Saturday, March 26, 2022
Friday, March 25, 2022
Matchroom Boxing Press Release
“I’m confident because as I said last time, I was going to become World Champion and I did it. I said I was going to beat Kid Galahad within the distance, and I did. The same will happen on Saturday, I will beat Josh Warrington within the distance. Maybe he’s too confident and doesn’t understand he’s facing Kiko Martinez.
“Josh is a great boxer, he’s won some fantastic fights in his career, beating Frampton, Selby, Galahad and many more. He’s still a big name in boxing, I think he was doing well in the Lara fight until the accidental clash of heads. He’s still got credibility in the world of boxing, and I want to go on and beat him, knowing last time it wasn’t just luck when I won the world title against Kid Galahad.
“I’m confident because I’ve visualised this in training, I’ve visualised knocking Josh Warrington out. When I say something, I’ll do it, so you can’t just believe it and not follow through and do it. When I say things, I’m going to do it and I’m going to do it on Saturday night.”
“I’m very excited, I’ve had a few sunbeds and my hair is looking on point, suit on. It’s a good occasion, the sun’s out, it kind of reminds me of four years ago when I first become World Champion – same kind of energy. I feel like the city is excited for Saturday night because they know what’s to come, World Championship will be staying in Leeds. I’m very grateful to Kiko for giving me this opportunity but the belt is staying here on Saturday night.
“I must have upset him in some way because he’s demanded this fight. I’ve said it in many interviews, it’s how this sport work, it goes in circles. We were meant to be sparring partners for the Lara rematch, it’s funny he’s gone on to win a World Title and his first defence is against me. He’s confident and I’m sure he would have trained hard, but I’ll be ready for everything he brings on Saturday night.
“I’ve trained for a hard twelve round fight, 5 years ago we shared some hard rounds but those five years ago my stock has risen since then. I’ve only gotten better and better, I’ve had some slip-ups in the last year but it’s time to get back on top.
“I only focus on winning; I know Kiko’s mentioned himself win or retire and putting himself under that pressure. I’m just focused on winning and having that hand raised, that’s how I see myself, being in that arena. And the new.
“My book has gone from potentially being in the bargain aisle of Asda to a best-seller, what a chapter this is. It’s all in my hands, I’ve got to do the business, it’s funny how this sport works. I’ve got to make sure my stars have aligned for a reason and go out there on Saturday night and do what I’ve done all camp. I’m trained hard, I’ve worked hard and I’m ready for anything.
Maria Cecilia Roman:
“First and foremost, thank you to all the people who have made this possible. It’s a big night for me on Saturday, in my boxing career I’ve always set myself objectives and I’ve always managed to achieve those objectives – it comes from working hard. Now my ambition is to be the best in my division and Saturday will be another step to go on, my plan is going on and win other titles. This is going to be another objective I’m going to achieve on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a total war on Saturday, I think it’ll be great for all boxing fans and in particular female boxing fans. It’s going to be another successful defence for me on Saturday night.”
“It’s absolutely unreal, to be a co-main event fighting in Leeds for a World Title, I just feel so grateful. Cecilia coming over here to fight me, I’m just so excited about this fight, I’ve been excited about having this for before it was even happening.
“I wanted this fight because I knew it was going to be a great fight, as in a fan-favourite kind of fight. Having the World Title on the line just makes everything even more exciting for me.
“Moving over here and doing my camp here with Mark [Tibbs] has been amazing, we’ve definitely gelled well, and I think I’ve definitely changed his opinion – how women train and our mindsets. I’m really excited to be Mark Tibbs and the whole families first female World Champion.
“This fight and becoming a champion is the exclamation mark on this part of my story, having the belt around my waist and proving you can really do things if you set your mind to it. Everything that I stand for, having that belt, for me is the final point of it.
“Without being a World Champion it’s a great story but being a World Champion means everything to me, it means a lot for the women out there. Being a World Champion would change my life and I’m really excited for that.
“I’m always ready, I’ve come through a lot of adversity in all of my fights, I don’t see me losing this fight. I’m literally going for it all and I believe it’s my time to win this fight.”
“We wanted this and not someone to come in and lay down, the last fight I was a massive underdog, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. In my mind it’s the same again, I like that he’s here talking, it takes words like that for the bookies to think he’s the favourite.
“I’m glad he’s up for it because I’ve had this fire in my belly for a while, but this fight in particular gives me this bit between my teeth. I’m glad it’s like this.
“One thing of how I approach every fight, I haven’t got that mindset or that chip on my shoulder. I’m the champion and he’s got to come and take my belt, although I’m the owner of this belt it can just be vacant, I’ve got to go and prove I’m worthy and that I deserve it. I’ve got to show I’m worthy to be the owner of that belt, it’s great being full-time but I haven’t taken it for granted because it’s taken me such a long time to be full-time.
“I know what it’s like going to work, getting up in the morning in shit weather and having to squeeze training in, a run here and there. I’m doing it properly now and I appreciate it, I’m not taking it for granted. I know how much it means and I’m not letting it slip. I’m not here enjoying it as a fan to enjoy the fight, this is how the rest of my career is going.
“Ryan’s cast his net out there but I’m not taking the bait. It doesn’t matter however the fight goes, I’ll do what necessary to win, however it comes. I’m fully prepared for whatever it is, just expect me to win.”
“I’m really enjoying not being hungry, thirsty, and just the usual stuff I think all my counterparts are feeling. It’s very alien to me.
“I do call to Maxi, you showed it when you caught Saffron that you’ve got that in you. It’s not a natural thing for you, you’re a southpaw. I’m calling that upon you, I’m beckoning you, I’ll stand in the middle of the ring, let’s adhere to the warrior god.
“No one’s fought me yet and not for a sustained period, even the two that beat me, that haven’t fought me. You want to fight Maxi, you want to inspire everyone else, I was inspired by Conlan and Wood.
“I haven’t had a fight of the year; I haven’t even been close and you [Maxi] have just been nominated for one of the boxers of the year. Let’s do it, why not, we’ve got twelve rounds which is a long time, and a fight will break out. When it does, I don’t want you to run away, let’s entertain the people.
“It’s a good story but let’s have it right, Liam won that fight against Maxi. As far as ending Liam’s career, he was sparring me at the start of this. I think Maxi should have a lot to thank Liam for because without COVID, he can’t be British Champion, he can’t IBO Champion because he was there. It’s my duty to step it, Maxi’s story doesn’t happen if Liam doesn’t get it.
“I haven’t even thought about defeat, I’ve never gone into a fight ever believing that the man can beat me. I’ve been told and I’ve got really honest brothers, when I fought Lee Selby, my brother didn’t want that fight. When we fought, I wasn’t good enough and was beat by experience, beat by the better man but he understood that I did have the style to beat that man, but I wasn’t good enough that night. I’ve made mistakes in the sport, but I won’t be making those mistakes against Maxi.
