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Garcia vs. Rios & Benavidez vs. Gavril 2 Takes Place Saturday, February 17
Live on SHOWTIME from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas
Presented by Premier Boxing Champions
Click HERE for Photos from Scott Hirano/SHOWTIME
Click HERE for Photos from Chris Farina/Mayweather Promotions
Click HERE for Photos from Erick Ramirez/Premier Boxing Champions
LOS ANGELES (January 9, 2018) – Two-division world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia and former world champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios went face-to-face for the first time Tuesday at a press conference in Los Angeles to announce their main event showdown taking place Saturday, Feb. 17 live on SHOWTIME from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Also in attendance Tuesday were WBC Super Middleweight World Champion David Benavidez and top contender Ronald Gavril, who meet in a rematch of their exciting world title fight from September in the co-feature of the telecast.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and are available at AXS.com.
Here is what the fighters had to say Tuesday from the Conga Room at L.A. Live:
“I feel really good mentally and physically right now. My body is rested and ready to have a great 2018 starting February 17.
“You have to be focused to succeed in a fight like this and I think Brandon Rios knows that. I’m training hard so I hope he is too. I’m never going to take a fight off.
“This is a classic fight of a boxer puncher versus a brawler. I’m going to be prepared for everything and start 2018 off right. I have to be the fighter I’ve always been.
“I’m healthy and strong and ready to fight. I’m putting the loss to Keith Thurman behind me and moving forward. I have to focus on being Danny Garcia on February 17. I can’t press and try to do too much, I just have to get the win.
“We were both champions at the same time at 140-pounds and we didn’t get a chance to fight then, but it’s all about timing in boxing. Things tend to work out and now we’re ready to go head-to-head.
“I never back down and I know that Brandon Rios sees that in me. I always come to fight. It’s going to be a great matchup with our styles and our determination.
“I like watching the last three fights of my opponent. I think it gives me a good indication of what he’s going to look like on fight night. I’ve been watching tape of my last fight too so we can get a great game plan together.
“I felt like I fought a good fight against Thurman. He didn’t really engage. I thought after the fourth round he was basically shadow boxing. I don’t blame him because you have to be dumb to stand in front of me. We’ll make some adjustments and add to what I already do well.
“I haven’t been offered the Shawn Porter fight but I think that would be a great fight. He likes to come forward and I’m a great boxer and counter-puncher. I think the fans would love it, but Shawn Porter should be careful what he’s wishing for.”
“Everybody knows my style. I’m not here to dance, I’m coming to fight. I’m going in there with my heart out to show the world that I’m still one of the best out there.
“I feel strong and I feel rejuvenated. My body needed some rest because all of my fights are wars. It took a toll on my body and now I feel as good as ever. I’m ready to show the world a different Brandon Rios.
“You have to fight the best to try to be the best. Danny Garcia has been up at the top of this sport for a long time. I’m always ready for a test.
“I used to not always take training and my weight as seriously as I should have. I was young and dumb and I made mistakes. Those mistakes are in my past and I’m in great shape right now.
“I’ve been training really hard to have a full gas tank on fight night. I could have stayed retired but I still have it in me and there is still more I can get out of this sport. I truly love boxing and I’m excited to be back in a big fight like this.
“I’m always confident when I get in the ring. Having Robert Garcia in there is having my brother with me. It’s just another voice that I’m used to and that I trust.
“Being back in the ring was a little bit nerve-wracking but I was happy to get the ring rust off. I did what I had to do and was happy to get through that experience. I’m really thankful to be in this position to fight Danny Garcia.
“I’ve been ready to fight any of the top fighters. I waited and took my time because I knew I would fight whoever would step up. I got what I wanted and now it’s time to take advantage.”
“I have to make a statement on February 17. I’m leaving Mandalay Bay with the belt on my shoulder. I have to get the knockout and that’s what I’m looking to do.
“It’s been my dream since I was a little kid to unify titles and that’s what I’m working towards now. I want to be one of the best in the history of the weight class and I’m working very hard to accomplish that.
