Murat Gassiev Training Camp Notes – Quotes From Gassiev & Trainer Abel Sanchez Ahead of October 21 World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight Quarterfinal from Prudential Center in Newark, N..J.



NEWARK, N.J. (October 10, 2017) – IBF Cruiserweight World Champion Murat “Iron” Gassiev shared his thoughts from training camp in Big Bear, Calif., as fight week nears for his World Boxing Super Series quarter-final showdown Saturday, October 21 against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk from Prudential Center in Newark, N.J and on AUDIENCE Network.


Gassiev first arrived to train in the U.S. in 2014 and has worked with the renowned Abel Sanchez, eventually capturing his title with a victory over Denis Lebedev in December 2016.


“Abel is an amazing guy and he has pushed me very hard in the gym,” said Gassiev. “He’s really a father figure here in the gym. I have so much respect for him and the way that he treats people. The best thing that I ever did was come here to train with Abel Sanchez.


“We have very hard and intense training, but this is not ballet. He’s preparing me for battle and I trust that he knows exactly what we need to do to have success.”


“There are no world champions in my gym,” said Sanchez. “Your belts stay at home. My gym is just a place to work and get better. I can already see the improvements in this training camp for Gassiev. He had Lebedev down but didn’t finish him. Moments like that, you have to finish the job.”


The 23-year-old from Vladikavkaz, Russia had a winding road to success in the squared circle, but quickly embraced the sport upon picking it up at 15-years-old.


“Boxing was actually not my first sport,” said Gassiev. “My city has produced lots of Olympic and world champion wrestlers, so that was my first sport. Then I tried soccer, but that wasn’t quite right either. One day I went to a boxing gym with my friend and right away I knew, this was what I needed. Eight years later, and I’m very happy where I am.”


Gassiev has trained alongside the likes of middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin up in the unique atmosphere and altitude of Big Bear.


“It’s very important to be in a place like this because the only focus is training,” said Gassiev. “This is what we do all day. This is exactly what I need to be at my best and win this tournament. I don’t see my family for a long time, but it’s part of my life. This is my business and I’m doing all of this for my family. Continue reading


Undefeated Devar Ferhadi takes on Antowyan Aikens in main event on Friday, August 11 at The SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia



Undefeated Devar Ferhadi takes on Antowyan Aikens in main event on Friday, August 11 at The SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia

Plus undefeated knockout sensation Christian Carto

Antonio Dubose battles Josh Crespo

Local favorites Khalib Whitmore, Erik Spring, David Gonzales & Brandon Robinson in action



Philadelphia, Penn. (July 10, 2017)–Undefeated super middleweight Devar Ferhadi will take on his toughest test when he takes on battle tested Antowyan Aikens in the eight-round main event of a great night of boxing on Friday, August 11th at The SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia.

The card is promoted by King’s Promotions.

Ferhadi of Frederick, Maryland was born in Iraq, and has amassed a perfect mark of 7-0 with six knockouts.

Ferhadi has one of the unique stories in the sport as he spends about eight months out of the year as a medical student in Kurdastad, Iraq.

The 22 year-old began fighting at age 14 and went 10-2 as an amateur.  He lost in an Olympic qualifying tournament.

He started coming to the United States, and his whole family still resides in Iraq.

This will be Ferhadi’s first fight in almost a year when he stopped Christopher Petty in three rounds on August 19m 2016 in Crystal City, Virginia.

Aikens of Atlantic City, New Jersey has a record of 11-3-1 with one knockout.

Aikens, who turned professional in 2011, won his first ten fights, which was highlighted by a win over then0undefeated Sherman Artis.

Aikens went through a stretch where he went 0-3-1 against fighters who had a combined record of 29-2-2.  On May 19, Aikens got back in the win column in a big way when he took a six-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Amir Shabazz (4-0) in Philadelphia.

Appearing in the six-round co-feature, will be exciting bantamweight knockout artist Christian Carto (10-0, 10 KO’s).

Carto’s opponent will be named shortly.

