first boxer to bring back a title to Omaha in 100 years. “I never would’ve thought I would have the keys to the city! God has really blessed me,” he commented.


Ricky Burns.Lightweightchamp

By Edward Chaykovsky –

Billy Nelson, trainer of WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns (36-2-1, 11 KOs), wants his fighter to be “extra busy” against mandatory challenger Terrence Crawford (22-0, 16KOs). The fight is scheduled for March 1 at the Scottish Exhibition Centre in Glasgow, Scotland. Burns is returning from a controversial twelve round draw with Raymundo Beltran last September, where the Scottish fighter had his jaw badly broken.

Nelson wants his fighter to overwhelm Crawford with punches, not allowing the undefeated challenger to get started.

“I want Ricky to be in the middle of the ring, to work his jab, to dictate the distance and stop his punches and come over the top and rock his body. I want him to be extra busy and take Terence out of his comfort zone,” Nelson told Sky Sports Ringside.

Burns agreed with his train, stating: “I’m going to be using my jab in this fight. A fight can won off the jab.”



RICKY BURNS has been granted his wish of a second world title battle with big-hitting Mexican Raymundo Beltran.

The WBO lightweight champion will meet Beltran for a second time in five months with his belt up for grabs in Glasgow early in February.

On September 7, the Scot had his jaw broken in the second round of their first meeting and was decked in the eighth on his way to a hotly-disputed and fortunate draw against the challenger in what was, nonetheless, one of the most courageous performances ever witnessed in a Scottish ring.

But, to his credit, and despite having had a titanium plate inserted in his jaw and offered a big-money match up in Madison Square Garden with US star Terence Crawford, Burns has remained true to his word Beltran would get a re-match.

Now the champ’s manager Alex Morrison has confirmed: “Eddie Hearn has reached an agreement with Beltran’s people for a rematch in Glasgow in February next year.

“Ricky made it clear from the moment the first fight between the two was over that he felt he owed Beltran a second chance and that speaks volumes for the type of man he is.

“After suffering the type of injury he did, many a fighter would be loath to go back in the ring, never mind face the same opponent again who had inflicted these injuries.

“But Ricky is the most honest man you will ever meet and he knows he must set the record straight in the second fight.

“Obviously, we had other options, but for Ricky the honourable thing to do was to give Beltran a second chance.

“He may have that, but I think this time Beltran will find out just how good Ricky is at his best.”

There are urgent areas of improvement required in his performance if he is not to be found impaled on Beltran’s left hook once more.

The champion’s professional career spans back to the night of his pro debut at the Kelvin Hall on October 20, 2001, against journeyman Woody Greenway on the undercard of Olympic champion Audley Harrison.

Since then, two kinks have remained in the Burns armour and that has been his tendency to remain rigidly upright with his jaw out and his failure to bring his right hand back to cover it after he has thrown a punch.

A brutally-honest big Alex admitted Burns will have to do better to prevail next time.

He said: “Ricky made mistakes in the first fight and learned some very painful lessons.

“But, come February, I have every confidence he will put a performance together which proves that point and puts Beltran to bed once and for all.”



By Edward Chaykovsky –

According to manager Alex Morrison, WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns (36-2-1, 11KOs) will meet rival Ray Beltran (28-6-1, 17KOs) for a second time on a date in early February in Glasgow, Scotland. They first collided on September 7, where Burns was dropped in the eight and had his jaw badly broken. Burns went on to retain his title with a very controversial twelve round draw, which even the UK press disagreed with.

Alex Morrison told The Scotsman: “Eddie Hearn has reached an agreement with Beltran’s people for a rematch in Glasgow in February next year. Ricky made it clear from the moment the first fight between the two was over that he felt he owed Beltran a second chance and that speaks volumes for the type of man he is.

“After suffering the type of injury he did, many a fighter would be loath to go back in the ring, never mind face the same opponent again who had inflicted these injuries. But Ricky is the most honest man you will ever meet and he knows he must set the record straight in the second fight. Obviously, we had other options, but for Ricky the honourable thing to do was to give Beltran a second chance. He may have that, but I think this time Beltran will find out just how good Ricky is at his best.”



burns-beltran (6)

Scottish boxer Ricky Burns says he would be happy to give Raymundo Beltran a rematch once his broken jaw has had time to recover.