“I’m the youngest super middleweight world champion in history and I’m going to show Gavril why. I’m extremely motivated to look even better than last time and get the knockout. Continue reading
Thanks everybody for joining us for this call for the November 4 SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING show live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
This card is headlined by the Heavyweight Championship of the World — the WBC Heavyweight Championship of the World — between Deontay Wilder the champion, and the mandatory challenger for his title — Bermane Stiverne.
This card is also featuring “Showtime” Shawn Porter against Adrian Granados in a fight that figures to be extremely exciting. Sergey Lipinets will fight for a World Title on the SHOWTIME portion of the card, and there will be a sensational undercard that we’ll be talking more about in the near future.
By the way, tickets are on sale at TicketMaster.com, BarclaysCenter.com, the Barclays Center Box Office, and we urge as many people as possible to show up. It’s a rare opportunity to see a World Heavyweight Championship Fight in New York City in Brooklyn.
In my mind, this is an extremely dangerous fight. He has been preparing for a career defining fight against Luis Ortiz — an unorthodox left-handed puncher — a guy that he was really mentally revved up to fight. And instead he’s winding up with a rematch of a fight against Bermane Stiverne — a guy that’s been in this kind of situation before who’s a legitimate dangerous heavyweight contender.
Frankly, in this situation, Bermane Stiverne has absolutely nothing to lose. And he must feel like this is Christmas Day. He was already preparing for a large right-handed opponent in Breazeale; he was going to be on that same card. It’s now switched over to a fight that you have to think maybe Deontay is a little bit deflated to be forced to fight. But Bermane is the mandatory contender, and that’s the fight that’s going to happen.
I know that he’s confident and I also know that he’s dangerous. And I know that it’s all upside here for Bermane Stiverne and very little pressure. So Bermane, would you say a few words please and then we’ll open it up for questions for you?
Well I’m happy to be on the call. I had just a perfect training camp which was an exceptional training camp. So it was just a matter of time. I have a few days left to finish up this camp.
I always thought that the fight was never going to happen with Deontay and Ortiz — if you asked me from the moment they announced the fight. The first thing I said is, “This fight is not going to happen. And I’ve got to get ready for Deontay.”
That’s exactly what I said. You can ask anybody in my camp. You can ask my manager, that’s what I told him.
Deontay, you were preparing for a completely different fight. This isn’t the fight that you thought you’d be fighting.
I think with that there’s always a little better risk because you’re adjusting to a new opponent. But you want to just say a few words and tell everybody where your head is at right now?
Well my head is in a peaceful state of mind. I still sit back now and still just analyze my career and I’ll just sit back and just think. I’m like what have I done — what have I done so wrong to get the bad of the stick with every fight that comes in.
All I ever wanted was to fight the best. When I say I am the best, that it shows not only on the record but all the way around as a person.
It just saddens me. Man, it just saddens me. It makes me reevaluate my career. It almost made me lose the love of boxing for a little bit as well too because of certain things and activities that has been known in this sport with these guys avoiding or wanting to get on bad substances when they know they’re not supposed to be taking it in the first place, .
That’s the thing about it. You take it in the first place, and you make up excuses, and then the blame is pointed at me. It’s starting to sicken me.
I don’t want to feel this way about boxing because I was once in love with it and it’s starting to make me rethink my career. Am I better out of this sport than in this sport because of this stuff that’s going on? Am I that dangerous to other fighters’ careers that they feel they have to do certain things when it comes to Deontay Wilder? I just want to be proven wrong, man. I just want to be proven wrong.
But then you have on the other hand, a man that has animosity, that have hate in his heart for me for no reason at all.
The ring is the judge and the people are the jury. And in the ring I prove my case. Outside the jury, they prove their case.
I’m so happy that I’m able to get my mandatory out of the way. It’s been almost three years and Bermane has just been focused on me instead of building his reputation; instead of building his career as a fighter.
He’s just been focused on this one man and his name is Deontay Wilder and I don’t understand it; I don’t understand it.
