This week's version of The Daily Sports Herald's Boxing Notebook takes a look at this past weekend's super middleweight bouts, the upcoming Canelo-Khan mega-bout, and the deal signed by rising heavyweight star Anthony Joshua. Check out the latest news below in the sweet science:
Heavyweight Anthony Joshua signs deal with Showtime
Showtime announced today a multi-fight licensing agreement to be the exclusive U.S. television partner of undefeated heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua.
“There are a lot of positive things happening in boxing and a lot amazing things happening in my career at the moment," said Joshua. "But I know enough to realize that this is a dangerous sport and you are only as good as your last fight. I fought and lost in the amateurs, and I know how quickly this can all change. It's my job now to prepare myself properly and to keep this momentum rolling."
Joshua, 26, has compiled a perfect knockout record of 16-0 with 16 knockouts since turning professional shortly after winning the 2012 Olympic Gold Medal. Earlier this year, Joshua earned the IBF world championship with a second-round knockout of defending champion Charles Martin, earning a heavyweight belt in the fewest number of fights in more than 20 years.
The multi-fight agreement kicks-off on Saturday, June 25, when Joshua, a British sensation, attempts to make the first defense of his IBF Heavyweight World Championship against undefeated American challenger Dominic Breazeale at the sold-out The O2 arena in London.
The fight will air live in the late afternoon, and will coincide with the Keith Thurman-Shawn Porter fight, the first live primetime boxing event on the CBS Television Network in nearly 40 years.
The 30-year-old Breazeale (17-0, 15 KOs) has knocked out nearly 90 percent of his opponents since turning professional after representing the United States at the 2012 Olympics. Standing at 6-foot-7, the Los Angeles native is one inch taller than the 6-foot-6 Joshua. The former NCAA football quarterback is coming off a career-best victory of previously once-beaten Amir Mansour on Jan. 23.
“I am not here looking to see the final round," said Breazeale. "I'm not here to look at the judges’ scorecards. I am here to knock Anthony Joshua out. Period."
If the antics from today's press conference serve as any indicator, there should be some fireworks in the ring when these two heavyweights meet, as Breazeale and Joshua had to be separated.
Breazeale approached Joshua and was asked if there was a problem.
“I don’t know, brother, I’ve just come here to get the belt,” Breazeale said. “On June 25, you’ve got a problem. You’re a bad man because you’ve got a belt now. This is not acting, it’s heavyweight boxing You can act all big and bad in front of all these cameras and your promoters, but in the end you’ve got to put a mouthpiece in your mouth and gloves on your hands.”
Joshua then told Breazeale if he had a problem, they could “settle it man to man.”
Still, the agreement already has Joshua dreaming of much bigger fights in the future, specifically with Deontay Wilder and Wladimir Klitschko.
“Klitschko because of the experience and Wilder because he’s the heavyweight champion of the world who’s defended his belt on multiple occasions. So I have to give him credit as the strong force of the division right now because he’s the only other champion who has defended his belt. As far as Klitschko, he’s won the belt and defended it time and time again. Those two are the main names I’m looking at.”
Badou Jack and Lucian Bute fight to a draw, DeGale defeats Medina
Badou Jack retained his WBC Super Middleweight title in a controversial draw against Lucian Bute Saturday on Showtime, setting up a fall unification with IBF champion James DeGale, who defended his IBF crown against Rogelio Medina in the opening bout of the same telecast from the DC Armory.
“It’s not Bute’s fault, it’s the judges," said Jack. "People saw I won the fight.”
Jack was the sharper fighter from the opening bell, as he continually pounded the body of the former long-time titlist. Facing his second southpaw, Jack prevented Bute from fighting his game, smothering the Romania-born Canadian whenever he attempted to fight on the inside.
While Jack varied his punches with a diverse attack to the body and head, he slowed in the latter rounds and allowed Bute to climb his way back into the fight. Bute had perhaps his best round in the 10th and closed the show well, in the 11th and 12th. But it was too little too late for Bute, who escaped D.C. with what most felt was an undeserved draw.
"Ask Bute as well, he knows what time it is,” said Jack, who landed nearly 100 more punches than Bute, including 61 percent of his power punches, and 40 percent total of his total shots. “His punches weren’t hurting me. I feel I won the fight. Maybe I lost the last round. He’s a great guy and a great champion, but I know I won the fight."