"My last couple of fights now have been step ups and these are the fights we have been asking for for the more titles. The fight that was originally scheduled got removed so we looked to Ray Moylette and thought he was the perfect opponent for my next fight.
"I know what Ray’s about and he knows what I’m about.
"We [Ray and Dalton] haven’t achieved what we have achieved by just playing around.
"There’s obviously going to be pressure on the ones who are coming up but I am confident in my abilities. I know the level where I am going to get at and this is just a stepping stone for me.
"Ray is no easy opponent. It’s a tough challenge, what I’ve got on Saturday night. I’ve got to bring something more than what I have in my previous 9 fights as a professional. And you’re going to see that.
"I’ve been reaching out to Matchroom for a long time because Matchroom is the benchmark for boxing especially in England and Ireland. I’m just grateful to have the opportunity and I’m excited to take it, so I’m ready for it.
"We all started boxing years ago and it’s always the dream to fight on the big shows and the big cards and thankfully now I have the opportunity to do that. I’ve been on the count for the last three years and then I can was sidelined for other boxers. I didn’t have the backend. But thankfully I kept myself in shape, ready, and in the position that when the opportunity came – I knew you’d come calling at some stage, but I didn’t think it would take three years to get on a card. – thankfully it did and I’m ready for it.
"I’m here as an opponent for Dalton on paper but in reality when I heard I got the opportunity to fight him, I was expecting a much harder fight on one of your shows.
"I’m coming off the couch and I’m ready to fight. I’d be daft not to take this fight that I know I can win.
"I’m very excited. I promised the fans that I was going to be active and I’m definitely living up to that 3 weeks out and I’m back in.
"I have confidence in my ability, and I know what I’m capable of. I want to test myself against the best so I’m going to keep putting my hand up to fight the best girls.
"I’m expecting a tough fight and I know that Bec comes fighting. She’s no pushover so I’m just focusing on having a good performance and showing everyone a side of me that they haven’t seen yet."
"There wasn’t a role for me, as far as I know, I went out and got what I wanted and created my own role for myself because I was never going to be a walkover. I’m not the elite but we know if you want to get to the top, you’ve got to get through the gatekeeper.
"I’ve trained anyway, even if I wasn’t boxing, I love training. I have taken quite a few fights on a day’s notice because I do stay ready, and I do love what I do. Some things have gotten in the way and I’ve made some mistakes with opportunities that I’ve had but I’m not going to let that stop me. I’ll keep the smile on my face and keep trying until the day that I retire."
"Obviously, this stage is a big stage so I want to put on a big performance in front of my home crowd.
"The preparation for this one has been ideal really.
"Looking forward to watching some really good boxing from not just Josh but everyone on this card."
"Yeah 100%, I’m ready for this one.
"I’m going to put on a spectacular performance. Not sure how many rounds we are doing this time, 4 or 6, doesn’t make much of a difference.
"No slip-ups. You’ll see what I am about this time around.
"I’ve been traveling, sparring, getting in more rounds and I’m putting in the right work with the team in the gym."
"Thank you, Eddie, Matchroom and DAZN for getting me on a massive card. These are the cards you dream of being on when coming through the amateurs.
"It was a good debut. I was pretty good with it. … I’m looking to be as active as possible this year. I want to push on a get as much as experience as I can.
"I honestly don’t know why I need to be held back at all at the moment. I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m looking past the old ones especially on Saturday night.
"Matchroom need a few North East stars especially up in Newcastle and I believe I am the one for the job."
Thursday, March 24, 2022
By Matt Ward
For nearly a century, Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall has hosted some of the biggest fights in the city's rich boxing history. Notable fighters such as Joey Giardello, Mike Tyson, Bernard Hopkins and Arturo Gatti all fought under the legendary venue's lights. This Saturday, Thomas LaManna's Rising Star Promotions fight card will join a list of over 200 boxing shows that the venue has played host to date.
The 11 fight card, the first in three years at Boardwalk Hall, will feature a main event WBA-NABA GOLD Jr. Welterweight title fight between Bowie, Maryland's Greg Outlaw (9-1, 4 KOs) and New Orleans' Jonathan Montrel (12-0, 7 KOs). Outlaw fought twice in 2021, suffering his first career loss to Andrew Rodgers in June. The 28-year-old orthodox fighter bounced back from this upset loss in September to defeat Edgar Torres by second-round technical knockout.
Montrel, who is making his AC debut, won four fights in 2021, one by way of technical knockout. Montrel's last fight was on July 3rd in Agua Prieta, Mexico, where he defeated veteran fighter Mauro Loreto by unanimous decision in an eight-round contest.
Philly fan favorite Chris Brooker (16-9, 6 KOs) makes his much anticipated return to the ring, when he squares off against Brooklyn's Omar Salem (10-1, 4 KOs) in a six-round, super middleweight, co-feature bout. Brooker, who is no stranger to AC, is coming off two defeats to tough opponents in 2021. He traveled to Montreal on December 12th where he lost to Steve Rolls by knockout, and Newark, NJ on July 31st where he suffered a technical knockout defeat to former world title contender Andre Dirrell. Never one to shy away from a tough opponent, Brooker looks to halt his losing streak at two when he steps into the ring with Salem.
Salem, who has one career loss by split decision, last fought on September 3, 2021, a four-round fight he won by unanimous decision. His match with Brooker will be the fourth time the fighter has fought in AC. A review of Salem's resume indicates that he may have his hands full with the tough veteran Brooker.
Popular local attraction Decarlo "3Mendo" Perez (18-6-1, 6 KOs) will take on New Orleans' Rance Ward (6-3-1, 2 KOs) in a super middleweight bout scheduled for six rounds. The AC native, Perez, has fought in his hometown nine times over the course of his career. Perez is coming off a two fight winning streak, having last won by technical knockout in 2021. Ward looks to continue his winning ways this Saturday, having won two of his last three fights in 2021.
Other Jersey Shore area fighters on the card include Lanoka Harbor's Danny Murray (5-5) and Manalpan's John Leonardo (6-0-1, 4 KOs). Murray, who has lost his last three contests, looks to rebound in the resort city against New York's Michael Hughes (2-1, 1 KO). Hughes last fought in July of 2021, when he was defeated by technical knockout. Murray and Hughes will meet in a six-round, junior welterweight bout.
John Leonardo will continue what appears to be a busy year, when he takes on Aguadilla, Puerto Rico's Alberto Nieves (4-1-1, 2 KOs) in a six-round, bantamweight bout. Leonardo, who is scheduled to fight again in May, is coming off a second-round technical knockout victory on January 29, 2022. Nieves last fought in 2019, a bout in which he was knocked out in the first round.
