By Steve Ward
Sunday, January 30, 2022
Royal Rumble 2022 Recap
Saturday, January 29, 2022
JESSE RODRIGUEZ PENS PROMOTIONAL DEAL WITH MATCHROOM
‘Bam’ fights for first pro title in Phoenix next Saturday
Jesse Rodriguez has signed a multi-fight promotional deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom.
Rodriguez (14-0 10 KOs) is closing in on a World title tilt and will fight for a belt for the first time in his career in Phoenix next Saturday when he tackles Fernando Diaz (10-1-1 3 KOs) for the WBC USNBC Flyweight title at the Footprint Center, live worldwide on DAZN.
TICKETS STARTING AT $20 (PLUS FEES) ARE ON SALE NOW AT TICKETMASTER.COM
The Robert Garcia-trained talent, who recently turned 22, featured on multiple 2022 fighters to watch lists, and ‘Bam’ is looking to steal the show next weekend to justify those predictions and underline his credentials for World title honors.
“I’m very excited to be joining the Matchroom team,” said Rodriguez. “This is huge for me and my career. This is my coming out party – in 2022 we secure my World title shot, and then go looking for the biggest fights there are out there.”
“We couldn't be more excited about Jesse signing with Matchroom,” said Garcia. “They have a great team and have always been great to work with. Jesse is one of the most talented fighters I have ever worked with, and I believe with Matchroom we have a future superstar.
“Matchroom has a great stable of World Champions in the lower weight classes and we are excited to get Jesse in the mix with all of them. Jesse, Teiken Promotions and I are excited to join the Matchroom team.”
“I am delighted to welcome Jesse to the team,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Jesse is a World champion in waiting and one of the most talented young fighters in the world. He’s itching to get his hands on a World title and make the biggest fights, and he’s got a fantastic team around him with in Robert Garcia, Teiken Promotions and Matchroom to give him the platform to land those fights and excel in them.”
Rodriguez’s first fight with Matchroom against Diaz is part of a huge night of action in Phoenix as Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (50-5-1 43 KOs) and Carlos Cuadras (39-4-1 27 KOs) will reignite their rivalry with the vacant WBC World Super-Flyweight belt on the line.
Jamie Mitchell (7-0-2 4 KOs) makes the first defense of her WBA Bantamweight title against Carly Skelly (4-0-1), Raymond Ford (10-0-1 6 KOs) defends his WBA Continental Featherweight title for the second time against Edward Vazquez (11-0 3 KOs), another new Matchroom Stateside signing Aaron Aponte (4-0 KOs) looks to extend his unbeaten start to life in the paid ranks against unbeaten Canadian Louis Jourdain (2-0 1 KO), Light Heavyweight talent Khalil Coe (1-0-1 1 KO) also meets Canadian opposition in the form of Stuart Twardzik (1-0-1 1 KO) and there’s a big stage for two Arizona fighters, Heavyweight Adam Stewart (12-1-1 8 KOs) and Middleweight Elijah Garcia (9-0 8 KOs).
Friday, January 28, 2022
TAYLOR AND SERRANO MEET IN HISTORIC CLASH ON APRIL 30
Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano are set to make history in an epic battle for Taylor’s undisputed Lightweight title at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday April 30, live worldwide on DAZN.
Tuesday, January 25, 2022
OKOLIE VS. CIESLAK LANDS AT THE O2
Tickets for WBO Cruiserweight World Title clash go on sale this week!
Lawrence Okolie will make the second defence of his WBO Cruiserweight World Title against former World Title challenger Michal Cieslak at The O2 in London on Sunday February 27, shown live worldwide on DAZN (excluding New Zealand and Australia).
Hackney's Okolie (17-0, 14 KOs) crushed Krzysztof Glowacki in six rounds to be crowned the new WBO Cruiserweight World Champion in just his sixteenth fight at The SSE Arena, Wembley in March last year.
The 29-year-old then made short work of Montenegro's Dilan Prasovic in the first defence of his World Title on the blockbuster Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk card at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September, taking out his mandatory challenger in just three rounds.
Poland's Cieslak (21-1, 15 KOs) suffered the one and only loss of his professional career when he took WBC Cruiserweight World Champion Ilunga Junior Makabu the distance in the Democratic Republic Of The Congo in January 2020.
"Thank you to Cieslak for accepting the fight," said Okolie. "I'm sure he is coming to get revenge for Glowacki! He is a good, strong campaigner who should be one of my toughest tests to date."
On the undercard, France's Karim Guerfi (30-5, 9 KOs) makes the first defence of his EBU European Featherweight Title against 'The Thrill' Jordan Gill (26-1-1, 7 KOs), with more exciting additions to be confirmed this week.