The WBO lightweight champion suffered the injury in last month’s controversial draw with the Mexican in Glasgow.

The challenger looked to have done enough to beat Burns when the pair met at the SECC arena in Glasgow and had the Coatbridge boxer on the floor in the eighth round.

However, the judges could not agree on the winner, allowing the 30-year-old home favourite to keep the belt via a split decision draw.

‘I think it’s only right to fight Raymundo again,’ said Burns. ‘I think it’s the fight the fans want to see.

My jaw is on the mend. It’s healing the way it should. I’ve been doing light training and hopefully I’ll be back boxing in five to six weeks.

‘The pain was unbelievable and the surgeon said it was stupidity. It’s just the way I am. If I’m in a fight, I’ll fight to the end.’

Burns admitted that he considered his future in the sport in the immediate aftermath of his injury, which was sustained in the second round of the September 7 contest.

‘I don’t know how I managed to get through it,’ he said. ‘The pain was unbelievable and the surgeon said it was stupidity. It’s just the way I am. If I’m in a fight, I’ll fight to the end.

‘I think people knew that wasn’t the real me in that ring. I was in survival mode from the second round.

‘I wouldn’t say it crossed my mind that I would never fight again but I was thinking ‘is the same thing going to reoccur?’’

A second fight with Beltran is not the only possibility for Burns, who is part of promoter Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom stable.

Undefeated American Terence Crawford remains the WBO’s mandatory challenger, while a third option would be a unification fight. IBF champion Miguel Vazquez would be the likely opponent if Burns’ camp went down that route.

A planned meeting between Burns and Vazquez in London was cancelled at short notice in March, with the Mexican IBF champion citing a viral infection.


Date:  September 7, 2013

Title:  WBO Lightweight Championship

Location:  Scottish Exhibition Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Promoter:  Matchroom Boxing/Eddie Hearn

Supervisor:  Dennis Gilmartin

Referee:  Phil Edwards

Judges:  Carlos Ortiz, Jr.  (115-112), Richard Davies (114-114) and Andre Van Grootenbruel  (113-115)

Results:  A 12-round split draw.  Burns suffered a broken jaw in the 2nd round.  Burns was knocked down in the 8th round.



By Declan Warrington –

Ricky Burns believes that his last fight, against Jose Gonzalez, produced the ‘worst round’ of his career but insists that he will be fully prepared for Raymundo Beltran in the knowledge that he is unlikely to resist a brawl.

The WBO lightweight champion was in many ways fortunate to survive what was a difficult title defence against Gonzalez in May when the challenger retired after the ninth round with a wrist injury.

Burns is adamant, however, that he has learnt from that experience and will therefore not allow himself to become impatient or to repeat the same mistakes.


Fully prepared: Ricky Burns insists he will not be slipping up against Raymundo Beltran


‘I think when I watched that fight back, from the second round onwards you could see I was getting picked off and I was trying to force the fight. I was lunging in,’ he told Sky Sports.

‘I was getting caught with punches I shouldn’t of, which I shouldn’t have been doing. It’s alright saying it now that I’ve watched it back, but when you are in there, that’s when I should have clicked.

‘I enjoy the occasion, especially fighting in Glasgow it’s fantastic.

article-2410111-1B99977C000005DC-618_634x492Talented: The Scot also says he will be putting the ‘worst round’ of his career behind him


‘(But) that last fight, the seventh round, I think that was the worst round in my whole boxing career. It’s the only time I have noticed the fans lift the roof off the place.

‘That’s the first time I paid attention to it.’

Saturday’s fight at Glasgow’s Scottish Exhibition Centre is Burns’ fourth defence of his world title, while his Mexican opponent fights at world-level for the first time. Beltran has spoken of his hunger and determination to beat the Scot but Burns is the classier fighter and says he has concentrated on the fundamentals in order to be fully prepared.