The card also features the following bouts:
Andy Dominquez (5-0, 3 KOs) vs. Jeronil Borres (11-5-1, 6 KOs) - six-rounds, flyweight
Khalid Twaiti (9-0, 4 KOs) vs. Juan Centeno (6-5-3, 1 KO) - six-rounds, bantamweight
Gabriel Gerna (pro debut) vs. David Ashely (0-1) - four-rounds, lightweight
Felix Parrilla (4-0, 4 KOs) vs. vs. Jenn Gonzales (9-12-1, 5 KOs) - six-rounds, featherweight
Michael Ruiz (0-1) vs. Derrick Vann (1-0) - four-rounds, super middleweight
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Matchroom Boxing Press Release
Super-Lightweight battle to light up Las Vegas on May 7; Heavyweights Hrgovic and Zhang set to clash
Montana Love and Gabriel Valenzuela will clash in a mouthwatering Super-Lightweight battle on the undercard for Canelo Alvarez vs. Dmitry Bivol at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 7, live on DAZN, excluding Latin America and Mexico. In the U.S. & Canada, the event will be offered exclusively on DAZN Pay-Per View (PPV). Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, March 23.
Love (17-0-1, 9 KOs) will fight under the Matchroom banner for the second time and on back-to-back Las Vegas fights, having dispatched Carlos Diaz inside three rounds at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in December. The Cleveland man is ranked #12 with the IBF and will look to crash into the top ten in style on The Strip but will need to be on his A-game against Valenzuela (25-2-1, 15 KOs).
The Mexican crashed into top ten with a road-win over Robbie Davies Jr. in London last February and has recorded a pair of KO wins in his homeland since that night. The May 7 showdown is a huge opportunity for him to sparkle in the spotlight alongside his fellow countryman Canelo, in a fight in association with Clase Y Talento and Canelo Promotions.
“Nothing changes on May 7,” said Love. “He’s just another body in the way.”
“I’m so proud to be sharing a spot on the card with such a great Champion, Canelo Alvarez,” said Valenzuela. “We’re prepared for this and training very hard for this fight against Montana Love. He’s a tough opponent but we’re going to come very hard to get the victory. That night Mexico is coming with everything we have.”
Hrgovic (14-0, 12 KOs) sits #3 in the IBF rankings and the giant Croatian has been hunting a dance partner for a showdown to name the mandatory challenger for the title held by Oleksandr Usyk. The 29-year-old Olympic bronze medalist has cut a lethal swathe through the pro ranks to sit in a prime position for a deserved shot at the big prize, ending all but two of his fights inside the distance, and not going past the fifth round in his last seven outings.
A host of Heavyweights were offered the clash with the dangerous Croat, but not until it came to #13 ranked Zhang (23-0-1, 18 KOs) was a dance partner found, with the lofty Chinese star accepting the challenge. The 38-year-old has been circling for a major showdown, and ‘Big Bang’ gets his wish against Hrgovic in Sin City with the two KO artist promising to leave it all in the ring with the stakes so high.
“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for more than year,” said Hrgović. “Finally, I have an opponent willing to face me for the chance to fight for the IBF World title. So many fighters turned down this challenge so credit to Zhang for being brave enough to accept.
“I know he’s a good opponent. He won silver at the Olympics so that means he’s a good boxer, but he is too slow on his feet, and I believe I have better the qualities. My speed, stamina and footwork will be too much for him. I will break him down and I will beat him.
“I’m now only one fight away from my dream of boxing for a World title and nothing is going to stop me. Canelo is the face of boxing and I’m excited to get this opportunity on such a big show. I'm ready to show the whole world that ‘El Animal’ is coming!”
“I am very happy that this fight is going to happen,” said Zhang. “I’ve been waiting on an opportunity – now it’s here and I’m not going to let it pass. When no-one else from the top 15 wanted to face Hrgovic, I told myself I had to do it for me and for the sport of boxing. This is the most important fight of my whole career. I’m all in. Don’t miss it!”
“Finally, we’ve found an opponent willing to accept the challenge,” said promoter Kalle Sauerland. “Having gone through the IBF rankings twice, Zhang has stepped up to face Filip Hrgović in an IBF World title final eliminator. We now have ‘El Animal’ versus ‘Big Bang’ for a shot at the biggest prize in boxing. This epic battle is going to light up T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, where fans can witness the next Heavyweight Champion of the World in action.”
Love-Valenzuela and Hrgovic-Zhang lead the undercard for a blockbuster main event that sees pound-for-pound Mexican king Canelo looking to become a two-time World ruler at 175 lbs against long-reigning WBA champion Bivol on Cinco De Mayo weekend.
Tickets will go on sale starting at $105 (plus fees) on the following dates and times (all times PT) at AXS.com.
“These are two great fights for a massive night in Las Vegas,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Montana Love is ready for big fights now and in Gabriel Valenzuela, he’s got a huge test of his ambitions at the very top level – Gabriel will lay everything on the line and will have the Mexican fans roaring him on, so Montana will need to produce his best.
“I love the Heavyweight dust-up between Filip Hrgovic and Zhilei Zhang. It’s been a long-time coming for someone to step up to the plate and fight Filip, credit to Zhilei and his team for taking on the challenge. Both men carry huge power, and they know that victory takes them one step closer to sport’s ultimate prize – Heavyweight Champion of the World. There won’t be a backwards step taken when they rumble, it’s going to be fireworks on an already electric night.”
Monday, March 21, 2022
Matchroom Boxing Press Release
South London rivals meet on May 21
Joshua Buatsi will face former World Title challenger Craig Richards in a huge all London Light-Heavyweight clash on Saturday May 21, live worldwide on DAZN (excluding New Zealand and Australia).
Croydon’s Buatsi (15-0, 13 KOs) scored his tenth knockout in a row when he stopped Latvia’s Ricards Bolotniks in the eleventh round of their WBA Light-Heavyweight World Title Eliminator on the third and final week of Matchroom Fight Camp in August.
The 29-year-old was set to face Russia’s former World Title challenger Maxim Vlasov on the undercard of Joseph Parker’s rematch with Derek Chisora at the AO Arena in Manchester in December before suffering a hand injury.
Crystal Palace’s former British Light-Heavyweight Champion Richards (17-2-1, 10 KOs) put in a spirited display as he pushed WBA Light-Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol all the way in his first World Title attempt in May 2021.
‘Spider’ returned to winning ways at The O2 last October on the Cameron vs. McGee undercard, impressively stopping Poland’s Marek Matyja in six rounds to earn the vacant WBA International Light-Heavyweight Title.
“Two London boys coming together, it’s going to be a huge night,” said Buatsi. “The Light-Heavyweight scene in this country is thriving and I’m glad that we are able to get one of the biggest fights made. The crowd are going to be in for a treat. I am coming to win and nothing else, I am sure Richards is doing the same. He had a close fight with Bivol so will want to make things straight, but I have other plans. Win well and then push onto the World Title by any means necessary.”
“We’re two top tier fighters from the UK,” said Richards. “This is one of the biggest London domestic clashes for a long time. This is a very exciting fight for us both, but also one the fans will enjoy. Buatsi has got his plans and I’m sure he be well prepared, but nobody is going to stop me from fulfilling my destiny of becoming a World Champion! He is a solid competitor and will be coming to win, but I am confident and believe I have the tools to get the job done. I proved myself at world level and I’m eager to prove that’s where I belong.”