The 36-year-old Bute certainly looked like a fighter with plenty left in the tank.
“It was a close fight,” said Bute, who connected at just a 21 percent rate with his total punches. “Believe me, it was very close fight. My last fight with DeGale was very close, tonight was a very close fight. I showed everyone I’m still at the top.”
Meanwhile, James DeGale defended his IBF Super Middleweight World Championship with a close, hard-fought unanimous decision against Rogelio Medina.
“The boxing skills are too good,” DeGale said. “If I’m being honest, he’s a very strong fighter, but skills pay the bills. I watched this guy years ago and he didn’t have the engine like that. He’s gotten better and stronger in the last year and a half."
DeGale was supremely accurate, landing 51 percent of his power punches compared to just 23 for Medina, including a staggering 66 percent of his power punches.
The switch-hitting southpaw attacked from unorthodox angles, and was most effective when he snuck in a right uppercut to back up Medina. But the British titlist – a record 12th from Great Britain – failed to utilize his jab and was not able to deliver on his prediction of a knockout inside of six rounds.
“I’m a bit disappointed – I should be taking out people like Porky Medina, no disrespect to him," said DeGale. “I want Badou Jack. I want a fresh name on my record.”
Medina, on the other hand, nearly doubled DeGale's output, throwing 1,140 total punches compared to 612 in the best performance of his career, but it was still not enough to dethrone the champion. The Mexican challenger was at his best with DeGale against the ropes, striking the British champion with a killer left hook to the body.
“He said he was going to stop me. He was running all around and he didn’t stop me like he said he would,” said Medina, who’s seven losses have come against fighters with a combined record of 131-2-2. “He’s the only one who thinks he won. The fans think I won. I definitely want the rematch.”
DeGale and Jack both managed to speak to each other after their fights.
“Let’s unify the decision and see who the best is,” DeGale said to Jack in a post-fight interview moderated by reporter Jim Gray.
“I’m ready in September, ready in August,” responded Jack. “I’m ready whenever. Let’s do it where it makes the most sense financially.”
Oscar De La Hoya sees Canelo-Khan fight as Power versus Speed battle
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya recently expressed his thoughts on boxing's most exciting speed versus power matchups, from the historic "Rumble in the Jungle" with Foreman versus Ali, to Leonard versus Hagler.
Canelo Alvarez versus Amir Khan could be another of those classic stylistic fights.
|Photo by: Jesse Isais / TheDailySportsHerald|
"George Foreman had a record at the time of 40-0, 37 KOs so he was unstoppable, he was knocking everyone out. Muhammad Ali used his speed, used his great footwork and he used the famous rope-a-dope - he lured Foreman into the trap and knocked him out.
"Muhammad Ali was the clear underdog in this fight. Foreman was knocking everybody out, annihilating [Joe] Frazier, Norton and those were Ali's rivals. Ali was able to pull off the biggest upset at the time by knocking out George Foreman."
Oscar De La Hoya on Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Marvin "Marvelous" Hagler:
"1987 and another classic speed vs. power battle. Speed prevails in this one against the most feared fighter on the planet, the great 'Marvelous' Marvin Hagler with tremendous punching power. Speed was just too much for power on that night."
Oscar De La Hoya on Julio César Chávez vs. Meldrick Taylor:
"Julio César Chávez, Meldrick Taylor, 1990: A classic battle of speed vs. power. Taylor with the speed was beating Chavez every single round, every single minute but at the same time he was taking a lot of punishment.
"In the 12th round guess what happens? Chávez knocks him out with two seconds left and Chávez wins the fight."
Oscar De La Hoya on De La Hoya vs. Ike "Bazooka" Quartey:
"1999, another classic battle of speed vs. power. My lighting-fast jab and with combinations I was able to drop him. They called him the 'bazooka' - he was a tremendous puncher but on that night speed prevailed. I needed the 12th round to win the fight and I was able to pull it off."
Oscar De La Hoya on De La Hoya vs. Fernando "Ferocious" Vargas:
"In the first round I had to weather the storm. He came right at me, almost knocked me outside the ring, almost knocked me out. I was able to come back in the later rounds and use my speed and my intelligence and we were able to pull off the victory from the bigger and stronger Fernando Vargas."
