The time is coming for world title boxing to return to Puerto Rico. This Saturday, August 24, the Island will have such a fight when the WBO World Mini-Flyweight champion, Filipino Vic Saludar, defends his belt against Puerto Rican Wilfredo “Bimbito” Méndez in another edition of the “Casino Metro Boxing Nights “, presented by PR Best Boxing Promotions (PRBBP) in association with Spartan Boxing, Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan that will be broadcast live on Wapa Deportes.

“In PR Best Boxing we continue making history. We return with world boxing on the Island and we will present the first boxing event to be held in the Ballroom of the Puerto Rico Convention Center. We will have Bimbito Méndez looking to be crowned before his people in front of a good rival as is Saludar,” said promoter Iván Rivera, president of PRBBP. “We will have seven fights in total, in which we will present the world ranked Jean Carlos” Lobo “Torres and other Puerto Rican prospects. It will be a good boxing night in Puerto Rico.”

Bimbito Méndez (13-1, 5 kos), 22, comes from a win over his compatriot Janiel “Pototo” Rivera by unanimous decision on May 24 to defend his WBO NABO belt for the first time getting on the road to face Saludar.

“Today I got up and said: ‘Am I dreaming?’. No, this is not a dream, the successful persons don’t dream, fight for their dreams and that is what I have been doing since I started in professional boxing, working hard. I know that Saludar is a strong opponent and thanks him for coming to my house. He came here and that is to be respected. In this life, nothing is impossible. This Saturday there will be a new world champion of 105 pounds and I will end the drought of male champions in Puerto Rico. I trust my nine-week camp. I want my people come this Saturday to see the new world champion,”said Méndez, who trains at the Caimito Gym in San Juan under the orders of Freddy Trinidad and Yowi González.

For his part, Saludar (19-3, 10 kos), 28, became WBO monarch at 105 pounds on July 13, 2018, when he beat Ryuya Yamanaka in Japan and defended it for the first time on February 26, 2019, with a victory over the also Japanese Masataka Taniguchi.

“(I am) happy to be in Puerto Rico and face Bimbito. We are ready to fight. It will be a good fight this Saturday. We come to do a good job in Puerto Rico. We have been training for this fight for a long time, with good sparring and we hope take us the victory,” said Saludar.

fukuhara-finger2  By David Finger –

Anyone who saw Tatsuya Fukuhara’s gritty twelve round split decision victory over Moises Calleros February 26 would be forgiven if they assumed that the toughest part of being a world champion was now behind him. After all, his fight with Calleros was a fight of the year candidate and one of the grittiest brawls in recent memory. It was made all the more memorable considering it came in Fukuhara’s backyard, a city that had suffered one of the worst natural disasters in recent history when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the city of Kumamoto. Fukuhara (19-4-6, 7 KOs) won the interim WBO mini flyweight and passed what was undoubtedly his toughest test to date. But for Fukuhara, it’s not about to get any easier.

He is now mandated to fight the WBO mini flyweight champion in recess: the cagy 33-year old Katsunari Takayama (31-8, 12 KOs). 

Takayama may not be old as Bernard Hopkins, but in a division that rarely sees careers that span over ten years Takayama has done the unthinkable: he has remained the top dog for the better part of a dozen years. After turning professional in 2000 Takayama won his first world title in 2005 and although he has dropped the title several times since then, he has nonetheless been a consistent powerhouse in the division, winning a version of the world title of six times since 2005.

It’s not an easy draw for your first title defense, but as Fukuhara showed us against Moises Calleros, he is more than up for the challenge.

Fukuhara took time to speak with the Fightnews after his victory with Moises Calleros, speaking about his new status as a world champion, his fight of the year with Moises Calleros, and what he sees the future holding for him.

Fightnews: Right off the bat let me say congratulations on your victory!

Fukyhara: Thank you.

Fightnews: How do you feel now that you are a champion holding that belt?

Fukuhara: It hasn’t quite sunk in yet.

Fightnews: Have you had a chance to talk to some of your fans here in Kumamoto since the fight?

Fukuhara: Just a little time to talk to both friends and family and they said that it was a good fight.

Fightnews: This was undoubtedly a very important fight for you but also for the city of Kumamoto, which suffered a tremendous earthquake last year that left many of its citizens, including you, homeless for a period of time. How did that inspire you during the fight, hearing your fans cheering you on and knowing how much this meant to Kumamoto?

