Mexico’s rising middleweight star Jaime Munguia (35-0, 28 KOs) will return to the ring to defend his WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Championship against Tureano Johnson (21-2-1, 15 KOs) in a 12-round battle on Friday, October 30 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. The fight will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.
Additional information for this card will be announced shortly. The event will be closed to the public and media.
“Jaime Munguia has all the qualities to become Mexico’s biggest boxing superstar,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “He’s tough, charismatic and has the physique to win world titles at both middleweight and super middleweight after a successful reign at 154 pounds. However, Tureano Johnson is coming off an impressive knockout win against Jason Quigley in which he handed him his first loss, something he definitely wants to do against Munguia as well. This is a veritable crossroads fight, and the winner will cement his case for a world title opportunity and be a threat to any of the champions.”
Munguia is a 23-year-old contender of Tijuana, Mexico who catapulted to the highest levels of the 154-pound division by knocking out Sadam “World Kid” Ali in May to capture the WBO Junior Middleweight World Title. Munguia then defended his title against Liam “Beefy” Smith, Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook, Takeshi Inoue, Dennis Hogan and Patrick Allotey. After five defenses at junior middleweight, Munguia moved up to 160 pounds to capture the WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Title against Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan. Now, he’ll face his toughest test to date against a battle-tested warrior Johnson.
“It’s a great honor to be returning during these tough times,” said Jaime Munguia. “I hope to deliver excitement and entertainment to the fans as the world begins to slowly make its return to normalcy. At the same time, I have been training and improving my skills with my team at the Ceremonial Center in Otomi [Mexico], and I will show everyone that Jaime Munguia is ready for the best in the division.”
“I am very happy and excited,” said Fernando Beltran, CEO of Zanfer Promotions. “With so many issues that are taking place on a global level, it is an honor to have the most charismatic boxer in Mexico in Jaime Munguia returning to the ring.”
Johnson is a 36-year-old contender who hopes to fight for a world title despite some setbacks in his career. Johnson’s only losses were against Curtis “The Cerebral Assassin” Stevens and Sergiy “The Technician” Derevyanchenko. After a very tough battle against Fernando “El Huracan” Castaneda in February, the native of Nassau, Bahamas bounced back by handing Jason Quigley his first loss and capturing the NABF Middleweight Title. Johnson is eager to show everyone that he is world championship caliber.
“I am excited about the opportunity to fight Jaime Munguia,” said Tureano Johnson. “The setbacks I have had in my career have only made me stronger. Munguia is a tough undefeated fighter, but I will hand him his first defeat as I pursue my quest to be the middleweight champion of the world.”
Munguia vs. Johnson is a 12-round fight for the WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Title presented by Golden Boy in association with Zanfer Promotions. The event is sponsored by Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle” and “BetOnline – Your Online Sportsbook Experts.” The fight will take place on Friday, October 30 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.
Davis vs. Santa Cruz will see three-time world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis and four-division world champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz battle for the WBA Super Featherweight and WBA Lightweight Championships headlining a SHOWTIME PPV Saturday, October 31 (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
The stacked undercard will feature unbeaten San Antonio native and WBA Super Lightweight Champion Mario “El Azteca” Barrios defending his title against hard-hitting Ryan “Cowboy” Karl in the co-main event and former super lightweight world champion Regis “Rougarou” Prograis will take on unbeaten contender Juan Heraldez in a 10-round showdown. In the telecast opener, lightweight contenders Isaac Cruz and Diego Magdaleno will battle in an IBF title eliminator bout.
The event is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotions, GTD Promotions and Santa Cruz Boxing Club. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com. The Alamodome has implemented a comprehensive health and safety plan to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. All fans attending the event will be screened upon entry and are required to wear a mask as well as follow social distancing guidelines. Tickets will be distributed in seat blocks known as “pods” to maintain distance between groups not from the same party. For more information, visit Alamodome.com.
The highly anticipated main event will be contested at 130-pounds and will be fought for both Santa Cruz’s 130-pound title and Davis’ 135-pound title, which they each won in their previous fight. Two crowd favorites with massive followings, Davis vs. Santa Cruz is an all-action style matchup, with Davis owning a .957 knockout rate, while Santa Cruz is long established as one of the busiest punchers and best pressure fighters in the sport.
Davis vs. Santa Cruz will be a rare clash in boxing history in which world titles in two weight classes will be at stake. Other notable instances in recent boxing history are the 1988 Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Donny Lalonde fight for the light heavyweight and super middleweight titles, and the 2014 Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana rematch for the super welterweight and welterweight championships.
“I’m looking forward to showing the world how hard I’ve been working in camp,” said Davis. “We are just a few weeks away, and I’m already in great shape. Headlining on pay-per-view has always been a dream of mine since I started boxing. I can’t wait to put on a spectacular performance against multiple division world champion Leo Santa Cruz. Thank you to my team, SHOWTIME, Mayweather Promotions, GTD Promotions, and all my fans worldwide. Keep supporting me and I’ll fight for you.”
“October 31 is going to be the biggest fight of my career,” said Santa Cruz. “I’m going to fight a very tough opponent, maybe the toughest opponent of my career. Two titles are going to be on the line, and this will be my first time headlining a pay-per-view. So I’m going to do everything that I can to put on a good show. Davis is known for his power. But I think with my experience and ring IQ I can break him down. He’s probably going to be very aggressive in the early rounds. But if I do what I’m supposed to, and execute our game plan, I will win.’’
The event is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotions, GTD Promotions and Santa Cruz Boxing Club.
“This fight between Gervonta Davis and Leo Santa Cruz is such a great fight that we had to have it with fans, which will be a first for a major boxing event since COVID-19 started,” said Floyd Mayweather, President of Mayweather Promotions and a 12-time, five-division world champion. “Tank’ Davis is a special talent, a super skilled fighter and I have been in the gym regularly to watch and help him prepare for a tough opponent in Santa Cruz, who we all know always comes in shape and ready to fight. It’s going to be a great night for Mayweather Promotions, for boxing and for sports. The best fighting the best is all we can ask for.”
“We continue with the tradition of offering boxing fans the best matchups in the hottest divisions, pitting the best versus the best,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “Tank Davis facing Leo Santa Cruz is one of the most exciting matchups of the year. You have a young, hungry star with devastating power in Davis and an experienced and absolutely relentless four-division champ looking to conquer a title in a fifth division. This is the type of matchup boxing fans have waited the entire year to watch. Two superstars in their toughest matchup to date battling for titles in two weight divisions at the same time.”
“Gervonta Davis is the most exciting fighter in the sport, and he’s set to headline his first pay-per-view card and set the world on fire,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “He’s up against an experienced, four-division world champion in Leo Santa Cruz, who is looking to take him down and hand him his first L on October 31.”
“Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz is one of the best matchups that can be made in boxing, with each fighter in position to score a career-defining victory,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “We’re excited to bring a historic showdown with world titles in two weight classes on the line to fans at the Alamodome. Davis vs. Santa Cruz presents a fascinating clash of styles, with Santa Cruz’s relentless pressure against Davis’ fight-changing power. Adding in three high-stakes undercard attractions, this pay-per-view is lined up to present drama in the ring from start to finish.”
Tickets will go on sale Monday, October 5 at 10 a.m. CT and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com. This is the first major boxing event with fans in attendance since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. in March. The Alamodome has implemented a comprehensive health and safety plan to protect against the spread of the virus. All fans attending the event will be screened upon entry and are required to wear a mask, as well as follow social distancing guidelines. Tickets will be distributed in seat blocks known as “pods” to maintain distance between groups not from the same party. For more information, visit Alamodome.com.
“The Alamodome is excited to host the Davis vs. Santa Cruz SHOWTIME PPV event and to bring these athletes to San Antonio,” said Steve Zito, General Manager, Alamodome. “Not only is this a great platform for these athletes and their fans, but the event will also spotlight San Antonio through nationally televised matches and generate economic impact for our community during these challenging times.”
Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) burst onto the scene with an explosive knockout victory over Jose Pedraza to win the IBF Junior Lightweight World Title in a star-making performance on SHOWTIME® in January 2017. At the time, he became the youngest world champion in boxing at age 22. In the ring, Davis blends controlled aggression with blazing hand and foot speed, eye-catching power and sublime boxing skills. The dynamic combination of skills has made Davis a fan-favorite who filled arenas in Atlanta, Ga., and his hometown of Baltimore, Md., last year.
The 25-year-old began his 2019 with a knockout of Hugo Ruiz in February, before scoring a second-round stoppage of Ricardo Núñez in his homecoming fight in July. Davis closed out the year by capturing his lightweight title via 12th round TKO of former champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in December. Davis also owns a title-winning performance in which he dominated former champion Jesus Cuellar to capture the WBA 130-pound belt in 2018. Under the guidance of Mayweather Promotions, Davis will look to further improve his impressive portfolio with another title-winning performance in his first pay-per-view main event.
Fighting out of Los Angeles, Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) made his debut at super featherweight last November by defeating Miguel Flores to capture the WBA title. Santa Cruz has made his name in the sport by engaging in numerous Fight of the Year contenders, including two thrilling featherweight title duels against four-time champion Abner Mares and two-division champion Carl Frampton each. He lost his featherweight title in his first match against Frampton in 2016, but reclaimed it in their rematch the following year.
The 32-year-old has competed in title bouts in 17 of his last 19 fights, while picking up belts at 118, 122, 126 and 130-pounds. The 130-pound title made Santa Cruz just the fifth fighter of Mexican descent to win titles in four weight classes, joining Oscar De La Hoya, Erik Morales, Jorge Arce and Mikey Garcia. Santa Cruz was introduced to the sport and trained throughout his career by his father Jose, along with his brothers Jose Armando, a former lightweight contender, and Antonio. Santa Cruz will look to become a five-division champion in his first pay-per-view headliner.
The 25-year-old Barrios (25-0, 16 KOs) will be making the first defense of his world title in his hometown of San Antonio. Barrios captured his 140-pound title in his last fight in September 2019, earning a hard-fought unanimous decision over then-unbeaten Batyr Akhmedov, dropping him twice and fighting through a cut suffered on a head butt. Barrios trains in Oakland, Calif. under the guidance of renowned coach Virgil Hunter. The five-foot ten-inch Barrios debuted as a super bantamweight in 2013, eventually moving up to 140-pounds full time in 2017 where he is 8-0 with seven knockouts.
“The long layoff is finally over and fans can expect to see me go to war with Ryan Karl, who I know is coming to bring an aggressive fight to the table,” said Barrios. “I’ve stayed in great shape during this past year, so now it’s time for me to keep giving boxing fans exciting fights. I’ll be representing my city of San Antonio and as always, everyone can expect to see me as explosive as ever. On October 31, all the fans watching on pay-per-view will watch me make a statement as I defend my title.”
Born in Milano, Texas and now trained in Houston under the tutelage of top trainer Ronnie Shields, Karl (18-2, 11 KOs) will step in for his first title opportunity on October 31. The 28-year-old enters this fight on a three-bout winning streak, with all three wins coming in 2019, including a knockout of Kevin Watts to avenge one of his losses in an immediate rematch. Karl also owns victories over Kareem Martin and then-unbeaten Jose Felix Quezada during his pro career that dates back to 2014.
“I’ve been training for this my whole life and I’m not going to let it slip away,” said Karl. “We’re working hard in training camp to put on the best performance of my career. We know what we’re up against in Mario Barrios, but I’ve come too far not to take full advantage of this opportunity on October 31.”
A staple of the 140-pound elite, Prograis (24-1, 20 KOs) returns to the ring after losing his title in an exciting unification clash via majority decision last October against Josh Taylor. The 31-year-old won his title by defeating Kiryl Relikh by TKO in April 2019 and has also earned stoppage victories over former unified champion Julius Indongo, and then-unbeaten contenders Joel Diaz Jr. and Juan Jose Velasco. Prograis was born in New Orleans but lives and fights out of Houston.