But at the end of the day, all fighters get what they ask for. They get what they ask for. And come November 4, he asked for it and he shall receive. We must do what we have to do. If he feels like he’s ready, then we shall see.
This time around, I don’t want no excuses. I can’t deal with the excuses no more, man. I’m tired of the excuses; I’m tired of being the blame.
I’m just ready to get this behind me and just past me and to see what’s next.
How important is it to you to try to set the record straight — to take care of him like you’ve done the other 37 opponents?
It plays hand-in-hand. The first time around, my heart desired the knock out. But in reality it was the best for me to be able to go 12 rounds. It was the best thing to ever happen to me in my career because even to that point, a lot of people doubted me.
A lot of people said what I couldn’t do but nobody says what I can and can’t do because they’re not me. They don’t train; they don’t bust their ass every day in the gym. Lay in the bed because you’re sore and you can’t really get a good position of sleep because your body is so sore. Only God and myself can do that.
So when Bermane was able to last 12 rounds, it was a blessing for me because I proved to so many people what I can do instead of them looking negative at me of what I can’t do.
So this time around it comes in, it makes it even better because now I can redeem myself. I showed you all what I can do. And now I’m coming back around completing what I meant to do in the first place. So it plays hand-in-hand.
If you could change something — if you could be 38 and 0 with 38 knockouts instead of 37 — would you take that? If you had a vote and you could change that, would you do it?
No, no, no because it’s a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing – my record – the things I’m able to do, my power is a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because I know I’ve got the ability and I’m capable of doing so many great things for the history of boxing.
But it’s a curse because I’ve got so many guys that have kind of ruined my career a bit. It’s a curse to have so much power. It’s a curse to have a record like that because even the best, they get fearful of that. They get scared and frightened because they know that, damn, at this point in time this guy is very dangerous and he can end everything that I got going for myself.
And that’s what I’ve seen throughout my career. So it’s a blessing and a curse because if anybody else had my record they’d be looked on as a God.
Let’s face it. If I had their record, I’d be still be the same old me. And that’s the frustrating part about it.
Given your inactivity and the age factor how can you be better in this fight?
They’re not factors to me. Those factors are for people like you and the people that’s out there.
Age is nothing but a number. I can’t say that I’m not inactive. I mean when it comes to fighting to be in the ring, you could say that. But as far as being inactive, I haven’t been inactive; I’ve been in the gym all day every day.
And the fight with Rossy, that wasn’t even a fight that I wanted to take. I just took the fight just because. The past three years since I lost the fight, there’s only one fight that I’m interested in — which is the fight that’s happening on November 4.
I determined when I fought Rossy, I was still trying to digest the loss. I might have been there physically, but mentally or psychologically, it was not really the case.
When you look at it right now all that is in the past. That was then and this is now. And like people are trying to say that my inactivity is going to hurt me or things they be saying, I don’t believe so.
You’re talking about the past and what happened in the past, it’s not something that I’m interested in. So the first fight, we all know what happened. Everybody that knows me that knows how I fight, that knows Bermane Stiverne, they know that wasn’t me.
But hey, I’m not trying to look for excuses, but what I’m telling you is this second fight is going to be a whole lot different fight. There’s going to be a whole different ending.
What was the reason that there were no fights for you at all in the calendar year of 2016?
I was scheduled to fight in 2016. I got injured and I had to pull out in different fights.
I can’t remember which card it was going to be, but it was set. I was set to fight in 2016 two times. The first time I got injured, my ankle and I had to pull out. And then I came back. I got ready and I got injured again, so I had to pull out again. And that’s what happened.
I had some time to rest. I was actually in the wheelchair right before going to camp for Povetkin. I think I was in the chair for about 11 weeks. I don’t have any injuries. This fight right here has no excuses.
I’m 110% ready mentally and physically. I’m really happy that it happened the way it happened. There was just something there that I knew this was going to happen.
How do you avoid a letdown going into this rematch?