Tickets for Okolie vs. Cieslak are priced £40, £60, £100, £150 and £250 (VIP).
Presale tickets are available to purchase for O2 Priority Members NOW via The O2 (www.theo2.co.uk)
Matchroom Fight Pass members will be able to purchase tickets from midday on Tuesday January 25. Priority ticket info has been emailed directly to eligible members.
General Sale tickets can be purchased via StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk) from midday on Wednesday January 26.
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
HARPER RETURNS AGAINST HARDY IN NOTTINGHAM
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
LARA RETURNS AGAINST SANCHEZ ON MARCH 5
World rated Mexican back in action – Pacheco, Castro, Fierro, Herrera and Nicolson all feature in San Diego
Mauricio Lara returns to action against Emilio Sanchez at the Pechanga Arena San Diego in San Diego, California on March 5, live worldwide on DAZN, on a packed event topped by the mouth-watering trilogy clash between Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez.
TICKETS STARTING AT $50 (PLUS FEES) ARE ON SALE NOW AT AXS.COM
Lara (23-2-1 16 KOs) makes a welcome return to the ring following his nasty cut in his rematch with Josh Warrington. The Mexican traveled to Yorkshire in September to take on the Leeds man at Headingley Stadium in a rematch having stunned the boxing world by stopping for former World ruler in the ninth round of their clash in February in London. The rematch was heating up before an accidental headclash in the second round left Lara with a nasty gash over his left eye and the contest had to be waved off.
The 23 year old has healed up and will look to get back into the mix for major bouts and World title action at Featherweight, and the first man in the way of his path to the top table is Sanchez (19-1 12 KOs). The 27 year old Californian will be looking to provide an upset of his own in the biggest fight of his eight year career to date, with Sanchez fighting over ten rounds for the second time in his career and entering the fight on the back of his 12th KO win back in May over the experienced Christian Esquivel.
There’s a stacked card in support of the trilogy clash between Estrada and Chocolatito – with the focus on Eddie Hearn’s bright young talents and an exciting debutant.
Angel Fierro is eager to gatecrash the party at the top of the Lightweight division, and the WBO #4 will display his credentials in the second defense of his WBO NABO title against Juan Carlos Burgos. Fierro (19-1-1 15 KOs) picked up the vacant title with a stunning KO win over Alberto Machado in March – climbing off the deck in the first and second rounds to put the former World ruler away in the sixth. The 23 year old San Diego based Mexican blasted Cristian Bielma away in four rounds in his first defense in Puerto Vallarta in November, and will be looking to make a similar statement against the experienced former World title challenger Burgos (34-6-2 21 KOs).
Diego Pacheco (13-0 10 KOs) fights in the paid ranks for the 14th time and the rangy Super-Middleweight tastes eight round action for the fourth time against Genc Pllana (9-3-1 5 KOs).
Marc Castro (5-5 5 KOs) is in his sixth pro fight and has yet to go the full distance, his opponent over six rounds will be named soon.
Anthony Herrera (1-0 1 KO) made an explosive start to the pro game with a second round KO win on the undercard of the Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos Jr blockbuster in New York in November, and the 21 year old former Team USA talent goes for the second time in San Diego against an opponent to be named.
Debutant Skye Nicolson completes the card, and the Australian star will make her long-anticipated debut at Featherweight in California. The 26 year old won Commonwealth Games gold at her home games in 2016 and represented Australia at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and now looks to translate her amateur success into the paid ranks.
“This is a great night of boxing with a stacked undercard beneath a brilliant main event,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “You have so many fighters on this card that can become big stars in the future. Mauricio recorded one of the upsets of 2021 against Josh and is looking to cement his name as a real contender at Featherweight.
“There’s some exciting young stars in action on the rest of the card. Angel is chasing down his fellow contenders and champions at Lightweight, Diego is such a handful and is ready to step up this year, Marc has blasted every opponent away to date, Anthony looked the business on his debut and Skye is going to be a big hit in the paid ranks – March 5 is going to be a spectacular night of action from start to finish.”
Monday, January 17, 2022
RUNGVISAI VS. CUADRAS CLASH IN PHOENIX
Rematch for the vacant WBC Super-Flyweight strap headlines February 5
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Carlos Cuadras will reignite their rivalry with the vacant WBC World Super-Flyweight belt on the line at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday February 5, live worldwide on DAZN.
TICKETS STARTING AT $20 (PLUS FEES) ARE ON SALE AT 12PM MT AT TICKETMASTER.COM
The pair first met in May 2014 for the same title, with Cuadras claiming the crown via a unanimous technical decision following an accidental headclash in Mexico.