“This is a huge fight and I’m very thankful to PBC for giving me this opportunity,” said Prograis. “I haven’t fought in a year and since then I’ve done a lot of self-reflection and moved from L.A. back to Texas. I’m more focused than I’ve ever been and I can’t wait to get back to my number one spot in the super lightweight division. I have to be a world champion again and I won’t stop until that happens.”
The 30-year-old Heraldez (16-0-1, 10 KOs) can vault himself into the top tier of 140-pound contenders with a career-best victory over Prograis on October 31. Born in Northridge, Cal. and training out of the Mayweather Promotions gym in Las Vegas, Heraldez most recently fought to a majority draw last May against former champion Argenis Mendez. Heraldez’s pro career has also seen him score victories over previously unbeaten Jose Miguel Borrego and tough contender Eddie Ramirez.
“It’s been a crazy year, but I took this opportunity to spend time with my family and sharpen my skills inside the ring,” said Heraldez. “There’s been a lot of great sparring happening at the Mayweather Boxing Club that I’ve taken advantage of. I have a tough opponent in front of me, and that’s my only focus right now. I trust in my ability as a fighter and I trust my team to get me over the finish line with a victory on October 31. I’m thankful to Mayweather Promotions for putting me on such a large platform for this fight.”
Fighting out of his native Mexico City, Mexico, Cruz (19-1-1, 14 KOs) is unbeaten in his last 15 fights since dropping his sixth pro fight by decision. The 22-year-old knocked out 10-of-13 opponents between 2016 and 2018, before making his U.S. debut in December 2019. That contest saw Cruz earn a unanimous decision over Miguel Perez, which he followed up in February of this year by defeating Thomas Mattice by decision on ShoBox: The New Generation.
“Since I started boxing, it has been my dream to fight on this stage in the United States,” said Cruz. “I know that Diego Magdaleno is a very tough and experienced fighter, but it’s my time on October 31. The fans will see that I have what it takes to be world champion when I beat Magdaleno and announce myself as one of the best lightweights in the world.”
Magdaleno (32-3, 13 KOs) enters this fight coming off of an impressive victory over contender Austin Dulay in February that saw him drop Dulay on his way to a unanimous decision. The 33-year-old has challenged Roman Martinez for a 130-pound title and Terry Flanagan for a lightweight crown, while also battling lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez in February 2019. A Las Vegas native, Magdaleno has won four-of-five fights entering October 31, including a 10-round decision over Artyom Hovhannisyan.
“I’ve been super eager to get back into the ring since my last performance,” said Magdaleno. “That win sparked a fire in me and got me as motivated as I’ve ever been. Now that I’m in a title eliminator, I’m even more excited to return to action. I’m facing another young lion, but he’s lacking the experience that I have. Training with Bones Adams has made a world of difference in my career. I’ve made a transition to being more composed and smarter in the ring. I’m here to make a statement and claim what’s mine. I’m never going to back down until I get that world title.”
Saturday, October 31 – Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) vs. Jason Moloney (21-1, 18 KOs)
MGM Grand Las Vegas 12 Rounds, Inoue’s IBF/WBA Bantamweight World Titles
ESPN+, 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT
A three-division world champion and a consensus Top 5 pound-for-pound fighter, Inoue makes his Las Vegas debut and his fourth bantamweight world title defense against a man who is ranked in the Top 5 by every major sanctioning organization. Inoue is coming off a unanimous decision over Nonito Donaire last November, a fight named by many outlets as the Fight of the Year. Prior to the Donaire bout, Inoue knocked out four consecutive opponents in three rounds or less, including a second-round stoppage over Emmanuel Rodriguez to win the IBF world title. Inoue’s ring return was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but he has a stiff test in Moloney, an Australian boxer-puncher who made his “Bubble” debut June 25 with a knockout over Leonardo Baez. Moloney has won four straight bouts, all by knockouts, since a controversial split decision loss to Rodriguez for the IBF world title.
Mikaela Mayer to Challenge Junior Lightweight World Champion Ewa Brodnicka
Mikaela Mayer called on the junior lightweight world champions for a fight. One of them was mandated to answer.
WBO female junior lightweight world champion Ewa Brodnicka will make the sixth defense of her title in a 10-round showdown against mandatory challenger Mayer on Halloween evening, Saturday, Oct. 31 from the MGM Grand Las Vegas Conference Center. Brodnicka-Mayer will serve as the chief support bout to WBA/IBF bantamweight world champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue’s title defense against Jason “Mayhem” Moloney.
Inoue-Moloney and Brodnicka-Mayer will headline an evening of boxing live and exclusively on ESPN+ beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.
“After Mikaela’s last performance, I promised her a world title fight. She’s asked to fight the champions, and I am confident she will make a statement to the rest of the women in and around her weight class,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “We’ve watched her progress since her pro debut, and she has turned into one of the premier fighters in female boxing. This WBO belt will be the first of many world titles for Mikaela.”
Frank Smith, CEO of Matchroom Boxing, Brodnicka’s co-promoter, said: “We’re happy to be working with our friends at Top Rank on another great fight. Ewa Brodnicka has proved herself to be one of the best 130-pound fighters on the planet with five defenses of her WBO world title, and I’m backing her to make it six successful defenses when she meets the undefeated Mikaela Mayer on Oct. 31. This is a top matchup at a time when women’s boxing grows from strength to strength.”
Brodnicka (19-0, 2 KOs), from Poland, has fought all of her pro bouts in her home country and has gone the 10-round distance on 10 occasions. She participated in the final world title bout before the COVID-19 pandemic March 7, winning a unanimous decision over Djemilla Gontaruk in Dzierżoniów, Poland. Before capturing world title honors at junior lightweight, Brodnicka reigned as European lightweight champion.
Brodnicka said, “I am excited that my title defense against Mikaela is happening in America, where I’ve always wanted to fight. I am more than ready for this opportunity, and I would like to thank my promoters, Eddie Hearn and Mariusz Grabowski, for helping make this fight a reality.”
Mayer (13-0, 5 KOs), from Los Angeles, turned pro under the Top Rank banner almost one year after representing the United States at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She made her pandemic return July 14 and bested two-time world title challenger Helen Joseph over 10 rounds. Matchroom Boxing announced it had signed Brodnicka to a promotional contract on Aug. 6, but later that day, the WBO ordered Brodnicka to defend her world title against Mayer.
“I’ve made huge improvements to my boxing skills over the last 10 months. You saw some of it in my last fight against Helen Joseph, but I’ve reached a whole new level this fight camp,” Mayer said. “I’m more than prepared for this WBO world championship fight, and I will absolutely be going home with the belt. This fight will not go the distance. Ewa Brodnicka is not on my level, and her time is up. Tune in and watch me bring the championship belt to ESPN and Top Rank.”
October 31: Robson Conceição-Luis Coria, Jared Anderson and Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez Added to Inoue-Moloney/Brodnicka-Mayer Championship Doubleheader LIVE on ESPN+
Robson Conceição, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist for his native Brazil, seeks to notch the signature win of his unblemished professional career when he takes on Luis Coria in a 10-round junior lightweight fight Saturday, Oct. 31 from the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble.
Conceição-Coria will serve as the chief support bout to the world championship doubleheader featuring unified bantamweight world champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue’s title defense against Jason Moloney and Mikaela Mayer challenging WBO female junior lightweight world champion Ewa Brodnicka.
The card will also feature Toledo’s 20-year-old heavyweight sensation, Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson (6-0, 6 KOs), who will fight Luis Eduardo Pena (6-1, 6 KOs) in a six-rounder. Anderson has three knockout wins inside the Bubble and four first-round stoppages in his young career.
The entire Inoue-Moloney card will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET, with the co-feature (Brodnicka-Mayer) expected to start at approximately 10 p.m. ET.
Conceição (14-0, 7 KOs) turned pro under the Top Rank banner in 2016 after an amateur career that included the Olympic gold medal, more than 400 victories and two World Championship medals. He last fought in August in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and knocked out Eduardo Reis in the second round. Conceição takes a giant step up in class against Coria (12-3, 7 KOs), a Robert Garcia-trained fighter who is coming off a razor-thin majority decision loss in June against Adam Lopez in one of the year’s best back-and-forth brawls.
In other undercard bouts:
Julian Rodriguez (20-0, 13 KOs) vs. TBA
10 Rounds, Junior Welterweight
“Hammer Hands” Rodriguez is 4-0 with three knockouts since returning from a nearly two-year layoff last July, re-establishing himself as one of the 140-pound division’s top prospects. He made his Bubble debut Aug. 22 and knocked out the previously undefeated Anthony Laureano in the first round. Rodriguez turned pro in 2013 as an 18-year-old, and at 25 years old, is approaching contender status.
Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez (12-0, 8 KOs) vs. TBA
8 Rounds, Light Flyweight
Rodriguez, a 20-year-old southpaw prodigy from San Antonio, Texas, put forth a star-making performance inside the Bubble Sept. 5, knocking down the normally iron-chinned Janiel Rivera three times en route to a first-round stoppage. Trained by Robert Garcia and promoted by Teiken Promotions, Rodriguez has won four straight bouts by stoppage, and his sublime footwork reminds many boxing observers of Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Andy Hiraoka (15-0, 10 KOs) vs. Rickey Edwards (12-4, 3 KOs)
8 Rounds, Junior Welterweight
Hiraoka, a stablemate of Inoue’s from Yokohama, Japan, made his U.S. debut last November and knocked out Rogelio Casarez in two rounds. A former high school distance-running star, the 24-year-old also bested former world title challenger Akihiro Kondo via 10-round decision in July 2019. Edwards, from Paterson, N.J., hopes to snap a two-bout losing skid and pick up his third victory over a previously undefeated prospect.
Andres Cortes (13-0, 7 KOs) vs. George Acosta (10-1, 1 KO)
8 Rounds, Junior Lightweight
Cortes returns for his second Bubble bout nearly four months removed from his July 7 slugfest against Alejandro Salinas. Cortes recovered from a fourth-round knockdown to earn an eight-round unanimous decision. As an amateur, he notched a pair of victories over undisputed lightweight world champion Teofimo Lopez. Acosta, from Long Beach, Calif., has won three consecutive fights since a six-round decision defeat to Ruben Torres.
UFC star Khabib Nurmagomedov says he wants to see former Undisputed Cruiserweight World Champion Oleksandr Usyk take on WBC Heavyweight ruler Tyson Fury.
Dana White hailed Russia’s Nurmagomedov as the ‘GOAT’ and pound-for-pound best after he sensationally retired following his second-round stoppage of Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi.
The undefeated Lightweight World Champion is a long-time fan of boxing, and was even spotted ringside for Anthony Joshua’s huge rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia last year, but it is Ukraine’s Usyk he wants to see share the ring with ‘The Gypsy King’, not ‘AJ’.
When asked for his assessment of the sport, prior to Vasiliy Lomachenko’s loss to Teofimo Lopez in Las Vegas, Khabib told reporters: “Right now, I think three guys. Oleksandr Usyk, Vasiliy Lomachenko and Canelo Alvarez.
“Oh sorry, Tyson Fury too. Four guys. It’s very hard [to decide] who is the best.
“I really want to see Usyk vs Fury. It’s gonna be a very good fight. He [Usyk] has very good skill and technique, Tyson Fury too.
“He is not like other Heavyweights, more technique, his footwork is very good, his conditioning is very good, I really wanna watch Usyk against Fury.”