This is just another obstacle that I had to deal with, that I had to face. I put so much into it. Ortiz had been wanting it; he wanted this fight to happen. I never thought in a million years that he would do what he did.
No matter what they say, it was done; it was a banned substance. You can’t get around that. You all make mistakes in there because they tried to get their leverage. There are a lot of guys that are doing it though. I know each and every last one of them. There’s a lot of them doing it.
What’s the point of coming out and saying who’s doing it when at the end of the day, if you are caught doing it, what’s the punishment?
This is really nothing. When you can take care of that and get back in the ring and still be an actual contender or become a mandatory or something like that.
At the end of the day, money is money. Money comes and goes. Money comes and goes. It’s not everything. More money more problems at the end of the day.
Are you going to take time to either watch the Anthony Joshua fight, pay attention to the result of the Anthony Joshua fight, and if so what are you looking for and how much is it difficult to not look past Stiverne knowing that that’s the really huge fight in the Heavyweight Division that everybody wants to see?
Well, of course I’m going to look at it. I definitely look at the guys at the top of the division. Anybody say they don’t watch, then they’re lying. Of course I’m going to look and see what’s going on and see how this person did against this person, and so forth and so on.
The ultimate goal is to get Joshua. We’re not just going to be sitting up here and doing this and doing that. I don’t see what’s the difference between me and any other guy.
Joshua say he need more time; he ain’t ready. He wants to put himself in a better position. But you already fought a guy that got way more experience than I.
I don’t understand this sport when it comes to me. It feels like I’m better off not being in this sport than being in it. I don’t understand it.
All this stuff has just been a buildup for me. But I can handle it well though. I can handle it so well and I can’t wait. All this needs to be released. Unfortunately for Bermane Stiverne, come November 4th, it will be released.
I just want to prove to the world that I am the best. That’s all I want to do. That’s all I want to do.
I don’t care about who’s the A side, who’s the B side, where the fight’s going to be. I don’t care about that stuff, just me in the ring.
Bermane, you said earlier in the call that you knew all along that the Wilder-Ortiz fight would not happen. Can you tell us why you felt that way?
I can’t really tell you why, but it was just something that I believed that was going to happen. Knowing Ortiz, I know Ortiz since 2004. So, he’s always been who he is right now.
So I don’t know. I mean the first thought I had when I decided they were trying to have this fight going on and I finally made the decision to just move to the side and let them have the fight. And I guarantee you, this fight ain’t gone happen. And that’s exactly what happened. If I’m lying, my manager can tell you if I’m lying.
I handpicked Dominic Breazeale. They offered me a bunch of other fighters and I told them that for this to be a deal or whatever they want to call it, I want Breazeale.
And they gave me Breazeale. But, I always told my trainer, let’s get ready for Wilder because that fight ain’t going to happen. And that’s exactly what happened.
Bermane, you were saying earlier that your training camp for this fight has been different than your first training camp, when you fought Deontay the first time. Can you tell us what’s been different about it, and how it’s been better?
Just, the people that surround me. The intensity of the workouts. I feel better. Just the workouts and the people we decided to deal with. Everything is so different, man. I feel better. Obviously there’s a couple of mistakes that we made for the first fight. One thing I’m good at man, is not to repeat my mistakes.
What would it mean for you to be able to become the first person to beat Deontay?
This is something I’ve always said. That I would be the first one to beat him. I would be the first one to beat him, whether he likes it or not. That’s something that will happen November 4th.
It’s satisfaction. Something that should have happened the first fight. But things happen. And that was then, and this is now. This is a different Bermane Stiverne. So, a lot of people will want to base their opinion on the first fight. Some people will be very hurt and very surprised on November 4th.
How do you think it plays out in terms of your fight against Deontay being a harder fight the second time?
Well, I said that because Deontay, he been saying that he doesn’t want to fight me again because he won so easily. Or he made a statement and all that.
We all know, like I said before, anybody that knows me, knows how I fight and that night, it wasn’t me. It wasn’t me. Unfortunately, I lost the title because of my health. Not because he was better than me. And, that’s where we’re at.