“A big well done and thank you to Joshua and Craig for taking this fight, it’s exactly the kind of fight boxing should be making,” said Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman. “Two domestic Light-Heavyweights on the verge of a World Title shot decide to put it on the line rather than wait in a queue, giving us a fantastic battle of London that can only be a thriller."
“Who doesn’t love a big domestic dust up? And this certainly fits that description, what a fantastic fight this is set to be,” said Ed Breeze, EVP Rights at DAZN. “With an electric Light-Heavyweight scene in the UK, Joshua Buatsi will face a big test on May 21 against former World Title challenger Craig Richards. This will be all out action from start to finish, all live and exclusively on DAZN.”
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
By Steve Ward
The pro wrestling world lost another legend Monday afternoon as Scott Hall died at the age of 63 after he suffered three heart attacks Saturday. Hall began his career in 1984 in the territories of the NWA before short stints with the AWA, WCW, and New Japan Pro Wrestling. In 1990, he returned to WCW where he wrestled under the moniker of The Diamond Studd before he caught his big break upon signing with the World Wrestling Federation in 1992 where he was bestowed with the persona of Razor Ramon. Hall catapulted to superstar status as he feuded with other legendary competitors such as Shawn Michaels and Goldust on his way to winning the Intercontinental Championship on several occasions.
Hall’s first stint with the WWF/WWE was probably best highlighted by his ladder match with Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania X - a match still considered one of the greatest of all time. Hall again made history in 1996 when he and longtime friend Kevin Nash, began their “invasion” of WCW angle which culminated in the creation of arguably the greatest wrestling stable of all time, the NWO, along with Hulk Hogan at WCW’s 1996 edition of Bash at the Beach. After a successful run in WCW where Hall again saw several more title runs, both as a singles competitor and one half of The Outsiders, he again had short runs in WWE, TNA/Impact Wrestling, and other various promotions before making his final major appearance in April 2021 when he was honored as an inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame for the second time as a member of the NWO.
On a personal note, this writer was a huge fan of Hall’s career and even found myself temporarily banned from watching wrestling after I was caught emulating him as I gave my youngest brother The Razor’s Edge when he was maybe six year’s old. In my defense, I delivered it with perfect execution into a pile of pillows.
The legacy Hall leaves behind is undeniable and it is sad that he never found his way into a managerial role much like fellow legends Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Tully Blanchard have carved out in AEW as his mic skills were superior to many of his peers and what he may have lacked in that department was more than made up with charisma. From all of us at The Weigh-In, we express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Scott Hall and if you believe in the afterlife, I would expect him to eloquently introduce himself to St. Peter with a simple, “Hey Yo.”
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
SPAIN’S GOLDEN BOYS SANDOR MARTIN AND KERMAN LEJARRAGA SET TO HEADLINE EVENTS IN APRIL AND MAY
Matchroom Boxing will return to the Palau Olímpic Vall d'Hebron in Barcelona, Spain on Friday 1 April for a huge night of action topped by Sandor Martin taking on Jose Felix for the WBA International Super-Lightweight Title, live on DAZN.
Following his sensational victory over Mikey Garcia in October last year – Barcelona’s Martin (39-2, 13 KOs), is set for a homecoming event against the all-action, hard hitting Felix (39-5-1, 30 KOs). In what was arguably one of the biggest wins in Spanish boxing history, Sandor Martin will be looking to maintain momentum towards a World Title shot against the dangerous Mexican.
Unbeaten Olympian Samuel Carmona builds on his impressive and destructive performance in December, with his toughest assignment to date – taking on the seasoned Super Flyweight Fadhili Majiha (28-14-4, 14 KOs). After taking on Galal Yafai four times as an amateur, Carmona looks to keep winning and target an eventual meeting in the pro ranks with the Olympic Gold Medal winner Yafai.
Barcelona’s exciting Super-Lightweight Spanish Champion Alejandro Moya (15-0, 10 KOs) takes a step up against Liverpool’s Tom Farrell (20-5, 5 KOs) and Ricards Bolotniks (18-6-1, 8 KOs) is back in action against unbeaten Croatian Hrvoje Sep (11-0, 8 KOs).
Following the return of one Spanish golden boy, Matchroom head to the hometown of another on Friday May 20 – as Kerman Lejarraga (34-2, 26 KOs) takes on another British rival James Metcalf (21-2, 13 KOs) at the Bilbao Arena, Bilbao. After a brutal KO win in December, ‘The Revolver’ will be looking to pull the trigger on another standout performance which would propel him towards a first World Title shot.
“I’m so excited to fight again in Barcelona, for me it is a very special comeback after beating Mikey Garcia in California. I needed to fight in front of my people again and feel their support. It could be my last fight before fighting for the world title. I don't want any surprises, I've worked hard and I want to show that I'm ready,” said Sandor Martin.
"I’m happy to return to Bilbao before a great fight with Metcalf and then I’m ready for a World Title. My team knows it!" said Kerman Lejarraga.
“Spanish boxing is on the up and we’re thrilled to work with Matchroom Boxing to bring Spanish boxing fans, and fans around the world, the best fighting the best,” said Ed Breeze, EVP Rights at DAZN. "Sandor Martin faces a tough challenge in Jose Felix for the WBA International Super-Lightweight title, after a career changing win last time out against Mikey Garcia. Hometown hero Kerman Lejarraga take on another British rival James Metcalf, looking for a statement and future first World title shot. Don’t miss all the action, live worldwide on DAZN.”
“We’re really excited to be returning to Spain with these two consecutive events, live on DAZN,” said Matchroom Boxing CEO Frank Smith. “There is absolutely no doubt that Spanish boxing is in the healthiest position it has ever been in – with huge wins by last year for Sandor Martin, Kerman Lejarraga and of course Kiko Martinez. We want to ride that wave and keep delivering big events to the market! The atmosphere in Barcelona and Bilbao is always special and we look forward to two massive events over the coming months.”
Further details; including full undercard and ticket information will be released in due course.
Super-Middleweights clash in Milan on May 13 – unbeaten Zucco headlines April 22 fight night in Verbania
Matchroom and OPI Since 82 return to Italy and Super-Middleweights will take centre-stage with Daniele Scardina and Giovanni De Carolis meeting in a huge all-Italian showdown on Friday May 13 at the Allianz Cloud in Milan, while unbeaten 168lbs talent Ivan Zucco faces Marko Nikolic at Palazzetto dello Sport in his Verbania, Piemonte hometown on Friday April 22, live worldwide on DAZN.
Scardina (20-0 16 KOs) defends his WBO Intercontinental Super-Middleweight title against De Carolis (29-10-1 13 KOs), but there’s so much more at stake with bragging rights as the number one 168lber in the country to be settled on the night.