USYK vs Chisora & Undercard
Ukrainian pound-for-pound star Oleksandr Usyk will finally face British favourite Derek Chisora on Saturday October 31, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US, after their original May 23 date was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) made the move to Heavyweight after dominating at Cruiserweight, ending his extraordinary spell at 200lbs as the Undisputed king with a phenomenal run of victories in his opponents’ backyard against Marco Huck, Mairis Briedis, Murat Gassiev and Tony Bellew.
The 2012 Olympic Gold medallist began his assault on the Heavyweight division by retiring Chazz Witherspoon in seven rounds at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago last October and continues his bid to become a two-weight World Champion when he faces an in-form Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs).
Former World Title challenger Chisora scored a devastating second round knockout over Poland’s Artur Szpilka at The O2 in July 2019, a year on from his incredible eighth round KO win against Carlos Takam at the same venue, before blitzing fellow Brit David Price in four rounds in October 2019.
The Finchley powerhouse, who is guided by former two-weight World Champion David Haye, has lofty ambitions of his own and is planning on giving Usyk nightmares in his first real test in boxing’s glamour division as he looks to pull off what would be one of the best wins by a Brit in recent years.
“I have really missed boxing,” said Usyk. “I am working hard in my training camp to show a spectacular performance on October 31. I expect a real test in Derek – he is strong, tough and resilient. He is a really big guy and he hits hard.
“As a Cruiserweight, I reached the highest heights as Undisputed Champion and now I am following the same path as a Heavyweight. I need to test myself against world class Heavyweights on my new road to Undisputed and Derek stands in front of me.
“Many people say that Derek is a monster, but deep down he is a kind man. I don’t expect to see that good side of him. I know that he wants to break me, but I am water, wind and fire all together. Derek Chisora, I am coming for you!”
“Helllllo, Usyk, I’m ready for you, helllllo Usyk!,” said Chisora. “Usyk, I’ve been ready for you all year. It’s my home turf and after such a tough year for everyone, I’m going to give the British public the Halloween party they deserve and finally get revenge for my boy Tony Bellew!”
“Yesterday’s news from the Government was a kick in the nuts, so to bounce back with this fight at this time is so important for boxing,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “You’ve either got to sit back and say ‘it’s not possible’ or find a way to make it happen, and I’ve got to say a big thanks to Team Usyk, ‘Del Boy’ and David Haye for staying patient and helping get this over the line.
“It’s an absolute firecracker and a fight that’s so important to the Heavyweight division over the next few months. We saw a stunning victory from Povetkin recently to shake up the mandatory situation, can WAR Chisora spring the upset and KO the undefeated Undisputed World Champ? I know he will do everything he can to try and get the victory and this will be another night of Heavyweight drama!”
“Oleksandr Usyk versus Derek Chisora is one of the most anticipated fights in the Heavyweight division,” said Alexander Krassyuk, General Director of K2 Promotions. “The fight was originally scheduled to take place in May, but I can assure boxing fans around the world that it will be worth the wait.
“Usyk is under huge pressure. He has to prove himself as a true Heavyweight, while Chisora has nothing to lose and is always dangerous. It will be a violent and bloody battle. I cannot wait to see them finally collide in the ring on October 31.”
“I see this fight with Usyk as the perfect opportunity for Derek to gate crash the world top 5,” said David Haye of Hayemaker Promotions. “He’s a massive underdog, with very few experts picking him to cause the upset. But I know something they don’t, I know Derek has the size, the chin and more importantly the heart to walk through hell to get this win.
“Derek cancelled his last family Christmas holiday in preparation for this very fight, and as a result has spent the best part of a year improving his boxing IQ, and building a relentless engine, he is ready to step in the ring with Usyk and wage WAR. The world will be shocked at what Halloween havoc Chisora brings to the party.”
Adam Smith, Head of Boxing Development at Sky Sports, said: “We’re very excited to announce the rescheduled date for Oleksandr Usyk versus Derek Chisora, an intriguing Heavyweight showdown with plenty at stake!
“Ukrainian star Usyk has already showcased his sublime skills on these shores in that dramatic battle with Tony Bellew, while Derek Chisora has rejuvenated his career since teaming up with his former foe David Haye.
“A potential fight with Unified Champion Anthony Joshua is already within Usyk’s grasp, but Chisora has big ambitions of his own, and with Haye by his side, could we see the battle-hardened Brit pull off a stunning upset? Usyk against Chisora has all the ingredients for a Heavyweight classic!”
MARSHALL VS. RANKIN ADDED TO USYK-CHISORA BILL
World Title showdown rescheduled following positive COVID-19 test
Savannah Marshall and Hannah Rankin will contest the vacant WBO Middleweight World Title on the undercard of Oleksandr Usyk vs. Derek Chisora on Saturday October 31, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US.
The pair were scheduled to meet on the Lewis Ritson vs. Miguel Vazquez show in Peterborough on Saturday October 17 but Marshall’s trainer Peter Fury returned a positive COVID-19 test, resulting in the fight being postponed in line with the British Boxing Board of Control rules.
“Honestly it has been a dream to have this fight rescheduled so quickly,” said Marshall. “After the past week I’ve just been overjoyed with the news. I couldn’t have asked for a better or bigger platform than on the Usyk vs. Chisora bill.
“It was frustrating that the fight fell through, but it’s one of those things. There was nothing I could have done about it. Peter is okay which is the main thing.
“My training won’t change and will just be like any other training routine 10 days out from a fight. Nothing will change. It hasn’t got more personal for me, as me and Rankin are just two girls that can’t wait for a dust up with each other.”
“It is great that the fight has been rescheduled so soon, thank you to Eddie Hearn and Matchroom for sorting it all out,” said Rankin. “Nothing changes for me. I will be crowned WBO Middleweight World Champion on October 31.”
Adam Smith, Head of Boxing Development at Sky Sports, said: “It’s fantastic news that Savannah Marshall’s World Title fight with Hannah Rankin has been swiftly rescheduled for the Usyk-Chisora bill, which is fast becoming an unmissable night of action.
“Women’s boxing has never been stronger, with Ellie Scotney showcasing her talent last weekend, and now we can look forward to an all-British battle between Marshall and Rankin, with the WBO Middleweight belt at stake. Savannah, a former Sky Scholar, has those polished amateur skills but Rankin has greater professional experience – it’s an enthralling encounter.
“Lee Selby is also targeting another World Title shot on a stacked undercard, which also features Tommy McCarthy’s European Title fight, before Usyk and Chisora take centre stage, in what promises to be a Heavyweight classic!”
Marshall vs. Rankin is part of a huge night of boxing as pound-for-pound star Oleksandr Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) faces his first real Heavyweight test in Derek Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs), Lee Selby (28-2, 9 KOs) and George Kambosos Jr (18-0, 10 KOs) square off in a Final Eliminator for the IBF Lightweight World Title, Heavyweight fan favourite Dave Allen (18-5-2, 15 KOs) returns to action, Belfast’s Tommy McCarthy (16-2, 8 KOs) meets Belgium’s Bilal Laggoune (25-1-2, 14 KOs) for the vacant European Cruiserweight Title and Amy Timlin (4-0) faces off with Carly Skelly (3-0) for the vacant Commonwealth Super-Bantamweight Title.
Devin Haney will defend his WBC World Lightweight title against Yuriorkis Gamboa on Saturday, Nov. 7 and Daniel Jacobs will clash with Gabriel Rosado on Friday, Nov. 27, both behind closed doors and subject to strict COVID-19 protocols at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Florida, live on DAZN.
Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) is back in action for the first time since November 2019 after injuring his right shoulder in seeing off Alfredo Santiago in the first defense of his belt in LA. The 21-year-old sensation had successful surgery on the injury and is now ready to resume his quest to dominate a 135-lbs. scene that’s littered with big names.
First on his hit list is Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs), the former unified World Featherweight king and Cuban hero, following his Olympic gold medal. Gamboa is aiming to become a two-weight World ruler at the third attempt having challenged Terence Crawford and Gervonta Davis for their titles, but Haney is confident he will reignite his reign in style.
“Yuriokis Gamboa is a dangerous and experienced fighter,” said Haney. “He’s a former unified world champion, and he has been in the ring with some of the best. He hurt Terence Crawford with a big shot, so his power is not to be ignored. He beat Orlando Salido who beat Vasiliy Lomachenko. Less than a year ago he took Gervonta Davis into the 12th round, something no one has ever been able to do. Gamboa is a true warrior and I’m not taking him lightly. I’ve called out all the top names, and I finally got someone who will challenge me for my title. I intend on making a statement in this fight. My hunger is on another level. It’s time to show the world who the best fighter in boxing is and that’s me!”
“I’m extremely thankful to God for allowing this fight to happen and for the miracle of healing my Achilles,” said Gamboa. “I’ve been dreaming and wishing of fighting for the WBC Green Belt ever since I was an amateur in Cuba. I’m ready and determined to win this title for my fans and to prove those who wrote me off as a washed up fighter wrong. I came up short against Davis because of my Achilles in the second round, but I fought the rest of the fight on one foot, hurting him in the middle rounds. You are going to see a healthy Gamboa fight with both of my legs, fists and warrior heart of mine. With God’s blessings I will come out victorious Nov. 7.”
HRGOVIĆ FACES BOOKER ON NOVEMBER 7 IN FLORIDA
Filip Hrgović (11-0, 9 KOs) will face Rydell Booker (26-3, 13 KOs) on November 7th behind closed doors at the Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Florida, live on DAZN in the US and RTL in Croatia.
The Croatian heavyweight sensation known as ‘El Animal’ will fight for the second time in just three months following a spectacular second-round knockout win against Alexandre Kartozia last Saturday in Struer, Denmark.
The 2016 Olympic Bronze medallist returns to America for the second time in his paid career, having previously claimed a stunning first-round knockout victory over Gregory Corbin at the MGM National Harbor in Maryland.
Hrgović will be looking to extend his four fight KO streak as he squares off against former sparring partner Booker, the Detroit-native, who pushed World title challenger Kubrat Pulev to a points decision last November in Fresno.
“I can’t wait to go back to America to fight again,” said the 28-year-old from Zagreb. “Booker is a skilful fighter. He had a good fight with Kubrat Pulev. He went the distance and won the first few rounds. I think I can do better. I want to make a statement and finish the fight early.
“Booker was one of my sparring partners before I fought Gregory Corbin. I know him well and he knows me, so I’m looking forward to the fight. He has good skills and technique, but I will be better prepared and in better shape. I don’t think he’ll be able to handle my power and my pressure!”
Hrgović’s promoter Nisse Sauerland believes a busy end to 2020 will be the perfect preparation for a World title assault in 2021, as he predicts another knockout performance from the Croatian giant.
“Filip has the style to trouble every heavyweight in division,” said Sauerland. “He has dynamite in both hands as he showed in his last fight, and I think he will demonstrate that power again against Booker. It’s important for Filip to stay busy as we’re expecting a huge 2021 for him. He’s ready for the World title.”
Zeljko Karajica, Hrgović’s manager, said: “After his knockout of the year against Kartozia, I’m happy to have Filip back in the ring so quickly. He is very excited to fight in America once again and we are looking forward to him putting on a show on November 7th for the US fight fans.”
Hrgović, who is co-promoted by Team Sauerland and Matchroom Boxing, fights as part of a huge night of boxing in Florida that features American star Devin Haney defending his WBC World Lightweight title against Yuriorkis Gamboa.
Telecast Beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT – Top heavyweight contender Luis “King Kong” Ortiz will headline a stacked night of heavyweight action when he takes on Alexander “The Great” Flores in the 10-round main event of FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes Saturday, November 7 from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
The broadcast begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and will see rising unbeaten heavyweight contender Frank “The Cuban Flash” Sánchez battle Brian Howard in the 10-round co-main event. Plus, undefeated Michael Coffie steps in to face hard-hitting Joey Abell in an eight-round heavyweight duel.