Also in six-round bouts:

Erik Spring (9-1-2, 1 KO) of Reading, PA will take on an opponent to be named in a junior middleweight bout.

David Gonzales (8-2-2, 2 KO’s) of Philadelphia will take on Darius Earvin (4-1) of Los Angeles in a super lightweight bout.

Marquis Taylor (6-1) of Houston will fight Vincent Floyd (3-2-1, 2 KO’s) of Philadelphia in a welterweight contest.

Antonio DuBose (8-2-1, 2 KO’s) of Philadelphia battles Josh Crespo (7-4-3, 3 KO’s) of New Haven, CT in a super featherweight bout.

Brandon Robinson (4-1, 3 KO’s) of Philadelphia will take on an opponent to be named in a super middleweight bout.

In four-round fights:

Demetrius Williams (1-2) of Philadelphia will take on Kashon Hutchinson (2-3, 1 KO) of Reading, PA in a super lightweight affair.

Jerrod Taylor of Philadelphia will make his pro debut against Steven Lopez (0-1) of Philadelphia in a bantamweight fight.

Tickets are on sale for $100, $75, $50, and can be purchased at


SugarHouse, which opened in September 2010 as Philly’s casino, features 1,891 slots, 103 table games, a 28-table poker room, fun and unique dining options, riverfront views and free on-site parking. The casino employs approximately 1,700 people, and for six consecutive years has been voted a “Best Place to Work” by the Philadelphia Business Journal and for five straight years a “Top Workplace” by For more information, visit

For More information and credentials, Please contact: Marc Abrams at or 856 287 7611

Berto, Groves, Gonzalez Speak on upcoming fights

Andre Berto (30-3, 23 KOs) participated in a media workout at the J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live as he prepares for the biggest fight of his career, a shot at world welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather. Berto looked focused and in great shape, jumping rope and shadowboxing, as the former titlist looks to become the first fighter to defeat Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs), on Saturday, Sept. 12th. 

In addition to Berto, top 168-pound contender George Groves and former two-division champion Jhonny Gonzalez participated in the media workout as they prepare for their respective fights on the same show.