I was saying the first time I fought Arreola. I tried to take him out the first fight. And we all know how Arreola’s a real fighter. True warrior. And who would want to fight him again? He was a tough task.
So, when they announced that I was going to have to fight him again that’s not something that I really wanted because of how hard the task was. But I pulled up my pants and went back to the gym and worked.
We all know what happened in the second fight. I knocked him out.
Wilder can talk about anything, all he wants, and I know it plays in the back of his head. He’s trying knock me out. It didn’t happen. It didn’t happen on my worst day. It didn’t happen when I was sick. And it sure won’t happen November 4th. That’s what I’m saying.
Deontay, how do you feel about what Bermane said about being sick and that being the reason that he lost the fight?
Well, I told people before the fight happened, I said, don’t make excuses. People don’t want to hear excuses. They want a winner and they want a loser. And if the person that wins, wins then it’s noted. It’s dated, what happened. The facts are the facts.
But the person that loses, nobody wants to hear the reason. Nobody want to hear an explanation of how you lost or why you lost. They just want to hear you say hey, I admit it, I lost. But I’m going to try my best the next time. That won’t be the last of me. I’m coming back. I promise.
People respect that even more. Because the thing about it, people don’t like a loser that contradicts themselves. One minute you’re good, you’re healthy. You’re talking so confidently. And then when the time to fight happens, all of a sudden something just so dramatically happens in the ring.
I’m at peace. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Let’s say he did get dehydrated and stuff like that. Well, come November 4th, he got an opportunity to redeem yourself.
And for that reason, I’m happy for him. He says he’s happy. So hey, I’ve been through a lot of happiness obtaining this belt. And it seems on his end he’s only suffered headaches and pain and heartaches.
So, if this fight brings some type of comfort or relief or happiness that shall come upon him, then may God be with him. But, come that night November the 4th, I don’t see anything being different. I don’t see – if anything, the only thing that’s going to be different is it’s much easier. It’s going to be a much easier fight.
When you get in the ring with somebody you’re fighting the first time, you get everything. We went 12 rounds, so we know each other. And we know what the outcome was.
So, the second time around, why would it be any different? If he feels that he has something over me; he feels that he’s seen something that he can exploit in this fight come the second time around, what do you think I have? What do you think I see?
It’s been almost three years. I’m better. My mind is better. My mind is a different state of being. I’m at peace. My mind is totally at a different state. I’m happy for him and, we shall see. He said, it’s no more excuses after this and, I hope it’s not. Because I’m tired of it, man.
If this fight happens the same way, the first time happened or worse, who looks like the fool at the end of the day?
You all can put this at the top of the headlines. Because the way I’m feeling about boxing right now, if Bermane Stiverne beats me, I will retire. You can put that down. I will be out of the way. Continue reading
Click HERE for Photos from Stephanie Trapp/Ringstar Sports
Check out the prediction for the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) and IBF World cruiserweight title fight.
The WBSS quarterfinal fight has champion Murat Gassiev (24-0, 17 KOs) defending against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (53-3-1, 37 KOs).
Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey, USA
27/10/17 – Super Middleweight Quarterfinal:
Juergen Braehmer vs. Rob Brant
Kongresshalle in Schwerin, Germany
WORLD BOXING SUPER SERIES AT A GLANCE
Number of participants: 16
Number of belts: 7
Number of world champions: 6
Number of former world champions: 3
Number of undefeated fighters: 9
Combined Record of participants: 423 wins, 17 losses, 294 KOs
Check out my thoughts on Saturday night’s 154-pound title tripleheader.
Erislandy Lara, Jermell Charlo, and Jarrett Hurd all defended their titles and hopefully will fight each other to unify titles.
On the horizon are Julian Williams, Demetrius Andrade (if a deal to come back to 154 is enticing enough), Vanes Martirosyan, Kanat Islam, Tony Harrison, K9 Bundrage, and Miguel Cotto if he chooses to fight on.