Mayweather hints at return to the ring
This weekend Floyd Mayweather stated that he has had concrete discussions regarding a potential return to the ring. Floyd at the very least seems to be thinking about a return to the ring, but also stated that he is enjoying retirement.
Should he return, the real question is who would he fight? As is typical with his business-first, risk-averse approach, Mayweather distanced himself from the notion of fighting the larger middleweight wrecking ball Gennady Golovkin.
So who would be an interesting alternative to Triple G? How about Manny Pacquiao.
Danny Garcia produces zero interest among boxing fans, and also should produce no buzz among boxing experts either. Anyone with a remotely realistic perspective would have to concede that Garcia has no chance in that bout.
The Canelo-Khan winner? Floyd already fought Canelo, and unless Khan pulls off a big upset, we do not need to see that dull rematch either.
The Thurman-Porter winner? Both are very good welterweights, but neither is on Mayweather's level in terms of gate attraction or ability.
That leaves us with Pacquiao. Yes, the first fight was boring, and the second fight will not be nearly as big. Still, it is the biggest payday out there for Mayweather.
More importantly, Pacquiao looked like his old self in his recent win over Tim Bradley, displaying speed, athleticism, and power against a talented, veteran opponent.
Pacquiao's legitimate shoulder injury in the first Mayweather bout presumably will not be an issue in a rematch either, as he underwent major surgery and appeared to be healthy in the Bradley bout.
Better to see these two again in the ring then another Berto-esque, overwhelmed opponent.
Shumenov disputes WBA's decision for title bout
World Boxing Association (WBA) Interim cruiserweight world champion Beibut Shumenov (16-2, 10 KOs) is disputing the WBA's sanctioning of the WBA "regular" cruiserweight world championship fight on May 20 between two lower-ranked WBA fighters, No. 2 Yunier Dorticos and No. 5 Youri Kalenga (recently upgraded to No. 3).
Last July, Shumenov defeated B.J. Flores by way of a 12-round unanimous decision to become the mandatory challenger for WBA "regular" cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev, who was later elevated to "Super" champion.
"I'm very disappointed the WBA is sanctioning Dorticos-Kalenga for its 'regular' cruiserweight title, when I am the No. 1 ranked and current WBA Interim champion," Shumenov said. "I repeatedly informed the WBA through emails, texts and verbally that I was ready to fight back in January. I preferred to fight Lebedev but I was willing to fight Dorticos or anybody else in the top 15. For the past few months, I've been laboring over what I believe is a very bad decision, letting two lower-ranked fighters, the No. 2 and No. 3 guys, fight for the WBA 'regular' title. I am shocked and bewildered and do not understand the WBA's rationale to have either of these fighters declared the WBA 'regular' champion without first defeating either Lebedev or me, the Interim champion and No. 1 rank contender."
Lebedev hasn't fought a mandatory defense in one year, ironically, when he won a 12-round decision over Kalenga, who had earned his world title shot, like Shumenov, by becoming WBA Interim world champion. The WBA granted Lebedev an extension in terms of his due mandatory defense because of the Russian's unification fight May 21 in Moscow against International Boxing Federation (IBF) title-holder Victor Emelio Ramirez.
"I appealed the decision but, so far, the WBA has done little in response to my appeals other than delay and stall before finally ruling that I will fight the Lebedev-Ramirez winner months from now, yet, ignoring my appeal to stop the regular title status of Dorticos-Kalenga and still sanction a fight between them, its No. 2 and No. 3 rated fighters, for the WBA 'regular' title," said Shumenov.
"We now have this odd situation where there will be three separate WBA cruiserweight fights in May, all for a different version of WBA world title I just don't feel anyone should get the WBA 'regular' title without first defeating a champion or at least the top-ranked fighter in the division," Shumenov continued. "The WBA knew I was and am ready to fight. Its decision makes no sense and, in my opinion, diminishes the prestige and meaning of the title. I have respect for Dorticos and Kalenga but I think the legitimacy of any world title resulting from a fight between the No. 2 and No. 3 ranked contenders, when the No 1 mandatory contender who already holds the WBA Interim champion is ready and available, to say the least, is highly questionable."
Curtis Stevens Gets Focused
As Curtis Stevens (27-5, 20 KOs) prepares to step into the ring against Patrick Teixeira (26-0, 22 KOs) on the HBO Pay-Per-View undercard for the May 7 Canelo-Khan telecast live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, he has a new trainer, a new nickname, and new plan of attack.