Close relationship: Burns is fighting for the second time since teaming up with Eddie Hearn

article-2410111-1B96143E000005DC-110_634x397Determined opponent: Mexico’s Raymundo Beltran is fighting for a world title for the first time


‘We went back to basics a bit for this fight, we went back to boxing, but knowing me there is always a time when I’m going to be dragged into a fight,’ he said.

‘I don’t know what way I’m going to take this guy on Saturday night, one round at a time, but if it’s going to be toe-to-toe for 12 rounds, then I’m up for that.’

Over the course of 34 fights, Beltran has lost six and won 28.

Burns has suffered only two defeats in 38, the last of those against Carl Johanneson in 2007.



WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns insists there is no chance of fatherhood turning him soft.

The 30-year-old’s wife Amanda gave birth to an as yet unnamed baby boy last week amid his preparations for the fourth defence of his title against Raymundo Beltran at the SECC in Glasgow on Saturday night.

Before Tuesday’s press conference at the Fighting Scots Gym in Mossend, Lanarkshire, promoter Eddie Hearn joked that he had warned Burns not to let the emotions of fatherhood affect his mindset against the Mexican.

When asked if that was a possibility, the Coatbridge fighter said: “No, not at all. Boxing is my job, that is the way I look at it.

“Come Saturday night I know what I need to go out and do.

“First I need to win and then put on good performance, better than the last one.

“The last two or three months has been a nightmare.

“Moving house with the baby on its way, while trying to train for this fight.

“Amanda went into labour four o’clock on the Monday morning and didn’t have the baby until the Thursday morning, so she was in a while.

“It was just a nightmare but it is all done now so all my focus is on Saturday night.”

Burns’ desire to “do better than the last one” was a reference to his fight against Jose Gonzalez in May.

The impressive Puerto Rican challenger was ahead on points at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow but retired at the end of the ninth round with a damaged left hand.

“You are not always going to get it your own way in fights,” said Burns.

“But a champion shows that he can dig in and that’s what I done and got the win, which is the most important thing.

“Gonzalez was very good. At one point I felt my leg going a bit and that’s when he pounced on me, had me on the ropes and was unloading on me.

“But I came back with own punches. It is not in me to give in.

“I have always said that if I am going out I will go out swinging and when I caught him in the seventh that’s when the crowd took the roof off.

“But you learn from those fights. With Beltran, I don’t think I will have to go looking for him.

“He hasn’t come over here for nothing and he has not been one of the chief sparring partners of Manny Pacquiao for nothing.

“I know I am going to have to bring my A-game.

“He likes to get involved in a bit of a war but that doesn’t bother me.

“There will be times when In have to dig deep and stand my ground.

“Hopefully I will keep to my boxing but we will wait and see.”



By Edward Ckaykovsky –

Promoter and former champion Ricky Hatton praised WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns for his victory last Saturday night in Glasgow when he came from behind to stop unbeaten Jose Gonzalez in nine rounds. Gonzalez appeared to win the first seven rounds, but began to fade badly and then quit on his stool before the start of the tenth – claiming a left hand injury.

“I was very fortunate where I was able to beat people who were more talented than me because I wanted it a bit more. When you get to that level where you are very evenly matched, you have to drag it out. No matter how much you work in the gym on a game plan, you have to drag it out in the chmapionship rounds and that’s what Ricky did. I know [Gonzalez] damaged his hand a little bit but he was tiring. Maybe he lost a bit of bottle? Maybe he did but because of what Ricky was doing,” Hatton told Sky Sports.



Photos: Joel Colon PR Best –

Ricky Burns ended the tremendous challenge of Puerto Rico’s Jose Gonzalez to retain his WBO world lightweight title in Glasgow.

Gonzalez, unbeaten in his previous 22 bouts, retired at the end of the ninth round with a damaged left wrist.

At that point, there was little to separate the two as Burns was tested to the full in his third title defence.

And the 30-year-old Scot must have experienced as much relief as delight when the bout was ended prematurely.