Check it out:
Story: Rahmon Ford:
StubHub Center – Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares each fought like they were on a mission Saturday afternoon. While each combatant utilized a different game plan to achieve their mission, the destination was the same- Santa Cruz/Mares II.
Santa Cruz, (34-1-1, 19 KOs), retained his WBA World featherweight title with an eighth-round stoppage of Chris Avalos (27-6, 20 KOs). Scores at the time of stoppage were 69-64, 69-64, and 70-63. All cards were in favor of Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz begin to feel Avalos out in the first frame and landed a nice right hand. In the next few rounds, Santa Cruz began to press the action, at times trying to make the fight rough in close instead of distance.
In the fourth, a left hook by Santa Cruz wobbled Avalos and Leo went in for the finish. Santa Cruz was upset that the fight wasn’t stopped at that point, as Avalos survived until the bell.
Santa Cruz continued coming forward, and began to apply a body attack hoping to break Avalos down. He found pay dirt in the eighth as referee Thomas Taylor stopped the assault at 1:34 into the round.
Santa Cruz on Avalos
“He did great, he was moving, but I saw little mistakes I can take advantage of,” said Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KOs), who upended Carl Frampton in a January rematch to regain his title. “Let’s bring on the rematch. He paces himself more, he doesn’t go wild, he doesn’t try to knock you out. More speed and movement.
“I think it’s going to be more easy for me. Fighters that create distance make it more easy.”
“I thought I had him in the fourth round. I gassed out a little bit but I got my air back later. I thought the ref was going to jump in during that round but he let him continue.
“I want Abner Mares. I said if we both win, we’re going to fight. I’m ready to fight him in Los Angeles in the beginning of next year.”
“I’m very upset with the stoppage. We were fighting the whole time. There was no reason to stop this fight. I wasn’t hurt like the referee thought. I want to fight for the title again.”
In the co-feature, Abner Mares (31-2-1, 15 KOs) laid an absolute tallywacking on Andres Gutierrez (35-2-1, 25 KOs) over 10 rounds before referee Jack Reiss stepped in. The official stoppage was due to a bad cut suffered by Gutierrez. Mares was ahead 99-91, 99-91, and 100-90 at the time of stoppage.
Although speculation was the cut came from a clash of heads, a punch seemed to be the culprit in this affair. I thought Gutierrez was going to bring more to the table in this fight. Credit Mares with bringing his A-Game in this one.
Mares went on the attack early and blood began flowing from Gutierrez as early as the third. Mares worked the jab and boxed in ways I didn’t imagine, for sure.
As with Santa Cruz, Mares landed a big shot in the fourth round that would’ve discouraged most fights. However, Gutierrez was game as he came out in the next round, eating power shot after power shot. Nevertheless, Gutierrez pressed forward as if Mares’s shots were kisses on his cheeks.
Mares continued to attack the eye, which by then was bleeding abundantly. The referee had no choice but to stop it on the doctor’s advice.
Mares appears to be a completely different fighter under the tutelage of Robert Garcia. He’s changed his style to the point where Santa Cruz may need to make adjustments in the rematch. Leo knows what that takes as he did the same in a rematch with Carl Frampton.
Santa Cruz, who watched the fight:
“He did great, but I saw little mistakes that I can take advantage of … the rematch, I want it.”
“He won, he looked great. Hopefully, the fans liked how I did. Now that we both got these wins, I think people want to see the rematch.”
“I told everyone that I was here to make a statement. I had a tough opponent and he showed how good he is. It took a lot of punches and a lot of big punches. It was just a matter of time before I stopped him.
“I thought they could have stopped it earlier. He’s a young guy who was too brave for his own good. I was happy with the decision. I deserved the stoppage but I’m happy I got the win.
“I’m a totally different fighter now since I started working with Robert Garcia. We’re going to keep showing that when we fight Leo Santa Cruz.”
“I didn’t feel like the fight should have been stopped. I was hurting him as much as he was hurting me. My cuts did not bother me.
