Posts Tagged ‘Chip Mitchell’

Gary Russell oscar escondon

 

Story by: Robert Uzzell

 

There was plenty of action on Saturday night from the MGM National Harbor as Gary Russell Jr. (28-1, 17 KOs) defended his WBC World featherweight against Oscar Escandon (25-3, 17 KOs).

 

I thought Gary Russell did what he should have done, which was win. However, he needs to be much more active than he has been of late.  If you watch the fight closely, you see that Russell was hit with shots that a fighter of his talent should not allow from a guy a few levels lower.

 

Gary Russell has extremely fast hands. Everyone knows that to be true.  However, boxing is more than just hand speed.  You heard it here first- if Gary doesn’t stay more active and steps up to fight guys like Leo Santa Cruz or Carl Frampton he loses.  I’m not even going to bring up the real fight he’s clamoring for, which is a rematch with Vasyl Lomachenko.  If he takes that based on what I saw Saturday night, he lose worse than he did the first time.

 

My recommendations is for Gary to try to fight 2 to 3 more times in 2017. At this point, I don’t think it will happen.  Gary seems to be lost in the mix.  I don’t think he is big enough or powerful enough to make a move up and make significant noise.  To be real, I’m torn on what he should do next.  I truly believe he’s being set up for a fall if he takes on anybody in the top 5 at this point.  We shall see.

 

The second Russell of the trio, Gary “Antonio” Russell moved to 8-0, 6 KOs as he walked through Jovany Fuentes (7-9, 6 KOs).  Russell scored knockdowns in the second and third.  A left hook on the temple ended Fuentes’s night.

 

Gary Antonio Russell:

“We capitalized on everything we worked on in the gym. We knew he favored his right hook so I would walk to it to try to get him to throw it and he wasn’t really doing it. I just knew I needed to touch and fire and that is exactly what I did.

 

“There was never any extra pressure because we didn’t magnify this fight just because it was at home. We treat every fight like a championship fight.

 

“The Russells are two for two, but personally I think we are already three for three…that’s what’s expected tonight.”

 

Gary Antuanne Russell, (1-0 1 KO) won his pro debut over Josh Ross (2-4-4). Russell cornered Ross against the ropes and landed a body shot to drop him. Ross took an eight count and got up. Russell jumped on him again and stopped him with what appeared to be a double right hook to the head.

 

Gary Antuanne:

“I listened, I followed instructions and it led me to a fast victory. I wish it would have lasted longer. I was looking forward to it being more exciting.

 

“I wasn’t expecting it to be so short. We trained and sparred for twelve rounds, as if I was a professional before my debut and that’s what I was prepared to do – go the distance. But I executed what my father told me to and I got that quick victory.”

 

In the televised opener, Rances Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KOs) won a 12-round unanimous decision over valiant Kiryl Relikh, (25-3, 16 KOs).  The first few rounds featured fantastic flurries from both guys and it was heating up to be the fight of the night.

 

Barthelemy landed what the referee deemed to be a low blow. After a timeout, the fighters were back to action and Relikh tried to take his anger out of Barthelemy.

 

Relikh went on the attack in the 5th round and shook Barthelemy badly and into the ropes.  The referee ruled a knockdown and Barthelemy finished the round on unsteady legs.  Relikh went in for the kill but couldn’t finish.

 

Barthelemy recovered in the next round and out boxed Relikh the rest of the way, scoring a body shot knockdown in the 8th round.

 

Barthelemy:

“It feels great to be going forward. The 11-month layoff really took a toll on my body and I felt it in the ring.

 

“I knew it was a close fight but knew I should get a unanimous decision.

 

“Relikh was a hard hitter. He surprised me with a right hook in the 5th round and I hit the canvas, so I knew I had to be careful going forward. I knew I had lost that round and had to come back stronger.

 

“I took the sixth round to take a breather and then I came back to work the body. Once I knocked him down, I saw that he was hurt and protecting himself upstairs a lot more so I knew I was going to have to be more strategic to come out victorious.”

 

Relikh:

“Of course I thought I won. Even TV thought I won. The referee did his job when he called it a knockdown in the fifth. I thought it was over.”

 

“The two low blows definitely affected me. It takes the wind out of you. This is boxing not MMA.”

 

The drama of the evening unfolded in the title eliminator between Andre “The Matrix” Dirrell (26-2, 16 KOs) and Jose Uzcategui (26-2, 22 KOs).