The partisan crowd would have wilted the fighting desire of lesser men but Gonzalez was bright and game in the opening round, flashing out his left fist to keep the more aggressive Burns at bay.

The opening two rounds suggested the fight could be a thriller, with Gonzalez breaking from his more languid style to mix it up on occasion with the home favourite.

Burns’s nose was bloodied in the third and the challenger enjoyed success with two-fisted attacks towards the end of the round.

However, the Scot grinned at the attempt and was ferocious with his own assaults.

With 17 knockouts in an unblemished 22-fight career, the challenger posed considerable danger to Burns but, as is his style, he was prepared to take a few shots to land some of his own on the 29-year-old from Toa Baja.

Against Kevin Mitchell in his last defence, Burns looked bigger and stronger than his opponent: not so with Gonzalez.

By the midway point in the fight, the pair looked evenly matched, each able to boast of inflicting pain on the other and of making their opponent miss with superb reflexes.

Worryingly for the champion, Gonzalez looked wonderfully composed, even winking to his corner on occasion.

The seventh round was Gonzalez’s strongest as he pinned Burns against the ropes and blasted at his arms and body.

Burns was off balance and ragged and was under the greatest threat since the opening rounds of the bout against Roman Martinez, which he won to become world champion at super-featherweight.

Whatever advice trainer Billy Nelson imparted had the desired effect as Burns caught Gonzalez with a sickening left to the body to stem the tide in the eighth, an impression that continued into the ninth as he began to assert himself once more by being quicker off the mark in their exchanges.

And when the challenger remained seated in his corner as the bell sounded for the 10th, the crowd roared to acclaim their hero – and the talent of the challenger.

On the undercard, John Simpson was too accurate and too composed for Choi Tseveenpurev from Mongolia. The Greenock fighter took the vacant WBO inter-continental super-featherweight title with a unanimous points win – 116-112, 117-112, 116-113.

As has been the case throughout his career, the 41-year-old proved impossible to stop and at least he left Glasgow with that record intact.

But Simpson had to work hard for his win, wisely choosing when to attack and when to cover up to avoid the upper cuts and sharp punches from the brave opponent.

In the end, despite a bloody nose, Simpson’s work was the more telling and his victory was thoroughly deserved.

Edinburgh’s Steve Simmons won the vacant Celtic cruiserweight title after Michael Sweeney’s corner retired the Irish fighter with an unspecified injury after three rounds.

Glasgow super-featherweight Michael Roberts survived a cut eye in the third round and some thumping, varied shots in the sixth to beat Brentford-based Polish southpaw Mariusz Bak.

Judges gave the Scot the nod with a score of 58-57. The 26-year-old takes his record to 12 wins and no defeats as he seeks to build a case for a tilt at the British title.

Burns v Gonzalez

Gonzalez troubles Burns with excellent movement and jabbing over first six rounds

Explosive seventh round sees both men take serious punishment

Burns shows superior strength to control rounds eight and nine

Gonzalez retires with damaged hand – his first loss in 23 fights

Burns’ record now stands at 36 wins from 38 bouts



Photo:  Skysports –

Ricky Burns has entered “crabbit” territory as he awaits Friday’s weigh-in ahead of his WBO world lightweight title fight against Puerto Rican Jose Gonzalez at the Emirates Arena the following evening.

The 30-year-old champion from Coatbridge, who has not fought since beating Englishman Kevin Mitchell in September last year, is in the final stages of a typically rigorous training regime.

At the head-to-head press conference at the Glasgow venue today, Burns used the old-fashioned Scottish word for agitated to describe his emotions.

“It is always the couple of days before the fight which is the worst,” he said.

“I think every boxer will tell you the same because you need to start cutting down on what you are eating.

“You start getting crabbit, you just want to get the weigh-in over and once that is over you can concentrate fully on the fight.

“So I am playing the waiting game now. I have been training for so long. I just want to get out there and put on a show for the fans and I am really looking forward to it.”

Burns posed nose-to-nose with his 29-year-old mandatory challenger, who arrived in Scotland with 17 knockouts from an unblemished 22-fight record.