Stevens, 31, originally from Brownsville, Brooklyn recently moved to South Florida and hooked up with elite boxing trainer John David Jackson.
Jackson, a former world champion, also trains Main Events' stablemate and WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev. Curtis' decision to move forward with a new trainer also inspired him to drop his "Showtime" nickname.
"It is time for a new era, new person, new identity," said Stevens. "I am a wrestling fanatic so I get 'Cerebral Assassin' from Triple H. A cerebral assassin is very distinctive with his skill and I like that."
Stevens and Jackson started working together in February after Stevens spent time sparring with Canelo Alvarez while he prepared for his November fight against Miguel Cotto. Curtis said he learned a lot during his time at Canelo's camp and that was part of his motivation to change his game plan.
Stevens said, "Canelo told me to be more relaxed. We've got ten rounds to fight, so I don't need to go in there and try to knock him out in the first like I usually do. Not every shot has to be the finishing shot."
Jackson echoed that same sentiment when the two first got together. According to Stevens, "Mostly we are just working on me being relaxed. We are working on my slips and working on going to the body, me just using my speed and not just relying on the power."
Jackson believes Curtis has all the tools he needs to be successful, but in the past he relied too much on his powerful left hook.
Jackson explained, "Curtis can box. He just never used his full boxing capability. I am making him throw more punches, go inside and go to the body. He has a tremendous right hand. The power is still there, but the delivery is better now. He has a great jab too. He has all the tools to be a world champion. He was relying solely on the left hook and when he didn't knock the guy out he had no other game plan. Now he can break these guys down systematically and then knock them out. He's listening but it takes time. I think he and I will need three or four fights before it really comes together the way it should but glimpses of it are coming now as we work together more and more."
Berto Stops Ortiz in 4
The long-awaited rematch between Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz once again produced an entertaining fight, as Berto stopped Ortiz in the fourth round for a TKO win.
Ortiz appeared to be winning the fight, and at one point scored a flash knockdown in the second round. Although the knockdown blow did not appear to hurt Berto, it nevertheless put Ortiz up on the scorecards, and forced his opponent to mount a rally.
In the fourth round, Berto quickly changed things, landing a brutal right uppercut to the chin that dropped and hurt Ortiz badly. Berto then scored a second knockdown in the round, prompting the referee to correctly stop the fight despite Ortiz barely beating the ten-count.
The fight was a crossroads bout for both men, and likely ended the slim hopes Ortiz had for getting another title bout in the future.
Francisco Vargas tests positive for clenbuterol
Golden Boy Promotions issued the following statement regarding WBC Super Featherweight World Champion Francisco Vargas' recent positive drug test:
"As part of a voluntary testing program that Francisco Vargas requested ahead of his June 4 fight, he tested positive for clenbuterol.
Francisco believes he tested positive due to ingesting contaminated meat in Mexico where clenbuterol is commonly used by ranchers in livestock feed. The Associated Press reported this week that this practice may impact athletes throughout the country ahead of the 2016 Olympics.
Francisco has, is and will always be a clean fighter. That is why he insisted on this voluntary testing program ahead of the first defense of his WBC championship.
He previously tested clean as part of this same voluntary testing regiment and in all of his previous fights.
He will immediately leave Mexico to finish his training camp in the US in order to avoid any possible repeat of this situation and is fully cooperating with the California State Athletic Commission to submit to all required testing ahead of his June 4 title defense."
Austin Trout reflects on his mother and upbringing
Austin Trout (30-2, 17 KOs) knows that his journey in boxing is a direct result of one person – his mother.
“She gave me dedication,” Trout said. “Mothers Day is really a mother’s and father's day for her – she is both. She taught me how to be a man.”
Half Panamanian, Trout holds his mother’s heritage close, identifying his athleticism to his mother’s ancestry.
“I always wondered where I got my fingers and toes from,” he says with a wry smile. “I met my biological grandfather recently for the first time and it hit me – he is me. Knowing your heritage is so important. Our Panamanian family are athletes - my third cousins are baseball legend Rod Carew and Derek Carew who was an 88 Olympian for Panama.”
It was his mother that piqued a young Austin’s interest in boxing while growing up in New Mexico.
It was a sport she admired. “I would tell him, look at the strength those men have, that focus and discipline. That is how a man carries himself,” Minnesa Trout said.