 

Uzcategui came out blazing and had Dirrell reeling as early as the first round.  The tough as nails Uzcategui chased Dirrell and landed vicious shots everywhere he could on Dirrell.

 

In the middle rounds, both fighters began to exchange, with Uzcategui seemingly getting the best of it.

 

Then came the 8th round!

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Terence Crawford vs. Felix Diaz in on!   Check out the fighter weights below:

 

Crawford_Diaz

Top Rank

Terence Crawford 139.2 vs. Felix Diaz 139.4
(WBC/WBO World super lightweight title)

Ray Beltran 134.6 vs. Jonathan Maicelo 134.8

Shakur Stevenson 124.6 vs. Carlos Suarez 124.2

Konstantin Ponomarev 149.6 vs. Ed Paredes 150.2
Teofimo Lopez 134.8 vs. Ronald Rivas 135.4
Tong Hui Li 153.8 vs. Daniel Calzada 154.2
Fazliddin Gaibnazarov 138 vs. Agustine Mauras 135.8
Steve Nelson 174.2 vs. Gilberto Rubio 173
Henry Lebron 130.2 vs. Johnny Estrada 131

Gary Russell oscar escondon

 

Gary Russell Jr vs Oscar Escandon is on!  Check out the photos from the weigh-ins today.

 

ALL photos in slideshow credited to NaKeela Taylor:  CBoxingInfo/W.A.N.T. TV

 

Gary Russell Jr 125.5 vs. Oscar Escandon 125.75

Andre Dirrell 167.5 vs. Jose Uzcategui 166.5

Rances Barthelemy 139.5 vs. Kiryl Relikh 139.5

 

 

IMG_4986

 

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Gary Russell oscar escondon

 

Check out the photos from the Gary Russell vs Oscar Escandon press conference.

 

All photos in slideshow  and collage credited to NaKeela TaylorCBoxingInfo/W.A.N.T. TV

 

 

 

Kell Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) defends his IBF World welterweight title against Errol Spence Jr (21-0, 18 KOs) on Saturday afternoon (5:00pm eastern).

 

Is Spence Jr being rushed into this fight with one world-class name on his resume?

 

Has Kell Brook come back too soon instead of taking a tune-up after his loss?

 

Listen to concerns for each fighter leading up to Saturday’s mega-fight!

 

Please SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel.

 

 

KINGS

 

Carlos Rosario ready for 1st headlining appearance against Josh Davis this Friday night at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia 1st bout 6:30 PM

Amir Shabazz takes on Antowyan Aikens in a light heavyweight bout

Plus undefeated Tyrone Crawley, Jr., Steven Ortiz and Thomas Velasquez

David Gonzales battles Darius Ervin Weigh In This Thursday at 5:30 PM at The Stadium Holiday Inn

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Philadelphia, PA (May 17, 2017) – Lightweight Carlos Rosario is ready for his headlining appearance this Friday night when he takes on Josh Davis in a bout scheduled for eight-rounds at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.

The show is promoted by King’s Promotions. (1st bout 6:30 PM; Doors 6 PM)

Rosario of Pennsauken, New Jersey, has a record of 7-1 with four knockouts, and has won seven consecutive since dropping his pro debut.

“Everything is going great.  I am just winding down, losing the last couple of pounds , and I will be ready on Friday, said Rosario on Tuesday night.

In Davis, he is fighting his toughest opponent, but 26 year-old Rosario is ready for for whatever the Washington, DC native will bring.

“Even though he has an impressive record (10-1, 4 KO’s), I do not know a lot about him.  His record is actually better then mine.  I am fighting at home but I still feel that I am the underdog.  I think this is a fight that could go all eight-rounds, and I am looking forward to that as I have never gone that distance.”

Rosario, who has won seven consecutive fights has been slowly moving up the card and now finds himself in the main event.

“That has not hit me yet that I am the main event fighter.  I just continue to fight and my team has done a good job of finding me the right fights.  I am gaining more confidence with each fight and my opponents continue to get better.”

Rosario has been in the gym since age 10 but did not start to competing until he was 18.  He then embarked on a 28 fight amateur career.

The full-time corrections officer is taking his boxing career one step at a time, but he is seeing improvement in every fight.

“As long as I keep winning, and stay consistent, I can maybe fight for a minor title this year.”