The event will be promoted by TGB Promotions and will take place without fans in attendance at the Microsoft Theater, an AEG venue, in downtown Los Angeles.
“Sports fans love the power and drama of the heavyweight division and this lineup on November 7 will provide both in droves,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “‘King Kong’ Ortiz has long established himself as an upper echelon heavyweight, and he will look to work his way back to another title shot against the hungry and game Alexander Flores. With unbeaten heavyweights Frank Sánchez and Michael Coffie in separate bouts on the undercard, this show is built for action from start to finish.”
With exceptional power and sublime technical skills, Ortiz (31-2, 26 KOs) has been a fixture atop heavyweight rankings for years, with his only defeats coming in memorable contests against former longtime heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. Born in Camaguey, Cuba and trained by longtime coach Herman Caicedo in Miami, Ortiz won three bouts between Wilder contests, defeating Travis Kauffman, Christian Hammer and Razvan Cojanu. Prior to that run, Ortiz picked up victories over the likes of Bryant Jennings, Tony Thompson and Malik Scott to build up his heavyweight resume.
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring and put on a great performance for all my fans,” said Ortiz. “I’ve been training hard and I’m going to show why I’m still one of the most dangerous and avoided heavyweights around. Credit to Flores for stepping up to the challenge, but I’m planning on making a statement November 7 on FOX.”
The 30-year-old Flores (18-2-1, 16 KOs) will return to action after his last outing saw him stop Mario Heredia in the sixth-round of their November 2019 affair. Fighting out of his native Rowland Heights, California, Flores has fought professionally since 2010, and has scored knockouts in his last 14 victories. The only blemishes on Flores’ record have come against former heavyweight champions Charles Martin and Joseph Parker.
“When I got the call for this fight, I immediately said yes and I was ready to go,” said Flores. “I’m always in shape throughout the year, so now we’re just sharpening the tools for November 7. Ortiz is coming off of a big fight, and I’m preparing for the best Ortiz we’ve ever seen. I don’t know if he’s overlooking me, I just know that I’m going to be ready to take advantage of a life changing opportunity.”
An amateur standout from his native Cuba, Sánchez (15-0, 11 KOs) now trains in San Diego with coach Eddy Reynoso. The 28-year-old added four victories to his ledger in 2019, including a stoppage of Puerto Rican Olympian Victor Bisbal. His 2020 debut saw Sánchez dominate tough contender Joey Dawejko in March on FOX on his way to a unanimous decision victory.
“I look forward to my return so that I can again showcase my skills and make the case that I am a future heavyweight champion,” said Sánchez. “Brian Howard is a very dangerous opponent, but I am even more dangerous. My trainer Eddy Reynoso is preparing me for a spectacular win. I’m a proud Cuban fighting in America in front of millions of people on FOX. It is a dream come true, but only half of the dream. The job will be complete once I become the heavyweight champion of the world.”
Howard (15-3, 12 KOs) made his heavyweight debut in style in August, scoring an impressive first-round knockout over Puerto Rican Olympian Carlos Negron. Fighting out of Atlanta, Georgia, Howard also owns knockout victories over previously unbeaten fighters Shawndell Winters and Alex Guerrero. Howard has won five of his last seven fights since returning from a layoff in 2015.
“I’m really looking forward to this opportunity on FOX against Frank Sánchez,” said Howard. “I’ve been training very hard to be at my best for this fight. I know that I’m going to come to California and be victorious on November 7.”
A Marine Corps veteran who picked up boxing after returning from overseas, Coffie (10-0, 7 KOs) quickly impressed in amateur tournaments enough to earn sparring assignments with Deontay Wilder and Adam Kownacki. The 34-year-old was born in the Bronx, but now fights out of Brooklyn. Coffie most recently emerged victorious in a battle of unbeatens when he stopped Luis Pena in the fifth round of their August matchup on FS1.
“This is going to be a great fight against a really good opponent,” said Coffie. “This is the first step toward getting to where I want to be. Abell is a very credible opponent, and a win will justify me being able to fight higher ranked contenders in the heavyweight division. I can’t wait to go out and put on a great performance on November 7.”
Born in Neenah, Wisconsin and fighting out of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, Abell (35-10, 33 KOs) has faced an impressive lineup of top heavyweights while establishing himself as a tough veteran in the division. Abell has lined up against Tyson Fury, Tomasz Adamek, Oscar Rivas and Chris Arreola to name a few of his notable opponents. Abell owns a knockout victory in 2016 over then unbeaten Wes Nofire on FS1 and most recently stopped Quincy Palmer in the first round of their November 2019 contest.
“I’m blessed to get such a great opportunity to fight on this card,” said Abell. “It’s been a tough year for everyone but I’m looking forward to ending mine on a positive note. I’ve been training like never before. On November 7, I’ll be ready for war.”
Crawford-Brook and Joshua Franco-Andrew Moloney 2 to headline ESPN telecast starting at 10 p.m. ET – Undercard Fights on ESPN+ at 7:30 p.m. ET
The pound-for-pound king is set to reclaim his throne. WBO welterweight world champion Terence “Bud” Crawford will defend his title against former welterweight world champion Kell Brook in a special edition of Top Rank on ESPN Saturday, Nov. 14.
In the world championship co-feature, Joshua “El Profesor” Franco will defend his WBA super flyweight title against former world champion Andrew “The Monster” Moloney in a rematch of their June bout, won by Franco via decision.
Promoted by Top Rank and sponsored by GEICO, ESPN and ESPN Deportes will televise Crawford-Brook and Franco-Moloney 2 beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, while a full slate of undercard bouts will stream live on ESPN+ at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.
Venue information for Crawford-Brook will be announced soon.
“Kell Brook is one of the elite fighters in the world. He has faced so many of the top boxers,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “He is a real test for pound-for-pound great Terence Crawford. This is another premium fight that will be available to boxing fans for no extra charge live on ESPN.”
Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs), the pride of Omaha, Neb., has reigned as WBO welterweight world champion since June 9, 2018, when he stopped Jeff “The Hornet” Horn in nine one-sided rounds. He has since defended that world title three times, including a sixth-round demolition over former unified junior welterweight champion Amir “King” Khan in April 2019. Crawford has not fought since last December’s ninth-round TKO over Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas and will enter the ring against Brook coming off a career-long 11-month layoff. He has won seven straight bouts by knockout since a one-sided decision over Viktor Postol in a July 2016 junior welterweight unification bout. Prior to his welterweight world title campaign, Crawford was the lineal lightweight and undisputed junior welterweight world champion.
Brook (39-2, 27 KOs), from Sheffield, England, is a former welterweight world champion who made three successful defenses of the IBF title he won from Shawn Porter in 2014. His only defeat at welterweight came to Errol Spence Jr. in May 2017, a competitive fight that ended in the 11th round after he suffered a broken orbital bone. Since the Spence defeat, “The Special One” has won three bouts at junior middleweight, including February’s seventh-round stoppage over Mark DeLuca. Brook has long campaigned for the Crawford bout, and earlier this year, he ran into Crawford at the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury II weigh-in.
“You gonna make weight?” Crawford asked Brook.
“You’re running out of opponents,” Brook responded. “I’m here.”
Brook said, “I would just like to say a big thank you to Bob Arum and his team at Top Rank and to Baz Kandiara and my management team for getting the ﬁght made. Thank you also to Terence Crawford and his team. It’s a fantastic ﬁght, a proper ﬁght for the fans to get excited about. I’m sure it’s one that will have viewers on the edge of their seats, whichever side of the pond they’re from.
“I’ve been told there are people writing off my chances, questioning my age, and my ability to make the weight. Well, let them talk. Some people focus on reading headlines, I focus on making headlines. Those people writing me off as a big underdog? No problem. I guess this big dog will be making a few people richer during a difficult time.
“Terence isn’t too much younger than me. They know that I’ve never ducked a challenge, and they should know that I’ve never failed to make 147 on the scales. With age comes experience. My knowledge and experience make me a diﬀerent ﬁghter, a more mature ﬁghter. Couple that with a happy fighter, and you’ve got yourself a dangerous fighter.”
Moloney (21-1, 14 KOs), from Melbourne, Australia, won the interim world title with a knockout over Elton Dharry last November and was subsequently elevated to world champion. In his first world title defense, June 23 from the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble, he was upset via unanimous decision at the hands of Franco (17-1-2, 8 KOs), a native of San Antonio, Texas, who was previously best known for his action-packed trilogy with Oscar Negrete.
Said Moloney, “I am extremely excited and motivated for my rematch with Franco. I’m very grateful that Top Rank has given me the opportunity to get my revenge and reclaim my world title. I have been working extremely hard every day to make sure that world title is strapped back around my waist on Nov. 14.”
Terence Crawford-Kell Brook Welterweight World Title Showdown to Air Live and Exclusively on Premier Sports 1 in the UK
November’s most anticipated fight now has an exclusive UK broadcast home.
Premier Sports and Top Rank have announced that pound-for-pound king Terence “Bud” Crawford’s WBO welterweight world title defense against Sheffield’s Kell Brook — Saturday, November 14 in the United States — will air live on Premier Sports 1, with coverage starting at 12.30 a.m. Sunday morning.
The Crawford-Brook telecast will also include the highly anticipated rematch between WBA super flyweight world champion Joshua Franco and former world champion Andrew Moloney. Franco upset Moloney via unanimous decision June 23 to capture the world title.
Premier Sports 1 is available in HD via Sky (412 & 429), Virgin TV (551 & 552) and online via the Premier Player available on app and desktop. New subscribers to Premier Sports can easily sign up via the website – www.premiersports.com.
Richard Sweeney, CEO of Premier Sports said, “We are delighted to partner with Top Rank and broadcast this massively anticipated fight next month. There is huge interest in this event from fans in the UK, and we’re pleased to make it live and exclusive to Premier Sports customers.”
Brook said, “I am delighted to announce that my fans across the UK will be able to watch me fight Terence Crawford for the welterweight world title LIVE on Premier Sports.
“It’s bonfire season, and I’m going to be bringing the fireworks, so make sure you subscribe and tune in to watch me become two-time world champion, baby!”
Added Bob Arum, Top Rank Chairman, “I commend Premier Sports for stepping up to broadcast Crawford-Brook. Terence is a generational talent, and I strongly believe Kell has the skills to give him a tremendous challenge. The UK boxing fans deserved an outlet to watch this fight, and thanks to Premier Sports, they will have an opportunity to do so.”
About Premier Sports
Formed in 2009, Premier Sports is currently broadcasting in the UK and Republic of Ireland with live and exclusive rights to the Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, Guinness PRO14, Scottish Cup and Betfred Cup, GAA, NHL, NASCAR and also operate BoxNation, a dedicated boxing channel. Many of these rights are available in both territories with some exclusive to each region.
Matchroom will promote the first ever women’s World Title triple-header on Saturday November 14, with Katie Taylor, Terri Harper and Rachel Ball all starring in an historic evening of boxing shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Taylor (16-0, 6 KOs) retained her Undisputed Lightweight World Title with a unanimous decision win over Delfine Persoon as their highly anticipated rematch produced another brutal battle on the final weekend of Fight Camp in August.
The Irish star puts her World Titles on the line once more against Mandatory Challenger Miriam Gutierrez (13-0, 5 KOs), the undefeated Spaniard who has held the WBA’s Interim World Title since November 2019 following her win over Keren Batiz.
“I’m delighted to be headlining another fight night on Sky Sports,” said Taylor. “When I turned professional it was a bit of step into the unknown in terms of how it all would go so to have these opportunities to headline cards is something I never take for granted.