It stuck with a young Austin. Even when he wanted to trade boxing gloves for a basketball, it was his mother who kept him on course to what has been a stellar career.
“When I wanted to give up boxing for basketball she said ‘no, you’re good at boxing, why would you give that up? You’re not giving that up’,” he laughed. “She made me stay loyal to it. “
This Mothers Day, as Austin dives deeper into training camp, he’ll celebrate the discipline and commitment that his mother instilled in him as well as the strong women in his life – namely his wife and daughters.
“From my grandmother, to my mother, to my wife, the one thing I want to pass on to my kids is our strong family legacy. In boxing there are no excuses – we put in the work. All the women in my life have showed me the power of love and hard work, and I have no other choice BUT to be great. We’re Trout. We are champions. No excuses.”
Vasyl Lomachenko to fight Roman Martinez on June 11
On Saturday, June 11, at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, three-time world champion Roman "Rocky" Martinez and WBO featherweight world champion Vasyl Lomachenko will go mano a mano for Martinez's WBO junior lightweight world title in the main event of a loaded card, and Puerto Rico's Felix Verdejo will risk his undefeated record and No. 2 world rating against Juan Jose Martinez in the co-main event.
"It is a big opportunity for me," said Lomachenko. "It is a chance to set a new record by becoming a two-division world champion in the shortest period -- my seventh professional fight -- a record that currently stands at eight fights."
The two bouts, scheduled for 12 and 10 rounds, respectively, will be televised live on HBO. The non-televised undercard will feature the U.S. debut of two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Amateur Champion Zou Shiming in a 10-round flyweight bout.
"This is the first time in boxing history which two fighters on this card each won two Olympic gold medals," said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. "Vasyl Lomachenko and Zou Shiming accomplished iconic feats in the sport of boxing and Felix Verdejo himself is a former Olympian and one of the top amateur boxers."
The greatest amateur boxer of his era and arguably of all time, two-time Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko (5-1, 3 KOs) captured the vacant WBO featherweight title on June 21, 2014, winning a scintillating majority decision over the previously unbeaten Gary Russell Jr. It was Lomachenko's third professional bout, tying him with Thailand's Saensak Muangsurin for fewest fights to win a world title.
Lomachenko first gained international renown by winning gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Games as a featherweight and a lightweight, respectively.
Martinez (29-2-3, 17 KOs), from Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, is a three-time WBO junior lightweight world champion. Martinez's current world title reign began on April 11, 2015 when he defeated defending champion Orlando Salido via a 12-round decision. In their rematch, on September 12, Martinez retained his title by virtue of a draw. Both fights were worthy of Fights of the Year consideration.
"I feel very happy returning to New York to fight, and even more on a special date like the Puerto Rican Day Parade. I know that a lot of Puerto Ricans will be there and I'll be ready, as always, to give it my all," said Martinez. "About Lomachenko I can say that he is a boxer with a lot of accomplishments as an amateur and even though he became champion in just a few professional fights, it isn't the same in amateur as in professional boxing and we are working hard to take the victory on June 11."
Verdejo (21-0, 14 KOs), 22, from San Juan, Puerto Rico, who earned "Prospect of the Year" honors in 2014 and 2015, began this year as a bona fide world title contender. He returns to the ring having won eight of his last 12 fights inside the distance.
"I'm more motivated than ever for this fight on HBO and performing in front of my people in New York,” said Verdejo. “I recognize that my focus for my last couple of fights hasn't been at its best. I feel that my last performances haven't been close to what has been expected of me and that has motivated me to show my supporters that the Felix Verdejo they have been rooting for will be at The Garden on June 11 and for a very long time after.
Oscar De La Hoya tries to educate Trump
During a live interview on Fox Business News TV's "Cavuto Coast to Coast," Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya threw down the gauntlet at Presidential Candidate Donald Trump for his disparaging comments about Mexicans and Muslims, offering the GOP frontrunner two free ringside seats to watch the Canelo versus Khan showdown on May 7 in Las Vegas.
"I want to take this opportunity to invite Mr. Trump to the Canelo vs. Khan fight on May 7 in Las Vegas," said Oscar De La Hoya during his interview with Neil Cavuto on "Cavuto Coast to Coast" today. "I have Amir Khan, a Muslim fighter from the UK, fighting against the most popular boxer in Mexico, Canelo Alvarez, opening up the new T-Mobile Arena. We have an opportunity to show Mr. Trump just what Mexicans and Muslims can achieve -- and in a city that screams America: Las Vegas. Trump, let me invite you so that you can see what a Mexican and a Muslim can generate."