However, the Scot refrained from the body-language analysis which usually accompanies those type of picture opportunities

“I don’t really pay attention to all that stuff, you do it because you need to do it for the photos,” he said.

“What matters is when the two of us are in that ring, that’s what matters most.

“I can’t wait for Saturday night. It is going to be a great night.”

Burns’ promoter Eddie Hearn, from Matchroom Sport promotions, expects around 6,000 fans to turn up at the newly-built arena in the east end of Glasgow, all of whom, according to the champion’s trainer Billy Nelson, should be appreciative of their man.

Nelson said: “Ricky is a genuine world class fighter and that’s what we tend to forget in Scotland.

“We don’t appreciate what we have got until maybe it is not there anymore.

“We should be very proud of him.

“There is nobody in the whole world – and I sincerely mean this – who could beat Ricky Burns at lightweight just now.

“I think he is in the condition of his life to be perfectly honest.

“He is physically stronger than he was for the fight against Mitchell, he is punching stronger, his confidence is high and he has been looking great in sparring.”



Photos:  Scott Heavy/Getty Images

By Briggs Seekins –

On May 11 in Glasgow, Scotland, WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns will put his belt on the line against undefeated Puerto Rican contender Jose Gonzales. The Scottish Burns will be defending his title before an enthusiastic home crowd.

This is a classic matchup between a rising star with explosive potential and a crafty veteran who knows what it takes to win on the big stage. With Adrien Broner jumping to welterweight next month, Burns should be viewed as the top fighter in the world right now at 135. He’s coming off a Round 4 TKO of the big-hitting Kevin Mitchell, quite possibly the finest performance of his career to date.

The fight will be broadcast in the United Kingdom on Sky.


The 30-year-old Burns will have the benefit of fighting in front of his home crowd, while Gonzalez fights outside of Puerto Rico for the first time in his professional career. Gonzalez’s KO ratio of over 70 percent is eye-opening, especially for a lightweight, but it was primarily accumulated against mediocre competition. Gonzalez has not only never fought outside of Puerto Rico, he’s also never fought anybody close to Burns’ level.

Gonzalez’s 73″ reach is impressive for a 5’8″ lightweight. Burns’ reach is average for a fighter of his height, but he gets the most of it by extending well and using his legs to move in and out of range. Although only a year separates them in age, the gap in experience is vast here. Burns has fought close to three times as many rounds.

Ricky Burns

Jose Gonzalez


35-2, 10 KOs

22-0, 17 KOs














Coatbridge, Scotland

Toa Baja, Puerto Rico




There are two competing and equally compelling storylines in this fight. Ricky Burns is extremely popular in his native Scotland, and with good reason. He’s a grounded guy with a pleasant disposition. In the ring, he scraps with emotion and heart.

Burns is already being talked about as a serious candidate to go down in history as among the greatest Scottish boxers of all time. If you’re a Scottish fan, the storyline here is clear: “Our boy Ricky is going to knock off a big-punching, undefeated contender.”

Gonzalez has his own national pride to represent. When you consider the size of the overall population, the number of great boxing champions to come out of Puerto Rico is ridiculous.

Any time a young Puerto Rican fighter racks up the kind of record Gonzalez has, you are going to start hearing phrases like “the next Tito” being thrown around with breathless excitement. If Gonzalez can go to Scotland and knock off the top lightweight in the world, a new star will be born.

Ricky Burns v Kevin Mitchell - WBO World Lightweight Championship





Ricky Burns is a very large lightweight. His height and frame make him look closer to a welterweight, and the amount of work he must do to make the 135-pound limit no doubt contributes significantly to what is exceptional conditioning. He has a very deep gas tank and uses it to keep his legs moving all fight long.

Burns has been a professional since he was a teenager and has been fighting high-level competition since winning the super featherweight title from Ramon Martinez in 2010. He is a smart, relaxed fighter with grit, who stands up well to pressure and makes necessary adjustments during a fight.