“I want to fight him again or have another shot at the title. I was prepared to fight to the final bell.”
In other action, Antonio DeMarco won by first-round TKO over an aggressive Eddie Ramirez. DeMarco, with his back to the ropes caught Ramirez with a short counter uppercut. Ramirez retreated all the way to the other side of the ring and DeMarco staggered Ramirez.
Ramirez stumbled and his head briefly went between the ropes but he got out just as quick and into defensive position. Not quick enough for referee Gerard White as he stopped the fight at 1:56 into the opening round.
Ramirez thought the stoppage was premature and so did I. Here’s a video below. You be the judge.
“I think it was a good decision from the referee. He was taking a lot of solid punches.
“I’m very thankful to Ramirez for taking the fight. I think big things are coming for me. I’m going to talk to my team and see what is next. I think this performance will erase a lot of doubts about me.
“I’m an experienced fighter and I stayed patient. I had great preparation and waited for the right moment. I feel great right now.”
CARSON, CALIF. (October 14, 2017) – Featherweight world champions Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares were both victorious in their Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes fights Saturday night from StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. and officially set up a world championship rematch between the two popular southern California champions in early 2018.
“I want Abner Mares,” said Santa Cruz. “I said if we both win; we’re going to fight. I’m ready to fight him in Los Angeles in the beginning of next year.”
“I’m a totally different fighter now since I started working with Robert Garcia,” said Mares. “We’re going to keep showing that when we fight Leo Santa Cruz.”
In the main event, Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KOs) took care of business and defended his title by stopping Chris Avalos (27-6, 20 KOs) in the eighth round.
“He was very tough and I was fighting the wrong fight,” said Santa Cruz. “I wanted to please the fans and give them a brawl. Once my dad told me how I could stop him easily, I boxed him more and got the stoppage.”
Santa Cruz used his length effectively and set up his jab while firing straight right hands to Avalos’ head. Avalos stayed tough, but was in trouble in round four when Santa Cruz connected with a left hook that stunned Avalos in the corner.
Avalos originally retreated but as Santa Cruz came forward he was forced to brawl through the remainder of the round and took a great deal of punishment. Always game, Avalos continued to fight back and landed punches as Santa Cruz attempted to walk down his opponent.
“I thought I had him in the fourth round,” said Santa Cruz. “I gassed out a little bit but I got my air back later. I thought the ref was going to jump in during that round but he let him continue.”
Finally, in the eighth round, after several more flurries of punishment, referee Thomas Taylor jumped in and stopped the bout 1:34 into the round. Although he was out landed 282-169, Avalos believed he could have continued in the fight.
“I’m very upset with the stoppage,” said Avalos. “We were fighting the whole time. There was no reason to stop this fight. I wasn’t hurt like the referee thought. I want to fight for the title again.”
The co-main event saw Mares (31-2-1, 15 KOs)make the first defense of his title by wearing down and eventually earning a technical decision over Andres Gutierrez (35-2-1, 25 KOs).
Referee Jack Reiss called on the advice of the ringside physician midway through the 10th round, who determined that Gutierrez was unable to continue due to a cut. Although the cut was originally opened by a punch, the commission determined that a series of accidental fouls caused the cut to worsen to the point that the fight was ended, and a final verdict would be decided by the scorecards.
Mares was sharp from the outset, using the jab to get to Gutierrez and teeing off with combinations. The right hand was a weapon all night long and in the second round he connected with the shot that opened up the cut under Gutierrez’s left eye.
“I told everyone that I was here to make a statement,” said Mares. “I had a tough opponent and he showed how good he is. It took a lot of punches and a lot of big punches. It was just a matter of time before I stopped him.”
Gutierrez continued to put up a strong effort and never stopped throwing punches, using his jab to try to keep Mares at bay. However, as the cut worsened throughout the fight, Mares had an easier time landing thudding right hands to Gutierrez’s face.