In world championship fights on the pay-per-view telecast, Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-2-2, 17 KOs) will defend his WBO Junior Lightweight title in a rematch against former multi-division champion Orlando “Siri” Salido (42-13-2, 29 KOs), and Badou Jack “The Ripper” (19-1-1, 12 KOs) will make the initial defense of his WBC Super Middleweight title against mandatory challenger “Saint” George Groves (21-2, 16 KOs). The opening fight of the telecast will feature former three-time world champion and Mexican power-puncher Jhonny Gonzalez (58-9, 49 KOs) against Puerto Rico’s Jonathan “Polvo” Oquendo (25-4, 16 KOs) in a 10-round junior lightweight scrap.
Plus, former 154-pound world champion Ishe Smith (27-7, 12 KOs) will be opposed by longtime top-five contender Vanes Martirosyan (35-2-1, 21 KOs) in the 90-minute preshow on Saturday, September 12th.
Here is what Berto, Berto’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, George Groves, Jhonny Gonzalez and Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe said Friday:
Andre Berto:
“From an energy aspect I feel great. It’s my first time in a while coming into a fight with no injuries. This is the healthiest I’ve been since I can remember.
“At the end of the day, this fight was supposed to happen two or three times. Situations with me not taking care of myself and not taking opponents seriously caused it to happen. But styles make fights and we’ll see what the boxing fans say Sept. 12.
“I know that I’m still the same guy who people thought could have given Floyd problems a couple years ago. 
“Victor Ortiz and Robert Guerrero both got fights with Floyd because they beat me. There must be something to that. They said ‘if he did something to Berto, he should get a shot at Floyd.'”
“We’re here. It’s my time to see him. He can have his ‘MayVinci’ code because we put in the work. The whole team is confident. I’m going to do what I do.
“We worked on a lot of different things at camp. I have the speed to keep up with him. I have more power. 
“The thing with Floyd is, most guys he fights aren’t as athletic as he is. But I am. 
“If you come at Floyd fast but don’t have a plan and don’t have good footwork, it’s too easy for him. If you have a guy that’s as athletic as him, it gives him problems.
“There is a lot more to me than just walking guys down. I have speed, I have power, I have a crazy uppercut, I can move to the side. There are a lot of ways I can get it done.
“I’m not going to watch his sparring. I don’t want to watch him driving his cars, none of that. I want to see him Sept. 12.
“This is my first time going into a fight without all the pressure on my back. I’ve always been the favorite in every fight. I don’t know what he’s feeling and I don’t really have to care about it.
“It’s a different mindset. Coming from where I come from, we always had to defeat the odds. We didn’t have what other people had. We had to work twice as hard for everything. To be noticed to be seen. Even back then it drove me to be the best that I can be. I wanted everyone to know I was somebody you had to watch.
“I’ve faced these odds my whole life. I was discounted two years ago when I was laying in the hospital. I’m constantly envisioning victory.
“All the hard work we’re putting in, it’ll all pay off fight night. It’s not just for me. I’ve been through doing things for me. I see what’s real now. 
“I’ve prepared myself mentally to be in this position. People can say whatever they want. We’re focused. 
“This is going to be for everyone who believes in the underdog.”
Virgil Hunter (Berto’s trainer):
“We have a unique opportunity right in front of us. We have a chance at history and to cement a legacy for my fighter (Berto).
“What is the key to winning this fight? (Berto) has got to want to win. He has to want it more. He holds the keys in his hand. You can plan as much as you want for tomorrow, but we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. We can only prepare.
“If (Berto) wins this fight, you’ll see me jumping up and down and it will be hard to compose myself. I’m usually pretty composed, but you might see me jump up and fall out of the ring and hit my head or something.
“No matter what happens, Floyd will always be considered one of the best ever. Win or lose, his legacy is cemented.
“There are similarities between Floyd and Andre Ward. They both started boxing as young boys, and were Olympians and are undefeated. There’s a lot of pressure that comes with being undefeated and they both have faced that.
“It’s not fair to the fight game to say this is a free shot and to go in there and say we have nothing to lose. We have everything to lose.”
George Groves:
“Training camp has been going great. We’re fully acclimated to the time change and altitude. We’re performing very well in the gym and fulfilling the plan. I’m ready to rock.
“We’ve trained in the U.S. before. Last year we came over to spar with Gennady Golovkin. This time we’re out there for much longer and it has been very successful.
“I like training in the altitude and I expect it to help me on fight night. We got used to it over the weeks of camp and now it’s time to bring the extra energy to the ring.
“I’m fully immersed in this fight with Badou Jack. Everyone wants to know about the future plans, but I leave that up to the promoters. My main concern is winning that WBC belt. 
“I carry power. I have good hands and foot speed. I can control the fight from anywhere. The mistakes that Badou Jack makes, I will take advantage of.
“I want to announce myself as the best fighter in the division and I’m planning on doing that Sept. 12. There won’t be any question marks. After I win this fight, I’ll have proof. 
“I’m a valuable commodity in the UK and it’s about time I started building my brand in the states. This is a huge opportunity being on the Mayweather card. The undercard will not be overlooked this night.
“Every fight is more important than the last. It doesn’t matter who you fight, it can affect you in a big way. I have a style that will naturally engage with the fans. People like to see me fight. I look to take the opponent out and that will be the same on Sept. 12. 
“Once Badou Jack leaves an opening, I will take it. I plan to look very good doing so.”
Jhonny Gonzalez:
“I feel great. I’ve been preparing at the gym a lot and I feel very good about this fight. 
“I am ready to win in this division and compete for a world title right away.
“I am fighting so quickly after my last victory because I am very confident. I want to stay active. I want to gain what I had before the loss to [Gary] Russell. I’m moving forward.
“I know that my opponent is a strong fighter. He’s going to throw a lot of punches but I’m going to bring it right back at him hard. 
“Being on the Mayweather card is a blessing. I’m excited to be in Las Vegas with the whole world watching.
“I’m honored to be fighting on the Mexican Independence weekend. I’m ready to represent for my Mexican people. I’m going to leave everything in the ring.
“What I want out of this fight, is an opportunity to win a world title. This is why I train so hard, to win world titles and fight in big fights.
“I believe in my power punches. I’m intelligent on the inside and the outside. I believe in myself as a fighter and that is why I’ll win.”