Scardina sits at 10 in the WBO rankings, so the bout presents the chance for the winner to crash into the top five and begin to eye the biggest fights in the division. The 29 year old recorded a pair of stoppage wins in 2021 in Milan as he returned to the ring from a 14 month absence, and picked up the title he defends in the second of those wins, dispatching Juergen Doberstein inside four rounds in October.
De Carolis, former WBA World champion, can reignite his title ambitions with victory over Scardina. The 37 year old battled Lerone Richards for the European title in May 2021 in London and after being outpointed by the Briton, he returned to winning ways over six rounds in his Roma backyard in October.
In support of Scardina and De Carolis, Spaniard Mary Romero (7-2 2 KOs) will make the second defence of her European Super-Bantamweight title against Italy’s Maria Cecchi (6-0 1 KO), the vacant Italian Super-Bantamweight title will be claimed by Vincenzo La Femina (10-0 5 KOs) or Matteo Lecca (9-2 4 KOs), and there’s eight round action for Welterweight Maxim Prodan (19-1-1 15 KOs), while Super-Welterweight Cristian Cangelosi (6-0 2 KOs) and Cruiserweight Oronzo Birardi (2-0 2 KOs) will fight in six rounder bouts.
“It’s going to be an important and great fight,” said Scardina. “We are super focused; it will be a great show live worldwide on DAZN.”
“I am thrilled to compete with Daniele,” said De Carolis. “It is a match that Italian boxing needs and it will attract great attention on an international level.”
Scardina and De Carolis will certainly attract the full attention of the unbeaten Zucco, who will look to land his first international strap against Nikolic, with the WBC International title on the line. Zucco (15-0 13 KOs) is leaving the domestic scene behind having landed the Italian title in April with a six round win over Luca Campano in Milan and took just three rounds to see off Ignazio Crivello in his first defense in his hometown in July. The 26 year old extended his KO streak to five with a fourth round stoppage of Giorgi Gujejiani in December, a 13th win inside the distance in 15 pro outings. Nikolic (28-1, 12 KOs ) will be out to stop the rise of the Italian, and the well-traveled and experienced Serbian takes on his fourth title fight in his 30th bout in the paid ranks.
Unbeaten Roma man Mirko Natalizi (11-0 7 KOs) fights for his first title against Welshman Tony Dixon (13-3 4 KOs) for the WBC International Silver Super-Welterweight title on the undercard that also features Francesco Grandelli (15-1-2 3 KOs) takes on Briton Kane Baker (17-8-1 1 KO) over ten rounds at Featherweight, Samuel Nmomah (16-0 5 KOs) meets Felice Moncelli (22-6-1 5 KOs) over eight rounds at Super-Welterweight, and there is six round action for Mauro Forte (Featherweight,16-0-2 6 KOs), Joshua Nmomah (Middleweight, 10-0 3 KOs), Giovanni Sarchioto (Middleweight, 2-0 2 KOs) and Voldy Toutin (Light-Heavyweight, 1-0).
“I am proud to headline an event of such an international importance in my hometown of Verbania,” said Zucco. “I will be ready to win the Green belt. As I have always said: "Verbania is inexpugnable!"
“Our boxing schedule at DAZN just keeps getting better as we put on shows around the world, this time in Italy with a huge all-Italian showdown between Daniele Scardina and Giovanni De Carolis and Ivan Zucco facing off against Marko Nikolic in his hometown,” said Ed Breeze, EVP Rights at DAZN. “This are two cracking fights with homegrown talent looking to make a statement domestically and across the world scene. You do not want to miss out back-to-back Italian fight nights, live around the world on DAZN.”
“Delighted to be back in Italy with 2 shows on April 22 and May 13” said Matchroom Boxing CEO Frank Smith. “We have been building over the years with Scardina and now the biggest domestic rival is happening in Milan on May 13. Following the pandemic is amazing to have fans back. Don’t miss it live and on demand on DAZN!”
“I want to thank Daniele Scardina and Giovanni De Carolis for accepting this fight,” said Christian Cherchi for OPI Since 82. “Without any doubts is the biggest fight Italian boxing can present at this time. We are expecting a sold-out arena and great viewers on DAZN. We are also very happy to promote the first International title of Ivan in his beautiful hometown of Verbania. His fight with Nikolic will be a step up in competition. Natalizi will challenge Dixon in his first title attempt and Grandelli will square off against Baker in a fight that promise fireworks. Don’t miss it live and on demand on DAZN.”
Friday, March 11, 2022
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:
“As I’ve said before, almost ten years since Carl Froch’s historic victory in Nottingham Arena, we’ve been looking to bring a mega-fight back to this city for some time. 10,000 sell-out on Saturday and the atmosphere is going to be incredible, 3000-4000 Irish also in attendance for what will be a tremendous match-up.
“This Saturday we have a solid undercard, so many great fights, great fighters, great prospects. People returning to the World Championship scene, people looking to make their mark in the world rankings.
“Just under 10,000 people in a sold-out arena will see a great fight with an incredible atmosphere. Huge support from the city of Nottingham and a huge number of Irish fans coming to see if Michael Conlan can become World Champion.”
“I’m buzzing to be here, it’s been a long hard road to get here, back in 2014 that was a terrible night. I knew the reasons behind it, and I went away and corrected it. Same with both of the defeats I’ve suffered, I went away, changed my team and improved as a fighter. I stayed disciplined, lived the life and that’s why I’m bringing this big night back to Nottingham, I couldn’t be happier.
“I couldn’t be happier with my camp, my team, everything is on point. As Mick said, I’ve got the best version of him and he’s got the best version of me, there’s no excuses after the fight the best man will win.
“We rocked up at fight camp and people were basically saying good luck, thanks for turning up, we were taken aback and didn’t know what to say to them. I said in interviews I was going to win the fight, confidence has never been an issue with me, I’ve been confident when most kids didn’t have anything to smile about, I’ve been confident in the gym without fights and through injuries and defeats. I was confident in my ability and that I’d get there, now I’m here.
“This is fairy-tale sh*t, honestly, of all the arenas for Carl I was at in the seats screaming, I’m now headlining in the same arena. This isn’t the peak or where I stop, I’m going to go further than this. The city ground fight that you’ve tangled in front of me for so long, you [Eddie] said after this fight it’s happening, so I’ll hold you to that but eyes on Saturday night first. I’m coming to get the job done and look good doing it.”
“I’m over the moon with the training camp that Leigh’s had, preparation doesn’t stop until the first bell but we’re ready and very confident. Leigh knows exactly what he needs to do and it’s just a case of getting in there and doing it now.
“I think it’s just very easy for people to go ‘Mick on points’ or ‘Leigh by stoppage’, that’s the outcome people can see but as I said before I think Mick punches harder than people think and Leigh boxes better than what people think he does. People said the same thing when Leigh was boxing Can Xu, he can only win by knockout, not only did he nearly beat him quite widely by points, but he beat him in the twelfth round.
“I don’t believe that this is the two possible outcomes of the fight, I think both guys are very versatile and potentially momentum shifts throughout the fight and adjustments will have to made by both. It’s a fantastic fight and that’s why we’ve got a sold-out arena.