“It’s been a pretty quick turnaround from my last fight but I’m always looking towards the next challenge and I really wanted to fight again before the end of the year. The pandemic has obviously made it a very uncertain time in terms of scheduling fights so I’m really excited to have a date to focus on.
“I’m expecting a very tough fight against an undefeated challenger, but I’ve been back in training camp in the US for the past couple of weeks and I’m looking forward to successfully defending my titles on November 14.”
“I am very happy, eager and excited,” said Gutierrez. “I am preparing myself 100% for this fight with Katie. This is the great challenge that I have pursued in my sports career, to be able to fight for the undisputed crown.”
Denaby’s Harper (10-0-1, 5 KOs) retained her WBC and IBO Super-Featherweight World Titles with a thrilling split decision draw against Liverpool’s Natasha Jonas in an historic Fight of the Year contender at the top of the bill on Fight Camp Week 2.
‘Belter’ faces her first WBC Mandatory challenger in Spanish-Norwegian Katharina Thanderz (13-0, 2 KOs), the undefeated Interim WBC Super-Featherweight World Champion who claimed the title against Brazilian Danila Ramos after a brutal ten round battle last November.
“This is the most excited I’ve been for a fight, I feel like I’ve got a lot to prove,” said Harper. “We’ve had the opportunity in this camp to work on lots of new things, having a strength and conditioning coach join the team. I want to go out and put the wrongs right.”
“It’s an amazing feeling to know that I’m finally fighting for the World Title,” said Thanderz. “I’ve been waiting such a long time for this moment, and I just know I’ll give my everything to win the title. Harper is a young and talented fighter. I think she’s a very hard-working girl. She’s fast, she has a good technique, she has stamina, and she’s a very good fighter. It will a pleasure to share the ring with her.
“I am confident I can beat her. I have a very good feeling, and I’m working very hard in my camp to be the best version of myself. I know it will be very difficult, especially because of the circumstances of the fight, but I’m prepared to surprise and shock everyone when I get the win. I feel very good about fighting in the UK. I’ve never fought in England, so I can’t wait to have the experience of fighting in a completely new country with so many boxing fans.”
Walsall’s Ball (6-1) lands a dream World Title shot on the back of her breakout win over Shannon Courtenay on the third week of Fight Camp. The 29-year-old takes on popular undefeated Australian Ebanie Bridges (4-0, 2 KOs) for the vacant WBA Bantamweight crown.
“I’ve been craving a big fight, now I’ve got it,” said Bridges. “I’m not coming to Britain to mess around; I’m going to take this opportunity with both hands and take that belt back to Australia with me in exciting style.”
“After my last fight I’m hungrier than ever, training harder than ever and asking myself everyday how I can improve,” said Ball. “I couldn’t be more excited for this fight. We’re friends but this fight isn’t going to be pretty, it’s business.”
“This a historic moment,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “A huge night of boxing that will be headlined by not one but three women’s World Title fights. Katie Taylor has spun the game on its head since she turned pro and has paved the way for so many great female fighters. Katie faces the second Mandatory Challenger during her undisputed reign in tough undefeated Spaniard Miriam Gutierrez.
“While fresh off a Fight of the Year contender at Fight Camp, Terri Harper faces her first Mandatory Challenger in undefeated Spanish-Norwegian Katharina Thanderz and in a fairy tale story Rachel Ball has a chance to become World Champion against popular Aussie Ebanie Bridges. This is a major statement from us and our broadcast partners, don’t miss an incredible night on November 14.”
“Katie Taylor continues her epic journey as one of the world’s elite boxers on a terrific triple-header of women’s World Title action,” said Adam Smith, Head of Boxing Development at Sky Sports. “The Irish star displayed grit and determination in a punishing rematch win over Delfine Persoon in Fight Camp, and her renowned skills should also be on show against Miriam Gutierrez.
“Terri Harper battled to a thrilling draw with Natasha Jonas in one of the year’s most enthralling fights and she is back in action, defending her WBC belt versus Katharina Thanderz. Rachel Ball also receives a World Title fight after she dropped and shocked Shannon Courtenay, but she must now overcome Ebanie Bridges. Three fantastic World Title fights – all live on Sky Sports!”
Dillian Whyte has an immediate opportunity to exact revenge over Alexander Povetkin on Saturday November 21 as the Heavyweight rivals collide in a blockbuster rematch, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.
Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) was sensationally knocked out by Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs) as the Russian viciously halted ‘The Body Snatcher’s’ World Title ambitions in the finale of Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex, last month.
Brixton’s Whyte had completely controlled the fight, flooring his opponent twice in the fourth round, but was smashed by a perfect left uppercut 30 seconds into the fifth that ended his hopes in a flash.
The 32-year-old will be hoping to regain his Mandatory position for the WBC Heavyweight World Title by levelling the score with Povetkin in what is the most important fight of his career to date.
“I’ve rested well, spent time with my family, and now that the date of the rematch is known, I will soon return to my training camp and prepare as thoroughly as I did for the first fight,” said Povetkin. “As I said before the first fight and after it too, Dillian Whyte is a good, strong boxer. I will be ready to enter the ring on November 21. I hope it will be another beautiful fight for the fans.”
“I’m over the moon to have the rematch,” said Whyte. “As soon as I got out of the ring, I was looking for confirmation that the fight would be on. I can’t wait to get back in the ring and get back what is rightfully mine. I’m looking to do what I said I would the first time and that’s beat Alexander Povetkin.
“There won’t be any major adjustments, but I just need to be more switched on and not get distracted. He was able to use his experience against me. I will be a lot more focused and sharper in the rematch. I’m coming to win and knock him out. I’m coming to even the score and the only way to do that is by knocking him out.”
BENN STEPS UP AGAINST FORMELLA
‘The Destroyer’ meets former IBO World Champion on Nov 21
Conor Benn faces the toughest test of his career on Saturday November 21 when he clashes with former IBO Welterweight World Champion Sebastian Formella on the blockbuster Alexander Povetkin vs. Dillian Whyte 2 undercard, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.
Benn (16-0, 11 KOs) scored two big knockout wins in 2019, firstly obliterating Jussi Koivula with a brutal second-round stoppage in his first headline fight at York Hall in June, and then explosively knocking out Steve Jamoye in four rounds at The O2 in October.
Formella (22-1, 10 KOs) went on a 22-fight winning streak, picking up the IBO Welterweight crown against Roberto Arriaza in January earlier this year, before taking two-time World Champion Shawn Porter the distance in hist first career defeat in August.
“Formella is a world level operator,” said Benn. “His only loss came against two-time World Champion Shawn Porter. I know a win here will make a huge statement on the world scene. I feel the critics have a lot of unanswered questions and now I have the opportunity to answer them in a globally recognised fight.
“From the outside this may look like a big step up but I have prepared extremely hard behind closed doors, working on my craft and climbing the ranks for a fight like this! It’s now time to carry the Benn name back to where it belongs and this will be another step closer to the top. Make no mistake, I’m going into this fight to destroy Formella, I want to win in true Benn style.”
“Conor is a strong undefeated man who likes to box at home,” said Formella. “This will not be an easy fight. But it makes me very proud to fight in the UK this year after my debut in the USA. Of course a fight with spectators would have been even better, but to box in the UK at all is great.
“I am looking forward to this challenge. We will have a good tactic to leave the ring as the winner. We will use the short time optimally.“
Promoter Eddie Hearn added: “This is a huge fight for Conor and a monumental step up. We saw Formella tough it out with Shawn Porter a few months ago and he didn’t stop trying for 12 rounds and showed a great chin and a lot of heart.
“I have to give Conor a lot of credit, although he has been inactive, he hasn’t left the gym and feels that after all he has learned, now is the time to take that big leap. This is the fight that can make him a genuine World level contender – it’s sink or swim time November 21!
Benn vs. Formella lands on the undercard of the blockbuster rematch between Alexander Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs) and Dillian Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs).
Demetrius Andrade will face Dusty Harrison over ten rounds at Super-Middleweight on Friday November 27 from Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, live on DAZN
WBO World Middleweight champion Andrade (29-0 18 KOs) is in action following the third successful defense of his belt in January with a ninth round stoppage win over Luke Keeler in Miami.
The Rhode Island star returns to the Sunshine State for the second time in 2020, and while the 32 year old intends to defend his crown in early 2021, Andrade is testing the waters for a move up to 168lbs in the future where he would be gunning to become a three-weight World champion.
‘Boo Boo’ has his eyes set on his fellow champions at Middleweight, his mandatory challenger Liam Williams and the kings up at 168lbs, but the 32 year old boogeyman of the division is keen to remain active and look to his future plans while waiting for those big nights.
“It’s me again,” said Andrade. “I thought long and hard about this and at the end of the day, this is another opportunity for me to go out there, get another win, look spectacular doing it, and testing what my body feels like at 168 pounds. I am fighting a young, undefeated guy, who was a good amateur and has been waiting for his moment. This is his moment, fighting me. I need to make sure I’m ready because he’s hungry and beating me changes his life.
“Is this the big fight I wanted, or have been chasing? No. But what am I supposed to do? Sit here and keep waiting for someone to answer the phone or accept one of Eddie’s offers? I’m in the prime of my career and I want to stay busy and fight as much as possible. With everything going on with COVID, you don’t know what’s going to happen. I have the opportunity to fight now, and I’m taking it. My job is to go out there, take care of business on November 27 and then 2021, it’s time for one of these big names to step up to the plate. You can’t duck me forever. Let’s give the fans what they want and deserve to see.”
Harrison (34-0-1 20 KOs) is an undefeated contender at 168lbs and ready to rip up Andrade’s script. Harrison’s earlier pro success featured at Welterweight back in 2016 before personal issues led him to walk away from the sport, but now the 26 year old former amateur star is on a new path with four stoppage wins around Super-Middleweight and he’s ready to shine on the biggest night of his career.
“This is the opportunity I have been waiting for my entire life,” said Harrison. “This is why I started boxing. All of the time I have dedicated to this sport, I finally get my opportunity to show the world who I am and what I am capable of on November 27. Demetrius talks a big game, and says he is the boogeyman of the division, but who has he fought? Then he goes out, fights whoever it is, runs around the ring, picks up a win and goes back to running his mouth. He says that he is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, then ok, so be it, on November 27 I take his spot. I know that people are going to doubt me going into this fight, and that is fine. That fuels my energy. Keep doubting me. Andrade doesn’t know what he got himself into. He better be ready when we step into that ring because I coming for him.”
“This is a vital night for Demetrius to both stay active and see how he feels up at Super-Middleweight,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Demetrius is after those massive fights at both 160lbs and 168lbs and 2021 promises to be a huge year for him, but he cannot take Dusty lightly, as those big plans go out of the window on a night where Harrison can take his career to new heights.”
Andrade’s clash with Harrison is part of a huge night of action in Florida, topped by Daniel Jacobs’ grudge match with Gabriel Rosado at Super-Middleweight.
Marc Castro will make his pro debut on the undercard of Daniel Jacobs’ (36-3, 30 KOs) grudge match with Gabriel Rosado (25-12-1, 14 KOs). The Fresno talent was slated to make his bow in the paid ranks in Tulsa, Oklahoma in August, but he tested positive for COVID-19. Now the amateur sensation finally laces them up and is joined on the undercard by fellow amateur rulers in Olympic gold medalist Daniyar Yeleussinov (9-0, 5 KOs) faces former unified World champion Julius Indongo (23-2 12 KOs) for the IBF Intercontinental Welterweight title, three-time World amateur champion Magomedrasul Majidov (2-0, 2 KOs), and young talents Nikita Ababiy (9-0, 6 KOs) and Alexis Espino (6-0, 4 KOs).
Danny Jacobs and Gabriel Rosado have built up a rivalry over the last year and now that comes to a head three weeks after Haney vs. Gamboa.