Fukuhara: It was very important. I just felt there was so much support that no matter what happened in the ring I would never give up and I would keep fighting.

Fightnews: In the West there is a view of boxing in Japan that fans seldom get loud during a championship fight. This was clearly not the case with you during your fight with Calleros. How much of an inspiration was it hearing two thousand fans loudly chanting your name in between rounds?

Fukuhara: That’s why I was able to win.

Fightnews: In the middle rounds all three judges had Calleros winning the 4th, 5th, and 6th rounds. Did you feel like you were in trouble at that point?

Fukuhara: I couldn’t see (due to a cut inside his left eye) and Calleros was such a hard puncher. Because I couldn’t see I lost my sense of distance. I couldn’t calculate the distance. I felt a sense of danger that I might be losing the fight.

Fightnews: How did you turn it around from that point to come back and win the fight when it looked like the fight was going away from you?

Fukuhara: At that point Mr. Honda told me I needed to put my energy and dig deep down into my primal life energy if I wanted to win this fight. When I heard that I tapped into that energy and was able to turn it around.

Fightnews: I described Calleros as a “Mexican Tank” in my report. He seemed like he would not take a backward step for the better part of the fight until the eleventh round when it looked like you finally were able to get to him. In the twelfth I thought you did very well against Calleros and seemed to be in control in that final round. How did you feel knowing that the fight was so close in the final two rounds and that whoever won those rounds would probably win the fight? Did you think you needed to win the last round to win the fight and did you sense Calleros was in trouble in that round?

Fukuhara: I could tell that I hurt him with body shots in the eleventh round and so when I saw that it gave me more energy to attack him. So I kept the pressure on him in the last round knowing that it was the last round and that I could see that I hurt him. I kept the body attack on him.

Fightnews: Were you worried at the end of the fight when the first judge awarded the fight to Calleros?

Fukuhara: (Laughing) Yeah, I was worried.

Fightnews: In the second round Calleros hit you with a shot that looked like it hurt you. Did that shot hurt you and how did you come back from it?

Fukuhara: Yeah, it hurt me. It hurt me but it didn’t hurt me all the way to my legs because I ran a lot to prepare for this fight so I was able to hold on. I thought it really looked bad to the judges that I went down like that so I knew I had to get it back and I was able to land some blows.

Fightnews: This was one of the most exciting championship fights I’ve seen in some time. Did you expect this fight to be such a war and how do you feel knowing you had to dig deep to win this fight?

Fukuhara: I knew Calleros would come at me and wouldn’t back down so I was anticipating a hard contest.

Fightnews: What’s next for you?

Fukuhara: I’ll be fighting Katsunari Takayama to determine the unified WBO champion. If not I would like to fight one of the Japanese ranked fighters.


All the way from Windhoeck in Namibia, WBO #1 ranked mini flyweight Jafet “The Lion” Uutoni (11-1, 4 KOs) has landed in Puerto Rico for his world title eliminator against unbeaten rising star Angel “Tito” Acosta (15-0, 15 KOs) on Saturday night at the Coliseo Roger Mendoza in promoter Miguel Cotto’s hometown of Caguas.

Jafet Uutoni: “Boxing is boxing all over the world, I’m ready to make a big fight and get the win. I had a long career as an amateur and as a professional. I have 12 fights, but I am more than prepared to be world champion and Acosta is in my way. On Saturday the road will be clear for my big opportunity against the champion Kosei Tanaka.”

The winner of the Acosta vs. Uutoni bout will become the mandatory challenger during the next 90 days to face the WBO Mini flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka who will attend the event.

sergey kovalev (6)WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel, announced today the referees and judges who will work this Saturday, November 30, in the world title defenses of champions Sergey Kovalev, Merlito Sabillo and Donnie Nietes, to be held in Canada and Philippines, respectively.

At the Colisee de Quebec in Quebec City, Canada, the WBO Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (22-0-1, 20 KOs) will defend his belt for the first time when he faces de #15 ranked Ismayl Sillakh (21-1, 17 KOs), from Ukraine. For this bout the referee will be Michael Griffin, from Canada. The judges for the Kovalev-Sillakh bout will be the Canadians Pasquale Procopio, Jean Gauthier and Benoit Roussel. The WBO supervisor for this fight will be John Duggan.