There’s more than just the WBC crown on the line for Rungvisai (50-5-1 43 KOs) and Cuadras (39-4-1 27 KOs), with the winner likely to be pitted against the winner of the March clash between Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, setting up more fireworks in the always exciting 115lb division.
Rungvisai heads into the bout on the back of three victories in Thailand following his clash with Estrada where he surrendered the WBC crown that he fights Cuadras for. Victory in the rematch in Phoenix would see the 35 year old win the green and gold strap for the third time and almost nine years since he first picked up that crown.
Cuadras ended Rungvisai’s reign on that occasion and the Mexican made six defenses of the title before Chocolatito took the crown in California in September 2016. It’s the second time that the 33 year old has tried to reclaim the throne and comes on the back of his last battle for the belt where he floored defending champion Estrada in the third round of his defense before the champion prevailed in Mexico in October 2020.
“I'm really looking forward to winning in this championship bout,” said Rungvisai. “I really want to become the first three-time WBC champion of Thailand. I also have an unfinished business with Juan Francisco Estrada. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Matchroom and DAZN for making this fight possible".
“I am very excited for this opportunity to fight for another world title,” said Cuadras. “We are sparring 3-4 different southpaws that have a similar style to Rungvisai. We are ready to win, and I am training very well in the high-altitude mountains of the ceremonial center in Otomi in México.
“I want to thank firstly God and Teiken, especially Mr. Honda who has never left me behind and always given me a hand in boxing. We will not disappoint come fight now and bring back another title for Mexico and Teiken.”
A stacked card in support of the rematch is led by Light-Flyweight sensation Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez as he closes in on World title action. Rodriguez (14-0 10 KOs) dispatched Jose Burgos in style inside four rounds in his last outing in Fresno in October, and the WBA #2 and WBO #4 will look to enhance his claim for world honors against an opponent to be named soon.
There’s more World title action on the card as Jamie Mitchell makes the first defense of her WBA Bantamweight title against Carly Skelly. Mitchell (7-0-2 4 KOs) claimed the strap in October in England by seeing off Shannon Courtenay via majority decision, with the belt only on the line for the American after then-champion Courtenay failed to make the weight. After winning the belt in Liverpool, Mitchell will defend the title against a Liverpudlian fighter, as Skelly (4-0-1) fights for her first World title having picked up the WBC International Super Bantamweight title at home against Dorota Norek in October, a year after a split draw against Amy Timlin for the Commonwealth crown.
Raymond Ford defends his WBA Continental Featherweight title for the second time against Edward Vazquez. Ford (10-0-1 6 KOs) impressed in his first defense in New York in November, stopping Felix Carabello in eight rounds to retain the belt he landed in England in August via a third round KO of Reece Bellotti. Unbeaten Texan Vazquez (11-0 3 KOs) will look to end Ford’s reign in Phoenix, and the 26 year old fights for his first title in his 12th pro outing.
Matchroom’s latest Stateside signing Aaron Aponte (4-0 KOs) looks to extend his unbeaten start to life in the paid ranks against unbeaten Canadian Louis Jourdain (2-0 1 KO), Light Heavyweight talent Khalil Coe (1-0-1 1 KO) also meets Canadian opposition in the form of Stuart Twardzik (1-0-1 1 KO) and there’s a big stage for two Arizona fighters, Heavyweight Adam Stewart (12-1-1 8 KOs) and Middleweight Elijah Garcia (9-0 8 KOs).
“Srisaket and Carlos promises to be another brilliant Super-Flyweight World title battle,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Carlos got the better of Srisaket in their first fight seven years ago – and there’s no doubt in my mind that this will be a real fan-friendly war with so much at stake.
“The undercard is stacked with talent. Jesse is a World champion in waiting and is so exciting to watch, Jamie was terrific in beating Shannon in Liverpool and I know Carly will give everything to try to take the title back to England and Ray’s stock rises with every impressive win he notches. Aaron is our latest signing and one to watch, Khalil is looking to bounce back from a draw last time out and it’s a great opportunity for local guys Adam and Elijah to make an impression under the bright lights.”
Rungvisai and Cuadras headline the event that was initially due to be held at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, but logistical and operational issues mean the night moves venues but stays in Arizona and just a short distance to the downtown home of the Phoenix Suns. It’s a return to the venue for Matchroom where Daniel Jacobs defeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in December 2019. A clash between Jessie Vargas and Liam Smith was slated to top the bill but the former tested positive for COVID forcing it to be postponed, with the fight set to be rescheduled.