“I hope the fans come out.  I have never been in a bad fight.  Sometimes it’s not about winning.  I want the fans to say that I am one of their favorite fighters to watch.”

In the co-feature, Amir Shabazz (4-0, 1 KO) of Philadelphia will take on Antowyan Aikens (10-3-1, 1 KO) of Atlantic City, NJ in a six-round light heavyweight bout.

Also in six-round bouts:

Tyrone Crawley, Jr (6-0) of Philadelphia will take on Juan Rodriguez (7-6, 5 KO’s) of Manasa, Virginia in a lightweight fight.

 

 

David Gonzales (8-2, 2 KO’s) of Philadelphia will look to get back in the win column when he battles Darius Ervin (4-1) of Los Angeles, California in a junior welterweight bout. Steven Ortiz (5-0, 1 KO) of Philadelphia takes on Hector Rivera (3-1, 2 KO’s) of San Juan, Puerto Rico in a lightweight bout.

Anthony Burgin (10-3, 2 KO’s) of Philadelphia will take on an opponent to be named in a lightweight bout Thomas Velasquez (8-0, 5 KO’s) of Philadelphia will battle Brandon Sanudo (5-3, 2 KO’s) of Baja California, Mexico in a lightweight bout.
In four-round Bouts:

Vincent Floyd (2-2-1, 1 KO) of Philadelphia will square off with Rafael Montalvo (3-3, 3 KO’s) of St. Clair, PA.

(more…)

World ranked junior middleweight Kanat Islam takes on Norberto Gonzalez for the WBO/NABO & WBA Intercontinental titles on Friday, May 26th at the Boca Raton Resort & Spa in Boca Raton, Florida World class boxing event to be shown around the world… 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Boca Raton, FL (May 17, 2017) – WBA number-4 ranked and WBO number-6 ranked junior middleweight Kanat Islam will take on Norberto Gonzalez in a battle for the WBO / NABO and WBA Intercontinental Junior Middleweight championships on Friday night, May 26th at the beautiful Boca Raton Resort & Spa in Boca Raton, Florida.

The international card is promoted by Nelsons Promotions.

The event will be distributed world-wide exclusively by New York-based MultiVision Media, Inc.  The Executive Producer is Brian Ricco.  The event will be produced and directed by Ira Steven Glass.

The card will feature fighters from no less than six countries.

“This is a very special event with an International feel,” said Nelson Lopez, Sr. of Nelson’s Promotions.

“The Boca Raton Resort & Spa is an incredible facility that every A-List celebrity visits and vacations at.  This will be a great night, and we look forward to having a great crowd to see one of the best fighters in the world in Kanat Islam on May 26th.”

Islam of Almaty, Kazakhstan has a record of 23-0 with 19 big knockouts.

The 32 year-old has built up a reputation of being an exciting fighter who is constantly going for the knockout.

Islam turned professional in 2012 after competing in the 2004 and winning a Bronze medal in the 2008 Olympic Games.

Islam started to gain recognition when he stopped Humberto Toledo (41-8-2) in the 1st round.  He then scored impressive stoppage victories over Francisco Cordero (29-2) & Juan De Angel (16-3-1).

On October 29, 2016, Islam returned home to Kazakhstan and won a 12-round unanimous decision over Patrick Allotey (30-2) in front of over 18,000 fans.

In his last bout, Islam was cut badly in the 1st round of his bout with Robson Assis (16-3), yet stopped his Brazilian foe in the first round of their bout on February 17th as part of the Roy Jones, Jr. – Bobby Gunn Pay-Per-View undercard in Wilmington, Delaware.

Gonzalez of Nuevo Leon, Mexico has a record of 23-8 with 13 knockouts.

The 36 year-old is a 10 year-professional who has solid wins over Joel Juarez (22-3-1), Jesus Arras Perea (18-2), Michael Oliveira (20-1), former world title challenger Javier Maciel (30-3) and in his last bout when Gonzalez when an eight-round split decision over Daniel Rosario Cruz (11-1) on November 18, 2016 in Las Vegas, (more…)

Gary Russell oscar escondonGary Russell oscar escondon2.jpg

Click HERE for Photos Tom Casino/SHOWTIME

 

NATIONAL HARBOR (May 18, 2017) – Featherweight world champion Gary Russell Jr. and top challenger Oscar Escandon went face-to-face Thursday at the final press conference before they square-off in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING this Saturday, May 20 from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.