Continue reading

Carl Froch Injury Delays Return Until Summer 2015

Story by:  Chip Mitchell

Carl Froch has suffered an elbow injury in training. Froch and his team was negotiating a March fight in Las Vegas with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. He was looking for a big money fight off of his camp win over George Groves at Wembley Stadium in the summer to retain his IBF and WBA super middleweight title.  The Cobra now needs to put his plans on hold, until at least this summer.

“I’m disappointed to have to let this opportunity go but at this stage in my career I have to make every fight count,” said Froch. “I will get some treatment and then we will look to make this fight or another big fight in the early summer.”

Call me crazy, but I’m not going to count out a big money bout with Bernard Hopkins. I believe Froch may have an injury. At least I’m 50% sure. However, with the Chavez Jr’s recent signing with Al Haymon, how much of a monkey wrench would that cause with a matchup with Froch?

If the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight doesn’t happen, Floyd’s backup plan is Miguel Cotto. I suspect Froch’s backup plan is Hopkins. LOSER GOES HOME!

More Stuff
In an interesting and possibly related story, Lucian Bute recently signed with Al Haymon. I smell something cooking and that smell coming from the oven is honey roasted duck- as in Adonis Stevenson ducking the winner of  Sergey Kovalev versus Jean Pascal for Bute.

Imagine, however, if Pascal pulls the upset and beats Kovalev.  Let’s say negotiations don’t work between Pascal and Stevenson to unify titles.  If Stevenson chooses Bute where does that leave Pascal?

Pascal still has a fire that burns for Bernard Hopkins.  Hopkins beat Pascal twice (the first fight was scored a draw by officials).  Pascal would like to settle the score.  Hopkins, realizing he has the psychological edge and at least one win over Pascal would be tempted.  Considering these factors, I found it hard to agree with people who said “Hopkins can’t beat any of the top light heavyweights” after his wide loss to Kovalev.  He was officially cast as a guy who couldn’t beat them, solely based on his loss to the top guy.

Dare I ask, would a 51 year old Hopkins be a slight favorite to beat Pascal, a guy he has two (one official) wins over?  I’d even go further and make Hopkins even money if he stepped into the right with Stevenson.  I think “Nard” would neutralize the left hand of the one-dimensional Stevenson and give him all he could handle if they met.


The Year in Review: Six Notable Fights in 2014 – Part I — Pacquiao, Hopkins, Froch, More!

2014Story by: Paul “Paparazzi“ Jones

In this two-part review, I chronicle six of the most anticipated bouts of 2014. In Part I, I cover three key fights from the first half of the year. In Part II, I describe three fights from the remainder of the year and list match-ups that deserve honorable mention.

I selected each of these contests based on their ability to produce drama, historical significance, and/or sustained action. In addition, I emphasize tilts with pound-for-pound and title implications.

Fight Billing:  Pacquiao – Bradley 2:  Vindication (Main Event)

Location: MGM Grand (Las Vegas, NV)

Date: April 12th

Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao wins by Unanimous Decision over Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley

Pacquiao becomes WBO Welterweight Champion

Scorecards: 116-112 (twice); 118-110

Summary: After losing his WBO title to Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (31-1-1, 1NC 12 KOs) by split decision in 2012, via of one of the worst boxing decisions on record, Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) looked to set the record straight by removing Bradley from the unbeaten ranks. Although Pacquiao had more knockouts (38) than Bradley had pro fights (33), Desert Storm entered the rematch confident that he would knock the Pac Man out.

When Bradley, 31, and Pacquiao, 36, met at the MGM Grand Garden Arena for the second time, it was clear that both men were all business.