Jacobs (36-3, 30 KOs) made the first steps on his target of becoming a two-weight World champion with victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in Phoenix, Arizona in December. That was the “Miracle Man’s” first foray into the 168-lbs. scene after the two-time World Middleweight king moved up from 160 lbs. after his unification clash with Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas in May 2019.
Rosado (25-12-1, 14 KOs) appeared on the undercard in Phoenix and clashed with Jacobs ahead of the weigh-in. The Philly ace recorded a ten round points win that night to return to winning ways following his thrilling back-and-forth battle with Maciej Sulecki on home turf in March 2019, and the 34-year-old will be out to fire himself into contention for the World title clash that Jacobs seeks.
“Gabe talked his way into this fight and now it’s time to see if he can back it up,” said Jacobs. “He’s got a big mouth and he’s been bringing up my name constantly for over a year – but on Nov. 27 the talking stops and I can’t wait to shut him up. My aim is to become a two-weight division World champion in 2021 and that starts with a big win in Florida. After that, I’m ready to step up and fight one of the World champions at 168 pounds.”
“I’m really excited for the fight,” said Rosado. “There’s been a lot of back and forth between me and Jacobs, and for the fight to finally happen, I’m more than ready. I’ve started training camp with Freddie Roach in LA at Wild Card Boxing, and I’m just looking to put on one hell of a show for the fans. I’m definitely going to bring the fight to Danny and it’s going to be great.”
Both events have stacked undercards in support of the main event. There’s a Heavyweight flavor to the Haney card with Croatian talent Filip Hrgovic (11-0, 9 KOs) facing American Rydell Booker (26-3, 13 KOs) and Chinese star Zhilei Zhang (21-0, 18 KOs) meeting another American in Devin Vargas (22-6, 9 KOs). Three young stars continue their pro journeys on the bill as Reshat Mati (7-0, 5 KOs), Raymond Ford (6-0, 2 KOs) and Arthur Biyarslanov (6-0, 5 KOs) are in action on the show – – and Matchroom are delighted to announce the signing of French star Souleymane Cissokho (11-0 7 KOs) to a multi-fight deal and he’ll box on the bill, and more details on the deal for the Anthony Joshua managed Super-Welterweight will come on Monday.
Marc Castro will make his pro debut on the undercard of Jacobs vs. Rosado. The Fresno talent was slated to make his bow in the paid ranks in Tulsa, Oklahoma in August, but he tested positive for COVID-19. Now the amateur sensation finally laces them up and is joined on the undercard by fellow amateur rulers in Olympic gold medalist Daniyar Yeleussinov (9-0, 5 KOs), three-time World amateur champion Magomedrasul Majidov (2-0, 2 KOs), and young talents Nikita Ababiy (9-0, 6 KOs) and Alexis Espino (6-0, 4 KOs).
“I can’t wait for our U.S. return in Florida – two stacked cards with plenty riding on them,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “The Lightweight division is on fire and there’s no better time for Devin to return to action and make a big statement at the Hard Rock. Although Devin may well be the next big thing, when you look at his CV, Yuriorkis is by far his toughest test to date. A few weeks later, the bad blood between Daniel and Gabe will come to a head as they clash, and the winner of that fight will find themselves in a great position for a World title shot at 168 lbs. in 2021.”
“There’s so many interesting plotlines on both undercards. The Heavyweights are in the spotlight on Nov. 7, with Filip and Zhilei, two World-class fighters that are looking to stake their claims for massive fights next year, as will Magomedrasul who fights on Nov. 27.”
“Marc was devastated that his debut was postponed but the Fresno sensation has re-focused and it’s not a bad thing to have to learn to cope with a setback like that – he’s been working so hard in training, and I think we’re going to see a spectacular debut.”
“We’re lining up a big test for Daniyar, and so many of the young stars on the cards are beginning to get to the stages in their career where they move to the next level so I am expecting two exciting nights of action in the Sunshine State.”
Hard Rock Live and Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood in Florida have a rich history of hosting world-class boxing in addition to globally recognized entertainment acts like Jerry Seinfeld, Alicia Keys and Aerosmith. The venue is excited to play host to two huge nights of action in November.
SHOWTIME Sports and Premier Boxing Champions announced today a lineup of nine live boxing events featuring 18 undefeated fighters, nine world champions, and eight world championship fights including one world title unification bout. The schedule comprises 22 critical matchups from bantamweight to heavyweight and features some of the biggest stars in the sport today – Gervonta Davis, Leo Santa Cruz, Jermall Charlo, Jermell Charlo, David Benavidez and more. It is the largest collection of world championship boxing announced since the COVID-19 pandemic forced a stoppage of the sport.
Main Event: Chris Colbert (14-0, 5 KOs) vs. Jaime Arboleda (16-1, 13 KOs) – WBA Super Featherweight Interim Title
Co-Feature: Richardson Hitchins (11-0, 5 KOs) vs. Argenis Mendez (25-5-3, 12 KOs) – Super Lightweight Bout
About: The WBA interim super featherweight champion Colbert has fought five times in the past 20 months. Arboleda of Panama earned a split-decision win over veteran Jayson Velez in a WBA junior lightweight eliminator in February. New York City’s Hitchins of the Mayweather stable represented his parents’ home country of Haiti in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and Mendez is a former IBF Super Featherweight champion from the Dominican Republic. This Premier Boxing Champions event is promoted by TGB Promotions and Sampson Boxing. The Hitchins vs. Mendez bout is co-promoted by Mayweather Promotions.
HALL-OF-FAME Promoter Frank Warren has today revealed the highly anticipated Heavyweight battle between Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce will land on Nov 28th, live on BT Sport.
In an incredible reversal, the fight – the most significant domestic bout staged in the UK post-Lockdown and the biggest domestic Heavyweight clash in years – will now NOT be on pay-per-view.
The blockbuster November event, branded with the apt tagline ‘At Last’, will represent the final chapter in a saga that has seen April, July and October dates cancelled because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Warren was keen to point out that the COVID outbreak and its negative effect on UK jobs and livelihoods was on his mind as he decided to scrap plans to make the fight PPV.
He said: “This is about keeping boxing alive and relevant at a tough time and doing something for the fans and we have moved heaven and earth to put this on as a BT Sport subscription Fight Night instead.”
“With boxing still being behind closed doors and struggling back to its feet post-Lockdown, I wanted to give something of a gift to British boxing fans. Dubois versus Joyce is the best fight on the British boxing calendar and I want this to be something as many people as possible can enjoy. It’s a bonus that the added exposure gained from the fight will really help the boxers as they move forward with their careers.
“Above all, this is about making sure that the fans are looked after and this fight will be available to BT Sport subscribers. Queensberry and BT Sport are looking forward to delivering a huge night of boxing, so let’s make sure the eyes of the country, and the world, are on British boxing come November 28th.
“I owe a huge debt of gratitude to BT Sport for being willing to make this happen.
“I sound like a broken record I’m sure, but sometimes you have to put the sport and the fans first. Queensberry gets that and BT Sport gets that. ‘For the fans’, it’s what it’s all about.”
‘AT LAST: DUBOIS vs JOYCE’ WILL HAPPEN BEHIND CLOSED DOORS ON NOVEMBER 28th, LIVE ON BT SPORT
Billy Joe Saunders will make the second defence of his WBO Super-Middleweight World Title against British rival Martin Murray at The SSE Arena, Wembley on Friday December 4, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in all of its nine markets including the U.S.
Hatfield star Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) became a two-weight World Champion with a shutout points win over Shefat Isufi in May 2019, outclassing his Serbian opponent over 12 rounds to add the WBO 168lbs crown to his collection.
The former Middleweight ruler was on the verge of securing a mega fight with Mexican pound-for-pound icon Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez earlier this year before the coronavirus pandemic turned the sporting world on its head and scuppered his shot at greatness.
Four-time World Title challenger Murray (39-5-1, 17 KOs) stands in the way of unification fights for Saunders in 2021, and the St Helens man is more determined than ever to finally land a World Title of his own and put his rivalry with Saunders to bed after their scheduled meeting in 2018 fell through twice.
“I am very happy to be defending my WBO World Title again,” said Saunders. “I haven’t boxed for a year and I really do miss being in the ring. I can’t wait to have my 30th professional fight and finish the year with a bang before a big 2021.
“The coronavirus pandemic has affected everybody in many ways, and it has had a big impact on the sport of boxing. The Canelo Alvarez fight falling through was very frustrating for me but now the journey continues in December.
“Martin and I were supposed to fight twice before but it didn’t happen either time. He said some stuff and so did I, so let’s see who can back it up. I’m enjoying training with Mark Tibbs. He’s incredibly knowledgeable in the sport of boxing and we are working on new stuff that we will show on the night.”
“I’m really looking forward to getting back in there and fighting for another World Title,” said Murray. “The big fights definitely bring out the best in me. This year has been a good year for me personally. It seemed like all the stresses of life were taken away so I really enjoyed being able to relax a bit more and spend even more time with my family.
“There was no bad blood really between me and Billy to be honest, it was just a lot of frustration after he pulled out twice. That got left where it was, but we’ve definitely got some unfinished business. I’m expecting a hard fight and Billy Joe to be at his best, so I’ll be ready.”
“I’m delighted to announce another big fight for the 2020 schedule as we close out this tough year with a huge bang,” said Eddie Hearn. “All-British World Title fights are always special, especially in the Super-Middleweight division, and I’m really excited to see Billy back in the ring. We were 24 hours away from an announcement for Billy to fight Canelo when the pandemic hit and so it throws up the final roll of the dice for Martin Murray who will give it everything on December 4.”
“We’re bringing you more World Title action on our Sky Sports schedule during a thrilling end to the boxing calendar, which also features the return of Katie Taylor and some huge Heavyweight nights on Sky Sports Box Office,” said Adam Smith, Head of Boxing Development at Sky Sports.
“Billy Joe Saunders defends his WBO Super-Middleweight belt in an all-British battle against Martin Murray, with live boxing back on a Friday night! Katie Taylor returns next month on a triple-header of women’s World Title fights – and Britain’s Heavyweights also take centre stage as Usyk vs. Chisora, Povetkin vs. Whyte 2 and AJ vs. Pulev will guarantee Heavyweight drama.”
One of the most highly anticipated lightweight showdowns in recent years is set to finally take place as rising star Ryan Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) faces off against experienced contender and Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) in a 12-round battle for the interim WBC Lightweight World Championship. The fight will take place on Saturday, Dec. 5 and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN in the U.S.
Information regarding the venue and the undercard will be announced shortly.
“For years, the world of boxing has been clamoring for a crossover star who can reach new audiences that have gone untapped for far too long,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “Ryan Garcia stands at the precipice of doing the same thing at an incredibly young age when he takes on Luke Campbell. While transitioning Ryan’s enormous social media following to DAZN viewers is good business for Ryan, Golden Boy and DAZN, it’s more importantly good for the sport of boxing, which needs a shot in the arm right now more than ever. For the next months, we are going to work tirelessly with our partners to promote this fight — by far Ryan’s biggest test of his career —which can catapult Ryan’s career to an entire other level.”
Garcia is a 22-year-old contender who has quickly developed into one of boxing’s most popular young athletes. Since joining the Golden Boy stable in 2016, he has steadily made his case for a world title opportunity by defeating the likes of “Ruthless” Romero Duno, Francisco Fonseca, Carlos “The Solution” Morales and Jason “La Maravilla” Velez. Since joining forces with renowned trainer Eddy Reynoso, the native of Victorville, Calif. has looked better than ever, improving his technical abilities and scoring knockout wins in his last five fights. But now, the toughest test of his career lies before him in Campbell, a man with whom he can prove definitively that he is championship material.