While, the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Manila, Philippines will host two world title fights. First, the WBO minimumweight champion Merlito Sabillo (23-0, 12 KOs) will defend his 105 pounds belt against the #1 ranked Carlos “Chocorroncito” Buitrago (27-0, 16 KOs), from Nicaragua. The referee for this bout will be Jack Reiss, from United States. The judges for the Sabillo-Buitrago bout are Takeshi Shimakawa, from Japan, Levi Martínez, from United States, and Joerg Milke, From Germany. The WBO supervisor for this bout will be Leon Panoncillo.


Also in this card, the WBO junior flyweight titlist Donnie Nietes (31-1, 17 KOs) will make his third defense against the #14 ranked Sammy Gutierrez (33-9-2, 23 KOs). For this bout the referee will be Celestino Ruiz, from United States. The judges for the fight between Nietes and Gutierrez will be Danrex Tapdasan, from Philipinnes, and Jack Reiss and Levi Martínez, both from United States. The WBO supervisor for this bout will be Leon Panoncillo.

Para esta semana, está programado el arribo a Nicaragua del puertorriqueño Francisco Valcárcel, presidente de la Organización Mundial de Boxeo (OMB), del promotor Félix “Tutico” Zabala, de la empresa All Star Boxing, y del concertador Ricardo Rizzo, para hacer entrega de los donativos del programa “Niños Libres de Drogas” que impulsa la OMB. De todas formas, uno de los puntos más interesantes de esta visita será la posible negociación de la pelea de título mundial del nicaragüense Carlos “Chocorroncito” Buitrago contra el colombiano Luis De La Rosa, por la corona mínima de la OMB, que ya se anunció podría darse en febrero.

Sin embargo, los manejadores de Buitrago negociarán todo lo relacionado con la pelea para aceptarla o rechazarla si no están de acuerdo con la propuesta.

Por Pablo Fletes

MOISÉS Fuentes, campeón paja de la Organización Mundial de Boxeo, entró en la recta final de su preparación para exponer su corona el 6 de octubre en Puerto Rico ante el ex monarca Iván Calderón.

Moi va a trabajar intensamente de aquí al próximo viernes en el gimnasio de Iztacalco bajo las indicaciones de su manejador, Jorge Barrera, y el sábado entrante volará a Puerto Rico acompañado del mencionado Barrera, el entrenador Aarón Domínguez y el preparador físico estadounidense Jhonny Scott, quien reforzará al equipo del campeón del mundo. Moi expresó que está en gran forma, y de aquí al viernes cerrará a todo vapor.

Una motivación extra para Moisés, es que se da como hecho que asistirá a su pelea su apoderado, el ex campeón mundial Marco Antonio Barrera.

Por: Castellanos


Finalmente habrá cambios en el cartel “La Guerra” del próximo 6 de octubre.

Y es que el ex campeón mundial supergallo Wilfredo Vázquez Jr. se medirá a su compatriota, el contendor de las 122 libras Jonathan “Polvo” Oquendo en el combate estelar del programa, que se efectuará en el coliseo Rubén Rodríguez de Bayamón, Puerto Rico, en una presentación de PR Best Boxing Promotions (PRBBP), en asociación con All Star Boxing, Top Rank y Promociones Zanfer, a ser transmitido por el sistema de “Pay Per View” para todos los sistemas de cable y satélite.

De esta manera quedó descartado el combate entre Vázquez Jr. y el también ex monarca mundial, el mexicano Rafael Márquez, quien además de confrontar problemas de salud también está lidiando con unos asuntos personales, por lo que no podrá medirse al boricua.

“Como se había indicado, Márquez ha tenido unos problemas de salud recientes, pero también está resolviendo unas cosas personales y no va a estar disponible para el 6 de octubre. Ahora, presentaremos el combate entre Vázquez Jr. y Oquendo, que es uno que se ha venido mencionando por los pasados años para llevarse a cabo y que los fanáticos en Puerto Rico están ansiosos de ver”, indicó Peter Rivera, vicepresidente de PRBBP sobre Márquez, que originalmente se iba a medir a Vázquez Jr. en agosto, pero una lesión en una mano se lo impidió.

Ahora, Vázquez Jr. (21-2-1, 18 KOs), ex campeón supergallo de la Organización Mundial de Boxeo (OMB) y octavo clasificado por esta entidad, se verá de frente con Oquendo (22-2, 15 KOs), quien está clasificado número tres por la OMB actualmente en las 122 libras y es el campeón Latino del organismo. El choque Vázquez Jr.-Oquendo será por el cetro supergallo Internacional de la OMB a 12 asaltos.