“I didn’t feel like the fight should have been stopped,” said Gutierrez. “I was hurting him as much as he was hurting me. My cuts did not bother me. I want to fight him again or have another shot at the title. I was prepared to fight to the final bell.” Continue reading
BROOKLYN (Oct. 14, 2017) – Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder and Welterweight World Champions Keith Thurman and Errol Spence Jr. met with the media on Saturday at Barclays Center to discuss their upcoming bouts and expected 2018 campaigns.
Wilder will defend his WBC belt on Nov. 4 against mandatory challenger Bermane Stiverne live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center in a Premier Boxing Champions event. Thurman announced he expects to return in early 2018 in his first bout since unifying the division and subsequent surgery.
In news on Saturday, IBF Welterweight Champion Spence announced that he will make the first defense of his belt against former world champion Lamont Peterson in January 2018 on SHOWTIME on a date and site to be determined.
Below are flash quotes from the three fighters:
“What other heavyweight is doing what I do? What other heavyweight has power like me? I don’t have to put you out in punches in bunches. I don’t have to do that. One punch. Goodnight.
“I’m happy that I’ve had time to calm down and think about things. I’m happy that I’m fighting Stiverne because he’s my mandatory. I can finally get him out the way so I’ll be a free man.
“This is the story of my life. Every situation that I’m put in, I try to be optimistic about. It’s easy to appreciate the good. But when the bad comes, some people don’t know how to manage that.
“I’m the most frustrated guy around. I don’t understand. The best are supposed to fight the best, right? I’ve always done that. I called (Wladimir) Klitschko out years ago.
“People make so many excuses for my career. The one who is actually trying to make a legacy out of their career, he’s the only one that’s not complaining. The people who don’t have to get in the ring and endure this suffering are the ones that complaining.”
“I’m in the bounce-back stage. It won’t be long before I get back into the ring and hopefully my arm will be better than ever. We’re estimating I’ll be ready for a fight the first quarter of next year.
“I look forward to continuing my legacy and dominating the welterweight division.
“Everything happens for a reason. I’m 28-years-old and it doesn’t feel good to not be an active fighter while you’re in your prime.
“I don’t think that I will take that level of a fight [against Shawn Porter] coming off my injury. I think we’re going to just get a welcome back fight. Throw the arm around, test it out, have an injury-free camp, take the momentum from that and we can possibly get in the ring with Shawn after that.
“I look forward to that [potential] fight against Errol. I look forward to great competition and Errol is that. This is a fight that you guys have been talking about, you won’t stop talking about, and you should keep talking about it because when it goes down it will be one of the best fights of this generation.
“Everybody knows there’s no Floyd Mayweather. There’s no Manny Pacquiao. Everybody thinks they know who the real champion is. But real talk is that the king of the welterweight division will manifest within one to two years.
“[Terence] Crawford has whacked up a lot of people, but he hasn’t whacked up a welterweight yet. He still needs to make himself relevant in this division. He’s a 140 undisputed champion. He can come up to this weight division and fight anybody in the top 10 and he deserves that. But we are so flooded with talent he is going to have to make himself relevant at 147 before he gets his hands on us.”
Errol Spence Jr.
“I’m happy to be here, it’s been awhile. It’s finally time to defend my title, capture more titles and become the undisputed welterweight champion of the world. That’s what I’m ready to do next year.
“[Peterson] is somebody that I looked up to as an amateur. I sparred with him as an amateur and learned a lot from him. He’s one of my favorite fighters and is a guy that will fight anybody. I’ve never known him to duck a fight.
“Lamont is a tricky fighter. He’s been around the block. He does a lot of cagey, veteran things. I’m looking to get experience in this fight. I’m still a young fighter.
“Since I was 5-0, I’ve said I’d fight Keith Thurman or anybody in the top 5. He’s got to go through rehab, but I’m ready when he is. I’m always ready to fight the best.”
Check out the predictions for Saturday night’s big card in Brooklyn, as three 154-pound titles will be up for grabs.
LARA vs GAUSHA
CHARLO vs LUBIN
HURD vs TROUT
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