“I’ve been eagerly waiting to get back in the ring and have been working harder than ever to get here,” said Ryan Garcia. “It’s been a tough year for everyone, but I’m excited to bring the fans an escape for the night… or based on my track record, a few minutes at most. Luke’s record speaks for itself, but I’m ready to prove the doubters wrong. This is my era now and December 5th just the start of it.”
Campbell, a former WBC Silver Lightweight champion who took home a gold medal in front of his English countrymen in the 2012 London Olympic Games, is an elite fighter. Along with wins against Darleys Perez and former world champion Argenis Mendez, 33-year-old southpaw has been in very competitive fights against former unified 135-pound champion Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares and current unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko. Whether due to his experience or his skill, Campbell is confident he can break Garcia down.
“2020 has been an extremely tough year for everyone, so I’m really pleased we can finally get this fight officially on and give the fans something to look forward to,” said Luke Campbell. “There’s been a lot of talk and he’s clearly a very highly regarded fighter, but I’m going to prove that this is far too much, far too soon and that I’m on a completely different level. I’ve fought in America before, so this will be nothing new for myself and my team. Fans or no fans, the one thing I can guarantee is that I will be coming back to the UK with the victory. Training hasn’t stopped for me, and I’m going to be in peak condition to show something very special from Luke Campbell on December 5.”
“This is a great fight in what is probably the hottest division in boxing right now,” said Eddie Hearn,” Managing Director of Matchroom Sport. “Luke is fearless in the challenges he takes and is ready to score a major victory in December against Ryan Garcia. Luke has been operating at the elite end of the division for a long time, and although Ryan is an exceptional young talent, I truly believe Luke’s pedigree and experience will be too much for him.”
Garcia vs. Campbell is a 12-round fight for the interim WBC Lightweight World Championship presented by Golden Boy in association with Matchroom Boxing. The event is sponsored by Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle” and “BetOnline – Your Online Sportsbook Experts.” The fight will take place on Dec. 5, 2020 and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN in the U.S.
Unified welterweight world champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. will duel two-division world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia in the blockbuster main event of a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View Saturday, December 5 with fans in attendance at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The pay-per-view begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features unbeaten super welterweight sensation Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora taking on Jorge Cota in a WBC Super Welterweight Title Eliminator in the co-main event. The lineup will also see all-action contenders Josesito “The Riverside Rocky” Lopez and Francisco “Chia” Santana squaring-off in a 10-round welterweight affair, plus former champion Julio Ceja faces featherweight contender Eduardo Ramirez in a WBC Featherweight Title Eliminator to kick off the pay-per-view.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, Man Down Promotions and DSG Promotions, are on sale Wednesday, October 14 at 10 a.m. CT, and can be purchased at SeatGeek.com, the Official Ticketing Provider of AT&T Stadium. Spence vs. Garcia was originally scheduled for November 21.
AT&T Stadium, which has hosted NFL fans during the 2020 Dallas Cowboys season, will be following guidelines from the CDC with protocols regarding COVID-19 safeguards and cleaning procedures. All fans attending the event will be required to wear a mask. Tickets will be distributed in seat blocks known as “pods” to maintain distance between groups who are not known to one another. For more information on AT&T Stadium’s Safe Stadium Policy, please visit the site here: https://attstadium.com/safestadium/.
The hometown hero Spence will return to fight at AT&T Stadium after putting on a masterful performance in front of an enormous crowd at the Dallas Cowboys’ home last March, when he dominated four-division champion Mikey Garcia on his way to a unanimous decision victory. Possessing dangerous one-punch knockout power, two-division champion Danny Garcia was an indomitable force in the 140-pound division and has been equally powerful at welterweight, winning the WBC title in 2016. He will be looking to regain his 147-pound world title against Spence.
“In the tradition of memorable PBC welterweight clashes, Errol Spence Jr. vs. Danny Garcia will pit two fighters with elite skills and heavy hands against each other in a high-stakes showdown on December 5,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Every time Spence fights in front of his hometown fans it is an unforgettable and energetic evening. We’re excited to be able to bring those fans this great matchup with Spence going up against an elite and always dangerous two-division champion in Danny Garcia. With three all-Mexican wars on the undercard, this FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View is lined up to deliver action fights all night long.”
“We’re thrilled to deliver fans a blockbuster night of boxing headlined by Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr. battling Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia in an exclusive FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View special event,” said Bill Wanger, Executive Vice President, Head of Programming and Scheduling for FOX Sports. “This should be an epic evening of must-see fights, and we’re excited to deliver viewers the next best things to front row seats.”
“What an exciting event to look forward to as we welcome yet another championship fight to AT&T Stadium,” said Dallas Cowboys Owner, President and General Manager Jerry Jones. “We are honored to once again partner with TGB Promotions and Premier Boxing Champions and provide a top flight boxing match between Errol Spence Jr. and Danny Garcia on December 5.”
This will be the third FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View headlined by Spence (26-0, 21 KOs), whounified welterweight titles in September by besting Shawn Porter in one of the best fights of the year. Spence was launched into stardom when the 30-year-old first captured a welterweight crown by traveling to the U.K. to stop Kell Brook in front of his hometown fans in 2017. He followed up his title-winning victory with triumphs over Lamont Peterson and Carlos Ocampo in 2018.
Fighting out of his native Desoto, Texas, Spence will return to the ring for the first time since miraculously surviving a car accident last October where he was thrown from the vehicle before it crashed. Spence represented the U.S. at the 2012 Olympics before turning pro later that year and scoring knockouts in 10 of his first 12 fights, showing the promise that he would eventually fulfill on the biggest stages of the sport.
“Having my comeback fight be in front of my hometown fans at AT&T Stadium is added motivation and a dream come true,” said Spence. “It means even more because I’m going up against a great champion in Danny Garcia. I know people are looking out to see if I’ve lost a step or won’t be at my best, but I’m 100% focused and everything is on point in training camp. I just can’t wait to go out there on December 5 and put on a show.”
Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs) is the latest in a long line of great boxers from Philadelphia who have made their mark on the sport. His run through the super lightweight division and two-year reign as a unified champion is one of the most impressive in modern history as he defeated a string of champions, including, Erik Morales, Amir Khan, Zab Judah, Lucas Matthysse, Nate Campbell and Kendall Holt. Garcia also has been equally impressive at welterweight, defeating former world champions Lamont Peterson, Paulie Malignaggi, and Robert Guerrero.
After dominating the super lightweight division, the 32-year-old Garcia moved up to welterweight where he won the vacant WBC title with a unanimous decision over Guerrero in 2016. He lost a split decision to Thurman in a unification match in 2017 and dropped a narrow unanimous decision to Shawn Porter for the WBC title in 2018. Many observers and fans thought he deserved the decision in those matches. He bounced back from the Porter fight to score a spectacular knockout victory over Adrian Granados in 2019 and most recently dominated Ivan Redkach on his way to a unanimous decision in January.
“I’m very excited to get back in the ring,” said Garcia. “This is going to be my second fight of 2020, even though it’s been a crazy year with the pandemic and everything. I’m glad we’re finally getting back to where we were and that we’ll be able to bring this fight to the fans. This matchup is a mega-fight unification bout. It’s my opportunity to reclaim my spot at the top in this division and become a five-time world champion. Training and sparring has been going really well. I’m extremely prepared for this already and it can’t get here soon enough. Come December 5, I will be crowned unified champion!”
Towering at nearly six-feet six-inches, Fundora (15-0-1, 10 KOs) has used his height and length, combined with power and aggressiveness, to rack up an unbeaten record since turning pro in 2016. The 22-year-old owns two victories in 2020, beating then unbeaten Daniel Lewis by decision in February, before most recently becoming the first fighter to knock out Nathaniel Gallimore with his August triumph on FOX. Fighting out of Coachella, California, Fundora entered the ring three times in 2019, including TKO victories over then unbeaten fighters Donnie Marshall and Hector Manuel Zepeda, plus an exciting split-draw against fellow contender Jamontay Clark.
“I’m thrilled to be back in action on a card of this magnitude to finish the year off,” said Fundora. “We’ll be facing a very experienced opponent in Jorge Cota, who’s someone that always comes to fight and give the fans a great show, just like me. We’re going to train hard to go up against this challenge. I’m certain Cota is doing the same, which is going to make this a great fight on December 5.”
Representing his native Sinaloa, Mexico, Cota (30-4, 27 KOs) bested 154-pound contender Thomas LaManna in his last fight, battering LaManna before stopping him in the fifth-round. The 32-year-old has bounced back from a loss to unified 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo with back-to-back stoppage victories. Cota had won 12 of 14 fights prior to facing Charlo, with his only defeats coming to former unified champion Jeison Rosario and top contender Erickson Lubin.
“I’ve been fighting professionally for 11 years and I know that this fight is do-or-die for me,” said Cota. “I know that if I lose, that could be my last chance to fight for a world title. I will be prepared to retire. So I’m training like everything in my life depends on beating Fundora and that’s how I’m going to fight him on December 5.”
Lopez (37-8, 20 KOs) has long established himself as a fiery competitor and top contender in multiple weight classes and has compiled an impressive resume. He owns victories over Victor Ortiz, Miguel Cruz and Mike Dallas Jr., having given the last two the first defeat of their careers. Additionally, he has squared off against Canelo Alvarez, Andre Berto, Marcos Maidana and Jessie Vargas. In 2019 the Riverside, California native lost a majority decision to Keith Thurman, before most recently knocking out John Molina Jr. last September.
“I’m ready to get back to fighting,” said Lopez. “This is an all-action card, so it’s only right that I’m included on it. I’m expecting a great fight against an excellent fighter in Santana. I’m just working hard to put on the best performance that I possibly can on December 5. This is going to be a fun, tactical fight, but we’re also going to be very aggressive. This type of fight belongs on a huge pay-per-view event like this one. My training camp has gone really well and I can’t wait to steal the show on what I think will be the card of the year.”
Santana (25-8-1, 12 KOs) has taken on the toughest challenges at 147 and 154 pounds and has made his name with his action style throughout a long career as a contender. Santana returns to the ring after losing to former unified champion Jarrett Hurd in January. The Santa Barbara, California native owns a victory over Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz in April 2018 and has faced unified champion Jermell Charlo and former champion Sadam Ali, while also fighting to a six-round draw against former unified champion Julian Williams in 2011.
“Me and Josesito are both throwback blood and guts gladiators,” said Santana. “I have nothing but respect for Josesito. We’re both fighters who have been underdogs throughout our careers and caused problems for the best fighters in the world. That combination is going to make this all all-out war and an instant classic. My motto is train, fight, win. On December 5, there is no other option.”
A former super bantamweight champion, Ceja (32-4-1, 28 KOs) will move up to featherweight as he seeks an opportunity to capture a championship in a second division. Ceja’s 2019 saw him engage in two action-packed battles, dropping a June contest to former champion Guillermo Rigondeaux and most recently fighting unbeaten super bantamweight champion Brandon Figueroa to a draw in November. The 27-year-old captured his 122-pound title with a stoppage of Hugo Ruiz in 2015, and has also challenged for a bantamweight title throughout his career.
“I’m very excited for this upcoming war between two Mexican fighters,” said Ceja. “I’m in Las Vegas and training hard every day. Camp is going perfectly and I will be 100% on December 5 so I can get one step closer to becoming world champion again.”
The 27-year-old Ramirez (23-2-3, 10 KOs) has risen up the featherweight rankings with wins in three of his last four fights since losing to then 126-pound champion Lee Selby in 2017. Fighting out of Sinaloa, Mexico, Ramirez most recently gave Leduan Barthelemy his first career loss via a fourth-round stoppage in their rematch last November, following up on their split-draw the first time they faced off. Overall, Ramirez has won 14 of his last 17 outings.