En el turno coestelar, el ex campeón mundial de la OMB en las 105 y 108 libras, Iván “Iron Boy” Calderón (35-2-1, 6 KOs), retará al mexicano Moisés Fuentes (15-1, 7 KOs) por el cetro de peso mínimo (105 libras) de la OMB.

Mientras, el cuarto clasificado en el peso ligero de la OMB, José “Chelo” González (20-0, 15 KOs), expondrá su título ligero Latino de esta entidad ante el dominicano Eudy Bernardo (13-0, 8 KOs) a 10 rounds.

También, en choque del peso completo, los ex olímpicos boricuas Víctor Bisbal (20-1, 14 KOs), de Salinas, y Álex González (20-7, 10 KOs), de Vega Baja, se enfrentarán en un choque a ocho asaltos.

Este miércoles, 19 de septiembre, en el Museo del Deporte de Puerto Rico en Guaynabo, a las 12:00 del mediodía, se llevará a cabo una conferencia de prensa en la que se presentará oficialmente el encuentro entre Vázquez Jr. y Oquendo, así como las peleas coestelares en que estarán activos Iron Boy Calderón, Chelo González, Víctor Bisbal y Álex González.

Los boletos para la cartelera “La Guerra” están a la venta en Ticketcenter, llamando al (787) 792-5000 o en la página cibernética Los precios son de $20 Entrada General, $40 Preferencia, $75 Palcos, $125 “Ring Side” y $250 “Red Carpet”.

“THE WAR” will be between Wilfredo Vazquez JR. And Jonathan Oquendo OCTOBER 6 in Bayamon, PUERTO RICO, NOT WITH RAFAEL MARQUEZ

There will be changes in the cartel “The War” on October 6.

And is that the former featherweight champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. will be facing, the 122-pound contender Jonathan “Polvo” Oquendo in the main event of the program, to be held at the Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, in a presentation of PR Best Boxing Promotions (PRBBP), in association with All Star Boxing, Top Rank and Zanfer Promotions, to be transmitted by the system of “Pay Per View” for all cable and satellite systems.

Is been dismissed the fight between Vazquez Jr. and fellow former world champion, Rafael Marquez, who in addition to confront health problems is also dealing with some personal issues, so it can not be measured at Boricua.

“As stated, Marquez has had some recent health problems, but also working out some personal things and will not be available for the October 6. Now, we will present the fight between Vazquez Jr. and Oquendo, one that has been mentioned for the past years to be carried out and the fans in Puerto Rico are eager to see, “said Peter Rivera, vice president of PRBBP over Marquez , which originally was to measure Vazquez Jr. in August, but a hand injury prevented him.

Now, Vazquez Jr. (21-2-1, 18 KOs), former super bantamweight champion World Boxing Organization (WBO) and ranked #8, will head-Oquendo (22-2, 15 KOs), who is ranked number three by the WBO at 122 pounds now and is the WBO Latino champion. The bout-Oquendo Vazquez Jr. will be for the WBO Super Bantamweight International at 12 round.

Former WBO world champion in the 105 and 108 pounds, Ivan “Iron Boy” Calderon (35-2-1, 6 KOs) will challenge the Mexican Moises Fuentes (15-1, 7 KOs) by the scepter of minimum weight (105 pounds) of the OMB.

Meanwhile, the fourth ranked in the WBO lightweight Jose “Chelo” Gonzalez (20-0, 15 KOs), will present his Latino lightweight title of this entity to the Dominican Eudy Bernardo (13-0, 8 KOs) at 10 rounds.

Also in the heavyweight clash, former Puerto Rican Olympian Victor Bisbal (20-1, 14 KOs), of Salinas, and Alex Gonzalez (20-7, 10 KOs), of Vega Baja, will compete in a eight round clash.

This Wednesday, Sept. 19, at the Sports Museum of Puerto Rico in Guaynabo, at 12:00 noon, will be held a press conference to formally present the encounter between Vazquez Jr. and Oquendo and coestelares fights as they are active Iron Boy Calderon, Chelo Gonzalez, Victor Bisbal and Álex González.

Tickets for “The War” are on sale in Ticketcenter by calling (787) 792-5000 or on the cyber Prices are $ 20 general admission, $ 40 Preferred, $ 75 Boxes, $ 125 “Ring Side” and $ 250 “Red Carpet”.