Round 1 got off to a fast start with both fighters trying to find their punching range. However, Bradley landed the first meaningful shot of the fight — a straight right hand to Pacquiao’s head that backed up the Filipino icon. Bradley continued to attack Pacquiao over the remainder of the round and built an early lead on the scorecards.

In round 2, Pacquiao zeroed in on Bradley’s chin and tagged Desert Storm with a hard left hand to the chops that wobbled the champion. Though the two combatants exchanged heavy leather before ending the second stanza, it was clear that Pacquiao was gaining momentum.

Round 3 was difficult to score featuring back-and-forth action highlighted by power shots landed by both fighters. At the end of the round, however, Bradley’s body began to breakdown as he complained of fatigue and a pulled (right) calf muscle to his trainer Joel Diaz.

Bradley sucked it up and landed several solid punches to Pacquiao’s body and head — one of which picked the Pac Man up off the canvas for a split second — that secured the 4th and 5th rounds for Desert Storm.

In middle rounds, Pacquiao picked up the pace and became the aggressor, while Bradley began to fade. Bradley also tried to goad Pacquiao into a brawl, but he was unsuccessful in most of these instances.

By the 9th round, the Pac Man had taken command of the fight. Bradley frequently missed with his punches and Pacquiao thwarted many of Desert Storm’s advances with fast-twitched combinations.

In the championship rounds, Pacquiao could smell blood in the water. As Bradley’s stamina continued to dissipate, the Pac Man took advantage of his adversary and piled up points on the scorecards.

Despite Bradley’s spirited effort in rounds 11 and 12, Pacquiao would avenge his “loss” to Desert Storm by earning a hard-fought, unanimous decision win in the rematch. In the process, the Pac Man regained the WBO title and notched his second consecutive victory.

A November bout against unheralded Chris Algieri (20-1, 8 KOs) loomed in Pacquiao’s future, but boxing fans clamored for the long overdue mega-fight between the Filipino champion and boxing’s top dog, Floyd “Money” Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs).

Bradley, who was classy in defeat, remained idle until December when he faced Diego Gabriel Chaves (23-2-1, 19 KOs), of Argentina, in a 12 rounder.

Fight Billing: History at the Capitol: Bernard Hopkins vs. Beibut Shumenov (Main Event)

Location: DC Armory (Washington, DC)

Date: April 19th

Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins Tops Beibut Shumenov by Split Decision

Hopkins Retains the IBF Light Heavyweight Title and Wins the WBA/IBA Championships

Becomes the Oldest boxer to Unify World Championships

Scorecards: 116-111 (twice); 113-114

Summary: The early rounds of this contest were tough to score, with Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins (55-7-2, 2 NC 32 KOs), 49, and Beibut Shumenov (14-2, 9 KOs), 31, feeling each other out and throwing few meaningful punches. Nonetheless, Shumenov’s pressure helped him build a lead on the scorecards by the end of the third round.

Hopkins took charge of the fight thereafter by capitalizing on his opponent’s mistakes. Making Shumenov miss and pay for his miscues, with well-timed counters, occurred with increasing regularity.

By the middle rounds, Shumenov’s frustration was mounting and his face was marked up. B-Hop, on the other hand, was getting into a comfortable groove that allowed the 49-year-old champion to set traps and lure his younger foe in.

By the 11th round, Hopkins was in complete control, while Shumenov was wearing down. A hard right hand, set-up by Hopkins’ jab, downed the Kazakhstan-native and whipped the crowd into a frenzy as they chanted, “B-Hop! B-Hop!” Shumenov returned to his feet and finished the bout, but it was clear that Hopkins was the superior fighter.

When the final scorecards were read, Hopkins led on two of three cards (116-111, twice). It was judge Gustavo Padilla’s inexplicable 113-114 scorecard (for Shumenov), however, that drew the ire of many in attendance. Thank goodness that two judges had a pulse that night.