 

Also in attendance at Thursday’s press conference and competing in action on SHOWTIME were super middleweight contenders Andre Dirrell and Jose Uzcategui, who battle for the IBF Super Middleweight World Championship, plus two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy and former title challenger Kiryl Relikh, who meet in a 140-pound title eliminator. The telecast begins at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT with Gervonta Davis putting his IBF Jr. Lightweight Title on the line against Liam Walsh from Copper Box Arena in London.

 

Tickets for the live event at MGM National Harbor, promoted by TGB Promotions, are priced at $200, $150, $100 and $50, and are now on sale. To purchase tickets go to http://mgmnationalharbor.com/.

 

Russell Jr. was joined by his brothers, 2016 U.S. Olympian Gary Antuanne Russell and unbeaten prospect Gary Antonio Russell, as the trio of brothers look to pick up a hat trick of victories in their hometown Saturday night and on the birthday of their father and trainer, Gary Russell Sr.

 

Here is what the participants had to say Thursday from MGM National Harbor:

 

GARY RUSSELL JR.

“I never magnify an event, even though it’s at home. The end objective is still the same. But I think it’s cool that everyone in our neighborhood has the opportunity to be in the arena and see what we do.

 

“I’m 100 percent physically and mentally ready for the challenge and I’m on top of everything I can be.

 

“When you get caught up in the hype, it’s a deficiency in yourself. You have to be able to focus on the objective over everything else.

 

“I believe in my ability but also the ability of my brothers. So I’m not nervous for them. I know what they’ve been taught. They conduct themselves like young men in and out of the ring.

 

“I want a unification bout after this. I’m ready for any of the other world champions. We can line them all up in the same night if you want. If I can’t get those fights, I’m going to move up in weight and bully around these bigger guys.

 

“I look at each fighter as their own individual. We don’t prepare the same way for every opponent. He’s a tough fighter who comes forward. He’s very physical and I expect him to be at his best on Saturday. It’s up to me to counteract what he does.

 

“I love this sport. I love what I do. I love being able to prepare for no one else, but the person across the ring and then dismantling him.

 

“We worked on versatility most. We believe in the sweet science. A lot of these guys just win because they’re stronger and faster. We want to be more technically sound too.”

 

OSCAR ESCANDON

“This is a very important fight for my career. This is going to elevate me to where I want to be and give me the platform to do anything in the sport. I’m very well prepared for this.

 

“I feel strong and healthy at 126-pounds. I’m focused on this fight Saturday night. I’ll fight anyone but right now I have to get past Gary Russell Jr.

 

“In my last fight I was the underdog. People counted me out. Same thing applies here. I’ve done the work and I’m confident that I’m going to win.

 

“I didn’t have complete training camps with my past trainers, but now I’m with Ruben Guerrero. I’m learning so much. You can look at me in my previous fights and you’ll see a vast improvement now.

 

“I want that green (WBC) belt a lot. Green is my favorite color. I want to be the best and to me, winning that title signifies that I am the best. To do that I have to beat the best, and that is Gary Russell Jr.

 

“I don’t like to talk much but I will say that I’m coming to bring this world title back to Colombia. I respect Gary but my mindset is that I’m taking this title home.”

 

ANDRE DIRRELL

“It’s been a long hard journey for me. But I’ve always managed to climb back on top. The hard work that I’ve put in will make Saturday night easy work.

 

“My opponent is a fantastic fighter. If anyone should be in line for a title it’s this guy. He has the the power and he has the skill. I just believe he’s up against a better and tougher opponent.

 

“I’m going to get in the ring and display all of my abilities. I’m very confident and ready. It’s time for Andre to get on top and stay on top.

 

“I’ve been out of the ring for a while but most importantly, I’ve stayed in the gym in training the whole time. I’ve kept positive mentally as well. Everything is going upward right now and I’m going to take advantage.

 

“Uzcategui has everything a world champion needs to get to that title, but he’s facing a more skilled competitor on May 20. He’s deserving of the opportunity and that’s why I trained so hard for this fight.

 

“The title means the world to me. We fight for the titles first. We’re all coming from the amateurs where we got trophies. My love will always be here with the sport until the day I retire.”

 

JOSE UZCATEGUI

“You won’t want to miss any of these fights on Saturday night. It’s a great card and I’m planning to steal the show.