Jose Gonzalez is a monster puncher. His knockout percentage is very high and many of them have come in spectacular fashion. Against journeyman Oscar Cuero, he connected with a body shot that forced Cuero to stand up straight, take a step back and then after a beat collapse to the canvas, finished for the night.

Fighters who know they can end things with a single punch bring an added layer of confidence with them into the ring. Gonzalez will need this, as he travels across the Atlantic to fight the much more experienced Burns, in front a crowd that will be wildly cheering every thing the Scotsman does.

Ricky Burns has only won 10 fights in his career by stoppage, giving him a knockout percentage of just over 25 percent. In his last fight against Kevin Mitchell, he managed to hit the Brit enough to stop him inside of four.

Most of Burns’ career until recently he has campaigned at 130. Like I wrote in the last slide, he’s big for a lightweight, so now that he’s stopped draining himself to junior lightweight, maybe his punches have more bang.

But he doesn’t have a track record as a big hitter, and against a guy who can pound like Gonzalez, that could make for a fine line to tread.

Jose Gonzalez hasn’t really faced a fighter who could seriously stand up to him up until now, so it is very hard to tell what his weaknesses might be. In the video I have watched of him, he comes straight forward without a lot of head movement. He’s right there to be hit, and a sturdy opponent who can hit and move and turn him at an angle might give him a lot of problems.

But it’s possible he has fought those other guys like that simply because he could. He may have more wrinkles to his game than he’s shown so far.

But his first time fighting away from his native Island, in front of a partisan crowd, is a heck of a time to have to find them.

Ricky Burns v Kevin Mitchell - WBO World Lightweight Championship

Burns will win if he keeps moving and doesn’t allow Gonzalez to cut off the ring. He needs to keep turning the challenger at angles, and he needs to hit him much more than he lets Gonzalez hit him.

Burns represents a huge step up in competition for Gonzalez, and he’ll be fighting for the first time in his career away from home. Burns needs to rattle his confidence early. He needs to frustrate him by making him miss and sting him with punches as he tries to cut off the ring.

Burns might not knock out a lot of opponents, but as he proved against Mitchell, he can hit hard enough to stop a world-class fighter if he keeps landing. He’ll need to maintain a high level of concentration against a banger like Gonzalez, but Burns has fought big punchers before and finished with his hand raised.

Gonzalez will win if he can manage to land on Burns with repeated flush shots. Burns is rugged and durable. He’s got a better chin than anybody Gonzalez has fought to date.

But Jose Gonzalez’s power is for real. He hasn’t fought truly high-quality opponents, but he’s been in there with seasoned pros and dropped them. Guys like that don’t just crumple up like paper unless they get hit with a legit shot.

To land that kind of shot against Burns, he is going to have to cut off the ring and trap him. He’s going to have to stay patient and not allow himself to get frustrated if Burns is managing to deflect or avoid his big punches early on.

For the most part, Gonzalez has been able to walk through people. He’s unlikely to do that against Burns. He’s probably going to lose rounds, maybe the majority of them.

So he’s going to have to keep believing in himself and his power while he waits for the chance to explode.

This is a tough one for me to come down on. Gonzalez has fought a relatively low level of competition, but the power he has displayed in those fights is hard not to take seriously.

But Burns has beaten big punchers before, and big punchers with a lot more experience than Gonzalez has.

In a sense, this reminds me of an HBO card I covered last year, which featured undefeated Puerto Rican welterweight Thomas Dulorme against Argentinian veteran Luis Abregu. Abregu cut him down and finished him in seven.

To be sure, Dulorme came in with far more hype than Gonzalez has generated. But there are similarities. Gonzalez is a hard-punching, undefeated phenom stepping up in competition to face an opponent who has been in with some of the top guys in the world.

Maybe it’s just because I am a middle-aged gym rat. But I am always inclined to come down on the side of experience.

I think Burns will be able to frustrate Gonzalez and break him down over the course of the fight. Burns can be hit, but he can take a punch and should be able to use enough movement to keep Gonzalez from landing much that is really flush.

Burns by unanimous decision, 118-110.