“I highly expect Leigh to thrive under this situation, I don’t think there’s any problems, Leigh’s one of the calmest fighters I’ve worked with in the changing room preparing for a fight. It’s just a case of getting in there and doing what he needs to do now.”
“I’m ready to go, my confidence comes from preparation and my preparation has been fantastic. I’m very confident and very relaxed, we’re here in Nottingham and it’s time to go, there’s not much more to say other than I really can’t wait for Saturday night.
“I know what kind of performance is coming on Saturday night, this is the most relaxed and calm I’ve ever been in a fight week. I don’t feel any pressure, I’m here in the opponents back garden and I’ve got to rip the belt off him. Everyone’s here to see him, I’ve got fans coming in the thousands already so it’s nothing new.
“I’m just here to do a job, I hope Leigh has had a fantastic training camp, I hope he’s the best Leigh Wood there’s ever been because I believe I will be. It’ll make it all the sweeter when I beat him.
“I’m just expecting a fantastic performance by myself.”
“We came here six weeks ago full of confidence, we’ve come here today even more confident. Confident in the preparation that was put in over the last eight week, confident in the mindset that he’s brought into this fight and the mental attitude that he’s put into the camp and the challenges he’s faced in camp. We’ve come here to upset the applecart and spoil your boy’s party – send the Irish home happy.
“I fully expect Michael to become World Champion on Saturday. Regarding favourites and underdogs, we have no real thought on that. We’ve come in as the B side fighter and underdog mentality but we’re fully confident we’ll become world champion. I truly believe this is his destiny, Leigh Wood is just an obstacle in his way that we must overcome. This is Michael Conlan’s party, this is the one he’s coming to take home, and this is the one that the fans will be able to sing about and tell each other about in bars for years to come.
“I think that’s something that Leigh’s going to have to deal with, the mental stress he’s going to be under, I saw it last night when he was doing his workout. There’s going to mental pressure on him more so than on Michael, Michael has dealt with mental pressure throughout his career. He was thrown into the spotlight from day one, Leigh has done it when no one was watching, he won the world title in front of 25 people in your [Eddie] back garden.
“This is the big time, this is going to be where everyone is pressuring him on, expecting him to win – in his hometown as the favourite. In our hometown we’re the favourite, so the fans coming over are fully expecting Michael to win, fully expecting to be joyous on Saturday and going home with a new World Champion. As a family we’re just ready, we’ve been waiting for this for a long time, destiny is in front of us and Leigh is just another object in the way.”
“I want to thank you [Eddie] for getting me on this card, especially straight after Christmas. It’s the opportunities I feel like I deserve, and I’ve been working hard, it’s a great card to be on and it’s going to be a very noisy night on Saturday. I can’t wait to just get in there and put on a good performance.
“We hoped to get the Hassan N'Dam fight, former World Champion, but he’s got a good record and I expect a tough fight Saturday night. I’ve prepared well and I’ve been sparring great, everything’s went to plan in camp, and I have no complaints. I just can’t wait to get in there and put on a good performance, I feel like you’re going to see a different side to my game on Saturday – Rubio being a southpaw. I feel like he’ll bring out the best in me in terms of that I can box a bit more and open up a bit more.
“That’s the plan, I want to headline shows in Belfast, it’s a great to be on this card with three other Irish fighters. I spent time on the Irish team with Garry and Thomas, I’ve boxed with Mick at training camps and he’s from my hometown. It’s a great opportunity for me on this card but the plan is to go back home, and headline shows by the end of the year. I feel like after this fight or one more in the summer I’ll be ready for a big name.”
Juan Carlos Rubio:
“I really enjoy taking on challenges and this will be another one for me. We did take the fight on very short notice, but we were already preparing, running and training waiting for this opportunity which presented itself.
“I’m going to come and give everything on Saturday, I want to give thanks to the champ for giving me the opportunity but yeah I’ll give it everything on Saturday.”
“It’s like I’ve never left now back at Lightweight. I’ve been trying to explain to my Grandma about moving up in weight and she said it’s only 5 pounds, but that 5 pounds makes a huge difference. I had a good training session and feel like I’ve got weeks of training left in me and I’m full of energy.
“I’m just happy to be back and excited to get back out there on Saturday night, show everyone what I’ve been working on. This camp was about taking everything back to the drawing board, going back to basics and making slight changes that have been needed to be made for a while.
“The fight’s been and gone now, it was a lesson learnt the hard way and I’m just excited to be here in the new weight division. I’m fully focused on what’s ahead and what’s to come this year.
“After the last fight I thought, everyone was going to go off and disappear but to be fair I’ve probably got more fans. I’m just grateful to everyone who’s been there since day one and we’re on this journey together through the highs and lows, I’m doing it for them really and they’re the reason I’m here.”
Yamila Belen Abellaneda:
“Here we are accepting the challenge, it was put to us, and I’m really pleased to be here. Once the offer came in, we took it with both hands.
“That’s what we’re here for. We’ve come here and put the work in, we’ve come to win.”
“I’ve been looking for this chance, calling your name since I was 2-0. I’m excited that it’s finally here, I’ve got a great opponent in front of me in Miguel Vazquez who’s been there and done it. It’s a big test for me as well and I’m looking forward to putting on an explosive performance on Saturday.
“I think 2022 is the year that I plan on making a statement in the world rankings and stepping up in challenge and winning World Titles, Vazquez is the first step in doing so. I’ve been building on the down low on the MTK shows, the smaller hall scene for the last couple of years putting in big performances. This is my first kind of show on the big stage and I’m looking forward to showing everyone what I can do.”
“I’m really happy to be here in the UK. I’m facing a great opponent so it’s great to have this opportunity once again to show people in the UK that I’m still a big thing in boxing.
“Apart from whether or not I won or lost that fight, whether it was a robbery, you can call it what you like. I'm just so happy to be back again on these shores and show again what I can do in the UK, it’s a wonderful country and I’m so happy to be here.”
“This is what I want, I said I want someone who’s coming to win, she’s trained for ten rounds like it’s a World Title. It’s going to be a good fight; I respect her as a fighter and she has fought great champions but I’m different and she’ll see that Saturday night.
“I’m going to make the fight the pace I want to make it at, we’ve got a good plan me and Cliff. Honestly, if I have to outbox this girl I will, if I have to go to war I’ll go to war.
“Even now the people are seeing it’s too early, when I believe in myself and my team believes in me, you’ll believe in me after this fight. I’m just ready for anybody.”
Erica Anabella Farias:
“When I was offered this fight, most fights I’ve had in my career have been for World Titles, so I train as if it’s a World Title fight and I’ve been training as if this was a World Title fight. I’m always ready and accept the big challenges and I think champions are built over time, so I’ll be facing up as if this is a World Title fight.
“I live for this sport; I enjoy every single moment whether it’s the press conference of the weigh-in. Like I said, I’m focused for every fight like it’s a World Title fight so you can expect me to go into the fight and coming out victorious. What I would say to Sandy Ryan is to keep her guard up.”