“I am in fantastic shape for this fight and I’m looking forward to showing off my improved skills once again,” said Ramirez. “I learned a lot in my loss against Claudio Marrero. I believe that I displayed those improvements when I beat Leduan Barthelemy. It was a big statement knocking him out and I can’t wait to make another statement in this fight against Ceja.”
Joseph Parker and Junior Fa will clash in the biggest fight in New Zealand boxing history, live on DAZN from Spark Arena, Auckland, on Friday December 11 (NZ time).
Former WBO World Heavyweight ruler Parker (27-2 21 KOs) is ranked #3 with the WBO and is plotting his return to World champion status having stopped Shawndell Winters in five rounds in his last outing in Dallas in February.
Unbeaten Fa (19-0 10 KOs) is hot on Parker’s heels in the WBO rankings at number six and the 30 year old will be determined to come out on top in the biggest fight of his life with huge stakes on the table. The South Auckland fighters are aiming for a shot at the WBO World title and the winner of this highly anticipated bout will put them on a trajectory for a huge 2021.
“This is going to be war,” said Eddie Hearn. “We’re looking forward to co-promoting our first event in New Zealand with David Higgins and Duco. There’s plenty of needle with the amateur rivalry and there’s national pride at stake. A win over Fa will catapult Joe back into World Title contention.”
“Given the challenges facing major sporting events around the globe right now, getting this fight over the line is absolutely huge, and we are grateful to our partners Matchroom for their backing to make this happen” said Parker’s manager and Duco’s founder and Director David Higgins. “With both boxers inside the WBO top 10 world rankings and in their prime, this is undeniably New Zealand’s fight of the century.”
The match-up will be a mouth-watering prospect for Kiwi boxing fans and for all sports fans starved of big events. The demand for a Heavyweight bout of this stature is enormous and the pay-per-view audience is expected to reflect that. With so much at stake for both fighters and the previous history of Parker and Fa winning two bouts each in their amateur days, commentators are already talking about the bout being an instant classic with fans standing firmly on both sides of the ring.
“I’ve always believed that Junior Fa had the ability to become a World champion and, on December 11, he’ll have the opportunity to prove that against a former Heavyweight champion and amateur rival, in countryman Joseph Parker,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Not only is this matchup one of the biggest fights in New Zealand history, it has high significance on the Heavyweight landscape worldwide, with the winner closing in on a world title shot. With a win, Junior can become a New Zealand sports superstar and a worldwide boxing star in one night. I’m proud to co-promote this historic fight card with David Higgins’ Duco Events and Matchroom.”
“Parker’s an Auckland born Samoan, Fa an Auckland born Tongan; the fight is taking place in the largest Polynesian city in the world; both fighters are close to and desperate for a title shot; they have a split history in amateur fights, and they are both members of the same Mormon Church. This fight already has everything,” said Higgins.
In a second huge announcement, Events company Duco Events, Spark Sport and media partner New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME) today also announced a New Zealand first three-way partnership to finally get Parker and Fa in the ring.
“The Parker Fa match-up sits perfectly with Spark Sport’s purpose to deliver premium live and on-demand sports to a wide-reaching audience. The arrangement between Spark Sport, Duco Events, NZME and the support of presenting partner Stonewood Homes is a great example of not just sitting back and waiting for a sport to come to you, instead we’ve all got together and made it happen. This will be our second major pay-per-view event after we streamed the Whyte Povetkin bout back in August, so we’re excited to bring this Kiwi based event to New Zealand as the exclusive broadcaster,” said Head of Spark Sport, Jeff Latch.
Getting the Parker and Fa fight over the line has taken more than eight months of negotiations with the boxers, yet the innovative partnership between Duco Events, Spark Sport, NZME, with the support of presenting partner Stonewood Homes, was pulled together in less than eight weeks, demonstrating the enthusiasm to change the way sport is delivered and promoted in New Zealand, while also ensuring the event took place this year and on Kiwi soil.
“It’s been a tough year for New Zealand sports fans with so little in the way of world class live sporting events since Covid-19 hit. For NZME this event encapsulates why we are committed to delivering the very best content to our audiences and advertisers, keeping Kiwis in the know. We are proud to support a spectacle like this, alongside Spark Sport and Duco, to bring sport back to a big arena where it deserves to be,” said NZME Chief Revenue Officer Paul Hancox.
The Heavyweight boxing match-up also marks the return of large-scale marquee events, with 9,000 expected to fill-out Auckland’s Spark Arena for the December 11 event.
“Events companies have been absolutely smashed by the pandemic and we’re really proud that our collaboration with Spark Sport, NZME and the support of Stonewood Homes plus our global collaboration with Matchroom and Di Bella has given us the opportunity to let New Zealanders get back to experiencing the excitement, the drama and the fun that an event like this creates,” said Duco’s Higgins.
“We would really like to thank and acknowledge Stonewood Homes for their support of this event and their contribution to the re-build of not only the events industry but also the local economy who all benefit from an event which attracts visitors and locals to spend within the region,” said Higgins. “Without key sponsorship relationships, events such as Stonewood Homes, Joseph Parker v Junior Fa would not get off the ground.”
Stonewood Homes has built nearly 7,000 homes for Kiwi families since 1987.
“We are proud to support world-class athletes Joseph Parker and Junior Fa, while helping rebuild New Zealand’s economy by getting events going again,” said Managing Director John Chow.
Stonewood Homes Joseph Parker vs Junior Fa, Friday 11th December 2020 Spark Arena, Auckland New Zealand.
Tickets from $69 + fees at www.ticketmaster.co.nz.
Corporate Hospitality available at www.ducoevents.com.
Pay-per-view will be priced on a tiered model with super early bird pricing of $39.99 available from today increasing to an early bird price of $49.99 on 27th October and then reverting to the final pay-per-view cost of $59.99 for viewers who purchase the day before or the same day as the fight (10th and 11th of December).
SHOWTIME Sports and Premier Boxing Champions announced today a lineup of nine live boxing events featuring 18 undefeated fighters, nine world champions, and eight world championship fights including one world title unification bout. The schedule comprises 22 critical matchups from bantamweight to heavyweight and features some of the biggest stars in the sport today – Gervonta Davis, Leo Santa Cruz, Jermall Charlo, Jermell Charlo, David Benavidez and more. It is the largest collection of world championship boxing announced since the COVID-19 pandemic forced a stoppage of the sport.
The SHOWTIME boxing schedule begins on Saturday, August 1 and runs through the end of 2020. Initially, each live telecast will be presented without fans in attendance from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Included in the schedule are four world title eliminators, three interim title fights and 13 bouts in all pitting top-10 ranked fighters.
Main Event: Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12 KOs) vs. Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26 KOs) – WBC Bantamweight World Championship
About: France’s Oubaali will be defending the WBC bantamweight world title for the third time. Donaire is the No. 1-ranked contender and fighting for his eighth world championship. A four-division titlist and former pound-for-pound mainstay, Donaire fought brilliantly in what many picked as 2019’s Fight of the Year, a decision loss to Naoya Inoue. At age 37, Donaire is attempting to defy the belief that the smaller the fighter, the earlier the prime. The Premier Boxing Champions event is promoted by TGB Promotions.
Unified Heavyweight Champion of the World Anthony Joshua OBE will defend his IBF, WBA, WBO, and IBO World Titles against Mandatory Challenger Kubrat Pulev at The O2 in London on Saturday, December 12.
Joshua vs Pulev will be shown on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in all of its nine markets including the U.S., on a show promoted by Matchroom Boxing in association with Top Rank and Epic Sports and Entertainment.
Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) recaptured his belts and position as the Unified Heavyweight World Champion with a masterful unanimous decision victory over Andy Ruiz Jr at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia on a historical night in December that saw the Heavyweight World Titles contested for the very first time in the Middle East.
December 12 will be ‘AJ’s’ first fight on UK soil in over two years since he defended his crowns with a devastating seventh-round knockout of Russia’s Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium. The former Finchley ABC man will be aiming to deal with Pulev in style to set up an Undisputed showdown against WBC Champion and fellow Brit Tyson Fury in 2021.
Kubrat Pulev gets another title shot
Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs), the IBF’s No.1-ranked Heavyweight Mandatory Challenger, gets his second shot at World honors after his defeat to modern legend Wladimir Klitschko in 2014 – the only loss of his 29-fight professional career. Since then, he has won six fights in a row, including victories over Derek Chisora and an IBF Eliminator win over Hughie Fury in 2018.
The Bulgarian superstar was set to challenge Joshua at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium in October 2017 but was forced to withdraw through an injury and will now get his opportunity to ruin the champion’s plans to face Fury in an all-British blockbuster showdown in the future.
“December 12 is the date, and once again, the Heavyweight belts go up in the air, and it is my sole focus to make sure that come December 13, they are in their rightful place in the UK,” said Joshua.
“The O2 is the original lion’s den, I have a lot of history with the arena, but without the fans, something huge is missing. I am hoping that safety permitting, we might bring some boxing fans in, but we will have to see. And I respect every opponent, and I respect Pulev. I wish him well during his preparation.”
“For a small Bulgaria country to stand up for the Heavyweight Titles is a great accomplishment,” said Pulev. “This fight is for my late father and all Bulgarians around the world! I’m coming to London to seize the Heavyweight Championship of the World.”
“After a challenging year for everyone, to end with the unified World Heavyweight Championship is very special,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Over a year after regaining his crown, Anthony Joshua takes on yet another dangerous opponent in Mandatory Challenger Kubrat Pulev. AJ’s resume is unrivaled, and this is the final hurdle until we challenge the undisputed crown next year.
Joshua vs. Pulev without fans
“Whilst it’s unusual to think of an AJ fight without tens of thousands of fans in attendance, we will be doing everything we can to lobby for the safe return of fans to this event; we have to move forward together.
“I know Team Pulev and Bob Arum will be doing all they can to become World Champion on Dec 12, but AJ constantly evolves and improves, and I expect a dominant performance and a spectacular KO to close out 2020.”
Bob Arum, Top Rank Chairman, said: “Eddie Hearn better watch out. Kubrat Pulev is going to destroy his plan for a Joshua-Tyson Fury unification fight.”
258 Managing Director Freddie Cunningham said: “Anthony again shows his willingness and desire to chase the Undisputed Title with another tough mandatory fight, and despite the challenges of making a fight of this scale during these times, it is important for AJ to keep momentum.
It will be an exciting way to end the year and unique in every way. We will be working with Matchroom to build a card full of 258 fighters to give the fans entertained throughout the undercard.”
AJ to try and keep his titles
John Wirt, President of Epic Sports and Entertainment, said: “Crowd or no crowd, we are coming to AJ’s backyard to claim the titles. Come December 12; there will be no more excuses or delays. I guarantee that it will be an epic battle and that Kubrat will stop AJ inside the distance.”
“Anthony Joshua returns to the ring, a year after recapturing his World Titles from Andy Ruiz Jr, and Britain’s Unified World Champion will be determined to reign supreme in a hotly-contested Heavyweight division,” said Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing Development.
“Kubrat Pulev has proven pedigree, with just that sole defeat to Wladimir Klitschko, and he’ll be hoping to send more shockwaves through the sport with an upset victory, but I know that AJ has been training tirelessly, priming his explosive power for another night of fireworks.
Fury will be watching
“Tyson Fury will, of course, be watching – as an Undisputed World Title fight is within touching distance – and AJ cannot afford a slip-up in a blockbuster ending to the boxing year,” said Smith.
“We’re thrilled to bring the Heavyweight Championship of the World to all DAZN subscribers,” said DAZN EVP Joseph Markowski. “AJ-Pulev will have major consequences for the entire boxing landscape as both men aim to end the year emphatically.”
DAZN is currently available in the U.S. and Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and Switzerland.