Despite Padilla’s botched scorecard, the win was historic for Hopkins who became the oldest boxer to unify world titles. In addition, the bout marked B-Hop’s second consecutive victory in the nation’s capital where he is 2-1 including wins over Shumenov and Robert Allen (TKO7). His sole loss in the District of Columbia was to Roy Jones Jr. in 1993.

The victory set the stage for a potential fall showdown with The Ring/WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (24-1, 20 KOs), 37, presuming that he defeated Andrzej Fonfara (26-3, 1 NC 15 KOs), 27, in May. A bout with Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (26-0-1, 23 KOs), 31, was also a possibility.

The career path of Shumenov remained unclear.

Fight Billing: Froch vs Groves 2: the rematch (Main Event) Continue reading

The Cobra Stings Groves, Leaving No Doubt This Time Around! by Chip Mitchell

Getty Images

Getty Images

Carl Froch KO8 George Groves

In front of 80,000 rabid fans at London’s Wembley Stadium, Carl “The Cora” Froch defeated “Saint” George Groves for the second time in seven months, this time by devastating knockout.

In the first bout, Groves was leading on all three of the judge’s scorecards when Froch hurt him in the 9th round. Controversy ensued, referee Howard Foster stepped in to end the contest prematurely. The controversial ending prompted a widespread demand for a rematch to be fought between the two combatants.

In the second fight, Groves took an early lead as Froch began to storm back, with the bout this time seemingly much closer. In the 8th, Froch landed a left-right combination that was reminiscent of the Lennox Lewis two-piece that KO’d Hasim Rahman back in 2001. Groves was immediately concussed from the shot and landed awkwardly against the ropes, his leg bent backwards with an ACL-tear type of appearance. Here’s hoping the young man is alright.

A couple of minutes after the contest, Groves attempted to raise from his stool and was still clearly in bad shape. Eventually he was able to walk under his own power and he and Froch hugged in center of the ring.

Froch may have earned about 10 million pounds, (about $17 million dollars). Groves may have earned the equivalent of $3 million dollars. Not a bad night for either guy.

Froch/Groves II is On!


Story by:  Chip Mitchell

The weigh-in for tomorrow’s highly anticipated rematch between Carl “The Cobra” Froch and George Groves took place earlier today. IBF and WBA Super Middleweight champion Carl Froch weighed in at 167.6. Challenger George Groves came in at 166.25.

It has been six months since the first fight between Froch (32-2, 23 KOs) of Nottingham, England, and Groves (19-1, 15 KOs) of London, England, which ended in controversy. More than 80,000 fans are expected to fill Wembley Stadium.  I keep hearing about boxing being dead.

In their prior bout, Groves was ahead through most of the battle and seemed to be seizing control of the fight. In the ninth round, however, Froch came to life and landed enough shots to cause referee Howard Foster to halt the bout.

I expect the atmosphere at Wembley to be bananas!  This is a return battle between two guys who obviously have no love lost between them. Prior to facing Groves, Froch’s only losses were to Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward. Groves entered the contest undefeated, with his biggest wins coming against Glen Johnson and James DeGale.

Prediction: I’m going with Froch to win this one by decision or late TKO.

Froch/Groves II will air live on HBO at approximately 4:45pm eastern. At 4:00pm eastern, HBO cameras will take us to Macau, China for a featherweight title fight between challenger Nonito Donaire (32-2, 21 KOs) and champion Simpiwe Vetyeka (26-2, 16 KOs).

Immediately following Froch/Groves II, HBO will show the first episode of Cotto vs. Martinez 24/7.

Immediately after Cotto vs. Martinez 24/7, HBO will broadcast 2 Days:  Portrait of a Fighter “Sergio Martinez”.

Fans, it doesn’t stop there. At midnight on HBO2, another doubleheader takes place as Javier Fortuna (24-0-1, 18 KOs) takes on Juan Antonio Rodriguez (26-4, 23 KOs) in a super featherweight event scheduled for ten rounds.  Also Luis Rosa (16-0, 7 KOs) and Luis Orlando Del Valle (18-1, 13 KOs).

Don’t miss the action!