“I remember when I first got the call and got told that I’d me on this card, it’s literally 20 minutes up the road from me – it’s my home city. I’m blessed to make my pro debut on such a big card, on my mate’s undercard as he defends his World Title in my home city. I’ll just need to go in there now and make a good transition from amateur to the pros and put on a good performance.
“We’ve got a good boxing scene in Nottingham and the surrounding areas, to get boxing in the city and on the big cards on TV is only good exposure and it’s going to spur everyone on in their careers. I think it’s good to put Nottingham and Mansfield in the spotlight.”
“Me and Dillian had a chat after the last one and we were looking to make a bit of a plan and see when get out again. It made the most sense to get me on this card, I was calling for it to be honest because I knew it would be a massive event and as you can see it. Big shoutout to Dillian, Matchroom and the team for sorting it.
“I’m looking forward to Saturday, I have a lot of people coming over to watch me. People from Dublin haven’t been given many chances to go on big cards, to get the crowd over for big cards as of late. I’m absolutely delighted there will be a big crowd coming over on Saturday and hopefully progress on to the Irish Title before the end of the year. I’ll be the first person then to win it since Tyson Fury so looking forward to that.”
Thomas Whittaker Hart:
“I’ve had a terrible couple of years thinking my career was going to be over in the last twelve months but thankfully it’s not. I’ve got a good opportunity on another good show, I want to push on for titles at the end of the year.
“I want to try and get my hands on the British Title by the end of the year, it’s what I thought about a lot when I wasn’t too well and out of the ring. That’s all I could think about, not being there and not having those belts, it’s made me hungry and want it more – it could have done a lot for me as well."
Thursday, March 10, 2022
Super-Bantamweight champion targeting unification bouts
WBA World Super-Bantamweight champion Mayerlin Rivas has signed a multi-fight promotional deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom.
Rivas (16-4-2 10 KOs) landed the WBA strap in her last outing, travelling to Panama to beat unbeaten local favorite Laura Ledezma on points last February to bag the belt and become a two-weight World ruler in the process.
The Venezuelan won the WBA title at Bantamweight in June 2015 and made three defenses before moving up to 122lbs and won the WBA crown in her second title tilt at the weight, having been edged out via split decision for the IBF title Marcela Acuna in Argentina in October 2018.
‘La Monita’ is looking to take on fellow champions Yamileth Mercado (WBC) and Segolene Lefebvre (WBO) and an eye on the winner of Cherneka Johnson and Melissa Esquivel who clash for the IBF belt in April, and the 34 year old cannot wait to get back into action.
“I am thrilled to be joining Matchroom,” said Rivas. “There’s so many big fights out there for me with the champions at my weight, where I want to unify and become undisputed. Fights up at Featherweight would be huge too and I know that there are many rising stars that would be great fights too, so I am looking forward to getting back between the ropes and showing what I do best.”
“It’s great to welcome Mayerlin to the team,” said Hearn. “Mayerlin is hungry for more belts at 122lbs, and we want to make those unification fights so she can achieve her goal of being undisputed. There are big fights on both sides of the Atlantic for her to get her teeth into, and her return to the ring will be announced soon.”
Wednesday, March 9, 2022
'The Destroyer' takes on 'The Heat' in Manchester
Conor Benn will defend his WBA Continental Welterweight Title against South Africa’s Chris Van Heerden at the AO Arena in Manchester on Saturday April 16, live worldwide on DAZN (excluding New Zealand and Australia).
‘The Destroyer’ (20-0, 13 KOs) secured a stunning knockout win over former World Champion Chris Algieri last time out in December, taking out the American with a brutal right hand in the fourth round of their top of the bill clash at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.
The 25-year-old contender from Essex holds top ten rankings with the WBA, WBO and IBF after notching three wins during a breakout 2021 – and the British star believes that 2022 will be an even bigger year for him as he works towards a World Title shot.
‘The Heat’ (28-2-1, 12 KOs), born in Johannesburg, South Africa, previously held the IBO Welterweight World Title from 2011 until 2013, beating Kaizer Mabuza, Sebastian Andres Lujan and Matthew Hatton during his Title reign.
Now residing in Santa Monica, California, USA the 34-year-old southpaw is eager to test himself against one of the fastest rising Welterweights in world boxing and should provide valuable rounds having only been stopped once by Errol Spence in 32 fights.
A huge undercard sees Bournemouth’s European Cruiserweight Champion Chris Billam-Smith (14-1, 10 KOs) rematch Belfast’s former champion Tommy McCarthy (18-3, 9 KOs) following their epic back and forth battle at the Matchroom HQ last summer.
‘The Gentleman’ withstood a late fightback from McCarthy as he edged out a narrow split points decision to add the British and European Cruiserweight Titles to his Commonwealth Title, before defending his EBU crown with a points win over Dylan Bregeon in Sheffield.
Manchester Super-Featherweight contender Zelfa Barrett (27-1, 16 KOs) looks to build on his impressive IBF World Title Eliminator win over Australia’s Bruno Tarimo on the Parker vs. Chisora 2 undercard when he challenges European Champion Faroukh Kourbanov (19-3, 3 KOs) – a former opponent of Joe Cordina.
Hard hitting Cruiserweight talent Jordan Thompson (12-0, 10 KOs) has scored two big first round knockouts since putting pen to paper on a promotional deal with Eddie Hearn last June, and the 28-year-old from Manchester will be out to impress his home fans again as he works towards his first Title shot in 2022.
Hyde Lightweight prospect Campbell Hatton (6-0, 2 KOs) quickly returns to action after earning the best win of his career over Joe Ducker last month, Little Lever’s Jack Cullen (20-3-1, 9 KOs) aims to bounce back from his stoppage loss to Kevin Lele Sadjo in December and Alnwick Welterweight Cyrus Pattinson (3-0, 1 KO) hopes to make it two wins from two fights in 2022.
"I’m excited to step into the ring with Chris Van Heerden," said Benn. "Van Heerden is a tough operator and a southpaw who will be in there giving it his all in every round. For me and my team it’s now about fighting every style that we can face as we continue to head towards World Championship status and Van Heerden brings something different to the table than I’ve not faced before.
"With that being said this is another stepping stone for me on my journey to the top, I haven’t seen anything in Van Heerden’s previous fights that I can’t deal with, and I expect another explosive victory on April 16. If he comes to fight or he wants to box, I can deliver that smoke either way! The AO Arena has to be one of the most exciting venues to fight in. I love Manchester. I get shown a lot of love and support up in Manchester – it’s a fighting city. I bring the entertainment every time I fight and I can’t wait for April 16.”
"Sometimes it takes 10 years for that one year to come around that completely changes your life," said Van Heerden. "This is my year. I want to thank Conor Benn for taking the fight, knowing that I'm coming to beat him in his backyard. I also want to thank Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing for taking this risk and my manager Peter Kahn for getting this fight done. I am looking forward to putting on a show in Manchester on DAZN."