Raised in East Los Angeles by Mexican immigrant parents, De La Hoya named Trump when asked how he came up with the Canelo-Khan match, citing Trump's controversial comments of Mexican immigrants and Muslims as an incentive to bring these two popular and diversely cultural fighters together in the ring.
- Canelo Alvarez, on Amir Khan: "We believe [Amir] will adopt a similar style to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Erislandy Lara; however, we have made sure that I am prepared for that style of boxing and anything he brings to the table to not be surprised on fight night."
- Glen Tapia, on David Lemieux: "I know what I can bring to the table. David is fun to watch, but he uses the same style every fight. I've watched his last 10 fights. People don't understand I have a lot of power too. I have a lot of skills to box. All I am thinking about is fighting Lemieux. I don't want to get ahead of myself."
- Amir Khan: "On Saturday you will see the best of Amir Khan. Canelo is a great champion who is dedicated to the sport of boxing, but it is my time and I'm going to grab it with both hands. It's been my dream to hold a great fight like this in Las Vegas. And, you never know-this could be the last fight between Canelo and I here in Vegas if Donald Trump is elected president."
- Isaac Chilemba, on his bout with Sergey Kovalev: "I will crush the Krusher."
Arif Magomedov to face Andrew Hernandez at next Knockout Night at the D
Fresh off of its wildly successful inaugural event, "Knockout Night at the D" returns Saturday night, May 21, with the second event of its 2016 series, as undefeated middleweight Arif Magomedov takes on upset-minded Andrew Hernandez in the 10-round main event, airing (8 p.m. PT / 11 p.m. ET) live on CBS Sports Network from under the neon lights at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center (DLVEC) outdoor venue.
Magomedov (17-0, 10 KOs), who is promoted by Main Events, is rated among the top 15 middleweights by the four major sanctioning bodies: WBC #2, WBO #3, WBA #5 and IBF #14. The gifted Russian captured his NABO title belt 10 months ago, winning a 10-round unanimous decision against previously undefeated Derrick Webster (19-0). Last December in his most recent action, Magomedov stopped Jonathan Tavira in the seventh round.
The 30-year-old Hernandez has pulled off his fair share of upsets. In 2015, Hernandez stopped 17-1 Jeff Page, Jr., whose only other loss was to 2-time Russian Olympian and current world light heavyweight contender Artur Beterbiev, in the 10th round of their UBF Inter-continental super middleweight title fight. Hernandez also upset 12-0 Jerry Odum last year at Madison Square Garden Theater.
In the 8-round co-feature, super middleweight John Vera (12-0, 8 KOs), of Fort Worth, Texas, puts his unbeaten record and NABA-USA title belt on the line against Phoenix' popular Joey Ruelas (10-1-1, 4 KOs).
Two more bouts added to May 13 ShoBox card
Mayweather Promotions' fighter Ronald “The Thrill” Gavril (15-1, 11 KOs) will take on Juan Camilo “La Boa” Novoa (25-6-1, 23 KOs), and Gavril's stablemate Sanjarbek “War” Rakhmanov (4-0, 3 KOs) will take on Alfonso Olvera (7-2, 3 KOs) in what is now a ShoBox: The New Generation quadrupleheader on Friday, May 13, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) from Sam’s Town Live.
Romania’s highly regarded Gavril, of Las Vegas, and Novoa, of Miami, Fla., by way of Medellin, Colombia, meet in a 10-round super middleweight scrap.
Uzbekistan’s up-and-coming Rakhmanov, of Las Vegas, takes on Olvera, of Tucson, Ariz., in a six-round welterweight skirmish that will open the telecast.
Four undefeated cruiserweights will be featured in previously announced 10-round fights.
Andrew “The Beast” Tabiti (12-0, 11 KOs) confronts Keith “Machine Gun” Tapia (16-0, 11 KOs) in the main event collision of power punchers. Also, 2012 U.S. Olympian Michael Hunter (11-0, 8 KOs), of Las Vegas, will touch gloves with Isiah Thomas (15-0, 1 ND, 6 KOs), of Detroit, in the co-feature.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services