 

“I like when my opponent talks a lot. None of the stuff my opponent says can help him in the ring. It’s just me, him and our fists.

 

“It’s a lot of responsibility to be the top contender for the belt. I have to make it clear that we deserve this so that I can move on to bigger and better things.

 

“People are going to get to see my power on display Saturday night, but also my other skills. I can do it all in the ring and I’m going to prove it.

 

“After this I want to take on James DeGale and Gilberto Ramirez. I’m coming to clean out this whole division and be undisputed. It starts on Saturday.”

 

RANCES BARTHELEMY

“I’m living a dream right now that I myself never in a million years imagined. Every time I get to speak with my mother in Cuba, I tell her of this dream that I am currently living and how it is still surreal to me. To be able to fight on these big cards in the U.S. after the long journey, after all the setbacks, I could not be any more grateful.

 

“Being a world champion in two different weight divisions is something still unreal to me after people doubted whether I would even become a world champion one day. But this journey does not stop here for me. I have the urge to keep on going, make history for my people, and fight the big names in boxing.

 

“Everyone in my team supports and motivates each other because we know we as Cubans have to work twice as hard as everybody else. There is an unfair representation of Cuban boxers among the press and fans here in America. We are misconstrued as being boring fighters therefore we are determined to erase that stigma and prove to everyone that we can brawl and put on a good show just as much as we can box.

 

“I have been working on some new and different things to add to my arsenal this training camp. My whole team has been incredible and pushed me every day.

 

“Don’t miss this fight on Saturday night. It’s going to be eventful and exciting. I’m coming to get a spectacular win.” (more…)

fightnight

 

Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions Makes FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Facebook Debut       On Saturday, July 15

https://www.facebook.com/FaceFIGHTNIGHTLIVE/

 

Las Vegas, NV (May 18, 2017) – Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions will team with Linacre Media and Facebook to bring the fans from across the globe together with one purpose – the love of boxing – and will give all a ringside seat for “FIGHTNIGHT LIVE” on Facebook.

Record numbers and 5-star reviews are still pouring in following last Thursday’s debut of FIGHTNIGHT LIVE as it received a standing ovation from fans across the globe, and Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions has accepted the invitation to join the future of live FREE streaming. Fans from all around the world can tune-in to Facebook FIGHTNIGHT LIVE on Saturday, July 15 at 6 p.m. PT (9 p.m. ET) to catch a fan-friendly, interactive, high quality Facebook Live broadcast on every enabled device. Roy Jones Jr. Boxing will “go live” from Wild Horse Pass Casino and Hotel to bring behind-the-scenes interviews, exclusive first-hand looks at the fighters and the raw emotion of each fighter’s win, lose or draw.

Promoted by Roy Jones Jr. and Keith Veltre of Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions, this card will give fans back-to-back championship action. The event will showcase a main attraction featuring NABA Super Welterweight Champion John “The Phenom” Vera Jr. (16-0, 10KOs) as he takes on the former WBO Latino Champion Daniel Rosario (11-2, 10KOs) in a 10-round contest at the Wild Horse Pass Casino in Chandler, AZ. Former WBA Super Bantamweight, Rico Ramos (25-5, 13KOs) will go toe-to-toe for the vacant NABA Super Bantamweight Belt, along with Arizona area heroes. Additional fights and fighters are subject to change.

“Roy and I have always felt that live streaming would take the place of the old platforms of delivering fights,” stated Keith Veltre, CEO & Co-Founder of Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions. “To partner up with Linacre Media and showcase our talent live with Facebook is years ahead of anyone else in the industry. This will give us the ability to reach millions of boxing fans around the world and enable us to deliver our sponsors triple the exposure we would normally get from traditional T.V. Mark Fratto, the brains behind this envisioning series, is giving fighters the opportunity to showcase their talent to the world and gain a fan base. We are thrilled that his vision lines exactly where Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions wants to be.”

The July 15th card will be called by world-renowned blow-by-blow announcer Ray Flores of Premier Boxing Champions, Showtime Boxing, HBO Boxing and CBS Sports Networks. Commentating ringside alongside Flores will be boxing analyst Michael Woods of the TalkBox Podcast, NYFights.com and Ring TV. Sports fans will have a fully-interactive ringside experience as commentators respond to and answer questions and comments from the Facebook audience and fight fans from around the globe throughout the entire broadcast.