“Conor Benn is fast becoming one of the biggest stars in British Boxing and he faces by far the toughest test of his career to date when he takes on Chris Van Heerden in Manchester on April 16,” said Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn. “Van Heerden has mixed at the very highest level and faced fearsome Welterweight ‘Boots’ Ennis last time out before the fight was ruled a no contest due to a clash of heads - he always comes to fight, and I expect a gruelling battle for Conor. We are building an action-packed card and already announce the rematch of one of the Fight of the Year contender between Chris Billam-Smith and Tommy McCarthy and local star Zelfa Barrett challenges for the European Title. I expect another blistering statement from Conor Benn live worldwide on DAZN.”
“We are excited to welcome back one of the brightest prospects in boxing, Conor Benn, to the platform when he takes on former IBO Welterweight Champion Chris Van Heerden on April 16,” said Ed Breeze, EVP Rights at DAZN. “This is another huge test for Conor as he continues his quest to capture a World Title in 2022. We pride ourselves in having the best schedule in boxing, and with the announce of this matchup in April and early May you will see Canelo Alvarez, Ryan Garcia, GGG, Taylor vs. Serrano and Conor all fighting live on DAZN.”
Tickets are priced £40, £60, £100, £150 and £300 (VIP).
FightPass tickets will be available to purchase for Matchroom Boxing FightPass members from midday on Thursday March 10 via StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk) and Matchroom Boxing (www.matchroomboxing.com)
Unbeaten Champions Clash: Oscar Valdez-Shakur Stevenson Tickets at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas On Sale Thursday, March 10
Tickets for the April 30 junior lightweight title unification tilt — starting at $79 — can be purchased by visiting AXS.com
LAS VEGAS (March 9, 2022) — The battle for junior lightweight supremacy is on deck. WBC champion Oscar Valdez will meet WBO king Shakur Stevenson in a title unification showdown between undefeated fighters Saturday, April 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets starting at $79 go on sale Thursday, March 10 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased by visiting AXS.com.
“This is a fight between two fighters in their physical primes, the best fighting the best,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Oscar and Shakur deserve the biggest stage, and it doesn’t get much bigger than ESPN and the MGM Grand Garden Arena. On April 30, a superstar will be born.”
Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs), the fighting pride of Nogales, Mexico, is a two-weight world champion entering his 10th world title fight. He authored the 2021 Knockout of the Year with his title-winning effort over longtime champion Miguel Berchelt. Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs), the rising pound-for-pound star from Newark, New Jersey, is coming off last October’s one-sided knockout over then-champion Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring.
Valdez-Stevenson and additional fight action will be televised live on ESPN & ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Undercard bouts will be announced shortly.
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Tuesday, March 8, 2022
Card Set for Hard Hitting Promotions Event that will take place This Saturday, March 12th at Live! Event Center at Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia
Card Set for Hard Hitting Promotions Event That Takes Place This Saturday, March 12th at Live! Event Center at Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia
Christian Tapia takes on Luis LeBron for WBC Continental Super Featherweight Title in Main Event
Branden Pizarro Takes on Vitor Jones Freitas in Co-Feature
Also Undefeated Dezmond Lucas, Brandon O'Callaghan & Deme Edmonds in Action
Philadelphia (March 8, 2022)--A full eight-bout lineup is set for a big night of action that will take place This Saturday night as Hard Hitting Promotions presents a night of championship boxing at Live! Event Center at Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia.
In the mouth watering main event, undefeated Christian Tapia (13-0, 12 KOs) of Coamo, Puerto Rico takes on Luis Lebron (18-2-1, 11 KOs) of San Juan, Puerto Rico in a 10-round showdown for the WBC Super Featherweight Title.
Tapia of Coamo, Puerto Rico, has an impressive record of 13-0 with 12 knockouts. The 27 year-old is a five year veteran who has stopped his last eight adversaries. On July 31, 2021, Tapia won the NABA Super Featherweight title with a 2nd round demolition over former world-ranked contender Mason Menard (36-5). In his last bout, Tapia took out previously undefeated and highly regarded Iron Alvarez (14-0) in the 10th and final round on December 4, 2021 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In that fight, Tapia dominated the previously undefeated Alvarez, as he was up on all cards with Alvarez barely winning a round, before Tapia ended the fight in the 10th.
Lebron of San Juan, Puerto Rico is 18-2-1 with 11 knockouts. The 28 year-old Lebron is a nine-year veteran has wins over Glenford Nickey (2-0-1), Pedro Marquez Medina (1-0), Joshua Santos (2-0-1), Manuel Botis (23-0-1), Alan Guzman (19-3), Luis Ruiz (9-1) and his last bout when he stopped Frank Diaz (9-0) in the 7th round to win the WBA Fedecento Super Featherweight title on November 20, 2021 in Miami, Florida.
In the eight-round welterweight co-feature, Branden Pizarro of Philadelphia takes on Vitor Jones Freitas.
Still just 22 years-old, Pizarro has a record of 16-1-1 with nine knockouts. Pizarro turned pro at age 17 and won his first eight-bouts and is unbeaten in his last nine and is coming off a first-round stoppage over DeWayne Wisdom on February 12, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.
Freitas of Salvador, Brazil, has a record 16-6 with 10 knockouts. The 28 year-old Freitas is a 10 year-professional, is the nephew of former two-division and four-time world champion, Acelino "Popo" Freitas. Vitor won his first 13 bout, and is coming off a loss to undefeated Nestor Bravo on December 4th in Atlantic City.
In six-round bouts:
Dezmond Lucas (5-0, 2 KOs) of Bronx, NY takes on Ryan Pino (10-7-2, 5 KOs) of San Juan, Puerto Rico in a welterweight fight.
Jan Carlos Rivera (4-1, 4 KOs) of Philadelphia fights Michael Ogundo (16-13, 13 KOs) of Quincy, Massachusetts in a super lightweight contest.
In four-round bouts:
Jeffrey Villanueva of Allentown, PA makes his pro debut against Juan Gutierrez of Emallie, Nicaragua in a super flyweight bout.
Brandon O'Callaghan (2-0, 1 KO) of Philadelphia squabbles with pro debuting Derrick Vann of Philadelphia in a middleweight fight.
Anthony Ramirez (0-1) of Philadelphia takes on Cesar Espinel Maldonado of Arecibo, Puerto Rico in a welterweight bout.
Demek Edmonds (4-0, 3 KOs) of Quincy, Massachusetts tangles with Rafael de Souza (0-1) of Salvador, Brazil in a cruiserweight battle.
Tickets are on sale for $150, $100, $75 and $60 and can be purchased at
The show will be streamed on Facebook Pay-Per-View on the Hard Hitting Promotions Page.
For More Information, Contact:
Marc Abrams at firstname.lastname@example.org or 856 287 7611
Carmen E. Gonzales: Executive Director, Communications, Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia at email@example.com