“I was inundated with complimentary texts, emails and calls almost as soon as the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE pilot started, and it was a lot of fun watching the numbers swell from 27 views at the start of the broadcast to 43,000-plus by now,” said Mark Fratto, Principal of Linacre Media. “Like many others, we believe that the present and future of ‘televised’ boxing, MMA, Muay Thai and really all live sports is digital. Further, by putting these events on Facebook we’re providing an interactive environment for fight fans to not only view the events, but to connect with each other and provide their own real-time commentary during the bouts. We believe in high-quality, cost-efficient production that can give fans free access to hundreds of global, national and regional live fight nights without breaking the bank of the promoter and also without sacrificing what sports fans have come to expect from their viewing experience – multiple camera angles, graphics, replays and behind-the-scenes access and interviews. We don’t want traditional fans, digital customers and cord-cutters to be relegated to trying to watch other spectators’ live feeds off their cell phones.”

Created and produced by Linacre Media out of New York City, the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series features multiple camera angles, graphics, replays and behind the scenes access and interviews. The streamed shows are available globally wherever Facebook is available. The initiative not only enables fans from around the world to tune in, but also gives up-and-coming fighters a global platform to showcase their skills, gives promoters an accessible “broadcast” solution and gives small business sponsors the ability to reach a mass audience via branded content.

INFORMATION:

Websites:  www.linacremedia.com, www.royjonesjrboxing.comwww.wingilariver.com/WildHorsePass, Twitter: @FIGHTNIGHTLIVE_, @Royjonesjrfa Instagram: @faceFIGHTNIGHTLIVE, @Royjonesjrboxing, @LinacreMedia, @KeithVeltre Facebook: www.facebook.com/FaceFIGHTNIGHTLIVEwww.facebook.com/RoyjonesjrBoxingwww.facebook.com/WildHoresePasscasino

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information, please contact:

Lisa Veltre, Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions

Office: 702-522-1636

Email: lisa@royjonesjrboxing.com

Mark Fratto, Linacre Media

Mobile: 917-698-0865

Email: mfratto@linacremedia.com

Marc Abrams, Abrams Boxing

Email: phillyboxing@gmail.com

 

NEW YORK CITY:  “The Common Man”, Joe Smith Jr., (23-1, 19 KO’s), boxing’s best story of 2016, will make his first start of the new year, defending his WBC International Light Heavyweight Title against world ranked Sullivan Barrera, (19-1, 14 KO’s) on Friday, July 15 from the iconic, Fabulous Forum in Los Angeles and live on HBO’s Boxing After Dark (9:50 p.m. ET/PT).

 

Smith vs. Barrera is presented by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing® in association with Main Events. The 27-year-old Smith of Long Island, New York said, “I’m thrilled to be back on HBO against another top light heavyweight, Sullivan Barrera, I’ve already started training and will be ‘more than ready’ on July 15. There’s a number of great fighters in our division and I’m looking forward to another victory on my way to a world title shot.” “This is a great opportunity for me. I want to thank my entire team for making this happen. I respect Joe for taking this fight. He is a great fighter and I have a tough test on July 15. I will work hard to put on a great show for all the fans,” stated Barrera.

 

“This should be a spectacular fight,” said Joe DeGuardia, President and CEO of Star Boxing. “Over the past few months many have refused to fight Joe Smith Jr., so I give credit to Sullivan Barrera, who, like Joe, is a tough fighter willing to fight anyone. Joe’s captivating rise as a humble working-class ‘Common Man’ has resonated with sports fans all over the world and I look forward to being at the Forum on HBO as Joe and Sullivan battle for the future.”

 

Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events, stated, “This is a really interesting fight. It is a can’t miss because Barrera and Smith are both finishers. We are all eager to see how this plays out and I give credit to both men for wanting a challenge.”

 

Smith bursted onto the international boxing scene last June, knocking out the highly favored, former world title challenger, Andrzej Fonfara in the first round of a nationally televised contest from the Pole’s hometown of Chicago.

 

Six months later Smith challenged future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins at the Fabulous Forum and live on HBO. Dominating the legend on December 17 through the first seven rounds, the construction laborer Smith drilled Hopkins to the canvas and out of the ring earning the knockout in the eighth round.

 

Barrera is riding a two bout knockout streak with victories over Paul Parker on April 15 and Vyacheslav Shabaranskyy on December 16, 2016. His only loss was to light heavyweight champion Andre Ward in March 2016.